Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Happy Halloween, my spookies!! And, whoa, where did the terrifying time go this October? It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating October 1st, and here we are already at the end of the month, on the best day of the whole year!
I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed all the content I've been sharing with you here and on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This month has been an absolute whirlwind, packed to the ghoulish gills with such fun and festivities. However you celebrated this month, I hope you embraced the spooky spirit of the season and got Halloween happy!
Per my tradition, I'll be sharing with you what I was able to check off this season from my Halloween bucket list. I think this year set a record for most things I've packed into a Halloween season! I did sooooo much stuff and surprised myself with how much I was able to get done. Check out everything I completed from my bucket list (as well as a few items I didn't get to) below:
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
My bed and my sweet prince Havoc
Happy Halloween Eve Eve, fiends! Earlier today I took you on a haunted home tour of my living (dead) room and creepy kitchen, and I also wanted to share my boo-tiful bedroom with you. This is where I dream at night of moonlit graveyards, friendly ghosts and monsters, autumn forests lit in reds, yellows, and oranges, misty pumpkin patches, and other delightful dreams. It is where I get ready every morning for the day ahead, put together my to-do lists, and write my blog posts. It is my serene space where I listen to music, relax, and gaze out the second-story window into the leaves of a tree. I love taking naps with my cat Havoc underneath the orange lights and soft pumpkin glow, with the window open and the wind rustling the leaves of the tree.
Enough with me babbling on, though, and onto the photos of my boo-tiful bedroom:
Today, on the day before Halloween, I wanted to take you on a tour of my spooky home! It has been dressed up a bit for Halloween, but despite a few banners and extra decor, it looks like this all year-round. I love creeping it real all year, so why not leave up the decor that brings me happiness and joy?! I especially love leaving the lights up all year as they make it feel so cozy and warm! And of course I love collecting eerie artwork to adorn my walls.
You may remember I shared my living room with you all last year, so I thought I would start there since it is the focal point of my spooky home and what you see as soon as you enter through the front door. We have a soft black couch that I love to sink into after a long day. It is piled high with pillows and blankets for maximum comfort while watching horror movies. I have pumpkins arranged around the TV, twinkle lights strung up around the room, and pieces of art, candles, and small decorations on shelves to create my perfect spooky sanctuary.
Behind the couch there is a vintage church organ that belongs to Mister Spooky as well as the bookshelves that hold my movie collection and some of my favorite books. Beyond the living room is the kitchen, where I somehow manage to squeeze in my collection of Halloween mugs and tableware and cook our vegan meals.
Take a peek at both my spooky living room and kitchen below:
Monday, October 29, 2018
I was incredibly honored that Marla Rose of Vegan Street asked me to be part of their vegan rock star interview series! I have admired Marla and her fiercely informative website for years, which covers hot vegan topics, product reviews, interviews, and more. I love how the website is inclusive of all vegans (and vegan-curious) and shares a wide variety of voices in the vegan community.
My friend Kendy P. (aka MissMuffCake) creates some incredible zines (several which I've had the pleasure of contributing to or featuring here, like Cemetery Gates volumes three and five and Catsploitation). I recently had the pleasure of contributing a Halloween playlist to her latest zine, The Stay At Home Girlfriend volume 29. I just received my copy and it is packed full of Halloween treats! Get a sneak peek below...
I know I say this every year, but I can't believe how fast this month has gone by! Can you believe we are only a few days away from Halloween?! Ahhhhh, I sure can't! I thought I would wind down this month by taking a moment to acknowledge some of the things I really loved this October. I plan on making this a reoccurring monthly post where I can share things I'm grateful for, big or small. Plus, I love sharing items I'm currently obsessing over with you!
So here we go, here are 10 Things I'm Loving This October:
Sunday, October 28, 2018
The Pageant of the Monsters returns to Laguna Beach only once every five years, and 2018 is one of the years it appears at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts. It features a macabre marketplace, sinister sideshow, eerie arts and creepy crafts, and a haunted house walk-through the backstage of the theater. The event runs only four nights, on October 26th, 27th, 28th, and 31st. There are only two nights left of the event, and you can read more about my visit there below!
Friday, October 26, 2018
If you're in the mood to watch something spooky this Halloween season but have seen everything on Netflix (if you need Netflix suggestions, I have you covered HERE), Hulu has a growing collection of horror films you should check out. From terrifying classics to horror comedies to gorefests to serial killer tales to indie titles to sci-fi and so much more, Hulu has definitely become another platform I am always checking for horror movies to watch!
The list below doesn't list every single horror movie on Hulu now, but rather these are hand-picked suggestions of movies I've enjoyed. Of course, some are better than others, but each of them have their charm.
