The Professor’s Party (Or Albus and I Threw a Halloween Party)

Professor Albus Dumbledore and I threw a Halloween party yesterday.

He even had a friend of his own in attendance.

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Miss Olive Piggie made an appearance.

She stayed in her costume a lot longer than Albus, however.

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This photo was taken about 15 seconds later.

There were many failed attempts to put the costume back on him. We even tried bribery with beef sticks to get him to hold still, but it was all in vain.

He just didn’t want to be a shark.

Despite my failure to dress my dog in a festive ensemble, everything else went well. It was lovely to catch up with human friends I haven’t seen in ages, and the treats were a success.

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The persimmon and mozzarella apps were devoured.

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And so was the pumpkin shaped bleu cheese ball.

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I do have a bit of skull carrot cake left.

So I’m pawning it off on neighbors.

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We even had evil wine.

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And mini pumpkins in the hallway.

I may keep this situation up through November if the pumpkins last. It has a nice non-creepy fall feel to it.

If they wither and die soon, it will give me the perfect excuse to set up for Christmas early, though….

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Party Prep (Or Creepy Halloween Finds)

My Halloween Party is only a few days away, and I’m in full prep mode.

I’m painting pumpkins.

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They obviously aren’t done. #duh

While I’m waiting for the first coat of paint to dry, I’m skewering the gummies I bought on my shopping excursion today.

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It’s actually harder than it looks.

The brains and fingers are kind of fragile, so it takes patience.

In other party prep news, Albus tried on his new costume today.

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He wasn’t impressed.

Apparently, he doesn’t understand how cool we’ll look when I put on a speedo and cover myself in fake blood.

I found SO many other festive party goodies today that I needed to celebrate my success with a frozen beer slushy at Katsuya.

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You haven’t lived until you’ve had one.

I’d show you my other finds, but I have to save some surprises for the party.

I’m off to write my feature now.

It’s time.

 

 

 

The Sky is Falling (Or It Rained for a Minute)

It hasn’t rained in LA since May, but I woke up to precipitation this morning.

I mean, it didn’t legit-midwestern-thunderstorm rain — it LA misted for a minute and then stopped, but any sort of precipitation is cause for celebration (and car accidents) in SoCal.

The gray skies and cooler temperatures have me fantasizing about fall… and my macabre cake pan.

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Who doesn’t want a slice of skull cake?

It would go perfectly with this ice bucket I need from Pottery Barn.

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It is everything. (source)

These festive skeletons make me want to throw a Halloween party…

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Or recline in a tub of beer. (source)

Either one sounds good.

 

 

We’re Freezing Our Assets and Our Dinner (Or I Have a Freezer Fetish)

I recently registered for a financial planning course offered at my church. Though I have grown up a lot since my 20s, there’s still room for improvement. Plus, there’s a lot of instability in my industry, and I want to make sure I’m preparing myself properly for it.

Also, Albus was concerned we were spending too much money on lift tickets and not saving enough for retirement.

I think we need to talk about your mutual funds.

My parents are beyond fiscally responsible, and they could have taught me most of what I’m learning in the course, but they’re not patient people. And impatience? It runs in families… so I’m as bad as they are.

So, that’s why I’m paying Dave Ramsey to teach me the things my parents could — because his course was cheaper than the family therapist we’d need if my parents taught me this stuff. (See? I’m already being financially responsible.)

I’m learning all kinds of things I sort of already knew, but the difference is I’m actually putting them into practice willingly. And Albus has gotten into it.

He’s a financial gangster.

Obviously, I need a budget that includes a savings fund, but I need one that doesn’t make me feel too deprived either. I’m not capable of eating the same entrée night after night, but I also can’t justify wasting money by throwing away leftovers.

I’m still working out the kinks in my budget to balance quality of life in the moment with quality of life in the future, but I’m already seeing some great results from my efforts.

One way I’m working around the variety versus spending dilemma in the food category is to make dishes I can freeze. That way if I find myself running low on money in that section of the budget I have tons of options in my freezer that will satisfy my need for variety. I keep the containers small so they represent single serving sizes for a single girl like me. (Not only does freezing make financial sense, but it’s also super helpful to have meals made ahead if you work long hours and come home ravenous like I often do.)

My freezer situation.

My labeling system was inspired by my grandmother. She has a crazy enormous freezer in her basement that is filled with everything from frozen vegetable stock to pot roasts. (Don’t they all? I think that might be a requirement for being a grandmother, actually.) And everything is labeled with masking tape and a sharpie. Personally, I went the painters tape route because I like it better.

So, the freezer is one tool that keeps me on track financially. Menu planning is another. Look out for a post on that soon.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to put on my Ravenclaw pin, grab my owl, and hit up some bars for Halloween in my Hogwarts garb.

Once I get my owl away from the candy gummies, that is….

And, yes, I have a category in my budget for barhopping….