Thursday, December 31, 2015

Restaurant Review: Ramen Hood in Los Angeles, CA

Vegan Ramen at Ramen Hood in DTLA - yes, that "egg" is 100% vegan!

Ramen Hood is one of the most buzzed about new restaurants, located in downtown Los Angeles' Grand Central Market among many other food vendor stalls in an airy, industrial-style building. Ramen Hood is the brainchild of Top Chef winner Ilan Hall, and while the chef isn't vegan, everything on the Ramen Hood menu is. I have been dying to try this place for a few months now. I mean, I cannot remember the last time I had vegan ramen - I know several places offer it (many of the Asian vegan restaurants or those with vegan options offer a vegan ramen), but the only vegan ramen I've had recently is instant ramen. So you can imagine my excitement when a legit vegan ramen place opened up! Finally, I can get my slurp on!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Restaurant Review: Poqet Donuts in Irvine, CA

Vegan Donuts from Poqet

Poqet Donuts (Poqet is pronounced "pocket") recently opened up in Irvine, California, and to my delight I learned they had several vegan donut options available! Poqet Donuts is kind of a "build your own" donut place, like Donut Friend in Los Angeles. Like Donut Friend, they also have many donuts already prepared. Unlike Donut Friend, the majority of their donuts are not vegan (boo), however they do offer two vegan donuts at this time - a Samoa flavor and a Strawberry flavor (woo hoo!).

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top 10 Horror Movies of 2015

When I started making my list of the best horror movies of 2015, I remember thinking that it would be a tough task, as 2015 didn't really stand out for me as a banner year for horror movies. I felt like there just weren't that many new releases and it would be hard to come up with 10 horror movies I adored this year. However, as I started making my list, I realized that this year it was about quality over quantity, and that there were several stellar horror releases in 2015.

This year (and as usual), indie horror reigned supreme, and while I already had most of the horror movies mentioned below on my radar, there were a few pleasant surprises! Another surprise was how varied my favorite horror movies were, from comedies to romance to gothic to artsy to gory to holiday horrors! Lots of different sub-genres this year, which I always count as a good thing!

I did find a pattern for many of the horror films I did end up enjoying. While some of the best horror movies of 2015 were raucous, fun affairs, I found that the majority of the ones I liked best were actually understated and subtle, films that really stuck with me long after I finished watching them. There were also several challenging horror titles, which I had to watch multiple times to decide whether I loved or loathed them (and at least one of my picks I'm still conflicted about).

So below, please find my top 10 horror movies of 2015!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Vegan Quiche with Follow Your Heart's VeganEgg

I've had such great success with Follow Your Heart's much-coveted VeganEgg! I've made vegan scrambled eggs and omelets with it and experienced mouth-watering results, so I decided I HAD to make a vegan quiche with this magical product!

While I've had vegan quiche at restaurants (like a very memorable quiche from Timeless Coffee up in Oakland!), I've never attempted one myself. Before the VeganEgg, it just seemed unattainable and too difficult to try. Now, thanks to Follow Your Heart, I can make a vegan quiche in about an hour! And not only is it really quick and easy, but the results are delicious! Check out the recipe below...

Monday, December 21, 2015

5 Horror Movies to See this Winter

Today is the winter solstice, which marks the beginning of winter! We usually don't see too many horror movies this time of year, due to the holidays and the months of January and February are usually kinda barren for cinema. However, the next couple of months will bring some rather intriguing horror films to see! Below you will find 5 of my most anticipated horror films in the coming months.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Beauty Review: Goddess Provisions Box

The Goddess Provisions monthly subscription box was created by the lovely couple behind the awesomely successful Vegan Cuts subscription boxes (my reviews of the snack box and the beauty box). The Goddess Provisions box is geared more towards getting in touch with your self and the Earth while nourishing both, along with mind, body, and spirit. The monthly box features aromatherapy, crystals, superfoods, natural makeup, and other tools for spiritual growth! Everything is always cruelty-free and vegan, and there are about 4 - 6 full-size products in each box.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Vegan Holiday Gift Guide 2015

I love making/perusing holiday gift guides! There is just something so fun about discovering rad new products that could make the perfect gift for loved ones (or yourself)! And let's face it, there are gift guides for everyone out there, including tons of gift guides specifically geared towards vegans.

I've already written holiday gift guides this year for the darkly inclined and Krampus fans, but I also wanted to post a gift guide geared specifically toward vegans or the vegan-curious and post some of the most sought-after vegan products of 2015! These are items that are on all vegans' wish lists this year, including my own! Check out my picks below, plus links to some other awesome vegan gift guides:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

20 Snowbound Horror Movies

A few years ago I made my list for my top 20 Christmas horror movies (read 20-11 and 10-1), and I still stand by these lists today, but besides Christmas horror movies, I also like watching horror movies set in winter - you know, ones with heaps of snow, where people are isolated and even hampered by the cold weather, movies that are perfect to curl up on the couch with on these colder days.

Personally, I love snowbound horror movies because I don't get snow where I live, and frankly it never really gets that cold. In a way, I get to live vicariously through these horror films with stunning winter landscapes.

So grab your coziest blanket, cuddle up on the couch with some hot cocoa, and immerse yourself in the winter wonderlands of these twenty snowbound horror movies!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Monsters' Holiday by Bobby "Boris" Pickett

The monsters plan a heist of Santa's sleigh, but Santa surprises the monsters with some appropriate gifts...listen to this lost holiday classic by Bobby "Boris" Picket below!

Available on Amazon!

Friday, December 11, 2015

10 Creepy Calendars for 2016

Maybe it's my nerdy side, but towards the end of every year I enthusiastically look forward to picking out my calendars for the next year. I generally buy one for work, then another two for my home. I used to diligently record birthdays, anniversaries, events, holidays, concerts and so on in my calendars, but now that my phone handles all that I generally use them as a point of reference and wall decorations. While wall calendars aren't altogether necessary anymore, I still like having them around, especially since there are so many different options for them out there!

I've been keeping an eye out for cool, creepy calendars that fit my personality, and this year there are so many options in keeping with the gothic aesthetic I so love!

Check out my picks for the 10 creepy calendars for 2016 below:

Edward Gorey 2016 Calendar on Amazon

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Non-Fiction Books for Horror Lovers

Stumped for a gift for your favorite dark heart? One of my favorite gifts to give and to receive is a book! And luckily there have been many neat non-fiction books released recently that would make perfect gifts for horror lovers or those that appreciate darker, more morbid tomes.

Below you'll find my suggestions for eight non-fiction books I think would make fantastic gifts, ranging from Halloween adult coloring books to picture books on gothic television shows and movies to horror artwork to dangerous fashion to horror memoirs and more!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Creepmas Carols from Gothic Maestro Aurelio Voltaire

Aurelio Voltaire is a goth cabaret artist, filmmaker, author, and all-around Renaissance man. He is witty and charming, his songs are dark and catchy, and he is one handsome gentleman! I have been a fan of his work for quite some time now, but I never realized he had several funny, creepy Christmas carols, stories, and even a Halloween/Christmas cross-over book!

I've posted a few of these delightful ditties below:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gothic, Halloween and Horror-Inspired Wrapping Paper for Ghoulish Gifts

Who doesn't appreciate a beautifully wrapped gift? And while there is a lot of generic, boring red and green wrapping paper out there, you can find lots of unique wrapping paper online! I've gone ahead and done the legwork for you and I've found some fun wrapping paper on par with our dark aesthetics, whether it's gothic, Halloween, or horror-inspired.

See what kind of awesome wrapping paper lurks on the interwebs below - links will take you to each respective site where you can get more info/buy the wrapping paper:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: 10 Must-Have Gifts for Krampus Lovers

Krampus has been gaining in popularity over the last few years, and it's expected that popularity will explode with the new Krampus movie that just opened this past weekend (if you haven't yet, go see it! It's great fun!). The love Krampus is getting is justified - who wouldn't love a scary monster who shoves naughty kids in a sack instead of bringing presents?!

