My Wish Has Been Granted! Another Year of Halloween Costume Fun with My Daughter: Aladdin Style!

 

For the past five years, my daughter and I’ve been dressing up for Halloween in “matching” costumes. When Quinn was two, she was Doc McStuffins, and I was Lambie. At three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. At four, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. Just last year, she was a magical fairy princess, and I was a magical princess mermaid.

This year, we decided on two costumes. The first one, that we wore at Sesame Place and Boot at the Zoo, was dressing up like her American Girl doll, Luciana, which was a lot of fun. Our second set of costumes were inspired by the Aladdin movie. Quinn dressed as Princess Jasmine donning a beautiful fuchsia outfit we purchased at Target in the kids clothing section back in May, not the Halloween costume section, along with a long flowing ponytail with gold clips that we got from Amazon for $19.99. For her footwear, she already had a pair of gold sneakers for comfort.

At first I was going to be Princess Jasmine’s mother, but then Quinn suggested that I dress up as the genie, which I thought was a fantastic idea. Though it was tricky finding the costume, since the genie is a male character, I was able to locate one from Amazon that I really liked. It looked good on me, but was very thin.

So I decided to use my creativity and piece together my own costume. I ordered royal blue harem pants from Amazon for $15.99. They are actually good quality and have a comfortable fit. The light blue wrap shirt also came from Amazon for $15.99 as well, and it is nice enough to wear regular, not just for a costume. Since it is a little thin for this time of the year, I paired it with a royal blue tank top I already had to wear underneath. For the gold wrist cuffs and red satin sash, I actually purchase fabric from Joanne Fabrics and got to work using my sewing machine. Believe or not, it took my less than a half hour to do both. Then, I topped it off with a dark blue ponytail wig I also purchased from Amazon for $22.99 since I figured it would be a bit too much to paint my face and body blue. I actually like the way it looks and find it to be good quality and not like the wigs one might find at a local Halloween or party shop. I can see myself using it for other events in the future.

Having “matching” costumes with my daughter is something we both look forward to and makes one of my wishes come true. It strengthens our mother/daughter bond and puts smiles on both of our faces as we have a great time together. Though Halloween won’t be here for a few days, we’re already looking forward to what we’ll be for next year.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Spending Time with My “Boos” at the Zoo!

At least five Woodys! Plenty of super heroes from Iron Man to Spider Man to Superman, the Incredibles and anyone else you can think of! Plenty of princesses, unicorns and even a family dressed as the characters from Wizard of Oz. No, this wasn’t a costume party but the absolutely fun Halloween event held annually at the Philadelphia Zoo: Boo at the Zoo!

This makes the sixth year that my daughter and I have attended and the second year that we’ve met up with our relatives for some “cousin” fun along with my mother. We arrived at 9am (The zoo opens at 9:30am but allowed members to enter as early a 8:30am), and while the day started off rather chilly, the weather was perfect as the day progressed. The sun was shining the entire time, and we were even able to unbutton our jackets as the light breeze blew. In between seeing the lions, tigers, giraffes and plenty other animals (who were all out and about today), Quinn and her cousins eagerly ran to the different stations to trick or treat for tasty sweets and did different crafts while admiring the costumes of the other children and adults in passing.

Spending time with my extended family, seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces, hearing their laughter and simply feeling their joy truly puts a smile on my face. If you’re looking for a fun and safe event for your child or children and live near Philadelphia, “Boo at the Zoo” is perfect! You get to dress up, get sweet treats, and do fun activities all while seeing animals.

All the best,

Tanya

Mother & Daughter Bond: Observing the Beautiful Relationship of Celestial Bodies

 

“You two look super cute!” a little girl said. “Oh my God! I just love it!” a woman exclaimed.” Another lady with her sons remarked, “I just love your matching celestial dresses! I wish I had a little girl so that we could dress alike too!” Yesterday, my six year old and I went to Sesame Place for the Count’s Halloween Spooktacular with my sister-in-law and nieces. Since my daughter and I both love dressing up for Halloween, we didn’t pass up the opportunity to wear something special for the occasion. We saw a few super heroes, princesses and even PJ Masks characters, but no one was wearing our “special” costumes, which we decided on months ago.

Last year, for Christmas, Quinn got her first American Girl doll, Luciana, who was the girl of the year for 2018 and aspires to be an astronaut. So when I asked her what she wanted to wear, she thought it would be cool if we both dressed up like Luciana and wore celestial dresses and red waist bags.

First, I visited the American Girl website to price the dress and then headed to Amazon where I found a dress for Quinn and me with the combined prices cheaper than the price for one child-sized dress. I even found the red waist bags through Amazon too! We received so many compliments on our matching outfits as Quinn proudly held Luciana in her arms for a few pictures.

The smiles and kind words from strangers made me think of Quinn and me as celestial bodies that people observe in awe and intrigued by our mother/daughter bond. While many more milestones and memorable moments may be light-years away, I am grateful in knowing that the stars aligned for Quinn to be my daughter causing a feeling of hope and happiness that’s totally out of this world!

