Halloween is the Fourth Family Holiday

Ten years ago, I was a recent college graduate with an 8-month old godson, and all my Halloween excitement returned from my childhood. This adorable little guy was barely old enough to do anything exciting, but his existence itself was exciting. He would look adorable in a costume and one day procure me all the Almond Joys he could fit in his sack. I envisioned this future long before it came.

It was around this time that my family began celebrating Halloween together again. A tradition was born. Each year, we’d gather with the growing troupe of tiny humans as they trick-or-treated through my aunt’s neighborhood. We’d hand out candy from the house dubbed the most entertaining door to trick-or-treat in the area, and the cackling of my mom and her two sisters could be heard from blocks away (because they set up an outdoor sound system, and someone gave them microphones. Rookie mistake).

A year ago, Brian and I moved into our house one week before Halloween.  It was just, you might say, our housiversary. I trekked to my aunt’s house, while Brian held down the fort, sad because I was afraid this would be my last Halloween with the kiddos. I knew with a house of our own, I’d want to decorate and revel in the joy of our Halloween space. I love throwing parties and I suspected I would want to have people over for Halloween, while I handed out candy to the neighborhood kids.

To my surprise and delight, my aunt informed us all that she was done hosting our family Halloween festivities. She passed me the proverbial torch without my needing to even ask!

All my dreams were coming true.

In just a few short days, my family will head over for a kid-friendly fiesta. Little A (who isn’t so little anymore) already knows that he’s got to find the Almond Joys for Auntie Chrissy. And I’ve got everything I need to mix the slightly scary with the bright and happy for a Halloween Spooktacular that can’t be matched!

Of course, the spider den in my bathroom hasn’t come down, but I did add an extra white light to offset some of the creepy atmosphere. The baby doll massacre is still holding strong in the kitchen,  because the kid in our family don’t scare easily. (Plus they probably won’t even notice amidst the candy overload that is Halloween…)

10 Ideas for a kid-friendly halloween party

Tiny Human Approved (Ish) Decorations

  • Banners and signs. In an effort to brighten the day for some of my favorite tiny humans, Brian and I are going to add a few kid-friendly decorations to our house, like these DIY Happy Halloween flags and Lil Monster flags from Harry & David or some of the foodie signs we found at the dollar store.

Harry and David Halloween banners

  • Previously lit candles with dripped wax. Brian and I have bleeding candles that we previously lit during a romantic candle-lit housiversary dinner in which we dined on a blanket picnic and watched several of the Harry Potter movies. The hot pink “blood” on the candles is just creepy enough to fit our home and just bright enough not to scare anyone.

If you're afraid to light candles when you have a large party, pre-light the bleeding candles so the wax drips down and gives the cool appearance of bleeding candles

  • Black Light Activated Chalk. In our garage, where we keep coolers of drinks, we’re going to set up an area with a black light, because we have chalk that glows in black lighting! Brian wants to write things like “Help Me!” And “Turn back!” How fun would that be?

  • Halloween Village. You’ve likely seen me singing about my Christmas village, but did you know I also have a Halloween village? The Lemax Spookytown collection makes my heart go pitter patter.

My Halloween village (Lemax Spookytown) is my pride and joy of Halloween. I love it more than my Christmas village

  • Pumpkins and witches’ hats. This is one of my favorite little spots in our house. It’s in our dining room, which I’m obsessed with perfecting, and it’s also just adorable in a light-hearted and fun way, that almost makes up for my creepy doll collection.

I love this display of light-up electric pumpkins with witches hats, creepy cloths and fall foliage

Tiny Human Friendly(ish) Treats

  • Halloween Chili. We’ll have our traditional Halloween feast of chili and hot dogs. I’ll be making my homemade turkey chili recipe and Vienna Beef hot dogs in separate Crock Pots. I may even make some fresh cornbread to go with the chili. Or pasta to make chili mac like I did a few Halloweens ago. We’ll see how ambitious I’m feeling.

My homemade turkey and veggie chili is sure to be a hit this Halloween.

  • Puking Pumpkin. I’ll also be making the same guacamole display I created for our adult Halloween party, so it shouldn’t be difficult for Halloween proper. The kids will laugh and Brian’s homemade guacamole is the BEST.
This puking pumpkin is always the hit of the party. I made homemade guac, carved a pie pumpkin, and surrounded it with chips

This puking pumpkin is always the hit of the party. I made homemade guac, carved a pie pumpkin, and surrounded it with chips and a pair of skeleton hands I found at the dollar store.

  • Creepy Face: I’m debating the concept of the really disgusting face I made last year for our party. It’s one of my favorite snacks, Harry & David Pepper Relish with cream cheese, but when you put it on a blank white mask, it looks…horrifying.
Bashed Skull: A plain mask that I got at Michael's painted in cream cheese and covered with jalapeno jam. Serve with crackers. I don't know why, but no one wanted to eat this one.

