Does it count as sexual harassment if I was a t-rex?

The other day, I went bowling in my t-rex costume (as one does, right?). It was a birthday party with a suits theme. So I wore my dino suit over my bathing suit (it sure does get hot in there, guys!), and trekked to a local bowling establishment.

View from inside: A selfie from the mouth of the t-rex suit.

View from inside: A selfie from the mouth of the t-rex suit.

And while I was standing in the bowling alley (they are not designed for t-rexes, you guys), I realized that I was taking up more than my fair share of space. In fact, I found myself regularly apologizing for my tail whacking someone or my head knocking on the people in the next lane over from us. It was rough being the biggest girl in the place.

But when I moved out of the way for a group of young “gentlemen” entering the alley and passing our lane, I was shocked and dismayed to discover that a stranger slapped my t-rex ass!

Now, I know that this is actually a serious topic. I have my own stories of harassment and violation, but I had to laugh at the ridiculousness that happened. You can’t see the person inside the costume, so the guy had no idea whether it was a woman or man inside the suit…and I’d really like to have seen that dude’s — a guy in his early to mid-twenties — reaction when a buxom lady in her cough thirties jumped out of the suit to kick his ass. But meh. It was more humorous than anything else.

T-rex costume reaches for a ball at the bowling alley

Anyways, I went and made a video of my adventures, so I’d love to share it with you. Enjoy!

So, YouTube is doing this thing where small content creators aren’t going to be able to make money off their piddly little videos anymore unless they have over 1,000 followers of their channel. Would you do me a solid and subscribe?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Make a Beautiful Cheese Plate for Two

Y’all! It’s National Cheese Lover’s Day. As it’s a holiday that is literally celebrating ME, I had to offer some advice for making a beautiful and delicious cheese tray for two — since Brian and I are heading off to Florida in less than 24 hours, we can’t have a ton of extra cheese lying around. Or a party. And I know I’ve talked about cheese plates before, but this one has a video!

Beautiful cheese plate for two

So I made my way over to Whole Foods — they had a SALE, you guys — to pick up some of their cute little cuts of cheese (small pieces and ends are perfect for making a small(ish) cheese platter.

Buying cheese at Whole Foods for National Cheese Lover's Day

I also bought fondue and a goat gouda for later because that shit was on sale.

I picked up a cave aged gruyere from Emmi Roth, a rattlesnake cheddar (smoky with habanero and other peppers and tequila), a creamy goat cheese called Capricho de Cabra Mitica, and a mild jarlsberg (mostly because it was like $2). I also had a sharp cheddar and an AMAZING Maytag Blue Cheese in the fridge that I added for color and a nice rounded out cheese plate.

Anyways, I made you a fancy pants video so take a look!

So, YouTube is doing this thing where small content creators aren’t going to be able to make money off their piddly little videos anymore unless they have over 1,000 followers of their channel. Would you do me a solid and subscribe?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Monkeying Around

Well hey there, blog friends! Long time no see. I took a bit of a breather for the holidays, started making some plans, and started implementing some plans. And now I’m back. With something a little different.

I’ve been wanting to dabble in video for a while now. I’ve got this weirdly popular video on YouTube about finding sand dollars on the beach in March Island, but other than that I’ve just uploaded silly stuff, like the time I met Steve the Sloth and gave him three pets instead of two or when we went to the New Orleans bug museum and saw two turtles gettin’ it on.

The point is that I want to dabble in something a little more specific. A little more me, even. So I figured I’d pull an idea my bestie Cletus came up with back in our college days. He called it 60 Seconds of Chrissy. And I shall too.

60 Seconds of Chrissy will be a little snippet of my adventures clipped to a mere 60 seconds. Brevity is not my strong suit, so this will be a learning experience for everyone. But I’ll also come back here to the blog and give you a little more story behind the video if there is one.

For the first video, I’ve gone ahead and put together a little montage of that one time we went to a high ropes course with ziplining, right here in the western suburbs of Chicago called GoApe. They have a number of courses around the country, so there may even be one in your backyard too.

