Top-Selling Costumes for Halloween

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What will your child — or you — dress up as for Halloween this year? Here are the top-selling costumes from 2013 for kids, adults and pets, according to the National Retail Federation. (Batman photo courtesy of













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Change up your Halloween decorations this year with spooky LED lighting options. Made of long-lasting light-emitting diodes, these battery-powered lights can be used year after year. Try these ideas:

– Use flameless LED candles or tea lights with table décor or inside of jack-o’-lanterns to create a flickering effect.

– Hang LEDs or multicolored LED light strips indoors and outdoors for an eerie look.

– Offer party guests color-changing LED coasters to rest their drinks on. Choose from a variety of colors, including orange and black.

Visit for more decorating tips and information on where to buy these products.

Spooky Tunes

Once your haunted mansion is all decked out with spooky decorations, add creepy sounds using iTunes’ free Halloween Sound Collection app. Choose from three background music options and a range of sound effects including cats screaming, witches cackling, doors squeaking, hearts beating, wolves howling and much more. Go to and search for “Halloween Sound Collection” to download the app.

Elegant Centerpiece

Glamorize your fall centerpiece using LoveFeast Shop’s heirloom quality velvet pumpkins. Choose from colors like spice, acorn, chocolate — even turquoise. Each pumpkin is finished with a natural, organic stem. Prices start at $10 for individual 2-inch pumpkins and $106 for a LoveFeast Trio made up of larger pumpkins. Learn more at

Harvest Storytime

Welcome fall by sharing The Scarecrows’ Wedding by Julia Donaldson (Scholastic, $17.99) with your child. Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay, two scarecrows who have fallen in love, decide to get married. Join in their wedding planning activities, richly illustrated by Axel Scheffer, and find out what happens when a new scarecrow tries to win Betty’s heart. Hardcover, ages 4-8.

Parenting Toolbox

Have a Happy Family by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman (Revell, $17.99) offers straightforward advice for families who want to improve communication, respect and teamwork — and he tells you how to do it in just five days. Find out how to phrase requests in a welcoming way, manage disciplinary issues effectively, improve spousal relationships and more. Check out the bonus section on birth order and the role it may play a role in each family members’ relationships and personalities.

Categories: At Home, Fall, Home, Lifestyle, Seasonal, Seasonal Fun