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HALLOWEEN 2017: DIY Unicorn & The Terminator

This year for Halloween I really wanted to be Harley Quinn. (I did last year, too). But, I didn’t want to spend the money on the costume and I did not want to freeze during Trick or Treating. So, I ended up being a unicorn. Which, by the way, cost about half what the Harley Quinn costume would have cost me and I still froze during Trick or Treat, although not as badly.

To make the unicorn, I relied on this YouTube video:
And also this website:
And the rest I made up as I went along.

First get a hoodie to decorate in the desired color. At first I considered a bright pink one from Hobby Hobby that was zipperless. But I had already fallen in love with the grey hoodie on the makeit-loveit website. Plus, zipperless hoodies tend to pull on my neck and annoy me. I figured the added weight of the mane and the horn would only make that worse. I bought my plain grey hoodie in the men’s department at Walmart. I recommend a hoodie with drawstrings so you can tighten them if you need to. I actually tied scrap strips of fleece to my drawstrings. I could tighten the drawstrings and slide up the fleece to hold it in place, holding them without having to tie a silly bow.

Then I gathered different colored scraps of fleece from my own collected and the scrap bin at JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby. I only needed a little, so they were relatively inexpensive. I found the silver material for the horn there too.

Mane sewed on, but not yet cut into strands

My horn is maybe 7 inches tall here. I wrapped it with gold ribbon. A gold horn with silver ribbon would work just as well. The way I made my ears, they didn’t stand up so well, so feel free to improve on the design.

The full horn and ears.

Once I got the horn sewed on, I realized it was just way too long. I removed it, cut off about 2 inches, and sewed it back on again. If you want to be able to wear your horn in the car, you could take off even more.

I was feeling horny! This is the too long horn.

I had cut off the leading (trailing?) edge of the fleece. I was just going to discard it, but it turned out they made for a great tail. I attached it with a large safety pin. I layered more fleece on the inside so that the pin wouldn’t rip the jacket if it got pulled on on accident.

Finished mane and tail

Here is a picture of my finished costume. Please realize that I am not that fat. Well, not quite. I had on five layers, including a raincoat as a windbreaker which was a total lifesaver that night.

My son went as the Terminator. All he needed was the right sunglasses, a $3 thrift store leather jacket, and a $1 gun from a yard sale. He wanted me to be Sarah Conner. But that would just be the same costume as when I was Jennifer to his Marty McFly–my old 80s clothes. And no one would know who I was. For more on the Marty McFly costume, click here:

Finished costumes

Have fun making your own unicorn costume!

For more on how The Terminator is actually a love story, click here:

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.

Cheap Meal: Potato Burritos

Ah, Christmas approaches. There are trees to purchase, gifts to buy, and license plate renewals for both my husband and I.

Nothing makes a person feel more poor than the Christmas season.

So, to cheer you up, I am going to share one of my favorite low-cost meals. It may even be a slight bit healthy for you. (That part was an accident, I promise.)

I can’t remember where I found this recipe. I used to make it years ago when I was an unmarried gal living in my tiny apartment all by myself with a car payment that wasn’t officially included in my budget.

All done. Yum.

All done. Yum.

Potato Burritos

A touch of salsa spices up filling (but usually bland) potatoes.

(makes 2 burritos, fills up one average-sized female)

Tortillas (whatever size you like, flour or wheat or what-whatever you prefer)
Salsa (I like Tostitos Mild myself, found in the chip aisle)
Medium Potato (russet, white, yellow-they all work)

Diced potato after frying

Diced potato after frying

1. Dice the potato in small but uniform pieces.
2. Fry using vegetable oil, salt & pepper to taste. They will be done in 10-15 min, or when they begin to get brown and crispy.
3. Heat two tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds til easily foldable.
4. Divide up the diced potatoes evenly between the shells. Top with salsa. Fold & consume.

* Potatoes can be purchased individually, or a 5lb bag of them can last for several weeks. Salsa can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks as well.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a BugAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!
Be Careful What You Wish For – COMING JANUARY 2016!

The Clinton Theater

There is a little place I sometimes go. It is cheap and entertaining (Not many places can say that these days).

