The Things That Scare Us (+ A Giveaway!)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Somehow I thought it'd be a good idea to search Are You Afraid Of The Dark? episodes online the other day. That was both a good and bad decision. Good because I was thrilled to relive the childhood memories, but not so good because sat there for 2 hours. Womp. I was terrified of that show as a kid. I mean, I still watched it, because apparently I was the kind of kid who enjoyed scaring the s#!t out of myself. But it got me thinking about my fears as a kid versus my fears as an adult, and not only how different they are, but how they are almost opposing in some ways.

Things that scared me as child:

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
We've been through this. It might have scared the beejesus out of me but I watched it anyway. And it totally gave me nightmares every now and then. And yes, yes I was afraid of the dark.

When I found out how babies were really made and brought into the world (none of that stork nonsense), I was grossed out. I told my mother that I wasn't about that life. I would have the sex and she would birth the children. I'm not sure how I thought that would work out...

Freddy Krueger
As mentioned above, I was the kid that liked watching scary things even though they legitimately scared me (probably why I like Halloween so much). When I watched Nightmare on Elm Street as a kid, I was only mildly scared. But then I woke up to real flames one night licking at my window (the house behind ours had caught on fire), and although my dear ol' dad saved me of course, lifting my paralyzed-with-fear body from my bed and carrying me outside in my nighty, I've been afraid of the serial killer ever since. Well, not ever since. The fear subsided after I forced myself to watch Nightmare on Elm Street as a teenager because Johnny Depp was in it. Nothing like a teeny-bopper crush to get you over your fears.

Getting in trouble with my parents
Utter the words "I'm telling your father" and I was liable to fall apart right there. It's not like my dad was a particularly scary man. He had a full beard and a very commandeering personality, but I was his baby girl (his only girl, his only child) and he softened tremendously when it came to me. But still, the possibility of getting in trouble had me quaking in my little cowgirl boots, every time.

Shots & Vaccinations
I still don't like them, but I really hated them as a kid. Getting me to sit still for a routine shot was a process. Somehow I convinced myself that being sick at all meant I was going to get a shot. So it'd pretend not to have a tummy ache or try to hide my sniffling, which always ended with my mother noticing (because moms know everything!) and giving me a lecture about telling her when I'm hurt.

Getting sucked down the drain or into a sewer by a balloon-wielding clown. 
Either I was a sneaky little thing or someone wasn't paying attention, but 7 year old me definitely watched Stephen's King's IT. This scene with Georgie and Pennywise... *shudders* I just watched it again and it still creeps me the eff out.

Things that scare me now:

The Big What If?
The question that has the ability to drive me completely bonkers. What if I'm not enough? What if I'm not doing enough? What if this isn't my path? What if I have no path? Maybe it's just all part of that quarter-life crisis I talked about many posts ago, but one of my biggest fears is living my life with 'what ifs?' I don't want to miss an opportunity or make a wrong decision. I don't want these big regrets looming over me.   

Disappointing my parents. 
The remnants of the "ooo, you're in trouble." In my twenties, I'm not worried about trouble (although my parents still try lol). I'm more afraid of letting my parents down. Now that I'm older, I can clearly see all those sacrifices they made for me, the ones they talked about years ago. And although I know they'd do it 100x over, I feel like I have to make it worth it for them.

To not be in control of my surroundings. 
Specifically not being in control of what happens to me. Going with the flow is hard for me. I like to know what I'm doing and when I'm doing it. I don't like riding in cars with drivers I don't know and I'm hard to surprise. I mean, I like surprises, but at the same time, the idea of not knowing what's going on makes me uncomfortable. Most importantly, I really don't like not being in control of myself. In college, my experimentation with 'certain things' was incredibly limited because of this. (Not that I'm advocating these things.) I was always afraid of becoming too affected by a substance and doing things I normally wouldn't do or not remembering what I'd done the following day. Don't get me wrong - there were plenty of "fuzzy recollections, fill in the details" kind of mornings, but never any "blacked-out, why am I naked" moments. I couldn't have handled any of those.

Not having children
I know this is a very sensitive subject and I really don't mean to offend anyone, but its a legitimate fear of mine. Growing up I was never the girl who dreamed of marriage, I wasn't really concerned with it, but I always knew I wanted a child to experience life with. And the idea of not being able to have a child of my own is really unsettling for me. I know that there are other ways to be a parent, and that it's not the end of the world. In fact, I admire those who adopt. But I want to birth a little mini-me. I want to look into the tear-streaked face of my tantrum-throwing 4 year old and see my grandmother's pout or my father's intensity.

Living for other people
It's funny. As a kid, we all wanted to be exactly "like everyone else". I actually uttered that phrase a few times during my rebellious adolescent years. We basically lived for our peers. But now, now that I'm aware of herd mentality and crowd wisdom, I find myself constantly questioning the things I "want" and whether they are solely my own desires or a societal influence. Do I really want a white and gold living room scheme or is it just all the pretty Pinterest pictures? Do I just love Pride & Prejudice because everyone else does? (FYI: Nay, I love it because it's the best novel ever written!) Do I wear makeup because it enhances what I find beautiful or because it makes me look like everyone else? Sometimes I wonder if we're all just living for the approval of others, and that thought is terrifying.

Serial Killers
A stowaway from childhood, but I'm still not to fond of the idea of being kidnapped in my sleep and brutally murdered. Call me crazy. I love scary movies and can watch them all day, but... umm... I still have nightmares from time to time. Eeep!

What are you afraid of? Is it dramatically different from your childhood fears? As always, link-up below if you've written any Fall-O-Ween related posts this month!


Giveaway Time!!

