A Boo-tanical Halloween Party!


Since I never got around to posting our 2015 Halloween party in a timely fashion – I mean nobody really wants a Halloween post in December, ahem – I decided to hold off until the appropriate moment in 2016. Here it is! It’s October! It’s October! It’s October! (Note: I really love October.)


My friend Kristine (Former roommate/Matron of Honor), Bryan and I collaborated on this party and created a whole backstory, centering on a medical botanist – Iris – and her family history. Our apartment was transformed into her house, including laboratory, where Iris’s family’s research had taken place for decades. They’d been trying to meld the longevity of plant life with that of human life. Throughout the space, there was a series of Iris’s diary entries that told the cohesive story of her latest – and final –  experiments.






We made a trip to American Science & Surplus to pick up a few items for our displays, and I charted out areas of a Halloween skull with a black marker for a more medical feel.



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I really loved my hand display! Can you tell?


Here’s an excerpt of one of Iris’s diary entries:

Dear Love,

I’ve come to my wits end. I cannot toil with this madness anymore. My botanical beauties refuse to mend with the human body, let alone the human spirit. My newest subject began convulsing heavily on the table this evening. It seemed as soon as the chlorophyll mixed into his veins the chemical reaction took place. I have no idea in my mind on how to continue my family’s work. I must figure out a way to mutate the human body to be more receptive to the everlasting lifeblood of the plant. I will find a way my love, for you I will never rest. I will save you yet.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Always,  Iris

Click THIS LINK for all of the diary entries written by my amazing, thoughtful, creative, strong, thin-but- yet-toned, and totally awesome-sauce husband (Can you tell he wrote that? Hee! My sweet dork.)





The hallway housed Iris’s research, with twine connecting her thoughts and discoveries and little notes with clues. I bought some industrial outdoor lights with Edison bulbs and unscrewed a few for effect. Additional decor included spider webs, dried bouquets, faux autumnal garlands and flowers, carved pumpkins, and many real plants (courtesy of our plant hoarding neighbor!)….




Read the above author and title aloud slowly…. You’re welcome.



Plastic animal masks I spray painted gold. I love them!


“Died slowly after two months from anemic cells.”



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These chandeliers were 99 cent, sparkly blue cardboard from JoAnn Fabric that I painted and blinged up so that they looked more like proper chandeliers. They worked quite nicely above the food table.

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The pinwheels were bought at JoAnn Fabric, I believe, in the discount bin. They were black and white and I took an orange sharpie to them to make them a bit more festive.









I spray painted cheap Dollar Store vampire teeth gold and used them to label the food. Note: I did have to place some super glue at the hinges so they wouldn’t spring open.


The spread, the spread, the delicious spread! The idea and design of the food is always on my mind. I love it when the food is just as pretty as the surroundings; however, actually focusing and executing these things is not always my strong suit. I think things turned out nicely, though.

A Boo-tanical Halloween Menu

Botanical Tart – It wouldn’t be a party without at least one Martha recipe!

Moldy Cheeseballs – Kristine’s moldy cheeseball didn’t quite solidify so she improvised with some pretty glassware. Still delicious!

Sriracha Deviled Eggs – I dulled these down with more mayo for the kids and used THIS tutorial to marble the eggs.

Crunchy Caramel Grapes – Easier to make and eat than caramel apples! Be sure to make some without peanuts for those with allergies!

Rice Krispie Treats – Gone in mere minutes and always a favorite. I like to substitute a little  of the butter with coconut oil and add a little sea salt to the top!

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Making spider legs from the chips did not work out for me, but the classic Tollhouse recipe is the best (NOT the one on the bag).

Gluten Free Chex Mix – It’s always nice to have a GF option, plus I prefer this to the original. Gluten free pretzels are the bomb! (Yikes…I just dated myself.)

Cupcakes – I totally cheated and bought a box mix and pre-made frosting. Time was not on my side.

Multi-color Veggie Chips – Festive!

Salted Pumpkin Caramels & Maple Cookies – From Trader Joe’s!

Candy – Oh, so much candy!! What’s Halloween without candy?

Popcorn – The kiddlywinks loved the popcorn! Ok, I might have eaten a lot of it, too. Easy peasy.

