Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Style: Molly's Edition


It's no secret that we at Mod Circus love themes. We love dressing up for holidays and giving everyday ensembles a fun, costume-y feel. You may only want to bust out your Halloween costume the night of, but it's fun to dress for it throughout the week by working orange and black or creepy and edgy accents into your look. Check out Jodi's spooktacular Halloween ensemble featuring skulls fit for work here.

For my Halloween look, I wanted to feature this orange bow button down I picked up on a trip to Japan. The buttons are black on the bright orange, so it's perfect for Halloween already! I thought a faux leather skirt would be a great way to toughen up the look. (Jodi had the same idea with leather pants for her Halloween style!) These chunky boots have a Frankenstein-esque feel to them. And I mean that as a total compliment to the shoes. ;)

A black fringe clutch, gothic-looking earrings, and cat-ear glasses (that's what I started calling them anyway here), were fun creepy accents that rounded out the look. A dark lip was a must because that always looks a little vampire-ish on my fair skin. And if you're ever gonna amp up your inner vamp it's this week!

To play up the Victorian Vampire vibe (say that three times fast), I thought an updo would be good, but wanted a modern take. My go-to retro milkmaid braids were a perfect fit!

Also, creepy Thriller-like moves are a must when wearing Halloween-themed ensembles. Always remember that.

Have a stylish and safe Halloween, ya ghouls!

Blouse: Boutique in Japan, "Leather" Skirt: H&M, Sunglasses: ZooShoo, Boots: Target, Clutch: H&M, Earrings: Kohl's

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Mini Cupcakes

GUYS. I cannot stress my enthusiasm for these cupcakes enough. These little babies are the easiest and most amazing fall dessert to make. They use actual magic because you don't need eggs or oil or anything like that. Just magical pumpkin purée and cake mix. Also, that makes them healthy right? Which means you can eat twice as many. That's how that works.

You could also omit the icing and grab a few for a breakfast of mini muffins. Or add the icing and pretend they're breakfast muffins. I'm totally cool with that, too.

Since these are one of my favorite things to whip up in the fall, I've had a number of people ask for the recipe. It's almost embarrassing how easy they are. It's crazy how much pumpkiny spicy goodness is all in just a handful of ingredients.

So, let's get to it!

You'll need:

For the mini muffins:
box of yellow cake mix
16 oz. can of pumpkin purée
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

For the icing:
1 block cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease mini muffin tins.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice. Mix on low 30 seconds-a minute until fully blended. To reiterate, nope, you don't need eggs, oil, water, or whatever else the box may call for. That pumpkin is magic and replaces all of them. The consistency might seem a little weird, but don't worry or try to adjust it, I swear they'll turn out just fine!

Scoop the mixture into the mini muffin tins, until about 3/4 full and bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the mini cakes are baking, blend cream cheese with powered sugar with a hand mixer on medium until well blended and smooth. Add the powdered sugar in increments, so it doesn't fly everywhere and so you can stop when you've reached your desired level of sweetness. Add pumpkin pie spice and blend until combined.

Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and place on cooling racks. Once cooled completely, apply icing. Add an extra sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice for garnish if desired. Makes 36 mini muffins.

Now go and impress all your friends and coworkers with this recipe that only uses 5 ingredients! But, probably get double the ingredients because you'll want a batch all to yourself. In the name of health!

What are your favorite fall party recipes?


Monday, October 26, 2015

Halloween Style: Jodi's Edition

Oh boy, I love Halloween. You probably couldn't tell that we like to dress up around here, could you? Halloween is our dream holiday because it's basically a month of dressing up and getting away with it! It's also an excuse to watch Hocus Pocus 24/7 from October 1st to the 31st (like I needed an excuse). To us here at Mod Circus, Halloween isn't just celebrated the last day of the month. We like to celebrate it as soon as the weather starts to cool down and the leaves show the faintest hint of changing. Since we're all grown up now, we like to incorporate Halloween style into our everyday wardrobe. This outfit is perfect for wearing to the office and not breaking any dress codes this week! 

Another Halloween movie that is a favorite of mine is Beetlejuice. I'm channelling a grown up, working girl Lydia Deetz here. If Lydia Deetz worked in an office and could get away with leather pants. A girl can dream, right? 

I've had this skull print blouse for a few years now and I gotta say, I've worn it in the middle of summer too. It's nice and lightweight and perfect for layering. Since the weather is turning cooler, I paired it with a black sweater vest to dress it up a bit for the office. 

