Halloween Housewarming Party 2017

I like to share and record our Halloween party every year. This year I abandoned the theme and didn’t implement the mandatory costume rule due to the housewarming-nature of the party, but we still had some dressed-up guests and obviously it was a good time 🙂 So without further ado…

My brother and his wife arrived Friday night and we each carved a pumpkin. (Can you guess whose is whose?) K and I spent most of Friday and Saturday preparing the house for a party and hiding not-yet-unpacked boxes and random objects 😉

On Saturday one of my best friends arrived around 3pm and helped me get last minute things done. Our first guests arrived at 4:30! (We started the party at 4 so our parent-friends could bring the kids and hang out for a bit before bedtime.) The majority of guests arrived around 8.

We had +30 people show up from 4:30 pm to about 2 am. (It was a looong night.) Some of our guests dressed up and some came as they were. Regardless, it was a fun & busy night!

The ghostbusters also had a little slimer with them but she wasn’t feeling the costume. I’m still dying over Tobin’s Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume.

My brother and Christina were Scooby-Doo and Shaggy!

Lylee was a cow. I think she might have lost some of her dignity… and her respect for me. Enzo’s costume was also a little degrading, but he makes the cutest little squirrel horse. 😂

Our food spread was on point 🙂 Guests brought taco dip, a veggie tray, a cheese ball-skull, jello shots, and a charcuterie board spread! On top of that I made…

Halloween cupcakes (just yellow cake mix with chocolate buttercream frosting), spinach and artichoke dip via Nadine, and my signature puking guacamole pumpkin. I also made this caramel apple dip and the world-famous Aubrey Johansen put together these incredible charcuterie boards!

We also ordered pizza around 9 pm.

The night consisted of laughing, talking, drinking, game playing, and eating. It was fun to see the new house- which was empty a month ago- filled with all our friends and family. Overall, we had a really good time.

I’ve said it before, but the calm next-morning is always my favorite part…

Another Halloween party in the books 🎃 Happy Halloween, my friends!!

Advertisements

Why Do I Keep Going to Myrtle Beach in the Fall…?

Remember all those eons ago when I talked about our side trip to Charlotte, NC? Yeah… it’s tough for me to recall, too. Anyway… Charlotte was just a pit stop on the way to our main destination: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. **This is a long post 😉

charlotte-to-mb

Just a refresher… in October K and I packed up the car after work and headed to Circleville, OH. We did some Pumpkin Festival fest-ing with my brother and Christina, stayed the night in stormy Lancaster, OH, then took a lap around the NASCAR museum in Charlotte. After dinner at Carolina Ale House we forced ourselves back into the car for the three hour trek to Myrtle Beach. Now you’re all caught up.

charlotte_14

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I am a Grade-A, award-winning, hall of fame plan-a-holic. I take relaxing vacations and plan them down to the millisecond, squashing any and all spontinuity out of the experience. But this time I didn’t. I didn’t plan one. single. thing. I made note of fun things we could do, but I put no pen to paper, made no reservations, and formed no expectations. All per K’s request.

F R I D A Y

We got in pretty late on Thursday so the adventuring began the following morning.

mb_img1

We stayed at The Horizon at 77th – it was one property off the beach and down a side road from N Kings Highway. Our rooms were in that center section. The hotel was in Myrtle Beach, but on the north side which meant we could venture to North Myrtle without any trouble.

mb_img0
Photo source

We picked a chilly weekend to visit the beach so we tried to take advantage of the warmest day on the trip. We started off browsing the Tanger Outlets at Hwy 17 and picked up a few Christmas gifts for folks. We also nommed on lunch in the food court and treated ourselves to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

mb_img2

It was a breezy 80 degrees by 3pm so we packed up the towels, blanket, and umbrella, and walked to the beach.

mb_img3

. . .

mb_img4

After a few chapters, a stroll along the coast, and a near-fatal wind+umbrella incident we decided to call it a day. I think we spent an hour and a half on the sand. (That’s the risk you take in October, I guess. )

mb_img5

We decided to be a little adventurous and try out some new restaurants on our trip. We made a reservation at Aspen Grille for 6:15pm and got spiffy.

mb_img6

High risk, high reward. Dinner was delicious. It was a slightly expensive meal, but we were 110% satisfied. We ended the night on the couch watching a NatGeo special on Teddy Roosevelt. #excitingtimes

S A T U R D A Y

In hindsight we’ve both decided I should’ve planned something during the trip. Anything, really. We spent the morning at the local Cracker Barrel and then Bass Pro, Books-A-Million (where K bought me two books as a late b-day gift), and a smaller local mall. We also stopped into the Harley shop for K before deciding to visit Boardwalk on the Beach.

mb_img7

. . .

source
source

. . .

mb_img8

Lunch was at American Tap House where the first conversation in this post happened. K got a burger and I ordered a Thai Chicken Salad.

mb_img9

Lunch was late in the day and after we finished we decided to just lounge around the hotel room.

For dinner K discovered a restaurant called Boom Boom Wine Room. Um. It was the coolest place.

mb_img10

Upon arrival they loaded a debit card with any amount you wanted for use in the wine bottle machines. You could then select different wines in different quantities from the machines. (1, 3, and 5 ounce I think). It awesome!

