Favorite Things: How to Host a Murder Mystery Party

I thought about skipping over this post on the blog but I feel like having one of these parties is too fun not to share and seriously, I can’t recommend throwing one enough. If you’re more into the outfit game, I’ll be back to that tomorrow – promise.

I love a good costume party. Nothing like dressing up in something fun on a random Saturday. Also everything is funnier in a costume.

My friends and I had been wanting to throw a Murder Mystery Party for FOREVER so this past weekend we finally bit the bullet and put one together. Granted it was a little last minute but it was crazy fun and a good learning experience for when we, inevitably, want to have one again.

I had never thrown, or gone to for that matter, a Murder Mystery Party but as a long time lover of both the game and movie Clue – I figured it would be a lot of fun. Luckily my pals were on board and after a little internet searching (what did we do before the Googler), I found a kit that we all agreed to. The crazy fun/good thing about these is you can find a “murder” for almost any party theme. There’s 80′s, Old West, Luau, Toga, Prom, I could go on.

Initially we thought we might have more people, so I bought a party kit for a larger group that was Dallas (the tv show, not the city) themed. We all loved the theme but when we didn’t have the right amount of people, I bought this one instead. The Murder of Millionaire theme still fit with our over-the top 80′s Oil Baron/Cattle Rancher theme so it worked out perfectly. I think we also clearly have a bit of a Dynasty vibe going too.

If you’re thinking about throwing one (I HIGHLY recommend it), I’ve included some tips after the pics (sorry for the pic quality – it was hard to focus on taking pictures with all the ridiculousness).

Oh and if you’re in Louisville, there’s only one place to get a seriously bad-ass costume – The Nitty Gritty.

Here’s my quick tips/instructions after planning:

* Require Costumes. Seriously, it’s no fun if you’re the random person dressed in regular jeans and a t-shirt when everyone else is decked out.

* Pick a Host who can Keep a Secret. In some kits, the host knows the entire story so you’ll want someone who’s hair is big enough to hold all the secrets. In others (like the one we did), the host can assume a role and play along.

* Get everyone their roles in advance. I wish I had delivered the identities a little sooner to all the players but getting the characters out early helped everyone pick out a great costume and prepare for their role.

* Make sure everyone can come on time. You can’t roll in thirty or 45 minutes late or you’ll miss a huge chunk of the party and make it a pain for everyone else playing.

* Have Name Tags at the Party. Even if you only are playing with eight people, you’ll forget people’s character names. Name Tags are key.

* Encourage everyone to stay in character until the end. This is big time. It’s way more entertaining and hilarious is everyone stays in their character the whole night. Give awards at the end of the night to whoever played their part the best.

* Serve Drinks. Often and Early. No but really, after a drink or two everyone got WAY more into their parts.

Throw your own: Murder of a Millionaire Party Kit

Beauty: The {New} Basics

There have been a lot of welcome changes to get used to after {what felt like} an eternity of being pregnant. There’s the obvious one of not carrying around a growing human but for me, the biggest change has been rediscovering my skin.

BTB (before the babe) I had pretty decent skin – the occasional flare up but never anything too rough. But during pregnancy I struggle with serious acne and I’m not being dramatic here – it was ROUGH. My forehead had what looked like a giant rash and my chin/neck area broke out like I was back in 7th grade. The weirdest part was, pretty regularly, finding bumps hiding in my eyebrows. Yeah, shit got weird.

So you can imagine my focus on getting back to some semblance of normal ATB (after the babe). I started out with this kit to help clear things up. It was great but after a few weeks became a little harsh so I’ve switched into a pretty standard routine now that’s helping get my skin back in shape.

 

beauty basics

Nightly Needs: obiqo night cream and Eye Cream | Murad Acne Clearing Solution and Spot Treatment

I received a sample of the obiqo night cream and eye cream BTB but didn’t give them a try until I escaped from the hospital. I love that both creams are rich but not too heavy. My eyes also tend to be really sensitive to creams and products (I’m talking tearing up like I just watched The Notebook) but this one is sensitive enough to keep the waterworks at bay. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the mornings – waking up looking more refreshed with less dry, rough patches.

Before I slather on the obiqo cream though, I’ve been using the Murad Acne Clearing Solution and spot treatment to help clear up those lingering break outs. I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks but can already tell it’s helping with the persistent chin flare ups.