Do you know how in movies whenever they show a small town street scene from the 1950’s there is always a tiny movie theater? Unbelievably, some of them still exist.

Clinton Theater, Clinton, Michigan. Image owned by The Clinton Theater

The Clinton Theater is one of these theaters. Located in Clinton, Michigan, pop. 2,336, their movies were only $3 when my husband and I first went to a show there. The refreshment prices were incredibly reasonable as well. The theater only has one screen. They only have one showtime a day in the evening, sometimes two on Saturday and Sunday. My theory is that everyone who works there also has a day job and is therefore unavailable to show movies during the day. And that whoever works there are probably the same people who own it as well.

If the Clinton Theater is showing a popular movie, it is usually necessary to get there early, as seats are limited. The lobby is very small and is usually filled with the people in line for refreshments. The theater is small and cozy. They play an eclectic selection of interesting music (or maybe it is just really old music) while you wait for movie time. They store their extra bottles of pop in the front of the theater. They are very trusting of their customers. It adds to the small-town feel. I am not that trusting.

When the film (yes, 35mm film) begins to roll, first you see hand-drawn animation of…an alien maybe? (The official website informs me they are a bird and a fish.) who welcome you to The Clinton Theater. Then the previews. Watching the previews, you have no idea which films will play in this actual theater. Unlike the ten screen multiplex, this theater only has one screen, remember?

Which movie they show each week is based firstly on a website vote (how modern for such an old theater). Secondly, it is based on when they can get a physical copy of the film. Those are becoming harder and harder to come by, with all movie studios moving to release all their films in digital. This causes a delay for when The Clinton Theater can get a new hit movie. I assume that this process probably frustrates the hell out of the owners. I kind of like it because if I missed a movie when it was at the multiplex, (ex. Snow White and The Huntsman) I can watch for it to be showing in Clinton. Or if it was a movie I wanted to see again in theaters (ex. all Twilight Saga movies) without having to pay full price, I can go to Clinton.

They have since raised admission to $4 a movie, although they usually still have a $3 bargain night if you check their website. Which is a perfect price point if you see a movie advertised that you think you might want to rent, but you don’t want to have to wait that long (ex. Joyous Noise). They also sell refillable fountain cups and popcorn tubs that you can bring in on future visits and get a refill for a fraction of the price.

The Clinton Theater had a few fundraisers to raise money to buy a digital projector, as they knew the future of their business depended on it. I kept meaning to attend one of their fundraisers or send them a check. I figured I had plenty of time, as they would be collecting money for it for years to come.

Then last week they announced that they will be getting a digital projector, possibly as early as November. Well, dang. That was fast. I am guessing they must have received one huge donation to fill in the gaps in funding. I saw an article in Readers Digest where a small town won a contest run by the magazine to put in a digital projector for their own down-home movie house. They only won $25,000 toward their goal of the $70,000 needed to convert their theater.

Well, since I missed my chance to donate to The Clinton Theater, I guess I will just have to support local business and watch movies there more often. Nowadays, I have to go to the movies by myself, as my husband and I have a shortage of babysitters. I can’t wait until my son is old enough to sit through a movie with us. Maybe in a few years…

My parting thought: The Clinton Theater is awesome and cool! If you live close by, drive there for a movie sometime (additional parking in the back). If not, find the closest similar theater to you and enjoy the savings and fun. (The Maumee Indoor Theater is another great small theater I have been to.)

Image owned by The Clinton Theater

132 West Michigan Ave. (US-12)
Clinton, MI 49236

For Showtimes:
Call: 517-456-4315

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Wedding Jeans

The gazebo in the park we got married at

As a general rule, I do not wear dresses. Or skirts, for that matter. I don’t wear them on a normal day, to work, or to job interviews. The one exception I make is to wear them to weddings. Other people’s weddings. Not my own. Intrigued? Read on…(And no, I did not get married in the nude!)

