Pre-Halloween.

{ I vant to suck your blood. – Finger Lakes Wine: Dr. Konstantin Frank Salmon Run Petit Noir. }

HAPPY

tips + tricks + treats

PRE-HALLOWEEN

{ Halloween is a magical holiday for so many reasons. Including the making of Hocus Pocus, which receives many a-mention on this blog. This year, the bewitching hour befalls a Friday. All will wake from the dead … and become the dead the next day, rest assured. Best part?? Halloween in Rochester – we still celebrate early! So grab your costumes + get yo’ freak on because this weekend proves to be wild. }

ghastly pre-Halloween gasts

WICKED WEEKEND CHOICES

  1. SPECTRAL CARNIVAL: Friday + Saturday. St. Joseph Park {“a piece of local history“}.
  • Family by day.
  • Freaky by night.
  • Incredible artists … follow The Yards on Instagram to get a taste + discover more.

#SpectralCarnival2

2. AL SIGL CENTER WALK ABOUT: Saturday. Eastview Mall.

3. FINGER LAKES RESTAURANT WEEK: Ends Sunday. 11 Finger Lakes Restaurants.

  • Lunch + Dinner Pre-Fixe Specials.
  • Local Food – celebrate the harvest!
  • Frighteningly delicious – a great way to try new cuisine at affordable prices … and an incredible excuse to see that Finger Lakes Fall Foliage + landscape!

4. DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS: Ends November 1. 1975 Gallery.

  • Coincide this exhibit ends on All Saints’ Day?? {I think not.}
  • Devilishly decadent does not begin to describe.
  • 666 or 60+? Like an incantation, the website says it best.

#devilsinthedetails

5. LUX LOUNGEOn Going. South Wedge – 666 South Ave.

  • Located at 666 South Ave. So. “Let your freak flag fly.”
  • Chillest outdoor scene in Roc – picnic tables + hammock, penis stool + ring toss, fire pit + once I roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on it … creepy lady in the window. {Just go.}
  • Incredible art. Last time I was there – Shawnee Hill was up. Just insane.

let’s all raise hell this weekend

Are you not as excited as I that this year, Halloween is a week-long celebration. It’s phantasmic.

#happyhalloween

#eatlocal

#candycorns

#drinklocal {not blood}

#artlocal

XO.

Two Weeks to Find the Perfect Halloween Costume!

{ Disgruntled House Wife – I was fake smoking that cigarette + real drinking the wine. DHWs often do. }

HALLOWEEN

tips + tricks + treats

COSTUMES

{ Below is a list of simple + creative + fun Halloween costumes I’ve worn from the past. And some twists I (or you) could take. I’ve also included resources – my favorite Halloween costume inspirations! }   

Unless you master-mind this thing – admit it. Who knows what they want to be yet for Halloween? Throwing something together in the last quarter + killing it is half the fun. I’m not even sure I’ll celebrate with a costume party this year, but rest assured, I have options. You never know when watching Hocus Pocus on your couch with a bowl of caramel popcorn invokes the spirit of Halloween … just for the spell of it.

Halloween is only 2 weeks away!! Now is the perfect time to: plan + prep, make or buy, try-on + wear all of the time … your perfect Halloween costume!! 

FROM THE GRAVE

1. Quail Man – Last Minute Super Hero. I threw this together day-of a few years ago when my other costume felt too un-costume-y. (I was a vintage pin-up – see below for tips!) I felt incredible. And it was super simple.

  • To Know – Only a very specific subset of a demographic will know, recognize, + honor who you are. Namely: 28-32 year olds. … What a great opportunity to disseminate the word on Doug Funnie + early ’90’s cartoons.
  • How To – Underwear over shorts | Red cape | Belt on head | Q cut-out on shirt. (Brown shorts + sweater vest are a bonus. I used swimming bottoms instead of undies.) … Wish I had a pic of this magnificence. I had a green sweater vest + my belt even stood-up!

2. Raggedy AnnThe Magic of Childhood. This was my senior year of college get-up + I rocked it 2 ways. 1 – Childlike (as pictured). 2 – Adult like (not as fun). It’s true … you can take Raggedy Ann to any number of extremes. Have fun with it!

