It's Not A Halloween Party Without The Cocktails!

  • July 26, 2010
  • Jenna Maxwell
Halloween CocktailsHalloween isn't just for kids anymore!  Of course the trick-or-treating part still is, but the costume parties give the adults a chance to have a little fun.  If you're planning on throwing a rocking Halloween party this year, you have to have more than just a great costume and decorations; you need to be on top of your game when it comes to your drinks! All kinds of weird concoctions and brews await your party goers.  Give them a drink that they'll remember! Here are a few ideas of some great killer cocktails for your next Halloween blow-out! Mali-boo Witches Brew 1 1/4 oz. Malibu rum 3/4 oz. white creme de cacao 1/4 oz. grapefruit juice 3/4 oz. orange juice Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake well and serve into martini glass and garnish with Halloween gummy worms. Satan's Whiskers 1/2 oz. gin 1/2 oz. dry vermouth 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier 1 dash orange bitters Stir with ice and then strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. You can garnish with an orange twist. The Headless Horseman 2 oz. black vodka 3 dashes bitters Ginger ale Pour the vodka and bitters into a glass. Fill the glass with ice, then pour in ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of blood orange. Don't be discouraged if you're a beer drinker; Halloween doesn't discriminate on your choice of beverage!  Get your beer loving friends in on the action by icing up your very own Witch Cauldron Cooler!  There's not a better way to keep your beverages cold on Halloween!

Dressing As A Pop Star

  • July 26, 2010
  • Jenna Maxwell
Are you tired of being a freaky monster or bloody ghoul every year for Halloween?  Maybe this year you should try something new, something more upbeat and really fun.  This year for Halloween it may be time to consider dressing up as one of your favorite pop stars.  These iconic figures have created images so recognizable that with a few carefully chosen accessory or clothing items you will be instantly transformed into their likeness for lots of Halloween fun.  I have compiled a list of my favorite pop stars for dress up and some simple ideas to get you started on your metamorphosis into becoming one of these super stars. Madonna: The quintessential material girl, Madonna has a couple of decades of  different fashion looks to choose from as far as dressing up goes.  I like the original 80’s version of Madonna, with leggings and a dozen or so bangle bracelets on each wrist.  Her hair is softly curled and then tied up into a ponytail with a large lace bow.  Huge earrings (preferably in a cross shape) and heavy make up would complete this 80’s Madonna look. Katy Perry: Katy Perry is one of the most popular and recognizable pop stars on today’s pop music scene.  Her look is also very easy to copy for Halloween.   There are a few key points you will need to address in order to capture Katy’s look.  Katy often dresses like a 1940’s pin up girl.  A 1940’s style dress with lots of cleavage will get you well on your way to achieving Katy’s sexy look.  Wear a shoulder length brunette wig if you don’t have hair this style and color because it’s an essential part of her appearance.  Katy often wears a bow or a flower in her hair and various brightly colored Wayfarer shades. Hannah Montana: Miley Cyrus has made this Disney Channel character infamous amongst young teenage girls.  You can easily recreate Hannah’s pop star look with a few easy clothing pieces and accessories.  The most important part of this costume is the long blonde wig with bangs.  Add a sparkly or flashy jacket with sequins and cowboy boots and you’ve just about got it perfect.  If you can find a plastic microphone to carry around no one will mistake who you are! Michael Jackson: Michael will always be considered the King of Pop and he’s definitely got lots of recognizable looks so you can easily recreate his style for Halloween.  Michael often wore snugly fitting military style jackets with pants that were several inches too short.  White socks and black patent leather shoes will almost complete your costume but don’t forget the sequined glove and large aviator style sunglasses.  If you don’t already have dark curly hair you are probably going to want to wear a wig to make your Michael Jackson costume completely authentic. Li’l Wayne: Li’l Wayne’s look might take a little more work, but it is very distinctive and once you get it right anyone who knows Rap and Hip Hop music will know exactly who you are dressed up like.  The first and most obvious part of Li’l Wayne’s look is his dreads.  You are going to have to probably buy a dreadlock wig at a costume store to recreate this distinctive hairstyle.  You can pull the dreads back into a ponytail-sometimes Li’l Wayne styles his hair this way.  The next important feature to get just right is the grillz on his teeth.  My best (and most inexpensive) suggestion is to just put some foil around your teeth and that will at least capture the idea of his grilled teeth.  You are going to need lots of fake tattoos.  He has many, so go a little crazy with the fake ones.  A white wife beater tank top and an oversized hoody sweatshirt will complete Li’l Wayne’s attire.   Don’t forget lots and lots of “bling!” Kanye West: Unless you are a gorgeous black man this look might be hard to pull off.  Some of the distinctive features that you would need to implement into a Kanye costume would be very large sunglasses and a brightly colored sweater.  Kanye loves sweaters and sometimes they are even a bit preppy looking.  Add a long necklace and some white sneakers.

