Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Mondays with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  Truth be told, I don’t love Halloween… The kitsch, the sea of processed miniature candy, the entire week of over-served adults screaming in the streets… I could do without all of it. That said, it would be very unlike me to completely ignore a holiday. Lending one of my signature decor motifs to Halloween is the perfect solution. Rather than carving pumpkins with year, I’m carving pineapples. Here is a step-by-step video for how to make your own. For extra flare, I’m going to wrap the base of the fruit in aluminum foil pre-carve and spray paint the leaves rose gold. The simple update has this Halloween Grinch feeling excited about the occasion for the first time in ages.

II.  And if I’m going to carve pineapples, I suppose I should also find a costume. Inspired by Kate Moss and her iconic 2013 Playboy spread (particularly timely given that the magazine is going through some sort of bizarre identity crisis) I’m going as a masked bunny. The outfit is fairly simple - in lieu of a corset, I’m planning to wear a black vintage 90′s Dolce & Gabanna bustier dress. The mask/ears combo was slightly more difficult to find. To change things up a bit, rather than Kate’s pink and black bunny ears, I found a cheeky lace version in headband form. For the mask, I’m sticking with black lace (if you want the costume to be a more permanent addition to your collection, opt for a higher quality handmade mask). Can’t wait to see what all of you chic creative geniuses come up with! 

III.  As the weather slowly turns from summer to autumn, my cravings for pasta begin to increase until it’s finally winter and I find myself staring longingly at the Italian restaurants on Postmates nearly every day. Luckily, pasta dishes don’t always have to be absurdly carb-loaded. By swapping thickly rolled pasta dough with micro-thin wonton wrappers, ravioli become both more healthy and more simple to make. For filling, I mix together pumpkin puree, goat cheese, and shallots, which turns into a delicious savory/sweet combination. You can pair several sauces with these ravioli, but to keep it simple I made a quick sage sauce, with fresh sage, lemon, and butter. Though these Pumpkin Ravioli in Brown Butter Sage look intimidating, they are anything but. Make them tonight, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

IV.  Fall cocktails are my favorite because everything is served warm and spiced to perfection. You can keep it traditional with mulled wine (simmer two bottles of red wine, ½ cup sugar, and 2 tbsp mulling spices for twenty minutes), or concoct something more special like these Autumn Apple Brandy Ciders. Ingredients: 1 gallon apple cider, 2 cups Calvados Apple Brandy, 2 tbsp mulling spices, and 2 strips of orange peel. Instructions: simmer the cider, mulling spices, and orange peel for fifteen minutes, remove spices with a slotted spoon, stir in brandy, and serve. To make your guests feel extra special, garnish with apple chips and a dash of cinnamon.

V.  Cocktail reception decor at weddings is typically an afterthought. The design star of the evening is always the dinner, which means that the majority of cocktail tables have a basic linen tied with a ribbon halfway down the leg (if you’re lucky). Tired of seeing the same sad setup over and over again this season, I’ve started brainstorming ways to make cocktail hour feel a little more unique for the next round of weddings. I’m smitten with the idea of placing lighting underneath hightop tables. You can replicate this look using any kind of cloth, but the petals pictured above add a gorgeous layer of texture (purchase here, rent here). If you’re working with a lighting company, they will likely have a similar option, but if not you can purchase the special LED lights from a craft store like this one.

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt