Family Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is just around the corner and if you’ve haven’t gotten your costume, there’s still time. My husband and I just took our first trip to the Halloween store and it was a little overwhelming. We tried to find something that would fit all three of us, but quickly discovered that there are limited options when dressing an infant. However, since we were shooting for the family themed costume, we came up with a few ideas.

Superheros

Incredibles Family Costumes

There’s a lot of different superheroes and families to choose from. Whether you’re a Marvel or DC family, there are tons of options. We actually tried on the Incredibles costumes mostly because there was a size for my son.

Disney/Pixar

Monsters Inc. Family

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I thought about doing a throw back to one of my favorite cartoons, but I could only find this Sulley Costume in 12+.

I do love the idea of a DIY Monster’s Inc. or Monster’s University costume set as well. I’ve seen a lot of cute ones online and I LOVE the idea of my son as Mike, but my husband isn’t quite sold on being Sulley (although he just happens to be a giant too).

Star Wars

star warsStar Wars basically had a reboot with these last few movies and everyone is a fan now. At the Halloween store, Star Wars costumes literally took up a full quarter of the store. The characters are endless and there’s pretty much a size for everyone. You can keep it classic and be Darth Vader, Obi Wan, R2D2, CP3PO and Leia. Or, try a few newbies like Rey, Fin, young Han and Kylo Ren.

I thought I’d wait until the baby could hold a light saber before doing this family Halloween costume.

Nickelodeon

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The one costume I wish I would have had the idea earlier was Nickelodeon game shows. As a kid, I constantly watched Legends of the Hidden Temple and Double Dare. I didn’t think they actually made costume like that, but we found them at the store! Of course, no baby sizes, but we could have easily had someone screen print a shirt for him and order ours online.

You literally can find all the supplies for the Halloween costume including the yellow helmet, team red and team blue shirts, knee pads and goggles.

 

TV Shows

bobs burgers

The key to the best group costume is to pick a TV show with lots of characters. My friends actually did Bob’s Burgers last year and it was perfect. They were Linda and Bob and could have easily added Tina and Louise. Whether you’re an adult swim fan or not, their bound to be supplies for the show you love.

*The costume we actually decided on just happens to be from a TV show. No spoilers though. Pay attention to my Instagram on Halloween to find out what we chose!

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Best Wedding Registry

985266_awr_traffic-drivers_associate_120x600._V269730029_So 2018 has been the year of weddings. Since March, I’ve attended five weddings and have two more friends just engaged! It’s easy to say, I’ve seen a lot of different registries. Personally, I used Bed Bath and Beyond when I got married, but I might have thought twice about it if I knew that Amazon also offered a wedding registry.

It was cool at first walking through the store and scanning literally everything in sight, but their website was not very user-friendly. I had a hard time changing quantities or whole items. A few of my friends have used Amazon Wedding Registry and I wish I would have done it too.

I already have Amazon Prime and there are a ridiculous amount of items, including gift cards, that I can get for my friends. A few couples didn’t really need house items. So, date night gift cards were perfect for them. And guess who has a huge selection of those? Amazon.

This last couple, whose wedding is in a few weeks, is very outdoorsy. They love to hike and just got back from a summer long trip to Alaska! Amazon Wedding Registry really is the perfect option for them. They weren’t busy picking out China plates they’d probably never use (like I did), but instead have cool items like tents, a hammock and other camping supplies they actually want.

This whole registry/ wish list option Amazon has is pretty awesome. If you’re looking for an all-in-one place to find your items and don’t want the hassle of scanning in the store, definitely head here.

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Kid-Friendly Places to Visit This Fall

Fall is in the air and Halloween is just around the corner. Las Vegas is buzzing with fun places to visit and seasonal things to do. It’s my little man’s first fall and I want him to experience EVERYTHING (even if he doesn’t remember it). Here are some hot spots to add to your to-do list.

Pumpkin Patches

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There are a TON of pumpkin patches popping up all over the city. Most of them are free to enter and sell tickets for kids to participate in the rides and games. This year, we went to the Centennial Center pumpkin patch just off of the 95. It was pretty small but they had a ton of pumpkins and gourds to buy. They even had jumping houses, obstacles courses, a train, petting zoo and a bungee trampoline. Tivoli village also has a really great pumpkin patch that is pretty large. It’s just across the street from Rampart Casino.

