Marilyn, Makeovers, and Moms, Oh My! Details on My Marilyn Denis Show Experience

Last Friday, April 21st, my friend Natalie and I got makeovers on The Marilyn Denis Show (see the actual episode here)! It was a great experience and I wanted to give you the details on how we snagged the opportunity and what it was really like.

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A collection of photos that I sent in with our write up.

A couple of months ago, I was entering a long list of online contests (as per usual) and came across a casting call/contest for two best friends who needed makeovers. I did the required blurb about why we needed them and submitted a couple photos of us together. A couple weeks later, I got an email from one of the producers letting me know that we were on a short-list, she asked for a more detailed write up as to why we needed the makeovers and some photos of us from head to toe. I quickly wrote a one page essay explaining how thrifty we are and describing our student lifestyles that have carried into our recent graduate lives. I sent the producer a reply letting her know that our write up was completed, but that I was waiting for an opportunity to get together with Natalie to take the photos. The producer told me that they had already filled the slot! I was shocked at how quickly the process really was since I had messaged her in under 24 hours. I sent her our write up anyway, along with a dozen photos of Natalie and I together. She told me that she would keep it in mind for future opportunities, but I didn’t think I’d hear from her again.

Photo 2017-03-24, 10 19 55 AM.jpgTwo weeks later, I received an email from the same producer letting me know that she loved the write up so much that she and her team were inspired to give us makeovers with the general theme of “Thrifty to Thrilled!” I was over the moon excited and we quickly exchanged the proper information and I jotted down the scheduled makeover dates.

A field producer and cameraman came to my house one Friday morning and we filmed the backstory/home interview footage that was shown as our “befores.” For someone collage 2.jpgwho sings, hosts events, and talks almost non-stop, it may come as a surprise to hear that I was pretty nervous about the interview sequence because talking on camera can get you tongue-tied. I definitely took multiple takes and had to have Natalie stand out of view because she unintentionally made me laugh, but otherwise it went well. Natalie did so well on camera and needed less takes than I did! Summit (my dog), although gorgeous, didn’t manage to get any air time, but luckily neither did a lot of embarrassing footage!

Our next part of the Marilyn Denis Show Makeover Experience was to go downtown Toronto for fittings and hair colouring. While waiting in the Bell Media building lobby, I noticed how many good-looking people work there! I was surrounded by beautiful, fashion forward media workers, but it felt like I was already on TV and the extras were prettier than the star (that’s me). Upstairs, we did more waiting (a common and understandable requirement when getting free services) and were eventually taken to try on our curated outfits separately. They wanted us to keep our finished looks a surprise from each other and somehow neither of us spilled the beans on what we would be wearing before the taping!

collage 3.jpgFrom the fitting, Natalie and I Uber’d to our scheduled hair appointments at The Cellar Salon. We had a bit of a wait and fawned over the salon dog (which every salon should have), he was a bit skittish, but cute to watch all the same. Aaron Obrien, Marilyn’s hair stylist, went gave us hair colour consultations. He really wanted to make me a redhead, similar to Emma Stone, but I knew that the up-keep would be too difficult and expensive while still searching for a job in my industry. He very accommodatingly agreed to do a darker blonde balayage so that my hair could grow out without having to touch up the roots and Natalie was to get a lighter blonde balayage. Over a few hours, two female stylists dyed our hair and we looked sci-fi-chic in our cling-wrapped hair. After a painfully long day, we headed home to our fur-babies and slept well later that night.

Our hair was dyed, our clothes were picked out, and we were ready to be made over! We were each allowed to bring a guest so our moms excitingly tagged along to Toronto for

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A screenshot from The Marilyn Denis Show website before the episode had officially aired.

filming day. The show was filmed on a Friday morning and we were both very appreciative of the makeup foundation they gave us for our appearance on the show pre-makeover. They cleverly tied our hair into ponytails so that it was harder to see that our hair had been dyed earlier in the week and we wore casual clothes. We did one stage rehearsal where we were shown x’s that marked the spots and the crew gave us some tips (like how we should hug each other because people like that).

After the audience settled into their seats, the show started and we eagerly waited outside the set for our cues. The producer gave us the okay and we officially met Marilyn on stage! We had a lot of fun during the segment with Marilyn and fashion stylist Alexis, but watching the show when it aired made me realize that I may need to get a better bra… which in turn made me think about how many women must come to that same realization after seeing themselves on camera.

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My mom took a bunch of photos while she was watching the episode on TV!

A joke here, a joke there, we held our own on stage and went down the hall to get made over (in separate rooms). I was lucky enough to have Aaron cut my hair and I really love it! We had a lot of fun in the dressing room singing Spice Girls songs while Aaron snipped away and the makeup artist, Amy Janisse, painted my face! I really loved both beauty professionals so much and couldn’t say enough about their amazing personalities. I changed into the floral pencil skirt, black top, and striped blazer, but waited to slip into the high heels until the last possible moment.

The next step went by in a bit of a blur and was the best part of the experience. I climbed into the back of the reveal box

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Our proud mama bears!

and popped out with the cue of a shoulder tap. Natalie and I saw each other for the first time and I felt ten times more confident than the first time that we had shared the stage with Marilyn and Alexis. My other favourite moment was seeing our moms beaming with pride in the audience and looking like they were having the times of their lives. Marilyn and Alexis helped make us feel special and beautiful and we were also able to get a quick photo with Marilyn after the show.

