Holiday Gift Guide 2018

December 18, 2018

I'm sure this will come as a surprise to all who know me: we're seven days away from Christmas, and I'm extremely behind on my shopping. Shocking, right? Does this also happen to mean that I dedicated several hours to this Gift Guide post when I should have been shopping? You bet.

And with that brief introduction, I welcome you to my 2018 Holiday Gift Guide! This list is comprised of products I love (some of which I either own, asked for, or purchased for others) and best of all, these items are available for in-store and/or online purchase, with options for arrival before Christmas. It's the season for giving, and this is my gift to you all. You're welcome. ;)

In addition to the items below, some of my favorite gifts can be found in last year's Gift Guide - don't forget to check it out!

P.S. I promise that I put serious time into this list, and wouldn't suggest anything I wouldn't purchase myself. I dig through reviews and only share products that seem to be worth their price tag.

Happy Shopping! 


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$: Henna Drop Earrings, BaubleBar, $15
$: Velvet Knotted Headband, Anthropologie, $18 
$: Faux Leather Leggings, Express, $24.95
$$: Half-Sleeve Turtleneck Top (a winter outfit staple in black, white and gray), Lulu's, $38
$$: Chelsea Heeled Booties (I love all three colors), Target, $39.99
$$: Belt Bag with Zippers, Zara, $45.90
$$$: Glitter Spot Jumpsuit, Topshop, $80.00
$$$: River Island Tailored Coat , ASOS, $119


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$-$$: Cookbook, retailers and prices vary
$: Nourish Digital Food Scale, Amazon, $9.95
$: Dash Mini Maker Griddle, Kohl's, $12.99
$$: Recipe Box with Recipe Cards and Dividers, Rifle Paper, $34
$$$: Cravings by Chrissy Teigen 12 pc Aluminum Cookware Set, $139.99
$$$: Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker, Williams Sonoma, $149.95

Beauty Queen 

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$-$$: Winter Reign Nail Polish, KL Polish, $9.50 for one or $49.95 for bundle of six
$: Dream Sequence Super Shock Highlighter Palette, Colour Pop, $14.40
$: Jade Roller, Amazon, $26.39
$: Tocca Stella Hair Fragrance, $28.00
$$: Nars Audacious Lipsticks (my favorite lipsticks; Raquel and Rita are my go-to colors), $34
$$: The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette (my favorite palette), $38
$$$: Rodan and Fields Enhancements Lash Boost, $150
$$$: Morphe x Jaclyn Hill The Master Collection Brush Set (can you tell I love her?), $165 


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$: Multipurpose Travel Passport Holder (this one has fantastic reviews), Amazon, $14.99
$: 500 Hidden Secrets (available for several cities), Amazon and other retailers, prices vary
$: Cord Keeper/Cable Taco, Etsy, $18
$-$$: Kayla Nord Wanderlust Globe, Anthropologie, $18-$38
$$: Scratch the World Travel Map, $29.99
$$-$$$: Airbnb Gift Card, Target and Amazon, prices vary
$$$: Monogram Carry On, Mark & Graham, $199

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$: I'm Just Here for the Drinks Cocktail Book, Amazon, $19.33
$: Incense Diffuser, Bloomingdale's, $20
$: The Voting Game, $24.99
$$: White Marble Monogram Board, Williams-Sonoma, $39.95
$$$: Record Player, $69.99
$$$: Karaoke machine, $129.99


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$: One Day in December by Josie Silver (a Reese's Book Club pick!), Barnes & Noble, $9.71
$: Plush Fleece Sweater Legging, $23.97
$$: Homesick Candles, Macy's, $30.99
$$: Electric Microplush Blanket, $37.49
$$: Breakfast Tray Stand (also a great hostess gift!), West Elm, $39.99
$$$: Tea Kettle, Wayfair, $52.99  

Health Nut/Outdoor Addict

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$-$$$: Headspace App Subscription, prices vary
$: iPhone Running Arm Band, Amazon, $15.99
$: Performance Pullover, Old Navy, $25
$: Hot/Cold Travel Mug, Amazon, $35
$$: Fitness Journal, Commit 30 (Etsy - arrives in 1-2 bsuiness days!), $29.99
$$$: Doughnut Montana Water Repellant Backpack, Nordstrom, $79

