Friday, October 31, 2014

Past Family Halloween Costumes

As I have said before, I love Halloween! And I love that my husband has kept his promise that we would do matching costumes every year. I made a little collage of our past Halloweens. Some of these family themes we will repeat I am sure.

2002- Our very first Halloween we didn't dress up. It was the first time I have ever NOT dressed up in my life. I was in beauty school and the hubs was working and going to school. Little money and hardly any time equals sadness for our 1st Halloween.

2003 Star Wars: The Mr. was Hans and I was Princess Leia.

2004 Scooby Doo: He let me bleach his hair. He made a handsome Fred. I was Daphine. I made our costumes by sewing a little and getting the rest of items of clothing. Adults had no idea who we were. No one at my Salon recognized me. Then someone from Cinderella Cakes stopped by. She ran back to her store and brought back a figurine of me. Then everyone saw it.

2005 Popeye: We had Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Sweetpea. One bummer was Popeye had to work and miss Trunk or Treat, and not a lot of people knew we dressed up. (lesson learned)

2006 Gilligan's Island: We had the Skipper, MaryAnn, and Gilligan. It was perfect because my hubby calls our son "Little Buddy". Everyone told me I was the most modest MaryAnn ever. (Bonus Points!)

2007 Peter Pan: I was Wendy. I had a costume from when my little sister and I were Wendy and Tinkerbell. The Hubby was Captain Hook. I made an amazing coat only to have him get sick that year and he wasn't able to wear it. Little Gandalf was Peter Pan. We bought his costume and my kids still wear it. We even had our favorite neighbor (and my future daughter in law) match us by being Tinkerbell.

2008 The Wizard of Oz: We had Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and our Cowardly Lion. His costume was my favorite! I made all of them except for the Scarecrow I borrowed from my friend Wayne. Happy Hallo-Wayne! He has great costumes!

2009 Harry Potter. Our neighbor hood friend with red hair was going to be Ron. I told my English girlfriend her kids would be a perfect Harry and Hermione. My Hubby insisted we join as well. We bleached Gandalf's hair. He didn't want to be a bad guy so I told him Draco makes better choices later. I was Professor Trelawny. The hubby was Sirius Black. (not pictured) Also I had 3 of my Young Women dress up as Luna, Fleur, and Moaning Myrtle.

2010 Peanuts: Probably the easiest costumes to make. Which was great because we had a new baby that month. He was Snoopy and the older two were Charlie Brown and Linus. I was going to be Lucy and my hubby that piano guy, but for the 2nd time in my life I didn't dress up.

2011 Batman: Not just any Batman, the Adam West version. My favorite! Draco looked so adorable in those speedo's I made. I loved seeing him strut around. I was BatGirl and the hubby Commissioner Gordon. Baby Yoda was the cutest Penguin. And my older boys were the best dynamic duo. The pictures are really amazing because Shari Hanson took them. I'm glad she was able to capture one of my favorite themes. PS I loved grocery shopping that day in my awesome heel boots and costume.

2012 Pokémon: I wasn't thrilled about this one but my boys LOVED it. We had Ash, Misty, Brock, and Pokémon Pikachu and Bulbasour. It was a fun year! I made all of them except for Ash, which we borrowed. (Don't you love Brock's face?)

2013 Peter Pan: I know we did this one already, but we switched the costumes up. My older Brother suggested he be Captian Hook because of his amazing mustache. The boys loved having their uncle come and trick or treat with us. The Hubby was Smee instead. It was fun having more characters this time.

2014 Frozen

It's so much fun looking through old Halloween pictures and remembering the fun. I have learned to get pictures earlier in the month so we can enjoy our Halloween and still get the shots I want.

Here are some great blogs that have some great tips on photographing your kids. I need to work on my skills...

Click it Up a Notch
Simple As That

Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Family Halloween Costumes!!!

