Wednesday, November 30, 2011

So You Wanna Be a [Fashion] Blogger: Part 3

source


Find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.


7. Be friendly and accessible. 

Get Twitter. Respond to comments and emails. Leave good, quality comments on other blogs. Make friends and link to people.


8. Be prepared for the haters. 

Don't allow anonymous comments or get formspring unless you can handle it. I allowed anonymous comments for a while and usually got a few less than kind comments every week (I finally disallowed anonymous commenting after a day full of crazy spam).  People get mean when they're hiding behind their computer screens and it can take a while to develop a thick skin. Don't open that door unless you're ready.

If the mean comments do come, try to keep in mind that they don't matter much. I've decided that the people who leave mean comments are 1. Those girls who were mean in high school and still haven't grown up. They're like female Uncle Ricos trying to relive their queen bee glory days (in which case you can pity them) or 2. People who are insecure (in which case you can pity them).


9. Be gracious.

You are most likely an adult (I do have a few teenage readers. Hi girls! This still applies to you). You know how to interact with people in a polite and kind manner, yes? Do so.

Be humble. Be friendly and helpful when people e-mail you. I've had occasion to e-mail other bloggers with questions and it always blows me away when I receive short, terse replies (one time I got a one word reply and a link. No greeting, no signature, nothing. Made me feel really stupid). On the other hand, getting a kind, thoughtful reply from a blogger you respect just makes you like them more.


10. Be prepared for the time suck

Blogging can be like a full time job that doesn't pay you anything. If you're not writing a post or tweaking your design you can be leaving comments on other people's blogs or reading articles about blogging. There's ALWAYS something you can be doing on or for your blog.

Some people have the time and want to spend it on their blogs and that's fine! I do not have that time. I set myself a blogging time limit and I stick to it (these posts took me like 5 days). It's easy to get sucked in so set limits for yourself if you need them.



Fellow bloggers- anything to add?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So You Wanna Be a [Fashion] Blogger: Part 2

source

Find Part 1 here.


4. Network

There are all kinds of networks and groups for fashion bloggers. Joining can help you meet like-minded fashion bloggers, learn technical blog stuff, improve your photo skills, help you get your blog out there, etc. IFB is a big one and I found a handful of interesting and helpful articles on there that helped me come up with ideas for blog building back when I was getting started. There are also groups for Mormons, moms, Anthropologie lovers, etc. Having friends in my blogging community is one of the big reasons I blog! I've met some really wonderful women through this here little site of mine.

If you're interested, you can also do button or link swaps with fellow bloggers to help drive traffic to each other. Not everyone does them but it's a good way for fledgling blogs to help each other grow!


5. Work on your photography skillz

Your pictures can make or break you. If you're trying to gain a following then you need good pictures. Period. The biggest fashion bloggers I know have fantastic style but I probably wouldn't be as in love if their pictures weren't equally awesome (Kendi and Sydney are good examples here. Amazing style bolstered by equally amazing pics). If you're using a significant other to take your pictures then consider investing in a tripod and remote. The most loving of husbands may start rolling his eyes after a few weeks as you drag him and the camera out yet again (there are some out there that enjoy it though. If you have one of those, KEEP HIM).

Even cheap point and shoot cameras can yield good pictures if you know how to use your camera right and a Canon 5D can yield junk pictures if you're clueless. Spend some quality time with your manual. Learn about lighting. Figure out some poses that don't make you look like a crazy person (have you ever watched America's Next Top Model? No? Now's a good time to start) (Smize! Find your light!). Find nice backdrops (shooting into a mirror in your bedroom with piles of laundry behind you is less than ideal).


6. Dress up your website

The way your blog looks makes a big impression. It seems silly when you consider most people use feed readers, but it's true! When I run across a blog that looks clean and polished with decent pictures then I automatically assume it's a fairly popular blog with a decent following (and I take a good look at the content to see if I want to subscribe). Big blogs have nice designs. Dinky new ones have basic blogger templates or one of those busy scrapbooky designs. My readership didn't noticeably grow until I spent some serious time on my blog design.

Make sure your font is legible - remember that there's a reason that black Arial/Times/Helventica on a white background is standard. Have your contact information readily accessible. Create an 'About' page (it doesn't have to be fancy but readers like to know a little about the voice behind the blog). There are thousands upon thousands of tutorials on the internet to help you spruce up your blog if you're willing to spend a little time playing with HTML (or you can always hire someone if that's too daunting for you).


