Monday, September 29, 2014

Choosing a Planner That is Right for You

Even amidst all of the electronic technology out there, people still love and use their paper planners.

I am one of those people.

I have tried to go all electronic, and as soon as I do, my life falls apart. I'm just no good at planning for things when all I can see are small entries on my tiny phone. And I'm terrible at keeping my Google calendar updated. In fact, I think it still has my teaching schedule from 2 years ago as my current schedule. Partly this is because I am a little bit stupid when it comes to figuring all the techy stuff out (for instance, I still don't know how to get my phone and computer synced for Google calendar), and partly it's because I just LOVE my paper planners. I don't think I'll ever have that same kind of love for my phone calendar, sorry.

best paper planner | which planner should I buy | how to choose a planning system | which planner is right for you | pros and cons of paper planners | Franklin Covey | Erin Condren | At a Glance | Korean Journal Planners | Home Executive planner | Mom on the Go Planner | Mormon Mom Planner | Ultimate Planner Review

I've used a lot of different planners over the years, and I have learned exactly what I need in a planner. It changes as my life changes, but I have become rather planner picky.

In college, I carried around a big, ol' Franklin planner and man, I loved that thing! I kept with Franklin for a while after I had Bria, but I soon realized that it was way too much planner for a SAHM with a baby, and I started looking around at other planners.

Now that I am a working mom of three busy children (9th, 6th, and 3rd grades), my planner needs have continued to evolve.

Here are the things that I personally consider when looking for a planner:

1. Academic Year vs. Calendar Year. With both The Maestro and I working in academia, plus having three kids, having an academic year calendar works best for me. I have occasionally purchased a calendar year planner and then been annoyed when it ends in December because I like to have one school year all in the same place.

2. Size. I need it to be small enough to fit into my purse, but big enough to actually contain my entire life and brain.

3. Sturdiness. I carry my planner with me EVERYWHERE. I need it to be super sturdy so it can last me a full year.

4. Writing Space/Page Organization.  My planner isn't just for me and my schedule anymore. It has to include my children's and husband's schedule as well, because their schedules directly affect me. I need a good page organization and lots of space to accomadate all five of our schedules.

5. Extras. Most planners include extra things like pages for taking notes, birthday pages, budgeting pages, etc. I know which of these I will actually use and which I won't, and I know which ones I can't live without. Ideally, I'd like a planner that doesn't have a lot of extra pages in it that I won't use, but I can overlook that if it has the extra pages that I want.

6. Cuteness Factor. I admit, I'm a sucker for all the cute planners out there, but it's low on the list. This is one area in my life where function trumps aesthetic (and believe me, usually it's the other way around). If it's cute but not functional, I would miss every appointment I have. My planner is literally my brain.

I thought I would quickly review several of the planners I have used in the past few years. I always save them, as I consider them a type of journal of my life, so I got out the pile that is still in my office and hasn't yet been relegated to a bin in the basement. I'm embarrassed at how many are not in the bin, but hey! More planners to talk about, and I do love planners.

At-a-Glance Life Links Planner

I used this planner in 2008.  It can be purchased here: At-a-Glance Life Links Planner

  • It's a good size. It's not huge at all, and is easy to carry around.
  • It did divide the daily view up into three sections, which I like. 
  • The month tabs are sturdy and easy to use.
  • The extras are not excessive, and are all things I used (gift lists, child info, blank pages, etc.).

  • I always mistook the to-do list at the top of the right-hand page for Friday. 
  • It isn't very cute, but it is elegant.
  • I could have used a lot more blank pages each month instead of just at the end of the planner.
  • There wasn't quite enough space on each day and I had to write really small that year.
  • It did not run on the academic year.

Erin Condren Life Planner

I used this planner in 2011-12. It can be purchased here: Erin Condren Life Planner.

I bought this one because there was a mega-sale going on, otherwise it is a little on the spendy side. That said, I have found I always like the more expensive ones better and am more likely to really use it well.

