2nd Trimester Recap and Current Pregnancy Product Lifesavers

Baby, Lifestyle

Hey howdy hey!

My goodness- time is FLYING. I cannot even believe this pregnancy is almost over and that we get to meet our sweet girl in a matter of weeks! Pinch me….

katie

The second trimester has been so sooo good to me y’all. In short- I have felt great. My energy returned (YEY!– goodbye 4:30pm bedtimes), food aversions lifted, and all around I have felt more joyful than ever before. I have been able to stay active- walking about 5 miles daily. This has been the perfect amount of exercise for me. What they say is true- the 2nd trimester ROCKS

My only issue has been fire-breathing-dragon-style acid reflux, and minor aches and pains. I now take Zantac in the morning and pop a tums for any breakthrough acid during the day. I usually need a tums at around 2am as well- regardless of what I ate for dinner that night– so I keep those babies bedside. 

I was starting to notice some aching in my back at around 15 weeks and decided to see a prenatal chiropractor.  I cannot recommend this enough- for any of my local WI readers, I see Dr. Camille Berger at Early Beginnings Chiropractic. I have been seeing her twice a week and will continue until delivery. Chiropractic care counts towards our deductible- and it might for you too, it’s worth a phone call! Our baby girl is in the transverse breech position (the worst birthing position possible- yes, this is my child 😉 ) so she is also working to help get baby into a better position too. Fingers crossed!

Now for the fun stuff…. here are some items that have made my pregnancy comfortable af... or at least as comfortable as possible. 🙂 

***None of these items are sponsored- simply a collection of things that have worked for me.

1.CRZ Leggings

If I told you how many pairs I had…would you judge me? These are so incredibly cozy…. I am almost scared to share these…..and want to keep them my little secret….

…..But alas, sharing is caring…

These leggings also come in a capri style too- which ya’ girl obviously owns as well. Perfect for summer, or winter, or literally ANYTHING. I sized up to a medium so I have room to grow- but this is just personal preference. At only $24.00– you can’t go wrong.

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2. Motherlove Belly Oil/ Honest Company Lotion

At about 17 weeks I was struggling with a super itchy belly. I tried every lotion/balm out there with one clear winner- this combo. I have loved using the Motherlove belly oil and Honest Company lotion together! I put a hearty amount of each in my palm and rub it all over my belly, hips, and tata’s in the mornings, and evenings before bed. I cannot tell you the pure bliss  that I feel now that I am NOT  scratching my belly all day long. This combo is legit. If you’re struggling with itchy or tight skin- it’s worth a shot.

$19.95 and has lasted my full 1st and 2nd trimesteroil

$7.10 I have used 1 per trimesterlotion

**full transparency- I did notice my first stretch mark on the bottom of my belly at about 29-30 weeks. SOOOO does this elixir prevent stretch marks? Not for me…and to be honest I am not sure complete stretch mark prevention is even possible in general….BUT….this is the only combination that leaves my skin hydrated and not greasy or itchy- so it’s still a complete win for me.  I will continue to use this even after she is here! 

3. BaoBei Belly Band and Bralettes

At about 17 weeks I was starting to notice a ‘heavy’ feeling in my belly. It was not quite uncomfortable- but I felt like I was slowing down and movement didn’t feel as easy. After hearing all of the praises for the BaoBei belly band- I decided to give it a shot. I was hesitant because at $64.00 – it’s an investment.

There are many cheaper options out there but after trying BaoBei – I am in LOVE.  At this point- I look like I swallowed a watermelon…but hardly feel the effects of this whoppin’ belly- I credit this to BaoBei.

The band offers so much support I cannot even recommend it enough. I will also be rocking it postpartum. I sized up to a medium- based on the size charts I should have gotten a small, but the medium felt like a better fit for my body.

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I recently purchased a Bralette from BaoBei, and adore the design. No painful clasps and perfect for pregnancy, nursing, and postpartum. I need this bra in every color- for real. So dang comfortable. I went for the size small in the bra, and it fits perfectly.  They retail for $32.00.

Bao Bei Maternity

*I am currently eyeing up BaoBei’s support bloomers and leggings for postpartum. I will let y’all know if I get them and love them as much as I do their belly band and bralette! Stay tuned 😉

4. Vionic Blaine Slip-on Shoe

I’ll be honest- these are not the cutest shoes I have ever owned. However, they are so useful and have allowed me to stay active during pregnancy.  They slip right on and feel like you’re walking on air. I LOVE these shoes. In case you haven’t noticed, my motto has become ‘comfort over everythingggg’  when pregnant. Trust me.

