a little something halloween for everyone

Halloween is just a few weeks away. Here are some fun ideas to entertain for both adults and kids on Halloween. Whether the party is the same night, or a different night, we found an adult-friendly version and a kid-friendly version for everything. Gotta love that!

DRINKS

For the Adults
For the adults, Celebrations at Home had a brilliant idea for those martini drinkers or highballers. Add some bling to the martini glass and fill it with Chris’ yummy Green Goblin Punch recipe. Or, add different colored shimmery spiders to help guests identify their goblets. Simply spray crafts store arachnids with adhesive, sprinkle each spider with a different shade of glitter, and hot-glue to black pipe cleaners {piped around the base and stem of glass}.

For the highball cocktail, try freezing plastic spiders in ice cubes for a creepy surprise.  And to make it a bit different, Chris recommends using a mini “fish bowl” vases from the craft store as a tumbler instead!

For the Kids
For your mad scientist tikes, Celebrations at Home had a great idea to use science beakers and fill with green punch and a straw with a decorative straw flag. Or, create other potions for the kids with free printables from Hostess with the Mostess.  

FOOD
{warning, all foods can be served to adults and children}

It’s tradition in my family to have chili and hotdogs on Halloween. Turkey Chili. Beef Chili. Chicken Chili and Veggie Chili. We have it all. Lisa, With Style and Grace, shares some of her favorite chili recipes here. Or, use your favorite chili recipe.

Disney Family Fun shares Hot Dog Mummy snacks for the kiddos.

Hostess with the Mostess shared an adorable Mummy’s Night Out Veggie Dip recipe that will be sure to spook your guests and delight their tummies.

One Charming Party created festive Fruit Skewers topped off with a bat ring.

DESSERTS

For the Adults
Black and white spider web cookies. Bake your favorite sugar cookies recipe.  This tutorial from Martha Stewart’s Firework Cookies will work perfect for a web-like effect.
Ingredients
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Icing: white and black {store bought or homemade}

Directions
Make the cookies: Sift flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a large bowl.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, then vanilla. Refrigerate dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out cookies using a 1 3/4-, 2 1/4-, 2 3/4-, or 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, rerolling scraps once. Transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake until edges just start to brown, 17 to 19 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

To Decorate the Cookies
Pipe an outline of white icing around edge of 1 cookie, leaving a 1/4-inch border, then “flood” with more white icing to cover.
Immediately pipe a black dot in the center of cookie. Then pipe concentric rings of black around the center dot (using the same color as the dot, or alternating colors).
Immediately drag a toothpick through the black to create a web-like effect, starting from the center dot and working toward the edge, then alternate dragging inward and outward as you work around the cookie.
Let dry. Repeat with remaining cookies and icings.

For the Kids
One Charming Party had a great idea to let the kids make their own Owl Cupcakes.  

ACTIVITIES

For the Adults
Caramel Apple Bar for adults. Oh, this looks so yummy and fun! I love the rustic impact the twig sticks give the apples. I have a soft spot for anything rustic.

For the Kids
Bobbing for Apples for kids and Skeleton Art made with noodles, via Martha Stewart.

DECOR
{warning this category has a little overlap for kid/adults decor}

For the Adults
This ribbon wreath will greet your guests with style {and can be used for a handful of other parties with its basic black construction}.

Family Chic black lace candles are an easy project and add a big glam impact to your Halloween table and mantle decor.

Twig and Thistle offers an easy DIY tutorial for individual pumpkin place cards. The pumpkin can be whatever color you like. I have to say, I’m digging the white.

Set up a Table of Treats with these tips from Good Housekeeping. Rip cheesecloth for a moth-munched look and drape over the table. Arrange snacks in servingware and on cake stands, then tuck in crafts store creepies and crawlies (spiders, skulls, mice, and crows). For a fun floral display by purchasing spider mums at the local florist. Lay down newspaper in a well-ventilated area. Spray-paint the flowers with black Krylon spray paint and put them in a slim vase. Nestle the smaller vase inside a larger vase lined with black-and-white damask patterned wrapping paper. Lastly, top off large, black candlestick holders with small white or gold glitter pumpkins. {P.S. I have these glitter pumpkins in my home and I love it…thanks for the DIY tips, Lisa, With Style and Grace} 

For the Kids
One Charming Party created an adorable kid-friendly vase decorated with candy. Or, make these mummy vases with helpful tips by Hostess with the Hostess.

Good Housekeeping shares how-to’s for fun batty branches and candy-filled cones. I like the black and white color palette this year, so I recommend spray painting the pumpkin for the batty branches white. 

Wait, don’t forget to find and print your free Halloween printables here.

{images via Celebrations at Home, Disney Family Fun, Family Chic, CasaSugar, Hostess with the Mostess, Good Housekeeping, One Charming Party, Twig and Thistle, With Style and Grace and Martha Stewart}

apple of my eye

I have a love/hate relationship with fall right now. With fall comes all the warm and gorgeous colors, yummy crock pot recipes, pumpkin patch events with the kids, beautiful fall foliage, toasty drinks and fall boots and sweaters…but it also means winter and SNOW is quickly approaching {which also means it will not end for 8 months}. I’m going to stay positive and focus on at all the things I love about this time of year…and appreciate it before it’s too late. Besides, in the mountains it’s too gorgeous not to enjoy it, however quick it may be.

This apple-inspiration from Martha Stewart Living, October 2011 caught my eye.

The talented people at Martha Stewart used a 24-inch-diameter straw form and about 130 apples and wooden floral picks for the sweet apple wreath. Working in rows, they jabbed the pointy half of the wooden pick into the bottom of the core of each apple and the other half into the straw form. You can tuck leaves into the gaps. Another good tip: Hang with a double-wrapped loop of monofilament.

For the beautiful foliage in the apple-filled vase, cut a large amount of branches from a burning bush or a sugar maple tree. Place your foliage in a cylindrical vase and insert that vase into a larger cube-shaped, clear glass vase and fill the space in between with lady apples.

Who could resist these adorable and delicious apple bowls filled with ice cream and caramel? Not me. Caramel Apple Sundaes
{recipe via Martha Stewart Living, October 2011}
Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 cup heavy cream
12 apples, such as Gala
1 lemon, halved
3 pints vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

How To
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is dark {about 6 minutes}.
Remove from heat, and carefully pour in cream {mixture will spatter}, whisk until smooth. Let cool.
Slice the top 3/4 inch from each apple, discard.
Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out enough flesh to fit a scoop of ice cream.
Drizzle with some lemon juice to prevent flesh from browning.
Fill each apple with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon caramel on top, and sprinkle with walnuts.

{images via Martha Stewart Living, October 2011}