  • It is super cute and well-designed, and there are several different design options. I especially liked that you could have your name printed on the cover. There is also an option to put a photo on the cover as well, but it does cost extra.
  • I really liked the goals/to-do lists on the sides of the pages. I didn't always use them, but I liked having them there for when I needed them.
  • There are plenty of note pages for each month.
  • I loved the pocket folder and the zip pouch that are in the back, and used them often.
  • It follows the academic year.
  • It comes with lots of fun stickers for things like concerts, birthdays, and no school. Plus, there are blank ones for you to use as you see fit (see "book club" sticker above).

  • As much as I loved it, it was just too big and unruly. It didn't fit well into all of my purses, and it was heavy.
  • The month tabs were not sturdy at all, and bent and ripped after only a few months' usage.
  • The days were split up into "morning, day, evening" -- I liked that they were split, but I would have preferred to choose the categories myself.

Home Executive Planner

I used this planner for 2012-13. I found it while we were on our Epic Vacation in Utah, at the BYU Bookstore. It is LDS-themed, but not so much that someone who isn't a Mormon wouldn't want to use it, I think. It was pretty much only the stickers that are included that were obviously LDS. It can be purchased here: 2014-15 Home Executive Planner.

  • It is a good size. It's on the smaller end of the spectrum, so I liked that, but it also had plenty of space to write in each day.
  • It is quite cute, and well-designed. (This year's version seems even cuter.)
  • I liked the pocket envelopes that were included in both the front and the back of the planner.
  • There are cute stickers included, for things like FHE, temple night, and church activities if you're LDS, but also things like birthdays, weddings, date night, and field trips if you're not. Plenty of fun stuff there.
  • A monthly recipe!
  • Runs on the academic year.

  • No month tabs at all. I ended up using a big paperclip bookmark to keep my place in the planner.
  • I didn't like how so much space was devoted to menu planning and grocery shopping lists, as I don't use my planner for those things. When I got the planner I tried to use it that way, but it just didn't work for me. You can see that I started using those sections for random other things. These sections are something that might be wonderful for everyone else, though!
  • Not very much space for note taking.
UPDATE: To see my review of the updated version, click here: Home Executive 2015-16 Planner.  It now has tabs, more space for note taking, and a beautiful new look! The stickers aren't LDS themed at all anymore, and are universally needed for any "home executive!"

Franklin Covey Her Point of View Planner

I actually used this planner for three years straight, from 2009-2011. I really like it. You can purchase one here: Franklin Covey Her Point of View Planner.

  • I think this is definitely my favorite size of planner. It's pretty perfect.
  • I liked the fact that my beloved Franklin system was still included. Things like master task lists and the Franklin bookmark made me really love this planner.
  • There is an inspirational quote by a famous woman each week (hence, "her point of view")
  • There is space for notes and to-do lists on each page.
  • The monthly tabs are very strong.
  • Plenty of note-taking space each month.

  • It runs on the calendar year.
  • There isn't quite enough space on each day for my personal taste.
  • It's not nearly as cute as some of the other planners out there, but it is very functional, which is why I used it for so long.

Mon Journal Weekly Diary

I have not actually used this one yet! I bought it to use last year, but then my mom gave me a planner as a gift (coming up next...I promise we're getting close to the end!), so I shelved this one. Which didn't really matter because it isn't for any specific year. It's a Korean Planner, which is a big trend in planners right now (see this Pinterest Board for examples, and this specific Pin.), and I thought it would be fun to use all the washi tape and things. You can purchase this particular planner here: Mon Journal Weekly Diary. I had also purchased these fun masking stickers to use instead of washi tape, because they seemed easier to keep in the pocket.

  • Great size.
  • Has an envelope pocket in the back, ideal for storing all the stickers you will need to glam it up.
  • Very high quality paper--almost luxurious.
  • Very little is pre-printed, so it is totally customizable, and you can bling it up to your heart's desire!
  • Can be used on any version of the calendar you like, or in any year, as dates are not pre-printed.
  • Has extra pages for notes, and a monthly calendar view as well.

