Have a Spooky and Safe Halloween!

see more by

Happy Halloween everyone! Isn’t it fun being on a Friday this year?  It’s the first year we are taking Emma trick or treating and she really seems to “get” it.  I think I am as excited as she is!  Doesn’t having a child make every holiday just THAT much more fun?!   Have a great weekend everyone, see you back on Monday for another fabulous giveaway!   

I pulled some tips off the AAP website…things to remember so everyone has a super spooky and SAFE Halloween!


  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.


  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.


  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.


  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.


  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.  
You Might Also Like

Expert Advice – Make BETTER Halloween Photographs!

see more by

I first fell in love with Paul Gero’s work when I met him through my career as a wedding planner. His wedding photography just blew me away.The way he captures life in motion, and the emotion in the motion is nothing short of remarkable. Then I found out about his 19 years as a professional photojournalist and it all made sense! He has captured stories and events for major publications like the Chicago Tribune, Arizona Republic, Sports Illustrated, People, Time, and the list goes on and on. You have to check out his website and blog to see his wedding and portrait work.

So it is not surprising that Paul brings his photojournalistic gift to his work photographing children and families, and the result is magical. He prefers to set up his sessions by scheduling it around the best lighting and location, and then really just lets it fly! Hevery occasionally poses children, but prefers to photograph them in their natural state, capturing the expressions and essence of the child in a beautiful way. Being a dad himself of a 3 year old daughter, Kate, he says he photographs all children like he would his own daughter. Photographs really are a time capsule, which allow us to “bottle” our children at each stage of their life. And we allknow just how fleeting the time is, and how quickly they change. Paul is located in Ladera Ranch, contact him at paul@paulfgero.com or 949.388.5588 for more info on his sessions and pricing.

Paul was awesome enough to volunteer to write an article on how to better photograph our kids this Halloween! Here is what he writes…

Make Better Halloween Photos
© Paul F. Gero | paulfgero.com

The big day is almost here and I know you’ll want to make photographs of your little one in their special Halloween costume.

Here are a few tips for you to help you make better photos of your children with your digital camera on this festive day!

1. Try turning off the flash.
The built in camera flash can be a life saver at night or in a dark restaurant, but if you’re photographing you child and their friends at the end of the day, you might be happier with the results without flash. Plus, if you are making a vertical photograph, the flash may cast a harsh shadow off to the side behind your child.

2. Try to find an area of deep shade to photograph.
If you can find a nice area in the side yard, or perhaps your front porch area has an eastern exposure, that might be a great area to photograph in the late afternoon. Or after the sun has dropped behind the tree line just prior to sunset, the light in your front area (if it faces west) might work well too. Digital cameras have a difficult time with strong side lighting so be careful of that. If there are a lot of brighter highlights in the background, be careful about them too. Depending on their intensity, they might be distracting from your main subject.

3. Late afternoon light can be a warm and inviting source of lighting.
This type of light works best very close to sunset. Be careful about squinting–one reason why it works better later (the light is less intense and the color temperature is warmer and thus more flattering). If squinting is a problem, have your subjects close their eyes, count to 3 and then have them open them and smile!

4. Add an inexpensive, 50mm f1.8 lens to your digital camera kit.
If you own a Canon Rebel or a Nikon d40 you may have purchased the “kit” lens that comes with the camera. These “kit” lenses often cover a wide angle to telephoto range approximately 18mm-200mm.

These lenses are meant to work in a variety of situations, especially in brighter light, but they fall down a bit when you want to photograph in low light. You can increase the ISO or sensitivity of the camera sensor though the downside to that is you increase noise on the images. With a lens such as the 50mm f1.8 you can select a larger aperture to work to give your images a distinctive look and have the ability to work in low light with a lower ISO than with a slower aperture zoom lens.

5. Be ready to make photographs throughout the day and evening.
Have your camera out of the case, the lens cap off and the camera ready to go. If you are unsure of the best settings, set the camera to program mode and then the camera will select the shutter and aperture. This works pretty well in many situations and allows you to concentrate on watching your child having a great time!

Caption: My daughter Kate (l) and her two friends Marlee (c) and Mia ( r ) pose for a portrait before a Halloween event. Even though this is a posed photograph, their little personalities come through. This image was made on the eastern side of our friends’ home, in the afternoon which gave us a very nice area of shade to work. This image was made with a 50mm lens on a Canon 5d camera using available light. I made this image as a vertical to give them scale with the full-size mummy at right and to also utilize the nice vertical lines and shapes in the door.

Caption: Be ready for anything, with the little ones. Here Kate, wearing her other Minnie Mouse costume rests on a railing at California Adventure. Fortunately the late afternoon shade provided soft and beautiful illumination. A Canon 5d with a 50mm lens were used for this photograph.

Have a safe and fun Halloween and make some great photographs!!

Paul Gero

Paul teaches classes online too! He teaches a digital wedding photography class and a Canon flash class at www.betterphoto.com.