Design Enthusiast

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$: Hanging Geo Planter, Anthropologie, $24
$-$$$: Wall Art, I Am Fy, prices vary
$: Pet Tee Pee, Joss & Main, $26.99
$$: Fan Wall Mirror (so fun!), Urban Outfitters, $39
$$: Vogue: The Covers, Amazon, $39.72

(Fun) Future CEO

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$: Calendars and Desk Calendars, Rifle Paper (also available at Anthropologie), prices vary
$: 2019 Agenda, Target, prices vary
$: Budget Book, Erin Condren, $12
$-$$: Desktop Organizers, The Container Store, prices vary
$: Mr. Coffee Advanced Brew Coffee Maker (so it's ready when you need to run out), Target, $17.99
$$$: Standing Desk (I have this one and absolutely love it), Amazon, $188.99 

Holiday Bucket List

December 14, 2018

There are just ten days left until Christmas, and somehow, I've barely put a dent in my holiday movie watch list, haven't baked a single cookie, and - surprise, surprise - haven't gotten much of a start on my shopping. Is it just me, or has 2018 been an insanely busy, non-stop year?

I've been a little overwhelmed with the seemingly rapid arrival of this Christmas countdown, but on the flip side, it's kind of the most exciting part of the season: homes are fully decorated, everyone is listening to holiday music without judgment, and presents are starting to show up in stockings and under trees. Ten days might not sound like enough time to knock out the rest of my annual holiday bucket list, but I'm always up for a challenge. ;)

For those of you as behind on the festivities as I am, here's a Holiday Bucket List, just in time to savor the precious last bits of the season:

Partially adapted from my 2017 Holiday Traditions Post

1. Pick out and decorate a real Christmas tree -  (Ironically, my family got this done very early)

2. Decorate your home - (Inside, outside, holiday village ... you get me) 

3. Visit the most decorated homes in your area - (Fun tip: if you have a pick-up truck, decorate the open back with holiday lights, add comfy padding to sit on, play holiday music and bring hot chocolate to-go, and sit in the back while you [safely] cruise around the neighborhood).

4. Host - or attend - an ugly sweater/holiday party - (Complete with a make-your-own hot cocoa bar, cookie decorating and a holiday playlist)

5. Bake some festive treats

6. Decorate a Gingerbread House - (Better yet: participate in a competition)

7. Take a fun holiday Christmas card photo - (Bonus points if you actually mail it)

8.  Spend an entire morning (or night) watching holiday movies in Christmas pajamas - (Check out my 2017 favorite holiday films list - missing a few!)

9. Go ice skating - (Indoor rinks count! #FloridaProblems)

10. Listen to some carol singers ... or throw back some wine and sing the carols yourself ;)

11. Visit a holiday-themed park, carnival, store or bar - (Some of my favorites: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas at Magic Kingdom, The Christmas Palace, Frosty's)

12. Go watch a holiday show, whether at a local school or on Broadway

13. Volunteer at a local shelter, hospital or senior center - (Many are still seeking help with holiday events; stay tuned for an upcoming post on groups to help this holiday season)

14. Make a DIY wreath, ornament or Christmas decoration

and last, but not least ...

15. Watch the Christmas Day parade while unwrapping presents on Christmas morning - (In your holiday pajamas, of course)

Anything else I should add to this list? Feel free to share your Holiday Bucket List items in the comments below. Stay tuned for a few more holiday posts, including a last-minute gift guide and a look at my home during the holidays. :)

A Month in the Life

December 6, 2018

Image via NBC
Ahh, December. There's nothing quite like this month. It's synonymous with joy, child-like excitement, nostalgia, generosity and love. Holiday cheer is officially in full effect, and I'm completely on board.

In the spirit of the season, I'll share several Christmas and holiday-specific posts over the course of the next couple weeks; in the meantime, I wanted to kick the festivities off by sharing some of the things I'm currently loving and looking forward to.

P.S. You might see a few of these in a future Gift Guide post ... ;) Stay tuned!

