I Dressed Luna as a Rat

Luna’s first Halloween just happened, and it was just as cute as I hoped it would be. Husband and I have never dressed in themed costumes together, but this seemed like the right occasion to dress the whole family together. After months of brainstorming and Pinterest searching we decided to do Ratatouille!

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The costumes were super easy to put together. I (well mostly my Mom-in-law) made Luna’s costume by taking H&M baby clothing and sewing on a felt tail, felt ears and a felt belly. The whiskers were challenging to draw on a baby that never ever stops moving, but luckily, eyeliner is easily removed with a baby wipe. Good to know BTW.

mouse butt

man down!
man down!

Husband and I ordered our hats and chef coats from Amazon. I bought the leggings at Forever21, and we just threw in the wooden spoon and loaf of bread at the last minute. Tada! Ratatouille!

eyes

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Now, I know I don’t look exactly like Colette, but I didn’t really want to wear a chef hat. Husband was irritated that I wouldn’t get an exact costume, but is it so wrong to prefer to look slightly cuter than the actual character? I also called Luna a “mouse” instead of “rat”. Mice sound much more appealing.

ratatouille

bread

Halloween for us and our 9 month old consisted of visiting some family, taking photos, walking around the mall and a fancy “masquerade” dinner out. It was a day full of treats, including a special “frankenfrap” from Starbucks.

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I look forward to the years Luna can excitedly tell me what she wants to be for Halloween, but until then I will thoroughly enjoy choosing a Disney character for her.

Bedtime!
Bedtime!

Cheers!

Trick-or-Treating Zoo Animals!

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After the Boo Bash Dash last weekend we drove straight to the Nashville Zoo to watch the animals go trick-or-treating. Luna didn’t get to see any animals during the Ghouls of Grassmere event, and this seemed like a fun opportunity to actually watch the animals be active. More fun for me than her, but still…fun. We like to be festive, so we all stayed dressed up in our Halloween running attire. We are also just too lazy to drive home, shower and change.

looking

The zoo was way more crowded than the Ghouls of Grassmere night, but not unbearably crowded. We didn’t arrive until lunchtime, so we had already missed half of the animals getting their treats (cricket-filled pumpkins). The plans was to run to the camels in time to see them eat, but we ran into the new kangaroo exhibit first and could not resist checking it out.

I swear this kangaroo is not dead...just sleeping.
I swear this kangaroo is not dead…just sleeping.

OMG. The “Kangaroo Kickabout” is fantastic! You can literally walk in the exhibit where they kangaroos live and walk around. You aren’t allowed off the paved path, but you are allowed to pet and love on the kangaroos if they come to you!!! We weren’t there at the best time (mid-day). The roos’ were all sleeping, sunbathing and not all interested in my affections, but that didn’t stop me from ooohing and awwwing over them. There was a Mommy kangaroo on her back and you could actually see the baby in her pouch moving around and peeking out! It was probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, with the exception of Luna playing with a kitten.

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We did finally make it to the other animals. We saw the elephants, giraffes, meerkats, goats, antelope, camels, lions and lots of other animals “trick-or-treating”.  And by “trick-or-treating”, I mean looking at carved pumpkins suspiciously. Most of the animals were not interested in eating them while we all stared on expectantly. The goats and meerkats were the most enthusiastic. Either way, the animals were out and about being cute and meandering around.

look at those adorable meerkats!
look at those adorable meerkats!

There were also a few “zoo talks” happening. I really enjoyed listening to the girl in the giraffe land. She told us about the baby giraffe that is soon going to be shipped to Animal Kingdom so that her Dad doesn’t try to mate with her. I’ll have to remember to look for her next time we go to Disney.