You Might Also Like

Saving with Sarah – MyPoints & More!

see more by

In this economy, I know all of us are probably trying to “tighten our budget belts” a bit and look at our spending more wisely.  This family is at least!  And, let me tell you, Starbucks is about the first thing cut from the discretionary budget!   I called on Sarah, a super money savvy mommy to offer a tip for these tough times.  She writes:

“Grande Caramel Macchiato is my favorite beverage from Starbucks. You are probably thinking, “Wait, this is supposed to be a blog about saving money. What is she talking about?” Specialty coffee stores are often the first extra spending experts point out as wasteful and having to be cut when they are delving into the budgets of families across the country. There is a way to have your Starbucks fix (at least occasionally) and not break the bank. You can participate in an on-line marketing program that allows you to order Starbucks gift cards, as well as gift cards to many other retailers, once you meet certain goals. The program with which I am most familiar is My Points (www.mypoints.com.) You register and begin receiving emails with solicitations and offers to take surveys. For each solicitation email you open, you receive points. Probably the best plan is to get a free email address just for this program and route the emails there. Then, once per week, you can spend a little time earning points. The points rack up even faster if you buy from retailers advertising on their site. When I order any product on-line, I check here (and a few other web sites that offer rewards, such as my mileage credit card and www.upromise.com) and see if they are offering points for shopping this merchant. It is as simple as a few clicks, but it adds up quickly. There are also points attached to coupon usage through this site. By starting at the site to print off manufacturer coupons accepted at many retailers, you earn points each time you use a coupon – earning points for saving money. Who would have thought it? If Starbucks (or Target, Black Angus, Old Navy) is what you love, consider subsidizing your “habit” with this system!”

Note from the peanut gallery:  I found this eHow site online about How to Make the Most Out of Your MyPoints Membership…so cool!   Thanks Sarah, I never even knew programs like this existed!

You Might Also Like

Sleep Glorious Sleep

see more by


I was searching the web recently to see when kids typically stop napping (because I dread the day) and found this cool chart along with other sleep info.  I rely on my daughter’s nap SO much to get things done.   I can’t imagine when the nap stops!  Just curious, those with older kids, when did they give up the nap?    Please post a comment here!  

Speaking of sleep, I think I said the word “sleep” more in the first year of my daughter’s life, than in all 33 of my years combined!  I was obsessed with it.  I was more tired than I have ever been in my life, on the fast train to loonyville for sure.   Looking back now I realize that period of time when no one is sleeping really went fast in the whole scheme of things, but when you are a first time mom, doesn’t it feel like you will never sleep again!?! 

After months and months of night-wakings and sleep deprivation, my cousin (and mothering guru) recommended a book she loved on the all important topic.   The book is called  “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Dr. Weissbluth, and it totally worked for us.  It was miraculous.  So, if you are sleep deprived and looking for some help, this one is definitely worth giving a shot. 

P.S. Is it weird that MY ideal night’s sleep is the same as a 10-year old???

You Might Also Like

Pomme Bebe Halloween Party!

see more by

Come celebrate Pomme Bebe’s 1st birthday at their 2nd annual Halloween Party this Thursday!  Here are the details:

Pomme Bebe Halloween Party
Thursday, 10/30
10:00am – 3:00pm
2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 106
Newport Beach CA 92660

All the fun includes:
Costume contest at 11am, 12pm & 1:30pm with prizes for everyone!
Fun arts & crafts
Photo keepsake by Sandy Heit Photography
Free Pomme Bebe Winter Meal
Lots of delicious organic food & refreshments!

Pomme Bebe was founded by Svetla Lazarova Kibota (mompreneur extraordinaire) who wanted to bring flavorful, nutritious, convenient organic cuisine to families wanting to give their children the best.  Why choose organic? She writes:

“You have heard all of the benefit of eating organic food as an adult, but is even more important when in comes to the health of your baby. Because baby food is mostly comprised of concentrated fruits or vegetables, babies are often exposed to higher levels of concentrated pesticides. During the first few years of life, when children’s bodies are developing, they are especially vulnerable to the effects of toxins. Feeding your little one organic food is one of the best ways of curbing the negative effects of pesticides and hormones. This is what consumer report had to say about feeding your baby organic food : A study supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and published in 2005 measured pesticide levels in the urine of 23 children in Washington State before and after a switch to an organic diet. After five consecutive days on the diet, researchers found that pesticide levels had decreased to undetectable levels, and remained that way until their conventional diets were reintroduced. The study’s conclusion: An organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against pesticide exposure.”

Hooray!  It’s a Tiny Giveaway!   Pomme Bebe is giving away a $50 gift certificate to a lucky winner!   To enter (one email per person), please send me an email with POMME BEBE in the subject line to giveaways@tinyoranges.com.   Include the answer to this question:  Name one item on their delicious menu.  Hint: Click here to see the menus!    You can enter all week, emails must be in by Friday, 10/31 at 5pm PST.   I will post the winner on Monday!  

You Might Also Like
Show Mobile Version