I was excited and nervous, and we spent a glorious 4+ hours sweating our brains out and adventuring high in the trees. Most of the adventure was pretty run of the mill, and I surprised myself by walking some of the course without holding on to the ropes. In many cases, you had the option of taking the “hard” path or the “easy” path, and 90% of the time, I took the easy path.

The one exception was the Tarzan swing near the end of the course, which you’ll see in the video below. What you won’t see in the video is the number of times I counted out 3-2-1 go…and didn’t go. Or the aftermath.

Well, here’s the video first. Then we can talk about the aftermath.


“Fuck me.”

Yep. That’s exactly how I felt. Because as it turns out, I had gone and fucked myself. With my lack of upper body strength (y’all I have leg strength like nobody’s business, but my arms and core need some serious help), I was unable to attach myself to that spiderweb of rope to climb up to the tower where Brian was standing. To add insult to injury, the harness I was wearing was uncomfortably digging into my body, so I was also in pain.

And that’s when the screaming began.

30 feet above the ground, hanging from some cables, and sitting in a harness, I had a panic attack. I felt like I was stranded and there was no way out. I needed help, but I didn’t know if help would ever come. I was helpless and afraid and screaming to get me out of there. What felt like an eternity later, a woman showed up to assist me. Apparently, I wasn’t the first to get myself stuck on the Tarzan swing. The woman hooked up a third harness dealie, and pulleyed it up to me. I connected to it, and she was able to help move me over to the tower and up just enough that I could crawl onto the platform.

I was ashamed, embarrassed, and feeling pretty low. Would I even finish the course?

And then I remembered that I’m resilient as fuck, and I finished the last two paths across the trees and the final zip line. And that zip line reminded me that I could jump again, even when the last jump failed me. And after watching that 60-second video? I feel like a bad ass mother who won’t take no crap off of nobody.

So, YouTube is doing this thing where small content creators aren’t going to be able to make money off their piddly little videos anymore unless they have over 1,000 followers of their channel. Would you do me a solid and subscribe?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to visit Disney World without killing your family

Clark Griswold is my spirit animal. So when I got to spend part of the holiday season in Disney World with my family, I was in heaven. It was like Christmas Vacation AND Vacation in one hotel suite. Without Cousin Eddie.

We spent a magical 8 days in Orlando as my mom and I dragged our entire family to Disney World for her 60th birthday. Even though I’d just been there in June, I was fucking pumped. My family hadn’t been on a trip together since The Worst Thanksgiving Ever AKA The Worst Vacation Ever. We hadn’t been to Disney World together since 1998. And did I mention there was an adorable 9-month-old baby in tow?

Taking a baby to Disney World

My dad loves that little Nugget so much.

Somehow, all 7 of us managed to crash in the same hotel suite for most of a week and not kill each other. To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised that I don’t have more interesting tales of drama and/or homicide to regale you with from our trip. I was most concerned about being in a hotel room with Mom because she and I get along smashingly when we don’t live together, but put us in the same space for more than a few hours and smashingly turns into smashing things (love you, MOM!). Apparently, being in the happiest place on earth meant that both Mom and I were in our happy place and nothing could stop us from enjoying every freaking minute of it. Mom was only there for the first three days of the trip, culminating with her birthday party at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Look how happy she looks on Day 1!

Parents kissing under mistletoe magic shots Disney World

Day 1: Aren’t my parents the most adorable ever?

The best part? She was just as happy on Day 3, and I was just as thrilled to be there with her. Dad, on the other hand, was sick to death of taking fucking pictures (he may have told me so the next day).

Mom and daughter hugging under mistletoe magic shots Disney World

Day 3: Wearing our jams at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

But how did we all manage to share the same space for a week and not kill each other? Here are 5 ways we did it.

