Friday, October 30, 2009

Making costumes for less

When my son wanted to be a dump truck for beggars night my first thought was "yikes!". I wasn't sure how that would be possible or frugal. I just can't bring myself to buy really expensive costumes so I had to think outside the box. I thought I would share how I outfitted both kids for under what 1 costume would probably cost.

I took a box that I already had and spray painted it. ($2.50 JoAnn's spray paint) I then found some suspenders at a thrift store and spray painted those suckers as well. ($.99) The high beam lights I found at WalMart and can re-use in my pantry.~So I don't feel quite as bad about the cost. ~($5.00) Ad some scrap booking stickers I already had, along with some sweats turned inside out and whalah! A dump truck for under $7.

For little miss I found the cream dress at a second hand store for $3. I then bought some checkered material at 50% off. ($1.99) Add some cream ribbon (Around $.90) Sew that on the dress and pair with hose and shoes we had in the closet. I found this lovely Gymboree cape at the thrift store for $6. She can totally use this again so I think I got my moneys worth. Total costume: Under $12

Monday, October 26, 2009


One thing I remember as a child is getting all geeked up about special holiday cartoons coming on tv. My mom would make BIG deal about it. We would be in our jams, popcorn made, giggling. We got to stay up later than normal and it was special!

I have kept the tradition with my kids and I almost get as excited as they do !!! This year I want to post reminders to y'all about any special kid friendly tv program on so here we go....

Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: ABC Tuesday, Wednesday 8:00 EST

I will be posting Thanksgiving and Christmas specials so stay "tuned".

Teacher Knows best: Kids Memoirs

I am blessed to live next to a elementary school teacher who loves my kids and we love her!! She has multiple education degrees and is the first person I run to when I am worried about speech, development or anything learning related!! She has agreed to write a weekly post for me on some common concerns involving little ones and just great tips! If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at
Getting Kids to Write – Memoirs
We often ask kids to write memoirs, stories from their lives. Students are sometimes confused by what a teacher means when they say “memoir” so we use mentor texts, example books.

There are a ton of books that are memoirs but one of my favorite things to use is one I’ve written myself. So in honor of Halloween, here is one of my memoirs. Enjoy!

My brother and I, Halloween 1986

I was robbed.

It may have only been a neighborhood costume contest, but still…

We had recently moved to a brand new subdivision. Not all the lots were built yet, so the neighborhood was still small. The Civic Association decided to throw a Halloween party; there would be apple-bobbing, face painting, and costume judging.

It was 1986 and I was four. My mom had always made my little brother and I’s costume and that year I had begged and begged for a witch costume. She made the most fantastic costume: a long dress, a cape, and a hat all out of the same Halloween print material. Halloween couldn’t come fast enough!

Halloween was cold that year, so I had to wear a sweatshirt with my costume, but that didn’t dampen my spirits. I practically floated from house to house collecting candy. Finally it was time to head to the party. As we walked down the sidewalk, my parents told us of all that was in-store. My brother and I had never bobbed for apples, but we knew what face painting was and I was old enough to equate a costume contest with winning a prize.

After an hour or so of wet heads and painted cheeks, the sun had gone down and it was finally time for costume judging. I was pretty confident in my chances of winning seeing as I did have the best witch’s costume ever. They lined up kids by age group and we marched around in little circles to be judged. They pulled kids out of each circle until only two or three remained in each. In my circle, only two children were left: me, in my homemade witch’s costume, and another girl in a store-bought witch’s costume. The judges stood off to one side, just out of ear-shot, trying to make a decision while we danced around a little, trying to keep warm and fight off sleepiness. Finally they announced the other girl had won.

In my disbelief that someone had a costume better than the one my mom had lovingly made, I started to cry. I was crushed! Heartbroken! How could a chic who had bought her costume at a store beat my custom costume?! I cried the entire way home. Nothing my parents said could console me. My beautiful costume went into storage. Never to be seen again I hoped!

Many years later, I was a college freshman and my roommates and I were getting ready for Halloween. We were telling stories one evening and this tragic tale of woe came up. My roommates suggested that I seek costume contest revenge and dress up as a witch. I was a little hesitant at first, what with what had happened the last time, but even my mom thought it would be a good idea. She again made me a long, black dress and the most fantastic cape.

I proudly wore my second mom-made witch’s costume that Halloween and though I didn’t win any prizes, at least I wasn’t robbed by a store-bought witch.