  • From The Grave – If I resuscitated Raggedy Ann this year, I’d go Steam Punk! Gaunt face make-up, dark lips, and maybe some killer boots or heels.
  • How To – Cheeks + freckles | Doll clothing | Apron | Red yarn in hair. The last part may seem the most difficult but really, just buy some red yarn and tie strands throughout your hair. Best tip – I bought most components from a thrift shop!

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3. Disgruntled House WifeGirly + Ghoulish. Another last minute costume I threw together day-of 2 years ago. This is a costume that can be done so many ways using simple items you probably already have laying around the house.

  • Go Period – Every decade works because … every decade has DHWs. To make this costume pop, hone-in on 1 specific decade or era + focus the details on that.
  • How To – Hose | Heels | Apron | Gory make-up. The make-up really drives this one home. It’s Halloween, guys, so you can get gory. The main thing here is NOT to disrespect or misrepresent spousal abuse. Draw the line. If you can’t, stay away.

4. Vintage Pin-Up So Much Fun. Incredible excuse to wear all your favorite make-up all at once + all of your favorite costume-y dress-up clothes. … And to try your favorite vintage hair styles!

  • Be Aware – Both vintage and pin-up are back – you run the risk of feeling like any normal day, or worse … that you’re trying to hard on any normal day. That’s what happened to me a few years back, zoinks!
  • How To – Red lip | Vintage hair | Sturdy heel | Exaggerated clothing. All of these fit into my normal repertoire, especially the first 3. Exaggerated clothing means you include all components–i.e. heels, hose, dress, bag, gloves, hat–and/or you go true-blue vintage, at least on the dress. Vintage-like styles can work. But nothing beats the real deal. (See below for 2 shops!)

5. InstagramSee What I Did There. Yes. I incorporated pop culture + pop media into my costume … and took it to a meta-level by taking Insta’s! I suppose there’s another level of meta in using cardboard + Sharpie’s to recreate technology.

  • Don’t Filter the Details –  Everyone knows what Instagram is these days! Don’t be caught with the majority not knowing what you are. Focus-in on precise details.
  • How To – Instagram logo | Black clothing | Sharpies or paint. The silver Sharpie really made things pop, so get your hand on metallics if you can. This costume can be built in so many different ways, and it’s pretty easy. My interpretation is one of the simplest. The most difficult part was printing out pics of a tree that I took in all the different filters + getting them onto a belt.

IMG_9114

INSPIRATIONS

Costumes

1. What I Wore – Jessica Quirk hand makes a mean costume. You’ll be stunned.

2. BuzzFeed – How Tos, lists, videos, + even costumes for pets.

Vintage Clothing

1. Treasure Trove Vintage – Incredible period everything: coats, dresses, heels, bags, hats, gloves, blouses, skirts.

2. Far Out Vintage – Fun vintage + also a huge selection.

Hair + Make Up

1. The Beauty Department – Great for everyday + for costume-y tips.

Whatever you do this Halloween, I hope it’s full of mischief + merriment and tricks, + treats! … (And at least 1 viewing of Hocus Pocus.)

#happyhalloween

#hocuspocus

XO.

Fall For Your Favorite Snacks: French Fries!!

FALL FAVORITES

 { SNACKS }

FRENCH FRIES!

{ It’s no surprise that french fries are one of my favorite snacks, meals, medicines, + general past times of all time. But I especially find them appealing in the fall. Fall, in general, is a capital time to snack. For one – it’s #back2school, which pretty much fuels the snack industry. For two – it’s getting just a tad bit cooler, which begs us to whip-up heartier combos. }

My fall snack staples include:

  • hot coca with marshmallows
  • popcorn with evoo, salt, pepper, + a sprinkling of cheese
  • homemade french fries!

I’ll eat anyone’s french fries. But I’ve just discovered that I can fry my own! This tickles me. Before we talk recipe, check out my quick tips for all of these delectable + comforting snacks:

  • Hot Coca with Marshmallows: Healthy for your World.

I buy Fair Trade Equal Exchange cocoa mix + vegan marshmallows from Abundance Cooperative Market. The coca is more expensive. … But so is craft beer, and even I {the woman who can no longer drink beer} know it’s worth it. Plus, Fair Trade Equal Exchange ensures an “economically just and environmentally sound” world. I’m down.