A Legendary Christmas (and, well, everything Christmas)

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John Legend is the most recent artist to join my ever-growing line-up of holiday music with the debut of his new album, A Legendary Christmas. After spending several days mentally kicking myself for missing his Miami tour stop, I was able to enjoy his music - and some laughs - during the NBC special, A Legendary Christmas with John and Chrissy. A sweet and comedic take on the cheesy sitcoms of the 80s and early 90s, the show centered around John and Chrissy's fictional Christmas party, attended by their real-life families and a diverse group of famous friends. Equal parts funny, festive and feel-good, it will definitely get you in the holiday spirit. Plus, John's dreamy voice doesn't disappoint when he performs several songs from the new album.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 

Image via Amazon
Most of us have an aspirational best friend deriving from a favorite TV series or film, yes? I could probably pick out a wishful bestie from just about all of my favorite shows and movies ... but Midge Maisel takes the cake. I binged the first season of Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as soon as I heard the show and leading actress were nominated for Emmy's and boy, did I get hopelessly hooked. This "dramedy" follows Midge Maisel, a young, Jewish, New York City 1950's housewife and mother who unexpectedly - and quite suddenly - goes from domestic diva to single, stand-up comedian. The cast is spectacular, as are the music, fashion and storyline. It's a show that will have you cheering for the protagonist - and wanting to ask her out for coffee, stat. Season 2 just premiered, so start binging!

Other shows I can't get enough of:

Dirty John - I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be watching Bravo (I hate reality T.V.) but the moment it was announced that the Dirty John podcast was being adapted into a show on the network, I knew I'd be tuning in. For those of you who haven't listened to Dirty John, you now have homework to do. The podcast follows the true story of John Meehan - a man who was nothing he claimed to be - and the family he nearly destroyed. I admittedly have a tough time following serious podcasts, but this one left me longing for lengthier commutes. The show, produced by Connie Britton (who also stars as Meehan's love interest) is doing a pretty impressive job of capturing the shocking real-life story.

(On a somewhat similar note: did anyone catch the first look at Zac Efron as Ted Bundy in the upcoming film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile? I don't know how I feel about Troy Bolton playing a serial killer, but he sure does look the part!).

Manifest - the pilot episode of this sci-fi drama left me in tears and head-to-toe goosebumps. I almost passed the show up, thinking it was going to be some corny rip-off of Lost. My assumptions were far from correct. So far, the storyline is captivating, tragic and suspenseful - and the series just went on a break until January, so now is your chance to catch up on the first few episodes.

Schitt's Creek - mark my words: there's no bad day a Schitt's Creek binge can't fix. This comedy about a New York family that goes from billion-dollar lifestyle to motel-town survival is painfully hilarious (seriously, I'm talking laughs that leave you aching). You'll wonder how you ever lived before knowing the Rose family. Consider it required watching.

Mad About Plaid

Image via ASOS
Plaid is always the first print I'm ready to wear when the holidays approach (what screams log-cabin-on-a-snowy-Christmas-morning like a plaid oversized shirt?). While I used to reserve the print for blankets and flannels I'd wear tied around my waist, it's now the print I want to wear everywhere. In holiday hues, shades of blue, and minimalist black and white, plaid is now a major trend encompassing blazerscoatspants and more. The fashion-forward take on this cozy seasonal print meshes comfort with sophistication and class. Whether you're rushing through your to-do list at the office, out for a night on the town or sitting by the fire with a cup of cocoa, there's a plaid for you. #NotSponsoredbyPlaid 

The Actor's Life - A Survival Guide

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I spent part of Sunday night laughing in my bed (and taking notes) as I read The Actor's Life - A Survival Guide, written by Jenna Fischer (AKA Pam from The Office). The book - which I purchased after making the decision to pursue acting - is filled with helpful, straight-from-experience lessons; industry advice, career checklists and hilarious true stories (the one about her riding Jurassic Park River Adventure for twelve hours as part of a Universal Studios video nearly had me in tears). I haven't finished the book yet, but already highly recommend it to anyone interested in this crazy industry. Bless us all.


A couple days ago, Reese Witherspoon suggested her latest Book Club read, One Day in December by Josie Silver. Sounds like a typical holiday rom-com plot ... to which I say: count me in.  

My Childhood, Brought Back to Life

Image: Esquire via Disney
After years of feeling nostalgic, my childhood is making a legitimate comeback, and I cannot contain my excitement. As if it wasn't enough that several of my favorite childhood films are returning for sequels or making their live-action debuts (anyone else get emotional while watching the trailers for Dumbo, Toy Story 4 and The Lion King?), we have the Spice Girls announcing a new tour, Ariana Grande's new music video featuring some of the best rom-coms of the 90s and early 2000s, Dido returning with new music and Amanda Bynes back in the spotlight. Also in the works? A Nintendo theme park. And there's more where all this came from. Someone please find Cher and let her know that you can, indeed, turn back time.

