7 Quick Takes – Halloween and More

7 Quick Takes on Sound Mind and Spirit

Running a little late with my 7 Quick Takes, but Halloween, All Saints Day and more really needed 7 Quick Takes treatment.

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Parish Trunk or Treat - Black Jack Table Idea
Lisa and Shelly with our new parish priest, Fr. John Cahoon

Parish Trunk or Treat – Our parish kicked off the Halloween celebrations with a Trunk or Treat fall festival.  At a Trunk or Treat, people register to park their cars in a specific area where the kids can come around and Trick or Treat at your trunk.  And of course, decorating the car is half the fun.  In addition to the trick or treating, our parish also offers traditional fall activities like a cupcake walk, ring a drink, chuck a chicken, and bobbing for donuts.  The Knights of Columbus sell hotdogs and there is live music.  By far, it is the most popular activity at our parish every year.  Shelly and I went in together to decorate my car with a blackjack/casino theme and ended up winning an Honorable Mention!  Woo Hoo! Can’t wait till next year.

Downton Abbey Ladies Maid Costume

Sexy Halloween: Just Say No! – Every year we see sexy teen and pre-teen Halloween costumes.  It’s buzzed about on social media and in mom groups.  But you know what?  We as parents don’t have to give in to it!  Just say no to the sexing up of our teens and preteens.  Help your teen girl find a costume that is creative or is related to something they are interested in rather than buying something they really shouldn’t be wearing.

For example – my 12 year old daughter recently caught up watching Downton Abbey and guess what she wanted to wear for Halloween?  A Downton Abbey ladies’ maid costume!  Now, the official costume online was about $100 which led us to make it up ourselves.

Ashley wore a black maxi skirt, a plain back button up shirt and black flats.  We found a White Embellished Front Pocket Apron on Amazon for under $30.  The exact one is no longer available but this is a Vintage Ruffle White Apron similar to the one she purchased. To create the ladies’ maid hair piece to complete the look she glued lacy hem facing on a plain headband. The apron and headpiece really “made” the costume.  I am very proud of her for selecting this as a costume.

Not only is it age appropriate for her, but I can borrow it next year!! A double win.


Called to be Saints – We always wrap up the Halloween fun by remembering the Saints and all those who have died. In teaching my 3rd grade faith formation class last week, I was once again struck by the fact that we are all called to be saints.  Those we honor on All Saints Day were normal, sinful people before they changed their lives for Christ.  The Saints are our models of how to strive for Heaven.  When we get overwhelmed in our day to day lives, we can look to the thousands of Saints to find one whose situation in life, their struggle might mirror our own.  Their example, along with the life of Jesus, helps us grow closer to God and journey on the path to eternal life in Heaven.


The Maze Runner Book by James DashnerBribery Works – While at the movies to see Guardians of the Galaxy (which we LOVED!!!  so much fun), they showed a preview for The Maze Runner.  That preview made my son really want to see the movie.  It looked like a good, boy action movie.  I looked it up online, discovered it was a book trilogy, bought it and hatched a plan.  If he wanted to see the movie, he needed to read the first book.   Hmm.  He wasn’t immediately sold and didn’t start reading right away.  After reading it myself, I reminded him that movies don’t last at the theater very long and he might want to hustle if he really wanted to see it.  That lit a fire.  My son who doesn’t really like to read very much sat down and read that 300 page book in a week.

He got his wish.  His dad took him and his older sister (who’d also read it) to the movies.  A warning about the movie.  It is PG-13 and has some scary elements.  I did a bit of research and talking to people who had seen it before allowing Daniel to go.  Knowing him and what he can handle, we let him see it.  And he did fine.  If you have a child younger than 13 who is interested in the movie, be sure to talk to a few people who’ve seen it first.

Not only is he now reading the second book, but my oldest has finished the series and my youngest has now finished the first book!  Yay for bribery.

The Maze Runner movie is now available on Amazon Prime.

The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living
The Grace of Yes –  This week Lisa Hendey’s new book The Grace of Yes: Eight Virtues for Generous Living is available!!  I am “patiently” waiting on my copy to be delivered so I can join in on the Grace of Yes Book Club over at CatholicMom.com.

In The Grace of Yes, Lisa Hendey explores the eight spiritual virtues she believes are the foundation of Christian life. Allowing readers to peek into the window of her own spiritual journey, she shows how the virtues of belief, generativity, creativity, integrity, humility, vulnerability, saying no, and starting over lead to generous living and the ability to joyously say yes to God.

Seriously, I’m very excited to read Lisa’s newest book!!  Are you a Lisa Hendey fan girl?  If not, you really, really need to get on the bandwagon!!


15 Social Media Tips – In my work as a social media consultant for businesses, I wrote a piece on 15 Social Media Tips for Businesses that you might find helpful.  If you are a blogger, an author, run an at home business or simply love social media like I do, the tips outlined for social media success can also apply to you.

What social media tips would you suggest?

We Are Called to be Daughters of God - Catholic Women's Retreat

Catholic Ladies Retreat – The planning on our first Catholic Ladies Retreat for our parish is in full swing.  Our theme is “We are Called to be Daughters of God“. One of the tasks I am working on is creating a bag of take home items for our retreat participants.  This isn’t really a goodie bag, but items to help them while on retreat and to continue the experience once they get home.  So far, we will be including a new rosary with a booklet on how to pray the rosary, a booklet on examination of conscious, and a writing journal with the scripture from the weekend printed in it.  What else have you received from a retreat or you would be interested in receiving at a weekend ladies retreat?

* There are links above that send you to Amazon.  We have an affiliate relationship with Amazon and will earn a small commission if you purchase from the links.  (Just had to let you know!)



Lisa Henley Jones