Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Witch's Christmas

The Witch's Christmas (1986 version)

I came across this adorable children's Christmas book recently called The Witch's Christmas by Norman Bridwell, the well-loved author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series of children's books. The Witch's Christmas is about a witch that not only puts a fun Halloween spin on Christmas, but also saves Santa when he runs into some trouble on Christmas Eve.

The Witch's Christmas originally came out in 1970 and looks like it was re-illustrated and re-released in 1986. Both versions were illustrated by Bridwell, with the later version getting some color. I've included pages from both versions below.

Both versions look frightfully fun and our witch shares a lot of the Creepmas spirit, like making it rain black snow, creating a holiday wreath from bats, singing Creepmas carols with some monster friends, and decorating a Creepmas tree with skulls, bats, and spiders! Merry Hexmas indeed!

Check out some of the pages from both versions of The Witch's Christmas below:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Watch Now on Netflix: I Am Not A Serial Killer (2016)

I Am Not A Serial Killer is a film based on a 2009 book by Dan Wells of the same name. The book is the first installment of the John Wayne Cleaver trilogy by Wells. I haven't read the book, but have watched the film, now available streaming on Netflix, and I can't recommend it enough! 

The synopsis: A teen whom everyone thinks will grow up to be a serial killer must connect with his dark tendencies as he tries to solve a series of grisly murders in his small Minnesota town. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The New Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat

I have been intrigued with the new Beyond Burger (the vegan burger that the media has dubbed "the burger that bleeds" due to its juiciness and use of beet juice as food coloring) ever since I first heard about it earlier this year. It is an all-vegan burger that is very close in appearance, texture and taste to the "real" thing. To be honest, the concept freaked me out a little and I wondered if I would be able to handle such a "meaty" vegan burger! This vegan burger REALLY blends into the meat section of the grocery store, and without its packaging in a side by side comparison I bet most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the Beyond Burger and a beef burger.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

15 Vegan Holiday Finds at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's holiday products are now available and I recently took a spin through my local store to see what items were vegan. Unlike their bounty of autumn vegan items (covered HERE), it seems like their winter vegan offerings are a little lacking. However, I was still able to find a bunch of delicious vegan options for the holidays. Some of these are new, others are old favorites, but all of them are only available for a limited time this holiday season, so grab them while you can!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas With These Short Videos

Happy thirteenth day of Creepmas! It's been fun sharing how to spookify your holiday season this year, but today marks the final day of the 13 Days of Creepmas. For my final post I wanted to share some Christmas horror movie montages and short films to spread the holiday fear! Some of my faves are included in the video montages below, plus I included some short films to get you in the spooky spirit!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Top 10 Christmas Horror Movies

I made a list of my top 20 holiday horror movies a few years ago (HERE and HERE), but since there have been new Christmas horror movies in the past few years, that list was in need of a serious update!

There are so many Christmas horror movies that there are plenty to choose from and keep you occupied for all 13 days of Creepmas, plus all 12 days of Christmas! Still, holidays are a busy time for most folks, so I've narrowed my picks from 20 down to 10, including some more recent holiday horror films that have been released the past few years.

Here are my new top 10 holiday horror movies:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gothic Christmas Music Playlist

By this time every year, I'm usually sick of Christmas music, especially since I can't stomach most of it to begin with! Yet, I still have a yearning to listen to festive holiday music when decorating or baking, so I decided to make my own Christmas music playlist of songs of the season I can actually enjoy. Many of these are atmospheric gothic renditions, with a few alternative, punk, and orchestral tracks thrown in.

You can listen to my Spotify Gothic Creepmas playlist below:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Haunting Holiday Cards

Regular ol' holly jolly holiday cards aren't really my style, and while I appreciate family and friends who send these I always wish to receive cards that are a little more my style, a little creepy, a little macabre. So I've searched the internet for these types of haunting holiday cards and found some delightfully dark ones, which I'm sharing below:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Gift Wrap for Goths and Other Darklings

If you're looking for holiday wrap that expresses your unique style (or the style of the recipient of your gift), look no further than the designs I found below, featuring whimsically weird wrapping paper for fans of the gothic aesthetic, Halloween, or horror!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Eerie Ornaments to Deck Your Haunted Halls

If you're anything like me, you like to express yourself through the decor in your house. As soon as you walk into my house you can see I like to stay spooky no matter what time of year. Yup, it feels like a weird wonderland or Halloweentown year-round! So why wouldn't I decorate my Creepmas tree in the same style?

