Monday, May 8, 2017
I love Acure Organics' products and have used their facial cleansers, their argan oil (review), and their ultra-hydrating Moroccan oil shampoo and conditioner (review) for quite some time now. The majority of their products are vegan and cruelty-free and work great! I decided to try their Smooth + Manageable Shampoo and Conditioner a few months back, and every since them I've been using it with fantastic results.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Happy April 30th, which not only marks Walpurgisnacht (aka Witches' Night aka Hexennacht) where the veil is thin and witches can be seen flying through the skies to their sabbats, but also marks the halfway point to Halloween - only six months to go until the best holiday!
If you haven't read any of my previous posts on Walpurgis, it is a holiday that was, and still is, celebrated in Germany where tales tell of witches taking to the skies on the way to the region's tallest peak, Brocken, to gather in dark celebration. In honor of these legends, people light bonfires to drive away evil spirits and welcome the arrival of spring with dancing, feasting and frolicking (very much like the pagan Beltane festival tomorrow, on May 1st). If you are interested in learning more about Witches' Night, I wrote more about it last year.
Friday, April 28, 2017
This Sunday, April 30th marks the halfway point to Halloween as well as the celebration of Walpurgisnacht, or Witches' Night! I've already talked a lot about Walpurgis in previous posts, but I also wanted to highlight how excited I am that we are only six months away from my favorite holiday, Halloween!
I always get so pumped for Halloween this time of year that it is just natural to want to do something special to mark the halfway point! Last year I shared a list of ways to celebrate Halfway to Halloween, so this year I thought I would do it again to continue the tradition.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Walpurgisnacht, or Witches' Night, is nearly upon us and will arrive this Sunday, April 30th! You can read about the holiday and its traditions in past posts I've written about here and here! While traditional Walpurgis celebrations were used to ward off witches, nowadays witches are celebrated around this holiday.
It's neat to see how many more people in the United States have become aware of this witchy spring festival - I only just found out about it a few years ago and now I adore it since it not only celebrates witches but also marks the halfway point to Halloween, and what is more Halloweenie than witches?
There are lots of ways to celebrate Walpurgisnacht (if you are in Southern California, you don't want to miss Witches Night at Phantom Carriage Brewery - read about it here!), but if you want a low-key way to celebrate, watching witchy movies is perfect! And I've put together a list of 20 of my favorite movies featuring witches! They cover several genres, so they aren't all horror films, and of course this isn't an exhaustive list, just a few of my faves! Please feel free to add your own favorites in the comments section.
Here are 20 Witch Films to Watch on Walpurgisnacht:
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Happy Earth Day!
We celebrate Earth Day to honor our planet and to reflect on how we can better take care of it and preserve it for future generations. There are lots of things you can do this Earth Day (and every day) to make a difference - recycling, composting, reducing what you buy, volunteering to pick up trash along your local beach/parks, mindfully purchasing local products and food, and so on. However, the biggest impact you can make is to go vegan!
On past Earth Days (here and here), I've written about how going vegan can greatly reduce your footprint on the world, but I just like to reiterate the huge impact going vegan has on not just yourself, but our planet, and how it is the single biggest positive change you can make for the environment, for yourself, and for the animals!
Friday, April 21, 2017
Synopsis: A rag-tag group of tourists in Holland board an old bus for a tour of the country's famous windmills. When their tour bus breaks down, they become stranded by an ominous old windmill and those with dark secrets are picked off one by one by a malevolent miller.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Thanks to Haute Macabre, I found out that there is a brand new WitchEmoji app from artist Pam Grossman! With Walpurgisnacht aka Witches' Night right around the corner, it seems like a perfect time to download this app, which comes with 80 different witchy emoji! Plus, I adore how WitchEmoji fully integrates into iMessage on iPhones and iPads, and, unlike apps like Goth Emoji (which I LOVE, btw!) where you copy/paste emoji into your text message, this one works with your iMessage to add to a text with just a touch (no copy/paste necessary). The app has so many creepy-cute images of witches, warlocks, moons, broomsticks, black cats, potions, spell books, symbols, goats, daggers, goblets, and many other witchy accessories, ensuring you will be able to text your coven with cuteness!