Trunk or Treats

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There’s nothing like enjoying a good ‘ol harvest festival. Every year, we’ve gone to The International Church of Las Vegas’ Halloween harvest festival and always had a great time. Previously they had a petting zoo, rides and jumping houses, music, food and a photo booth! Check the schedule at your local school or park to see where the closest trunk or treat event is to you.

Gilcrease Orchard

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Okay, so this is my favorite thing to do during the fall. Gilcrease Orchard is known for their delicious apples and when it comes fall, they are flooded with pumpkin pickers. The orchard doesn’t seem like something you’d find in Las Vegas. There are rows and rows of vines with HUGE pumpkins and gourds. We always leave with a basket full.

Plan ahead because the orchard is only open Tuesday, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7AM – 2PM.

Springs Preserve Haunted Harvest Festival

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Springs Preserve always does it big for the holidays. Their Harvest festival is Oct. 12-14, 19-21, and 26-28 from 5pm-9pm. Non-members are $8 and value members are $7. Silver State Pass, Gold and Platinum donor members receive free admission. Entry is free for children 2 and younger.

This year they’re also doing a social photo contest. Snap a photo with Monster Molly at Haunted Harvest and post it to your social media accounts using #HauntedSprings @SpringsPreserve for a chance to win a prize.

Downtown Summerlin Treat Street

Treat Street

Treat Street at Downtown Summerlin is an awesome experience for kids and families that want to safely trick-or-treat. All of the stores in the mall pass out candy and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department hosts a Spooky Block Party! Food Allergy Research & Education’s (FARE’s) Teal Pumpkin Project has a pop-up featuring non-candy items for trick-or-treaters. Clark County Fire Department sets up a photo booth and The Animal Foundation even has a “Howl-O-Ween” dog costume contest benefitting their rescue pets! Last year, my husband entered with our dog Smokey as cholos!

They’re also showing “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” movie every thirty minutes starting at 5:10PM. The best part is it’s totally FREE! We’re bring the baby down there for his first trick-or-treating.

Town Square’s Town Scary

Town Scary

Town Scary, AKA Town Square, transforms into a kid-friendly Halloween party on October 31. Participating stores and restaurants hand out candy to all the kids trick-or-treating. There is also a children’s costume contest (kids 0-10)! The Town Scary House will be open for photo-opps and everything is completely free!

Opportunity Village HalloVEEN

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Opportunity Village gets spooky just in time for Halloween. They have rides and attractions and proceeds benefit their cause! There are a ton of photo-ops, tasty treats and toys and a spooky display of Halloween-themed trees.

Their signature attractions are:

  • The Forest Express Ghost Train
  • Cheyenne’s Enchanted Carousel
  • The Avalanche Slide
  • The Blizzard Mini-Coaster

As well as these BRAND NEW attractions for 2018:

  • Wacky Worm Coaster
  • Samba Balloons
  • The Sizzler
  • Even More Carnival Midway Games
  • The Last Ride Coffin Experience

Tickets start at $10 and kids 3 and under are free.

Still looking for a costume? #sponsored

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Dressing my Wizard

If you’ve paid attention to literally anything I’ve posted in the last eight months, you’d know my obsession with Harry Potter is a really thing. From nursery to daily clothing, my son is surrounded by all things Hogwarts. Here are just a few of my favorite outfits from his wizarding wardrobe.

Onsies

Onsies are life for babies. And with how many times a day I have to change my son’s clothes, I need drawers full of outfit choices. I received these adorable long sleeves just in time for the cool, fall weather. They are perfect for lounging around the house and sleeping in at night.

Baby in Harry Potter Outfit

Don’t forget about the most popular Harry Potter baby outfit – Snuggle the Muggle! Every Harry Potter fan I know has this outfit for their kids. It felt like an eternity waiting for my son to be big enough to wear it. And now, only the pants fit him!

PJ’s

A wizard has to sleep right? This super cute footie separates are perfect for bedtime. My son absolutely refuses to use a blanket so long sleeves and pants are perfect for him.

