Browsing Category

Holidays

Holidays Lifestyle Seasonal Uncategorized

A Fantastic Halloween and How to Make it

November 2, 2017

Oh my goodness, it’s November already. October was such a whirlwind. I spent a lot of time putting together our fantastic Halloween costumes and trunk for my church’s annual Trunk or Treat, so October flew by. I’ve been super excited to share with you everything that we did for Halloween. With getting married last November,  I didn’t have a lot of time to think about Halloween last year. I was glad to get back to it again.

This year’s Halloween theme was from the  movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you haven’t seen the movie, you totally should. It’s not as good as Harry Potter (because what is?) but it’s still delightful and charming and cute. The Hubs immediately took to Newt Scamander, because he is a fellow Softie Towards Animals, and also because his clothes were cool. So we just took the theme and ran with it! 

Newt Scamander’s Costume

Fantastic Halloween 1

The Hub’s costume is made up of a LOT of parts, and we even skipped a few. In total, the costume included:

You have already seen the Hufflepuff Scarf, so you know that I made that. I also made the vest using the Butterick B6502 Pattern.  I say that I made it, but really my mom provided a lot of help. We simplified the pattern by not making real pockets, and we only did 4 button holes rather than 6 to give The Hubs a little wiggle room. The coat and bow tie are both by elope, which you can find either on Amazon or Ebay. The tweed pants were bought off Poshmark, and hemmed. The wand was also from Amazon. The suitcase was a gift from my Grandpa and I have been using it to store yarn. It made a great candy holder on Halloween

I mentioned skipping some parts of the costume, and that mainly refers to the suit jacket that Newt wears under his coat. Some fine sleuths online had discovered that the jacket is in fact NOT the same material as the pants(though still tweed) and we were worried that it would be too bulky under the coat. I also skipped a few embellishments on the vest, due to time constraints.

Porpentina Goldstein’s CostumeFantastic Halloween 2

My costume was much simpler to deal with. I chose to use Tina’s flapper look. To do so, I used:

The dress is an  Adrianna Papell beaded dress off Ebay. I added the signature strappy bits myself using a sequenced elastic that I folded in half and hot glued (because I’m classy light that!). The shoes were on sale at Payless a few weeks ago (and they’re 3 1’2″! Yikes!). The wig is the Skyelar Classic wig from Arda Wigs in Deep Brown. I paid one of my friends who used to be a hairdresser to trim the wig for me. The wand is make from a clearance knitting needle, clay and acrylic paint

The Trunk

Fantastic Halloween 3

Oh gosh the trunk. This is where my crazy really comes out. The trunk actually came out looking pretty close to my vision, and meshed elements of Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter. I spent about a month collecting paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make my floating candles a la this tutorial. They were a little precarious as first, but we found that taping the invisible thread to the sides of the candles helped to stabilize it. I was glad we had our candles, because as the night got darker, they helped us to see the balls for our little quiddich game.

Most Trunk or Treats recommend that you have a game for kids to play at your trunk. This is mostly to:

  1. entertain the children; and
  2.  slow the stream of candy.

We chose to make little quiddich hoops for the kids to throw balls into. I bought a three pack of bug nets and cut the nets off. We stuck the nets into tin flower pots filled with concrete. This worked out really well, since the bug nets could still telescope and we could vary the heights of the hoops. It would also work great for quiddich pong, which I’ve definitely never played. And yeah, we totally used ping pong balls for this game. They can be found at Dollar Tree.

Fantastic Halloween 4

Other trunk additions included in our trunk was a plush niffler on a pile of gold, and some silver occamy eggs.  I also made a bowtruckle using floral wire and tape (also from the dollar tree). The tutorial can be found here. Finally, I included a Monster Book of Monsters, which is more Harry Potter than Fanstastic Beasts, but it was fun to make. There’s lots of tutorials out there, but I used this one.  Most of the other embellishments to my trunk were printed from the internet. 

