Fiesta Friday - Halloween Fiestas

Today is an extra special busting-at-the-seams Halloween Fiesta post. I wanted to share some of the fun ideas we've been up to this week and fab Halloween fiestas I've had the pleasure of coming across this week.

Every year hubby and his office staff do a themed party and trick out the office and get totally in character. I realize I never shared how clever they all get the past few years, he's the ringleader and never wants to be outdone so perhaps he's the male version of me?

2008; Studio 109 (the office number),Last year; Mount Olympus, he's ZeusThis year; freak show circus, he's the strongmanAnd speaking of hubbies getting into the spirit, how awesome is Hello, Good Gravy!'s Slim Goodbody's costume? If your husband can rock an outfit like this, I'm all for it! Awesome!OK, sidetracked but back on...the office ladies lurved the apple pops I made for them the first day of school and have been hounding me non-stop for the next batch, so I present, FrankenPops!They are brownie pops a la Bakerella, covered in spooky green and dark green candy melts and candy details. Of course I had to put in some paper straws.

For the boys' classroom treats (no homemade goodies, of course), you know I love my printables and once again the awesomeness that is It Is What It Is knocked it out the park with witch hat and rotten pumpkin teeth toppers.And time for a little thank you shout-out to Under The Table And Dreaming for featuring my vampire treat bag for her Sunday Showcase; you gotta check her out every Sunday, so many amazing projects linked up!Alright, enough about me, lets talk about all the amazing Halloween fiestas; I've been sharing quite a few the past few weeks, and this is it, the last round-up for this season...well, I'm sure more will pop up after Sunday. Do you love this table from Luna And Chloe Weddings? I do, I do! I love a soiree that has details that can be easily duplicated; goodies include Michael's and Target finds, and that white tarantula is heaven! This is just part I!This party lead to another amazing party, I'm so in love with Brancoprata's romantical dinner for two before the trick or treating fiascoes begin! Where do I start? The paper flowers? The printables? The color palette? The treat bags? Oh yes, they have a new stalker...Second City Soiree took a unique twist on horror with a retro nod to Hitchcock's The Birds; stock up on black birds during after-Halloween sales and get on board for next year, because she even shares free printables, so you know you want to do this.

These two amazing tablescape from Sandra Downie Event Designs have lots of DIY ideas that you can walk into the store and recreate yourself! The Girls' Night Out table is perfect for those of you who have decided to have a last minute get-together.I'm so crushing on her Bats and Bones table, it is so much fun, with a great mix of store bought and homemade treats, and lovin' the background wall, so fun! I love the boxes she used to create layers; an inexpensive and reusable idea, just cover with coordinating paper and you're set!
UndertheTableandDreamingThe Girl Creative

Drink Of The Week (On A Thursday) - SKYY Vodka Halloween Cocktails

Usually I save cocktails for Sunday's D.O.W., but when Shelby from SKYY Vodka sent me these recipes, I had to get them in for all the parties going down this weekend! What's even better is you don't have to wait for Halloween to bust these out...many of you have season premiere parties or themed movie nights that could always use a signature cocktail! And I couldn't resist linking past party posts that fit these cocktails perfectly, just in case you were looking for ideas...

Vampire’s Punch (perfect for True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Twilight series, etc.), serves 12
18 oz. SKYY Infusions cherry
8 oz. lime juice
6 oz. cranberry juice
2.5 oz. grenadine
Fresh cherries, pits removed

1. Wash and remove pits and stems from fresh cherries, and muddle in cocktail shaker.

2. Combine the rest of the ingredients except 7UP in bowl and stir. Top with 7UP and muddled cherries.

The smoke effect is due to dry ice; it should never come in direct contact with skin as it will burn!

Candy Corn Cocktail (perfect for any fall event!)
2 oz. SKYY Infusions pineapple
1.5 oz. orange sherbet, softened
1 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. milk
1 oz. simple syrup

1. Combine SKYY Infusions pineapple and pineapple juice in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over fresh ice into a clear Collins glass.

2. Combine softened orange sherbet and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain, and pour over bar spoon to layer in the rocks glass.

3. Combine simple syrup and milk in cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Layer milk mixture on top of sorbet mixture.

Ghostly Coolada (Paranormal Activity, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Whisperer, etc.)
2 oz. SKYY Infusions pineapple
1 oz. cream of coconut or coconut milk
0.5 oz. lime juice
2 circular chocolates

1. Place all ingredients except chocolate in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.

2. Strain into a cocktail glass, and float chocolate circles on the top of the drink for your Ghostly Coolada’s eyes.

BCA Wednesday - BCA Fundraiser/Cocodot Cards

This is the last week of BCA month, but please remember the fight continues all year round, so your support is needed and appreciated. I wanted to inspire you with this amazing BCA fundraiser from my new party pal Lil' Buckaroo Designs. She designed all the printables and styled the party for her friend Denise who is participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer out in Arizona and wanted to raise money for her walk.