I called it a bashed skull, though it’s less bashed, really…and more just gross face…Helena on Facebook  said her kid called it a decomposing head, which was awesome.

  • Finger cake. This was easy and fun to make. I just baked a double batch of cake in a large stone baker (because I am slightly lazy and didn’t want to like…make a layer cake or anything tricky), frosted it, and topped it with some candy fingers and gel icing decoration.

This finger cake was easy to make. I baked a double batch of cake, frosted and decorated it.

  • Candy. OMG! These candy brains were the easiest things ever to make. I thought I was being punny and clever making pumpkin brains with pumpkin flavored candy melts and candy molds. I recommend sticking to regular candy melts, FYI.

I love the way these candy brains looked after they came out of the mold

Of course, the taste of those candy melts left me jonesin’ for something a little more delish. Like Harry & David truffles. Drool
Harvest TrufflesRight now, you can enter for a chance to win a $1,000 Harry & David gift card or gourmet Harvest Truffles by playing the Spooky Treats Game.

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Harry & David. I was compensated to share the contest and free printables, but never to give my opinion. You get that for free, as always. Additionally, some links in this post are affiliate links and any purchases you make through my links will earn me a small commission. 

What decorations and food do you make for Halloween? Do you celebrate the holiday like us with family and friends? What are your Halloween plans?

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 Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spider Den for Halloween

In the beginning of the Halloween season, Brian and I were discussing our eventual Halloween game plan. I told him we should just buy one big item each year and eventually we will have a full-on haunted house of joy. We also buy an ungodly amount of decorative shit from the dollar store, so there’s no shortage of Halloween hanging around this place…

So I said to him, “Last year, we bought the spider…”

And he said, “And the house…”

“No, Brian…I don’t mean all big budget things…just Halloween stuff. So last year was the spider.”

“And the house.”

Well…I mean…I guess he wasn’t wrong. When one owns a whole house, Halloween can start to go…a little overboard. For us, it was/is the greatest thing EVER. I showed you our creepy dolls of death and destruction in the window where I can’t seem to keep plants alive.

I have a twisted sense of humor, and I think it’s important to make the bathroom absolutely terrifying for guests, because where better to piss your pants? Amiright?

Our downstairs bathroom started out like any normal bathroom...before we turned it into the ultimate Halloween decoration

Now that we have three bathrooms, I can play around a little more. I’ve been planning our downstairs bathroom for months, patiently waiting to get started on my brilliance. You see, we have a bathroom with a shower that is never used, so I was free to use that shower in whatever capacity fit with my Halloween theme. And holy fuck was I ready to bring back my hanging cocoon body wrapped in spider webs…But this time, I was going to turn that entire room into the spiders’ den. It would be my greatest creation.

Spider With Suction CupHairy spiderSoft SpiderPoseable Hairy SpiderPlush 20Remote Control Brown Spider

My original plan was to hang the body from the showerhead and wrap spider webbing all around the area, but it was really hard to see the body. And as the body was the focal point of the entire room, we decided to open the doors and hang the body from the shower door frame. I used bloody spider webs this time, instead of regular webbing for that cool red effect.

This hanging body in the bathroom is surrounded by spider webs for a terrifying and gruesome scene in your bathroom

Then we placed spiders all over the webbing with other bugs wrapped up inside cocoons of spider web as if they had already been captured by the spiders and spun for a late night snack.

Use plastic spiders placed all over the webbing for the ultimate creepy space. Wrap other plastic bugs with webbing as if they were caught by the spiders

When you sit down on the porcelain throne, you almost feel engulfed by the spider webs.

When it comes to Halloween decorations, Quirky Chrissy knows her shit. Click To Tweet

Of course, to add to the atmosphere, we played with lighting a lot this year. We installed red light bulbs, which were surprisingly difficult to find in the stores, in the bathroom light fixtures. My mom suggested we try to find them at Home Depot, and she was correct. Thank God.

Feit Electric Lightbulbs 60W Equivalent Red Spiral CFL Light Bulb BPESL13T/R/HD

Use red lighting to increase the scare factor in your bathroom spider den

And if you remember me mentioning the spider that we ‘invested” in last year? That jumping spider was by far, the piece de resistance. We got the Black Jumping Spider – Animated Decoration at  Spirit Halloween(use code: 20FORU2015 for 20% off), hid him in the back corner of the bathroom behind spider webs.

Use red lighting to increase the scare factor in your bathroom spider den

When everyone was focused on the creepy hanging body, they didn’t notice the cord from the giant spider leading to a step mat (which we paid extra for) hidden under a bathroom rug we found at the Dollar Store. When the spider jumped and screamed, everyone was horrified. I was thrilled to pieces. Screams were frequent and hilarious at our party.

