socialite savvy: 3 tips for hosting a Halloween party

Four years ago, Greg & I hosted our first Halloween party. We had just gotten a new apartment, & as I had made the move across the Missouri state, I wanted to make new friends & catch up with old ones. I found cheap decorations & sent out e-vites, & much to my surprise, the party was a smash! Every year since then, we’ve continued to host Halloween & I’ve learned quite a few things along the way. Here are my top tips for hosting your own Halloween party:

1. Put thought into your costume.
If you expect others to show up in costume, then you had best deliver on your own disguise. Share creative ideas with your guests to take the stress off of finding something. Some guests will surely impress with their own creations, but others will lack the inspiration & need a nudge in the right direction. Seeing you & others have fun playing the part will only encourage everyone to get in the spirit of Halloween.

2. Set the mood with good, lively music.
Everyone has different music tastes & this can be even more true amongst friends. There is no way to please every palate, so focus instead on sharing popular songs from different genres that your guests appreciate & that the majority is likely to accept. The key to any good party playlist is to feature rhythmic & energetic tunes to keep the flow of the event going. Create a cool playlist using apps & sites like iTunes or Spotify. If you aren’t even sure where to start, plug a couple of good songs into Pandora & be sure to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” songs to get a good groove started. & if you are wondering what songs I chose for my perfect Halloween playlist, I included the likes of Black Keys “Howlin’ for You” & Iggy Azalea’s “Black Widow” alongside throwbacks like Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping.”

3. Create photo ops to capture the fun.
Find or make a good backdrop at whatever location you host so you can easily capture your guests at an opportune moment. Be careful not to post any potentially embarrassing photos later because you want your guests to feel comfortable in front of the camera & at your Halloween party. Photos are worth the hassle though because capturing the fantastic costumes & great friendships on camera bring back memories for your guests of all the good times they shared with you at your shindig.

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Of course, the biggest ingredient to hosting a successful Halloween party is relaxing & enjoying the festivities yourself!  Make time to partake in the fun & enjoy celebrating this holiday with your friends.

muse moments

Happy Halloween, ladies & gents!  It’s time to join in the festivities, so flip on your porch light & fill the candy bags or deck the walls with spooky decor.  I’ve recently learned about a St. Louis trick-or-treating tradition: if kids expect some delicious sweets in their bag, they’ve got to deliver a joke to the person opening the door.  It’s an adorable tradition & seems to be one only found in St. Louis.  Do you have any peculiar holiday traditions?  Regardless of how you celebrate this Halloween weekend, I hope you & yours have a wonderful time!  Here’s some weekly inspirations to get your weekend off on the right foot:

If you are hosting a small Halloween get-together, here’s a fantastic little idea to set the right mood.

Try out this pumpkin brownie recipe & I swear you won’t be disappointed.  I know this for a fact because I tried it out myself this past weekend at my good friend’s birthday.  They were certainly a crowd-pleaser!  Here are my results for you:

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

This artistic photograph has a sensuous noir vibe that gets story ideas rolling around in my head.

A bathroom remodel is on the horizon for me, & while it might not be quite this extravagant, a girl can dream right?

There is just something about a lady in red.  This gorgeous little drape dress in vivid red is far too good to pass up.

Stay safe this Halloween & have a wicked good time.  Hope you have a magical weekend & I’ll see you next week!

socialite savvy: Halloween costume inspirations

Costume Ideas 14Cue the spooky music, carve the pumpkins, & prep the candy bowl…it’s time for Halloween, ladies & gents!  Whether you will be handing goodies out to trick-or-treaters or celebrating in style, here’s some costume inspiration for you from past shindigs we’ve hosted:

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Featuring: two creepers inspired by the Lonely Island Boys music video, “The Creep.”  Leeloo Dallas from The Fifth Element.  Batman & Catwoman.  One scrub, one Kermit the Frog, Bowser, & Ash from The Evil Dead.

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Starring: Schrodinger’s Cat, Indiana Jones, Red Riding Hood & one frightening clown.

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Costume Ideas 1

Introducing: the Terminator, Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction, & a seriously spooky zombie teen.  One caveman, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, one I-don’t-even-know-so-we’ll-go-with bubblegum, & the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.

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Costume Ideas 4

& my personal favorite: the crew of Serenity.  For you fans of Firefly, you likely recognize Kaylee Frye, Crow, Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Inara Serra, Badger & YoSaffBridge.  What clever costumes have you created for Halloween?  Hope you have fun (& stay safe) this holiday!

muse moments

Ladies & gents, let’s raise a toast to Friday!  After a painfully long week, Friday is finally here.  I’m in need for some serious R & R this weekend.  How about you?  Take a peek at the things inspiring me these days before you get your weekend started:

If you love to travel as much as I do, you know it’s all about the experience when you’re out there trekking the world.  But if you’re like me, you also want to be able to share those experiences with the people back home.  How on earth do you capture the grandeur of a new place, a new culture?  Take a tripod selfie.  It’s great for capturing those solo trips or everyone in your party.

My ideal nightstand is not only modern chic but has the necessary shelves to store a few of my favorite things: a book, a lotion bar, a pen & a pad of paper.  Plus, you know that one really handy item known as a phone charger.  This nightstand so suits my personality that I think I just might buy two!

I adore quirky little accessories, such as this perfect pineapple buckle on a skinny belt.  Add a little pizazz to your professional attire with a piece like this that pops.

Here’s a little pumpkin carving inspiration for you.  Just use glow sticks to create the different colored effect!  Do you & your family carve pumpkins?  If so, what designs did you come up with this year?

At times, you have to remind yourself to be your own best version of who you are & not worry about fitting into someone’s cookie-cutter mold of who you ought to be.  If you focus on being a good person & doing what makes you happy, the rest will fall into place.

muse moments

It may be stormy here, but it’s still the weekend! I don’t know about you but I’m not going to let a little rain interrupt my plans. Between a rock concert & a sponsored date night (more to come on that) at one of the biggest American breweries, how can I not be thrilled Friday is here?

In what ways do you carpe diem? I remain an eternal optimist. When things get rough, I remind myself that this is a moment in time & it too shall pass. I also try to do something daily that gets me one step closer to achieving my goals.

Speaking of dreams, I hope to one day soon find myself in Ireland. This mysterious rock bridge is located in Donegal. I’ve got a date in mind & a rough itinerary set. Now, I’m just working on saving the funds to make this trip a reality!

If you have kids, you may still luck out on Halloween & get some of their candy stash. But if you are sans children or a fellow wino, don’t you wish this version of Trick-or-Treat existed?!

If you’ve stopped by my bio page “Meet Amanda,” you already know I offer dating advice online at Examiner. My latest article talks about 3 romantic traditions you can start today in your own relationship, including one Greg & I share. To read it, click on the image & it will take you to the website directly.  What traditions do you share as a couple that truly represent you two?

I also got invited recently to guest post for Verizon Wireless. I wrote about how technology has drastically changed the modern dating scene & how the Millennial generation has adapted to this change. Do you think technology makes dating easier or more complicated?

I hope you make the most of your weekend & I shall see you next week!

muse moments

Welcome to the beautiful weekend!  With Fall right around the corner (it starts officially on Monday!), I’m appreciating the last few days of summer while embracing the autumn season.  After all, what’s not to love about the pumpkin flavor, pulling out the boot collection or leaves turning brilliant hues in their final defiance?  Make the most of your remaining summer days, ladies & gents, & I’ll see you when the new season begins!  Until then, enjoy my latest muse moments from around the web:

Next Wednesday marks our 4-year wedding anniversary!  (Can we still be considered newlyweds?!)  Greg & I won’t celebrate till next weekend, but it doesn’t mean we’re not feeling the romance now.  After stumbling upon this beautiful wedding photo, I think that should we ever do a vow renewal,  we’d have to get married in a library.  We’re both book-lovers (so much so that we’re building a library right inside our house!) & this wedding picture simply sealed the deal.

These ornate shades have a little steampunk essence to them with some glam & mad scientist rolled in.  I go through sunglasses like crazy since I wear them nearly every day (& maybe I’m a little klutzy…), so I think these will have to be the latest addition to my quickly depleting collection.

Ever struggle with the balance to look professional & stay fashionable?  I love being a woman.  & I love dressing the part.  I like feminine cuts & button details & bright colors & lots of lace.  I’m always on the search for inspiration for my work wardrobe so that I can bring in those girly touches & rock it like a boss.

With one final farewell to these glorious summer days, I’m reminiscing about our recent beach bound adventures & still dreaming of those days when I lounged around by the sea, absorbed in the latest Game of Thrones novel.

It’s that glorious time of the year again…  We all get to dress up as our favorite characters or classic monsters or what-have-you & toast to All Hallows Eve.  Greg & I host a big Halloween shindig every year & I am getting excited the closer we get to the celebration!  I’ve got my costume planned…how about you?