DIY runDisney Tangled Costumes

Want to get all Tangled for your next race? Well then you’re in luck because here is my DIY costume recap from the 2014 Dumbo Double Dare Challenge! In this I go over how I dressed as Pascal and Rapunzel, enjoy!

Since I plan to use the tank tops in the future for yoga (or for other costumes), everything attached to the shirt was only sewn with a few hand sewn stitches or with once through knots (ridges, criss-cross ribbon, cap sleeves). Just enough to last during the race, but not too much that would damage the shirt fabric once removed.

Thrifty is Nifty!

It really is! I try to use what I already own or can buy cheaply (like the tanks and fabric). That way I don’t mind splurging so much on a cute sparkly visor 🙂 Example, previously owned: green arm sleeves, neon green ProCompression socks, both pairs of shoes, green felt, and sparkly fabric. Also, I LOVE looking through Goodwill during halloween season (end of Aug-Oct) to find cheap accessories as well as year-round at Dollar Tree. I got the green arm sleeves during Goodwill’s 2013 Halloween season (I think they were like $3?) and the same kind in bright orange and pink (for future costumes!).

When buying supplies to make things, I encourage downloading Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics apps, so you always have a coupon on the go! Just make sure what you need isn’t an excluded item. Helped me save $$ on the ribbon and purple elastic I needed!

DIY Skirts

While I am now comfortable making my own sparkly skirts, I didn’t invent my own pattern making method. If you are interested in skirt DIY check out (Beauty Still Remains) for tips. Otherwise there are lots of sparkly skirt companies out there to purchase one from! I like having a little more coverage (aka longer skirts), which is also why I opted to make my own.

For my skirts, I decided to make the pattern of 2nd tier a half circle. It uses more fabric than cutting rectangles to gather and sew (like many of the companies do), but it still falls nicely. I made the purple first and the green second. Let’s just say trying the gathering method on the first skirt in addition to the circle pattern was a pain and nearly made the skirt too small to wear (long story). I therefore decided the green skirt will have NO gathering, but like I said, circle cuts fall nicely all on their own 🙂

If you do decide to make your own sparkly skirtHave mineral oil handy, since the needle gets gunked up easily from going through the sparkle dot adhesive. I broke one needle and had the machine stall throughout the process of the purple skirt (first one). After I bought mineral oil and reapplied to the needle every couple inches of sewn fabric (for the green), it made ALL the difference!

It’s all in the details


Rapunzel’s Hair: I bought 2 girl’s “fun” hairpieces, 2 bouquets of fake flowers, hair ties and a hair bow (literally fake hair tied into a bow that matched the hairpieces) at Dollar Tree. Total cost $6 for the Rapunzel hair! I took both hair pieces off the headbands they were glued to and braided them together. The part of the hair attached to the headband is already braided, so I wound the two braided pieces around in a circle and lightly sewed them into place. I kept the fake hair in its own braid until race morning so it wouldn’t tangle during travel. To attach to my hair on race day, I unbraided the braid, put my hair through the top braided loop and braided my hair into the fake hair braid. I’m sure there’s an easier way to do this, but doing it this way helped things stay in place and made it easier to run in race day.  To finish the hair decorations, I pulled off the fake bouquet blooms (they were attached with multiple flower heads) and attached them to my hair with small hair bands. Then I attached the fake hair bow at the bottom and voila, Rapunzel hair!

Corset: Thin pink ribbon to make criss cross pattern. I first sewed the ribbon to itself in a crisscross pattern and then sewed the ribbon to shirt. Didn’t work sewing ribbon in a criss cross pattern directly to shirt, ended up crooked & had to redo!

Cap Sleeves: Overlapped the 5 ribbon strands to one point at the top (after I cut to length around shoulder, just make the last 2 strips are longer in the back), spread the bottom edges apart and then sewed the top pieces together to stay in place. To cover the sewing marks on the ribbon, I sewed some extra purple elastic ruche over it. I then sewed the ribbons to the outside edge of the purple elastic ruche so it wouldn’t rub against my skin during the run. I then sewed a thin light pink ribbon over the top to cover the stitches.

Felt Pascal: If you feel you aren’t artistic, I suggest printing out a silhouette image of a chameleon, cutting it out and then tracing onto felt to cut out. Then sew him to your shirt and you are done.  For my Pascal, on the other hand,  I stylized him. I custom drew the body that resembled more of a gecko and made his chameleon face in profile to make him look like he was climbing up the front of my shoulder.  To give him more structure, I cut out 2 pieces: one in light green (top) the other in dark green (bottom) and sewed them together. I was afraid that the very thin light green fabric would get mangled during travel, so adding a second piece made him stronger (and gave him a cool shadow effect). I then attached 5” of a 1/4″ pink sparkly ribbon to his mouth to make it look like he had his tongue sticking out (so cute!). I curled it and sewed it to his foot (didn’t want the ribbon to flap against my skin). I then attached him with 3 anchor points to my tank top (along edge of tank seam so it wouldn’t damage the more delicate fabric).

