Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Halloween browsing by tag


Halloween Teaser!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

We are now officially one day away from the beginning of the Fall Season. Happy Day!

I am all excited for Halloween, even though it is more than a month away. This is one holiday you have to plan for! So much to do – costumes, decorations, candy selections.

How are you getting ready for the big Candy Holiday?

Reliving The Magic

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

Last night was a dinner for 12 sponsored by POM Wonderful but given by me at our house. With a bundle of courses.

This morning I am staring at a kitchen full of dirty dishes.

Thus, my very belated Halloween post. And since a picture says a thousand words, here are several thousand words for you.

My costume was the Tooth Fairy, with my precious husband crafting my fleece tooth crown all himself. He is incredible. He went as a Juggalo. Google it for fun.

Our party hosts were the always charming Steve and Carrie Burns at their killer loft in Castleberry, overlooking the Georgia Dome. I especially loved the cockroach cupcakes. Brilliant.

Eric is the best at everything. Loved my softie crown.

Check out all the spooky fun!

Fun Find Friday – Red Hot Yoga

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

You’ve bought all the candy, you have frosted the cupcakes for the kids’ class parties and whipped up snacks & cocktails for your home Halloween soiree.

The day after Halloween you are eating the leftover candy you bought, pilfering the kids’ loot and nibbling on the uneaten snacks from the party.

Ugh. You are suffering from a serious junk food hangover. Maybe worse, if you indulged in one too many spooky cocktails at the adult party.

What to do? How about a yoga class? A HOT yoga class to detox your entire system. A hot yoga class at Red Hot Yoga on the tony Miami Circle in Buckhead. I started classes there this week after a 4 year absence. Oh, and I won’t lie and tell you it’s easy, but you will sweat (don’t forget your towel and bottled water!) You will feel like you truly accomplished something after class. And it’s owned by the lovely Bethany & Wes, who really know what they are doing and will help you with your poses so you won’t feel totally klutzy. They are kind, caring and patient – hmmm, that seems to be a recurring theme in my life these days!

I knew after all the dining out, dining in, dining with fab chefs and their fab tasting menus, that I had to do something. Plus, I was feeling all achy every morning. Since I write a blog about eating, I couldn’t very well just stop that, either. So I had to find some balance. Yoga is helping me with that. Bethany and I discussed how much better I would feel and look by next year. Heck, I feel better already. I still can’t stand on one foot for a long time, but that will come. Most of the classes I have taken this week have been taught by Gwen, who I think is super swell.

Because they are such nice folks, they are willing to let you attend unlimited classes for a full week for only $25, as an introduction! Such a deal.

If you come to the 9:30 a.m. class, you will see me there. Just don’t expect me to look like this.

Have a safe and happy Halloween, Sweeties. See you at yoga on Monday. Namaste, y’all!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy

Halloween Treats from Around The Web

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

If you are like me, you like to peruse the internet for party ideas. I was popping around and found these fun snacks just in time for your weekend Spooktacular! We will be attending the posh Halloween bash at the loft of our friends, Carrie & Steven. The weather should be cool, so my fairly hefty costume should pose no problems.

Need some ideas for your party? Look what I found for you!

Sneak on in with me and lets crash some parties!

Last Minute Easy & Cheap Costumes

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

Halloween is upon us. Have your purchased the candy, eaten it all and then replaced it? I need to replace all the Tootsie Rolls I gobbled up. (sorry kids…)

Anyhoo, we are off to a party on Saturday night and will post more on our costumes as the time draws nigh. Over at Better Homes and Gardens, they are dispensing fab advice on easy last minute costumes. Let me know your ideas!

7 Last-Minute Costumes

Fast and fabulous costume ideas that you can pull together in no time

By Kristin Finello

Just got word of an impromptu Halloween bash and need a costume for tonight? No problem. Here are seven fast and fabulous ideas that you can pull together in no time. The best part: You probably already own most of the items you’ll need.

Miss America

1. The Ultimate Tourist

Don’t be surprised if people ask, “You’re not from around here, are you?” Men and women can both pull off the look of the stereotypical tourist. Just dress badly, hang a few cameras around your neck for good luck, and wander around looking confused.

What You Probably Already Have: Knee-length shorts, a shirt (logo T-shirts with the name of a city or tourist attraction, or loud tropical-inspired shirts are best), a baseball cap or straw hat, knee socks, sneakers, and sunglasses. Wear your camera around your neck and carry a large shoulder bag or backpack.

What You Might Need to Get: A fanny pack to strap around your waist, and assorted maps and guidebooks to hold or carry in your bag or backpack.

2. Miss America

Not only is this a great shortcut costume, but when else would you ever wear that old bridesmaid or prom dress again? Now’s your chance to whip it out and strut your stuff. Be sure to tell everyone that you hope for world peace. Bonus points if you actually have a talent for the talent competition.

What You Probably Already Have: An old formal dress from a prom, wedding, or other affair, and high-heeled shoes.

What You Might Need to Get: A glittery tiara (you can pick one up at a party store or accessory shop) and a pageant sash. Make your own sash by cutting fabric into a long strip and writing Miss America on it in glitter. Pick up an inexpensive fresh or fake bouquet to carry.

3. The Crocodile Hunter

Want to get back to nature? Go as the fearless Crocodile Hunter — sans the mud and life-and-death situations. You probably won’t encounter much wildlife in the urban or suburban jungle, but you just never know!

What You Probably Already Have: Khaki shorts and a khaki short-sleeved button-down shirt capture the look. Pull on a pair of brown socks and ankle boots.

What You Might Need to Get: Pick up some gauze and use it to bandage your hand where a croc just “bit” you. Also, drape a plastic snake or three around your neck, or carry a stuffed crocodile.

