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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

My Essentials for the Perfect Guest Suite

It's time to welcome friends and family for the holidays. I love having overnight guests so much that my secret dream is to own a Bed and Breakfast. Whenever I have overnight guests in my home, a lot of prep work goes into making them feel welcome and comfortable. I don't want them to just enjoy the sightseeing, and I certainly don't want them to feel like they're imposing. Vacation is often more exhausting than it is relaxing. I really try to make guests feel pampered, so they can get the most out of their stay. Here are some of my essential products for the perfect guest suite.

1. Something Luxurious - You don't have to splurge on 1000 thread count satin sheets to add some luxury to your guest bed. A simple faux fur throw or a few extra pillows go a long way to making your guests feel pampered and comfy.

2. Something Scented - You don't want to overload your guest room with harsh scents, but a simple scented candle can uplift the feel of a room. Go with something homey and seasonal to make them feel at home. An apple cinnamon or mulled cider candle is perfect for the holidays, though sometimes I go with a calming scent in vanilla or lavender.

3. Something Pretty - I love to put a vase of fresh flowers in my guest room. Everyone appreciates something pretty to look at. The holidays are a great time to display fresh greenery or poinsettias.

4. Something Practical - The one thing I include in the guest room / bathroom without fail is a set of travel-size toiletries. Guests often forget something. It's nice to have a spare toothbrush on hand. I also like to include items like a mini first aid kit, antibacterial hand gel they can use when we go on the Metro, and something for them to keep, like a nice set of travel lotion from Bath and Body works.

5. Something Local - I take a lot of pride in where I live and want guests to have the full local experience. I keep the guest room stocked with local travel guides and always include local treats in their welcome baskets, and we enjoy takeout from my favorite local restaurants.

6. Something Personalized - I like to interrogate (or FB stalk) my guests before they arrive so I can stock up on their favorite foods and tailor their experience to their interests.

7. Something to Read - A guest room wouldn't be complete without reading material. Include some books and magazines, especially if you don't have a TV in the room.

8. Something Yummy - This is part for function and in part to make them feel pampered. I like to add a water pitcher and a few snacks so they don't have to raid the kitchen late at night. (If I had a large guest bath, I'd even include a mini coffee/tea maker.) I also like to include something extra yummy, like boxed chocolates. It doesn't have to cost a lot. A few bucks can get a gourmet chocolate bar or 2-3 piece box at the market. I also like to serve at least two really nice meals. We tend to eat out a lot in between sightseeing, but since I love to cook, I try to make a few special meals on our lazy days, typically a nice brunch their first morning and a big dinner on their last night here.

9. Something Fancy - This also goes into making guests feel pampered. It's about creating an experience they aren't accustomed to at home. I usually achieve this with gourmet goodies and fancy bottled water.

10. Something to Say Thank You - I always include a thank you card in the guest room. It's a nice way to welcome guests and let them know I'm happy to see them, and most important, that I appreciate any sacrifices they may have made to get here. Overnight guests usually travel from a few states away. They take time out of their schedules and spend money to make it my way, often schlepping through multiple airports. It's very important to be aware of this and to let them know I'm thankful.

Products pictured above: Solid color bedding / Crate and Barrel glass pitcher / Illume scented candle / Home decor / Godiva® 2 Piece Holiday Party Gift Box / Rustic furniture / Body moisturizer / Sugar Paper Thanks Raspberry Card, $5.66 / PocketBac Sanitizing Hand Gel Anti-Bacterial

Shop the Guide 

B005T62YRC Illume 4.6 oz Boxed Glass Candle Mulled Wine
B00DHGI47A Fashion St. Faux Fur Leopard Throw Blanket, Ivory
B004S39HHW Bedside Water Carafe Set with Drinking Glass
B002LYLOIU Moonstruck Chocolate 6-Piece Milk and Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection
B00B3WPAEA "Fuschia" Boxed Thank You Notes

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  1. Looks like you've got everything covered!

  2. Man, guests at your house sure are lucky people!!! ;) You are the most amazing hostess I have ever met.

  3. Martha Stewart can't possibly live forever....


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