Long gone are the days when it was appropriate for me to throw on ruby red slippers, grab a pillowcase and show up at strangers’ homes asking for candy and baked goods. While the seasonal aisles filled with neatly lined rows of Reese’s, M&Ms, and Twizzlers used to fill me with excitement as I scanned the options of plastic and velcroed contraptions called costumes, I now can only ponder the calorie counts and grams of sugar. Haunted hayrides now fail to scare me and the idea of bobbing for apples in someone’s backyard only fills me with worries about saliva, washed-off makeup, and communicable diseases.

As an adult with no children, Halloween has become hard to celebrate outside of watching thriller movies and decades old horror flicks from the comfort of my apartment–Rosemary’s Baby anyone?

Don’t get me wrong. There were the college years of drinking games and walking miles around campus to various parties, taking in each costume idea and measuring its merits against your own.

There were also the less thought out party themes in terms of property damage and alcohol consumption – who ever thought up the “Edward Fortyhands” party?

That scared me.

There was even that one year my Dexter-obsessed roommate thought it would be a great idea to cover the apartment in saran wrap and fake liquid blood for what she remembers as one of the best nights of college and I look back on as the evening I lost my entire security deposit.

Obviously, my preferences for having a nice night have changed over the years, but the fact remains that I still love Halloween. And despite some bad past experiences, I insist on celebrating it every single year.

Listed below are a few of my favorite Halloween ideas for those of you who still love to dress up, guiltlessly eat a few dozen pieces of your favorite chocolate, and talk like Morticia or walk like Igor. Have fun with it.

1) Paint the Roses Red Party. I have been to a few really elaborate Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties for Halloween – one was even held as a brunch! Alice in Wonderland has always been a great inspiration for Halloween, but if you want to take it an extra step and make your choice a little darker, try a Queen of Hearts-inspired party! Bar None Drinks has a really great recipe for a Queen of Hearts Cocktail and Royal Steamline has a lot of great invite options.

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2) Let Them Eat Cake Masquerade. Marie Antoinette can arouse a range of thoughts from feminine lace and petit-fours to Steampunk inspired headpieces and Siouxsie Sioux. Host a masquerade party representative of your take and require guests to come in costume! Pour small flutes of pink champagne and make certain all is gilded in gold! Joosy Card Co. has an array of handmade masks and Marie Antoinette decorations to choose from and Baking Mad has a delicious recipe for gateau (cake!). Looking to add a twist? Ask everyone to bring a small cake and make this masquerade especially sweet.

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3) A Grimm Dinner. This idea is for all of you book-readers! As some of you know, many of the happily-ever-after fairytales we all know and love such as Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood were originally written by the Grimm Brothers and had a much darker side. Did you know that in the original rendition of Cinderella the evil stepsisters’ eyes were plucked out by birds (and the glass slippers caused terrible blisters if we’re being realistic). Host a formal potluck dinner and assign invitees characters from the tales with the expectation that they will bring a themed dinner item to match to their characters (Make sure that the lucky couple assigned Hansel and Gretel are bonafide bakers with an eye for candy!). Style Me Pretty has a grimmfully chic table setting to set the mood and model host Martha Stewart offers several themed cocktails for your guests.

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4) All Vamped Up and Out. Is it just me or is there an abundance of absolutely gorgeous women starring in our favorite Halloween movies? Elvira? Morticia? Even Angelina Jolie as Maleficent and Charlize Theron in Snow White and The Huntsman (technically not Halloween movies!). Have a few of your girlfriends and get dressed up together as your favorite Halloween sirens (And forget that terrible quote from Mean Girls about dressing provocatively on Halloween. Wear what you like and feel great about it. Halloween is no night to tear down fellow women in an attempt to feel better about yourself. Be proud and happy for others’ confidence and comfort in their own skin!). After making a few of these cocktails suggested by Cosmopolitan, head to your favorite bar or nightspot!

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5) P is for Poe and Pinot Noir. Who doesn’t love an excuse to eat cheese and try different wines? The tolling of the bells is upon you, so create an elaborate set-up of cheeses, fruits, and bread and have your friends BYOB a bottle of wine each. Set the candles low, place a Raven in the window, and let the party begin. Honestly Yum offers tip on putting together the perfect cheese platter. For the more Poe-etically-inclined, have a few readings.

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Happy Halloween. Now head to Pinterest to iron out the details!