A very Burton-esque Halloween: Our Lydia Deetz and Edward Scissorhands costumes

Greetings ghouls and goblins! It’s been a scary Halloween here indeed. My husband and I dressed up in our finest and blackest garments for our take on classic Tim Burton films this All Hallows Eve. I’ve been a longtime fan of Tim Burton’s work, starting about when I was 13, and walked giddily into my first Hot Topic to see some of his iconic film characters on t-shirts. I grew up loving the “Nightmare Before Christmas,” and obsessing over Burton’s career, feeling like there might someday be a role for me among the Oyster Boys and Staring Girls of the world. I even had the privilege of interviewing Larry Wilson last year around Halloween time, regarding his work on “Beetlejuice,” “The Addams Family,” and his new Internet series “Cindy!” (You can see/listen to the full interview here) So, logically, these costumes are a long time dream of mine.

First up, my wonderful husband Mark, becoming my fangirl obsession, Edward Scissorhands. And by fangirl obsession, I mean my friends and I wrote fanfiction about Edward Scissorhands. And now you know. How embarrassingly dorky.


His Edward gloves came from Amazon, because making these would have been far too time-consuming, and probably just as expensive. The neck belts, shirt, suspenders and pants came from the thrift store. Simple stuff! And for his make-up, I watched this tutorial by Emma Pickles a few times over. We used a base of your basic White Halloween make-up, and then I took some brown and purple eyeshadow to try to recreate the eyes, lips, and cheek bone contouring. Mark did a bang-up job on the scars using thicker lines of white make-up, and contouring with a brown eyeliner pencil. I then styled a wig my sister used as Jane Lane from Daria to mimic Edward’s wild mane. We did it on the cheap, but damn – mission accomplished.


I recreated Lydia Deetz from “Beetlejuice” – the one where she has a big floppy black hat and is taking pictures outside of the house. I wore a shin-length black shirt, and button-up black top from the thrift store. Hairspray and hair paste took care of my weird bangs. I had the hat and blazer, as well as the tights and shoes. I found a similarly colored book at the thrift store, and used my graphic design magic (and hot glue!) to re-create the infamous “Handbook for the Recently Deceased.” My make-up for this look came with help from this tutorial by Chelsey Stacey. Light colored foundation, and brown around the eyes, as well as some nose and cheek contouring to try to achieve the Winona face.

This Halloween was a lot of fun… not only did we have really fun costumes, but role-playing is a must-do on Halloween. Mark spent most of the night pretending to cut peoples’ hair. These costumes have long been a dream of mine, so to finally be able to wear them with my husband has been so ridiculously fun!

What did you wear for Halloween? I demand pics!

5 Reasons Why I Love the world of Harry Potter #Potterweek

Greetings, muggles and magic folks alike! This post is brought to you by a glorious week we’re in the midst of celebrating – #Potterweek! Originally started by Common Room, a blog and podcast by my pal Hadas and her comrades, Potterweek is a celebration of all things Hogwarts. While today’s prompt is #PotterHouse, I’m a crazy pixie who does what she wants, so I’m going a bit more generalized with my Potterweek post. I’ll be running down a list of 5 reasons why I love Harry Potter, and all that the universe entails.

So many small and mischievous creatures and critters!
Merlin’s Pants! So many adorable creatures to choose from! I have always been fan of small, mischievous, and magical beings in books and movies. My favorite champs in League of Legends are Yordles, I am obsessed with garden gnomes, and the Asura in Guild Wars 2 totes claimed my heart. In the Harry Potter world, we have House-Elves, goblins, and even pixies! Rowling’s world contains many fantastic races, as do many fantasy books. Of course you have your big and tall, like giants and dragons, but you totally have to balance this out with your stubby and small! My favorite creature character from Harry Potter is Winky, a House-Elf from the books (but sadly left out of the movies). Heck – I’d even give Kreacher a fair shake… the little jerk.

It’s easy to imagine yourself being sorted, selecting a wand, getting an animal familiar, and making friends.
Admit it – when you read the books or watched the movies, in the back of your mind you were choosing what path you’d go down. Rowling outlined so many ways that readers could imagine how they would integrate into the world of Potter. We guessed where the Sorting Hat would put us. We fantasized about what our wands would be made of, and the stories behind them. We figured out which animal familiar we’d have. And we totally knew which gang of friends we’d want to hang out with in the halls of Hogwarts. The characters are all so interesting and diverse, so it’s easy to pick a favorite that you can relate to. (For the record, I’d be a Hufflepuff with a Toad familiar, chilling with Luna Lovegood after classes.)

