Halloween Costume: Miss Frizzle

I enjoy nothing more than re-purposing old things into a Halloween costume. The cheaper and more homemade the better. For me, it’s a fun creative challenge. While looking for last year’s Halloween costume at Goodwill, I found the basis for this year’s costume: this green dress. With my red locks, I’d always entertained the idea of going as Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, but I needed the right dress, preferably a shirt dress with a flared skirt. Once I found it, I knew it would be easy to add the right embellishments with felt and a glue gun. Here’s my step by step:

What you’ll need:
– Felt
– Dress
– Scissors
– Hot glue gun and glue
– Paper
– Marker

1. Google some science images and trace them from your computer screen onto a sheet of paper.

2. Create two sets of tracings for each image and cut them out. One will be the outline of the main object and one will be used to cut out the details. 
3. Trace the outline and details for each object onto felt and cut them out. Use a hot glue gun to secure them.
 
4. Layout your dress and arrange the objects until you’re happy with them. Use the glue gun to affix each object to the dress. Repeat the same for the back. 
That’s it and you’re done! I still need to find a stuffed animal iguana to wear on my shoulder. I may also try to make some earrings if I have time. What are you dressing up as this Halloween?
 

Cleveland Recap: Lake View Cemetery Self-Guided Tour

As you may have guessed, I was in Cleveland this past weekend visiting family and friends. One of the Cleveland attractions I’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to, is a tour of Lake View Cemetery. So with family in tow, I traversed the gravestone-lined, sometimes hilly landscape in search of history, both personal and otherwise. The cemetery boasts a number of gravestones and monuments dedicated to famous people, including our 20th president and Ohio native James Garfield, Eliot Ness, and Rockefeller to name a few. Some of my relatives rest in peace there, so it was nice to go and pay my respects, especially to my great grandparents whose gravestone I had never visited before. It’s also home to Wade Chapel, which features an interior completely designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his studios, and still hosts weddings and services. It amazes me that I am still discovering these hidden gems of Cleveland that are free and open to the public.

My family and I opted for our own self-guided tour, but you can schedule a private walking or bus tour for groups of 12 or more. If you go the self-guided route, I would highly recommend finding a map online to help plan your trip. Most of the major landmarks are easy to find, but we had trouble finding Eliot Ness and some of our relatives. My sister actually used Google maps to find some of the points of interest. 
We started out with Eliot Ness (Section 7, Plot 8), the prohibition agent who brought down Al Capone, because his grave is not near any of the other major landmarks. When looking for his site, we also came across Harvey Pekar, the author of the autobiographical comic book American Splendor. His grave site is fittingly covered in pens and pencils that people have stuck in the ground over the years. Ness’s gravestone has a small toy cop car on top. Kind of charming.
We then moved on to Wade Chapel, the neoclassical building with the Tiffany-designed interior. It is one of the few like it left in the world. The theme is titled “The Voyage of Life.” Beautiful mosaics are featured on both the east and west walls, but the most stunning part is the stained glass window titled “The Flight of Souls.” It features Tiffany’s “Favrile” method, which makes it seem like the window is lit up even on a cloudy day.
Rockefeller is close by so we visited him next. While looking up the different monuments to visit online, I was reminded of the fact that Rockefeller was the first billionaire. It’s crazy to think someone could have amassed so much wealth during that time period.  
Last of the major landmarks is the James Garfield Memorial. It’s quite an impressive sandstone structure with a second-floor balcony that you can access by venturing up 64 steps from the lobby. The statue of Garfield is surrounded by stained glass windows depicting the 13 original colonies plus Ohio. You can find his casket covered with an American flag in the basement. It’s the only presidential casket on full display. 
 
The grounds are beautiful and feature various trees, shrubbery, and ponds. A cool but sunny fall day was the perfect time to walk around this lovely place.

A Beautiful Camel Coat

Time is flying by. We’re less than two weeks away from our long-awaited Paris trip, and I can’t believe it’s almost here. A few months ago, I had a realization quickly followed by a freak out about the trip: it’s going to be cold in Paris this time of year! I need to pack a coat! Side note: It’s not going to be that cold. It will be in the 40s and 50s. Nothing this Cleveland girl can’t handle! But I was a little concerned about my coat situation. All of my coat options seemed a little too bulky or long to worry about/carry around a foreign city. The length and lightness is what initially caught my attention when looking at this coat. It’s a great length to layer over pretty dresses and cardigans, and with its wool exterior it’s still very warm. I also have always really wanted a camel coat. It’s a closet staple that I’ll have for a long time, which made me less worried about the price tag. A 40% off sale also helped alleviate my hesitation. If you can get this coat on sale, it’s well worth it. With the cooler temps we’ve had, it’s been my go-to option. Here I’m wearing it for apple picking at Patterson’s Fruit Farm in Chesterland, Ohio, with my parents.

My Quintessential List of Halloween Movies

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the season of Halloween (which lasts all October, according to me), is to turn down the lights, get under a blanket, cuddle close to my man, and watch a scary movie. If it’s creepy, whimsical, or includes sister witches, it’s a movie I’m all about this time of year. It’s a tradition that I can remember starting as early as grade school sleepover parties. I still remember screaming with my friends while watching the original House on Haunted Hill. There will always be something so creepy and sinister about Vincent Price in that movie that perfectly captures the spirit of Halloween.

To help you with your spooky movie marathon this year, I’ve compiled my quintessential list of movies that puts me in the mood for Halloween. These include everything from children’s classics to gory slashers. They are listed from least to most scary/gory. Most are available to rent on Prime, but some are free with a streaming subscription.

I would highly recommend watching the 1960s version of Psycho so you can listen to a discussion about the movie on Unspooled, a podcast featuring Paul Scheer (from How Did This Get Made?) and film critic Amy Nicholson as they watch the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies. Although this is not on my list, you might also want to consider watching or rewatching the original Halloween so you can listen to another podcast featuring Amy Nicholson: Halloween Unmasked.

What’s on your list? 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)The Shining (Free with Netflix)

A Great Fall Color Combo: Light Blue and Dark Red

CeCe by Cynthia Steffe Blouse (Similar) / Limited Skirt (Similar) / Everlane Loafers / J.Crew Factory Necklace 

When I first bought this blouse, I was only planning on wearing it for spring and summer. But when fall rolled around, I knew I wasn’t done wearing it. (The poofy sleeve is my favorite!) Instead of pairing it with the bright pink skirt I wore it with earlier this year, I wore it with my dark red pencil skirt to work last week. It looks just as a good, and gives it that fall vibe. I love playing with unexpected color pairings to keep things fresh. How do you keep your wardrobe looking new year after year?

$15 Target Black Jeans 3 Ways

Outfit 1 Details: Target Shirt (Similar) / Leith Cardigan (Similar) / Target Jeans / Sam Edelman Flats (Similar) / J.Crew Factory Necklace
There is something incredibly flattering and stylish about black jeans. They instantly upgrade any outfit, making you seem more serious and put together, and they seem to hide those pesky imperfections (or at least the ones only we think and obsess about). I found this pair at Target for $15 and thought it would be fun to show just what a steal they are by displaying their versatility. They’re fitting perfectly into my fall wardrobe this year and these are just a few of the ways I’m wearing them. The possibilities are endless. And yes, I am obsessed with this sweater. It is one of my favorite purchases for fall. Sadly this exact one is sold out, but I found a similar one at Nordstrom Rack.

Outfit 2 Details: Anthropologie Body Suit (Similar) / Leith Cardigan (Similar) / Target Jeans / Sam Edelman Flats (Similar) / H&M Necklace (Similar)

Outfit 3 Details: Gap Shirt / Leith Cardigan (Similar) / Target Jeans / Nordstrom Boots / Charming Charlie Necklace (Similar) / Pavement Hat (Similar)

Halloween and Fall Decor

Every year I feel like the fall/Halloween season comes and goes so quickly that I don’t really have time to enjoy it. That’s why you’ll see a combination of fall and Halloween decorations throughout my apartment. In an attempt to stop acquiring so much stuff, I’ve stopped buying new Halloween decorations. What I have is sufficient for our charming little apartment. Every year, I deck out our mantle with these quirky pumpkin lights and my jack-o-lantern friend. As far as fall decorations go, I try to stay as natural as possible, buying gourds and dried leaves. I place them in bowls, atop books, and throughout the apartment as decoration. Cute decorative books like the ones below are fairly easy to come by. I bought mine for $2 each at a library book sale. I picked them because I like their color scheme, when paired together, and the titles. I found the dried leaf wreath at Trader Joe’s. How are you decorating this year?