Costume Inspiration

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with costumes. Growing up I was a dress-up fiend, ballerina, mermaid, every shade of princess or fairy imaginable; I did it all. As I got older though, I developed a bit of distaste for store bought costumes. Especially ones that have a picture of the character you’re dressing up as on them. I didn’t want to be someone wearing a picture of a princess or a fairy. I wanted, as much as I was able, to be that character. This is something that has continued into adult-hood. So much so that I usually don’t participate in Halloween. Or if I do, it’s mainly a clever way to get away with wearing PJ’s or lounge wear to the office. All that being said, there are people who kick so much ass at the art of dressing up, that it inspires my inner 5 year old and makes her want to play some next level dress up. Pinterest, as many of you are aware, provides tons of this particular kind of inspiration. Below are some of my favorite concepts for Halloween this year.

hol10hol1hol6 hol7 hol2 hol8I did rock the cat face a few years ago. It was the perfect excuse to make myself a gorgeous pair of black rhinestone cat ears. Oh yeah, and I still wear them ๐Ÿ˜‰

All these images are from my Halloween Pinterest board.

Thomasville & The Tipsy Topper

I was checking my email Friday morning – you know, putting off getting out of bed by being “productive” -, and I found out one of my favorite shops in the near-by town of Thomasville was hosting a trunk show for New York based milliner The Tipsy Topper. Short notice, but I quickly texted my friend Jenn and she agreed to play hookey and drive down to the show with me after I left the office for the day.hat6This lovely lady is the Tipsy Topper herself, Ms. Mary Anna Smith.ย  She studied millinery at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has been creating her fanciful hats for the last six years. hat9One of my favorite things about her hats was the use of vintage or found items to elevate each piece to timeless wearable art. As you scroll through the pictures you’ll see everything from carriage bells to mushrooms and seed pods. hat1 hat7I found myself having a very strong reaction to many of her creations, several brought to mind long ago literary and cinematic favorites. Which was really cool because I hadn’t thought about some of them in years.hat8 hat4 hat2 hat12This sassy piece featuring a pair of shed antlers, pearl caps, and silver netting was one of my favorites. The attention to detail really resonated with me. Although quite simple when compared to some of her more elaborate creations, it was thoughtfully constructed and each bit complemented and elevated the other elements.hat10 hat11 hat3
It was such a great way to spend a Friday afternoon. I loved talking to Mary and getting to hear about her creative journey, and I thought it was equally wonderful that she was keenly interested in the reaction I had to her work. She listened to every meandering, down the rabbit hole moment and was delighted to see the impact of her work.

To see more Tipsy Toppers, you can check out the company’s instagram page, and to purchase or commission a custom piece, you can email the artist at

Friday Link Love

Guys, I have to tell you I am especially excited about this weekend. According to the weatherman we are in for some straight up cooler weather. A high of 75! I mean, I might even have to wear a shirt with sleeves; how crazy is that? In other news, one of the local ice cream shops recently moved to a larger location and announced that they are now serving breakfast. I thought it was a bit unusual, but I must say I am intrigued. I managed to convince Andy that we needed to try it out, so we’ll hopefully heading over there to kick off our weekend tomorrow morning. I may also be planning to innocently point out the pumpkin patch that just happens to be around the corner; Halloween is only a little over a week away, and this feels like a good time to pick up supplies for a jack-o-lantern. What’s on deck for your weekend?

I am all for quirky home goods with a purpose, here are 27 Products That Are Almost to Clever to Use.

These baked Apple Cider Donut Holesย look amazing. If I made them, I don’t know if I’d be able to share…

What every grown up Halloween party needs, an awesome candy cart.

I just can’t get enough of tiny houses, and I am LOVING this airstream remodel.

Love me some Mr. Darcy, and love me this Darcy quote sweatshirt.

This DIY Autumn Garlandย is gorgeous, and I really want to find an excuse to make one ๐Ÿ™‚

How insanely gorgeous (and mildly disturbing) is this Dustin Bailard inspired Halloween makeup.


Image from here.

I Made A Cake!!!!

Monday I got an email from my husband asking if I would be willing to make this birthday cake for one of his coworkers. My knee jerk reaction was “mmmmm, I don’t think so”, but then he told me it was a surprise birthday cake for the lady who had sweetly sent me my beloved “Baking the World a Better Place” kitchen sign. There was no way I could say “no” to something for the nice lady who gave me presents, right? So I told him I’d try. The rest of the conversation went like this: When did they need it? Wednesday. Next Wednesday? Nope, this Wednesday. Okay then, emergency run to the grocery store it is.

Here’s how things went down.

l1Tuesday night I baked three layers of triple chocolate cake, sandwiched chocolate chocolate chip buttercream between the inner layers, and dirty iced the outside with vanilla buttercream. After all that was done, I placed it carefully in the fridge so it could “set up” over night. l2Tuesday, I made another batch of vanilla buttercream and gave the set cake its final coat of frosting using a icing smoother and the Viva towel method to smooth things out a bit but still maintain the charm of classic buttercream. Then I made my very first drip glaze for the top and side of the cake.ย  l5There was a minor set back; the Dunkin Donuts near my house was out of pink frosted donuts, plus they had no alternative colors with the required sprinkles. So I bought plain white frosted, took them home, brushed them with a little heavy whipping cream, and dipped them in my own damn sprinkles. That’s right people, I Tim Gunn’ed the thing ๐Ÿ˜‰ l4The rest was really easy. Stack donuts, cookies, and roses, and finish with a handful of sprinkles to tie everything in. Andy was even kind enough to drive me back to his office so I could guarantee that my precious cake baby arrived safely. l3So, will I be taking up cake decorating as a new profession? Probably not, but I did better than I though I would, and Andy said his coworkers were very pleased with the results. I’m gonna chalk it up as a win, and now I have a couple more tools in my baking arsenal.

Thinking Inside the Box: Le Tote

The adage “third time’s a charm” was on the nose with my third Le Tote box. This is the first box that I have worn every single item out of the house. Spoiler alert: I didn’t end up purchasing any of the pieces, but I had a blast trying everything out and there was one extremely close call that I will tell you about further down.l8 l9 l10 l1
Ava Wrap Tie Cardigan – This was the only garment that was even the tiniest bit disappointing. Teal, kick ass color on me. Wrap style, yay for waist definition. Sweater, keeps me warm at the office. The only real draw back was that is was a little itchy. I checked the fiber content, no red flags there, so I think it was just the knit itself. Definitely worth the try though.
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Ava Cap Sleeve Top – Surprisingly, this was my favorite piece in this set. I don’t normally go for bright and colorful, let alone bright, colorful, AND patterned. I should have hated this, but it was pretty awesome. I wore it three times, and every time I got complements on how it looked. Ultimately, I sent it back because while it was fun to wear, it felt a bit like I was trying on someone else clothes, and I am trying to curate a wardrobe that is 100% me. l7
Noir Sweater Knit Swing Dress – I felt so sassy in this. It fit well without being to clingy. It had great movement, and the color was perfection. It would have been mine, but the price was a little higher that I was willing to go on something I wouldn’t be able to wear for most of the year.
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Clement Circle Horn Studs – Larger than I usually go for studs, but I gave them a shot and they were cute, but ultimately not something I could see myself wearing a lot.
Rebecca Minkoff Diamond Shaped Earrings – pretty but they fit oddly on my ear, and I caught my office phone on them a couple of times so back they went.ย  l2

And there you have it. After such a great tote, I think I am going to extend my subscription a little while longer and see if the fourth order is even better ๐Ÿ™‚