Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Of Halloween Present

Ta-Da! I'm a viking! When I told my coworkers what I planned to be, I was dubbed Olga the Terrible so we can go with that. I was inspired by this cute post here that I found on Pinterest with a costume made for a little boy and I thought to myself, hey, I can make that! And in a grown up size to boot! So here's how I made my costume.

I stumbled upon a (surprise!) child's costume at the thrift store that I think was supposed to be a lion...? It was furry with arms and legs that I knew I could cut up and make the base for my viking getup. Cost: $3. I took my furry bundle home and got to work. I nipped off the tail and flipped it inside out. Then I cut the legs and arms off, leaving the shoulders intact. Then I flipped it right side out and trimmed the vest along the edges in more of a curved pattern so it looked more rugged and viking-esque. I had the leggings and booties and I bought the long sleeved white shirt at Target for $10. I took the fabric from the arms and legs of the original costume, with the elastic still around the bottom, and used the fur as accents around my boots and wrists. The last piece of the puzzle was the viking helmet which was tougher to track down than expected. I found this one (finally!) at a local costume/party store for the low price of $5. Apparently I have a child size head which works well with the theme of my costume inspiration and the actual costume I chopped up. Go figure. So grand total for this whole on-som aka ensemble was a whopping $8. Boom. Oh, I am not counting the shirt from Target because that I will be wearing again, OK? OK. 

This costume worked great at my Halloween party and I did not see any other vikings out on the town which was nice because I am not a fan of duplicates. It also had a high comfort value, allowed for tons of movement, and full range of motion for all my viking moves (not pictured). Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Color Blocked

Coat and Jeans: Gap,  Sweater: J. Crew, Booties: Thrifted

It is snowing right now. Yes, snow. SNOW PEOPLE! That's Ohio for you, always a surprise. My commute was doubled and on the way in, the precipitation went from rain to the white stuff and while I do love snow, I really rather prefer it come down in the month of December, not October. I took these pictures last week and let me just tell you, the trees are no longer this pretty and my hair would not have been dry for more than a few seconds if I had attempted this today so thank goodness for me actually planning ahead, truly a rare feat. My winter coat has made its first appearance and my guess is that it is here to stay. Here's to hoping everyone is staying warm and dry out there!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Manicure Monday

Whoa baby, is it ever windy! The cold is sneaking in through the cracks of my windows and I am holding my blanket tight around my toes. It seems that overnight all the leaves have fallen from the trees and a chill has set in. 

This dreary, dark day has led to some dark nails as well with a base coat of Essie Little Brown Dress and the zebra stripes done in NYC High Line Green. I do welcome the fact that slipper weather has arrived and I can cuddle up in my oversized sweatshirts and sweaters around the house. And on that note, I think I will go have a mug of hot chocolate, because when is that not the answer to everything?

Friday, October 26, 2012

High Five for Friday

[My new boots and latest obsession]
[The best canoli I have ever eaten was a strawberry and chocolate canoli from Mike's in Boston. I have been craving this goodness lately]
[I have a pair of these festive candles that have helped get my apartment into the Halloween spirit]
[Potentailly the best find ever on the half off rack at Michael's. He is so cool, I might be keeping him up year-round]
[My new mini blender-that's-actually-a-cup that I have used daily for smoothies all week that cost $9 at Target... I KNOW!]
It is very glum outside today. And work felt dark and dreary since the sun did not decide to make one single appearance today but then I came home and saw that sa-weet bedazzled skull and I snuck a couple of my mini Take 5 bars and ta-da, life is good. I am throwing a Halloween party tomorrow so tonight I have decided to cozy up in my PJ's, do a little reading and get some solid rest so I can prep, prep, prep tomorrow. I have a playlist to make, some snacks to bake and a bit of cleaning and decorating left on the agenda. But that is a to-do list that I am more than willing to tackle and I am very excited to get dressed up and see everyone's costumes. And oh! I totally ducked out at lunch and found my viking helmet! Hazaah! It is tiny and potentially made for a child but it fits beautifully and is the last piece of the puzzle.

Happy Halloween weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Blouse: F21, Pants: Tommy Hilfiger

I just cannot seem to wake up this week. It is Thursday and I am still dragging. I have decided to host a last-minute Halloween party this weekend and am getting very excited about that so I need to wake up!!

Originally, I thought I would be out of town for my Grandpa's birthday celebration this weekend but since that has fallen through, I have invited some friends over Saturday to give us all an excuse to get dressed up, eat candy, and channel the kid in all of us.  That means tonight and tomorrow will be needed to make up some festive snacks and put the finishing touches on my decor, not to mention complete my costume too. Time to make my seemingly endless to-do list!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Of Halloweens Past

Halloween is here! Being a lover of all things themed, this is a favorite holiday of mine. I am a major believer in homemade costumes and I take it very seriously. Hunting down all the right pieces to bring an outfit together is such a thrill! And the less money I spend, the more successful I feel. Of course, the first task is the challenge of actually coming up with something creative and unique. From group costumes to going solo, here are a few of my favorite costumes from years past.