    1. Don’t all travel at the same time. I think if everyone had gotten on the same plane at 5:30 in the morning, there would have been even more crankiness, even if we were all drinking bloody Marys because Southwest is the best. Alas, Brian and I flew at the crack of dawn (yes that meant a 3 AM cab to the airport) with my parents, landing at a respectable 9:30 in the morning. My brother, Anna, and the baby flew in on an afternoon flight that allowed them the time they needed to get their little nugget prepped for her first flight. On the way home, it was just my brother, Anna, Nugget, Brian, and me. Mom left earlier in the week and Dad left the day before we did.
    2. Don’t feel obligated to follow the same schedule or plan. Originally, Mom and I were going to Disney on our own the first day, but Dad decided to join us. This was one of those days that will forever be with me. It was magic. Brian, on the other hand, needed time to decompress from the flight, so he stayed back at the hotel waiting for the rest of the fam. My brother and dad were originally going to go with us to Universal Studios, but they ended up staying back at the hotel with the nugget so Brian, Anna, TBCIII (one of my besties and bridesmen, who happened to be in Orlando for a conference at the same time we were there), and I could revel in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (more on that later). Mom decided she didn’t want to go to Animal Kingdom, so she met the rest of us at EPCOT later. It all worked out, and everyone got to relax when they wanted to.
    3. Do plan some time for yourself. I know me, you guys. I know that I’m the only one in her right mind who can do 7 days in a row of theme parks. I also know that I need to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. In June, I learned that Disneying on my own is AH-MAZING, and so I planned an entire day by myself before my family joined me around 4 PM. I went to a character breakfast, dined with Prince Eric, met more characters, took some photos, ate lots of delicious things, and just enjoyed the things I knew my family didn’t care about. Meanwhile, back at the suite, my family slept in, had a pool day, and relaxed before the Christmas Party.
    4. Do mix up who you spend your time with. You don’t all have to be together at the same time in the same place. Have a few set plans in place (We had dinner at Biergarten designated months prior, and we knew that Mom wanted a night picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle), but then feel free to split up and enjoy smaller group time.
    5. Do make sure everyone has food when they need it. A lot of unnecessary fights happen when people are hungry. My brother was ready to kill everyone when he felt like he hadn’t had a decent meal in days (he wanted to sit down and eat something that he liked, and we had been doing a lot of quick-serve snacks that day), and as soon as we got him delicious Chinese food, he was happy again. Also, if you’re into it, booze helps too. There are a ridiculous number of delicious drinks to try and not nearly enough time to try them all!


div class=”mceTemp”>

Family in front of Magic Kingdom Entrance with Magic Shot

Merry Holidays from my family to yours! And if you want to get on our Christmas card list, this is your last chance to drop your address in the Google form. I’m mailing cards on 12/16!

5 tips keep your sanity on a family trip to Disney World

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Hunting for Thanksgiving turkey leg(g)s

Brian has started talking in his almost sleep or still kinda asleep stages. This is something I’m personally quite familiar with, as I’m known for talking in my sleep. I’ve even gotten into fights in my sleep. But this is new for Brian. And I fucking love it.

For example, the other morning, Brian woke up and told me how adorable it was.

“What’s adorable, Brian?”

I was waiting for him to say, “You are, Chrissy,” because I was all curled up in a sleepy Chrissy ball. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting.

“The sun. It’s so cute.”

Now I KNOW he was dreaming because:

  1. Brian hates the sun.


  1. It was barely shining through the curtains.

My assumption was that it was because the light was so dim, it felt like just a little sun, but who even knows. I just love that Brian dreams about the sun being adorable.

So, last night, as we were falling asleep, Brian said, “There should be a Turkey egg hunt on Thanksgiving.”

And I wholeheartedly agree. And then my mind started whizzing with ideas. How could we make this happen? I love the Easter egg hunt. (Yes, I am an adult, and my mommy still hides eggs for my cousins and me.)

I kept thinking and told Brian it could be a turkey LEG hunt instead.

He was markedly opposed to this for being half asleep.

“That would get very messy, Chrissy.”

But it could be PLASTIC turkey legs. And they could open with snacks and toys inside.

