Trick-or-Treating, New York City-Style

In New York City, most Halloween trick-or-treating happens during the day and in commercial areas.  Shops, dry cleaners, florists, restaurants and other small businesses load up on candy - and adorably-costumed children trick-or-treat along the avenues and major side streets after they get out of school that afternoon.

I've never been much of a competitive costume person, but we love hosting trick-or-treaters.  Where we live - and in most other Manhattan apartment buildings - residents sign up to host trick-or-treaters on Halloween night, and families who live in the building are given the list so they know which apartments are participating.  We have a lot of young families among our 22 floors, and it's always fun to see the children - and to say hi to the parents who accompany them.

I pick up fun ideas for treats and decorations from my Halloween segments, and here are few things I am showing for several companies on TV shows this week.

I had never used "coffin" and "cute" in the sentence - but how cute is this Mars "Candy Coffin" from Sam's Club? Six full pounds of miniature, bite-sized Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers and Starburst candies. Your neighborhood goblins - and the parents who raid their candy stash - will love you for this.

(Calories eaten on TV don't count, right?  Pro tip: 3 Musketeers are easiest to eat on-camera.  No sticky caramel or nuts.)

With host Erin Kienzle at Charleston's "Lowcountry Live."

With host Erin Kienzle at Charleston's "Lowcountry Live."

If you need a hostess gift for a party, or just want something festive for your own home, these Halloween arrangements from Teleflora fit the bill - and they have great vases you can reuse again and again. (Photos courtesy of Teleflora).

Finally, hands-down, the best wines for Halloween.  Check out the bottles; Hob Nob does their Limited Edition Wicked Red Blend and Wicked Chardonnay with seasonal labels!  Not only are these full-bodied wines delicious and affordable ($11.99), but they have twist tops - ideal for hostess gifts or easy-serving at your own party. (Photos courtesy of Hob Nob Wines).

Happy Halloween!

(Easter) Basket Case

When I was little, I was terrified of the Easter Bunny.  The idea of a giant rabbit with fangs sneaking into the house the night before Easter horrified me.  

Of course, I was perfectly fine with the basket of treats he left behind.

Never one to miss a photo opp, the "Easter Bunny" often packed a giant inflatable rabbit into my basket.  So if I wanted the chocolate eggs and toys, I had to get past this creepy face first.   

Amy Sewell Easter Basket

For a more modern - and in my opinion, compassionate - way to gather Easter goodies, I much prefer the customized All-in-One Easter Baskets I am showing for Personal Creations on TV shows this month.  (Photo courtesy of Personal Creations).

They are affordable and easy to create.  Among other treats, they are packed with a chocolate bunny, chocolate eggs, Peeps, jelly beans and sugared gummy eggs.  Plus, a cute, fluffy bunny - sans fangs.  Just pick the size of the basket, choose one of the cute liner designs, personalize it – and sit back and wait for it to arrive.  

Better yet, they arrive via UPS.  No scary bunny required.

I (Heart) Valentine's Day

Before I met my husband, I was kind of indifferent to Valentine's Day.

The day was never a downer - but it just didn't always seem relevant to me.

Happily, the day has now evolved into a time to celebrate everyone important to us - not just romantic relationships.

For some cute gift and treat ideas for everyone in your life, I am excited to partner with several companies for my Valentine's TV tour.

Candy has never been this cute - customize your M&Ms with personal photos and sweet messages. (Photos courtesy of M&Ms).

Little girls will (heart) these sparkly Skechers (unfortunately, they don't make them in my size). (Photos courtesy of Skechers).

For fashionistas, this Michael Kors watch is a gorgeous statement piece,  while music lovers will love these red Beats headphones - both available on eBay. (Photos courtesy of eBay).

Think outside the chocolate box, with healthy, kid-friendly treats that are sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel. You can also use these Wonderful Halos in yummy Valentine's Day recipes. (Photo courtesy of Wonderful).

Don't forget tasty all-natural treats for your four-legged friends ($6.39) from CANIDAE. (Photos courtesy of CANIDAE).

For a “Gal-entine’s Day” gathering with girlfriends, this festive Yellow Tail Pink Moscato ($7.99) pairs nicely with chocolate.  For the guy who enjoys whiskey, a bottle of Redemption Rye ($29.99) is an elegant addition to his bar. (Photos courtesy of Yellow Tail and Redemption).

Teleflora's bouquets come in unique vases that can be used long after the flowers are gone. The Lovely Hearts bouquet (far left) is perfect for your mom, sister or best friend, and includes this adorable over-sized mug - perfect for long talks over coffee or tea. (Photos courtesy of Teleflora).

Since we got married, Scott and I have always cooked dinner together at home on Valentine's Day.  We love going out to dinner at other times, when New York restaurants are less crowded and noisy - and they don't inflate prices compared to a normal night!  For an easy and elegant dinner, this "Romantic Dinner In" package ($84.99) from Omaha Steaks includes Chateaubriand, Lobster Tails, Smashed Red Potatoes and Sea Salt Caramel Brownies for dessert.  Yum! (Gorgeous food styling by Kat Barrott of Food Styl Tampa Bay).