Halloween 2016

Happy Halloween!

I am taking a break on baby/newborn postings for a bit to showcase some Halloween fun! If you know me, you know that I’m a Halloween fan. What’s not to love about creative foods, crafting costumes, and using your noggin for fun ideas! When I first met my husband, he said it was weird for people to decorate for Halloween. Clearly he didn’t know me at all, because THAT’S WHAT I DO! Now that we’ve been married for 4.5 years, he appreciates this “holiday” a bit more. Goal complete.

We hosted a Halloween party last night on Hallow’s Eve for friends. A baby doesn’t change the fact that this holiday must call for a gathering. Crafted Halloween decor. Themed pot luck foods. Mandatory costumes. Success!

Just take a look at these amazing pictures. And of course, I have some new food ideas to share with you.

First the family costumes:

Snow White themed

Snow White themed

 

Stranger Things

Stranger Things

 

My barbie

My barbie

Right above my TV, I added floating candles this year! Here’s a great tutorial from Consumer Crafts. Instead of toilet paper rolls, I rolled up craft paper.

DIY floating candles

DIY floating candles

Now for the food ideas!

Back and front end!

Back and front end!

 

Ribs and Intestines

Rib of dead man and pot pie intestines

And how about these delicious mummy potatoes!

Twice Baked Mummies

Twice Baked Mummies

The dessert table

The dessert table

And you cannot forget:

Sangria - duh

Sangria – duh

My favorite new item that I made this year was the jar of eyeballs. So much fun and easy to do. Here’s the tutorial:

What you need: Jar, Can of Lychee, and Boba

What you need:

You can purchase a can of lychee at any Asian grocery store. With the Boba, you can buy a milk tea and just use the starch balls. Huge bonus, you get to drink the milk tea!

Directions:

  1. Drain the can of lychee into the glass jar
  2. Take out each lychee and stuff with boba
  3. Place the “eyeball” into the glass jar
  4. Fill the remaining jar up with water
  5. Create a label, display, and eat!
Delicious Eyeballs

Delicious Eyeballs

 

Jar of eyebals

Jar of eyebals

Easy and fun right? Now tell me, what are you doing this Halloween?

Sending haunts your way,
Jay

Battery powered flickering tea lights on Amazon here

  

Halloween Potluck

How was your Halloween? I’d love to hear some of your costume ideas and what you did on this special occasion!

For my Friday, I hosted a Halloween Potluck at my house. I’m not usually a fan of potlucks, but for Halloween, I make an exception. I love to encourage people to use their noodle to come up with something creative, in this case, imagination with food.

Everyone had to bring a Halloween-themed food to the party. In the end, we had a lot of good food, and some too creepy to eat. Take a look!

First, drinks.

Drinks

Here are the amazing appetizers:

Halloweenies

Deviled eggs

Pumpkin vomit

Meatballs

Mummy Brie

And the delicious main courses:

Chili

Carcass

Pumpkin^^^ Pumpkin fried in salty egg yolk (It’s a Chinese dish)

Bat wings

Minced guts

And no meal is complete without dessert, and we had plenty!

Jello
^^^ Jello ^^^

Red Bean
^^^ It’s red bean paste from Japan

Mummy cakes

Zombie cake pops
^^^ My favorite item of the night because how cute are they!?!

After we filled our bellies, we watched Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (oh, that’s how the Emancipation Proclamation came to be) and Hocus Pocus (classic). As you can tell, we weren’t scary movie people at all, rephrase, just the girls, including me. Best part, I have some leftovers in my fridge that I’m still eating. Yay!

What are some of the potluck items that catch your eye? What are some other food ideas I can use for next year?

Now it’s November, and I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love this season!
Jay

  

DIY Monster’s Inc Costumes

During October, one of my biggest decisions is “what am I going to be this Halloween?” I love homemade costumes because I find it so interesting to see how people’s creative juices start flowing.

Last year, MG and I made minion hats for our costume.

Minions

This year we’re going to be… Can you guess from the items below?!?!

photo 2

Do these colors remind you of any Pixar movies? Perhaps Monster’s Inc. MG will be Mike Wazowski, and I will be his companion, Sulley.

Mike & Sulley

This year, my costume will be a double-duty outfit. If you’ve been following along, then you know what these costumes were used for (my Disney half marathon!).

IMG_2336

In this post, I’m going to show you how I created these looks.

First let’s start out with Mike Wazowski. What you’ll need is a bright green shirt and 3 different colors of fabric (white, black, and dark green). Cut out a circular eyeball on the white fabric, a smaller dark green circle for the cornea, a smaller circle for the pupil, and then a small white circle to use as the reflection of the eyeball.

