A Spooktacular Halloween Dinner Party

When our children were little, Halloween was a festive and busy time of year. Parades at school; trick or treating; homemade costumes, and lots of decorations around the house. Fun and fond memories. However, just because the little ones are all grown up, it doesn’t mean that adults can’t have some fun too. During my recent visit to Florida to visit Chloe @celebrateanddecorate, a group of friends have a spooktacular Halloween dinner party.

Chloe @celebrateanddecorate and her talented sister, Lynn

Both Chloe and her sister, Lynn have a long history working with the Disney corporation. Their ideas for costumes and decorations are endless and in a few days, I did learn SO much. In our attempts to replicate the famous ghostly dinner at the Haunted Mansion, we sprayed our hair white, applied ghostly make-up and donned period outfits of white and ecru.

The Tablescape

Haunted Shower Curtain on Amazon

The table is set with a gray coverlet, a black chiffon runner and tableware of black and red. Using a haunted looking shower curtain (on Amazon for $18.99 here) and hanging it with Command hooks, it covers the window and completely changes the vibe of the room. Lanterns and candles add to the ambiance.

Ghostly looking table

The Centerpiece

Styrofoam pumpkin

Using a white styrofoam pumpkin (see one here), Chloe cuts out an opening in the top. In the meantime, soak floral foam in water until saturated. Insert the foam into the pumpkin and cut off the top of the foam to line up with the top of the pumpkin. Floral foam blocks here.

Add floral foam

Next add your flowers by cutting the stems and inserting them into the foam.

Insert cut flowers

Combining the red roses, the deep purple chrysanthemums, the waxy magnolia leaves fill the pumpkin.

Remember to add texture and color

Ostrich feathers complete the look which Chloe found on Amazon.

The finished centerpiece

The centerpiece is the perfect size and scale for the dinner table. As a talented table designer and decorator, Chloe gets full credit for this lovely table.You can find Chloe’s blog here.

The Food

Chloe did the meal planning and Andrea (@designmorsels), Chas (@chascrazycreations) and I are all able to pitch in and help with the preparation.

Red, black and gray tablescape

The dinner menu is:

Shrimp and blood splattered cocktail sauce
  • Chilled shrimp served on a skeleton hand with blood splatter cocktail sauce (skeleton hands here)
  • Scary Caesar Salad
  • Spooky Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Ghostly Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Bloody Beef Tenderloin over roasted shallots
  • Spidery dinner rolls
  • Melted candle red velvet cakes
Andrea @designmorsels making spider buns

By using dinner roll dough in the freezer section of your grocery store, is an easy way to make spiders.

Twice baked potatoes are piped in as ghosts
Red velvet Melted candle cakes
Melted Candle cakes

Dessert is made using box Red Velvet Cake, store-bought frosting tinted gray and white chocolate candy melting wafers (found here)that drip on the top to look like candle wax. A narrow candle is inserted into the top of the cake and lit ahead of time.

The Costumes

Chas, me, Chloe and Andrea

It has been many years since I have dressed up for Halloween. But Lynn brought tubs of fabric and ghostly ideas, including a wedding dress found at a thrift store for $10.00. With some adjustments it fits and did come with a veil too! After makeup and a few props, I am a ghostly bride.

A ghostly bride

We are even able to capture a photo where it appears as if I am levitating over the dining room table!

Levitating over the table

Why Do This?

Sometimes putting on a dinner party is a lot of work. However, I can honestly say I so enjoyed doing this with my friends. Chloe is the master of entertaining and she did so much work even before we arrived. However, we all participated in the execution and it was so joyful just spending time in the kitchen together.

Since this trip to Florida was an inspiration for me I am hoping this blog post will be an inspiration for you. After challenging months of isolation, it is a blessing to have fun and laughter with good friends. I learn a great deal from this talented group and look forward to our next gathering

Have a Happy Tuesday! Just arrived back in Phoenix last night, only to do laundry, and pack up again for another wedding in Charleston, South Carolina. If nothing else, I am getting lots of airline miles!