I feel so much better now that all our costumes are complete!!! I love how they turned out. I defiantly learned a lot and would have done some things differently, but that's okay. My heart just bursts on Halloween. One of my favorite things is going on Facebook after a Trunk or Treat or on Halloween night and seeing all the great costumes. Homemade or store bought, they are all fun!  I love dressing up! And as an adult I just don't get the opportunity like I use to. I hope you enjoy our Family Theme this year. I know there are a ton of Anna and Elsa costumes out there, but it is still so much fun.

I love this picture of me and my baby girl! She is so small and sweet. And someday she isn't going to want to match me anymore. So I am soaking it up. I love that my boys picked this theme and baby girl and I got to be strong girl characters. The lessons on sisters, friendship, and love are wonderful.
(Plus side of being a hairdresser is coloring my hair red and adding blond extensions!)

More shots of our family. Love our frozen boys. And Draco loved being baby girl's protector. He told someone at the park he wasn't bad, he just loves baby girl the most.

Isn't my Hans handsome??? He's a looker and super funny. (Notice his hair color changed too!) He was such a gem to go along with our craziness. He promised me before we were married that he would always match me for Halloween. And he is making good at that promise. I am so happy how his costume turned out. I will share a tutorial on his and mine next week. I am happy with my costume too. And I have leftover material so baby girl maybe getting a dress up cape for Christmas.

Our family being silly. And of course my kids have been talking for weeks about me punching Hans. Anything to make them happy. 

I love my family!!! I love Halloween! 

If you missed any of these tutorials for Halloween or dress up you can check them out below....

Feel free to share a link to your amazing  costumes in the comments. Yay for dressing up!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kristoff Costume Tutorial

My oldest boy Gandalf wanted to be Kristoff, of course. He likes him more than Olaf. His favorite line is when he is talking to Anna and asks, "What if you don't like the way he picks his nose? And eats it.." His tunic was pretty easy and I was able to make it in one morning.


Grey material (fleece or sweatshirt material works great, And it's on sale this week at JoAnne's)
Fur material
Burgondy trim or ribbon
Sewing Machine

Also for the costume
Snow boots
Thermal or long sleeve tee

I started by folding my material and laying a shirt down for a pattern. I wanted it to be bulkier than the shirt I used. You could cut out two pieces, but I choose to skip the step to sew the top by making my fold there. Next I cut a V where the neck would go. (See picture) I turned the material inside out with right sides together. I pinned where I would stop sewing for the sleeves. I love using my quilting ruler for this. Sew up the sides.
With the shirt still inside out I cut two small rectangles on a fold for my sleeves. Sew the seam for each sleeve. Then pulling the sleeve out so it's the "right" way, tucked it into your shirt. (See picture) Sew, matching your seam. It doesn't have to be perfect because he probably got it from the trolls.
Then I cut a long rectangle 4" long strip for my collar. (See picture) Next I arranged it on my shirt. Starting at the arrow I stitched across the two pieces with my "collar" piece in the front. This helped it stay upright. Make sure to stop where the collar ends on the back section. Then you can stitch your two ends of your collar to the front part of the shirt. I kept the collar on top of the shirt.
Now we can apply our trim. I was really excited about this trim I found at JoAnne's. I think it matches pretty well. Starting at the left part of the collar I laid my trim out and stitched down the V of the neck. Leave a tail. (See picture) Then I went back to the starting point and zig zagged across the trim so it wouldn't fray. Then I put another piece on that and zig zagged that on top. Then I followed with a basic stitch to the other side of the V, going around the neck. Again I left a tail, this one slightly longer. Bending the trim and tucking in a corner to make the design go straight down, pin it to stay in place. Do this for both sides of loose trim. With my trim I stitched it down following the design and stitching next to the border. Once I did one of the loose ends I clip the other loose end to match exactly. When finished with both lines make sure to zig zag the bottom of the trim. I added another line of trim across the shoulders. Then I did my basic stitch on the other side of the border for the whole garment.
Now it's time to work with the fur. It wasn't too bad. After each cut I went through and removed extra hair then so it wouldn't get all over as I was sewing. It still did, kinda. But it was manageable. I cut long rectangles, the whole width of my material. Then with my shirt facing right side up I laid the fur facing down on top of the shirt. I stitch along the bottom. I then folded it down when I was done. Do the same thing with the sleeves.

For his hat I used a beanie as a pattern. Cut two pieces and sew right sides together. My 4 year old told me I needed a ball on top. I grabbed a rectangle scrap and with my rotary cutter and ruler I sliced tiny strips. (See below) Then using thread wrap it around the middles and double knot it. Fluff up the pieces and sew it on top.

Gandalf was a great sport. Especially since we live in Arizona and he's gotta be hot in that costume. In between homework, dinner, and pack meeting I was able to get some pictures. He is growing up so fast. I can't believe he is going to be double digits in 6 months. So glad he still wants dress up as a family. And he totally doesn't mind that I am going to be Anna. (Just to clarify I am playing the Anna who is still in love with Hans) Love this boy so much!

Stay tuned for the rest of our family...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Marshmallow From Frozen Costume Tutorial

Last January when we were discussing our Family Theme for Halloween, (I like to plan at least 9 months in advance because I am crazy like that) I suggested Lord of the Rings, Avengers, or Star Wars. With three sons I wanted to pick a theme they would like. I still can't believe they were willing to dress with a family theme when our oldest is 9! I guess they have never thought they could choose their own thing. I hope we can keep this tradition alive because I love it.

Well the boys chose Frozen, which surprised me. But the only problem was who my 2nd son would be. I told them if we couldn't work it out we would have to choose a new theme. He really wanted to be Olaf, but my youngest boy really loved Olaf too! And the previous year when my youngest wanted to be Peter Pan he had to be Michael, because I wasn't going to make my 5 year old wear pink to school. I suggest Sven but he told me my drawing was "lame". Finally my little "Draco" chose Marshmallow. He loved the idea of being his sister's protector. And he wanted to be the Marshmallow version with the spikes. Way cooler. I wanted to make it as cool as possible.

Draco loves sewing. He loves watching me sew. And he thinks I can sew anything. I love sewing for him because he gets so excited, even if it's not for him. When I was sewing my costume he told me it looked so beautiful in just the sweetest voice.

So let's get started!


White material ( I choose fleece leftover from our Olaf Costume)
Long sleeve white shirt in a bit of a bigger size
Blue felt
Blue material for the spikes
sewing machine

I started with fleece folded so I could cut two pieces for his hat. (See picture) You trace your child's head and add extra for seam allowance. My son recognized this pattern from when I made our pikcachu costume two years ago. I use it all the time. Make sure to leave tabs so you can wrap it around your child's neck. Sew the two pieces together, right sides together. Turn it out and try it on. My boys always love that part.

Cut teeth with your fleece. (See picture) Sew the teeth to your hat. Cut out eyes from your blue felt. Glue them on with Fabric Tac. I like doing it while they are wearing the hat. Sew Velcro on the straps so you can wrap it around their face.

I take a pair of PJ bottoms and use it as a pattern. You want to cut out two legs on folded material so you can cut two. (See picture) I tapered the legs because Marshmallow has bigger legs. Also leave some extra space on top to make your elastic casing. With right sides together you want to sew the legs together at the sides, but not the crotch part. Then when you have done this to both legs, turn one of the legs right side out. Then slide it into the wrong side of the leg. (See picture) Sew along the crotch. You can even reinforce that seam and go over the middle again. Turn them out the right way.

To make the casing you first need to get some elastic and put it around your child's waist. Pull it a bit tight. Fold over your fabric a good inch and sew around to create a gap. Leave a small hole by not completing your stitch back where you started but leaving some space. Take a safety pin and attach it to your elastic. Push it through your gap in your pants. Pull the elastic out, but not all the way. Undo the safety pin and sew the elastic together. Then finish off the seam so your line connects. I didn't hem my pants to keep things simple. (yay for fleece!)