All in all, I would definitely recommend the Marilyn Makeover Experience, but advise you to be patient and appreciative! It aired a few weeks after taping and we were showered with love once more from our friends and family. Thank you to everyone who watched and I hope some of you get inspired to look into casting calls after reading this post!

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Our moms, Marilyn, and our made-over-selves after the show!

Adult Girls-Night-In: Planning a Pyjama Party

 

About one month ago, a friend of a friend of mine (Freaky Stories phrasing flashback) started a group Facebook message to see who would be interested in

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Collection of  photos of how our decorations turned out!

throwing our friend a belated surprise party. Our girlfriend had planned a birthday celebration for herself a couple of months ago only to have her mother suddenly pass at a young age just one week before. Obviously, her party was cancelled and her birthday was the last thing that she felt like celebrating.

We wanted to show her how much she means to us and celebrate how awesome she is! Her husband was going away for the weekend, we were given the go ahead, and we knew the key pad code to their house so the surprise was underway and party planning commenced!

I was so excited; I love planning events and themed parties especially when it’s going to make someone I care about happy! I quickly created a secret Pinterest board so that she couldn’t see what we were pinning and I invited the other girls to the group (I have since made the board public). We all agreed that being comfy was key which is how the pyjama theme was chosen. These are a small collection of pins that initially inspired our party:

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Together, we decided what we would all need to bring. We had a bit of a potluck snack table and we asked everyone if they were able to bring a bottle of wine, sheets, blankets, and img_8528pillows. Our plan was to make her living room into the comfiest place that we could – similar to a fort, but as if the fort collapsed and you just laid on tons of blankets and pillows! Since I live next door, we used many of my throw pillows (see Chris, I knew there was a reason we own so many), rearranged a bunch of her own, and made great use out of the sheets that the other girls brought.

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My friend’s Morkie Tank, the only male in the room, thoroughly approved of all the comfy pillows!

Earlier that morning I blew up 31 balloons to make multiple ‘balloon bunting.’ I blew up a balloon and used scissors to cut a small hole in the tied end of the balloon. I then fed a long string of yarn through the hole and continued this process in patterned colours. It is so much easier than sticking balloons to the wall individually and cheaper than purchasing a helium tank. I got the idea from this pin that I didn’t end up using for my wedding (I wish I had because I loved how they turned out).

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Until I was ready to bring them next door I tied the ends of the yarn together and hung them on my basement door in bundles (prepare for minor tangles).

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We started decorating her house at 3:30pm and the other invited women were to start arriving at 5:00pm. Surprisingly quickly, the room came together and surpassed our expectations – we couldn’t believe that it actually looked like examples that we had seen on Pinterest! The place transformed into a slumber party wonderland with tons of pillows, blankets, old sheets, a lot of balloons, three small strands of mini lights, vanilla tea lights, some banners, plastic table cloths, and streamers from the dollar store! This look was created by three girls in about an hour and a half – a very doable feat for you readers out there.

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Playing Catch Phrase

After our guest of honour arrived, our total was complete with seven women. The wine began to flow and we played games including a few Minute to Win it challenges, Catch Phrase, and Cards Against Humanity. There were lots of great conversations and laughter as we ate our delivered pizza and snacks. We ended the night with a very enthusiastic dance party to nostalgic songs from artists including Spice Girls, TLC, Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys, and Aqua. The dance party made sure that I was hurting the next day in more ways than one, but it was all worth it because:
A. it was so much fun and
B. our friend was happy!

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Don’t be intimidated to try throwing a similar party yourself! It is easier than you would think and you definitely won’t regret the effort that you put into making your next girls-night-in extra special.15060256_10154762812352834_199752290_o

 

 

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The Gift to Thrift: $8507 Wedding Budget Breakdown

(Scroll to the end to see screenshot of my Wedding Wire Budget)

I first started this blog by briefly introducing the internet to my August 2016 wedding. As I said then, my fiancé and I are really proud of how much money we saved by doing the whole thing for $8507.00. Today I thought that I’d breakdown the budget for you and give you some helpful tips when planning your own wedding for under $10,000.

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Tip #1: Before you start, buy a ‘coupon holder’ from the dollar store.
I used this to organize all of my receipts and the companies’ business cards – it was extremely helpful.

Our wedding was in Brooklin, Ontario Canada. We looked for venues within the Durham Region that weren’t typical wedding venues so that they wouldn’t come with that dreaded wedding price tag. Since our wedding was to host approximately 75 guests, smaller venues were an option and we actually found quite a few that were less than the one we ended up with. We just fell in love with the community centre’s modern architecture and windows.

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Our venue was the Brooklin Community Centre and Library, multi-purpose room.

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Tip #2: Sign up on Wedding Wire’s website.
I actually accidentally got started on the American version of the website rather than the Canadian one, but it worked out fine. Either site is recommended because of how helpful they are. Wedding Wire hosts multiple online services in one place. I personally used the budget tracker, personal wedding website, RSVP counter, and vendor reviews.


Three Highest Costs

The main chunks of our wedding budget went to catering, venue rental, and alcohol.

  • Catering = $3,393.68      
  • Venue Rental + Insurance = $1,215.57    
  • Alcohol = $890.00 (after returns)

Our catering price was actually approximately $2000.00 above what we had initially planned for. Chris and I are pretty laid back and had actually wanted to hire a local pulled pork place and use fancy looking paper plates. Due to ‘objections’ to our super casual dinner plans from both sides of our families we reluctantly upped the budget to get a caterer with better quality serving ware. This is one of the only things that we budged on to please our parents. What I’m saying is, if you’re up for a really casual dinner, you can get yours for about $2000.00 – just do your homework locally!

Our venue rental went through the city of Whitby’s permit coordinating services which was made more difficult by employees switching positions halfway through planning (the first woman was a joy to deal with and the second was not). They provided the tables and chairs without any added price which was great too, our caterer had linens.

We probably bought close to $2000.00 worth of alcohol for the wedding. Chris wanted to be overprepared and if you get help from an LCBO employee that has worked with a bride and groom in the past, they will help you buy the right amount and right size of bottles to help make returns a lot easier. We were very happy that people drank quite a bit, and we didn’t run out of anything. Our bar tender (from the caterer) worked hard that night, yet we still brought back half of what we bought!

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Tip #3: Feel lucky.
Yes, I won my wedding gown, BUT (and this is a big but) someone was going to win and it could be you. The wedding dress doesn’t have to be a big price listed on your wedding budget. You should go to every boring/tiring bridal show you can to enter their contests. Even if you don’t win your gown, there are a ton of other options to save money here. With accessories and alterations, my ‘free’ gown cost me just under $500.00 which was my dress budget before winning anyway.

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I had planned on wearing a gorgeous gown (colourful or not) from an expensive dress store like Melanie Lynn, Laura, BCBG, or The Bay. Do we really need to wear white on our wedding day? I think not. I would have had just as much fun in a bright emerald green dress.

I had also considered buying a used wedding gown – I’ll be selling my own once I get it dry-cleaned. Women only wear these things for one day! ONE DAY – that’s nothing! I wear vintage clothes from the 1960s that have been worn many more times than these gowns that need new homes. Adopt don’t shop applies to both dogs and dresses!


Biggest Cost Savers

Four of our biggest cost savers were using grocery store flowers, not hiring a DJ, having a friend do the photography, and having nimble fingers for DIY projects.

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Have you heard of the cost of flowers for a wedding? Too much to spend on things that cannot be reused. I pre-ordered the flowers that I wanted for my wedding from Sobeys to be ready to be picked up on the morning of the wedding. Our flowers cost $158.28 – total, for centrepieces, bridesmaid bouquets, and one bridal bouquet. We arranged them ourselves and the guys really didn’t care about having boutonnieres. It’s all about considering what is actually important to you.

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One of my favourite photos from the wedding: Chris and I after the ceremony, walking out to Beat Your Heart Out by The Distillers.

We asked one of our best friends to help us coordinate the music that I had carefully downloaded for the night. We used our iPad to have a dinner music playlist, a dance playlist, and separate areas for important cued songs including those used during the ceremony, first dance, father-daughter/mother-son dances, etc. My only suggestion here is that you use a computer with iTunes instead of the iPad. The tablet device didn’t provide the option to fade into songs which as a perfectionist bothered me. Our closest friends and family enjoyed themselves and danced a bunch! My step-mom was actually impressed enough to ask me to provide the music for her parent’s 50th anniversary this past October.

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This is a personal favourite of mine

When we started looking for photography I wanted to ask people that I knew first. Amazingly, after asking my friend Caitlin Currie how much she would charge, she offered her services to me for free out of kindness and friendship. She did us a massive favour and we love our photos, we wanted to give her at least a little something though so we gave her $200.00. What we love most about our photos is how candid some of them are or the way that they look real compared to how overly Photoshopped some wedding photos are these days. They are us and she did a wonderful job.

Things that I did myself/with the help of friends and family:

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  • Cut and assembled paper decorations (bunting and paper airplanes on yarn)
  • Made our cake topper (Dollar store dinos with crafty clothes)
  • Partially personalized bridesmaid gifts (hangers and embroidered makeup bags)
  • Invitations and Guest Coaster favours (Used an easy editing site called PicMonkey.com and then used my own designs when ordering them off of Vista Print’s website when they were half price)
  • Candy Bar bags (bought brown paper bags from the dollar store and stamped 100 of them with mom)
  • Grey table runners with iron on hems (Thank you Heather Luckhart for holding the scary iron)
  • My makeup

 

Tip #4: Thrift shops, thrift shops, and more thrift shops.
When I say this, I don’t only mean storefronts, but also wonderful resale apps like Kijiji and Varagesale. I bought so many of our decorations used and for half or less of their original price. Varagesale became a personal favourite of mine because of their glorious Holidays-Wedding category in which users consistently posted barely used decorations from their own weddings. Often times, you have a large gap between getting engaged and getting married, the key is to always be on the lookout for deals and to convince your fiancé that a wedding item storage room is necessary (half of our office was dedicated to this).

So with a ton of hard work on not only my part, but the efforts put forth by my friends and family, we were able to keep our wedding under $10,000! We loved our special day without spending the price of a house down payment and are happier for it!

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Last bunch of Tips:
#5: Don’t have one set image of how your wedding should be.

#6: Things don’t have to match to work – we used an assortment of different sized glass vases for flowers.

#7: Pinterest and budget blogs are your best friend for DIY ideas, have confidence in yourself.

#8: What matters is that you enjoy your wedding, stop trying to impress people by going big.

#9: Let parental figures have the occasional win, but this is your wedding, they already had theirs and I bet they wanted it their way too.

#10: Have fun. Things will never be perfect, that doesn’t exist. Your attitude is really important in creating one of the happiest days of your life.

