Our Journey

Our Journey

I’ve always found inspiration in the developing world where the pace is slow and the people have so little. Usually it’s the strength and resilience in the women that I admire the most. However on a recent trip to Central America I have been changed forever by a group of children – many of them teenagers!! In fact the most respectful, thoughtful , smart, gentle and happy teens I’ve ever come across. Not a lick of attitude amongst them! “Who are their parents?” you ask. No parents, just an amazing organization and a lot of love and structure. As many of you know each summer [...]

Why I created HipMum

Why I created HipMum

I believe women in general are extraordinary, but mothers (not to blow my own trumpet) never cease to amaze me. As the proud mother of four incredible little people (ages 11,9,6, and 4) I understand the meaning of selflessness. Like most families, there is never a dull moment in our house. I’m constantly wishing I had more time to spend with each child and more time to myself. And I wish my bathroom felt less like a highway! Regardless of whether we’ve chosen to work from home, climb the corporate ladder, start a business or stay home with the kids – mothers are the busiest [...]

Feliz Halloween

November 2, 2011

I was shocked to hear how many billions of dollars Americans spend on Halloween each year. When I think about the picture perfect neighborhood we previously lived in and the amount of decorations and candy that would appear each October, this figure should not be that much of a surprise .

As much as I love watching the kids dress up and race from house to house, it kinda grosses me out how much candy is involved. It often starts days before Halloween with a parade around the local shops, a parade at school, a party or two at friends’ houses. By the time the big treat or treating day arrives we’ve already overdosed on sugar and dread the enormous bucket of candy (per child) that arrives home.

This year we’re in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua where Halloween isn’t celebrated. Or so I thought! With a small expat community we were told of a parade for the kids at 4pm so we spent the day trying to create costumes from scratch.

Jordi decided to be a witch. She wore a long black camisole of mine (courtesy of H&M) plus another shirt from my wardrobethat has bat wings. We walked the streets of San Juan and found some black cardboard and some gold stars to make a witches hat and as we walked past a vendor we noticed brooms for sale. Not just regular brooms but handmade brooms that looked like they were made for Halloween. They were the most perfect witches brooms ever for $2 each.

Andie wanted to be a princess (of course) She wore an old maxi dress of mine that we cut to size, a hat made from gold cardboard, stickers and some streamers that we recued from a used piñata. A bunch of fake flowers that we purchased from the flower markets for a dollar completed the look. Total price for the princess costume – $1.50

We had grand plans for Matthew to be a skeleton. I have a black and white tie dye shirt that we were going to tie in a knot between his legs to prevent it looking like a dress – then we were going to go to town with face paint. However when walking the streets, we came across a $4 Superman costume and I just couldn’t resist. So Superman he was and wow, was he delighted about that find.

As you can see from the photos baby Delilah refused to put any clothes on at all. With a temperament to match the color of her hair, she was adamant that a flower and a naked baby doll was all she needed. Finally as we left the house I managed to put her dress on, stick a flower in her hair and turned her into Delilah the Dancer.

The streets of San Juan del Sur were filled with people –I guess the word had spread throughout the village. Not only gringo kids as I had imagined – it was clear that Nicaraguan families had also caught the Halloween bug, dressed in all sorts of creative costumes.

We all started at the Central Park and made our way through the town, trick or treating at local shops and cafes. No crazy running as fast as you can to the next candy handout. This was one organized affair. One stop at a time with kids having to line up in an enormous line to wait patiently for their turn. The Nica kids didn’t seem to mind standing in a line behind 50 others’ waiting for their one piece of candy. Our kids found it bizarre.

With cups of Margaritas flowing (thanks to our very reliable amigo) it was impossible not to be swept up in the euphoria of what felt like a giant street festival.

The parade finished at a bar/restaurant on the beach where the party continued with piñatas for the kids, drinks for the bigger kids, live music and dancing for everyone.



Total cost for Halloween costumes for 4 kids – $8.

Halloween decorations for the house – zero.

Candy purchased for the day – zero.

Watching a monkey steal candy out of the kids’ hands – priceless!

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  1. Alma said...

    I remember being an expat in Venezuela and as you mentioned, the holidays we all are accustomed to in the states were never forgotten – Canadian holidays included since the expat communities are comprised of so many from all over. I remember all too well the big to do that our holiday created for the region/area and in the end, such as yours, it became a bigger production than what we were used to at home. Halloween had a huge festival as well and locals participating also. Not that my children didn’t like it, they loved it, but it was certainly a different experience to an extent. :)

    Nov 03, 2011 at 11:57 am
  2. Therese said...

    The whole candy thing just makes me sick as well. The amount of money spent especially… I handed out individual bags of pretzels this year.

    Nov 09, 2011 at 2:29 pm

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