Just look how adorable these screen shots are:
Whenever I want to switch it up from using my own homemade vegan deodorant, I turn to Schmidt's! Besides my own DIY deodorant, I find that it is only vegan deodorant that works to keep me feeling and smelling fresh all day, even through hot days or hard workouts. I adore their Cedarwood and Juniper deodorant (and they have many other scents!), but I was excited to try their brand new Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant they gave me at Expo West this past March. This, like their other products, is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens and phthalates and does not contain any artificial fragrances. I am a sucker for charcoal anything, so I couldn't wait to try this out! I also love the scent itself, which smells like fresh, clean air after a thunderstorm in spring.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The event will be held on Walpurgisnacht (April 30th) at Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, California. There will be death positive talks on the funeral industry from mortician Amber Carvaly as well as an illustrated talk on Walpurgisnacht from Sarah Chavez. Food and drink specials will be served from Phantom Carriage's taproom, and a very special screening of The Love Witch by Anna Biller will be shown.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Is there anything more comforting and nourishing than a big bowl of oatmeal? There is just something so cozy and relaxing about enjoying a hot bowl of oats, whether it's a cold, drizzly winter day or a bright, sunshine-filled summer day. Plus, oatmeal is so nutritious and filling that it really puts a pep in your step to help you conquer your day!
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
April 4, 2017 – Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival, the West Coast's premier Halloween, haunt, and horror convention returns July 29-30 to the Long Beach Convention Center for a weekend of world-class thrills and chills. One of the stand-out components of Midsummer Scream's impressive array of entertainment is the Hall of Shadows – a large portion of the convention’s show floor that is shrouded in darkness and filled with billowing fog, and roaming monsters on an unprecedented scale. For 2017, the Hall of Shadows will feature 14 highly-themed "mini haunts" representing professional and home-made attractions that fans can look forward to visiting this Halloween season here in Southern California.
Monday, April 3, 2017
I love Hydro Flask and have been using their products for years. Their beverage bottles and food containers are special because of their ability to keep liquids ice cold for up to twenty-four hours or piping hot for up to six hours. They are made out of TempShield, a double-walled, vacuum insulated technology that maintains temperature and stainless steel that provides durability, strength, and prevents flavor transfer. Hydro Flasks are indispensable to me on a day-to-day basis, and I use mine every day and take it with me everywhere!
Thursday, March 30, 2017
This past Sunday I attended Vegan Street Fair 2017, which was bigger and better than ever! Vegan Street Fair started in 2015 (read my past coverage HERE and HERE!), and every year since then they have grown and improved so much that it has become my favorite vegan festival of the year! This year the street fair took over more streets, had more vendors and longer hours, and featuring fun carnival-style games, lots of seating, and even a beer garden!
The event was completely free, but VIP passes were also available for about $40. If you can swing it, I highly recommend VIP tickets, as they allow you access to special VIP front of line windows at nearly every food booth, plus you can also spring for a little extra to get a swag bag that is packed with all sorts of vegan goodies! The food lines at each booth are looooong, so a VIP pass will save you valuable time and ensure you can eat all the vegan things!
This year they eliminated their food tickets as well, so attendees could just pay vendors directly. Thank goodness, since this meant you didn't have to stand in line twice (once to purchase food tickets, and again to exchange those tickets for food), which made everything faster, less confusing, and more streamlined!
I really had a great time, but let's get to what you REALLY want to see - the vegan food (psssst - check out my list of 10 must-try vendors at Vegan Street Fair and see how many I was able to hit below)!
Friday, March 24, 2017
Can you believe it's almost time for Vegan Street Fair?! It is this Sunday, March 26th, 2017 in North Hollywood, and I cannot wait to eat all the vegan things! I am so excited for this event, and my giddiness grew even more when the Vegan Street Fair organizers published the event map AND all the vendor menus the other day!
Ghouls and boils, there are SO MANY delicious food vendors to try this year! So many vendors, in fact, that I was feeling overwhelmed by all the choices (what an awesome problem to have, right?!), so I went ahead and put together a little cheat sheet for myself and listed out the vendors I was most excited to try. I figured this might come in handy for other people, too, so I'm sharing my top 10 must-try vendors at Vegan Street Fair!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
I saw Train to Busan last year (it got an honorable mention on my Top 10 Horror Films of 2016), but it has finally come to Netflix where hopefully more people will be able to see it! This Korean zombie flick is action-packed with wonderful character development and some truly gut-wrenching scenes.