Check out my recommendations of 74 titles on Hulu you can watch this Halloween season:
Thursday, October 25, 2018
In case you are not familiar with Boney Island, it was a home haunt located in a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles that brought wonder and joy Halloween fans of all ages with its mechanical skeletons and spooky displays. After almost two decades of spreading the spooky spirit and creating a community celebration, the home haunt had to unfortunately shut down due to staggering "safety" fees the city was demanding for traffic and crowd control.
This year, the haunt has been resurrected in Griffith Park right next to the Ghost Train attraction. Former Simpsons producer Rick Polizzi originally built Boney Island for his kids and neighborhood children and through the years it evolved into a massive attraction that drew thousands seeking some Halloween magic. In its new home in Griffith Park, it has more room to spread out and allow fun-loving Halloween fans a chance to enjoy its whimsy.
I never had a chance to visit its old location at Polizzi's residence, so I was heartbroken when I heard it was forced to close. However, when the attraction found a new home at Griffith Park (a Halloween miracle!), I was absolutely delighted that I would finally be able to experience Boney Island. I was given complimentary tickets to visit and share my thoughts on this Halloween attraction. Keep reading below for photos and my review of this Halloween display!
While watching a movie, do you ever stop and think, "I wish I could transport myself into that scene right now?" That's how I feel a lot of the time whenever I'm watching a Halloween-themed movie or a movie with a killer Halloween scene. There are a lot of Halloween movies that feature incredible Halloween party scenes, and those are the kinda places I would love to transport myself to if I had a chance.
I thought it would be fun to feature 13 Halloween parties from movies I'm dying to attend, check them out below:
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I haven't had a chance to do that much cooking or baking this Halloween season, so I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my Halloween recipes from the past ten years (wow, I can't believe it's been 10 years since I started this blog!!). I am by no means a pro at baking or cooking, but I always love putting a spooky spin on recipes - it is so much more fun to eat Halloweenized food, am I right?!
Below you'll find some of my fave past recipes, from eerie appetizers to creepy cookies! All recipes are vegan and contain no animal ingredients, because no one wants that trick for Halloween.
10 Spooktacular Halloween Recipes to make this Halloween season:
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
I love revisiting some of my favorite Halloween TV episodes every October! My only problem is narrowing it down every year to a few favorites so I actually have time to watch them, haha! This year, I'm sticking with these 13 favorites, from a variety of TV genres like drama, horror, and (gasp!) comedy! I feel like whether you like the spooky stuff or not, these all offer some Halloween spirit for everyone!
And I realize there are about a bazillion other Halloween episodes I could have chosen, but these are the 13 I'm working through this year. If you have different ones you watch, please let me know in the comments, I want to know your favorites!
Here are 13 of my fave TV Halloween episodes I am re-watching this month in preparation for Halloween:
Friday, October 19, 2018
Boot Hill is a home haunt and yard display in Irvine, California that is open select Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights leading up to Halloween. It is in its 19th year of keeping the Halloween spirit alive and is put together with spooky love every year by the homeowners. It features an Old-West theme, with the facade of a home and the front yard transformed into an Old West town and cemetery, and the ghost of Jedediah Smith roaming the ghoulish grounds!
While I feel like Netflix' horror movie catalog is shrinking, they still have some really great titles that are worth a watch (or re-watch). Check out 70 horror movies you should watch on Netflix this Halloween below:
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Photo courtesy of Vegan Power Co.
UPDATE: CONTEST CLOSED! Thanks for all your entries, winner will be announced on the original Instagram giveaway post!
For all my fellow dark, spooky, and creepy vegans, these pins by Vegan Power Co. were made specifically for YOU! If you love saving animals as well as all things spooky, you now have a chance to win the sold-out "Creepy Vegan" enamel pin as well as the glow-in-the-dark "Ghost Taco" pin! I have partnered with Vegan Power Co. to give away these two limited edition Halloween pins to one lucky, U.S.-based winner!
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Nancy Nightmare and the Wizard is a musical act influenced by Halloween, horror movies, and all things spooky! They recently contacted me to check out their music, and I pretty much instantly fell in love with their spooky songs and eerie aesthetic! Today I wanted to share the song that got me hooked on them, "31 Days of Halloween (A Halloween Carol)". Listen to what will surely become your next Halloween anthem that will be on repeat the rest of the month:
I had the pleasure of being invited to attend Scare Valley Farms, a Halloween haunt and haunted hayride at Bear Valley Farms in the mountains of Big Bear, California. While I only live two hours from Big Bear I had never been up there before, so I was thrilled to finally make the trek to Big Bear and visit Scare Valley Farms this Halloween season! Check out my review of this Halloween haunt and haunted hayride and photos of the event below:
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
The autumn foods are popping up all over right now (check out my pumpkin finds from Trader Joe's), and I found some pumpkin products at my local Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store a few weeks ago I'm just getting around to sharing with you (better late than never, right?!).