All the best,

Tanya

What Do You Call a Fairy & and Mermaid? Mommy and Daughter Halloween Fun!

Halloween is such a fun time of year not just for my daughter but for me too. What makes it extra fun is the strengthening of our mommy/daughter bond. Since she was two, she began picking out a costume not just for herself but for me too. She’s been Doc McStuffins, and I’ve been Lambie. When she was three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. Last year, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. This year, she decided to be a fairy and asked me to be a mermaid with a similar color scheme: purple as her favorite color and blue as my favorite color. I thought to myself, what a great idea! She’s already thinking about next year wanting to be a princess so that I can be her unicorn, and I love it!

I feel like dressing up together, going to parties, special events and trick or treating brings out the best in us both and brings us closer together. Sometimes, life just gets so hectic, and work even gets stressful, so I thank my daughter for allowing me to just have fun and enjoy life as different characters. Here’s to a happy fun-filled Halloween. Time with my daughter is the ultimate treat!

Abracadabra! Having Magical Autumn Fun Creating Abby Cadaby the Pumpkin!

Last year, it was Marshall from Paw Patrol, the year before it was Super Grover. This year when I asked my daughter how she wanted to decorate her pumpkin, without hesitation, she said, “Abby Cadaby!” She then excitedly went through the shopping list without taking a breath. “Mommy, we’re going to need pink paint, brushes, purple and pink yarn for her hair and google eyes just like Super Grover had when we made a pumpkin to look like him.” Just this past weekend we had such a fun time at Shadybrook Farm selecting our pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, and shortly after arriving home my four year old wanted to get started right away and bringing pumpkin Abby to life.

When Quinn was two, she needed quite a bit of assistance from me to make sure the paint got on the pumpkin instead of everywhere else. Two years later, she  sat beside her nana, who was decorating her own pumpkin, held the sponge brush steadily in her little hand and barely needed my help at all. My job was mainly to adhere the eye balls and yarn hair with the hot glue gun because we established that part was a job for an adult.

Since this pumpkin is probably double the size of the Super Grover one, I’m not too sure if we’ll do a full-size Abby, but I have a feeling that Quinn will be successful in persuading me to give Abby a body, outfit and even her magic wand, especially since we won the contest at my college for our Super Grover Pumpkin.

Selecting pumpkins together is a fun autumn activity, but decorating them together is a certainly a magical experience that I will always cherish and hope that my daughter does too.

All the best,

Tanya

Happy Halloween: Ready for Take-off with My Little Astronaut!

During the early summer, my little girl proclaimed, “I’m going to be an astronaut for Halloween!” Like most children, I figured she’d change her mind, especially since Halloween was about a half year away, but each time I’d ask, she’d say, “I want to be an astronaut, Mommy! I want to be an astronaut when I grow up!” Finding her costume was no problem, but figuring out what I was going to be as our family theme was a bit tricky.

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A Quick Selfie with My Little Astronaut before Trick or Treating

Last year, she was Doc McStuffins, and I was Lambie, so I wanted to keep with the idea of not wearing the east costumes but having them be related. I thought about being an alien that my three year old encountered. Then I considered being a planet. As I mentioned it to my mom around August, she said, “How about being a rocket?!””A rocket!” I pondered. I really liked the idea. After getting the “thumbs up” from my daughter, I immediately started looking for costumes and ideas. Unfortunately, I came up empty with finding an adult-size rocket costume, so I put my creative skills to the test again, as I did last year with my Lambie costume, and decided to make a rocket dress.

 

I purchased the silver fabric and tulle from Joann Fabric, using 20 percent off coupons, of course and then watched a few youtube videos on making a basic dress. Then it occurred to me, “Why not use one of my maxi dresses as a template for creating the dress pattern” Even though I sewed the dress by hand, having the template from my maxi dress worked out perfectly and made the process much easier and quicker.

To create the flame, I used a combination of red, yellow and orange tulle and fabric, interchanging the colors and materials on an one fourth inch elastic band. Once that part was done, I used a hot glue gun to attach it to the dress. I was able to get the NASA logo online and print it on iron-on paper for the dress.

The next step was making a pointed hat as the rocket tip using some of the excess silver fabric. I was able to use some poster board I had from a previous project and opened up a party hat from Quinn’s birthday to get an idea of how I should cut and form the hat. Once that was done, I hot glued and stapled the fabric to the poster board then added blue rhinestones to sell out “USA.”

Even though the design of them was fun and easy to construct, making the wings was more tricky than I anticipated because I had to account for my body measurement to make the straps the appropriate size. I though elastic would work but found that the velcro straps I used to adhere them kept detaching. After giving it some thought, I decided to start all over and used overall fasteners so that the straps could be adjustable as needed. This worked out perfectly.

While designing and putting together this costume took a lot of thought, time and effort, I’m happy with the end result because it put a smile on Quinn’s face! We attended a party of the weekend, and many people loved our complementary costumes. My little girl even commented, “You’re my rocket because I’m the astronaut, Mommy!” Though she meant this literally, it can also be applied figuratively. Even when she is controlling her own destination, I am always willing to be the vehicle or means to help her reach to the moon, stars and beyond.

