Category: Holidays

The Best Orange is the New Black Halloween Group Costume!


Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love dressing up for Halloween. So when I enlisted some of my good friends by asking if they were in on donning a group costume of characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black, I was totally excited about taking the reins.

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It’s kind of eerie that a lot of my friends actually look like characters from the show. I asked who was interested who they might want to play, others I assigned roles since they didn’t watch the show, but looked the part (half of our group never watched a single episode). After Googling the Clubcrawlers website looking for some interested Halloween parties that the group can attend on the big day, I ran across one that was being hosted by Fame Media at the prestigious Roy Thompson Hall in Downtown Toronto. Early bird tickets were only $20, right within my budget. Halloween Massacre here we come!

17 of my good friends donning prison garb on Halloween as characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black.

17 of my good friends donning prison garb on Halloween as characters from the hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black.

Luckily the wardrobe for Orange is the New Black is pretty simple: The first thing I knew we needed were the trademark tan-coloured scrubs that doubled as our prison uniform. My friends know that I’m a stickler for detail, so I purchased a bunch if scrub sets from Amazon for $20 each. As word spread of my group costume idea, more of my friends informed me that they wanted to be in on it, so I had to make another order, praying that it got shipped to my address in time for Halloween (just over a week). I ordered a single orange pair for “newbie” Piper, then used fabric paint to write “D.O.C.” at the back.

A photo posted by @blaquecat on

There was a total of  16 scrubs for the gang. With a few last minute character additions, we were up to 18 people with one week left to go ’til Halloween, so one of us managed to find a dye a white pair of scrubs she bought at Wal-Mart, and I managed to find another tan set at Value Village. Uniforms? Check!

  A photo posted by @blaquecat on

Next were the name badges. Luckily I found the perfect, basic template by a user on Deviant Art. The only thing I needed to do was add in the photo of each of the “inmates”. But that wasn’t enough for me. This group costume had to be perfect! After masking all the inmate photos in, I used Photoshop to give each tag a unique ID number. I also created staff ID badges for Officer George “Pornstache” Mendez and John Bennett, on the off chance that we could get a couple of our guys to play the part (no luck though). I printed them off at Staples in colour and on cardstock paper, picked up some heavy-duty name badge holders and alligator clips. Name badges? Done!

After countless emails trying to rally the group together and make sure they read up a bit of info on their assigned character, so that they got the right hair, accessories make-up and attitude, we were all set! We all donned black boots, and I was even impressed with three members of our group who actually found replica jackets that the Litchfield inmates wore when they went outside (it was super-chilly and rainy on Halloween). I even managed to get some decent grey, thermal tops from Old Navy to wear under our scrubs as we made our way through The Village that night (most of us were sweating on the dance floor from all the layers later on).

We got so many compliments on our costume from other Halloween revelers. Donning the trademarks bantu-knots that Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren wears (which had been my go-to hairstyle for the last 15 years, I’ll have you know), I got easily recognized as a character from the show. Once one member of our group was acknowledge, then people will turn their heads and excitedly identify our whole troupe. It’s a shame we were missing other notable members from the cast, like Red and Big Boo (but we did see some one dressed as her in The Village).

A photo posted by TMZ PHOTOS (@tmz_halloween) on

A photo posted by TMZ PHOTOS (@tmz_halloween) on

We got stopped for photo-ops constantly (now we know how celebrities feel)! We even made it on to a segment of CityTV news with a crew of Church Street party-goers in police costumes. I wish I could’ve brought my DSLR around, because my cell phone doesn’t take as nice photos at night/indoors. We did managed to get a few shots of most of us together which was cool.

Church Street was fun as usual. Amazing costumes and good vibes. It’s too bad it was cold and rainy, otherwise we would’ve spent more time there. The party at Roy Thompson Hall was amazing! Great music, amazing venue, nice people and I love seeing every guest in costume.

All the planning paid off. My friends had so much fun, which is what I wanted to do for all of us. It’s too bad we didn’t know of any costume contests going on, otherwise we would definitely have won (then have to fight over splitting the prize 18 ways. We just might hold on to these costumes for another event. Best Halloween ever (so far)!

So what do you think of our costumes? Did we nail it or what?

A big shout out goes to Sophia, Pennsatucky, Daya, Tricia, Alex, Poussey, Vee, Morello, Nicky, Taystee, Janae, Brook, Aleida, Flaka, Black Cindy, Maria and my dandelion, Piper! :-D


Michonne’s Happy Halloween!


Halloween 2013 was definitely one of the most entertaining I’ve had.

Not only did I make a kick-ass Michonne costume, but I got to show it off at a couple of events on All Hallows Eve.

The whole Michonne getup. I even tried to get a similar grey satchel!

