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The death of Halloween is coming

The world is pretty on edge at the moment. Between all the madness in America that has stemmed from the election of Donald Trump to the ISIS terrorist attacks that seems to be no-where close to ending. There is a new scandal in the papers relating to a celebrity and it seems everyone (rightly or wrongly) has something to be offended by.

Today being Halloween, its all about cultural appropriation and why your absolutely not allowed to dress your kids or yourself up as anything other than what falls into your gender/race/culture.

With so many triggers and ways to offend, it seems like the end of Halloween is on the horizon.

Image from Amazon
A fellow parent blogger from the States has decided that the latest Disney Princess, Moana, is the newest no-no for kids to dress up as. She feels that dressing up as the Polynesian Princess is wrong because she is based on "real history and a real group of people". The issue came when her daughter wanted to dress up as Elsa this year and Moana next year but she felt that there were race issues related to this.

There is one thing I don’t like about the character of Elsa. I feel like because Elsa is a White princess, and we see so many white princesses, her character sends the message that you have to be a certain way to be “beautiful” or to be a 'princess. That you have to have white skin, long, blonde hair, and blue eyes. And I don’t like that message. You are White, like Elsa—if you dressed up as a character like Moana, who has brown skin, you would never change your skin colour.”

Here's the thing ... I get where she is coming from to an extent but are we really going to turn Disney Princesses into a racist hot button? Why not let a white child dress up as Moana? I'm white and Scottish - I don't see any issue with a black child dressing up as Merida.

Making a thing about not being allowed to dress up as a specific princess due to the colour of your skin makes it about something bigger. Telling a black child they cant dress up as Elsa must be devastating when you realise that she is EVERWHERE! I doubt very much that the child sees the colour of the princess ... to them they see someone magical that inspires them. Its easy to read messages into things like you have to have "long blonde hair and blue eyes" to be viewed as "beautiful" - Just like i can read into the medias view of tall, skinny women are beautiful and that my pale, curvy body isn't pretty. How you view something and how something really is can be two very different things. I am more worried about why this blogger thinks that's the message these Princesses carry, rather than take them at face value.

Last week Agent M and i were in Disneyland Paris and while there i saw loads of little ones dressed as their favourite character. Not once did i thing "I as a white woman am offended by a little Asian girl dressed as Elsa" nor was my son offended as a white male for any black child dressed as Spider-man, Thor or Captain America.

I have been told that being white i have lived a "privileged life" and that i don't understand the struggles that many cultures face, and i accept to a certain extent that is true. I am not here saying that it should be OK to paint your face black and go out trick or treating. That is absolutely not OK and is in my opinion racist. My argument here is about Children watching these Disney films and wanting to be that character.

Magic Dreams by SilentMermaid21 (DeviantArt) 

When i was younger my sister and i used to dress up all the time in our Disney costumes. We had so many that I'm surprised my parents didn't own shares in the Disney Store. One of my absolute favourites was the Jasmine costume. I remember running around the house belting out "A whole new world" while pretending i was on a magic carpet. I didn't know that i was technically culturally misappropriating the whole Arab community. I was a princess and i felt magical. My sister used to dress up as Pocahontas and act out scenes while singing "Colours of the Wind" - at 4 years old she didn't know that she was technically being racist toward native Americans.

Right now, reading all these comments about how these children are being racist, it hurts my heart to think that something so innocent is being twisted and turned into something sinister.

But where does it stop. Today i have seen people attacked for doing their make-up as a Day of the Dead skeleton as its cultural appropriation of a Mexican holiday. Seriously.

So going by that logic, absolutely no-one but a Mexican person should be allowed to wear a sombrero, no white person should be allowed to wear dreads, no black person should be allowed to have blonde hair and no-one other than the Scots should be allowed to wear a kilt and only the Irish should be allowed to wear green on saint Patrick's day.