  • Very little is pre-printed, so you HAVE to customize it.
  • Might not have enough space for each day, especially if you're using lots of washi tape and stickers.

Mormon Mom Planner

This is the planner my mom bought for my birthday that prevented me from using the Korean one. I used this planner for the 2013-14 Academic Year. With a name like "Mormon Mom Planner" it is obviously intended for LDS moms to use. It can be purchased here: Mormon Mom Planner.

  • It is a nice size. It is bigger than most of the planners I've already discussed, but it is not as big as the Erin Condren Life Planner. It fits into my purse just fine, though it is heavier and thicker than some of the other planners, it does not bother me.
  • It's adorable.
  • If you are LDS, there are a ton of wonderful extras included: General Conference note taking pages, FHE planning pages, all of the Sunday lesson schedules, ideas for teaching children the Gospel, Book of Mormon reading charts, etc.
  • There are also great holiday planning pages included each month. For instance, there is a Thanksgiving planning page in November, and December includes Christmas planning pages and gift guides and Christmas Card lists. She's really thought of everything.
  • It can be purchased on either the calendar year or the academic year.
  • Each day has three sections, and you can customize how you use them (I use Me, Kids, and Other).
  • Each week includes a to-do list.
  • There are plenty of extra pages for notes.
  • Sturdy mothly tabs.

  • It is LDS-themed. While I am LDS, I found I did not use the majority of the LDS extras included, awesome as they are. For me, they were just extra blank pages.
  • The bottom of each day includes a menu planning section, I tried to use it that way for a while, but as I said before, I just don't use my planner for menu planning. (Mostly because I'm not the menu planner at our house.)
  • No fun stickers, although you can buy them as add-ons on the website.

Mom on the Go Planner

This is the planner I am currently using. It is the same company as the Mormon Mom Planner, but it is not LDS-themed. It can be purchased here: Mom on the Go Planner.

  • This year she has erased the word "MENU" from the bottom of each day and left it blank so you can use it how you want to use it. I have started using it to keep track of what I wear to work (yes, I'm weird like that!).
  • It is a nice size. It is bigger than most of the planners I've already discussed, but it is not as big as the Erin Condren Life Planner. It fits into my purse just fine, though it is heavier and thicker than some of the other planners, it does not bother me.
  • It's adorable.
  • There are also great holiday planning pages included each month. For instance, there is a Thanksgiving planning page in November, and December includes Christmas planning pages and gift guides and Christmas Card lists. She's really thought of everything.
  • It can be purchased on either the calendar year or the academic year.
  • Each day has three sections, and you can customize how you use them (I use Me, Kids, and Other).
  • Each week includes a to-do list.
  • There are plenty of extra pages for notes.
  • Sturdy monthly tabs.
  • This year it is bound with plastic spirals instead of metal, and it hasn't stayed together as well. I prefer the metal spirals from last year's planner.

UPDATE: To see my review of the updated Mom on the Go Planner, click here: 2015 Mom on the Go Planner. It now has pockets, we're back to the metal spirals, and more things are customizable than ever.

Phewsh! That's a lot of planners! It's probably evident from my photos that my method of using planners is kind of haphazard, though I have gone through phases of color-coding and highlighting and perfect handwriting, too. Mostly, I just use whatever writing utensil I can find! I might be a little haphazard, but if I didn't have a planner at all, I would be completely lost.

Which planner do you use and love?

post signature
This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.
See the linky parties I link up to here.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Indian Summer

Sunday Photo 9_28_14 web
It was a LONG Sunday. Having a bit of dessert just before bed.

I'm not gonna lie, This has been a difficult week.

Late last Sunday night, we received word that our sweet nephew had taken his life earlier that evening. He'd just turned 30 the week before, and has always been one of the most loving and sweet people you'll ever meet. He was in 7th grade when I first started dating The Maestro, and he always acted as if I were his very favorite person in the entire world. That's just how he treated everyone. He had his share of struggles in this life, and as his sister noted, he fought every day to overcome them. We will all miss him so much.

