Happiness & Halloween in ATX


As I was catching up over dinner with a friend last week, he suddenly looked up and said “Hope, how are you constantly so positive and happy?”  Although it was in the form of a question, I found it to be an enormous compliment. And its funny, because I was actually having somewhat of a bad day.

The answer to his question though?

Its simple. Happiness is a choice. I actually wear a gold bangle on my wrist daily that says just that. (Thanks, Dad! :)) Happiness is more than just a choice, though. I firmly believe that you get what you give, and if you put a big bunch of positivity and happiness out into the universe, it will come back to you ten fold. For me, these life principles are deeply rooted in my faith, but no matter what is going on, you still have to make that choice.

Today I woke up in a particularly good mood. I had a major dance party in my car on the way to work, and I saw some people giggle/smile at me while stopped at the red lights. It was at this point that I revisited my friend’s question.

I’m not perfect. I do get frustrated, and I sometimes worry. However, I absolutely believe that maintaining a positive attitude despite the circumstances is imperative for leading a happy and healthy life. It may sound cliche, but a lot of times it truly is the little things in life that excite me. Today I am excited because one of my best friends, Claire, is coming to stay with me for the weekend. Oh, and Im obviously excited for Halloween! Mostly because I LOVE dressing up– and dressing up elaborately at that! I think this is partially because my lovely mom always dressed my siblings and I up in THE BEST costumes! (Seriously.)

So, for a little fun in today’s post, I am going to take you back through the last few years of my Halloween costumes. I have to begin by mentioning the integral common thread among the photos I am sharing today– one of my absolute favorite people in the entire world, Casey Henson. We love anything and everything that allows us to creatively shine, so making costumes for Halloween has become something we look forward to each year. The first photo I am sharing dates back to 2010. I dressed up as the Queen of Hearts, and although you can’t see it in the photo (sadly it is the only one I could track down) I destroyed several decks of cards, pulled out all of the hearts, and sewed/glued them to the entire skirt of an old dress. It was pretty awesome, until I realized that I couldn’t sit down without the cards popping off of my dress. Totally non-functional, and lesson learned.

Casey and Deo as Peter Pan and his shadow. Elizabeth as Edie Sedgwick and me as the Queen of Hearts.

Casey and Deo as Peter Pan and his shadow. Elizabeth as Edie Sedgwick and me as the Queen of Hearts.

The next year, Casey and I debated for a while on who we should be for Halloween. We finally agreed on Katy Perry and Russell Brand the night before, so we ended up staying awake pretty much all night making our costumes. They turned out great though, and we had a blast! I still find glitter/sequin specks in my stuff every now and then though. No kidding!

Casey & I as Katy Perry and Russell Brand (Before their divorce)

Casey & I as Katy Perry and Russell Brand (Before their divorce)

When 2012 rolled around, we knew we had to do something spectacular. And, so we did.

Case and I

Casey and I at the Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas.

We rented Casey’s hat and blazer from a great little costume shop in Dallas, and I found this dress in my grandmother’s closet! I probably used an entire can of hair spray, and we had matching birds to symbolize our bride/groom spin on things. The makeup was the hard part though. Thankfully, we did a trial run the night before– and good thing we did, because the first go-round was horrible. We got it right the second time though… after 3-4 hours of prep on the makeup alone.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Casey and I in Dallas

Casey and I out in Dallas

Unfortunately, we were unable to dress up or do anything for Halloween last year as I was in Austin and Casey was in Corsicana (and Halloween was on a Thursday.) I actually spent the evening out on Rainey Street with my camera shooting for a class. I got some great shots, (see below) and it was fun, but I am REALLY looking forward to dressing up both tonight and tomorrow!

One of my favorite shots from my photo shoot on Rainey Street last Halloween.

One of my favorite shots from my photo shoot on Rainey Street last Halloween.

This year Claire and I are going to repeat the Day of the Dead theme, but with a different spin! You’ll have to stay tuned to find out! 🙂

And while you’re at it, go have some Halloween fun in Austin this weekend! Do512 has a great list of events here, and if you are looking for some kids friendly fun, check out this link! Austin Culture Map has some good suggestions too. You can check them out here.

That’s all for now friends! Have a happy and safe Halloween weekend!





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