Saturday Meanderings

As I write this I am sitting in a very crowded airport in Orlando, Florida. Traveling during a holiday weekend (Columbus Day) is a bit of a nightmare. But I am on my way to Boston, to meet my husband, and drive up to New Hampshire for a wedding. My reason for being in Orlando is to meet some of my blogging buddies, similar to what we did last April. So Happy Saturday and it’s time for another edition of Saturday Meanderings, where we talk about all good things this week.

Fabric Pumpkins

Shades of color to use in the dining room

Last weekend, we did head up to our mountain cabin to go pumpkin hunting at Willis Family Farm. Due to heavy rains, we hit it on only the second day they were open. So our selection of pumpkins was abundant on the most beautiful day last Saturday. More on Willis Farm later. The drive up to the White Mountains of Arizona is approximately 3.5 hours. Being the passenger this time, I brought the fabric I shared with you last week, and spent the entire time making pumpkins.

I’ve yet to complete decorating the dining room with these, however, I did want to give you a sneak peak. Making these pumpkins is so easy (see tutorial here), and by the time we got back home, 14 pumpkins are complete. Pre-cutting the circles ahead of time made this a breeze.

Next week I am home for two days and hope to get the dining room mantel filled with this pumpkin production.

Update on Nails

Thank you so much for all the great feedback on how to improve one’s nails. The Olive and June nail polish and tutorial is an interesting one as their technique is a bit different from mine. Since my nails are rather short, I did pick a paler neutral color. and so far so good. The reason I do not like to go to a nail salon is the smell….and sitting there for an hour or so. It just seems easier at home with all the pets happily sitting nearby!

Willis Farm Pumpkin Patch

We met our friends, Mitch and Tevia at the farm and did have such fun walking the muddy fields looking for the perfect pumpkins (hence the muddy pumpkins)! And you can’t get great stems like this with grocery store pumpkins. If you are in Arizona, the farm is open all month. They are located in Snowflake and have lots of fun activities. Call first as they close when it rains. You can find their website here.

Rarely do my husband and I get a picture together, but he didn’t waste any time being a rascal in this photo (sorry if anyone is offended!).

What can I say?

Here’s a sneak peek of how I am using these pumpkins on the front porch. Hope to get a post together next week on a finished Fall front porch.

Front porch pumpkins, lantern plants and duck

My Florida Trip

If you recall, my sweet friend, Chloe @celebrateanddecorate lives in Celebration, Florida. This is only my second visit but I am equally impressed with the beautiful Disney community. Think living near Main Street USA with every single home being unique, pristine and oh so attractive. Here are a few photos:

Lots of front porches, green lawns, numerous walking paths make this community very friendly and interactive.

Flags, Halloween decorations and beautifully landscaped properties are the norm here.

Lots of nature too!

This doesn’t feel like typical planned communities where the architecture is identical. Each house is more beautiful than the next. It’s really something to see.

One of the goals of our gathering is to create a seasonal dinner party. (includes @chascrazycreations and @designmorsels). This time it is a Halloween one. Again, I will write an entire post about this, but the theme is similar to Disney’s Haunted Mansion dinner party with ghosts. Each of these women are SO talented and they are kind enough to include me in their creative endeavors.

Here is a glimpse at the spooky dinner party dessert. The cakes are decorated to look like candles with drippy wax.

I cannot wait to share the entire event with you! We even dressed up as ghosts! More to come.

Arizona Sunsets

Driving home from the cabin we witnessed the most GORGEOUS sunset. Hard to take pictures traveling at 65 mph, but I did capture a few good shots.

Wishing you a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday weekend! Stay safe out there. If you missed my other posts this week you can find them here:

October Gardening Update here

Making Cupcakes is Like Riding a Broomstick here