Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017 Redux

Halloween 2017 was pretty sweet and simple. No crazy parties, and we got our money's worth out of our costumes since girls wore them once to church, once to trunk-or-treat, and finally to actually trick-or-treat on Halloween.

Zuzu wanted to be a specific mermaid: Oona from the cartoon Bubble Guppies. Oona has purple hair and a purple and pink tail. And a starfish bow in her hair.

I used Etsy for inspiration, and made my own mermaid tail with two purple tube tops I ordered from here (super cheap at just over a dollar each). I ordered a third to be the top (which she wore over a shirt). I bought two rolls of tulle--one purple and one pink--from Joann fabric store and cut strips which were then tied in simple knots at the bottom of one tube top. I also used a length of purple tulle to weave between two tube tops in order to sew them together to make the length of the tail so that it would start at her waist and go down just past her knees. The tulle had just enough stretch in it and although the seam was visible, it wasn't noticeable once she had the full costume on.

I knew that Oona the mermaid wasn't the most recognizable character for most people, so I ordered a little iron-on patch of the character from Etsy. I wasn't sure how best to adhere it to the stretchy tube top, so I ended up cutting a length of felt and loosely stitching the patch to the felt with a tulle bow underneath it for "flair." Then I had Zuzu put on the tube top and I pinned the felt to the tube top when it was stretched out to fit her body. We carefully removed it and then I stitched the felt down on just the two sides.

We had a long sleeve pink shirt on hand, but we bought light purple stretchy pants at a consignment shop for a couple of bucks. She wore regular shoes and I put her hair in two pig tails.

The starfish hair clip was a wooden star I happened upon in the back aisle of Joann's for .49 (kind of like these but sold individually) and I traced it with marker on a piece of felt, then cut out the star from felt and hot-glued it to the wooden star. I also colored the edges of the star with a purple marker. Then I hot-glued the wooden star to a hair clip. It was super easy, but Zuzu made the biggest deal out of it. Don't you love that?

She really wanted purple hair (can you tell it's purple in the picture above?), so I picked up a $2 bottle of purple spray at Target in the Halloween section. It gave her just enough color that she was satisfied, but I thought it smelled terrible. She didn't seem to mind, or was willing to tolerate it for the sake of cosplay. Still, when she fell asleep on the way home from trick-or-treating, David wanted to deposit her directly in bed and I wanted to wake her up for a quick bath. He won the debate, but when she woke up twenty minutes later to go to the bathroom, I got her in the tub for a rinse. The spray easily washes out, so I wasn't too worried about it staining the pillowcase, but I didn't like the idea of her breathing in the fumes all night. Does that sound crazy? I dunno. I get worked up about that kind of stuff.

Anyway, she was satisfied with her costume, and she got plenty of compliments on it. Most people recognized that she was a mermaid, even with a hoodie on underneath her tube top!

Coco was a fairy, and her costume was an easy order from Amazon (I paid less than the current price). I asked her what color wings she wanted and then ordered the "pink, purple, and blue" set as directed. We had a pair of purple tights with sparkly stars on them, a blue sparkly leotard, and a long sleeved pink shirt for her to wear underneath. And pink shoes with a bow that she was pretty crazy about.

She also loved the headband that came with the fairy set. I curled the curling ribbon with scissors and the floral headband did a nice job of disguising the hack job of a hair cut she's still sporting.

Even with a pink fleece jacket on, her wings and tutu and floral crown were all visible and cute, and she was pretty brave for trick or treating, although some of the gorier decorations scared her (a bloody skeleton rising up out of a coffin was particularly startling and she asked David to carry her for a while after that).

We had planned to just trick or treat the new neighborhood, which is basically one street, even though neighbors had told us at a recent block party that the place is pretty quiet on Halloween. I just thought since it was a week night we wouldn't want to make a big production out of things and we'd already been to a trunk or treat event at David's school.

But then I got home from work and the girls were starving and by 5:15 they'd already eaten scrambled eggs and were wanting to put on their costumes so when David walked in the door at 5:30, we decided to drive into the city for the Best Halloween Experience Ever, which is in our old neighborhood. Honestly, I was feeling pretty homesick for it as well.

And I was definitely glad we went. It was so nice to see our old neighbors, even briefly, and say hello. There were so many great decorations, and lots of trick-or-treaters, but we started early before it got really crowded. Our first stop was an older gentleman who was handing out bags of pretzels. He asked the girls if they liked pretzels and Coco gave him an enthusiastic "Yes!" but Zuzu said, "No... But that's okay!"

We then had  quick sidewalk conversation about saying thank you NO MATTER WHAT the treat was.

She was a little reluctant to follow the St. Louis tradition of telling a joke to get a treat, which I thought was interesting since she was all about it last year. But she warmed up as we went along and alternated between "What's a ghost's favorite muffin?" (booberry) and "What did the skeleton order at the restaurant?" (spare ribs).

At one house she told her joke and they put forward a basket of full-sized candy bars. "Would you like to choose one?" a woman asked her.

Zuzu scoped them out--all chocolate--and said, "No, thank you" very politely before turning around and walking back down to the sidewalk.

We laughed and as we walked away we heard the woman saying, "Well, I don't think I've ever heard that one before."

We only went down two blocks and then back up them on the other side, which probably took a little over an hour. By that time, we were cold and Coco was done--she wanted to be carried the last half block and didn't even trick or treat at the last few houses. As we headed to the car, Zuzu said so sweetly and sincerely, "Thank you, Mommy and Daddy, for taking us trick-or-treating."

We made a quick stop at Ted Drewes for David and me to get a Halloween treat--the Great Pumpkin concrete!--and then headed home.

Zuzu was asleep when we pulled in the garage, but Coco was wired and sugared. Eventually we got them cleaned up, teeth brushed, and settled in bed, and David and I ate a plate of nachos followed by Great Pumpkins (just a few thousand calories) while watching the world series, and then headed up to bed ourselves.

Related: I've been listening to this Spooked! podcast created by Snap Judgment and it is testing the boundaries of my skepticism! Halloween may be over, but this one is worth a listen--especially the one called "The Summoning" about the ouija board. Freaky!


  1. cuties <3 My girls loved Bubble Guppies but haven't watched it in a while- will need to re-introduce them.

  2. They look so adorably sweet they made my teeth hurt a little, love those girls!