Cheesy 80’s Christmas

Cheesy 80’s Christmas


*All photos were taken by Brenda Munoz Photography*

My husband isn’t much of a social media guy, which is hilarious considering the fact that I’ve made a career out of it. He pretty much only uses the internet to look at funny fail videos, read updates on the Steelers, and look at dream homes on Instagram. I once referenced an IG story I did to him, and he looked at me like I was speaking in tongues.

So he’s a pretty good sport about how open I am about our family and how many photos I make him take. Still, every single time we have a photo shoot scheduled, a little piece of him dies inside. The outfit changes, the nice clothes, the props— he loathes it all, but he does it for me anyway, because he loves me.

When I was telling him about this year’s popular theme of ultra glam in insanely gorgeous sceneries, his eye began to twitch. I knew it was at the thought of making him wear a tuxedo on a mountain top, or in the snow, or period. You see, I was smart. I lead with that, so that my real idea wouldn’t seem half as bad to him. So then I told him about my vision for an ultra cheesy, 80’s styled shoot instead and he was like, uhhhhhhh. But then I threw this out there— my kill shot, if you will:

“Let’s make a Christmas card this year that is so funny, so outrageous, that nobody wants to throw it away because it’s THAT good!”

You see, he complains every year about me wasting money on Christmas cards that either:

A. Never even get sent out, because I’m terrible.  or B. Get thrown away by people anyway, because he’s convinced that nobody actually likes to receive Christmas cards in the mail.

Boom. That’s pretty much all it took. (Let’s be real— he rocks and probably would have said yes anyway!)

One of my favorite things about my husband is that when he commits to something, he really commits. 100%. All in. Let’s go, kind of attitude.

I was literally crying when Brenda sent these photos over to me because I was laughing so hard. Reason number 5,363 why I love her: She ALWAYS sees my vision and she is always up for it! Our first photo shoot with her was for Christmas two years ago, and I consider myself so fortunate to have met her.

We decided to dress the kids in normal clothes, so as not to traumatize them later in life with terribly embarrassing photos of them in outdated attire. Instead, we chose to do the embarrassing stuff for them, and let them just be their perfect, adorable little selves.

I mean, come on.

We shot the entire thing at Derek’s grandparents house and I had this vision of getting the entire family in their jacuzzi with all of our clothes on, because I’m insane and I thought it would be hilarious.

But his grandma was sick, so we didn’t come to their house early to turn on the jacuzzi as planned, and thus the water was freezing. But when I have a vision, I have a vision— and we promised Brenda some hilarious water photos, so we had to deliver.

As you can see, Derek was thrilled. But like I said earlier, he really loves me, and he also is the master of all things, so he quickly warmed up to the freezing jacuzzi photos.

Can’t. I just can’t.

This photo shoot is probably my favorite, to date. It was just so fun and we were laughing the entire time. And I’ll probably forget to send our Christmas cards again this year, but in the event that I don’t, I hope people get a kick out of having these photos on their fridge.

Have you ever done a funny photo shoot? If not, you have got to give it a try! It’s way less stressful than a serious one, and the memories will be hilarious.

Happy holidays, friends!


Halloween Recap: Hercules Family

Halloween Recap

Happy Candy Coma Day!

But seriously, did you guys get Reese’s Pumpkin wasted last night once the kids went to bed? Ain’t no shame in the steal-your-kids-candy-game. You deserve it after all of the work you put in getting costumes together and going door to door!

Whether you’re wearing your stretchy pants today or not, I hope you had a good Halloween.

Ours was a typical Franklin holiday. Read: maximum effort from mom, minimal excitement from kids.

I handcrafted about 80% of our costumes this year, and we literally wore them for 30 minutes. Declan was done the minute I put his chest plate on, and a wagon tumble ended our night after trick-or-treating at only two houses.

We let the kids stay up for a while and help pass out candy, which they surprisingly loved. 

And even though the costumes only lasted a hot second, I still love the way they turned out.

I fell in love with the idea of being characters from Disney’s Hercules, but there were ZERO costumes online to accommodate my dream. I was shocked that Disney doesn’t sell a Hercules costume! In fact, the only thing I could find was an old pattern, but I don’t know how to sew so that was a no go.

So for Declan’s costume (Hercules), I purchased a knight’s armor from Party City and spray painted it brown. Then I added the golden swirl details with a paint pen. I connected the blue cape to the armor, and handcrafted a belt with faux leather and an old purse strap. I also made him the “symbol of the God’s” but you can’t see it in any of the photos because he kept pulling his chest piece down over it.


I used the leftover faux leather to make his wristbands and some red fabric for the headband. And since I have no sewing skills, I applied velcro to everything to make it all stay in place.

The finished product was perfection. I mean, come on! Look at this guy.

Halloween Recap: Hercules Family

I found my Megara dress on Etsy for like $40 (it’s actually a bridesmaid dress, shhh!) and then I used molding clay to create the golden pins. I also used the clay to create the skull brooch for Derek’s Hades costume, and Declan’s “symbol of the God’s” pendant, of course.

Halloween Recap: Hercules Family

My artistic skills are very limited, but I was very pleased with how they came out. Especially the skull for Hades.

Halloween Recap: Hercules Family

For Derek’s costume, I also had to create the wig. The closest I could find to the style I needed was a troll wig, so I snagged that and spray painted/styled it to be the blue flames I needed for the look.

I grabbed some black fabric for the toga, a grey shirt, and called it a day on Derek’s costume. The body paint was an entirely different story. We ended up almost forgetting about that part until Halloween day, so Derek had to run to the store to grab some paint. But they only had “corpse grey” which I found out was code for “cracks when applied”. It ended up working out, but it was a pain in the ass.

Halloween Recap: Hercules Family

Bennett was Herc’s bestie and mentor, Phil. The Satyr costume was a breeze. All I did was grab some brown leggings and apply a fringed yarn to them with fabric spray. I also bought him some horns, but he refused to put them on and I wasn’t going to force it. His little toosh looked soooo cute though!

Halloween Recap: Hercules Family

I was really proud with how well everything came out, considering it was the first time I had ever taken on such a huge project! I told Derek that he and the boys get to choose the costumes next year, so I’m pretty sure I will be trading in my pretty dress costumes for a big fat puffy frog one instead.  And if that’s the case, I’ll rock it just like Derek rocked an entire tube of body paint.

Halloween Recap: Hercules Family

What did you guys dress up as this year? I’d love to hear from you and/or see photos!