All in all, I think we did a killer job with this bathroom. I think it took the bloody murder scene bathroom to a whole new level.

Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spider Den with a few plastic spiders, spider web and a hanging cocoon body. This little room scared everyone at our annual Halloween party!

What do you think of this one, guys? What ideas do you have for the hanging body? How do you decorate your bathroom for Halloween?

This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases may make me a small commission to keep up with the operation of this blog.

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!

My Kitchen Window – Where Everything Goes to Die, Including Creepy Baby Dolls

In this year’s edition of Chrissy’s fucked-up Halloween decor…

Dolls are creepy. Like, on a scale of one to terrifying, they top the charts. When I used to work haunted houses, I always wanted to build a room that was all creepy baby dolls. So this year, when I started planning OUR haunted house, I knew that baby dolls would play a role. I would love to have a collection of creepy zombie babies like the one below, but I was on a tighter budget than that would allow.

Zombie Baby DecorSevered Zombie Baby Head PropEvil Baby Prop with KnifeEvil Baby Prop with Teddy BearDemonica The Undead BabySpinning Head Possessed Baby
These guys are all on my dream list. Instead, I thrifted and garage sailed for some of the most terrifying dolls.

I thrifted for creepy dolls that I would use for Halloween

My criteria was simple. I was looking for eyes that stare you down. Dolls with easy-to remove limbs. Talking dolls that say things like “I’m sleepy,” which sounds like “I’m creepy.” Horrifying giggles.

Then, I had to really think about what I wanted to do with them. We all know I’m twisted as fuck when it comes to Halloween. I turned our apartment bathroom into a murder scene. I made a hanging dead body wrapped in spider webs (just wait until I show you what I did with the body this year!) in our stairwell. I love elaborate and disgusting decor. It’s a thing. So I started pinning all the baby dolls to my Halloween party board.

I finally sat down to start painting…and this guy happened.

I ran out of white paint to make this doll more grey/blue...and he turned into a creepy blue zombie babyI used a combination of blue, purple, black and white acrylic paints from my art box to create this ghostly blue color. I wanted to make him a little bit grey/bluer, but I ran out of white paint…and he turned into a creepy blue zombie baby. My friend Lily thought he needed a little more oomph, but I never did get time to add to him…

I was busy working on the other dolls…

I decided to make a lot of bloody, creepy doll parts, using the blue doll as the cannibal leader doll, a few full size dolls and a lot of doll parts.I decided to make a lot of bloody, creepy doll parts, using the blue doll as the cannibal leader doll, a few full size dolls and a lot of doll parts. For the blood, I used crimson red, yellow, and black paints mixed together.

When I sent Lily a text picture asking if I took it too far…she thought it was fantastic and took the thoughts out of my head with additional scene details. Her boyfriend was less impressed.

Halloween texts about creepy baby dolls

Then, it was time to decide where and how I wanted to display these doll parts. I have this really fantastic kitchen window, which is awesome for decorative accents, but terrible for plants (even if that’s what it’s designed for). Mostly, because I did not inherit my mom’s green thumb and I refer to this window as the place where things go to die. Honestly, our whole house/yard/property is where plant things go to die, but that’s another story for another day.

And so it was decided that I would create an eerie scene of cannibal dolls and the parts they left behind.

A scene of creepy cannibal baby dolls and bloody doll partsOf course, the best way to add even more creepiness is to use lighting. Our kitchen and family room were lit with a green glow that illuminated a lot of our home, but the babies needed something a little darker. So we put a red light above the sink to radiate around the dolls.

The green glow from the house and the red illumination from the light over the sink made these creepy baby dolls in kitchen window even worseThe green glow from the house and the red illumination from the light over the sink made these creepy baby dolls in kitchen window even worse than without the lighting. When we had people over last week, they were either horrified or impressed. I suppose that’s pretty normal.

What creepy things do you do for Halloween? What’s the most screwed-up thing you’ve done as a decoration? Would you make these creepy dolls or buy some of the zombie babies I showed you above?

Some links used in this post are affiliate links and will earn me a small commission so I can keep spending money on the important things…like Halloween decorations.

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!

Nail Fail Files: Halloween Candy Corn Nail Tutorial

Guys, I think it’s time I showed you some of my less than awesome attempts at nail art. I saw this awesome tutorial from my friends at Julep, and I thought. Well, shit. I can totally do that. In fact, I can make it even better!

PRETTY SPOOKY – Easy (so they say) Halloween Nail Tutorial from Julep

Okay, so to be fair, if I used just one color under the black to give it that cool orange flame-like appearance, I probably would have been fine. Instead, I decided to take it to the next level. I made sure over the course of the last year to acquire the colors to make candy corn nails when Halloween rolled around this year, and I thought I would combine the two looks. I’ll show you the tutorial first.

