Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Time Is Here....

I'm SO addicted to the Charlie Brown Christmas album. That is pretty much the soundtrack to my life right now. Just the right amount of melancholy.

As it has been for many, 2016 has been difficult for our family in a lot of ways. After Thanksgiving we headed to Central California to visit my folks and to "get away" from regular old life.  It's always soothing to breath in the Eucalyptus-filled air and spend time with the ones you love.

We took a trip further north to Cambria that weekend (home of the filming of the movie Arachnophobia!!!Love that) and enjoyed their Festival of Lights. I was delighted (much to my daughter's chagrin) to see a Krampus display set up. She pretty much freaked out. My 8 year old loved it.

LOL! Now that it is displayed in X-Large picture fashion, it's pretty bad, isn't it? My point is that I was delighted to see Halloween anything in this kind of environment:

Fun, right? Cambria hills in the background.

So I'm plugging along over here in chilly but sunny so Cal getting ready for Christmas. I do love Christmas.... 

We are looking forward to 2017, looking forward to more memories being made and looking forward to next Halloween! Hey, only 10 months away.....

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Last Week

So Halloween has come and gone. For me, it was in a whirlwind fashion. As my little family expands, I find it harder to slowly enjoy any holiday. My kids were asking to decorate for Halloween in August. It was a steady, daily asking of the question, "When can we decorate?" We held out until the second week in October. And although I am NOT a haunter, as I have come to affectionately know many in the haunt circle, I LOVE Halloween and I LOVE to decorate for it. I guess I decorate, I don't haunt? Hah! I don't know, that sounds like an argument waiting to happen. Decorators vs. Haunters. Like knitters vs. crocheters, right? (Crochet all the way, baby!) Before my tangent dives even deeper into weird town, here's our jackos:

 And a ghoul hanging out....

I know they aren't the best pictures. I don't know how to take good pictures. I guess this is just to prove that Halloween 2016 did happen at our house! If that wasn't convincing, I offer you the cutest freaking Dopey EVER:

I can't even. My youngest steals my heart every time. His ears!!!!! My daughter was Snow White and my son was a crazy prospector! Hah! I love that my son chose that costume because as strange as it sounds, he really is! He's obsessed with rocks, and geodes, and mining. Hehe. 

The Friday before Halloween our city held it's Fall Fest in their historical downtown district. So fun. Every year for the last 4 we've been and it's wonderful. Everything is free. The food, the games and candy, the old movies shown in an old historical theater. For the last two years we've entered the costume contest and (ahem) won a few medals! I'm pretty proud of that actually! Last year my oldest won Second Place for Spookiest in his age category. This year both him and my daughter took Second Place for their age categories for Most Creative (him) and Spookiest (her). My daughter chose to be a Vampire that night instead of Snow. There were hundreds of AMAZING costumes! Everything from Baby Ghostbusters to the Hatbox Ghost (I think he won first for most creative. His costume was phenomenally done. Wish I had a pic!). It really added to the fun atmosphere. Parents were also dressed up. I usually go as a vintage Halloween party-goer but this year I ran out of steam. My husband usually goes as Frankenstein's Monster but alas, we didn't get it together! I think I joked more than a few times that we were dressed up as Tired Parents.

Halloween night was great. I'm happy to say that MANY of our neighbors got into the spirit of Halloween this year. I had more sidewalk conversations with families or people we knew. There was one neighborhood about a mile away that was super magical. This one house in that neighborhood gave my son a HUGE bag full of goodies. I peeked inside their living room and it was adorned from ceiling to carpet with Halloween decorations. I loved it. They were having such a great time. It was in a poorer part of our neighborhood too. It made me smile. People with much less sometimes know much better how to celebrate life. By the end of the night our own house had a ton of Trick or Treaters. It was a satisfying holiday for sure. And we are STILL wading through bucket loads of candy. Sigh. It's never. Ending.

So this was way wordier than I wanted, so I'm wrapping it up. I plan on posting here throughout the days and weeks ahead because Halloween is always on my mind. Looking forward to next year!

How fun is this find? Thrifted it on a date night with the hubs. It's going to be used year round. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Great Pumpkin Project

Since last year's entry couldn't be topped, I went with something a bit more real.

I left this guy nestled behnd a tombstone in a local cemetary dear to my heart. It was nice to see others had left Halloween goodies for their deceased. Even still, a
 visit to a cemetary is always very sobering. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Monster (Mish) Mash

Things have been very busy around our house as October is spinning to a halt in just a week. Of course our celebrations won't stop next week. Thankfully we have a few Feast Days to take the sting out of the Halloween letdown: All Saint's Day, All Soul's Day, Mommy Steals Candy All Day.

Don't want to get ahead of myself. So, a recap of things we did this month, and the thoughts that went along with them.

