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The Perfect Halloween Party at Home

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Let's be clear about something: I'm no Martha Stewart. But I do love a home-spun kid's birthday party. We've done the parties at places where no effort is required other than writing a check and we've done parties at home and the latter is invariably much more work, but again and again, this is the route we choose. It's fun. It's personal. It feels good to be crafty or crafty-lite, to pull it all together and then when it's all over to kick back and breathe.

Last weekend, we hosted Middle Girl's Halloween birthday party here at our place. She's a lucky duck to have her birthday so close to such a fun holiday and thus a built-in theme. This year, I ordered the most phenomenal Halloween Party Boxes from PSXO. Each three-tier box comes with aesthetically-pleasing decorations, crafts and party favors.

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We hosted about 25 girls and rented round tables and folding chairs from the reasonably-priced Granny's Rental. I criss-cross covered the tables in Paper Source chalkboard wrapping paper  and accented with Brush Stroke Gold on Orange Fine Paper and two types of black and white skull paper.

We hired Robert Moy of Brooklyn Balloon Company to design three vast Halloween balloons - a mummy, a spider and a jack-o-lantern that we anchored as centerpieces on the tables. Robert also twisted fabulous balloon shapes and characters for the kiddos and his assistant helped with two crafts in the garden - stenciling bright orange canvas trick-or-treat bags (included in the PSXO boxes) and transforming helium balloons into spiders, Hello Kittys and pumpkins. The girls were in heaven.

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As for eats, we kept it simple. Delish New York pizza from the nearby Freddie & Pepper's followed by orange-hued Halloween themed cupcakes from our favorite Magnolia Bakery. Our grande finale: A unicorn pinata. Right before game-time, we realized that we didn't have a proper pinata-whacking instrument, so my handy Husband fashioned the perfect contraption from a swiffer handle and a duct-taped tennis ball. Each girl took a turn and soon there was candy flying all over the garden.

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On the way out, party girls grabbed the cute little Boo! bag favors that came in the PSXO Party Boxes; each bag contained little wiggly skeletons and fake fingers and fangs. Perfection.

It was a good, totally wild party and my girl was over the moon happy. We parental units were a bit frazzled and spent by the time the party broke up, but that's the way it's supposed to be, right?

Happy birthday, Middle Girl!

What's your party planning style? Do you like to host gatherings at home? Have you been to any particularly fun/special parties lately?

ADR Friday Loves 10.24.14

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