Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween - Jack-o-Lanterns

I've had a scary week.  I've been sick for 4 days. I'm really tired of watching TV.  I haven't been this sick for this long in so long I can't even remember when it might have been, but I think I'm finally on the mend.

Needless to say I didn't accomplish ANYTHING during my days at home except catching up on shows recorded on the DVR. I didn't even feel like reading - books or blogs.

I guess I sort of accomplished one thing (with help), I supervised my baby girl's pumpkin carving one evening.  We decided to try something new this year.  We "carved" a pattern where you just scrape the pumpkin thin instead of cutting all the way through.  It turned out pretty good for a first attempt, but I had a little trouble photographing it.

Jolly Roger
So that is our real pumpkin for 2012.  Below is "fake" pumpkin we carved a few years ago and can just take out and plug in.  It photographs better because the electric bulb gives off more light.

Kitty Kitty

So which do you like better?  Carving a real pumpkin and tossing it out after Halloween or carving a fake pumpkin you can use year after year?

If you missed our WICKED Halloween decor based on books, movies and theater check it out here.

Happy Halloween, 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Boo To You - A Spooky Costume Reveal

I finished the costumes for our Halloween parties with 24 hours to spare!  That made Saturday a nice day and then we spent the a little while getting our makeup on.  I told our baby girl that her Dad needed her to help him put on his makeup - that's something she never thought she would hear me say!

For myself I sewed a skirt, shirt, and corset.  I made a necklace, bracelet and purse from fabric and lace scraps.  I also painted a "bloody" glass for use as a prop (I used craft paint and it washed right off.)  The hat was in my costume box. I bought the the fangs.

Here's a close up of the bracelet and bloody "wine" glass
I really loved making the accessories.  The purse is a rectangle of scarlet satin covered with black lace, lined with black satin with a drawstring threaded through the top. Designing and creating the jewelry was fun too.

I found it hard to photograph the costume pieces, they look better when you wear them, obviously, than they do hanging semi-shapeless on a hanger.

The corset was also fun to make.  I used leftover fabric from my daughter's prom dress. I bought the lace to go around the bottom of the peplum and the ribbon for the corset. I got the other fabric, lace and grommets from my "stock" of stuff. This corset with the peplum was my favorite piece.

The top has GREAT sleeves. You can see how they are split and drape open in the photos when I'm wearing the costume.  I bought the fabric and lace for the top.  The only thing I already had for this piece was the elastic.  I was planning a large draped sleeve and a friend said something about getting my sleeve in the dip, so the split sleeve was great - no dip on the sleeves!  Actually I'm not sure I even saw any dip at the parties we went to - of course I was wearing contacts (which means I need reading glasses to see close up) so there may have been lots of dip and I just missed it all.  :)  I'm sure vampires don't need vision correction but costumes and makeup only create an illusion - underneath it all we were still two people getting mail from AARP!  I didn't take a picture of the skirt on a hanger because it just refused to pose pretty.

For my partner in crime, SuperDave, aka "The Count", I made a black suede cloth jacket with black satin lapels and a detachable black satin cape lined with scarlet velvet.  I also made him a scarlet brocade vest and a gray satin and lace dickie. 

Is that the family crest on those buttons?
His purchased accessories included a hat, glasses, fangs, wig, medallion, boot covers, gloves and of course, a walking stick.  The walking stick was a bamboo cane we picked up second hand and modified.  SuperDave The Count cut the top off and put a glass doorknob on top.

The vest was my favorite piece of his costume.  After it was complete, I realized he needed a "pocket watch", so I had to fake a pocket and just use a chain.  And AFTER I sewed on a fake pocket I realized I put it wrong side - but don't tell and no one will notice.

But all my sewing wouldn't have made us "SCARY" without some great stage makeup - enter my daughter, who was an actor and stage crew member all through Middle School and High School.  She did an awesome job and even made my hair just lovely striking.

I have to caution you that if you ever decide to go "SCARY" for Halloween some year, you may forget you are wearing freaky makeup and then startle yourself when you glance in a mirror.

But you will NOT forget about wearing those fangs.  Keep a case handy if you want to eat anything while you attend your parties.  They snap off and right back on, you just don't want to lose them before the night is over.  And here's a fang buying tip - buy the small ones - these are the normal size and they were BIG.

All in good fun,


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gourmet Open Face Chili Dogs

Okay, maybe not GOURMET (because I'm not a gourmet cook), but I created the recipe so I can create the name also.  And these definitely were NOT your standard chili dogs.

Because I'm sewing like crazy to get ready for costume parties this weekend we've had some interesting meals lately and last night was no exception.  I frequently make up recipes using what is in the fridge and/or freezer.

Last night I ran in the door from work and looked to see what was in the freezer.  I found a small container of homemade chili.  And in the fridge - turkey hot dogs and the end of a loaf of french bread.

So here's what we had - "Gourmet" Open Face Chili Dogs

First I put the frozen chili in the microwave to warm up. I make my chili with 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 lean ground beef and a standard chili mix.  I cook a package of 15 bean soup mix and I mix the beans with the chili.  I make a big pot and freeze it in small containers for use at a later date after we eat it the first day.

Then I tossed four turkey hot dogs (45 calories each) in a cast iron skillet, browned them and pushed them to the sides. Sorry for the lack of photos, but I was in a hurry.

I tossed a handful of broccoli slaw and shredded carrots in the middle of the cast iron skillet and added some thin sliced red bell pepper and chopped cilantro.  I cooked the veggies until tender but still slightly crisp. (yes, veggies on a hot dog)

I sliced the french bread in half and spread it with olive oil spread and stuck it under the broiler to get toasty.

I removed the bread from the oven and spread a thin layer of dill pickle relish on the bread. I added two hot dogs to each piece of bread, topped it with a little spicy mustard, the chili with beans, grated cheddar cheese, and topped it with the veggies.

Then I snapped a quick photo with my phone because it was so pretty!  And let me tell you, it was DELISH! 

Try it for yourself. Yummy, I promise!

Hang on, it's almost Friday,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Toes in the Sand and Other Views from Mexico

I had a great response to my recent toe pictures post and was even featured by Natasha In Oz, so I thought I would share a few "my view" pics from my Riviera Maya vacation.

After dinner walk on the beach at night

A Sunny Morning in Paradise
Wish this was my view RIGHT NOW!

Even SuperDave got in the spirit on an afternoon sail and took a toe picture

Beautiful Yal-ku Lagoon after a morning snorkel

My feet are UNDER the water, people!

Beautiful view of the turquoise water

How about this one?
Floating in an underground cenote looking up at the hole we rappelled down through

Poolside at Catalonia Royal Tulum

How I spent my beach time.......when I was sitting down
Already missing that turquoise water and white sand.

Much Love & Laughter, 

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People I party with

Totally Transformed
Primitive and Proper
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating