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...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...