My Favorite Things- Fall Edition

Happy Fall to everyone! This is my favorite time of year and I love that in my area the weather is getting a little cooler. Definitely helps to get into the mood of the season. I don’t know about everyone else, but fall also commences a busy time in our family. Always, seems our weekends are jammed packed with activities. With that said, I know I have neglected my blog a little bit so I decided to make a post that included a lot of things I have been wanting to write about.

12 ways to wear a scarf

In recent years I have embraced using scarves as an accessory. It really adds a pop to any outfit and also adds a finishing touch to a basic jeans and t-shirt ensemble. So if you don’t use scarves as an accessory I urge you to try it out. You can get fun scarves for under $10, just look at Old Navy or Target.

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Yes, I know this ‘anthology’ is on its third season, but the first episode of The Coven saga has left me blind sided. First of all I don’t know how Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk come up with creepy amazing twisted tales time and time again. American Horror Story is scary story telling at its best. One thing that stands true from the past two seasons is that the show always has strong amazing characters. They have a habit of leaving a mark on our minds and striking a chord with our deepest darkest fears.  I also love that the actors come back to play different roles each season. For example, Jessica Lange has been a creepy intrusive next door neighbor, an unrelenting Mother Superior and asylum warden and currently Supreme Witch. The Coven also boasts an all star-cast, Kathy Bates, Angela Basset and Jessica Lange to just name a few. This season will take us through the lore of witchcraft and voodoo of New Orleans.  If you haven’t I suggest you tune in, just remember to keep the lights on while you watch.

BACK ROW: HAYLEY ORRANTIA, GEORGE SEGAL, TROY GENTILE; FRONT ROW: SEAN GIAMBRONE, JEFF GARLIN, WENDI MCLENDON-COVEY I don’t know if it is, because I grew up in the 1980’s, but I find this show hilarious. I have a been a long time fan of Jeff Garlin ever since his Curb Your Enthusiasm days. It also reminds me a lot of my husband’s family. Not that I know how their family life was in the 80s, but it is how I imagined it. My husband has also commented that, its like watching his childhood at times. I wonder if the whole 1980’s setting will get old, but we will wait and see. I have really enjoyed the first few episodes and hope to see more.

Movie_4127_706If you haven’t seen Rush yet, run to the movie theater as soon a possible. It is the best movie I have seen all year.  Rush (directed by Ron Howard) is based on the true life 1970s rivalry of Formula One drivers James Hunt and Nicky Lauda. The movie depicts this rivalry very well. Nicky Lauda is played by Daniel Bruhl. I feel that he gives an award-winning performance. James Hunt is portrayed by Chris Hemsworth not only is he so nice to look a  but, he brings the sexy effortless swagger that James embodied perfectly. The driving sequences are pretty intense and well done, but also the human aspect of the film is just as good. Even if you don’t like car racing you will like this film. There is suspense, romance, action and some laughs. It has it all, go see it.

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Lastly, but certainly not least I want to give a shout out to my in-laws John and Joella on their 50th wedding anniversary! We had the pleasure of celebrating this momentous milestone with them and all our family this past weekend. It was really nice to see everyone and especially to have our kiddos hang out with their cousins for a weekend. Congratulations Mom and Dad!

I hope you all have a good rest of the week and remember even if life gets a little hectic, take the time to enjoy the present!

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“Yeah, REALLY SCARY!”….

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(pic source)

I had been intrigued by The Conjuring since I read an article about the movie and Lorraine Warren in Entertainment Weekly. In the article, Lorraine stresses that of all the cases she and her husband Ed investigated, this is one of the most terrifying for her. To me, that means a lot. She and her husband have seen thousands of cases over the years. If you do not know about Lorraine and Ed Warren, they are a paranormal investigators. Ed was a demonologist (he passed away in 2006 ) and Lorraine is a clairvoyant. If you had a haunting, they were the people to have come and investigate (I would call a priest first, but you know that is just me). They also have a famous occult museum. They have kept many items from their investigations and they figure the items are best under their care then out in the world.  Click here to take a tour of the museum.

The Conjuring is based on a true story. The Perron family moves into an idyllic farm-house in Rhode Island. Little did they know is that there was a very dark history that came along with their dream home. You all can figure out the rest.  The trailer freaked me out from the beginning and when I heard from people who said the scariest parts were not even in the trailer I for sure had to go and check it out. I love a good genuine scare.