My Christmas tree is usually decorated in Halloween colors and ornaments, but there are lots of other weird, wacky, or creepy decorations out there for those of us that like to carry our eerie attitudes into most (if not all) holidays! Below you'll find some creepy Christmas ornaments that will allow you to haunt your halls in sinister style!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Goth Gift Guide: Nefarious Non-Fiction for Curious Creeps

My idea of the perfect gift? BOOKS! I'd be happy buried beneath books, and while I really, really try to limit my collection these days due to space issues, I am finding it hard to resist adding the non-fiction books below to my personal Christmas wish list! There are books featuring hidden wonders from around the world, photographic collections of macabre items, recollections of 31 days of October spent in Salem, Victorian ways of death, haunted histories, personal art collections, and even a horror-inspired coloring book. These are all fairly new items, released just this year, and any of these are sure to make my fellow creeps happy!

Check out the nefarious non-fiction books I've selected for fellow spooklings below:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

7 Ways to Decorate For and Celebrate Creepmas

If you are anything like me, you want to prolong the spooky spirit of Halloween for as long as possible (perhaps even year-round!). During this holiday season, it is actually quite easy to do this by turning Christmas into Creepmas! That's right, the traditional time of holly-jolly cheer can be turned into yuletide fear by following a few simple tips from yours ghouly! You can still have your twinkling lights, your ornaments and tree, gingerbread cookies, etc., but with some extra tweaks you can bring back the Halloween frights! Think of the "Making Christmas" song from The Nightmare Before Christmas, where they add their own Halloweentown flair to traditional Christmas activities - if we think like that, we can have ourselves a scary little Christmas indeed!

I've posted seven ways to decorate for and celebrate Creepmas below, complete with photos of my own decorations this year to give you some ideas:

Monday, December 5, 2016

Watch Now on Netflix: A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Just in time for Krampusnacht and the holidays you can catch the horror anthology film A Christmas Horror Story streaming on Netflix! I had my doubts about this movie, because, let's face it, horror anthologies can be hit-or-miss, and a holiday horror anthology just sounds like a cash in. However, when I saw it last year I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I watched it again tonight and it was even better the second time around.

Where to See the Christmas Devil on Krampusnacht

Merry Krampusnacht!
[image source]

Tonight is a very special night, as the evening of December 5th marks Krampusnacht (or Krampus Night), when Krampus the Christmas Devil roams the earth in search of wicked children to punish. Krampusnacht occurs the night before the Feast of Saint Nicholas (December 6th), and tonight Krampus will punish naughty children by shoving them in his sack, beating them with birch switches, and leaving them coal. I hope you've been good this year and that Krampus doesn't come for you! However, if you've been good and still want to see Krampus tonight, I've got some suggestions below.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Creepmas Sweaters for Naughty Boils and Ghouls

During every Creepmas season for the past several years I've shared ugly Christmas sweaters that were inspired by horror movies or celebrated the darker aspects of the season. Looking back on these posts (check 'em out here, here, and here!), it seems that every year our options for Creepmas sweaters get better and badder! This year is no different, with so many rad Christmas sweaters to choose from!

As in previous posts, I've only included sweaters that are not made with any animal products like wool (the wool industry is really cruel and gentle sheep are often barbarically treated for their wool - don't buy wool! Here is more info on the cruel wool industry if you'd like to learn more.).

Here are some of the awesome holiday sweaters that are available for us naughty kids this time of year:

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Goth Gift Guide for the Eternally Odd and Eerie

I know how hard it is to find unique gifts for your favorite darkling or even yourself, so I've compiled some suggestions for you below to make this gift-giving season easier. These are all items I would love to receive, so this gift guide doubles as a wish list for myself as well!

