Archive | October, 2011

Halloween Tricks and Treats

31 Oct

I hate being scared. Or maybe I love being scared but hate how scary things dwell in my mind for DAYS after I initally get scared (hello American Horror Story! – why do I watch this show ?!). Regardless, I always have fun celebrating all things scary on Halloween. It’s such a fun holiday.

Every Halloween we host a little get together at our house where we serve up vino, munchies and A LOT of chocolate – cheap and cheerful.  We get a ton of trick-or-treaters so hanging in and watching all the little dragons, ninjas and princesses march by is as entertaining as it gets.

What are some of my favorite Halloween tricks and treats? If you’re hosting a little get together, it’s easy to squeeze a little fun out of this fright night.

Play scary movies as a soundtrack

Place masks at each place setting (see example to the right – this was from my dinner party on Saturday)

Use candy corn as vase fillers (note that this works best with dried arrangements or candles)

Put mini-pumpkins everywhere! From mantel decor to place card holder, these buggers are cute!

Sprinkle spiders around the table as confetti

Serve thematic appetizers like deviled eggs or other dark delectables

Whip up a witches brew as a signature drink

Send each guest away with some treats and be creative about what to use as carriers – carved out sugar pumpkins are adorable as are white bags painted as ghosts

Want the creepiest, quickest decor? Stretchy spider webs. These things give off great effect but warning: cleaning them up can be a real chore

Make ghosts! Take a balloon and put a simple white sheet over it. Tie with twine and boo…simple and freaky (see pic to the right of one of my recent ghosts)

No time to bake dessert? Halloween candy and ice cream do the trick. If you have time, mash it and mix it up!

Use Halloween garland as napkin holders (see pic to the right – I did this on Saturday night too!)

Use pumpkins, gourds and candles as centerpieces – skip the fancy flora

If you’ve got the space, a pinata is a whole lotta fun! (yes, especially for adults)

Looking for more ideas? Check out the Halloween centers on Rachael Ray’s or Martha Stewart’s sites or pop into your local iParty or Target for some last minute decor.

Enjoy being weird and creative – it’s one of the few holidays where you can get away with it!

Boo!

Style Girl

I Heart Etsy

26 Oct

For most of you, Etsy is certainly not a new go-to site but just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it isn’t fabulous. I love, love, love Etsy. I love that I can find creative gifts on Etsy. I love that I have fun browsing through Etsy. I love that all the items I have gotten from Etsy have been ordered and delivered hassle free. And I really love that Etsy provides a platform for creatives of all types to come together and market their art. It’s just that cool.

If you’re unfamiliar with the site – check it out. A warning that the search tool can be tricky so you may need to keep search terms to a minimum in order to get the variety of results that you’re looking for. Other than that, the site is a breeze to use and “membership” is free. You all know I love to find treasures. Well Etsy is one big treasure hunt! I am always surprised with the things that I find and am marveled by the talent out there (I’ve got to find some!).

What treasures have I found recently?

A mobile for my son’s nursery – I hate plastic mobiles and most other plastic baby things. This pretty little mobile (pictured above) is vibrant, soft and generally non-offensive

Pretty glasses – juice, water or hell..even vino is made much more fun in these colorful little wonders

Cozy cowl – I just got this in the mail and am in love. A cowl is a great way to keep warm without bulking up on heavy sweaters!

Gorgeous pillows for my bedroom – The quality of these pillows far surpasses the price. I would have paid much more in a boutique

This amazing lamp – I wound up buying this lamp (in cream) from the designer himself (Lawrence McRae – he’s local to Boston, see my earlier post featuring his work) but much of his line is carried on Etsy

Thank you cards – It’s easy to find pretty cards now that letterpress is so commonplace and stores like Paper Source have saved us from the big box greeting card lines but I can’t help but feel good supporting the independents out there

And most recently I ordered a fun print for my son’s room – “Keep Calm and Love Dogs” – is the key to happiness really that simple? Maybe…

I plan to head back to Etsy in a week or two to find some creative holiday decor. Until then – happy treasure hunting!

Wink,

Style Girl

A Birthday Wish

13 Oct

Next Wednesday I will be another year older. A little bit wiser…and definitely older. As I think about this mini-milestone and how to celebrate it, I reflect a bit on where I am in my life today. There are many wonderful things – I have a new baby, I have finally finished graduate school, I have many wonderful friends and a good selection of shoes…but there are a few challenges that make the day-to-day rush a bit challening. For example,  I am 1-2 sizes LARGER than I was last summer (which has major wardrobe implications) and my budget to remedy the wardrobe issue is seriously diminished due to paying out the nose for childcare. So while my taste remains, my wallet has shrunk. What’s a birthday girl to do? I always treat myself to some birthday presents (who doesn’t?) but this year I’ll have to rely on others. So, I thought a little list would help.

Here are a few items that I would be more than happy to receive:

A new sound system for my office (I need to create a stimulating, fun environment!)

An iPad to play on (and my son will use it too…eventually…I think…)

A new pair of earrings from David Yurman (I wear my other pair all the time!)

A DVF wrap dress (helps hide the larger waist line!)

A new bag in a fresh color (I could always use another bag but ok…this one is a bit luxe – this one will work instead)

A pair of riding boots for play and a pair of boots for work (in grey)

A few treats from Anthropologie such as this or that

A gift card to Gretta Cole, Marc Harris or G20 Spa (no explanation needed!)

A pilates or fitness training package (see waistline comment above)

I have been eyeing these mirrors for a while (I know exactly where they will go)

This pouf would look so great in my place (perfect moveable seating!)

I just realized that this entry could go on for pages. I’m not selfish, I swear. Just dreamy. If you need more ideas…you know, in case you’re looking to get me something for my, um…birthday, check out the Daily Faves page.

Bring on the cupcakes and balloons (hint)! May 25 be my best year yet! (no comments, please)

Wink,

Style Girl

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