Finished Object Holidays Knitting Seasonal

Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts House Scarf

October 6, 2017
Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

Oh my goodness. It’s been a week. First there was the terrible news out of Las Vegas. Then we heard that Tom Petty had passed. Then we heard that Tom Petty maybe was still alive. The Hubs tells me that this is because you can stand him up at the gates of Hell, but he won’t back down. But then Tuesday his death was confirmed. Now The Hubs has a 102 degree fever, possibly because he is mourning Tom Petty. On top of all that, work has been crazy and I’m pretty worn out.

One of the things keeping me chugging along is thinking about Halloween. Yes. I am that white girl. Except that I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes, but I like chai lattes, so that’s probably just as bad. The Hubs and I decided our Halloween costumes last December, but I’m only just started working on them. We are going to be Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Not only do these costumes fulfill requirement of “pick a costume with shoes you’d wear again”, but it includes some knitting!

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

A long time ago, I knit a Hogwarts House Scarf in Ravenclaw colors. Not long after that, Pottermore happened, and I was sorted into…Slytherin.  Yes, this still upsets me because 1. Snakes. 2. Dungeons and 3. Not a single Slytherin defended Hogwarts in the Battle of Hogwarts? Not a single one? I call BS. Anyways, like a true Slytherin would do, I created a new profile and got sorted into Ravenclaw.

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

This was before I knew that you should trim your tassels to the same length.

A short time after that, I moved to Texas and wore my Ravenclaw scarf, to which someone said, “Nice scarf. Dallas Cowboys colors.” Ugh. Nope. So despite my previous Hogwarts House Scarf failures, I was willing to attempt another for Newt Scamander.

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

The Pattern

Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts House Scarf is a little different from the ones in the original series. Firstly, the color has more of a vintage feel to it. It’s the 1920’s after all! I actually  like the vintage style colors better than the originals. I think it makes it look more refined. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people who didn’t recognize it as a Hufflepuff scarf, but still really liked the colors. 

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

Newt’s scarf also differs from the original Hogwarts House Scarf in that it’s stripes are not exactly even. The yellow stripes are just a wee bit shorter than the gray. Karen Stewart Longest did a great write up on the exact number of rows of each color here. The original scarf has 11 yellow stripes, but that came up looking really short on The Hubs (who is about 2 inches taller than Eddie Redmayne). It’s actually a pretty short scarf, since it’s not meant to be worn looped.  I knit 13 yellow stripes instead of 11. I found that looked much better on The Hubs that way.

The construction of Newt’s scarf is exactly the same as the original Hogwart’s House Scarf in that it’s basically a flattened tube with tassels. Nothing really new or challenging here. I didn’t even bother making my stripes jogless. I just folded the tube along the edge where the new color starts and it’s not noticeable.

The Yarn

I used Lion Brand Heartland for this yarn because the colors were right and it was cheap. This yarn is the wooorst. Okay, it’s not as bad as full on Red Heart, but it’s pretty bad. It’s actually fairly soft, but that’s part of the problem, because Lion Brand Heartland is hands down the slipperiest yarn I’ve ever used. And I’ve knit with silk!

Seriously, this yarn would not stay wound in a ball and it made my life miserable. It tangled at any opportunity and just felt loose and slack no matter how I wound it. I was never really attracted to Heartland in the first place, but I will certainly avoid it from now on. It just goes to show that you get what you pay for with yarn.

I don’t have all the the other pieces of the costume put together yet, so if I’m dying later in the month, that’s why. I’m hoping to put together a pretty epic trunk or treat with it all, so I’ll keep you posted. What are your Halloween costume plans? Are you knitting anything for a costume?

 

 

Holidays Lifestyle Seasonal

The Best Birthday Deals (You’ll Actually Use!)

