Monday, September 30, 2013


Hey! So, I'm just now getting back into Tumblr.

Since I can't resist autumn/Halloween photography, my Tumblr is completely autumn-themed!

Please visit, and enjoy!


13 Days of Halloween

Is anyone else a little dismayed about this line-up? Where are the Halloween/spooky movies of my youth? No Halloweentown whatsoever. No Matilda (which isn't a Halloween movie, but it usually on here!) I also enjoy It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! as well as Spookable Pooh (lesser known, but a goodie) neither of which appear on this list! And I really don't believe Twilight or Harry Potter need to be included. I am, of course, happy about Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare before Christmas, but other than that, I'm probably not going to tune in.

There are only about 3 zillion Halloween movies in this world, and THIS is the list they came up with?

What do you think? What's missing and what needs to be omitted?


Saturday, September 28, 2013

DIY Costume: Ewok!

I know it's not even close to Halloween, so, why, you may wonder, am I wearing this crazy costume? Well, my friends and I had an event last night where we all dressed up as something beginning with our first initial. So, naturally, I chose to be Ewok Ellen.

If you love furry little Star Wars creatures and you need an easy and funny Halloween costume, this may just be the perfect costume for you.

  • Headband
  • Brown fur (Comes in a small package at craft stores)
  • A yard of burnt orange fabric
  • Brown top
  • Brown/black bottoms (Leggings)
  • Brown/black shoes (I just wore moccasins)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cardboard
  • Eyeliner/black or brown face paint
  • Spear (Or jank spear made of cardboard, like mine)
 How To:

For the ears: 
  • Cut out two ear-shaped pieces of cardboard (Mine were like 3'' tall. Pretty tall.)
  • Cut small pieces of brown fur to cover both sides of the ears
  • Hot glue the fur to the cardboard ears. Press the fur together on both sides to cover the outside edges.
  • Hot glue both ears to a little black headband. Make sure they're secure! (Lots of glue!)
For the hood:
  • Drape the fabric over your head. 
  • Have a friend trace your face with pencil. 
  • Cut out the hole, starting smaller than you think it should be. (You can always make it bigger, but not smaller!)
  • Cut diagonally across the front of the fabric to create a draped appearance.
  •  Trim the back to be a little shorter and get rid of any superfluous fabric.
Putting it together:
  • Put the hood on and the headband over it.
  • Mark with pencil where the ears will stick out.
  • Cut slits where the ears will stick out.
  • To put on the costume, put the ears on first, then the hood, letting them stick out through the slits. 
Final touches:
  • Add a little eyeliner ewok nose!
  • Carry your spear with pride.
  • Practice the ewok language.
*                *                *                *                *                *
Hope this was helpful to all of the aspiring ewoks out there. Try not to end up like these out-of-control little dudes on the Today Show. And have a happy Halloween :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why I Love Halloween

As far back as I can remember, I've had a deep love for anything and everything Halloween. Even as an elementary-schooler, I would spend hours doodling bats and ghosts in my books, adding notes about decorating ideas, and planning meticulously detailed parties and celebrations. In fact, one of my first Halloween memories was planning an entire haunted house when I was six years old. Skeletons in closets, a haunted lagoon in the backyard, and even a mini-hell in my laundry room! Of course, I had neither the means nor the ability to transform my home into my vision, but on my sketch pad and in my mischievous little mind, my house was a spooky masterpiece.

But...why? Why did I have such a strong connection with this holiday? In case you're interested, I came up with the following reasons:
  • I love to be creative. As you can probably tell from my crazy haunted house plans, I was a rather imaginative little kid. And I'm the exact same way today. Unlike the regimented plans we had each year for Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving, Halloween was always up for interpretation. A lampshade could be the hunched back of a werewolf. A patch of exposed dirt could be the grave of a zombie. My zany little brain thrives on this stuff, much like a vampire thrives on human blood. (...? I'm weird)

