Primp Your Pumpkin: Virtuoso of the Vine posted in: Decorating Ideas, Halloween, Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To, How Tos, Uncategorized

Here’s another costuming idea for your autumn-themed home adornment. Meet Vincent, Virtuoso on the Vine. This squash has swagger!  He has a cultivated appreciation of artistic excellence – a connoisseur of objets d’art.


Virtuoso on the Vine


To create this artiste, you’ll need:


virtuoso supplies


  • 1 pumpkin
  • 2-3 large black beads
  • 1 beret (fascinator or child’s doll clothing fashion)
  • 1 piece black felt
  • Mustache stencil
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • White paint pen



  1. Mark (or place by sight) the features – eyes, nose, mustache
  2. Glue on eyes
  3. Draw on nose, or use another bead, etc. I used a small bat sticker to complement my bat wing beret fascinator.
  4. Trace stencil onto felt
  5. Cut out felt mustache then adhere to pumpkin using glue
  6. Affix your topper

And you’re done!

He would be perfect company to the the candy dish in your gallery and is perfectly suited for the drawing room. This Virtuoso is also quite popular with the pretty pepons – paired together they make quite the IT couple to greet guests in your entryway. For our “Gourd”geous Gourd how-to, click here.


 "Gourd"geous and Virtuoso on the Vine


If you have other thoughts for creative fashions for your pumpkins, please share in a comment below. And if you have photos of your festive fruits, we welcome you to share them with us on our facebook page.



Signature Tanja & Co. Events

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Primp Your Pumpkin: “Gourd”geous posted in: Uncategorized


When it comes to decorating for fall, pumpkins are an essential of any October ornamentation. For a non-traditional take on displaying these fall fruits, I forego the drimmel  for dress up. I like to primp my pumpkins – styling them by painting on pretty patterns, wrapping in ribbon and tricking them out with trendy toppers. A few fun accessories and one pair of fabulous lashes, and this Gorgeous little gourd took on a personality all her own.

gourdgeous gourd

Creating this gourdgeous little girl is quite easy. Here’s how to costume your very own pretty little pumpkin:


What you’ll need:

  • 1 pumpkin (color of choice)
  • 2 large beads
  • 1 set fashion lashes
  • 1 lips decal (or you may paint on a pretty pout if you so choose)
  • 1 festive fascinator
  • Glue
  • Crafting wire (Optional)
  • Marker (Optional)



  1. Mark your features (if you wish – or do as I do and “eyeball it”
  2. Glue on lashes
  3. Affix “eyes” with glue (you may start with the eyes if you prefer, though I found it easier to place the lashes first rather than try to work them around the bead”
  4. Paste or paint on the perfect pout.
  5. Position and place topper – if needed, wrap the pumpkin stem with crafting wire and then attach the fascinator to the wire.


Voila! This fashionable little fruit is primped and ready accessorize your candy station or to pose as part of your festive centerpiece.


Do you have other ideas for prettying up your pumpkins? Please leave in a comment below and share your pictures with us on our facebook page.



Signature Tanja & Co. Events


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Pimp Your Pumpkin: Peeping Pumpkins posted in: How To

Check out these pretty little pepos! This is a quick design idea that has gotten a lot of bang for the buck. They’re great on display all throughout the fall and into the Thanksgiving holiday, and have inspired more smiles and “oh how adorable are they” s that I can count.

petit pumpkin peeps!

For miles of smiles this season, here’s how you can make your own peeping pumpkins:

What you need:
mini pumpkins (as many as your heart desires)
1 bag small googley eyes
all-purpose glue
feature and accessories pattern
paper or felt cutouts

You can dress these little dandies in any number of costumes throughout the fall – top with a capotain or biggin and you’ll have a couple that looked like they just rolled off the Mayflower.

Send us pics of your creations to share with our community!


