Category Archives: Holidays

The Ugly-Geeky Sweater Party

I have been wanting to do an Ugly Sweater Party for years, but by the time I got around to it, it was so cliche that I just decided not to try.  One of our friends reminded me about it last month and said I should do it anyway.  Always up for a challenge, I wanted to spin it so it was still fun.  My husband and I mulled it over and went with a Geek theme that seemed perfect for us and our friends.

One of my favorite parts of the Ugly sweater party concept is that it is wonderfully tacky in an almost cute way.  Geeking that up was so fun.  We’ve been asked to do it again next year, and have already decided it was rather awesome and we’d like to improve on it and give it another go.

In our invite, we specified that guests were to come in a Geeky holiday sweater, either hand made or bought and were to bring a Geeky themed treat and a game to share.  Here are some highlights:

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Tee Fury seemed to be popular this year.

My husband and I sported Die Hard and Doctor Who Christmas “sweaters”

Some of our guests were so much more creative.  We’ll have to step up our game next year.

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These impressed me so much, particularly as they were last minute.

Their sweaters were ordered from the UK and didn’t get here in time, so they created these sweaters last minute with mostly with felt.  In addition to another geektastic Tee Fury Who shirt, An epic Doctor Who sweater and a Words of Radiance sweater that had this Whovian/Brandon Sanderson fan very impressed.  I mean, look at those Shattered Plains! So much detail!

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Again, I’m amazed.  She free handed these awesome yet adorable Firefly sweaters.

A Wash sweater and a Jayne-gerbread sweater.

For our decorations, I used these fantastic tins found at desperate.com, some printable cube people from Deviant Art, and other touches I hand crafted or dug out of our Christmas decor in the name of Ugly Sweater. I wood burned some tacky, geeky gifts and added some store bought ones.

I found my mom’s old retro tree and used it and I loved the effect and the nostalgia.

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Some of our geeky grub:

Star Trek Insignia cookies (made with a star cookie cutter with the “arms” cut off of the star.)

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Andy’s Mint Brownies. Regular brownies with melted Andes mints on top.

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SNL’s Schweddy Balls.  AKA Swedish meat balls.

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Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer!

And I had to add holiday scarves.

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Combined with some of the games I’ll post next, this was such a fun evening with some of our favorite people and we will definitely do it again.

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Filed under Geek, Holidays, Hosting parties, Ugly Sweater

Our costumes 2014 His and Hers

This year was a special one as we got to attend the Mystical Masquerade in Lindon, Utah.  The rules are black tie attire or costume, so we wanted costume that was close to black tie.  We searched high and low for inspiration and finally found what we wanted.

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Rick and Carrie as Dick Tracy and Breathless Mahoney

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Courtesy of Castle Park’s Mystical Masquerade Photo Booth

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Dick Tracy it was.

The main problem with Dick Tracy is it has fallen out of popularity and is hard to find anything, let alone quality costumes for him.  We found and special ordered the hat and found a trench coat online.  He had the rest in his closet.  As for me, We went for Breathless Mahoney and I didn’t think I could go for Madonna’s version.  I was feeling the comic one pretty strongly though. With a Veronica Lake vibe.  I actually had most of everything I needed.  I just picked up the wig, cigarette holder, and gloves.

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Make up was probably the trickiest and I used a tutorial you can find here:

It turned out really well!

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We had so much fun at the party!  Here’s some more fun costume ideas:

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Filed under Costumes, DIY, Halloween, Holidays

Pioneer Day Treat/Craft

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Pretzels sticks, peanut/almond butter, Bananas and Blueberries make a covered wagon.

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Filed under Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Holidays

Halloween Party on a Budget

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This year has been very busy.  I have an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old that have birthdays just about a month apart.  Like children do, they reminded me well after both birthdays had passed, that I had promised them each a party the year before and we had only done family celebrations.

I could have told them to deal, but we’ve never really had a reason to have an October party before.  Fun!  So, I decided to plan a party, that would entertain loads of giggling 7-12 year old girls.

The 11-year-old told me she didn’t want cake or cupcakes…  She wanted Fondue.  So, on the invite, we gave simple food assignments for a Bewitching Fondue Soiree.  I tweaked this gorgeous invite you can find here:

http://serendipitycreative.blogspot.com/2011/10/freebie-you-are-cordially-invited-to.html

One pot of cheese Fondue, and one of chocolate.

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Every child invited was assigned Fruit, veggies, or bread to share.

Later, for the “birthday cake” we dipped angel food cake into the chocolate.

Time for games.  I went to a party store and got a roll of carnival tickets for $2.  For each game, I doled out tickets.  the same amount for each participant and extra for the “winner”.  Then, at the end of the party, they got prizes Chuck E. Cheese style.

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Some of Our Party Games:

Witchy Races.  Two girls, one broom, no hands.  They had to “fly” from start to finish.

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Ghost-Busting: It is a carnival game.  You get three shots to knock down the TP ghosts.  We went through a few rounds.

