Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fun With Photoshop

A new year, a new look for my blog. I kept saying I wanted a picture of me dressed as an astronaut for my blog, so Carolina helped me out through the magic of Photoshop. As you can see we went with this background because it worked better with the blog template:

But I have to share the runners up because they are too hilarious. Enjoy!

Photoshopping faces onto other people's bodies never gets old. Plus it's an excellent way to kill time when you should be doing something else. Here's to another year of procrastinating! May you achieve some of your goals in 2013. Have a safe and happy New Year's!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Twas The Night After Christmas

Photo from
Just after Thanksgiving I found the little USB Christmas tree my parents gave me a few years ago. It's only about three inches tall and glows bright blue. When I brought it to work and plugged it into my computer I thought, 'Yep. That's about all the holiday cheer I can muster.' It had been a rough couple of weeks for me, and I just didn't have a lot of Christmas spirit.

A few days later I was flipping through a magazine and found a quote I loved so much that I tore the page out and put it up in my cubicle. It's an excerpt from Lemony Snicket's, The Lump of Coal.

It goes like this:

"It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to
eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is
you like to do. The holiday season, like all the other seasons, is a good time not only to
tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful
for them, and that's the end of this particular story."

This is a children's book about a lump of coal who goes looking for a miracle. He makes a friend in the end and learns what miracles are all about. I just think the sentiment above is so sweet and so truthful. I know we all understand the importance of being grateful for the blessings in our lives, especially during the holidays, but I love the idea of viewing these things as miracles. It's one thing to be grateful for our loved ones, but it's another thing to step back and realize what a miracle it really is to have these amazing human connections. Every morning when I went into work this month I would see this excerpt on the wall and it helped remind me of all the miracles in my own life. And after the shootings in Connecticut happened I clung to this sentiment even more. Life is precious and short. Sometimes too short.

It's my goal for the new year to go beyond being grateful and start paying attention to the miracles in my life. What if every day I looked for these little miracles? My friends, my family, my dog, the ability to pay rent and go to a job I like and eat food and sleep in a warm bed and read books and laugh and cry and run and breathe deeply--the list goes on. In an unpredictable world, all these things are miracles. I just hope I don't lose sight of this in the new year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Overdue Update

Man, I am sooooo behind in posting on this blog. I didn't even post the final picture of my Halloween costume!


This is one of a billion photos we took on Halloween weekend. Check out my Facebook for more pics. Halloween weekend was so awesome that my post-Halloween depression set in early (the following holidays are nowhere near as cool). But I'm already brainstorming some great costume ideas for next year, so stay tuned...

In the meantime, enjoy this little drawing I found on Pinterest. It's amazingly accurate. 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween Care Package

I know it's almost Halloween when my parents send me the annual Halloween care package, complete with the original pumpkin I used for trick-or-treating as a kid.

This year was the best yet! Skeleton champagne glasses, skeleton ice cube trays, candy, candy and more candy. It also came with an MST3K episode of the movie, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies. That's the real title.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween in the Workplace

Here's the deal. If everyone at work dresses up at the office on Halloween, it can be really fun. But there's nothing more depressing than being one of the few people who dresses up. Not because it's embarrassing, but because there's something really sad about sitting at your desk all dressed up in a costume knowing that it's not really appreciated.

Okay, this picture wasn't even taken on Halloween (long story), but it illustrates my point.

Actually the above picture was taken at an old job where my coworkers did dress up for Halloween at the office. I miss that so much! We'd eat Halloweeny treats. It felt like being a kid again!

As much as I like my current job and coworkers, not many people get into the Halloween spirit at the office. It's a bummer. Two years ago I wore a Marge Simpson wig for half a second. Last year I wore a Spiderman costume for like three seconds during the costume contest where few people participated. This year I'm not sure I want to wear any costume to work. My costume is awesome and I want to wear it places where I know it will be respected for it's awesomeness.'s my idea. Maybe I'll dress Halloweeny at work without donning a costume. Something festive. I came across this on Pinterest and I think it's awesome.

Photo from

I checked out the directions at and I think I could pull it off. Possibly. I have this pair of bright orange pants I could wear with it. Maybe wear some dark eye makeup. I also keep coming across these awesome spooky manicure ideas on Pinterest.

Trying to find the original source. This link doesn't seem to be working.