Lots of heart-heaviness this week due to losing him, but it was only compounded by how dang far we live from the bulk of our family. We couldn't get one flight out for less than a small fortune, the Chicago airport has been having insane issues anyway, and we would have had to start driving as soon as we heard the news to make it out to Utah in time for the funeral on Thursday. So we had to settle for photos posted on Facebook and Instagram and for being there in our hearts even while our bodies were thousands of miles away.

Even though the girls haven't had a lot of opportunity to meet their cousin, telling them was so hard. They were devastated. It's a difficult thing to process at that age, and I know well how they feel because I lost two cousins when I was young. I didn't know either of them super well, as I lived in a different state, but I did know them, and I was affected deeply by their deaths.

Then I got terribly sick this week--the kind of sick where I couldn't even get out of bed for an entire day. It was a day I was supposed to work, and that stresses me out further, because I loathe having to make up lessons when I miss them.

I'm feeling much better now, but being laid up in bed has a wonderful way of putting you behind in your life. I'm not sure I've done a single load of laundry this week and, as of last night, my house was a disaster area.

As much as I wanted to spend Saturday getting ahead on chores and the rest of my to-do list, we couldn't ignore the wonderful weather. We've had a pretty chilly and wet fall so far, and we didn't have much of a summer. But this last several days we have been given a gorgeous Indian Summer. The Maestro convinced me to head to the beach with friends for the evening, and I finally relented even though I was feeling great anxiety over all that I needed to get done.

McLain Puccini

The beach was beautiful. The friendship was refreshing. My friend and I walked our dogs along the beach, and I must say I've never seen Lake Superior quite so calm. The kids played in the water (they've gotten very used to the frigid temperatures of Lake Superior this summer--I think they're all crazy!), gathered rocks, and tossed footballs around.

Sophia 9_27_14 web

The light and the warmth and my beautiful children and wonderful friends were just what I needed to heal a bit from the difficulties of the past week. The longer we stayed at the beach, the more I felt the stress melting from my body.

Beautiful Bria 9_27_14 web

But then there was the sunset. Not only did Heavenly Father send me His love via several days of 80 degree weather (which barely happens around here in July, much less September), He sent me a beautiful Lake Superior sunset, too.

I had my big camera with me, planning on getting some great shots of what was more than likely our last visit to the beach this season. I actually had a fully charged battery in it this time, but not a memory card. Someday I'll get it together. Le sigh.

Until then, I have my iPhone (thank goodness).

Chloe and Eva 9_27_14 web

The thing about sunsets is that they are always a million times better in real life.

Lake Superior Sunset 9_27_14

This one was so spectacular, that every single human being in that state park was down on the beach trying to photograph it. But none of us captured its true beauty.

McLain 9_27_14 web

Which is just as well, because it was sacred. A sacred moment that reminded me how much good there is in life amongst all of the difficulty. An Indian Summer before the long, hard winter. A message from my Father in Heaven of His love for me, and a reminder to always look for the beauty.

Because it is always there.

After the sun set, we headed home where my three daughters and I watched the General Women's Meeting together. I was especially touched by President Uchtdorf's remarks about how the Lord is constantly showering us with blessings, but the umbrella of sin, doubt, and fear (and may I add anxiety?) blocks those blessings from reaching us. We need to close our umbrellas and let our Heavenly Father shower us with blessings from above.

I was reminded that my 2014 word of the year is peace. I made a great start with this word, but I let my life overwhelm me and I lost it along the way. I have let clutter--physical clutter, mental clutter, and spiritual clutter--take over my life and cause me great anxiety. For October, I'm going to work hard to eradicate that clutter via a 31 day challenge.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Do-it-yourself Cheetah Mug--Easy Craft for Kids

This post is brought to you by Frusion Go Wild! and BlogHer

Sophia, my 8-year-old daughter, is obsessed with all things cheetah. 95% of her wardrobe features cheetah print, her lunchbox and backpack are cheetah print, she recently checked a book out of the library all about cheetahs, and I'm pretty sure that she wants to actually be a cheetah when she grows up.

