Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween night,
and all through the house,
Not a creature is lurking,
not even a mouse...
The cobwebs are spun
by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some monsters
soon will be there.

Have a Spooky and Happy Halloween!

Parker's Halloween Party

Parker had his first Tot Halloween Party this last weekend. I was so nervous about do you entertain a bunch of toddlers? It isn't like you can play a lot of games and make a lot of crafts.

The party ended up a much bigger success than I could have ever imagined. There were 9 toddlers in all, plus their parents. I set up a table at the back with plain pumpkin shaped sugar cookies and icing pens for parents to help the older tots decorate. I cleared a large space on the floor and brought down Parker's toys. I also have a dozen little beach balls (various sizes for babies) that had goofy skeleton faces on them. The kids really enjoyed those.

(Some of Parker's new friends)
It seemed that everyone had a lot of fun. We didn't really have any Tot meltdown (I was expecting a few). The kids all left with a party favor bag filled with a Halloween Rubber Duck, Halloween bubbles (both from Oriental Trading Co), and Goldfish Crackers.

(More of Parker's playmates)

Gothic Halloween - Killing Jar, Siouxsie and the Banshees

Definitely my all time favorite Siouxsie song...definitely one of my top 15 songs of all time! Many try to be Siouxsie (hello Shakespeare's Sister), but only come across as a cheap knock off.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gothic Halloween Dinner Party

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, our Halloween Gothic Dinner Party was a hit! The food was yummy and the drinks were FANTASTIC (thanks Jess!). Conversation never slowed down. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take pictures of the guests once they showed up (I blame the yummy Dracula Kisses...very strong with lots of liquor!).

Guests were greeted by a creepy apothecary table set with party favors (home-made Devils Food cupcakes with cream cheese icing), a brain, zombie hand, and skull. Creeping on the wall was Bernice, my HUGE spider. She spun her web all over the house.
Guests were greeted with a specialty Halloween cocktail...Dracula's Kiss or Pumpkin Pie Martinis. Both were scrumptious and went down WAY TOO smooth. I lined all of the glasses with black sugar and found these adorable sugar glass clips at Target. We all enjoyed cocktails and appetizers for a while. I will be sure to write a separate post for some of the best recipes for this weekend's events. They were a real hit.
I am not a big fan of the whole orange and black Halloween decor. I favor a black and white color scheme. It is a little bit more elegant and unexpected for Halloween. The table was set with this beautiful velvet burnout rose fabric I found at Hancock's Fabric. It thought it was perfect to go over a plain white table cloth. I had so many more plans to dress the table (IE. fold the napkins into bones), but being sick for that week and a half really forced me to take things off of my "to do" list. Oh well...there is always next year. You can bet I all ready have so great ideas for next year's dinner!
Our house has this old built-in bar cabinet. It was perfect for our setting - just add spider webs and cheese cloth! You can't tell from the pictures, but I had all of the drinks and appetizers served on old, tarnished silver trays. Over the past years, I have gone to thrift stores and picked up various old silver trays for this very purpose. They look great and elegant, tarnished and creepy, and hardly cost a thing! They are more unexpected than serving things on paper plates or Halloween trays.
I made sure that the entire house was decked out...even the second floor (where the bathroom is).
Hector, the black owl, looked over everything to make sure no one was misbehavin' too much.

So Long. Farewell.

I can not believe it! Joaquin announced in a surprising red-carpet interview that he is retiring from acting!! The movie Two Lovers, with Gwyenth Paltrow was his last movie. Joaquin says that ever since he learned how to play the guitar for his role as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (excellent movie by the way. He should have won the Oscar), he has discovered that he has a passion for music and wants to pursue that. He is all ready working on a music project with front man Tim Burgess of The Charlatans UK. I am interested to hear what he will come out with...I am guessing it will be a bit moody and perhaps a bit like Jack White of the White Stripes. I only with that he would have won an Oscar one of the two times he was nominated. He always picked strange characters. I loved the darkness that he brought to them. Best of luck to you Joaquin! For more information, check out the brief interview here.

Gothic Halloween - Butterfly on a Wheel, Mission UK

Both Phillip and I love this song. Though, the video is not very good. One question...why do they keep showing a rose in the video instead of a butterfly? It doesn't make sense to me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Head Waiter

One of the many things I did last week was make this Head Waiter for my Halloween tabletop center piece. It had quite an impact on the table but was really simple to make. This project is even easy enough for older kids to do. You can find the Styrofoam head at most beauty supply stores. I purchased mine at Sally's Beauty Supply. The project uses Mod Podge, so you won't be able to complete the project in one sitting since you have to let that paper dry. I would guess that all together, this project only took about 2 hours to complete.

My finished piece!

This Weekend's Chaos

Phillip and I survived this weekend's chaos. I don't know what sort of crack I was smoking when I decided to host two Halloween events back to back. But we did it and we live to tell about it.

At the last minute, we had a few hiccups regarding the guest list for our Gothic Halloween Dinner Party. Two couples had to cancel at the last minute - both with VERY good excuses...but we ended up with way more food than what we needed. Still, we ended with a dinner party of 6 and we had a lot of fun. I will have pictures up later of the decor and table. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take pictures of all the people dressed. Boohoo. Silly me.

The event I was really worried about was Parker's First Toddler Halloween Party. I had no idea how to entertain a room full of 1-2 year olds and stay within the Halloween theme. But that, too, came off without a hitch. As a matter of fact, we had 9 babies! It was so cute. They were all dressed in costumes. I will have pictures and more information of that little party up soon as well.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gothic Halloween - Part One

In honor of Halloween this week, I thought I would post a daily video to pay homage to our Godfathers of Goth. May I introduce Mr. Peter Murphy, a man with the most haunting of lyrics and palest of skin.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spoiler Altert! - Top Design

I have been watching the show from the beginning, but never had a chance to blog about it in time before the next episode. That is unfortunate, because I, of course, have a lot to say about it!

-First - did anyone see that awesome belt buckle that J.A. was wearing during the Pop Challenge? It was this big, old looking skeleton key. J'adorable (as J.A. would say)! I want to find one for Phillip because he needs this cool buckle. I wonder if there is a way I can make one...hmmm...

-I am SO OVER Ricky Schroeder! If I cared about him, I would be watching Silver Spoon reruns on TV. He was so 1985...who cares about him and his made for TV movies? Big whoop!

-Can you believe that Eddie had the NERVE to call J.A an ELF!! Who does Eddie think he is...oh yeah - he thinks he is Martha Stewart reincarnate. You know, Martha is the BEST DESIGNER of all time after all (wink, wink). I swear I just want to jump into the TV a slap that little smirk off of his face. If he worked for my company, I would be embarrassed by his catty behaviour. Do I really care that he gets to ride in Martha's plane? No...that doesn't make him a better designer. All that means is that he has an interesting job.

-Speaking of Eddie, as much as I hate to say it, I felt the judges were a little overly harsh on his room. Don't get me wrong - I hated it. But the room did have great moments. I think it all fell apart when he discovered the Martha Stewart Showroom...all of the furniture totally was too dark and pulled the room into this depressing state. Margaret was 100% right when she said that he made such a GORGEOUS chandelier look cheap. It takes a lot of "skill" to ruin something so beautiful that can really stand on its own. One word for his room - YAWN!

-I am on an Eddie kick right now...remember in the beginning of this competition he said that he wanted a more modern dining room for a wealthy, young couple? But at the end, he said that he always wanted a traditional/modern room? Uh...which was it, Eddie? Do you even know what modern is? Give me a call sometime Eddie and I will tell you what modern is. By the way, Eddie, maybe you should pay a bit more attention to the judges advice...they know a lot more than you do...that is why they are judges!

-I am SO OVER Indea Hicks. I have never been a fan of hers. I don't like most of her designs and I am not a big fan of her product line either. So her father was a great designer...he was fun and much more interesting than her. She is so regal that she has a stick up her butt! And by the way Indea, I have seen tons of photo shoots with sofas pulled up to a dining room table. It isn't all that weird.

-Did anyone notice the dirty look that Margaret tried to hide when Simon (I love him, by the way) asked Eddie if he had any regrets about the room? Margaret would lose big money at the poker table. She doesn't hide her feelings well at all.

-What the heck, Ondine!?! How can you take such a beautiful chandelier and make it get lost in a room? I'll tell you how - by putting a lot of CRAP all over the place with no rhyme or reason! Way TOO MUCH stuff going on. I get that she wants to be global and eclectic, but let's remember the great words once said by Chanel...always remove one accessory before you walk out the door. Ondine just had too much stuff competing for attention...the chandelier got lost in all of it. By the way, when I look at that chandelier, the last thing that pops into my mind is global. Where did that come from?

-I am glad that we finally got our blessed visit from Simon, but why wasn't he the guest judge on the window display? After all, he is the Godfather of window design.

-Where was Kelly? I missed her. :(

-I am glad Preston won. I was torn between he and Nathan room. I loved the orange chairs that Preston chose. He is excellent at balance and scale. Very polished. But he is a one-note Charlie. Another Boutique Hotel Lobby/Lounge? Black walls again? Preston, I want you to step out of your comfort zone and give me something that shocks me!

-Andrea, some advice...grow a spine!!!! I am sure that Ondine wanted to jump out at you with all claws out and slap you upside your head. I know I did.

