Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Food Review: Trader Joe's Coconut Water Fruit Floes

At my last weekly shopping trip to my friendly neighborhood Trader Joe's, I was poking around the freezer section looking for some cold treats to keep me cool during SoCal's warm weather and I found these vegan Coconut Water Fruit Floes.

I am obsessed with anything coconutty, so I was super-stoked to find these! Plus, I have already tried (and love) Trader Joe's other fruit floes (my other favorites are their Mango Chili, which unfortunately I haven't seen in a while, as well as their Caribbean fruit floes), so I knew I was going to get a quality product no matter what.

As the box said coconut "water" floes, I was expecting a lightly flavored coconut popsicle, but in actuality the fruit floe packed a wallop of coconut flavor! The texture was surprisingly creamy, with small pieces of flavorful shredded coconut throughout. It was a satisfying treat on a warm afternoon and quite the perfect kick-off to summer!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beauty Review: Pacifica Perfumes for Summer

I wanted to find some nice summer scents for myself as it is starting to get warm here in SoCal and my usual scents aren't quite cutting it. I needed something light and fresh!

I'd never tried Pacifica's products, so I thought I would give them a try, especially since the company is cruelty-free, vegan and strives to use eco-conscious ingredients. They make a wide variety of beauty and home products besides perfume, including soy candles, reed diffusers, lip balm, body lotion, body wash, body scrub and more (can't wait to try all their other products!).

I found Pacifica's perfume at my local health food store, but they are also available on Amazon or on their site. I picked up three different scents to try in the roll-on size and they were only $10 a pop! The fragrances I choose were Tahitian Gardenia, Lotus Garden and Indian Coconut Nectar.

I love gardenia, so I knew right off the bat I would love Tahitian Gardenia. And, of course, I did! It has a strong, heady scent that envelopes you in gardenia blooms. Gardenias are said to be the blossoms of love, and with this scent it is easy to see why...I absolutely love it!

The Lotus Blossom perfume reminds me of violets dripping with early-morning dew. It is a unique and sexy scent that I love wearing out in the evenings. According to the Pacifica site, the fragrance is "perfumed with green notes, citrus, lotus and olibanum....The lotus, said to always be looking for its place in the sun, is a symbol of strength, unyielding passion, spiritual enlightenment and unconditional love."

I love, love, love Tahitian Gardenia and Lotus Blossom, but my absolute favorite of the three has to be Indian Coconut Nectar. This perfume smells like a summer's day to me, with full-bodied coconut and hints of vanilla. It is a deliciously sensual and playful scent! I will definitely be wearing this all summer.

I adore all three of these Pacifica perfumes and I cannot wait to try more of their scents, along with their other products! I highly recommend Pacifica's perfumes and with their many selections there is no doubt you will find a fragrance that is perfect for you.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Horror Birthday Trifecta - Happy Birthday to Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee

The birthday boys! Lee, Cushing and Price

This weekend sees the birth dates of three important figures in horror, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee! It's a horror birthday trifecta!

If you are a horror fan like me, no doubt these three actors have had a profound effect on you.

My first recollection of Vincent Price (May 27th, 1911-October 25, 1993) was seeing him in House on Haunted Hill and just being completely enamored of him! And who can forget his last, heartbreaking performance in Edward Scissorhands? Le sigh. Vincent Price is a personal favorite of mine, so I pretty much adore any film he is in, but some of my favorites include The Masque of the Red Death, The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Theatre of Blood.

Peter Cushing (May 26th, 1913-August 11th, 1994) is another huge name in classic horror and starred in many films over his career. My favorite film of his is The Hound of the Baskervilles, in which he starred as Sherlock Holmes with his best friend, Christopher Lee. I love how the two were best is really cute and heartwarming! They ended up starring in many films together (including 1958's Dracula aka Horror of Dracula). Peter Cushing was also the patron of the UK's Vegetarian Society up until his death. 