For Krampus lovers, this popularity is pretty cool considering all the awesome evil merchandise it has generated! With Krampus being well-known, you can now express your dark side during the holidays, with one of the many rad products with Krampus all over it.

And if you happen to be looking for a gift for a fellow Krampus lover (or yourself), consider picking up one (or more) of these deliciously dark Krampus-inspired products:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Greeting Cards for Horror Fans

Are you sick of all the saccharine seasonal cards with sappy messages? Do you want a holiday card that reflects your spooky side? Well, I've scoured Etsy and found some fantastic horror-day cards that will delight our dark hearts!

Send some holiday fear this year with these ho-ho-horrible holiday cards (and by horrible I mean kick-ass!):

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Merry Krampusnacht!

Someone's been naughty!

The night of December 5th marks Krampusnacht or Krampus night, which precedes the Feast of Saint Nicholas traditionally held on December 6th. Krampus is St. Nicholas' demonic counterpart, and instead of bringing good little boys and girls presents, he punishes the naughty children.

I hope you've been good, because Krampus is coming tonight!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Support "V Marks the Shop", a Vegan Convenience Store Coming Soon to Philadelphia

I've always wanted to visit Philadelphia - there are so many places to I want to go in and around the City of Brotherly Love, and my bucket list includes the fancy and highly rated restaurant Vedge, the gorgeous Laurel Hill Cemetery (oh, to explore the old gravestones there would be heaven), Grindcore House coffee shop (metal music and vegan goodies?? YES PLEASE), the Mütter Museum (housing a collection of medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment),  Charlie Was a Sinner bar (slinging vegan drinks and eats), Vegan Treats (a few hours outside the city, but I'm sure their treats are well worth the drive!), and, now, V Marks the Shop, a new vegan convenience store that wants to join the burgeoning vegan scene in Philly.

Ugly Creepmas Sweaters for the Wicked

Ugly Christmas sweaters aren't what they used to be, and for us with wicked, darker inclinations, they can be rather fun! I even kind of look forward to discovering new designs every year. And this year I've found several ugly Creepmas sweaters and t-shirts inspired by horror movies, gothic aesthetics, killer Santas, the legend of Krampus, and, my personal favorite, Morrissey!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Midnight Syndicate's Gothic Christmas Songs

Midnight Syndicate recently released their first-ever Christmas album, entitled Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering, and it is full of dark twists on classic Christmas tunes, plus some ethereal new material for the winter season. The album description sets the stage for the sinister soundscape:

"As fierce winter winds cut across the frozen landscape, a welcoming golden glow beckons from the windows of a venerable country mansion. Decorated in the festive trappings of Yule, its stately walls seem to offer a much-needed respite for the weary traveler. But the holiday spirits are restless and eager for company this night, as the haunting strains of melodies old and new call forth from the shadows." 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Goth Gifts for the Darkly Inclined

This gift guide came about for rather selfish reasons, I must admit - all these goodies are items I would LOVE as gifts for myself this season. I am lusting over beautiful baubles, witchy subscription boxes, beautifully bound books, an array of cruelty-free, dramatic makeup, glittering jewels, scintillating scents, recluse-themed clothing, eerie accessories, and music!

Take a peek below to see what's on my wish list and get some ideas for what to ask for/buy for yourself this year!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Invoking the Creepmas Spirit and Summoning the 13 Days of Creepmas

I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Merry Creepmas, all you naughty boils and ghouls! Today marks the start of 13 devilish days of Creepmas, when we creepy kooks inject some Halloween into the holidays and make it a spooky season, filled with good cheer fear!

On this first day of Creepmas, we must recite the annual Creepmas invocation, calling forth the spirits of the season to kick off the 13 Days of Creepmas. Join me in reciting a short Creepmas poem by co-founder of the event, Chad Savage (artist extraordinaire and owner of Sinister Visions and Cult of the Great Pumpkin):

How will you be celebrating Creepmas this year?
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