How a teal pumpkin can save a child's life

Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 10:50 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

When you have a child with allergies, the fun and excitement of Halloween can become overshadowed by the haunting worry about hidden ingredients and undisclosed allergens in the candy your little one collects.

Some children with ADHD or autism also have certain dietary restrictions that prohibit eating candy, especially in the quantity involved around Halloween.

For these children, Halloween is a time of frustration instead of celebration.

 >> Read more trending stories  

FARE (Food, Allergy, Research & Education) and the Teal Pumpkin Project understand the challenges parents and children face during this candy-filled holiday, and have continued a nationwide movement to offer an alternative for children who cannot partake in the usual fare.

By encouraging families to offer non-food options this Halloween, like scented pencils, stickers, small toys and erasers, the Teal Pumpkin Project hopes to transform this holiday into something every child can enjoy and participate in.

Want to take part? Here's how you can have a safe and fun Halloween this year!

 

  • Join more than 100,000 families by pledging your support for the Teal Pumpkin Project.
  • Paint and display a teal pumpkin, which shows that you support allergy awareness and a food-free Halloween. Make sure to print out a free sign from FARE to place next to your pumpkin.
  • Offer only non-food items at your door for trick-or-treaters this year.

If you really want to help take charge of Halloween, you can spread awareness of Halloween-related food allergies by holding your own fundraiser. The Teal Pumpkin Project suggests a few easy ways to raise money, including hosting your own pumpkin walk, a teal pumpkin painting party, a teal-painted pumpkin sale, neighborhood collections, and having a food and candy-free Halloween party.

 

For more information, contact FARE and Teal Pumpkin Project at 1-800-929-4040.

 

Christmas 2017: Top ugly holiday sweater ideas

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:55 AM

A Celebration of Ugly Holiday Sweaters

In recent years, the combination of Christmas and tacky sweaters has taken on a life of its own. Festive people aspire to wear the ugliest holiday sweater possible. Whether it’s including as many adornments as possible, breaking out a ratty and worn polyester pullover or sporting animals in full holiday cheer, here’s a roundup of ugly Christmas sweater ideas to inspire you.
 
Shiny wreath
What’s says Christmas more than a wreath with a little shine? Take your Christmas tackiness to a new level with a shiny wreath pinned to your red or green sweater. For a little extra bling, string some lights to the wreath and load with a battery pack to keep it shining.
 
The fireplace
If the coziness of sitting by a blazing fire in the winter tickles your fancy, you’ll love this ugly Christmas sweater idea. This sweater can be pre-purchased with a trimmed fireplace and a pocket in the middle of sweater for your phone. Download an app on your phone to provide virtual flames.
 
Trim the tree
Get your craftiness ready to whirl with this shiny and embellished sweater. You’ll need shiny garland, small ornaments and lots of glue, but the end result is a tree to inspire even the grinchiest with a smidge of Christmas spirit. By the way: Don’t forget the ornament to top the tree.

>> Read more trending stories
 
Stuffed stocking
Need some wine or sweet treats to keep you going through the holiday season? This stocking stuffer sweater is just what you need.
 
A beer lover’s Christmas
Yet another DIY ugly Christmas sweater idea, this one entails the usage of hundreds of bottle tops to make a Christmas tree. Take a red or green sweater and gather all your bottle tops. Arrange them on the sweater and glue them into the shape of a tree. Top off the tree with a metallic bow for a touch of glitz.
 
Snow globe
Bring the wishes of a White Christmas to life with this ugly Christmas sweater in the fashion of a snow globe. Take a plastic tablecloth and fold in half, being careful to stuff it with the insides with a pillow to look like artificial snow.
 
An ugly tie tree 
For this creation, all of the old ugly ties of Christmases pasts can be put to good use. Gather your ugly Christmas ties and arrange them in a tree pattern on an old sweater. Easy peasy Christmas sweater to don at all your holiday parties in the season.
 
Matching couple sweaters 
Want to look tacky as a pair? Wear the ugliest Christmas sweater connected to one other person to have double the fun and double the tackiness.
 
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pay homage to Santa’s favorite reindeer and favorite helper of them all with this Christmas sweater. Start with a black sweater vest and decorate with big eyes and a red nose. Layer a brown long-sleeved shirt underneath the sweater vest, attaching stems to look like antlers on your sleeves.

Your guide to building a fabulous gingerbread house

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:03 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

When an architect, a pastry chef and a kid decide to build a gingerbread house, who knows what will happen?

If you're like me, this time of year brings the yearning for upholding or creating family traditions such as building a holiday gingerbread house, but the reality is that there's only so much time in a day.

RELATED: 6 things you may not know about Christmas

Most of us were already burning our candles from both ends before they turned red and started smelling of spice and apples. Now we're just burned out.

 

Take a breath. You’ve got options. My family has been making a gingerbread house for the holidays since I was the age of my 11-year-old (trust me, it's been a while). And we've managed to not only stay sane, but continue speaking to each other.

 

How?

We cheat. We use a kit to build out houses. Kits comes in lots of shapes and sizes, from beginner to advanced, and can be bought even on the most meager of budgets. If you can Google, you can find a kit (but we’ve done some of that legwork for you, with a list of kits; see the list on this page).

