Haunted Happenings

 

Today is Halloween and boy, did it come up fast! The month of October has flown by and before we know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving!  We did not have a party this year, but I thought I’d still feature the party I had last year. I love Halloween and the fall overall. Shopping for a costume and dressing up for a night is so much fun!  I love watching the old horror movies from the 80s, such as Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. They are such classics! And we all know, Michael Myers will never die!

Since my days at William Paterson University of NJ, where I went to nursing school, I have been dressing up for Halloween and attending parties. I have been anything from a nurse to Garth from Wayne’s World to Princess Peach from Mario Kart. I would have to say that one of my favorite costumes was Garth from Wayne’s World. My boyfriend wanted us to dress up as the 90s duo.  At first, I wasn’t too thrilled to dress up as him, but the costume was super easy and a big hit! Everyone loved it!

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Last year’s party was a little on the darker side. The color scheme was black. I also had everything set up in our basement. Our basement is finished, however, it needs to be updated. There is a bar, second kitchen and full bathroom. It was nice to have everything set up downstairs because we had access to a bathroom and it was away from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen upstairs where food was being prepared and cooked.

I had spent the majority of the morning decorating and making sure everything was set up perfectly.  Tables were set up for the food buffet, the candy bar was set up on the counters of the kitchen area and the bar was covered in gauze and small decor items I had purchased from the Dollar Tree, Christmas Tree Shop and TJMaxx.

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Some of these pictures may look a little hazy from the smoke machines I had borrowed from 2 of my friends.  I was hoping the machines would create smoke that settled low to the ground to give a eerie, creepy effect but that didn’t work out. They were still pretty cool to use tho.

The candy bar I had set up on the counter by taping black wrapping paper to it and the walls. I really wanted to make a “Trick or Treat” banner and searched high and low on Pinterest until I found one.  I printed each letter out on card stock paper which you can find at your local craft supply store and cut them out with scissors. I flattened them out under a few books for several days and then hung it up with ribbon. I had candy containers that I bought from Party City and filled each one with a different kind of my favorite candy and voila! A candy bar!

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For the food and dessert tables, I had pulled pork and homemade chili, appetizers and several delicious sweets. The pulled pork and chili were both made by my boyfriend, Christopher. He is an awesome cook! He makes chili with ground turkey and I’d have to say, I wouldn’t switch back to ground beef. It is delicious with the ground turkey and a lot healthier!

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For the dessert table, I made “graveyard grub” popcorn, caramel apple bites and cupcakes. The graveyard grub was a sweet twist on popcorn. I found a recipe on Pinterest for the popcorn and found the treat bags at Walmart. These treats would be great for a kids party as well!

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The caramel bites are super easy to make and no recipe is needed. Simply buy a caramel dip and your favorite apples. I used Marzetti’s Old Fashioned Caramel Dip which can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store and whatever was the cheapest apple on sale at the time. Use a melon baller and make apple balls. Spear the apple ball with a candy stick, dip in the caramel and place in mini cupcake liners.  If you want to add other toppings, you could easily dip the apple ball into nuts, sprinkles or drizzle with chocolate. They’re the perfect bite-size treat without all the mess of a full size caramel apple!

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For cupcakes, I made my traditional Jack Skellington ones and added Frankenstein this year. I love Jack Skellington’s character from Nighmare Before Christmas! I have decorated Jack’s face several times on cupcakes in the past and it’s not a Halloween party without them!  I baked 24 cupcakes and decorated 12 of each, pretty simple!

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I was pretty excited for the bar set up.  I had purchased plastic martini glasses from Party City and wrapped the stems with black glittered tulle and a plastic bone. I had also purchased plastic shot glasses from Dollar Tree and glued plastic spiders to them. Definitely gave a chilling , elegant feel to the cocktails.

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For the signature cocktail, I made a Witches Brew or sangria. I rimmed each martini glass with orange and black sugar ahead of time and our guests could help themselves. It was really good, and who doesn’t love sangria?

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One of my favorite aspects of a party is a photo booth! I love having a photo booth! It’s so much fun to stand in front of a backdrop, pose with props and enjoy yourself with your family and friends. Plus, it makes for some pretty funny photos and memories!

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We didn’t take a group photo, but here’s a few from the photo booth:

Everyone looked awesome in their costumes and it really adds to the event when everyone participates!  I hope all of you have a happy, safe and fun-filled Halloween!

xoxo,

Katie

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