Adventures of a Park Ranger's Wife

Life through the eyes of a State Park Ranger's wife

D’s Halloween Costume

My son, D, is two and a half right now, so he is able to have a say in what he wants to be for Halloween this year. At first he was pretty meh about the whole thing. I kept asking and asking early in the year, because I wanted to try and make the costume. My mom was able to make a good amount of costumes for my brother and me growing up. I wanted to be able to do the same for D. For my birthday in April I got my first sewing machine and went to work on practicing putting things together. By the end of July/ beginning of August I was finally able to get D to  decide on what he wanted his costume to be.

My son loves (!) Captain Hook and Tic Toc Croc. He pretends to be Captain Hook; as well as Peter Pan. So, I wasn’t really surprised when he chose to be Captain Hook one day and Tic Toc Croc the next. And thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest I was able to find D the perfect costume. A woman by the name of Rachael made a “Captain Hook being eaten by Tic Toc Croc” costume for her son (You can see her creation here and here). After a quick Google search I was able to find her instructions to the costume.

Unfortunately, when I set out to make my version I apparently didn’t try hard enough to find the instructions. I tried to figure it out on my own and just went for it. If you want instructions, I highly recommend looking at her original step by step (which you can find again here). I will share my photos of everything, but I wouldn’t be able to begin to share how I did most of what I did. Again, I’m still a beginner. I sewed all of Tic Toc’s body. I hot glued his eyes on. And I sewed the pants that become Tic Toc’s front legs.

I took a pair of my son’s pants to create a pattern for Tic Toc’s front legs
My crocodile pattern
Everything outlined on the fabric
How the pants turned out
Tic Toc’s head
The top of Tic Toc’s body
The Tic Toc Croc body with out his back legs

When it came to the top half of the costume, I took short cuts. I knew my skills wouldn’t turn out a jacket I would be happy with. I took a plain white shirt that was on clearance at Target and some lace I bought at Beverly’s to create the pirate shirt that goes under Hook’s jacket. Then, I took a red women’s jacket I found at a local thrift store and cut it up so it fit my son. I basically cut the seam that went up the back and resewed it so it was taken in to fit a two and a half year old. Then I cut the sleeves to fit his little arms. I took the extra lace and created the wrist lace that goes with the jacket. Finally I took gold ribbon and hot glued it to create the gold stripping on Captain Hook’s jacket. I’m pretty happy with how everything came together. We accessorized with a pirate hook from the dollar store, a pirate sword we already owned, and a genuine Captain Hook hat from the Disney Store. I splurged on the hat because D’s room is Peter Pan themed, so it can double as decoration. Though D has been playing with it non-stop since we bought it. I count that as a win and worth the money.

Captain Hook jacket and shirt
116 copy
Everything together

You might notice I haven’t created the front feet shoe covers yet. And yes, I totally edited the last picture so you wouldn’t see the mess that is left behind in the wake of D playing. With only one last part of this project to go I am super excited to be done in time for Halloween. I hope it goes over well and is the beginning of many more costumes for D in the years to come.


Simple Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Disclaimer: This is not sponsored by Disney or boxed cake mix companies, though I wouldn’t mind being sponsored by Disney.

I’ve been watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my son, D, lately and with watching Disney Junior you can see a lot of Disney Family crafts or recipes. So I wanted to try my hand at being creative. However, with a toddler running around and a husband at work it is a little hard to spend a lot of time on something too time consuming. It also helped that our local grocery store had a huge sale on boxed cake mixes. Only 88¢! While I know that most think less of boxed cakes (or cupcakes in this case), but I find that when you aren’t in the mood to spend a lot of time baking or you are short on all the ingredients needed for a cake made from scratch these boxed cake mixes can be a life saver. And with a price so low it didn’t hurt to stock up. I decided to make chocolate fudge cupcakes inspired by Mickey Mouse, D’s favorite. And with your own boxed cake mix you can do the same!

