Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oh Happy Day!!! The happiest day of the year is finally here!! I hope today is the best Halloween ever, for all my Halloweenies!

Now remember, faithful followers....  I know you're busy flying around trying to get the last of the cobwebs in place, cleaning the dungeon while the cauldrons are simmering, and putting the finishing touches on the devilishly good
boo-fet.... but I don't want you to forget why we do all this.... to have fun!

So I'm putting one of my magic spells on you, to have a fabulous, fun, and festive Halloween! No need to fret, I'm sure what you've done is perfect...and if it's not.... you're the only one who knows! So enjoy!

Be sure to send me any pics that you may want to share, and have a very safe and Happy Halloween!

And remember.... only 365 more days until we have to be ready for next year!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

PARTY CHECKLIST!

Today is the busiest day around the Manor, and I'm sure it is for you too! So here's a few pre-party checklists to help you breeze through your day. Hop on the old broomstick and let's get going....

Food and Drink

Candy and loot bags.
Set out glass jars loaded with different types of candies and mini scoops, and let guests fill their own goodie bags to take home. Go to candywarehouse.com to stock up on a variety of treats, from gross gummy body parts (feet, ears, and eyeballs) to classics like Pixy Stix and Bazooka.

Punch bowl.
No Halloween party would be complete without a spooky punch. Serve one that’s blood-red, ghoulish green, putrid purple, orange, or black and use dry ice to create an eerie mist.

Napkins, plates, utensils, and tablecloths.
Keep a stash of these essentials in colors and patterns that match your scheme. A festive covering will make your everyday tables party-ready in an instant. PartyCity.com has a wide selection of Halloween-themed goods, along with supplies in basic colors.

Serving dishes.
Count your platters beforehand to make sure you have enough space for all your party treats. Make a list or label each dish with a Post-it note or masking tape to keep track of which food goes with which platter.

Beverages and cups.
If you’re serving alcoholic drinks, plan on three to four cocktails per guest for a two- to three-hour party. And don’t forget to include something alcohol-free and fun for the teetotalers and kids in your group. Make sure to have heatproof cups on hand if you’re serving anything hot, like mulled cider.

Appetizers.
Serve plenty of savory items to balance out all that Halloween sugar. For less stress, make as many items ahead of time as you can.

Desserts.
Cupcakes and cookies are easy for guests to eat and fun to decorate for Halloween (for example: cookies shaped like ghosts and cats and cupcakes topped with orange frosting or mini pumpkin candies). For even more holiday spirit, make pumpkin cupcakes and decorate them with candy corn. Or try using Halloween candy in creative ways: Serve a Twix cheesecake pie or make chocolate bark decorated with candy corn.

Setting the Scene

Carved jack-o’-lanterns.
Greet guests with a lineup of these lighted hosts on your stoop or porch.

Pumpkins and decorative gourds.
Display these in clusters around your home. Try different ways of dressing up your pumpkins—spray them with metallic paint for a golden glow or use chalkboard paint to make faces or write messages (a great project for the kids).

Fake cobwebs and spiders, paper bats, balloons, and other decorations.
Hang cobwebs and spiders in the corners of your room, let bats and banners dangle from the ceiling, and go all-out with festive or frightening d├ęcor to create the right atmosphere. Shop for supplies from OrientalTrading.com, which has a wide selection of creepy goods—bags of bones, ghosts, and tombstones. Halloween is one holiday when it’s OK to be over-the-top.

Candles.
Scatter lots of votives throughout your party and group pillars of varying heights and sizes together. Display a candelabra for dramatic flair.

Spooky music.
Put together a playful playlist of favorite songs, such as The Doors’ “People Are Strange” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” or invest in a soundtrack of creepy sound effects. Try Martha Stewart Living’s Spooky Scary Sounds (which includes knives being sharpened, thumping heartbeats, and howling winds) or Halloween Horrorscapes, which features tracks titled “Blood Hunt” and “Alone at the Cabin” (including thunder, screams, snarling monsters, and chainsaws–definitely not for the faint of heart).

Halloween movies.
Play classic horror films in the background (on mute if you don’t want the sound to be distracting) to get guests in the mood, such as Friday the 13th, The Exorcist, or, naturally, Halloween. For less frightening movies that still set the tone, try The Addams Family, Beetlejuice, or—the best feel-good Halloween flick ever—It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Costume accessories.
Whether you’re hosting a costume party or not, it’s always fun to have some extra dress-up items around. Set out some masks and wigs, plastic fangs, hats, a cape, a tiara, a feather boa—whatever suits your fancy—and let your guests get creative.

Camera.
Don’t forget to recharge your batteries and clear space on your memory card before your Halloween bash. Designate a friend or family member as the party photographer so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

HAVE FUN.....  you did a BOO-TIFUL JOB! Enjoy!

And for more great, last minute ideas check out Real Simple!

Friday, October 26, 2012

SPIDER COCKTAILS

Check out this idea to add something special to your guests creepy cocktails! This is a great idea from Fahrenheit 350 and I wish I would have thought of it!

Just freeze plastic spiders into ice cub trays (use juice or water) and serve 'em up when you mix those drinks. Just remember, if you're gonna use these for the little monsters, make sure to supervise, it may not be appropriate for wee little ones.... it could be a possible choking hazard!

Why not go all out, and add a bunch of these little buggers to the party punch bowl, and I promise, it'll be a hit!

For more great party planning ideas check out Fahrenheit 350!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

THE COUNTDOWN IS ON!


Only 7 days until the big day.... were has the time gone? And most of you Halloweenies have already outfitted the whole family with their fabulous Halloween costumes.... but not forYOU!

And if you're a thrifty one, you don't want to waste your time and money spending 30 bucks (or more!) on a costume you're going to just wear ONCE this year!

Instead, why not create your own Halloween costume, and if you're not a professional seamstress..... simply use what you have! Basic black is a Halloween must, and I know you've got that little black dress hanging in your closet. Check out these great,crafty ideas from POLYVORE to get inspired!

Monday, October 22, 2012

BOO!

Ok fellow Halloweenies.....We are really getting down to the wire, now! Bats need to be hung and cauldrons need to be polished, and don't forget more crafty projects!!!

We all know that the little monsters will need to have something light their way on trick or treat night, so why not a band of ghostly, glowing garland! This is a pretty easy project, and the results are just boo-tiful!

For step-by-step instructions from Design, Dining & Diapers, click here!

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY TOMBSTONES

The Halloween countdown is on.... and there's so much to do over the next 15 days! So let's talk spooky props....

We all know that setting the scene is what really makes for a boo-tiful Halloween! And to do that you need props.... and we all know that if you jump on the old broomstick and fly off to one of those "Halloween Specialty" stores, you're gonna pay a severed arm and a leg for some cool props.

Well, with a little creativity, a few supplies and some tips from DIY, you can make some pretty cool props yourself, and save the arm and the leg for the withes stew.....

Check out this tombstone project.... it will take about half a day (depending on how many you make) and should run under $50. For the complete DIY directions, click here!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD

One of the fun things that I love...... is to make something on my Halloween menu that's unexpected and that may even get a laugh or two.

But you don't have to be an expert chef or even an artist to let your creativity come through. Remember something that you've heard me preach many time.....keep it simple!

Like these cute little pepper spooky faces.... even if you've only ever carved  pumpkins (and I know you have!) this will be a breeze!

Just slice the tops off carefully, then hollow out the peppers and give 'em a good rinse. Then take your paring knife and make a standard jack o lantern face. Simple.

Then once they look they way you want.... then just fill 'em up! You can fill them with dip (they look pretty cute when it's oozing out..) or use them to fill with individual pasta or potato salad!

I think any little goblins would love to be served their mac and cheese in these little spooks! And yes, we do encourage the little monsters to play with their food!

Monday, October 8, 2012

SPIDERWEB DOORMAT



We all know that when it comes to decorating for Halloween, you really need to set the scene, and it all starts at the front door! So why not lure visitors with a spiderweb doormat? Now of course you can buy one, but come on all you crafty ones....it's soooooo easy to make! And you'll love telling your guests who ask where you got it.... that you made it!

Now I've scoured the (cob)web and here is the best way to do this:

Step 1: Purchase an indoor/outdoor needle-punch carpet ($3.70 for one square yard; Caldwell Carpet, 800-772-7090). To turn it into a circle: Mark the rug's center point with a Prismacolor white-colored pencil (88 cents; dickblick.com). Measure and mark the distance from that point to a spot about half an inch from the rug's edge. Cut a piece of string to that length. Tie one end of the string to the pencil and secure the other end of the string to the rug's center point with a tack. Pull the string taut and draw a large circle onto the rug; remove the string. Cut out the circle, just inside the white pencil mark, with sharp scissors.

Step 2: Using a yardstick, evenly space and draw eight intersecting lines that cross the rug from edge to edge. Between those lines, draw arches around the mat, using our photo as a guide.

Step 3: Lastly, coat the rug with a clear finishing spray (Krylon Make It Last Clear Sealer, $3.99; joann.com) to protect your web from trick-or-treating feet.

Find this and more Halloween Craft Projects from the folks at Country Living!

Friday, October 5, 2012

HERE'S LOOKIN' AT YA

I really love those decorations that are the show-stopper of the neighborhood, like this! These window clings and silhouette are very popular for the holidays. But they also can be pretty expensive. But if you have some minimal art skills, you can pull this off, and do it on the cheap, too!

All you need is a few rolls of craft paper, some craft paints, scissors, an exacto knife, clear tape, and a pencil.

You could handle this project several ways, but let's go with the simplest one.... I suggest measure the inside of the window, and cut your craft paper to fit. Then take your pencil and draw a very simple design (it might be a good idea to use a picture as a reference) then cut it out with scissors and/or your handy-dandy exacto knife.

Then place it back in the window to check your measurements, and also check it out from the outside too, to make sure it looks the way you want it to. Then after you're happy with it, take it down and apply the craft paint. Let dry, then put up with clear tape.

Remember, when doing a project like this, the more simple the design, the better it'll look. Keep in mind, you want it to be recognizable from the street, so don't make it too fancy, think simple shapes.

This also is a fun art project for kids of all ages!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

YES, I'M BACK......

Sorry dear followers.....
It has been quite a turbulent time around the Manor. But things have finally gotten back to normal. As you all know, the Spookiest Day of the Year is just around the corner. And I'm afraid I'm a bit behind on my spells and potions.

But I assure you.... it's never too late. So let's get started, shall we??????

If you're a little behind, like the Halloween Queen.... here's a jump-start to get some great ideas coming your way! Log on to All You.com and you'll find devilishly tasty recipes to ghoulish decoration tips, to let you know what you need to throw a wickedly good bash this Halloween!

It's like having your very own Halloween Fairy Ghoul-mother! Now, go get started!