I LOVE Halloween! It's one of my favorite holidays with all the costumes and candy and just sheer fun of it all. October is one of my favorite months as well because of fall. The air cooling down, the leaves changing colors and fireplaces's the best! I decided that I am going to start decorating my place for Halloween the second that I went to CostCo for groceries and saw all the Christmas decorations up and out. I mean...what?! I get it. It's been a rough year for retail and the holiday season is their time to make up for a lot of it profits wise. I just can't though. It was insulting enough that all the Christmas stuff is always up before Thanksgiving even, but HALLOWEEN?! Enough is enough y'all.

That being the case, even though it's not October yet...I'm going to decorate anyways. In fact, I am going to throw a small Halloween party at my place with my quarantine buddies (those friends that I hang out with knowing that they are as careful with the virus that I am and take all the precautions that I do). So decorating early just makes sense. No reason to wait until the last minute once everything will be focused on prepping and preparing the food for the party.

So I have 2 big real challenges. One, I am what you would call, space challenged. Meaning that I don't have much storage in my tiny condo. I also like decorating for most of the holidays so that leads to even less storage. Second, since I have moved lots and lots and lots of times in my lifetime including living overseas for years...I have pretty much gotten rid of all non-essential items from my life which included home decorations. That being the case, I have had to start all over.

Have I ever mentioned that I have a paper cutter? A paper cutter that I love and use fairly often? Well I do! I have the Silhouette Cameo (the older model) and I use is for so many things. I once made different sized paper bats on it for a Halloween party that I held when I had a house in South Carolina and created designs around the walls. I actually found some old photos of that party that I will share with you guys. I though that it was a great way to add lots of 3 dimensional interest to a space and didn't cost much except time. Bonus? Once they were ready to come down, they all fit into a big ziplock bag, ready to use for the next year.

That was done in the dining room where I had laid out all the desserts for the party. Fun right? I will definitely be using those bats again at my new place. The other thing that I love to do is use the food as vehicles for decoration. Now there is one caveat to this. I am not one of those people that decorate their appetizers and food in super labor intensive ways to look like something else (i.e. pizza pockets made to look like tombs or meatballs that look like eyes, etc...). Not that I don't think those things are super cute. I just choose to use other things to enhance the look of regular food instead so that I can have more time for more variety. For instance, the cupcakes that I made for the party (which of course I made my red velvet's me afterall!)...I made these edible cute butcher knives out of fondant beforehand that I could simply put on the day of the party. Saved me a ton of time that day and they were a huge hit.

The other thing that I did was get some cute paper ghost menu pop up cards to label the food to add a touch of halloween to normally baked/cooked food.

It kept things simple and still fit the theme of the event. The most important component of setting the atmosphere? Lots of mood lighting! In this case, keeping things a bit on the dark side and busting out all the candles/candle holders! Another fun thing that added to the mood and the lighting was having the Munsters show playing on the TV in the living room. It was an easy way to add to the atmosphere and utilize things that were already in the room.

So this year, I am going to try and get just as creative. If you follow me on Instagram (@themonskerlife), you will see that I have already purchased halloween pillow covers that I can simply put over my existing couch pillows. This way, I can easily change them out for the holidays and have very little to store. For my fireplace, I am making some banners on my Silhouette machine as well as some other things around the house. I have an idea for some witch hats and spiders/webs but I am still working through it all. As always, I want to make it themed but at the same time, elegant in its own way. I will of course post pictures once it all comes together but I will wait until after the party so that some of my friends (who I think follow my blog!) are surprised when they come to the party! Plus I have quite some time still to prepare which is awesome.

I also need to work out a menu for the party which I think will consist of heavy appetizers. Lastly (but as importantly), I would love to serve a specialty cocktail themed for appropriately for the holiday. I will of course have beer, wine and spirits but I always think it's fun to have at least one specialty mixed drink for people that is themed. It also makes for good decorating as well as it's fun!

Hopefully this post gives you some ideas for your next party! If you don't have a paper cutting machine but are interested in one, here is a link to the newest one in Silhouette's line of machines: Silhouette America Curio Crafting Printer.

Stay tuned for more event ideas and tips! Also let's not forget that this will be a costume party. Still need to come up with an outfit for myself...



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