Pascal Spine Ridges: I took an 8″ square piece of light green felt, folded it half and sewed 2 “M” shapes in place. I then cut off the foldd fabric part, so that when I turned it right side out, it looked like spine ridges! Then attached to the back of the tank. I thought about making a tail, but I wore a tail for my Cheshire cat costume and it bugged me…

Accessories: Additional things you can add are a sparkly visor (bought at expo from Sparkle Athletics), long compression socks or calf sleeves, and/or arm sleeves. These accessories work for either Pascal or Rapunzel, since you can likely find some combo of green and purple in these items 🙂


Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2014: Disneyland 10k Recap

Dumbo Double Dare Part 1: The Disneyland 10k! Can you believe I challenged myself to walk and not run?

photo 2My mom and I left our house at 4am, got there ~4:40am and didn’t have any traffic getting to the parking structure. I knew that the 1/2 would be different since there would be at least double the number of runners. We again cut over to the left side to pay for parking and got in super quick!

By the time I got to corral C, it was about 5:20am, but I knew I had at least another 20 min before my corral would cross the start line.  My mom apparently found a way to the left side of the corrals from the viewer side, so she followed me as the corrals ahead of me left and gave me one last wave when it was time for me to start the 10k!

Miles 1-3.1

photo 5The first 2 miles were in Anaheim, which was a bit of a surprise (since I didn’t look at the course) because I had intended to just run the first mile until we got into the park. I didn’t have a time goal because I wanted to walk the vast majority of the race to save my legs for the half as much as possible. So when I hit mile one (even though I was still in the city), I started my fast walk.

Just after mile 2, we headed into California Adventure land and I got my only “pose” picture with a Cars Land vehicle, a baby tractor! (it had the shortest line).  Turned out pretty cute! Yes I’m sticking my tongue out 🙂

Miles 3.2-6.2

Sometimes during the race I’d hear people thinking out loud saying something like, “dinosaur ridges?”, so I’d turn around and say “Pascal” 🙂 Got complimented on my ridges and look of my chameleon-esk type running outfit.

Walking the majority of the race allowed me to enjoy the course more than the speedier 10k I did at the Tinker Bell 10k since I got to “be” in the parks longer.  Yes it would have been more fun taking lots of photo ops, but the theme of this race is Lilo & stitch and its not a movie particularly close to my heart (its cute, but I love Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Tangled, and Frozen).  Many photo ops had stitch, elvis, chipmunks or hawaiian shirt dressed people.  Might have been more fitting had I dressed in a Luau costume 🙂

Mostly I enjoyed the atmosphere of the race and watching the creativity of runners passing by. One girl went as full blown ewok and had fur arm sleeves, fur skirt and furry long socks (it was kind of funny running into her at the beginning of the race, half way through and finishing just after her)!

Time: 1:2803
Average Pace: 14:10 min/mi (pretty good for walking most of it!!)

Post Race

I did take a couple post race “posed” photos because its now a tradition of mine.  Pascal is just too CUTE that I had to do 2 of my favorite poses 🙂

Got my red wrist band for the dumbo double dare, part 1 of the challenge is now in the books!

Disneyland Half Marathon EXPO 2014 Recap and Costumes Revealed

Welcome to the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2014!  Ok so at the end of last year’s Disneyland Half Marathon recap I may have said I wouldn’t necessarily do this race again due to the time of year/weather, but I’ve been living in a hotter climate and this time I’m doing the Dumbo Double Dare! Here’s how this expo went and how it wasn’t a dumbo debacle like 2013.


Bib & Shirt Pick-up

Record time, ever! Went to the expo Fri morning and arrived right at 9am.  Downtown Disney parking lot was still only partially full, so it was easy to find a parking spot in the shade.  Walked up to the underground area to pick up the bib, no lines anywhere and was in the expo with 5 min tops!

Picked up my shirts and LOVE the fit and colors! SO MUCH better than last year’s unisex sizes.

EXPO swag

As for expo shopping, I was hoping to get some dark purple ProCompression Marathon socks for the race, but they only had dark purple calf sleeves (not the same feeling when I tried them on) or lavender socks with yellow striped top. But my mom and I got a couple pairs of their new brightly colored running socks instead! I did get the other item on my list, a purple sparky visor from Sparkle Athletic!

