Happy Halloween from It’s An Ordinary Blog!

Happy Halloween, Everyone! 

toddlers trick or treating

Carved Pumpkins | Crisp Autumn Air | Trick Or Treating

One night per year all of the little superheroes, monsters, witches, wizards, and princesses wander the streets making their way from house to house demanding (or asking politely for) sweets from the masses. Oh, Halloween. This year marked the first year that my two and a half year old was able to fully appreciate the fun that Halloween brings to millions of families across the country. You might remember that she was going dressed as a Little Dragon (you can see better pictures of her costume here) and it was so exciting to watch her and share in her excitement for the holiday. We met up with some of our friends (who also happen to be our neighbors) so the kids could go trick or treating. Take a look:

Halloween pictures

trick or treating

kids trick or treating

Trick or treating pictures halloween

C was bursting with excitement. One of the biggest hurdles I think we all face (we meaning parents of young toddlers) is teaching them appropriate boundaries. C was so enthusiastic that she started to head into almost every house that we trick or treated at (we went around our block). Other than that, her first experience was pretty great. Originally, I had the thought that we would allow her to keep only 10 pieces of her Halloween candy (we try not to do too many sweets with her) but we’ve settled on one piece per night until the candy is gone, which seems to be working well for our family.

It's An Ordinary Blog Halloween

So tell me, how was your Halloween?!

Culture, Parenting, Pictures, Reviews

Costume Discounters: Little Dragon Costume In Review!

| Cooler Weather | Hot Apple Cider | Pumpkin Patch | Boots & Sweaters |

It’s Halloween Month! 

Discount Toddler Costumes

Happy October, Everyone! I am bursting at the seams excited to start this month! October-March are my absolute favorite months of the year. Bring on the cold weather, the hot cocoa under the stars, the falling leaves, and, of course, the adorable Halloween costumes that we all look forward to each year. If you’re like me (overly excited parent of a ridiculously adorable two year old), you’ve already put a lot of thought into your plans for #Halloween2013 (I am fully aware that hashtags do not, in fact, work on WordPress. #DontCare #NerdAlert). If you happen to be in the market for an amazing costume at a discounted price (hello savings!), I invite you to check out my friends over at Costume Discounters. They offer a vast array of inexpensive costumes for adults, children, and pets (who doesn’t love a dressed up dog or cat?!) that you can have delivered directly from their website to your door. This is the perfect solution for parents who don’t want to brave taking their child out to the mall to pick out the perfect costumes (nobody wants to deal with the “I want {every single item ever}” for each item you look at) for the entire family. Take a peek at the Little Dragon Costume that C will be sporting this year:

Costume Discounters

This costume is every bit as adorable in person as it is online and, believe me, it’s pretty cute. What I love the most about it, from a purely logistical standpoint, is that it comes in just two pieces: the main costume and the wings that attach to the back. There is little worse than trying to assemble multiple aspects of one outfit on a two year old. Having one piece that gently slips over her head is a much more feasible choice for parents who plan to be on the go this Halloween season (yes, it is a season: don’t judge). The wings attach, using three pieces of velcro, to the shoulders on the back of the costume. The material is soft and comfortable against the skin and it’s not too heavy so it’s something my child can wear freely as we walk up and down the streets of our neighborhood on Halloween night. Best of all?! C LOVES it. 

Little Dragon Toddler Costume

When I’m saying that she loves it, I mean…she absolutely loves it. So much so that she cried when I took it off of her. It was a sad moment. But I look forward to the happy moment when she, once again, gets to wear it. Given the fact that this item is sleeveless, I will plan to pair it with a solid color long sleeved top and some tights on Halloween night but this will serve as an excellent addition, that she can wear as is, to her dress up clothes once the holiday is over. With any article of clothing, I encourage you to pay attention to sizing before you order. C is ~35″ tall and ~29 pounds and she is wearing at XS costume (which is intended to fit a 3T-4T for toddlers). I’m certain that the XXS would have worked as well but might have been a bit shorter than we would have liked. The vibrant colors, ease of the fabric, and the fun nature of the costume itself will be a hit at our festivities and I can’t wait to show her off in it.

Little Dragon Costume

As you venture out (or online) for your Halloween needs, take a few minutes to check out Costume Discounters. Right now they’re offering a 20% discount on orders of $20 or more (use the code Fun20) and free shipping on all orders over $60. You can find them online (http://www.costumediscounters.com/), on Facebook, and on Twitter. Drop them a line on their social media pages and be sure to tell them that It’s An Ordinary Blog sent you!

Toddler Halloween Costumes

Costume Discounters sent me a Little Dragon Toddler Costume for free in exchange for my review. I am under no obligation to write a positive review and my expressed opinions are uniquely my own. As always, please feel free to reach out to me anytime with questions: ItsAnOrdinaryBlog@gmail.com. 

