Plucky parties

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Oohhh, are we in for an extra-special treat: Halloween falls on Friday night this year! You know what that means, sisters No work the day after! No hangovers (candy- or alcohol-related) at your desk, while you feign your incredibly busy schedule to your boss.

And if you're gearing up for the elections, turn that red or blue into black and orange. Note: This is the ONLY time black and orange together is acceptable. Otherwise you'll look like a convict out for freeway trash patrol.

So what makes Halloween so fun? "Adults also like to reconnect with fond moments from their childhood" explained Rick Ruffolo, senior vice president of brand, marketing, and innovation at Yankee Candle. "People want to return to the happy, carefree days of their youth. It's like trick-or-treating down memory lane." Oh, Ricky. It's about the pretending. The ability to be anything you want to be, if just for one night.

For your party, completely freak out your friends with your decor. My favorite new (or at least new to me) way to carve a pumpkin is to make it look like it went to a rockin' pary the night before-the "puking pumpkin." Find this and other disturbing ideas on

Then go to where you'll find wicked-cool ideas, like how to create a bloody bathroom scene where you can use red LED lights to make your faucet look as if blood is dripping out.

Make your bar into a mad scientist's lab, complete with brains, spooky specimens and a pulsating heart (no, not your ex's!). And make this howlin' party super creepy by playing that normally God-awful spooky music in the background. I know you think it's cheesy, but you just have to. Your peeps would be disappointed otherwise!

For food, I suggest having each guest or couple bring something they think is particularly Halloween-y. I know what I just said. Suggest these ideas to your ghoulfriends: Lady finger cookies made to look like real fingers, mummy's eyes using hard boiled eggs and green olives, or kitty litter cake complete with "poop" with a recipe from

For your cocktail, how about a Baileys Caramel Apple Pie-tini?

1 3/4 oz. Baileys with a Hint of Caramel

1/3 oz. Smirnoff Twist Green Apple Vodka

1/3oz. Applesauce

Dash of Caramel Syrup

Pour the applesauce into bottom of glass and float dash of caramel. Shake all other ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain and float on top of the applesauce and caramel. Garnish with a slice of caramel apple.

Or try a Malibu Scream:

3 parts Malibu Coconut Rum

part Stolichnaya Vodka

part Triple Sec

part lime juice

Shake contents and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Whatever you decide, do it with flair and fabulous freakishness. Because tomorrow, you can't get away with THAT outfit.