Halloween for the Ghoul on a Budget

Happy All Hallows' Eve boys & ghouls! I read in the current issue of TIME magazine that adults are estimated to spend 1.4 billion dollars on Halloween costumes this year (compared to 1.1 billion for children). Surely we have better things to spend 1.4 billion dollars on right? Halloween can be celebrated at a much lower cost thus giving you more cash to enjoy a new fall wardrobe, vacation, or the opportunity to donate to a local shelter as the temperature begins to drop. See how Halloween can be ever-so-enjoyable, even for the ghoul on a budget.... 

$12 Homemade Costume: 
Yes my costume this year cost me only $12! You can save so much money by simply taking advantage of the things that you already have. After my trip back to my hometown of Las Cruces, NM last month I made my mind up that for Halloween I would represent the culture I grew up around and dress as a sugar skull, a symbol of Dia de Los Muertons (Nov 1st). Once I knew what I wanted to be I did some exploring on Pinterest and found some really cool ways to do makeup and hair that would fit my vision & budget. With that I grabbed some black & blue face paint from Target (just $1 a pop for a huge tube!) a pack of gems, eyelashes and a few big silk flowers that I clipped form their stems and twirled up in my hair. I used paint brushes I had at home to replicate a few of the face painting looks I found on Pinterest which simply required painting blue around my eye (just follow your brow bone all the way around) and a black design of a stitched smile (similar to Jack or Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas). Then I applied some dark red lip color to the middle of my lips and added the gem stones where I saw fit. I wore a long-sleeve black top and a pleated maxi skirt to finish the look (since the best part of the costume was all from the neck up anyway). While I have to admit it was difficult at first to paint on my own face I do appreciate the simplicity of the design of this look, it doesn't have to be perfect nor does it have to be expensive. 

$25 Ghostly Hosting:
On Saturday we had a get-together in our building and each apartment decorated their home and served drinks and snacks. For a girl on a budget I wanted to entertain my guest without breaking the bank. It actually turned out to be pretty simple, inexpensive and took hardly any time. To set the tone I grabbed a few bags of spider web decor from Hobby Lobby (they were 40% off too!) and draped spider webs all around the living area and kitchen using tape to hold it up. I love the spider webs because they are classic and spooky at the same time. Then I closed my curtains which made my home even spookier, lit all of my candles to set the tone (which also cast shadows on the spider webs) and found a "Haunted House" playlist on Spotify to set on repeat. For snacks and drinks we made a simple concoction of kiwi-watermelon Koolaid and vodka with a dash of green food coloring. I topped the drinks off with witch fingers that I found in packages for $1 at Target (*wash them first though). We roasted the pumpkin seeds from our Jack-O-Lanterns and served them in mason jars like the drinks. It was so simple and cost me less than $30 to host ~15 people.

$10  Spooky Movie Marathon:
One of the items in my fall bucket list was to watch all of the classic Halloween films. My $10 subscription to Netflix has made this incredibly easy and has even made checking my mailbox a more enjoyable experience. I'm also willing to bet that a lot of these classic thrillers would be $1 rentals at your friendly neighborhood Blockbuster, and for those of you who have cable you will surely be able to find a spooky movie marathon on tonight with hardly any effort at all. Pop some popcorn, make homemade caramel apples, brew some apple cider and stay in cozy and warm.

Free Happenings Around Town:
There are always great things to do at little to no cost around town or in your community, holidays are prime time for businesses to market their products or work. Follow a Twitter account of a local venue that hosts events, peruse local posters to see what peaks your interests and find out what your friends are up to. These are great opportunities where you can meet new friends or old friends, observe wild costumes, and celebrate Halloween for free. I know for me going somewhere new or attending an event where I don't know someone isn't always the easiest for my comfort level.... but take advantage of the fact that it's Halloween and everyone deserves to have a good time. 

$20-Free Ghost Stories Under the Covers 
Spend the night in devouring a spine-chilling read under the covers with your cat (or your luvah!). I love the traditional ritual of telling ghost stories under the covers at night. There is always something so delightful about eliminating the chaos of the modern world and doing things like they used to be done. I found this book about Tulsa hauntings at a local shop but what I love most about it is learning the history of Tulsa and Oklahoma You don't need a book to tell ghost stories though, just a creative imagination and a set of ears to listen to you (Penelope is great at this).

tricks, treat & manicured feet-


OMG Ombré!

