Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Costume Conundrum: Part 3

As I sat, confused and loathsome about the decision I had to make, I began to ponder the years of Halloweens past...thinking about the great (and awful) costumes that had come before....


My first ever Halloween costume was a ladybug. I was just past being a year old, and my mom sewed me a little red pillow with black dots on it, that I wore like a backpack over a black onesie. I crawled around and looked damned cute. My little sister had a similar butterfly costume for her first halloween.

The years between have been lost in memory but I have been many things and many people. I've been an alien, a witch, a pumpkin, a spider queen, Tinkerbelle, a white-sheet ghost with red tennies, and in the more recent years I bought a Princess Leia costume, and last year I decided to revive the ladybug. Red skirt, heels, red top, headband with antennae and a foam set of wings that I whacked people with all night. It was awesome.

So, as I considered the decision I had to make, I reminisced about the costumes that had come before, and thought that I had a lot to live up to...

So what did I pick? Find out in the last installment of the Costume Conundrum!

So, what were some of your favorite Halloween costumes you had as a kid? Tell me in the comments, and pictures are always welcome!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gettin up on my soapbox...

Yes, yes, I know I've already used this as a soapbox for non-Halloween related things, but this one is especially close to my heart. While we count down the rest of October, I hope you'll bear with me (this is the last one...)

October is Vegetarian Awareness month, and as a vegetarian for 8 years now, this is obviously a cause I hold near and dear to me.

Now, I won't bore you with my reasons for being vegetarian, but I do hope that you take the time to learn a little bit more about vegetarianism today. Learn about the health benefits, if anything, and consider going vegetarian for a day, a week, or a month. It doesn't matter what your personal reasons are for it, but you can do your part to save the planet, save a life, or save a few calories.

If you do go vegetarian for a day, you can enter to win $1000 dollars by submitting your pledge card here: World Vegetarian Day Website.

So tell me, would you consider going vegetarian for a day? Why or why not (keep it civil guys, I respect your love of meat, particularly the rising popularity of bacon, but if we're going to have a discussion we need to be civil. If you aren't I will delete your comment and block you from this blog. I have no tolerance for intolerance). If you are vegetarian, why?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Costume Conundrum: Part 2

When we last left off, Dorothy's ruby red slippers weren't quite the right fit...

My brain turned to other options. Being a brunette, I cycled through all my favorite female brunettes. Maybe I could be Velma? Orange turtleneck, red miniskirt, and I'm basically set. I've already got the dopey glases, and I've got my lines down ("Jinkies!").

Oh but what about matching the sweater to the socks and the skirt to the shoes? What about the classic little bob, my hair is too long, I'm not cutting it and I don't want to wear a wig. What about, what about, what about.

So that idea got placed on the backburner for a little while.

Then comes ComiCon 2010 in July. I see her everywhere and start to wonder whether I can pull it off. Wonder Woman. How bitchin would I be as Wonder Woman? I'd probably opt for a skirt rather than the spandex swimsuit version, but I can be a strong Amazonian warrior woman, with the right hair and the right accessories.

But then...well...I can't really make the costume. The stretchy, shiny spandex doesn't work well with my limited sewing skills and well, I don't really want to BUY a costume...$35 for the CHEAP costume that looks about as expensive as a McDonald's happy meal toy...or a heck of a lot more for a really nice suit. I am a broke college student. Not happening.

Staying in the vein of being broke, what about something easy, Where's Waldo? I think yeah, people would get a kick seeing me in a crowd, and all I need is the hat and the shirt, that's easy right? But oh, ew, horizontal stripes...

What about a jellyfish? Martha Stewart has a great tutorial. Get a clear umbrella and long strips of bubble wrap, maybe a blacklight...but hm...that's not really a costume it's just something you carry around...

What to do?! Find out next...

Question: Did you go through a process before settling on your final costume? Tell me about it in the comments!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I don't know about you, but I love me some swag. String me a line of some pennant flags anywhere and everywhere, and why not do it at Halloween too? It's the perfect decoration to add a little festivity and go as cute or spooky as you want, and it packs up flat for easy storage that isn't bulky.

Here's what I'm thinking of this year, Michaels Craft store has some great ideas on their website for things like this BOO garland:

And something a little more accessible to post in the front entry way, a simple orange and black Happy Halloween
I'll let you know if I end up making my own!

Do you have a favorite Halloween decoration or easy craft? Tell me in the comments!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cooking Corner: Pumpkin!

Oh dear. The first cold day of the year (well, cold for California) gets my wheels a-turnin. It's cold. It must be fall. And when it's fall that means...

It's pumpkin season!

I wait all year for pumpkin season. Pumpkin and all the things that come with it define this season for me. The warm spiciness of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, with the smooth richness of my favorite

Sometimes, I will admit, I cannot wait for September. I have made pumpkin pancakes in April, I will not deny this. I have concocted pumpkin ice cream in July. I have no shame.

