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Halloween Eve Dinner & Birthday Party

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I'm just not ready for Halloween to be over! Hulaween was such a big bash that I wanted to wind down my weekend with a dinner party for just myself and some close friends. Sunday night, we gathered at my apartment where Chef Pierre put together the most incredible meal that everyone is surely still swooning over. The evening was also a birthday tribute to some of my favorite Scorpios, including Chef Pierre himself! I had all the glittery skulls and butterflies arranged on the table, plus a host of spooky critters and other festive decorations lurking throughout the apartment.

Wining and dining with great friends is one of my favorite ways to spend free time, and the weekend couldn't have closed out more perfectly. Now, it's time for a little sleep!  Enjoy these pictures; may our plethora of Halloween posts hold you over until this time next year!

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A glittery pumpkin, an arrangement of fall leaves, and light from a New York sunset.

1 A glittery pumpkin, an arrangement of fall leaves, and light from a New York sunset.

I tucked these little critters into plants and arrangements.

2 I tucked these little critters into plants and arrangements.

Don't be afraid to use more than one type of decoration, especially for a party. My guests loved that every corner of the apartment held a new surprise.

3 Don't be afraid to use more than one type of decoration, especially for a party. My guests loved that every corner of the apartment held a new surprise.

Buttery yellow roses lit up the bathroom. Flowers are an easy and refreshing way to add color in all the unexpected places.

4 Buttery yellow roses lit up the bathroom. Flowers are an easy and refreshing way to add color in all the unexpected places.

This gorgeous orange arrangement was littered spooky surprises. The black glitter caught the light in such a hauntingly perfect way.

5 This gorgeous orange arrangement was littered spooky surprises. The black glitter caught the light in such a hauntingly perfect way.

More creepy crawlers lurking in the Chinese Lantern arrangement.

6 More creepy crawlers lurking in the Chinese Lantern arrangement.

Some of the spiders visited the original skull and bones arrangement.

7 Some of the spiders visited the original skull and bones arrangement.

Voila! This table arrangement was as stunner; my friends loved all the butterflies especially, and glass pillars gave the table-scape a polished look.

8 Voila! This table arrangement was as stunner; my friends loved all the butterflies especially, and glass pillars gave the table-scape a polished look.

Here are all six skulls. I wanted you to see how uniquely all of their butterflies perched.

9 Here are all six skulls. I wanted you to see how uniquely all of their butterflies perched.

This table arrangement glistened all night long. I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Worth the hours I spent glue-glittering in the Craft Department.

10 This table arrangement glistened all night long. I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Worth the hours I spent glue-glittering in the Craft Department.

Be careful when glittering candles–little metal pieces don't get burned. They'll catch on fire! Not that I would know...

11 Be careful when glittering candles–little metal pieces don't get burned. They'll catch on fire! Not that I would know...

Already thinking about how I can top this next year. It will be tough!

12 Already thinking about how I can top this next year. It will be tough!

Some of my favorite butterflies. How incredible is the blue one that almost glows?

13 Some of my favorite butterflies. How incredible is the blue one that almost glows?

Whimsical decorations are just as important as fancier ones!

14 Whimsical decorations are just as important as fancier ones!

Tending to the details. I wanted to make sure there was room for coats after Saturday's mini-snowstorm.

15 Tending to the details. I wanted to make sure there was room for coats after Saturday's mini-snowstorm.

I kept the table settings clean and simple so the decorations and food could shine.

16 I kept the table settings clean and simple so the decorations and food could shine.

Some monogrammed napkins that I use for special gatherings.

17 Some monogrammed napkins that I use for special gatherings.

Pierre outdid himself with his birthday dinner. I'm so glad he and Jenny were able to use my kitchen!

18 Pierre outdid himself with his birthday dinner. I'm so glad he and Jenny were able to use my kitchen!

Having incredibly talented help in the kitchen and around the dining room meant that I could focus on playing host. Tremendous service from Gregory and Paul's stellar cooking assistance made the whole night possible.