So, naturally, when she complained about not having a big enough mug for hot chocolate last winter, I thought it would be fun for her to have a cheetah-print mug of her very own. The weather has considerably cooled down in the last few weeks, and the winter is not far away (let us all have a moment of silence for the passing of summer), so I figured we would make one together before the snows fly.

Here's how we did it:

DIY Cheetah Print Mug

1. Gather supplies. 


All you need is a white mug (any size will do, but we got the biggest one we could find) and black and gold oil-based paint pens.

2.  Get her started


I drew one cheetah spot on the mug to start her out. I explained that she could look at any of the clothing she was wearing to get ideas for shape, but they could be pretty random! She tried out a second one underneath mine, and I knew she was ready to go for it herself!

3. Start with black spots


Use the black paint pen for the base part of the spots.

4. Add the gold

Once the black spots are dry (Sophia did 2-3 at a time, which worked fine), you can add the gold spots to the middle. If the black paint is not dry, the gold will smear and not look as nice, so be patient!

5. Fire the mug


In order to set the spots, you'll want to "fire" the mug in the oven. Place the mug on a cookie sheet and put it into a cool oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and set your timer for 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn the oven off, but leave the mug inside until the oven has cooled completely. It is important that the mug heat up and cool down inside the oven to prevent breaking. I would recommend still handwashing the mug to keep the paint on longer, but the firing process will certainly help!

6. Enjoy your mug!


Once it's finished, have fun using it. Sophia is loving hers. Didn't she do a great job with it?

Now that school has started, life has been crazy busy and overstuffed, as per usual, but we managed to fit in our mug-making after school between big sister's cross-country meet, Sophia's violin lesson, and homework. It was surprisingly easy for her 8-year-old self to do without much guidance or direction from me, so she sat at the kitchen table and worked on it while I worked on a few other things.

Not only is fitting in fun craft-making projects difficult in our busy lives, sometimes it's hard to fit in eating! I want to make sure that my children get a healthy breakfast and after school snack, and mornings and afternoons are both completely insane. While I try hard to have healthy snacks ready after school, sometimes I just need to grab something easy to give them while we jump in the car to head to music lessons or another soccer game--especially on the days I work, since I get home a mere 10 minutes before the bus comes.

We recently got to try out some Frusion Go Wild! yogurt smoothies and they are perfect for busy afternoons! Since Sophia has celiac, the most important part of any snack for us is that it is gluten-free, and these Go Wild! smoothies are definitely that. But they are also free of artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners and contain no high fructose corn syrup (which is something I'm working hard to eradicate from our home). They have a resealable cap, which I love because we are often driving off to the next appointment while the snacks are being eaten, so there is less chance of them spilling it all over my car. Of course, they actually have to put the cap back on, and I am not going to tell you that my children are perfect at that, since that would be lying.

Frusion Go Wild! smoothies come in three flavors: Tropical Twist, Savage Strawberry, and Go Bananas and Berry. Can anyone take a guess which one Sophia likes best? That's right, my cheetah girl immediately wanted the Savage Strawberry and the cheetah on the bottle! Yum!

Drinking her cheetah-flavored Frusion Go Wild! smoothie while working on some homework.
post signature
This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.
See the linky parties I link up to here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Save Money by Shopping from Your Own Closet

Summers are always a lot leaner around here financially. It usually works out just fine, but by the end of summer our budget has been stretched so far that back-to-school shopping usually has to wait until a few weeks after school (and the larger paychecks) start. That is why I didn't take the girls shopping for new school clothes until just last weekend.

