Halloween Party Ideas 2014

Throw A Ghoulishly Good Time Halloween Party

Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year! I’m one of those gals that loves a chance to dress up in a theme costume so I start prepping for Halloween early. And the big day is a guilt-free chance to get my fill of candy and sweets.  

If you’re planning on throwing a party don’t just put out some bowls of candy and hope for the best. Stir up a guaranteed good time with yummy food, games and silly themes like dressing as characters from a Wes Anderson movie or your kids favorite TV show or video game. Have guests vote for best costumes from most top notch DIY to most original. Make Halloween 2014 a spectacularly spooky time.

Watch my video for more ideas for doing a DIY Halloween.

Party Details

First, remember that you don't have to outdo that neighbor with the nine foot fog machine. 

Choose a theme for your party whether you go macabre with vials of red liquid to represent blood, red stained tablecloths, and splatters of blood you create with decals you stick onto walls and chairs and crime scene tape or choose a witchy theme with a witches brew, hanging bats, and skeleton cut-outs. Decorations can be simple and still pack a big punch, like this Spooky Halloween Garland by Frenchie Wraps made with the Cricut Explore.

Serve your guests with these ominous beverage bottles! Peel off drink bottle labels and stick on these instead. Click here to make this Halloween Drink Set whether you choose potions or poisons.

Make these fun and spooky Halloween Candy Containers from this Make It Now project on Cricut and have guests guess how much candy is in each container. Get your containers for candy at The Container Store. The person who guesses closest wins their choice of candy to take home.


These Candy Corn Cupcake Toppers are a simple way to add some Halloween flair to your party. Click here to make them now. Or create a centerpiece with 3-D pumpkins with this Make It Now project.

 Don't be fooled. Piñatas aren't just for kids. So load up a piñata (or two) with candy and let the fun begin!

Don't forget to send guests home with some candy in fun treat bags that you can create yourself with a simple DIY project from Cricut.

Halloween Games 

Games are essential for a fun Halloween party that includes kids and adults.

Doughnut on a String. All you need are doughnuts, ribbon and rope.  Tie a length of rope between two trees. Have kids stand under the rope, tie pieces of ribbon to doughnuts (one per player) and then to the rope so the treats hang slightly above mouth level. On the count of three have players start. Instruct each to eat an entire doughnut -- no hands allowed -- without letting it fall off the ribbon. The first to finish wins. There's no need for prizes; they've just had their sweet treat.

Pin The Face On the Pumpkin. This game works for kids as young as two years old. Cut out eyes, noses, and mouths from black construction paper (or use your Cricut to cut shapes for you). Stick a reusable adhesive on the back of each cutout, and give a set of cutouts to each player. Place a large pumpkin on a low table or a bench. Blindfold players and position them starting four feet away (little kids may stand closer), instruct them to walk toward the pumpkin and create a jack-o'-lantern face (without peeking).  After every player takes a turn creating a pumpkin face, take a photo of the player with their finished pumpkin.

Bobbing for Apples. The classic of bobbing for apples is still fun. Splashing waters, wet faces and silliness. Fill a tub with water and apples and have each player try to get an apple with their teeth while their hands are held behind their backs.

Candy Count. Fill several jars with different Halloween candy and, as each guest arrives, have them write down a guess as to how many pieces are in each jar. Everyone only gets 1 guess and the person who is the closest gets to take home the jar.

Mummy Bandage. Create two to four teams, depending on how many guests you’re entertaining. Grab some rolls of toilet paper, set your timer, and see which team can wrap up their partner the fastest in 60 seconds or less.

Eyeball Hunt Game. Icky fun! Fill a large pot with cooked spaghetti noodles and painted ping-pong balls that resemble eyeballs then see who can find the most ping-pong balls in a set time. Want to get really competitive? Color code the balls and make each color worth a different point amount.

ShopBop Sale Style Finds

I love a great sale and this one from Shopbop only lasts until midnight on October 16th. Here's my top picks to help with your virtual shopping during the Shopbop Friends & Family sale. Just enter the code Family25 at checkout to receive 25% off site wide. 

I use this sales event to scoop up some stylish items that most likely never go on sale. My top contenders:

Because I can never have enough Diane Von Furstenberg.

Because sometimes a girl likes it to be all about the shoes!

Because I never want to wear basic black. This skirt has the details that stand out.

Because this necklace will make anything look better. T-shirt, you'll be instantly glamorous with this piece.


Pastel Styles for Fall

Cozy up to pastel colors this fall. No need to put the pastels away when the cool weather approaches. Wearing pastels exudes a quietly confident look. Pastels in the fall can be sweet, subtle and a substitute for neutral shades. 

