21 DIY Halloween Costumes

It’s hard to believe, but Halloween is right around the corner! Every year, I see so many unique DIY Halloween costumes, and a lot don’t require a ton of crafting or sewing skill. My 7yo son is in the superhero/Star Wars/ninja phase that lends itself best to store-bought costumes. My 10yo daughter likes to get a little more creative.

I thought it would be fun to pull together some of my favorite DIY costumes. Unbeknownst to me, my husband bought my son a Black Panther costume, but my daughter is definitely eyeing a few options on this list. Here are some of my fave DIY Halloween costumes this year…

Disco Ball

This is such a cute and fun option for the little one that likes to stand out.

Donut

I love that this simple costume is made with items found at the dollar store. Cheap and easy!

Statue of Liberty

If it’s down to the wire and you’re still in need of a costume, this would be a cinch to pull together (and would work for an adult too).

Skeleton

White duct tape makes for a simple DIY costume that can be removed later.

Pokemon – AsH Ketchum

Of all the Pokemon-related costumes, this is one of the simplest I’ve seen. Your kiddo can carry around a Pikachu stuffed animal and call it a day 🙂

Smiley Face/Emoji

This is darling and would be super easy to customize to your preferred emoji facial expression.

Slice of Pizza

A hot glue gun would make this pizza slice a cinch to put together. Your little one could even personalize it with their fave toppings!

Minions

I was really pushing for Despicable Me as a family costume idea this year, but I couldn’t get the kids on board. Maybe next year!

Crazy Cat Lady

This cute costume had us all cracking up. The giant rollers are a nice touch!

Wind Sock Man

I think this is such a creative (and easy to DIY) costume. We’ve all seen these guys thrashing around in front of the Jiffy Lube!

Octopus

If I was still in charge of my kid’s costumes, one of them would for sure be wearing this. So easy to put together and so dang cute!

Robot

Is this not the best robot costume?! Granted, it would take more work to make, but it’s so cool that it’s definitely worth a little extra time.

Han Solo

These next three costumes are for the little Star Wars fan in your life. I’m sure Han will be popular this year after the release of “Solo” this summer.

Rey

Star Wars definitely knows how to bring the female heroines into the action. Rey is a great character and this costume would be really easy to throw together last minute. There are even instructions for the staff.

BB-8

Who says droids are boys anyway?! This is a fun spin on BB-8. (Side note: I love her Disney princess skates.)

Minecraft (Creeper, Steve & Zombie)

The Minecraft fan will go crazy over these easy, yet accurate costumes. The biggest challenge would be getting the right sized boxes!

Vending Machine

I must say, this is one of my favorites. It’s just not your typical costume. They were really thinking outside the box (see what I did there #pun intended).

Troll (Princess Poppy)

Trolls is one of my absolute favorite kids’ movies, and this Troll hair is over the top in all the right ways! Obviously you could customize based on your personal Troll preference. The instructions are detailed and the supply list is minimal, both pluses in my book.

Lego Ninjago

I’m a big fan of this semi-homemade lego ninja costume. No need to kill yourself trying to make the lego head when they sell masks, but the rest is pretty impressive DIY. You could replicate this idea with a lot of lego figures (Lego Batman, Emmett, etc.)

Lumberjack

Other than the adorable beard and the axe, this is basically just normal clothes, which means your kiddo can wear them again. Maybe you don’t have suspenders just laying around, but they sell them in multiple colors at the party store. The beard definitely makes the costume though!

Lawn Gnome

I couldn’t find the source of this little get-up, but I wanted to include it because it’s so cute. FYI shorts and a white version of that lumberjack beard would make a great boy version. If your sewing skills are a little lacking, you can probably make it work with iron-on tape and a hot glue gun.

DIY Halloween costumes for kids.

source unknown

There you have it. Hopefully you’ve got some ideas for your own DIY Halloween costumes now! Which of these is your favorite??

DIY Halloween costumes for kids.

Share with a friend:

7 Pantry Organization Ideas You Need to Steal

Welcome to 14 Days of Organization! 

We’re focusing on organizing the key areas of daily life to help reduce stress and bring a sense of order. Today we’re zeroing in on pantry organization ideas that can really make an impact.

