A Super Mario Brothers Halloween

Halloween is the special time of year when children get an absurd amount of sugar in candy form, thus creating power struggles with their parents for weeks there after. (Can I have a piece of candy now? How about now? What about just a small piece? Now?). Halloween is also an excellent excuse for family costumes, especially since all three of our kids are vertical and mobile. If you follow me on Instagram @mrsjuliagoolia you know that this happened. Oh yes, it did:
My Life in Transition: Super Mario Brothers

This year neither Truman nor Cecelia had particular requests for their costumes...except that CC did want to be the same pink owl she donned last year. I talked her out of that in the name of variety while also searching online for DIY family costumes. Oh the ideas were somewhat overwhelming, but I knew I wanted to keep this inexpensive, preferring DIY/random compilations of costumes, and FUN. I mean, someday I hope we can be a BLT sandwich with Nate and I as the slices of bread. Or perhaps a family of care bears in colorful sweat suits. The options are limitless with good old Pinterest, I'm afraid.

After scouring the internets many-a-night, I finally pieced together my plan: Cecelia had a pink princess dress she hasn't worn yet. While shopping at Joann Fabrics one day, I found a long blonde wig at 50% off, so it was $7. Then I found a pink sequin crown for $1. After that, I knew we had our Princess Peach for the Mario Brothers theme. Now to compile the other four costumes without breaking the bank.

CC walking to our Halloween Hop last week, she was ridiculously adorable in this costume. That wig made it amazing!
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I began frequenting the local Goodwill store and went an embarrassing amount of times over the past few months. Probably at least seven trips total, as I recollected my thoughts each time and went in search of specific pieces. At first I was going to find denim overalls for both Porter and Truman (because we do have overalls already but none of the sizes are quite right for them, the growing goons.) A friend offered to lend me her Porter-sized denim and so I was off to Goodwill for Truman's size. Instead, I found both a Luigi costume in a boys size small, and a Mario costume in a boys size XL. Hmmmm, not quite the correct sizes but I considered being Mario and making Truman be Luigi instead of his requested Mario. Hold that thought on me fitting into a kids' costume, yikes.

I found both a Luigi hat and a Mario hat completely randomly with the rest of the somewhat shabby Halloween gear at Goodwill and figured it was meant to be. Each of the overall set was $10 and the hats were both $2. So I got both full costumes (no gloves, but oh well) for a total of $24 and the brand new versions on Amazon were $30 a pop. Yessssssss. I love finding exactly what I'm looking for at a fraction of the price as something new.



I did actually find some denim overalls for Truman for $5, too, but ended up not using them. I thought the brightly colored, stretchy polyester costumes would be more 'fun' somehow. And once I tried the XL on for myself in hopes of being Mario, I knew this was NOT an option. Mario doesn't need to wear skin tight and crazy short overalls, just no. Horrifying. I put the XL on Truman and the S on Porter and was shocked that with a little rolling of the sleeves and pants, they fit just fine! I mean, they could totally grow into them but it worked. And again, for $12 a costume I will take it. Add in black eyeliner mustaches and it was a total win for the boys' costumes.

Luigi was thrilled, obviously.

That's better. Happiest without his hat.
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These three:

At the Halloween Hop, love this one so much.
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So then the question remained: what should Nate and I be for Halloween? Pinterest told me that a Yoshi, a Bowser, or a Toadstool would be my best options. I was not about to sew anything elaborate and didn't want to get a store-bought costume for us either. And so, I began to stop by various Dollar Stores in search of costume paraphernalia.

I decided Nate had to be Bowser when I found a big plastic green bowl at the Dollar Store. That combined with foam cones that were in the floral section of the Dollar Store and I knew we were in business for a rocking turtle shell. I forgot that I already had red duct tape at home from Halloween costumes of yesteryear, and when I finally set down to create the shell it fell together nicely when I remembered that the spikes on Bowser's shell had a bit of red at the bottom. I was going to just hot glue the foam cones but taping was a lot easier and probably more sturdy. Then I wasn't sure about fixing the shell onto Nate's back, considering a backpack or maybe using the punk rock spike belts that my future sister-in-law let us borrow for Bowser. Then I decided to just use the red duct tape to make straps, taping it underneath the shell and then on top of the tape to finish it off into actual strips. Red wine helped this shell creation GREATLY.

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Nate also needed red spikey hair, and after numerous trips to Goodwill and the Dollar Store, I figured that a $10 option for a new wig on Amazon was actually a great deal. It didn't come with the horns so I used some white felt that was $1 at Michaels and hot glued them into a cone shape. Then Nate actually sewed the horns onto his wig for me, apparently he is better at sewing than me!

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The final piece to Nate's costume took me until the day of Halloween to secure. Bowser has a yellow body and I so badly wanted to find a fuzzy yellow unitard of sorts for him. I made my final trip to Goodwill and would have been happy with just yellow sweat pants and a sweat shirt but NOTHING was there for me that day. Except when I found a form-fitting, green bodysuit in the Halloween section. It was tagged as $10 but rung up as $5 for some reason. It had fingers and feet and was a size large, so when texting with Nate about my find, he agreed to breathe life into this baby. Sure, it was green and Bowser is yellow but it works!

Oh, boy.
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When he tried it on for me, we got a little nervous about the appropriateness level in the crotch region. I thought maybe he could wear pants underneath to pad/obscure the area a little bit but no dice. Too tight. Nate had the idea of cutting off the feet of the costume to release some of it's tautness and it worked. He also wanted to cut off some of the ('really freaking nasty') fingers so he could properly use his phone and eat that night. He also slit the wrists of the costume to allow full hand access when the gloves got to be too much. Nate surprised me when he pulled out bright green swimming trunks of his drawer to make the green body suit much more family friendly. And thus, Bowser was born.


