Pumpkin Spice and Everything Spiders
…or was it Bats?
For us, October has always held the promise of sweater weather, hearty homemade soups, a little spook in the air and some Halloween fun. Though we’ve only experienced a couple of days thus far that would actually warrant a sweater – when it comes to Fall Feels – we suffer no lack thereof! Our days may be toasty, but our nights are cooling to crisp, Fall-ish mornings…dewy, fresh and just a touch of chill. With subtle hints of the season and a few spooky details, we are cozily cloaking ourselves in all things Autumn.
This year’s top All Hallow’s decor trend? Bats. No question. You’ll find them lining every alcove, strewn across entryways and flying above each and every fireplace. Bats are the quintessential fixture of Halloween this time round. This year I tried to class it up a little bit, sticking to a simpler, more neutral theme with lots of black and white. The players? Velvety Spiders, skeletons, a couple of strategically placed candles and, of course –
They’re a must!
With Hudson’s perpetually “sticky” toddler fingers in mind I strategically assembled a spook-ish scene above our mantel and just left of our big screen. Re-purposing decorations is one of my ultimate tips for tackling Fall decor; you can get such great mileage by just rearranging the classics and adding in a few new finds. Invest in pieces with longevity that you can reintroduce every season – this way, you’ll get a quick refresh and a fun new narrative. I like to purchase just one or two things each Fall, focusing on pieces that are simple, classic and elegant.
About now, you’re probably asking yourself “Just what about a skeleton might be considered elegant?” but this is truly a perfect example.
Allow me to enlighten you.
The skeleton is timeless (both figuratively and literally). Bones, by nature, are typically white (or at least neutral colors). They “personify” the space – adding a little beauty or humor. With soft curvatures, intricacies and artistry, bones are delicate…detailed. Simple, yet striking. Skeletons perfectly connote the spirit of the Holiday without being too flashy.
I have 5.
A life-sized skeleton was actually at the top of my “new finds” decor list this year, but at a slightly steep $40 a pop, Steve Bones will have to wait until next year. Instead I opted to keep it simple, purchasing only a “woods & smoke” scented candle from Target’s Project 62 line and a jet-black faux succulent from their dollar section.
If you, too, are looking to keep things simple and timeless, try incorporating dried blooms or foliage – they are having a major moment and I love that you don’t have to throw them out! Mix in some dried wheat, Fall foliage or stalks of pampas grass to keep things affordable, re-usable and on-trend with the spirit of the season.
Another way our family loves to get into the spirit of the season is with film – it’s tradition! Every year we make a list of (not too) spooky flicks to watch each night leading up to the 31st. This fun shake up is something that we look forward to (not to mention an excuse to cuddle up on the couch) and I love that each year it’s a little different – our choices tend to reflect our current desires for escape. This year’s list feels like a solid mix of “newer” scary fun counterbalanced with a healthy hit of nostalgia.
At second glance, I think nostalgia won out.
Halloween Watchlist, 2019
1. Ghostbusters, 1984
I once stated in an upper division film class at UCLA that Ghostbusters was my favorite movie. Upon registering the 10 dropped jaws, looks of bewilderment and disgust, I quickly corrected with a “…well, Ghostbusters and Fellini’s 8 1/2…”. This movie premiered the year I was born, so clearly I missed it in theaters, but in celebration of it’s 35th Anniversary they re-released it to theaters this Fall. Ryan and I made it a point to get tickets – he knew it had always been a favorite of mine. Full disclosure, I was a little bit worried that we were going to find ourselves chuckling alone, inside an empty theater, feeling like we may have overestimated its ability to hold up.
After thoroughly enjoying every single minute of this theatrical experience – I fully stand by my original proclamation.
It’s classic, clever, a little bit kitch and so so fun.
2. Arachnophobia, 1990
I just love the setting of this film; it feels like a little piece of California Wine Country, just outside of the Big City grind. The family’s adjustment to slow-living “small town life” perfectly mirrors the real life slow down we crave coming into Autumn. This is, of course, totally shattered as the town faces the threat of deadly spiders. And let’s not forget about the brilliance of John Goodman.
3. Scream 2, 1997
I vividly remember dressing up, fully committed to go out with friends and completely freak myself out watching Scream 2 in the theater. We would meet up at The Grove, hang out in the foyer like it was our high school quad, pile into the theater in hoards and watch maybe 60% of the movie. The other 40% was spent trying find ways to talk to the boys we liked.
Scream 2 is chock full of 90’s nostalgia. It pokes fun at the horror cliches, but pays homage with classic references and plenty of good old teen drama.
4. Halloween, 1978
The quintessential. So classic. So scary. Some very artistic shots…undeniably great score.
5. Stranger Things, Season 1
Nostalgic and new all at once, Stranger Things has already solidified it’s status as “cult classic”. With endearing characters and an adventurous storyline, binge watching Season 1 is stellar way to celebrate the spirit of the season.
6. Black Swan, 2010
Dark and a little twisted, this peek inside the mind of a dancer about to take on her first lead role gives us a taste of how ruthless the profession can be. With each twist, turn and twirl, we find ourselves questioning what is for the audience, and what is real.
7. The Cabin In the Woods, 2011
Twisty, turny and full of surprises! Whedon cleverly deconstructs the genre and offers a fresh perspective with The Cabin In The Woods. It tests boundaries, frequently asking the audience to question, problem solve and basically, to keep up.
8. What We Do in the Shadows, 2014
Ryan basically begs to watch this every year, and if I’m being honest, it’s absolutely hilarious. I fall more in love with it each time we watch it. If you appreciate this kind of humor, this parody is such a smart, silly and not-so-scary addition to your 2019 watchlist.
9. Us, 2019
This is Jordan Peele’s second directorial venture and what I love about his films is that they all have a deeper message – usually one that is totally applicable to our modern lives. He pays homage to the genre but also puts his own spin on it. His films have this sense of artistry, and Us is no exception – set against the gorgeous backdrop of Santa Cruz, California. With the bold and bright colors of the Boardwalk, the dark, eerie mountains and the endless black ocean, this film gives us a look at what could happen to “us” if we’re not careful…
10. Hocus Pocus, 1993
Halloween in a nutshell. Enough said.