My mom and I noticed that there was NO line to get into the official runDisney merchandise area, so we walked around (gawked at the prices) and decided we weren’t missing out on much on the previous races. Plus there was maybe a 6 person line for checkout? If I did want anything, I would have hit a perfect time to purchase. Next year, I will be buying the 2015 Princess Coast to Coast shirt since I will be doing that challenge 🙂

Costume Reveal Time: Time to get Tangled!

For the 10k I’m going to be Pascal and for the half, I’m going to be Rapunzel!  I actually hadn’t really seen the movie (brief segments on tv) when I first started making the costumes, but I bought it on iTunes and have watched it a couple times within the last week 🙂  Pascal is SO hilarious! Love that little chameleon.

For those of you wondering how I put the costume together, I’ll make a separate post that goes into more detail. In the meantime, you can look at my info graphics below (click to enlarge)!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Becoming Ariel

You got your own style, now let it come through. And remember no matter what, you got to be you” -Sebastian (Little Mermaid TV show).

Over the course of my university education (undergrad and grad school), I’ve found that I gravitate toward outreach opportunities. As an undergrad I led tours of our university’s touch tank facility (and loved pretending we were ‘divers’ when we squatted down low to see the tanks from an ‘underwater’ view) and in grad school was a “star” 3 years in a row at our open house ocean themed puppet shows. Something about educating the young and dressing up as fun characters while singing about the ocean, makes my heart sing too. When I started my fellowship, I wasn’t sure how much of this type of outreach I’d be able to do, so like the saying goes “sometimes you have to make your own job”. And that’s how I became a mermaid at the State Fair.


I did a brief recap of this experience in “Goodbye Grad School, Hello Fellowship“, but I thought I’d share more about my spent time as a mermaid.

Becoming Ariel

Mermaid4When we fellows were asked if we were interested in tabling a booth at the State Fair in the Beach Buddy Adventure Exhibit, I jumped at the chance to do some outreach.  A couple of us ended up going out to visit with the head lady of the Beach Buddy Exhibit area to get a tour.  Seeing the small waterfall, “sandcastle” in the making, and stations teaching about threats to the ocean (ocean acidification, trash, oil spills etc…) I sort of jokingly/not jokingly said “I have a mermaid costume, would I be able to dress as a mermaid when I table?”.  We all kind of laughed, but it planted a neat idea because it would be cool to have a mermaid 🙂 So I worked out the logistics, got permission (the head lady of the exhibit was actually SO excited about it) and worked out a suitable, family friendly mermaid outfit.  Which meant, NOT using the top I made for Halloween a few years ago.

I thought I could use the skirt at least, but having done more Body Pump and cycling, my lower body has more muscle than back then, so it was uncomfortable to walk/sit in (still fit, but WAY too tight).  So, I made a new mermaid skirt from scratch (with blue, shiny, scaly fabric), got a cute sparkly tank from Amazon, and a FABULOUS wig from Amazon as well (only $17!).

State Fair Go-ers Reactions


I got a range of responses when kids met me, everything from extreme shyness (yes I am a stranger, so I understand their reluctance) to full on smiles and chatting me up! Most people though, were actually SO excited to see a mermaid, especially little girls who love the movie “The Little Mermaid”.  Just wearing a purple top and having long red hair meant I was automatically branded as “Ariel”. While I was trying to go for an Ariel-like mermaid, I was still surprised at how many little girls would shout and point “It’s Ariel, its Ariel!”, while dragging their parents over to get a picture with me.

Have to say, it was quite awesome being a bit of a “celebrity”.  I also brought along my best friend Flounder, who was in fact, more of a celebrity.  When I asked the kids if they wanted to hold Flounder and get a picture with him in front of the CA Coast whale plate, many interpreted my motion of handing Flounder over to them as “I-get-to-keep-Flounder”. Lol. Then parents had to tell them to give my best fishy friend back to me. Sometimes I asked the kids if they wanted to say hi to Flounder, and many would actually say “Hi” and wave to him. So cute!

Some kids and adults asked why Ariel was at the state fair. So I would tell them that “I’m here on behalf of the Thank You Ocean campaign to help share Everyday Actions you can take to help protect my home, such as using a reusable water bottle and and carrying reusable bags to the grocery store”. When I made those suggestions, I would point to my Ariel reusable bag and a flowery metal canteen.  Since there were so many people passing through, that’s about the extent of messaging I could get across before something more exciting caught their attentions, like the bald eagle or sea otters (who can blame them, eagles and otters are super cool!).

