Category Archives: Holidays

Sudsy. The Other Friendly Ghost

Soap Carving

I finally tackled an easy project that I’ve long wanted to do: soap carving. I figured that Halloween would be a perfect time, with ghosts, skulls, and skeletons providing the perfect inspiration for my white slab of Dove soap.

You really don’t need much at all to get started with your own soap creations, just grab a bar of soap and some clay sculpting tools (orangewood sticks used for manicures are said to work well, but I didn’t have any on hand).

Dove Bar

I learned that it is extremely important to go slow, removing just a little bit of soap at a time, in order to prevent breaking. Some people sketch out their ideas on paper and then use the template to score the designs directly onto the soap. You can also use a vice to hold the soap and a coping saw to cut out the basic shape. I didn’t try either technique, choosing instead to forego proper planning and simply jump right in.

Ghost soap

It didn’t turn out so bad considering I was making it up as I went along. If you keep the original soap box and repackage the finished project, perhaps adding some wrapping paper and a bow, your handmade piece of art could make a great gift for that special someone. If you make your own soap carvings, send me a picture of your finished products and I’ll post them!

Just Enough Fun

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My family had a blast at Hershey’s Chocolate World last weekend. We went for the S’mores Campfire Party, an outdoor event held every fall at Hershey’s Chocolate World. This year it lasts from October 15-November 3rd. It’s chock full of fun activities like live music, scary stories, and of course, a bonfire for making s’mores. Best of all, admission is free (s’mores kits cost $3, which also includes hot cocoa or chocolate milk).

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During the entertainment, the kids had front row seats atop hay bales, while camp chairs were scattered about for parents. My kids loved making the s’mores, although to our surprise, they didn’t want to eat any their hard work! Instead, they ate the graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate individually.

IMG_3826Inside Chocolate World there were even more activities, including the free Trick-Or-Treat Adventure. Children 12 and under receive a candy bag and have to make their way around to a few scattered stations. Costumes were encouraged, but not required, which was great because we hadn’t come prepared anyway.

Of course, no trip to Chocolate World is complete without taking the tour ride at least once. This has become one of their absolute favorite things to do. My son is such a Chocolate World fanatic that he randomly yells “Chocolate World!” whenever he gets excited, in place of more standard cries of joy, like “hooray” or “yippee”.

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Upon exiting the tour, we came around behind the cookie shop (another one of our ritual stops) which overlooks the kitchen area. While peeking down into the magical cookie baking area I noticed an infographic intended for employees.

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With some closer inspection, and with the help of my camera zoom, I saw that it was a guide to coating cupcakes with sprinkles. “Too much fun, not enough fun, and just enough fun.” My wife and I thought this was pretty cool, even though we strongly disagreed with the general premise of the poster. I mean, how can you possibly have too much fun when it comes to a cupcake!? Can you guess which one my kids wanted to eat?

Pot O’ Gold Activity for the Kids

Pot O' GoldFor St. Patty’s Day this year, each of our kids will have to follow a rainbow to their very own Pot O’ Gold! I purchased rainbow-colored crepe streamer from Party City ($1.99) as well as some chocolate gold coins ($.99 per bag plus some additional colored ones at $.10 a piece). Each of the little laddies will have their own rainbow, which they’ll have to follow throughout the house in order to find their Pot O’ Gold.

You can buy little plastic pots or even use small cooking pots if you’d like, but we opted to make our own paper mache pots. We’ve been working steadily on several other paper mache projects, so I just added in a balloon for my daughter to practice on. Once dry, we cut it in half, added legs, painted and glittered them, and voila. She’ll be surprised to see what their paper mache project was actually intended for, and even more surprised to find the edible treasure inside!