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Our favorite section of the zoo was by far the jungle gym. Their play area is ENORMOUS. We had a blast getting lost in “the largest community built playground in the United States”. It’s 66,000 square feet! I seriously cannot wait until Luna is big enough to play in the playground. The best part is the toddler area. They have an enormous covered area that is basically a giant room covered in 6 inches of foam and it is the greatest idea. Big kids aren’t allowed to play in this area and no on is allowed to wear shoes, so it’s virtually clean. Us, along with several other parents, relaxed in the shade while our babies crawled all over each other.

little flirts
little flirts

Luna enjoyed her second zoo trip, as did we. The Nashville Zoo has many many other events happening, including storytime every Saturday in November at 10:30. To checkout more of their attractions, go here!

my favorite animals!
my favorite animals!

Happy Halloween!!!!

My Nightmare in Nashville

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So, there is one thing that Luna has held us back from doing this year…haunted houses. They aren’t exactly baby friendly and it isn’t easy to find a babysitter, especially one who can sit until very late at night. Last year we went to 11 haunted houses, this year we finally made it to one on Husband’s 30th birthday.

We went to Nashville Nightmare in downtown after the annual Birthday dinner at the Melting Pot. As always, the lines were long, the crowds were obnoxious and 97% of them were smoking. (What is that attracts smokers to haunted houses?) Since we’re awesome we managed to entertain ourselves by being hilarious and playing Heads Up. We also began reminiscing about previous years haunted house experiences. I arrogantly began saying things like, “I wish I got as scared as I used to get….I guess I’ve just been to so many Haunted Houses over the years that they no longer frighten me…It kind of takes the thrill away.” Well, you know what happens when you’re overconfident, right? The universe come back to bite you in the butt, which is exactly what happened.

If you’ve ever been to a haunted house, you’ve probably had the pleasure of avoiding the creepy costumed people who walk around spooking everyone waiting in the long lines. I have never EVER been scared by these people, ever. But, as they say, there’s always a first time for everything. First, there was the creepy guy-in-mask who leaned on me for too long, then there was shovel-dragger, then scream-in-my-ear man and scare-me-from-behind girl…all made me jump and embarrassingly scream, but it didn’t end there. In fact, all that jumping and screaming made me one big target.

During my turn at Heads Up, I was going for a record (and you know I’m very competitive), when a zombie girl came over to try and scare me. She startled me as she snuck up from behind and whispered something creepy in my ear. I tried my best to ignore her because I was clearly trying to win the game. The zombie chick did not give up. She began panting in my ear and literally breathing down my neck. Now… you must know that I hate, absolutely HATE, strangers touching me, and breathing on me might be even worse.

I wanted to throw-up and take a hot shower after I felt her hot breath in my ear. OMG, I am reliving it as I type this and I just want to curl in a ball in cry, which, ironically enough, is what I did. I tried to move away from her quickly and continue playing the game, but the more I moved the more determined she became. She got in my face, stared into my eyes, and KEPT HEAVILY PANTING ON ME. The girl would not let up. At this point, I was close to panic mode, I began running circles around our little group and was laughing/squealing as I tried to play it cool and really did not know how to react. I guess laughing is my defense mechanism?

THEN, get this, another zombie girl sees the spectacle we are creating and decides to join in on the fun. The two of them are coming at me from all sides and my only choice is to curl into a ball in cover my face. They were touching me, breathing on me, panting, whispering and making me soooooooooooooooo uncomfortable. I was trying to yell or scare them off or something, but really I was only capable of mumbling “stop” from behind my hands. That is until, zombie chic #2 decided to up the ante and bite me.

Yes, she bit me, with teeth. I instantly stood and shouted, “OMG she bit me! That’s against the rules!” For some reason the “no one will touch you, if you don’t touch them” haunted house rule compelled me to finally shake off these creepers. I felt as if she broke a commandment. I mean, really, that one rule is what has always convinced me that I’ll be okay in a haunted house. I used to constantly go over that one rule before entering to assure myself that nothing bad could possibly happen, and this girl had the nerved to break the golden haunted house rule!

Everyone in line who wasn’t already watching the little show, was now looking at us, and I was not the only one horrified that I’d been bitten. Zombie girl #1 even felt compelled to tell me that she was not the biter. Although, heavy breathing in one’s ear isn’t much better than biting.