I love my Fiskars mat! I love cutting material on my bed if my baby is around. And I love the mats great size. I used my rotary blade and mat to cut my spikes. I wouldn't recommend this material because it frayss so easily, but I had it from my baby girls Elsa costume. And I love being thrifty. My mat had a great triangle that I used to help me keep the spikes the same size and angle. I purposely made the ends of the triangle the selvage edge so it wouldn't fray. I cut two of each spike and sew them together. Then I zig zagged the edges so they wouldn't fray on me. Next I cut some foam I had leftover from Little brothers Penguin costume. I was going to use wire too, but I really didn't need it. My son wanted two spikes on each shoulder. I was happy with the small amount requested as I still have so much to sew. Feel free to make more.

Once my spikes were done, (See picture) I folded over the small side like a present and with the sewing machine sew a long side to his shirt. I then hand sew the rest of it on. Repeat with all your spikes, taking care to match them up. Then I cut four rectangle foam pieces and 1 long rectangle. I put two foam pieces where his shoulders are to create bulk. And then added the long piece across his chest. He loved feeling buff.

"Oh hi, we were just talking about you. All good things, all good things!"

He is such a joy to sew for. He loves to watch me, but and he insisted I was doing it wrong. He warned me I would have to do it over again. When I finished his hat it blew his mind that it turned out. Can't wait for him to want to learn how to sew.  The boys had so much fun taking pictures together!

You can check out

Thanks so much for reading...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Olaf Costume Tutorial

Isn't he a ray of sunshine?

My littlest guy was so excited to be Olaf for Halloween. (Although he use to call him Frozen, because surely the movie was all about him!) His costume was pretty easy. I was able to sew it in less than two days.


White fleece
Brown, orange, and black felt
Fabric Tac
Brown long sleeve tee (I found a thermal at Walmart)
Batting or foam
Craft wire (I used Stampin Up)
Sewing Machine

First I started with his hood. Trace your child's head with some seam allowance. You are going to want to leave some long tabs that can then be tucked around his neck. Cut out two pieces. (See pictures)  Sew those two pieces together. Turn them out and try it on your child. I love using fleece because I don't have to finish the edge. You are welcomed to, but to keep things simple I choose not to.

Next grab some orange felt and cut out a nose on a fold. I just free handed the shape. (See pictures)  Then I sewed straight lines horizontally to add some character. I then stitched the nose together with right sides facing each other. My lines didn't match up perfectly, but I was totally ok with that. Then fill the nose with batting or foam. I would also suggest using some craft wire. Fold your wire in half so your half way point will be at the tip of the nose and the ends will hang out. Trim the wire if needed. The wire helps it stick up and having a bend helps the pointed end of the wire not stick out of your seam.

Then cut a line across the seam on the top of your hat. Start small and make it bigger as needed. Put your ends of the carrot through the line. Turn it inside out and stitch. (See picture)

Using felt cut three hairs by folding over the felt and cutting 3 long rectangles. Sew them together with the corners rounded. I liked that they were different sizes.  Again insert bended wire and batting . (See picture) Cut another line across the seam where the hair should be. (See picture) Insert the 3 "hairs" and turn inside out and sew.

Using brown and black felt, cut our oval eyes and brows. I had to groom my brows because he looked a little mean. Using glue ( I love Fabric Tac) glue on his features. I like doing this when the child is wearing the hat. I also cut a small rectangle of white and sew a tooth where the forehead would be.

Because of the size of my nose and it's drooping nature, I hand sew the nose a little bit. Lifting the nose and sewing to a higher spot on the hat helped it stay up.

Finish the hat by adding Velcro to the straps so it can wrap abound his neck.

The body was fairly easy. Using a shirt and pants
to size your squares, cut two sizes of curved rectangles on folded fleece for the bottom.. The one pictured is the bottom part of the costume.  Cut another two pieces for the top making sure to leave one of those pieces a little bit wider. Cut the wider one in half lengthwise to create a seam for the back. Sew the two back pieces together. Then sew the back and front together at the sides. I only sewed about an inch, then left a space for armholes, and then continued sewing the seams together.