I have suggestions for creepy clothes, eerie artwork, dark decor, scintillating scents and candles, and so much more! Of course, all fabrics/perfumes/candles/etc. are cruelty-free and vegan. In addition, the most of the items below are from small businesses (and even a non-profit), so your money is going to a good place and allowing like-minded gothlings to thrive!

Take a peek below at my Goth Gift Guide for the Eternally Odd and Eerie:

Friday, December 2, 2016

10 Creepy Calendars for 2017

Shopping for next year's calendars is one of my favorite things this time of year! I love staying organized, and despite most of my scheduling happening on my phone nowadays, I still love having calendars in my house. It's like functional artwork!

Of course, my taste in calendars tend to run towards the darker and creepier rather than puppies and pastels. I've already amassed a wish list of calendars for 2017, full of eerie architecture, creepy-cute creatures, sinister skulls, horror movies, and much more! Check out 10 of the favorites I've found below! Links will take you to Amazon so you can add them to your own wish list:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Welcome to the 13 Days of Creepmas

December 1st is already here, and that means that it is time to kick off the 13 Days of Creepmas! During Creepmas a group of bloggers celebrate the winter holiday season in our own spooky way, putting a dark spin on the horror-days! You can read more about the event and find the complete list of blogs participating HERE!

As for me, I'll be creepifying the Christmas season by sharing gothic gift guides, sinister sweaters, haunting holiday cards, eerie ornaments, and much more!

To kick things off, I thought I would share some of my favorite posts from past Creepmasses:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hangar Bar at Whole Foods Market in Tustin, CA

Hangar Bar's vegan Cauliflower Nachos and Beast Burger with fries!

Whole Foods Market at The District in Tustin, California just got a major overhaul that included the additions of a brand new Mendocino Farms and Hangar Bar inside the store! This is the Whole Foods I frequent the most, so I am ecstatic to have two new restaurants inside the store that offer lots of vegan options! Now I can grab a bite before shopping, because we all know shopping hungry at Whole Foods just leads to trouble.

I've already had Mendocino Farms, so I decided to try some of the vegan options at Hangar Bar, which of course also has a full bar serving lots of beer on tap as well as specialty drinks. Since I'm not much of a drinker, I went straight for the food! I was surprised at how many vegan options they did offer, each of which was clearly marked with a green circle with the world "vegan" inside it (just be careful since the vegetarian options are also marked with a green circle - the only difference is that they say "veg").

Monday, November 28, 2016

Boulder Organic Garden Minestrone Soup

Boulder Organic Garden Minestrone Soup

At the beginning of summer, Boulder Organic was kind enough to send me some coupons to try their pre-prepared soups, of which they have a few hearty vegan options. However, since it was summertime and hot I was in no mood for soup (unless it was ice cream soup, had a lot of that over the summer!). Luckily, the weather FINALLY seems to have cooled down here in SoCal and I excitedly busted out these coupons when I felt the chill in the air.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Recap: Circle V - Vegan Music + Food Festival 2016

Circle V at the Fonda Theater

The first Circle V was held this past October 23rd, 2016, and was the first ever vegan food and music festival held in Los Angeles! All proceeds benefited Mercy for Animals, an amazing non-profit organization that is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and advocates for compassionate food choices and policies, As soon as Circle V was announced months ago I knew I MUST go!

The daytime portion of the event featured vegan food from top vegan restaurants, vendors selling compassionate, cruelty-free makeup, apparel, and accessories as well as talks from famous vegans making a real difference in the animal rights movement. The nighttime portion was a concert featuring musical acts Cold Cave, Blaqk Audio, and Moby (all who happen to be vegan)!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hugo's Tacos in Los Angeles, CA

Churros and crispy soy chorizo tacos

Hugo's Tacos is a small walk-up taco stand in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles (they have other locations as well) with clearly marked vegan options. I have been dying to check this place out, and since I spent a weekend not to far from this location in October I was able to visit twice! Cuz we all know you can never have enough tacos, right?!

