If you’ve been following me for any length of time then you know that the holidays, collectively Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, are my favorite time of year. There are a lot of reasons why. First and most importantly, it’s a time to get together with family and make lasting memories. But beyond the quality family time, it’s when summer is coming to an end, the colors are changing, layers come out and everything just seems magical in a warm and fuzzy kind of way. And after all, that’s what magical is, a feeling that takes you away!
Well, if ever there were a reason to spend some extra money on the magical vibes, that time is now. And honestly, I don’t even feel bad about it. I don’t know about you, but the decorations in my house come out on September 1st. As many of you know, I bought my first home in January, so this year is an extra special year to decorate (and buy more crap let’s be honest here). On September 1st, I decorate for fall then, on October 1st, all the Halloween decor comes out, aaaand on November 1st, I go back to fall decor until BLACK FRIDAY when I decorate the whole house for Christmas on nothing but 17 cups of coffee and cheer!
So how are the holidays going so far? Well, Halloween was a hit!
Back in the States for Halloween
This is the first year we have been back in the states for Halloween. We’ve spent the last several years in Mexico celebrating the Day of the Dead with Xcaret (which I highly recommend you do at least once in your life). This year my son, who is just turning 10, said, “Mom, I want to trick-or-treat like a normal kid this year.” How could I argue with that? I mean, after all, he had just spent the last few years hanging out with Mayan Chiefs and walking around Mexican graveyards.
I had a lot to think about this year for Halloween. This being our first in our brand new home in a new neighborhood with new neighbors, I really wanted to make it special. I hadn’t bought my son a Halloween costume since he was six so, I didn’t even know where to start! I also wanted to get some really fun photos to commemorate our first Halloween in the states in years, and I wanted the decorations to be really pretty. Well wouldn’t you know, the blogging Gods delivered all the answers right to my inbox, and bonus, we were even invited to a Halloween party by the neighbors!
Yeah, a Halloween party! I hadn’t been to one of those since college! This girl manages to get on blockbuster red carpet premieres but can’t get into a Halloween party! (Goes to show, taking a hiatus to stay home for a year does the body good).
Our 2018 Halloween Favorites
Well, as I sit here munching on what’s left of a giant bowl of candy, I can honestly say, it was amazing. We coordinated family costume with the help of Wholesale Halloween Costumes, had photos done with the Krome Studio app, a night of trick-or-treating, and a Halloween Party for grown-ups to attend. We even got to toilet paper the neighbor’s house. All in good fun (and I’m sure we will get our next year for this kind gesture). Of course, the house had all the Halloween feels during the entire month of October which kept us in the spirit.
I Baked Killer Cupcakes for the Halloween Party
And they were delicious! I bought some edible murder axes from Michaels and just did plain old cupcakes with red gel for blood. They were perfect for the creepy table at the party and super easy to make.
We Carved Pumpkins for the First Time in Years
This was a lot of fun. We decided to carve out Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas. Everyone was in on it! It took a couple of hours, I’m not going to lie, but the end result was awesome! We used the projector to impose the image from a Pinterest photo onto the pumpkins so we could make a perfect outline.
We Dressed Up as a Voodoo Witch Doctor Family
Wholesale Halloween Costumes sent us an awesome package of costumes to use for our family fun and it was a hit. Everyone loved our look! We were turning heads at the Halloween party and our family photos were amazing. I’m going to get them printed out for the Halloween decor next year FOR SURE!
My son Gauge wore the Voodoo Hex Boy costume, Sean wore the Voodoo Dude costume and I wore the Women’s Magic Voodoo costume. I tried to get the dogs in on it too, but I just couldn’t get them the right size. I loved the costumes. They all came with everything we needed to get the look. I opted to not wear the hat and wore a ghoulish phantom ghost wig instead. I also decided to do my own face paint which I did with the help of the many tutorials from the Wholesale Halloween YouTube page.
I was inspired by this one here: And you can find my article on this Jack Skellington makeup here.
Our Family Photos with the Krome App Were a Blast
I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS APP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can’t say enough good things about the Krome Studio App. It’s an app which allows you to choose from one of their hundreds of backgrounds then upload your photo so a professional photographer can add your image into the background. What I thought was totally cool is that they offer your first photo for $.99 then the second for $4. Others after that are $9 each. Some of the scenes are cheesy, but there are many, and I do mean MANY, that are AMAZING! With a little planning, you could really get amazing photos for cheap.
I uploaded this photo:
This app is so easy to use. I took some screenshots of the process.
And in just a few hours they sent me this!
And of course, I sent in two more images for some added fun.
We took our photo in the driveway with our phone. We chose to do it in front of the garage so it would be easier for the photographer to edit. But we also had one that wasn’t taken in front of the garage. We uploaded them and had our cool pics back in a few hours. When we posted them on Facebook, everyone loved them! We totally slayed Halloween with these pics. Now I’m working on our holiday ones!
Decorating Around the House
This was a big year for us as it’s our first Halloween in our brand new home. I went from apartment life decor to home life decor. And believe me, that’s a big change. So I had to do some shopping in order to really make a statement. I decided to work with my giant kitchen island, my fireplace mantle, the dining room table, entryway table, and entryway bench. We also did a little bit to the yard.
I love Hobby Lobby and Michaels for these buys, so most of the items I used I found there during sales and with coupons. And if you look online now, these places likely have a lot of these items on clearance. I think I squeezed in a purchase from Home Depot and Walmart too. Note, none of these items were sent to me. These were paid for with good old-fashioned plastic.
One of my absolute favorite items that I received this year for outdoor decor (which can be used indoor too and works great for parties) is the was the Total HomeFX Holiday Projector. This LED Projector displays beautifully clear video loops of Halloween scenes onto windows. It’s super easy to set up and really gives off a wow factor to passersby. It’s an all-in-one bundled kit, so we received everything we needed to transform our windows. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it until 2 days after Halloween, but I still messed around with it and can honestly say that it’s worth the money. I’ll for sure be using this for my holiday display here in a couple weeks, so be sure to check back and see what kind of photos I have for that. BONUS they are on sale right now.
The cool thing is there is an HDMI port, so my son was able to hook up his PS4 to it and play and watch his Netflix/Blu-ray movies on the big screen. I’ll be finding lots of other uses for this as well.
PRO TIP: Make sure the screen they send you is wrinkle free and very taught. Also, any light in the room or outside of the window you’re projecting onto will impact the brightness of the projection. The brighter the image the better it looks. They also have a few cool accessories like Bluetooth speakers that really bring the projection experience full circle. I especially love the jack-o-lanterns that you can project the animated faces onto.
Check Out My Home Decor Photo Journal Here:
Last but Not Least, An Epic Halloween Party!
It’s nice to get personal with my readers. You’ve been watching me jet set off to red carpets and five-star hotels for years. So I want to take a moment to let you know that I’m just as ordinary as anyone else. I didn’t attend some Hollywood or NYC Halloween party this year (although feel free to email me with invites lol), I walked down the street to my neighbor’s house and brought a dish like everyone else! And it’s things like that which keep me grounded in this life (which often seems like a dream).
Albeit, the scale of this party was so intense that it very well could have been a Hollywood party, and in fact, it looked like it was put together by a team of set builders from Hollywood, but it was really just a get together (which for some crazy reason my awesome neighbors loved spending $8k putting together). But all the same, I wanted to share it with you, my internet peeps.
The theme to this party was scary haunted, slash murder, with a real life Tarot Card reader and a dashing side of beer pong. Everyone was dressed to the nines in elaborate costumes (including us with our Voodoo vibes), and there were even dry ice cocktails. From the moment I walked into the scene of this party, I was blown away. I don’t think there was a single room that was left undecorated.
Check Out My Halloween Party Photo Journal Here:
Our Halloween 2018 story is one to remember. I’m so glad we pulled it off with the costumes, the epic photos, and the awesome decor. I really wanted this to be a special year for my kiddo and indeed it was. Now, on to Thanksgiving and Christmas! Oh the holidays!