Aren't you so glad I divvied this up into parts? Dryyyy reading, this. Final installment going up tomorrow!

Monday, November 28, 2011

So You Wanna Be a [Fashion] Blogger: Part 1



Just in the past few weeks I've gotten quite a few emails from girls looking for advice on fashion blogging. After 5 years of blogging and 1 year of fashion blogging, I've definitely got some opinions on the subject. Whether or not they're valuable remains to be seen, but I'll share my hard-earned wisdom with you anyway. Most of this is specific to fashion blogging but some applies to blogging in general.

As I got writing, this post got longer and longer until I finally decided I had to break it up into 3 parts. No one wants to sit and read my blog for that long at one time.

Keep in mind that this mostly applies to bloggers who want to build a following. I'm sure there are girls out there that really are only doing it for themselves and don't care if anyone ever subscribes but I think most people want to be part of a community. It's the best part of blogging!


1. Figure out your purpose

Why do you want to fashion blog? Are you trying to figure out how to get the most out of your closet? Do you have amazing/quirky/vintage/whatever style and want to share? Are you trying to find your personal style? Does it just look like fun? Are you wanting to build up a following and monetize?

Knowing why you're blogging will make a difference in how you blog and what you write about. It will give your posts a sense of direction. It will also help you push through those times when you're feeling bored and uncreative. Which brings me to...


2. Be prepared for the burnout.

Fashion blogging gets old fast for a lot of people. It feels silly and a little vain and you might get to the point where you just don't really care anymore. I'm sure this doesn't happen to everyone but it does seem pretty common so be prepared for if/when it hits. You'll have to decide to either plow through or quit or do something else with your blog. I chose to do the challenge to help me get inspired and excited about fashion blogging again but I'm hitting that point again and I have to figure out what I want to do.

Don't feel the need to post every single day. Take breaks if you need them. Explore other options if you want to expand your repertoire. 


3. Figure out your flavor.

I post my outfit pictures but write pretty minimally on fashion related topics (and I mix in recipes and whatever else strikes my fancy). Some people are really dialed in to fashion week and the big designers and trends. Some people include makeup reviews and hair tutorials. Some bloggers post only outfit pictures with no editorializing.

Decide what you want to do and work with it. Don't try to copy someone else's blog. Brand yourself and then work with that brand (although this doesn't mean you can't evolve!). It can be really nice to have a weekly series that makes it so you automatically know what is going to be going up one day a week (like my Wednesday Want, for example) or something you can fall back on if you don't have anything else to post (I post Follow Fridays when I don't have anything else going on). Stuff like that takes away some of the, "What on earth should I post tomorrow??" stress and sets you apart a little bit.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Follow Friday

via
 

Here are some of my favs for your Friday. If you'll excuse me, there is some leftover pie calling my name.

1. Voice of Reason - One of the very first blogs I started reading regularly way back in the day. She is hysterical and so very right thinking. Plus she calls her son The Tiny Dark Lord and how could you not love her for that?? Also, she is the reason I know Janssen. AND, when Janssen and I met up for a double date with our husbands up in Utah a couple months ago, we actually saw Miss Nemesis at Pizzeria 712 and then proceeded to drive our dates crazy while trying to get up the courage to introduce ourselves. It was a pretty special day for us.

2. Busy Bee Lauren - A lovely local blogger who does a little bit of everything. I recently spent an embarrassingly long time perusing her archives. She just makes me happy. I particularly love her Tumblr Thursdays AND she turned me on to Doctor Who. I want to marry him.

3. Wendy Nguyen - Amazing style from an amazing woman (she grew up in foster care!). She also has some really awesome videos (you've probably already seen her scarf video floating around. If not, go watch and prepare to have your mind blown).

And a quick bonus link: have you seen this tutorial for winged eyeliner using scotch tape?!? As someone who occasionally has to redo their eyeliner 8 or 12 times, I am REALLY excited about this.

Have a lovely weekend! I hope you've got your Christmas music going loud and proud!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful


They may be stinky and incapable of cleaning up after themselves but they're mine and I love these three more than anything!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

(I've got this chilling in the fridge. SO excited)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Open to Interpretation

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I have been staring rather longingly at Aaron's side of the closet lately. Since the weather has turned vaaaguely chilly around here I just want to steal his oversized long sleeved thermals and snuggle up. Unfortunately, since Aaron works from home he sees that I've stolen his clothes the moment he leaves his office to refill his water bottle. He doesn't love that.