As a high school freshman, Bria is starting to be really interested in fashion. Actually, who am I kidding? Bria has always been interested in fashion, but now she is more interested in looking fashionable. She was fine with waiting to go shopping, but wanted to see if she could use what she already had in more up-to-the-minute ways.

So, I sent her to Pinterest to find outfits she loved, and then we shopped out of her own closet--and mine a little bit, too.

This post contains affiliate links.

Save money on clothes | clothing budget | expand your wardrobe for cheap | how to shop in your own closet | save money on clothes shopping | look great for less money

Before I show you the photos, here are a couple of tips:

Look for versatility in your clothing

When you do buy new things, make sure that the majority of what you purchase is versatile enough to be worn with several other items. It's okay to have a few "statement" pieces if you really love them, but if your entire wardrobe is made out of things like that, you will be severely limited in your outfit choices.

Know what looks good on you

I've always known that I look really good in black—which, lucky for me, is also a super versatile color. You may not look good in black, but you may look amazing in brown or grey, both of which look awful on me. Have items in your closet that you know look good with your coloring.

The same can be said for your body shape. If you don't look your best in a certain cut or style of clothing, don't purchase it just because it's on sale or because you can't find anything else. It's better to spend a little more on a flattering cut or wait until you can find something that is right for your body type.

If you need help knowing what looks good on you, the best thing you can do is grab a friend, a sister, or your mom and go shopping with them. Make them take a pledge of honesty, and have them tell you what looks good on you and why.

There are also some great online resources to help with this:

Dressing Your Truth This is a profiling system that does cost money. I bought it two years ago, and I feel it was absolutely worth it. I have never felt so good in my clothes as I do now that I understand my "truth." I am a Type 4 in this system, and when I first started, I had a lot of Type 3 and a few Type 2 clothes in my closet. I never felt good in those clothes, and it was nice to understand why. Luckily, I also had a lot of Type 4 clothes in my closet, so I didn't have to start from scratch! You can start with the free energy profiling course to find out which type you are.

Color E-nalysis  For me, the colors came up the same as they did in Dressing Your Truth. When we did it for Bria, the colors weren't the same as Dressing Your Truth. I don't know how accurate it is for all people, but you can at least get an idea.

Real Life Body Shapes I really like this blog when it comes to knowing how to dress for your body shape. I am an A shape, and I have learned a lot about why certain cuts of clothing look terrible on me, and why others look good.

Know Your Personal Style

Once you know which colors and cuts look best on you, start keeping a style inspiration journal or Pinterest board. As you do this, you'll start to notice the themes of your style. Do you like BoHo or are you uber dramatic? Do you like soft, flowy things or do you like things that are more tailored? Pay attention to that, and you'll figure out your personal style.

Dressing Your Truth has really helped me to take the personal style I've always had and really apply it to my wardrobe in a way that works.

Now, on to Bria's closet shopping. Bria is a Type 2 in Dressing Your Truth and she looks amazing in grey. I think she might be an H body shape, but I'm not sure yet. She has a more romantic style, but she is drawn to funky things as well. I'd say her closet reflects most of this pretty well, though she has a few things in there that she never wears but isn't quite willing to give up (don't we all?).

Outfit #1

Inspiration (Image Source):

Bria's Take (please ignore my weeds—I don't have grass, I have weeds, and The Maestro hasn't mown them lately):

She didn't have a floral scarf, but she had a nice grey one. Same goes for the boots--she doesn't have brown ones (yet—they are on her list!), but she has some grey ones. For the rest, she was able to find very similar pieces and pulled together a great outfit!

You can find a similar grey scarf here—it also comes in a variety of other colors if grey isn't your favorite color! Chambray shirts are fairly ubiquitous, but this one comes in three different wash choices.

Outfit #2:

Inspiration (Image Source):

Bria's Take:

Even though the tribal print was Bria's favorite part of this outfit, she made do with the striped one that was in her closet. She chose to wear a scarf instead of the chunky necklace because the chunky necklaces aren't comfortable to her. I have a very similar necklace, and when she put it on she didn't like it (good for her, being aware of her personal style!). The black boots are mine—isn't it crazy that the two of us can share shoes now? With our big size 10 feet, that is a good thing.

