Halloween Mani

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Growing up, black was the one color of nail polish we weren’t allowed to wear. I never minded because I only liked bright colored nail polishes anyway and even now I can’t get into black polish. I’ve tried to find blacks that are fun for me (full of rainbow or silver glitter, shades of purples and blues that aren’t quite black, black as an accent color…) but I have hated them all. Something about black polish makes it too boring and depressing for me (kind of like how navy clothes make me feel… but that’s a whole other post). It’s just not fun like other colors. I’m much more of a bright, colorful nail polish person. So when it came time to do a Halloween mani, I went for fall colors and glitter rather than the traditional black and orange.

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I had some cute gold squirrel nail decals from Vinyl It Up (read more about her vinyls here), and I decided to pair them with some fall colors. I used a couple of Sephora by OPI polishes that I got in their Spice Market mini set. I Think I Cayenne is the orange and Have You Met Rose, Mary? is the red (side note: I wish Sephora still partnered with OPI because I loved their polishes). For the gold accents, I used Julep’s Goldie, a fun yellow-gold microglitter. I made the waves using the deep wave nail vinyls from Vinyl It Up.

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I was surprised by how much I liked this mani. I usually prefer cool tones, but these colors are so nice. I Think I Cayenne is a great autumn orange shimmer with just enough brightness to make it interesting. Have You Met Rose, Mary? is a red shimmer that isn’t very unique, but it is pretty. Both shades had great coverage after only one coat, although I did use two. Goldie is a great color with a lot of sparkle to it. It is a bright yellow gold that I was initially unsure of, but it’s such a different color and really works with a lot of different polishes. Goldie is a standout color that really catches the eye, and it is packed with glitter. I love the squirrel nail decals! I’ve been really happy with Vinyl It Up’s products, and I love using them for my manis. They are super easy to use, they last a long time, and they are so cute. Be sure to check out her instagram to see what fun vinyls she has coming for the holidays (I’m especially looking forward to the mittens).

What polishes are you wearing today?

-Molly

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Scary Movie Bucket List

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, I loved the holiday – the pumpkin carving, costumes, and the candy of course, but the dressing up part was always my favorite. Trying to come up with the most creative home made costume seemed to turn into a competition year after year. Now that I’m out of college and living in a town house rather than an apartment I’m hoping to start a new Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins, watching scary movies, and handing out candy to the passing trick or treaters. I don’t think I will ever grow out of my love of carving pumpkins (I rarely make very intricate designs but it’s still a ton of fun). My most creative was probably a Mario pumpkin which I carved in a hotel room a few years ago – hey sometimes you have to celebrate the holiday out of town! So in honor of the holiday and what hopefully becomes a new Halloween tradition I thought I would share a few of my favorite scary movies and a few that are on my list of must see movies.

Favorite Scary Movies:

The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror (the 1979 version): The plot for this movie surrounds a family that moves into a new house and is haunted by the demonic spirits that reside in the house after a gruesome murder of a family. I was pretty young when I first saw this movie but it’s still pretty scary even now.

The Grudge

The Grudge: An evil supernatural spirit inhabits one person, causes havoc until the person passes, and moves on to it’s next victim. I’m a huge fan of Sarah Michelle Geller which is partially why this is one of my favorites. Molly and I saw it in theater together when it first came out and a few parts definitely made us jump.

The Collector

The Collector: Another film I saw in theater. This is by far the scariest of the three. The Collector is focused on Arkin, a handyman, who plans a heist to steal money from a wealthy family that just moved into the neighborhood. When Arkin returns to burglarize the house he finds that another individual is already there to torture the family and has set up traps throughout the house so Arkin must work to safely escape the house before he becomes the next victim.

Scary Movies Bucket List:

The Shining

The Shining: Yes, a classic that I still haven’t seen! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go see this at the Arclight this week due to work so it’s still on my scary movie bucket list.

The Haunting

The Haunting: A group takes part in a sleep study in a haunted mansion.

The Skeleton Key

The Skeleton Key: A Southern Gothic horror film with a supernatural twist.

Now I just need to decide which one to watch tomorrow! Do you have any fun Halloween traditions or scary movies I should watch?

- Stacie

**All images from IMDB.com

Posted in Lifestyle. Tagged with , .

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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I love fall because it gives me an excuse to eat pumpkin anything. Even though it’s still 90+ degrees here, I am taking full advantage of the season. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin risotto, and these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. It may not be cold enough yet for pumpkin soup, but I can still get my fix with these cookies.

Recipe adapted from Le Creme de la Crumb.

½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups milk or dark chocolate chips (I used half milk chocolate chips and half dark chocolate chunks), divided

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Mix together vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla, and egg until smooth.

In another bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until blended.

In a small bowl, mix baking soda and milk until combined.

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Mix pumpkin mixture and baking soda/milk mixture until blended. Slowly add flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips (save 1/2 cup for later). Let dough rest for 15 minutes.