It is about a man and his young daughter who become trapped with many other passengers on a speeding train while a zombie outbreak occurs in South Korea. They must battle hordes of infected zombies as they speed their way through a quickly deteriorating Korea to one last stronghold in the city of Busan.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
Are you getting excited?! Vegan Street Fair LA is less than a week away and will be returning to North Hollywood on Sunday, March 26th, 2017! This year will be bigger and better than ever, with a dizzying array of vegan food vendors to choose from, plus a brand new beer garden, activities and games, and much more!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
This past Saturday Halloween Club in La Mirada, California hosted their fifth annual Spook Show Halloween Festival, a celebration for fiends who celebrate Halloween everyday! I look forward to this event every year, since it is like having Halloween in March! This was my third time attending this event (you can check out recaps from past years HERE and HERE!), and every year I've been it keeps getting bigger and better! If you haven't heard of Spook Show, it is a fun outdoor event that brings together a wide variety of vendors selling Halloween and horror merch, as well as booths from upcoming Halloween and haunted events, plus food trucks, a hearse show, and live entertainment! It is put on by the Halloween Club (which is where the event is located), a huge Halloween warehouse that is open year-round (and has huge sales for this event). Read more about Spook Show and check out more photos below!
Monday, March 13, 2017
This was my fourth year at the Natural Products Expo West (past years' coverage - 2014, 2015, 2016), a convention held every year at the Anaheim Convention Center where companies showcase their new natural foods and products to retailers, restaurants, industry folk, and press. Many companies launch new products at this convention, including many vegan and vegan-friendly products. Each year it is so exciting to see so many more vegan options at the Expo! This year was no different, and there were so many new vegan finds I can't wait to share with you!
I was only able to go one day this year, but I still managed to cover lots of ground and hit most of the booths I was interested in checking out. I'm ecstatic that veganism keeps getting bigger and bigger at Expo, and I even overheard a buyer from a HUGE grocery chain (that was checking out a vegan cheese line no less!) exclaim that veganism seems to be everywhere this year (she's right, and it's just gonna keep getting bigger and bigger)! There was so much vegan stuff to check out and I stuffed my face with so much vegan food, but there were ten vegan finds that really stood out. Check them out below:
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
If you are attending Natural Foods Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center this week or just visiting Orange County in general, you'll be pleased to know that there are many vegan restaurants to visit! Since I live here, I decided to create a list of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants for visitors. I'm gearing his list more towards my vegan friends that are in town for the Natural Foods Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center, so I've organized everything with that starting point in mind. Unfortunately there aren't that many vegan options within walking distance of the convention center or at the convention center itself (besides all the samples at Expo West and a few scarce vegan options), so you will need a car (or a Lyft) to get to most of these places around Orange County, but they are well worth it!
It is never too early to celebrate Halloween (Halloween is everyday, duh!), so I am super-duper stoked that details have been unveiled for Midsummer Scream's return to Long Beach this July 2017 and that tickets for the event will be on sale today (likely around noon)! After having such a blast last year (check out my coverage), I highly recommend that anyone and everyone that loves Halloween attend this rad two-day event. You can find out more about this year's event via the press release below:
Friday, March 3, 2017
Those that celebrate Halloween year-round have reason to rejoice this March, as artists Jason McKittrick (purveyor of the fantastic Cryptocurium Parcel of Terror monthly subscription box) and Sam Heimer (dark art illustrator extraordinaire) have come together to offer us Halloween fiends entry into "The Order of the Thinned Veil." The name of this new Halloween club is of course based on the belief that the veil betwixt this world and the next is the thinnest on All Hallow's Eve. Read more about the Order of the Thinned Veil and how you can join below.
