Archive for category Shopping Reviews

Halloween Shopping at The Christmas Attic (Video)

I purchased these striped candles and black glitter candelabra; couldn't resist them!

Don’t let the name throw you off.  Yes, The Christmas Attic in Old Town, Alexandria (Virginia) has Christmas decorations all year (the entire top floor is dedicated to Christmas ornaments and collectibles).  But they have beautiful things you would enjoy year-round, including some pretty fantastic Halloween decorations and items.

I love Old Town and spent some time here while waiting to go on a Ghost walking tour recently.  I found

  • Spooky books
  • Halloween ornaments
  • Halloween candles, light sets, and candlelabra (I purchased some of those!)
  • Halloween headbands and witches hats for the glamorous witch 🙂
  • Glittery skulls and skeletons

and much more.  If you like to poke around shops, you will be enchanted with this store.

125 South Union Street (corner of Union and Prince Streets), Alexandria, Virginia
(703) 548-2829


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Favorite Halloween Finds at Oriental Trading Company

I just got the Oriental Trading Company Halloween catalog and thought I would share my favorites. All items are available for sale at

This spooky fireplace mantel scarf is 8 feet long and retails for $9.99. Rather elegant!

Vampires are cool right now, aren’t they?  Now everyone in your office can have a pair of fangs.  And what a photo that would make for your blog! 🙂  Get 72 gl0w-in-the-dark fangs for $4.99.

I love taper candles, but  I don’t like the wax they drip all over my table and mantel.  And have you ever had one fall over at a party?  That’s the kind of scary I don’t like on Halloween.  So I think these electric taper candles are pretty ingenious.  If I were having a party, I’d definitely invest $4.99 in a pair of these.

Can we all agree that the stretchy spider web stuff you buy by the bag in drug stores does not look scary?  It tends to ball up like white cotton, and when it rains, it’s just a mess.  But this creepy cloth has that authentic haunted house look and appears as if it would be a lot easier to work with.  $3.99 for four yards, what a bargain (also available in other sizes and gray color).

There were tons of other Halloween decorating items.  Check them out!

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Halloween Indie/Pop Play List

Putting together a list of pop and indie music should really be a group effort!  Moving beyond the obvious (Monster Mash, Thriller), here are some songs I came up with — what are your suggestions? Please put them in the comments, and I’ll add them to my Halloween playlist…

  • Help, I’m Alive by Metric
  • I Put A Spell On You by Bryan Ferry
  • Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
  • Obituary by Agent Ribbons
  • Building a Mystery by Sarah MacLachlan
  • Hunting for Witches by Bloc Party
  • Werewolf by Cat Power
  • The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen

Oh, boy!  Bonus Music Videos with Mary’s Scintillating Commentary!

I discovered Metric when Pandora played it on my station and I love their Fantasies album. Of course, everybody probably already knows about them but I don’t have a TV and I miss a lot 🙂  I’m pretty sure she’s NOT talking about zombies, but that’s what this song makes me think of, anyway.

I discovered the indie band Agent Ribbons a few years ago when they came to town to open for Cake.  I love them, and not just because they’re clever, sexy, catchy-singable, and a girl band. Oh, okay, that IS why I love them.  They’re not super-famous yet, so no great video available for this graveyard song.  Get their CD for better sound 🙂

Sarah’s not exactly scary but I love her charitably worded send-up of poseurs. Enough Halloween words in this song to make the list 🙂

In Bryan Ferry’s video world, all the players are women 🙂 And that was the 90s.  Love this song.

Wow, don’t you just (still) love the 80s? 🙂 I never saw this video before, but the song always gave me chills.

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Halloween Shopping at Merrifield Garden Center (VIDEO)

Merrifield Garden Center (corner of Gallows Road and Lee Highway, just outside of Falls Church, Virginia) is a lovely time to visit any time of year.  If you love Halloween decorations, I recommend you visit. You’ll find

  • Pumpkins (59 cents/pound)
  • Mums and pansies
  • Halloween decorations
  • Harvest-themed decorations
  • Holiday lights and candles

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3 Fun Places to Buy Pumpkins

Mary with pumpkins at Merrifield Garden Center

Wow, are there ever a lot of pumpkins out.  Must be fall! 🙂 Here are three local places that are selling pumpkins (going rate for the big ones seems to be about 59 cents per pound), as well as plants, apple butter, and Halloween decorations.

If you’re picking a pumpkin to make a jack o’ lantern (the big ones aren’t any good for pies), then look for one that sits well, and doesn’t have any soft spots. Medium-sized ones may be easier for kids to carve.

Pigboy Willy’s Pumpkin Patch

Witches for sale at Pigboy Willy's Pumpkin Patch

I had to stop here because of the name.  I asked the lady at the stand about the origin of the name, and all she could say was that it was an old family story.  The pumpkins are arrayed on the parking lot in the corner of Pan Am Shopping Center on the corner of Lee Highway and Nutley Street in Fairfax, Virginia.  I like the witches. They were plenty big and would decorate an entire door, or add a bit of color to a Halloween party, and they were only $13 each.

Cox Farms Vienna Market

If you don’t feel like driving out to Centreville, you can get some of the pumpkin patch experience (for free) at the Cox Farms stand in Vienna, Virginia (2599 Chain Bridge Road). They also sell fresh, local apples, honey sticks, cider, pies, and preserves.  There are also hay bales and wooden playground equipment to climb, as well as wooden cutouts for photo opportunities.

Merrifield Garden Center

On the corner of Lee Highway and Gallows Road, in Merrifield, Virginia, you can find — not just pumpkins — but pumpkins in all kinds of shapes, colors, and sizes.  So if your taste in pumpkins runs to the hip and eclectic, you should make this your pumpkin patch stop.

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Halloween Shopping at Cracker Barrel (VIDEO)

Cracker Barrel has some really fabulous Halloween decorations, goodies, and costumes this year.  I am always happy for an excuse to go to Cracker Barrel because I love their biscuits.  In addition to lunch, I bought

  • Dickinson’s Country Pumpkin Butter $3.95
  • Halloween Hat $9.95
  • Bouncy Plush Spider $4.95
  • Fingerless Halloween Lace Gloves $7.95

Here’s the video that shows my haul, plus much more!  In Northern Virginia, you can visit Cracker Barrel in Manassas, right off 66 West (exit 53) or you can also drive to Front Royal (end of 66 West).

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