-I LOVED/HATED Nathan's room. I love the light he chose the best. I loved the big reminded me of a Goldfrapp video I once saw (I will try and find it for you). His room was just SO BITCHY...there is no other way to put it. The wall was so in your face. I think I would have liked it a lot more if the colors for the mural were not so garish and contrasting with one another. But it all totally worked in some crazy way. I would love to be friends with Nathan. He is such an out of the box thinker.

I told you I had a lot to say!

Our U.P. Visit on Labor Day

(Jinga, Phillip & Parker in the Great Lake)

It had just occurred to me (as I was going through the never ending project of organizing pictures...yes, family...I am STILL working on the next series of Parker picture CDs) that I never shared with you any pictures of our trip over Labor Day to our friends cabin in the Upper Peninsula (locals refer to it as the U.P.). I think I mentioned that Parker was sick with his first cold and was quite unhappy the first day or so. I was disappointed that he was sick because I was excited to take him swimming for the first time. Of course that didn't happen, but we did get to take a stroll out to the Great Lake (only a few yards away from the cabin).

(Parker and Phillip. Parker is wearing a great big floppy sun hat. He has his Daddy's pale complexion.)

Pete, or I should say all pugs, don't particularly like swimming. They are too top-heavy (like a bull dog) and they just sink. However, after Pete spent some time at Doggy "Camp" this summer, his "camp supervisors" told me that he was in the kiddy pool every day playing with the other small dogs. The water above is very shallow, but still too deep for Pete to walk, forcing him to practice his swimming skills.

(Dogs playing on beach)

The dogs LOVE visiting the cabin - especially Jinga. They get to run around a nice size piece of land. Jinga loves to run out in the morning as soon as someone wakes up and take a swim. The huge lake is right out the front door, so she is completely blissed out.

This is view of the cabin standing from the beach. You can't see the cabin, but it is right in the middle of all those tress. The clearing you see in the center is where everyone hangs out at night at the bonfire and looks at the stars...or the guys play with fireworks. Boys will be boys - always wanting to blow something up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Video Wednesday - Gotta Luv Bridezilla

I could not stand Katie's first song release. I figured she was a Dita Von Tessa wanna-be that only got a second look because she was singing a song about kissing a girl. Big whoop! But now, I can't help but L-U-V this song and video. The video totally cracks me up - especially the scene with the bridezillas on the pink bicycles and smeared eye make-up. Who comes up with that stuff? The song is totally catchy. I predict that I will be singing this song at the top of my lungs in my car one day in my future. By the way, Parker totally likes this song too.

Alive and Kicking

As Simple Minds once said, I am "alive and kicking". Parker and I are both fine now. We had a VERY nasty cold and ear infection. Poor Parker had an ear infection in both ears as well as in one of is eyes. The whole virus came out in a nasty diaper rash as well. Thank God for antibiotics. He has been good for a few days now and I am finally starting to feel normal and catching up on missed sleep. Now I am WAY behind on my HUGE "to do" list this month and of course I am in a panic. Send positive wishes my way that I can make it through this weekend without getting myself worn out and sick all over again.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mommy M.I.A.

Both Parker and I have been VERY sick, so my blogging will cease until I have the energy to try and write. Parker is fine. He has had a cold for over a week now and it has settled into his eyes and ears, causing an infection. I just have a very nasty cold that isn't going away since I am not getting much sleep while Parker is sick. I will keep you informed.

Love to all of you!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Hate Angelina

I am hating Angelina right now. Here I am, busting my butt every day working out at the stupid gym when I have had no sleep (thanks Parker), and eating boring diet food (no mac & cheese for me) and still can't get over this 15 pound wall I seemed to have hit. And then there is Angelina!!! Looking smokin' hot and she JUST had her twins like a minute ago. I had Parker almost 9 months ago! All I am saying...IT SHOULD BE ME!!

Spooky Walls Murals and Frustrating Spider Webs

I love, Love, LOVE this Halloween wall mural from Pottery Barn - so sophisticated and creepy at the same time. Plus it is in my favorite Halloween color pallet - Black and white. Unfortunately, it look like it is all ready sold out! I guess that means that I won't be purchasing it on the big day after Halloween sales (those sales are always my FIRST priority on November 1st).

In case you are as obsessed with Halloween as I am, I provided a link to some great Halloween decorating inspirations from one of my favorite bloggers, Create My Event. Check it out...she will be doing a whole series this week on Halloween. YEAH!