Here's my recent article for Closer Weekly plus plenty of extra style suggestions.

 4 Tips to Wear Pastels With Ease For Fall.

1-Try just a little. Skip pastels from top to bottom and temper the pale hues by wearing them with denim, camel, gray or even black.

2- Use pastel as a neutral. Pale pastels can act as a basic in your wardrobe. A lilac blouse replaces a cream one; a pink pump fills in for nude.

3- Add some edge. Matching your makeup to your clothes will give you an 80's look, but lined eyes and fall-ready berry lipslend a modern vibe.

4- Skip the frills when wearing pastels. Look for pieces that are simpler in design.

Pastel outerwear doesn't have to always be sweet. Pair with jeans and darker clothes.

JOA Blush Long Line Coat, $139 Piperlime

Rag & Bone Bowery Armey Green Pants, $140 Piperlime

Steve Madden Elusion Wine Patent Flats, $60 Zappos

Navy Owl Print Blouse, $75 J.Crew

The midi skirt is on trend. Pair it with a floral top in a darker hue. 

Joie Odette B Floral Top, $258 Piperlime

L.A.M.B. Lynn II White Snake Heels, $345 Heels

Tender Love Pleated A-Line Full Skirt, $51 Chicwish

Mix lilac and wine. This skirt and sweater heads to the office in heels and gets casual with a denim jacket and flats for an evening with friends. It's a two-fer.

Vintage Denim Jacket, $148 J.Crew

Lilac Cambridge Cable V-Neck Sweater, $88 J.Crew

Old Navy Printed Gauze Pink Dot Scarf, $12 Old Navy

Piperlime Collection Neoprene Flounce Skirt, $74 Piperlime

Love a mash-up of a feminine pleated skirt with a moto jacket and animal print heels.

Pink Pleated Lattice Skirt, $75 J.Crew

Collection Elsie Calf Hair Animal Print Pumps, $358 J.Crew

Ann Taylor Crepe Moto Jacket, $179 Ann Taylor

Keep it simple and soft with pale pink relaxed pants and a navy tweed bomber jacket.

Amour Vert Blue Tweed Bomber Jacket, $198 Piperlime

Cooper & Ella Avery Blouse, $98 Piperlime

McQ by Alexander McQueen Flocked Sweater, $345 Net-a-Porter

See by Chloe Soft Tailored Blush Pants, $128 ASOS

Girls Night Poker Party - 5 Essential Tips for a Top Notch Game Night

I love game nights! I also like a little healthy competition, so instead of dinner and a movie or standing in a crowded bar invite over your gal pals for a poker night party. Here are my "5 on Friday" to stack the deck in your favor when gathering your girlfriends for a fun night of Texas Hold'Em. Sure cards and chips are essential, but so is the food, drink, ambience and even the playlist. 

 5 on Friday

1 - Send an Invite That Matches the Theme: Skip the email invitation and send your girlfriends an invite you make with the queen of hearts card so they get the message that this party is girls only. For poker night 6-10 friends is best. Expect the party to last about three hours.

2 - Swap Cash Winnings for Little Gifts: Don’t want friends to bet real money, why not have their “winnings” apply to little gifts they can choose at the end of the evening like a gift certificate for a mani/pedi, a gift card, a box of freshly baked goods, etc. 

3 - Play Up Your Poker Face with Fun Props: Not sure you have a poker face like the pros? No problem! Put out props so your gal pals can take on a new character form – various hats and visors to sunglasses and simple masks to distract your competition. Plus, it makes for fun snapshots throughout the evening.

4 - Get Guests in a Game Night State of Mind with Your Playlist: Curate a custom playlist that sets the mood. Are you rolling the dice on Vegas-style games? Don’t forget to include Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” in your mix or the ever classic “Luck Be a Lady” made famous by Frank Sinatra.

5 - Use Light Bites and a Signature Cocktail: Stick to small bites and avoid greasy and sticky foods as they can mess up your deck of cards.  For drinks, print out the recipe for a signature cocktail, set up all the ingredients and glassware on your bar or kitchen counter and let guests serve themselves. Try the Pinnacle® Vodka Watermelon Money-Maker, which is a tasty melon martini your guests are sure to love!

Watermelon Money-Maker

1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka

1/4 part Dekuyper Watermelon Liqueur

1 part White Grape juice

Splash fresh lemon juice

Method: Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into martini glass and garnish with a loopy straw and small cube of watermelon.