Their menu is pretty big, and most of their items are veganizable (or already vegan). They have tacos, burritos, nachos, burgers, tamales, tortas, breakfast burritos, and even churros and soft serve, all of which can be made vegan! Everything on their menu is clearly marked as vegan or items which can be made vegan. They also have clear distinctions for items that are or can be made gluten-free and vegetarian. I really appreciated how easy their menu was to read and how easy they make it to order vegan items!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles, CA

Crossroads Kitchen is an upscale vegan dining establishment on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles that serves up small plates of decadent food from Chef Tal Ronnen. It has a romantic, sexy atmosphere, with twinkling candles on every table and dim lighting throughout the restaurant. Some people find it a bit pretentious, but I have been wanting to try it for a long time and was finally able to go in October!

I was excited to try out their comforting Italian classics (veganized, of course), like all their pastas, which I had been drooling over on their menu for months! I am Italian, and usually I don't trust any restaurants with pastas, but I was willing to give Crossroads a try. I choose to dine there early on a Sunday night, not only for decent lighting to take photos of food but also since we were going to see Delusion, an immersive horror play (I wrote about that HERE if you are interested!), right after dinner.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Recap: Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2016

I originally wasn't going to post a review of Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood, but I've been missing Halloween so badly that I figured reminiscing about past months' festivities might help ease the pain a little! Plus, I'd like to get into a habit of sharing more about all the Halloween activities I do because, seriously, Halloween season in Southern California is full of so much spooky good stuff!

I went to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood at Universal Studios back in late September. It was the second weekend they were open, and I wanted to go before it got too late in the season and got super-crowded. Well, the Friday night I picked was actually sold out, so there went my plan of going when it was less crowded, haha!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vegetable in Studio City, CA

There are so many vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants in Southern California that I have a running wish list of those I haven't been able to get to yet. There are SO MANY I haven't visited yet, and Vegetable used to be one of them, despite rave reviews I've heard about it.

The restaurant is tucked away in Studio City, right below Universal Studios. It is located where SunCafe used to be, and I have to say I love what they have done with the space! The ambiance is cozy, even though I feel like they were able to squeeze more tables in. I also love the black chalkboard wall on one side and a brick wall on the other side. It feels modern and retro at the same time, if that makes sense.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Next Year's Halloween Bucket List

This is a pic of part of my living room Halloween night 2016

I've still got the Halloween blues bad (not to mention the added anxiety from all that is currently going on in the U.S.), so I decided to cheer myself up by starting to plan for next year's Halloween! Even though I accomplished a lot this 2016 Halloween season (see my recap of completed bucket list items HERE), there are still many events in SoCal I didn't get to. Many of these I've had on my to-do list for years, but hope to finally get to experience them next year!

This year there were a lot of non-Halloween events that took up my time (I love vegan events, but I wish they moved some of them to other months!), but I think next year I'm gonna skip any concerts/festivals/etc. that aren't related to Halloween so I can fill my favorite season with strictly spooky events in SoCal (and perhaps beyond)!

My list is ambitious (especially when you combine it with the events I already go to every year), and I probably won't ever be able to do it all, but dang it, I'm gonna try!

Halloween 2017 Bucket List (with the exception of other cities listed at the end of the post, all events occur in or around Southern California):

Friday, November 11, 2016

Watch Now on Netflix: I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House (2016)

Fair warning, most horror fans will NOT like I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House - it is extremely slow, has a very thin storyline, and it isn't structured like a traditional horror film. However, it totally nails the atmosphere and really got under my skin, which is why I have chosen to recommend it here.

The film is about a hospice nurse that moves into an old home to care for an elderly author, and realizes her books may be inspired by the house itself, which may be haunted by the ghosts of its past inhabitants.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Last Pumpkin Patch Visit

My favorite pumpkin patch, Tanaka Farms, announced that they would be open the day after Halloween for one last hurrah (and to try to find good homes for all their leftover pumpkins - you could buy a wheelbarrow full for only $10!). So after work yesterday I hopped on my broomstick and flew over to enjoy another hour or so in one of my favorite places, the pumpkin patch.

