In college, I was one of those people that was always doing something with friends. I was in volunteer organizations. I was an RA and planned events for my residents. I would study at the library in small groups.
In short, as a young adult, I thrived being in community with other people. I didn’t realize then that this lifestyle of working well with others and valuing friendship would impact my professional life after graduation.
I met my future husband while in college (he lived in Nashville and I lived in Wisconsin) and we got married a few months after I graduated. All of a sudden, I was in a new city, had a new husband, and knew no one except my new co-workers.
Read the rest of this post on (in)courage.
Filed Under: Faith
Last year, our family did Super Mario Bros. for our family Halloween costume theme. After much research, I decided I wanted to be the iconic venus flytrap coming out of the pipe. The trouble was, I couldn’t find a costume or tutorial anywhere. My loss is your gain because I have the step by step for you! This costume is tedious, but requires next to new sewing and is worth every step.
Here is a DIY tutorial on how to make your own Mario Bros. Venus Fly Trap costume.
Venus Fly Trap and Pipe Costume Supplies
Two hollow foam bowls (bought at JoAnns)
Red felt to cover the bowls
White felt for white circles, spikes and flower edge
Pins (both stick pins and white head pins)
Foam for pipe edge
Green felt for pipe
To make the venus flytrap headpiece
Take the two bowls and tape them together with shipping tape.
Then, using a knife, cut an opening at the top for the flower opening and the bottom for your head. Start small, as you can always make the hole bigger. Cut into the bowls, not your seam. You can see what this looks like when it is finished in this selfie. The total circumference was 39″
I regretted not making the mouth of the flower bigger, so I would recommend cutting it bigger than you think it should be because when you add the flower “lips” and teeth, it makes the hole a lot smaller.
Now, wrap the headpiece in red felt. Hot glue will melt the foam, so I found that stick pins worked the best. Pull the fabric taunt and work slowly. Start at the top so that the top of the flower will be smooth. You want to have excess fabric so that the white will be partially hidden on the inside. On the bottom, leave enough extra fabric so that you have a cushion for your head when you are wearing the headpiece.
After the red is pinned, cut large and small white circles to add to the flower. There is no perfect number. I used eight large circles and 10 small circles. I hot glued them to the red flower.
Now, make two white tubes for the “lips”. I sewed the tubes together and filled them with poly-fil. Mine were 17″, but yours might be longer or shorter depending on how wide you make your flytrap mouth.
Then, cut teeth and glue them to each side. I found that four teeth were enough.
Use white head pins to attached the lips to the flower.
Pipe Costume Tutorial
I will be the first to admit that this is a bit janky – ha! But it totally worked and was a huge hit. No sense in killing yourself over crazy sewing.
For the pipe ridge, I wrapped a long piece of foam in green felt. This foam was expensive (I bought it at Joanns), so I recommend buying a piece that you can cut in half, since you pay by the yard and you don’t need it to be super wide. Mine was about 12″.
Then, I cut a tube out of felt and sewed it in a straight line. I then pinned the pipe ride to the tube. You can see the fabric poking out a bit in my photo because I hadn’t pinned it super well when we took the photos. Safety pins are your friend.
I made it so it fit fine on my hips and I added a few safety pins to keep it securely in place. I was concerned that if I added elastic, it would pleat funny (I am not a great seamstress, so if you are, you probably know how to make a pencil skirt pipe – ha!) For the purposes of our family costumes though, this worked great.
I absolutely LOVED this costume and it will probably always be one of my favorites. The headpiece rocked and I received so many compliments.
If your child wants to be Bowser for Halloween, this DIY shell will make the costume extra amazing.
I decided for my son Elias to buy the Bowser costume and headpiece, (we bought the adult head for my nine-year-old because the child one was very small and the costume came with a pretty uncomfortable plastic mask) but DIY the shell because the shell that comes with the costume is absolutely terrible. It’s small and pales in comparison with the giant shell that Bowser is known for.
