A Boo-tanical Halloween Party!

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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.)

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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. We’re kinda crazy that way. Our apartment was transformed into her house, including laboratory, where Iris’s family’s research had taken place for decades. As our story goes, they’d been trying to meld plant life with human DNA (the research process looking for art with human anatomy and plants was quite fun!) Throughout the space, there was a series of Iris’s diary entries that told the story of her latest – and final –  experiments. Did our guests get any of this? Nope. Probably not. But we had a great time sussing it all out and putting it all together!

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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: note the totally unscientific sectioning…spooky!

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I really loved my hand display! Can you tell?

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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.)

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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!)….

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

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

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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