Happy Birthday, Halloween Mavens


Please join us in wishing two special Mavens—Amanda Kingsbury (Co-founder and Contributing Editor) and Abby Gardner (Executive Editor)—a very happy birthday. 

We thought this might be the perfect opportunity to get to know them better, and get the scoop on what it’s like to have your day of birth on All Hallows’ Eve. We wish all of our Halloween Birthday Mavens a fabulous year ahead.

Fun fact: Amanda was born on the *exact night* Abby’s parents were getting hitched. Magic was in the air! 

Amanda Kingsbury, Co-founder and Contributing Editor

Age you’re turning: Not quite 50, but no longer 48. 

Favorite Halloween costume: On my 30th birthday, I dressed as Marilyn Monroe from the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” scene in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” I plan on squeezing back into that dress next year on my 50th.

Best thing about having a Halloween birthday: Everyone wants to dress up and party with you! 

Worst thing about having a Halloween birthday: People have VERY high expectations about your costume. 

Birthday cake or Halloween candy? Oreo ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.

“Sure, curiosity might kill the cat. Be curious, anyway. Always. About everything.”

Thing you’d go back and tell your 14 year old self: Sure, curiosity might kill the cat. Be curious, anyway. Always. About everything.

Little-known fact about you: I once modeled as a polygamist bride for the cover of a mystery novel called “Desert Wives.” 

On this year’s birthday wish list: That more people will support Indy Maven, so we can do our best to support and uplift women in Indianapolis. 

How you’ll spend your day: Dressed as a she-devil in a 1980s black and red dress, passing out candy in the best Halloween neighborhood ever: Irvington. Also, helping my daughter get ready to go out trick-or-treating with her friends. 

Dead celebrity you’d like to attend your birthday party: David Bowie. 

Any fun stories from the day that you were born? I apparently was born with a conehead that really had my dad concerned. My mom blames the forceps. 

Abby Gardner, Executive Editor

Age you’re turning: 44

Favorite Halloween costume: My favorite grown-up costume was for a party a couple of years ago where the theme was “Come As Your Favorite Dead Person.” I went as an “old” Taylor Swift from the “You Belong with Me Video” because it was right when her “Look What You Made Me Do” came out with the famous line, “I’m sorry Old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead.” Taylor even commented on my Instagram photo of the look. I’m also in the Children’s Museum Guild and love that I get to dress up as different creepy characters all month long at the Haunted House. 

Best thing about having a Halloween birthday: It’s super fun when you’re a kid—and an adult. Also, candy. 

Worst thing about having a Halloween birthday: Unreasonably high expectations on your costumes.

Birthday cake or Halloween candy? My mom always made me a yellow poppy seed cake with cream cheese frosting for my birthday and now that she’s gone and I’m back in Indy, my Aunt Cathy makes it for me. It’s amazing and I only eat it once a year. 

But my true love, all year long, is candy. It is my Achilles heel and I like to blame this on my Halloween birthday. I love all things super sugary. Chocolate is fine, but it’s not my go-to. If I had to pick just one type, I’d probably say Laffy Taffy. And obviously, banana is the best. 

Thing you’d go back and tell your 14 year old self: I’m so glad you refused to pretend you weren’t smart, but please stop stressing so much about not having a boyfriend. Also, you can probably get the same grade with half the study time as what you’re currently putting in. 

“I still sleep with my blankie and I am not even a little bit embarrassed by that fact.”

Little-known fact about you: I still sleep with my blankie and I am not even a little bit embarrassed by that fact. 

On this year’s birthday wish list: To finish writing the YA novel I’ve been working on before I turn 45 and to just have lots of good times with family and friends. 

How you’ll spend your day: I’ll work during the day and then meet up with my dad, my brother and sister-in-law and their two little boys over at her parents’ house which serves as trick-or-treating home base. The boys are 5 and 2 ½ and love all things spooky so it brings me a lot of joy to experience the holiday through their eyes. There will also be wine and candy. 

Dead celebrity you’d like to attend your birthday party: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.

Any fun stories from the day that you were born? My poor mother burst all the blood vessels in her eyes while delivering me, which I suppose is Halloween appropriate. Also, my head was extremely football shaped at birth!

Leslie Bailey is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Indy Maven. Her birthday is two days after Valentine’s Day. Her dad accidentally drove her mom to a mental hospital on the day she was born. 


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