19 Having incredibly talented help in the kitchen and around the dining room meant that I could focus on playing host. Tremendous service from Gregory and Paul's stellar cooking assistance made the whole night possible.

Cote de Boeuf is quintessentially French and elegant, and it was the star of the show at dinner. Pierre has started his own catering business, and I'm thrilled that more people will be able to try his incredible dishes!

20 Cote de Boeuf is quintessentially French and elegant, and it was the star of the show at dinner. Pierre has started his own catering business, and I'm thrilled that more people will be able to try his incredible dishes!

Pierre knows how to use every inch of my kitchen!

21 Pierre knows how to use every inch of my kitchen!

Cheesy hors-d'oeuvres get a blast in the oven.

22 Cheesy hors-d'oeuvres get a blast in the oven.

Drinks, anyone?

23 Drinks, anyone?

Champagne is one of my favorite things, especially Veuve Cliquot. The only thing just as elegant was the service by Gregory and Jenny!

24 Champagne is one of my favorite things, especially Veuve Cliquot. The only thing just as elegant was the service by Gregory and Jenny!

Tiny mozzarella bocconcini added depth to a gorgeous fall salad.

25 Tiny mozzarella bocconcini added depth to a gorgeous fall salad.

These tar-tar roll-ups were sealed in the most thinly-sliced cucumber shavings. It's so amazing to see something like this come together!

26 These tar-tar roll-ups were sealed in the most thinly-sliced cucumber shavings. It's so amazing to see something like this come together!

Tiny, delicious, and chic rollups by Paul.

27 Tiny, delicious, and chic rollups by Paul.

Light and bite-sized appetizers are important for any party, so that your guests don't get too impatient for dinner.

28 Light and bite-sized appetizers are important for any party, so that your guests don't get too impatient for dinner.

A tray of crostini head for the oven.

29 A tray of crostini head for the oven.

Plating the greens–anything Pierre touches turns to pure elegance.

30 Plating the greens–anything Pierre touches turns to pure elegance.

Teamwork is important in the kitchen when so much is being prepared.

31 Teamwork is important in the kitchen when so much is being prepared.

Profiteroles and chocolate sauce. These were just decadent.

32 Profiteroles and chocolate sauce. These were just decadent.

A chocolate salt cake from Baked was the perfect ending to the perfect birthday meal (http://bakednyc.com/).

33 A chocolate salt cake from Baked was the perfect ending to the perfect birthday meal (http://bakednyc.com/).

Great friends, delicious food, and beautiful decorations made for a perfect Halloween Eve.

34 Great friends, delicious food, and beautiful decorations made for a perfect Halloween Eve.

This is the Birthday Chef and Sirio Maccioni, owner of Le Cirque where Pierre took his first job in New York.

35 This is the Birthday Chef and Sirio Maccioni, owner of Le Cirque where Pierre took his first job in New York.

One of my favorite little people! How sweet is Kingston?

36 One of my favorite little people! How sweet is Kingston?

Sometimes you just need a nap!

37 Sometimes you just need a nap!

Not a bad seat for me!

38 Not a bad seat for me!

My friends are incredible people. These are the birthday Scorpios! From L to R: Mike, Marco, Biamante, John, Egi and Chef Pierre.

39 My friends are incredible people. These are the birthday Scorpios! From L to R: Mike, Marco, Biamante, John, Egi and Chef Pierre.

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This incredible headdress made it from Hulaween to my apartment for the party. Isn't it wonderful?

41 This incredible headdress made it from Hulaween to my apartment for the party. Isn't it wonderful?

Glow In The Dark Design

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So many great Halloween projects play with the nuances between dark and light. Glow-in-the-dark pieces take that idea to a whole new, almost otherworldly level, and this year I'm excited to incorporate some faux-glow elements into table and room arrangements, decorations, and all sorts of Halloween attire.

Here are some image from a past Martha Stewart Living spread that incorporate glowing glass and paint to really make table and surface arrangements pop!

Kevin_Sharkey_Martha_Stewart_Night_Visions_Story_Home_Design_Glow_Dark

Join me as I explore some other intriguing options for day-glo, blacklight, and glow-in-the-dark arranging. Candles and lamplights are for lovely, soft, autumnal radiance, but Halloween is your chance to glow!

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Pom-poms, pipe cleaners, tiny plastic cups, acrylic tiles, beads, feathers, paint, and sand can all be found in neon or glow-in-the dark varieties. The sky's the limit with these supplies! (http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com)

1 Pom-poms, pipe cleaners, tiny plastic cups, acrylic tiles, beads, feathers, paint, and sand can all be found in neon or glow-in-the dark varieties. The sky's the limit with these supplies! (http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com)

Incorporate glow-in-the-dark decals into a wallpaper design for sophisticated flair. (http://architecturas.com)

2 Incorporate glow-in-the-dark decals into a wallpaper design for sophisticated flair. (http://architecturas.com)

Or, simply buy some wallpaper that glows! I love the organic shapes on these patterns. (http://dornob.com)

3 Or, simply buy some wallpaper that glows! I love the organic shapes on these patterns. (http://dornob.com)

These glow-in-the-dark wall decals are more grown-up than the glowing wall stars from childhood bedrooms. Plus, they'll last through your other holiday decorations! (www.wallcandyarts.com)

4 These glow-in-the-dark wall decals are more grown-up than the glowing wall stars from childhood bedrooms. Plus, they'll last through your other holiday decorations! (www.wallcandyarts.com)

By cutting the ends off a handful of glowsticks and emptying them into a jar, you can make an instant glowing lantern! Be sure to shake the jar to coat every side. (www.littleblueboo.com)

5 By cutting the ends off a handful of glowsticks and emptying them into a jar, you can make an instant glowing lantern! Be sure to shake the jar to coat every side. (www.littleblueboo.com)

Turn the mason jars upside down for a lantern-like effect. These will last through the night! (http://slsmithphotography.typepad.com)

6 Turn the mason jars upside down for a lantern-like effect. These will last through the night! (http://slsmithphotography.typepad.com)

And if you flick the ends of the open glow sticks inside the jars, they'll sparkle! (www.curbly.com)

7 And if you flick the ends of the open glow sticks inside the jars, they'll sparkle! (www.curbly.com)

Add a splash of tonic water to drinks and they'll glow under a black light. Tonic water contains quinine, the ingredient that makes it glow! (www.ourbestbites.com)

8 Add a splash of tonic water to drinks and they'll glow under a black light. Tonic water contains quinine, the ingredient that makes it glow! (www.ourbestbites.com)

The same thing works with jello. (www.ourbestbites.com)

9 The same thing works with jello. (www.ourbestbites.com)

Glow rope provides an excellent decorating alternative to its stubbier cousin the glo-stick. It can be wrapped, strung, or wound to create innovative Halloween decor. (www.harborfreight.com)

10 Glow rope provides an excellent decorating alternative to its stubbier cousin the glo-stick. It can be wrapped, strung, or wound to create innovative Halloween decor. (www.harborfreight.com)

Throw glowsticks in a bathtub (or any other container filled with water) to create bright and charismatic displays that can reflect onto other surfaces. (http://leilockheart.tumblr.com/)

11 Throw glowsticks in a bathtub (or any other container filled with water) to create bright and charismatic displays that can reflect onto other surfaces. (http://leilockheart.tumblr.com/)

Bend glowsticks to nestle inside a glass for glowing cup lanterns. To make them drink-friendly, place the glowstick ring between a clear plastic cup nestled inside an opaque one. (http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com)

12 Bend glowsticks to nestle inside a glass for glowing cup lanterns. To make them drink-friendly, place the glowstick ring between a clear plastic cup nestled inside an opaque one. (http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com)

If you don't want to bust open your glow sticks to decorate with them, experiment with styrofoam cups, ping pong balls, floral foam to create glowing little critters. (www.favecrafts.com)

13 If you don't want to bust open your glow sticks to decorate with them, experiment with styrofoam cups, ping pong balls, floral foam to create glowing little critters. (www.favecrafts.com)

Martha Stewart glow-in-the-dark glitter is an inexpensive glow-crafter's dream. Just coat any surface with glue, sprinkle, and glow!