Last Friday Netflix released Macon Blair's directorial debut I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore, which was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. It's a quirky revenge thriller about a woman who has had it with our rude, self-centered society, and is pushed to the brink when her house is robbed. When the cops can't help her, she takes things into her own hands to track down the robbers. She enlists her socially-inept neighbor and together they find the robbers, but also realize they may be in way over their heads.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
We are quickly heading into spring and summer, and that means that Southern California will soon be swimming in vegan festivals! SoCal residents are lucky to have such an abundance of vegan festivals to choose from, but these things can add up quickly with the cost of tickets, food, drinks, parking, and so on. Luckily, I've found the top five vegan festivals in SoCal that won't break the bank!
Check out five upcoming Southern California vegan festivals that won't break the bank below:
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
In a few weeks, Halloween Club's Spook Show is back for its fifth year, which promises to scare up bigger and better festivities for Halloween fiends of all ages! I simply adore this event, as it fills my Halloween-loving heart with joy to be among fellow spooks and so many Halloween goodies. There is live music, fun performances, attendees who dress up, and so many Halloween and horror products to treat yourself with! It is like celebrating Halloween in spring! To get a taste of what to expect, check out my coverage from past years HERE and HERE and get in the spooky spirit! More details on the event are below:
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Like I've mentioned in previous posts, the start of this new year has been tough on me - my cat Havoc was ill, I've been sick since January, and with the appalling state of our country I feel like I'm living in the Idiocracy movie. In the midst of this madness I've been looking to things that makes me happy, because I need a boost of hopefulness to take away my blues.
Sometimes I made gratitude lists, noting things that I love and that bring a smile to my face. It may seem silly, but making lists of things I love lately really boosts my spirits! Plus, later I can go back and reflect on these lists and they make me realize just how much I have to be thankful for.
Here are eight spooky pleasures that I've been loving lately!
Monday, February 27, 2017
Girl Scout cookies are such a treat this time of year and the good news is that they offer more vegan options now more than ever. In fact, there are now a total of five Girl Scout cookie varieties that you won't believe are vegan! Read more about these vegan varieties and where to find them below!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Eeeek today marks 250 days to Halloween!!
Have you started planning yet for Halloween 2017? Will you be having a party or attending any other events this coming October? I already made my Halloween wish list for 2017, I hope to visit the places I've listed there this year!
Who else is excited for Halloween 2017?!
Friday, February 17, 2017
Halloween lovers rejoice! Southern California has six upcoming Halloween-centric events that will help you keep your spooky spirit satiated until autumn arrives! These events will be haunting SoCal from spring all the way through summer to help you celebrate Halloween everyday through these dreadfully cheery, sunny months.
If you're anything like me, you've had the Halloween blues and have been pining away for October nights, haunted houses, spooky costumes, scary stories, and orange and black decor. Thank goodness that we have all these Halloween events happening throughout Southern California to give us pumpkin spice and everything not-so-nice!
I've listed six spellbinding events below. They are ordered chronologically, so you can easily mark your calendars with these eerie Halloween events you won't want to miss!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Now, while I haven't had time to craft any new Valentine's Day posts, I still want to share posts from the past that will inject some much needed spookiness the holiday! Whether you're celebrating Saint Valentine, your partner, or yourself on this day of love, I've got some past posts on everything from what horror movies to watch to what creepy cards to give to the weird Victorian tradition of sending insult cards, and much more!
Stay spooky on this day of love by checking out some of my past posts below:
Monday, February 13, 2017
New Ben and Jerry's vegan flavors!
I was able to find two of the three flavors at my local Albertsons' store (if you are local, it's the Irvine store on Campus Drive near UCI) for $5.79 each. Pints are a little pricey, but I'm hoping as these become more widely available the price will come down. This particular Albertsons store had all three vegan flavors but were already sold out of the Coconut Seven Layer Bar. Short descriptions of each flavor are below.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Green Saturday LA is back this weekend just in time to get all your Valentine's Day shopping done! This cruelty-free marketplace is THE place to find unique gifts, delicious food, and even enjoy a beer with friends in its bigger, better location at The Alpine Village in Torrance, California.
This Saturday, you will be able to shop everything from apparel to food to art to housewares to toys to makeup to chocolates to accessories and much more from your favorite vendors. You'll be able to find yourself or that special someone the perfect gift that is made locally, supports the local economy and veg community, and is cruelty-free! Not to mention that a portion of proceeds are donated to the local rescue organization Whiskers and Tails Foundation!
