A Dream Comes True at Fantasy Costumes

A Dream Comes True at Fantasy Costumes

 

Keats Haunted Home_2010

Keats Haunted Home_2010

I like to celebrate the “secular” side of Christmas and the Winter Solstice.  Adam is a lifelong celebrant of Hanukkah.  Yet despite Adam and my differences, when it comes to Halloween, we agree: It’s our favorite holiday!

Going all out for Halloween is nothing new for our family.  Anyone who has seen my office knows that I am “obsessed” with Mexican sugar skulls from the Mexican celebration of  Dia de Muertes.  So, between the inflatable cat, hearse, witch and the spiders crawling up our house, our house is usually pretty decked out. Enter the costume question: Do we dress up as a family or go our separate ways?  In the past Lulu, Adam and I have coordinated our outfits.  One year we were pirates and another we dressed as Neptune, Athena and Medusa.  Can you guess who was who?  (Hint:  I was not the lucky gal to wear a snake headdress.)

Two Pirates & A Ghoul!

Two Pirates & A Ghoul!

Guess who got to be Medusa?

Guess who got to be Medusa?

But this year things are a little different.  Lulu has decided to embrace her inner geek and decided to be “Enderman” from the video game, Minecraft.

Steve & Enderman

Steve & Enderman

One of her besties is going as “Steve” from the same game.  Adam and I have decided to blend our pirate costumes with something a little edgier (and in my opinion, sexier):  We are going as Steam Punk Pirates complete with top hats, feathers, awesome chunky jewelry and, of course, driving glasses!

Top hat + Glasses + Suit = Steampunk

Top hat + Glasses + Suit = Steampunk

Here she is in all of her steampunk glory!

Here she is in all of her steampunk glory!

 

 

 

So where can one go to find a video game costume, a pirate and a steam punk get up? 

 

 

 

 

 

When in doubt, we have always turned to Fantasy Costumes, the largest square-footage and costume selection store in the Midwest. Owned by George Garcia since 1965, the 4065 N. Milwaukee main stay has been costuming Chicago natives (and some visitors) for Halloween and Masquerade parties for almost 50 years!  In fact, my parents even shop there in preparation for their Mardi Gras parties. (Yes, they fly in from Maryland just to check out the awesome (and unique) costume options.)

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That's my mom with her Medusa wig from Fantasy Costumes.

That’s my mom with her Medusa wig from Fantasy Costumes.

Mr. Garcia has seen it all and consistently stocks his shelves with over 20,000 wigs, 30,000 children’s costumes, and 15,000 adult costumes. Last year, Adam and I took a “field trip” to Fantasy Costumes and bought, among other things, a yellow Angry Bird “head.” And yes, if you happened to been driving down the Edens Expressway and spotted the yellow Angry Bird sitting shotgun in a yellow convertible Porsche Boxster around noon, that was me.  (I wish that I had a camera to catch the hilarious facial expressions of the people who spotted me.)

Amid a sea of pop-up Halloween shops, Fantasy Costumes has been the go-to for everything from classic pirate looks and superhero getups, to the necessary accessories to deck your kids out as the year’s hottest costumes. If you haven’t visited this super store of gore and greatness, it’s worth the field trip!

 

And….if you happen to mention A Windy City Momma when you visit Fantasy Costumes, Mr. Garcia and his crew will give you a coupon for 20% off of that day’s purchase.

American Girl Exceeds Expectations With Expanded Bitty Baby Line!

American Girl Exceeds Expectations With Expanded Bitty Baby Line!

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Well, American Girl has done it again! Introduced a new line of dolls that exceeds expectations! Actually, it’s not a new line, per se, but an expanded one: Bitty Baby®. American Girl has come out with 11 different Bitty Baby dolls with various skin tones and hair- and eye-color combinations. Now your youngest child can have a look alike doll of her own!

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Last month, I was invited to a party hosted by Jenny Ingram & Danielle Smith at the flagship store, American Girl Place, in Chicago. The party was held after hours in the café and, as an added bonus, attendees were invited to shop. Realizing that Lulu’s 10th birthday is coming up this month, I decided to pick up a few things for her collection. (By the way, so did Adam!) We may have actually gone a bit overboard with the shopping.

Party Goers Unite: Adam, Jenny, Danielle & Me!

Party Goers Unite: Adam, Jenny, Danielle & Me!

What I bought Lulu:

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What Adam bought her:

Saige's Hot Air Balloon!

Saige’s Hot Air Balloon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Windy City Momma bought Me:

mollyFine, fine, I’ll admit it! I bought the Molly McIntyre doll. But I have a good reason! The Molly line will be archived at the end of the year. Look, I understand that I am an adult and have NO NEED for American Girl dolls but to my defense, I am still a little heartbroken that I didn’t buy the Samantha doll when I had the chance.

 

 

Little did I know that the express purpose of the party was to unveil the updated line of Bitty Babies!

So after I got the shopping spree under control and felt that I could focus on the party, I was immediately distracted by the impressive collection of bitty babies lining the table. “That’s funny,” I thought, “when we bought Lulu’s Bitty Baby few years ago, there weren’t so many choices of dolls.” Seven years ago, we selected the dark haired doll with a light complexion and brown eyes  because that was the doll that most closely resembled our daughter.   Now look at them!

As of TODAY (!) August 27th, 2013, families will have more choices for their younger children (recommended for ages 3 and up). With so many new options to choose from, children can experience that very special moment when he or she selects a Bitty Baby doll that’s just right—no settling for one that’s almost perfect. (I know that the dolls are marketed to girls but, to be quite honest, I don’t see a reason that a little boy can’t love a Bitty Baby as much or more than little girls, can you?) Also, the Bitty Baby doll comes dressed in a signature sleeper and has a special “wishing star” keepsake toy. As an added bonus, the Bitty Baby package also contains a book, “Bitty Baby and Me” the first in a series of five hardcover picture books that inspire fun ways to play.

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If you are familiar with the previous line of Bitty Baby books, you may remember that they were really small (perfect for little hands) but not so easy to manage by Moms and Dads. It’s hard to read a story to a toddler when you can barely turn the page! Now, the Bitty Baby line of books has been revamped and includes beautiful illustrations. These larger picture books are filled with heartwarming adventures and are the perfect addition to any young child’s library.

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So, did I get a new Bitty Baby? Yes, I did. This one has light brown hair, green eyes and is fair skinned. He looks remarkably like what I imagined Adam looked like when he was a baby. As soon as I saw that doll, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Wouldn’t you?

For more information, on the awesome things going on this summer and fall, please visit the American Girl website: americangirl.com

I was not paid for this post. But, I did receive one of the new Bitty Babies as a gift from attending the event.