Rowling teaches us about social injustice and issues that are applicable to the real world.
Social injustice and real world parallels exist in spades in Harry Potter’s world. The oppression of the enslaved House Elves is one of the first civil rights issues we encounter in the world. Well, Hermione, sign me up for SPEW, because this part of the books and movies totally put a beetle in my witch’s hat. Free the House Elves! Rights for House Elves now!!! *hops off soap box* Rowling also teaches us not to blindly trust authority, the news, or people in power, but to question them and think for ourselves. The Ministry of Magic certainly had its own dirty laundry, as did the cult of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Additionally, we all learned to keep our friends close – the themes of the importance of friendship in the books and movies are some of my favorite, second to My Little Pony of course. I found this Buzzfeed article pretty spot on in its listing of social injustice lessons Harry Potter taught us.

Villains are loved almost as much as good guys.
Good guys have bad sides, and bad guys have good sides. Even characters we think are perfect and flawless, (such as Dumbledore, or Harry’s dad) aren’t as perfect as we think. Likewise, those who are evil grumpy nastypants (such as Snape and Malfoy) actually have depth to them, and are pitifully seen in some ways as products of their environments. These portrayals are realistic and show us that people we perceive as good or evil can sometimes be both at different times. Nothing is black and white, least of all not people. Not to mention… some of the villains are just loveable, despite being bad to the bone. Bellatrix Lestrange, anyone? Yeah, she’s awesomely evil. This post has a few of your favorite baddies doing what we love to hate them for.

It’s Harry Potter, dammit. It’s beautiful and perfect and lovely and you love it. YOU LOVE IT.
Talk to the wand, because I don’t need a 5th reason. The world of Harry Potter is a magical place and everyone wants to be there, save for a few cranky squibs. It’s laced with magic (like you’ve never looked up all the Harry Potter spells before), wonder, surprises, fun, adventure, and so much more. We have the Wizarding World theme park and Pottermore, the amazing interactive website and reading experience to prove just how much its fans love it. The universe is so well-developed, immersive, and believable. The characters and their relationships are so beautiful and addictive. The overall storyline, as well as the smaller storylines in each book, are so well thought out and totally flawless. In short, JK Rowling, you’ve bewitched us all, so please have a Butterbeer on us, because this Potterhead ain’t goin anywhere.

Wanna hear me talk a little bit about Potter things with my Charmbomb girls? Check out this special mini-episode of Charmbomb!

Do you have 5 reasons you love Harry Potter? Post them in a comment or your own blog post. Be sure to use #Potterweek to share the love!

Internet Pixie: A How-To Guide

As you may or may not know… I identify as an Internet Pixie. My friend Mia of Superheroesque posed the challenging question, as to what I thought an Internet pixie was. So… I tried to explain the laws of the Internet Pixies as best as I could, without giving too much about our secret society away!

“When the first Internet Pixie LOLed for the first time, its laugh broke into 9+10 pieces, and they all went trolololing about… and that was the beginning of Internet Pixies.”

The 4 Laws of the Internet Pixies

To Make Friends Across the Interwebs

An Internet Pixie loves her fellow Pixies, and everyone else for that matter! She is always flitting around on the various social channels to drop a little bit of pixie dust on peoples’ heads.

To Spread Positivity

An Internet Pixie spreads positive vibes far and near. They send out positive thoughts and encouraging messages, sometimes for no reason at all! And sometimes weird emoticons. ヽ(´ー`)人(´∇`)人(`Д´)ノ

To Goof Off Rampantly

Pixies love to laugh – at themselves, and at others, in a jovial sort of friendly manner. An internet pixie loves pranks, tomfoolery, silliness, and jokes. They love to break the tension with a silly giggle snort. Sometimes they sneeze glitter into your face.

To Sprinkle Weirdness and Whimsybobbins

An Internet Pixie may have been on your Facebook wall if the last 50 posts you made have been liked. Or if you notice all of their Twitter posts are upside down. Or if mysteriously all of your wedding photos have been photoshopped with fish heads in place of people. Hey, it happens!

Spread your wings

Do you know someone who’s earned their wings? Tell me who you think deserves to be recognized as an Internet Pixie, or if you are one!

Dear R.L. Stine: Thank you.

Well, well. Mr. Stine. Can I call you R? No, that sounds silly. I’ll just call you what I’ve always called you: R. L. Stine. I’ve been meaning to write you a “Thank you letter” for nearly 15 years. Now that I’m turning 30, I’m realizing just how important you were to me growing up. I wanted to write you a little note of gratitude.