  • Pop Corn: Healthy for You.

I pop my own … in a microwave! Yes. This is true. Scoop 1/2 cup of un-popped, regular kernels into a brown paper lunch bag. Micro as per usual. (I do 2.5 minutes or until the popping slows.) Pour into a bowl + season. How. Much. Fun. Is. That. … And you control the toppings. Recently, I made garlic infused butter and poured this overtop with parmesan cheese. … Instant gourmet snack, in literally 2.5 – 3 minutes.

Homemade Fried French Fries

I cannot find the recipe I used last night. It was that magical.

These are neither healthy for you nor healthy for your world (unless you buy local or organic or IPM … you get the point). But they are flippin’ fun. I recommend looking up your own recipe. (There are a ton!) Here’s my informal version and the tips + tricks I used:

  1. Ingredients + Materials – dutch oven (or huge sauce pan) | canola oil (or peanut oil – any oil with a high smoke point) | russet potatoes (most sites recommend these or any high starch potato) | paper towel | plate | salt | mesh spoon (whatever that’s called) | recommended – thermometer | optional – bowl, water, strainer
    • tips + tricks Mr. Potato Head. It’s a funny thing while stove-top frying instead of deep frying. Most recipes encourage you to buy high starch potatoes for crispy, sturdy, meaty fries.  The recipe I used last night instructed to use a high starch potato, but to draw the starch out, exactly because this is a stove-top fry. I’ll speak more to that soon. In the meantime, I say – use whatever potato you got. (Look up separate recipes for sweet potatoes.)
  2. Prep – slice potatoes to desired thickness (1/4 – 3/8 in.) | soak potatoes if doing so | if not or while potatoes drain + dry: add oil to pot + heat
    • tips + tricks Practice Safe Frying. One time my mom fried a chicken wing and almost burnt her face-off. It’s because we underestimate how much oil bubbles once something’s dropped in. IE – If you’re waiting for your oil to bubble so you can guess how hot it is … DON’T. First – make sure whatever pot you use is no more than 1/3 – 1/2 filled. Second – This is why a thermometer is highly recommended. (Goal temp: whatever your recipe says.) … I didn’t use a thermometer (because I don’t own one), + I felt comfortable eye-balling it. But I was lucky I didn’t overfill my pot with oil. Phew. Once I added those fries, it really got a bubble going.
  3. Recommendation – Add to bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. If you use a red potato, white, or new potato (low starch), try 10 – 15 minutes. This draws out the starch.
    • tips + tricks – The Starch Factor. Apparently high starch is best when frying. But, according to the recipe I used last night, high starch might not be best while stove top frying. I soaked a low starch potato, and the result was perfect. (To my taste buds.) Though I can see how it could have been crispier. Solution? Try something in between: i.e. soak, and then thoroughly dry, a high starch potato.
  4. Fry – When oil reaches frying temp, use wire mesh spoon to gently add potato slices to oil. Flip slices mid-way through. Fry for 5-6 minutes. Drain on rack or paper-towel lined plate when finished. Salt to taste.
    • tips + tricks – Give Them Their Space. Do not add too many at once – fry in batches. This ensures even coloration and crispness. If you happen to pull some before desired doneness, add them back! (Worked for me.)
  5. Rest – Most recipes call for 10-15 minute cool time. … Just don’t burn your fingers or your tongue.
    • tips + tricks – Worth It. I wasn’t that patient. But I also didn’t burn myself. Maybe clean up some of your surroundings while the fries cool. This way, your will power isn’t totally … fried.
  6. EAT – Enjoy salted and plain. As a snack or with a meal. Dress up in a cute cup. Or eat off the grease-stained plate.
    • tips + tricks – You Think You Fancy, Huh. I would include a photograph of my plated fries … except that I devoured them instead. But I did make a garlic mayo (veganaise) and pair it beside ketchup, both of which I placed in bowl and plated amongst my salty, savory, fresh french fries.

* * *

I love fall, and fall snacks might just be my favorite snacks. They’re so comfy + cozy + crispy + yum. What are your fall favs?!?

#fallfavorites
#eatlocal

XO.