Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day!


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

Watch Now on Netflix: The Windmill


Judging from its cover, trailer snippet, and description on Netflix, The Windmill looked like a run-of-the-mill (no pun intended) slasher flick, so when I settled in to watch it I was expecting a mediocre horror flick, something I could put on in the background while I fiddled on my phone one evening. To my surprise, I was sucked into the movie and actually found it fun and entertaining!

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

Witch Emoji App


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:

Schmidt's Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral Enriched Natural Deodorant


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

Attend an Evening of Witches This Walpurgisnacht


Walpurgisnacht (Witches' Night) usually occurs on April 30th (unless it's a leap year), and marks the halfway point to Halloween. Historically it was believed that on Walpurgisnacht the veil between worlds becomes thinner (just like Halloween), and witches were able to take to the skies and travel to their mountaintop sabbats. You can learn more about Walpurgisnacht from an article I wrote previously, and I am so thrilled that the good folks over at Death and The Maiden are celebrating it and allowing others to join in the fun with their Night of the Witches event!

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

Bakery on Main Ancient Grain Instant Oatmeal


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

My Top 13 Halloween Blogs


Spring is creeping up on us here (with summer not far behind) and if you are anything like me than you understand my dread at the inevitable sweltering, sunshine-filled days that are about to overtake us. It has already reached the 80s here in SoCal (yuck), so to take my mind off of the impending doom of spring and summer I like to peruse like-minded Halloween blogs. If anything can make me happy during the doldrums of spring and summer it is looking forward to autumn and Halloween season!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Midsummer Scream Reveals 14 Mini Haunts for 2017's Hall of Shadows


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

Product Review: Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Beverage + Food Containers


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

Recap: Vegan Street Fair 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

10 Must-Try Vendors at Vegan Street Fair LA


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

Watch Now on Netflix: Train to Busan (2016)


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

Spring Fundraiser for Loveland Farm Sanctuary


Help bring an animal sanctuary to Orange County! Loveland Farm Sanctuary (LFS), a non-profit organization, is working to raise funds to build a farm animal sanctuary right here in Orange County. They aim is to build a sanctuary where rescued animals can have a safe haven to live out the rest of their days showered with love. The sanctuary would also be open to the public, where members of the community could connect with farm animals and see how emotionally complex and unique they are, and hopefully make the connection that these wonderful animals don't belong on a plate, but rather deserve to live out their lives in peace.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Get Your Stretchy Pants Ready, Vegan Street Fair LA is Less Than a Week Away!


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

The Fifth Annual Spook Show Halloween Festival


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

Top 10 Vegan Finds at Natural Products Expo West 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

Where to Eat Vegan in Orange County California


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!

Midsummer Scream 2017 Details Unveiled + Tickets on Sale Today


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

The Order of the Thinned Veil: A Halloween Appreciation Society To Join Now


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.

Watch Now On Netflix: I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore (2017)


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

5 Upcoming SoCal Vegan Festivals That Won't Break the Bank


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

Spook Show 5 Scares Up Halloween Fun This March


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

Spooky Pleasures: 8 Things I'm Loving Lately


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

5 Girl Scout Cookies You Won't Believe Are Vegan


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

250 Days To Halloween


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

6 Halloween Events Haunting SoCal This Spring and Summer


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

Celebrate Valentine's Day the Spooky Way


Hello boils and ghouls, and Happy Valentine's Day! Unfortunately I spent most of January sick (and with a sick cat and a sick Mister Spooky), and am still recovering from this plague, not to mention dealing with all that has seemed to go so wrong so fast in this country. So I hope you will understand that I haven't had much time to devote to you, my dear readers. I'm hoping that this will change and I will be posting more often, I can't believe I've already lost the first month and a half of the year and that it is already St. Valentine's Day!

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

Ben and Jerry's Three New Vegan Ice Cream Flavors

New Ben and Jerry's vegan flavors!

Ben and Jerry's secretly released three new vegan ice cream flavors this past week, which were quickly spotted and shared by vegans of Instagram! Ben and Jerry's already has four vegan flavors (Chunky Monkey, PB and Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge) that were released just last year (you can read about each of those flavors HERE), and now they have added THREE new flavors - Cherry Garcia, Caramel Almond Brittle, and Coconut Seven Layer Bar!

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 Pre-Valentine's Day Marketplace


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

Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 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

Cemetery Gates Volume 5, Part 1: Cities in Dust


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

'Til Death Do Us Part: The Fatally Yours Chocolate Box Returns for Valentine's Day 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

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2016


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

Vegan Street Fair Returns to SoCal March 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:
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