 


Finally, here is a screenshot of my Wedding Wire Budget page:

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How-To-Halloween Using Netflix Canada: Make Your Own Marathon, Eh

 

(Find concise list at the bottom)

Maybe you have a Halloween party or two to go to this weekend, waiting for the Great Pumpkin, or you’re just looking to get into the spirit of the holiday at home, here’s my list of really great Halloween themed episodes from TV shows that you can find on Netflix Canada.

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You at your Halloween Party.

We all have our favourite Halloween movies and there are plenty of lists naming the greats, but the issue is that Netflix Canada kind of dropped the ball on providing us with a decent selection this year.

Where’s Hocus Pocus? Where are all ten of the Halloween franchise films? What about those amazing animated holiday specials we used to watch on TV each year from Peanuts, Garfield, and other greats?

To be fair, they do have some good “scary” movies including: The Others; The Sixth Sense; Rear Window; and the family films: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit; Hotel Transylvania; and The Nightmare Before Christmas (Halloween/Christmas movie).

We need to see people dressing up, celebrating, and/or being spooked actually ON Halloween.

The perfect alternative to putting your favourite Halloween film on in the background while you get ready this year is to watch some of these holiday-special television episodes. I always love Halloween-themed episodes so I’ve taken the time to figure out the season and episode numbers of some of the shows that I like on Netflix Canada.

I hope that this makes it easier for you to coordinate your own Halloween-TV-marathon with Netflix Canada.

Cassy Curates: Halloween Episodes on Netflix
(in no particular order):

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  1. Community
    1. S1 E7 – Introduction to Statistics [Day of the Dead Party]
    2. S2 E6 – Epidemiology [Dena’s Halloween Party = Zombies]
    3. S3 E5 – Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps
    4. S4 E2 Paranormal Parentage [Pierce’s Mansion)
      1. (NOT ON NETFLIX) S5 E8 – App Development and Condiments

For some reason, Netflix Canada only has the first 4 seasons of Community, but if you’re up to streaming the last one good for you! Community has made some of my favourite holiday-themed episodes of modern television. Definitely watch these ones for your marathon to either continue your love of the show, or to ignite your desire to start watching this fantastic comedy series!

 

 

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  1. The Mindy Project
    1. S1 E4 – Halloween

I LOVE The Mindy Project and only hope that they make more holiday-themed episodes. We need to see Mindy Kaling in more costumes please! Also I really recommend that you read her two books that she has published, because she is one hilarious woman (especially beneficial if you’re also a fan of The Office as she has many behind the scene tidbits in her first book).

 

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  1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    1. S1 E6 – Halloween
    2. S2 E4 – Halloween II
    3. S3 E5 – Halloween Part III

Simple titles, but these three episodes do not disappoint. If you don’t watch the show already, you’re going to want to start from the beginning after seeing Andy Sandberg’s adorable character dressed in a variety of costumes and carrying out more tricks than treats in an ongoing bet against captain Holt.

 

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  1. Freaks and Geeks
    1. S1 E3 – Tricks and Treats

A show that everyone knows should have been granted with the go-ahead of a season two, luckily (for me) had a Halloween episode in it’s first. Many shows don’t do holiday-themed episodes every season so thank you Judd Apatow. This show is stacked with some great actors and actresses who had yet to see the fame that waited for them with later projects. If you’re a fan of 80s nostalgia, good writing, and teenage shenanigans than you should definitely give it a watch – I mean look how awesome actor Martin Starr, playing Bill, looks as the Bionic Woman!

 

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  1. Friends
    1. S8 E6 – The One with the Halloween Party

Obviously Friends is on this list, it was my sister’s favorite show so I have seen every episode multiple times. It’s been nice to rewatch the series now that I’m in my mid-twenties too! This is strangely the only episode dedicated to Halloween and it took them until the eighth season to do it. A sexy cat and a soft pink bunny host a Halloween party, plus a bunny and a potato have an arm wrestling contest = gold.

 

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  1. How I Met Your Mother
    1. S1 E6 – The Slutty Pumpkin
    2. S7 E8 – The Slutty Pumpkin Returns

I’m shockingly not a huge fan of How I met your mother, but I can admit that the show makes me laugh when it’s on. I dated someone who loved this show and I therefore saw quite a number of episodes, these two were far apart in seasons, but I loved that they exist. I also really appreciate the titles since so many shows go with the lazy ‘Halloween’ and leave it at that. If you’re single this Halloween and attending a party, these two episodes should be at the top of your Netflix marathon list. Be hopeful, and definitely dress up so that you don’t look stupid next to your very own slutty pumpkin soul mate.

 

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  1. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
    1. S1 E8 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part I)
    2. S1 E9 – Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part II)
    3. S4 E7 – Hex and the Single Guy

I am still very pleased that Netflix put The Fresh Prince of Bel Air on their roster. I was/still am a huge fan of this show. It was able to be innocently funny while also producing some very touching and emotional scenes for teenagers to relate to. “Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect” is a very memorable two-parter for me, not only did it focus on one of my favourite holidays, but it also had a fairytale ending. Watch as Carlton and Will compete to get a date for the party and enjoy the amazing costumes! The fourth season’s Hexing Halloween episode also features Carlton looking his most hilarious as McCaulay Culkin!

 

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  1. 3rd Rock from the Sun
    1. S3 E5 – Scaredy Dick

I watched 3rd Rock on an irregular basis when it originally aired on TV, but I am so glad that I took the time to watch the entire series when it arrived on Netflix. It is now one of my favourite television shows ever and I strongly urge you to watch it from episode one. Since the show is about aliens, the sci-fi element always exists so it makes sense that only one episode in six seasons focused on Halloween. Maybe I’m biased, but I personally don’t think that there is a bad episode and you will laugh while Sally and Tommy attempt to guard Mary’s house from egg-ers and Harry gets spooked by a ghost.