Halloween Nail Design Tutorial

Here are the steps to this easy orange-and-black mani:

1. Paint one coat of orange 2/3 of the way up your nail. Let dry. (The drying part is really important, even if you’re impatient like me.)

2. Using a striping tool (some people say a toothpick works, but seriously, though…I’ve never figured out how to do that…so striping brush it is) to polish on black borders.

3. Polish the outline of the points with one coat of black polish. This is trickier than it looks. I actually used the striping tool to paint borders near my cuticles too.

4. Add a top coat and you’re done!

Doesn’t that look ridiculously easy? This Halloween nail art tutorial from Julep uses colors from their Happy Halloween Welcome Box, which is a 4-piece beauty box featuring a trio of spooky polishes and a gel eye glider (which I LOVE) for FREE when you join the Julep beauty box subscription. Join Maven and get the 4-piece Pretty Spooky Welcome Box FREE ($50+ value) – just pay $2.99 shipping with code BOO. Or pre-pay for your first three months of Maven and get the Welcome Box and shipping FREE.

Pretty Spooky Welcome BoxNow for the pictures you’ve been waiting for:

I saw a cool Halloween nail art tutorial from Julep, and used it to make candy corn nail art.Okay, so in the grand scheme of things, this really wasn’t that bad, right?  I mean, sure…some of the candy corn kernels are crooked, and there may be some white missing…but I mean…this is real life, not some fancy-pants nail artist, amiright?

Things I would do differently:

  1. Wait a good long time for each layer to dry. Be patient and watch more 30 Rock.
  2. Try to aim for the same angle with the border lines.
  3. Not overthink the different colors of the candy corn. I ended up painting over spots and multiplying the layers which you can kind of see and wasn’t necessary.

OH! And bonus!

If you’re not into the monthly subscription thing, or you want a cool striping brush (I use this thing a lot for my nail art), right now you get sweet Halloween Nail Art sets at Julep.

Halloween Gift SetsGet inspired by the spooky-cute nail art ideas from my friends at Julep and then score the polishes used in these looks way cheaper than normal. Julep is offering five limited-time Halloween Nail Art sets that include three polishes AND a creativity kit (a dotting tool and striping brush).

Plus, you’ll get a free as a gift with purchase when you buy a Halloween Nail Art set. The Julep Plié Wand™ is the perfect tool to help you perfect your nail art designs, especially when you’re using your ‘bad’ hand. To get your free Plié Wand, add a set to your cart then use the code MAGIC at checkout.*

What’s the worst tutorial fail that you’ve had? Any nail art designs have you played around with? Are you as adventurous with attempting nail art (and failing somewhat miserably) as me? Do you know how to use a toothpick for striping?

 

Vampy Halloween Welcome Box

Disclosure: No one paid me to say nice things, but I am a Julep affiliate and any purchases you make through these links will afford me a small commission to keep doing these tutorials and fail files.

*Details: Offer expires 10/12/15 at 11:59 PM PT, or while supplies last. Promotional code MAGIC must be entered at checkout, and is valid for 1 free gift per order. To receive free gift, add the Julep Plié Wand to shopping bag, in addition to $20+ of other julep.com products. Promotion excludes the Jule Box, Savvy Deals, Julep add-ons, Sweet Steals and Secret Store catalogs. Not valid for purchase of julep.com gift cards, gift boxes, Gift of Maven, or Mystery Boxes. Orders placed for the Monthly Maven Reveal (e.g. monthly Maven Boxes, Upgrade Boxes, and add-ons) are not eligible. No exchanges.
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!

7 Things to watch on Netflix to get you Excited for Halloween

It’s almost October, and my Halloween excitement is growing. I’ve started pumping myself up with movies and TV shows that either scare me or get me thinking about Halloween. Now that it’s practically October 1, I feel as though I can totally start going Halloweenie on you and not just Brian (who may be distressed that Halloween threw up all over our front room).

my Halloween skull collection
Do you like my Halloween skull collection?

Last weekend, one of my best friends was in town and we watched The Adams Family on Netflix to get some ideas flowing for Halloween decor, creepy snacks and an overall ambiance of spooky goodness (with a big heaping side of laughter). Other than pointing out my need for an organ and a tall creepy guy named Lurch to wield it and the distinct possibility that I could be Cousin It for Halloween, we didn’t really gather any useful information…but we did laugh like it was 1994. I forgot how funny it was!

In this vein, I thought it would be fun to share with you my top Halloween movies streaming on Netflix to watch next month to keep you in the Halloween mood all season long!

7 Things to watch on Netflix to get you excited for HalloweenA Nightmare on Elm Street

The original Wes Craven Nightmare, Freddie Krueger haunted my dreams from a young age when I used to watch horror movies with my best friend at her grandparents’ house. We’d order a Little Caesars pepperoni pizza and curl up on a couch, waiting for Freddy to get us…Did I mention her grandpa’s Freddy Krueger costume?