4. A Got Milk? Ad

Here’s the ultimate in easy costumes. Dress however you want, but make yourself into an instant pop culture icon by painting on the telltale milk mustache. Make a “Got Milk?” sign out of poster board and hang it around your neck.

What You Probably Already Have: Clothes — you can wear any outfit you’d like.

What You Might Need to Get: White face paint to draw a milk mustache above your top lip, and poster board and yarn for your sign.

5. Aerobics Instructor
Get in touch with your athletic side by dressing as an aerobics instructor. Bonus: Burning a few extra calories as you show off your moves will help make up for all the Halloween candy you’re going to eat!

What You Probably Already Have: Sneakers, athletic socks, sweatpants or leggings, a T-shirt and/or a sports bra.

What You Might Need to Get: A sweatband or bandanna for around your forehead, and a blow-up or plastic set of dumbbells. Scout out a curly wig and you can go as fitness guru Richard Simmons (be sure to substitute striped nylon shorts and a sleeveless shirt for the outfit above).

6. Celebrity and Paparazzi

Here’s a great last-minute idea for two or more people: One of you dresses like the celebrity of your choice, all ready for the red carpet. And the others follow the celebrity around, snapping photos and yelling “Over here!” and “Look to the right!”

What You Probably Already Have: An old evening gown, high heels, and jewelry for the celeb (or a tuxedo or suit and shades if the celebrity is a man). For the paparazzi: Black pants, black shirts, and sneakers for chasing camera-shy stars.

What You Might Need to Get: Up the celeb’s glamour quotient by finding a fake fur coat or wrap at a thrift store or costume shop. If the photographers don’t want to use real cameras, they can buy prop cameras to shoot with.

7. Chef or Butcher

Celebrity chefs like Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Rocco DiSpirito are hot right now, and you can get in on the trend this Halloween. Don’t worry if your culinary skills aren’t up to snuff — looking the part is all that matters!

What You Probably Already Have: Mimic a chef’s or butcher’s white uniform by wearing a white shirt or jacket, white pants, and a white apron. If you’re going as a chef, grab a dishtowel or two from your kitchen and tuck them into the waistband of your apron.

What You Might Need to Get: No butcher’s outfit is complete without a smear of fake blood across the apron. Also, pick up a large plastic knife, some plastic meat (from a kids’ kitchen set), and a paper hat. Chefs can buy a traditional chef’s hat at a costume or party store.

There you go! I love the “Got Milk” idea. You could pair it with your favorite celebrity outfit and double your fun.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Michael Jackson – Thriller

Fun Find Friday – Pumpkin Masters

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This is going to be another short post as I am suffering the effects of too much sugar from last night’s Gays & Girls Dessert Dance Party to kick off pride weekend.

Are we ready to discuss pumpkin carving? If so, lets visit Pumpkin Masters to get some cool ideas.

Here are some of the cool things they are carrying this year:

“Follow You” Eyes: Attach these glow-in-the-dark pumpkin eyes that watch your every move! The special shape of the eyes creates an optical illusion, so it seems like they are following you as you walk by.

It’s Alive! Pumpkin Light: Shaped like a spooky brain, this pumpkin light uses three bright red LEDs to bring your creation to life. The LEDs slowly pulse on and off, creating the effect that your pumpkin has a mind of its own!

Kids Monster Pieces: A safe and mess-free way to get youngsters excited about decorating! Kids can create their very own monster by inserting eye, mouth, nose and ear parts in the skin of the pumpkin.

Kids Pumpkin Sticker Kit: Mix and match 60 full color stickers to create an endless variety of silly and scary faces.

Monster Pumpkins: This kit includes tools and patterns that are perfect for carving extra large, jumbo pumpkins (24” and larger).

Vintage Pumpkin Carving Kit: Step back in time with the retro patterns of this vintage carving kit.

Kits and accessories are available at major retailers and grocery stores nationwide, with suggested retail prices of $2.99 – $4.99.

I like the idea of stick on eyes – less carving, more fun. I am also contemplating putting a Mardi Gras mask on my orange friend to keep from carving. What do you think? I would love to hear your carving ideas and see your photos.

Send your photos to and I will post them here!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to The Groovie Ghoulies – Monster Mash

Fun Find Friday – Amy’s Gourmet Apples

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

It’s still pretty warm here in Atlanta, but in the early morning, I can feel a bit of Autumn trying to peek out.

Which convinces me that Fall is just around the corner. Almost.

And Halloween. Halloween is less than six weeks away. Halloween means candied apples. This year it means Amy’s Gourmet Apples. Look at these babies:

Photo Courtesy of Amy's Gourmet Apples

They are huge! And there are all types to choose from. Oh my goodness. I need them all. Well, maybe not need, but want. Definitely want.

Sure, you could make your own, but if you have no inclination for dealing with the mess of piping hot chocolate, this would be much easier.

Wouldn’t they make a swell hostess gift? Or a gift for that hard-to-buy-for boss? Or for yourself? Or for me! Yes, they would make a lovely gift for me.

And since they’re apples, that must mean they are healthy! You can get one of your daily fruits in for the day.

Rationalization is a wonderful thing.

Now, excuse me, I must go purchase some of those apples.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Glen Campbell and Bobbi Gentry – Little Green Apples

The Charm of Dragon*Con

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

As you may have guessed, I am still recovering from the paella party. Still. My goodness.

Eric and I did make the time to sneak in a trip to the Dragon*Con Parade on Saturday, after a scrumptious brunch given by our friends, Carrie and Steven.

Today is a photo journey that I think you will really like. The parade just gets better every year.

One of the most exciting days in Atlanta

You Have Got to See These Costumes. Come On!