Romper

I literally lost my mind when I first saw theses hanging on the rack at Target. I had been scouring the internet tying to find unique Harry Potter inspired outfits. I was ready to shell out a few hundred dollars until I came across these. The set was less than $20 and are prefect for warm or cool weather. Since they are longer rompers, they’ve fit my son longer than most of his clothes.

Bibs

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Now, I haven’t come across Harry Potter bibs in the stores yet, but I’m sure they’re coming soon. I ordered these two from Etsy and they were super inexpensive and came very quickly.

As part of the Target Affiliate Program, I earn from qualifying purchase.

 

Dogs and Pumpkin

Pet Halloween Costume Ideas

woman and dogs in costumeHalloween is just around the corner and time is limited to find the perfect costume for your dog! The sales have already begun and you need to decide what your pup will wear!

Every year, I try to pick a fun outfit that my dogs will actually wear. Since I’ve had Fiona the longest, she’s experienced many different wardrobe options. She has been a princess, a butterfly, and a unicorn (some years she refused to wear her costume).

For Smokey’s first Halloween last year, he was a Cholo! He even entered a costume contest with my husband at Downtown Summerlin!

Man and dog in costume

The choices are endless. Here are some options for your pup to wear this Halloween!

 SuperheroesYou can’t go wrong with a superhero costume for your pup. Whether you’re into DC Comics or Marvel, there are endless pet Halloween costumes to fit your taste. Make it a family affair and dress the whole crew in matching outfits!

Movies

Now, I may be a little biased as a huge Star Wars fan, but these pet Halloween costumes are adorable! Dress you pup as your favorite character – Han, Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewy – and be the hit of any party. This is another theme I think would work perfect as group costume.

Seasonal

It’s pumpkin season and we know what that means, Pumpkin Spice Lattes! Why not bring your pup in on the fun with a silly coffee inspired pet costume. You could go as the whole PSL crew if you really wanted to go big.

 Just Plain Funny
Giddy-up to your nearest Halloween store and find the perfect conversation starter costume. Traditional pet costumes are always fun, but these out of the box ideas will really get you the trophy in a pet costume contest.

So what are you dressing your pet as?

Las Vegas Strip

Vegas Stronger One Year Later

A year ago today I woke up to the most devastating event I’ve experienced in Las Vegas. October 1, 2017 58 people lost their lives due to an active shooter at the Route 91 concert.

My husband woke me up earlier than usual to share this awful news. We immediately began scrolling through Facebook and sending out texts. So many of our friends had been at the concert. Thankfully, all of them made it out alive.

But for the 58 people who didn’t make it home that night, we prayed for their mourning families. It’s events like these that make it even more important to hold tight to God.

The song “faith hope love repeat” really resonated with me this morning as I have been reflecting on this anniversary. The lyrics say “I brought you into this world and I know it’s a little bit crazy.”

How scary is it to think that me or my family could easily have been one of those victims. But like the song continues “we need faith, hope, love” to make it through.

Even in the darkest of times, God is there. He has never once abandoned us and never will. He made the ultimate sacrifice in the hopes that one day we might say yes to him.

Even if you didn’t lose anyone or attend that concert, you can still feel the pain such an event caused to our city. I encourage you to show some extra compassion and love today to your coworkers, friends, family and strangers. You never know how someone is hurting and how just a simple smile can help them see God.

breastfeeding essentials checklist

Best Products for Nursing Moms

Being a new mom is difficult and overwhelming. Add on learning how to breastfeed and your plate is full! It’s been five months now since I’ve been nursing and it took a while to get a hang. Once I got over the never-ending stress of guessing how much my baby was drinking, I was fine.

In the midst of getting the hang of the mom life, I had a few lifesaving products to help me make it through. Here are a list of breastfeeding accesories and nursing essentials for new moms.

Milk Storage Bags As part of the breastfeeding experience, many moms are also introduced to pumping. When you are away from the baby and don’t want to use formula, pumping is a must. I asked for a few hundred bags on my registry originally and would have added more if I knew how much I would use these. At first, it was only a bag a day. Now that I’m back to work, I’m using 3-4 bags a day, everyday. These awesome bags safely store your precious liquid gold and are freezer safe. This is one item I also make sure is stocked in my house and pumping bag.

