Sunday 2 November 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN - Red Riding Hood & Her Skeleton Biscuits *REVIEW*

Yesterday, we celebrated Halloween in style at our good friends Liz & Baz's house for their annual Halloween fancy dress party. 

Before I lost my weight I absolutely dreaded the words 'fancy dress party', and would agonise over what I could a) fit into to and b) what I could wear that wouldn't make me feel even worse about myself as I was so uncomfortable with my size. It was a novelty this year to be able to go to a costume site and choose from their whole range of costumes instead of just the 'Plus Size' section. This year was the first time I've chosen and worn a fancy dress costume I truly wanted to wear. Every day I'm discovering new reasons to stay motivated to get my last bit of weight off, and keep it off for good. 

Since being a child I've always had a fascination with Little Red Riding Hood; I loved the story when I was small, and I remember having a topsy-turvy doll that was Red Riding Hood at one end, and then The Wolf/Grandma at the other end and I just loved it! I have always dreamt of having a beautiful red hooded cape - if I could get away with an adult sized beautiful red cape instead of a coat, I would totally do it - I can't quite bring myself to be known as  'the weird lady who wears a cape' though! I also love the fact that Red Riding Hood carried an awesome wicker basket, again - this is something I'd always wanted to own myself, and use to take my baked goods to people (and hopefully not get attacked by a wolf!)

So, when the fancy dress Halloween party was once again on the horizon I knew exactly who I wanted to dress up us. The lovely people over at Escapade Fancy Dress Costumes offered to send me over a costume of my choosing to wear on the night, and luckily I found my dream costume on their very easy to navigate site, in just a few minutes…

I chose a perfect Halloween-y version of my dream Red Riding costume… Red Riding Hood Dark Costume priced at £39.99

What I loved about this costume was not only it's 'adult-ness' (making it perfect for a grown up's only party), but that it made Red Riding Hood a bit sexy, a bit naughty, and very 'dark' - very fitting for Halloween I thought! I also loved that it would be easy to accessorise with black as the accent colour, and that it didn't have to be too flesh-baring, as the dress is floor length, and the cape adds a bit of extra cover-up (I'm so much happier having lost my 6 stone target, but I still have big body hang ups, and feel happiest when I'm modestly on show, rather than properly exposed). 

On the website they have a variety of sizes for this costume from size small (8-10) all the way up to XXXL (20-22) - it is so great that they cater for many sizes and shapes in this costume, and coming from someone who last year would have had to order the XXXL option, I'm pleased that that choice is there. It would truly be a beautiful costume for any size lady. (They are currently out of stock in a lot of the sizes, I'm guessing after the Halloween rush, but if you keep an eye on their site I'm pretty sure they'll be stocking up again soon). 

I ordered a size L '12-14' and found it very true to size. It fitted really very well, and felt so comfortable to wear. I may well have been able to size down, as it was a quite generous 12-14, and the material quite stretchy and very 'forgiving', but the 12-14 was just fine, and did the job nicely. 

For the £39.99 you get the floor length dress (with stunning detail) and the floor length hooded cape and you also get a hanky to pop into the top of your own basket. You can then accessorise your outfit from there. I teamed my costume with black tights, my favourite black suede high heeled shoes, and a long sleeved black shrug, just so as I'd feel extra comfortable (my arms are my most hated part of my body, so I feel much happier when they're covered) - also being November I guessed I'd appreciate being slightly more covered up and warm. My final accessory was my very own wicker basket, which I treated myself to - I will now forever be known as 'the lady with the basket', as it will definitely be my go-to 'bag' of choice for transporting my baked goods around! 

My costume in all it's glory! 

T'ah D'ah! 

The detailing on the dress

The dresses detail was beautiful, and very flattering - the corset style ribbon at the front was easy to tie, and gave the illusion of being a corset without being tight or restricting. You could tell from the detailing alone that this costume is more 'high end' in terms of pricing, it was sturdy and well made, with better quality fabric than other costumes I've worn in the past. For me, I'd rather pay a little extra for the quality of an outfit, plus the peace of mind that it won't fall to pieces at a pull of one thread, is always good. 

I felt confident in this costume, and hubby seemed to like it too ;-) It felt good to feel attractive, and to celebrate my weight-loss achievement with a fun fancy dress night with good friends, plenty of drink, and lots of yummy treat food. 

Being Red Riding Hood meant that I couldn't arrive at the party with an empty basket, so yesterday I set to work in the kitchen re-creating the skeleton biscuits I made a few weeks ago for Danni's Hen party. This time though, instead of dinosaur skeletons I opted for human skeleton biscuits to fit with the Halloween theme. I used a gingerbread man biscuit cutter, and lots of white royal icing to create the desired effect. Once again, I used The Biscuiteers recipe for vanilla biscuits (using vanilla pod and golden syrup in the biscuit dough) from their great book Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits and followed their advice for icing and drying the biscuits to ensure that the icing set, and the biscuits didn't go soft. 

One of the skeleton biscuits

Biscuit Burial Ground

All ready to load up my basket

The biscuits went down well at the party - everybody loves a homemade sweet treat at a party, right?

The biscuits were really fun to make, and tasted really good as well as looking great. They come in at 239 calories per biscuit (the dough made 19 gingerbread men, but depending on the size of your cutter you could make more/less). 

We had a fab night with our lovely friends, and saw some brilliant other costumes - our hosts dressed up as Elphaba and The Wizard from 'Wicked/Wizard of Oz', and my husband had a dual costume of Rorshach from Watchmen, and Walter White/Heisenberg from Breaking Bad…

Lovely Liz as Elphaba, and moi in my Red Riding Hood ensemble. 

Baz looking very dapper as The Wizard

Hubby as Rorshach - a great costume, but not very practical for eating and drinking, hence costume #2…

Walter White aka Heisenberg from Breaking Bad

Heisenberg meets Little Red Riding Hood - a modern day fairy story! 

Did you dress up for Halloween this year?

Mrs B


For all your fancy dress needs you can head over to the Escapade website here, their Facebook Page or their Twitter account. They have hundreds of brilliant costumes for every fancy dress occasion and for all genders, ages and sizes! It really is your one stop shop for all things fancy dress. 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Little Red Riding Hood Dark costume for the purpose of this review - all opinions and words are my own.