 

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  1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    1. S2 E6 – Halloween
    2. S4 E4 – Fear Itself
    3. S6 E6 – All the Way
      1. S4 E10 – Hush

I have a soft spot for Buffy as she represents a tough on-screen woman who is both strong and feminine – everything I strive to be! Yes she slays vampires and other supernatural beings, but she also takes the time to try and experience what it’s like to be a teenager which means Halloween parties, mishaps, and monsters who totally take the fun out of her downtime and put the fun in the series for the audience. In case you don’t know, Joss Whedon and his fellow writers incorporate humour insanely well and the Halloween episodes have some of the funniest lines! Even though “Hush” from the fourth season isn’t technically on Halloween, I included it because it is definitely the scariest episode in the series for me – check it out if you’re into creepy villains.

 

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  1. Gilmore Girls
    1. S6 E7 – Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number

I watched Gilmore Girls when it originally aired and was heavily invested into Rory’s love life, it was funny to be more interested in Lorelei’s suitors when I rewatched it this past year. For a series that loved featuring the small town’s festivals, the creators tended to steer clear of holiday-themed episodes. The show was more episodic than some of the other sitcoms on this list, but I still wanted to include this one so that you can get a healthy dose of Stars Hollow-een in your system if you’d like. Plus I’d like to acknowledge all the times that Rory dressed in costume throughout the series – she had some pretty good ones!

 

 

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  1. The Office
    1. S2 E5 – Halloween
    2. S5 E6 – Employee Transfer
    3. S6 E8 – Koi Pond
    4. S7 E6 – Costume Contest
    5. S8 E5 – Spooked
    6. S9 E5 – Here Comes Trebel

Look at all the Halloween episodes to choose from! The Office was one of my true loves in high school, I’d say that it was my boyfriend instead of actual human males. The sheer number of holiday-themed episodes is reason enough to explain why. I drifted from the show after high school for a bit when it was heading toward its fifth season, but Netflix has made it easy to catch up on what I missed since then. Three-hole-punch Jim is a classic costume and seeing Dwight as a Sith Lord makes me very happy as well. If you’re an Office fan, you could just have a mini marathon of their Halloween episodes alone.

 

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  1. Scrubs
    1. S2 E6 – My Big Brother

Scrubs is a work-centered medical dramedy so a lot of the costumes you see in this episode are at work. The Halloween themes are subtler than some of the other episodes on this list, but enjoyable just the same. J.D. and Turk are their ever-adorable selves so why not watch them bob for apples?

 

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  1. That 70s Show
    1. S2 E5 – Halloween
    2. S3 E4 – Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die

This show makes me laugh so much, I love looking at the retro fashion and home décor. If you’re also a fan, you already know that it’s one of those programs that ran on a little too long, but these episodes were in the earlier seasons so they’re really great! In “Halloween,” Fez goes trick or treating for the first time as Adam West’s Batman and the gang watches the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in theatres. In “Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die,” the show parodies classic horror movies while Fez dresses in drag (Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque).

 

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  1. Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23
    1. S2 E2 – Love and Monsters

I only just started watching this show, it’s a bit wild, but is a great background show that makes me laugh. What’s exciting for me is that I haven’t actually seen this episode yet! I will definitely be including it in my own personal Netflix Halloween marathon. I don’t want to spoil the laughs for myself so all I researched was this one picture!

 

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  1. The Magic School Bus
    1. S1 E8 – The Magic School Bus: In The Haunted House

I included this one because it’s nostalgic and always educational! The great thing about including this one on your list is A. nostalgia and B. it’s nice and short. If you’re short on ideas for Halloween costumes still you should definitely go as Ms. Frizzle, you might not get another good opportunity to wear a wacky dress while being simply fabulous.

 


There you have it, 15 shows, 33 episodes, and plenty to choose from to make your own marathon! Hope you enjoy watching Halloween specials this year and I’ll be very jealous if you get to see Peanuts and Garfield.

Concise list:

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Other Contenders:

Supernatural

  1. S4 E7 – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester

Charmed

  1. S3 E4 – All Halliwell’s Eve

The Vampire Diaries

  1. S1 E7 – Haunted
  2. S2 E7 – Masquerade
  3. S3 E7 – Ghost World
  4. S4 E4 – The Five
  5. S5 E5 – Monster’s Ball
  6. S6 E5 – The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
  7. S7 E4 – I Carry Your Heart with Me

Pretty Little Liars

  1. S2 E13 – The First Secret
  2. S3 E13 – This is ‘A’ Dark Ride
  3. S4 E13 – Grave New World
    1. Special (Not on Netflix) aired during S5 – We Love You to DeAth

Grey’s Anatomy

  1. S4 E5 – Haunt You Every Day
  2. S10 E7 – Thriller

Last Man Standing

  1. S1 E4 – Last Halloween Standing
  2. S3 E5 – Haunted House
  3. S5 E6 – Halloween

Netflix should put Home Improvement on eventually and when they do… Halloween episodes:

  1. S2 E6 – The Haunting of Taylor House
  2. S3 E6 – Crazy For You
  3. S4 E6 – Borland Ambition
  4. S5 E6 – Let Them Eat Cake
  5. S6 E7 – I Was a Teenage Taylor
  6. S7 E5 – A Night to Dismember
  7. S8 E6 – Bewitched

About a Boy

  1. S2 E3 – About a Will-o-Ween

Angel

  1. S5 E5 – Life of the Party

Glee

  1. S2 E5 – The Rocky Horror Glee Show

Futurama’s The Honking is S2 E18 and for some weird reason Netflix starts from S3.