Pet Cemetery

What’s a Halloween movie list without a little Stephen King to rev you up? This creepy flick about animals that come back to life still terrifies me…but not as much as it scared the crap out of a girl I used to babysit. I babysat her and her toddler cousin, who happened to look just like Gage…And so  I may have been just twisted enough to teach him to tell her, “I played with Chrissy and I played with mommy. And now I want to play with you.” She was terrified (probably because I let her watch Pet Cemetery in the first place).

The Nightmare Before Christmas

You guys know how I feel about this movie. I made a Sally Halloween costume, I’ve painted my nails to match Sally Skellington’s dress…it’s kind of an obsession. We watch this two to three times a year – Halloween, Christmas, and somewhere in the middle when we’re missing the Halloween Christmas joy.

The Walking Dead

If you’ve never seen The Walking Dead, my recommendation is to watch the first season DEFINITELY, and possibly the second season…and then just pretend the rest of the show never happened. It’s better that way. I promise.

Teeth

If you want to watch something truly horrifyingly bad, might I suggest Teeth. This movie is about a vagina with teeth. That’s all I really need to say. If that’s not enough to pique your interest, you’re probably better off.

Saw

Remember when I wrote an apology to Cary Elwes? I still love him, even in this twisted movie. After watching this in college, I left my friend’s apartment and turned every light on and opened every closet door. Just in case.

Scream

I figured it would be best to honor Wes Craven by bringing it back around to him. Less scary, and more aware of its own genre, this movie is ripe with clever lines and fun plot twists. In high school,  this was a super quotable flick that we watched over and over.

If none of these flicks tickle your interest, you can always watch one of my favorite bad horror movies Playing on Netflix like Big Ass Spider or The Leprechaun.

What gets you excited for Halloween? Do you have any go-to movies or TV shows to get you in the mood?

I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team. While I wasn’t paid to write nice things about Netflix, I did receive a gift subscription and a device on which to watch my favorite shows.

Netflix Stream Team

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 Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Skellington Nails

Greetings and salutations, Blog Friends! It’s Geek Week here at Quirky Chrissy, which means Brian and I (and our friend, Don) will be off to see the Wizard tomorrow in geeked-out Indianapolis for GenCon. In honor of such a joyous occasion, I thought I’d share with you a little cosplay-light fun. You see, as much as I adore Halloween and costume creation, I’m not a big fan of dressing up in full costume for cons. I like to wander free, and even though I’m probably going to make an ass of myself and still be recognized as a bonafide hot mess, I’d prefer to do so as under the radar as possible. Although, obnoxious tie-dye yoga pants aren’t completely out of the question…and fun nerdy shirts and dresses are on my packing list for sure, I just don’t do full-on costumes.

I thought it would be fun to create patchwork nails that matched Sally Skellington's ragdoll dress in The Nightmare Before Christmas

Sally Skellington Patchwork Nails

So I decided to play with my nails. I like to multitask when I paint my nails, so I usually binge watch a television show or choose a movie to enjoy as I work my way through the nail routine. Brian says I’m not really watching the TV at all, but my ADD loves focusing on the detail of nails with the background of entertainment. I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas on Netflix to get myself in the mood (and the fact that Saturday was Christmas in July only made it that much sweeter of an idea), and thought that my Sally Skellington Costume needed a refresh in the form of nail art. So I pulled out my Julep collection and carefully chose the colors that I would use to create patchwork nails.

Julep Nail Polish for Sally Skellington Nails

Julep colors: Dawn, Carla, Veronica, Brielle, Joanne, Nic, and Amy

I started with my base coat – and I used the Julep Oxygen Bonding Base Coat to hold the polish longer. Then, I applied the first layer of each nail.  I decided I was going to follow the movie version of Sally’s dress, though my costume is based on the cartoon drawing of Sally (so you’ll note the difference with the large polka dot, I used Carla instead of Amy for the base coat). Feel free to play around with the colors, because there are dozens that would fit the patchwork dress. I was hoping the Nic would be a deeper black than it is (it’s a blood-red black), but it worked out pretty well for what I wanted. The rest of the colors were almost exactly what I wanted.

After I let the base color dry, I began applying the designs. I used my Julep striping brush (which works okayish) and Nic to paint lines and patterns. I wasn’t terribly brilliant at the swirls, but I was also using my non-dominant hand to paint them, so give me a little leeway with that. I didn’t completely think the hands through.

I kept the left Amy and Dawn pinky and ring finger bare to match Sally’s sleeve and upper quadrant respectively. I painted the swirls on the Veronica middle finger, vertical stripes on the Dawn pointer finger, and diagonal stripes on the Carla thumb.


