fun

These Cute Halloween Planters Are Wickedly Fun Additions to Your Holiday Decor

Halloween is just a few weeks away, and though your celebration won’t look the same as in previous years, you can still have a memorable holiday. Even if you’re skipping trick-or-treating this year, you can still make some yummy treats, wear a fun outfit, and enjoy a scary movie on October 31. You can also add some Halloween decor to your house, and while you’re at it, make sure you get a boo-tiful new planter for your favorite houseplant, too. These frighteningly fun options will be the perfect addition to your other decorations. There are several different styles to choose from, including a bat, a cat, and a Jack-o’-lantern. Make sure you add these to your cart and order them quickly because you’ll want to have time to show them off before Halloween.

Jack-o’-Lantern Planter

These planters will last way longer than your carved versions. The handmade cement planters measure 8 x 7 inches with a 4-inch opening. (There’s also a small drainage at the bottom.) The unpainted version costs $45 and the orange and black option sells for $49. If you’re feeling crafty and want to DIY your own concrete pumpkin planter, we’ve got a full tutorial here to turn candy buckets into planters.

Buy It: Handmade Pumpkin Cement Planter (from $45, Etsy)

Bat Planter

It doesn’t get much cuter than these ceramic bats. The planter comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large, with free personalization available. Although they’re not usually made with a drainage hole (so they’re best for air plants), the Esty seller notes that if you’d like one, just add a note at checkout.

Buy It: Flying Bat Hanging Plant Holder (from $49, Etsy)

Cat Planter

If you own a black cat, this planter, this planter is a must-buy. The ceramic planter measures 6

Cookbooks for kids and other resources to help them have fun in the kitchen

On ATK Kids, you can find a podcast for children and their guardians to get excited about cooking together, a cooking club to plan out kitchen learning, as well as recipes and activities.

Sally Sampson, founder of ChopChop Family, a nonprofit organization dedicated to kid-friendly cooking that produces the kids cooking magazine ChopChop, says getting children involved makes them more inclined to eat varied foods. “We found in our classes and in our photo shoots and in general that kids really like to show off what they’ve made.” she says. “So if you can get a kid to make a salad or a soup, they’re going to want to eat it, and they’re going to want to share it.”

Through the pandemic, ChopChop has issued newsletters that feature pantry staples with not only recipes, but also activities related to the featured item to make the lesson as interactive as possible. ChopChop’s 2013 cookbook, “CHOPCHOP: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family,” by Sampson, remains a great foundation for young cooks.

You can also find lessons through organizations such as Brooklyn’s the Dynamite Shop, a kids’ cooking school that pivoted to virtual lessons and workshops for kids to learn with or without supervision.

And of course, there are plenty of books! These fall/winter releases can help children, no matter what age, learn to cook and eat with confidence. Don’t worry — most of these include a note on cleaning up.

“Eatable Alphabet”: Developed by the ChopChop Family team in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight and funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is for the youngest set, age 2 to 6. You don’t even need to be in the kitchen to use it! This portable deck has cards

Make staying home fun with these ideas from Montreal interior designers

After all the months in lockdown staring at the same four walls — and with the prospect of a long winter doing even more of the same — it’s no wonder Montrealers have got the itch to spruce up their space.

When everyone is at home all the time, priorities change. Montrealers are eager to spend their vacation budgets to create “staycation” spaces, local designers say, and desperate to find room for everyone to work and learn from home without driving each other mad.

“We’ve had a crazy amount of requests for renovations and decor projects, including a larger-than-normal request for home offices. There’s a major demand just to make their houses cozy,” said interior designer Sun Ah Brock of Lux Decor.

Basements and bonus rooms are being converted to offices, homeschool rooms, and playful spaces, Brock said. Existing rooms are being given new purpose: dining rooms become playrooms, dinner tables become workstations, and pool sheds become “she-sheds” where Mom can get away from the chaos for a while.

If basement conversions and other major renovations are out of your budget, there are many simple ways you can transform your space, Brock noted. Little touches can spark joy in your home. Paint an old coffee table or end table a fun, bright colour. Add some boldly patterned throw pillows and blankets. Wallpaper the back of a bookshelf. Move your furniture around.

Sometimes it’s not a big investment in furniture that enlivens a space: it’s just adding something fun. Brock is seeing more clients do things like add a candy bar or popcorn machine in the family room to make it feel more like a movie theatre, or making room for a ping-pong or pool table in the basement.

“In times of crisis, people get more playful,” she said.

Tina Mitchell,