Sew the seams together for your bottom pieces. Next sew the top and bottom together, right sides together, matching seams. Have your child try on their costume. From there I was able to see how far I wanted to sew the top together. Make sure to leave space for their head to fit through. You could add a zipper, but I just did a hook clasp. Cut out three squiggly circles and glue them on.

Finally I cut out on folded  brown felt three stick fingers. I did this twice, using my first one as a pattern. I sew them together and turned them out. I was going to sew them on my brown long sleeve t-shirt, but I think we will reuse the shirt. So I safety pinned them on.

Photography is one of those areas that I wish I was better at. I am trying and practicing using my camera in manual. Missing my favorite photographer Shari Hanson. Wishing she was closer and could capture our Halloween costumes again this year. But I am excited we book a session next month. She is having her Fall Special. If you live in Southern California you probably want to check this out.

You can also check out

The rest of the family's costumes will be here soon. Thanks!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

General Conference Traditions

I LOVE traditions! And I love General Conference. Every 1st weekend of April and October a General Conference is held where our dear prophet and other church leaders speak to us. And I truly believe that Thomas S. Monson is a real prophet who speaks for The Lord. Like Noah or Abraham of old. It is a great weekend to get answers to struggles or personal revelation on how we can better come unto Christ. It's always inspiring. I always feel the spirit. And everyone is welcomed to listen. They have two general sessions on Saturday and two sessions on Sunday. There is also a Priesthood session Saturday night. Always fun to see the Conference quotes on Pinterest after a session. Love that we can have reminders in our home after conference is over to help us remember the great things we learned.

Our Traditions:

We call it Pajama Church. You can go to a church building to watch it, but personally our family loves to lounge around in our jammies while we feel the spirit. 

Saturday Morning Dad goes and gets donuts. It keeps it simple and fun. 

Conference Bingo. My husband and sons love to put a "fuzzy" on a square when someone mentions faith, pioneers, temples, or whatever. I find it really helps them listen.

Conference Packets. It takes some prep but it's totally worth it. And sometimes you can find me early Saturday morning printing off pages to color or puzzles to do because life is so crazy. I really dislike having toys out unless it's for my baby. It's my personal preference, but I find my kids listen better. Each session is two hours (though there is musical numbers) and that can be hard for kids. I think they are more receptive to the spirit when they are coloring pictures of a temple or Noah's Ark.

In between the sessions I try to get my kids outside or dancing or something to get them moving. It makes it easier for the next session.

 1st time getting her piggies done, Saturday night session 2013
Saturday night is the Priesthood session. I like to go out with girlfriends to grab dinner. Or have a movie night where we can craft or paint nails. Last year we went to our friends house and watched Teen Beach Movie. It was perfect. Baby girl loved the dance scenes. My boys are pretty cool with musicals which I love. And someday when they are 12 they will go with their dad to the Priesthood session. Afterwards my hubby always goes out for a treat. It's a great time to talk about what you loved in that session.

General Confernce

My husbands family always made Banana Pancakes Sunday morning. To be honest, I'm not crazy about banana. Then my in laws started going to their cabin for conference weekend. My hubby wanted me to make banana pancakes. But I didn't want to. I decided to start a new tradition. (luckily he loves them so he has okay with the change.) So we made homemade cinnamon rolls. My 2nd boy was a baby at the time, so we didn't give him any frosting, but he worked on that thing the whole session. It's been 5 years since we started making them and it's my kids favorite thing about conference weekend.  I love that I can roll them out the night before. It makes it so much easier Sunday morning.

We also love doing a FHE before to get us ready. It's a great time to talk to our kids about any problems they may need help from. And our family night after conference we share our favorite conference talks. We got this idea from my friend Michelle. We lived in this great apartment complex with 4 other great couples. I love that we still do this. (Thanks Michelle!)

This year I finally got around to making a apostle matching game. I try to hard to help my kids know the apostles so they will be more likely to listen to their talks. It's so humbling to see what sponges are kids are.