14 Martha Stewart glow-in-the-dark glitter is an inexpensive glow-crafter's dream. Just coat any surface with glue, sprinkle, and glow!

Glowing balloons with goulish faces make quick and easy decorations. (www.marthastewart.com)

15 Glowing balloons with goulish faces make quick and easy decorations. (www.marthastewart.com)

These apothecary jars glint greenish in the daylight...

16 These apothecary jars glint greenish in the daylight...

...and glow at night! Items that work for both dark and light are especially effective!

17 ...and glow at night! Items that work for both dark and light are especially effective!

Upper East Side Thrifting

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Spanning 59th to 96th Streets from Central Park to the East River lies the Upper East Side, which has long been the home to some of America's most established and privileged families. Given residents' expensive tastes, it is not surprising that the Upper East Side is one of the best places to go thrift shopping. Within this thrift shop mecca there are so many hidden treasures. And the best part? Many stores give a portion of your proceeds to a good cause.

I recently went on a thrift shop crawl, taking pictures of all the shops I visited and of all of the second-hand gems I found. I've included a list of the places I stopped in, below, so you can go on a similar thrift shop hunt if you are in the neighborhood. But I also encourage you to explore the thrift shops where you live. If you look closely, there really are so many great finds to be uncovered.

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Housing Works Thrift Shop

1 Housing Works Thrift Shop

A view of the storefront.

2 A view of the storefront.

A pair of elegant vintage floral prints.

3 A pair of elegant vintage floral prints.

This set of matching tables would add a contemporary and glamorous touch to a living room.

4 This set of matching tables would add a contemporary and glamorous touch to a living room.

I love the burst of color in this painting.

5 I love the burst of color in this painting.

This reminds me of the long tan suede couch in Coco Chanel's Rue Cambon apartment.

6 This reminds me of the long tan suede couch in Coco Chanel's Rue Cambon apartment.

What a beautiful wooden piece.

7 What a beautiful wooden piece.

Moving on to the Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop.

8 Moving on to the Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

9 A view of the storefront.

Artistic ashtrays and stylish saucers.

10 Artistic ashtrays and stylish saucers.

What a lively Native American motif.

11 What a lively Native American motif.

Here is the Cancer Care Thrift Shop.

12 Here is the Cancer Care Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

13 A view of the storefront.

Café au lait bowls are one of my favorite things to look for while thrifting.

14 Café au lait bowls are one of my favorite things to look for while thrifting.

A very sleek clock.

15 A very sleek clock.

A gorgeous glass compote with so many great possibilities for flower arrangements.

16 A gorgeous glass compote with so many great possibilities for flower arrangements.

The classic gilded edge is so sophisticated on this pail. It would make the perfect addition to a home bar.

17 The classic gilded edge is so sophisticated on this pail. It would make the perfect addition to a home bar.

I think the simplicity of these spoons makes them really elegant.

18 I think the simplicity of these spoons makes them really elegant.

What an interesting abstract floral pattern.

19 What an interesting abstract floral pattern.

I love the color palette of this rug.

20 I love the color palette of this rug.

This fabric would be perfect in an outdoor setting as a throw or table cloth.

21 This fabric would be perfect in an outdoor setting as a throw or table cloth.

Here we are at the Goodwill Thrift Shop.

22 Here we are at the Goodwill Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefront.

23 A view of the storefront.

This is such a great conversation piece. It would be perfect on a mantelpiece, or even to dress up your office desk.

24 This is such a great conversation piece. It would be perfect on a mantelpiece, or even to dress up your office desk.

The artistry on this plate is magnificent. The mix of cream, gold and blue works so well.