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courtesy of girlsvsblog

courtesy of girlsvsblog

The Making of the Mummy:  This one I was too busy helping with to take a pic.  With the TP from Ghost busting, you have a mummy wrapping contest.

Balloon-pop Charades:  Place charade ideas inside of balloons (i.e. Ghost, Ghoul, bat, vampire, etc.) and the kids take turns sitting on the balloon until it pops, and then playing charades normally.

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Paranoia Party Hats:  We had a hat making contest, using foil and scotch tape.  Let the kids be creative and do their own thing.  We gave awards to each kid.

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The Vampire Count Game: We found this at a kiosk in a mall in Denver over a decade ago.  The kids love it.  You can find the game here:

http://www.amazon.com/Daves-25-Anytime-Family-Games/dp/B000FEW3QA

It is like hide and seek and murder in the dark combined.  The kids each take a card and secretly look at it.  one of them will have the Vampire count and the rest a gravestone with a funny name on it.  Everyone, including the vampire goes and hides in the dark.  After a few seconds, the vampire gets up, starts shuffling around as silly as possible, trying to make everyone laugh so he can find them.  No one runs, they have to stay put.  once touched by the vampire count, they become one too until everyone is shuffling around acting silly. Then the lights go on.

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Filed under Budget, Children, DIY, Family, Food and Drink, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, Party Planning

Halloween – 5 Fun Facts

Fun facts about  HALLOWEEN!

1. Did you know Halloween was started in Ireland by the celts roughly 2000 years ago, and didn’t become popular in America until the beginning of the 1900’s. Originally Halloween was called Samhain (last days of summer) and was actually the end of the pagan calendar. People lit bonfires and celebrated in costume to greet the coming new year.

2. Black cats were considered bad luck for many decades because of a belief in the Dark Ages that cats were demonic familiars. They were thought to be found at the houses of witches. Now, black cats are considered good luck in Ireland especially if they cross your path!

3. The tradition of carving Jack-O-Lanterns also found its origins in Ireland. Celtic folklore tells the story of the Drunken Farmer Jack who tricked the devil into promising never to take his soul. Unfortunately Jack lived a sinful life and couldn’t get into heaven either. Lost in the darkness Jack asked how he would find his way…the devil then jokingly tossed him an ember from hell that would never go out…jack placed the ember in a carved turnip (later would become a pumpkin) and used the lantern to light his way as he wondered the earth for eternity looking for a place to rest. Later people carved the lanterns and set them on their stoops to help light the way for lost souls/ghosts and carved scary faces to ward of unsavory devils looking to take advantage.

4. Witches – originated from the Pagan Goddess “Earth Mother” or “The Crone.” She was meant to symbolize wisdom and the changing of the seasons. She was considered good and was worshiped (respected)…she later morphed into the symbol of evil and dark magic as cultures and religions changed in the region.

5. Dressing up as Ghouls and Goblins on Halloween…Celts believed that by dressing up on Samhain (when the veil between the world of the living and the dead was thinnest – and spirits could walk the earth) as a ghouls or goblin would trick the evil spirits walking the earth into thinking you were one of them; there by preventing them from capturing you and stealing your soul.

 

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Filed under Family, Halloween, Holidays

DIY Weeping Angel Wings

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I looked everywhere for cheap wings to spray paint gray.  The cheapest I could find that weren’t fairy wings were $50.

I have four kids that need wings.  There’s no way in heck I’m paying $200 for one part of a Halloween costume!

Sooooooo–I sat and stared at my Costco Milk box and took out my roll of Duct Tape:

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I drew an outline of a wing, free-handed.  Then cut it out.

I chose the handle of the box to be where it was originally so I could fashion straps easier.

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I toyed for a while between having a solid piece with the handle holes for straps, or

what I actually did, which was to keep the natural bend in the box so the wings moved and

would work better through doors and such.

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Then I began with the Duct Tape.  I started with the middle.

After stabilizing the two pieces together, I began with the actual wings,

choosing which side looked the best facing out.  I really

wanted to support the middle to avoid ripping with the kids’ wear and tear.

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After doing one long strip up and over the wing and down again, I lined up the strips and

carefully pressed them together, using my hands to get a nice groove around the curve of a “feather”.
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It continued on like this until the wings were covered.

Then I begs making small-ish strips with the ends folded over for feathers.

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Place folded end downward where you want a feather and carefully cut out the

shape of a feather.  Repeat until it looks right to you.

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Voila!  Now for the straps.

I made two strips of tape folded over itself.

Make sure it can go over their shoulders.

Adhere to the inside of the wings and stabilize the straps.

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Filed under Budget, Children, Crafts and Gifts, DIY, Family, Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood, talents

One very cheap and easy Halloween decorating idea

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One thing I like to do every holiday is paint the windows.  It razor blades right off and is a very frugal way of being festive.  I use tempera paint and free hand it, but you could use a stencil as well.  It takes little to no time at all and adds some flair.

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Filed under Crafts and Gifts, Halloween, Holidays, talents