Monthly Archives: October 2013

DIY Halloween Costume – Cast Away

I’m sitting here watching game 6 of the World Series, and am missing Boston mucho!  Why the heck couldn’t they get to the World Series in the past few years when I was living there?!

Anyways, to distract myself I thought I’d share my DIY Halloween Costume from this past weekend.  Andy and I were Tom Hanks and Wilson (yes the volleyball) from Cast Away!  I thought it was super funny because it’s a pretty old movie and a pretty random costume idea.

Here is how it turned out…

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Directions to make this costume

Materials for Wilson (all from JoAnne Fabrics)

  • White T-Shirt
  • Brick Red Acrylic Paint
  • Small sponge paint brush
  • White Head Band
  • Sticks

The shirt with Wilson’s face took me all of about 10 minutes.  Make sure to put a piece of cardboard in between the t-shirt so it doesn’t bleed through.  I pulled up a picture of the face and simply copied it on the shirt after I had outlined it in pen first.

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For the head-piece, I took a white head band and folded it in half.  I super glued the long ends to make almost a hollow tube.  I then cut little holes for each stick and super glued them in each hole.  Then I took some fake grass / sticks and glued them to the front.

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Materials for Tom Hanks Character

  • Brown fabric to fit around waist
  • A big brown wig with beard (ours was a “caveman” wig)
  • A FedEx box (which is free!)
  • A rag to wrap around hand

This one was even easier than Wilson.  Andy simply threw on his wig, we pinned the material around him, and wrapped a rag around his hand with some red paint on it.  He grabbed the FedEx box and we were done!

This was one of the easiest costumes to make and everyone got a kick out of it!


Take Me Back Tuesday – Interlaken, Switzerland

I’ve slacked on my Take Me Back Tuesday post for the past couple of weeks.  It’s a whole process writing these posts because it requires a lot of remembering, reminiscing, and getting lost in tons of photos and stories.  This week I want to share with you one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places I’ve ever traveled to…Interlaken, Switzerland!

I remember after coming home from studying abroad in Europe people would ask ‘which country was your favorite?’  It was so hard to choose just one, but Switzerland always came to mind first.  My best friend Rachel, who I traveled there with, and I, still to this day say we want to retire in Switzerland.

Rachel and I were inspired to buy our tickets to Switzerland after a bunch of our friends traveled there to go skydiving.  We watched all of their videos and decided that would be our next trip.  It actually ended up snowing, so we couldn’t skydive (that would come a few years later).  Instead we went Canyon Jumping….which was even more insane than sky diving!

Here are the reasons why Interlaken, Switzerland was one of my favorite places in Europe:

The back drop of the Swiss Alps is beautiful.


The air is so clean, crisp, and fresh.


The small, quaint little streets with small chalet styled shops, restaurants, and stores.




The people are so friendly.


We got to drive this teeny, little car.  We followed a map to a lake not too far away. 


The lakes are a blue I have never seen before!


Our hostel was one of our favorites of the whole semester.  It was called Balmers.  The staff made you feel right at home, we even met the owner Erich Balmer who gave us an inspirational talk.  There was a bar in this hostel too, so a great place to meet other travelers.


We decided to splurge on this trip and got the “suite.”



We jumped off of a mountain, free fell for 300 feet, and swung into a canyon in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

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I still can’t believe that I did this!  

Here is a link to the video


Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Beef Chili

Happy Monday!  I’ve always loved chili.  It’s such a good fall or winter comfort food.  I’ve also always craved a sweeter version of chili so thought I’d play around with everyone’s favorite ingredient right now…pumpkin!  You can’t go wrong with the whole sweet and savory thing so I decided to make a beef chili with sweet potato and pumpkin in the mix!

It came out great.  My only issue is that I just chowed down a bowl and it made me even more tired than I already was, which I didn’t think was possible today.  Anyways, here is the recipe!  If you’re wondering why there are no beans in it, it’s because I don’t really eat beans anymore.  That makes this recipe primal / paleo friendly.

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Beef Chili

  • 1.5 lbs Grass-fed Beef Sirloin
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato (cubed)
  • 1 Large Can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Small Can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 Small Can Beef Broth (low sodium)
  • 1.5 cups Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • Coconut Oil
  • Chili Powder, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Salt, Garlic, Cinnamon

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Drop a dollop of coconut oil in a sauce pan.  Add chopped onions and saute.  Once onions are browned add the beef and cook through until there is no pink left.  Add crushed tomatoes, paste, broth, and pumpkin.  Start adding spices to taste.  Stir and cook for about 5 minutes and then add the cubed sweet potato (I microwaved my whole potato for 3 minutes before cutting it).  Let chili cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes.

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