Barnie's Santa's White Christmas Coffee

Image via Barnie's Coffee
A few days ago, I walked into work with a mug of this Barnie's seasonal coffee and I kid you not, my coworkers went into a frenzy over how "Christmas" the coffee smelled. Our office manager almost immediately purchased a pack of the Keurig pod versions for the office. Of all the coffees I've ever tasted, this one really does make me feel like I'm drinking, to quote Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal, "Christmas in a Cup." It's a sweet mixture of coconut, caramel and vanilla that smells like cookies and can easily be enjoyed without creamer. 

Amanda Oleander

Image via Amanda Oleander Drawings
One of my best friends, Nicole, was over a couple weeks ago and introduced me to contemporary Los Angeles-based artist Amanda Oleander. I'm evidently late to the fan club, given her nearly 800,000 Instagram followers, but take my word for it: Oleander's work is truly beautiful, and best of all, real. Her illustrations portray people from all walks of life experiencing a multitude of emotions and moments. Her characters are perfectly imperfect, with moles, wrinkles, hair, acne and scars. She gives her pieces an authenticity and vulnerability that is hard to come by. Follow her for art that will make you think, feel and appreciate being human.

Stella Tocca Hair Spray

Image via TOCCA
I was originally drawn to Tocca's vintage-inspired fragrances because I love the exotic names of their scents (Stella, Cleopatra, Isabella, etc.). I recently purchased the brand's Italian-inspired Stella hair fragrance and now I can't leave my house without spritzing some on. It isn't overwhelming, yet I can still smell it hours later - the ideal result when it comes to any scent. Better yet, it adds a subtle shine that keeps my hair looking healthy.

Long Live Queen

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I haven't been able to stop listening to Queen since I saw Bohemian Rhapsody last month. The film only further solidified my admiration for the band (I gave my parents a major guilt trip over the fact that they didn't attend Live Aid). Now, I swear Freddie Mercury and crew are following me: I hear Queen everywhere. I recently heard Panic! at the Disco frontrunner Brendon Urie's AMA's cover of Bohemian Rhapsody (so fun, although nothing could live up to the original) and nearly fell off my chair when I saw that Adam Lambert will be joining the remaining Queen members again for a tour. I'm Under Pressure to purchase tickets, so Don't Stop Me Now. (Okay, I'll stop). 

The One with the Friends-giving (How My Friend Hosted the Ultimate Friendsgiving Party)

November 20, 2018

We all have that one friend: she constantly updates her Pinterest, throws homemade Halloween costumes out of the ballpark and lives to host a fun theme party. For me, this friend is Nathalie.

I've known Nata since elementary school, but she grew to become one of my best friends after we graduated high school. Since then, she's impressed me countless times with her creativity, enthusiasm and attention to detail. From her homemade sushi roll Halloween costume to her home-thrown theme parties and baby showers, her fun-loving energy and dedication to celebrating never disappoint. Over the years, I've made it a point to make it to as many of her parties as possible ... but there's one I missed last year that has haunted me to this very day: her Friends-giving party. And by Friends, I mean Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey.

I'm a major Friends fan, but if there's one person who I know would destroy me in a game of Friends trivia, it's Nata. As I mentioned earlier, her attention to detail is seriously impressive - so it's no surprise that she set the bar for what a Friends-themed party should look like (seriously - she deserves free Central Perk coffee for life). Lucky for us, she was kind enough to share some ideas and photos from her epic party here on the blog, so you can elevate your annual Friendsgiving celebration and create a night full of laughs that no one will forget.

Now ... PIVOT!

The Invitation

Nata co-hosted the event with her sister, Michelle. Online invites are the way to go.

The Decor + Food

Printable photo booth signs from Etsy
It's too small to see, but everyone is wearing "Hello, my name is" stickers with names from the show. Nata, second from left, chose to be Princess Consuela Banana Hammock (if you know her personally, this is no surprise).

The Episodes

I don't know these people, so I very beautifully covered their faces. 

Nata and Michelle played all of the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends while sharing a meal with their real-life friends out in their backyard. Perfect ending to a perfect party, don't ya think?

Pro tip: bless the meal by playing "I'll Be There for You" by The Remembrandts, and end the night with some Friends trivia. Loser wears a turkey on their head a la Monica.

