Halloween Part Two

1

Ok so I am a big horror movie buff. If you are a novice to horror films this is the month to get your feet wet. So I’m sure I’ve done a post some time ago about my all time favorite horror films but I must say there have been a few recent ones that have resonated with me. Some so creepy that, while effective, I will never see them again because I like my sanity.

So now I shall share with you my top list of pretty awesome horror films of the last five years. If I’m missing some good ones please share. Quick note: I’m not big on gratuitous gore or gross out movies. I like an intriguing plot and don’t really require a bunch of special effects. Some of the movies I list are more independent and weren’t really in theaters. They were just good films I found on Netflix or cable!

  • The Babadook- This can be found on Netflix. Effectively creepy tale about loss and the boogie man essentially (if that can really go together). Great acting. (Side note, I was going to put an image of the movie here but it scared me again so bump that)
  • It Follows- Super simple yet effective cautionary tale (you’ll understand what I mean by “cautionary” if you watch). No monster in this one or ghost but still creepy and I won’t watch it again because it made me scared (but if there is a sequel I shall partake)
  • The Taking of Deborah Logan- Another good Netflix find. Documentary style that I’m starting to become annoyed with but this was well done and darn scary. Does Deborah have Alzheimer’s or is it something more sinister?
  • Mercy- Also on Netflix and like the above just adds to my now increasing feeling (along with The Visit) that senior citizens can make some scary beings (used to be pets and kids). This one is based on a Stephen King short story so you know it’s scary. Also had “Carl” from The Walking Dead in a less annoying role.
  • Insidious- This is a big budget one but it did really creep me out. And I watch it over and over. I just really liked it. In away it’s like an updated version of Poltergeist which I love to watch also.
  • The Conjuring – Scary big budget tale. If you like the them of haunted houses, along the line of Amityville Horror, then you’ll like this.
  • Evil Dead (remake)- This takes the foundation of the original but really goes darker. The original was more campy, this was pretty nightmarish.
  • Cabin in the Woods- Scary but also has that Joss Whedon touch where the characters are more introspective and the dialogue is fun. Kind of like Scream.
  • World War Z- Zombies, Brad Pitt, based on best selling book. All you need to know.
  • Grave Encounters- Apparently this independent film now has a cult following and I get it. What could happen when a paranormal investigation reality TV show crew visit an abandoned mental hospital? Nothing good (also documentary style, rolls eyes, but still good)
  • Absentia- This is truly an independent film (however, it won a lot of independent and horror film awards) but with a very original plot and although low on special effects, big on tense moments that made me clutch my pearls. Plot? People go missing in a nearby tunnel.  Not cool.

Well, if you like a good scare, hope these newer tales work for you and maybe become your favs like they have for me!

Advertisements

Halloween Part 1: Cool costume ideas

After Christmas, Halloween is my favorite “holiday”. I love me some scary movies, I love dressing up and I love candy. Every year I go through the process of trying to decide what to dress up as (even before I have made any plans because I’m well, well, pass the days of trick or treating).

So I surf the web for inspiration for affordable cool costume ideas and have come across some awesome looks. Here are some of my favorite Halloween costumes I’ve spotted during my search, maybe they’ll be inspiration for you!

Bringing Back the 90s – TLC and Clueless are great options. Side note,you don’t have to change your skin color to portray a person of another race, we still get the picture!

 

 

Nostalgic cartoon characters-  Jem.  I actually did this with my friends one Halloween and it is my all time favorite costume (80s kid!). Think, Rainbow Bright, Strawberry Shortcake, Rugrats,  Daria.

 

Movie/TV characters- Especially current or popular characters like Avengers, Walking Dead, Empire. 

Posters come to life- Like Rosie the Riviter

Group ideas- Spice girls, Disney princesses, Superheros, Golden Girls, House wives, Inside Out

Real people- Donald Trump, Miley Cyrus,  Prince

Be creative and think outside the box. Sometimes costumes out of your own creations are the most fun (and cheapest).

Hanging Out 30s style

Just because you are no longer 20 something doesn’t mean you automatically desire to go to bed at 10 pm on a Friday. Sure just because you rarely catch me fist pumping in the middle of the club until 3am (ok you never catch me doing that, particularly the fist pumping part), doesn’t mean I don’t like to get out when the street lights come on.

So what’s a type a gal living in the city to do? Welp, I compiled a list of some fun things to do that will get you out and about whether you are 20, 30 or 50 and just want to get out when the sky is dark but without getting elbowed at the club or waking up with a hangover (so not good for the skin).

