I don’t have a lot of words to describe yesterday in Kansas City. Both because it was awesome, and because now I’m exhausted! It was so surreal and wonderful, celebrating the Royals World Series win with over 800,000 people downtown! I am so happy I was able to take the kids and that Trent and I could experience this with them. I have a feeling they will remember this day for the rest of their lives. I know we will! There is something so incredible about cheering for a group of guys who really love the game they get paid to play, and seeing them be so grateful to the community was inspiring. Thanks to everyone who made this day happen! It’s a good time to be living in KC!
One of my favorite things to do each fall is visit Cider Hill Apple Orchard with the kids. October has been completely nuts this year, with my work, the kids school schedule and extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, this has meant we have missed some of the traditions we usually love to do each fall. But I straight up REFUSED to miss out on apple picking! So one day after school, the kids and I headed out to the orchard and were lucky enough to grab the last of the harvest. Since it was a weekday, they didn’t have all the activities they usually host during the weekends, like apple cider donuts and treats, but having the quiet orchard all to ourselves was more than worth the trip. I ended up making an awesome apple pie out of our pickings, and the kids were excited to much on apples they had picked for about a week.
I’m glad that even with our busy schedule, we made this activity happen. We’re so lucky to live in a city where you can enjoy the best aspects of an urban atmosphere along with afternoons like this one out in the sunshine.
You guys, I love Halloween. Wait, let me put that in all caps…YOU GUYS, I LOVE HALLOWEEN! It’s my favorite holiday, and every year as the weather turns crisp and everything is pumpkin spice scented or flavored, I start to get excited to celebrate. There’s just something so magical about getting to pretend you’re someone else for a night AND getting to stuff your face full of mini Kit-Kat bars without judgement.
While I wouldn’t consider myself any sort of “do it yourself” (aka DIY) expert, when Halloween rolls around I often find myself in the position of being a DIY’er by force. This is because my kids have very expensive Halloween costume taste. They want the most elaborate, insane costumes, often begging, pleading and saving up their own money until they get what they want. Or, let’s face it, sometimes they pull out the big guns and beg Grandma.
However, almost every time, once Halloween actually arrives, the aforementioned insane, expensive, elaborate costume isn’t as amazing as expected. In fact, it’s usually itchy and uncomfortable. Maybe it’s too hot or too cold, but more than once (or twice!) I’ve found myself with kids on Halloween night that absolutely do not want to wear their planned costume. So then what?
Well, if you’re me, you get on Pinterest and find the easiest, most fun DIY costumes you can…and get it done! I don’t want to spend a ton of money, and I’d be happiest if we could pull something together from items we already have around the house. I also want to involve my kids, since it’s their Halloween costume! So this past weekend, in preparation for my favorite holiday coming up in a few weeks, we put together some of the best DIY costumes from around the web! If you’d like more details on how to make these yourself, click on the title of the costume below the image for additional directions! Happy haunting!
DIY Ninja Turtle Costume – I will admit, I didn’t go as all out as the original person who posted this design, but we pulled it together with some items from around the house (a sword and mask from other dress up stuff). The biggest DIY part was spray painting a roasting pan green and attaching the belt to the pan. This is definitely not a costume that lasts forever (the pan was chipped right away after my four-year-old yanked it off when we were done), but it definitely works in a pinch! Click here for additional instructions on how to make this costume.
DIY Unicorn Costume – This one did require a little more crafting than I usually take on…but it was so adorable, I’m glad we went for it! All you need is an old hoodie, felt in whatever colors you want to use, a styrophome cone (purchased at a craft store), an old headband, some pins/safety pins and a glue gun (or gorilla glue if you’re me and you can’t find your glue gun). Click here for additional instructions on how to make this costume.
DIY Clark Kent as Superman Costume – This one is so easy! Just grab an old Superman t-shirt, a dress shirt and pants, and a pair of glasses and you are good to go! No purchases necessary for this one, and it might be my favorite.
DIY Taylor Swift – This was a last minute addition to our costume list, but I sort of love it! We wanted something that we could put together easily from my daughter’s own closet without spending a dime. She’s a huge Taylor Swift fan and has been taking guitar lessons for about a year, so we decided to put together an easy Taylor costume. All you need is a sundress, boots and a little red lipstick! Sidenote: My daughter pointed out that “Taylor Swift is a pop singer now, MOM!” However, her pop singer shorty shorts and crop tops are not what I want my kid wearing on Halloween, so we decided to go for an old school Taylor instead.
DIY Royals Baseball Player – This one is another that you can pull fairly easily from your kid’s closet without spending extra money. Just grab some baseball pants, a Royals jersey (or one from your own hometown team), a hat and a bat…and you’re done! You can do this with any team or any sport. Got a kid who loves soccer? Put them in their shinguards and a Sporting KC (or other applicable team) jersey. The same goes for football, basketball or any other sport. When my son was two-years-old he refused to wear his costume come Halloween night, so we put him in his Jayhawk warm-ups and he carried around a tiny basketball. It worked out perfectly!