Disclaimer: I can't get enough pumpkin, and admit I'm a sucker for anything with "pumpkin" in the ingredients as long as it is free of animal ingredients. If someone slaps a pumpkin sticker on a label, I'm drawn to it faster than a trick or treater to a candy bowl! During this time of year, my eyes are immediately drawn to anything orange in the store and I scour shelves and end caps for any hidden autumn products.
When shopping at Sprouts Farmers Market (a grocery store chain here in SoCal) a few weeks ago, I was pleased to see that they had started putting out their pumpkin products! Not everything was out yet (I am waiting on that Daiya Pumpkin Cheezecake!!), but I did want to share what I did find with you since I know you love autumn foods as much as I do! Check out the pumpkin products and other autumn items Sprout's Farmers Market has on shelves now (note: all items shown are vegan; prices may vary by region):
Monday, October 15, 2018
This is one of my favorite cookie recipes to make this time of year! I came up with it last year after adding Dandies' Pumpkin Marshmallows to my pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookie recipe, which gave these a delicious flavor evocative of marshmallows roasted over a bonfire on a crisp fall night.
The cookies themselves are fluffy and cake-like, delectably sweet with a light hint of spice. The marshmallows give them an ooey-gooey consistency that makes them a perfect autumn treat. Whenever I've served them, they are always a huge hit with vegans and non-vegans alike! Today I'm happy to share the recipe with you below:
Thursday, October 11, 2018
CONTEST CLOSED: Winner announced on the original post on my Instagram!
I've been fan of Tee No Evil and their horror and Halloween designs ever since I scored their limited edition tee at the very first Midsummer Scream! They have absolutely stunning and original horror and Halloween tees, made of durable, thick, soft, high-quality cotton. Wearing one of their unique designs guarantees you'll stand out from the rest, for many seasons to come, and now you can enter to to win two of their incredible t-shirts!
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
My sister gave me a recipe for a DIY coffee scrub several years ago, and I love making it to this day! I use it in the shower and not only does it make my skin silky-smooth, but the coffee perks me up and I swear it firms up my behind! With pumpkin season upon us and pumpkin spice coffee so readily available, I had a lightbulb moment and thought to make a pumpkin spice coffee scrub based on my sister's recipe. All I did was replace regular ground coffee with pumpkin spice ground coffee and it came out incredible!
I love everything pumpkin spice, so I usually end up buying pumpkin spice coffee this time of year, despite the fact that I'm not a big fan of flavored coffee (the cute packaging always gets me!). With this recipe, I can use up the pumpkin spice coffee I buy and continue using it all year to make this recipe.
I love how this Pumpkin Spice Coffee Scrub smells and how it moisturizes and exfoliates my skin. Plus, this is such a quick and easy recipe, and you probably already have the ingredients on hand. Check out how to make your own Pumpkin Spice Coffee Scrub below:
Like I reported a few months ago, this year will see the return of the Pageant of the Monsters to Laguna Beach! The event is only held every five years, and features a terrifying twist on the traditional Pageant of the Masters. It will feature spooky scenes, macabre music, and many more tricks and treats for attendees! They have announced their full schedule full of tricks and treats, check it out via the official press release below:
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
One of my Halloween traditions is to visit my local pumpkin patch at Tanaka Farms in Irvine, California. I love attending events at Tanaka Farms, which is a real working farm and so fun to visit. Their pumpkin patch is a real one, where pumpkins are actually grown and you can wander down the rows of pumpkins, visit a corn maze, and even pick your own fruits and veggies on the farm! They also have wagon rides and games. The pumpkin patch is absolutely gourd-geous - they have everything from itty bitty pumpkins to huge giants.
Like last year (check out my visit from last year), Tanaka Farms has officially licensed Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters to host their pumpkin patch. Photo ops abound with character cut-outs and it is certainly fun to see the cutesy Sanrio characters throughout the farm. There are also hay bales, scarecrows, a sunflower maze, their famous pile of pumpkins, and so many other amazing treats in store at Tanaka Farms.
Check out my photos from this year's visit below:
Monday, October 8, 2018
Making a Halloween music mix is one of my favorite things to do during the spooky season! Fun fact: I have two go-to Halloween mixes from 2007 and 2010 (on CD!) that I keep in my car at all times and pretty much listen to non-stop. Over the years, I've also added more Halloween-inspired songs to my list of macabre music to listen to whenever I need to get into the spooky spirit. These songs range in style from industrial to goth to synthwave to punk to metal to alternative and beyond - there is a little something for everyone whose musical tastes tend to stray to the dark side.