So this past Tuesday I gathered two brave souls (thanks for coming with me Meagan and Jen) and we went to the 7:40 pm showing. I asked the teenager selling concession if he had seen it. He was like, “Yeah it’s really scary.” I was like, “Really? “He said, “Yeah REALLY SCARY!” So now I was scared. The three of us walked to the theater, which was relatively empty, but thankfully it filled up by show time. We were nervously eating our popcorn, and once the movie started we were all huddled up in little balls. I can say I watched half the movie through my fingers and I screamed about 5 times (I wasn’t the only one screaming). At one point I had Jen’s knee in a death grip. The movie moves at a fast pace. The acting is good and the writing and direction is great. It’s not just one scare, it is  like five at once, and then you move on to the next scare and get 5 more! It’s a roller coaster of scary. There is no gore. This movie is scary because it conjures up things that we are all scared of. It messes with our feelings and our senses.  I could go more in detail, but I don’t want to give anything away. I will say one thing: being a mother I can see how Lorraine Warren (who was a mom herself at the point of this haunting) believes this is one of the more disturbing case they investigated.

Bottom line, if you like a good scare, go see this movie (It is up there now  in my top 5 scariest movies). It’s just a straight up terrifying ghost story. This story will stick with you, so be ready to sleep with your rosary and/or Bible and the lights on. Also, if you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t check the time!

My Top 5 Most Terrifying Movies

I have always loved scary movies. In the spirit of the season I thought I would share the movies that terrified me the most. These are movies that have made me lose sleep, made me not like my bed, made me look at a breed of dog differently, made me think twice before playing with a Ouija board, and made me not like haunting piano music.

Madman

There is something about this horror b-movie that just stuck with me. I think it was the shadowy image of the crazed lunatic carrying an ax that did me in. I remember watching this as a preteen with my BFF at one of our countless sleepovers, and waking up in the middle of the night so terrified of the thought of that shadowy image. There is something truly unsettling about the crazy hair, overalls, and of course, the blood-stained ax.

Paranormal Activity

Sleep escaped me during the weeks following this movie. Most of this feature takes place in a bedroom, a place that is usually a safe haven.  However, this movie shows our vulnerabilities while we sleep. Even though it doesn’t retain a shred of truth, the story and the “home video” perspective painted a very believable picture. This movie succeeds without a big Hollywood budget or sophisticated effects. Plus, I credit this movie with my recently developed phobia toward attics.

Cujo

Only horror master Stephen King can turn man’s best friend (could he have thought of a scarier name?) into a man-eating monster. I saw this at a young age and it took me a while to warm up to a St. Bernard again. The image that stayed with me the most is the foaming beast charging a parked the car containing a mother and her young son. Still brings me chills when I think about it! Note to self:  keep family dog’s rabies vaccine up to date.

The Exorcist

I think this is everyone’s top-rated terrifying movie. The fact that it is based on a true story makes it even scarier. Again, don’t mess with the occult. I love hearing the stories of people who went to the theaters to see it. My Aunt and Uncle apparently slept in the living room for about a week. Too scared to sleep in their bedrooms.  I have only watched it a few times, and every time I watch it again, I am still terrified.

Halloween

This is the horror movie to which all others are compared. Very impressionable, as I saw it at a young age (not a good idea). It’s the first scary movie I remember watching.  The haunting score still leaves me unnerved (well, that and the white mask and enormous butcher knife). When that first note hits, you know you are in for something terrifying.  This is on my annual “must-see” list during Halloween season.

What some of your most terrifying movies? I hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo

Trader Joe’s Cart and The Walking Dead (Spoilers)

Finally made it to Trader Joe’s yesterday. I hadn’t gone in over 4 weeks. This is what my cart looked like before check out.

I bought a lot of new items. Check back soon to the Trader Joe’s Finds page to see my reviews!

*****SPOILERS**** DO NOT CONTINUE READING UNLESS YOU ALREADY WATCHED THE NEW EPISODE OF WALKING DEAD!!!!

Wow! Last night episode did not disappoint! Like I mentioned before this show always leaves me with questions at the end of an episode. These were the ones I was left with last night. Maybe you all can help me.

