Halloween is Now. (Almost.)

The following post was sponsored by Fandango Family, a one-stop resource for tickets, movie reviews, DIY and more. Make family movie night a scary good time! There's one week left to participate in Fandango Family’s #MyMovieCostumeContest on Instagram. Check out all of the details at the end of this post, and share your best costume picture for a chance to win $2,500 cash, $500 in Fandango movie tickets, and a custom piece of artwork valued at $999! 
photo 3-5 New York Minute, Part 2, Ten Years Later?

Being that I wanted to participate in this My Movie Costume Contest as more than just a judge, I spent some time searching through the archives of our household Halloween history to see how many costumes I/we/any of us have worn that were at all apropos. Between MSCL, Olivia (Fable went as Olivia two years in a row) and Sesame Street, it would seem that TV shows are more our jam. At least when it comes to Halloween dress-up time.

...And yet. According to Google, Bert and Ernie (Halloween, 2007) have actually been in many a movie. Follow that Bird (a classic from my childhood) for example....
Bert and Ernie
Family Portrait
Also, Katie Perry TOTALLY had her own movie come out a few years ago.
your socks are showing Hal as Katie Perry, 2010 IMG_9217 Elmo's been in a bunch of movies, too, so... 

And Mary-Kate and Ashley have played themselves in several feature films, so VOILA with that action.
Also? Bo decided to go as Little Red Riding Hood this year which is totally INTO THE WOODsesque! So, there you have it. We are totally in. (Not that we can win. But we can still play along, yes? I mean, I do love a good costume contest!)
IMG_5189 Bo as "Little Red Cleaning Helper" this past weekend. 

Here are some of my favorite costume entries so far, all of whom are currently eligible for winning the grand prize of 2,500!
"The Birds" by: @bettybettybobetty
Back  to the Future by: @lunchboxdad
IMG_5373 "The Yellow Submarine" by @orngpikkle IMG_5377
"Boxtrolls" by @sweetmatcha IMG_5615
Top Gun's "Maverick" and "Goose" by: @theriverbankhome
The Princess and the Frog by @athyng
Lloyd Dobbler from Say Anything by: @theeducatedknitter
IMG_5381 Up by: @masonbarton IMG_5618 Juno by: @swellwithmysoul IMG_5619
E.T. by: @candaceplayforth

Contest Reminder: Post your family-friendly movie-related costumes on Instagram between now and November 6th to be eligible for: 

• 1 Grand Prize: $2500 cash + Custom Artwork (valued at $999) + $500 in Fandango movie tickets + custom artwork by Kelley Frisby who rules. (Here are some examples of her work.)
• 2 Runner Up Prizes: $500 in Fandango movie tickets

- include the hashtag #MyMovieCostumeContest
- Tag @Fandango 
- Follow @Fandango on Instagram

(Open to US Residents only. See official rules, here.)

I look forward to sorting through the hashtag this weekend and seeing all of your amazing costumes!

Happy Halloween, you guys!
 Darth Blazer, 2012

May the force of combatting your child(ren)'s sugar high(s) be with you!

UPDATED: Fandango has updated the winners. Congrats to @rachelmenard, @scottburt12 and @amynhoch! There were over 900 entries and they were SO GREAT and it was so tough to decide. you're all amazing. Thank you for participating and keep rocking!

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The Profundity of Profanity

Last month, after a particular challenging hour/day/week/month/year, I blew up at my kids with four million trillion F bombs. I was blinded with frustration, rage, frustrated rage and ragey frustrated frustration rage are you fucking serious with this fucking shit fuck shit fuck fuck fucking fuck what the fuck fucking fucking fuckity fuckfuck...

I would like to say that I am exaggerating, but for me, and for as long as I can remember, saying the word "fuck" when angry has been my exhale... I have gotten better at cursing less as I've gotten older. I do not cuss at my children or in front of them unless, well... unless I am unable to NOT. And then I explode. Which, is not ideal. 
That is not an excuse for my outburst, of course. I know that it was wrong of me to say what I said because I felt terrible afterwards. Their faces reflected my own frustration. And fear. They were stunned, mouths agape, nudging each other with their elbows.

So I apologized. I hugged them one by one. And then as a group. I explained to them how I was feeling -- why I lost it...