Netflix Canada, I officially request you to get Bob’s Burgers, Frasier, Family Matters, and Home Improvement. These would be a good start at least.

Sincerely,
Dedicated TV Fan Cassy

Try a Little Tinder-ness: Outsider Observations on the Dating App

(I recommend that you listen to Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding while reading this post)

I met my husband Chris just over four years ago and we married this year, Chris at 32 and myself at 25, but many of our friends have profiles on Tinder.

“Today, if you own a smartphone, you’re carrying a 24-7 singles bar in your pocket.” – Aziz Ansari (TIME’s adapted excerpt from Modern Romance)

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Cover of Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. I also recommend his show Master of None on Netflix.
Tinder is a popular online-dating app that was released a month or two after I started dating Chris so neither of us have used it personally. Not only has our relationship lasted for over four years, but somehow so has this application! I find Tinder fascinating which is why I was excited when one of my best friends downloaded it recently.

HOW IT WORKS (for those out of the loop like me):
You use your finger to swipe through the very concise online dating profiles that present a small number of photos and even less information about the person. If you swipe the profile to the left it means you’re not interested, a swipe to the right means that you are and you hope that they swipe right on you to make a match (if you swipe up it is a ‘super like’).

Our friends range from approximately 23-43 and come from a variety of walks of life. I have heard more about the Tinder experience from my male friends than the females and they never have rave reviews. I often hear that “Tinder is great for women, but terrible for men” or “It’s so much harder for guys on Tinder.” Generally, in terms of connecting through conversation, getting more matches, and having more options, I think that this is true (but this doesn’t account for all the creeps that need to be subtracted from the average woman’s message box).

My male friends consistently say that the worst part of Tinder is that girls who seem interested drop off the face of the Earth without being honest about why. My female friend who has had the recent success with Tinder said that most guys she talked to were genuinely surprised to get her responses because “most girls don’t talk on Tinder.” I have heard that some users create Tinder profiles to get more Instagram likes or even just to boost their own egos. Natalie Wolchover states what we all know, that the physical distance makes it easy to be mean online or at least easier to avoid doing the right thing.  

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Promotional poster for Meet the Patels.
After watching Meet the Patels on Netflix about six months ago (I loved this movie), I connected the similarities between arranged marriage practices and online dating. They are pretty similar with the questionnaires, profiles, and filtering systems (Aziz Ansari also makes this connection in his book Modern Romance that I hope to read soon) – they mainly differ in the sense that one has an actual paper trail instead of a digital footprint. It’s the technological aspect that allows Tinder user experiences to remain detached and dehumanized, two elements that make it easy to ignore messages or avoid telling the truth about how you feel.

Kate Hakala describes why over half of “location-based dating app users” are men. She compares Tinder to gaming apps, this assessment is based on the finger swiping – Hakala claims that men are just trying to beat the odds.

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In 2014, Nick Bilton, of the New York Times, wrote that “men are nearly three times as likely to swipe ‘like’ (in 46 percent of cases) than women (14 percent).” My male friends and I have joked about how often times guys (including them) seem to swipe right for ‘like’ without even looking at the profiles that scroll past. They’re more likely to get matches this way – they can sort through their options later if they swipe ‘like’ now.

Whether they are swiping right like mad, as if they’re hitting that N-64 A-button as fast as they can, or they are legitimately more open minded, I wonder, do these swipe-happy males care more about quantity of matches over quality?

But what if the goal of the game is less about your quick finish time and more about your high score?

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My female friends who use Tinder have both good and bad things to say. For example, my aforementioned friend who recently downloaded the app changed her main profile photo after being less than impressed with her options on the first day – BAM matches were flying in. Once she had chosen a sultrier photo she was quickly matching with guys that she deemed as more attractive, however, more matches also meant that the amount of ‘creeps’ increased as well – by this I mean guys who open with “What’s your favourite position?” instead of a polite hello.

I was blown away by how fast the list of cute guys she matched with grew. It’s been a little more than a week and it actually seems like she found a keeper already! If she has, of course, in due time she will remove her profile from Tinder and there will be one less female user for the statistics.

Now this is the story of an attractive girl in her early twenties, but my friends in their 30s haven’t had the same luck.

A couple of years ago, I went to my friend Lori Anne’s house for a girl’s night. Lori Anne and I both had serious boyfriends, but her three single friends were talking about how hard finding the right guy was. I don’t remember what I had said, but I clearly recall one girl biting my head off. She told me that my opinion didn’t count because I was in my twenties and that I had no idea how hard it was for older women. I laughed at how rash of a statement it was, but I find myself wondering how true it might be.

My early-twenty-something friend found that the number of guys interested was overwhelming for her, whereas my friends in their thirties finds that options are sparse. This leads to questions such as is Tinder ageist? Is the offline dating game ageist too? What other prejudices does the app enable?

I think Tinder sounds like fun, but everyone should be aware of abuse within the system including fake profiles for advertisements, general misuse, and catfishing.

I know people who have married after meeting on online dating sites like Plenty of Fish, but do you know any long-term commitment success stories from couples who have met on Tinder?

Let me know some of your experiences and enlighten me on the world of Tinder.

