Halloween has long been my second favorite holiday of the season. 4th of July is my #1!  The first couple years after we were married, we threw pretty large adult only Halloween parties that I went way out for. Tons of decorations, large amounts of food (that I made myself), fabulous themed drinks, and pretty well thought out costumes.  Our last big party was in 2008 and I sure have been missing those fun events!  After going through old photos, I decided that it would be fun to share our silly costumes with you all in case you were looking for last minute ideas for yourself. Although I’m sure most people went to parties last weekend. In any case, here they are!

{reed 2005}

Oh boy, this one goes way back!  Our very first Halloween party at our tiny first home.  This was the best one!  Reed and his friend Mike decided to be robots.  It was awesome!  This is Reed…He basically just taped together cardboard boxes and spray painted them silver. To add to the look of metal, he drew in rivets with Sharpie marker.  The robot was much taller than he was, so he used the front of an old radio for the chest piece and that is where his head was.  He could flip the stereo piece up if he wanted to chat or eat and drink. Notice the “alcohol powered” above where his face is?  Oh, life before kids.  The very top of the robot he took wire hangers, bent them and covered them with aluminum foil and then hooked them up to small battery operated wheels that made the antenna spin! So awesome! The arms are ducting that he got at Home Depot and he used work gloves for his hands. He finished it off with silver pants he found at the thrift store and old boots he sprayed silver. Loved this costume and so did the kids when he answered the door on Halloween!

{us 2006}

This is probably my favorite costume I’ve worn.  I was Marie Antoinette…in her underwear of course! And Reed was the original Willy Wonka.  Both costumes were pretty easy!  Mine..I found the corset, bloomers and blousy undershirt on a Renaissance fair clothing site. You can’t see the shoes, but they were very French looking and I found them at good ol’ Marshalls for $10!  I added long pearls, a French fan I bought on Ebay, a FABULOUS wig I got online and a huge feather and flower that I pinned into the wig. SO fun!

Reed found the shirt and jacket on Ebay. He wore a pair of his own pants and shoes and the tie he bought at the local costume shop for $5.  He added a silly curly wig and a top hat from the local party supply store.  The best were the golden tickets and candy bars he made!  That was the most time consuming part of the costume!  He photoshopped out wrappers and the tickets and made about 20 of them that he handed out at the party. OH..almost forgot…you can’t see it in this pic, but he found an awesome cane with a big diamond on top from a PIMP STORE online! Yes…you read that right.. a pimp store! hahahaha!!!

{us 2007}

If you think I look busty in this picture you are right! Yikes!  I had just given birth to our daughter about three months prior and this is what breast feeding did to me. We dressed up like a German couple because our best German friends were in the US visiting and we hadn’t seen them since they had moved a few months earlier. We thought they would get a laugh. Both our outfits were found online. These were dialed in…no creativity here, but our friends thought it was funny and my husband really liked my costume. *wink wink*

{us 2008}

Oh Lord, this picture scares me everytime I see it! My husband with eyeliner and me…well…looking like a total hussy.  The hubs is Bret Michaels from Poison fame and I’m a Rock of Love contestant. If you never saw the show, this may not be that funny to you.  But if you have…well you get the joke!  Again, easy costumes.  His outfit consisted of too tight jeans, cowboy boots found at a thrift store, bandana he already owned, cowboy hat and a $10 tee he found online. The eyeliner? Yeah, that was mine.

I found the dress at some cheapo clothing store at the mall. Shiny, tight, too short…yuck. The fabulous wig wasn’t a total cheapy. I got it from a reputable wig shop online.  It’s actually kind of…uhh..nice. If you wear wigs that is. I have about 10 lbs of makeup on and the BIGGEST silicone boob enhancers in my dress. Bummer, but you can’t seem my other arm which had a bunch of stupid fake tattoos. I also added a tattoo around my ankle and have on THE highest heels I have ever worn. Reed went above and beyond and made me a Rock of Love backstage pass that Bret used in the show much like a rose is used on the Bachelor. Hilarious!