Get your food storage under control with these simple pantry organization ideas!

Post contains affiliate links. For our full disclosure, click here.

Effective food storage can save time, money, and space in your kitchen. By keeping your pantry organized, you avoid purchasing unnecessary items and wasting food. Not only will you be able to quickly find ingredients, but your family will be able to find what they need as well.

1 | Use Baskets or Bins to Corral Loose Items

Pull individually packaged items like granola bars out of their boxes to save space. Not only does it look nicer, but it will save you room to get rid of bulky packaging. You can more easily see how much is left as well.

Get your food storage under control with these simple pantry organization ideas.
Source: A Thoughtful Place

2 | Store bulk items in containers

Store flour, sugar, cereal, and other bulk items in airtight containers. You can quickly see which items are running low. Sturdy options like these Oxo airtight food storage containers will also reduce the mess that often results from open packages of dry goods.

Get your food storage under control with these simple pantry organization ideas.
Source: Brighton the Day

3 | Use labels

Labels make it easy to locate the item you need. No more confusion about whether a container holds salt or sugar! You can find plenty of printable options on Pinterest. These chalkboard labels are reusable and come in a variety of sizes.

4 | Clear containers keep items in plain sight

Baskets and colorful bins work great for packaged items, but clear containers are ideal for dry goods. You can easily see when an item is running low so there’s no surprise the next time you need it.

Get your food storage under control with these simple pantry organization ideas.
Source: I Heart Organizing

5 | Reuse empty jars for a budget-friendly option

Pantry organization ideas don’t have to be expensive to be effective. Reuse empty jars for dry goods such as beans or pasta. Dollar store bins come in a range of sizes and styles.

6 | Tiers add even more storage space

Use tiered storage options to make the most of your cabinet or pantry space. You can easily tier canned goods or spices to save space and add extra storage.

Get your food storage under control with these simple pantry organization ideas.
Source: Just a Girl and Her Blog

7 | Use the doors 

Take advantage of all the space in your pantry and utilize the inside of the doors for extra storage. You can find a similar vertical storage system at Target or The Container Store.

Get your food storage under control with these simple pantry organization ideas.
Source: A Mix of Min

We spend so much time in the kitchen that organization is a priority. Not only does it save me time, but it prevents my family from turning the place upside down to find a snack.

These simple pantry organization ideas will help your kitchen stay clean and efficient.

Need more tips and strategies to keep your home and family organized?? Check out all 14 Days of Organization HERE!

Share with a friend:

How to Simplify Meal Planning

How to simplify meal planning to make your day run more smoothly.

Confession: meal planning is not my strong suit. I know it would help my week go more smoothly, but I struggle with implementing this strategy. One of my goals this year is to improve in this area so I’m taking steps to simplify meal planning.

prep some Back-up freezer meals

To start, I want to have a few crockpot meals in the freezer for busy days. Even this takes some planning because most meals have to thaw beforehand.

If I look ahead at the week and see that Thursday is going to be busy, I’ll have to thaw a freezer meal on Wednesday to make dinner easier the next night.

I did some research on Pinterest for freezer meals and found Six Sisters’ Stuff. They have a great post for making 8 slow cooker freezer meals in one hour. I chose three of the eight meals to start: Black Bean Taco Soup, Hearty Beef Stew, and Cilantro Lime Chicken.

Meal planning takes the guesswork out of dinner, making your busy nights go more smoothly.

I labeled gallon Ziploc bags with each meal, today’s date, and the time each takes in the slow cooker. Then I just followed the instructions and dumped everything in. It took me about an hour to get everything ready for these three meals.

use a Menu Tracking Sheet

Each week, I can usually predict which nights I need to have a meal that’s either in the crockpot all day or very quick to prepare. Particularly when the kids have activities that end on the later side, I don’t want a dinner that takes a long time to prep or cook.

With a menu tracking sheet, you avoid the 5 o’clock panic that sets in when you don’t have a plan for dinner. You also know what needs to be done ahead of time, such as thawing a frozen meal to go in the crockpot.

