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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween! Here’s a (dark) pic of the girls from over the weekend at a trunk-or-treat:

The kids will be sure to have a fun day at school today – its dress-up day so they get to wear their costumes. We bought them from Costco for I think $16 each. Pretty decent considering how many accessories they come with. I love Costco!

They have a little costume parade in the morning at school that I’m going to attend, and then they’ll have parties in both classes. This evening, we’ll do a little trick-or-treating around our new neighborhood and call it a night early. With Halloween being mid-week, they really did the majority of their celebrating this past weekend (we had their school Fall Festival on Friday, and TWO trunk-or-treats: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. ALL of these events were 100% free admission. I did buy $10 worth of tickets at the Fall Festival so the girls could play carnival games, but that was the only money spent!). I’m most looking forward to the fact that there’s NO HOMEWORK tonight in light of the holiday (I have to lol over the other parents’ comments on this post where I mentioned the volume of homework my first-graders have!! I’m glad other parents agree the homework is a bit much!).

Also…have I mentioned I’m doing another Ragnar race? I did one last year and can’t recall whether I’ve specifically written about it this year or not. I’ve been training for the past 3 months and the race is finally this week (Friday-Saturday). Wish me luck, as I feel pretty under-prepared. I’m a good 10 lbs. heavier than I was for last year’s race (separation-related stress-eating?? I really need to get this in check), plus I was knocked out for a solid week in the intense part of training due to kidney stones. I’ll finish, but it ain’t gonna be fast and it ain’t gonna be pretty. For those curious, Ragnar is a running relay race done with a team. We will each run 15 miles (split into 3 segments) over the course of a 24-hour period. Send all your good luck/racing vibes my way!

For those who celebrate, have a Happy Halloween!

 


Halloween Costumes for Cheap/Free

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This is NOT a “how to” because I am probably one of the least crafty people in the world so I am unlikely to do a pinterest-worthy make-your-own tutorial. Instead, I just wanted to give my experience and share how I’m handling the Halloween costume issue this year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Halloween this year. And by “thinking” I mean dreading.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the holiday and, especially after having kids, it has taken on so much more meaning and become so much more fun! I have incredible memories of last year’s Halloween! We invited friends over, had the kids dress up (just at home – they were only 16 months old at the time so we didn’t go trick-or-treating since they didn’t eat candy) and spent the night handing out candy and hanging out with our buddies. A good, low-key night!

This year is different.

First, I’m on this big debt-reduction mission.

I’ve been feeling a lot of anxiety and stress over the extra money being spent this month (for my friend’s wedding) coupled with the upcoming holiday expenses and the fact that our monthly income went from nearly $10,000 way back down to only just above $6,000 (side note….not looking great to break that figure for this month either). We’re used to living on about $5500 so its not an issue in terms of survival, but its definitely changing my projected debt pay-off dates and just feels a little “meh” after coming off the “high” of those few months where we were able to put $4,000 and $5,000 toward debt. Not so much anymore.

Plus there are some other financial concerns. It looks like I’m going to need to buy a couple of business outfits for an upcoming interview so I’ll need to set money aside for that, and – I never mentioned this – but remember my friend whose getting married? Her wedding is on Halloween (nontraditional, yes, but the venue was much cheaper that way).

So, all in all, I am just feeling a bit lackluster about this year’s Halloween. I still want to celebrate to the extent that I am able (given that I’ll be at a wedding on Halloween night instead of with my kiddos), but I definitely do NOT want to spend $50 on costumes for the girls to wear for a single night (costumes are crazy over-priced!!!).

I’ve been stewing over this issue for weeks and had not come to any sort of solution that I was happy with.

Then, totally unrelated to Halloween, I started cleaning out our closets. I’ve been inspired by Hope’s recent purge and have decided that we need to get rid of a LOT of stuff. I’d done a mini-purge a few months ago (remember when I wrote about selling stuff in facebook groups?), but I had underestimated the amount of JUNK that we still have lying around.

In my efforts to purge I came across a box of old toddler clothes and I started going through it to sort into piles for resale shop and donate. Guess what I come across – their ladybug costumes from last year!

Remember, last year they were 16 months old and the costumes were size 18 months. Even though the girls are now 28 months old I’m looking at the costumes and thinking, “these are basically shapeless bags…they’ll still fit, right???” I call the girls over and zip on the outer part of the ladybug costume. They zip right up and fit like a champ. What’s better is the girls now KNOW what a ladybug is so they are all excited, running around and shrieking, “LADYBUG! LADYBUG! LADYBUG!”

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It’s settled. We’ll be ladybugs again!

In the box of clothes I even found the tights that came with the costume (black tights with red built-in footies), so the only thing missing is a solid black long-sleeve undershirt.

I threw the girls in the car (took them out of the costumes first), put the rest of the old toddler clothes in the car, and headed to the thrift shop. I found 2 long sleeve black shirts there and, after buying some of my clothes, I was able to purchase the 2 shirts using trade-in credit and not spending a dime out of pocket (plus I still have a couple bucks credit).

I’d call that a win any day!

I’m still a little bummed I’ll be missing Halloween this year. It would be their first year to actually go door-to-door. But we’ll have plenty of years ahead. Plus, our neighborhood is doing a free Harvest Festival this weekend and have advertised that they’ll be doing costume prizes! I think we may dress the girls up for the festival so I have a chance to get some pictures with them and spend some time together while they’re in costume. We’ll still have fun and they’ll never know it’s not Halloween.

What are you doing this year for Halloween? How do you keep the cost down for costumes?


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