My then-boyfriend and I had talked about marriage, but he wasn’t ready to propose to me yet. At twenty-four, he still felt he was too young to get married. But I was still thinking about my wedding, anyway. I was not one of those girls who day dreamed about her wedding for years and what white poofy dress she would wear. Nope. I think about high school age I decided my dream wedding would be to get married in Las Vegas by Elvis. I am still waiting for that wedding. *sigh*

So although my boyfriend hadn’t proposed to me, I was still wondering what I would wear to my own wedding. I knew a big white dress was out. I must have thought “If only I could just wear jeans”. And that is how the “wedding jeans” were born.


Do you remember how I like unusual sewing projects, such as the pharmacy giraffe, Christmas stockings, and the Werecart? Well, you can add wedding jeans to that list too. I bought all the white patches I could find. Most featured flowers or hearts. I put them on the legs and back pockets of the jeans. Then I bought thin white ribbon and iridescent seed beads. I sewed the ribbon along the tops of the pockets, and down the side seams of both legs. Then I sewed the seed beads on top of the ribbon. By hand. Sewing through a denim seam is no picnic. I bent several needles in the process.

Now, when I started this project, I kept saying I wasn’t really going to wear the jeans for my wedding. But once my future husband saw them being made and how cool they were, he told me I had to wear them. That he would make me. It is a good thing I started them like 6 months before he proposed, because I think I worked on them for a year. I had them ready a few months before we were married. My jeans were a little too big. Which was unfortunate, because I couldn’t try to wash and shrink them now, as it would have ruined the decorations. So I made a white and yellow ribbon braided belt for them. Sort of dorky, but it did the job.

Now, the hard part was finding a shirt to wear with it. I pictured something white and billowy, sort of like a pirate would wear. Not my usual style, but it was for my wedding day. I bought three different white shirts and I was unhappy with all of them. I ended up wearing just a plain white T-shirt. (I am still looking for the perfect shirt to this day. And if I found it I just might buy it.) On my feet I wore my favorite sandals–pretty basic, brown leather. In my hair, I had baby’s breath put into a half a French braid. The bottom of my hair was curled and hung free.

Ta-Da! The Wedding Jeans. (Front View)

On our invitations, we put “Casual Attire Suggested”. We had our wedding and reception outdoors in August, so it was a little warm. It was a sunny day, no rain. My husband wore a gray shirt and black pants. My bridesmaid wore a denim skirt. We got married in a city part that was just a block from our apartment. (We walked to our own wedding.) We had our reception in my mother-in-law’s backyard, with hamburgers and hot dogs. I didn’t have to worry about changing my clothes or “bustling” anything. I didn’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions (although I am sure that I probably worried anyway). In our wedding pictures, my husband and I have genuine toothy smiles, not the kind we usually give for pictures where we keep our mouths closed to hide our crooked teeth. All out smiles.

Wedding Jeans (Rear View)…Hey, quit staring at my ass!

My advice to anyone is to have your wedding your way. And ask for lots of help. I tried to do too much on my own. No one ever said a word about my wedding jeans. Which means either everyone liked them or knew how to be polite. What happened to Vegas, you ask? Well, we didn’t have our wedding there because my husband wanted his family to be able to come and they could not have all made it to Vegas. So my plan was that we would go to Vegas to get our vows renewed for our 5 year anniversary. Didn’t happen. But we should definitely go do it for our ten year anniversary–8/23/2013.


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What I Learned This Week – 7/22/12

Posted on

This week I learned that the best bubbles come from the Oriental Trading Company. We had some from them and we used up the little bottle. My husband went out and bought Miracle Bubbles brand. They suck! The liquid is too heavy and drippy and it doesn’t make good bubbles at all. Last weekend we obtained another tiny bottle which originated from the Oriental Trading Company. They are light, you get a ton of bubbles per blow, and they have a good hang time.

I also learned that the dollar store (in this case, Dollar Tree), sells pretty decent ice cream products. The store here in Adrian, Michigan recently relocated and now carries frozen food. I bought 5 Fudge Bars and 6 Orange Creme Bars for a dollar per package. Both were Arctic Breeze brand. I excepted them to be not edible. But they were pretty good. (My husband and I kept going back to the freezer for more.) So, if you are heading from the Dollar Tree home and you want a sweet treat, try them out.

Also, I learned that the Dollar Tree also sells shrimp. As I do not eat seafood, this fascinates me, more than grosses me out.

Hope everyone had a good week!

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