It was a beautiful fall day, with cool (well, cool for SoCal) temps, a nice breeze rustling the corn stalks, and bright blue skies contrasting against the orange of the remaining pumpkins. The pumpkin fields were pretty sparse, as all of the pumpkin vines had been pulled up and a few pumpkins were smashed and rotting, with the faint smell of stinky-sweet pumpkin rot hanging in the air, but I was ecstatic to be back in the pumpkin patch for what felt like an extra bonus round of Halloween! There were only a few families here and there along with a few workers in the fields, but for the most part it was quiet and beautiful. It felt like the perfect way to say goodbye to Halloween. 

Here are some photos I took of my last pumpkin patch visit of 2016:

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween and 2016 Bucket List Completion

Happy Halloween! This month went by frighteningly fast and today is rather bittersweet! I'm ecstatic that it is the best day of the year, but I am also feeling gloomy since it means my favorite time of the year is almost over. I am doing my best to enjoy the last hours of All Hallow's Eve - tonight I will watch Halloween themed movies, carve pumpkins, and hand out candy to trick or treaters!

I'm also reflecting back on the past months and a see what I was able to accomplish on my autumn bucket list! I did quite a bit over the Halloween season, here is what I was able to check off my bucket list:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Heritage Square's Halloween Mourning Tour

Heritage Square's Victorian mansions and hearses on display from 
Coffin Cartel Hearse Club for the Halloween Mourning Tours

Last weekend I visited Heritage Square Museum, a collection of preserved, renovated and currently being renovated Victorian homes tucked away in a nondescript cul-de-sac of Los Angeles. Every year around Halloween they hold a weekend of Halloween Mourning tours, where they bring alive Halloween celebrations and mourning customs from the Victorian age to the '30s and '40s with re-enactments, costumes, decorations, and traditions.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SoCal VegFest Expands to Two Days this Weekend

SoCal VegFest, which made its smashing debut last year, is back for its second year and has expanded to two whole days of food and fun! The event is this weekend, Saturday, October 29th and Sunday, October 30th at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa from 10AM to 6PM. Entry and parking are FREE!

This vegan festival will feature:

• Halloween fun, including a costume contest
• Free plant-based food sampling
• Live music
• Guest speakers and celebrities
• Cooking contest and demos
• Raffles and prizes
• Film screenings
• Yoga and meditation workshops
• Apparel booths and a cruelty-free marketplace
• Animal welfare, environmental, and humane organizations
• Activities for kids
...and of course, lots of yummy food trucks & vendors!

The SoCal VegFest is a project of APRL (Animal Protection and Rescue League), a local animal welfare non-profit, with a 100% volunteer staff.

I can't wait to eat all the vegan food and have some Halloween fun at SoCal VegFest! I hope to see you there this weekend!

For more info, please visit the SoCal VegFest website and Facebook page!

37 Bewitching Book Covers for Halloween

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

There is nothing that makes me want to pick up a book more than when it boasts a spooky Halloween cover! I simply cannot resist books decorated with glowing jack-o-lanterns, decrepit haunted houses, wailing ghosts, spooky scarecrows, creepy corn fields, or festive fall foliage! Anything orange and black will immediately catch my eye, and I especially love older paperbacks with Halloween themes! Below you'll find some Halloween-themed books with boo-tiful covers, some even from my personal collection:

Monday, October 24, 2016

101 Horror Movies to Watch on Netflix This Halloween

Last year I recommended 50 Horror Movies to Watch on Netflix for Halloween, and this year Netflix must have upped their game, because I have 101 horror movie recommendations! I've watched all the films below and enjoyed each one. They vary from gory horror to dark humor to ghost stories to sci-fi and beyond, so there should be something for everyone! Of course the films I've chosen DO vary in quality - some are excellent films (in my opinion) while others are a bit more low-brow, however, they are all the best that Netflix is offering streaming this October in the U.S.! Check them out below!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Spirit Halloween 2016 Costumes I Would Actually Wear

Spirit Halloween (not an affiliate link/post, I just like them!) has some women's costumes for 2016 that I actually love! And that's a good thing, because I still haven't decided on a costume for this year, eeeeek! I know some people are against store-bought costumes, but I don't mind them as long as you put a little creativity into them - plus, they are great for lazy people like me, haha!