25 The artistry on this plate is magnificent. The mix of cream, gold and blue works so well.

A gilded salt and pepper shaker.

26 A gilded salt and pepper shaker.

These bronze chalices would be great for a party or simply on display.

27 These bronze chalices would be great for a party or simply on display.

An assortment of glass vases and carafes in great condition.

28 An assortment of glass vases and carafes in great condition.

An interesting radish-shaped serving dish.

29 An interesting radish-shaped serving dish.

Up next: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop.

30 Up next: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop.

A view of the storefrot.

31 A view of the storefrot.

The patterns on these vintage Pucci pieces are so vivid.

32 The patterns on these vintage Pucci pieces are so vivid.

Fun, bright vintage Ungaro dresses.

33 Fun, bright vintage Ungaro dresses.

These were probably used for a perfume display, as they are very large. I think they would have a great second life as home decorating pieces though. They're so unique.

34 These were probably used for a perfume display, as they are very large. I think they would have a great second life as home decorating pieces though. They're so unique.

This charity shop had a great selection of books.

35 This charity shop had a great selection of books.

The second hand Louis Vuitton luggage was in great shape.

36 The second hand Louis Vuitton luggage was in great shape.

There's something so whimsical about tea-cups stacked this way. I love the mixture of colors and patterns.

37 There's something so whimsical about tea-cups stacked this way. I love the mixture of colors and patterns.

The butterfly detail on these egg cups is perfect for summer.

38 The butterfly detail on these egg cups is perfect for summer.

Popular in the 18th-century these finger vases are like five bud vases in one. What a simple way to make the most of a few stems.

39 Popular in the 18th-century these finger vases are like five bud vases in one. What a simple way to make the most of a few stems.

I love the angular shape of these lucite ice buckets.

40 I love the angular shape of these lucite ice buckets.

This is a Russian samovar. It is traditionally used to heat and serve tea, but I think it looks great even when it's not being used.

41 This is a Russian samovar. It is traditionally used to heat and serve tea, but I think it looks great even when it's not being used.

The contrasting thick and thin gold lines makes for a sophisticated pattern.

42 The contrasting thick and thin gold lines makes for a sophisticated pattern.

What remarkable details!

43 What remarkable details!

I wonder where this piece came from...

44 I wonder where this piece came from...

These Middle Eastern trays would make great wall art.

45 These Middle Eastern trays would make great wall art.

Classic striped covers for outdoor furniture.

46 Classic striped covers for outdoor furniture.

This is a great retro print, and I like the frame it comes in as well.

47 This is a great retro print, and I like the frame it comes in as well.

This console has great storage options, with many drawers and exposed shelves.

48 This console has great storage options, with many drawers and exposed shelves.

Our last stop is Unique Boutique.

49 Our last stop is Unique Boutique.

A view of the storefront.

50 A view of the storefront.

Unique Boutique has these great lighting fixtures inside. They're very industrial, but they don't overwhelm the space.

51 Unique Boutique has these great lighting fixtures inside. They're very industrial, but they don't overwhelm the space.

The aqua color of these glass vases gives off the most amazing filter of light.

52 The aqua color of these glass vases gives off the most amazing filter of light.

These crystal knife rests are quite luxurious.

53 These crystal knife rests are quite luxurious.

An earthenware ceramic tea set in a beautiful ruby hue.

54 An earthenware ceramic tea set in a beautiful ruby hue.

A fun dog portrait at an amazing price.

55 A fun dog portrait at an amazing price.

Upper East Side Thrift Stores

Housing Works Thrift Shop | 202 E 77th St. New York, NY 10021 | (212) 772-8461

Cancer Care Thrift Shop | 1480 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212)879-9868

Goodwill | 1704 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10128 | (212)831-1830

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Thrift Shop | 1440 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 535-1250

Unique Boutique | 1674 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10128 | (212) 427-0077

Arthritis Foundation Thrift Shop | 1430 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 772-8816

Council Thrift Shop | 246 East 84th St. New York, NY 10028 | (212) 439-8373