Notes from a Scream Queen

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Have you seen The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix yet? It was a pretty good show, except my roommate has been annoyed by my sleeping in the living room with the lights on and The Office playing in the background for the past two weeks… I wouldn’t say I love scary movies, but I definitely consider getting “scared” a good form of entertainment. Watching scary movies is a group activity (at least for me, since I would never EVER watch one alone, are you kidding me?!) that really brings people together. Some of my fondest college memories are of October in my sorority house, where there would be a huge group of girls watching a scary movie in the living room every single night of the month. Our collective screams were so loud that the neighbors probably thought there was an actual murder happening inside. More recent memories include staying in and watching Sinister on a laptop with some fellow travelers, and of course, my annual pre-Halloween movie marathon. In all of these situations, I am definitely that person who screams when nothing has even happened, which in turn makes everyone else jump. My friends love going to the movie theater with me… Anyway, here are five scary movies that I would like to highlight this Halloween:

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It Follows is an all-around brilliant movie in any genre. It leaves you thinking even after the end, and the more you think about it, the better it becomes. A supernatural, murderous entity, passed down from person to person via sex, follows its next victim, but it can only move at the speed of a walking human. The genius of this film is not only its portrayal of certain themes, but the way it maintains the most unsettling feeling the entire time. It’s impossible to tell which era the movie is set in. The characters watch shows on a TV from the 60’s, yet use electronic devices that don’t even exist. Very bizarre. Available to stream on Netflix.

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Hereditary is the most traditionally scary and scream-inducing out of all of these. It’s similar to other haunting, demonic coven movies, but this one connects those horrors with the real life scares of inherited mental illness. Still extremely terrifying, though. I can’t remember ever seeing a scary movie with such an unexpected moment as the one that occurs in this film (if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about). There truly is something for everyone. Also need to mention that Toni Colette is amazing at everything she does. Not yet available on Netflix, as it just released this summer.

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The Witch is a slow-burning candle of a film. A religious family in 17th-century New England settles into their new farm, after being banished from their former Puritan clan. Evil seems to lurk in the surrounding woods, but only becomes evident a little at a time, allowing paranoia and doubt to take hold of the family. Typical A24, there are a lot of shots of nature to build the suspense. Don’t remember screaming during this one, but I probably did at inappropriate times. Available to stream on Netflix.

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Raw is a French film (with subtitles) and is not scary per se, but definitely creepy and at times disgusting. A vegetarian tries meat for the first time during her first week of vet school, and it all goes downhill from there. It’s a coming-of-age story with social commentary and a lot of blood. The full package! If this movie is based on true events in their schools, then the French have even more intense hazing rituals than the American fraternities you read about in the news. Did not scream at all during this. Available to stream on Netflix.

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Creep is a fun one. A man posts an online ad with a request to be filmed at his house for a day, and guess what? He turns out to be a real creep! But I won’t spoil how, exactly. Do yourself a favor and watch. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream (if you’re me). Available to stream on Netflix. And there is already a sequel that is supposed to be good.

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October 2018 Playlist

Jeepers creepers! I’ve been seeing too many scary movies lately (so yes, I binge-watched the entire season of The Haunting of Hill House this past week). But nothing haunts me in quite the same way as a good ole creepy tune. With Halloween just around the corner, trick or treat your ears to some festively chilling music. Listen below or on my Spotify page.

For more spooky songs, check out previous October playlists hereherehere, and here.

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Every year I have no plans to shop on Thanksgiving weekend, but I guess it’s inevitable. Some deals are just too good to pass up! Here are some material items that have piqued my interest in the last few hours, for myself or others. I realize that Cyber Monday has technically ended, but these deals will most likely stay awhile or at least come back around Christmas.

goods_404921_sub3I’ve been searching for a shorter down coat that won’t break the bank, and this JW Anderson for Uniqlo light down jacket fits the bill. It’s reversible–solid color on one side, tartan on the other–and I can’t decide which way I’d wear it more! 50% off and free shipping at the time of writing.

anf_192827_03_model1Still a big fan of Abercrombie sweaters, and I especially love the look of this one. Trendy, but not over-the-top. I still get compliments when I wear the A&F sweaters I bought last year. The entire site is 50% off with free shipping.

STEVEMADDEN-STEVEN_RAZZI_BURGUNDY-VELVETMule loafers are incredibly popular this year, and this Steve Madden pair appears sensible, yet luxurious. Very versatile. Entire site is 35% off with free shipping.

61ikAJnULvL._SL1000_I got the Amazon Echo Dot for my dad because he already has a nice sound system, but was interested in adding voice control. You could do the same if your friends or family members are in similar situations. 40% off.

H3481_WX0973_m.jpegAutomatically drawn to this top because it’s plaid, but that bow in the back… Game changer. Also, shoutout to this tartan shirt, the first version of which I bought exactly six years ago and J.Crew still sells and sells out of every year since. Entire site is 40% off with free shipping.

SE0017_NNY_BACK.jpgEverything on the Draper James website is insanely charming, but seriously, just look at these mittens! Adorable by nature, but then taken to the next level. Also eyeing these delightful loafers, a collaboration with Jack Rogers. Entire site is 25% off with free shipping.

P21722-PRODUCT_01--IMG_416--788172342Really into chic ponchos, since wearing my sister’s for a day in Mexico City. This reversible plaid version can be dressed up or down. Entire Tuckernuck site starts at 20% off with free shipping.