$44.99 – I wear them almost daily.

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5. Mega Mag Supplement

If you have ever experienced a calf cramp waking you in the dead of night- you know the extreme discomfort these buggers bring.  I was noticing calf cramps at night and eye twitching spasms during the day- not cute. My doc suggested taking a magnesium supplement and VOILA – just like that NO more calf cramps or twitching. The recommended dose is 4 droppers full- I just throw one dropper worth into my morning coffee and that has been plenty. These drops are easily absorbed and are incredible. 

$11.00 for 4 oz- this will last my entire pregnancy.

mega mag

6. Amazon Tank Tops

Honestly- I have these in *almost* every color. They are so lightweight and cute! I sized up to a large for pregnancy (my belly is freaking massive already).  The large is still a loose fit on me and I do have some extra fabric in the armpit area- but honestly I don’t even care. For the price? These can’t be beat. If you are not preggo- getting your normal size would probably be perfect.

$13.71 – $19.99 (price changes with size)

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Well, my friends, there you have it- my second trimester recap and pregnancy must haves- so far.  I hope these items make someone else’s pregnancy a bit more (you guessed it) comfortable.  I will be doing a third trimester update in a few weeks and hopefully sharing baby girls nursery…if we ever move into our new house… 🙂

Also, please comment below and share your hospital bag musts with me! Until then….

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Our Dreamy Fall Wedding Video

Lifestyle, wedding

Friends!

As many of you know- my husband and I were married last September.  It was such a special day filled with wonderful memories. 

I wanted to share our wedding video with you all. 

Without further ado…

Thank you for watching,  and a major shout out to all of our families, friends, and vendors who made this incredible day possible! 

Vendor Details:

  • Venue: Over The Vines, Edgerton WI

  • Photography: Twig and Olive Photography, Sun Prairie WI

  • Videography/DJ/Uplighting: Complete Weddings & Events

  • Dress:  Michelle Roth, Australia

  • Makeup: JV Makeup Artist, Madison WI

  • Floral/Wedding Planning: Just Details, Cedarburg WI

  • Cake/Desserts: The Cake Connection, Milton WI

  • Catering: Blue Plate Catering, Madison WI

  • Caricaturist: Caricatures by Bernie Tennis, Madison WI

  • Pastor: Andrew Suhr of Christ Church, Mequon WI

  • Ceremony Vocals: Emily Shircel, Cedarburg WI

  • Shuttle Service: Badger Bus Lines, Madison WI

  • Rehearsal Dinner: Great Dane Brewing, Madison WI

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Our Wine-Themed Fall Wedding

advice, Lifestyle, wedding

Hey Friends!

Finally getting around to this extra special post….

…better late than never- amiright? 

In short- our wedding was all that we could dream, and more. It was the perfect start to our lives together. All of the planning came together seamlessly, in a whirlwind of joy. 

Please enjoy some of our most treasured photographs. 

 

So there you have it-  a peek into our perfect day!

I hope you enjoyed this post, we are incredibly grateful to all who made our day so special.

An Amazon Prime Haul. 10 items you need right now.

guide, haul, holiday, Lifestyle, shopping

Greetings fellow earthlings,

In case you missed it- last week I wrote a post sharing some of my current Amazon Prime favorites. Let’s just say it was well received…. 

It seems that many of you also share an affinity for Amazon Prime shopping! I was so happy to hear that readers purchased some of the items I had suggested, and loved them as much as I do.

SOOOO per your requests, here are 10 more of my favorite Amazon Prime items!!

I apologize in advance if you become the child below while reading the post… 😉 Happy shopping…

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(**pricing and availability of items listed may change at any time, this is not a sponsored post**)

1. There is nothing I love more, than being warm and cozy when it is chilly outdoors. This adorable pom-pom hat comes in 15 colors (I own it in 3…) and at $11.99– it’s a must. 

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2. Once again- I’ll spring for anything with a V-Neck. This sweater is no exception. It looks perfect with high wasted jeans. Be warned, however, it runs small so I would size up. Also…if you do not have high wasted jeans (keep readin’- I got you) know that this would be a crop top. It is $25.99 and comes in 2 colors.

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3. If you read my last Amazon post, you’ll know that I like to rock an over the knee boot. The pair I featured last week had a heel, whereas this boot is flatter. I wanted to share this one, as it is comfortable and something that could be worn daily. They are only $28.99 and come in 9 shades!!

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4. This. quilted. 1/4 zip thooooo. What a beaut! Also, it has elbow patches on the back which are so fun. It comes in 4 colors and is $24.99!

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5. This top is one of my all time favorites, truly. It looks good with anything (leggings, jeans, pajamas- you get it). And some days you just need something flowy to make you feel confident- this is the top. $20.99 and comes in 5 colors!

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6. Eeeekkkk how rad is this poncho? It is reversible and comes in 6 colors (which is really 12 because they reverse, duh). I was shocked by how warm it actually is. It is pretty with jeans and boots-it would also look great belted! $35.92

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7. The perfect distressed denim… only $24.90, and comes in a staggering 34 different washes!!

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8. I am obsessed with this fun little jacket- so cozy. It is $19.00 and comes in 4 colors. I will warn you, however, this item (for some reason) fluctuates between being an ‘amazon prime’ item and just an amazon item with free shipping. I am not sure why this is, and cost-wise it does not matter. Just know that it may take a bit longer to arrive if it is not listed as an ‘amazon prime’ item. 

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9. Friendssss, let me tell you…I am not above purchasing a good knock off. I love the Gucci belts that I see all over Instagram… but for $350+ (for the real real) it ain’t happenin’ for me. I stumbled upon this beauty, and for $22.99, it is an awesome dupe! It comes in 4 colors.

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10. Seriously… you need these Steve Madden slides NOW. My eyeballs fell out when I saw that they are only $29.99, at the moment. When I purchased them back in September they were over $50!!! They come in 4 colors, but the blush is my favorite.

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***BONUS tip: If you do purchase the shoes…they look perfect with these no show socks. These footies have a sticky pad at the heel and are the only  low socks I have ever worn that don’t slide off!  They are $8.19 for 6 pairs.


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So there you have it. Another haul in the books.

I hope you enjoy these items, if you choose to purchase any of them. I am planning on doing these amazon hauls pretty regularly….stay tuned until next week.

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A Weekend in Chicago. Where to stay, what to eat, what to see.

advice, chicago, Dinner, eats, food, guide, Lifestyle, travel

Hi friends,

This past weekend we went to Chicago- and had an absolute blast! Here is a recap of our getaway, and roundup of some of our favorite eats and things to do in the Windy City.

10 Stylish Fall & Winter Amazon Prime Finds

advice, beauty, guide, Halloween, haul, holiday, How-to, Lifestyle

Hello & Happy Halloween!

Sadly, I am a bit under the weather this holiday 🙁 … So, instead of celebrating, I decided to write this post for y’all! (& live vicariously through everyone else of course…)

Let’s cut to the chase.

I have an Amazon prime sickness obsession.  My dedication is real. If shopping on Amazon were a sport…ya girl here- would win. I am not sure that this is something I should be bragging about…but

here we are. 

As I mentioned previously…I have been sick lately. So, I do not have pictures of myself wearing these items (because I have not been out of bed in weeks, it seems…) I do, however, own everything featured in today’s post, and can vouch personally for all the items. They are fire, my friends, fire. 

I should note, this is not a sponsored post (though I wish it were,….*hint, hint, Amazon*…) & all of these recommended items are simply things that I love.

Without further ado…. 

1. Let’s start off with the softest, fuzziest, coat you have ever seen. Check out this beauty.  Yes, I give you permission to wear a bathrobe around while looking cute. An absolute win-win! Also, she’s only $29.99 and comes in 6 colors.

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2.  UMMMM, how freaking fun is this cute little swing dress?! It comes in 7 colors & I want them all. I pair mine with tights or leggings and some tall riding boots. Adorbz & only $22.99!IMG_6501

3. I have always been afraid of the ‘thigh high boot’ trend. I liked the look, but didn’t think I could pull it off. I have muscular calves (thank you Peloton cycling classes) and teeny little feet. This becomes a nightmare when purchasing boots. If I order my typical size 6 shoe…the calf is usually too snug. But, let me tell you- these boots are the exception! They are a perfect fit and a great addition to any outfit. I love pairing them with distressed jeans and a cozy sweater. These boots are the most expensive item in this post, ringing in at $45.00. They come in three colors and I can’t recommend them enough (especially to any thiccc calved queens out there)! It’s Halloween after all, so…TREAT YO’ SELF, sis.

