I love these candles.  Print the images out on clear labels and afix to plain glass candle jars (like Glade or even plain saint candles).  If you wanted, you could even take the labels off after the big holiday, but in my opinion, a little creepiness in your house is always good.creepycandle


These are the scariest cupcakes I’ve seen:browniearms

(above from Rachel Ray)

 And these from Martha are pretty awesome too:




Check out the creative way Martha (top left) and Rachel Ray have used helium balloons this year.  I’m definitely doing one or both!balloon pumkineyeballoons


Each year I hear what everyone is thinking of for their costumes, but about half ever go through with it.  Here are just a few of my favorite costume rough drafts for this year:

Kanye and Taylor Swift

The Greatest American Hero

All the Single Ladies (boys and girls group costume)justin_timberlake_single_ladies_2

For more ideas, check out WTF Costumes…there are some crazy good ideas out there!


The funniest thing happened the other day: people were actually surprised that I’m planning another Halloween party. 

Our parties have been getting a reputation in the last year of being a little out of control (the culmination being my husband’s birthday party that ended in the ER).  And that’s why I’ve been spreading the word that 2009 will be the last Halloween party as we know it.  This is the tenth anniversary of our parties, so it’s probably time to pass the torch to someone younger and someone who rents.  It’s not that I don’t love throwing a party, but I don’t love the stress and the huge cleanup, and the potential damage that exists every time you open your doors to 50+ costumed friends and occasional strangers.

But, even as I am writing that this could be the last party, it makes me a little sad.  Halloween is my thing…what will I do with all the decorations?  What will I do on Halloween??  Is it possible to have a small Halloween party?  Is it even fun??

While I mull over whether or not this one will be the last, I have to remember that someone warned me that advertising the party as the final one will make everyone go especially crazy, which is not how I want this to all end out…


I think this is my costume this year: I’ll be a Sherlock Holmes-type detective with one of the dogs as my accomplice.  sherlockI’m planning to wear a detective-like hat, a cape (or a cape-like plaid shirt I just bought), black dress, and red plaid tights.  I’m going to carry a magnifying class and a pipe.  Easy.  If this doesn’t work out, for some reason Stevie Nicks has been on my list for awhile, as has Amelia Earhart.

My husband has a few ideas (but, as usual, I don’t expect him to settle on just one until the weekend before the big day): Vincent Price, Ash (Bruce Campbell) from Evil Dead, Paul Bunyan, or Fidel Castro (and his friend would go as Raul).


photoboothideaA photobooth—duh!  Why didn’t I think of this earlier??  I don’t take the best pictures at parties (blame it on the drinks), so this year we’re setting up an official photobooth, where everyone should stop as they are coming in the house to pose for a picture. 

I’m going to find a Halloween-themed sheet/tablecloth and hang it near the front door.  The only thing I’m concerned about is that the Halloween colors or images could detract from the costumes.  So, a black sheet might do…we’ll see…

The best part is that my friend Adam has agreed to take the pictures, which is so great because he takes the best party documentary photos!  It’s pretty exciting that we’ll now be able to remember each other’s costumes this way.

And, yeah, these people in the picture are clearly not dressed for Halloween, but isn’t the full length fabric background nice?  I love how it covers the floor so it doesn’t interrupt the subject.  Yay!


batsnadbirdsMartha Stewart inspired my cutout bats, birds, mice, and dripping slime silhouettes (of course).  I’ve seen these for sale recently, but they are super easy to make at home, and far cheaper.  I use black craft paper, scissors, and my imagination to come up with the very basic shapes.  I place the cutouts strategically around my house for effect.  This year I may try to place them outside too.

Years ago, when we were trying to buy a house, a realtor visited our apartment in the spring. She couldn’t stop looking at the paper bats that were flying out of our fireplace, and I had to assure her that they were only Halloween decorations that I loved and couldn’t take down just yet.  She seemed a little scared. 

I’m much better than that now.  Decorations go up and usually come down within a week to make sure everything actually comes off the walls without damage.  In fact, one year I went so far as cutting out graveyard and picket fence shapes and covered all the walls in the living room.  This was before easy-off blue painter’s tape was common, so I had to repaint the room after the party.  Again, I’m better now.


I plan on making Monster Finger cookies, which are really super easy shortbread with almonds for fingernails.  I could monsterfingerseven make them with green food coloring for even scarier results.


I always make a Witches Brew (but it’s usually just green Margaritas) in a cauldron with a frozen ice hand.  Just fill a gloveicehandrubber glove with ice and freeze it for a few days.  I think you are supposed to run hot water over the ice before peeling away the glove, but I often get impatient and just start peeling.  This causes some of the fingers to break off, which is creepier anyway.  I may experiment with dry ice too…