Quick instructions:

  1. All you need to do is make a boxed cake mix and put the mix into lined cupcake pans. The mix usually makes about 24 cupcakes.
  2. While your cupcakes are in the oven, pour some chocolate chips or melting chocolate into a microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each time, until the chocolate is melted.
  3. With the melted chocolate take a spoon and place a dollop of chocolate onto a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Use your spoon to create a circle for Mickey Mouse’s head. With a smaller bit of chocolate repeat the process to create Mickey Mouse’s ears.

    Chocolate Mickey Mouse heads
  4. After creating the chocolate Mickey Mouses place them in the freezer or refrigerator (where ever you have room) so they can set. I had to do that in shifts since both our freezer and refrigerator are pretty full.
  5. When your cupcakes are done and have cooled you can frost them. I used another time saver, pre-made frosting and used red food coloring to turn the vanilla frosting red. Then frost your cupcakes.
    (Though I happened to run out of red food coloring and tried to use red sprinkles to supplement. And when I ran out of that I used the pinkish frosting with a different set of sprinkles and called those cupcakes Toodles. You can add the sprinkles too.)
  6. Once the chocolate Mickey Mouse heads have set, place one on each cupcake. You can place them upright or flat on the cupcakes.
    Mickey Mouse Cupcake (upright)
    Mickey Mouse Cupcakes (flat)
    “Toodles” cupcakes

    Hopefully, these cupcakes inspire you to create your own! Enjoy and happy baking!

Halloween treats 

I love Halloween. And I think you can bake just as much for Halloween as you do for Christmas. Today I started making my Halloween treats. I made some sugar cookies and used my Halloween cookie cutters. They turned out ok. But I do have to admit I forgot the sugar. I know the ingredient that the freaking cookie is named after. They are edible, a little dry. But I slathered on the frosting. So that should help. 


Monster cookie
Jack O’lantern cookie
I also made vampire chocolate covered Oreos. Another admission, I wanted to use the Halloween festive Oreos, but my local store didn’t have them out anymore! They had the winter/Christmas Oreos, but no Halloween. So I bought and used the store brand version of Oreos. This is a super easy treat to make. Melt some chocolate (if you don’t buy color chocolate, just use white chocolate and add food coloring), dip the cookie so it is fully covered, place the cookie on parchment paper, and let dry. When the cookies have dried, melt semi-sweet chocolate for hair, eyes, and mouth. 


Vampire cookies

The vampires are super yummy. I’ve already eaten some of the ones that didn’t have a lot of chocolate and looked a little wonky (because I wanted to use all the melted chocolate I had). 
I hope to make some Pinterest recipes tomorrow or Saturday. 

Happy (early) Halloween 

I’ve made a couple of Halloween themed crafts. 

A wreath for our door:  
And some Nightmare Before Christmas themed Minnie Mouse ears:

I have previous posts on how to make each; if you’d like to check those out 🙂 
Happy Haunts!

The act of Moving

As you may have read in the last post we are moving. Well, at this point in time we have moved (for the most part. Just need to pick up a few little things.).

And while I love our new home, both location and building, I hate the actual act of moving. I have no clue how so much stuff was in that little trailer. Not to mention what we had in storage. Ugh. If it was just me, I would have chucked a good portion of what we have in boxes. Some stuff we still have just because it contains sensitive information. Our shredder broke (over used? Who knows) so we need to get a new one and therefore we have a box of papers just waiting to be ripped up. Where do you put that? 

D’s room is pretty much put together. It isn’t decorated yet. That part is on the back burner. Our room is put together for the most part as well. We just need to rearrange some things. The living room is our biggest tackle right now. 

I can’t wait to be done and just live. How are you with moving? Any tricks to live by? 


We are moving!! I’m so excited. We are in the midst of packing and cleaning. We are so incredibly lucky. I can’t wait to be all settled in. 

Two more ear headbands

 I made two more Minnie Mouse headbands. (Please see my previous post for the first set)

I made my mom a Sleeping Beauty themed headband. The fabric is woven with pink and blue, so it changes when you look at it! I also added Aurora’s tiara and three jewels in green, red, and blue to represent the three good fairies. 