The amazingly darling Jen Hammer from this post. Used with permission.


When Amy chose the above comfy outfit for this round of OTI I threw a last longing look at Aaron's shirts (he has the perfect one!) and then busted out my sewing machine. Time for me to have my own big snuggly shirt that won't earn me a stink eye for thievery. I love the way it turned out! I may not change out of it until spring.



This outfit actually kind of pushed me. As much as I love slouchy tops and leggings on other people it's not a combo I wear often. And I wanted my socks to show (they're striped!) but I don't own any shorter boots so I had to figure out how to make mine work. I folded them down (you can see what they look like normally here) and it looks kind of funky and after a day full of pondering my footwear I have decided that I maybe like it?



And, in case you didn't notice, I went red. If I could choose my natural hair color I would go with a red that is maybe only occasionally found in nature. I adore brilliant red hair. This is about as close as my hair gets to my ideal color. I looove it. If only it weren't so darn difficult to maintain.



We decided to do something kind of fun with the next round of OTI. We're opening it up to anyone who wants to participate! On December 1st we'll post the inspiration image and then on December 8th we'll have a link party set up for anyone who wants to play along. We'd love to have you!




Click below to see Amy's and Erica's interpretations!

OTI


Amy
Erica


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Sunday Share

source from Mark Mabry's Reflections of Christ


I was listening to the MoTab station on Pandora yesterday while cleaning bathrooms when a song came on that made me stop, sit and listen. I googled the artist, Joy Williams, and found her MySpace page (did you know MySpace still exists??) with all her music. Her other songs are lovely as well but this one is just so beautiful. Apparently it's an older song and I'm only just now hearing about it. This does not surprise me in the least as I am pretty much always at least 3 years behind everyone else in technology and music (Hey! Have you guys heard of this crazy Lady Gaga person? I'm kind of scared of her but I find her music strangely catchy! And I think I might finally be ready to upgrade from Windows 2007!)(maybe).

Here With Us (digital single) by Joy Williams

You can hear the song by clicking above or going to Joy Williams' MySpace page (click 'songs' in the music widget in the middle of the page. The song is called "Here With Us").

Friday, November 18, 2011

Link Love



It's been a really weird week around here. A woman in our neighborhood was murdered late Monday night/early Tuesday (they were related and he was taken into custody within hours) and it has thrown a kind of dark shadow over everything these past few days. We walk past her house all the time and I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that she's always been there and suddenly she's not. By all accounts she was a lovely person with a big heart and the whole thing is just so sad and makes me feel a little ill.

Ever since it happened I've been kind of subconsciously seeking out good and positive things to balance out the awful. Here are a few of those things:

-Have you ever listened to the Peaceful Holidays station on Pandora? It's so wonderful.

-Bethany's birth story had me in tears. It sounds so similar to my experience with Stinky (although he was almost 34 weeks along as opposed to Lucy's 30(!) weeks). I really am so incredibly grateful for modern medicine and doctors who recognize when something is off.

-This pin of a "Christmas cave" had me immediately barging into Aaron's office and commandeering a couple of his larger boxes. You can see the results above. My kids LOVE it. It'll be a fight when I have to take it down (I'd be lying if I said I haven't spent some time in it myself. It's a squeeze but it's just so pretty in there!).

-I've only watched this about, oh, seventeen times. Pretty sure it's the thing I'm looking forward to MOST about 2012.

-Have you been watching The New Girl? I'm kind of a closet Lord of the Rings nerd and this scene had me rolling (you can find full episodes here, by the way). I like Zooey Deschanel just that much more now.

-Last night, this happened:


That would be BriAnne, Marisa and me at the movie theater. To see Breaking Dawn. Oh yes I did. Not a midnight showing though. This old lady can't handle that junk anymore (maybe for Hunger Games though). I lucked into a 7:00 showing and waltzed right past the legions waiting for the 12:01 showing. Suckers.

There was far less cringing this time around (don't get me wrong. There was some cringing. The wolves!).  There was, surprisingly, a Bella nip, a fair amount of blood, and a little vomit. K. Stew spent most of the movie looking legitimately awful. I actually kind of liked it. The makeup and acting have gotten SO much better over the years. Thankfully.

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Long Skirt and Shooort Jacket


Macy's jacket, Gap dress, DEB undershirt, Payless shoes, DEB bracelet

I didn't love this outfit but I'm sharing it because I have been very impatiently waiting for months to wear it.