While dough is resting, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop batter onto baking sheet, using about 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons worth of batter for each cookie. Push remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips onto the top of the cookies (so they look pretty). Bake for 10-14 minutes.

These cookies are so good. They are fluffy but still dense, almost like pumpkin bread in cookie form. The original recipe called for more chocolate, but I found it to be overwhelming and hard to keep the dough together, so I scaled it back here. I really liked the combination of milk and dark chocolate for these cookies, but if you want a smoother flavor go for all milk chocolate chips. I got almost two dozen cookies out of this recipe and they were pretty big (two or three was a good snack size). These were delicious and since they contain pumpkin and have a bread-like consistency I can almost convince myself they are healthy.

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?

-Molly

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Halloween Haunts

With Halloween coming up there have been so many fun Halloween themed things to do from haunted houses to hayrides to scary nights at theme parks. I just wish I had more time to enjoy all the fun activities! Here in LA several of the theme parks including Six Flags, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Universal Studios have Halloween themed events that include haunted houses, scary shows, and scare zones throughout the park.

A couple weeks ago Natalie and I ventured out to Knott’s Scary Farm – Natalie loves scary things like this and convinced me to come. I was a little nervous but figured it would still be fun so I agreed to go along. Knott’s Scary Farm has several haunted mazes along with some scary extras like the Special Ops: Infected which takes you on a mission to chase down zombies in a game of laser tag, the Elvira Big Top Show, and a special maze called Trap that is more of an interactive haunted maze. In addition to all the haunted attractions all the rides are open until the park closes.

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^^ Unfortunately I didn’t take too many pictures while we were there. Picture from Knott’s for Knott’s Scary Farm

Natalie and I showed up at 7 for the start of Knott’s Scary Farm and didn’t leave until the very end at 2am. We actually had a ton of fun. We were able to go through all the haunted mazes and ride a couple of the coasters. We tried to do the Special Ops game but unfortunately it was already filled up for the night. My favorite maze of the night was The Tooth Fairy. I thought they did a really good job with all the decorations in the maze and some parts definitely made me jump. The scariest maze for me was The Gunslingers Grave. The maze itself wasn’t too scary but towards the end one of the cowboys snuck up behind me and started breathing on my neck which kinda freaked me out. Once I started running he chased me all the way out of the maze! For me, it really is the cast members in the maze that make it scary plus I tried to get scared a little. After we went through all the mazes we had to get some funnel cake. Natalie and I shared a funnel cake with strawberry topping. It was soo good. The whole night at Knott’s Scary Farm was a ton of fun and I would definitely consider going back next year.

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^^ One of the haunted mazes

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^^ We found the headless horseman

Some other fun Halloween things here in LA are:

The Queen Mary Dark Harbor which is a Halloween themed event on a haunted ship. It includes haunted mazes and the Voodoo Village.

Arclight is playing The Shining on select nights and theaters – classic scary movie to celebrate the holiday

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride – haunted hayride through Griffth Park

What is everyone doing to celebrate Halloween?

- Stacie

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Book Review: The Girl From The Well

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The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco is a horror book for people that don’t like horror books. Described as “The Grudge” meets “Dexter,” it is based on a Japanese ghost story (Banchō Sarayashiki). This is the story of Okiku, a Japanese spirit who has spent the centuries after her death hunting and killing child murderers, and freeing their victims’ souls. She isn’t able to find the peace she seeks, so she continues to drift on, fading in and out of consciousness, until she meets Tark. Covered with strange tattoos that seem to move, Tark is feared by classmates and neighbors, and lives with the knowledge that his mother wants to kill him. Okiku is drawn to the boy, and follows along as he travels from America to Japan in order to find out exactly what evil his tattoos have trapped inside him.

*This review may contain spoilers*

The Girl from the Well is an intriguing read. I typically don’t like horror books or movies, but I really liked this novel. Although it did contain horror elements and had some graphic violence, this wasn’t too scary and read more like a mystery. Sure, Okiku kills people, but she is a spirit of vengeance and it was easy to root for her (especially once her past was revealed). I liked following Tark, his cousin Callie, and Okiku on their journey and as they figured out what was happening, although I wish Okiku was a little more involved in what was going on. Some of the plot twists were obvious (like what Tark’s tattoos were for and why his mother kept trying to kill him), but it was still fun to read. The characters weren’t completely fleshed out, but they were still likeable and it was easy to understand their motives. I liked that Okiku was a bit of an enigma to everyone (a spirit born from violence who wants to kill but also wants to help). The ending wasn’t what I expected and it ended a little abruptly. I would have liked to see more of Okiku and Tark after the ritual took place. This is a very visual novel (it is easy to picture exactly what is happening) and I could see this becoming a movie. I really enjoyed the story and liked seeing it unfold.

4 out of 5, a great read for Halloween.

 

 

-Molly

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Kentucky, Corvettes, and Sinkholes

I have spent a total of five weeks over 3 trips in Bowling Green, Kentucky and I finally went to the Chevrolet Corvette museum this week. I been here 3 different times for work and have been to almost every restaurant in town but haven’t had too much time to explore the city. Traveling for work definitely makes checking out new cities more difficult because we really only have the evenings free.