I also made a Disneyland 60th anniversary themed headband for myself. The black fabric has silver dots to represent little diamonds.   


Birthday gift crafting 

My friend has a birthday coming up this month and she is a huge Disney fan. So I thought I could make her a pair of custom Minnie Mouse ears. She loves Jessie from the Toy Story franchise and the ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. So I set out to make her two Minnie Mouse headband ears. As you know, I am a Pinterest fiend and I looked to it for inspiration. 

There are a lot of tutorials on how to make your own set of Minnie Mouse ears (some even from a Disney blog). Because of that, and because I didn’t really take a lot of pictures, I won’t really go into details about how I made my friend’s ears. Making these ears is a little like DisneyBounding (if you are familiar with that). You start off thinking of the character or attraction you would like to have the ears represent. Find the fabric you would like (for the ears I’ve been using 1/4 of a yard and if you make a fabric bow I’ve been using 1/8 or a yard).

  1. Create a circle template for the ears. I used the bottom of a disinfectant whipes tubed container. Use this template to create draw 4 circles on the back side of the fabric. Or you could just use the container of you prefer. It was easier for me to have a template to carry around. 
  2. Cut out the circles. Pin two pieces of fabric together with the nice side facing each other. So the backs are facing out. 
  3. Sew the pieces together leaving a bottom flap unsewn. Turn the ear right side out. 
  4. Fill the ears with stuffing. Close and sew the bottom opening. Take the ears and hot glue it to your headband. 
  5. Find a Minnie Mouse bow template that you like (I used these). Trace on to you bow fabric and then cut out. 
  6. Repeat the steps you did for the ears. Then hot glue on the headband. 


The ears made to represent Jessie from the Toy Story franchise
The ears that represent the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland.

As you can see I stitched a white ribbon around the Jessie ears to represent her hat. And the Big Thunder Mountain RR ears have a rope ribbon with an added train embellishment. I did add a dot of glue behind the rope bow to secure it to the ears. 

My friend loved her ears and can’t wait to wear them on her next trip to Disneyland. And I will be making myself a couple of pairs. 🙂


Easy Peasy Wreaths

I got a bee in my bonnet to make some wreaths to brighten up our door. We took a trip to our local dollar store and picked up the supplies I needed. I got items for a Fourth of July wreath and a Summer/Luau wreath. I’m not super crafty, but these were just glue and wrap.

The Fourth of July wreath:


  • Red, white, and blue tinsel garland (you may want to have two of these if you would prefer a fuller wreath)
  • Glue gun & glue (or craft glue of your choice)
  • Stars and Stripes bow
  • Wreath form



  1. Remove any tags.
  2. Place glue on the wreath form.
  3. Place the beginning of the garland on the glue. Hold to set.
  4. Start to wrap the garland around the form.
  5. Glue down the end of the garland next to the start of your garland.
  6. Glue the bow down on the wreath where you like it best.
  7. Hang on your door :)!


The Summer Wreath:


  • 2 different colored 3-pack flower leis
  • Glue gun & glue (or favorite craft glue)
  • Wreath form
  • Tropical umbrella toothpicks
  • Scissors


  1. Remove any tags.
  2. Cut the first lei to turn it into a garland. (Be careful not to lose the string and cause the flowers to fall off)
  3. Place glue on the wreath form.
  4. Place the beginning of the lei garland on the glue. Hold to set.
  5. Start to wrap the lei garland around the form.
  6. Glue down the end of the lei garland.
  7. Take the other color lei and repeat steps 2-6. Filling in the space from the first lei.
  8. Repeat steps 2-7, covering all of the wreath form.
  9. Shorten the tropical umbrella toothpick shafts and add the tropical umbrella toothpicks where you would prefer. (Some of them stayed by just sticking them into the form. Others I had to glue down)
  10. Hang on your door :)!




Up ↑