First is Rosie the Riveter, a super easy costume that just requires some curls in your hair, a bandanna, and a blue button down. And a pair of fake eyelashes...they seriously made such a difference! 

The next picture shows some friends and I as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For these costumes, we bought over-sized plain green t-shirts at our local craft store, cut the collars to make them a little more flirty, and added yellow felt for the underside of the shell hot glued to the shirt. We made belts with brown ribbon and then used gold cardstock cut into a circle with the first letter for each turtle tied around our waist. Lastly, we used colored ribbons for headbands based on the color of the turtle we were imitating. Add a few toy weapons and look out!

The next group shot is of Snap, Crackle and Pop, the beloved characters from Rice Krispies. I was Snap and all I had to make was the chef hat. I used regular white printer paper and used two pieces to fit around my head, the 11 inch side horizontal, and taped them together at the right size. A tip: I measured with my ears inside the hat so that they were not poking out through my hair after I put the hat on. I used 3 or 4 more sheets of paper crinkled up and shaped to imitate the top of a chef hat. I used regular scotch tape to attach the base of the hat and the puffy top. The yellow button down top and red scarf I found at a thrift store paired with a pair of bright blue leggings we found at Target. 

Last but not least, I was Velma from Scooby-Doo. This happened to work out great because it was during one of my bang phases so my hair was fairly similar to her bob look. I sprang for the fake big rim glasses at Forever 21 and then picked up the turtle neck and red skirt at the thrift store. I had the knee socks in my dresser and wa-la! I transported into the 70's cartoon. 

The best part of these particular ideas are that they can easily be re-created in a day's time which is great if you are looking for a last minute idea for a costume party this weekend. Hopefully these have sparked an idea or two for your Halloween 2012! 

I feel like I am always thinking of potential Halloween ideas throughout the year and love hearing fun ideas from others so I'm dying to know: What is your favorite costume from years past?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Polka Dots in the Leaves


Shirt: Thrifted, Jeans: Gap, Shoes: Steve Madden, Purse: F21

Is there anything better then the few weeks when the leaves are so vibrant on the trees and the weather can't decide if it wants to be hot or cold? I love all the hills and curves around my neighborhood because as I round a bend or come over a hill, I find myself smiling like a goon to no one in particular as I just soak in the beautiful scene. It is especially beautiful when driving near the river with the skyline and the trees and sun hitting the water. And when you happen to find yourself among colorful trees just as the sun is going down? Simple and lovely.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Manicure Monday

I have no idea how or why, but by some insane miracle, I had an incredibly productive Monday. And the fact that I was on limited sleep and on a high from such a fun weekend with my visiting friends, I am just not sure how I was able to stay focused and cross so many things off of my to-do list. 

Speaking of the weekend, I had an absolute blast! I loved taking the girls around the city and showing them where we live. Us Cinci residents were quite proud to show off some highlights, like the Findlay Market, eating dinner by the river under the lights of the bridge and skyline, and of course, our favorite bar, Japp's, where they were serving festive fall drinks. We even capped off the weekend with smoothies and bagels as we walked around Ault Park Sunday afternoon before a trip to the airport.  It was absolutely perfect and though it was sad to say good bye, I was so happy to be able to spend time with my friends and that everyone was able to come together from across the country. Now we just have to get to planning our next reunion!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Day Late...

See these hooligans? Those are some gals I like to call my friends. And it's a bit of a miracle that we were (almost) all in one single picture together. A group of these girls are in visiting for the weekend, arriving in the afternoon yesterday, and they are the reason I didn't get my post up for Friday. We were too busy getting drinks at 3 in the afternoon and catching up and laughing til my stomach hurt all through the night. And again today. I even packed up an overnight bag and we had a giant sleepover party just so we could all stay together. Even though my own apartment is a few short minutes away. Sleepovers are more fun I say! More fun!
So if you don't mind, I think that is a pretty valid excuse.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monkey Business

Recently, a friend at work has been using the term "monkey business" and every time he says it, I get a small smile on my face because I just think it is such a fun way to express a situation. I mean, why say crap or stuff when you can say monkey business? "Oh ya I forgot about that monkey business. Let's tackle that after lunch." Well ok then! It takes the bad attitude tone out of your sentence immediately and is frankly a great addition to our work conversations.

So in honor of this forgotten catch phrase, I made some apple spice muffins with an apple filling in none other than monkey cupcake liners. Yes, these were probably meant for a child's birthday party but I am a child at heart so it counts.