We also try to evaluate our Emergency Preparedness. We check our batteries, rotate water storage, and and make some goals.

This year we won't be going over to my in laws for the 2nd Sunday session. It was always nice sharing our favorite talks as we made an easy dinner. I am so excited for this weekend. I love watching conference with my family. I love that we have a prophet on the earth today. And I love the whispering of the spirit that come to me on how I can be better.

Feel free to share your favorite conference traditions...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Dinners and Family Nights....

So I find I am so much better at making dinners when there is a menu planned. (Big surprise, I know!) Earlier this year I found with busy life that after the week where I planned our dinners it quickly became the next week. So I started planning two weeks in a row so if I was going to the grocery store at the end of one week and I could pick up something I might need for the beginning of next week. Then I thought, Why don't I just plan the whole month. And so I did.

And I love it! I try to add leftovers, knowing what dinners make more. And I try to make extra rice one night, when I can add fried rice the next day or so. Of course these plans aren't  written in stone. I will switch some nights or make adjustments, especially if something yummy is on sale or life happens. And I try to plan around holidays and I make sure to do something in the crock pot on Thursday because we don't get home from choir till 6 and my sweet diabetic boy needs to eat on a schedule. And I love keeping things simple on Sundays and Date Night. My dear friend Pam always has a special Sunday dinner. I love the idea, but I love my Sunday nap even more.

So I thought I'd share in case it might give you some ideas.

1. Kalua Pork with Mashed Potatoes
2. Leftovers. (I'm thinking leftover pork in a salad)
3. Grilled Cheese on Sourdough
4. Steak Tacos (General Conference weekend) Haven't made them yet, but I pinned them awhile ago. Love looking at my pinboard to get ideas...
5. Leftovers (I love not cooking dinner conference Sunday due to our special breakfast)
6. Breakfast Burritos (Family Favorite!)
7. Steak Quesedilla (with leftover meat, nice and east before cub scouts)
8. Homemade Pizza (some one's birthday request)
9-13 Vacation
14. Chicken Tacos (Taco Tuesday)
15. Pork Chops with Shake and Bake (hubby's favorite)
16. Taco Soup (recipe from my mentor)
17. Pizza (same as listed above, my kids favorite)
18. Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice (recipe from my mom)
19. Taco Salad (cooking extra meat to freeze)
20. Omelette's 
21. Fried Rice
22. Pesto Pasta
23. Southwest Chicken Soup
24. Baked Potatoes
25. Spinach Wraps 
26. Leftovers
27. Enchiladas (My co worker Kristin's recipe)
28. Black Bean Soup (Even my picky one will eat this)
29. Au Jus Sandwiches Just Roast Beef on toasted hoagies with this sauce. Yum!
30. Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
31. Pizza (A Halloween Tradition)

Of course I throw in vegetables and salad. I try to get what is on sale. And while I have been planning my dinners and writing them down on my large calender I went ahead and planned Family Home Evenings (FHE) as well. This month I decided to have more of a routine.

1st Monday night- A fun family night from my Church Pin Board that my kids will enjoy!

2nd Monday night- A Latter Day Prophet. I thought it might to do a lesson on each of our latter day prophets of this dispensation so my children can become better antiquated with them. (You can check out the link that already has lessons for you)

3rd Monday night- a talk from the most recent General Conference (so excited for this weekend!)

4th Monday night- Preach My Gospel. We usually have a small lesson out of this book to prepare my 3 boys for their missions. We keep it simple and kid friendly.

5th Monday night- Family History. We can read stories or play games to get to know our family that has gone before us. Especially namesakes. 

I love having family night. Monday nights are our night to learn and grow as a family. We usually keep our lesson short and sweet. We sing hymns and pray as a family. And, of course, we have treats. It's a great way to strengthen our family and help us grow closer to each other. It also helps my children to learn more about our Heaven Father. Even if you don't go to my church, I know holding a weekly family meeting will bless your family. Take time to play games, eat and visit while eating, and teach good values. I am so thankful for this sacred time. It has blessed my family tremendously.