I haven’t worked out all the logistics yet, but I think I’m on to something.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May your day be full of feasting and family. And if you’re like me, and have 3 hours of backseat (shotgun) driving ahead of you, lots of online shopping.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Quirky holiday gift guide

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love Christmas. So much so that I have a few gift guides lined up for your shopping pleasure. To kick off the holiday shopping season, I’ve taken the liberty of curating a super fun list of quirky Christmas gifts from one of my favorite online stores, UncommonGoods. It was hard to narrow it down to ten items, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

BTW, I love it when a store I’m obsessed with is kind enough to sponsor a post like this by allowing me to choose a few items from my wishlist to keep! While I may have received free products to write this post, all opinions are my own. Additionally, product links are likely affiliate links, which may earn me a small commission to help keep my cheese drawer fully stocked. 

Quirky Gift Guide - 10 items from UncommonGoods that everyone should have

Gifts for foodies (and cheese lovers)

Gifts for foodies: Boska Portable Cheese Melt Utensil $25

Guys. GUYS. YOU GUYS. This cheese melty raclette device has been on my wishlist since I saw them in a gif last year or the year before. I can’t be trusted to remember these things. Anyways, Brian was too busy buying me a Le Creuset and a magic sparkle skirt last year to pick one of these up for Christmas, but now I have one, and it is everything! Melty cheese for everyone!

Gifts for foodies: serving palette with bowls $35

I also love throwing shindigs. And when I saw this fun palette platter, I knew it had to be mine. Think of all the tiny things you can put in the little bowls! Olives, fig jam, tapenades, fruit spreads, butter, CREAM CHEESE, dips, cheese spreads. God. The possibilities are endless for a kitchen artiste like me — or you, for that matter.

Gifts for foodies: molecular gastronomy kit $49

Another foodie gift on my list from last year, I have been dying to try this molecular gastronomy kit since I saw it on the suggested wishlist items from Draw Names. It comes with 4 different food additives (5 of each) that you can play with to make creative foodie dishes that will at the very least impress your husband because SCIENCE! I can’t wait to show you what I make with it!

Gifts to stock the bar

seven deadly sins glasses $72

I LOVE these glasses. I don’t own them yet, but (ahem, Brian) they are on my Christmas list. The seven deadly sins on rock glasses with fun little cartoon devils. I don’t know why I love these so much, but I do. They’re the most expensive item on this list, but glassware is expensive, you guys. And these are too fun! They also have matching pilsner glasses. Or personalizable sin glasses.

gifts to stock the bar: woven wine tote and glass holder $40

So this summer, my bestie Ally and I went to an Alannis Morissette concert at a park. The park allows you to bring your own food, drinks, etc. It’s like a magical concert picnic of joy. People get super swanky and bring candelabras and stuff. The biggest problem we encountered, though? Not having anything to hold our wine glasses! Which is where this picnic saver comes in handy. Six wine glasses in a caddy that holds your bottle of wine and your glasses. Like magic.

gifts to stock the bar: beer caddy with bottle opener $45

This is on the list of things I’m going to get Brian. He likes to bring a collection of rando ciders when we go to parties, but he never has a six-pack holder to carry them. This super nice wooden crate is perfect for those occasions, and — bonus — it comes with a bottle opener!

Fun gifts and stocking stuffers

UncommonGoods also has a number of super bragworthy smaller gifts perfect for filling stockings or rounding out bigger gifts.

fun gift ideas: balloon dog nightlight $25

These balloon dog nightlights probably won’t fit in a stocking, but they are SO FUN LOOKING. I would love to have or two of these hanging around my house. Because unlike real balloon animals, these will never deflate on you!

fun gift ideas: f bomb paperweight $45


This f-bomb paperweight is sure to weigh down someone’s stocking, but you know it’ll be worth it. Come on…you know you want to drop an f-bomb in someone’s stocking. It even looks a little like coal for a double whammy of fun. Fun fact: They also have an A-hole paperweight. You know. For the matched set.

gifts for bookworms: pride and prejudice scarf $48

Scarves are also on my list of things you can never have too many of…especially when they have text from your all-time-favorite novel! I am so thrilled to have this magical Pride and Prejudice scarf in my life, you guys. Anyone who loves a good book and a cozy scarf will probably love one of these too!

stocking stuffers: yogi joes $25

My personal favorite stocking stuffers (hint, hint Brian) are these adorable yoga Joes. Forget tiny army dudes, these yogis are all the rage.