Doesn't the saying go Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

Yes i agree that children should be taught that racism is not acceptable, but i think there are more important issues we should be focusing on. Kids will have the rest of their lives to deal with these kinds of problems. For now just let them be kids and be whichever princess they want to be.

Halloween Bark

Have you seen those gorgeous slabs of chocolate with the weird and wonderful flavours like chili or beetroot. They always look amazing but a little to adventurous for my taste buds.

So while Agent M and I were experimenting in the kitchen I decided to try making our own but with a Halloween twist.

Let me introduce you to Halloween Bark.

While white chocolate and pomegranate seeds are a match made in heaven for adults, kids tend to go a little more old school with their chocolate so imagine how thrilled the kiddies will be when you add sweeties to the chocolate.

Minds will be blown!

We decided that our Halloween bark HAD to have candy corn. It's a staple candy for the holiday and in my house we order bags of the stuff in time for trick or treater's. Along with coloured candy melts, some edible Halloween toppings and some kit kats, we were good to go.

You really can use any sweetie of your choice but I generally would limit it to no more that 3. Too much and it starts to look a bit like a swamp.

You'll Need

Large share bar of Dairy Milk
Orange Candy melts
Handful of M&M's - I used a mix of the chocolate and the crispy ones
Handful of Candy Corn
Handful of bite sized Kit Kats
Candy eyes (Available from most Supermarkets)

To Make

Melt the Dairy Milk in a bowl, over a pot of boiling water. Be careful not to burn your self!

Once melted, pour over a sheet of grease proof paper.

In another bowl, melt some candy melts over the boiling water. You wont need the full bag, just a good handful.

Once melted pour on top of the Dairy Milk and using the handle of a spoon, swirl the two together. Don't mix too much though as the orange wont stand out as well (we made that mistake but Agent M liked it that way - so he says).

Next you want to add the candy to the top. Sprinkle, scatter, whichever way you prefer - only thing i would suggest is remember to push the candy into the melted chocolate so it sticks.

Place in the fridge for 30 minutes till it sets then break up and bag for the trick or treater's.

**Like i said you can really use any kind of candy you want, Above is what we used but it will work with pretty much any sweeties.

Syn Free Mince Bolognese

Sometimes its really hard to make meals for the full family that are both Syn free and something everyone will eat.
One big winner for us is mince bolognese which is so versatile and can be used in a few different dishes.

You'll need
500g Extra Lean Beef Mince (Must be less than 5% fat)
2 Onions, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Grated
3 Carrots, Grated
1 Red Pepper, Finely Chopped
8-10 Mushrooms Chopped
2 Cartons Passata
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1tsp Basil Seasoning
Fry-light spray
Salt and Pepper

To Make
Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add 2 sprays of the Fri-Light.
*You might not need it if you have a really great frying pan however i find that because the mince doesn't have as much fat in it, it tends to stick to the pan.*

Add the mince and brown it off in the frying pan. Drain off any residual fat when cooked then transfer the mince into a dish and replace the pan back on the hob. If needed add another spray of fri-light and fry off the onions and garlic. Once soft add the mushrooms and peppers, and continue to cook for a few minutes.

Add the mince back into the pan and mix in the passata. Add the tomato paste and the basil seasoning.

Mix in the grated carrot and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Turn to a low heat and allow the bolognese to simmer for around 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken slightly and the carrot will be almost unrecognisable amongst the mince.

This dish is so versatile as it can be used for pasta bakes, for lasagna and for spaghetti bolognese and you can eat as much as you like as its syn free - especially with plain pasta.

Top 5 Horror Movies

Although I don’t tend to restrict my horror movie consumption to only October (I’m a year round ghoul). There are many people who like to get their spook on during the Halloween season.

Since I am a bit of a horror movie buff I do get asked for recommendations quick a lot so I decided I would share my wealth of horror knowledge with you all. Below is my top 5 horror movies (in no specific order). Enjoy!