I adooore dresses with jackets. My pinterest is full of the combo (1, 2, 3, 4, for starters) and it was finally cool enough to give it a try! It's not exactly what I was wanting, though. I'm on the hunt for a shrunken blazer or two in the little boy's department but thus far the thrifting powers-that-be haven't been real forthcoming in that department. But when I find them I'm pretty sure this will be my fall uniform. So comfy.

In an ideal world I'd love to wear something like this cropped leather jacket with my dresses. I will continue to dream.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Sunday Share

I've spent the past couple weeks trying to think of service activities I could do with my kids around the holidays. They're too young to be able to understand or do most of the ideas that I came up with.

On Tuesday, we met up with some friends for lunch at Chick-fil-a (play place!). At the register I noticed a pamphlet and a red and green shoebox and the lightbulb over my head dinged on.


My kids understand toys. And they can understand that some kids don't have toys. Stinky is getting really excited to go shopping this week to fill our shoeboxes!
 
If you want to join in the fun with us, here's how it works: Pack a shoebox full of toys, school supplies and hygiene items this week and drop it off between the 14th and the 21st. Enjoy your warm fuzzy feelings of holiday cheer. Easy!

Have a wonderful Sunday :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Open to Interpretation

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For this round of Open to Interpretation we are SO excited to introduce our first guest interpreter: Sarah from Frills for Thrills!



Her blog is new to me but when Amy threw her name in the ring as a possible guest I was immediately sold. Sarah is a pastor's wife and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. She is absolutely darling and I love her style- classy with a bit of an edge.

Sarah picked this lovely outfit as our inspiration for this round:

From Maddy, who graciously gave us permission to use her photo.

I think I would give a leg for that mustard blazer. I love the infinity scarf with the pendant- it's an unexpected kind of layering. And, of course, the top knot. I can always get behind a good top knot.

ATL top, Gap shirt I cut up to make a vest, Old Navy necklace, scarf from my friend Marisa (see left sidebar-they're hoping to adopt!), Gap jeans, Payless wedges


I wish I hadn't worn jeans but it was a park day and sometimes I have to go with practical stuff. But I liked the top half!

Click below to see Erica's, Amy's and Sarah's interpretations!


OTI Week 4

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recipe: Chicken Lettuce Wraps



A couple weeks ago my kids and I stopped in at Cheesecake Factory. I was really there for a slice of cheesecake so I wanted something small and light for lunch. I ended up ordering Asian lettuce taco things off the appetizer section of their healthy eating menu.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked them and thought they would make a quick, easy and healthy dinner at home. I made them last week and after the first bite Aaron said, "Oh yeah...I could eat a whole lot of this."

The sauce totally makes these. The Cheesecake Factory version was only vaguely peanutty and I kind of wanted more. I immediately thought of this sauce that I had recently pinned (it originally comes from this cookbook). Lesley used her sauce as a dip for some really yummy looking coconut chicken skewers but I decided to use it as a marinade for the chicken AND as a sauce for the wraps. It's so ridiculously good.


Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Feeds 2 adults (maybe 3 if you aren't piggy like us)
Inspiration from Cheesecake Factory
Sauce recipe from Lesley of homemade grits

For the wraps:
4 chicken breast tenderloins
Butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
Bean sprouts
Shaved carrot
Maifun Rice Sticks
Peanut sauce (recipe below)

For the peanut sauce:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
11/2 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
pinch cayenne pepper

Mix together all sauce ingredients (I used a hand mixer). Reserve 3/4 cup or so (cover and stick it in the fridge). Put the raw chicken in the rest of the sauce and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours.

Grill the chicken. While the chicken is cooking, boil a cup or two of water and remove from heat. Put in a handful of rice sticks and let soften.

When the chicken is done, let it rest for a few minutes then slice each tenderloin in two so you have long, thin pieces of chicken.

To assemble, take a butter lettuce leaf and layer on some rice sticks (which, by the way, are noodles. Not sure why they're called rice sticks), carrots, bean sprouts, and a slice of chicken followed by a good drizzle of sauce. Roll up and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful

Me and newborn baby Stinky in the NICU

I know I don't talk much about my kids and being a mommy on my blog but, seeing as it's November, I'm trying to focus on the things I'm thankful for.

Being a mommy can be a hard, thankless job sometimes. There is sass and poop and flooded kitchens and your shoes sometimes go missing and then turn up half buried in the backyard three weeks later. There have been a lot of days where my nighttime prayer has been, "God, I am thankful that today is over."