It was awesome to receive several compliments on our costumes and to big a “kid” again with my little girl trick or treating this evening. Our Halloween this year is out of this world!

All the best,

Tanya

 

Halloween & Fall Fun with My Little Girl 

I’ve always loved the fall season, and not just because my birthday is in October but because there’s so many wonderful activities and ways to have family fun. Last year, I did many activities with my little girl, and now that she’s three and in preschool during the week, she’s even more eager to have some autumn weekend fun. I didn’t want this season to go by without taking out some time to reflect on this fall and Halloween season.

Usually, I’d post separate entries on our adventures, but our new and very busy schedule has been an ongoing transition for us both. But I could not allow this season to go by without acknowledging all of the fun moments we’ve been having together.

This year, we kept with tradition, and my husband, Quinn and I went to a local pumpkin patch, Shadybrook Farms, to select pumpkins to decorate and to have some fun doing the different activities. Though it did rain a little, it was awesome seeing how much more involved she was in the pumpkin selecting process. She was so excited to get home and work on her pumpkin. Since Quinn loves Paw Patrol, we made a Marshall pumpkin, and it was actually quite effortless with the help of a kit from Target.

For the first time, we were able to attend the Harvest Festival in our township where there were hayrides, bouncers, face painting, treats and other activities. Though many of the bouncers were geared towards older children ,which was a bit frustrating for my little girl, especially since she wanted to follow behind her older cousin, she really enjoyed having her face painted like Hello Kitty.

While it does not involve what adults would be considered a “fun” activity, Quinn had a blast helping my husband and me rake leaves. Of course, she insisted on jumping in them after she helped rake a big pile of them together. Her laugh is absolutely infectious!

We couldn’t have Halloween and fall fun without visiting Quinn’s favorite amusement park, Sesame Place. We planned on attending last Saturday, but it was rained off and on all day. Though I had tons of papers to grade on Sunday, I carved out a few hours to take Quinn there so that she could see the Halloween version of the Sesame Place parade. We sat and waited on the parade route for over an hour to ensure that we had a good spot (it was already packed with people waiting). Just to see my little girl’s face light up with excitement made the wait well worth it.

Another “first” was attending the Halloween party at our local library for children five and under last Monday, October 24th. Even “Llama Llama, Red Pajama” stopped by to entertain the children. It was far more crowded than I anticipated, approximately 50 kids, but Quinn thoroughly enjoyed herself and didn’t want to leave. She’s always liked going to the library, but she now associates it with a fun-filled time.

This makes the third year in a row that we’ve attended the “Boo at the Zoo” event at the Philadelphia Zoo, and as always, it did not disappoint. Though I did not have Quinn wear her actual Halloween costume for fear of it getting dirty (It’s all white), she and my niece, who accompanied us, had a great time trick or treating, learning interesting facts, riding a few animals and seeing some of the animals as well. Plus, it’s always fun to see all of the children in their costumes.

Even though I haven’t been posting as frequently as I usually do, I am grateful for the moments I’m creating with my daughter. I love her so much and truly do enjoy our time together as a family. Here’s to autumn and Halloween fun! My fingers are crossed for good trick or treating weather tomorrow.

All the best,

Tanya

 

 

Autumn Fun with My Little One (Part Three) Boo at the Zoo

Quinn Riding a Camel at the Zoo

Quinn Riding a Camel at the Zoo

I just love the month of October, and not just because my birthday is October 11th but because it’s a month full of fun activities for my two year old daughter. During the summer, I posted an entry about how much fun Quinn has at the Philadelphia Zoo. That fun is magnified for two weekends in October as Quinn is able to not only see lions, giraffes, zebras and monkeys (and many more animals) but little robots, aliens, dragons, doctors and several famous characters from some of her favorite shows.
This past Saturday, Quinn and I got our money’s worth from our zoo membership and attended the Boo at the Zoo event along with several other families and children. Though we went last year, Quinn was not fully aware of the concept of children wearing costumes, but this year she giddily pointed out every character she recognized. “Mommy, there’s Minnie Mouse! Look, I see a princess! Oh, there’s another Minnie Mouse. That’s two!” Also, Quinn was able to practice saying, “Trick or Treat” at the different stations where she received candy. (Which she rarely has but was excited to have put in her bag). I was so proud of her for putting her shyness aside and saying “Trick or Treat” and “Thank you” without me prompting her to do so. This certainly was a great trial run. On top of trick or treating, Quinn and I both enjoyed craft activities, riding on the carousel, a draft horse and a train. Since the weather was brisk, the camel was a bit temperamental, so only children were permitted to ride. At first, I was a little nervous about Quinn being on the camel by herself, but she put on her serious face, held on like a big girl and told me she had fun riding the camel. If you are in the Philadelphia area, the Boo at the Zoo event continues this upcoming weekend, October 24th and 25th. It is fun for the entire family, and I highly recommend it if you are looking for an alternative to taking your child or children trick or treating or are just looking for another outing for full of fun activities.

All the best,

Tanya