 

Kits basically offer the pieces to your house already baked — all you have to do is the fun part: make some icing and start decorating and making memories. 

RELATED: Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

WHERE TO FIND KITS

 

Wilton, Orbit, Gingerhaus and Create-a-treat kits and related accessories also are available from Amazon.com.

 

——————————

 

Royal Icing

 

Makes about 3 cups

 

Hands on: 2 minutes

 

Total time: 7 minutes

 

Use this icing "glue" to put together a gingerbread house, or to pipe decorative designs on cakes and cookies. You can also use the recipe in the booklet inside the Wilton Meringue Powder canister.

 

4 cups confectioners' sugar

 

3 tablespoons meringue powder

 

6 to 7 tablespoons warm water

 

With an electric mixer using a whip attachment, whip confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and water in a bowl until incorporated, Continue beating on medium speed for 7 minutes. Keep the icing covered with a moist paper towel when not using.

 
Per tablespoon: 25 calories (no calories from fat), trace protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, no fat, no cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium.

This week’s ‘Artisan Night’ offers gift ideas that can’t get more local

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

The 2nd Street Market will host its first-ever Artisan Night at the Market from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. CONTRIBUTED
The 2nd Street Market will host its first-ever Artisan Night at the Market from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. CONTRIBUTED

The 2nd Street Market will host its first-ever “Artisan Night at the Market” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13.

The event is described by market organizers as “an evening of music, gift shopping and mini workshops … a perfect opportunity to purchase or create your very own unique holiday gifts.”

>> RELATED: 2nd Street Market to add Sunday hours in June 2018

More than a dozen of the market’s vendors will be participating. The event will be held on the east end of the market. Attendees should park and enter at the far east end of the market. No registration is necessary, and admission is free.

Lynda Suda, the Five Rivers MetroParks 2nd Street Market’s coordinator, provided a few of the projects that vendors will offer:

• Consider the Lilies - small wreath

• Hedy Riegle Studio – stamped brass tag

• Willowdale Farm Botanicals – essential oil roll-on

• Revamped Jems – small earrings

• Studio Regina - glass ornament

The full list of participating vendors include:

Animal Snackers, Azra’s Mediterranean Desserts, Caffeine Carl, Consider the Lilies, Fabric Arts, Hedy Riegle Studio, Missing Peace, New World Alpaca Textiles, Now and Zen Terrariums, Papi Joe’s Tennessee Pepper Sauce, Revamped Jems, Simply Aura Boutique, Studio Regina, Tim’s Gifts N’ More, Westlane Alley, and Willowdale Botanicals.

>> CHRISTMAS DINING: Which Dayton-area restaurants are open on Christmas Day? 

Coffee and holiday treats will also be for sale, and Anna Baugham will provide acoustical music entertainment.

The artisans’ night could become an annual event, Suda said.

The 2nd Street Market is located at 600 E. Second St. at Webster Street in downtown Dayton. For more information, call (937) 228-2088.

Kwanzaa: 7 things to know

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:10 PM

Understanding Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a relatively modern holiday that began just over 50 years ago. Since then, Kwanzaa has grown in popularity and has been commemorated with postage stamp designs and mentioned by several presidents as part of their holiday greetings.
 
Unless you celebrate Kwanzaa, you may not be aware of the traditions and philosophy that are important to its meaning and celebration.
 
Here are seven things to know about Kwanzaa.

>> Read more trending news
 
Why and when it was created
 
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a black nationalist who became a college professor. He created the holiday in the aftermath of the Watts riots in Los Angeles as an effort to unite and empower the African-American community, and it was first celebrated that year.
 
The origins of its name
 
Inspired by traditional harvest festivals, Kwanzaa takes its name from a Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” Over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa, so Swahili, which is spoken by millions, was chosen since it’s a unifying language. An extra “a” was added to the end of the original word because seven children each wanted to represent a letter at the first Kwanzaa celebration.
 
Who can celebrate Kwanzaa

Because it’s celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, some people assume that Kwanzaa is an alternative to Christmas. It’s a cultural celebration that has a spiritual quality, but the holiday is not a religious one. And although it celebrates African culture, people of any race or ethnic background can participate in the holiday’s events and customs.
 
Why it lasts for seven days

Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a principle, which gives each day a specific meaning and purpose on which to focus. The seven principles are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
 
The colors of Kwanzaa

The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green, and they’re used to represent unity for people of African descent worldwide. Black represents the people, red for their noble blood that unites them and green for the rich land of Africa.
 
The meaning of the candelabra

A seven-branched candelabra called a kinara is used to help discuss and celebrate the principles, with a new candle being lit each night. One is black, three are red and three are green, and the black candle is placed in the center. The black candle, which represents unity, is lit on the first day of Kwanzaa. Red candles are placed to the left and green to the right and are lit in that order. The order of the candles indicates that the people come first, followed by the struggle and then hope.
 
The importance of food

Food is an important part of many holidays, and Kwanzaa is no exception. Many people celebrate with their favorite African-American dishes – along with traditional African, Caribbean and other appropriate recipes – throughout the week. The holiday culminates with a feast (known as Karamu) on Dec. 31, with dishes meant to symbolize the past as well as the current growth of African culture. 

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