The 2 Haunted houses at Nashville Nightmare were good, even scary, but the creepers in line were definitely the worst part. And, I will never again say aloud that I have not been scared in a very long time.

Anyone else get frightened this year? Or bitten?

Cheers!

The Final Haunt

Saturday night we went to one last haunted attraction here in Tennessee. We have been to eight haunted houses this year, but had to squeeze in one more, even if Halloween had already passed. Why? Well, who wouldn’t want to go on a haunted hayride that requires you to shoot zombies with paintball guns?! Not us. We got our friends and drove to Columbia, TN to get a glimpse of what it would be like if The Walking Dead were reality and not just one of the best things on TV right now.

their symbol

MIller’s Thrillers has, unbeknownst to us, been around for 6 years. They have the Zombie Haunted Hayride, the Haunted Woods and an Entertainment Zone. We paid the $30 for all attractions and got in the long line for the hayride first. We had to wait for an hour and a half, which stunk, but wasn’t terrible. For one thing, smoking was not allowed! Yay! The lines for both attractions are in the Entertainment Zone. So, while we were waiting we got to watch their Zombie drum-line, a comedian Zombie, a juggler and an illusionist. Unfortunately, between waiting for the hayride and waiting for the Haunted Woods, we saw the show about 5 times. When things got boring, we played Head’s Up!

entertainment zone

We saw dozens of people playing Head’s Up in line at Halloween Horror Nights a few weeks ago, so we downloaded the app and gave it a try. Turned out to be hilarious, really fun, and a good way to pass the time. You pick a category (like movie titles), put the phone on your head, titles come up and the people around you have to give you hints or act out what is on the screen. If you guess correctly, just flip the phone down and back up and another title comes up. Try it. Everyone in line wanted to play with us or download the app themselves.

heads up

Okay, the hayride was pretty cool. The concept was genius; everyone wants to hurt the scary people in haunted houses and have the chance to shoot a paintball gun without the fear of getting shot in return. The trip began with 20 of us being split into two groups: The Black Ops and Code Red. Everyone is told that their job is to save the town by killing as many zombies as possible. We were then loaded into a trailer lined with 10 guns on each side. Everyone got 75 paintballs (more if you pay extra) and the ride began! It was fun to ride around hunting for scary zombies, but it went by too fast and it would be better if their were about twice as many zombies. We will have to go back next year and see if it improves from year to year.

zombie paintball

Back in line, we drank hot chocolate and took a bunch of ridiculous photos of us squinting into the flash. They all came out horribly…

surprised

Stilt people and ballon animal/swords
Stilt people and ballon animal/swords

squinty happy crazy faces

We are all just so photogenic.

The Haunted Woods was the BEST, and I mean THE BEST haunted attraction we went to this year. Monster Mountain was cool, Dead Land Woods was cooler, but Miller’s Thrillers takes the prize. It wasn’t even the scariest, it was just so good in so many ways! First of all, it was long. I think it took us 45 minutes to walk through, (although we did stop for a while when we lost our friend Steve). The trail is amazing. It winds up and down hills, goes through huge natural rocks, swinging bridges and thick trees. It’s so nice that I want to go back and walk through it during the day. The actors and scenes were good and unique too. It was unlike any other haunted house/attraction.

They actually take a photo of you at the beginning of the trails right after the jump out and scare you out of your seats. That's a legit scared face.
They take a photo of you at the beginning of the trails right after they jump out and scare you out of your seats. That’s apparently my scared face.
Zombie dance party!
Zombie dance party!

*Spoiler Alert: The trail led up to a haunted building, which then led to a pitch black tunnel that opened up to a dark maze! We didn’t even realize we were in a maze at first. The maze then dumped us into a dance party room and the entire thing ended in a spinning tunnel full of lights that made all of us almost topple over. It was SO good!

Don’t you want to go???