1) How much time had passed? About 4-5 months maybe? Also, how much time has passed since the virus started spreading? About a year?

2) Are Lori and Rick on bad terms, because of her reaction to Shane’s death? Does Rick know all the things she had told Shane (last season) about taking charge and being a leader? Why is Carl mad at her?

3) In making the prison their home, did they not think of the possibility that there might be dangerous  human inmates still there?

4) Are Daryl and Carol starting a “thing”? I really don’t like the idea of that. I like them being more a mother/son relationship

5) Finally, what was the need for Rick cutting off  part of Herschel’s leg? SO the virus won’t spread?  If everyone is infected, does a bit cause immediate transformation to walker? Or does it happen only if the bite is fatal? Now I am all confused on the science of transforming to a zombie!

If you saw the show what did you think? I hope you all have a great week! xoxo

Walking Dead and American Horror Are Back

Two of our favorite shows (yes we have a lot of favorite shows) premiere just in time for the Halloween season.  We have been watching the Walking Dead since it debuted 2 years ago. I find it very riveting and addicting. Even if you take away the zombie apocalypse aspect, I think what really holds the show together is the textured interaction between the characters. Every character is very complex and has had their own twist and turns that creates a great story. Only a few shows leave me with such emotion after an episode is over. I can’t tell you how many times I have said the following  phrases after an episode, i.e.:”What the hell is she thinking?” Or, “Why didn’t they look in there earlier,” and “Why aren’t they watching their son.”, It’s a zombie apocalypse for god’s sake!”  Further, “Why is she still leading him on?” And my favorite, “Why are you doing that? It’s the end of times!”

I am looking forward to see where this next season will take Rick and the gang.

I was mesmerized with the terrifying tale of the first season of American Horror Story. It went places I never thought it could go. It was a very well told story with great acting. When it comes to scary movies/tv shows, you must have a well crafted story. If you don’t, it just going to be bad no matter how many terrifying images are in it.  Ryan Murphy made this work, and I am so pleased that he turned the show into an anthology. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the Asylum.  By the look of the teasers it is seriously going to be twisted and petrifying.

Are you looking forward to these shows?  Hope you all have a great weekend! xoxo

Remember Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark and More Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark both are retold by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammel. They were some of my favorite books when I was a kid. I totally forgot about these great anthologies of scary folklore tales until my older son recently asked me to tell him scary story.  I told him the story called “The Hook.” You might remember that one;  two teenagers riding around in the night, they stopped to park (I made it PG and in the book I believe it’s PG too), and on the radio they heard a news announcement stating that a hook handed inmate had escaped from the local prison. The reporter said to be careful and stay vigilant. Once the teenagers heard the report, the girl got scared and wanted to go home, but her boyfriend insisted they stay and “talk”. While they were “listening to music” they heard a scratching sound outside. They got freaked out and decided to go home. When the boyfriend dropped off his girlfriend at her house he screamed when he went to open the car door for her, because there was a hook in the keyhole!  An oldie but a goody right?!

There are some great scary stories in both these books. Who can forget “High Beams,” “The Girl Who Stood on a Grave” or “The Babysitter?” These were the stories we told at sleepovers and camp outs.  I was happy to find that both books had new editions. They were re-released for their 30th Anniversary. I bought them for my 4th grader. I was around his age when I started reading them, and he has really enjoyed them. If a story is too scary, he stops reading it. I find it nice that he is enjoying something I liked so much when I was his age. The new books have the same stories, but the illustrations (they are by Brett Helquist, the illustrator of “The Series of Unfortunate Events”) are different.

I volunteer at my 4th grader school library once a week. I help re-shelve books. When I was there this week I notice that the first book (original edition) was in the re-shelve cart. It made me happy to know that this book is still being read. It made me even happier when a 3rd grader asked me if I knew of any scary story books. I just handed her the book and said, “Try this one.” As the book passed from my hand to hers. I thought, “I really hope this doesn’t give you nightmares kid.”

If you want to buy your own click here. Or go to this website which has some of the stories.  If you are a parent and want to introduce this to your kids please use your judgement  I wouldn’t be reading this to my 5 year old, but my 9 year old seems to be enjoying them. He also doesn’t scare too easily.

What are some of your favorite stories or urban legends?  Have a great weekend! xoxo