What I Did During Halloween Vacation

Here in Los Angeles, you have two options for Halloween: be lame and stay at home, or don an amazing costume and hit up West Hollywood. This year (and every year since I've lived out here), I chose the former. (Sorry my fun-loving friends, I just wasn't born with the gene that makes me want to leave the comfort of my home.)

I mentioned before that Halloween is by far my favorite holiday, and I've been spending most of October spooking out our apartment with ravens, dead flowers and felt bats, so I decided (with the blessing of my ever-patient husband) to invite fellow lamers over to watch a movie and partake in food and low-key fun.

The result was a night of laughter (we watched Ghostbusters), a plethora of baked goods, a delicious gin-spiked punch, and an apartment that smelled like a fish fry (I made toasted ravioli for an appetizer. If you don't know what that is, you must not be from St. Louis! Holla!).

Unfortunately I got so excited by everything that I didn't really snap an close-ups of the food table. But I'm sure you guys are smart and can use your imagination!

The Decorations

On the buffet I created a creepy pumpkin patch with felt bats (a la Country Living), gourds and white pumpkins from Trader Joe's, a raven purchased on super sale from Michaels, and a spooky tree made from branches I found in a friend's yard.

On the bookshelves were more ravens perched on tree branches and accented with dead roses from once-very-alive bouquet my dad sent for my birthday.

I have a thing for branches in decorating, so I was really excited to find some the day of Halloween to use both behind the TV and on each side of the food and drink table.

I made the banner design in Quark, printing the letters on regular paper and backing them on lime green and black card stock. We had some brads left over from my birthday banner that I used to connect the letters, then hung it with some twine leftover from wedding supplies.

The floor vases are cardboard separators from plasma TV stand boxes that my husband just purchased for his business, Westside Productions. They were already stapled in that shape, which was very convenient. So I stuck some of the branches in there, added some felt bats and a string of white lights from my Christmas decs.

The fabric for the table was on sale at JoAnn's (50% off!), and I used part of a gift card from our wedding to Pier 1 to get some white ceramic dishes to complete the set I already started. We also kept some of the Dots Candleholders from Crate and Barrel that we used at our wedding reception, and I knew they'd come in handy for the holiday season!

The Menu

My friend Emily helped me bake for hours on Saturday (God bless you!) so that I would only have to worry about the savory stuff on Sunday.

I was originally going to order some cupcakes from Sprinkles as a special treat, but decided instead to recreate to of their Halloween flavors from some recipes I found online. I decided on pumpkin spice cupcakes with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting via All Recipes and a dark chocolate cupcake with vanilla butter cream frosting via Yummy (the cupcake) and The Barefoot Contessa (frosting).

The 99 Cents Only store had piping kits for a dollar, which was very exciting. I'd never piped anything before and was happy to have the opportunity!

We also made some whoopie pies via Martha Stewart, something neither of us had done before, and we most certainly learned a thing or two! :) I bought a pan specifically for whoopie pies and the back said to fill them 2/3 full. We did, but they still ended up huge and we had some giant-sized pies as a result. I couldn't stop laughing as I piped in the frosting and put them together.

Later that night I realized that I had what I needed to make these soft cakey pumpkin cookies I'd seen on the Poppytalk blog, and they are by far my new favorite cookie recipe. Can't wait to play around with different flavors and add-ins.

I also picked up some little cauldrons from the 99 Cents Only store and filled them with chocolate candy corn.

And Emily made this ADORABLE graveyard of marshmallow mummies and ghosts via The Decorated Cookie blog. Some of them she coated in mint chocolate, and they were delicious!

I found this casualty the next morning. Poor guy.

For the savories, the hubs made his famous guacamole, which we served with blue corn tortilla chips, and I made cheese-filled toasted ravs served with marinara. We also popped some popcorn (or "Crow Corn" as I named them on the bags).

And the hit of the party? Definitely the slime rickey punch via Martha Stewart. I never knew gin-soaked frozen grapes would rock my world...but they did!

What did you do for Halloween? Try any new recipes or DIY decs?


  1. Love this! Great ideas. Sounds like you had a blast!

  2. How much fun! Love the treats and the bat decorations.


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