  • I love fall. Halloween is the perfect ending to this amazing season. Pumpkin patches, apple cider, jeans and boots, autumn breezes: these are some of my favorite things in life. How could I not love a holiday that celebrates all of this? This is why I love October itself even more than Halloween. Preparing for Halloween and partaking in all these fun fall events is my absolute favorite part of the year.  
  • I like dressing up. Oh my gosh. Best thing ever. It's not every day you get to wear face paint, striped tights, insane hairstyles, avant garde dresses, and scary masks! I just think it's the best thing ever. Call me a theatre kid.
  • It's genetic. My parents are nowhere near as obsessed as I, but they are completely festive, and more importantly, completely supportive. I have fond memories of dragging the old, blue, ceramic candy bowl out of storage with my dad. My mom teaching me how to make popcorn balls and caramel apples. My dad would don a vampire cape sometimes for the trick-or-treaters, and my mom once rode around on a bike, cackling like Mrs. Gulch, dressed in full witch attire. [True story.] And for every Halloween party I threw, you can bet they'd be helping me shop for supplies, prepare the food, and transport me and my guests all the way to the Headless Horseman festival and back. [Yes, they're great.]
  • I have a dark side. It's funny for me to say that, because pretty much all of my friends would describe me as candy corn sweet, as friendly as a grinning jack-o-lantern. And I doubt any of them would link me to anything remotely macabre. But the thing is, I do have this other side that no one really sees. Not in a creepy way, or anything! But I'm fascinated by the paranormal. I like the rush of terror you get during the climax of a horror film. I enjoy the release that comes after screaming your lungs out at a haunted house. And I like to think about the great mysteries of life. What happens when we die? What is real, and what is solely imagined? Which brings me to...
  • The magic of it all. The mystery of Halloween is beyond intriguing to me. If you don't know, this holiday originated with the Celts, who believed that spirits could come to earth for one night, the eve of winter, and dwell amongst the living. Humans wore masks to frighten these souls away, and lit lanterns to guide them back to the afterlife. And who's to say they were wrong? Halloween is the closest thing we have to magic. Even the most insisting skeptic gets a chill down their spine on a dark Halloween night. Why is that? Even if no post-mortal souls are roaming the streets on October 31st, each living soul is wondering, maybe just slightly, if someone is creeping up behind them...The magic and wonderment that accompany this holiday are unlike anything else. 
  • The bittersweet ending. This may sound strange, but I think my very favorite part of Halloween occurs right as it's ending. Your friends have gone home, the candles have been blown out, and the disgustingly tall pile of candy wrappers has been dumped in the trash. As you flip off the lights and crawl into bed, you're hit with a brief pang of fear. It's not midnight yet...perhaps something scary could still be lurking behind your closet doors. But, succumbing to logic, the fear quickly subsides. And just as you close your eyes to go to sleep, the memories of the season flood your brain and you're filled with warmth and fulfillment. And as you imagine these lovely things, you drift off to sleep, leaving whatever spirits may be present to gently drift home, only to return next Halloween night.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sneak Peak: Halloween Costume #1

If you haven't figured it out by the color scheme of this ghastly green blog, I have a bit of a penchant for all things spooky. Especially a certain holiday that occurs on the last day of October ;)

This year, I'm going to be attending many Halloween events, so I'm planning on creating 2 or 3 different costumes! Here's the first costume piece I've created, a darling little derby hat:

Can you guess who I'm dressing up as? :)

More pieces to come. And a DIY post showing how to make all of my costumes, including individual pieces like this one!

37 days till Halloween...........!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Recipe: Raisinet Cookies

Hi there! Today's post is my recipe for Raisinet Cookies!

I invented this recipe on the spot because I needed something to bring to a friend's dinner party and I had very little time and ingredients on hand. I wasn't sure how these were going to turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised! The raisins and chocolate provide just the right amount of decadence, and they blend beautifully with the cinnamon to create a sweet and spicy little bite! Great fall flavors that are sure to please all cookie-lovers (and it makes the kitchen smell wonderful, as well!) Enjoy.

  • 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Raisinets (I used dark chocolate!) 
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • For cinnamon sugar: 2 Tablespoons cinnamon, 2 Tablespoons sugar 


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat together butter, sugars, and vanilla until fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg.
  • Gradually add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Beat until combined.
  • Gently mix in the Raisinets.
  • Drop spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes.
  • For cinnamon sugar: Combine equal parts cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle over warm cookies. 
  • ENJOY! :)
PS: So sorry for the lack of photos! I was really, truly in a hurry! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Buckets of stress!

[Forgive the non autumn-related post!]

Ever since I was a little kid, I've gotten way too stressed about school. I remember a specific incidence that occurred in probably 4th or 5th grade. I was sitting on my bed, bawling over a science project that seemed far too overwhelming at the time. I had taken out a sheet of paper and listed every step in the process that needed to be done (I still do this today in my assignment notebook with post-its and complex schedules). I read over the steps and just felt a wave of stress come over me. The tears were instantaneous. My dad presumably heard me crying, because he came into my room to see what was wrong. I remember him trying to calm me down, saying it was completely manageable and I had no reason to stress.

Fast forward 10 years: an almost identical scenario is unfolding. My 19 college credit hours are a little more intense than any 5th grade science project I can imagine. On a daily basis, I have to attend classes, prepare all my meals, work out (well--most days...), do extracurriculars, plan for the upcoming week, and try to keep up with my TV shows and get enough sleep. This semester, I've had more homework and responsibilities than ever before. Tomorrow alone I have to write a 2-page literary analysis and complete a lengthy group project which culminates in a 40 minute presentation about a current event. The prospect of this was just too much for my brain to handle tonight.