Baby 2 almost exactly a year ago


But there are also days when my babies wrap themselves around my legs and say, "MOMMY!" (or "MIMMY!" in Baby 2's case) like I'm the best present they've ever gotten. There are times when they are so grateful for some small thing I've done and I feel like supermom. And every day there are snuggles and board books and giggly bubble baths. There are kisses and tickles and belly laughs. Sometimes, in the few Big Bad Things it's hard to remember the million small, wonderful things that make motherhood worth the mess and snot and lack of sleep.

I sure do love those crazy boys of mine.

Feb 2011. Apparently, pants are optional at our house.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Repaired: Cream Skirt

DEB shirt, thrifted skirt and belt, Payless wedges

I have been working very hard behind the scenes trying to get through my repair pile(s). And by that I mean slowly and surely ruining and then tossing just about everything. Sometimes in the battle of Self Taught Seamstress vs Sewing Machine the machine wins. Hard.



I picked this skirt up at a thrift store a couple months ago and have actually been wearing it a lot, though it somehow hasn't been in any pictures until now. I didn't realize it was handmade until I got it home and started looking for a care instructions tag. I think it's probably pretty old but it's really well made and has some beautiful details. Which you can't see thanks to these ridiculously blown out pictures.

Anyway, there were a few places where the seams were starting to come apart. The original seamstress finished many of the inside edges with lace so fixing them required unpicking sections of lace, repairing the seam, then hand stitching the lace back into place. It was tedious but workmanship like that should be preserved. I wish I could tell the original owner how much I admire her handiwork!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gift Guide Part 1

I am one of those people that gets all annoyed when stores start celebrating Christmas prematurely. Thanksgiving is important! We need to take a moment to say "Thank you!" before we go all gift greedy.

But I am all about getting your Christmas shopping done early. I'm usually done before December starts and, if all goes according to plan, this year will be no different.

For me, the key to finishing quickly and painlessly is to shop online. Ideally, you should be keeping your eyes open all year long for good gifts at good prices but I think the only people who do that are over 50 and have FINALLY learned their lesson.


Here are some of my picks for this year-





1. Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese
$14.42 on Amazon and eligible for free shipping if you can get your total order over $25
For the slightly crunchy girl who, for reasons you can't fathom, insists on making everything from scratch. You can read Janssen's review here and I add a hearty amen to everything she said.


2. Folding cutting board from MoMA
$18 + shipping from MoMA the store
I am of the opinion that you can never have too many cutting boards and this one is particularly awesome. No more veggies sliding off in wonky directions when you're trying to add them to your stir fry!

3. Cooking Light magazine gift subscription
$18 for one subscription, $12 apiece for two subscriptions
I had a subscription to Cooking Light for a couple years and loved it. My mother-in-law gets it now and it's the magazine I always grab when we're over there. The recipes are healthy but not in a "I feel deprived when I eat this" kind of way (I'm dying to try these cabernet short ribs with parmesan polenta).





1. Savoy Bracelet from JewelMint
$29.99 unless it's your first purchase, in which case you get 50% off and it's $15
Pretty art deco inspired bauble from Kate Bosworth's JewelMint collection. I love it so much that I told my sister about it aaand now I'm getting it for Christmas :)

2. Marcasite and turquoise pendant from Overstock
$20.99 plus shipping
I might be the only one but I have crazy love for the dark gray sparkle of marcasite. This pendant is perfect for adding a little color and sparkle to jeans and a tee.

3. Red leather bangles with gold tubes from Leatherwraps on Etsy
$23.00 plus shipping
If you've been around a while you know I love bangles and I love a good fancy+casual mix. These bracelets are perfect! I particularly love the red but there are a bunch of other colors available online.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thinking Ahead

I know you've probably mentally shifted into fall and winter mode BUT don't get too far into thoughts of hot chocolate and cozy scarves just yet. Now is the perfect time to shop for a swimsuit! Retailers are clearing out their stock as the weather changes which means sales. I love those.

Here are a few I love:

1, 2, 3
I think J. Crew does one piece swimsuits so well. I have their twist front bandeau suit and love it. They're a little on the higher end of the price scale but they're also higher quality. You'll get years of wear. See more of their sale section swimsuits here. Make sure you look online for coupon codes before you shop. Recently they've had 30% off sale items and a couple free shipping codes floating around*.