Paper party decor from Minted.com

Playing cards and green poker visor from CelebrateExpress.com



Pinnacle® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission.  The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Jim Beam Brands Co., its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees.  Pinnacle® does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website.



One Man's Style - Menswear Makeover

 On TV and in magazines I've made over many men from head-to-toe and just like women, the transformations bring about a boost of confidence. These men stand taller and their voices become stronger. While men's wardrobes aren't as trendy as women nor do they have the range of choices, I enjoy adding some color, pattern and teach guys about getting the right fit for their bodies. More men now reach out to me behind the scenes to be private clients and here's a recent upgrade I gave to a client's style. I added plenty of color, mixed gingham shirts with patterned ties and broke up the traditional suit by showing him how to wear the items as separates. AND, I got him a great pair of dark jeans which every man should have in his wardrobe.  


Theory Blazer

Bonobos Gingham Shirt

Mott & Bow Dark Jeans

Nicole Miller Tie

Calvin Klein Blazer

Bonobos Gingham shirt

Tommy Hilfiger Tie

Bonobos Pants

Uniqlo Navy Braided Belt


Left Shoe Company Custom Shoes (on left)


Hugo Boss Suit

Bonobos Shirt

Brioni Tie


Uniqlo Shirt

Uniqlo Cardigan

G.H. Bass Shoes

Bonobos Pants

Polka Dots in Fashion

Get spotted in dots! Fun, graphic dots never go out of style - especially in black and white. So get your spot on whether it be a dress, a top, bag or pair of flats. Have fun with your fashion.

Here's my latest as Contributing Editor of Closer Weekly magazine.

Blck and white dots make a lively pattern that tells people you're fun, energetic and don't take things too seriously.

Here's how to wear them:

Accessorize with color. When you're wearing black and white dots opt for solid bright accessories. They'll totally pop.

Mix and match. If you're a fashion risk taker, try mixing dots with other patterns, like black and white stripes, but go for small dots or it can look messy and confused.

Flatter with pattern. If you're self-conscious about a particular body part, avoid big dots on that area. 

More Spotted Fashions


Kate Spade New York Deco Dot Crepe Top, $248 Nordstrom

Marni Polka Dots Cotton Poplin skirt, $270 Luisa Via Roma


Current/Elliott The Muscle Tee Aribrushed Polka Dot, $118 Piperlime

JOA Texture Midi Dot Skirt, $89 Piperlime

Dotted Dresses

Kate Spade New York 'Julian' Dress, $398 Kate Spade 


Daily Look Sultry Polka Dot Maxi Dress, $50 Daily Look

Tinley Road Dot Print Audrey A Line Mini Dress, $50 Piperlime

Dotty Legs


Blank NYC The Spray On Skinny Polka Dot Denim, $63 6PM

Three Dots Polka Dot Print Pant, $42 6PM


Manolo Blahnik 'BB' Pointy Toe Pump, $695 Nordstrom

Menbur 'Cara' Pump, $149 Nordstrom

Wrap Around Some Dots


Burberry Prorsum Polka Dot Scarf, $216 Luisa Via Roma

Jules B Polka Dot Wool Scarf, $63 Jules B USA 

Polka Dots Accessories


Shop Filigree Deux-Luxone Dit-Tot Tote, $88 Anthropologie

DV by Dolce Vita Dot Print Flats, $90 Piperlime






Summer Dress - Wear It Two Ways

We love a two-fer! Taking one stylish piece and wearing it two ways from items in our own closet. Even better when the "new" item comes from a swap boutique like Give + Take. I took in several items from my closet that, while still in very good condition, I was ready to retire from my wardrobe, but offer up to another gal. Then with my new riches in points at the swap boutique I shopped the racks and nabbed this striped sundress. I created two looks - weekend and work.

GAP Blue Pinstriped Sundress



Shop Similar Looks:

Dolce Vita 'Cassi' Navy/White Striped Dress, $67 6PM

Hudson Signature Jean Jacket, $158 Zappos

Kate Spade New York 'Holland Walk- Eren' Striped Tote, $248 Nordstrom

Tory Burch 'Robinson' Mini Tote, $475 Nordstrom

Gucci Red and Green Striped Belt, $270 Gucci

L.K. Bennett 'Stila' Navy Patent Pump, $325 Nordstrom


Swap My Style - Double Duty Fashion

I am obsessed with stripes and love an homage to the nautical trend. Lucky me, I found these Peter Som pants from my favorite swap boutique, Give + Take located in Santa Monica. I've held plenty of swap parties in LA and NYC, but nothing beats the chance to bring in bags of clothes, get the value of them to turn around and shop a boutique stocked with goods from Diane Von Furstenburg, Kate Spade, Hudson, Juicy Couture, Free People, and many more. There are clothes, shoes, accessories and jeans galore. You pay a low monthly membership fee (approx. $30) and you can constantly swap clothes from your closet and their shop. You can even choose an item, wear it once then go back to swap that item again. Genius!!

