Cindy Lou Who Costume

23 12 2013

I’ll be perfectly honest here- I really don’t like getting all dressed up in costumes. Perhaps it was all the years I spent in drama club, or perhaps it is my disdain for all Halloween costumes being “Slutty fill in the blank” and completely acceptable.

However, over the weekend the XP gang had a Christmas party. A themed Christmas party. A dress-up like your favorite Christmas movie character themed party. I loved the idea, but I wasn’t super pumped to put effort into creating a costume. I didn’t really put much thought into who I would be until a few days before when I randomly decided to be Cindy Lou Who.

When I first thought about Cindy Lou Who, the image that came to my mind was from the cartoon- the original, which I still think is way better than the Jim Carrey version.

Cindy Lou Who

But then my friends started talking about doing up my hair and I remembered the real-life version of Cindy Lou Who:

MV5BMTMxMzY3ODg4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTE5MDA3._V1_SX640_SY720_Hm. I could do something like that.

I didn’t really start putting thought into it until Thursday (the party was on Friday), when I started googling “Cindy Lou Who Costumes” and “Cindy Lou Who Hair”.Β  Who knew there were so many “How To” videos and pages out there!? I spotted one site where a mom used an empty water bottle, and I watched a video where a girl teased her hair A LOT.Β  I had ideas swirling in my head, but really didn’t have a plan in place when I left my house late Friday afternoon to go to a thrift store, fabric store, and Lowe’s, in hope that something would come together in the two hours I had before the party started.

At the thrift store, I saw a pink nightgown that might have worked for the original Cindy Lou Who, but kept to my plan of the real-life character. I grabbed a red fleece blanket (actually, a Delta airline blanket) for $0.95 and figured that would work for a cape. Then I went to Lowe’s and grabbed some wire for my hair. Finally, at Hancock Fabric I bought (way too much) fuzzy white fabric and some styrofoam balls.

When I got home, I wrapped the blanket around me and crossed my fingers that it would work as a cape, and wouldn’t be too bulky. Surprisingly, it was perfect! I just had to trim a little off the bottom. Then, I cut a strip of the white fuzzy material and hot glued it to the bottom edge. Voila! A Christmassy cape!

I threw on a black dress I owned and my striped socks I bought for last year’s Christmas run.

IMG_4895Then, it was hair time. I started with a pony tail on top. I knew I wanted to put the styrofoam ball in the pony to add structure, and I was a little worried that with my shorter, fine hair it wouldn’t work, but it actually worked!


This was a good start, but it wasn’t quite right yet. I wanted to go higher, but how would I get there? Another styrofoam ball was too big for the remaining hair. Then, I got a bright idea.

IMG_0311My cats have plastic toy balls with bells inside that they play with all of the time. They were the perfect size for the amount of hair I had left. So, I covered it with hair and then secured it on top with a hair tie. Unfortunately, the top ball kept flopping over, so I grabbed a piece of wire and stuck it through the openings in the ball and into the styrofoam. The added jingle whenever I moved my head made the ‘do. Perfection!

I added some pigtails, a few bows, a butt load of hair spray, sparkly makeup, and I was good to go!


I didn’t get a great picture of the whole ensemble, but here’s the best I have:

IMG_0300Once I started putting together the costume, I really got into it! I was actually quite fun! It was even more fun to see what my friends had come up with:

IMG_0273Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation and a Christmas present!

IMG_0305Frosty the Snowman!

And my favorite, the Starbucks Red Cup!


The costumes weren’t the best part of the night though. We surprised Mary and Marcus with an awesome gift for Baby Baum.


What a fun night! It was a fantastic way to spend a Friday night with my favorite people!

(And for some more fun pics, check out Meghann’s blog!)


A Flurry of Activity

3 01 2013

Hello, 2013!

happy New Year

I guess I’m a few days late on the whole “Happy New Year” thing, but the past week and a half has been quite a flurry of activity!