Sassy Sally Costume
On the right hand, I kept the Nic thumb bare for the abdomen section of Sally’s dress. I painted the Brielle pointer finger with a crisscross design and a messy slash design over the Dawn middle finger to match the tiny patch on Sally’s dress. I painted thick stripes over the Joanne ring finger and messy dots on the Veronica pinky nail.

After the designs were dry, I added the large polka dots to the Carla diagonal striped thumb using the Julep dotting tool. I let them all dry completely and applied the Oxygen Performance Top Coat. (Pro-tip: Continue to reapply top coat daily for longest lasting nails.)

To match my Sally Skellington costume, I decided to paint my nails with a variety of colors and tools, creating a neat patchwork nail look.After I finished with my nails, I kicked back and watched the end of the movie, as Sally (the most logical character in the whole movie) helps Jack save the day. Because she’s awesome.

The Nightmare Before Christmas on NetflixI love playing around with funky nail art, and thank God for my Maven subscription to Julep. Every month, I get 2-3 new polish colors, lipstick shades and other beauty products for a fraction of the cost. If you’re looking to create your own sweet nail designs with some of the most unique nail colors, you may want to consider becoming a maven too. You can even try them out for free (with the low shipping cost of $2.99). If you’re anything like me, you’ll fall in love and never look back. I also regularly purchase a monthly mystery box, have early access to a secret store full of killer deals, AND get free shipping/20% off regular priced items on every purchase.

This post was brought to you by the fine people at Netflix, who didn’t pay me to say nice things, but they did give me a year’s subscription to Netflix and a device on which to stream it in order to tell y’all about my experiences with the Stream Team. 

Netflix Stream Team

Some links used in this post may contain affiliate codes. If you make any purchases through these links, I’ll make a small commission to keep this site running. 

 

 

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!

Sorry. No Candy Here. Halloween Grinchy McGrinchersons are Over Powered by the Lack of Trick-or-Treaters

What. The. Fuck. Happened to Halloween? For the last nine years, I’ve taken my godson, nieces, nephews and their pals out on the hunt for candy. Each year it seems to get more and more sparse, both in the people handing out candy and the tiny humans racing from door to door to door for candy. Our trick-or-treating adventure has been in the same location for the last nine years. Friday will have been our last year spending Halloween at my aunt’s house. The torch has been passed to yours truly, as all my Clark Griswold dreams come true in a single year. House with the love of my life. Hosting My Family Halloween. Hosting Brian’s Family Christmas (and adding my family – OMG it’s going to be amazing). Side notes aside…Brian stayed at home to do some recon on our own trick-or-treaters, while I made my way to my aunt’s house for the fourth family holiday.

Brian was responsible for purchasing candy and 5 or 6 bags of freakin’ candy later, he informed me that we had maybe 6 or 7 groups trick or treat at our house. Well, my friends…after I take over, kids are going to be lining up down the block next year. I hope. It may take a couple years for word to get out…but they’ll come in droves. Oh yes. This Griswold means business.

One of the things I noticed this year, was the number of signs proudly displayed on homes stating NO CANDY! With a huge townhome complex of hundreds, if not thousands of homes, you would expect that the kids wouldn’t have to go far to fill their buckets and let us get home to be free from the FREEZING, SNOWY Chicagoland Halloween weather…instead it was one in six houses that had candy. And that’s being generous.

Sorry No Candy

No Candy. Sorry Bye-bye. Wow.

No Candy

Back-to-back signage.

 

Now, I remember this when I was a kid, sparingly. OKAY FINE. My grandma went out and bought one of those “Candy Here!” signs…and then wrote a big giant permanent marker, “NO” on top of it. But it was less common, I think.

Then there were the please take one buckets. Some empty and some full. You can tell the type of candy can make a difference…

Please Take One - Empty Bucket

This bowl obviously had the good stuff.

Please Take Two

This house said please take two. And the kids we were with did.

And there were, of course, some people handing out some candy and having oodles of fun with it. This lady was really happy when the kids knocked on her door and was SUPER sweet. She even let me snap a pic of her treat bowl!

 

Cool Halloween treat container

How cool is THAT bowl?

But what was truly sad was the lack of kids out trick-or-treating. It makes me really sad. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the number of families that no longer celebrate Halloween and trick-or-treating. Or the families with kids who have allergies (and my heart totally goes out to y’all). Or people who go to Halloween parties. Or it was just too fucking cold. And so on and so forth. But it makes me sad. We came across maybe 6 or 7 other groups of kids. Total. Brian said we had about 6 or 7 groups stop at our house for candy. Which leaves us with A LOT of Brian’s favorite candy.

Luckily, my godson is pretty much the world’s greatest child on the planet, and every time he say an Almond Joy in a treat box, he picked it and ran it back to his Auntie Chrissy. This kid is more than precious. He’s pretty much the best godson ever.  And the kids seemed to have a good time getting treats.