These were a breeze to make and just came out of a box. It was a mix from Pilsbury for a bundt cake but because there is no way I own one of those pans, I improvised and made them into cupcakes. Well muffins because they had a much more breakfast vibe to them. Plus cutting out the frosting means cutting out the calories so I can eat two right? Right.  

Mix up the batter, pour about a 1/3 of the cupcake liner, drop in a dollop of the fruit, then cover another 1/3 of the way with some more batter and presto! You have some fancy filled cupcakes or muffins.

The great thing is, you can do this with any cake or muffin mix and get creative and add in your own special middles. For next time, I am thinking yellow cake with Nutella in the center or white cake with a little pumpkin filling for the fall season or red velvet with a sweet cream cheese middle. The possibilities are endless and as quickly as these get eaten up, you will be able to try a bunch of varieties.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flower Power

Pants: Gap, Top: F21

Another day, another pair of jazzy pants. And these babies are in my favorite all-over pattern: floral. It seems I can't walk into a store anymore without being drawn to at least one thing in a floral print, whether it be a clutch, a flowy top and now, pants. I like the touch of whimsy these add to an outfit and the cropped length makes for a great look when paired with heels.

Floral and I are a thing, and I think it's getting pretty serious.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fuel Up and Shop On

Jeans: Gap, Blouse: TJ Maxx, Shoes: Sperry, Purse: Thrifted
Who doesn't love a good day of shopping and sister bonding time? That's what I had last Sunday and I am not sure I have ever had as much success at the outlets as I did that day.

I won't lie to you, I woke up pretty exhausted and wanting to stay curled up under my blankets for my usual lazy Sunday BUT! My sister awaited me and unknowing, so did loads of deals. We hit the Gap, always on the must visit list, scored a couple pairs of jeans (we literally got the exact same things. If only we lived closer so we could have a shared closet!) and hit the coffee shop for some caffeine and ice cream. After that, and the high of not paying full price on the merch I was picking up, we shared some laughs, Chipotle tacos, and loaded down our arms with shopping bags. I think my prize item of the day were these killer brown lace up boots for less than $50---like I wasn't going to make that purchase. After leaving with 5 pairs of pants, those boots, and some cute leopard socks, I think it is safe to say that my lower half is totally ready for some cold weather.

If only sister were around all the time! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Manicure Monday

What a productive weekend!

That's a statement I rarely think applies to myself on a Monday morning but today, it does. I was very domestic this weekend, also out of character, and managed to cook, clean, host people at my place and even run some errands I had put off for about as long as I possibly could.

There are still a few things left on my weekend to-do list but I am pleased with what I did manage to check off. Here is to hoping I can keep this productive streak going into the week!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday I'm in Love

Tis the season for candy corn! And how can you not be happy eating candy corn?

Here are a few things I have been loving this week:
Getting dinner and having some laughs with an old friend
Deciding on my Halloween costume...a viking! (more to come)
Seeing script Ohio at the OSU game. Yes, technically that was last week but it counts.
Someone in my building carving a pumpkin and putting it up on display for all to enjoy. So cheery to see that every time I return to my place.

Not so much love for:
The reds getting my hopes up for a World Series appearance and then, not so much after losing yesterday.
Almost getting run over by a semi truck, causing me to have major road rage. For about 3 days.
Arriving at the jeweler's in time to see the owner locking the front door. I guess I'll be getting my watch link removed over the weekend.


Other things I will be doing over the weekend include getting take out, drinking some wine, finally reading 50 Shades of Gray, lounging in my PJs, making something in a crockpot, and hopefully getting my Halloween costume together. Basically, doing whatever I want which is relaxing and having some quality me time. This work day cannot go by fast enough!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Dress: Macy's, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Sunglasses: The Loft

Being able to wear tights again is making me very happy. Being able to wear tights and my favorite booties in the fall without a jacket makes me even happier. The seasons have definitely shifted from summer to fall and with a bit of frost on cars this morning, even a hint of winter. To keep from being too drab in these cooler temps, I opted for this fun print dress and managed to even capture some sunshine late in the afternoon too. I am looking forward to incorporating some colored tights into my office wardrobe next so I hope they can handle it.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do you Have the Time?

Sweater and Pants: Gap Watch and Glasses: The Loft

My mom always asks for our Christmas lists way in advance so she can "get everything done by Thanksgiving." Which, by the way, has never happened. But this year is actually one of the earliest times I have ever started to craft my list. Only here's the thing: I have already purchased one thing on my list and am already contemplating another. The watch above is the already purchased item. I really bought it on my mom's behalf, fully intending to have her wrap it and put it under the tree but then it was just sitting in its cute box on my coffee table, sadly crying that it was not being shown off and worn, and whining about how he would be shut in that box for almost 3 more months. I mean, how could I ignore all that sadness? I have a heart people! So to sooth the lonely watch, I took him out of his box and placed him in his rightful place, my wrist. I'll just have to turn in a revised copy of my list...