Bowser Shell Costume DIY Tutorial
I researched A LOT of DIY Bowser shell tutorials and photos including this one, this one, and this one. I ended up developing my own after not finding what I was looking for. I am not an advanced seamstress and didn’t want to invest the amount of time some other shells clearly required.
This shell came together very quickly and requires the tiniest bit of sewing. I have provided modifications if you are not a sewer. I’m sorry I don’t have a ton of process photos, but that is because I made this mostly at night. Hopefully the detail shots will make it easy for you to see.
Bowser Shell Costume Supplies
To make the shell, first fill the backpack with fill. I recommend looking for a cheap backpack on clearance. It’s the perfect time of year for that – mine was a plain, $2 black backpack from Walmart. Make sure the straps are a solid neutral color. You do not want to cover the backpack first because it will expand when it is filled.
I covered the front first, making sure to wrap the covering to the back, and pinning it in place. I then hot glued it tightly to the backpack. I then cut enough felt to cover the back, only because I didn’t want there to be any black from the backpack showing.
Next, I tackled the spikes. First, I cut orange circles. I cut seven because that is what fit well on the backpack. An adult could fit more, or you could make them smaller.
I cut a circle out of the center of each circle to slip the cone through. This enables you to not have to sew the cones on – hooray!
I then cut white felt cones using this tutorial. I sealed the side with hot glue. Then I slipped the cone in the circle and glued the edge of the white to the backside of the circle. Then I glued the orange spiked circle on the backpack.
Now, the hardest part of making this costume is the white edge of Bowser’s shell – and it wasn’t that hard. I cut the felt to make a tube to go around the backpack. I sewed the seam inside out, but if you don’t have a sewing machine you could easily use stitch witchery. Then I turned the tube the proper way, filled it with fill, put one end inside the other and sewed it shut. You could pin it if you didn’t want to sew.
Then, I wrapped the filled circle around the edge of the backpack, hot gluing it to the backpack shell.
That’s it. Making the spikes is a bit tedious, but it is an easy project overall.
Finished Bowser Costume
People loved Elias’s Bowser costume, especially the shell. It really made the costume go from ordinary to extraordinary.
I hope costume tutorial this helps you make an awesome Super Mario Bros. King Koopa/Bowser costume shell.
For more Halloween inspiration, check out our Super Mario Bros. Family Costumes.
A few weeks ago I was on The Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family talk show. If you don’t watch this show, you totally should. Hosted by Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison, the lifestyle show features advice and information from experts in a variety of fields to help viewers with both every day talks to special events. Segments include cooking, DIY, health and beauty, fitness, gardening, pet care, finances and parenting and other topics.
I was invited on to talk about my new book, Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive.
My friend Jennifer accompanied me, which was nice to have someone with me to navigate a new and exciting experience. When we got there, we were shown to my trailer — yes, I had a trailer, complete with my name on it.
We then went to make-up. I was told to come camera ready, so the make-up artist just did a little touch up. (I used thumbtack to find an affordable make-up artist in LA).
Then, it was off to the house! If you aren’t a regular viewer, you might not know that the show is filmed in a house, and each segment takes place in a different room.
They put on my mic, I waited just for a few minutes and then I was whisked to the den.
The segment included Debbie, Cameron and Orly Shani.
You can watch the segment below.
After the segment, I was taken off the set, the cast moved to the next room and we were shown out of the house. I was sad I didn’t get to stay for a cooking segment or get to check out the craft room, but maybe I will be invited back!
It was an incredible experience and one that I am so thankful to have had. Everyone was so kind and genuine, just like they are on the show.
DaySpring.com is offering an incredible deal on Stretched Too Thin right now.
If you buy a copy of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, they will throw in a FREE copy of my first book, The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.
Even better, use the code TURNER10 and that it will take $10 off your purchase.
You do not need to add Fringe Hours to your cart. DaySpring will take care of that in the shipping process, promise!
With shipping, the total is only $16.94 + tax, which is an incredible deal! Retail on the two book is $37.98.
Their supplies are limited, so order right away.
If you already have a copy of Stretched Too Thin, consider taking advantage of this to gift the books. Christmas is just around the corner and both books make great gifts.