"I... sometimes I just feel very.... and I can't.... and...."

We ate our dinner in silence. I fucked up. But also... I felt... better? I felt... relieved to have finally gone there. To have quieted the noise in my head AND my house.

After dinner, we went on business as usual. I read stories. Sang songs. Said I love yous. Laid down with everyone individually until they fell asleep. Except for Archer who was staring at the ceiling as I climbed into bed with him.

He wanted to talk about what happened so that is what we did. 

"I understand. When I'm really mad, I say bad words, too. Not out loud, but quietly," he said. I whisper them..." 

We then went on to talk about the power of words. And when it isn't appropriate to use them. We talked about breaking points -- how we all have them and it's okay. It's okay to bust wide open sometimes. We all do it.. We talked about how sometimes it feels good to say the things we're not supposed to say. To break through the fence and go AHHKAHHHJHSJJAKDS! 
IMG_2300 via DORIS

Several weeks after my Big Blowout of 2015, I found myself alone with Archer after school, both of us working side by side at the kitchen table.

He had had a particularly frustrating day, made worse by two separate incidents that occurred back to back as he finished his homework. I thought back to the conversation we had had weeks ago, about bad words and wanting to say them sometimes. And I decided that the time was right to do something drastic and important -- to blow off some steam before we blew up at each other. 

"I'm going to count to 3 and then we are going to scream the worst of all the four-letter words at the top our lungs until we feel better."

"And you're not going to be mad at me?"

"Not if you're not going to be mad at me."

And that's how, on a Thursday afternoon, my 10-year-old son and I found ourselves screaming, "Fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!" at the top of our lungs before sitting back down at the kitchen table to finish our work. 

You can read my whole post, here. 



IMG_3175 Happy Monday! This song reminds me of you and you and you. 

248. Lust for Life by Girls 


9 of the Hottest Cards for Fall

The following post was sponsored by Shoebox cards. Thanks, Shoebox!
Holiday season is right around the corner. I mean, literally... Halloween is NEXT WEEK MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY EVER HIGH FIVES DOWN THE LINE.

But also there's Thanksgiving.

And Christmas.

And Hanukkah.

And Kwanza.

And New Years.

And also other things that happen in the Fall, like for example:

1. Unexpected Hair Lice Outbreaks
I will never forget the Family Lice Outbreak of Thanksgiving '12 that affected five out of the six of us. And it wasn't just us, either. My entire extended family had to treat their hair as well because we were literally INFESTED with hairbugs and had no choice but to assume we had passed it on to everyone in the state of California. 

2. Holiday Parties where you get seated with "that guy" or, if you suck at grammar, "that girl":


I've been on both sides of this conversation so I empathize with both parties. My dad, for example, texts me if he reads a blog post of mine with a typo. He does this with IG posts, too.

Here, for example, is an excerpt of a text my dad sent me while I was in London:

3. Then there's the whole influx of holiday cards from people you worked with once/don't really know very well/are your mortal enemies. And, what are you going to do, throw those cards away? They include pictures of smiling children! And pets! I mean, ARE YOU DEAD INSIDE? No. You are not dead inside. Which is why you're going to feel obligated to hang your arch nemesis and his family on your mantle. 
4. ... Which in turn makes you realize how much you love the people you really do love: 
5. Last-minute DIY haircuts for Holiday pictures that you immediately regret
ED: I have tried to grow my bangs out ten times this year because I think I'm finally over them and then they get to that weird in-between place where they only look good if you're standing very still. Otherwise they're all weird in your face and you have to pin them back and it's all a mess and, well, I just cut mine.


After growing them out ALMOST long enough.

But thanks anyway, Gandhi. Next time I'll remember your quote.

6. Crotchless Overall Day
(Every day is.)

7. Not-exactly-planned Pregnancies
'Tis the season for many a lady to curl up with her gentleman caller and accidentally have a baby put inside of her. (There's a reason more babies are born in September than any other month. December is for lovers. Winter advisory, ladies and gentlemen.)

Which brings me to...

8. Parenting during the holidays
This image is an accurate depiction of me (and most parents) during the holidays. If you aren't pooping your pants a little bit this time of year, I am afraid I cannot trust you. 