The food was snack-like and we ordered plates of the short-rib nachos, bruschetta, and “buttered scotch” pudding. Delicious.

mb_img12

S U N D A Y

I am married to an early-rising homebody so by 7:10am we were on the road. We got home without incident before dusk 🙂

. . .

To be totally honest, it was a “meh” trip for us. I’m glad we had the opportunity for downtime together, but we got a little bored. I failed to plan anything fun, we’ve been to Myrtle Beach a handful of times, and there wasn’t much beach-ing. The food was incredible, though!

mb_img13

Do you enjoy traveling in the fall? Have you been to Myrtle Beach? Have you ever taken a trip that didn’t live up to the hype?

signature

A Wild Weekend Means a Grateful Heart

I’m having a hard time believing that today is Monday. This was one of those weekends that had no slow moments- but I enjoyed every single second. Originally today’s post was going to be about what I read in September, but that only included one book… ha. (I’m still working on the three I mentioned here, but there was no time to read this weekend.) In lieu of a book review, I’m linking up with Emily for Grateful Heart Monday!

This weekend included time with my family and more landscaping, drinks at home with friends and late, late nights out at the bars, birthday celebrations and comfortable, lazy mornings.

Saturday afternoon/night was the absolute best. Aubrey & I met up and headed to Columbus to surprise Kayla and hit the bars for her birthday. The three of us were friends in high school but really cemented that bond in college- despite being at different universities. Our fourth high school amigo, Emily, just gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl and happens to live in Columbus, too. We were able to stopped and visit her and meet Gracyn before the shenanigans started. It was a little surreal to see Em with a perfect baby in her arms.

A little later, three of Kayla’s local friends joined us to pre-game the night. Guys, the bar scene in Columbus- oh man. I should’ve trained for that event 🙂 We started at 9pm and uber-ed home at 2am. The night was 100% perfection and filled with dancing, drinks, music, and laughter. Honestly, it was an incredibly amazing night and I’m so grateful for my friends. The three of us live in different cities and I feel so lucky that we can get together and have a carefree night on the town. My heart is so full, even if my body’s exhausted.

bdaywknd

So that was my weekend. Now I’m sitting in our basement on our new den furniture. (K insisted we take advantage of the BigLots 20% off sale and obtain this chaise/chair/ottoman combo he’s been lusting over.) Tell me about your weekend in comments!

audielou.com_signature

A Grateful Heart with Ember Grey

My Friday Fall Favorites

Keeping with the fall theme, today I’m offering up three of my favorite things about fall!

Honeycrisp Apples
In the days of my youth I knew not the difference between a peach and an apricot. Nowadays I’m like a pro. (Kidding. I think the difference is the fuzz. Is there anything else? They’re like the same thing.) A few autumns ago Erica and I went to an apple orchard in Amish Country and I learned the difference between honeycrisp apples and all the rest. The difference is HC apples are the tastiest and the others are average. That’s really all you need to know. I love munching on the sweetness of a honeycrisp apple! Go try one if you haven’t yet!

aples

Sweatshirts
When I wear one of my million sweatshirts my husband likes to inform me that the 90s called and they’re pretty peeved that I still have their sweatshirt. To this I say, “Poppycock.” In high school I loved my hoodies, but as a young adult on the verge of average adult on the verge of soccer mom (love this hair cut), I can’t get enough of the good, ol’ fashion, non-hooded sweatshirt. I prefer wearing scarves and hats with the basic design of this beefed-up long sleeve shirt. I like that it makes me feel vintage. I like that they’re in style for now. (And when they fall out of style I’m staying strong and holding on tightly to my Lion King crewneck and my Gryffindor alum sweatshirt!)

fall_favorites

Outside
When I was a kid my dad and I were members of the YMCA program Indian Princesses. (Yellow-knifes forever!) This meant that we met monthly with other dads and daughter to make crafts, have fun, and bond with our dads. Twice a year we did a weekend campout at a YMCA camp, one in fall and one in spring. I will always remember these weekends with a smile. First of all, all my best friends were in Indian Princesses. Secondly, our activities consisted of canoeing, bonfires, horse back riding (not a highlight), fire-cooked foods, hot chocolate, guitars around a fire, late nights, sneaking around, cute & sometimes-scary rituals, and staying up way too late, getting sick, and coming home covered in mud. We also had a super serious water balloon fight each year. (Seriously, I was almost abducted once by an enemy tribe!) This is before 10 and 12 year olds had cell phones, so we were totally disconnected from home/internet. This was a weekend away with our dads who pretty much let us get crazy dirty and lost in the woods (when they weren’t with us canoeing, hiking, or also getting lost). Fall has always been my favorite, possibly because of Indian Princesses & my dad. I love being outside in October. I love sitting around a blazing outdoor fire. I love looking up and seeing nothing but a moon and a million stars.

fall_favorites

So those are my favorite things about fall (plus pumpkins, scarves, boots, warm drinks, the colors, mums, gourds, apple cider, cool air, open windows, marching band, Halloween, Thanksgiving, frost, leaves, bare trees, four wheeling, hiking, haunted mazes, parties, festivals, my birthday…. ).

What’s your favorite part of fall? Do you have any fall date nights planned? Maybe a trip to see some changing leaves?

-Louise