Friday, October 31, 2014


Well, we made it! Our favorite day of the year has finally arrived!

I know you've still got lots of things to do, costumes to finish, treats and tricks to prepare for the big scare..... but make the most of it and HAVE FUN!

Having Halloween on a Friday is fab-boo-lous because we can party all weekend long! Trick or treating tonight, the annual Halloween bash tomorrow, and wrap things up on Sunday night with a Spooktacular dinner party. After kids have collected all their treats and a few games of "Pin The Tail On The Dragon", then it's time to break out the flashlights, for a few rounds of "Ghosts In The Graveyard" !

Have a frightful Halloween weekend, be safe, and enjoy every minute of it! Thank you to all my Halloweenies for hanging out with me, here in our little corner of the web.... it's been a spooktacular year!

Now, I still have some cobwebs to hang, lady fingers to bake, and my witches brew is already simmering in the cauldron, so it's another busy day here at The Manor.

And don't forget.... after today, we'll need to start planning for next year!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Well Halloweenies.... this is it! Tomorrow is Halloween, and it's gonna be here whether we're ready or not. So just enjoy, take a minute to look around at everything you've done, and give yourself a pat on the back.

It doesn't matter if you didn't hang ghosts from all the trees, or bake those spiderweb cookies, or you forgot to make your Lily Munster dress.... just enjoy what you've done! Great job!

But, if you're still in need of that last minute crafty costume idea.... think bats!

Oh, how cute is this???? I loooooooove it! I came across this little gem while surfing the web, and I gotta tell you, there are so many talented crafters out there!

I couldn't find the instructions....but I would say from all my years of crafting experience, all you'll need is some black floral wire, black foam sheets (or black adhesive paper) scissors, maybe a glue stick or hot glue gun.... and a plain black headband.

From the picture, it looks pretty simple. If I had to guess, I'd say.... make a bat template, trace it, cut it out, attach the bats (by hot glue or glue stick) to the wire, (cut at different lengths, and be sure to add a few extra inches at the bottom for twisting around the actual headband) Use the photo as a reference how far apart to set them, and I say add as many bats as you like.... until you get the desired look that you're going for!

Pretty simple. And the best part.... it doesn't have to look exactly like the picture. If it's not perfect, you're the only one who knows.

Just throw on some black leggings with a black sparkly top, and I think you'll look cute.... and crafty!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Ok, so if you're making yourself crazy, and think that you have to go all out for this Halloween party with exotic food and table-scapes. Well, I have to tell you.... you couldn't be more wrong. Here's a good example of easy and fabulous!

If you don't have time to plan a large menu, just do drinks and a dessert table, instead. (and if you're really pressed for time, you can even buy the goodies already made.... then just decorate them yourself!)

Add a few spooky props, sparkly dishes, some candles and some spiderwebs. Dim the lights and wait for the guests to arrive!

Simply Spooktacular!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I know that we are in full swing of Halloween preparations, but I just had to take a moment and say Happy Birthday to my all time favorite style icon, Elsa Lanchester AKA The Bride of Frankenstein.

The Bride's style is so classy with those gorgeous eyes, beauty scars, and that iconic hair do! How can you not love her? She's my favorite, so I thought it would be fitting today, to feature some pretty awesome make up, so you too, can look just as boo-tiful as Frankie's main ghoul.

Now you can go simple.... with something as easy as some white make up, black eye shadow and black eyeliner pencils.

Or if you don't want to do a full-face make up, just add this lovely shade of green eyeshadow and a few scars from your eyeliner pencil, to your regular make up.

Now for that hair..... you can do a wig, or just take what you've got, tease it, pile it high, and pin it on top of your head. Spray a few temporary streaks of black and white, and you're good to go.

We've covered hair and make up, now the outfit. A long, white dress, and a few ace bandages to cover your arms, and the look is complete.

Trust me, you'll look stunning. And we owe it all to my favorite classic movie star of all time!!

Happy Birthday Elsa! 

Monday, October 27, 2014


Ok, this is cruch time, people! We are just hours away from the day of the year, that is our reason for living (or not living, in some cases...) Halloween is almost here, and I know lots of you are still looking for last minute costume ideas, so let's talk black and white.

