Make your Halloween Spooktacular

Friday, October 30, 2015
It’s a well-known fact that I love Halloween. It’s like my Christmas. I get so excited for the decorations, the food, the TV specials (you can NEVER watch Hocus Pocus too many times), the costumes, and the parties. This year instead of a Halloween party at our house, I decided to switch things up to host a ghoul’s night of wine, dinner and Hocus Pocus. Eight of my girlfriends came over Saturday evening, and we all had such a good time together. We sat on the patio by the chiminea talking and drinking wine before enjoying ‘Don’t Be a Chicken Chili’ and watching Hocus Pocus.

I was thankful for great girlfriends and an evening to enjoy this beautiful time of the year. Winter will be here too soon! If you’re getting your house ready for Halloween or your own ghoul’s night – here are some of my favorite Halloween entertaining tips and tricks.

1) Candy is dandy but wine is divine

We went through A LOT of wine on Saturday. Stock your wine rack with spooky sips. There are lots of Halloweenish wine names and labels out there. Take a look when you’re buying your wine – it will add to your party. Hob Nob has a limited edition Wicked Red. The label is fabulous, and red blend is really good!

2) Get creative with pumpkins
Pumpkins can be so much more than doorstep décor or Jack-O-Lanterns. I love incorporating them in whimsical and surprising ways. My mother always carves out a pumpkin to use as a vase for mums which always makes a beautiful centerpiece. I love to purchase the mini pumpkins and turn them into floating candles. If you have a big tub, you can fill it with water, and add your mini pumpkins filled with small votive candles. It’s super easy to assemble but makes a stunning display. Your guests will love it!

Floating, glowing pumpkins - magical yet so easy! 

Pie pumpkins – small but not quite mini – are great to add to your buffet. Hollow them out to use for your dips! Save the top for a fun decoration.

Use a pumpkin for your dip bowl.

And, then, yes, of course, make time to carve a Jack-O-Lantern ! It’s so much fun. Save the seeds to bake for a crunchy, healthy snack. I like to roast mine with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic salt.

One of my favorite things ever -
a warm, glowing, spicy-smelling Jack-O-Lantern.

3) Keep the theme going with food

For my ghoul’s night I served Don’t Be a Chicken Chili, Monster Eyes, Pumpkin dip and veggies, pumpkin seeds, and 
a frighteningly decadent dessert bar. We also had Rachel Ray’s Pumpkin Pie Martinis to top off the night– scary good! You don’t have to go Pinterest crazy to give your food a Halloween flair. (Ain’t nobody got time for that.) It’s simple to give normal foods a Halloween twist with a few changes to the name or tweaks to the recipe. I also saved time by purchasing my desserts, and throwing together a monster mix (peanuts, gummy worms, kettle corn, candy corn, banana chips, dark chocolate) to snack on during the movie. No one will care or notice if some things aren’t homemade!

Monster mix - perfect movie snack.

4) Enjoy the October weather

If the weather allows get outside and enjoy it. Fall evenings can be crisp, spicy and delightful. We’re about ready to spend the next four to five months stuck inside, so I love to enjoy every October evening outside that I can. So, light up the fire pit or chiminea, grab a blanket and your wine, and go take in the beautiful fall weather.

October sunsets are the best.

Get the chiminea going - October evenings are crisp! 

5)  Document the fun

Take lots of photos, blog about it, post it on Instagram – whatever it takes to remember the fun. Holidays and special moments with friends and family are worth remembering. I love this time of year so much – it’s fun to go back and look at the celebrations, the food, and the decorations. It will also help you remember how to do it up fabulously again next year.

Wine and pumpkins make me happy. 

Happy Haunting, friends! 
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