As for me...well, I am all ready stressing. This is the first time I have tried to pull off any sort of festive get-together since I have had Parker, and let me tell you it is HARD! It literally took me all day yesterday just to get the bar somewhat decorated and organized. Hanging a spider web is quite impossible when I have to put the spider web down every 30 seconds to move him away from something harmful. It is my own fault really...I still haven't gotten around to baby proofing our downstairs area. I figured What's the point? Until Phillip puts all of his tools away from his porch project (which he won't do until the winter sets in or he finishes the can guess which one will happen first), baby proofing downstairs kind-of doesn't matter.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Video Wednesday - I Tink I Luv the Ting Tings

I am going through a major Ting Ting phase this week.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Halloween Favor Bags

(Old fashioned Halloween ornament favor boxes from Plum Party)

I love hosting dinner parties, so I am especially excited about hosting my first Halloween Gothic Dinner Party. Setting a table and scene is so much like designing a store front window...I really love it. Unfortunately, my budget is really tight this year, so I won't be able to go as over the top as I usually do. Hopefully, I will be able to make a lot of the things that I will need. To begin with, I need to decide what I would like to do for favors. I always want my guests to leave my dinners or parties with a favor. It reminds me of when I was a kid and got silly little toys and such as a special little treat. Why should kids have all of the fun? Other than time, it doesn't cost much to do. There are just so many choices out there. Above are just a few of my favorites.

What a Weekend!

Parker enjoying carrots.

Well, I had a ton of things I wanted to get accomplished this weekend and I barely got anything done. I woke up Saturday morning, excited that it was a beautiful October day, ready to run errands and get my Halloween decorating started...none of it happened. It took me 6 hours of trying to get out of the house before I finally gave up! It was just one of those days...Parker was "not happy" every time I tried to get out the door. It isn't worth the extra effort to me to take any unhappy baby with me to run errands. I tried EVERYTHING I could think of. One minute he was happy, but as soon as I started to get him bundled up, the whole world stopped. It was SO FRUSTRATING. My nerves were completely shot. By 6:00 that evening, I finally had to ask Phillip to stop working on his porch project (yes, he is still doing that) and take over watching Parker because I needed a drink - the alcoholic kind! Sunday was much better. It rained most of the day, so Phillip ran errands with Parker and I. It was nice having an extra set of hands, but it was really nice just hanging out as a family. We don't get to spend a whole day together often because Phillip is really trying to get the porch as far along as possible before the ton of snow comes in. I still didn't get much accomplished this weekend, but at least I got to hang out with my little family.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What a Week!

It amazes me how quickly the weeks fly by! This week was particularly busy since Phillip stayed home two extra days since he got his wisdom teeth pulled out. I am happy to report that he is fine now, just a little sore.

I have a huge checklist for this weekend - I want to get most of the Halloween decorating completed (which means I will need to purchase a few extra things). I also need to figure out what to do with all of those apples we picked last weekend before they go bad...I am thinking apple butter. My Grandma Hazel used to make the yummiest apple butter. Imagine how scrumptious it would be on homemade waffles or scones on a cold winter day (Lord knows we will have PLENTY of those!). I also need to start planning our Halloween Gothic Dinner Party. Lot's to do, so I better get to it. Have a fantastic weekend!

Oh, by the way, the picture above when Parker was about 3 months old. He and Pete are hanging out in Parker's nursery chair. It was a REALLY cold day, so Pete had to have his sweater.

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Finally October!

I hope you are ready! Now that it is October, I will be talking non-stop about Halloween. I am sure you thought I was all ready talking about it a bit too much, but trust me - that was nothing! For this year, I am planning a small Gothic Dinner Party, Trick or Treating and a Tot's Halloween Party for the Family Group we belong to.

To be quite honest, I am nervous about the Tot's Party. I know how to entertain adults and maybe even young kids...but how on earth do you entertain a bunch of kids 3 years and younger? Luckily, the number of kids will be small and one of my friend's will be helping me figure it all out. But if you have any suggestions, please send them my way.

I found this easy decoration on Martha All you need is some garbage bags and a bit of time! I think the overall look is pretty spooky. I plan on doing this to my porch. It may not look quite what I am hoping for because Phillip still has the porch on stilts and such, but I hope that with a bit of other magical touches, it will send a chill up my trick or treater's spines.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Video Wednesday (on Thursday)

(Oasis - Wonderwall)

Apologies for not getting this up in time for Video Wednesday, but Phillip had his wisdom teeth pulled yesterday so I had my hands pretty full. To make up for it, I am posting two videos. I selected Ryan Adams and Oasis because Phillip and I purchased tickets to see their show this upcoming January! I am SOOOOO excited - we are in the 24th row. I really like both performers. I have tried several times to see Ryan over the past year (he seems to visit Minneapolis A LOT) at smaller venues and he always sells out so fast. I have heard he puts on a good show. And Oasis...well, I just need to hear a few of their best songs and I will be purring like a kitten. I expect it to be a great night.