Here's my double duty styling with the pants.

Peter Som Wide Leg Nautical Style Pants

Ahoy mate!

Shop Similar:

Petit Bateau T-shirt with Vintage Boat Print, $60 Petit Bateau

Joie 'Javina' Wide Leg Pants, $198 Joie

Tory Burch 'Thea' Cross Body Bag, $375 Nordstrom


Perfect weekend outfit.

Shop Similar:

Hudson Jean Jacket, $158 Zappos

Petit Bateau Jersey Mariniere Top, $94 Petit Bateau

Floral Skirt - Double Duty Fashion

Wear it now, later and multiple ways. There's no reason a flirty floral skirt can't stretch from summer well into fall. I'm known as "The Fixer" among TV producers and many of the clients I style and that's partially because I always talk about never buying an item and wearing it just one way in your wardrobe. I help "fix" wardrobe issues. I love this pale pink patterned skirt from Ted Baker London that I just bought at Bloomingdale's. I shopped my own closet to style the skirt multiple ways and just like my clients, I found items I haven't worn in awhile. 

The Skirt

Ted Baker 'Ginene' Botanical Bloom Print Skirt, $225 Bloomingdale's

Pair the skirt with a punchy colored top and nude heels. Or choose gold heels for a cocktail party.

Shop Similar:

'Tanyana' Silk Blouse by Diane von Furstenberg, $106 (on sale) Saks Fifth Avenue

French Connection 'Calista' Nude Heels, $60 6PM

Wear it when the weather gets cooler with a white fitted button down shirt, neutral hued leather jacket and pumps.

Shop Similar:

Michael Kors Leather Wrap Jacket, $1,500 Stylebop

Pink Tartan White Grosgrain Button Shirt, $275 Nordstrom

Ted Baker London 'Iyyah' Pump, $180 Nordstrom

I'm keeping a strong hold on summer as long as possible and I just re-introduced myself to this sunny yellow wrap cardigan in my closet.

Shop Similar:

Fine Guage Yellow Linen Sweater, $78 Max Studio

Michael Antonio 'Raxine' Pump, $23 6PM


Back To School Must Haves

Students want to look cool with stylish gear for their lockers, backpacks, school supplies and their dorm rooms. Whether you want the coveted Frozen backpack for your second grader or help your middle schooler decorate their locker with a chandelier and wallpaper, I've found it. And most girls will want all the Kate Spade school supplies, including me!

As the lifestyle correspondent for KTLA (click to watch), I shared my favorite back-to-school must haves for students from elementary school to college.

For a students mini home away from home, their locker is a chance to add a little personality and stylish decor from wallpaper to a chandelier and even a rug.


Need some home storage, get a locker for home. Tall locker, $299 The Container Store

Blue Gem Chandelier (It Lights Up), $20 The Container Store


Social Spot Locker Wallpaper, $9 The Container Store

Framed Locker Mirror, $4 The Container Store

I love the fun pieces from Kate Spade from iPad covers and sleeves to pen cases and even bow USB ports and push pins.


Kate Spade New York Le Pavillion Poka Dot iPad Sleeve, $53 Shopbop

Kate Spade New York Composition iPad Folio, $85 Kate Spade


Kate Spade New York Set of 24 Bow Push Pins, $24 Kate Spade

Kate Spade New York Bow USB port, $50 Kate Spade

Skip boring manila folders and carry bold prints to organize your homework or as an adult get it for your office.


Jonathan Adler Collapsible Storage Box, $20 See Jane Work

Jonathan Adler Multi Print Pen Set, $21 Shopbop


Dot 5 Tab File Folders, $5 See Jane Work

Apple iPad Case in Pink Argyle, $40 Cellairis

Character and Critter backpacks and lunch bags from WalMart and Kohl's including favorites like Frozen and The Avengers.

Disney's Frozen Backpack, $16 Macy's

Washable Snack Pouch by LOVE, $6 The Container Store

Organize your jewelry with this little black dress hanger and add in those items that college kids usually forget like stain remover pens.


F.A.S.T. First Aid Shot Therapy

Little Black Dress Jewelry Organizer by Umbra, $20 The Container Store



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