How to Have An Amazing Halloween Even If You Made Zero Plans

I’m a total Halloween nerd who regularly plans her costume months in advance. Last weekend I was nearly worked into a snit when I had to throw together an impromptu costume. The horror, I know!

But if you have such a full life that you haven’t been able to devote that last few weeks to readying yourself for this most awesome of holidays, fear not! There’s still fun to be had at the last minute.

1. Get your friends together for a scary story party

Flashlight under the chin required. (Here’s a roundup of classic round-the-campfire stories.)

2. Visit your local haunted house

No, not the one put on by the Catholic Youth Group – the one where Old Man Jenkins lay undiscovered for a month before anyone noticed he was missing. Cwwweeepy. Minneapolis’s Soap Factory haunted basement is famous!

3. Put together a costume from what you have in your closet and recycling bin

Yes, it’s possible! Look here and here for ideas.

4. Stay in and hand out candy to all the be-costumed kiddies

3 points for dressing up, 4 points for dressing up your dog, 10 points for responding to ‘Trick or Treat!’ with ‘Trick’ and then doing that ‘removing your finger‘ bit.

5. Engage in a little harmless tomfoolery

Wrap cling wrap around your friend’s car and draw on it with a sharpie. Here’s a roundup of 18 perfectly harmless pranks that won’t get you arrested.

6. Play a round of Ouija Board with your friends

Try to get ahold of James Dean or Anna Nicole.

7. Watch one or two of the scariest movies on Netflix

With friends. Who then sleep over.

What are your plans?

photo by elle c // cc

Halloween Candy Astrology

Looking for some astrology fun this Halloween? Click through and find out which Halloween candy each of the signs would gobble up!

Now, I don’t particularly buy into the concept of daily astrological predictions. (“You will make an important decision today,” Really? Does the decision between cheddar and Swiss in my sandwich count?)

However! I am pretty entertained by astrologically determined personality traits … largely because I am a by-the-book Virgo, ready for anything with my stash of post-its, hand sanitizer, and tiny sewing kit. And this got me wondering … how would these astrologically determined traits translate into Halloween candy choices?


Adventurous and impulsive, Aries is the girl who joyfully pockets the unwrapped candy from your creepy Boo Radley neighbor. She might also try sucking on the nickels Old Lady Hanson is handing out or punch any untoward zombies in the throat.


Candy corn is security and reliability formed in tri-colored sugar which is perfect for tradition-loving Taurus. She’ll gladly trade you all of her yuck-o black licorice for your three pounds of candy corn.


Sweet Tarts are great for these Zodiac twins. Because they’re sweet! and tart! and sweet! and then tart again! She also loves to suck all the dye off so she can flash her creepy blue zombie tongue at all the boys.


Affectionate Cancer is holding out hope that someone has a few out-dated boxes of Valentine candy hearts for her. Then she can coyly slip them into her cutie’s candy pail and feign ignorance when they find 15 hearts that read ‘Hot Buns.’


Wax lips make for a great conversation piece and attention-getter, which Leo loves. And anything that makes a girl look a bit more like Angelina Jolie can’t be discounted. Even if it means chewing on wax all night.


M&Ms are perfect Virgo food. So clean and glossy! Conveniently melting in your mouth – not in your hand like those pesky, inconsiderate Snowcaps. M&Ms are also designed for compulsive color coding and then consumption in ascending ROYGBIV order.



Diplomatic, easy-going Libra is the friend who will trade you her king-size Butterfinger for a half eaten roll of Necco wafers. She is also the friend who wholeheartedly believes your flash-light-under-the-chin horror stories and is still a little unnerved by a darkened bathroom.


Any excuse to flirt is a good one for passionate, magnetic Scorpio. A candy necklace presents endless possibilities for strangers to nibble at her neck and use classy lines like “You look good enough to eat.”


“Where did the kittens go on their class trip? – the meow-seum.” may not be your idea of comic genius, but jovial, philosophical Sagittarius thinks Laffy Taffy is the height of hilarity. Meow-seum, indeed.


Practical, prudent Capricorn has reviewed her candy options and the caramel apple seems to be her safest bet. A bit of fiber, vitamin C and it won’t set her back toooo far at the gym.


While all her friends are fake gagging over their black licorice, independant, original Aquarius swoops in and gladly relieves them of it. Who cares if they say it’s Grandpa candy?