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Pimp Your Pumpkin: Glam Gourds posted in: Uncategorized

OK, seeing the bin of diseased looking gourds when grocery shopping this time of year creeps me out just a little. Shuddering as I pass by the ‘display’ (if  you can call it that), I decide I’m going to give this pitiful looking produce a makeover. And with  that , these little guys  went from gross to glam in no time flat!  Here’s how:

easy peasy

Pair these now pretty little pepos with white pumpkins and you have one Glam Gourd Gallery!


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Pimp Your Pumpkin: Masquerading Melon posted in: Holiday Decorating, How To

Want to add some festivity to your fall with pumpkins, but haven’t the time or talent to fuss with carving? Skip the monstrous mess, make like the Maven and ‘Pimp your Pumpkin’!  We’ll again share designs that take a fraction of the time it does to carve a pumkpin and what’s better still –  these creations don’t  require knife skills worthy of a top chef.

We’re kicking off this season’s festive how-to blog series with our masquerading melon – and she is one Posh Pumpkin!

So, if your idea of Halloween decorations is more glam than goth, then this look is for you. This design is super simple to create.

What you need:
1 small to medium sized pumpkin
1 mask
2 medim black buttons (for the eyes)
all-purpose glue
tape (optional)

To create, begin by slipping your mask (you can buy one already adorned with pretties, or opt to make your own) onto your pumpkin. If you like, you can use a little glue or tape to the the back of the mask strap to keep n in place if needed. Next, put a bit of glue on the back of the buttons and place inside the eye openings of the mask. All done – it’s that easy!

Decorate one,  two or ten of these masked melons to greet guests in your entryway, and you’ll still have plenty of time to trick or treat this season.

Send us pics – we’d love to see your creations!


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Pimp Your Pumpkin: Spellbinding posted in: Uncategorized

Any way you slice it, carving a pumpkin into a fabulous piece of art can be sloppy, labor-intensive and time-consuming. So, skip the monstrous mess in favor of pimped pumpkins. In this blog series, we’re going to share designs that take a fraction of the time it does to carve doesn’t involve knife skills worthy of a top chef.


First up, is a simply spellbinding design.

Creating this look is so easy, trust us, you’ll
be fascinated.

 What you need:
1 medium-sized pumpkin
1 small witch’s hat
1 felt spider
Glue or double-sided tape

Easy as 1,2 3

Whether you’re carving or decorating, we hope our pumpkins inspire you this season. Check back tomorrow for more design ideas.


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Let’s Talk Turkey – Top Tips for Hosting the Best Thanksgiving – ever posted in: Holiday Decorating, Holidays, How To

Does the thought of hosting Thanksgiving leave feeling completely overwhelmed, or have you running around in a frenzy like a turkey with it’s head cut off (yes, you’ve just been hit with a bad pun). Well, don’t give up just yet. Hosting Thanksgiving can be fun  – for everyone…the host included!

Getting it right is all about planning and a little perspective. And when we do get it right, hosting a holiday celebration and meal can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life – truthfully. Think about it, one of the things that gives our lives real meaning and satisfies the soul is the time we spend making memories with the people who matter most to us. So here are my top tips to help you host your best Thanksgiving – ever.


1. Get a bird’s eye view
Think about the overview of the day – who will be in attendance, timing, activities, and of course the meal. And write down it down. Think of the who, what, where, how and how many. This outline will help you to plan properly and anticipate needs.

2. Carve out a plan
This is about logistics. Now that you have considered the number guests you will host , the time of day, the flow of meal service , what activities will keep your guests entertained prior to dinner, etc., take this information and formulate your plan. Detail what needs to get done, who will do it (remember, just because you’re the host doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Ask for help and delegate some of the tasks. Family and friends are happy to get involved. Having a plan will ensure that planning goes smoothly.

3.  Set the scene.
Spend time carefully laying out the linen and setting the table (we share how in this video). This is a holiday that’s all about togetherness, so a long feasting table and family style meal service works well. Scape the table with the colors of fall using seasonal flowers or pumpkins and squash, and personalize each place setting with a name card. And if you would like help to setting the scene with fine linen, unique tablescape and creative special touches, give us a call, and we’d be happy to help you make this year’s celebration a memorable one.

4. Mix it up
Who says it HAS to be parade, football, dinner, nap, more football, another nap. While that schedule is all well and fine, why not mix things up a bit. Make a plan for good ol’ fashioned fun and conversation. After dinner clear the table or gather everyone in the den for a game. Trust me – it makes for good times and fun memories, and I AM one of those family members or guests who secretly wants to run for the hills or cry tummy ache when I hear the words, from an uber-enthusiastic aunt,  “let’s play a game!”. It has always needed up being a memorable and special time. Also, though we love the same faces we see each year during the holidays, consider adding in some new ones. There are always people in town do not have family or may not be able to go home for the holiday. New faces bring new energy, new perspective and expand our gift of love.

5. Give ‘em the bird
…so to speak. Send guests off with a little goody bag (Note: Yes, this does require you to prepare a little additional, so adjust your shopping lists, prep time, etc. accordingly). Purchase inexpensive food containers, and send everyone home with a little turkey and maybe even some of the fixin’s, and include a note of Thanksgiving – reminding each person that they are special to you and having them with you makes the day complete.

Bonus Tip: Get perspective
This is perhaps the most important. Before doing anything else to prepare, take time to reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Yes, the day stands out in our minds as one of our favorite feasting holidays of the year, but I encourage you to take time out of your busy day to truly think about what Thanksgiving means – what it truly looks like to live a life of Thanksgiving. Taking this time to remind ourselves of the true meaning of the day and of the gift of family and friends helps us to keep things in perspective, and it also helps us to stave off the frenzy, fury and frustration that often comes with the pressures of achieving perfection – which in and of itself will be a blessing to you and everyone in your household !

So there you have it, keep these tips in mind when planning your holiday celebrations, and you are sure to be remembered as the hostess with the mostess savvy.

Do you have any other tips to share with our reader that would reduce stress or add fun to their holiday celebrations? If so, please share below in a comment.


Tanja Lynn, The Party Maven


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Are You Ready for the Trickiest Holiday of the Year? posted in: Events, Halloween, Holidays, Inspiration, Party Ideas

EEK! Halloween is next week, are you ready for some fun?

Everyone is looking for easy ways to build employee engagement and infuse fun into the workplace. And Halloween offers a great opportunity to encourage engagement, build team morale and make fun memories!

Here are 5 Easy Ideas for Celebrating Halloween in the Workplace (no. 5 is always a hit!):

1.Host a Halloween lunch or afternoon break complete with fun themed food and decor.

2 Pimp Your Pumpkin. Provide a pumpkin to each department to decorate as a team. This also makes for a great contest activity.

3. Have a themed contest. Encourage Employees to dress up, and hold a costume contest – think Most creative costume, Best Character costume, etc., or decorate office doors or cubicles.

4.Schedule volunteering activities. Have your team dress in costume and “treat” the community with the gift of time and fun in support of a favorite or company supported cause.

5.Host a Secret Trick-or-Treat Exchange. Much in the fashion of a Secret Santa or White Elephant Party, have staff bring a trick or a treat to exchange during your party (see no. 1)

What other ideas do you have to bring a little festive fun to the office? Share with us in a comment below!

Hope you have a frighteningly fun work day this Halloween!

Signature Tanja & Co. Events




P.S. Like what you see? Consider sharing this post with your friends. Sharing is caring!