So there you have it! Our funny Halloween costumes throughout the years.  I might share some fun ones of Ellie this week as well….because..well I love Halloween!

Have a great week everyone.

Be the first to comment

May 7, 2013

Mother’s Day 2013

by Shelly

Mother’s Day is right around the corner.  Do you know what you’re doing for your momma?  We basically all want the same…. a little relaxation and appreciation for all our hard work and pain!  *wink wink*   So let her relax and spoil her right.  Give her a day that’s all about treating her nice.


recipe for mothers day brunch

lounge pants



initial cuff

Be the first to comment

December 11, 2012

I’ve Been Good Santa!

by Shelly


I’m in quite the festive mood this year!  The house and the tree were fully decorated by the last week in November.  I’ve also managed to knock out quite a bit of my gift shopping already. That is definitely a first! Well, as much as I love to give…oh how I do love to receive as well!  Here is what I am hoping Santa will bring me this year.

To be honest I haven’t been following the Smitten Kitchen blog, but I have pinned quite a few recipes of hers over on Pinterest!  I just know the pictures in this cookbook are going to be amazing and I am excited to try out some fun new dishes.

Ina, Ina, Ina!  I cannot get enough of this woman.  Everything I’ve ever made from her is wonderful, and fairly easy (for me at least). Of course I also need this cookbook to complete my Barefoot Contessa library.

Every year I get a new planner to keep me on track.  For some reason I not only need to enter appointments in my iPhone, but it helps me to also write things down. After seeing  this planner on Instagram, I knew it was just the thing I needed to keep me organized next year.

While visiting family over the Thanksgiving holiday, my awesome cousin in law Rhyan was sweet enough to sit down with me for a while and give me a much needed makeup tutorial and brush up. After she used this cool egg makeup blender, I noticed my makeup looked more natural on my skin.  I also like the fact that it’s washable, so I can reuse it over and over again.

This serum is AWESOME! I started using this about a year ago and have really noticed the difference it has made on my skin.  It’s toned down the redness, helped with my dryness and given me overall brighter skintone. I’m down to drops in my bottle at home, so a new supply would be nice.

My current right hand ring is bent to hell.  I’m really loving the delicate ring look. This set fits the bill and is definitely a great price!

I’ve been searching for a classic watch that will go with everything.  This Timex is just the look I was hoping to find. Clean, timeless and goes with everything.

We went to a fun Christmas party thrown by some of our best friends Saturday night.  When we got home I took off my shoes as soon as we came in the door. Well, the new puppy thought they were yummy. When I found them the next morning she had eaten the back of one of them. I actually think these black heels are a bit nicer than my old pair AND they’re 50% off right now!

After picking up this magazine a few times in the grocery store I realized that it wasn’t the stuffy, old person’s food mag that I thought it would be. I’m totally obsessed with it now!

Hello beautiful!  This bracelet would just be so pretty for nights out or even for a bit of a more glam daytime look. Definitely a look that will never go out of style.

I’m all about getting comfy after hours.  This hoodie would be the perfect thing to zip up, get cozy and watch our new fav show Breaking Bad in.

Are you hoping for something particular to find it’s way under your tree?


1 comment

April 9, 2012

A happy happy Easter!

by Shelly

We’re taking a quick trip out of town to go to Legoland, but I wanted to share our casual Easter soiree with you.  Very casual, nothing fancy…  just my family (the inlaws stayed in Central California this time)…a yummy ham, and a FABULOUS lemon cake that I’ll share the recipe for. Yummo!

Mason jars filled with pink tulips and gerbera daisies, gingham napkins, silver bunny napkin holders, Easter candy in silver dishes, and my collection of Easter bunnies were the theme for our table this year.

Our kiddo ate SOOO much freaking candy that I thought her head was going to spin off!  By 3pm though…she had crashed into a pool of blankets on the sofa….and so did the hubby and I to be honest!

But the highlight of the day….well in my book that is…was this delicious lemon cake from Martha Stewart that was just perfect for Springtime!