This year, I decided to combine all my favorite Halloween tunes as well as some new ones into a mix of 31 songs I love to listen to for Halloween! Check out my 2018 Halloween mix on Spotify below (and be sure to check out my Spotify profile for my other music mixes, including a vintage Halloween playlist!):
Saturday, October 6, 2018
The deliciously decadent, gorgeously gothic Fatally Yours vegan chocolate box is back for Halloween and Vegan Treats has unveiled all the spooky, scrumptious details of the 2018 Halloween edition of their boo-tiful box, which is available for pre-order now. Visit Vegan Treats' online store to pre-order these creepy chocolates (they sell out so fast it's scary, so don't delay - order today), and check out the full description below for their Limited Halloween Edition of the Fatally Yours chocolate box (they also have an ultimate edition that has a few more treats in it) from Vegan Treats:
Friday, October 5, 2018
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is getting into the Halloween haunt scene with their Horror Made Here event, now in its third year on the Warner Bros.' backlot. I was excited to check it out for the first time this year and was invited to attend their media preview night to give you a sneak peek what to expect (if you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen some behind-the-scenes fun)! This year, the mazes featured include ones based on IT, The Conjuring universe, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Escape from Arkham, and The Exorcist. I was very intrigued to see how Warner Bros. would treat their horror properties and see if it was an event I could come back to year after year for thrills and chills!
I am seriously stoked for a number of horror movies and series that are coming to different streaming platforms this October, and there are so many to choose from! You need a subscription for the streaming services below to watch these films or series, and I'm covering only the major ones - Netflix, Hulu, Shudder, and Amazon Prime. See what I'm most excited to check out from these streaming services this month below!
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Photo credit: Charley Gallay
Last week was the opening of 2018's Dark Harbor at The Queen Mary. Ever since I had a blast last year I was looking forward to attending again this year! This year promised to be the best yet, with revamped mazes and what they said would be the darkest and most immersive Dark Harbor yet. I attended their media night and received complimentary front-of-line VIP access to do all the mazes and enjoy the ambiance of their spooktacular midway from their VIP cabanas.
CONTEST CLOSED! See the winner on the original post on Instagram!
Trick or treat, give me something good to eat, like this delectable cookie dough by Eat Pastry! Eat Pastry makes my favorite vegan cookie dough, and it is always a treat. And lucky for you, I've partnered with Eat Pastry to give away a tub of their vegan cookie dough so you too can enjoy this scary-good cookie dough!
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Photo by Kendy aka MissMuffCake
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
How cool is this custom-carved and handmade Halloween puppet by FoamFoolery? I have never seen anything quite like it and it is so unique! This spooktacular Jack-o-Punkin puppet was sent to me by Seth Chappell, the creator and puppeteer behind FoamFoolery, a company that specializes in making custom puppets. Seth makes custom puppets for clients and is behind many puppets inspired by metal musicians. His puppets were featured in an Author and Punisher video and he also creates his own metal videos with his puppet band Throwing Goats, with some pretty big guest stars from metal providing music for the videos (check out FoamFoolery on YouTube)!
Monday, October 1, 2018
Happy October! Our favorite time is here, the spooky time when windows and doors are decorated with jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, ghosts, black cats, bats, witches, and monsters of all shapes and sizes. When fun-size candy beckons to us from the aisles of grocery stores. When horror movies and spooky stories abound. When Halloween decor is displayed in every store you walk into. When the nights are longer and cooler. When the leaves start to turn orange, yellow, and red, and the crisp air smells of mulled apples and spiced pumpkin. When the veil becomes ever thinner, and it makes it feel like anything is possible. This is our time, Halloween-time!
And not only that, but today is the first day of October and that kicks off the annual Countdown to Halloween, a blogging event I've been participating in since 2010 that celebrates 31 days of Halloween! During October, a creepy collective of spooky bloggers (find us all HERE) share Halloween-related content all October long. I'll be sharing all sorts of Halloween treats with you, from dreadful decor to eerie events to to-die-for recipes and DIYs to macabre movie lists and morbid music and so much more!
To kick off the 31 days of Halloween, my tradition is to share my Halloween bucket list for the year. I am really spoiled here in SoCal with so many incredible events and fearsome festivities during the Halloween season that I couldn't do them all if I wanted to! However, I do like jotting down my haunting hopes and spooky dreams for the month of October - this is like my wish list of all the stuff I want to do to really revel in the season! I am trying to take it easy this year, and enjoy small pleasures, like watching Halloween movies, eating pumpkin treats, making it out to a few haunts, and spreading the Halloween fear here as well as on my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! You can check out my list below...