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Meet one of my party girl inspirations, Mariah Leeson!

Mariah is an insanely creative and talented mama of 3, and the creator of  Giggles Galore. Mariah started her blog before blogging was even popular, going on 10 years now! You guys, her parties will all over the interwebs before Pinterest was even a thing! Mind-blowing to me. Like many mamas with young kids, she was looking for a creative outlet and something to identify with outside of being a mom to her 3 (under 3!) kids. She started blogging about her parties and family celebrations and Giggles Galore took off and is now a full time business. Mariah still blogs about life’s celebrations, but she also works with brands to create content, as well as gives families resources to create, craft, and make and celebrate.

“I want you to copy what I do! I want you to recreate it and make it, and use it in your own life!” Mariah says. 

SHOW SPONSOR:

My Halloween Celebration Guide! This guide is FULL of easy but memorable ideas to make this Halloween extra special this year. Decor, treat ideas, menu plans, activities, and more are all waiting for you! The guide also comes with 3 free printables for you to use as decor or at a fun celebration! Use the code PODCAST at checkout for 20% off!

Today we are going to take a deep dive into Halloween and how to create some new special memories and family traditions!

What’s one of your favorite tips on thinking about Halloween outside of the box?

Mariah suggests playing with trends and focusing on what you like! Use the things that you have so you don’t feel overwhelmed. She shares an example of a Mad Scientist themed ice cream Halloween party because it was so hot in Texas. It was a huge hit, the kids loved it, and it was easy. Ice cream, topping, science beakers to serve the ice cream in, and throw a skeleton out. Nothing fancy, but a big impact…exactly what I am always stressing to my audience!

Decor tips: We don’t have unlimited space to store these things! Stick with what you love, along with basic pieces. Mariah loves skeletons so she has those and dolls them up. Then she has basic pieces she can jazz up with trends, like black and white check, to give it a new look.

The Birthday Party Project: they help throw birthday parties for kids in homeless shelters! They are a fabulous organization and if you are ever in need of donating some decor once you are done, please consider them!

How can we make Halloween memorable for our kids?

Early on, Mariah created handmade costumes that became little family treasures that she still has! What mom is going to get rid of that sweet, time consuming project!? 😉 

One of my favorite ideas from Mariah: plan a Halloween themed dinner. Doesn’t have to be on the actual day of Halloween, could be leading up to it, but go all out for this one. A fun table setting, themed food, decorations. Really have fun and be creative with it. Picking a theme is an easy way to keep focused for that! Her theme this year is Monster Mash- monster napkins, monster themed food, etc. It’s a great way to sit down and reconnect with your family and also ensures your kids are getting that magical holiday experience before the craziness of the actual holiday.

The Birthday Party Project

Mariah mentioned this amazing organization in our conversation. The Birthday Party Project gives homeless children birthday parties! Is that not amazing? Head on over to their site to check out the ways you can give back and help them celebrate and make memories for all kids.

Halloween Night Traditions

Everyone, friends and kids, meet at their house. She has a little treat bar with popcorn, homemade root beer, and goodies. Then they take a big group photo and pics of the kids in costumes and then they go off to trick or treat! The grown-ups divide and conquer the kid groups. Then they reconvene and have a fun party back at home. 

Some themes she’s done in the past…

  • Murder Mystery
  • Monster Mash Dance
  • Movie Night in the Backyard

The best part of entertaining is being with friends and celebrating and connecting with each other. She wants her kids to have memories of having a house full of loved ones and laughter and Halloween is one of her favorite times to do this!

Mom advice for starting a new tradition: choose ONE thing to focus on. One food idea, one activity etc. Then you can add on, but don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all right out the gate.

Remember, it’s the little things that our kids remember, and we’re doing these things for them. If you start these little traditions, your kids will look forward to them each year and start asking about them. Those are the things that I love the most about creating family traditions too!

One of my simple little traditions is always having white cheddar popcorn and apple cider on the stove. Mariah’s little tradition is homemade root beet with dry house (HOW FUN!) Here is her root beet recipe!

Another one of her favorite family traditions is her church’s trunk or treat. Her whole family picks a theme and decorates it together, trying to out-do the year prior! I’ve linked a couple of her trunk or treat themes below! These ideas would be really fun themes for your Halloween family dinner!

CarnEVIL Candy Stand

The Black Hat Bake Shoppe Trunk or Treat

Trunk or Treat Decorating Tips

Party Ideas:

A fun after school treat is also a fun, simple idea and a fun way to surprise them! One fun idea is to get silicon cauldrons and make key lime pies that look like witch’s brew! Just like us regular moms, Mariah uses Pinterest for fun ideas for themed treats! You can also find a whole page of them with recipes in my Halloween Celebration Guide!

Blog posts and parties talked about on the show:

Murder Mystery Party

Monster Mash Party

Wicked Good Time (Incorporating black and white check!)

Remember, play to your strengths, focus on what you are good at (or confident at!), and have fun. There is no need to get overwhelmed. You are making the memories for yourself too so enjoy it! You don not have to do everything! If you don’t know how to do something, delegate it out or use the internet as a resource. You have a ton of ideas at your fingertips, so choose something that sounds realistic but special, and have fun celebrating! 

Mariah also talked about the 12 Days of Christmas service project she does with her family. It’s full of information, printables and more if it sounds like something you would like to try this year! What a special tradition!

Go connect with Mariah and say hi!

Blog: Giggles Galore

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SHOW SPONSOR:

My Halloween Celebration Guide! This guide is FULL of easy but memorable ideas to make this Halloween extra special this year. Decor, treat ideas, menu plans, activities, and more are all waiting for you! The guide also comes with 3 free printables for you to use as decor or at a fun celebration! Use the code PODCAST at checkout for 20% off!

Grab your guides here!

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