Find circular items around the house as your guides – I used a variety of bowls.

DSC09565

Iron the eyeball flat:

DSC09567

And simply sew each piece onto the t-shirt. I kept the sewing simple, so the edges are raw and a bit frayed (I chose this since MG will only be wearing the shirt twice). If you want the costume to last longer, definitely sew with a zig-zag hem. Another option is to use Fray Check by dotting along the edges and letting the liquid dry (it works like clear nail polish).

DSC09569

DSC00891

Now for the Sulley costume! I wanted to keep it girly and cute still (ideally, I don’t want to look like a huge fluffy monster). What I came up with is a tutu with a cute set of horns.

If you’re looking to make a tutu – this is the perfect tutorial for you!

tutu-cover

What you’ll need for the tutu is: 10 feet of tulle, an elastic band (or ribbon), scissors.

Cut the tulle into strips of 4-5 inches. Measure our your elastic band/ribbon around your waist, and tie the tutu around the elastic band or ribbon (tutorial on how to tie below). Keep going around the band/ribbon until you’re out of tulle.

DSC09579

DSC09576

Tying the tulle:

tying-tutu

Keep the band around your waist to tie the tulle on easily.

DSC09581

For the Sulley costume, I needed to add spots of purple. I purchased purple tulle pom poms and simply hand-sewed them onto the tutu.

DSC09600

DSC00893

Now for the horns. I purchased a blue headband and cut out horns from felt. I stuffed the felt with some extra fabric and sewed the horns together and slipped them through the headband.

DSC09604

DSC09608

Then I made some pom poms from yarn and glued them onto the headband (pom pom tutorial here).

DSC09613

DSC09623

And that’s it! A cute Sulley costume to match an adorable Mike Wazowski! Creating costumes is so much better than purchasing. It’s unique and a great way to show off your creative skills.

What will you be this year for Halloween? Will you be making your costume?

Happy Halloweek!
Jay

  

DIY Cardboard Halloween Decor

I’m the type of person that decorates the house when it comes to Halloween. My husband, on the other hand, thinks that’s crazy. But that’s how it’s always been in my family. Our lawn was littered with Halloween decor for those trick or treaters. It’s so fun to get into the holiday.

Now that I have my own place, it’s no different. I love to decorate. But I don’t love those high-demand prices. Pro-tip, wait until the day after Halloween to get some of your decor. I always score some great items for 50% off, though I have to wait until the following year to use it. Nonetheless, it’s such a great deal and decor doesn’t have an expiration date. It’ll last.

But my favorite thing to do? Get creative and come up with some of your own decor ideas. For my Halloween ideas, cardboard is my primary tool. MG and I buy a lot of things online so we usually save the boxes. Simply use any cardboard box laying around for a project like this. Most importantly, use your imagination!

DSC00840

Can you guess what I’m going to make from the outline below?

DSC00842

DSC00844

Another hint for you:

DSC00845

Final product – cutlery and a zombie barricade, all made from cardboard.  I want to add some blood to the knives, but I was recently home alone while MG was on a work trip. I didn’t want to freak myself out!

Final

Close up of the zombie barricade – simply draw some lines onto pieces of cardboard and tape them over a window. For the hands, I cut outlines on white poster board and then spray painted them black.

Zombie blockade

I also added some arms reaching through the banister of our stairs. They still creep me out a bit when I walk up the stairs. However, when I walk down, I feel like everyone is trying to give me high-fives!

Stairs - Zombie

Zombies

Paper and using your creativity, that’s all it took. What do you think? What are some other fun ideas you can come up with using cardboard and/or poster?

Happy Halloweek! Come back for a fun costume idea!
Jay

  

Pumpkin Patch and Carve Party

It’s Halloween this week! I’m going to dedicate all my posts this week to celebrate 10/31. As a kid, the best part was the candy. As a grown up, the best part is the creativity.

What I mean is that I try to DIY costumes, decor, and create some fun themed foods. Last year, I made Minion hats for the entire family. More impressively, look at our Halloween party from last year!

Every year my friends and I go to the pumpkin patch, and I’ll host a carving party (see last year’s post here). It’s fun that we get to start these traditions now and one day when we have kids, we can pass these types of celebrations down to them. The next couple of years will be interesting since our friends and even us, we’ll be starting families. When we have kids, these type of things will only better!

This year we went back to Pastorino Farm again (we always have such a great time there).

Pastorino's

Patch

Patch

This time around, we extended our patch outing to our fellowship group. The more the merrier! We started the Hayward Fellowship Group in January with about 6 people. We’ve grown to 15 people, which means more than double in size! God’s done some amazing things with our group, and I hope that He continues to teach us and surprise us.