After 4 hours at Miller’s Thrillers we had everyone over for a backyard bonfire and weenie roast. Thank God the time changed; we needed that extra hour.

bonfire

It was such a good night. Husband and I felt completely hungover the next day. I, of course, drank nothing, and I’m fairly certain he had one beer. Just goes to show you that we are getting old and staying up all night is starting to take it’s toll! Oh well, it doesn’t seem to slow us down.

Cheers!

It’s Halloween-O-Ween Everybody!

Happy Halloween and Happy 30th Birthday to one of my bestest friends, Danica! xoxo

Here we are...totally acting our age
Here we are…totally acting our age

I love today! We have celebrated all month! We have gone to a pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, been to a couple haunted houses (or haunted woods), celebrated at Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Party at Disney, walked with the dead at Universal’s Horror Nights and had a horror movie/whiskey night last weekend! This weekend we are going on a haunted hayride where you get to shoot zombies with paintballs! (For real!) However, tonight, October 31st…we have no plans.

It’s Thursday, it’s storming, we live in the woods in what most would consider the middle of nowhere (so no trick-or-treaters) and I’m pregnant… there just isn’t a whole lot to do tonight. I’m thinking It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, a pumpkins spiced latte and American Horror Stories are in the cards for tonight.

What are your plans for tonight? Anyone lucky enough to not be stuck in a storm?

Here’s an ode to Halloween’s Past (I have SO many costume pictures that I can’t find! I’ve been Miss Frizzle, Lucille Ball, Hermoine, Tinkerbell and so much more! These will just have to do):

Thriller! Halloween 2009 at my former job.
Thriller! Halloween 2009 at my former job.
Halloween in Albania 2012
Halloween in Albania 2012
Bumblebee and Ninja, Halloween 2009
Bumblebee and Ninja, Halloween 2009
An owl, also at work last year, 2012
An owl, also at work last year, 2012
A raincloud at work last year 2012
A rain cloud at work last year 2012

And, of course, Belle…

BumbleBelle!
BumbleBelle!

Have a Spook-tacular night!

Cheers!

Walking With the Walking Dead

horror nights

Our last night in Florida, and the last night of our babymoon, was spent waiting in many long lines and walking with dead. We went to Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. The theme this year was The Walking Deadwhich is really appropriate considering it’s everyone’s favorite TV show. Now, I know I have reviewed a couple haunted houses lately, but the Universal house are crazy good. Not necessarily crazy scary, but they are so well put together and professionally done. We’ve been once before, and it was definitely worth returning.

universal

Typically, the park is set up with several Haunted Houses and scare zones. The scare zones are placed on the roads throughout the park and we, the guests, must walk through them to get from attraction to attraction. It’s brilliant really, like all of a sudden you are in the middle of a haunted world when you thought you were just walking to the funnel cake stand. This year, the scare zones were different. Every single zone was a zombie zone, “the undead streets” if you will.

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I was unaware of this little change and was caught completely off guard (i.e. totally freaked out) when as soon as we entered the park people started running and before I knew it a very realistic zombie was growling in my face. Keep in mind that this is not your typical neighborhood haunted house, this is Universal so their makeup and costuming is done right. It was fun/terrifying to walk around the park and all of sudden find ourselves in the middle of a scene from The Walking Dead. 

zombies

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One annual attraction at Horror Nights is a not scary comedy show, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. This show is basically a 45 minute crude humor show that pokes fun and brings up every possible pop culture reference you can think of. It’s funny, but not hilarious…unless you are 14 or very drunk (which most people were).

bill and ted

We were at Horror Nights from open to close (6:30pm-Midnight), we were there past midnight actually, and still only had time for five of the eight haunted houses. The lines were ridiculous. We waited in most for about an hour, some longer. Waiting in line sucked and there’s just no other way to put it. There was no entertainment, which I found shocking. Why can’t they project scary movies while we wait? Or provide games? Or something? Whatever, I know I’d do it again.