For more fun lifestyle and celebration inspo, follow Nata on Pinterest and Instagram

My Favorite DIY Halloween Costumes (and Tips for Creating Your Own On a Budget)

October 22, 2018

Maybe it's the aspiring actress in me or maybe it's the child in me, but the fact of the matter is I look forward to Halloween every single year because for one night - okay, or three - I get to play dress up and make believe ... and, to quote mean girls, "no other girls can say anything about it" (just swap "no other girls" for "no one"). 

As a Disney-obsessed kid, I would always set my Halloween costume sights on a Disney princess/heroine (Belle, Mulan and Jesse the Cowgirl are some memorable ones) and my mom would take care of it from there. When I entered the crazy pre-teen and teenage tears, the costumes got sexier and a little darker, without being overly revealing. As soon as college hit, it was all about showing skin via a cliche costume. But over the past few years, I've taken matters into my own hands and have followed a less-is-more approach - and when I say "less," I mean less money spent on a store costume and rather, more time spent creatively piecing one together with items I already own. 

Here's my method in a nutshell: I purchase just a few smaller items from stores (usually craft stores) and mix them with several items I already own. The resulting costumes have become my absolute favorites and the ones I receive the most compliments on.

Here are a few of my favorite past costumes, including notes on how I created them and tips for piecing together your own costume without having to feel financially guilty afterward.

Mary Poppins, Halloween 2017
This Mary Poppins costume - along with the one directly below - is one of my most complimented costumes (which made me feel very proud, considering I pieced it together the morning of Halloween, when I wore it). I promise there's a high chance you have almost everything you need to recreate this already in your closet:

White blouse
Black skirt
Black tights/stockings
Black heels
Large purse (black works well here)
Black umbrella
Reb ribbon, for belt and bow
Black Edwardian-style hat (this you will likely have to purchase. I bought mine at Party City).
Fake red and white flowers (I got mine at Hobby Lobby, but Michael's and JoAnn's should have some, too).
Hot glue gun (to glue the flowers onto the hat)

Done-up, yet simple (avoid any dark eyeshadow or intense eyeliner)
Red lips to bounce off the red bow and belt

Bun or down in waves

Wednesday Addams, Halloween 2015
As I mentioned above, this is another one of my most complimented costumes, and I threw this one together the day before I wore it. The only thing I purchased was the pair of thigh-high stockings.

White button up
Black button up (to be worn above white button up) 
Black heels
Black thigh-high stockings 

Pale foundation/face (you can make your foundation lighter by covering it with some white eyeshadow or a pale setting powder, but I recommend applying a foundation a few shades lighter than your skin tone. Go for an inexpensive drugstore foundation, and set it aside for future Halloween costumes - vampire, Bride of Frankenstein, skull, etc.). 
Gray eyeshadow for shadow-y contouring
Black lipstick

Two braids

Jess and I dressed as Dolls of the Dead, Halloween 2016

These dolls were so much fun to dress up as. Jess and I got really into character, and at one point began skipping around downtown while holding hands and playing audio of children laughing on repeat from our phones. We freaked quite a few people out.  


Floral dress
White knee-high socks
Black heels
Teddy Bear, dabbed it with black eyeshadow and torn up (I felt HORRIBLE doing this, but it really makes the costume creepier. I've kept the teddy bear out of pity). 


Follow the Wednesday Addams/Black Swan idea: pale face, dark lips (I went with a very deep red)
Black/gray eyeshadow for under eye circles and contouring 
Black eyeliner for "patches" and mouth (we drew lines that resemble a puppet mouth)

Pigtails and a bow

Cleopatra, Halloween Weekend 2017

I've always thought of Cleopatra as strong, interesting and beautiful - what's not to love? The girl is timeless. Not everyone can say Elizabeth Taylor played them in a movie. Just sayin'.

White or black dress
Gold heels
Gold jewelry (necklace, bracelets, earrings, rings, etc.)
Gold headpiece

Full face, glowy and bronzed (I added gold eyeshadow to the highlighter cheekbones
Nude lips (I added gold eyeshadow on top)
Blue and gold eyeshadow with black Cleopatra eyeliner 

Straight and braids
Gold string or hair bands (I bought a stretchy string at Michael's and tied them over clear hair ties)

Black Swan, Halloween Weekend 2017

Ah, this one was fun - although I could never play a tormented perfectionist ballerina the way Natalie Portman did. So, you might not have feathers, a tutu or a black crown laying around, but there's a good chance you have the rest of this costume at home, either for your own purposes or from a past Halloween. Accessories can be purchased at any craft store or costume store for next to nothing. 