Patch

Don’t laugh… the best part about this place – definitely the petting zoo! Perhaps my inner 5 year old kid comes out at the patch!

Look at this happy goat.

Goat

More importantly, look at this fricken adorable Llama! I wish I could take it home, but I’m afraid MG would kick me out of the house (tehehe).

Llama

We actually carved on a separate day because everyone else had plans after the patch. Nonetheless, an awesome carving party again!

Carvers

I bought a funky shaped pumpkin to carve this year. I bought it without an idea of what I wanted to carve, only that it spoke to me, “Take meee home!” So I followed its instructions and came up with this.

Pumpkin

And no pumpkin carving party is complete without roasting seeds. This is my special Garlic Butter Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe.

Wash and dry your seeds. Add two tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle garlic salt, mince 3 garlic cloves, and mix well. Then roast them for 60 minutes at 300°, turning the seeds over every 15 minutes for an even roast. So crunchy and delicious! And very addicting!

Seeds

Halloween gets me so happy and ready for the Fall. Once October is over, I feel like everyone starts to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas (only the best time of the year, if I do say so myself).

What are some of your Halloween traditions? Promise me you’ll come back to see my DIY costume, Halloween decor, and our Halloween party later this week.

Love,
Jay

  

Halloween Potluck 2013

Halloween is now over… boo (pun intended, har).

If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know that I mentioned that the Lams were hosting a Halloween Potluck here. Here’s a recap of the fun food we had during dinner!

Post-Halloween 2013

Potluck

Ectoplasm Pasta
Ectoplasm Pasta – Pesto/Alfredo wheat pasta, thanks Jon!

Mac and Cheese
Onion Mac & Cheese with finger meats

Monster Balls
Monster balls (brussels sprouts recipe here)!

Mashed Brain Potatoes
Mashed potatoes were dyed and then piped into a brain

Ribs
Yum!

Mummy dogs
These little guys are so cute. Great job Jess!

Peppers
So talented, Dave!

And then there’s dessert:

Guts Jam
It’s my strawberry chia jam recipe!

Scream Cheese Brownies
Cheesecake brownies! Recipe to come soon. These are so pretty for the Fall

Eyeballs on a stick
Of course, red velvet cake pops!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween.

With love,
The Lam Minons

DSC03151

One more thing: It’s the first day of November. How is it that we only have 2 more months until 2014? Only 2 months!

  

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Happy Halloween!

What will you be doing to celebrate tonight?

I’m hosting a Halloween potluck for a few friends. They must bring a themed food/dessert/drink. It’s time to get creative! I’m excited to see what people come up with.

I’m making ribs, guts jam (my strawberry chia jam), mac & cheese with sausage fingers, monster balls (brussels sprouts), mashed potatoes shaped like a brain, and eyeball cake pops! I’ll update with pictures after tonight.

Happy Halloween!

Love,
Jay & Chubs

  

Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

I love the Fall/Winter season. For one thing, the weather gets colder so warm and comfy sweaters and boots. Secondly, the holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

It’s Halloween this Thursday! Halloween has always been one of those holidays where my parents decorate the house so the Fall/Winter fun kicks off on 10/31. Now that I’m married, MG and I get to start our own annual traditions. The pumpkin carving party started last year, and I really hope to continue this event year after year. We go to the pumpkin patch in the morning with friends, pick out our pumpkins, head home to rest a bit and snack on treats, then start the carving!

This year I decked out the decorations for the carving party. Our closest friends joined us, and we had a great time!

Holly, David, and I went to the patch together to pick out our pumpkins at Pastorino Farm and Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay. MG wasn’t able to go since he had a bachelor’s party this year. It was the perfect day – some wind and lots of sun! We got there early too to avoid traffic. It’s always a joy to watch little toddlers running around while parents are trying to get pictures of them in the patch. Guess that will be me one day!

Here are some fun pictures from my iPhone. Sadly my camera died right before we got to the patch (newbie mistake)!Pumpkin Patch

Special thanks to David for the next three pictures! Glad someone’s camera was working!

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin patch

Holly and me
Do you go to the pumpkin patch every year? What do you like to look at?

Look at our carved pumpkins!

Carved PumpkinsWhich one do you like best? What did you carve this year?

Carvers

Carved PumpkinsSo pretty when lit up! I sprinkled some cinnamon on the lids before lighting the candle. My house smells awesome!

Messy
W
e collected all the ooey-gooey-ness and cleaned off the seeds and made….

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Wash and dry your seeds. Add two tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle garlic seasoning, pepper, and salt. Then roast them for 45 minutes at 300°, turning the seeds over every 15 minutes for an even roast. So crunchy and delicious!

