Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Here is my advice for the easiest and least expensive Halloween party decorating.

All that you need to do is take a trip to you own linen closet and then a dollar store.

What's involved:

1) White bed sheets- Remove all the accessories from the room (i.e., only keep the main pieces of furniture in the room) and drape all the furniture pieces with your white bed sheets. Allow the sheets to pool on the floor around the furniture.

2) Faux "cob-webs"- Stretch the dollar store "cob-webbing" around each of your pictures, mirrors and anything else stationary in the room.

3) Spiders- Place dollar store, plastic, black spiders in groups around the room. For the best effect, place them on top of the white white sheets.

4) Mice silhouettes- Print off the free online mice silhouettes and place them on the baseboards and stairs around you house.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin Carving Dinner Party

Every year, Stuart and I throw a Halloween costume party the Saturday before Halloween. This year, since we have been so busy with the move and the new jobs, I decided to scale it back and have a low-key pumpkin-carving dinner party instead.
To be fair, the idea was not my own but "borrowed" from Apartment Therapy. (We even did the sweet potato/ potato bar for dinner.) 

What a success! 

Here's what's involved:

1)  Decorations- I did not go over board with decorations. Just a simple skull center piece on the table, a black tablecloth, some orange bowls for the sides, a few small, plastic spiders on the plates and napkins, a spider web bowl for the Halloween candy (a must!) and some plastic bats on the windows. Took me no time at all to set-up but still made the evening feel festive (if that's the right word?).  

2) Pumpkins for carving- We did one large pumpkin per couple. Everything was set-up before anyone arrived. I divided our kitchen counter into work spaces and laid out newspaper under each pumpkin. Each work space had a pen for marking, a knife for cutting and a bowl for scooping out the pumpkin. An iPad was passed around to give everyone a chance to look up pumpkin carving ideas on the internet.

3) Dinner- We chose to go with a mostly Mexican-inspired sweet potato bar consisting of sweet potatoes, potatoes, vegetarian chili, sauteed mushrooms, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, blue cheese, a variety of hot sauces, garlic bread and salad. Everything was put out separately and everyone was instructed to make up their own combinations of ingredients.

I had everyone arrive at 5pm and from start to finish the pumpkins took us about 2 hours to carve. The chili was made earlier in the day and was continuing to cook during the pumpkin carving. Almost everything else had been prepared ahead of time, except the baking of the sweet potatoes and potatoes and the sauteing of the mushrooms.The party turned out to be an excellent alternative to the usual Halloween costume party! Added bonus- now we all have pumpkins to display for the trick or treaters on Halloween night!   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the hunt for...

Now that we are in the new apartment and have had a good start at decorating it, we still have lots of work to do but their are a few things that I am hunting for.

For the living room:

1) a unique, traditional style armchair- with queen Anne legs, a light coloured fabric (although I am willing to have it re-upholstered and lighter legs (and I am willing to paint them myself) 

2) a large, metal wall clock

3) an old, wine crate to hold firewood (even though our fireplace is ethanol...)

For the dining room:

4) a traditional style, silver serving tray- to sit on the dining room sideboard and hold the scotch decanter and scotch glasses

For the bedroom:

5) a wood dresser- with queen Anne legs and I will paint it dark grey (I can't imagine I will actually find it in the colour I want)

6) a wood bench with cushion seat- for the foot of the bed, which I will paint the legs dark grey and recover the seat with a fun yellow and dark grey fabric

7) a fun yellow and grey fabric- for a lumbar pillow for the bed, the bench cushion at the foot of the bed and a roman blind for the small window in the bedroom