The whole Michonne getup. I even tried to get a similar grey satchel!

A group of 10 of us purchased discounted tickets to Medieval Times. I’ve never been before, so was keen on checking it out (who’s to turn down a good ol’ joust?). Tickets were only $30, which is a steal compared to their regular price of $63.95.

It was cool seeing the medieval characters act out the storyline throughout the night. We were seated in the black & white section and given our cardboard crowns and flags to cheer for our knight. The “battles” actually held my attention. Sparks were flying as each knight fought their carefully choreographed with their steel blades. Sparks were also flying whenever the Green Knight came into the arena (he was a dead ringer for the handsome actor Chris Hemsworth).  The Green Knight claimed victory at the end of the evening. But I give best fashion sense to our black & white knight who sported a cool moustache (I even caught the carnation he threw into our row!)

This Halloween special event was only $30!

This Halloween special event was only $30!


Whenever I asked people about the food at Medieval Times, they would say it left something to be desired. I don’t know if they recently changed their recipe, but the food was actually pretty decent (though it could’ve been the fact that my friends and I were really hungry).

On the menu was garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, a tasty half-a-chicken, a single rib, a baked potato and an apple tart for dessert. For the price, I think it was a very good evening.

After Medieval Times (at which a couple of the workers stated they absolutely loved my Michonne costume), we headed to The Church Street Block Party. I’m seriously thinking about making a stop here each Halloween, because the costumes you see at this street event are so creative and well done.

I felt like a celebrity walking down the crowded street in my Michonne costume. Got stopped multiple times to pose for photos with fans from The Walking Dead. One girl actually said seeing me in my costume made her night. Another one shouted “Michonne! Where’s your zombies?” I had to reply (while pointing to my empty chain around my waist) that they ran away.

A split screen with actress Danai Gurira who plays Michonne on The Walking Dead.

A split screen with actress Danai Gurira who plays Michonne on The Walking Dead.

I think my costume is pretty similar! Though I wish the vest was a lighter shade of brown.

I think my costume is pretty similar! Though I wish the vest was a lighter shade of brown.

I think I did a pretty good job with the cloak for not using a sewing pattern.

I think I did a pretty good job with the cloak for not using a sewing pattern.

Some of my favourite costumes of the night: Bishop (90s version from X-Men), Thundercat’s Cheetara, and a sea coral (balloons) with a couple Nemos. Can’t wait ’til next year.

My costume is getting a rest until Comic Con in March 2014!


Merry Christmas! (Yeah, I said it)


From everyone here at (which is just me), I’m wishing you a very Merry Christmas! Don’t celebrate Christmas, you say? Well then, Happy Holidays to you. Hopefully you didn’t feel ‘offended’ with my non-politically-correct post title.

I honestly miss the days when I didn’t have to second-guess myself when wishing someone happiness during the holiday season, for fear that they’d wind up offended and stalk away (trust me, I’ve seen it happen). And renaming the “Christmas tree”  for a “holiday tree” is a bit like me renaming the Jewish menorah the “holiday candle stick” or the Diwali lanterns as the “holiday lighted objects”.

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In all honesty, as a Christian, I would not be offended if a stranger came up to me with a smile and wished me a “Happy Diwali”, “Happy Hanukkah”, or a “Happy Chinese New Year”.  Why not? Because I know that each culture’s annual celebration is grounded in positive thoughts, respect, happiness and spending time with loved ones.

I don’t want to feel ashamed about celebrating Christmas, due to all this unnecessary political correctness surrounding the holiday.Check out Conservative MP Nina Grewal’s recent statement in the House of Commons:

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As a Sikh, I am not offended when Christians celebrate Christmas in a traditional way. Rather, I am pleased to celebrate with my Christian friends. – Nina Grewal, MP

When it comes down to it, historically Christmas (for Christians) is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Over the years traditions may have changed, including pre-Christian influences of other winter traditions (e.g. Santa Claus, Yule logs) as well as other secular aspects (e.g. gift exchange  decorations), but the message is basically the same:  spending quality time with your family and friends, peace, being thankful for what you have, Golden Rule love and ‘good will to all men’.

No matter what you celebrate over the holiday season, remember to cherish your loved ones, and be kind to others this Chrismahanukwanzakah. Merry Christmas everyone!

To all you Mothers out there…


This day did creep up on me, but I managed to bake my mother a nice batch of banana-nut muffins and take her to her choice of restaurant for dinner (Swiss Chalet’s Spring-themed quarter chicken meal with garlic-butter shrimp and a rice pilaf is delish by the way).

Here’s a couple videos to commemorate the day as we honour our wonderful mothers who do so much for us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I admit, I used to be a tad like this as a young lass.