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Visit their site here.
PS – What’s way better than Tinder? The All Paws app that matches you to adoptable dogs!

 

How-To-Halloween: Cut Costs on Costumes with Creativity

It’s just about mid-October and you might be trying to think about what costume to wear to a party or while you walk the neighbourhood with your kids. I thought that I would share some of my past costumes over the last few years and maybe it would fuel your creative minds and help you decide what to be this year.

I LOVE dressing up in costumes which is one of the many reasons why Halloween is one of my favourite holidays! Since 2013, I have actually worn two different costumes per year for different Halloween celebrations because I love challenging myself creatively.

I don’t have anything against store-bought-costumes (SBCs), but they are often quite a bit more money than I want to spend. If you do love wearing SBCs I recommend that you try to see if any of your Facebook friends want to trade, check Varage Sale, Kijiji, or your local thrift shop to get them for a much better price.

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Daq and I posing as the white swan and black swan.

 

 

Another reason why I haven’t had a SBC in five years is because I’m obsessed with pop culture characters who may not actually be that popular. Costume stores frequently cater to mainstream audiences or when they do feature the characters that I like, I tend to think that their versions are a bit lacklustre. For example, in 2011 I fell in love with the movie The Black Swan with Natalie Portman (I watched it about ten times) and decided that I would dress as the white swan for Halloween.

This costume took a lot of effort and probably cost about the same as the SBC (approximately $80), but I was much happier with the way mine turned out and definitely proud of my glue-gunning skills. I bought a top from Value Village and bedazzled it with feathers and fake jewels to go along with a glue-gun altered tutu and some handmade hair pieces.

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Myself performing at the 2011 Broken Arts show with Tom Helliwell from Viva Mars. Photo taken by Meghan Wels (The Chronicle Vol. XXXVIII

 

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Top to bottom: my friend Harley and I dressed in Day of the Dead garb; myself as a fox, Lori Anne as a lady/darling taking a bath; myself as a skeleton and my friend Natalie as a cute banana.

In 2012, I was a member of the local not-for-profit group Broken Arts and we had collectively decided to dress according to a Day of the Dead theme. I found a vintage wedding dress at Value Village for $15.00 and did sugar skull makeup.

I went to two different parties in 2013, one with one of my best friends Lori Anne (we sing together in Darling and the Fox) and another by myself to meet some friends from university. My fox costume took a lot of time since I don’t know how to use a sewing machine. I bought the materials from Fabricland and hand sewed a fox tail and some ears. For my second costume I borrowed a friend’s skeleton bodysuit and had fun with makeup – which means this outfit only cost me about $5.00 for makeup!

We hosted Chris’ 30th birthday party at Halloween in 2014 so that we could do both while he was home. Together we dressed as Clark Kent and Lois Lane for a combined total of approximately $10. I had everything for my part of the costume and made my reporter badge. For Chris we bought a Superman shirt (mine wouldn’t fit him), some suspenders and some eyeglasses that we popped the lenses out of from value village.

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Chris and I as Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

 

 

 

Our neighbours had a Halloween party in 2014 as well, Chris and I went as Moss from The IT Crowd and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We reused the Clark Kent glasses, but we bought a plaid shirt, large tie, and our wigs

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Chris as Moss and myself as Buffy. Plus a photo of Moss because he is awesome.
2015
My Saria costume at CassyCon.

from Value Village. I Had Chris sit in a chair while I cut and gelled an Afro to look like Moss’ signature hair, we stuck a printed out photo of Moss’ face to one of our mugs, and I used an X-acto knife to ‘whittle’ a stick I got from the woods nearby to make my Mr. Pointy. These costumes had a combined total of approximately $25.00.

 

Last year, for Halloween 2015, I decided to throw CassyCon which was a combination of an early birthday party for myself and a convention with costumes encouraged. I went as Saria from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I made a top and some shorts pretty terribly, but they didn’t look that bad when I managed to get them on! I drew and cut out rough patterns on some fabric that I got from Value Village and glue gunned them together, I also used leftover fabric to cover an old headband! With the addition of elf ears, a green belt, a green wig, and a dark green turtle neck I was all set for about $30.00.

For our neighbours’ Halloween party my costume cost $5.00. I had all the clothes already (who doesn’t own a black and white striped shirt?), I bought some cheap black gloves from Shoppers Drug Mart, wore Chris’s black hat, borrowed his toy gun from his Grand Theft Auto Costume and drew a money symbol on a white garbage bag filled with other garbage bags! So that I didn’t have to wear an uncomfortable mask I used face paint to make my own mask. Not only was this costume cute and affordable, but I was also probably the comfiest girl at the party!

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My simple bank robber costume.

This year we were almost going to go as Bob and Linda Belcher from Bob’s Burgers, but decided to go another direction. I’ll post photos from our party on Instagram so stay tuned!

What will you be this year? Let me know in the comment section and maybe I can help you come up with some ideas of how to make it yourself!

Need more inspiration? Check out these amazing Stranger Things Costumes!

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Some photos of Daq last Halloween in her Triceratops costume and sitting with Yoda the pumpkin! Miss her, she loved dressing up too because it meant more attention!

Budget Bride: How I Won My Dream Dress

(Summary of my wedding can be found on an earlier post here and stay tuned for a future entry explaining how we kept our wedding budget to under $8500.00)

Fact: I am a crazy contest lady.

What does that mean exactly? It means that I am a strange human being who actually enjoys spending hours on the computer filling out online forms from reliable entities in order to have a chance at winning a prize. We do exist.