More info on the event is below:
Friday, January 27, 2017
Looking back, 2016 was a pretty solid year for horror movies (here are my top 10 plus honorable mentions). I'm hoping 2017 brings us more of the same high-quality, inventive scary stories, even though this year's release slate is crowded with remakes and sequels (some of which I'm actually interested to check out).
I've listed some of my most anticipated movies below in order of release date (though dates will likely change), plus a few I'm cautiously looking forward to as well as sharing ones that are of no interest to me. A few of these were also on my list of most anticipated movies last year, so I'm even more excited to finally be able to see those!
Finally, this is a personal list and just my opinion, feel free to comment with what horror films you are most looking forward to in 2017 and of course let me know of any films I've overlooked!
Thursday, January 26, 2017
The whole end of December and all of January have been rather challenging for me, so I apologize for the absence. Besides all the usual holiday-craziness/traveling, my sweet cat Havoc got sick right before Christmas (and right before I was heading out of town). I took him to the emergency vet before leaving, and he seemed okay after getting checked out, but when I got back he still wasn't himself, so we've been going back and forth to the veterinarian (this is the first time he has ever been sick in 11 years!). He isn't quite out of the woods yet, but he seems better. And as if that wasn't stressful enough, I caught the nasty flu bug going around and have been sick for the past two weeks and haven't had energy to do much besides sleep, not to mention the awful state of the U.S. at the moment.
Anyways, it seems like I am on the mend (fingers crossed) and next week I'll find out if my dark prince Havoc is doing better. At least while I was sick I had the chance to catch up on some long-overdue reading, including Cemetery Gates Volume 5, a DIY zine created by the badass Kendy aka MissMuffCake! She releases many amazing zines (you can check them all out on Etsy!), and this one is filled with cemetery stories and photography. I've shared past issues of Cemetery Gates (check out Volume 1 and Volume 3!) and loved them, so I was stoked to dive into Volume 5!
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
It's baaaaaaaaack! The much coveted and drop-dead gore-geous Fatally Yours Gourmet Chocolate Box can now be ordered from Vegan Treats for Valentine's Day 2017! This decadent collection of chocolate skulls, bones, bugs, and other body parts is perfect for your favorite ghoul or boil (especially if that happens to be yourself!). And this year Vegan Treats has unveiled another box for those looking for a way to express their love in a more cutesy, kawaii-type way - My Vegan Valentine is Vegan Treats' brand new, bright pink box full of adorable chocolate critters. Details on both of these amazing vegan chocolate boxes can be found below!
Thursday, January 5, 2017
2016 was a rough year for a lot of us, but at least it brought us some pretty rad horror films! We got to watch horror movies about witches in New England, punks and neo-Nazis in the Pacific Northwest, djinns from Iran, Halloween spirits from hell, demonic possession in England, not to mention all the ghosts, spirits, hauntings, and even zombies on a train!
Many of my picks below were also mentioned in my list of most-anticipated horror movies for 2016, however, I was blown away by a few surprise flicks that seemed to come out of nowhere. Whether I expected them to or not, there were plenty of weird, unusual, and spooky flicks in 2016!
I have listed my favorite 10 horror films of 2016, as well as including honorable mentions, below. In addition, I also decided to list films I was disappointed in or didn't care for just to provide an accurate picture of what I watched this year. Read on and then let me know your picks in the comments!
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The massively successful and insanely fun Vegan Street Fair is returning to Chandler Boulevard in North Hollywood this March 26th, 2017! The event has grown every year, and 2017 will be no different, with more space and more delicious vegan food for attendees! They are also expanding geographically, with a VSF coming to New York in summer 2017! They will also be bringing back their VSF Nights to North Hollywood in September as well. Lots of fantastic events coming up from VSF, so keep an eye out for more info.
Vegan Street Fair is seriously one of my favorite vegan food festivals of the year (check out my write-ups on the events from 2016 and 2015!), and I am really picky what I go to! Not only do they have some kick-ass vendors, but they also listen to feedback from attendees and strive to make improvements and tweaks every year. This year, they have done away with the tickets they've used in past years and attendees will pay cash directly to vendors (thank goodness). And as mentioned previously, they are adding more space as well as more vendors in 2017! Check out more details from their Facebook event below: