Our Halloween, 2013.

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This year we celebrated Halloween at our house with Matthew’s sister, brother-in-law, niece, and mom. We ordered pizza and I made Halloween funfetti cupcakes with whipped icing that I had to employ all my willpower not to finish off when all the cupcakes were iced. (I succeeded and the remaining icing is safely chilling in our refrigerator.) After we ate, we got the babies dressed into their costumes and let Elisha watch What Does the Fox Say a few times to hype him up before heading out to trick-or-treat. We stopped at two of the local churches who were hosting trunk-or-treats and stopped by a few friends’ houses to show off the babies in their costumes.

Overall, the night was a success! Elisha and Shiloh scored a good bit of candy (that I may or may not have picked through already) and seemed to have lots of fun. I asked Elisha what he wanted to dress up as next year for Halloween, and without pausing for a second to even think about it, he said, “a hot dog!” Totally pulled that one out of the air…

Hope you all had a great Halloween! I’m still loving all the costumes floating around the blogosphere and Facebook.

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{DIY} Refashioned Toddler Fox Costume

I had originally planned for Elisha to dress up as a monster truck for Halloween this year. But in traditional Elisha fashion, he changes favorite things every week and his current “thing” is the latest YouTube viral video What Does the Fox Say?

Seriously. My almost three-year-old is obsessed with this song and video. He’s even learned a few of the dance moves and lyrics, such as “wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!” and “hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!” all while trying to levitate. So I couldn’t resist changing his costume to a fox. Luckily, I had recently bought him an orange long-sleeve t-shirt from Old Navy a few weeks ago that would work perfectly. For the rest of the costume I used an old t-shirt passed off to me from my brother-in-law and a cheap white hand towel from Wal-Mart.

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I started by cutting off the sleeves and all the seams (I forgot about the bottom hem before taking this picture), as well as the print on the back of the shirt to get as much solid orange material as I could get.

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Next, I laid out a pair of sweatpants of Elisha’s to use as my pants pattern, using this basic pants pattern (here). The brown pants are a little too long for him but fit him great in the waist, so the shortened length of the t-shirt ended up a perfect length for him once they were done.

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For the white fur, I used the t-shirt as a guide for the length and the neckhole to gauge how big to cut out the neckhole of the fur.

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Then I trimmed up the sides and rounded the edges of the fur. I ended up having to trim the sides down a few times. Once I got it right, I used safety pins to pin down the fur to the t-shirt and tried it on Elisha.

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He liked it. :)

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For the ears I cut off two triangles from cardboard (the corners off a diaper box) and glued triangle scraps from the pants material and triangle scraps from the towel onto the cardboard triangles.

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Then I hot glued the ears onto a plastic headband I bought a pack of at the dollar store. I also trimmed up the edges of the ears a bit to even them out.

P.S. Don’t you like my smudgy glass table top? A little #RealMamaLife for you there.

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Last, to make the tail, I used more of the pants material to cut out two longer length triangles and sewed the two longer edges together, leaving the shorter top edge of the tail open to stuff with material scraps from my scraps stash. Once it was stuffed, I sewed the top down onto the inside of the pants on the back.

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Then cut two more triangles from the towel to hot glue on for the white fur on the tip of the tail.

Stay tuned for the next post to see Elisha wearing his new fox costume, as well as Shiloh in her ghost costume!

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{DIY} Shiloh & Lyla’s No-Sew Tutu

When I first saw this pin while I was still pregnant with Shiloh I knew it would be a future Halloween costume for her (along with this one AND this one, but Batman of course). I chose the first because after a full week of taking care of two sick babies, I needed something super simple. Also, Holly (my sister-in-law) and I had decided about a month or so back that we wanted to dress both Shiloh and Lyla (my niece) as little ghosts.

Here are my sweet babies at Halloween last year:

Happy, Happy Halloween 2012!

Crazy to think my baby girl was only a few weeks old then…

I had also made the girls similar tutus back in February for Valentine’s Day, so I knew it couldn’t fail. No brainer, right? Halloween and zombies. I hope in my slight delirium that you guys found that funny. I’m really in need of a solid night of sleep.

Okay, so back to the tutus…

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I cut the headband to create one long strip and cut two strips of ribbon the length I wanted them to fall behind the tutu. I hot glued one end of each ribbon to each end of the cut ends of the headband to create the bow on the back when tied together. Then I cut mostly even strips of tulle (they don’t have to be perfectly even to make the tutu a bit “shabby”).

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I tried tying the tulle strands as shown in the first image, but no matter how tightly I pulled the tulle it kept coming undone. Then I tried hot gluing the backs of the loops on the backside of the headband, but that didn’t work too well either and was way too time-consuming. I finally gave up, cut off the glued tulle, and started over again by simply tying the tulle in double-knots which ended up working perfectly, the same as the first tutus I made. The white tulle allows the yellow to show a little, so next time I’ll wrap the headband completely with the same white ribbon used for the bow ties to completely cover the color of the headband.

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I continued to tie each tulle strand down the headband until I reached the end. Oh, and that glitter was maddening. I’m still sweeping up piles of it off the floor. DO NOT use cheap glitter tulle.

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That’s it! Super easy as long as you’re patient and diligent. Find a good show to watch multiple episodes of to pass the time. May I suggest Grey’s Anatomy or Bones. The Killing is also quite awesome.

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I’m loving all the homemade/DIY Halloween costumes floating around the blogosphere. To finish up the girls’ costumes, Holly is appliqueing little ghost faces similar to the inspiration pin on white long-sleeve onesies instead of putting the faces on the actual tutus. It’s a bit too cold to let our babies out in this already-freezing weather in the tutus alone. I’m excited to show you all Elisha’s costume next.

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Pumpkin Pickin’ at the Pumpkin Patch

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Elisha’s preschool took a field trip out to the local pumpkin patch today! We rode on the hayride from the school to the patch, which I think was Elisha’s favorite part. Once we got out into the pumpkin patch I told him to pick out a pumpkin to bring home with us. At first he was all for it and checking out all the pumpkins, but once he realized he was getting dirty he didn’t want to “hold” anymore pumpkins. I kept asking him which one he wanted to take home or I would pick one out and ask him if he wanted that one, but all I got from him was “nooo…” Totally uninterested. But we finally succeeded with a pumpkin he could hold by the stem. No dirt, no fuss. Now his lovely little Elisha-sized pumpkin is sitting on the kitchen window sill with my repurposed baby jar vases (DIY posted here).

Beside the pumpkin patch was a yellow squash patch. Between the two there were hundreds of huge yellow flowers that I just couldn’t get enough of. Then Matthew informed me you could fry up the squash blossoms with cheese… I love squash and I love flowers and I definitely love cheese, but I am totally against cooking flowers. Seriously, food too pretty to eat. That’s my argument and I’m sticking to it.

I hope you all get a chance to go to your local pumpkin patch soon!

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{DIY} Baby Jar Vases

These are the baby jar vases I created for Shiloh’s first birthday party (that I didn’t get photos of at her actual party). They were just too cute and chic to stow away with all my other saved glass jars, so I decided to add them to my kitchen window décor.

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These are stage-3 sized jars, which are a little taller than the standard size baby jars (stage-1 and stage-2). To clean them: I soaked the jars in hot soapy water for at least 30-minutes and scrubbed off the glue with a rough sponge (like the green side on the yellow and green sponges) with more dish soap. It took a bit of scrubbing, but once the glue started coming off it came off rather quickly. I’m sure glue removal gels like Goo-Gone would work well too; I just didn’t have any on hand and I’m cheap. I filled the jars with dried moss and added the flowers. These jars would also look pretty with burlap and/or lace added, if you wanted to further the shabby chic look of them. I love the simplicity of the plain glass and moss, but definitely will not rule out anything to change them up in the future.

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Shiloh Cate’s 1st Birthday Party

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I don’t think Shiloh’s first birthday couldn’t have been sweeter or more intimate for us. Our closest family members and family friends came to celebrate the first year of her life, which made our little family of four feel incredibly loved.

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She got her very first purse (which included a tiny mirror, credit card, keys, phone, and bracelet) and LeapFrog laptop, lots of pretty clothes, a princess stable with 3 princesses and a prince included, a baby doll with a smocked outfit, a monogrammed duffel bag, money, cards, and also her first pair of sunglasses.

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These were by far my favorite. Having an aunt who works as an ophthalmic technician has its perks!

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After gifts, of course, came the grand finale: the cake smash. The cupcakes were simple to make: 1 box of cake mix and 1-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. Cook per cake box directions. I piped the icing in a swirl with a zip-loc bag with one bottom corner cut off.

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She only cared for the icing… I think maybe because she had eaten her weight in cheese and baby pickles. I also caught Daddy sneaking her bites of his cupcake before.

Initially, I felt bad about not getting very many pictures (I stole all but the last two from my Mom). I was just too involved in the party and having too much fun, which I guess every parent should be at their child’s birthday party.

I made the ‘Happy Birthday Shiloh’ banner from scrapbook paper and letter stencils. The table centerpieces were fluted pink bowls with white polka dots with clear stage 3 baby jars filled with dried moss (from Hobby Lobby) and white flowers on each side. The tables also had simple white table cloths with pink ribbon trimmed around the edges. The gift table had a gold-framed 8×10 photo of Shiloh at the center with different shades of pink flowers in a clear vase (the same as the one on the food bar). I used pink with white polka dot plates and napkins, pink plastic utensils, and pink and gold striped paper straws. I also used the Cinderella pumpkin used in her one-year-old photos as decoration on the food bar.

For us, I don’t think her party could have been any more perfect. Sweet and intimate, which exactly suits her personality.

Pre-Smash Cupcake

To hold you guys over until Monday when I post the photos from Shiloh’s actual birthday party, here’s a short video of her smashing into a cupcake from the little party her Granna wanted to throw her on her actual birthday. And just let me say, this girl is already spoiled. Not only did Granna make her cupcakes, but her favorite meal: chicken casserole and green beans. The only thing missing was Nana’s boiled potatoes.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I must now get back to finishing up the party decorations…

That smirk on her face is priceless. :)
That smirk on her face is priceless.

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