HOST A ‘DARK GARDEN’ HALLOWEEN THEMED DINNER PARTY

DARK GARDEN HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE

When Halloween arrives in eight days, consider an eerie yet sophisticated styled themed tablescape.

'DARK GARDEN' HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE

When I was thinking how I would style this year’s halloween tablescape inspiration, I had an idea in mind however, as I was gathering decor pieces, I found my concept changed to this…I call it ‘Dark Garden’. It all started with this black and grey floral fabric that I purchased from JoAnn fabrics. Since the pattern of the fabric is designed with large blooms, I decided against a floral centerpiece and instead inserted a silver dollar bunch into a large glass dome and for a bit of magical twinkle, I wrapped my battery operated LED fairy string lights inside. For a lustrous glow, I added a pair of tall and short crow candle holders. When guests make their way to the dinner table, they can find their name on place cards. For an eerie factor, I adhered each place card on one of these miniature skeleton chairs.

Vibrant tones of gold against an enchanting black make for a rich Halloween tablescape. For a sophisticated style, I used my gold and black rim dinner bowls – perfect for serving this delicious and festive looking Halloween Pumpkin Pasta! I paired the bowls with my antique gold flatware. In keeping with the ‘dark garden’ theme (hence no beautiful flowers), I folded my black denim dinner napkins and placed my gold flatware inside. I tucked them inside black pails and inserted natural spanish moss and a stem of silver dollar. Adjacent to the pails, a white pumpkin was placed inside each dinner bowl.  To complete my table setting, I used my vintage black wine glasses (similar ones found, here and here).

'DARK GARDEN' HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE

'DARK GARDEN' HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE

'DARK GARDEN' HALLOWEEN TABLESCAPE

Get dressed up in costume and invite your friends over! I hope this has inspired you to create your own dark garden halloween themed tablescape!!

For a look at my other Halloween tablescape inspiration from years past, check out these posts:

-Photos + Styling by Rose Angel Lopez

For a closer look, check out the video below!

Background music: Soundtrack to Hocus Pocus, Dr Stiig

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PRETTY BUT PRACTICAL HOME DECOR + FASHION

While practicality trumps all, pretty never hurts either…am I right? On occasion, when I find something on the web that catches my eye, I’ll save it to my pinterest board. It’s like online shopping, without the commitment – ha! 

From home decor and entertaining essentials, to women’s fashion, I’ve rounded up a few of my current favorites, below.

Chicest Essentials that are Pretty but Practical

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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DIY: 3 DIFFERENT FLORAL FALL LOOKS USING HYDRANGEAS, EUCALYPTUS, & PUMPKINS

When it comes to fall, we find ourselves celebrating the season by adding festive decor, florals, and flowering plants that reflect our style in the interior and exterior of our homes. This season is also the beginning of many upcoming holiday gatherings. Inspired by this, I wanted to create 3 different looks using the same type of florals and incorporate pumpkins as a fall accent!

I purchased two bunches of eucalyptus and six stems of hydrangeas from the grocery store and only spent $24.00… it’s an inexpensive way to accent areas of your living space! Eucalyptus has that earthy, natural texture to it and hydrangeas have the largest blooms that when grouped together, they reflect an abundance look! The colors I chose are neutral and therefore, would showcase well in any decorated space.

Keep scrolling to see the 3 looks I created using the same items…

DIY: 3 DIFFERENT FALL FESTIVE FLORAL LOOKS USING THE SAME FLOWERS

Look #1. Fall Floral Table Runner

This floral table runner was so easy to create and it’s perfect to incorporate as part of your Thanksgiving tablescape!

  • Step 1: Starting at the center of your dining table, take the first bunch of your eucalyptus and lay it on the left side of the table.
  • Step 2: Flair out your eucalyptus to your desired width and repeat on the right side of the table. You will want both ends of the eucalyptus branches to meet at the center of the table.
  • Step 3: Cut your hydrangeas stems at your desired length and insert each stem in a water tube. This will keep them fresh for the duration of your dinner party.
  • Step 4: Concentrate on the center of your floral runner when tucking your hydrangeas in between the eucalyptus branches. 
  • Step 5: Cover up any open areas of your floral table runner with small pumpkins. Add mini pumpkins throughout your floral runner for scale.
  • Step 6: Complete the look by adding some ambiance with candlelights! I used my crystal candle holders and long white taper candles. 

DIY: 3 DIFFERENT FALL FESTIVE FLORAL LOOKS USING THE SAME FLOWERS

Look #2. Floral & Festive Fall decor for the Fireplace Mantel

Using the same concept as the floral dining table runner, I recreated the same look on our fireplace mantel. Remember my DIY message pumpkins I had created in this post? I used them here. In order to create a focal point, I placed my ‘happy fall’ message pumpkins on the center of the mantel. My mantel was not large enough to tuck six hydrangea stems, so I only used four.

DIY: 3 DIFFERENT FALL FESTIVE FLORAL LOOKS USING THE SAME FLOWERS

Look #3. Fall Floral Centerpiece

If you have a small dining table or are looking to dress up your entry table or buffet, I created this simple but elegant floral centerpiece. I used a floral foam wet brick and had it soaking in water before inserting it in my vase. Using a foam brick made designing the arrangement easier because I was able to create my desired look, stem by stem. When re-creating this centerpiece, start out with your hydrangeas. You will want to cut each of them in various heights, as shown in the picture above. I inserted eucalyptus branches to fill in the gaps of the arrangement. I didn’t want the floral arrangement to look too structured, so I didn’t cut all the eucalyptus branches….I like the appearance of free flowing movement in an arrangement.  In order to add that festive fall touch, I clustered my mini pumpkins in front of the arrangement. By placing this floral centerpiece on your buffet table, this would coordinate so well with the floral table runner in look #1!

I hope you have enjoyed the 3 different floral looks and it has inspired you to want to recreate one in your home this fall season!

Happy Fall!!

-photos + floral design by Rose Angel Lopez 

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Recipe: CRANBERRY ORANGE CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS THAT ARE BURSTING WITH FLAVOR

Recipe: CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS THAT ARE BURSTING WITH FLAVOR

Recipe: CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS THAT ARE BURSTING WITH FLAVOR

Cookbooks are not my only source for finding delicious recipes. In fact, I am always intrigued at trying out recipes I find on Pinterest! If you have a recipe that looks good, I’m down for giving it a try!

While visiting Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago, I came across their sweetened dried orange slices and automatically thought how good these would taste (and look) on top of a orange flavored cake. Since we are in cranberry season, I searched for recipes that included these two ingredients.  I found this Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Poundcake recipe via Key Ingredient.

Recipe: CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS THAT ARE BURSTING WITH FLAVOR

Recipe: CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS THAT ARE BURSTING WITH FLAVOR

Rather than the poundcake version, I used my muffin pans to bake these. I can’t tell you how moist and flavorful they were!! Not only did our kitchen smell like citrus goodness, one bite of these muffins and our taste buds exploded with the burst of orange and cranberry flavor combination! I placed one of the sweetened dried orange slices on top of each muffin that not only served as a decorative touch but an added flavor to enhance the orange taste.

Recipe: CRANBERRY ORANGE MUFFINS THAT ARE BURSTING WITH FLAVOR

Whether you’re looking for a dessert recipe to serve this holiday season or simply delicious muffins to enjoy, I highly recommend you try this recipe. I did alter the recipe by adding 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed orange juice to the wet batter and instead of fresh cranberries, I used Craisins. Additionally, for the glaze, I used this recipe that called for the following ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar 
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

-Photos by Rose Angel Lopez

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OUTDOOR FALL ENTERTAINING IDEAS {Seasonal Snacks + Cocktail + Decor}

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK, AND DECOR IDEAS

While the early evenings of fall may be brisk and cool, that doesn’t mean we should pack away our outdoor furniture. Instead, there are a few simple things you can incorporate (which you may already own) to create a cozy and warm outdoor space! Once you have transitioned your space from summer to fall, bring on the party!

Celebrate the season with my seasonal snacks, cocktail, and fall decor ideas.

Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK, AND DECOR IDEAS

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Seasonal Treat Tray.

Let’s start out with snacks, shall we! I think fall is the perfect time to indulge in its seasonal flavors. For this savory snack blend, I used everything with apple and pumpkin flavors. I wanted to create something similar to charcuterie board – the concept being  you build your tray by adding a variety of small amounts of snack items in a cluster form. It’s a tray that will attract anyone who loves sweet and/or salty!

Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK, AND DECOR IDEAS

Here is what I used to create this sweet and salty tray filled with savory seasonal delights:

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Fall-flavored Dessert & Signature Cocktail.

Next up, dessert and a cocktail! You guessed it…I continued my autumn flavors with this pumpkin cake. You can either purchase your pumpkin or apple flavored baked goods or bake one. If you prefer to bake something, check out this pumpkin cranberry bread recipe. For other options, check out this post where I featured the best pumpkin recipes to try. Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering or elaborate party – offer your guests a signature themed cocktail you prepared.  Since this is an outdoor gathering, you may want to serve something warm, like this apple cider hot toddy or this cinnamon-pumpkin toddy.

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Festive & Seasonal Entertaining Essentials.

To celebrate the season, pull out any of your fall kitchen entertaining essentials. I used my white and gold owl cake stand.  I purchased my stand last year from Home Goods but found a similar one online here and here.

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK, AND DECOR IDEAS

Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK, AND DECOR IDEAS

Keep warm. 

To keep you and your guests warm from the crisp fall air, toss a few throws in a basket and have them near your outdoor sofa or chair so that they can be easily accessible. For other ideas to keep your guests warm…break out your outdoor patio heater or fire pit. Not shown in any of today’s featured pics is our propane patio heater. We are looking to purchase a new one since ours is no longer working.

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Festive decor.

The simplest way to add fall festive touches are with with pumpkins, but of course! I placed a small pumpkin on our outdoor ceramic accent stool and another one on the ottoman tray.

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Decor & Colors.

I prefer neutral tones for our outdoor living furniture because it is easier to transition from season to season. You can easily reflect the colors of the season in your decorative toss pillows, florals and decor accent pieces. I brought in a purple colored mum and purchased this faux dahlia, rose & hydrangea arrangement that came in a pretty container – designed with a gold-leaf accent (currently on sale/clearance!)

OUTDOOR FALL ENTERTAINING

To mimic the golden colors of floral arrangement, I placed these preserved eucalyptus and silver dollar bundle in a clear vase on top of the bar cart (also on sale now!) The bundle came wrapped with a piece of burlap fabric, so in keeping with the fall vibe, I covered the inside of the vase by placing the burlap inside. This gave the vase an earthy and rustic look.

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

For other natural decor pieces, I brought out my driftwood and placed it on ottoman tray.

OUTDOOR FALL ENTERTAINING

Outdoor Fall Entertaining: FOOD, DRINK & DECOR IDEAS

Lighting.

While it’s not time yet for us to change our clocks back, you may have noticed that it’s already starting to get a little darker, earlier. Bring out your patio lights and if you don’t own any, place plenty of candlelights throughout your outdoor space. I pulled out my lanterns for the side tables and hurricanes for the outdoor dining table.

I hope you enjoyed our outdoor living tour, how I transitioned our outdoor deck to the fall season and some ideas on fall flavored treats and sips!

Happy Fall and Happy Entertaining!!

-Photos + Styling by Rose Angel Lopez

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