We headed to Knott's Spooky Farm for the kiddos early in the month. There was ToT'ing among other fun things for them during the nice and non-scary day time hours. I snapped a pic of this guy. Knott's does a really great job of adding really special details during October. Like this pumpkin scarecrow. Love the bit of gingham sticking out from his chest area. Gotta keep with the Western theme!

To my shock and horror, about two weeks ago I went into Big Lots ready to spend some bucks on a few choice items I had my eyes on from September. They were all gone! In fact, almost all of Halloween was picked over and put away or on clearance. I liked this marque-esque sign above but not enough to buy it. I was really disappointed and kind of panicked that Halloween was getting the boot before it's time!

Fall tradition. At the first sign of these Bad Boys, my husband snatches one up and brings me one after work. He's awesome that way. Fortunately for me, he hates change so I plan on receiving one of these every October until I die. Or until Panera closes it's doors. It's a frosted sugar cookie and if you have never tried them, please do. They are delectable.

October rules for many reasons, but I'm extra fond of it because it's my Birthday Month! A friend and I left the kiddos behind and traveled via Hogwarts Express (ok, ok, it was the 101 Freeway) to Universal Studios this past weekend. Sigh. Dreamy. I adore the books and movies and I'm a big fan. This is Hogwart's Castle above. They did such a phenomenal job with all of the details. We actually spent more than 8 hours there and had a blast. We took the Studio Tram Tour and I haven't done that in ages. I snapped the bottom picture while we toured the backlot.

Krampus House made for the Universal Horror Nights. The Snowmen Pumpkinrot help design (for the movie, not the maze itself) are covered up unfortunately but the thing was pretty impressive in person. I bet it'd be a fun maze!

We visited Amity Island!

The whole tram JUMPED as Jaws came up close and lunged for us. My friend and I got pictures....but they were blurry. LOL.

Hitchcock Bust. We saw his old office,too.

Michael Bust.
These were on display in the most random of random places: The Jurassic Ride Gift Shop. Go fig. The ones below were,too.

And finally, my kiddo's contributions to our porch this October. My son carved his very first pumpkin all by himself. It boggles the mind how quickly time flies. His is the top. The bottom one is my daughter's. We tweaked it a bit to add a pumpkin bow. At her insistence. Other than that, it's a face only a mother can love! Speaking of moms, my mom is visiting and after my daughter's pumpkin losing a few teeth due to shaky carving, she suggested we stick them on with toothpicks. When she said that, childhood memories came flooding back of her helping us in the same way,too. Full circle, baby.

Above right is the coolest decoration from the 80's. Unfortunately it's head is cut off in the picture. It's a witch. She has a motion-sensor and makes a "spooky" wobbling noise when you get near her. My husband owns her and it's his favorite from childhood. It gets displayed every October. 

So three days til Halloween. Wow, that went quick. We are planning on picking up some pumpkins tonight , carving them, and offering them to The Great Pumpkin tomorrow some time. I had a zillion ideas in my head. Hollywood sign, the Beach, Walk of Fame, but in the end I'm keeping it real I think. Excited to show it off before Halloween day. I'll be helped by my brother,of course, and it'll be an awesome way to start the last weekend in October. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Halloween Filming Locations. I'm biased.

My brother finally posted the video I was waiting for. It's an ode to Adam the Woo's filming locations documentary (and most importantly Halloween) and I think it came out pretty darn well. Bravo to my brother. Even if he is a hipster.

Friday, September 30, 2016

My Brother Is A Scumbag.

Literally, a Cinema Scumbag. This is a film podcast started by his friends and he jumped into the group last year I think. Right now they are doing 30 days of Halloween and will be talking about horror films, and all the Halloween greatness there is to be...talked about. :) They are also filming some cool documentaries that will be up later in the month.

Enjoy! I'm assuming NOT work friendly. Today's offering:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dear Halloween, I love you.

A bit of background on the title of my blog. Of course I love Halloween, always have. What kid doesn't? As I grew up my love of Halloween led to a love of all things scary and horror movies were one of those things, naturally. My interests have changed a bit over the years but Halloween has stuck around in the circle of things I absolutely love and have a passion for. These things give me solace, comfort, inspiration, hope. That seems like it could be hyperbole. It's not.

When I was 19, I was severely overweight and depressed. I was in a very destructive, abusive relationship. I did have a small, loyal group of friends and I'm thankful for that. However, when I was feeling alone I would always gravitate towards Halloween, Autumn, memories of past Halloweens and how happy I felt as a child. Somehow I stumbled upon Halloween the movie and then discovered it had been filmed in the city I was born in, and the city I was raised near. I watched the film and was drawn into Laurie Strode's lonely life. I felt like I walked the street with her, in a way. I knew those streets. I just fell in love with the soundtrack, the characters, the film. That love trickled into vintage Halloween decor (which I have collected for quite some time now) and all things Autumnal.

