Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Resources for Creating the Perfect Fall Centerpiece

We've rounded up a great list of resources to help you find and create the perfect fall centerpiece for your table. Whether you're decorating for a formal Halloween gathering or a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends, we're sure you'll find the perfect centerpieces from our list of decorating resources.

Fall Centerpiece Resources

  1. Glittering Fall Table Setting and Centerpiece Ideas: HGTV's designer Erinn Valencich gives readers tips for fall entertaining. Her more formal table setting ideas are gorgeous and perfect for a formal Thanksgiving dinner or a fall dinner party.

  2. 5 Easy Fall Centerpiece Ideas: Woman's Day has some great decorating tips too. These finds are less formal, but every bit as charming. Incorporate paper pumpkins, fallen acorns, books, candles, pumpkins and more into a home-warming centerpiece for your fall table.

  3. Rustic and Contemporary Centerpiece Ideas: This how-to article from Martha Stewart shows you how to make elegant table centerpieces for a rustic or a modern look. The best part is that you can use them with everyday items from your backyard garden including, vegetables, herbs, gourds, and fruits.

  4. Fall Wedding Centerpieces: Brides.com has some stunning ideas for fall centerpieces for your wedding reception that include everything from colorful dahlias and willow branches to pumpkins and hydrangeas. There's even a simple but beautiful centerpiece made of nothing but wheat stalks and hand-tied ribbon.

  5. Fall Centerpiece Idea and Centerpiece Wednesday: The Style Sisters have some truly unique ideas for decorating your fall table. They even have a new take on the pinwheels we love so much. They've used book pages to create them, and they're adorable. There are lots more fall table ideas to browse while you're visiting the blog too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Dinner Party Tips and Ideas

Fall is the perfect time to host a dinner party. As the evenings get cooler, it's nice to entertain indoors where things are warm and cozy. Here are some tips and ideas to inspire your next fall dinner party.

Bring the Outdoors In

A fall table setting can be brilliant and vivid when you incorporate pumpkins, gourds, and seasonal fruits and veggies into your arrangements. Autumn leaves are another way to bring striking colors to everything from your home decor to your centerpiece. Accents of twine or burlap work well with more rustic themes, while gold and ruby accents can dress things up a little.

Decorate or Carve Pumpkins

In lieu of those ghoulish jack-o-lanterns, go for more elegant pumpkin decorating ideas. We've seen some beautifully painted pumpkins as well as more intricate carvings that are simply stunning. You might want to browse some of Country Living's examples for out-of-the-box ideas.

Incorporate Harvest Foods in Your Menu

Pumpkin, squash, pears and apples are some obvious choices for seasonal dishes. But if you're looking for more ideas, we recommended checking out your local farmer's market for local harvest favorites. If you have your own garden, even better! For recipe ideas, click over to these great fall recipes from Taste of Home.

Don't Forget the Drinks

Mulled cider and cocoa are the perfect thing to take the chill off. Have some waiting for your guests when they arrive--perhaps with hors d'oeuvres--so that guests can mingle and snack while waiting for others to arrive to the dinner party.

Do you have fall dinner party tips to share? We want to hear them!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Party Planning for Kids

Halloween really is a great holiday for kids. I mean, what child doesn't love dressing up as a favorite superhero, a scary monster, or a beloved story character? Even better, it's actually acceptable to go door-to-door and beg the neighbors for candy.

But did you know it's possible to have even more Halloween fun with a party? Plus, when you host a halloween party your kids can wear that awesome costume for more than just a few hours on October 31.

We've got some tips for planning a halloween party--whether you're inviting a few close friends or the entire neighborhood.

We're skipping the obvious advice to get the good candy, because that's a given.

Plan Age-Appropriate Activities

Your middle schooler and your kindergartner aren't going to want to play the same games, but there's no rule that says you can't set up separate activities for different ages. Spoonful.com has lots of great printables and games for Halloween if you're looking for inspiration.

Hold a Costume Contest

Reward kids for their creativity and dedication to dressing up! The costume contest can be fun for everyone, and you can award as many or as few prizes as you want. To make sure more kids go home with prizes, just add additional categories. You can have winners for the scariest costume, the cutest costume, the most original costume, and on and on. Prizes don't have to be huge or break the bank. We recommend coloring or activity books for the younger children or a even king size candy bar. Yum!


Hayrides aren't feasible at every party, but if you've got the opportunity to run one? Jump on it! Safety is always the priority though, so check the local weather and make sure younger children have adult supervision during the trip. If you're really into Halloween and want your hayride to be over-the-top, invite others to set up haunted stations along the route.

What do your kids love best about Halloween parties?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Party Planning for Grown Ups

When it comes to Halloween, kids don't get to have all the fun. We've got some tips to help you plan a fun and memorable Halloween party, whether you intend to invite friends, family, or coworkers.

Pick a Theme

You might think that Halloween is a party theme in and of itself, but you could really be missing out. Some of the best parties we've attended have been Halloween parties with and additional costume theme. All those invited to the party must show up in a costume that's related to the theme. Here are some theme ideas:
  • Famous couples
  • Fictional characters
  • 70s TV shows
  • Monsters
  • Famous villains
Plan Games

When it comes to party games, a Halloween favorite is the costume contest, but there are lots of other games you can play. You could try pumpkin decorating, Halloween themed Pictionary, or a scary movie trivia contest to keep things festive. Games are also good icebreakers if your guests aren't already acquainted.

Go Big with Halloween Decorations

If ever there were a time to go a little over the top with your party decor, Halloween is it! For some really extravagant Halloween decorations, check out the extreme decor in this article from TrendHunter.

What do you do to celebrate Halloween?