So I cried. Because deep down inside, I'm the same over-emotional, over-achieving elementary schooler. I really care about doing well in school. I don't want to have to rush through assignments. I want to do each little thing to my best ability. And when it seems like that's impossible, I get very frustrated and hopeless.

If I could go back and give a word of advice to my 5th grade self, I would say: Chill out, Ellen. You're in 5th grade. It doesn't really matter if you get an A or an F on this. But you're going to get an A, because you are great at time management and you know this will all work out in the end! So, I should probably say the same thing to myself now. I got the tears out, I had 2 cookies (stress eating. yay, great, calories). And now I just need to take a breath, plunge into my work, and come out on the other side with a smile on my face.

In the end, when I think back on college, I'm not going to remember the grade I got on a paper or a group project. I'm going to remember the fun times I had with my friends, the crazy things I did, and the achievements I made in my personal life. Just gotta focus on that mantra...then maybe my inner stressed-out-child will calm down a bit.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Autumn bliss.

There's nothing better than sitting alone outside on a gorgeous, cool, crisp fall day. I chose to spend my short amount of relaxation time penning some poetry and doodling. I am so lucky to have a backyard this year. I can just sit out here and escape from life. Or I can push past the branches and plants to get to the old, wooden swing in the forest behind the house. It's amazing to just sit on the swing, feel the ancient frayed rope, look up at the thin beams of sunlight peering through the branches, and

One of the many many reasons I love fall.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

False Alarm.

Just in case anybody reads this little blog, thought I'd mention that my scale was wonky and I actually didn't gain any weight...:)

Have a good one.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gotta get up and try.

I'm writing this post on a disappointing, frustrating, and sad day.

I knew that the first few weeks of school would be a huge struggle trying to balance my IU life and my health life. But I didn't anticipate the level to which I would fall. Skipping workouts, having far too many "little treats", and snacking mindlessly throughout the day. I weighed myself this morning and almost burst into tears. I've gained back almost half of what I originally lost. And what I originally lost wasn't even that much. 12 pounds is not that noticeable to begin with. Let alone, whatever I'm at now.

It just sucks. It sucks so much to think back on my unwavering determination throughout the summer. Diligently counting calories, forcing myself to workout even when I didn't feel like it, and having a positive and hopeful attitude. I did so well and I felt so good. And now I just feel weighted down, literally and figuratively. I've been bogged down these past two weeks about my mountainous piles of homework, the pressure to join resume-building extracurriculars, the exhaustion that comes with my crazy sleep schedule and millions of classes I'm taking...It's just ridiculously overwhelming. I haven't been able to get myself to workout. I haven't prevented myself from eating poorly. Because I don't have the energy and my will power is gradually diminishing into nothing.

I wrote on my white board: Today is the day I recommit myself. Little things add up. Lose that weight.

And I read it and thought, yeah, I'll try. But I just feel so hopeless. There's too much to worry about and my health is falling to the back of that list.

Here's the plan:
  • 1300 calories a day, absolutely no excuses or slip-ups.
  • No unhealthy snacks, ever. 
  • Workout 6 days a week. Even if it's just 20 minutes.
  • Plan meals and workouts diligently, and FOLLOW THROUGH.
I really hope I can do this, you guys. I don't know how I can feel good about myself unless I somehow do. The goal, which I made at the end of the summer, is still to lose 10 pounds this semester. But after this gain, it's now basically to lose 15. That number seems so huge and impossible. And I am just terrified because I don't know how I'm going to do it. It's only the second week of school and I'm swamped. It's only going to get worse.

I can't even have a positive attitude right now. It's just time to go into drill sergeant mode and force myself to power through this semester. I'll need all the support I can get. So, please, remind me if you see me, I need to be healthy more than I need anything else.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My First PSL a.k.a. Fall is HERE

I've never been much of a coffee drinker, but I have always been a big fan of fall. And, as such, I could no longer resist the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

It's SO GOOD. I love the subtle hints of fall flavors and the smooth, seasoned whipped cream on top. Loooovveee.

In my mind, this means it's the start of fall. I'm wearing a sweater, pumpkin-flavored things are showing up everywhere, and ust a measly 50-something days separates us from the greatest holiday of all. HALLOWEEN.

I can't fit into society if I put Halloween stuff up before October. But, when that day comes, be prepared for about a million and three Halloween ideas, recipes, and ravings from your bud LOLlen.

Just warning ya ;)

Have an excellent FALL day,