A couple of other fun tidbits about shopping with UncommonGoods: Their mission is to provide a space for artists and creative designers to showcase their products. Half of the items they sell are handmade and 1/3 of the items are created with recycled and/or upcycled materials. Their customer service is top-notch — they’ve received awards for it for the last ten years. Customer service is SO important to me that I will quit a brand I love if their CS isn’t up to snuff when I need it.

So go take a gander at UncommonGoods, and let me know what else is on your list!

Looking for more gift list ideas? Consider one of these bad boys.

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guide


Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The sexiest man alive

I’ve spent the morning reading about what a bullshit thing it was for People to put Blake Shelton on the cover of People Magazine for Sexiest Man Alive and that people are up in arms about it. Personally, I stopped giving a fuck what People Magazine thought about men when — nope. I’m not even playing. I’ve never cared about the Sexiest Man Alive. If Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum aren’t on that list, it clearly hasn’t adequately captured the heart of sexy. Ever.

On a Facebook post, I saw someone write, “Are there any good ones left?” And I was like, Duh. My husband.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

So I decided I’d start my own Sexiest Man Alive award. And the inaugural recipient is, obviously. Brian. But don’t just let me tell you he’s the sexiest man alive. Here are just a few of the things that make him so dang irresistible.

He’s got a soft spot for watching TV with me

And he’ll even watch some things that many husbands/boyfriends/partners would typically opt out of. Not only is he watching The Handmaid’s Tale with me, but he also watched Gilmore Girls. I’m not saying he binged the entire thing in 3 weeks like I did, but he would sit down and watch an episode here and there. I’m also pretty confident he was Team Logan too.

He feeds me

This is why ladies are not supposed to get sick. The boyfriend was left to his own devices. #GetOuttaMyKitchen

A post shared by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

Even if he doesn’t know the correct pan to use for boiling hot dogs.

We all know that I’m the cook in this relationship. He sends me gifs of things like ice cream sandwich cakes and Cheetos mozzarella sticks, and then I make them. But sometimes, he’ll throw together one of the things he knows how to prepare and he’ll hand deliver it to me like the sexy AF gentleman that he is.

He’s got a keen fashion sense

And he was ready to go toe to toe with anyone who fought me on my wedding shoes.

He cleans

Brian’s putting our mop and bucket to good use before holiday party time. #BestBoyfriendEver

A post shared by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

He meets me halfway, even when I’m halfway across the country

I’m pretty sure the only people who lost that contest were the ones in the rooms on either side of mine. Did I mention I was on the executive floor?

He’s a poet and he doesn’t even know it

He takes care of me when I’m sick

He’s smart, funny, and he keeps me on my toes. He’s got science guy and gentleman wrapped up with a bow. You know, now that I think about it…Brian is pretty much an amalgamation of Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum. He really is the sexiest man on earth. [I really tried to squeeze in a joke about Earth girls being easy, but I just umm…couldn’t…well find a way.]

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Move over Blake Shelton. This man has it all.

Really, though, with all of the big-name men being called out for assault, harassment, and more, maybe we should stop putting the people we see in movies and on TV on pedestals. Maybe we should think about how to make the world a better, safer place. And I think a lot of that starts at home. So can we all stop worrying about the guy a bunch of editors at a weekly publication determined was the sexiest man alive and focus on the ones we know in the real world?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Alternatives to making your name plural on a holiday card

Last night, I came across my favorite annual article, just in time for Thanksgiving. You know the article. The one that yells at you to stop adding a fucking apostrophe to your name when you send your Christmas card.

Well, that article is, as it always is, spot on. But it’s not just YOUR name you have to worry about. How are you addressing your recipients’ names on the envelope?

As someone who sent eleventy billion wedding invitations and thank-you cards last year and sends dozens of Christmas cards every year addressed to families and couples galore, I have developed a number of potential solutions for you. You never have to worry about a last name seeming off when it’s pluralized again.

Santa holding an envelope that says alternatives for addressing your Christmas cards

Instead of addressing your adorable photo Christmas card to The Wojs (which is the correct way to address a card to my family), try one of these simple variations.


Address Christmas cards using both or all the names

Look, you can try to be fancy and fail miserably with your misguided apostrophe (stop calling us the Woj’s!)…OR you can be super cool and use both of our names. Just because we got married doesn’t mean we’re no longer individuals. If you want to get really fancy with it, you can use our full names. Brian’s name is still Brian. But I suppose you can call me Chrysanthemum if you really feel as if full names are important. If we had kids or dogs, you could add their names too. Sure it would take up a lot of space, but isn’t my pet Ebenezer the Sloth worth it to you?

Postcard addressed to Brian and Chrissy Woj

Address the holiday card card to the whole family

Instead of worrying about accidentally shoving an apostrophe in the last name — because OMG you can’t possibly just put an S after a J — just address the card to a single family unit, like The Woj Family. Sure Brian and I are just two people, but we ARE a family unit. We live in the same house. We argue about toothpaste squeezing procedures. The best part is that it doesn’t matter if there’s two of us or twelve of us. It’s the same three words across the board.

Postcard addressed to The Woj Family instead of attempting a plural with an apostrophe

Address cards to the person you like better

I mean…maybe it’s the person you know better. Or you don’t know their family at all. You might just address the Christmas card to me and say, “Screw Brian. He has his own people.” Or, if you’re feeling extra generous and want Brian to feel the love, you can add him as an afterthought by addressing your card to Chrissy Woj and family. Either way, we’ll know who you really meant to send the card to.

Postcard addressed to Chrissy Woj and family

A superfluous use of apostrophes on the left? Probably. But are they grammatically correct? God, I hope so.

There you have it, folks! Easy alternatives to addressing your Christmas cards to the correct person. If you’d like to receive a Christmas card from Brian and me this year, fill out this Google form with your address and you’ll likely get something in the mail by December 24. I’m nothing if not a procrastinator.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

DIY Beauty and the Beast costumes

I use affiliate links for some items in this post to help support my writing habit. Any purchases you make through my links might contribute to my monthly cheese budget. 

Well, there’s only a few days left to get your costume situated, you guys! Might I recommend trying out a classic?

A couple years ago, I conned Brian into Beauty and the Beast costumes. He has costume restrictions:

  • No glitter
  • Lots of accessories (as evident by Captain Mal — guns! — and Jack Skellington — Zero!)
  • The opportunity to get creative with his look (When he was Ra’s Al Ghul)
  • No masks that cover his mouth (This was the biggest problem with Jack Skellington)

And a Beast costume didn’t necessarily break any of his restrictions, so I got to be a Disney princess!

Beauty and the Beast Halloween costumes

Beast costume pieces and tips

We weren’t going for full-on Disney style, but a mash-up of the different versions of this tale as old as time. So we went looking for ways to create a regal beast.

He started with finding the right headpiece. He ended up with this goat head quasi-mask from Amazon (one-day shipping anyone?), and it actually was perfect for what he needed.

Then, he picked up wolf feet from Amazon and wolf arms from Walmart (you can pick-up in store to avoid a shipping delay). We created his chest with a thrift-store jacket, lined with faux brown fur ($7). He cut the sleeves and bottom of the coat off, turned it inside out and backward, and essentially wore it as a dickey.

beast costume head and upper body From there, he needed the right ensemble. For his outfit, we found a thrift-store tuxedo shirt ($3) to make him look fancy. He used the cape he bought for his Ra’s Al Ghul and a pair of dress pants and a belt.

For his makeup, he just grew his beard a little scruffy and used brown make-up to give a furrier appearance than his light red-gray beard.

Ta-Da! A magnificent Beast to complement my Belle.

Belle costume pieces and tips

My costume was a million times cheaper and easier than Brian’s. And I like accessories too. I was just able to pull a lot of them from my closet.

First I needed a dress. I searched on Amazon for the perfect dress, and when that didn’t work, I bought a cute 1950’s style polka dot number that will totally also work if I ever want to be Alice for Halloween, am I right? I had to safety pin the halter straps to the back of the dress to make them regular straps because I’m not so much a fan of halters most of the time. Of course, if they had this pretty blue dress then, I totally would have gone for it instead.