Nursing PadsThese are seriously a life saver. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had leak accidents because I forgot to put these on. Any brand will do, but make sure you stock up. The worse thing you can do is run out and have to go into the office without support. If you’re like me, you’ll surely need a few shirt changes.

Hands-free Pumping Bra

I really don’t know what I would do without this. My sister originally recommended this to me and boy am I glad. I can’t imagine having to hold the pumps during each session! It’s great to have my hands free to just relax or soothe the baby who almost always cries right when I begin pumping.

Pumping Cleaning Wipes

If you’re pumping near a sink, these may not be in your pumping bag or station. If you’re pumping on the go, these disposable wipes help to keep your pump clean and ready for the next session. I keep these in my bag for work because I don’t always have access to a bathroom. It also wasn’t something I thought about when I created my registry. My sister gave me a pack and I love them!

Nursing Bra and Cami

Regular bras don’t always work for breastfeeding moms. A nursing bra is a must for me when I’m anywhere near my baby. Trying to fumble around with a traditional wired bra is just annoying. Nursing bras have a simple snap on either cup that allows you full access to feed your baby. Nursing camis work the same way, except they don’t have a wire. I highly recommend some camis for bedtime.

Boppy

baby on Boppy PillowI can’t say enough about my Boppy pillow. As my son gets bigger and bigger, he also gets heavier. This little pillow is perfect for propping him up during feedings and taking the weight off my arms. I also used it and a smaller version for tummy time. Now, it even helps him sit up when he needs a little back support.

What items did you find most helpful?

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‘Naaaamaste’ at Goat Yoga Las Vegas

IMG_8657Have you tried the newest craze in fitness? Goat Yoga. Yup, you heard me right. These four-legged furries are taking over the yoga scene with Goat Yoga Las Vegas. And let me tell you, this isn’t your average yoga class.

I signed up for a sunset yoga class and headed to Western Trail Park. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was pretty excited to see a pen full of baby goats when I arrived. I walked into the main enclosure and set my mat up facing the outside of the fence. Note: don’t bring anything into the class you don’t want the goats to mess with.

yoga instructor with goats

Holly and her goats

Holly was our instructor and directed us on exactly how the class would run. She had prepared a simple, beginner series and filled it full of goat selfie opportunities. You’ve probably seen the Instagram pictures of people holding fabulous poses with goats on top of them. I planned on getting exactly that. So, I was ridiculously excited to say the least.

We began our series with some down dogs and folded forward stretches and moved to our first photo-op. We took all fours and worked in a few cat cows before holding the pose and inviting the goats to join in a photo. Holly’s assist was well prepared with food to lure the goats into our pictures.

And let me just say, these little goats are very food motivated. At one point, I had more than one goat trying to climb on me at a time! But, I still got some awesome photos.

 

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We even joined shoulder to shoulder and made a goat train. Holly and her assistance sprinkled treats along our backs and the goats started running!

goat on girls back

We then headed back to our mats to continue some sun salutations and get a least a little bit of a workout in. Then, photo-op number two was being created. Depending on our comfort level, we could either hold a wheelbarrow and bridge pose and have a goat stand on our stomach. I was a little nervous about several baby goats jumping on my stomach, but I went for the wheelbarrow anyways.

woman doing wheelbarrow yoga pose with goats

It was actually calmer than I thought. The goats were getting a little lazy and didn’t want to jump up that far. Instead, Holly’s assistant placed a little goat on my stomach and she waited for her photo. Once she was up there, some of her goat friends did decide to swarm underneath me though.

woman bottle feeding goatsAt the end of class, we were all invited to line up and feed the baby goats their bottles. At this point, I have plenty of experience bottle feeding but these goats were 100 times hungrier than my son has ever been. They were going crazy for their bottles!

Despite only doing beginner moves, I was pretty sore the next day. It was probably from trying to hold still while goats jumped all over me!

Goat Yoga Las Vegas has been around for two years and has been making their way around the city. They have recently added Tivoli Village to their stop and are now booking private events. All of the goats are well taken care of and live at Jeffry’s Farm and Petting Zoo 2 U. Classes are $30 a person and can be booked here.