Most store-bought women's costumes are a little too saucy for my liking, but I think the ones below are more scary than slutty. There are witches, ghosts, skeletons, clowns, monsters, dolls, and more! Of course, most of the costumes I favor have a gothic style, which naturally makes them spookier (I think of them as creepy cute)! And with the right makeup, you can make these costumes seriously scary...

Here are my faves from Spirit Halloween's 2016 collection:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Guillermo del Toro's At Home with Monsters Exhibit

Angel of Death from Hellboy II greets you as you enter the exhibit.

I was finally able to get over to LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to enter the world of Guillermo del Toro through his "At Home with Monsters" exhibit. I love many of del Toro's films and other projects he has been involved with including Cronos (1993), The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), and Crimson Peak (2015). His influences range from the Victorian era, to sci-fi and comics, to horror to his own tumultuous childhood.

The "At Home with Monsters" exhibit boasts works of art from del Toro's own personal collection as well as props and items from his films and is broken into different sections that reflect his influences. The exhibition begins with a section on "Childhood and Innocence," before moving through the galleries "Victoriana," "Magic, Alchemy, and the Occult," "Movies, Comics, Pop Culture," "Frankenstein and Horror," "Freaks and Monsters," "Death and the Afterlife", and there is even a "Rain Room" with storm clouds projected on the ceiling and rain beating against some gothic windows while lighting flashes. The visit was enthralling, and to be surrounding by so much gorgeous artwork was exhilarating!

Tickets for the special exhibition were $25 (which included admission to the other parts of the museum as well, barring their special rain room exhibits) and though the weekend crowds were a bit much at times, I took my time to absorb all of the wondrous art exhibited in the space and made sure to wander through the space several times so I didn't miss anything!

I took a ton of photos (yes, photography was allowed!), but wanted to share some of my favorites below:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Occult Activity Book Returns with Volume Two

The Occult Activity Book is back, and bigger and better than ever! The first volume was filled with wonderfully dark art and activities, and the second is packed with even more! In fact, this new volume has doubled in size and it is bristling with 52 pages of gore-geous artwork, eerie activities, gruesome games, and all sorts of fiendish fun! Where else can you immerse yourself in activities like Mad Libs-inspired incantations, building your own papercraft coven, solving the sexiest occult-themed crossword puzzle ever, mastering macabre mazes, learning about the Gilles de Rais, Ed and Lorraine Warren, Madame Blavatsky (and more) while coloring in their illustrations, testing your knowledge of the esoteric, all the while listening to a hand-crafted witchy playlist?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch 2016 Visit

One of my Halloween traditions is to visit our local pumpkin patch at least once every season! With the weather here in Orange County never quite reaching ideal fall temperatures (we're usually still stuck in the 70s and 80s) and no real autumn foliage to enjoy, visiting the pumpkin patch is one of the few nature-y things I can do in SoCal that manages to invoke that special Halloween feeling!

Friday, October 14, 2016

10 Vegan Candies for Trick or Treaters

It seems that every year we get new vegan treats and more and more companies are offering cruelty-free sweets for Halloween, hurrah!! This is great for those of us that have a sweet tooth and want to enjoy vegan goodies around Halloween! And even if you aren't vegan, it is a good idea to hand out vegan treats since so many trick or treaters have allergies and I'm sure they would be stoked to receive treats they can actually enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Recap: Delusion 2016 - His Crimson Queen

Delusion's His Crimson Queen

This past weekend I attended the immersive, interactive play Delusion in its 2016 incarnation, titled "His Crimson Queen." Delusion is unlike anything I have experienced, an interactive play where you become characters as well as interact with others to solve a mystery while walking through elaborate sets in an actual mansion. It is an entirely unique entity that has incredible production value, phenomenal acting, thrilling mystery, and just enough scary moments to keep you on your toes! Keep reading about this year's production below and why it is one of the most-anticipated Halloween season events in Southern California!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Halloween Stuffed Peppers, or Pepper-o-Lanterns

Pepper-o-lanterns! I made a fanged fiend and a kitty cat!