She also is making this collection available for purchase on her Etsy shop and donating 10% of all profits from this collection to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Cocodot has a fabulous year round BCA collection that lets you choose to remind her to check her boobies... and encourage her through her treatments...
...make her laugh......celebrate her recovery....

Tuesday Trend - Create My Party Inspiration Board

Miss Pamela from Party Starters is having a little competition AKA making us do all the heavy lifting for planning her upcoming birthday party. I'm thrilled to be part of it, especially since I haven't done a party inspiration board in forevah, so I'm mentally cracking my knuckles and warming up. Here's my 2 cents for what I would do if I was her event coordinator...

Setting The Scene
The color palette is gray, cream and leafy green with damask elements; damask can be very overpowering so touches of it is all you need either by using a damask table runner over a leafy green tablecloth like this table from Jennifer Skog, damask place mats, napkins or damask plates. If you went with solid cream napkins, do you know they need? A touch of gray from these pom napkin rings. I can't get enough of them!

Oh, I love, love candles, everything by candlelight is so pretty, so I envision running candle pillars down the middle like this sparkling table from InStyle Parties, for the perfect tabletop.

If a sit-down table is not up your alley, a buffet layout like this gray dessert table from SignatureK is easy to execute and very nice on the eyes. Backing white tableware with damask scrapbook paper would be perfect with the neutral gray. Instead of the tissue poms they used, can you see these fabric poms done in damask instead? I can.

On this table, your giant glass would make an amazing centerpiece for your buffet table...I've used giant martini glasses filled with clear marble filler and fresh flowers. I'm envisioning yours is full of cream colored roses or blinged out carnations like these from Party Confidential. Perusing the jewelry-making aisle of your favorite craft store will reveal lots of jewels for inexpensive flair!
The Munchies
My motto for this party, 'Make Your Guests Work'. I'm not sure if Pam wanted real food or just cupcakes and cocktails, but I'll throw this in too! I did a post on a fabulous grown up pizza making and martini party, and I think this would be perfect! We aren't talking just pepperoni and cheddar cheese concoctions, but a tricked out buffet with lots of fresh veggies, meats and a variety of cheeses.

While the creations are cooking, get those drinks going. Pretty much all of my grown-up parties have involved some type of drink bar. I've thrown several martini parties and where I've set out all the fixins for 3-4 types of martinis, printed up drink recipes and let them at it. Not only is it fun to do, guests can tweak the recipes themselves and make it uniquely theirs. You can also choose to have just a signature drink and call it something snazzy like '38 Special' or 'The Pamela'.

For this party, we have to pull from the color scheme and go with simple recipes like this mint Bailey's chocolate martini from GarnishBar, or perhaps a Emerald Isle Martini from Stirrings. Don't forget your friends who aren't lushes, set up them up something fun like my go-to drink, apple-ginger sparklers, and don't forget fun garnishes like rimmers and damask drink umbrellas that you can make yourself or purchase custom made on Etsy.
Speaking of more making guests work, how in love am I with this 'pimp my cupcake bar' from Boutwell Studio? Guests had a cupcake decorating contest where the guest of honor chose the winning creation. Since you are already serving cocktails, why not booze up your cupcakes as well?

Set out alcohol-infused cupcakes like Godiva Ultimate Chocolate Layer (perfect for your chocolate sweet tooth) or check out this bevy of ideas from Cosmopolitan. Set out sprinkles, frosting and toppers and let the crazy begin! Retailers like Bake It Pretty are an amazing source of fun baking items in an array of colors and styles if you are looking for something outside of your local party supply store.

I hope I've inspired Pamela with a little fabulous for her birthday, and maybe, even you, dear reader. Hmm...I think I may have to do this for myself next year!

Tuesday Tip - Inspiration Board Contest/Halloween Cupcake & Decor Ideas

Can a girl ever have too many purses?


Want to show off your inspiration board prowess?

Of course!

Here's how you can kill two birds with one stone. The mahvelous Cupcakes & Cutlery is having an inspiration board contest based on the design of...

...the Caprice bag. Oh, and guess what? The winning board gets to take home the bag! Imagine the possibilities, those colors are a perfect jumping-off point. Does the thought of putting a board together send you screaming into the night? That's ok, she has other options, so check out her blog for full deets.