TYO_statefairThe Flipside of Becoming Ariel

Many of the adults that made comments said things like “I love Ariel, can I get a picture?” or “My friend loves Ariel, she is going to be so jealous when I show her I got a picture with you!”. It really was fun to see that Ariel still holds a place in people’s hearts as adults (like me!). However, sometimes I would get the occasional comment (and very rarely mind you) to the effect of “You’re not a real mermaid”, sometimes pointing out “flaws” in my costume, sometimes joking, but other times it didn’t feel like joking the way it came off.  My main response was “Well I have my Masters of Science in Marine Science, so I’m about as close to a mermaid as you can get” while smiling and then turning my attention to people coming into the exhibit. However,  I was a bit sassy to one guy in my reply. When he said “Well you’re not a real mermaid” a bit snarkily, I quickly responded by saying “Well you’re not real nice” in a light tone and a full smile. When he was no longer in earshot, the person I was tabling with laughed so hard! She said “Ariel has some attitude! It was so funny how polite you were when you said it!”.

My thoughts in my head during comments like this: I know I’m not a mermaid, I’m here to spread the message of protecting our oceans and to do outreach with kids. I do know that my costume isn’t perfect, I purposefully made a functional and practical skirt to comfortably walk and sit in during the fair (knowing it would be and was 90+ degrees out).  If I were “locked in” to a “real mermaid tail”, what would happen if I needed to use the restroom (farther than hopping distance away)? Would someone wheel me in a wheel chair or carry me? Not unless I had my very own  prince Eric 🙂 , which would actually be awesome! This song line kept running through my head during those times: “Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter. Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter. Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade!” -Don’t Rain on My Parade from Funny Girl


I’m SO GLAD I got to be a mermaid ‘for real’ (aka being Ariel = dream realized!). Also, I wasn’t the only Disney connection at the fair, the C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A letters at the front off the State Fair entrance were actually donated by Disneyland CA Adventure to the State Fair in 2012! Pretty cool 🙂

And for all of you wondering, yes I will be Ariel at the Princess Half Marathon in February. Ariel with legs!

“Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun. Wanderin’ free, wish I could be, part of that world.” – Little Mermaid “Part of Your World” lyrics.

Disneyland Half 2013: Costume Reveal, Final Thoughts & Live Updates

and its going to be …Minnie Mouse! I am going ‘retro’ with this one since my running gear makes up 75% of the costume. Tomorrow I’m running the Disneyland Half Marathon in Anaheim, CA so check back later for a race recap! In the meantime, click here to read about the Dumbo Debacle of the Run Disney EXPO.

Click for Source

How do I plan on pulling this off?  Black short sleeved v-neck tee, pleated red spandex skirt (goodwill $3) over my booty shorts, my new red/white polka dot 13.1 Sweaty Bands and a minnie mouse ears/bow ensemble (goodwill $1). Pretty simple right (see below)? Plus my mom and I did an iFitness belt trade, her black one goes better with my outfit than my grey/pink one! Originally I was planning to wear black leggings and arm warmer sleeves, but we are in a humid heat wave down in So Cal, so its bare minimum for race day! Even at 5:30 am its supposed to be almost 70 and close to 90% humidity….

I figure if I can run in this, then I can run in a slightly more elaborate costume next time I do a Disney race, IF there is a next time (see Dumbo Debacle)! When I am done with grad school, have a real job and more time, I would LOVE to fly to Orlando and participate in the Disney Princess half marathon! It would be a tough choice between a Belle or Ariel costume (fave characters!)…

Disneyland Half Race Outfit

Still so proud of getting into Corral C! I thought the best I could do with proof of time was D!

Track my Run

If you follow me on Twitter (click here to visit my profile), you can track my progress since I signed up for auto tweet updates on my run! Or for a couple of you that are my Facebook friends, you can follow auto posts on my timeline.  There will be lots of pictures posted to instagram, my Masters2Marathons Facebook page and twitter account, so you can track the magic kingdom that way as well!!!  My mom and grandma will receive about 10 texts letting them know where I am on the course, which I was planning to do on my own, so I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that. The nice thing is that this feature was free to do online!

Final Thoughts

Tomorrow I’ll be going into the race knowing I’ve trained to the best of my ability considering everything I’ve overcome over the past year.  Just going to take it one mile at a time. My goal is to finish under 3 hours, but my dream goal is 2:30 since I’ll be run/walking. I’m guessing that I’ll likely finish somewhere between 2:30 and 2:45 (assuming no bad surprises happen)!  I’m nervous and excited for tomorrow!!! FINGERS CROSSED RACE DAY IS SMOOTH! Wish me luck, but not ‘break a leg’ because I probably would!…First half marathon about to happen, woot woot!

What is your favorite disney character?