I remember seeing your books, the “Goosebumps” series, for the first time in the book store. I must have been 8 or 9, and I knew that those books would be different than all the other books that kids my age liked. Boxcar Children and Baby-Sitters, bah, well. They were neat, but they weren’t exactly relatable. Your books set off a cobweb-covered light bulb over my head the first time I saw them. After my wonderful mom begrudgingly bought me my first Goosebumps book, “Welcome to Dead House,” I knew it was the start of something… interesting. No other book spoke to me on a ‘weirdo level.’ In fact, I didn’t even know a ‘weirdo level’ existed, until I saw your books.

“Goosebumps” really struck a chord with me. The bright-colored covers with textured spooky dripping font, always featuring very creepy scenes. Your covers scared me for a long time, if you didn’t know. But I knew I had to read them – the books that seemed meant for strange kids, like me.

I grew obsessed with each story. Each kid, in the center of a world where they didn’t belong, but could somehow always figure things out. Parents, who just didn’t understand. Unusual happenings, ghostly friends, monster blood, ancient relics, werewolves, haunted houses, and sometimes an alien or a shrunken head, to add flavor to the poisoned soup. I could relate to these kids, overcoming odds in an odd world. So unlike in the real world (which was so boring!), I felt right at home in your unhomely books.

You’ll get a real kick out of this: When I was 21, I took college courses to become a school teacher. One class, “Children’s Literature,” I’ll never forget. Our teacher went around the room asking us what our favorite books were as children. Books that we would recommend to kids in our own classroom, were we ever to teach one. My answer was obvious. “The Goosebumps books,” I said proudly, eagerly awaiting the nods of gratitude, cheers, and high fives my classmates would surely be giving me. But, to my shock, the teacher quickly dismissed my answer. “I don’t think those books would be appropriate for children. Those books are too scary.”

“Those books?” I thought through my arched eyebrow, my curled upper lip. “Those books meant a hell of a lot more to me as a kid than I think you would ever understand, lady.” Needless to say, I dropped the class and left a Haunted Mask on her desk.

Those books gave me the go-ahead to be me. Those books showed me a world of kooks, creeps and ‘cabres. (That’s short for macabres, if you didn’t know.) Those books made me confident that, no matter how different I thought I was, there was at least one person who gave me permission to be me. That was you, R. L. Stine.

Thank you for creating a series of books that, at the most impressionable time of my life, when I felt like an alien among my peers (or perhaps I was but still hadn’t figured out how to contact my home planet yet), made me feel like someone out there understood me. It was okay to be a freak – curious, mysterious, and totally out there. Thanks for the “Goosebumps” books.

Looking at the haunted house I live next door to, my own collection of creepy toys much like Slappy the dummy, and my love of cheesy horror movies, I’ve no doubt they are certainly a tribute to you and your gateway into the land of weird.

Thank you.

Yours in weird-ness,

Thanks for reading! If R. L. Stine, or another author, greatly shaped you as a kid, post a comment to let me (or them) know!

This post was #4 on my list of 20 things to do when you’re down in the dumps.

I have learned that there will be a Goosebumps movie, starring Jack Black as R. L. Stine coming out in 2015. Look out for it – you know I will be!

Incorporating toys into a small apartment design.


When Mark and I visited his parents last week, and they kindly tried to send us home with all of his childhood toys, how could I resist! Mark has a large collection of 80’s memorabilia… Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, Pokemon, Power Rangers, and so much more nostalgic goodness. My challenge was to incorporate them into the design of our home, using the walls, and so it wouldn’t look too cluttered. In a 600 square foot apartment, using wall space in the design is key.


I had Mark install a long shelf along the ceiling so I could display all the toys. It’s hard to get these little guys to stand up, let me tell you. The mini-bar is one of my favorite parts of this room, of course. The IKEA Poang chair with red cushion and shiny pink pillow add the perfect pop of modern and color to the more classic design of the shelves and wall art.


Mark also put up another shelf for more toys, over my desk. So many toys! I got the disc wall clock from Fab.com and the awesome Carpe Weird print from HelpInk.org.


Here’s a peek at the other half of our living room, which is where we have a bit of a renaissance theme going on. My father painted this epic shield containing our family crests, and of course, animals in human clothes are always awesome. The important things I tried to do to incorporate the shield into the room was adding splashes of color found in the shield, like the red fireplace, the blue ox figurine, and the green cup for bottle caps on the table.


I made sure to hang everything in the apartment at that 57″ sweet spot, while getting a little bit chaotic, in an organized way. I included works by MC Escher in our collage, as it’s Mark’s favorite artist.

Overall, I think it’s a good start to our home design, but I kind of wish I had a better quality camera for these pictures. Someday!

Post a comment to let me know your must-know tips for home design, or show me pictures of your homes!