Even though I've traded in my ombré locks for a deep auburn tress it doesn't mean I'm not still loving this effortless hair color trend. One of the reasons it has been my favorite hair color yet is because I'm pretty-freakin-proud of the fact that I managed to achieve this look on my own, at home! I actually haven't had my hair professionally colored since December of 2011 (which is a huge deal for me considering the fact that I've spent countless Thanksgiving dinners at my hair colorists house). Since moving to Tulsa however, I've somehow found a vein of bravery within me and have ventured out into the world of boxed dye and home hair coloring. Truth be told, I haven't been disappointed yet! Here's how I managed to accomplish the ever-so-effortless ombré effect on my hair: 


start with a base

I've been coloring my hair a medium-golden brown since last March, so my hair was already dark all over. My favorite color is the Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam in 5G. I love the foam because it's pretty much hassle free, which make it easy for lazy hair goers like me. I just follow the instructions provided and slather the foam all over my head for the expected amount of time. Pretty stinkin' simple. 


figure out your blonde

 This is where it's time to get smart, you have to pick a reasonable blonde color. I opted for something not too platinum, yellow, or dramatic knowing that my hair was a pretty deep shade of brown. After perusing the hair product aisle at the drug store I settled on Revlon's Frost & Glow (Honey Highlights for Medium to Dark Brown Hair). Try to find a shade that's only 3ish shades lighter than your base color. While there I also picked up a back up of my trusty brown color foam, juuusst in case. 


watch this video

I'm such a visual person, so this video helped me see how the process was going to look. I knew it wouldn't bee too crazy, but I wanted to visualize how I would actually transfer the color to my hair. You don't need to watch the entire thing, just fast forward to see how she applies the color in two rounds starting with the tips so they color longer and then advancing up higher so that the color is gradual. The timing will change depending on the bleach that you use so mind the instructions of your kit.


do it!

Now go for it! I wrapped a towel around myself, mixed my color and prepped my materials, put on my gloves, separated my hair into two pieces and applied the dye/bleach to the tips for ~15 minutes and then applied it higher up my tips and let it sit for a remaining ~20 minutes. 

...and voilà

Also! Here are some handy tips I got from my lovely Instagram followers: 1. If you use the specific Revlon color I referenced, keep it on for longer than the box recommends. 2.  After the bleach apply a permanent hair color (blonde one) to the tips to lock moisture into your hair (I didn't do this but wish I had!). 3.Use a toothbrush, which I actually did to add highlights around my face, and it was rather easy actually- I just brushed a light coat of the color on to a few small pieces of hair around my face for the remaining 15-20 minutes of the color process.

ombré olé! 


The Charm of Fall

 Caramel Apples. State Fairs. Hollowed Pumpkins. Scarves. Crock-Pot-Creations. Falling Leaves. Red Lips. Spiced Tea. Horror Films. Boots. Warm Candles. Orange Sunsets.......

Spring is traditionally known as a time of rebirth & rejuvenation, but I see no reason why fall can't have the same spirit! It's the start of something new and the transition to the end of the year. It's the perfect time to re-organize your closet, learn a new skill, and do something spontaneous. Here are some ways to embrace the fall spirit with open arms....

1. Change it up: Start simple with a new lip color (magenta!), go a bit bolder and perhaps try a new hair color (auburn!) or adopt a new friend (Penelope!). Embrace the opportunity to take on something new, you'll never know unless you do and you will most likely end up pleasantly surprised.

2. Do something you have been putting off: Is there a book you haven't made time for yet that you have really wanted to read? Itching to clean out that junk drawer in your kitchen? Start now. Right now. Mark the time off on your calendar to complete your task. Pull that book down from the shelf and put it on your nightstand and plan to go to bed 30 minutes sooner so you can start the first chapter. Do it now. 

3. Learn something new: Ready to finally master a Crock-Pot meal? Interested in learning more about your neighborhood or exploring a new culture? Curious to know what political opinions and parties you want to vote for? Take on the scholarly spirit of the back-to-school season and learn something that peaks your interest. Make a habit of learning all the time through authentic experiences and relationships. You may even discover a talent or passion that you never knew you had!

4. Feed your soul: Plan a dinner with friends you haven't seen in a while, or retreat to a new destination for a quick weekend getaway. Send a thoughtful card to a relative or an old friend. Execute a scary-movie-marathon with your crush. Embrace the season with the people who mean the most to you and reconnect with the ones you have lost touch with, it'll be good for your soul.

5. Make a plan: Get ahead of yourself and plan out the things you want to do, try, and learn before the season sneaks away from you. Make a fall bucket list, plan something new for each weekend, or track down the art class schedule at your local community college. Take the brilliant ideas cooking in your head and go make them happen by making room for them in your life. 

We live a good life, don't forget it and don't let it forget you. 

pumpkin spice & everything nice-