This is such a fun costume idea, and you can get very creative! Paying tribute to film and television before they contained color, you can add white or gray makeup to your skin to really look the part! Think Marilyn, Bogie, Chaplin.... and don't forget our favorite vampire, Bela Lugosi!
With a 40′s or 50′s costume in black, white, and shades of gray, you can be a Film Noir detective, bombshell, or your favorite classic horror star in no time! All you'll need is a few pieces from your parent's closet, maybe a trip to the thrift store to find an outfit.... and some black, white, and grey Halloween make up from the party store.

Remember when doing the make up, to cover your entire face, neck, hands.... any skin that might be showing, in the white or grey make up. Because after all, you just stepped out of a black and white movie....

Friday, October 24, 2014


Here's another quick decorating tip for today....  I know some of you may not be into the over-the-top holiday decorating.

But that's ok, sometimes I think that subtle, pretty Halloween decorations can make such an impact, too. We call that "understated elegance" and here, you can see how something so simple as a few black felt bats put inside a lampshade, (with double-stick tape) and simple black and white lolly pops, really make this look amazing! I'd also add a few stray spiders and mice hanging around, but hey.... that's me.

I love decorating tips that don't take a lot of time and are high on the "oooohhhhs and ahhhhhs" factor!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


How sweet and scary at the same time.... they're creepy candy apples!

This sweet, old fashioned treat has been around for ages.... and I looooooove candy apples, it's the one thing that always makes me think of fall. The smell is incredible, and they always reminded me of big, shiny, rubies.

Well, here's a way to make those apples a bit more sinsiter, for your Halloween festivities. They're no different than regular candy apples, just add black food coloring, and you've got these little black beauties!

All you'll need is a bunch of green (Granny Smith) apples, some treat sticks, black food coloring, and candy apple glaze. You can find candy apple kits at your local grocery store, and they have everything you'd need, except for the black food coloring. Now, you can buy all the stuff seperately, but the kit is much easier. And yes.... this also works for caramel apples too!

Once you've removed the stems, washed the apples, and added the sticks, be sure to follow the instructuions on the package, and add the food coloring when you're mixing the candy glaze. Keep mixing and adding a few drops of the coloring at a time, until you get a nice, shiny, black gloss. Dip the apples, then cool according to the instructions on the kit.

They're just soooooo delightfully creepy.... how do you like them apples?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Now that we're getting down to the wire, you might be looking for a few extra goodies to spook up the front of the house. And I have to tell you, mood lighting is the key.

May I suggest, a few well placed tombstones with lanterns to light the way. Not only will it look
fab-boo-lous, but it will definitely give you that spooky effect we all want, in a good Halloween home.

Also, if you've got one of those old, mechanical Halloween monsters hanging around the garage, maybe give them an update! Just hot glue on some moss (you can buy bags of the stuff at your favorite craft store) and cover it from head to toe. If it doesn't have a light feature on it, be sure to add a spot light or lantern so it can be seen from the street.

Another oldie but goodie.... make a pumpkin head scarecrow! So easy to do, with just a few branches, some wire, a bit of ratty old fabric.... and of course, a pumpkin! You'll want to make the base first, securing each piece with some sturdy wire, and maybe a few dabs from the hot glue gun.

Once the frame looks the way you want it, work on carving the pumpkin face. Be sure to leave a spot to place twinkle lights to light up the inside.... and a hole at the bottom of the pumpkin, to slide it down on the frame.

Once you've done that, just add the fabric, and place in a great spot. Peeking out under a large tree, or hovering over some tombstones would look amazing!

Remember, with a little bit of light shining on each scare, you'll really make the front of your Halloween home look quite FAB-BOO-LOUS!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Ok, with only 9 days and counting, I've gotten many frantic e mails asking for the easiest decorations to spook up the house for Halloween.

Well here are my top 5 favorite ideas. Not to worry, they're super fast, super easy, and are super fab-boo-lous!

Ok, all you need for this creepy entry way are some black trash bags. Take scissors and cut strips length-wise so they blow in the wind. You can put this up this up with duct tape (use black, so you won't see it) in a matter of minutes!

Now for some scares for the inside of the house.... With a few dabs of hot glue, and a bag or two of plastic spiders, you can attach them to doors, windows, stairways..... actually any where you can imagine. Keep in mind, if you want to attach them to the wall, the glue may leave a mark once it's removed. So I suggest

any surface that's glass or has a glossy finish, and only use a dab.... you won't need a lot to hold these little guys on.

On to idea #3.... every house needs some bats for Halloween, and these look great on tall branches sticking out of a huge vase on the floor, or as a centerpiece on the dining room table! I loooooove this idea, and have done it soooooo many times, but it never gets old!

All you'll need is some black ribbon, some hot glue, and a white paint pen. This one is as easy as 1,2,3.

1. Cut ribbon to make bows for on the branches. Tie them on the branches, where you think they'll look best.

2. Use a dab of hot glue to hold in place.

3. On the knot of the bow, take your paint pen (or white acrylic paint and a tiny brush) and make eyes. Da ta! You made a bat! Now, keep doing that until it looks like a flock of bats.

This is one of my personal favorites, and I've been known to do this all year long around The Manor. Candles that drip blood just give your room that little added touch that says you're a super stylish Halloween Homemaker! 

What you'll need for this is some white pillar candles in assorted sizes, a few red candlesticks, and a lighter or matches.

Take a red candlestick, light it, and hold it over the white pillar candle. As the wax drips, hold it over the edges of the white candle so it can drip over the sides. This may take a few mintues to get the wax to melt quickly, but once it's good and hot, it should melt pretty quick.

*Keep in mind this is a grown up only project, not a good idea for the kiddo's. 

And the fastest decorating tip I can give you, that'll give you the most BOO for your buck.... cover all your furniture with sheets and torn cheesecloth fabric! It'll take a matter of minutes, and will really spook up your living (or dead) room!

There you have it. My top 5 fast and favorite decorating tips. Now come on, let's get moving.... you've got a busy day ahead!

Monday, October 20, 2014


Happy Monday, Halloweenies!

I'm sure that you're in high gear, getting everything just right, for that special day.... well, here's another idea you just may want to add to your bag of tricks.

This spooktacular treat has been floating around the www for quite a while now.... but just in case you missed it, you'll want to check it out. It's a super easy way to add a little fright to your chocolate chip cookies. It's so simple, and another one of those.... "Why didn't I think of that?" moments.

Just make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and when they're ready to come out of the oven, all good and hot.... you'll take a toothpick, and drag it lightly through the melting chocolate chips to make spider legs.

Once the cookies cool, it'll look like you used spiders in your secret family recipe!

That's it. But remember, you'll need to do this as soon as they come out of the oven, once they cool, the chocolate won't "drag" so easily.

Wouldn't this be a fun treat for your little ghouls classroom Halloween party? I can hear the screams now....

Friday, October 17, 2014


One of the best things about decorating for Halloween is that there are no rules. Really! And that especially applies to pumpkins.

I've gotten quite a few questions on the best way to decorate pumpkins.... and I always tell my Halloweenies.... "Whatever you love, is the best way to do it!"

Add paint or fabric, cut outs or jewels.... whatever makes you smile and say "That's a fab-boo-lous pumpkin!" works for me!

So be creative and have fun..... I for one just loooooove carving pumpkins, then I give them a good coat or two of glossy black spray paint. The look so beautiful when they shine in the moon light.

Just have fun and be creative. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Is this a suer cute way to dress up the buffet table or what?! All you need is a little creativity.... your favorite chips and dip.... a red pepper, and some black olives.

Put some dip (may I suggest some fresh guaca-moldy) in a bowl, add slices of red pepper for the lips, and black olives for the eyes, lashes and earrings. Place the bowl at the bottom of a serving platter, turned vertical.

Add blue corn, and regular tortilla chips to make the classic Bride of Franenstein hair do.

Not only yummy, but quite festive, if I must say so myself. And the best part.... will be all your guests gathered around the buffet, talking about how amazingly creative you are!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Host a costume party with a twist. Have all your party-goers come costumed as their favorite movie villain!

Maybe it's Cruella de Ville, Bonnie and Clyde or Mommie Dearest, everyone has a favorite bad guy! Have a best costume contest, where guests vote for their favorite characters.

Provide ballots with each guest’s name listed and have party goers vote for their favorites. Be sure to award prizes for the a first, second and third place winners.
Once everyone has had a chance to see all the guests, collect the ballots. Figure out the winner and award a prize before everyone leaves!

Once again, everyone will think you're such an amazing party planner!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Happy Monday!

17 days and counting.... how dreadfully wonderful! You know what would make today even more wonderful? How about we make it another project day! There's so much to do with Halloween festivities right around the corner, and every Halloween Homemaker needs some crafty inspiration.

Once again, you all know how much I love projects with jars.... and The Manor seems to be over run with them lately. But here's a way to put them to great use. I found this project on the website, and it's simple spooky fun!

Nothing screams Halloween more than a buch of spooky spiders, cobwebs, and candles! Well this fits the bill, peferctly.

All you'll need is some jars, black yarn, scissors, votive candles, and your trusty hot glue gun.

Then you'll make your spider webs out of the yarn (if you've never done this before, it's really quite easy... if you get stuck, just follow the lines on the photo above, placing small knots at some of the joints on the web) and add a few dabs of hot glue to keep secure.

Remember to wrap a few strands of yarn around the lip of the jar, and hot glue them down, to keep the ends from unraveling.

Add your votive candles, and maybe a few fuzzy spiders to set the scene, and you've got quite a festive tablescape!

But remember, safety first.... be sure to keep these out of the reach of little monster hands.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Oh Pinterest, how I love thee!

What's so funny is no sooner had I haved this picture to my project file, I had 3 e mails in my in box with the same picture! So I guess this would be a good topic for today.

It's another Pinterest Project Day, and this one will get you some spook-tacular results! All you'll need for this skull centerpiece is a plastic skull that you can find at your favorite craft and/ or Halloween store, a drill with a medium size drill bit, a sharpie marker, a pair of snips or floral cutters, and a bunch of roses (real or artificial.... either would work) *If you want to keep the flowers looking full through the Halloween season, I suggest artificial. But if you want them to dry up and wither, giving a spookified effect, go for the real ones)

What you'll need to do is take each flower, snip off some of the stem, and hold it up to the skull, so you have an idea how many you'll need, and how far apart you'll want to drill the holes.

Take the Sharpie marker and mark dots where you'll need to drill for the stems to go through.

Drill the holes into the skull (I really enjoy saying that.....*bwah hahahaha) to accomidate each flower.

Take each flower and place the stem throught the holes. You may need to trim each stem a bit more, so it's the right length to fit inside the skull.

If you have a few bare spots, you can always add more holes, and fill it in as you go.

I've done this kind of centerpiece many times, and you'll get lots of oooohhhhsssss and aaaagggghhhhhssss. The effect is quite dramatic, and oh so spooky.

And once you make one, I know you'll want to make more. I've done this kind of centerpiece with pumpkins, plastic tombstones, and skulls.... and they all came out just

Happy Pinterest Project Day!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Add some Halloween drama with some creamy deviled eggs with a kick!

These Green Deviled Eggs are really made from avocado and wasabi, and are so devilishly delish, no one will be able to resist them! This recipe comes from Laura Bashar of Family Spice, and it's a goodie, so check it out...

Here's what you'll need:
•4 eggs
•1 cup blueberries, frozen
•1/2 avocado, seeded and peeled
•1 tsp wasabi, paste
•1 tsp lemon juice
•1/4 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp sesame seeds, black


1.Place in a small pot:
•4 eggs
•1 cup blueberries, frozen

2.Cover eggs with water, cover pot and bring to boil over high heat.

3.Let eggs boil for 5 minutes, then turn off heat. Let eggs sit in the blueberry water for 10 more minutes.

4.Remove eggs, one at a time, and gently press and crack the shell with the back of the spoon.

5.Place cracked eggs in a bowl and add the blueberry water. Allow eggs to cool to room temperature, then place the eggs in the blueberry water in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight.

6.Peel the eggs and cut in half, lengthwise.

7.Scoop out the yolks and place in a bowl. Mix until smooth together with:
•1/2 avocado , seeded and peeled
•1 tsp wasabi , paste
•1 tsp lemon juice
•1/4 tsp salt

8.Place avocado mix into a piping bag and pipe into the hollowed egg halves. Chill until ready to serve.

9.Prior to serving, garnish eggs with:
•1/2 tsp sesame seeds, black

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Inactive Time: 8 hours chill time
Servings: 4
Serving Suggestions: Top with some charcoal salt for a spooky effect!

Cooking Tips: Add red and blue food coloring for more of a purple effect, as done above. For easier piping, chill the avocado mixture in the refrigerator for hour prior to piping.

More more fab-boo-lous ideas be sure to check out!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Ok, this is another "How'd they do that?" moment....

One of our fellow Halloweenies, Melinda sent me this photo, and was asking if I knew the magic spell to make this work.

Well, Melinda.... each Halloween Homemaker has her own bag o'tricks, so I may not know they exact way this was done.... but I can sure give you some crafty ideas to get a very simular look.