And speaking of inspiration, I've been slacking on sharing my cupcakes, perhaps you need some ideas for your next bash? Creepy and super easy, these are sure to be a hit!
1. vampire victim cupcakes - red gel icing 'bite marks', splashed with strawberry syrup
2. buggin' out cupcakes - chocolate bugs top off 'crumbled Oreo' dirt
3. spider cupcakes - black gel icing for the spider webs, topped off with plastic spider rings

Hi, my name is Dawn and I'm a Dollar Tree/Dollar Spot junkie. I can't go in without my head spinning, they are a great source of inspiration to me. There is no need to spend the big bucks with a little imagination and creativity. Case in point, we have a knick-knack wall that I'm always rotating through the seasons with, and here it is all decked out with mostly dollar finds.
Dollar store critters adorn the walls, secured with poster putty. The colored glass potion jars are 50% at Michael's' this week, although I've had mine for a few years now.Tombstones and drink labels courtesy of Dollar Store; $1 ravens (after-Halloween sales from last year); $1 black votives (50% candle sale at Michael's), assorted wine bottles are recycled or found from consignment stores and filled with colored water.
The bread loaves I found a few years ago in the floral department of Dollar Tree, I mixed some green and grey acrylic paint and sponged it on for the 'moldy' look. This would work just as fabulously with other plastic food.

Cheesecloth is wonderfully cheap, and armed with a coupon, get yourself some, rip it up and drop red food coloring on it for a yucky, bloody look. Hang it up for curtains, a table runner, or anywhere else you'd like.

The rat in the cage is the only thing that was 'regular price'. I saw it on Oriental Trading awhile back and just had to have it. Like the hand? It's a real mold of my hand, courtesy of our Mad Scientist party a few years back. It's made from this amazing wax called FlexWax, another purchase from Oriental Trading. It appears they no longer carry it, but you can find it here. It's a low temp wax that can be used to cast on the body because it doesn't need a lot of heat to melt, and won't burn the skin.
Recognize the eyeballs? Yup, you know you've seen them everywhere. Dried black-eyed peas really do look like eyes of newts.
A side table gets full treatment with another hand mold, tombstone, a skull (it's heavy as all get up too!); gummy eyeballs, the candelabra sports tapers with red wax I dripped down the sides. Where did I find them all? Say it together now, Dollar Tree. Except for the votive. Found that at Target. See? Clever on the cheap. I'm all about that!

Drink Of The Week - Halloween Harvest Punch

Oh man, Halloween is next Sunday, and you are stumped for a grown-up party drink? Here's a very pretty, ridiculously easy drink from Style Magazines that can be multiplied to make a punchbowl's worth (ex. using cup measurements). And yes, you're welcome!

1 part Midori melon liqueur
1 part dark rum

1 part light Rum
2 parts white cranberry juice

1 part unfiltered apple juice
1 part simple syrup
juice of one lemon

garnish: apple slices, blueberries, melon balls

1. Add the liquid ingredients and mix well; top with the fruit garnishes

Fiesta Friday (On A Saturday) - Halloween On The Cheap (And Even Free!)

I'm tired. Our Halloween party (future post) was last night and I've been prepping for that, hubby's flight came in late so I was waiting up for him, then had to get up today and out to a birthday party, back home to change and head to the corn maze (future post) and then to the Y for a Pumpkin Patch swim (future post). My poor blog hasn't been getting it's love and care, so I wanted to squeeze in a chockful of goodies' post before I returned to cleaning up the wreck that is the house.

Before I launch into the rest of today's ramblings, I must share this because I still don't know how I missed this fabulous Halloween table from Sweets Indeed?

I know, right? There is just so much to look at, go see the rest, it's amazing!

So what have I been up to, you ask. OK, I'll give you a peek! Need a cute craft idea that's easy on the wallet? Get thee hence to Dollar Tree (or perhaps your local dollar store) and pick up a pack of ping pong balls and flameless tealights...
...cut an X in a ball and push the tealight's bulb through.
Draw eye details on the ball with permanent markers and add fun embellishments cut from cardstock and attach with glue dots. Thank you, FamilyFun, this is was one of the crafts for our Halloween party.
Remember my lips' candy mold from our Kiss Me, I'm Irish party? Well, if you have such a mold, they make great vampire lips when you add vampire fangs from white candy melts. Mine are a part of the cute thank you package I made for my party helper. I was thinking Twilight, but then realized she's not so much into it, but vampires are universal. A bottle of Vampire Blood anti bac from Bath And Body Works, an apple scented candle and topped off with vampire teeth.

Check out these amazing freebies from around the blogosphere! Paper Crave has an amazing 3 part round-up that you've got to check out!
Another amazing round-up from Tater Tots & Jello with more freebies, some I've featured before and a few new ones, including these beverage labels with a great tutorial to making your own!

Not only did Chris from Celebrations At Home design a fabulous Mad Hatter Halloween party, she shares the printables designed for her from Gwynn Wasson Designs!

I am squeaking over these free owl treat bag printables from Paper Crave, because I already see the whole party in my head! If I hadn't already fallen in love with furry monsters for our parties, owls was a close second.
Add to it these cupcakes from One Charming Party, having guests decorating their own felt owls...sigh, next year, it's Owl-O'ween!


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