Christopher Lee (born May 27th, 1922) continues to make films (the latest being Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and he will also reprise his role as Saruman in The Hobbit) and holds the Guinness World Record for most film acting roles ever (275 at last count according to Wikipedia). I dig him as Dracula in the Hammer films, but I especially love him as a heretic priest in To the Devil a Daughter as well as in The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring alongside Peter Cushing.

Join me in wishing these three icons of horror a very spooky birthday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's Kind of a Big Deal...

I bought my own domain name and I'm so excited!

Woot woot!! I kinda feel like a big deal now (or maybe a big dill...)! Tee hee!

Please update your bookmarks, links, etc. to

And join me in doing a happy dance!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tonight's Viewing: Vampyr (1932)

Today is apparently World Goth Day, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to watch the spooky and nightmarish Criterion Collection restoration of Carl Dreyer's Vampyr from 1932.

The film uses shadows, eerie images and camera/editing tricks (very inventive for their time and still extremely effective today) to create visual dissonance and a strong uneasiness in the viewer. Tonight was my first viewing of the film (it has been on my must-see list for a long, long time!) and just within the first few minutes I was completely enthralled by its strange and sinister beauty.

Vampyr is often listed as one of the scariest/best horror films ever made, though in my opinion it is underrated and unfortunately overshadowed by other other surreal horror films of that era. It shouldn't be missed, though, especially fans of bizarre and artistic horror films.

Buy it on Amazon!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Vegan Beauty Routine - Evening

In my last post I talked about my morning vegan beauty routine, but I wanted to devote a separate post to my nighttime vegan beauty routine since it involves a whole different set of vegan products. In the evenings, my routine is all about winding down rather than my "get-up-and-go-go-go" morning routine. My evening beauty routine means relaxation and indulgence! And we all know how much I love relaxation!

Like my previous post mentioned, to the best of my knowledge the products discussed below are vegan. However, I do make mistakes! Also, companies sometimes change their ingredients or ingredients may differ from country to country, so just be safe and double-check an item is 100% vegan before purchasing.

And now, onto my vegan beauty routine for evenings! Links will lead you to where you can get more information on or purchase each specific product.

After work or at the end of each night I remove my makeup with Yes to Carrots Makeup Remover and wash my face with Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Deep Pore Scrub. If it is especially late or I'm just feeling lazy I'll use Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Towelettes. If I'm hopping in the shower, I'll just use some Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil Soap on my face in the shower.

I shower at night (I just never have enough time in the morning) and I love using any of Lush's yummy-smelling shower gels. Personal favorites include Grass, Tramp and Olive Branch. I loved their Ghost shower gel, but it looks like they discontinued it. Boo. I also use Jason Satin Body Wash in Tea Tree that smells so refreshing and relaxing! Mister Spooky uses that body wash, too, along with the Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil Soap mentioned above.

For shaving, I use a Preserve razor that is made from recycled yogurt cups and uses vegan razors (unfortunately, the lubricating strips on regular razors contain animal products and aren't vegan...I've been vegan for years and only recently learned of this!) and Alba Shave Foam in Mango Vanilla

My go-to shampoo and conditioner combo is Pureology's Hydrate (SEE NOTE ON PUREOLOGY BELOW), but I also like using Giovanni Smooth as Silk shampoo and conditioner or Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose shampoo and conditioner. I did try going the natural route and using no shampoo (check out my no-shampoo challenge post), but unfortunately my hair didn't agree with the whole process so I went back to using vegan shampoos. (UPDATE: I have since learned that L'Oreal owns Pureology. Since L'Oreal  does animal testing, I will no longer buy Pureology products.)

I don't shower every day, so sometimes I'll sprinkle a bit of Lush's No-Drought dry shampoo into my hair at night if it is looking a bit greasy. It soaks up any stray grease spots and leaves my hair smelling clean again!