It started out with a trip home to New Jersey to spend Christmas with my family. It was really relaxing and I had a great time hanging out with friends and family.

Christmas Stocking

When I got back to Tampa, I picked up Bill at the train station and we had a quiet night in, because the next day was moving day!

movingday(photo courtesy of Meghann)

Thanks to my AMAZING group of friends, I was moved out of my old apartment and moved in to my new apartment in only a few hours. πŸ™‚ I love these guys!

Bill and I spent the rest of our Saturday unpacking boxes, installing shelves, and making my space “me.”

Tri wall

I plan to do a walk through of the apartment via vlog in the coming weeks, but I’ve only been moved in a few days, and it really feels like home already πŸ™‚

On Sunday, we hit up Ikea for a desk, some shelving, and a bit of home decor. We got home just in time to head back out; Bill and I had plans to part ways for a few hours to celebrate the upcoming marriage of our friends Felipe and Jess!

Let me rewind a second- the Friday before Christmas I got a group text from Jess with a picture of a gorgeous ring. Felipe had asked her to be his bride, and of course she said yes! The next day, we got another text, asking if we had plans for New Year’s Eve, because they were planning a small, intimate wedding ceremony for that night! Of course I’d be there!

So, the day before the wedding the guys hung out and did “manly” things, while the girls got mani-pedis and went out to dinner.


Mary, Jess, Courtney

I left the gals around 9 or so and headed back to the apartment, where Bill was already back at work. Remember those shelves we had purchased earlier in the day? Bill had a grand plan for them.


Yes, that would be a kitty jungle gym. Bill covered the shelves with fleece and strategically placed them on the wall so that the cats could play up high. Iggy and Lulu have been playing on them every day!

::insert crazy cat lady jokes here::

On Monday, we put up the final kitty shelf before heading over to Mary and Marcus’s house for a birthday brunch! Marcus is a NYE baby, and celebrated the big 2-6 this year. We had an amazing spread of food and shared some laughs with the birthday boy.


After brunch, Bill and I did the last bit of work on the apartment so all that was left to do was some organization I could do on my own. A little before 5, I took him back to the train station so he could head back to Orlando 😦  (He had an uber-early flight to catch on New Year’s Day)

I zipped (safely) back to my apartment to change; I had a wedding to attend! Courtney picked me up and we headed to the church for the 6:30 ceremony.


(photo courtesy of Meghann)

A friend of mine once said “Big wedding are about the party; small weddings are about the couple.” Jess and Felipe’s wedding was exactly that-it was about them and the promises they were making to each other. There were none of the bells and whistles of a “traditional” wedding and the only people attending were family and close friends. I thought it was incredibly special and intimate. It was beautiful.

After the ceremony, we headed out to celebrate the newlyweds with a delicious dinner at Lauro’s, before heading over to a family friend’s house to ring in the new year!


(again, Meghann’s photo πŸ™‚ )

One thing that really smacked me in the face in the middle of all this crazy activity is how truly blessed I am to have such a wonderful group of friends in Tampa. From the moving, to the birthday brunch, to the wedding, to ringing in the new year- I was surrounded by the people who make me laugh, who I love to be around, who I can count on for just about anything. It’s hard to believe that this time last year, I hadn’t met any of them! But now, I call them my closest friends, my family. I love you guys!

Here’s to many more fun times with the gang in 2013!

Question of the day: How was your New Years?

Jersey Shore Bachelorette Party

23 07 2012

My oh my, what a weekend! Look who I was hanging out with!

Yes friends, I got to see Chloe for her bachelorette party this weekend! Chloe and nine of her friends converged on Avalon, NJ for a weekend of sun, fun, and all things bachelorette! Unfortunately, the sun decided to hide behind some clouds for most of the weekend, but we still managed to have a total blast.

On Friday night, we kept it low key and hung out at the condo. The group was a mixture of Chloe’s childhood friends, college friends, and DC friends, so many of us had never met. It didn’t take much time for us to all feel like old friends πŸ™‚

Chloe’s friend Livey is a bartender, and she mixed us some creative and delicious concoctions:

Spiked blackberry lemonade

And some drink I’m going to call Berry Basil Gold. I don’t know exactly what she put in it, but it reminded me of a sangria. The basil added such a great freshness to it!

Many laughs and stories later, we hit the sack. A few girls had long runs planned (yay triathlete/runner friends!) for Saturday morning, so we didn’t make it too late of a night.

Another reason I think we all bonded so well this weekend: we all love good food! A few of the girls who arrived early made some stops at various farmer’s markets to stock up on fresh veggies. YES PLEASE! Farmer’s market veggies > supermarket veggies!

Saturday’s lunch spread was pretty impressive:

My favorite was definitely the tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad. The basil was purple, which I thought was really cool. And I’m biased, but I don’t think anything beats Jersey tomatoes! The girls mixed it up a little with some avocado slices, and it was to die for! I could have probably eaten the whole plate (I didn’t).

We spent a lazy afternoon by the pool reading trashy magazines (why not?) before heading out to get our nails done.

So happy that neons are coming back in style πŸ™‚

And no hang out with Chloe would be complete without Fro-Yo!

We stopped at a cute self-serve fro-yo place called Toppings.

I got cookies and cream, cake batter, and tart yogurt, topped with strawberries, mini caramel cups and wet nuts. I got a little too much, and didn’t end up finishing it because I knew we had a yummy dinner planned for later in the evening!

We went back to the room and got all gussied up for our big night out.

Chloe and her sister Jocelyn πŸ™‚

(Side note: Yes, that is a boot on Chloe’s leg. She has a torn plantar fascia, and will be in the boot for a few months 😦 )

The decorations were set:

Let the party begin!

There were games.

And lots of smiles.

A little before 8, we walked over to the Windrift for dinner.

The Windrift was a little bit of a conundrum to me. Based on the website and the prices on the menu (entrees $30-40), I was expecting a classy seafood restaurant. We walked in through the bar, where there was a man playing typical sing along bar songs (think Piano man) on a keyboard/piano, basically ON the bar.Β  There was definitely a uh, different generation hanging out in the bar, singing along and dancing. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to sing along too, just not what I was expecting.

At the other end of the bar, there was the sushi bar. I guess there is seafood in sushi, but again, I guess it just caught me off guard.

Anyhow, we were seated in the back of the dining room that was attached to the bar, and we promptly perused the menu.

We ordered a few appetizers: the Windrift bang bang (tempura shrimp), a Rainbow roll (sushi), baked brie, and Parmesan crusted dayboat scallops with lobster rissotto. The lighting was not so great so I didn’t get any pictures, but the scallops were OUTSTNADING.Β  The risotto was rich and creamy, with a perfect amount of lobster. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and melted in your mouth. Mmmm.

At least three of the girls ordered the entree size of the scallops, so I snagged a picture of it. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

When I learned we were ordering the scallops as an appetizer, I opted for the crab encrusted halibut for my entree. It was delicious, but I definitely thought the scallops were just incredible and the real winner in my book.

Dinner wrapped up and we headed to The Princeton to get our groove on.

Glow bracelets? Check.

Bachelorette paraphernalia? Check.

Bar with a band of cute boys playing pop hits? Check.

The band was Total Whiteout, and they played everything from “Call Me Maybe” to “Baby Got Back” and everything in between. Basically, it was perfect music to dance your face off to!

And lots of dancing we did! We danced for hours straight, and finally called it a night after the band’s last set.

The whole weekend was an absolute blast. It was SO GREAT to see Chloe and my other DC friends again, as well as to make a few new friends! I want to do it all again next weekend!

Happy Bachelorette Chloe! Less than 2 months to go!