Halloween Party Inspiration | Homemade Aladdin Costumes

This year we hosted our first EVER Halloween party! Halloween isn’t traditionally a very big holiday in New Zealand but being from the States, I had to show the kiwis what it was all about: dressing up, eating candy, lots of decorations and having any excuse to get everyone together for a party! So, we did just that!

My favorite parts about the party (besides seeing everyone have fun and dress up), were the grazing table filled with Halloween-inspired treats and our DIY homemade Aladdin costumes (including our dog’s Abu costume, of course)! 

Our Costumes

We try to be as eco-friendly as possible which made making these costumes even more exciting! Kona’s, our dog, costume was made out of an old purple pillow case, an old brown sheet, and a red cardboard box. All of which we no longer wanted and were going to donate/recycle. My husband, Robbie’s, costume was made from the same materials except his pants were made from old white winter sheets! And his shirt was just a painting shirt he already had lying around (which he cut the sleeves off of). My costume was a mix of things I already had (like the headband, jewelry, and shirt) and two op shop finds (the pants and a scarf which I used as a belt). Although our costumes weren’t perfect, we enjoyed making them and wearing them!  

The Food

I highly recommend turning your table into a full-on grazing “board” for your next party! Whether you supply everything needed for grazing or your guests each bring something to contribute, it’s a perfect way to have a mix of everything and allow for the optimum snacking experience.

For some Halloween inspired food, we made adorable pumpkin shaped bread (they were way easier than I thought), ghost pastries, deviled egg eyeballs, carrot fingers, and hot dog fingers!

To make the pumpkin-shaped bread, just make your dough of choice and tie around it with string before baking it. When they’re done baking, remove the string and the dough/bread will be in the shape of a pumpkin. Best part is, every pumpkin is naturally different so not all of them need to be “perfect.” Then, add something to represent a stem (we chopped up pretzels and died them green. A celery stick (or little shaved piece of celery/green apple skin/etc) or something already green would be a better option though. 

When dinner time came around, we pulled out the hot dog “bloody” fingers!

To make these, simply cut the “fingernail” out of the top of the hot dog and cut slits where the bends in the fingers would be. Then, cook the hot dogs and watch them transform. Sprinkle with ketchup and they’re ready to be devoured. 

You’ll also see below in the video that Robbie made four different drinks on tap (three beers and one cider) which were a HUGE hit as well! It’s so fun to bring out the kegerator for parties.

The Decor

I don’t have much to say about the decor to be honest. We did the usual, balloons, spider webs, spiders, Halloween table cloths, rats, tombstones, and more. 

We hope you had a lovely Halloween and got some inspiration from our party that you can use in the future too!


Singing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Guys

“Christmas gift ideas?! Really, Mary? It’s not even September yet!” Yes, really! My mother in law starts Christmas shopping for the next year on December 26th so I think in her book, I would be late to the game! Seriously, look it up on google, it’s a thing! Did you know that in the Philippines they start decorating and prepping for Christmas on September 1st? They even start playing Christmas music! They call it “ber months” which means it’s the start of the year where months end in “ber” (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, DecemBER). 

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Shopping for guys has always been the hardest part about Christmas shopping – even shopping for my own husband! I’ve attached my favorite Amazon gift ideas and AliExpress gift ideas but of course if you can find something locally, that’s even better! Amazon even has it’s very own “find a gift” section on their website to make it easy for you. Check it out here. You can find more of my fun finds and gift ideas on my lists here and even join our FREE shopping group on Facebook! 

Home Brewing Kit on Amazon

Money Clip Multi-Tool on Amazon

Ice Ball Glass on Amazon

Nintendo Switch on Amazon

I asked my husband what he would want as a gift and he said, “Anything for a smart home!”

Smart homes are the new “thing” and since we are building our first home, I thought I would throw in some fun smart home gift suggestions. Learn more about our home inspiration here.

Smart Plug on Amazon

Fingerprint Electronic Lock on AliExpress

Google Nest Home Thermostat on Amazon

Wifi Plug on AliExpress

Robot Vacuum on Amazon

We have a robot vacuum and LOVE it!!

I would love to see what you get your partner, dad, and/or brother for Christmas this year! As always, feel free to tag me in posts relating to this blog post so I can share and see too! You can also share and see more shopping suggestions in our FREE shopping group on Facebook! If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!


Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3