(Sites I like to use are: Contest Canada, Contest Girl, and a variety of others)

I haven’t won an insane number of things, but when I do win something it’s fun and exciting. Someone has to win and you never will unless you take a chance and enter.

Contest Tip #1: Always enter, someone has to win.

Winning my wedding dress was the best prize that I have won to date (next to Chris’ heart [Ba Dum Tis]). It started with winning a much smaller contest – the entire process was very lucky.

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You can see my easy Instagram entry in the comments.

I first saw a random post while searching for #weddingcontest on different social media forums, this is why some contest entering can take patience in research. I found a post by the National Bridal Show (@ntnlbridalshow) on Instagram that was giving away two free tickets to their upcoming convention. The show was in Vaughan, Ontario, which was approximately an hour drive from my house and it happened to land on the weekend of my 25th birthday party that I had been planning for a long time (Cassy-con: everyone had to dress in video game, anime, comic book, sci-fi, or fantasy costumes and I made a lot of DIY decorations).

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Cassy Con event photo I made (yes that’s my face on Leia’s and yes that’s master Roshi’s house from Dragon Ball).
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Photo of me wearing my DIY Saria costume from Zelda: Ocarina of Time with my fur-niece Sidney who I can no longer pick up! 

I entered the contest just in case.

I was happy to win the tickets, but unsure of how I was going to make it work! I decided that I would go on the Sunday, luckily I drank a lot of water during my party and wasn’t hungover. I brought my mom and my future (now) stepmom which is an odd mix, but they got along great and it we had fun.

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Left to right: mom, myself, and my step mom. Having fun trying out one of the bridal show photo booths.

I was excited to be there for mainly one thing – contests. Bridal shows, especially big ones, have a lot of contests with really great odds. I had hoped to have a chance at winning some stuff for the wedding since we were on a small budget, but I never imagined winning my dress.

After entering every contest in the building, sampling food, and collecting too many heavy items in our bridal shower tote bags, we headed home.

Sometime later, I got an email that I had won the chance to choose any dress from a bridal store and I almost didn’t believe it was real.

Contest Tip #2: Always research; do your homework on who is hosting the contest to determine the legitimacy of the prize.

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My Instagram post about winning my dream dress!

The store was legitimate, beautiful, and the prize was better than “you won this specific dress,” it was “come to our store and choose any dress that you want!” I was over the moon excited. My original budget for my wedding dress was $500, but I would likely get to wear a real wedding dress now and all I would have to pay for were accessories and alterations. The boutique sells dresses at discount prices similar to Vows [check out PHD and Pie Filling’s experience there] on I Found the Gown so their prices are quite reasonable for brides on more traditional budgets!

The wonderful dream-granting store was Revival Bridal Boutique in Vaughan, Ontario. The two women who own the store are incredibly sweet, friendly, and accommodating. I recommend supporting their small business not only because they gifted me a gown, but because they have great prices for really beautiful dresses that work within a wide range of budgets.

 

Once the shock of winning died down, I figured out a date that worked for my bridal party and waited with anticipation for December. My bridesmaids (minus my now sister-in-law who lives in London, England), my mom, and Chris’ mom (my stepmom wasn’t able to make it this time) excitedly drove to Vaughan one cold day. The two moms and I met my sister at a nearby hotel where we were going to have a girl’s night after because my sister lives four hours away, this worked out too because my sister is 1000x better at doing hair than I am and helped finish my look before trying on dresses.

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Dresses I loved, but didn’t choose!

Vanda, one of the co-owners from Revival Bridal Boutique, was a joy to work with. She made sure that even though I wasn’t buying the dress I was getting the regular bridal appointment treatment. My support group sat around the dressing room and Vanda helped me try on dresses, she had picked out some gowns that were similar to what she saw on my pinterest board.

The first dress was beautiful and I joked about how on TV women often end up choosing the first dress they try on. It was really gorgeous, but I didn’t have a “moment,” I didn’t cry or anything. I was excited to try on the next one. I tried on around ten gowns that day and loved most of them, but I’m actually a really good decision maker and picked the top three quite easily (ability to do the twist was a priority). From there we tried them on again and it was clear to me… the first dress was my dress.

The second that I realized this I started to cry – which is so silly, but it happens sometimes when you start to get older and you cry about a lot more things than you used to (this is coming from a girl who’s favourite parts in The Lord of the Rings movies were once when people’s heads got cut off with swords – now I’m a sap who cried three times during a Disneynature chimpanzee documentary narrated by Tim Allen)!

I never thought that I’d wear a veil, but I loved the cathedral length one. That day, I purchased a belt and a veil that came to $300 together and placed the order for my Lillian West gown #6349 in Alabaster/Ivory.

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When I chose my dress with the help of Revival Bridal Boutique co-owner Vanda.
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My team on dress-picking day!

A month before the big day I drove to pick up my dress with my bridesmaid Natalie in terrible Friday afternoon traffic on the 401. The gown was exactly how I’d remembered it and fit almost perfectly, it just needed to be hemmed and for a bustle system to be put in. The owners were very understanding in my wanting to have it altered closer to home and were happy to make my dreams come true.

I had it altered by a very sweet lady in Oshawa who also altered my stepmoms wedding gown earlier this year. I really recommend Shimmer Alterations for price and professionalism in Durham Region.

My alterations came to $316.00 making the grand total for my dress, belt, and veil $616.00 which I am VERY happy with.

Collection of dress photos from the wedding taken by Caitlin Currie:

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