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Trick-or-Treat Manners posted in: Etiquette

Five things to keep in mind before stepping out with your little pumpkin(s) for trick-or-treat fun:

1. Remind your little goblin not to be greedy; one piece of candy from each house is the general rule. And saying thank you is a must.
2. In terms of costumes, ghoulish makeup and army fatigues are acceptable. Guns and bustiers are better left at home.
3. If you don’t like Halloween, you don’t have to participate. Either go out for the night (and suffer the TP consequences) or turn off your front lights. Parents will get the message-but some older kids might, too, so be prepared for possible “tricks.”
4. If your area isn’t kid-friendly, it’s fine to pack up your brood and head to Grandma’s neighborhood or to your best friend’s block.
5. Dumping off a carload of kids in an area where you don’t know anyone or haven’t been invited is definitely impolite-and possibly dangerous.

Happy Halloween!

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Fall Party Ideas posted in: Events, Uncategorized

Planning a fall party can be bushels of fun.  host a fall fete your guests won’t soon forget using these pro tips and recipes…

  1. Location
    Plan your parties outdoors when you can. Whether you are out on the deck or down on the farm take advantage of Mothers Nature’s décor and enjoy the nice weather if you can.
  2. Atmosphere
    It’s all about being laid back and easy. Long wooden or small spool tables. Tall back wooden chairs or blanketed bales of hay, or upside down buckets topped with a big cushion are great seating options. For an added touch hire a guitarist or a banjo picker to liven up the scene.
  3. Décor
    The traditional fall palette never goes out of style think yummy tones of chocolate, spiced pumpkin and butternut squash. Burgundy, blackberry, and cream  also work nicely. For flowers, again keep it fresh using in season blooms such as sunflowers and mums. Pumpkins, mini gourds and acorns are fun. Accent the scene with candles housed in lanterns and jars.
  4. Food
    When it comes to  harvest season dishes– fresh is best. Select recipes that include in-season fruits and veggies such as pumpkin, butternut squash, and apple pie. Comfort foods such as chili, cornbread, creamy soups, apple pie and spiced pumpkin mini cupcakes are popular choices. Present food on a buffet created from a large board with wooden barrels to create the table base. Drape the tabletop wth burlap and fresh blooms for an even more festive feel.
  5. Beverage
    Hot cider is a must. Add in a few favorite wine selections, beer and soft drinks and you’re ready to go. Service iced drinks in a metal tub or pumpkin cooler and use mason jars for glassware.

 Now you’re all set! here are some great recipes to incorporate into your fall party menu.

Roasted Potato & Okra Salad


2 lb small potatoes such as fingerling, red, or yellow-fleshed
1 large bunch scallions, halved lengthwise and roughly chopped
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 lb small (2- to 3-inch) okra, heads removed
1 cup fresh corn (from 1 to 2 ears, I used a combo of frozen kernels plus 1 ear of corn)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

yum! yum!


Roast potatoes and okra:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Halve potatoes lengthwise and toss with scallion pieces, rosemary sprigs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread potato mixture in a large roasting pan and roast, stirring once, 20 minutes. Stir potatoes and add okra to pan, tossing to coat. Continue to roast until okra and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes more.

Cook corn while potatoes roast:
Cook corn in 1 quart of salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Make dressing and assemble salad:
Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, chopped rosemary, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until combined. Discard rosemary sprigs, then add hot potatoes and okra to dressing along with beans, corn, and salt to taste, tossing to combine. Serve hot or warm.

from via TheKitchenSink, who originally adapted from Gourmet.

The Best Mexican Cornbread You Will Ever Eat


Cup Margarine Melted
1 Cup White Sugar
 4 Large Eggs
1 15 Oz. Can Cream Style Corn
1 4 Oz. Can Green Chile Peppers Very Well Drained
1/2 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup All Purpose Plain Flour
1 Cup Yellow Corn Meal
 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt



Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and spray a 9inch times 13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl mix together all your ingredients together very well. Pour your mixed ingredients into the baking dish and bake for 1 hour until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean. Recipe courtesy of crazyhorseghost

For more Chili recipes than you can shake a stick at, click here.


 Photo credits:

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