One of the unique things about Bowling Green  is that it’s home to the only Chevrolet Corvette factory. The factory has been open since 1981. In addition to the factory, they also have the Corvette museum dedicated to the history of the car. On Tuesday, the team took a long lunch so we could finally check out the museum – unfortunately we didn’t have time for the tour but it was cool to go check out the museum. The museum is filled with the history of the car, Corvettes from all model years, including Corvette racecars, prototypes, and significant Corvettes such as the 1 millionth Corvette. The museum was actually pretty cool – even for someone like me that isn’t a Corvette enthusiast. It was cool to see the different models and the changes that have been made to the car over the years. We even made a challenge of finding our favorite Corvette in the museum – the three of us really liked the fancy, gold, early model convertible Corvette – I would be ok driving that around town!

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One of the main reasons I was excited to go check out the museum was to see the sinkhole. Last time I was in Bowling Green there was actually a massive sinkhole right in one of the main rooms of the museum which housed several collectible Corvettes such as the 1 millionth, 1.5 millionth, and the 40th Anniversary Corvette. The museum has allowed visitors to view the sinkhole up close as well as the Corvettes that were damaged or destroyed in the sink hole. There were a total of eight Corvettes that had fallen into the sinkhole. They were able to recover all eight from the sinkhole but some were damaged much worse than others. After removing the cars and assessing the damage it was determined that three of the eight were repairable. When we were at the museum they had seven of the Corvettes on display next to the sinkhole – each had a banner explaining what the Corvette was and notes on the retrieval of the car from the sinkhole. It was remarkable the amount of damage to some of the cars. The sinkhole was another favorite of mine at the museum. It turns out we went to the museum just in time; they are going to start filling up the sinkhole in November.

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^^ View of the sinkhole

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^^ Another View of the sinkhole

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^^Some of the damaged cars

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^^ 1.5 millionth Corvette

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^^The worst of the damaged Corvettes. The 2001 Mallet Hammer Z06.

The Corvette museum was definitely a fun lunch break and a fun activity to help get us through the week of work. Next time I would love to take a tour of the factory and see how they are actually built!

 

- Stacie

Posted in Uncategorized.

Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 646- 30 Montaigne

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I’ve always heard good things about Dior’s makeup, but I haven’t tried much of it. When I saw a Sephora promo for a mini eyeshadow palette, I decided to try it out. I received the 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 646- 30 Montaigne. Even though it is a mini palette, the packaging is sturdy and just like the full-sized palettes, minus the eyeshadow applicators. It has a mirror and snaps closed. This is missing the pretty quilting on the shadows, but it’s not like that lasts once you begin using it anyway. At 0.07 oz, the mini is one-third the size of a full-sized palette, with plenty of enough product to try.

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30 Montaigne comes with 5 shadows- peach, ivory, tan, medium brown, and dark brown. The colors are very light but they work for me. Some of the shades might not show up well on darker skintones. This is a nice neutral palette that is perfect for travel, but it is pretty small. Depending on what kind of eyeshadow brushes you use, it may be difficult to get product out. Smaller brushes would be best for this mini- bigger brushes may end up picking up multiple colors at a time.

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The peach color wasn’t that appealing to me in the pan, but once I swatched it I fell in love. It has just a hint of shimmer that is hard to see in person. This is a very pretty color that will be good for a bright-eyed look. I love to use colors like this on the middle of my eyelid to really make my eyes pop. The ivory shade is another one that looks pretty matte in person but has a little bit of shimmer in photos. It’s a little more matte than I usually like my highlight colors, but I could see it being good for lightening other shadows or as a base. The tan color is probably my least favorite. The entire palette leans warm, but this shade is very warm. It is a true matte shade that is just a little too orange for me. This would probably be a good blending color, or paired with the peach and ivory shades as a light makeup look. The medium brown color has a little more shimmer than the other shades, but it’s still not super noticeable. In person it looks very similar to the tan color, almost to the point where I wonder why they included both in the same palette. It is a little darker and not as warm though, so I like it much better. The dark brown has a shimmer that is easy to see in person. This is a color that would be good for the outer v or as an eyeliner. It is a wearable dark brown that doesn’t get too dark so it’s very easy to apply.

I’m really happy I picked up this palette. It’s pretty small and since the colors are so light it can take awhile to build them up, but this is a great neutral palette. 30 Montaigne leans warm and I wish it had a little more variety in the colors (in particular, I wish the middle tan color was replaced with something else) but it will be easy to create a lot of different looks with these shades. I like the peach color the best; it stops this from being a boring brown palette for me.

I used the promo code ROUGEDIOR to get this mini from Sephora (VIBRouge only with a $35 minimum purchase). They also have a set with this same mini palette and a full-sized Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara for $28.50 (the same price as the mascara by itself) here. Or you can purchase the full-sized palette for $54 here.

Have you tried any of Dior’s makeup? What did you think?

-Molly

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