I moisturize my body with Booda Butter or Kiss My Face Peaches and Creme Ultra Moisturizer. If I need a little extra pampering, I use Lush's massage bars. I love their Friends with Benefits bar since it smells like chocolate with a hint of marigolds (reminds me of Dia de Los Muertos)!

For my hair, I hardly ever use any styling products, but sometimes when it is feeling extra frizzy or dry I will comb Lush's R&B product through it while it is still damp from showering. The R&B smells amazing (think buckets of jasmine) and really helps with moisturizing my coarse and frizzy hair.

Since my hair is so unruly, I have to straighten it after showering. I spritz it with Pureology Colour Stylist Fortifying Heat Spray Protective Primer (per note above, I will no longer use Pureology products) for heat protection prior to blow-drying and straightening. Whenever possible, I let my hair air-dry, but usually I am short on time so I have to blow-dry. Once my hair is dry, I then run a straightening iron through it. My go-to iron that I've been using for years is the Hai Classic Convertible Ceramic Flat Iron.

Before bed I brush my teeth with Trader Joe's Peppermint Toothpaste and floss with Eco-Dent's vegan floss. My final step before bed is applying moisturizer. Around my eyes I use Derma-E's eye cream and on my face I use Derma-E's age-defying moisturizing complex.

Ahhhhhh...then all pampered and relaxed I hop into bed and start the cycle over the next morning!

What is your nightly routine like? What are your favorite vegan beauty products?

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Vegan Beauty Routine - Morning

Hiya fiends! I've gotten several requests to share my beauty routine and what vegan products I use for skin, hair and body so I thought I would devote a few posts to the subject. For this first post I'll be sharing my morning routine with you. I'm a get-up-and-go kinda gal, so it usually only takes me about 20 minutes to get ready in the AM...I think my routine is pretty simple. Below you'll find my daily morning routine and all the vegan beauty products I generally use.

A word of caution: Though all the products listed below are vegan (to the best of my knowledge), you should always double-check that a product is vegan before buying. Companies change their ingredients frequently and products in other countries may contain different ingredients, so don't just take my word for it that something is vegan - always verify it yourself prior to purchasing! 

And now, onto my favorite vegan beauty products that I use on a daily basis! Links will lead you where you can purchase each product. 

My day starts with a thorough brushing with Trader Joe's Peppermint Toothpaste. I've also tried Lush's Toothy Tabs and use them from time to time. They are little tablets that you break apart in your mouth to turn into sudsy toothpaste. They have some really cool flavors (rose-flavored, anyone?), but I prefer the traditional Dirty Toothy Tabs that taste like spearmint.

Next, my face gets a good scrubbing from Lush's Coalface, which absorbs excess oil and exfoliates, while rosewood and sandalwood oils reduce redness. For toner, I use Humphreys Witch Hazel Astringent, which gets rid of any extra grime on my face (and is great for waking me up)!

For a day-time moisturizer, I use Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 (SEE UPDATE ON THIS PRODUCT BELOW). This stuff is absolutely amazing and it is the only product I've found that helps control my oily skin all day long! Not only does it do an excellent job of controlling oil, but it also helps clear impurities, reduce breakouts and protects skin with SPF 15. The price is a bit much (I usually pay around $30 for it), but it lasts me about 4 months and the positive impact it makes on my skin makes it sooooo worth the price tag! (UPDATE: Ack! I just found out that this stuff IS NOT contains chitosan, which is made from the exoskeleton of crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp.)

As for makeup, it's pretty simple and not over the top most days. For my eyes I use Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion and Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion (SEE UPDATE ON URBAN DECAY BELOW) and Ecco Bella Black Mascara. UD's Perversion is the blackest carbon black that I've ever had the pleasure of wearing and its thick, inky black is perfect for goths and goths-at-heart! I also love Ecco Bella's goes on so smoothly and thickly. I am also obsessed with Urban Decay's colorful palette of vegan eyeshadows (not all their shadows are vegan, but look for the "Marley Approved" paw print that signifies that a product is vegan on their site!) and own a ton of them. For work, I like to wear a shimmery nude, like Half Baked, but for weekends or going out I love more dramatic shades like the vibrant Graffiti! (UPDATE: Urban Decay has been acquired by L'Oreal, one of the biggest animal testing companies. Though UD claims they will stay cruelty-free, they will still be owned by a parent company that commits atrocious animal testing. Therefore, I will no longer purchase or condone the use of Urban Decay Cosmetics.)

For foundation I use Ecco Bella Liquid Foundation in Ivory Porcelain. In the past I've used Lush's Color Supplement in Light Pink as well. I like both and they both provide ample coverage, but I give Ecco Bella the edge as their squeeze bottle is easier to use than the glass pot Lush's foundation comes in. To finish everything off I set my makeup with Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder (SEE UPDATE ON THIS PRODUCT BELOW). This powder gives my skin a soft, velvety feel and works wonders with the Murad moisturizer to control oil. Again, it is a bit pricey (around $30), but it really gives my skin a flawless finish that lasts me 12+ hours. Plus, a pot of it generally lasts me several months, so for me it is definitely worth the price! (UPDATE: MakeUpForever now sells in China, which requires animal testing and therefore means they are no longer a cruelty-free company in my eyes. I will no longer be purchasing their products.)

I don't use much on my lips, just a bit of lip balm for shine. I love Crazy Rumors' (especially their "Perk" line, but pretty much all of their flavors are dynamite!) and Booda Butter's lip balms. My lips definitely couldn't live without them!

For deodorant I generally use Nature de France's Le Stick Deodorant in Green Gardenia. It leaves me feeling fresh all day long! Whenever I need an extra boost of protection I use Herban Cowboy Deodorant in Dusk. I know this is geared toward dudes, but I just love the smell of it! Both of these deodorants are natural, free of aluminum and contain little or no harsh chemicals.

Before heading out the door I spritz myself with some vegan perfume or essential oils. I use Lush's Tuca Tuca (violet and vanilla), Lust (jasmine) or Auric Blends Essential Oils in Moonlight (soft oriental) or Aphrodesia (rose and sandlewood). I also love Pacifica's perfumes (which I reviewed here!).

Stay tuned for next time, when I talk about my evening beauty routine!

What is your morning routine like? What kind of vegan beauty products do you use?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all the mom's out there an extra special Mother's Day! 

I'd like to thank my own amazing mom for always having my back, always being encouraging and loving, taking the time to listen, putting family first, encouraging me to be myself and teaching me that whatever boys did girls could do better!

And I know that if needed, Mom, you would totally avenge my death by hacking apart camp counselors on Friday the 13th!

Mom, you are a true inspiration and I love you!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tonight's Viewing: The Comedy of Terrors (1964)

Rather than waiting for new clients to show up naturally, an undertaker (Vincent Price) and his assistant (Peter Lorre) attract new business by killing rich people in their sleep.

I love this cute American International Pictures horror comedy! Time to cuddle up on the couch with Mister Havoc (my kitty), grab some popcorn and enjoy the slapstick between Price, Lorre and a few other familiar faces.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Funday: Favorite Photos of the Week - All Hallow's Eve Edition

Hiya boils and ghouls! I realize I haven't done a Sunday Funday post since last year (!!!), so I wanted to treat you guys to some fun photos that have caught my eye on Tumblr, Pinterest and the interwebs this week!

I have been missing the Halloween season something fierce this week, so the theme for the photos for this Sunday Funday is All Hallow's Eve.


Lament by Shawna X [source]

 ::deep breaths::

 From Shawna X's "Spooky Scaries" segment [source]


Trick r Treat by Mandy Lynne [source]

Witch and cat silhouettes [source]

Cuteness! [source]

I Like it Spooky by Chad Savage [source]

Disclaimer: I do not claim ownership of any of the photos above unless otherwise noted.
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