Swedish fish. For duh.

Contrary to my Virgo birthdate, I actually love me some Reese’s Pieces and Panda Black Licorice.

What’s your favorite Halloween candy? 

photo 1 by // photo 2 by muffet // photo 3 by joshua pomales // photo 4 by pen waggener // via // photo 5 by amy loves yah // photo 6 by oskay // photo 7 by // photo 8 via // photo 9 by nerissa’s ring // photo 10 by oskay // photo 11 by dolles // Luke Jones

The easiest meal you will ever make

Not that you would ever know it from this blog, but I am actually quite the domesticated little bunny. Hot glue-gunning thematic centerpieces? Slaving over Brazilian beer and coconut soup? Compulisively cleaning my white carpet with a lint brush? Sounds like a great Friday night to me!
However! There are many a night when it’s all I can do not to pass out over a bowl of cold cereal. So for those nights when I’m craving something slightly more fancy than generic cheerios, I make The Easiest Meal Ever, black bean soup.
Seriously, it might be faster than your Lean Cuisine. Let’s race. Readygo.
2 cans of black beans
1 can of stock
1 jar of salsa
Dump all of the above into a blender. Blend. Heat through and top with sour cream and the last of that bag of Fritos. Viola! Dinner on the table in less than 5 minutes. Aren’t you the clever one?
What’s your go-to speedy meal?

Why not …

collect the jokers out of every deck that you come across?

rock this little sequined number under your work blazer? Business on the outside, party on the inside! You can be all coyly buttoned up from 9-5 and then de-blazer once after-work drinks roll around and wow that hottie from marketing.
embrace the ‘no hair’ shower? Now that it’s getting colder and dryer, I am sporting some deeply sexy straw-like hair. Thus! I am huge fan of the ‘no hair’ shower. It takes all of three minutes, wakes me up, allows me an opportunity to use my sandalwood soap and doesn’t dry my hair out. If I’m really ambitious, I rub some gel through my hair, put it into buns and let the steam work its magic. By the time I’m ready for work, I take the buns out and have sexy, messy, wavy hair. With almost no effort! Which, coincidentally, is my favorite amount of effort!
patent your own dinner-party conversation starter? Blah blah “What do you do?” “How do you know _____?” “Have you seen any good movies lately?’ blah. How’s about “If you could have the power of flight or invisibility which would you choose?” or “What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleeping?” or “What’s your least favorite word?” or “What’s the best costume you’ve ever worn?” And look at that! You clever minx, you! You’re the life of the party!
send a real, actual piece of mail to someone you love? We’re talking about the real thing, now. Proper stationary (maybe even scented?!), hand-written and bonus points for including something silly and sparkly that falls out when they open the envelope.

In which the existence of beavers is doubted

art by falldowntree

Yesterday I brought my Burmese ESL student on a field trip to Fort Snelling State Park to learn about the niceties of hunting licenses, poison sumac and why we probably don’t want to eat snapping turtles. Our guide talked about all of these things while walking us through the park, pausing to point out things of interest.About half an hour into our walk, we happened upon a tree that had been gnawed down by a beaver. In rather complex and fast English, he explained the tree-felling/dam-building process. I turned to my students and attempted to “translate.”

Me: “One animal bites this tree and then makes a house with the tree.”

Skeptical Student: “A big animal, teacher? Elephant like tree.”

Me: “Oh no. This animal is a brother to rabbit, squirrel. Like this:” I make the universal sign for rodent, hands tucked under my chin and making clicking noises, exposing my front teeth

Student: “Ummm, no, teacher. A rabbit cannot eat a tree and make a house.”

Me: “It’s like a rabbit. It lives in the water. It takes the tree in the water and then makes a house.”

Student: “Ummm, teacher. No. A rabbit cannot swim.”

Me: “It is like a rabbit. It has a big tail (universal sign for beaver tail here) and it swims and then makes a house from the tree it bites.”

Student. “Sooooo, it is a fish rabbit that can bite a tree and make a house?” (totally incredulous)

Me: “Yes. Yes. It is a fish rabbit. It is a fish rabbit that bites trees.”

Student: “Oh yes. Okay. I know.”

He nods as if this now makes perfect sense and heads off to impart this knowledge to his classmates.

God help them if kangaroos ever come up.