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For me? I decided to be Toadstool and had great luck at Goodwill for my outfit. I was hunting for a blue vest and found an amazing sweater vest for $4 first. Then I found a neon yellow tee shirt for $5 and my unflattering but awesome white pants (size 10 petite, totally me!) were $5. I wanted white hammer pants and thought about adding gold duct tape to the edge of my sweater vest but settled on the more basic version of my costume. For my hat, I bought a white shower cap for $1 at the Dollar Store and planned to stuff it and add red felt polka dots. When I tried on the cap I realized that was a joke as this shower cap was really small and oddly shaped. So when I sucked it up and bought Nate's red wig for $10 on Amazon, I also found an actual Toadstool hat for $10 and declared it was worth it.

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Shower cap fail is now the hottest toy around.
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And that is how we became the Super Mario Brothers. Have I showed you enough pictures, yet? How about some outtakes?
I was very happy with my tripod pictures considering it was cold and raining all day long, then cleared just a bit by the time we were ready to go to the big neighborhood pre-party.  The gang knew I *had* to get a few family pictures and they were quite cooperative, probably because we were all amped up for the party/trick or treating. And seeing all of the neighbors in full costumes, including the adults and hoards of children on our block? Priceless. I won't share pictures of the party itself but it was ridiculously fun; good food, great friends, and wild kids. Can't go wrong!

The actual act of trick or treating was pretty successful. Truman and Cecelia snagged the most amount of candy I've ever witnessed any children snagging. Truman had a ball and was mostly with his friends a house or two ahead of Nate and I, but he slowed down by the end so that I could carry his overflowing bucket for him. 'Too heavy', he claimed. CC had one little wipe out when she tripped, her pumpkin flew across to the next house, and she lost most of her candy. Luckily the neighbor friends we were with helped us gather the goods, but it was a little difficult to recover after such a fall. She needed mommy for a solid five houses after that which was interesting because I had been carrying Porter prior to this. Both little ones needing me = only so much room to hold a babe, sorry. Nate took the boys while CC and I hung back and iced her palm for a few minutes.

We made it for about 1.5 hours which was the longest we've survived yet. Crazy that it was raining all day long but was actually pretty tolerable for the time we trick or treated! I handed Porter one sucker about half way through and that kept him highly entertained and content the rest of the time, go figure. He was also adorable when he would toddle up to a house, grab a piece of candy, and then he would refuse to let that piece go. He did NOT like putting candy in his bucket, right into his hand was his preferred method, thank you. I only had him get maybe 20 pieces of candy because there is really no need for him to be in competition with the sugar-high of his older siblings.  Also, Porter wanted to keep walking back to the very first house we tried because he must have not understood the sea of candy that awaited him at numerous other houses. I ended up carrying him most of the night and my biceps are still sore, the boy is getting so big!

By the time we came home, it was about 7:30pm. The party was from 4-6pm, then ToT from 6-8 so it was a long evening. Tony and Lois were handing out candy at our house and they wanted to see the kids in their costumes. They hung around to witness the candy organizing and ooh'ing and ahhh'ing over individual finds. Let it be noted that this weird Warhead dipping sugary powder with a candy stick is the ultimate favorite declared by Truman and Cecelia like.

The in-laws left around 8 and we did bedtime right after that. Of course, Cecelia was the only one who was wired enough to stay up well past 9pm, possibly still awake at 10pm. The boys passed out despite the sugar rush as Princess Peach raged on into the night. We will not speak of the horrors that the time change brings to all parents alike. Sort of a cruel joke to have DST end the day after Halloween if you ask me. Obviously no 'sleeping in' exists in our universe, or ever.

And now for a quick comparison game, because it's me and you know I love comparisons.

All six of Truman's Halloweens:
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All four of Cecelia's Halloweens:
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Both of Porter's Halloweens:
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And then Truman and Cecelia together over the years:
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I love Halloween so much now that I have kids. I also love: Goodwill, the Dollar Store, red wine, and Pinterest so there's that.


  1. Love the costumes! My son would love if our family did that! so creative!!!

  2. Your families costumes were amazing! I'm quite impressed with them :)

  3. Best part of the whole deal is that your pants were size 10 petite. Lol.

    Can't believe you pulled these costumes off by finding nearly everything second hand or on sale. What finds!! Halloween gods were totally down with this, obvi.

  4. Love how the costumes all turned out!! We normally never do adult costumes but I do think as the kids get older they'd get a big kick out of it... Maybe someday!

  5. You guys looked great, LOVE the family costume! Steve was not too happy about the minion suit I made him wear but I told him to suck it up and that we are doing family costumes until Kai is old enough to be too embarrassed by it :)

  6. You also love crafting. I love the family costume! We were going to all dress up this year but it's not a high enough priority and just gets overlooked.

  7. Wow! I'm impressed. I really need to start thinking about my Halloween costume for next year today because I always wait until the last minute.

  8. If there's anything I love more than sibling coordinating Halloween costumes, it's family coordinating costumes! :) You guys did so good. And go, Nate on wearing the leotard thing and rocking it! ;P It's so fun when dad goes along with it too. I was dying over the whole crotch situation, haha.

  9. LOVE! Confession, I do not love Halloween...but I love that you love it. :) Everyone looked amazing. Great job mama!

  10. Love it! What a great family costume idea, so much more creative than the Wizard of Oz or Super hero family, but still not at all obscure. The kids look great and I'm impressed with the goodwill hunting, thats talent.

  11. Things I learned from this post 1) I want to host a ToT party next year 2) I want to dress up (shhh, don't tell my husband yet!!) Great costumes - saw them on IG, but the story behind them is even better!

  12. I was exhausted just reading this post. ;) Quite the effort - turned out great!!


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