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An ode to mothers courtesy of JibJab:

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And my personal fav:

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Valentine’s Day Special: The Sweetest Proposal


I’m not too big on Valentine’s Day (mainly because I believe most men suck and I’d rather wait for the discount chocolates I’ll be buying myself tomorrow), but I’ve been waiting to post this love-themed post for months now ever since I first saw the YouTube video of my sister’s good friend, as he proposed to his long-term girlfriend.

There are countless of proposal videos online, but never have I seen one that looked like it was so thought out and organized. “Mr. Proposal”, as I’ll call him during the following interview, went all out to pop the question to his lucky girlfriend. All the best to you both for your upcoming nuptials!

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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A.L.A.N.: Where did your idea come from?

Mr. Proposal: She had been showing me all these different proposals on youtube that were pretty cool, but I wasn’t entirely impressed. Some were amazing but others were just great ideas, with no hot sauce! What ever I was going to do would need a lot of flavour, and a lot of hot sauce. I noticed that the ones I liked the most were the ones where the guy was presenting himself. I didn’t matter how extravagant it was, but if he was genuine to himself in his approach it was immensely touching. So I decided I would be me, and present the best me I could.

A.L.A.N.: How long did it take to plan?

Mr. Proposal: It took approximately 6 or 7 months to create, plan, and ensure proper execution. I had to figure out where and how it was going to happen. What music to use, each song had a specific connection to our life together. I had to write my lyrics to a number of songs, then edit and record my tracks.

I had to work on and create the “Show” rehearsing with the dancers, and practicing my performance. I had to secretly coordinate 50 or so friends and family to be there and know all the cues for their involvement. I had to engrave the bench she was sitting on (where we had our first kiss), it was engraved with the date of our first kiss “The Kiss” and also engraved with the date of the proposal, entitled “The Question”. I had to secure the camera crew, and photographer. I was creating the ring from ideas in my mind, not buying a existing ring in the store. So many things listed above I feel like I am just listing endless elements, but it is an indication of the insanity of those 6-7 months.

The above is just the creation of the show, and not even touching on the logistics and execution. Where were we going to get power in the middle of the street? What if the police show up? What if it’s raining…. which it was. ALLLLLL OF THIS, and not letting my woman (who I live with) know a single thing. Que deep breath!

Truly though there is no way I could have done these things alone. Each element had a fantastic and forever special friend involved in it supporting me all the way along. To these friends I owe them more then I could ever repay!

A.L.A.N.: Worst possible thing to go wrong?

Mr. Proposal: The worst possible thing that could of gone wrong, essentially did. During the entire evening of the proposal, it was pouring rain, POURING RAIN!!! We were out at a dinner and my Best Man, aka “The Captain” was messaging me with the concern of what we should do if it continues to rain. Friends and family were instructed to be at the scene an hour before to do a “dry run” and now it would be taking place in the rain.

The decision was that if it continues to rain and nobody would wait in it, and if it was still raining when the plan of a dog walk would be initiated, that we would move forward as planned. I knew if it was pouring rain and I had to ask my Lady to walk with me, she would say “Yes” no matter what. I would perform just for her, or with no power, or no dancers or with no audience, it was going down!! This is not to mention I had to break into my mothers house to get my dog, because a friend of mine had used my keys that day. I was LOCKED OUT and I needed the dog to go on the ruse of our dog walk. No B+E charge that night though :). I also forgot to read my speech I wrote months before and had to wing it. The speech that came out was better then I could have ever written, it flowed so naturally :)

As you can see in the video it stopped raining for about the 30 minute period between when we left the house for the dog walk and the end of the proposal. If you look at the ground it literally dries as the video plays and at the end you can hear me say “and now it starts to rain!”.

A.L.A.N.: Was your proposal perfect?

Mr. Proposal: I can honestly say that my proposal went to perfection! I had created this idea in my mind but obviously never truly knew how it would work out in reality. I was experiencing it all for the first time as well. I was able to break into my mom’s house successfully to retrieve my dog, the rain parted with eerily perfect timing , everyone made it out, I landed my back tuck!!!

But most importantly she said “YES” and loved every minute of it. So yes, I would say it was perfect, but perfect for us. I think when you propose to your woman it should be about you two. You have to know your woman, know yourself and create the appropriate idea. For example some women like being proposed to at a baseball game, and some don’t…. well most don’t, but some might. :)

The only thing I may have wished to see a change was, when I spoke with videographers about how they saw the event being capture, I choose the guy who said he would dedicate one camera to being on her the entire time. The video that came out doesn’t really capture too much of her reaction. Maybe the video could of had a small square in the corner that was of her the entire time. However I am ok with the memory of her reaction being secluded to my mind and memory alone. Her eyes that night are truly something I will never forget, video or not.