Did you go trick or treating this year? Did you find that there were fewer trick or treaters? Fewer candy houses?

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!

I Think I Know Those Clowns…Not the Rodeo Clowns Though…

Last night, Brian and I joined a couple of our friends for an evening of Haunted Housing. Our friend who organized the trip usually prefers the regular passes as opposed to the VIP passes because the wait in line is usually a lot of fun and adds to the ambiance of the house. You know, gearing up the fear and shit.

So we get to the location of the haunted house, where we shelled out 28 bucks a pop for the tickets. Only to be told that we’d also be paying $5 for parking. We went to this house last year and didn’t have to pay for parking, so this was a strange and unpleasant new development.

I saw a crowd on the side of the venue, and wondered if that was a VIP entrance. As we drew closer, I realized they were all smoking, and they looked like they were in costume. Cowboy hats, plaid shirts, tight jeans…Must be a hillbilly room or something. As I got even closer, I noticed that some of them were dressed normally and there was a “smoking section” sign. They must just be regular employees, not actors. I looked inside the oprn door behind them and realized that they were not related to the haunted house at all. There was a concert of some sort going on with bright lights and loud mariachi music.

Mariachi band by the haunted houseWell that explained the $5 parking fee. Jerks.

So, we got in the first line at the haunted house (the first of FIVE different lines). This line was outside, and we were there before the house opened. I noticed a girl wearing a short skirt and rubber boots prepping for something with electricity. Just before we walked into the venue, she jumped on top of a beat up car, and started running some electric thing on a metal grindy thing near her lady bits while dancing like she was in a cage at the club. I wondered whether I was heading into a haunted house or a brothel.

We walked into the brightly lit first lobby, and stood in another line. The mariachi band was going hard core just a few feet away and the concert lights made it look like it was still daylight. I looked over, away from the band and saw a pair of uniquely costumed muderous clowns. I grinned at Brian and said, “I think I know those clowns.”

His response? “That’s a weird thing to say.”

When we moved upstairs to the next lobby (this time the actual “haunted house lobby”), one of the clowns was staring me down. I eyed him for a second and asked, “Do I know you?”

Yep, I definitely recognized him.

Yep, I definitely recognized him.

He nodded and I walked closer to him, when he gave me his hand all gentlemanly. We chatted for a moment (he really is my friend!) and then I had to go catch up with my people.

We got in the third line of the night about 15 minutes after the haunted house was supposed to be open. But the bright lights and loud VERY UNSCARY music coming from the open room beside and below us was really killing the mood. It wasn’t just a mariachi band; it was a full-on fucking rodeo.

The foggy image is because of the fog machines.

The foggy image is because of the fog machines.

There’s a bull back there. A motherfucking bull.

They haunted house refused to open until these people finished playing. These people just refused to finish. An hour and twenty minutes after the house was scheduled to open, they finally started letting people in. The mood was not set with scary music or dark lobbies. It was set with a fucking tuba and the running of the bulls. Or a bullfight. Or something. Come to think of it, I bet hooha electricity girl out front would have had one hell of a time trying to ride the bull…

Luckily, our friends are pretty fun, and the clowns kept stopping by.

Scary clown with a knife

The house itself was meh. The first part was a pair of too-long dark mazes. The second part was a neon 3-D porn cartoon. The last part was the kind of haunted house that you picture – murderous creepers, a shrine to John Wayne Gacy, people eating people…screamers, psychos…

image

Overall, not terrible, but the venue is going to get a nasty letter from me. Because they made Brian mad with this mariachi bullshit. And nobody messes with my boyfriend.

Have you been to a haunted house this year? What’s your favorite part of a haunted house?

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!

7 Easy DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Women and Couples

Halloween is definitely the holiday of all holidays around here.  My family and friends totally jump into Halloween head first. It’s the fourth family holiday. It’s the ONLY holiday my aunt flies in from out of state to celebrate with us. It’s kind of a big deal around here.

I figured you may be looking for some Halloween costume ideas – I know I still am…so I thought I would help you out and share some of the best costumes my people have put together in years past. You’ve already seen my bouquet toss winner Halloween costume…and my Sally costume…but I’m not the only one with the ideas. Several of my friends have given me permission to share their photos and costume ideas with you, so you can see what excellent company I keep over here in the real world.

Fast(ish), Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

My pal, Brookie Banosnapper showed up at my RIDICULOUSLY EARLY (First week of October early) Halloween party last year in this ensemble. Best. Idea. Ever.

Grumpy Cat Halloween Costume

One of my friends from college, Shelli was unrecognizable by many of her friends when she showed up in this costume! I was a big NCIS fan a few years back (which was when Sheli threw down this costume. I wish I could have seen it in person, but she lives a few (hundred) miles away from me.