Daily Dose: Pixi Glow Tonic | Evian Mist | Boots No7 Lift & Luminate

When I wake up, I love starting off my morning with a mist of Evian. Mostly it’s a good wake up and it feels great before starting my morning routine. Then it’s on to my go-to’s: this Pixi Glow Tonic and Boots No 7 Day Cream (both from Target!).

I read about the glow tonic online and how people raved about it. I can attest that it’s pretty great. It doesn’t strip your skin the way some toners can but rather leaves it feeling fresh and clean. I’m not sure if it’s helped me “glow” but I definitely like that it gives me a clean slate before putting on makeup. The Boots Day Cream is another goodie and I love that it also doesn’t make my eyes water up but more importantly that it moisturizes without feeling tacky or heavy.

Weekly Wants: frank Body Scrub | Glam Glow Mud Mask

If I get a few minutes for a ‘treat yo self’ moment, I’m turning to one of these products.

I read about the frank body scrub from a couple bloggers I love so I decided to give it a try. It’s a little messy but it makes the shower feel like a day at the spa. The description promises that frank will  “target cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, varicose veins, eczema and acne with roasted and ground robusta coffee beans.” I can’t say I’ve noticed any specific changes on any of these fronts but it does leave my skin feeling smoother, more moisturized and it smells delicious.

And this Glam Glow Mud Mask is the deal. I used it once and almost immediately noticed results. It was the best ‘reset’ button I’ve used for my skin. In about 20 minutes it made a huge difference. It may be a little pricey but the bottle is big and allows for a bunch of uses. I haven’t had a chance to use it as much as I’d like but it made my skin feel younger, smoother and just awesome.

Favorite Things: Reese’s Room * Black & White and Pink All Over

Monday’s can be the worst but they are especially bad after a long weekend. We spent the weekend in New York for a friend’s AMAZING wedding (they got married with this view behind them). There also may or may not have been 4th of July themed jello shots at the end of the night which led to my dress needing an immediate trip to the dry cleaners and making my Sunday start a little later than we’d planned. I wish I’d taken more pictures at the wedding but I was having too much fun to break out the camera.

Anyways… a few weeks ago I shared a couple {amateur} shots of Reese’s room but today I’m pumped to show off a few that Whitney snapped during Reese’s newborn pics. My chair still hadn’t come in at that point so that didn’t make the cut but the rest of the room had come together (at the last minute, obviously) in time.

When I planned out her room, I knew I wanted to do something a little more modern but still fitting in with the character of our house. After countless hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration, I spotted these simple heart decals and it was settled. We went with a black and white focus but added the heart elements and a very subtle, pale pink color for the walls (I’d tell you the name but we took a pale pink and then had it diluted with white to get it perfect).

We used a mix of furniture we had already had (we spray painted Drew’s Pottery Barn crib black and I had the white armoire) and added a few special pieces (her chair and this West Elm dresser). When picking out the new items, I wanted to make sure they were pieces that could grow with her. I also had searched for a Moroccan pouf but couldn’t commit to the price tag until I saw this one at the Gilt sale (where I had to get aggressive in order to get my hands on it).

This definitely wasn’t something that came together in one fell swoop, I added black and white pieces throughout my pregnancy (often while wandering aimlessly through Target) and am still looking for little touches. All in all though, I’m really happy with how it turned out and love walking into the room for a quick escape since the rest of my house is, generally, a chaotic mess.

Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (13)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (10)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (9)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (8)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (5)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (4)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (11)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (2)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (12)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (6)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (3)Baby Room * Baby Girl Nursery * Modern Girl Nursery * West Elm * Target (1)Crib: Pottery Barn Baby | White Mid-Century Modern Dresser: West Elm | Changing Table Cover: Modfox
Love Prints: ShufflePrints | Light: Urban Outfitters | Black & White Tray: Pretty Smitten
Black Tassel Curtains: Serena & Lily | Curtain Rods: Pottery Barn TeenMoroccan Pouf: Lulu & Georgia via Gilt
Gray Library Cart: Land of Nod | Polka Dot Bins: Land of Nod | Heart Garland: Land of Nod
Mobile: Everly Lane Design | Mirror: Target  | Herringbone Blanket: Pottery Barn Baby
Aqua Paisley Stroller Blanket: Pottery Barn Baby
Heart Decals: Ferm Living

Images: Whitney Neal

 

 

 

 

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