 

Eminem: Eminem is another rapper that has a unique and easily replicated look for Halloween dress up.  Eminem could easily be accomplished by wearing a very large white t-shirt (rip a hole in it or two) and a very large hoody sweatshirt over the t-shirt.  Wear a cap tilted off to the side to capture his signature rebellious look. Taylor Swift: Looking for a costume idea that is a little bit sweeter and more innocent?  The Taylor Swift look might be just the one for you.   If you have long blonde hair all you need to do is curl it tightly.  Otherwise in order to look like Taylor, you are going to need a long and curly blonde wig.  Taylor often wears dresses with cowboy boots underneath.  Make sure you have your guitar as well-- Taylor’s is often sparkly. Britney Spears: Britney Spears has been around for awhile and has created many looks over the years that you could easily copy for a Halloween costume.  My personal favorite is her naughty school girl look with the white blouse tied up at the waist and her hair up in pigtails.  Learn a few lines from Britney’s “Baby One More Time” and have fun being bad little Britney for the night. Lady Gaga: Perhaps one of the easiest to dress up as, Lady Gaga is infamous for her truly outrageous costumes and hairstyles.  Personally I think the easiest way to go “Gaga” is to get a blond wig and cut it short if necessary, so that it’s about chin length.  Dress in your underwear if you dare, she’s been known to do this quite frequently.   If wearing your undies is a little to risqué for you, try something in leather.   Add false eyelashes, either black or colored.  You then will need humongous sunglasses and lots of make up and pale pink lipstick.  If you don’t like my suggestions, you can hear from Lady Gaga herself how she thinks you should dress as her for Halloween by viewing the below video.

 

No matter which pop star you decide you are going to be for Halloween night, have fun and enjoy being the Superstar that you are!

Halloween For The Economically Challenged

  • July 19, 2010
  • Jenna Maxwell
Halloween has been increasing in its popularity over the years.  Halloween has so much to offer in the way of fun for all ages that this fact is not surprising.  It’s the perfect time to decorate your house, have great parties with your friends and the most obvious fun is dressing up in costume. In fiscally challenging times, it can be a little bit more difficult to celebrate most any holiday, but Halloween fun does not have to be missed out on if you are on a tight budget.  I am here to help you and have many suggestions on how to have the greatest Halloween ever without spending a whole lot of money.  Halloween is a holiday for all age groups from the very young to the very old.  These tips will help you to get the most bang for your buck and still have a really amazing time doing it. Costumes: Costumes do not have to be costly.  With a little bit of creativity you can find things around the house to create a costume yourself.  Add a little Halloween makeup and a few inexpensive accessories and you have something really creative and special.  Here are just a few of my super economical suggestions:
  • Ghost: This is the old last minute costume standby.  Of course you can do it the boring way by just putting a white sheet over your head with eye holes cut out,  but for just a little more effort you can make your ghost really stand out.  Drape the fabric over your body leaving the face exposed.  Make up your face with pasty make up, dark shadows under your eyes and maybe a little fake blood.  Very inexpensive to do and the result can be very spooky!
  • Clown: The secret to a homemade clown outfit is to wear all the clothing super-large so it almost drowns you.  Add appropriate clown make up and a wig (or cap if you don’t have a wig) and you have a clown costume done very cheaply.
  • Scarecrow: An oversized plaid flannel shirt and a pair of jeans can easily be made into a scarecrow costume.  Add a rope belt around your waist.  Take pieces of straw and attach them at the wrists, neckline and at your feet.  Use a make up kit to add appropriate make up to complete your scarecrow look.
  • Various Costumes with tights or sweats: There are so many inexpensive costumes that start with matching tights and a t-shirt or turtleneck or a pair of matching sweats.  You will need a few accessories to pull the look off, but the biggest part of your costume will be created by these basics.  Here are some ideas.  Wear black tights and a black turtleneck.  Add cat ears, make up and a tail and be a black cat.  Green sweats are the start of a great turtle costume.  Make a large shell out of Cardboard and attach it to your back.   Add a mask if you want your turtle to go “Ninja”.  Brown sweats can easily become a cute dog costume.  Add puppy spots with paint or you can pin fabric spots onto the sweats.  Add a pair of floppy ears with bobby pins or attach ears to a headband.  Use Halloween make-up to create a doggie face, and you have a really simple and cute dog costume.   White sweats or tights can be used to create a really cute bunny costume.  You can also use pink sweats or tights and be a pink bunny.  You can make a cute tail out of a large pompom from a craft store or even cotton balls will work.  Add bunny face make up and a pair of bunny ears from a costume shop to finish your bunny look.
Decorations: Halloween decorations are a really fun part of Halloween.  Decorations set the mood in your yard for the trick-or-treaters and for your guests if you are having a party.   Decorations are important to set a spooky mood in your home but they don’t have to be expensive.  Here are a few ideas to get you started! For your yard:
  • Make a fake cemetery.  Utilizing Styrofoam blocks or even Styrofoam ceiling tiles from your home improvement store, you can easily cut these Styrofoam pieces into headstone shapes.  Use artist’s charcoal to write epitaphs on each of them then spray paint them lightly with grey spray paint.  If you are more ambitious you can make a picket fence to put around your cemetery.  Add lots of fake cobwebs or gauzy fabric draped over the fence to give it a really creepy effect.
  • Hang nearly invisible threads from your front porch to make it feel like cobwebs when your visitors walk to your door.
  • Change your porch light to a black or other colored bulb.
Inside your home:
  • Lighting is an inexpensive way to add a dramatic effect.  Try some black or colored bulbs
  • Use inexpensive black tablecloths from the dollar store on your tables.
  • Drape your furniture with white sheets and cobwebs to give it that abandoned, haunted feel.
  • Use fake blood to make handprints on mirrors or write bloody messages with your fingertips
  • Fake cobwebs should be put all over the place to add a really creepy Halloween effect.  A little can be stretched a long way, but the effect is quite dramatic.
  • Plastic spiders, worms and rats are a very inexpensive accessory that can be used in numerous ways.  The obvious choice is to put the spiders in the cobwebs.  But don’t stop there!  Add plastic spiders to an ice cube tray and add water and freeze.  Use these to chill drinks.  Add a random plastic rodent or bug to a bowl of candy or chips as well.   Float a few in your punch bowl as well.   My favorite idea is to freeze green Gatorade inside a plastic glove.  When completely frozen, remove the “hand” and float it in the punch bowl along with a few plastic spiders.  Awesome!
  • Find some apples that can stand up without rolling.  Take out the stems and carefully hollow out the top a bit so a taper candle will fit inside nicely.  This is a very pretty decorative touch for your food table.
  • Tilt all the pictures on your walls so they are crooked and add lots of cobwebs.
For very little money you have transformed your home into a really spooky Halloween haunt! Party Ideas for the frugal partier: Just because you are being thrifty, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a very successful and fun Halloween party.  Here are just a few suggestions:
  • Inform your guests that there will be a costume contest “Project Runway” style. Set the budget to create the costume at 20 dollars. Have a runway show during the party where the costumes will be modeled and judged on various predetermined criteria.  Give prizes to the winners.
  • Have a pumpkin carving party.  You can use clip art patterns from your computer as patterns.  Give prizes in various categories.  (Most creative, most scary, etc.)
  • If you are having a children’s party, play “find the pumpkins”.  This is like a Halloween style Easter Egg Hunt.  Use mini pumpkins and hide them all over the yard or throughout your house.  Give prizes to the winner.
  • Keep food simple.   One great idea is to make your party a Halloween block party in your neighborhood and have everyone bring one food item pot-luck style.  If you are having an adult party and are serving alcohol, have each couple bring one beverage or spirit.
Hopefully these ideas will get you well on your way to having a fantastic and memorable Halloween that won’t set you back financially.  Halloween is about dressing up and having a spooky great time with your friends.  Now you know doing it on a budget is also really easy!  Enjoy!