First, quick note, Thursdays are really the night for the grown and sexy. I find more things on my list happening on a Thursday than a Friday or Saturday for some reason and the crowd tends to be more my style. Anyway on to my list o fun:

Check out a happy hour- Easy no brainer, even if you aren’t in to drinking there are sure to be good food specials at most spots

Sing some karaoke- I can kill so much time sanging me some 80s and 90s classics. karaoke-kids-music

Sip n Paint- This can be a chill thing to do on an evening night (and a great date idea). Take a painting class and drank a glass (or two) of wine as you go.

Artwalk- When the weather is nice a lot of cities open up their art galleries or certain spots display local art and you just art hop checking the art, grabbing a bite or drink along the way.

Check out a movie at somewhere lux- Many theaters have upped their game on the movie going experience. There are bars, gourmet food, comfy seats. I’ve been to one that provides you with blankets and waiters. I stayed through the credits and when staff came to clean up. After a while I got the hint to leave.

Comedy club- Another easy option. Always a fun time.

Check out a live band- Jazz, neo soul or cover band.

Dance Party- I’m starting to see a trend of events having special 80s and 90s nights. Because everyone wants to two step to a P. Diddy throwback. Exercise and nostalgia.

Dinner- Another easy option again. Check out trendy fun spots. Put on a dress and go out with the gals or on a date.

Bar/Lounge- Smaller spots can be less rowdy. A dive bar can be chill or a sophisticated hotel bar can be a fun change of pace. It’s not just for tourists.

Charity event- This is another unique option that will get you out. From fashion shows to museum events to balls, this can be a fun way to network as well.

Theater- A no-brainer if you are into the arts. Then go for after theater drinks or dessert!

Late night bowling – A good option to bowl while two stepping to music.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bar Trivia or Game nights- These are more often on non weekend nights but like I said, nothing wrong with a Thursday night out!

So where do you find information on where to find these activities? I check out my city paper, http://www.yelp.com, eventbrite, groupon or living social, or www.meetup.com.

Enjoy and stay safe!

Traveling Gal: London Revisited

So in my previous post I told you about my recent visit to the friendliest town in the world: Dublin. Now on to my revisit to what I’d like to call the coolest town in the world (ok, second to New York): London.

We got a little confused at the airport. We thought we had to go through customs but apparently Ireland to England is like flying domestic so no customs.

Once we figured that out we got a car (which I think is cheaper than taxi) to the hotel. Now with traffic a simple ride from the airport was like an hour.  We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton in Westminster which we thought was London but really is the other city of England. Its still pretty much mixed in with London but its not in the center of the action so we had to take the tube or taxi everywhere. It is walking distance to Big Ben, Thames River, Parliament and Westminster Abby and a short ride to Buckingham if you don’t want to walk there which you can. The closest nightlife area is Soho which was disappointing because I wanted to check out Camden and Shoreditch nightlife (next time I guess).

The hotel was trendy, had a nice restaurant/lounge and the concierge was friendly. 20150821_144600

The first day we checked out the famous Harrods department store. The place is huge and the architecture is awesome. Be prepared to drop some major coinage. I just went to the food floor and off to the bakery section which is every sweet toothed persons dream (and more affordable). The Harrods location is also near other shopping (got a cute dress at Zaras)

We were super pooped that first day but somehow we made it out to the soho area for night life. Soho was just okay in my book. Things close at 12 so be early. Just when we thought the night was a bust we found Jazz After Dark. The late Amy Winehouse use to perform and visit this place often (we were seated in her VIP section). Live music, good drinks and bar food. I’d come back for sure! PhotoGrid_1440207327014

The next day was mostly shopping and sightseeing. We saw the major sites- Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abby, Thames Bridge and Tower of London. But the highlight was the visit to Portabello market and road. If you are vintage, frugal or antique shopper this is the best place in the world. We didn’t even finish walking the whole area. I stocked up and am already dying to go back (ok, maybe I have a bit of a problem, but I’m not hurting anybody!) 11889618_1595153760747163_514892785145631957_n

That night we went to a roof top party in Brixton and it was just okay. Not sure that area is my cup o tea, a bit sketchy. We did mosey over to a place called Troy Bar which was more up my alley. The music was great and it was a chill atmosphere. Leaving the place to get to  a taxi was a bit rough (we got followed and cat called along the way and when we found a driver it was like finding Superman, we were ready to be rescued).

The final day started with a visit to Tate Britain which is a really cool museum (kudos to marking the art areas by decades). We also did a quick shopping trip to TK Maxx (same thing as TJ Maxx but with a Britain focus). I stocked up there again (don’t judge me). 11951340_1595434167385789_5234396757277458581_n

The highlight of the trip was high tea at The Delaunay. Me and my gals got all fancy and stuff drinking our tea, out little sandwiches or dishes and champagne. The place is snazzy (even the bathroom was grand). I’d come back for sure and want to do high tea now for my birthday! I had a great time in good ole merry England and although it wasn’t as fun as my time there when I studied, it was still worth a revisit!