The houses have a constant stream of people going through, which would lead one to believe that jumping out and scaring poor innocent guests would be difficult, maybe even impossible. Somehow, Universal found a way to make this work. We (mostly Husband) were scared to the point of screaming as we held each other and inched around every corner. They were experts at popping out when you least expect them and from places were you would never expect. Ugh, if only I could have taken photos!

We walked through The Cabin in the Woods, Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City, An American Werewolf in London, Evil Dead and Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance before we were told we had to leave the park.

Other parts of the park were open too…I couldn’t ride most of the rides, but I did get to check out the new addition to the Simpson’s Land! They have added a very realistic Moe’s, Krusty Burger and more. They serve real Duff beer and a non-alcoholic drink called a “Flaming Moe”.

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By midnight (well by 9pm really) my feet hurt worse than they have ever hurt before. Not that I wasn’t enjoying myself, but I was looking forward to the park closing.  I don’t know when we will be able to return to Horror Nights but this was the 23rd annual year, so maybe the 25th? Only time will tell…

die-in

Cheers and Happy Haunting!

Mickey’s Halloween Party

Clearly, Husband and I are a little nutty and have been to Disney World more times than most people would ever want to go anywhere. We just can’t get enough. However, as many times as we have been, we have never attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. So, when Husband decided we were going to Florida to celebrate his Birthday I made sure that the party was part of our plans.

halloween party the castle

During the Halloween party (and during all the Disney parties held at Magic Kingdom) the park closes early for the guest who did not purchase a special party ticket and opens (or stays open) for the guests attending the party. We were there from 7pm to midnight. About the time we arrived the sun went down and the park transformed into a not-too-spooky land fun of characters like Jack and Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas and incredible party decorations.

memories mickey wreath

99% of the people in attendance are dressed in costume, like incredible costumes. Most families dressed in theme… We saw Peter Pan with Tinkerbell, Wendy and Captian Hook. There was Buzz, Woody, Jessie, and Rex. One family had Alice, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts and Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. The best part of the night may have been just people watching. Everyone was so darn adorable! We, on the other hand did not dress up… I know what you’re thinking, we are so the kind of people who typically go all out in these sorts of situations, but we were just so busy the weeks before, it just wasn’t in the cards. Don’t worry though, I have BIG plans for when our baby girl gets here.

us and the castle

I got to see my good friend Ruth from NYC!
I got to see my good friend Ruth from NYC!

The Halloween party is definitely set up for families with children. There are trick-or-treat stations set up around the park, dance parties with different characters go on all night and the villains even put on a special show throughout the night in front of the castle. These activities were not as fun for us non-costumed grown-ups, but there was plenty we LOVED.

back of castle

For one, the “Mickey’s Boo-to-You” parade is amazing! This is the best Disney parade I have ever seen, which basically makes it the best parade ever. Some of the characters are really creepy and come right up to you, some even touch your face as they whisper “Happy Halloween”, and the choreography is much better than a typical Disney parade.

parade headless horseman hitchhiking ghost

“HalloWishes” is the fireworks show shown during the night and it’s VERY good. Nothing is better than the original “Wishes”, but I do love the extra big production and the Halloween music in “HalloWishes”. We actually watched them from behind the castle, so we had a show of fireworks happening in a full circle around us.

hallowishes fireworks castle and fireworks

The Haunted Mansion was phenomenal! It was surrounded by spooky lights, tons of fog and there was even a “real” ghost outside the house telling jokes to keep all of us in line entertained.

haunted mansion ghost

Then, there’s the food. With a pumpkin spiced waffle sundae and a candy corn flavored dole whip, you just can’t go wrong.

waffle sundae

BTW, I'm fairly certain this is just vanilla soft serve with candy corn hidden in the cone...still good though.
BTW, I’m fairly certain this is just vanilla soft serve with candy corn hidden in the cone…still good though.

We had a blast. We actually got Disney exactly 2 hours before the party started so it was great to get spend the entire first night at Magic Kingdom. The lines were shorter than normal and it was fun to see Disney under a slightly spookier vibe. Next time, will be even better!

happy halloween

Cheers!