Trick or Treat?


Trick or Treat? We’ve all heard the question, and the inner child inside us gets excited as we think back to the fun Halloween memories of stuffing our pumpkin baskets full of the most delicious candy. I personally love Halloween, mainly because it falls on my favorite season of the year, but also because of the creative costumes, spooky movies, and of course, the yummy treats!

When I was younger I used to think about what I wanted to be for Halloween months in advance. My mom would let me page through a children’s costume magazine to help me find just the right one. I always was (and still am) a girly girl. My eyes were instantly drawn to the brightest, the sparkliest, and the fanciest costumes. I was every Disney Princess there could be. I was even a Pink Power Ranger one year.

Me as Cinderella. One of my favorite princesses!

Me as Cinderella. One of my favorite princesses!

I couldn’t wait to show off my new costume at the school’s Halloween Parade. Our teachers would decorate their classrooms with spider webs, ghosts, goblins, and pumpkins. We would play games like green goo hot potato, BOO Bingo, mummy wrap contest, and Halloween musical chairs. It was my favorite school party of the year.


My dad used to pull my siblings and I in our blue wagon going door to door trick or treating.  My older brother, JT, and I would know exactly which houses were the scariest, which ones handed out full-sized candy bars, and which ones handed out raisins (we tried to avoid those). Some of our neighbors went all out for Halloween. A few had big character inflatables in their yards, others dressed up in full costume, and others actually pretended to be a fake monster sitting on their porch. Just when the kids were about to say, “trick or treat,” they would jump out of the chair and scare the living daylights out of them. Those houses were the worst.

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My neighborhood used to put on an annual haunted hayrack ride, and local residents would serve as the volunteers. Of course my dad jumped to this opportunity, and volunteered every year as one of the scary costumed people who jumped out of the trees. He had this terrifying vampire mask that he would wear, and made a point to scare each of my siblings any chance he got.
I used to love haunted hayrack rides because they felt mostly safe with it being on a moving vehicle. There was no way the scarers could get to you, right?? Well, that mindset quickly changed when one year my family went on a haunted hayrack ride at a different site in town. I decided I wanted to sit up in the front row where all the “cool kids” sat. I started to make friends with the young girl sitting next to me, and I tried hard not to scream too loudly when the scarers came by. About halfway through the ride, a man in a gorilla suit came up to the hayrack and TOOK my friend! That’s right, he actually grabbed her and took her OFF THE HAYRACK! I turned around to my parents and instantly started balling. How could they take her?! It wasn’t until after the ride was over that I found out she had been a part of the act the entire time. My mom made the workers bring her back to prove to me she was ok. I was scarred for life.

My birthday is only a few days before Halloween, on Oct. 22nd, and my very best friend’s birthday is the day before, on Oct. 30th. Many of our childhood birthday parties were celebrated together, and we almost always tied the theme of our party to Halloween. One year, we rented out the high school gym and invited our entire 5th grade class to our very own Halloween dance birthday party. We continued the Halloween birthday tradition into high school. Only by that time, we rented a party bus which took us to the scariest haunted houses around our town. I was MUCH gutsier back then!

Luz and I celebrated our 17th birthday with a party bus Haunted House tour

Luz and I celebrated our 17th birthday with a party bus Haunted House tour

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Now that I’m older, I appreciate seeing the children's costumes much more than my own. However, I do believe there’s never a time when one is too old to dress up for Halloween. Last year, my (soon to be husband!!), Tim, and I threw a costume party for our friends. We decorated his house, told ghost stories, and gave out a trophy to the guest with the best costume. We had some pretty tough competition, and our friends Mark and Chelsie took home the gold.

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This year, I helped Tim pass out candy to the kiddos in his neighborhood. I find it funny how different places have their own holiday traditions. For example, where I’m from we always went trick or treating on Halloween, but in Iowa, well, at least in Des Moines, all the kids go trick or treating the night before, and call it, “Beggars’ Night.” Before you pass out any candy, you have to ask the kids for a joke. This is not something I was used to as I never had to “work” for my candy, but I love the idea! I had so much fun hearing all of the trick or treaters tell us their jokes.


When I was younger, I always loved the houses that passed out unique things other than candy. Some houses had little toys or stickers, and I felt pretty cool when I found something different to add to my candy pile. With this in mind, I wanted to offer something fun for our trick or treaters, so I made BOOgey bags filled with yummy Nutella and Halloween candy Chex-Mix. I had a hard time resisting the temptation to eat it all myself!

Tim was my taste tester. He approved!

Tim was my taste tester. He approved!

Some of the kids were unsure of the BOOgey bags at first. They didn’t know if it was worth giving up another piece of their favorite candy for a bag full of something they couldn’t quite figure out. However, we did have some brave ones that went right for it! As soon as one kid grabbed the bag, the rest of the kids wanted one. We quickly ran out of BOOgey bags and candy. I’m not sure if we didn’t buy enough candy, or if it was Tim telling every kid, “Go ahead and take more than one. Take as many as you want, I won’t say a thing!” Either way, we’ll make sure we’re fully stocked with candy and BOOgey bags next year!


The BOOgey bag mix is delicious and simple to make. It’s the perfect recipe for a party snack mix or favor. I’d encourage you to try the BOOgey bag mix yourself and share it with your friends and family. I will warn you however, the mix can be messy; but that’s OK. I fully support any and all licking of spoons, spatulas, and whisks!



BOOgey Bag Mix



5 c Corn Chex

5 C Rice chex

2 tbs butter

1 1/2 C nutella

3/4 c powdered sugar

3/4 c chocolate cake mix

2 c fall m&m’s

2 c harvest candy corn mix

1/2 C s’mores candy corn


place corn chex in large bowl

Place rice chex in another large bowl

place powdered sugar in a gallon sized ziploc and close bag

 place cake mix in another gallon sized ziploc and close bag

add butter and nutella into a medium bowl and microwave for 1 minute, mixing after 30 sec

pour nutella and butter mixture evenly over rice and corn chex cereal

place one half of both chex mixtures in the powdered sugar bag, and one half of both chex mixtures in the cake mix bag

shake bags THOROUGHLY

combined all halloween candy together

DIVIDE candy mix in half, and add to each bag

add both chex mixes into one large bowl


This was a Pinterest inspired recipe!  Click here for the original mix recipe.


Tori Scarpinato