Here's what I'd do....

I'd get a bunch of cardboard toilet paper and paper towel tubes, some LED votive candles, some black or white spray paint, some clear fishing line, some craft foam (poly-fil or styra-foam would work) a drill and tiny drill bit, and my handy dandy hot glue gun.

I know it sounds like a lot... but I know we can do this! What I would do first, is take all the cardboard tubes and the craft foam, and cut a piece of foam to fit inside the bottom of the tube, and do the same on the other end, leaving room for the votive candle.

Then I'd spray paint all the tubes (White or black (whatever color you want the candles to be).... and remember once they dry, to spray paint the foam piece at the bottom.... because when you look up, you'll see the bottom of the candle, so you'll want to make sure it's been painted) let them dry according to the instructions on the spray paint.

While those are drying, you should start on the LED lights. I'd make sure they're all working... and then I'd take my drill and tiny drill bit, and make a tiny hole at the very top of the flame on the votive, This is where the fishing line will go through to attach, and make them hang straight. (If you drill the hole through the cardboard, they would hang at an angle.... but that might be a cool look too.... and you may want to experiment, to see what effect you like the best!)

Once the tubes have dried, and the votives have the holes drilled in them, then I'd add the LED votives to the top of the tubes. (Be sure to turn on the switch to each votive to light them up) Keep them secure with a few dabs of hot glue.

Just a suggestion..... if you want to leave the light off in the votive until just before your guests arrive, I wouldn't add the hot glue until about an hour or two before you want to turn them on, or you won't be able to get them out of the cardboard tube.... add the dab of hot glue after you turn them on.

Then, I'd measure the lentgth that I'd want them to hang, and cut the fishing line accordingly. When attaching the fishline, I'd tie a tiny knot, to keep it from slipping out of the hole that you drilled at the top of the flame.

I'd attach them to the ceiling or inside porch with tiny framing tacks. If you're going to hang them in a tree, I'd suggest just making a loop in your fishline, and tie or knot off the end around each limb.

This is such a magical effect, and looks like a super fun project. But if you find a better way to do it, please let me know. And make sure you take lots of pictures of your creation, so we can share it with our fellow Halloweenies!

Thanks for the idea, Melinda.... I hope I gave you some crafty project advice!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Ok....I had quite a few requests for my favorite Rice Krispy treat Halloween recipe. It's a spooky twist on an old favorite. Who doesn't love Rice Krispy treats?

Moms love 'em 'cuz they're super easy to make.... kids love 'em 'cuz they're yummy!

Well, just add a few drops of orange food coloring and hazelnut extract, into the marshmallow mix, and follow the directions on the cereal box for making the gooey treats.

Then roll into little round shapes and drizzle with chocolate. How easy is that? And the best part...... everyone will think you slaved over these decadent desserts.... but we'll know better, won't we?

Monday, October 6, 2014


There's nothing more wonderful than being in New Orleans in October. The weather is great, and the spirits are in the mood for Halloween!

The Count and I just returned from our short holiday, and I was so inspired, and got lots of ideas to share with you all. Here'a a few pictures I thought you might enjoy.

I had to make my ususal stop at Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo, to pick up a few supplies....

Stopped by St. Louis Cemetery Number 1, to say hello to my old friend....
 Marie Laveau....

 And was invited to party the night away, with some old friends of Pirate Jean Lafitte's. It was quite amazing.

So if you're looking for a faboo-lous getaway..... I would suggest New Orleans in October!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


What a glorious day! Happy October 1st to all my Halloweenies!

I don't know about you, but it sure seemed like this month was never going to get here! Well, thank goodness it has! I hope that you'll be doing the most to enjoy it!

The pumpkins are almost ready for carving, the decorations are almost ready to be hung.... and The Manor is all a buzz with the upcoming festivities, and I can hardly wait to share!

It's party-planning mode this week for The Queen, and I don't know about you, but I always find that during our parties, that some way-ward guests always seem to be wandering around The Manor.

Now don't get me wrong... I loooooove our party guests, but sometimes there are rooms I don't want anyone to go in. (The closet in our bedroom is just frightful!) So I was trying to think of a way to keep the party guests downstairs..... and I saw this idea from the fine folks at Party City!

All you'll need is some black mesh-like material, tons of black, plastic mice and rats.... and some fake black leaves.

Guaranteed to keep those pesky, unwanted guests from going through your underwear drawer!