The following year after really pulling myself out of that dark place, I was so inspired by the Country Living magazine that came out that month. October 2000. I devoured it, page by page. Coincidentally (or not) I have a late October birthday and I wanted my 21st birthday party to look just like this:

And it did.

Hah! Just kidding. We tried. REALLY HARD. It didn't turn out exactly like that, but this image and this issue of Country Living lives on as my favorite. I made all of my guests bring pumpkins to carve and we served warm soups out of hollowed out pumpkin tureens and we even had a special pumpkin ice cream served with warm from-the-oven brownies. I spent hours, months planning details and really enjoyed escaping into the magic of Halloween that season.

Ever since that party, I have eagerly awaited Halloween as an adult. It's a true source of joy for me. I was lucky enough to briefly live in a smaller midwestern town that really celebrated the holiday and I was lucky enough to walk up and down those leave-covered streets in a neighborhood where EVERY house was elaborately decorated. I am lucky enough to now live where I was born and raised and although not as many people decorate, I can easily transport myself into the Halloween movie by walking the streets of South Pasadena. That particular neighborhood (and many others nearby) go all out for Halloween and lovingly decorate their homes.

When pondering the origin of my true love for this Holiday, I dug through bins of my stored, personal effects to find that Country Living magazine. To my horror, I couldn't. I immediately hopped on Amazon and ordered a used copy. Phew! So now I own the same copy again and am really loving pouring over the pages once more. A few more images from this issue:

Those cookies look so yummy! In fact I wanted to use the recipe for my party but a friend who was helping me wisely suggested I do pumpkin ice cream and warm brownies. 

Oh I adored these jackos on pedastools! I wanted to reproduce the effect so badly in my back yard. I tried but it didn't turn out just so. A for effort, right? I also replicated the jacko paper lanterns and those came out pretty good. Now if only I could have had a trellis to put those lanterns on!

I loved this jacko hidden away behind the gorgeous Fall foilage! Sigh! Be still my heart. Imagine stumbling upon such a sight?

These images are so inspiring to me. I just love it all. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Adam The Woo Hearts Halloween

I discovered Adam the Woo on YouTube last year when my brother (who has a YouTube channel, more on that later) told me about him. Adam has a love for film among many other things. My brother insisted I watch Adam's fun, but in depth look at the original filming locations of the 1978 movie, Halloween. I loved it, so I am sharing it here. It's definitely worth a watch.

My brother is a part of Cinema Scumbags, which is a podcast on YouTube dedicated to their love of film as well. They'll be offering their 30 Days of Halloween starting October 1st. I'll post about that as it gets closer! 


Monday, September 12, 2016

Pfft, Mondays.

The head above is from Rite Aid. I'm pretty happy to see that most stores have some sort of Halloween stuff out. It's hard to believe it's already the middle of September. Would you look at the price of the skeleton underneath that head?! $59.99! Yike, Rite Aid. Tip: Always shop their crazy 40% sales, never pay full price at that store.

Had to stop and ponder what creature this giant, oversized skull would've come from. It's only $19.99! Hah! Actually, I think this would be a pretty effective prop if you had a large front lawn and needed something bigger in scale. I do realize it's a human skull. Just couldn't wrap my *head* around where such a giant skull could be used. Ah, but that's why I'm not a haunter I suppose.

Last week we hit up Knott's Berry Farm (we're annual passholders--The Poor Man's Disneyland), and noticed that they are already decorating for their Knott's Scary Farm/ Knott's Halloween Haunt events coming up starting on September 22nd. The husband and I are going to attend the Haunt this year! His first time, my....6th? Gosh I don't know but I haven't been in a while. Here are only a few pictures from Knott's. If you've seen one skeleton dressed in western gear, you've seen 'em all!

The hot weather is kindly leaving us alone for the time being and we're enjoying it. Drinking all the PSLs and eating Halloween candy and life is good!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Let's Get This Party Started

No shame. At all. October and Fall have started here in my little part of the country. People are sick and tired of the heat and wishing for cooler temps. It was actually a chilly 72 degrees or something like it a day or so ago. Heaven. So when wishing for cooler temps and October skies, we indulge in the delectable tastes of the season that is yet upon us.

I don't drink beer but if I did, I would drink these:

My husband drank one for me! It's his favorite beer, and he rarely requests anything from the store so when he does, I always oblige.

Also, these are pretty good!

Oh and finally,
I'm a Gold Card holder but I rarely fill my card up with cash anymore. They sent this sampler to me because...well, I don't really know but I'm not questioning it. I drank all four included items within 24 hours I think. This was back in August. Yum. I actually had my first "official" Starbucks PSL yesterday and I'm not mad at that. Normally I would get kinda weird about "when" I start to treat myself to October Only treats, but I've had a long Summer and I'm ready for the Fall. 

I'm also currently bribing my kids with a bag of Candy Corn. I know it's a love-it or hate-it sweet, but we love it. Let the disagreeing begin!