A Family That "Shrek's" Together, Stays Together!

  • July 13, 2010
  • Jenna Maxwell

Shrek Costumes

Ever since May 2001, the lovable ogre Shrek has become a household name.  Today, with three more movies added to the franchise, Shrek and his friends are more popular than ever! All the movies are hilarious!  I can't say enough good things about them.  It's such a great animated film that you can take the whole family to.  My kids loved it and I think my husband and I were laughing even harder than they were.  For the past eight years, Halloween costumes for the Shrek characters fly off the shelves during the holiday and this year will be no different.  There's so many great characters to choose from when it comes to picking out your Halloween costume; Princess Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and the Three Blind Mice are so much fun to dress up as.   Since the latest movie in the series was just released a couple months ago called "Shrek Forever After", Shrek and his friends are back on the scene!   This Halloween make it a family night by everyone dressing as a character from the movie!  Dad can be Shrek, mom can be Princess Fiona and have the kids dress up as Donkey, Puss in Boots or even the Gingerbread Man.  The possibilities are endless and fun!

Give Your Graduate a Hawaiian Luau Party!

  • July 08, 2010
  • Jenna Maxwell
It's that time of year again when parents everywhere are planning graduation parties for their high school or college graduate! The easiet way to plan a graduation party is to go with a specific theme in mind. The most popular is the Hawaiian Luau theme. In Hawaii, a luau is a gathering of family and friends to enjoy good food, good company, and good times; sounds like the perfect graduation party to me! There are so many tropical decorations to choose from that you should have no problem making your guests feel like they are truly partying in the tropics. Have the party goers where Hawaiian shirts and grass hula skirts.  As they arrive place a flowered lei around their neck.  Big Kahuna Adult CostumeOf course no Hawaiian Luau party would be complete without tiki lights, inflatable palm trees and the sounds of tropical Island music playing.  Games involving hula hoops are always fun and don't forget the infamous "how low can you go" limbo contest.  For food, don't forget the roasted pig! And if you have a boy that's graduating from high school or college, have him greet the party-goers in full regalia dressed as the Big Kahuna!  Everyone will love it and his party will be one to remember!