1, 2, 3

I don't particularly love Target swimsuits. I've owned my fair share and I feel like they look old pretty fast (although, since I pay like $20 I can't complain). That being said, that one shouldered red number is darling and probably quite flattering.

I was pleasantly surprised by Land's End Canvas this year and I was particularly impressed by their swim collection. I didn't include this one above, but if you're looking for a cute, basic one piece, this one comes in a million colors and is on sale for $25.



*Don't forget to go through Ebates! You get 4% cash back for shopping at J.Crew, 3% for shopping at Target, and 2% for shopping at Land's End Canvas (among a million other store options). 

If you're an Ebates newbie, you should know that it's free (my favorite thing!). This link takes you straight to a sign up page. Put in your information then type the store you want to go to in the navigation box. It will take you to the store's website but track what you spend while you're there and then send you a check (or paypal payment). You can also check their Coupon tab to see if there's a free shipping code or anything like that for your purchase. Ebates is my best friend when it comes to online shopping.

Also, I feel like I should mention that they do cash back for Travelocity and Expedia. So when you're booking those painfully expensive holiday flights you can find some comfort in the fact that you're getting a little cash back in the process.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Wednesday Want



A couple years ago Real Simple featured a blue and white striped wedge and said it was from TOMS. I spent over an hour frantically trying to figure out how to get my hands on a pair. They were exactly what I had been looking for but it turned out they hadn't even been released. I put myself on the notification list and patiently(ish) saved my pennies and waited for them to become available online. I think I got a pair on the very first day they were available and I've worn the heck out of them ever since.

Well, looks like I'll be doing that again.

TOMS is releasing a line of ballet flats for Spring 2012 and they're so very darling. I'm particularly enamored with these:


So classic.


From what I've seen during my morning of Googling, it looks like there will be a fairly wide variety of fabrics and colors available, any of which I'd be happy to wear.

I have a lot of trouble when it comes to flats and, as ugly as classic TOMS are, they are some of the few shoes that don't eat my feet and make me bleed. I love that they're branching out into prettier options!

Check out more pictures on Liz's Babble post or get Googling (I can never find info about the yet-to-be-released stuff on the TOMS website. Anyone else have that problem?).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Facts Were These

I love Halloween and dressing up. I thought part of the joy of marriage would be doing couples costumes! And then family costumes! Sadly, I married a man who doesn't find any kind of joy in dressing up and doesn't particularly love Halloween either. Sniff. I've borne it well until now.

This year I decided he was dressing up with me whether he liked it or not. I told him I'd find him a costume that wasn't too costume-y and he took the news like a man who has known me and my crazy for a few years. No use arguing!

It didn't take me too long to come up with an idea.



Her: Long dark hair and freckles? I've got that covered.
Him: Tall, pale and handsome? Aaron's got that covered.

Aaron's costume was easy.

Source

Would a real, non-awkward smile have killed him? Probably.


I picked up a black t-shirt for $5 from Walmart and used a flour sack kitchen towel and some bias tape to make him an apron. He thought about carrying a pie around to snack on but that would have required me to actually make a pie and I was rather busy sewing my costume.

My costume was a little more difficult. Chuck has super cute vintage style. There are entire websites devoted to the darlingness of her wardrobe from two short seasons.

Source


I scoured a couple thrift stores before remembering that I have never once found a decent vintage dress at a thrift store. Then I decided to make my own. I ultimately chose this green dress as my inspiration:


Source





The fact that I love square necklines had a lot to do with my choice. As much as I adore the criss crossing on the back, I couldn't figure out how I would make that work so my back is plain. Other than that, I'm pretty proud of how it turned out. The fit isn't perfect (someone far bustier than me could wear it comfortably) but it's not too shabby for a first try at this kind of thing.


Baby 2 went as a puppy. OR, if you're familiar with the show, he was Digby.

Please check out that tail. KILLS me.
Ned and Chuck can't touch (it'll send her back to being dead for reals). So here are awkward non-touching pictures.



It was just for pictures though. We held hands for the trick-or-treating stuff and I'm alive to tell the tale.

Stinky missed out on the family costume party. He doesn't like costumes all that much so his always have to be something that is a shirt and pants and not much else. He went as an army guy (camo pants and shirt from Wal-Mart. Cheap and reusable!). I got him some dog tags from Hobby Lobby and he was SO excited to have his own "necklace." I think you can tell which parent he takes after.

How was your Halloween? Did you dress up??
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