These "leather" pants are a fall and winter staple for me. They really add a little edge to an outfit without taking it too far. Plus, they are thick and high waisted, which equals flattering in my book. 

Since we're super close to Halloween, I added this sparkly spider ring and other glittery accessories. I also went with a slightly dark lip because, duh. It's a look that is sure to be spook-tacularly stylish! 

Outfit details: Skull blouse: Modcloth, Sweater vest: Express, "Leather" pants: The Limited, Booties: Dolce Vita, Clutch: T.J. Maxx, Sunglasses: Nasty Gal


Friday, October 23, 2015

Everybody Wants to be a Cat

I've talked before about clothes I've picked up on my trip to Japan a couple of years ago. Everything in that whole country is just so adorable I can't get over it. Pleated skirts were in abundance in every color and style you could imagine. When I saw this skirt for the equivalent of about $10, getting it was a no-brainer. It's got classy retro cats with bows on them. So, like, duh.
To really theme the outfit up a little (which is always my goal, let's be real) I did a thick black cateye eyeliner. Unfortunately, that isn't pictured much here, but it was so bright out, I was squint-crying without the shades on!
OK, but speaking of shades. I found these awesome sunnies from ZooShoo for $10 and snatched them up because they were just too cute. They're a fun new take on cateyes--can we call them cat-ear glasses? Anyway, it seems like after I got them, I've been seeing them on bloggers everywhere. Isn't it great to accidentally get in on the beginning of a trend? But this pair is still $10, so get them while they last!
I thought these strappy lace-up wedges seem agile and catlike and this spike necklace reminds me a little of claws. Is that creepy? (It's almost Halloween, so maybe I get a free pass on the creep factor?) A red lip and a baby beehive help round out the retro look.

Now sing it with me: "Everybody wants to be a cat, because a cat's the only cat who knows where it's at. Everybody's pickin' up on that feline beat, cause everything else is obsolete!"

What do you think, do you like themed outfits or do you find them too costume-y?


Skirt: Japanese boutique, Top: Forever 21 (similar), Sunglasses: ZooShoo, Shoes: H&M, Necklace: DIY from Hobby Lobby

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rocky Horror Picture Show Party Straw DIY

Hey, Frankie fans! As you may remember, one of my hobbies is performing in community theatre (you can see my post inspired by Cabaret here). I'm currently in a live musical version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show that is a ridiculously fun time.

I'm playing Magenta for the second consecutive year in ADHD Production's Rocky Horror Show: Live. If you're in Central Illinois, check out the tickets for our five performances here (they sold out last year, so jump on them ahead of time if you want to get a spot!)

This cult classic, which just turned 40 years old, is a freaky, goofy, gritty show that's all about audience interaction. If you're not familiar with the show, take a look at the synopsis here. If you've never been, it's good to watch the movie first to know what you're in for. A viewing party with a fun group of friends is the best way to watch it besides seeing it live!

Fun décor and accessories are an easy way to transform a little get-together into a party. So, I've created artwork for these party straws and put it in a downloadable PDF of the iconic lips from the opening song! There's a link at the bottom to download the file.

All you'll need besides the lip template below is:

A few sheets of cardstock
X-acto knife and cutting mat (or scissors in a pinch)
Bendy straws

Just cut out the lips, slice a small "X" in the center of each piece (see below), then poke the straw through. Viola! You've got a super fun accent to a Rocky Horror-themed, or just any Halloween party.

While you're at it, here are some other fun ideas for a Rocky Horror themed party:

Bloody Marys
Blood Orange Cocktails
Frankfurters (hotdogs)

Let me know if you have other fun ideas in the comments below!

Click here to download the file.

Now you're all set to have a freaky-fun time!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Navy Florals

I know what you're thinking. Dark florals again? I just can't get enough of them! This skirt has been popping up on my radar for a few months now. I had my eye on one at Lulu's that sadly sold out, but as luck would have it, I found one just like it somewhere else! 

There are really a ton of ways to style this skirt. It's high waisted and midi length, which makes it perfect for retro and classic styles. I paired mine with a simple white button up, neutral shoes and lots of pearls. 

Perfect for the office or doing something fancy! 

Outfit details: Skirt: SheIn, White button up: Old Navy, Shoes: L.A.M.B., Clutch: H&M, Necklaces: Target and J.Crew Factory

Friday, October 16, 2015

Preppy Plaid


Plaid is bigger than ever this season, so it's fun to try to spice it up and pair it with things other the standard skinny jeans and boots (see how Jodi styled plaid in and unexpected way last week). Though I've been out of school for... well, a few years now, I still always get excited about getting fall "back-to-school" clothes. Like, if grown-ups had  an autumnal first-day-of-school outfit, this is what I would wear. I'd be totally ready for prep school in this ensemble, right?