How adorable are these Halloween stuffed peppers?! These boo-tiful babies are so fun and easy to make that I wanted to share my quick recipe for them here. Also, these don't have to be just for Halloween - when you are really missing the autumn season, these are perfect to make and you can find the ingredients at any time of year! And, as always, they are all vegan!

These vegan pepper-o-lanterns use only a few ingredients, can be customized to whatever your palate desires, and are fast to prepare, which means they are perfect for busy October nights where you just want to kick back and watch some scary movies with your boo. All you need is a few ingredients and about 20 minutes to make these precious pepper-o-lanterns! Find the recipe below:

Friday, October 7, 2016

Samhain Scents That Will Make You Smell Like Halloween

In Type O Negative's song "Black No. 1," Peter Steele sings "Her perfume smells like burning leaves," and I've been forever searching for a scent like that which evokes the spirit of Samhain! What do you picture the autumn season smelling like? For me it's a woodsy, smoky scent of autumn leaves with a bit of candy corn sweetness, apple orchard tartness, pumpkin patch earthiness, and a sprinkle of brimstone. Who knows if a scent like that actually exists, but I'm on a quest to find it!

In my search this year I've come across a few small, independent companies who are making perfumes, bath bombs, lotions, and other potions in lovely autumn and Halloween scents that I'm absolutely drooling over! I've compiled some of these for you below, all of which are vegan and cruelty-free (note: always double-check ingredients since formulations can change, though most of the businesses listed below are themselves vegan and cruelty-free!).

Hopefully this year I can find some scented treats that will keep me smelling like Halloween long after all the jack-o-lanterns have been blown out on October 31st.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

20 Witches to Inspire Your Halloween Costume

Is there anything more quintessentially Halloween-y than witches? They are an icon of the holiday and I've always loved them. One of my earliest memories of Halloween was my mom sewing me the cutest Halloween costume, complete with a custom broom she hand-stitched Halloween ribbon on (see photo above)! We picked out the fabric together and she sewed it from a pattern. It is one of my favorite costumes that I've ever worn, just because all the love and care my mom put into it. It is this memory that has made me want to dress up like a witch again this Halloween!

Naturally, I needed some costume inspiration, as witches come in all styles and looks, and I don't think I can fit in my costume my mom made me anymore! So I turned to some of my favorite witches from books and films to provide some bewitching ideas!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Recap: Grave Harvest Halloween Festival 2016

This past Sunday I attended the first ever Grave Harvest Halloween festival and convention at The Hotel Fullerton in Fullerton, California! I had been excited about the event for quite some time since many of my favorite vendors were going to be there and it was located right here in Orange County!

The event showcased some incredible vendors, who had everything from Halloween- and horror-inspired artwork to jewelry to t-shirts to furniture to dolls to books to games to collectibles to props to animatronics and so on! There were two full rooms of vendors, and that's where I spent almost all my time. There was so much to look at!

Besides vendors, the event also had presentations from haunt professionals, book signings, special guests signing autographs, and workshops. For all this, tickets were only $15 and parking was free! The Hotel Fullerton venue was perfect - there was plenty of parking (free!) and lots of room to roam around. It well a very well-curated event, and the vibe there was very relaxed and friendly! It really felt like a Halloween community event and the turn-out was great! I am already looking forward to next year's event since this year was such a haunting hit!

Check out photos from the event below:

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Ultimate List of Halloween-themed Movies

I made a list a few years ago of movies centered around, set during, or containing elements of Halloween. Since then, I've noticed that list becoming sadly out-of-date and incomplete, so I decided to start a new, more comprehensive list of movies that are Halloween-themed. All of the films listed below contain Halloween elements, whether briefly or for their entirety. Some are set during Halloween, others just use the autumn season as a backdrop for their stories, some are directly about Halloween, but they will all help evoke that special Halloween spirit!