Outfit #3

Inspiration (could not find original source):

Bria's Take:

Bria had fun with this one. Really what she liked in the original photo was the layered sweater and button up. She decided that she didn't want to do boots this time, so she paired it with her Converse high tops which are, of course, grey.

Outfit #4

Inspiration (Image Source):

Bria's Take:

This was Bria's favorite result of all of them. She had a grey and white striped blouse (not sweater), so she paired it with her favorite jacket. She wore her grey boots again and borrowed one of my pearl necklaces to complete the look. And she's beautiful!

Doing this with Bria has inspired me to go look at my fashion pinterest board again and do some of my own shopping in my closet. It's fun to put together new outfits with the clothes you already have, and the best part is that it is totally free!

You might also like: 

post signature
This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.
See the linky parties I link up to here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DIY Cheshire Cat Costume

Easy DIY Alice in Wonderland Cheshire Cat Costume

DIY Cheshire Cat Costume

This Cheshire Cat costume idea is so easy to put together that anyone can do it—no sewing required!

A few years ago, my girls did an Alice in Wonderland costume theme for Halloween.  Bria came up with the ideas for this super-easy Cheshire Cat costume all on her own. Not only is it easy, it worked out to be pretty cheap, too.

Materials needed to make Cheshire Cat costume:

Purple dress—we got ours from Goodwill but I like this one and this one.
Pink and purple feather boa
Plastic headband
Crafting wire
Pink embroidery floss
Purple embroidery floss
White poster board
Wooden dowel
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

How to make Cheshire Cat costume:

The first order of business is to find something purple to wear.  Bria had absolutely no purple in her wardrobe, so we headed to Goodwill to find something.

There were plenty of purple outfits there, but she didn't love any of them. Until I found this cute little dress hanging in a corner. The only reason Bria consented to purchase it was because it had come from Forever 21, which is one of her favorite clothing stores.


If you can't find any purple dresses that will work, I really like this purple dress.

Cheshire Cat Costume

Bria wore it over black leggings and a long-sleeved black shirt, because where we live Halloween is usually cold.  Besides, we weren't exactly going for the sexy Cheshire Cat costume look, and it was a fairly short dress!

How to make the Cheshire Cat's tail:

Bria was not about to wear an actual tail, so she wanted something that would give the impression of a tail. We looked around in Goodwill with no luck and then headed over to Walmart.

In the craft aisle, we found a bunch of feather boas and one of them was perfect for the Cheshire Cat!

You can also order a pink and purple feather boa on Amazon.

Use a feather boa to make the cheshire cat costume tail.

She wore it around her neck, but it indeed gave the impression of a tail and the overall pink and purple stripes of the Cheshire Cat.

DIY Cheshire Cat Costume

How to make the Cheshire Cat's ears:

For the ears, we purchased a headband, some craft wire, and some embroidery floss. This was, again, all Bria's idea.

She formed cat ear shapes on the headband with the wire, and then tied embroidery floss around it. She also hot glued some of the feathers from the boa onto the headband to complete the look.

I think these Cheshire Cat ears are perfectly understated for a teenager's Halloween costume, and totally cute.

DIY Cheshire Cat ears

How to make the Cheshire Cat's smile:

For the smile, she looked up a picture of the Cheshire Cat online, copied his smile onto poster board paper, cut it out, and hot glued it to a wooden dowel.

This was hands down my favorite part of her costume. We had looked at some Cheshire Cat make-up ideas, but she came up with this alternative and I love how it turned out. Everyone commented on what a great idea it was every time she went out in her Halloween costume that year.

DIY Cheshire Cat costume

And with this type of mouth she could actually "disappear" just like the Cheshire Cat and leave only her smile behind.

Cheshire Cat Smile

post signature
This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, please see my disclosure.

See the linky parties I link up to here.