Black leotard/bodysuit
Tiny black shorts (to wear under tutu)
Black tutu
Black see through tights
Black ballet-style flats
Black feathers
Glue gun or pins (to stick feathers onto leotard)
Black crown

Pale face (see Wednesday Addams makeup above)
Black eyeshadow for contouring (See Wednesday Addams makeup above)
Deep red/wine lips 
Black and silver eyeliners for wings

Bun (topped with crown)

Cruella de Vil, Halloween Weekend 2015
This costume is easy to create, recognizable and fun for both adults and kids. Got a black dress, or black top + black skirt? Of course you do. Now, all you need are accessories.

Black dress or black top + black skirt
Black tights (optional)
Black heels
"Dalmatian" stole
Red gloves (easy to find at a costume store, or at stores like Target and Walmart during the holidays)
1920's style cigarette holder


Glam (she was a designer, after all) - and red lips to bounce off those gloves

Okay, so, I made the mistake of using white hair spray paint on half of my head. It didn't go well. I looked old and my hair started to look an awkward light purple as the night went on. Get an inexpensive wig. 
Trust me.

My DIY mermaid costume (missing the starfish), a few years after being worn
My sister, looking like a gorgeous mermaid at her sorority's bid day last year (it was ocean themed)
Nude bra or bralet (a halter might work as well)
Rope (I like gold, but nude or white will work, too)
Blue skirt or craft store fabrics (I wore an opaque blue fabric under a mesh blue fabric with scale/bubble-like details).
Starfish (you can purchase a bag of them at craft stores) 
Nude summer-y wedges

Dewy natural-looking base makeup - but be generous with bronzer and highlighter
Blue or green eyeshadow and "scales"(place a fishnet stocking on one of your cheeks and along your collarbone, then run blue/green/gold eyeshadow over the stockings to create the look of scales on your skin). 
Nude (or purple!) lips - have fun, but stick to a cool color palette (green, blue, purple)

Messy, beachy waves or a messy thick braid

Little Red Riding Hood (after a run-in with the wolf), Halloween Weekend 2016
One of my tips for having a little more fun with your costume is adding a twist to a classic. I dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, but after a bloody fight with the wolf. 

Black dress or black top + black skirt
Black thigh-high boots or black heels
Black tights (optional)
White glove (one looks even better) ripped and painted with "blood" (fake blood)
Red hood

Red lips
Red "slice" on cheek (use fake blood)
Smokey eye

Waves or low pigtails 

Desperate and broke? Here are two classic costumes that couldn't be easier to piece together:

Witch, Halloween Weekend 2016
All black
Witch hat
Black boots/heels/pointy flats
Optional: choker or moody necklace for a little attitude

To keep it classic, stick to green, black or deep red eyeshadows and lipsticks
Optional: black or green nails (extra points if they're pointy)

Keep it down - wavy, curly or straight work just fine

My sister as a modern day, Vampire Diaries-inspired vampire, Halloween 2015
Dark moody dress, all black, or a simple top + shorts with a black biker jacket (keep it cool)
Black boots or heels

Either your usual full base makeup or pale + dark eyeshadow for contouring 
(I've found that either one works)
Smokey eyes
Black and gray eyeliner and/or eyeshadow for "veins"
Deep purple or red lipstick 
Fake blood for underneath lips 

Same idea as the witch: keep it down - wavy or straight work just fine



- Write down a list of everything you need to piece together your costume, then go digging through your closet, friends' closets and family members' closets (with permission, of course!).

- For actual clothing that you need but don't have, check Goodwill and other thrift stores before heading to the mall.

- Look online for the extra items you need before running to the stores. Compare prices, then go get what you need. I stop at Halloween stores once in a blue moon for certain items, but I tend to find what I need at Target, Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Joann's. Craft stores are your friend!

- The internet is a gift when it comes to Halloween. Amazon often sells items for less than what you'll find at stores. As far as makeup and hair go, YouTube is your friend. And I'm assuming most people do this already, but utilize Pinterest for costume ideas, and check Etsy as a last resort for any necessary costumes or items! They might be a little pricier, but if you aren't having luck, it could be your saving grace.

Remember to have fun and get creative! Be as original as you can and give your costumes a fun twist. Play with themes, decades, etc., or follow what I did with my Little Red Riding Hood and doll costumes and add a little darkness. It is Halloween, after all. ;)