There are a zillion menu planning sheets on Pinterest. I personally like a weekly option that also has space for a grocery list, such as this one from Finding Time to Fly. The grocery section is even broken down by category.

Simplify meal planning to make your week run more smoothly.

Keep a Favorite Meals List

If your family is anything like ours, I’m sure you make a lot of the same dinners over and over again. My kids are on the younger side (and one of them is picky) so it makes mealtime a lot more pleasant when everyone enjoys what we eat.

Sitting down to plan the weekly menu is a lot harder when you’re relying on your own memory to come up with options that everyone likes. To simplify the meal planning process, keep a list of family favorites handy so you aren’t trying to remember if you’ve ever eaten anything besides tacos.

Just these three simple strategies make meal planning less of a chore. By planning ahead, you’ll be less rushed, spend less money at the grocery store, and waste less food.

How do you make meal planning easier?

Need more organization tip and strategies?? Find all 14 Days of Organization here!

Share with a friend:

How to Plan an Effective Schedule to Make Your Week Run Smoothly

How to plan an effective schedule to make time for your real priorities.

If you’re anything like me, the way you feel at the end of the week is often determined by how smoothly the week flowed. Did you feel anxious and frazzled? Or did you feel accomplished and organized? Did something slip through the cracks or were you prepared ahead of time?

Though our success in life isn’t based on how much we do in a week, life certainly feels a lot more peaceful when we aren’t constantly racing against the clock. The best way to ensure that we feel organized is to plan an effective schedule for our time.

Whether you have children or not, whether you work outside the home or not, whether your kids are in school full time or not, we all have one thing in common: we only have 168 hours each week.

Those hours may look vastly different depending on your circumstances, but the key to feeling calm over chaotic is in how you use your time. In her book, 168 Hours: You Have More Time than You Think, journalist Laura Vanderkam explains that when we don’t think about how we spend our time, we tend to spend it doing things that don’t really align with our priorities.

“We don’t think about how we want to spend our time, and so we spend massive amounts of time on things – television, Web surfing, housework, errands – that give a slight amount of pleasure or feeling of accomplishment, but do little for our careers, our families, or our personal lives.” – Laura Vanderkam

So how do we plan effectively? How do we set up our schedule so that we’re running our lives and not the other way around?

Here are a few things to consider when planning your week.

Pick a time to map out your week in advance

By looking ahead at what the week holds in terms of time commitments, you’re jogging your own memory. Seeing that it’s your aunt’s birthday on the calendar gets that in your brain and reminds you of any associated tasks, such as sending a card or remembering to call.

You’re also forming a picture of whether the coming week will be busy or slow-paced. You can allocate important tasks to days that have fewer time commitments. Rather than feeling like you have to squeeze things in, you’re giving time to what needs to be done.

Sunday evening is an ideal time to look ahead at the week. You’ll wake up Monday with a clear picture of how the week will go. Obviously life isn’t entirely predictable, but at least you’ve got a fighting chance when you know what to expect outside of the fluke events that throw a wrench in our plans.

Batch your tasks

Studies show that when our brain has to switch between activities frequently, we accomplish less. We get in the flow of one activity, and then disrupt this flow when we start doing something else.

For example, if I’m writing blog posts and decide to stop and clean the kitchen, it takes my brain more energy to get back into the flow of writing than if I hadn’t stopped. The solution to this problem is batching your tasks.

Some people like to batch by days, while others prefer a time blocking method each day. Either way, your goal is to focus on one type of task at a time before switching to a new activity.

For me, this means that instead of cleaning up after breakfast, then spending time writing, and then vacuuming, I do the bulk of my housecleaning chores in one sitting. I’ll empty the dishwasher, load breakfast dishes, do a quick tidy-up and vacuum. Then I sit down to work on blog posts.

Routines help us to be more productive and efficient because we know what to expect and how to balance our schedule accordingly.

Incorporate Routines

We often have routines that are so ingrained in our daily life that we don’t even think about them. For instance, every time I shower, I follow roughly the same steps in the same order out of habit.