Cheese Plate – The cheese plate came out very late, and I didn’t get a good photo; however, it was modeled after Martha’s swarming cheese plate linked above. I bought adorable vintage wire flies from THIS VENDOR on Etsy.

Meatballs – Kristine’s crockpot recipe and delicious!

Punches – One for the kiddos and one for the adultos! We didn’t follow a recipe, just made it up as we went along.

Prosecco w/ Blackberries – I always like a bit of fancy!

*I had grand plans of making the following, but time and sanity set in; we already had so much food!!

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs – What a lovely little plate they would have made!

Crudité – I bought everything and even cut it up, intending to arrange like the one linked. By the time the party started, we already had so much out that I just didn’t add it.


The above photo reminds me of childhood Halloweens and makes me so happy!















There were so many fun costumes! Emily and Dan were science fair “winners”! Hee!

Want to see what inspired Kristine, Bryan, and me? Head on over to our Pinterest inspiration board! And, always, a big thank you to Emily Schwartz for filling in with some absolutely lovely shots!



Catching Up


Oh, hey! Remember when I used to update this blog? Neither do I. Yeesh. Well, it’s been almost a year since my last post where I teased our upcoming Halloween party. It happened. Then the holidays happened. Then Burns Night. Then Galentine’s Day…and I didn’t blog any of it. Well, the hope is to catch up with life and blogging and post what I missed this past year at appropriate moments. Fingers crossed!

Above image from the amazing The Cake Bake Shop in Indianapolis. Highly recommend!


Photo above taken at a wedding by Soirée Weddings & Events last year at Cafe Brauer. Floral by Vale of Enna!

Modern Luxury Brides at Chicago Athletic Association!


In celebration of their Fall/Winter 2015 issue, Modern Luxury Brides invited Soirée Weddings & Events and many other industry friends to their swanky release party at the brand new Chicago Athletic Association Hotel way back in August. I know. I’m so late, y’all; but I did originally post this on the Soirée blog two months ago so…forgiven?


The Chicago Athletic Association was built in 1893: the same year as the World’s Columbian Exposition. The White City Ballroom, where the event took place, is even named after Chicago’s most famous of fairs.






StemLine Creative provided the divine table arrangements as well as the floral frame for the party’s centerpiece!



What a stunning space! This Modern Luxury Brides issue certainly fits right in with its surroundings.



Delectable sweets by Cake Sweet Food Chicago!


Our team had a smashing time! Don’t forget to pick up the gorgeous newest issue of Modern Luxury Brides!


Photo strip by The Original Traveling Photo Booth!

Red, White, and…Ooh, I’m Late!


Oh, I’m terribly late on posting this, but I did another inspiration post on the Soirée blog and wanted to make sure I shared it here. You’ll see my all American vision and a gorgeous wedding put together by Soirée Weddings & Events. The post includes photos, like the one above, from Kristen Lynne Photography.

I hope everyone had a glorious 4th!

19 East Event Gallery Open House


I had the privilege of attending the 19 East Event Gallery open house with Soirée Weddings & Events this past Wednesday. I am in LOVE with this space, and the vendors all did such an amazing job of putting together this lovely event: check out that posh lounge by Bowery and Bash! Can I move in, please?

With an iPhone in one hand and a refreshing cocktail in the other, I thought I’d snap a few shots of this elegant affair in its remarkable setting.


This stunning venue was recently acquired by Food For Thought, who provided the delectable nosh for the afternoon.



You guys, look at that floral by Exquisite Designs! I was practically swooning!



I was barely able to handle the industrial chicness of it all. Sigh. I love. Perhaps I can talk Bryan into a first anniversary party there. Hmmm….

FYI: I’ve cross posted this on ye olde Soirée blog, as well, in a slightly less gushy tone. Slightly. Less. Gushy.

Memorial Day Weekend Weddings


Memorial Day weekend is upon us and that means, not only remembrances, tributes, and parades, but also weddings! We’re headed to one ourselves this weekend, in which my husband will be one of two best men. Not gonna lie: I can’t wait to see him in that tux!

I did a little Memorial Day inspiration post on the Soirée Weddings & Events blog, so pop on over to see my vision of a dramatic poppy-infused wedding and Soirée’s own sweet backyard reception!