Last but not least...

9. Corn Season
From corn mazes to corn on the cob to corny jokes made by friends and family, 'tis the season to insert corn into various family activities, gatherings and photo opportunities. Thank you to Shoebox for making cards that speak to me and my Autumn values as well as sponsoring this post which I just had a lot of fun writing. 

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"Dear, you. The word 'today' means Amen in every language." - Sierra DeMulder

Dear you,

Are you familiar with Sierra DeMulder? She's amazing and she has a message for everyone who needs one today

This moment is your permission slip,
To finally open that love letter, 
You’ve been hiding from yourself,
The one you wrote when you were little,
When you still danced like a sparkler at dusk,
Do you remember the moment you realized they were watching,
When you became ashamed of how much light you were holding...
Grateful for Sierra's words, her voice. Grateful for the ability to pass them on. 

Big love, all.


Ten Minutes for Mavis

The following post was sponsored by Fandango Family, a one-stop resource for tickets, movie reviews, DIY and more. Make family movie night a scary good time! P.S. Today is the beginning of Fandango Family’s #MyMovieCostumeContest on Instagram. Check out all of the details at the end of this post, and share your best costume picture for a chance to win $2,500 cash, $500 in Fandango movie tickets, and a custom piece of artwork valued at $999! 
IMG_4709 MAVIS! You look AMAVISING! 

Halloween is my favorite holiday in all of the land. I look forward to it every year and spend the months of July-September brainstorming with the kids re: costumes. This year, all six of us are ready to roll. I think. Bo and Fable are still on the fence so, for today's tutorial, we decided to go with Mavis, who may or may not end up being THE ONE come Halloween.

Full disclosure, I have NOT seen Hotel Transylvania 2 because my whole family went to see it while I was out of town. However. I have seen Hotel Transylvania (the first one) 787189327 times. It is one of my favorite animated movies EVER and I am not even just saying that. It's wonderful.

Anyway. For those of you planning on rocking a Hotel Transylvania theme and/or have someone in your family interested in going as Mavis, today's post includes a Mavis tutorial c/o friend and makeup artist, Aura, and daughter and sunshine artist, Fable.

TEN MINUTES, YOU GUYS! EASY, BREEZY (and super sparkly. Because, hello.)
 MAVIS from Hotel Transylvania Makeup Tutorial

First, you will need the following makeup products (or similar)


You will also need a:

- black wig (we already had one. Ahem. It just needed a little trim.)
- black dress of some sort (we had an old ghoul costume that Fable found in the costume chest.)
- bat necklace was an extra touch. It felt very WWMD, you know? Like, OF COURSE Mavis would wear a bat necklace! She's a vampire!

1. Bronze eyelids for base:
2. Apply silver sky (or similarly silver and sparkly) shadow all over eyelid to brow bone: 
3. Apply Lorac midnight sparkle eyeshadow liner to top of lid (and bottom if possible.)
Go over with MAC liner in graphblack:
3. Apply mascara to lashes as well as eyebrows to blacken:
4. Give "Mavis" the PIXI powder and tell her to put it wherever she wishes:
5. Outline lips with eyelinder (same MAC liner used for eyes works for lips) and color in completely:
6. Go over black lips with cranberry lip pencil:
7. Add wig:
8. Style wig:
IMG_4683 And VOILA! Mavis is ready to fly!!
Mavis she's born with it...

I'm extremely pumped to announce that I will be judging Fandango Family's #MyMovieCostumeContest which goes live on Instagram TODAY and is open until November 6th.

Wanna enter for a chance to win?

Post your family-friendly movie-related costumes on Instagram:

- include the hashtag #MyMovieCostumeContest
- Tag @Fandango 
- Follow @Fandango on Instagram
(Open to US Residents only. See official rules, here.)

Contest Prize Details:
• 1 Grand Prize: $2500 cash + Custom Artwork (valued at $999) + $500 in Fandango movie tickets. Artwork

AND, it gets better. The custom artwork will be BASED ON your Halloween costumes c/o artist Kelley Frisby who rules. (Here are some examples of her work.)
• 2 Runner Up Prizes: $500 in Fandango movie tickets


I can't wait to see your costumes! May the Halloween movie contest force be with you!

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