Costume Discounters

Daily Life, Parenting, Reviews

Why I Never Pay Full Price for Anything

When I was pregnant with my daughter I vowed never to pay full price for anything unless I absolutely have to. To this day, I stand by that and it’s helped me save hundreds of dollars in the last couple of years. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m an “extreme couponer” and I most certainly don’t over do it but I am careful to watch the sales at the grocery store and shop after holidays for the following year. I started shopping at the Farmer’s Market instead of the grocery store for produce and have found that there are so many benefits to buying local. Not only does it help save you money but it also boosts the local economy, helps farmers, and is the most sustainable choice for our planet. My post isn’t about the Farmer’s Market, though, it’s about Target…

I knew when Halloween was approaching that I wanted to start decorating the house more for each holiday. C is getting older (she’ll be 2 years and 10 months old next Halloween) and so I feel it’s especially important to start sooner rather than later. I decided I would hold off on buying anything for this year and just wait until early November to purchase things for 2013. They say that good things come to those who wait and my patience paid off in the way of 90% discounts on Halloween items. I put them into storage along with the few decorations I already had (not pictured) where they’ll sit until next October.

I’ve also been looking into getting C some dress up clothes for playtime at home. I have looked at Target and online at Amazon.com and discovered that dress up clothes can be pretty expensive. Ridiculously expensive, actually, considering the fact that they can only wear most of the items for a year or so (if that long). So far, I’ve purchased four costumes on clearance for C (all at Target). Two of them were included in today’s purchase and the other two were purchased last Saturday. In total, I’ve spent only 15 dollars on all four dress up pieces for her to play with and I couldn’t be happier that I found them.

Today, I spent a total of $11.37 after all the discounts (including my Red Card Savings, which I definitely recommend to regular Target customers) and saved a total of $97.75. Pretty incredible, right?! Don’t be afraid to purchase items for next year after each holiday, it’s worth it.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Parenting, Pictures

Trunk Or Treat / Happy Halloween 2012

When I first started this post earlier this afternoon, I intended to make this into a quick tutorial about making tissue paper balls. I think I’ll save that for a later date (probably around Charlotte’s birthday) because I’m far too lazy to do it right now. Forgive me?! 🙂 Moving on…

We went to a “Trunk Or Treat” event tonight about twenty minutes from our home. I’m really glad that we participated. Interacting with the kids and allowing Charlotte to go to a place that not only had the traditional ‘trick or treating’ but also had activities was a good call for her age. She got to decorate a pumpkin, play some games, and walk around in a safe atmosphere. I spent a little time preparing for this event. I made tissue paper balls, blew up some balloons, and decorated my trunk. Overall Halloween 2012 was a success!

Take a peek:

Daily Life, DIY, Parenting, Pictures, Tutorials

Rah Rah Rah! Pom Poms for Toddlers- A Tutorial

I had big dreams for what I planned to make for C’s second Halloween (last year we dressed her as the most adorable watermelon you’ve ever seen). Several months ago, I saw an Audrey Hepburn costume made from ribbon and tulle. I told myself that’s what I would make. As with many of the big craft ideas I have from time to time, I set my sights too high and I found myself re-evaluating my options a couple of weeks ago. By now you might be wondering what C is going to dress as this year…She’s going to be a Mizzou (Missouri) Cheerleader. Cop-out much!? I wanted to throw in a little creativity to this costume and so I decided I would make her some pom-poms to go with her outfit. We’ll be attending a “Trunk-Or-Treat” event tomorrow night and our car will be decorated with some great craft projects that I’ll blog about later. For now, I want to talk about the pom-poms.

In case you weren’t aware, toddlers and paper materials (like tissue paper) don’t mix. Truth. Fact. So my original idea was not going to work:

I planned to use a hot glue gun (lookout!) to attach a mixture of yellow, black, and white tissue paper strips onto the cardboard from a roll of paper towels. If you have older kids, I think that would work but for those of us with younger children here’s what I came up with:

You’ll need to purchase your desired colors in soft pipe cleaners (or as I like to call them “the bendy fabric things”). Our local Walmart carried every color but yellow (go figure) so I opted for white and black:

I wanted to make the pom-poms as toddler friendly as possible so I made them into little “bracelets” (that way C can be hands free while trunk-or-treating):

Next I took the remaining pipe cleaners and twisted them around a pen that I had handy:

Then I attached them to the wristlets to complete the “pom-pom”:

Even though they don’t look like traditional pom-poms, I think they’re pretty cute. Most importantly, they’re safe for my toddler and they’re something I don’t have to worry about her destroying before we head out the door.

Happy Halloween!