To make things more fun, I adorned the house with some low cost, easy to do decorations!

Webs
Done over and over again, but definitely adds to the setting!

Mice
I found some cute mice wall decals at Target for $5 a pack (10-15 mice decals)

Zombie blockade
I’m really proud of this zombie blockade! I found a cardboard box and cut it into strips, then used a Sharpie and drew wood grain. I cut out hand silhouettes from poster and spray painted them black for the zombie hands. Looks really cool over a window or a fire place! What do you think?

Stairs - Zombie
I cut out and spray painted some extra hands and taped them against the banister so that it looks like zombies are reaching out to you as you walk up the stairs. It actually took 2 days to adjust to this because looking from the bottom of the staircase, it’s a bit terrifying.

Zombies
Here’s an up-close shot

As I was spray painting the hands against a cardboard, the outlines turned out to be a pretty cool backdrop.

Zom HandsI placed this against a wall for some extra effect

Lastly, Halloween themed food is one of my favorite parts of this holiday!

Chex Snacks
Chocolate covered Chex with Candy Corn and Reece’s Pieces. This is such an easy to make snack! Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix into Chex evenly. Then add 3/4th cup of powdered sugar and evenly coat (I like to shake them in a Ziploc).

Eyeballs
Blood shot eyeball deviled eggs. Use a toothpick and red dye to draw veins, use green coloring in the mashed up yolk, and olives for the pupils.

Spiders
Spider deviled eggs with olives

Cupcakes
Owl and brain cupcakes! The owl’s eyes are Oreos with Reece’s Pieces. Aren’t they so cute?

Brain CupcakeBrain cupcakes! Red velvet cake with strawberry filling/guts. Yum

Do you celebrate Halloween? What is your annual Halloween tradition? Anything you want to try from this post?

Happy Halloween!
Jay

  

DIY: My Little Minion

UPDATE:  Congratulations Winnie Cheung! You’re the winner of this costume giveaway! Thanks to all those who participated in this contest. Your pet can still be a Minion with this easy DIY. Happy Halloween!

—–

Minion

It’s almost Halloween (only two weeks away)! I know you’re thinking only one thing – what costume should my pet wear? I got you covered with this DIY! Plus, enter a comment below and you can win one of these costumes for your pet!

After watching Despicable Me 2 and going around a few McDonald’s to pick up those Minion Happy Meal toys, I knew I had to make a Minion costume. Meet my little Minion, Chubs.

Little Chubbo

Chubs

What do you think? This costume takes a little bit of sewing, cutting, and some hot gluing. Super easy, and I promise you’ll get a lot of “OMG, SO CUTE” reactions.

What you’ll need:

  • Felt (yellow, black, grey, and white).
  • Sewing machine (you can definitely hand-sew if you don’t have a machine)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Elastic
  • Velcro

Let’s start out with the yellow felt. My cat is a small animal (10lbs), so I measured his head and cut a piece of yellow felt 9×7 inches. Then sew the edges together on both sides (follow the pattern below). I used a sewing machine, but this is easy to do by hand too.

Yellow Felt

Next cut black pipe cleaners into 2 inch pieces. Stick them through the top of the hat (you may need to snip a little hole at the top for the pipe cleaners to go through). I then bent the end of the pipe cleaners inside the hat, and hot glued them into place.

Minion Hot Glue

Now it’s time to sew the elastic onto one side of the hat. Then sew the velcro onto the loose end of the elastic, and sew the velcro onto the other side of the hat. Make sure your band is flat when it is velcro-ed together.

Elastic

Velcro

Finally, we can move on to the details. Let’s cut the other pieces of felt. Again, my hat is for a 10lb animal so my circle diameters are as follows:

  • Black – 1.5 inches in diameter
  • Grey – 3.75 inches in diameter
  • White – 3.25 inches in diameter
  • Black band – 6.5 inches in length

To make things easier, here’s a template for the circles. You can print the pattern so that it can serve as a guide.

I simply hot glued all the pieces together. First the eyeball, then the pupil, then the black bands, and lastly the grey glass.

Details

Done

Put it on your little minion, and take lots of pictures!

Minion Boy

Chubs' Hat

Is this something you can easily recreate? Are you thinking about making your little pet child a minion now?

As I mentioned earlier, enter a comment for this blog post, and you could win one of these small hats for your little pet. You’ll get it before Halloween! Enter now!

Only one entry per email. Email must be valid. Shipping address must be in the United States. This costume giveaway ends at 11:30pm PST on 10/22/13. Winner will drawn and announced on Wednesday, 10/23/13 at 12:00am PST via blog and email provided.

Banana,
Jay
—–
Minion image copyright