It wasn’t too hard to make and everyone just devoured it!  Here is the recipe should you want to make it for your next event!  Oh, and to make it EXTRA yummy you must add the lemon curd between the two cake layers as described under the “Variations” section.

Lemon Cake

  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 45 minutes, plus cooling
  • Yield Serves 12


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  3. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack.
  4. While cakes are baking, bring remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add lemon slices and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to a waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir remaining 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.
  5. Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. Let cool completely. Prepare frosting, substituting 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

Cook’s Note

When making frosting, substitute 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for the vanilla extract.


To make the recipe Martha prepared with John Barricelli on “The Martha Stewart Show,” follow these instructions immediately before frosting the cake: Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath. Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with lemon curd. Top with remaining cake; continue frosting top and sides as directed.

Whipped Frosting


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

Be the first to comment

I haven’t been around here much I know.  Work has been quite busy…which is GOOD!  I just LOVE being busy and doing what I enjoy most, designing!  But the husband was wondering what I want this Christmas and thought you might want to see what I’m aching for this year.

I know plenty about how to design, but I’m still a new business owner and figuring out how to actually make money at what I’m doing…well I think this book may help. 1 The Business of Design: Balancing Creativity and Profitability, Amazon $26.40 Gone are the days when heels were my go to shoe of choice. I pretty much live in sandals, ballet flats and boots.  These caught my eye the minute I saw them. CUTENESS! 2 Minnetonka Kilty Suede Moc, Zappos $45.00 Boy do I wear out m wallets! I’ve had my existing paprika colored leather wallet from Banana Republic for three year now. But it’s dirty, worn and tired. I’ve sort of always wanted a Kate Spade one. This is cute and it zips, which would help with my overflowing wallet situation. 3 Cobble Hill Lacey Wallet, Kate Spade $136.00 Well, to tell the truth we really need to add gutters to our fixer upper. But when we do I totally want a few of these, so that the rain will make music as it comes down. I’m going for cottage at our new place and these seem just that.  4 Hammered Cup with Rain Chain, Rain Chains Direct $89.95 This year was a difficult one with big decisions to make, bold steps to take and a lot of learning and growing. But it was GOOD…even if it was a bit painful at times.  This bracelet is just what I need to keep my mind going in the right direction.  The second bracelet is just SO me. My close friends know that I am very much a downtown meets uptown kinda girl.  I definitely like nice things…food, clothes, homes, wine, etc.  But I am your girl if you want to head to a dive bar, play shuffleboard and drink beer! This Is The Year To Idiom Bracelet, Kate Spade $58.00 AND/OR Go The Extra Mile Idiom Bracelet, Kate Spade $40.00 I’ve decided that our home needs a bit more orange going on.  I’m thinking a few pops would work great and this throw is just so classic AND orange. And we could always use another throw around here. 6 Draper Stripe Persimmon Throw, Dwell Studio $150.00 Recently, I purchased a very cool reclaimed wood printer cabinet sideboard piece to house my fabrics in our living room..which happens to also be my office.  Our existing barley twist lamp is just not doing it for me.  I’m thinking some BIG and glass would look really great in it’s place. And I saw a guy that made these last time I hit the Rose Bowl. 7 French Wine Jug Lamp, Rose Bowl Flea Market $ ?? Thanksgiving weekend was spent in Central California at the in laws place…Fresno to be exact. I know, I know Fresno. It honestly gets a bad wrap. There are some really cool things about Fresno, but that’s for another post. Anywho, we went to dinner with some dear friends one night and had the most AMAZING Italian food.  Yes, in Fresno! So, now I’m all gung ho about making fresh pasta.  I want to recreate that dinner experience! 8 Imperia Pasta Machine, Williams Sonoma $69.95 As are most women right now, I am having a serious love affair with animal print.  I love this skinny belt for adding definition to a boxy dress or over a cardigan. So classic! 9 Skinny Calf Hair Belt, J.Crew $60.00

So what’s on your wish list? I’d love to know what you are asking for this year.