Monday, November 7, 2016

Pokemon Costume: Bulbasaur


In June, my daughter had a Pokemon birthday party, (which was right BEFORE Pokemon Go came out - just FYI), and since I put so much work into Daddy's Ash shirt, I wanted to repeat some of the costumes for Halloween.

However, I didn't want to force my daughter to be Charmander again, so I asked her who she wanted to be. If she wanted to be a character from XY (she said Bonnie at first), then I would have coordinated our family costumes around that. Luckily she chose Bulbasaur, so we stuck with the Indigo League theme. (See Why Pokemon XY is Better Than Indigo League for more geeky info on that).

The good news was that I only had to make one Halloween costume this year!

The bad news was that it was Bulbasaur:
via http://pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/Bulbasaur

This entire project was me figuring it out as I went, so this isn't a tutorial.

I started with a garage sale backpack that the kids do not use or love and green fabric. 


Added some leafy stuff. 


The casing reminded me of a green jester hat halfway through. 


I used our Charmander hat as a rough estimate for the Bulbasaur hat. The one pictured below was too dark, so I ended up making another one from teal fabric. 


Finished product: 


I'll admit, I am proud of this costumed. I think his face looks more authentic than the Pikachu and Charmander hats we bought from a costume store. 


Here's our group costume for Halloween. 


And a shot of Bulbasaur from the back Trick-or-Treating. 


My favorite part of the night were the kids (all boys incidentally) who recognized Bulbasaur. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Home Reno Before and After: Interior

We bought a major fixer-upper back in March, and with the help of a renovation mortgage (which involves lots of red tape), we were able to renovate it and gain about $40K in equity!! Great investment for us, but LOTS of work too! The professional renovations were accomplished in two months, and the DIY stuff is mostly done now. :) 

This first installment of Home Reno Before and After photos is only our interior. The before shots were taken the day we closed on the house. As I walked through the wasteland, tears filled my eyes. I thought, "What have we gotten ourselves into?!" 

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After


Master Bath Alcove Before and After

Guest Bathroom Before and After 

There are many other beautiful transitions not pictured. The experience of renovating this house was stressful, but so worth it. With the right contractor (we LOVED ours!) and an abundance of patience, a renovation mortgage was wonderful. Each stage of completion revealed that beauty can come from ashes.

Next step: Exterior!