In this new list, I've not only included films I'd missed on the old list as well as new movies, but I've also broken down the movies into categories, from horror movies to family-friendly films to comedies and so on, as well as noting whether I recommend them or not. I've labeled each movie (at least the ones I've seen) with a rating of "recommended," "watch at your own risk," or "skip it."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Halloween Edition of the Fatally Yours Chocolate Box Available Now

The to-die-for Fatally Yours gourmet chocolate box is usually on everyone's wish list for Valentine's Day, but now a special Halloween edition has been released by the talented Vegan Treats Bakery so we can have it in time for our fave holiday! It comes in a gorgeous orange and black Ouija box and is filled with sinfully decadent treats! Trick or treat will never be the same with these exquisite treats available!

Check out details on the boo-tiful box below, which is available as an ultimate edition (with extra goodies from Vegan Treats included) or the regular limited edition:

Autumn 2016 Bucket List

Can you believe October 1st is already here?! It's unbelievable how fast it crept up on me this year, especially when I want to savor each magical fall moment (even though it's been in the 80s and 90s the past week, wah!).

Per tradition, October 1st kicks off 31 Days of Halloween, an event hosted by Countdown to Halloween and one I've been participating in since 2010! The gist is that I will publish a Halloween-related post daily (or as close to daily as possible) for the month of October. I'll be sharing all sorts of ghoulish goodies this year, including eerie entertainment recommendations, morbid music to set the stage for spookiness, rancid recipes, dreadful decorations, and much more! Join me...if you dare!

To kick off the 31 Days of Halloween, I have a custom of sharing my annual autumn bucket list on the first day of October. It serves as a running to-do list for me and keeps me from losing my head this macabre month! I'm looking forward to a low-key celebration this month, but plan on squeezing in lots of autumn and Halloweenie fun! Below is what I hope to accomplish...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trader Joe's 2016 Seasonal Pumpkin Items

I LOVE how Trader Joe's goes all-out during autumn and makes pumpkin EVERYTHING! I haunt their stores all September waiting for their seasonal pumpkin items to hit the shelves, and when they do I go a little crazy trying all their vegan pumpkin options! 

I feel like this year is better than ever, with tons of new pumpkin food and old favorites returning! I took pics in-store of all the vegan options I found and I'm sharing this year's Trader Joe's pumpkin extravaganza below:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Giveaway: Win Tickets to This Weekend's GRAVE HARVEST Halloween Fest!

UPDATE - CONTEST CLOSED! Thanks to all that entered, the two winners have been notified!

I'm so excited that Orange County gets to experience the first ever Grave Harvest Halloween fest this Sunday, October 2nd, 2016! It seems like the perfect way to kick off October and get us ready for Halloween, especially since we'll be able to browse for Halloween goodies from a variety of vendors, have books signed by horror authors, visit with horror actors, and even attend interactive workshops to hone your haunt skills! And now I'm giving away two tickets to the event that you have a chance to win!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pumpkin Items at Sprouts Farmers Market

I have been stalking the aisles of my local Sprouts Farmers Market looking for pumpkin items, and finally found all their pumpkin goodies out on shelves this past weekend! They have lots of delicious pumpkin-based foods this year, including the return of many favorites like their Pumpkin Loops cereal and pumpkin sparkling cider. I was ecstatic to see some of my old favorites back, and even happier to see some neat new products this year! Many of their pumpkin and autumn-inspired foods are vegan, however not all are, so please check the labels before purchasing.

Here are the vegan pumpkin food items I found at Sprouts Farmers Market so far:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vegan Halloween Candy Available at Target

YumEarth's Organic Gummy Bears and Worms - they changed their formula 
(no more gelatin), so they are now both vegan! The big bag of 30 gummies
is $7.99, while the smaller snack packs that come with 10 were $3.49. They
also had YumEarth vegan lollipops.

Target's vegan Halloween candy selection just keeps growing every year! This year, my local Target even has its own "Organic Candy" section that has tons of delicious vegan options! These treats are perfect for satisfying that spooky sweet tooth this fall, but they are also fantastic for passing out to trick or treaters. These vegan candies are not only mouth-watering (seriously), but they also tend to be organic and healthier than other brands. Plus, trick-or-treaters who are vegan or allergic to certain ingredients will appreciate these treats! You can check out some of the organic and vegan candy Target is carrying this year below:
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