I got the white top to wear underneath the dress at a thrift store, but you may even have one in your closet! The apron came from my closet. Sure, it may say Betty Crocker on the front, but all I had to do was turn it around and kablam! Plain white apron. I finished the look by adding a plus-size white petticoat under the dress for a little poof.

I accessorized with the Chip cup I’ve had since I was a child at Beauty and the Beast on Ice (you can find a similar Chip cup on Amazon) and the biggest, coolest book I could find (my Norton Anthology of English Literature).

For my hair, I did a simple topsytail (Put your hair in a ponytail. Split the top section in half and loop the tail through the hole) and tied it off with a Christmas ribbon. Don’t you judge me. It was available and it worked. And no one else noticed the snowflakes.

topsytail for Belle's hair Beauty and the Beast costume

So there you have it. A relatively easy to put together Beauty and the Beast costume for your next cosplay, whether it’s Halloween or just for funsies.

Beauty and the Beast halloween costumes

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How I ended up in the worst neighborhood in Orlando

It had been a busy week of anxiety and blog conference nonsense. Work was stressing me out to the max. I was in the middle of a month of travel (15 out of 26 days, to be exact), having returned from Vegas two days prior to my Orlando departure, and the exhaustion was starting to wear on me. But I was finally having a magical night thanks to some friends and a fabulous twinkle skirt. We were closing down the BlogHer dance party, and some of those friends got together at the end of the evening and said, “You know what, gang? This just isn’t doing it for us. Let’s get outta here and do something crazy!”

I believe it was Mary who suggested we hit up a local private-room karaoke bar that she had googled. It was only a 5-minute Uber from the hotel we were staying at. I hemmed and hawed something about needing to wake up for an early morning press trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but in the end, I decided that I needed a “Yes!” moment. And so I said yes. I went up to change out of my now sweaty AF skirt and finish packing for my flight the next day.

We met down in the lobby a half hour later, and I hailed the car that would take Mary, Kristen, Lea, Brea, and me on quite the adventure.

We had been driving for about 7 minutes when I looked at the map on my Uber app. “Hey uhh, guys…I don’t think this is quite as close as we think it is. We’re still about 35 minutes out…”

It was at this point that we thought it might be best to ask the driver about our destination, an address on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando.

“Is the area we’re going to an okay part of the city?”

The driver gave a vague answer, at best, but he was hinting that it wasn’t really the best area for a group of women set to arrive just before 11 pm. We kept probing, spending the next half hour debating whether to turn around and find a different bar to spend the evening. By the time we arrived at Q Karaoke, we noticed the area was definitely the type of place we wouldn’t want to find ourselves stranded on a rainy night. Very desolate, few businesses open, and the ones that were closed were barred up. The bar itself was in the middle of an empty-looking strip mall with the neon lights of an exotic clothing store at the helm. The driver offered to take us back to our hotel, but we persevered.

one-way street sign

We decided to scope the place out. A few of us went inside, asked about prices and took note of the surroundings. It seemed innocuous enough, and so we opted to stay…until 1:30 in the morning. As shady as it seemed, we had A BLAST. Our little gang of singers had an unbelievable time busting out some of the most ridiculous and amazing karaoke tunes that we could muster. If you’ve never tried private-room karaoke, I highly recommend it. The lights flashing and the room jiving was everything. If my twinkle skirt didn’t make me feel alive this adventure sure did.

As we called our next Uber for the ride home, we were flying high on adrenaline and friendship. A night that surely wouldn’t be forgotten. When our driver arrived to pick us up, he seemed surprised to be collecting 5 30-something-year-old women, and we, of course, asked him about our location. He pointed out a few things that we had missed on our way in (a woman who was likely a prostitute, different establishments, etc) and told us that they called this stretch of road the OBT, known for the violence and crime rates. He even mentioned a recent murder that had occurred.

Welp. We survived that one, guys. 

We made our way safely back to the Hilton and hugged goodbye to each other until our next adventure. I proceeded to ask my next two Uber drivers about the OBT, and both were as surprised as anyone that we were hanging out down there. My driver on the way to the airport just shook his head and smirked like I was crazy.

I love saying yes to adventure.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!