Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Watch Now on Netflix: The Sisterhood of Night

I usually recommend horror movies in my Watch Now on Netflix series, but I just saw a film so powerful that I wanted to share it with you. So, full disclosure, this is not horror, but I still think this is worth a viewing.

The Sisterhood of Night is about a group of high school girls in a small town that eschew all forms of social media, create their own secret clique, and hold mysterious meetings in the woods at night. They have taken a vow of silence and promised to never speak their secrets to those outside their circle. One girl who is denied entrance to the group takes revenge by spreading wild rumors via her blog about blood sacrifice, sex rituals, and Satanic worship. This fans the flames of suspicion and distrust throughout the town, and soon The Sisterhood is embroiled in a modern-day witch hunt.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beauty Review: Tulip Perfumes in Neroli Wood, Redwood Forest, and Oakmoss Lily Blossom Scents

I absolutely adore Tulip, an independent, woman-owned perfumery from the Northern California coast that makes some of the loveliest scents! I don't see them much in stores down here in SoCal, but when I went up north last month I actually found their scents were carried in one of my favorite shops in Ferndale - the Golden Gait Mercantile (if you are ever up that way, do stop in - it is the most charming old-timey shop with tons of neat stuff!!). I couldn't resist picking up two scents - Neroli Wood eau de parfum from their Classic Collection and Redwood Forest oil from their Charmed Collection.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vegan Faire 2015 Report

Vegan Faire 2015!

This past Saturday I attended the second annual Orange County Vegan Faire, hosted by Healthy Junk and held on Anaheim's Center Street Promenade. It was my first year attending, and I braved the 90 degree temps for vegan food, vegan friends, and vegan vendors! I was so stoked to have a vegan festival just 20 minutes from my house in Orange County - I'm so happy OC has a veg fest so I don't have to drive all the way up to LA. Even better, a lot of vegan friends came out to the event so I was able to get my grub on with some rad vegan peeps! 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Halloween 2015 at Grandin Road

Grandin Road has finally revealed their 2015 Halloween collection online! You know, I've never bought anything directly from Grandin Road since they tend to be kinda pricey (and perhaps dishonest, more on that below), but I do have a few plates, serving dishes and various tableware from them that I managed to find online or used that are good quality.

However, something to keep in mind is that Grandin Road has a tarnished reputation in the Halloween haunt and artist community. It has been alleged that they steal designs based on other artists' work, replicate it, and call it their own. I've seen a few shocking examples of this (here is one), and its so disheartening when a big company pulls this kind of unacceptable behavior. No one will ever know for sure if they stole the designs outright or it was just an unhappy coincidence, but the similarities are a little too close for comfort. I mention this since it is something you might want to consider before forking over your money to them.

That said, they do have some nice things, and I'm especially covetous of the following:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Watch Now on Netflix: Extraterrestrial

Alien movies are generally so hokey I normally don't watch them, but I decided to give Extraterrestrial a go as it was directed/written by the Vicious Brothers, who made the awesome Grave Encounters. When alien movies are done right they can be incredibly effective and entertaining, and I was pleased to find that Extraterrestrial fell into that category.

Synopsis: A group of college kids go to a cabin in the woods, see something crash-land out of the sky and go investigate. They are blown away when they find a downed UFO in the woods...but their wonder turns to fear when they notice alien footprints leading away from the crash site. When they return to the cabin they are forced to defend themselves, but end up pissing off the aliens even more, with wider, unforeseen consequences they may never have considered.

I like how this started with the typical "kids go into the woods, kids get dead" premise, but then turned that on its head once the aliens showed up. Though at the beginning some of the characters are annoying, you actually start rooting for them once the aliens start terrorizing them. We even get to see Michael Ironside play a nutty Vietnam vet with a pot farm who helps blow some aliens to smithereens, and who wouldn't have fun seeing that?! I also appreciated that this is an alien movie where you actually SEE the aliens! And when you do see them, boy, is it effective! And then there is the surprisingly downbeat ending, complete with a nice wink to The X-Files' Smoking Man!

I had a lot of fun watching Extraterrestrial, which was quite entertaining! You can watch it now on Netflix or purchase it on Amazon!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Only 100 Days 'til Halloween!

Whoa, this summer is going by so fast (thank the Great Pumpkin!)...did you know there are only 100 days until Halloween?! It may be all kinds of gross, hot, sunshiny summer weather, but that is definitely not going to stop me from celebrating what will soon be my favorite time of year, when everything turns orange and black, I can visit pumpkin patches, I can eat all sorts of pumpkin-flavored noms, and all things scary are revered!

My house is decorated year-round with Halloween goodness, but I still can't wait for MORE spooky vibes once the autumn season arrives! I've already begun watching Halloween movies (I had a Halloweentown marathon last weekend), stalking stores for Halloween goodies, putting out more decorations, burning autumn-scented candles and essential oils, and eagerly awaiting announcements for Halloween haunts, pumpkin patches, and other Halloween events!

We've only got 100 days to celebrate the BEST time of year, so I say start now! Of course, I'll be sharing all my fiendish Halloween finds with you, so look for lots of Halloweenie posts coming soon (I've already posted a few - check 'em out!)! Brace yourselves, Halloween is coming (yayyyyy - I'm going to barely be able to contain myself!)!!

Stay spooky, fiends!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Anaheim Hosts Second Annual OC Vegan Faire

The second annual Orange County Vegan Faire will be held again at Anaheim's Center Street Promenade this Saturday, July 25th, 2015!

Featuring music, food, dancing, workshops, and more, the street festival will be open from noon to 7PM (entry is FREE!), and showcases the full spectrum of healthy lifestyle goods and services. Booths and workshops will feature food, libations, the environment, creations by local artisans, and wellness exhibits.

Some of the vendors who will have booths there include: Vegan Pizza (I hope they bring some of their corn dogs!), Follow Your Heart (makers of your fave vegan dressings, cheeses, etc.), Life is Sweet Bakeshop (delish cinnamon buns and MORE!), BeetxBeet (adorable clothing company), Plant Food for People (tacos!!), and so many more!! I am most excited about the food as well as some of the compassionate fashion/jewelry booths that are showing up! You can find a full list of vendors on their site!

For more information, visit!

Monday, July 20, 2015

What I Ate: June Junk Food Edition

I meant to post this at the beginning of July, but this month has just flown by! Is it just me or is this summer going by super-fast?! Not that I'm complaining, mind you; summer can suck it and autumn can't come soon enough! Anyways, I can't let these vegan junk food pics go to waste (though you will recognize some if you follow me on Instagram), so I'm sharing the yummy noms I ate in June below:

 This is Amy's Vegan Margherita Pizza topped with avocado slices and sriracha.
I already love the pizza on its own, but the addition of the avocado and sriracha 
just sky-rocketed its flavor!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Halloween 2015 at Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn has released their Halloween 2015 collection online, and, like previous years, I am swooning over their items! I probably won't be able to afford anything, but I can still admire some of their lovely Halloween offerings. I'm sharing some of my favorites below:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Watch Now on Netflix: Dark Summer

I have been looking forward to Paul Solet's Dark Summer for quite some time, so I was ecstatic to find it streaming on Netflix!

The film follows Daniel (Keir Gilchrist of It Follows) as he is placed on house arrest by his quietly menacing parole officer (played by the always perfect Peter Stormare) for hacking into a classmate's online accounts. He is not allowed to use any electronics that connect to the internet or log into any social media or online accounts or leave his house per the terms of his house arrest. The claustrophobic atmosphere is set from the opening scenes of Daniel's lock-down, and we feel just as trapped as he is. He also isn't allowed to have friends over, but his two best friends Abby (Stella Maeve) and Kevin (Maestro Harrell) sneak in anyway (not hard, since Daniel's parents are away on business) and bring him an old iPad he can use to get online. They also reveal that Daniel was obsessed with the classmate whose accounts he hacked - Mona Wilson (played by Grace Phipps). This obsession spilled over into hacking into every one of her online accounts, with the exception of one, which Daniel still seems obsessed with cracking. When he receives a Skype invite from Mona on his pilfered iPad, Daniel is conflicted but can't help accepting anyway. The exchange that follows sets the tone for Daniel being haunted the remainder of the film.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Product Review: Wills London Vegan Shoes

When Wills London contacted me to review their vegan shoes, I jumped at the chance! They have a wide variety of stylish shoes for both men and women, including boots, sandals, sneakers, work shoes, heels, and more. Not only are their shoes incredibly sleek and sophisticated, but they are also ethically produced - that means the people that make the shoes are paid fair wages and the shoes themselves are vegan, so no animals were harmed making them.

The founder of Wills, Will Green, stated that he "...started Wills with a passion to provide animal and human friendly shoes with high-street styles and prices." His goal with Will is to "...bridge the gap between everyday people and ethically produced vegan shoes. Wills is about getting the latest fashions out there at fair prices, while not hurting animals or people in the process. No matter who you are or where you’re going in life, Wills are there for when you want to make a positive choice."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Restaurant Review: Vegan Nirvana in Huntington Beach, CA

Jackfruit Limeade at Vegan Nirvana!

Over the weekend I finally got around to checking out Vegan Nirvana, a new vegan restaurant in Huntington Beach. Ok, new-ish vegan restaurant since they've probably been open for about 6 months! Even though it's only 20 minutes away from my house, for one reason or another I just hadn't made it over to Vegan Nirvana, even though I was keen on checking it out due to its eclectic decor as well as the raves it kept getting from vegan friends. It's got a unique space-hippie vibe, with its decor featuring UFOs, aliens, chakra-Jesus and its menu items have very enlightened names that sound like they are named after yoga poses. All that only adds to its charm, though!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

First Halloween Items of 2015 Spotted at Michael's

Halloween goodies!

I stopped into Michael's last Friday to check if they had started stocking their shelves with Halloween items yet, and though it wasn't much, they did have a few things! I pretty much squeeeeeeeeeealed with delight when I saw they had some stuff out! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Wills Vegan Shoes Giveaway - Win Free, Eco-Friendly Shoes!

Thanks to all who entered! 
Winner was announced via Instagram!

I'm currently running a giveaway contest on Instagram in partnership with London-based vegan shoe-maker Wills! I am in love with their gorgeous, ethically-produced, cruelty-free vegan shoes, and now YOU have a chance to win a free pair! Here is a repost of the rules of the giveaway from my Instagram (contest is only open on Instagram):

Sunday, July 12, 2015

TALES OF HALLOWEEN Trailer Debuts at Comic Con, Announces October Theatrical Release!

The trailer for the much-anticipated Tales of Halloween debuted at Comic Con over the weekend, and I couldn't be happier with how it looks! It was also announced that the film will hit theaters October 16th, just in time for Halloween!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Travelogue: Forests, Ferns, and Food on the Lost Coast and Beyond (Part 2)

If you haven't already, please check out Part 1 of the trip!

 Fern Canyon

The next day we drove up to one of the most magical places on earth, Fern Canyon. We got an early start from our cozy AirBnB, and drove up the 101 through foggy coastal landscapes, sunny prairies normally full of elk (sadly, we didn't see any), deep blue lagoons, and so many evergreen trees! Fern Canyon is located deep within Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and from the 101 freeway you have to drive about 10 miles on dirt roads (and ford several small streams) to get there. It's an adventure from the start! What exactly is Fern Canyon? This description from the Redwoods website says it best: "Imagine walking through a narrow canyon where the walls are completely covered by luxuriant ferns and mosses and are dripping with moisture."

Yup, those are ferns covering the canyon walls, with trees creating a lush canopy
on the cliffs above.

I mean, just take a look at this place and try to tell me it's not heaven!! Fun fact: Steven Spielberg filmed some scenes from The Lost World: Jurassic Park in this prehistoric-looking canyon!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Travelogue: Forests, Ferns, and Food on the Lost Coast (Part 1)

I found heaven on earth! This is the Fleener Creek Trailhead on the
 Lost Coast near Ferndale, CA.

Sigh...can I please go on vacation again? A few weeks ago I had the loveliest of road trips up to Northern California's Lost Coast with Mister Spooky. We left in the dead of night, zooming up the empty freeways while blasting Perturbator, Morrissey, Make Them Suffer, Chelsea Wolfe, Carpenter Brut, and Lorna Shore. Our first big stop (besides rest areas and gas fill-ups) was Oakland, where we had the pleasure of breakfasting at Timeless Coffee Roasters (so much good food I had to put it all in a separate post HERE!) and taking a short stroll through the historic Mountain View Cemetery.

Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA

Then we were back on the road, driving the 101 freeway up into the redwoods and to our final destination of Ferndale, California. I actually grew up in the "Victorian Village" (so called for all of the gorgeous Victorian homes) and my Nonna (Italian for grandma) still lives on the sprawling ranch where I spent my youth. My parents recently moved back up there to take care of her, so I was excited to see them all. Plus, the ranch is very remote (you have to take a small road from town, then it's another five miles up a dirt road to get there) and there is nothing for miles and miles but trees upon trees (in other words, heaven). I loved growing up there surrounded by nature, and I'm not sure why I ever wanted to leave. Nevertheless, I was pretty pleased to have the opportunity to visit and share this special place with Mister Spooky.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What I Ate: Independence Day Edition

I had a lovely and languid three-day weekend for the July 4th holiday, where all I did was watch movies, take naps and eat some decadent food!

Of course, I had to Halloweenize this holiday, so on July 4th proper I carved a melon-o-lantern out of a mini watermelon. Yep, I really do try to make every day Halloween! It was a lot of fun, easy to do (though I did bust out my pumpkin carving tools), and reminded me that Halloween is not that far away! Here is my patriotic and starry-eyed little creation:

Star-spangled melon-o-lantern cuz Halloween in July!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Restaurant Review: Timeless Coffee Roasters in Oakland, CA

Timeless Coffee 

On our road trip up to NorCal for vacation, we drove through the night so we could arrive at Timeless Coffee Roasters in Oakland, California for breakfast! It was my first time visiting Timeless, and even after a long night of driving, I was soooooo excited to finally try out this all-vegan cafe that serves up breakfast, baked goodies, and, of course, coffee!

Loved the interior of Timeless!

We arrived around 9am, and the place was packed, with a long line at the counter. That only gave us more time to ogle the pastries behind the counter (such cakes! such pastries! so many other goodies!) and admire the cute decor. Gah, if I lived in Oakland I would be here every day!
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