One of the most stressful times of year for a parent is Halloween. That’s when there’s pressure to not only come up with (or help your kid develop) a creative and great costume, but to do so in ways that won’t hurt your wallet. Times are tough so we can’t just go to the Halloween Store and purchase the $100 Darth Vader costume – plus, where’s the creativity because? Part of the fun of Halloween is a chance to express your capability to come up with something original and cool and therefore others haven’t thought of, not only go to a store and buy something made of cheap plastic. So, if your prices are small and your kid wants a cool costume, what do you do?


If you’re lucky, either you or a spouse will have experienced the military and your kid can use your old costume. My father was in the navy and dressing up as a Navy guy was a thrill. It was the genuine article, the real actual uniform my dad wore whilst in the Navy, however, not only was it cool. It was a fantastic Halloween costume and it was also a way to demonstrate pride in doing what my father had done for the country and for his nation. Also, couldn’t beat the price as it was just sitting up in the attic. A similar could be completed with any other old clothes you might have that your kids think are cool. Old softball uniforms, college graduation robes, anything that way. Maybe not your wedding event dress, despite the fact that your daughter may want to put it on. That’s just weird!


There’s always the path of making your own costumes to your kids. Plenty of parents, particularly in this day and age where we didn’t all have Home Ec in secondary school, people think they are simply unable to generate a costume themselves and it’s much better to merely buy one. Making something yourself is much easier than you may think. First of all, you can get cheap tools like grommet machines and other sewing necessities from online retailers like These are generally one time purchases that you’ll be able to use every year from now through to make great costumes. All you need is a bit willingness and creativity to take some time making the costume great. It doesn’t have to be perfect – a near-perfect homemade costume is always way cooler than a “perfect” store-bought one.


Plastic bags are annoying and you always have too many of them lying around. Well, they can be used to make really creative Halloween costumes. When folded tightly together, they become quite sturdy. You can even sew them together. Get creative and come up with some hilarious and fun ideas with covering your kid in plastic bags. Don’t worry that it sounds super low budget – with some tape and paint, you could make pants along with other garments. Perhaps a pirate. Alternatively, a wizard. It can also be a “green” costume, as in reuse and recycling. So not only a cheap Halloween costume, but a socially conscious one at that!

DeKALB – A local judge halved the bond Wednesday for one of the three men accused of attacking two men in their home Dec. 2.

DeKalb County Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert reduced the bond for Mckem Duong, 40, of the 2000 block of Alpha Court West in DeKalb, from $100,000 to $50,000, which requires posting $5,000 to be released while the case is pending. Duong’s attorney, Paul Hendley, said Duong’s wife could post $2,000.

Duong was charged with two counts of home invasion, two counts of mob action and two counts of misdemeanor battery. Police say that he acted with Hung Nguyen, 41, of the 4000 block of N. Sheridan Road, Chicago; and Tu Nguyen, 32, of the 2000 block of Ridge Ave., Chicago.

One victim suffered injuries to his face and the other suffered an eye injury during the fight, which was part of an on-going dispute over money, authorities said. Neither of the victims sought medical attention, DeKalb police said in a news release.

If Duong posts bail, he also would be required to turn his passport into DeKalb police, be monitored by GPS, and only go to and from his workplace at a DeKalb nail spa.

Prosecutors argued against the bond reduction, pointing to the six to 30 years in prison Duong would face if convicted of home invasion. Duong’s next court date is scheduled for Jan. 15.


There are so many great small gifts (for yourself or others), there are one of a kind pieces, there are steals on “to the trade” items priced well under retail and newly marked sale items.


I have added new items to my space at Interiors @ Pepper Place, lots of great pieces at good prices.


For those who don’t know, we set out to build the cubby as much as possible out of recycled wood. It started when our fence blew down in a storm and I thought it’d make great cladding. Then Steve got super-excited and started scavaging around for bits and pieces. Aside from a few structural beams, concrete, plywood and screws, the whole house – and some of the furniture – is made from found materials. Inside the walls is a carpenter’s nightmare – all sorts of scrappy, mismatched timbers – but it very much solid and structurally sound and covered, so the insides don’t matter anymore!


I feel like the image above should be something reminiscent of Easter. But that image is very simple, relaxing and calm, which is the type of weekend I wish I was going to have.


We woke up to our first frost this morning. Clear, cool, and crisp. When autumn comes, we’re ready for cuddly sweaters and evenings at home. And hearty meals at the table.My menu is generally pretty simple and fairly repetitious. I’m okay with it, and I’m grateful my husband is too. The kitchen isn’t my passion or my creative station. But, my table, that’s another story. That’s where I like to be creative – See more at: http: //


When it comes to kitchen design, the finishing details can make all the difference. So, when I discovered the Etsy shop Officine Gullo, which sells bespoke brass apron-front sinks, well, let’s just say, I was in heaven.Aside from big-ticket items, I’ve also fallen for some budget-friendly decor pretties for the kitchen.


A fragrant home always smells amazing during the fall season. The kitchen is full of fresh aromas from delicious lemon spritz cookiesto baked apples with cider. The living room is saturated with sweet pine from your stylish fall wreath. Now, you can add a fall fragrance to your bathroom with Zara’s white jasmine candle. With equal notes of romantic flowers and spicy jasmine, this is your go-to home fragrance this season.

Fall is here! Get 10% off all home decor items at Valid through November 2013.

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