So that's my temporary plan for Halloween at the office. Even though most of my coworkers don't dress up at work, I have been doing a good job of helping them brainstorm costume ideas for non-work Halloween plans. Last week I dragged a few of them to Goodwill and Ross to scoop up some pieces for their costumes.

Come on, guys!

Yeah, let's go! Halloween rocks!

Shelli finds her costume! Ooh, it's a mystery...

Speaking of work, a bunch of artists moved seats and left a bunch of crap behind that they didn't want anymore. I scooped up this gem!

Ghostbusters movie poster

Yes, the Halloween gods are smiling down upon me.  :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looks Like I'm The Psycho

It occurred to me last week that it was almost the middle of October and I hadn't participated in anything Halloweeny yet! No haunted houses or spooky movies or anything. Where has the time gone?! When I saw that Grauman's Chinese Theater was showing Psycho for their 25-Cent Movie Monday I scooped up tickets immediately (ps. It actually comes to $1.25 with service fees).

I was super stoked about watching Psycho on the big screen. Apparently I was so excited that I didn't pay attention to the date. When we got to the box office last night, the girl gave us our tickets and said, "You do know Psycho isn't playing until next Monday, right?" Doh!

Looks like I'm the psycho.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Halloween Autobiography

Why do I love Halloween so much? Good question. As a kid, it's hard not to like Halloween. You get to dress silly and go out on an adventure in the neighborhood and people just give you candy! And you don't have to do anything to earn it! Greatest. Day. Ever. When else do you get to come home with a giant bag filled with candy?

Pure Halloween joy

As you can see, my mom made some pretty rockin' costumes for my sister and me. She'd ask what we wanted to be toward the end of summer/beginning of fall so she had enough time to sew our costumes. This is probably why I'm always brainstorming costume ideas during the summer. We'd go trick-or-treating every year with my cousins who also had badass costumes. I just remember Halloween being this really amazing experience. The candy, oh, the candy!

My first costume (I'm the clown)

More candy!

My sister and I with a creepy dude.

I could go on and on with the pictures, but the point is, I loved Halloween as a kid. Then junior high rolled around and I stopped giving a crap.

7th grade?

Too old for trick-or-treating. I think it wasn't cool to have your mom make a costume, so if there was a Halloween event, I'd just throw something together last minute. Keep in mind, young folk, this is back before slutty costumes took over the Halloween costume market. Hard to believe, I know.

High school was kind of the same. Sometimes my friends and I would dress up. We might go to a party or a haunted house, but there wasn't always something going on. Then I went off to a really conservative college where no one celebrated Halloween. I mean no one. It was kind of depressing. I think I maybe went to one Halloween party where I threw together a tooth fairy costume at the last second.

So by the time I got out of college, I was having Halloween withdrawals. I was desperately missing the costumes and candy and spooky decorations and parties and haunted houses and the Great Pumpkin and everything! I became obsessed. I thought about costume ideas year round. I dreamed of throwing my own Halloween party. I've basically spent the last ten years loving Halloween and dragging my friends along for the ride. Nothing makes me happier than to have a friend email me in the middle of summer and say, "I've decided my Halloween costume already!"

My favorite adult Halloween costume (thanks again to Mom's help)

The funny thing is, I actually hate being scared, and I don't like anything really gory, which seems sort of odd for someone who loves Halloween. My friends host a scary movie night every year where we vote on what movie to watch, and I always vote for The Little Mermaid (which is never actually an option, but I'm too chicken for the really scary movies). I guess I'm more of a fan of campy Halloween stuff: Ghostbusters, Nightmare on Elm Street, old classic movie monsters. That kind of thing.

Anyways, that about sums up my Halloween history. Hope you enjoyed this little self-indulgent post. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Halloween Costume-Making Amazingness

As I've mentioned before, I've decided to go as Sigourney Weaver from Ghostbusters for Halloween. Here are some pictures to refresh your memory.

There is no Dana, only Zuul!

I was freaking out a little because I hadn't made any progress with this costume other than cutting my hair (and I may need to go shorter). Luckily, my awesome fashion designer friend, Carolina, offered to sew it for me! I was thrilled. While I was surfing the world wide internets I found this girl's tutorial on how she made a Zuul costume. She did an amazing job! Seriously, the best Zuul costume I found online. We are loosely basing our costume plan on this site. And when I say "we" I mean "Carolina" because I can barely sew a button on properly. Note to self: Take sewing lessons next year.