I actually picked up all of the pieces for this outfit on a trip to Scotland and Ireland last fall. I mean, what better place to pick up plaid pieces? I styled them all together while on the trip and really liked the way they worked together.

I love the combination of a fitted shirt with this tennis-style skirt. The colored waistband gives it a fun and athletic flair, and balances out the more traditional plaid top. Wine-colored loafers polish off the outfit nicely and the light teal necklace helps add a fun pop of color. I'm really loving pastels and neons on dark patterns and plaids for an unexpected combination in both color and style.

What are some fun ways you like to mix up the plaid in your wardrobe?
Top: Primark, Skirt: Primark, Shoes: Dorothy Perkins, Necklace: Primark, Glasses: Warby Parker

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Moonrise Kingdom Suzy and Sam Costumes

Halloween is right around the corner now! If you don't have your costume ideas cemented by this point, surely you're at least looking for ideas, right? I thought I'd share one of my favorite couples costumes my husband and I wore a few years ago: Suzy and Sam from Moonrise Kingdom. It's a somewhat obscure reference if you aren't familiar with Wes Anderson flicks, but it's a really cute and not too corny idea if you're looking for something a little different.

If you haven’t seen Moonrise Kingdom (which you should!), the story is set in the mid-sixties and follows Suzy Bishop and Sam Shukusky, two misfit twelve-year-olds on the island of New Penzance, who run away to be with each other. (The photo below is from the movie, check out more here.)

My husband and I saw the movie in theaters, and the man who could give a flying flip about Halloween leaned over and said that we should be Suzy and Sam for Halloween later that year. I probably yelled "YES" in the movie theater or something from excitement. Throughout the year, I kept my eye out for costumes items, but I didn’t find much. With less than a couple of weeks to go until Halloween, I finally had to get pretty serious in my search only to find out there were no pink dresses, saddle oxford shoes or coonskin hats where we live or that could ship in time at a reasonable price. Believe me, I looked everywhere. This meant sewing and improvising and sewing more. Yep, I sewed a coonskin hat out of furry fabric! Something I never thought I would do in my life.

I made the dress I wore and it was the first time I’d made something from a pattern and not from deconstructing other clothes or using existing pieces as a guide. Talk about a learning experience. Like when the lady at the fabric store emphasized that I should go by my measurements and not size, which put me at eight sizes larger than I usually wear. So I trusted her, but when I actually put the dress on for the first time, it was like a large tent. I had to improvise and downsize my measurements multiple times, but in the end, it stayed in one piece and it looked like a real dress! That’s the idea, I guess.

After a week of work and a lot of pinpricks later, I couldn’t be happier that I’d gone for it or more thrilled about how it turned out. Then, a few finishing touches of the binoculars (what Suzy pretends is her magic power), bug earrings Sam fashioned for her (and pierced her ears for), bold blue eyeshadow (purposely with the finesse of a 12-year-old), lots of time with a blowdryer and hairspray to get my short bangs locked into place, and the proper socks and shoes… I was the spitting image of Suzy (apart from being 12 and lopping off my hair, that is).

When it was all said and done, besides our good friends, only a few people we saw that night recognized who we were. My husband was asked if he was Davy Crockett more than once and I was even asked if I was a sexy pilgrim (I cannot make this stuff up, folks). But we loved them and it was worth it for the few people we didn’t know who approached us and told us how absolutely perfect the costumes were.

If you're putting together costumes, here are the essentials you'll need for each character (I've linked what pieces I used below).

Pink dress with white collar
Tall white socks
Saddle oxford shoes
Bug Earrings
Wicker Bag
Cat stuffed animal

Khaki Shirt
Khaki Shorts
Black Glasses
Yellow Bandana
Coonskin Cap

Do you make your own costumes? It's sure a lot of work, but I think it makes them that much more special. What are your Halloween costume ideas for this year or favorites from years past?

On Molly: Dress: Made from Simplicity pattern 3833– Dress A (collar and cuffs freehanded) from JoAnn Fabric, Earrings: Homemade from plastic bugs, Socks: Walmart, Shoes: Urban Outfitters

On Andy: Coonskin hat: homemade with furry fabric from Hobby Lobby, Glasses: Walmart, Shirt: His grandfather’s from 1951, Brooch: Homemade from vintage jewelry, Pants: The Gap, Shoes: ASC
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