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4.Speaking of cozy sweaters– this one is a must! I love anything with a V-Neck, and the detail on this one is perfection. Snag you one for $25.90. Also, if green isn’t your cup o’ tea- it comes in 5 colors!

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5.Once again- I am late to the whole ‘bralette’ thing. Always loving the look- but never taking the plunge. I absolutely love this one and wear it under any off the shoulder top. A small amount of the applique peeks out when wearing something off the shoulder and it is the perfect amount of detail. Also at only $12.99, you can’t go wrong.

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6. YOU GUYS…I wear this bootie WAY too often….it is a perfect slide-on-and-go item. Not only this shoe comfy- she pretty much matches with anything you could throw on. $35.99 and comes in 5 colors.

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7. How pretty are these little silk scarves? I have been loving these little guys for multiple reasons. In the morning- 99% of the time- I throw my hair up into a messy bun or sock bun. Lately- I will tie one of these around the bun and-voila! Instantly elevated.  They also look fun when tied onto a purse or any bag! $9.99 for 6 of these silky sweeties!

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8. This simple layered necklace is so fun! I love inexpensive jewelry because A. I seem to lose everything and B. I am able to have more options this way!!  This necklace is only $9.99.

layered necklace

9. This backpack is my current obsession. For anyone who travels OR is tired of carrying a purse around 24/7, this bag is for you. For $24.99 it is a steal & comes in 6 colors! Channel those Dora the Explorer vibes, baby.

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10. Blanket scarf. Need I say more? Such a fall & winter essential. This one is $12.99 and comes in 9 colors!!

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Well…. there you have it, my 10 amazon prime faves, at the moment. If you like this post, please let me know. I have NUMEROUS amazon faves and can start to do these hauls more regularly, if desired…

Happy Halloween…and happy shopping. Click-click-click away, my loves…. 😉

katie writes sig

#Adulting: Your Halloween Dinner Party, Planned. A complete guide.

advice, Dinner, eats, food, guide, Halloween, holiday, How-to, Lifestyle, party

Hello, hello. 

As Halloween approaches, I sit at my computer and reminisce on many fond memories of this holiday. 

Quick back story…

Growing up- Halloween was something I always looked forward to. Every year we would go over to my cousins house, have sloppy joe’s (random, I know), dress up, trick or treatreturn to dump out & sort our candy, and (if we begged hard enough)…end the evening with a sleep over.

It was the best. Pure childhood bliss. (& yes, I am the frumpy pumpkin) 

cousins

Fast forward to adulthood, and we have carried on the tradition in the best way that we can. We still get together, dress up, have sloppy joes, laugh, and enjoy each others company. We have the best family, fo’ real.  (& BTW I have no idea how the sloppy joe thing started, …but there is no end in sight)

Unfortunately, this year, we are unable to get together. But- it got me thinking. I wanted to share some of the fun ideas that I found for Halloween 2018. In hopes that it will help anyone throwing a Halloween party, not knowing where to begin.

I mean, as long as you have wine- you’re probably set for a good gathering. BUT, if you’re as extra as I am when throwing a party- you will appreciate this post. It’s all about the details- and I’ve got ya covered. 

***Disclaimer: all suggestions below are NOT my property or things that I have photographed myself. This post is simply a roundup of awesome ideas that I have cherry picked for y’all. 😉 All photos have direct links to the creators websites. Happy Halloweening. 

Pre-party musts:

Step 1. Send a fun invite.

Seriously, who doesn’t love to get mail (especially when it’s not a bill) ? Treat your guests to a snail-mail invite. This way, they will be looking forward to the party in advance- and most importantly- not forget about it. There is nothing worse than planning a party, accounting for guests, and having them not show up or … ‘forget’ about your event… save yourself the trouble and send a dang invite. Bases covered.

I find that downloading a template off of etsy and printing it out at home, or sending it to office depot for printing, works best. 

Here is one that I love:

invite

Appetizers:

I have learned the hard way…don’t overdo the appetizers when hosting a dinner party. Stick to about 2-3 (max). Too many appetizers result in extra food that does not typically fare well as leftovers. Stick to a few that are the bomb.com and you’re golden. Trust me. Soggy, sweaty cheese squares (you know what I am talking about)…is just plain GROSS the next day.

Speaking of soggy cheese, please do not think that I am cheese-bashing. As a proud Wisconsinite, I LOVE  cheese. In fact, my go-to party hosting hat trick is always a unique cheeseboard. So, to be clear, choosing cheese as an app is perfectly fine…and it will get consumed by your guests… IF you don’t have too many other things on the table. Just let the cheese shine, man. 

If I were throwing a Halloween party, I would choose one of these cheeseboards, and a ‘hot’ appetizer to go with it.  

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cheese

Now that you have picked out a killer cheeseboard (that Halloween pun thooo), here are a few ‘hot apps’ that would be complimentary. Once again, I would choose just one.

I mean…C’MON…do these get any cuter? YUM. Your guests will love these little jalapeno popper mummies.

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Also…this mummy pizza dip? Can’t go wrong. Who does not like pizza? I would serve this with french bread toasts & crackers too. Voila! Delish.

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Drinks:

I like to have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages when hosting a party. I have found, that the dollar store sells plastic baskets which are perfect for holding drinks. Simply fill with ice, and you’re set. basketIn these baskets, I would stock coke, diet coke, sprite, waters, one white wine, one red wine, and beer.

Bonus find: For your guests convenience, snag a spooky wine spout…they are just one amazon prime click away…. (and under $20!)

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Where were we? Ah yes, ALCOHOL.

Here are two Halloween cocktails that look amazing, I would choose just one to prepare for my guests:

How sexy is this blackberry bevvy? O.M.G. get in my belly.

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It is hard to go wrong with sangria. This one is is WIN.


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Salad:

All of the goodies in this fall cobb salad do not go unnoticed. Personally, I would use this recipe – sans chicken. If I were to serve this salad as a main dish I would keep the chicken. BUT as a starter, too much protein would leave guests full before dinner even began.


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Mains: 

Whenever I get an excuse to make a large pan of ooey-gooey goodness, ya girl is going to take it. This decadent pumpkin mac and cheese is perfect for a chilly Halloween night in- with friends!

(I would make the mac and choose one sandwich to go along with it.)

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So, clearly I am going to include a sloppy joe recipe (this one is almost exactly the way my mom makes it). Take it or leave it…but all I’m sayin’… is that it’s an unexpected, hearty, crowd-pleaser. Try it, you won’t be disappointed. 

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However, if you’re uncomfortable serving sloppy joes at an adults-only party, I get it. Another great option would be these caramelized baked ham sandwiches. If you have never had these (or a similar rendition), my condolences. My mouth is actually watering….

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Desserts:

(I would select just one to prepare)

How delicious does this chocolate spider trifle look? Most people LOVE chocolate…this is a great make-ahead dessert.

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Who else is dying over this red velvet cake? (another terrible pun, I know) Also, the steak knife in the middle is perfect. 

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Decor:

Ahhhh, yes. My favorite part of throwing a party: the decor!

Here is the table setting that I would use for a Halloween gathering. I have also linked similar items (all amazon prime, duh) so that you can recreate this look, if you so choose. 

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I am LOVING this dark, sultry tablescape. I find it spooky, yet elegant. It has me feelin’ some type-a way, that’s for sure. The image below has a direct link to crate and barrel. They have some awesome sales going on right now, however, some items are still pricey. 

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Here are some affordable dupes for items pictured above:

Get that magical look- for less!!

Simple Black tablecloth ($13.99):

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Black cloth napkins ($11.49 for 12):

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Black Candlestick Holder ($15.29 for 4):71PacwN6YVL._SL1500_

Tall Black Candlestick Holder ($20.98 for 2):

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Black Candles ($13.99 for 12): (deep purple, burgundy, or white would look nice too)

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Candle Centerpiece Idea ($12.64):

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White ceramic plates ($18.83 for a set of 6):

(most people have simple dinner plates at home- which is what I would use- if you do not, here is a good option)  

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Placecard Template ($3.95 instant download): I would use these for guests names at the table & to label the buffet area.

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Placecard Holders ($10.95 for 12):

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Grocery store items: I would pick up red roses  and greens at the grocery store, and place one (as pictured) on each place setting. I would also get a few gourds (once again, as pictured) to spread around the table. This is your pop of color against all of the black. 

Pro tip: find a ‘spooky Halloween’ playlist on spotify, youtube, or pandora and play it during your party!

One (actually cool) Party Game:

Trivia is always a blast. Print out this free game and enjoy some laughs (and probably some shouting) with your friends. 

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So there you have it, an entire Halloween party, planned. Now get shopping, decorating, & cooking… there is fun to be had!

Wishing you all,…. the happiest of Halloweens

katie writes sig