Carolina is making our friend Vivian's costume as well, so this weekend the three of us went down to the fashion district in Downtown L.A. to pick out our fabric. This was our journey...

Carolina and I discuss our game plan

We traveled down sketchy alleys

We love Halloween prints!

Could this be the perfect red for Viv's Jessica Rabbit dress?


Drowning in a sea of fabric. So many options!

Vivian is not impressed with the fuzzy fabric.

We found the perfect fabric for the Zuul dress

I'm so freakin' happy!!!

Viv found her fabric, too!

Carolina finds blue tulle for her loofah sponge costume

The process begins

Carolina hard at work

So far so good!

Jessica Rabbit dress coming along nicely!

I'm not going to give you too many sneak peeks. These costumes are basically done thanks to Carolina's awesomeness. Just a few finishing touches. But you'll have to wait till Halloween to see the final result! 

After a long day we ended up at Villa Sombrero for yummy Mexican food...

...where we met a Michael Jackson skeleton...

...and a creepy head whose eyes followed me.

Seriously though, the food is really good and they are all decked out for Halloween. I highly recommend Villa Sombrero Restaurant.

I am super stoked that my costume is almost done!!! I'm so thankful I have such talented friends. This Halloween is gonna be amazing. I can't wait!!! I need to do a practice run for my hair and makeup. Gotta put that on the Halloween to-do list. 

How are your costumes coming along, readers? If you need ideas, I am here to help!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween Costume Idea: PSY (Gangnam Style Dude)

Please tell me someone I know is going as the Gangnam Style dude for Halloween. I'm thinking the outfit with the blue tuxedo blazer would be best. Maybe get a friend to sport a bright yellow suit and funky bowl-cut wig. And another friend to be the crotch-thrusting guy in the elevator with the cowboy hat. I'm telling you, you'll be the hit of the party.

" lady!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ghost of Halloween Past/My Epic Halloween Party

Confession: Sometimes I get stuck in the past. I'm currently missing the old Varna house because two years ago, my roommates, boyfriend and I threw an epic Halloween party. When I first moved in I knew it would be the perfect place for a Halloween party and was hoping my new roommates would feel the same. And they did.

So far it's been the first and only time I've thrown a Halloween party. It was super fun, but a lot of work and I don't think we could have pulled it off without having four hosts. I think we had a good 80 or more people come through the house that night. We had a line for the bar and everything. So if you don't mind, I would like to reminisce...

First we had to create an epic invite. We took a boatload of creepy photos of ourselves and this was the final product.

So spooky, right?! It turned out really good (I probably didn't need to blur out the address since we don't live there anymore, but it seemed like a good idea). We sent this to friends via email and Facebook AND we had some coupons for free prints at CVS so we had a stack of physical invites to hand out to people, too. In fact, I think I still have some. That was the other thing. We weren't rich. So we had to create an epic Halloween party on a budget.

We had many trips to the dollar store and party stores and thrift shops. Then we worked for two months around the clock by candle light to prepare for the big day.

Spooky lighting

The bummer part is that I don't actually have a whole lot of pictures of the party decor, and the ones I do have are so-so. I really need to invest in a quality camera. Or in a quality friend who has a quality camera who wants to follow me around and take photos when I need them.

Here are a few of the pictures I do have.

Spooky graveyard

Spooky crime scene with dead kid in the pool. We also added dry ice.

Spooky booze

Spooky pumpkin torch

Spooky posters

Spooky gross bathroom where someone was murdered

The happy hosts

All in all it was a great party. These photos are not doing it justice. It was truly awesome. Even my dog was hungover the next day:

So tired, man.

One of my favorite things about this whole extravaganza was the video we made. To help get people pumped for our party, we made a mini horror movie and posted it on Facebook. I think people were more disturbed than pumped, but whatever. It was awesome. At the party we had it playing on a giant screen in the backyard along with our silly JibJab video. Here they are! Ps. I don't know how I got stuck with most of the dialogue. My acting sucks.

And our JibJab:

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

So much fun. I wish I still lived in a house where I could throw a big party. I'm currently in an apartment so there really isn't room for that, but some day I will own a mansion with the sole purpose of throwing great Halloween parties.