 

Shine God’s Light in the Darkness

Shine God's Light.png“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” –  John 3:21

I’ve recently started a light and darkness bible study and attended a very inspiring sermon referencing scriptures about being a light. In the sermon, the pastor gave very basic examples of the darkness God is talking about in the scriptures. Although it can mean very scary and serious crimes, it also refers to those things we don’t think are sin.

Here’s the example he gave. He went to a party with very wealthy and beautiful people celebrating their success. Throughout the entire night, the guests were constantly boasting about how lucky they were. They bragged about their hard work and accomplishments – basically thanking themselves for their fruitful lives. When it came time to eat, all of the guests ate and drank merrily and applauded the host for the great meal.

As the pastor mingled with the guests, he couldn’t help but feel like something was off. Not one time did the guests truly reflect on who made their lives so enjoyable. It wasn’t by their own strength and grit. It was by God’s loving nature that he chose to bless them.

Can you relate to the guests in this story?

It’s easy to get distracted by own lives and forget to give the glory to God. As it says in the Bible “Every good and perfect thing comes from above.” When we choose not to give God the glory he deserves, we are cheating him and choosing the darkness. And he didn’t send his son to the cross for us to live for ourselves.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:8-14

This scripture encourages us to expose those deeds done in the darkness and bring them into God’s light. As a follower of Christ, we are expected to be transparent. Jesus hid nothing from his followers and remained sinless when he was tested far beyond what we could ever experience.

Living by the light is easier said than done sometimes. Our sinful nature encourages us to fulfill our fleshly desires instead of doing God’s will. I speak for myself first and foremost and some days, I just want everything to be about me. These are the moments when God calls me higher to live for him and not myself.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”- 1 Peter 2:9

 

bible verses about light of the world

 

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Get Your DIY on at Corks ‘N Crafts

There’s a new DIY player in town, Corks ‘N Crafts! Brand new to Downtown Summerlin, Corks ‘N Crafts specializes in helping your Pinterest dreams come true. And promises, no Pinterest fails on their watch.

 

Corks and Crafts Shade tree fundraiser event
I attended Corks N Crafts for a fundraiser for Shade Tree Las Vegas. Dozens of men and woman showed up for the event and filled the long wooden tables through the room. From corner to corner, different craft inspirations hung on the wall. In the front of the room, was the coveted bar stocked with popular drinks and wines.

When we first walked in, we were given instructions to find a table, grab an apron and choose a stencil. The craft for the night was a wooden sign. My mom and two other friends joined me for this ladies night out.

We headed over to the art wall and sorted through the piles of stencils. They included kitchen quotes, beer and wine quotes, Vegas Golden Knights logos, inspiration quotes, family quotes and general sports designs. Inspired by the Kendrick Lamar song “Humble, I chose “Work Hard, Stay Humble” for my wood.

Once we grabbed our stencils and headed to our seats, the class began. We started the process with smoothing out the wooden block with a bit of sandpaper. Inside the filled room, wood dust began to rise like smoke in the air. We were preparing the wood to be stained.

POPPED LAS VEGASIn an effort to get out some stress from the week and round out the wooden corners, we were all given hammers to slug our wood with. Sound erupted as everyone pounded out their week’s worth of frustration.

Next, we chose our stains. There were a variety of colors to choose from including: neutrals, pastels and neons. Most of us chose a few colors to intermix into our design – mine were barn red and dark brown. Once back at the table, we got to work rubbing on the stain with a thick cloth. Then, it was time to dry.

A food menu sat on our tables and a server made her way around the room collecting these and filling drink orders. This drying time was one of our first breaks to enjoy some conversation and snacks. I tried some gourmet popped corn from Popped.

After the stain dried, we slowly applied our stencils and chose colors to paint it. For mine, I chose a warm red and chestnut-brown to mix together. I actually ended up adding a pastel purple to make some of the words stand out.

Corks and Crafts Las Vegas art

I loved my experience, and the opportunity to donate to a local cause. I will be coming back very soon.

Corks ‘N Crafts is open daily and offers a variety of classes and events. You can book private events, do drop-ins and host a fundraiser for your nonprofit or company.

Head to their website to checkout what craft they are doing next.