DIY Rocket Pack – I actually saw these on a friend’s Snapchat, and thought they were so adorable! I ended up finding a tutorial online via Doodlecraft, but I dumbed it down a little more for myself. Instead of felt, we just used red streamers and some leftover gold Christmas ribbon to make the flames. This one definitely needs to be made ahead of time, as we tried using it too early and our rockets fell right off. Give the glue some time to set, and if they just won’t stick, some silver duct tape works just as well! Click here for additional instructions on how to make this costume.
DIY Butterfly Costume – This costume is great if you have a kid who doesn’t want a lot of fuss, but still wants to participate in the fun of Halloween. Take a scarf from your own closet and tie it in the middle. Have your child wear a leotard (whatever color they’d like) and tights or leggings. You can pin the middle of the scarf to the back of the leotard, or leave it loose, depending on your child’s comfort. Have them either hold the ends of the scarf, or you can attach loops so they can slip them over their wrists. For a little extra flair, add some face paint in fun colors or sparkles or you can have your child wear a mask they decorate themselves!
DIY Halloween Jellyfish Costume – This adorable idea came directly from a friend of my daughter’s who wore this last year. The photos really don’t do it justice, as it looks so awesome in person! Dress your child in all white (obviously that didn’t happen for our little photoshoot, but I think it helps the effect of the costume) and grab a clear, plastic umbrella from your local Target or Wal-Mart (or order online). Scotch tape ribbons to the inside of the umbrella. You can use all one color or mix it up! And you’re done! For some extra pop, add glow sticks to the inside of the umbrella to light up your jellyfish at night. Or you can use battery powered holiday lights…but I prefer glow sticks, as they are much lighter and easier for your child to carry around. Click here for additional instructions on how to create this costume.
There you have it! A few great ideas for a DIY Halloween that won’t break the bank or have you cursing at your sewing machine. Not that I’ve ever actually retrieved my sewing machine from the basement…but that’s another blog post. Happy Halloween, everyone! May your mini Kit-Kats be plenty!
Hey friends! I am so super excited because right now I am packing for a much needed, fun trip with my cute husband. I will share more details when I get back, but for now, let’s just say, after 10 years of marriage, we were both due for a honeymoon (finally!). I will be taking a break from the blog while I’m away, but I promise to be back next week. And if you want to see some fun photos of our trip, I plan to update Instagram as we travel. You can find me over there under the handle @crazy_bananas. I’m really pumped to get to use my brand new Fuji x30 camera on this trip. While I want to have great photos of our travels, I didn’t really want to have to lug all of my gear with me, so after a few recommendations from fellow photographers, I bought my little Fuji. This camera is pretty fantastic, light, portable, and it has wifi capabilities. And also, it’s totally adorable. Right? Have a great week! (I know I will…)
Lately I’ve found myself so inspired by my own life. I don’t say this because my life is totally amazing in every way, but because for a few years I found myself utterly bored by my surroundings. The funny thing about boredom is that most of the time it has nothing to do with what is happening around me, but everything to do with what is happening inside my own head. I spent the last few years learning how to appreciate this beautiful life I’ve been given, and now, when I look around, I can’t help but be in awe.
If you’ve been following along with my photography journey, you may have noticed I’ve been including videos with my family clients’ photo reveals. This is something new that I started earlier this year, and I love it! I think the mix of images with short video clips really brings the experience to life for those of us watching. I think of these videos as a keepsake for my clients, something they can share with friends and family, and hold on to in order to look back and remember these silly, funny days of parenthood.
However, lately I’ve found myself inspired by photographers like Kansas Pitts, who not only makes these videos for her clients, but also for herself! Now, unlike Kansas Pitts, I don’t own a drone or a GoPro or live in a beautiful beach town…but that doesn’t mean I can’t document my own family’s adventures in my own unique way.
This summer has been especially lovely for us because for the first time, my kids are fairly independent and we able to experience more without the hassles of traveling with very young children. There are no more diapers, baby food or loads of gear to drag along with us. For the past few years, traveling to my parent’s lake cabin has been hit or miss…Tate didn’t love the water, Lucy was afraid of seaweed and neither slept well when we weren’t at home. But this year has been fantastic! The kids spend hours jumping off the dock, swimming, fishing and playing. We ride the jet ski and tube, kayak, float on rafts and roast marshmallows over the fire in the evenings. It’s pretty stinking magical, if I do say so myself.
So on our last trip, I decided to try and capture some video along with images and make a little keepsake of the first summer of relative freedom. It makes me smile, and I hope it makes you smile too. Life is good. Lake life is better.