DIY ABBY NCIS Costume

Deb, one of my favorite English teachers, rocked it in her garden ho costume. Her English/theater background worked well with this punny costume.

DIY Garden Ho Costume

Valerie showed up to one of our Halloween parties in this creative garb a few years back, before everyone was doing it. She already had dark hair and a good chunk of the wardrobe requirements, so this costume was a breeze for her. No one noticed that she had black chucks on (shhhh).

Flo Progressive Halloween Costume DIY

Dynamic Duos: Couples/Pairs Halloween Costumes

Ron and his best friend decided they would be the ultimate best friends for Halloween. Not that I’m a fan of these two dumb dudes, but I hear they’re pretty popular with the ladies.

Lloyd & Harry Dumb and Dumber Costumes

Our friends Ava and Mike are super awesome, and they came to our Halloween party at the apartment last year as Hawkeye and Hawkeye, which I thought was a totally fantastic couples’ costume. Right?

Hawkeye and Hawkeye
And then there was the costume set that Brian and I opted for last year. Captain Mal and Kaylee from Firefly. It wasn’t my favorite (partially because I ordered the coveralls from eBay and they did not fit the way I wanted them to…)

Captain MaL & Kaylee (3)Friends, what should Brian and I do for Halloween this year? It appears we’re going to be moving right around Halloween, so we’re strapped for time. Any suggestions? What are you going to be for Halloween?

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 Halloween Costume: The Bouquet Toss Winner

Happy October, Blog Friends! It is now officially acceptable for me to get excited about Halloween and BOY OH BOY am I excited for Halloween.  Of course, we won’t be throwing a Halloween party this year. And we don’t (yet) have a house to decorate for one of my favorite holidays, but big things are happening this month. Big things.

I figured I’d kick the season off this year with a little Halloween costume love.

A few years ago, whilst I was dating the bartender, I came up with the most brilliant Halloween costume, if I do say so myself. Mom and I were sitting in her room, brainstorming ideas. My mom is a BRILLIANT costume creator, so it only seemed right to run ideas back and forth with her. I was broke, out of work, and in college, so I knew I wanted to keep it cheap. I figured I had a couple of bridesmaid dresses hanging around my closet to use, so we started thinking about ideas…

The next thing I knew, I was plotting the ultimate bouquet toss winner Halloween costume. I started with the dress, which I ripped to absolute shreds. Then I bought fake nails, which I glued into the shredded dress. I saved a few of the nails, which I left to put in my hair.

On the Saturday before Halloween that year, my mom and I got to work for all the parties I was headed to. We started with my hair, spending an hour creating one of those bridesmaid-esque updos. As soon as it was finished, I pulled and tugged and messed it up. It was important work. I then stuck fake nails into the knotted mess and even a few flower petals.

I put on the dress, so Mom and I knew what skin space we were working with. We started with bruising, using a plethora of eyeshadows to create blue-gray-green bruising all over my body, including one black eye. We moved on to scratches (with all those broken nails, scratches were a must). This was accomplished with real scratches (light ones) that Mom traced with dark red lip liner to maintain them all day long.

Bouquet toss

I needed to add a smidge of fake blood, so I put one earring in, and blood coming down the other ear. I also figured a bloody nose would look pretty convincing. I finished the look with a single high heel, crutches and an ankle brace because I’m hardcore.

My then-boyfriend picked me up for our Halloween festivities in a hoodie and camo pants with a mask in his backpack. A mask that he may have put on twice throughout the entire day.

We started at a Halloween wine-tasting event at my local liquor store, where I was competing in a costume contest to win a wine refrigerator. I walked around the place, petitioning my cause and making sure that EVERYONE voted for me. If ever I had to explain what I was, I had a whole speech prepared.

“I caught the bouquet. You should see the other girls. I mean, it’s not what catching the bouquet MEANS…it’s about taking out the competition.”

I went home with a wine refrigerator that day.

Last year, at work, I thought I would revive my favorite Halloween costume of all time. I took it to a more gruesome level, and was pretty pleased with the results.

If you're looking for a creative, unique Halloween costume with an old bridesmaid dress, consider the bouquet toss winner.

I may have looked more like a zombie than a live person, but I couldn’t stop adding gore. I especially liked the knee cut. I won a contest there, too…but never received my prize…grumble grumble grumble.

Of course, the best part about this was taking the train home in costume. I looked fucking spectacular, and it wasn’t Halloween proper, so no one else on the commute was dressed up. It was kind of magical.

If you're looking for a creative, unique Halloween costume with an old bridesmaid dress, consider the bouquet toss winner.

I still don’t know what Brian and I are going to be for Halloween this year, but it’s sure to be a scream.

Blog friends, what’s the most creative costume you’ve ever come up with? Would you rip a dress to shreds to have fun with Halloween? Are you down with the gory costumes? What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

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!