So, for my first cooking corner, I would like to share with you a recipe that was featured on a favorite blog of mine, Baking Bites. They do a roundup about once a week of the best recipes that are circulating then. One fateful week, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I ran across this beauty:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusal Buns.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Warm and gooey? Spicy and rich? Streusal?!? How could I say no.

And you know what the best part is? It's...(low fat). Don't tell anybody. 

I'll leave the recipe to her, she deserves all the credit for this masterpiece.

What's your favorite fall treat? Tell me in the comments!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Costume Conundrum: Part 1

It all started on November 1st...

I found a pair of ruby red slippers, in my (ginormously huge) size, on sale, for practically nothing. How could I say no? So we got them, and it was decided. I would be Dorothy. End of story. My mom would help me make the classic blue gingham dress, which she swore was simple (I took her word). My hair is the perfct length to curl into the classic pigtails, and I had the shoes.


I tried them on. They fit, they worked fine, they would even have room for some whie socks with some lace, but they were...stiff. Hard. Not shoe material. They cut into the back of your foot and anywhere the edge came in contact, the sandpapery glitter itched and scratched and was not very nice.

Uh oh.

All of my Dorothy dreams came crashing down. I had already planned it out, my three dogs fit the personalities of the sidekicks down to a T. Dumbo Cody who can't drink water without choking and climbs down stairs like a rabbit? Clearly the Scarecrow, he is in desperate need of a brain. Meanie Toby who gets super jealous whenever another dog gets more attention than he does? Clearly the Tin Man, in desperate need of a heart. And cuddly Max, the oldest and meekest of the bunch who gets knocked around and doesn't stand up for himself when his favorite ball is taken, clearly, he is the Cowardly Lion.

Toto? No problem. I've got a fluffly kitty who loves baskets.

What to do? Find out next time!

Question: Have you ever found something you thought was perfect that turned out to be a disaster? Tell me in the comments!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Just incase you didn't know...

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I just wanted to take a moment to talk to all 10 of my readers about the rising breast cancer rates around the world. It is

Please take a moment to look at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website and learn a little bit more about breast cancer today. The more you know, the better chance you have of helping yourself or someone you love.

So, dear readers, do you know someone who has had breast cancer? What are your stories, or if breast cancer isn't something you can relate to, what are some causes that are important to you?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's the Little Things...

On the eve of my 21st birthday, as I came home to prepare for the copious amount of alcohol that  would be consumed that evening, I  came home to a little surprise from my mother.

Yes, my friends, that IS a light-up pumpkin bracelet. I shall wear it proudly as many times as I think I can swing it this month as a reminder of what lies ahead of me, and a reminder that no matter how crappy my school day may be, or how poorly I do at the gym, it can't be all that bad...because it's almost Halloween.

Do you have anything you wear for the entire month to remind you that Halloween is coming? Do you have something you'd LIKE to wear all month? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Childhood Memories

I have some very very fond memories of Halloween as a child.

My mom would make dinner, and my sister and I would eat it in our costumes at the table. We'd go out with our mom, dad staying home to run candy patrol, and we would zig-zag through the streets to hit up as MANY houses as we could. Every year we were determined to hit even more than the year before, but around 9 pm we'd eventually poop out and turn around.

We always decorated our house the same way. We had a little porch in the front of our house that was just long enough for one string of lights all the way across. We had orange plastic bags with pumpkin faces on them that we'd stuff with newspaper and hang from the rafters, and we had window clings that we put up year after year, my sister and I lovingly peeling them and placing them just right.

It was always a relief to turn the corner and see our house with the same lights and the same decorations and to know I was home. I can still feel the heft of my heavy pumpkin-shaped treat bag as we turned the corner onto our little street and saw our house.

One year, we turned the corner and the moon was just rising over the horizon. It was a harvest moon, those rare, uncanny occurences when the moon is pale orange and about 100 times larger than normal. I remember turning the corner, looking at my house and looking at the moon and going, yeah, this is Halloween.

Do you have any great childhood memories of Halloween? Share them in the comments!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gore in the Workplace

Notice anything about this picture?

Oh yeah there's a severed hand on the cart!

While I am not usually a fan of blood and guts and gore, this is a tasteful sprinkle of gore that I find completely hilarious.

We call him Thing.

September 25 was the day that our lab started decorating for Halloween. We take this very seriously. Chris brought in his box of tricks, and in addition to the 8 brightly colored wigs we have lying around during the rest of the year, we now have a bag of tricks to entertain us through the hallways.

The best part about this severed hand? Nobody in class noticed it until about 3 hours into the lab. He has also been seen reading Obama's Audacity of Hope and pipetting some samples for us. If you're lucky you may get some follow-up pictures of what Thing is up to during the month...

So, what's your favorite unexpected Halloween decoration? Tell me in the comments!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cooking Corner: Candy Corn Cookies

I. Love. Candy corn.

I will not deny it. It's sickening sweetness and fun colors just ooze halloween to me, and they sell them all year round!

Now, I am a weekend baker. I like to bake every chance I get, and I have probably been the cause of a lot of people's weight gain. But they love it. So today I want to share with you a recipe from Bake at 350, a wonderful baking blog I follow, for these cute little candy corn cookies. Dark black chocolaty, chewy, brownie-esque background with a chewy colorful candy corn on top, what's not to love?

They're the perfect little size too. Just little enough that you don't feel guilty having 5, or 6, or 7. Yet the batch only makes about 36, so it's the perfect amount of little sweetness to share with your friends without sending people home with tupperware.

I don't want to take credit for the recipe, so for that I will send you to Bake at 350's website, here: Candy Corn Cookies

So here's my question: What's your favorite Halloween candy? Do you find ways to put it in unexpected places?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Halloween Aesthetic

Blood, gore? Not my thing. You may balk, you may cry "but Lynnea, how could you love Halloween and not love severed heads?!" but I stand by my preferences.

Scary movies? Not my thing. But Lynnea, you say, how can you have Halloween without scary movies? I stand by my preference.

You see, I prefer not to be grossed out or terrified on Halloween. I prefer the colors, the vibe, the fun, the pumpkins. I battled with this preference last year, trying to figure out just how to define the Halloween that I love. Was it vintagey? Yeah, kindof, but not entirely. Was it cute? Not really, what about spooky? Nothing really fit, until I found this:

This artist was at ComiCon and I just went yes. That. That is what I love about Halloween. The bright colors in contrast with the dark backdrop, things that glow and light up, things with a lot of color and a little bit of scary, but not too scary.

The feeling that these works of art give me, that's the feeling I love about Halloween, and that's the feeling I try to recreate at my house during the season.

Question: What's your Halloween aesthetic? Tell me (better yet, can you show me?) in the comments!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Getting Down the Boxes

 Any of you who were reading last year know that one of my favorite parts about Halloween is getting the boxes down from the attic.

Let me draw a picture for you. In my closet is the roof access, so on whatever day I bug my parents enough to get the ladder out, and bring it upstairs, we open the door and pull down about 8 different storage boxes chock full of goodies. It's like Christmas.

We bring all the boxes downstairs into our living room, dust them off (it's amazing how dusty a closed attic can be) and take inventory. Even though I've been doing this for years and know exactly what is in each box, it is still fun to look at and get giddy over all the things you haven't seen in one whole year.

Some of my favorite items include our Looney Tunes lightscapes.

My mother works for Warner Brothers, and one year when I was about 7 or 8, my mom brought home 5 different Halloween themed Looney Tunes lights, and my sister and I always fought over which one went on which side of the room. I always went for Daffy painted as a skeleton (who, sadly, was decapitated in a shipping accident in 07) and she always was torn between two Tweety ones, both of which somehow managed to survive.

While there are plenty of other fun decorations that grace those boxes (including but not limited to: cat/pumpkin Russian nesting dolls, old craft projects from elementary school, lights and wreaths) those Looney Tunes lights always were my favorite.

What are some of your favorite Halloween decorations? Tell me in the comments!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Welcome to Halloween Countdown 2010!

Hello and welcome to the start of the Halloween season! Who am I kidding, Halloween started for me in July, but October 1st marks the first day I can wear my ghost earrings without garnering second glances from other non-halloweenies.

This year I have prepared. I have written entries months in advance, I have a calendar and a plan. While there may be some delays due to, well, the life of a college student, this year holds a lot of good things for my loyal readers.

So I hope you'll join me in welcoming back my  6-legged arachnid mascot, and I hope you're as excited as I am for the Halloween season!

 So now's a good time to introduce you to one of the new features to make this blog better this year: questions! At the end of all my entries I'll pose a question to try to spur some conversation going and get you guys involved!

Today's question: What are YOU most excited about this Halloween? Tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quick Announcement

Anybody in or near the Southern California area with a love of frightening poor park-goers, listen up!

Six Flags Magic Mountain is holding auditions for it's Fright Fest employees! If you want to get your makeup done twice a weekend for a month and run around the park where your only job is to scare poor onlookers, look no further!

Returning "Scarers" audition Wednesday
New "Scarers" as well as singers/dancers audition Thursday

While I will not be a member, I do have many friends who participate in the festivities, and you can bet I will be going to Fright Fest this year.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just so you know...

The Joanne's Fabric and Craft store by my house now officially has 2 rows of fall stuff. It's never too early to start thinking about Halloween!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Planning Stages

Incase you didn’t know, summer, in California, is really really f’ing hot. Turning on the oven to 350 degrees isn’t exactly appealing so I’ll be a bit sparse in the baking area for a bit.

I just wanted to let you in on something I’m planning for Halloween ‘10…


I always get a little bit Halloween crazy a little too early, and it usually hits right about July. As some of you may know I’m dealing with the loss of a friend right now, and instead of burying myself in something useful to me (cough, research, cough) I’m delving into something completely useless, but completely fun. I’ve found a template and I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve…

At any rate, I’m excited, and I’ll be doing some test builds with paper pretty soon.