Routines minimize the brain power needed for a specific task. I don’t need to remember to put shampoo in my hair in the shower so my brain is freed up to focus on other things. By incorporating routines in other areas, you’re allowing your brain to spend less energy on the mundane so that you can focus on higher priority tasks.

For example, if you empty the dishwasher every morning before breakfast, not only do you not have to remember to do this task, but you also know that it’s ready for loading breakfast dishes. You’re saving mental energy AND crossing two jobs off your list: emptying and loading the dishwasher.

My typical daily Schedule

Since it can be helpful to see how other people manage their schedule, here’s a peek at my day.

6:00 Wake up, have coffee & quiet time
7:00 Get breakfast for the kids & get ready for school
8:00 Drop off at school, walk with the dog
9:00 Pick up the kitchen & do any other house cleaning tasks
10:00 Shower
10:30 Work on writing/blogging
12:00 Take a break for lunch
12:45 Errands, household chores, or work
2:20 Pick up kids at school, afternoon activities
6:00 Dinner, family time
7:00 Kids shower & get ready for bed
7:30 Read with the kids & put them to bed (usually by 8:30)
8:30 Time w/ my husband, read, watch tv
9:30/10 Bedtime

Not every day flows like this. Sometimes I have appointments or commitments at school. Other days are more laid-back and involve brunch with friends or a pedicure. The general flow is what helps me to predict my day though. I’m allocating time to my family, to work, and to myself.

What’s your key to an effective schedule?

Click here for more tips & strategies for living an organized life!

*This post contains affiliate links. I only link to products I love. You can see my full disclaimer here.

Easy tips to help you plan an effective schedule to make time for your priorities.
Share with a friend:

How to Pack for a Family Vacation

Packing for a vacation can be a challenge, especially if you're packing for young children. Read my tips for easily getting your family packed for a trip.

Welcome to my 14 Days of Organization series where I’m sharing tips, tools, and strategies to help you organize your home, your family, and your personal life!

Yesterday I offered some helpful tips for prepping your house before a trip. Today I’m talking about ways to simplify the process when you pack for a family vacation. Packing for yourself can be enough of a hassle, but it’s a whole new world when you’re packing for kids as well.

*I originally published this post when my kids were much younger. I’ve added some new tips, but I’m focusing on packing with young children because it does require a different mindset. I’d also like to encourage all you mamas of little ones that this process gets a lot easier as they get older so hang in there!

I’m a classic over-packer. I hate the feeling of not having something I need on a trip so I tend to overcompensate a little bit. Fortunately, I’ve tamed it down since having kids so we can actually fit it all in one car.

I’m a big believer in learning from prior experiences so I’ve started taking some extra steps to ease the stress. Packing us up in an orderly way will help to keep things running smoothly during the packing process, as well as the trip itself.

Use a “Don’t Forget” List

As I’m packing for my family, I keep a running list of things I definitely don’t want to leave behind. Travel bed anyone?! As I pack things, I cross them off, but I also do a double check during our final walkthrough.

Pack Ziploc Bags

Having plastic bags on hand can save your butt when you have wet or messy items. Wet swim suits, sandy shoes, or extra dirty clothes from an accident can all be packed in a Ziploc bag for the trip home.

I also use gallon-sized bags to keep things organized. Having a separate baggy for snacks or sunscreen makes it easy to toss in a backpack or beach bag. All the bottle or sippy cup parts can go in another bag. By keeping things separate, they’re less likely to get lost.

Pack basics instead of outfits

By packing mix-and-match basics, you ensure that you have multiple options. For kids, I recommend having a top and a bottom for each day of travel, plus one extra. While you probably won’t wear all the clothes, at least you won’t run out.

Bring special Activities

Grab a few cheap activities and/or books as a special treat for times when the kiddos are bored. Exploring new places is fun, but sometimes kids need a break. Having a few new (but inexpensive) things to do will keep boredom at bay.

This is also really helpful in case of unexpected delays at the airport or to keep kiddos quiet on the plane.

One last tip: remember that unless you’re going to be in the middle of nowhere, you can probably buy anything you forget (except for a favorite lovey – don’t forget that!)

What do you do to make packing easier?

Check out all 14 Days of Organization topics here!

Share with a friend: