Sophia Sunshine Six

Our little sunshine girl recently celebrated her SIXTH birthday. It was like yesterday the two red lines appeared and I heard the doc say “your official due date is Halloween”. Ut oh. Is that like a bad omen? Monster baby? Eventually I overcame this hormonal thinking and started day dreaming about Halloween-themed parties he or she would have. This year I tried to make it so.

We bashed. As in Sophia’s Monster Mash. I believe that every great party begins with a great invite and thought these were perfect from Paper Culture. Great site. Every order you place, they plant a tree in memory, honor of anyone, any cause you choose.

So once the invites went out it was time to trick out the garage a.k.a. the dance floor. We do not have a basement home. Our flex or bonus space is located above our garage. We call it the loft or “air basement” but it doesn’t have a natural flow from the main living space conducive to entertaining.

The garage however is conveniently located off our kitchen/keeping room and sits on an alley that dead ends into a beautiful gazebo and park (a hot spot for the running, laughing, playing children day after day). With the Georgia climate allowing a lot of time outdoors, I decided the garage needed to work double duty as an entertaining space as well. With both garage doors retracted to the alley, like a lot of trendy bars and eateries you see, it made perfect sense.

I’ve got some great before and afters coming soon (still need to finish painting the floor design) but here is my inspiration. Atlanta Braves Pitcher Derek Lowe’s garage featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Magazine.

As I look at this picture again, I think dang, I should of ordered a bigger disco ball! But mine did the trick. Instead of wood mouldings, I painted a chalkboard wainscot all the way around the garage for the kids to draw on. As of this moment, there isn’t a blank spot left! It was a big hit and time to wipe clean. I threw down an old seagrass rug, that is holding up nicely to parked cars and great for slippery floors, hung the disco ball, hit play on the ipod and we got ourselves a party!

I had an idea to paint a picture board of silly Halloween characters with cut outs for photos. I searched high and low for a polaroid camera for instant party favors to take home but no such luck (now that I think about it, I should of checked Urban Outfitters). Target does carry them at Christmastime, so take note to grab one and some film if you’d like to use this idea at your next theme party. A big thank you to my awesome neighbor for cutting out the faces and his wife who made some mean popcorn balls for the party!

The candy and cupcake bar

The centerpiece, a skeleton topiary of sorts, was an old urn I had, stuffed some moss over the sides, a pumpkin and a skeleton head resting atop. This would also make a pretty fall centerpiece with just a white pumpkin and the moss.

A close up of the spider web cake and “witches brooms” made with Reese’s miniatures and a pretzel stick. I’d really hoped to have more time to find more spooky branches and cover them in cobwebs and crows but time has a way of running out. Perhaps next year’s mantle inspiration?

Speaking of mantle’s this one was my favorite from Pinterest! Black boa and all. I definitely want to incorporate some of these elements next year but oh how I wish I didn’t have a TV above my fireplace! Marriage: the ultimate compromise.

The inspiration for Sophie’s birthday cake, the black and white painted pumpkin below, via Grand In Road. Pretty sweet just as is for some pumpkin decoration but I thought it would transpire into a sweet looking black and white cake. Wished I’d had more time to work on the cake. Better luck next year.

My favorite were the surly cupcakes. An idea from Martha Stewart (of course). HERE.

The recipe calls for chocolate sugar cones, yeah, good luck finding those in the Fall but keep it in mind this Summer. I know Oreo makes some as I found them on line but no one shipped em. So I had to improvise and sprayed them with black cupcake coloring.

The eyes called for mini m and m’s but also hard to find so I used mini chocolate chips upside down.

String black licorice was in the original recipe but you guessed it, impossible to find around these parts, so I bought the nuggets and cut them into little pieces for the eyebrows and hair. Sounds like a headache but admittedly there was something very peaceful about sitting in a quiet kitchen putting them all together, thinking, this must be why my friend bakes when she’s stressed out??? Can’t argue with the finished product – adorable!

For years I’ve wanted to make these mice cut outs, also from Martha. This was the year! You can find them HERE. They were a bit of a pain to cut out but the kids helped me “rough” cut them and I did the fine tuning. Now we’ll have them for years. Illuminated by candles, they added a spooky vibe upon entering.

The other two decorations I’d hoped to accomplish this year were the bats! Spotted them in Country Living years ago and think they’d be perfect on the outside and inside of my now orange front door.

Find instructions and templates HERE.

And the climbing skeletons! I think they are hilarious!! I have the perfect front porch and upstairs center window to tie them to and know the kids would love em. I’d made a mental note to run out after Halloween and try to find them on clearance but do you think that happened? Here I am writing about Halloween and everyone is putting up Christmas decorations already. I’m so BEHIND! In the weeds! Literally that’s what October felt like, waiting tables during dinner rush day in and day out. 86 red wine?!  I QUIT! ;-)))) 
I’ll leave you with a few more of my favorite Halloween images from my Pinterest board HERE and if you are one of many already planning your holiday decor (GOOD FOR YOU you big overachiever), you’ll find a lot of holiday sparkle there too that I’ll soon be writing about as well as some holiday card inspiration. I’m a holiday card FREAK! How cute would this picture idea be for any family? Such hipsters. Image via, where else but, Pinterest.
I’m thinking about working in some peacock blue and orange for this year’s Christmas decor. Quite a divergence from my usual neutral, textured palette. I don’t know what’s gotten into me but I’ve been struck by the color bug as of late. I was absolutely obsessed with wanting to do emerald green satin drapes in my friend Wilma’s dining room against the dark charcoal walls we painted, ala, Kay Douglass but it just didn’t flow with the other colors. Saving it up for my next drama-rama client. 
Ok, back to Halloween, Black matte pumpkins, very cool. Black matte walls with camel colored leather sofa, also very cool. 

Might be fun to wrap Jack and Soph’s bedroom doors in for next year? I’m starting to stress that they will grow out of all this soon!!!

And lastly, the very happy and grateful birthday girl in a sea of gifts. 
We love you Sophia Sunshine, your name is a reflection of your spirit, your heart, your outlook on life. A wise woman once said those words to someone else I know (love you MOM!). 

So sweet. A buddy of hers since birth.

Off to bed. Sweet dreams to all you lovelies!!! 


  1. You are AMAZING!

  2. What great ideas!! Yes they will grow out of it, mine did, and I was the Halloween Queen on my street. But I was ready to tone it down and they got less and less interested….it is funny how it all works out. Soon we will be the couple that goes out to eat on Halloween and the bonus will be: no kids in the restaurants!!:-)

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