391331_600_ss_01.jpegPerfectly festive heels for holiday parties. I truly can’t resist little bows, and their placement on the back is slightly more unique than on the toe. These pumps are already marked down, and the whole site is 25% off on top of that.

71873.jpgThis Drunk Elephant exfoliating face mask has excellent ratings all over the internet. Not technically a Black Friday deal, but 15% off if you subscribe. (You can cancel anytime.)

5031400_663.jpegThis Kate Spade sleep shirt is so cute, I would definitely wear it in public over leggings (which I occasionally do with pajama tops anyway). Entire site is 30% off or an extra 40% off sale items.

 

 

Valentine Fancies

Due to the commercialization of Valentine’s Day, it’s become one of my favorite holidays over the years. Greeting cards, heart motifs, the color pink, candy, and other sweets all come together on this festive day, so naturally I can’t get enough. In honor of this beloved occasion, here are a few last-minute fancies to browse for a special someone (or yourself!).

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The maroon color, velvet material, and sweetheart cut of this Kimchi Blue dress make it perfect for Valentine’s Day. Can be dressed up or down, depending on shoes and jewelry. Velvet is extremely trendy this winter, but I predict that its window for popularity is very narrow, so wear it while you can!

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Is there anything better than cute, cozy socks in the winter? I am loving this J. Crew pair, with its reindeer print and wool blend. Fun and functional!

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You can expect to see more Urban Outfitters on this blog because I recently moved near one and they always seem to have great dresses on sale, including this Kimchi Blue number. Semi-sheer with a slip lining and adjustable cutout back. The ruffle-trim sleeves and floral pattern also make this a nice option for V-Day.

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Candles make excellent gifts for any occasion, especially when they’re made by Henri Bendel, the ultimate gift shop. Burns evenly, and the “Cashmere” fragrance has a hint of sweetness without overpowering the senses.

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Nothing says “I love you” like a gift that’ll help smash the patriarchy. Every woman and man should read this essay, We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, based on her famous Tedx Talk of the same name. It impeccably defines and illustrates feminism and gender issues in a way that is approachable, relatable, humorous, realistic, thought-provoking, and with brilliant prose. Only takes 30 minutes to read, but the impact is lasting. My copy has been on constant loan since I finished it.

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

I was too busy watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, followed by the entire Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series, to do any shopping on Black Friday. And I had no intention of participating in Cyber Monday, until I thought I’d take just a quick peek at the online offers… And now here I am at 4:30 a.m. on the night before returning to work after five days of vacation. Yes, that escalated quickly.

Anyway, as I’m making a wish list for my birthday and Christmas (and, to be honest, things I’ll “gift” to myself), I thought I’d share it here, for anyone who’s interested in today’s deals or would like ideas for holiday gift shopping.

j crew top.jpegThe summer version of this J.Crew top sold out before I could snag one for myself, and I’m determined not to let that happen again this season. The cut and fit are quite elegant, with the festive bow preventing the tank from seeming too formal. Also available un-patterned here.

bootie nordstrom.jpgThese Marc Fisher booties are almost half off at Nordstrom this weekend. Simultaneously classic and trendy, these can easily be dressed up or down. As an added bonus, the pointed toe gives the illusion of a longer leg. Other than attempting to choose from the many color options, these are a no-brainer!

abercrombie-sweaterEver since Abercrombie & Fitch completely overhauled its style last year, its look has become less self-proclaimed “preppy” and more boho-inspired trendy (which makes sense, as its Design and Creative teams now include big names from Lucky Brand, Lucky magazine, and Club Monaco. The entire A&F website is 50% off this weekend, and most of its sweaters, including this split-back pullover, look fashionable, yet equally comfy.

kate-spade-earringI’m a little late on the reversible earring trend, but my enthusiasm might make up for that. It’s actually a mild obsession. But who could resist these Kate Spade reversible earrings? The bow paired with the pearl is simply charming.

tory-burchMajor PSA: The Tory Burch Jolie riding boots have dropped to $207 for this weekend, which is the lowest I’ve ever seen (and I’ve considered getting these for the past five years). I’ve never been a huge fan of riding boots for everyday wear, but I’m not sure if I can pass on such an amazing deal.

amazon-echoIt’s been fun playing with a friend’s Amazon Echo this past year, but it’s probably time to get my own to boss around. (Another great present for someone who doesn’t already own one is a Kindle, which is only $50 this weekend! One of few gifts that keeps on giving.)

f9344_wq0066_mThere are few things I love more than a nice pajama set. I’d been looking for the ideal short-sleeved set for a while. But as soon as I spotted these Madewell flannel pajama shorts and top, I knew my search was over. (I also bought ten other things at Madewell… There is a ton of good stuff on sale right now, such as this top, this silk dress, and these insanely discounted jeans!)

sephora lip.jpgSally and I once split this Fresh Sugar Lip Seduction set, but as it turns out, we should’ve each gotten our own. This perfect tinted lip moisturizer, which I first blogged about three years ago, is still the only “beauty” product I use regularly.

free-peopleI would love to just dive right into this Free People turtleneck sweater. Alpaca wool is light, yet warm, and there are plenty of colors to choose from. The length is optimal, as well.

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And finally, for the discerning reader, an unparalleled gift would be a monthly subscription to Persephone Books, a publisher that reprints neglected works by mid-20th century women writers. There is no Black Friday sale for this because Persephone Books is, in fact, British.