June 8, 2017
Best Birthday Deals (You'll Actually Use)

I turned 25 this week. Quarter of a century! My first birthday as a married woman! It was fun. The Hubs and I both took the day off work and celebrated. We went to the Dallas World Aquarium and took time to snap up all the best birthday deals and freebies I had. If you’re like me, you’re on every store email list imaginable. This usually means you rack up a lot of good birthday coupons, some worth your time, others…not.

I’m here to tell you which deals are the best birthday deals. These birthday deals are the ones that you’ll actually use and enjoy.

The Best Birthday Deals

Grimaldi’s

The Deal : A free large(18″) pizza with one topping!

This is a birthday freebie that we use every year without fail. We already love Grimaldi’s (if you’re a think crust pizza person, you’ll love them too!), but a whole pizza! We’re all over that! It comes with one topping already, though you can pay to add additional toppings if you want. I genuinely prefer cheese pizza, but we get half toppings for The Hubs. Very few birthday deals are this generous, so we make sure to always take advantage of Grimaldi’s birthday pizza.

The Best Birthday Deals (You'll Actually Use!)

Sephora

The Deal: Free Beauty Products, No purchase required! (if picking up in store)

If you’re signed up on Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, they’ll send you a coupon for a free mini gift in the month of your birthday! This year, the choice was between a Tarte mini gift (which had a little Amazonian Clay 12 hour Blush and a mini Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint) or Caudali (which included a Vinosource Moisurizing Sorbet and a Radiance Serum). I love Tarte, so that’s the gift that I chose. The colors are pretty current and definitely something that I would use and I didn’t even have to buy anything to get it! If you claim the gift online, you’ll have to order something,  but in store you just go up to the register and they confirm that you’re in the system and give it to you. Neat, huh?

Starbucks

The Deal: Free beverage or food item!

Is this like stating the obvious here? You can get a free drink or food item loaded onto your Starbucks app for your birthday. It’s only good for a few days, but honestly, I’ve never had a hard time making it to Starbucks. 

Nothing Bundt Cakes

The Deal: Free Bundtlet!

I’m not sure if Nothing Bundt Cakes is a thing everywhere else, but it’s definitely a thing in Texas. We love Nothing Bundt Cakes so much that we catered them for dessert at our wedding. If you’re on their email list, they’ll send you a coupon for a free Bundlet on your birthday. The coupon is good for about a week after your birthday, which is useful in case you need to space out your birthday sugar consumption err freebies!

 

Best Birthday Deals (You'll Actually Use)

Kendra Scott

The Deal: 50% off one item during your birthday month

Like Nothing Bundt Cakes, Kendra Scott is a thing in Texas. Like, I’m pretty sure they don’t let you call yourself a Texas woman if you don’t own any Kendra Scott. It seems like everywhere I look, there’s a woman wearing Kendra Scott. Even my little middle school girls at church have Kendra Scott. I did not own Kendra Scott because 1. It’s not cheap and 2. I’m not hip and with it. I was starting to feel a little left out. Enter the birthday deals. Kendra Scott will give you 50% off one item in the month of your birthday. You’ll need to sign up on their website and show your ID at the register to get the deal. That what I did and guess what? This girl got herself some Kendra Scott for her birthday! 

CVS

The Deal: $3 Free Extracare Bucks

If you’re not using CVS to get good deals on makeup, you need to get on that bandwagon, stat! Seriously, just search “cvs makeup deals” and some very smart, very thrifty ladies have done almost all the work for you. If you’re part of CVS’s Extracare program, they will send you $3 free extracare buck on your birthday. Free money. For your birthday. Combine that with any other coupons you have and bam! Super cheap makeup!

Einstein Bagels

The Deal: Free Egg Sandwich with Any Drink Purchase

I love Einstein’s. I didn’t know about them until I moved to Texas, but boy I’m glad I know about them now! It used to be so bad that my local Einstein’s knew my order the moment I walked in the door! This deal is for a free egg sandwich with any drink purchase, which sounds like a nice birthday breakfast to me.

So there is my collection of the best birthday deals. Did I skip any of your favorite birthday deals? How do you like to celebrate? Let me know!