Here we are! Although there's still another week left, this will be the final giveaway of Fall-O-Ween :) It will run from today, October 24th until Friday, the 31st.

With all this talk of scary things and last Sunday's post about Halloween specials on television, the excitement for scary Halloween movies is building. Although I can't wait for some of my favorites to be played on t.v., I'm also ready for the new releases in theaters. And if you are too, then this is the perfect giveaway for you. Enter below for your chance to win a $25 Fandango giftcard! The card will be redeemable anywhere in the U.S. for any film ticket. And I'll deliver it to you electronically as soon as the winner is chosen. Happy Haunting!

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May the odds be ever in your favor :)

Winter Book Challenge 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I totally failed at the summer book challenge a few months ago. To be honest, it rare that I actually finish book challenges (ie. I'm only on book 25 of my 50 book Goodreads challenge). But I join them anyway because (1) I'm an eternal optimist and (2) although I don't always complete them, I always read much more than I would have otherwise. Small victories.

So when Kristen's preliminary list for this challenge popped up on my bloglovin' feed, I jumped in excitement. I wasn't going to post today, but then I saw Kristen's post and that the host would be hosting a link-up today, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to join in!

The challenge will run from November 1st to February 28th and there are 12 challenge categories, which is about the same length of time and categories as the summer challenge. But I seem to read a lot more during the fall/winter months, so I have high hopes. Plus, this time around, the books on my TBR list are easier to tailor to the categories which means I'll be excited to read them instead of forcing myself to do so. You can go here for all the challenge rules.

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.
I'll have no problem with this one!

10 points: Read a book written by an author who has published at least 10 books.
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I burned through the first 6 books in The Mortal Instruments series earlier this year but have yet to read the final book. Clare has written 10 books between her two Shadowhunters series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

10 points: Read a book of short stories.
I've been obsessed with the Throne of Glass series for the past month, only taking a break in reading the novels because of this month's spooky theme. But I'll for sure be picking this series up again in November and I'm on the collection of novellas, The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas. More Celaena but no Chaol :\ Whatever, I'll deal.

10 points: Read a book with a food in the title.
Perhaps, Chocolat by Joanne Harris but I don't know.

15 points: Read the first book in a series that is new to you.
For this one, I'm going with Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, the first book in the Grisha Trilogy. It's already on my list of fall reads and I've heard ah-mazing things about the novels so it's a no-brainer.

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a language that is not your native language.
I'm leaning towards Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but I'm not 100% sure.

15 points: Read a book written by a local author.
Lucky me! Sarah J. Maas was born and raised in New York, as was I. So I'll probably be reading the next Maas book, Heir of Fire.

20 points: Read a "bookish book" (Check original post for explanation/examples).
I'm leaning towards The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or Mr. Penumbra's 24Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.

20 points: Read a book with a direction in the title.
No idea. Not a clue what I'll read for this one. I'll update once I figure it out.

25 points: Read a book from a genre you don't usually read.
Did you know that short stories is a genre? For real, it is. I was searching to see if 'holiday novels' was a genre and baaamm! I rarely read short stories - I can't even remember the last one I read - but Four by Veronica Roth has been on my TBR list since July.

25 points: Read a book with a song lyric in the title. (Check original post for examples.)
I'm not the biggest Christmas person, but I've been really looking forward to reading My True Love Gave To Me, a collection of holiday short stories written by various authors and edited by Stephanie Perkins. It's only just now that I realized it's the title of a popular Christmas song.

30 points: Read two books with a different meal in each title.
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote & The Dinner by Herman Koch

Also, because I buy books like a bandit, I have a 15% off coupon for that is valid until October 31st. Click here to use my code, which will get you 15% off and also enter me to win a $20 gift card. Win, win!

Are you participating in the winter challenge?

Blood Never Tasted So Good

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Every holiday I can think of has a festive drink to go with it. Christmas has eggnog. New Years is all about champagne. Even Thanksgiving dinner's not complete in my family without a few bottles of apple cider. Halloween gets the shaft, I tell ya. The shaft!

I had been thinking about what the perfect Halloween drink was for a few days before I decided on this wonderful, basic choice. For some reason, I kept going to the fantastically creepy and complicated (think green, bubbling cocktails with an eyeball replica dropped into it), instead of seeing all the potential in one of my all-time favorites.

Sangria. A sweet, fruity, refreshing drink hailing from the lands of Spain and Portugal. The name itself loosely translates to blood (it means "bloodletting" and the Spanish word for blood is 'sangre'). And, I mean, what's more Halloween than blood? Sure, you could throw a severed limb or a mummified corpse into the mix, but a blood-inspired option is just so basic for the creep factor of Halloween. And yummy. Sangria, that is. Sangria is yummy. I have no idea what blood tastes like...

I make sangria pretty regularly. It's my go-to drink for the summertime and it helps that it's so easy and cheap to make. So if you have a cheap bottle of red wine lying around, try out this "recipe" next week!

On the 1st Night of Halloween, My True Love Gave to Me...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The television remote. My true love would know what today means and hand it over. I'm just sayin.'

'Round these parts we gear up for Halloween movie season. Now sure, I start my halloween-y season as soon as October opens its pearly gates, but the Halloween bell really chimes once 13 Nights of Halloween begins (which is today!). I wait all of October for the ghoulish movies and creepy t.v. specials on a handful of networks.

love catching childhood favorites like Halloweentown and Corpse's Bride and many more on both Disney and ABC Family, but I also look forward to binge-watching some pretty scary flicks like Texas Chain Saw Massacre. You can usually find me scouring the web for tv schedules a few days before it all begins. Instead of just jotting the movies/times down on a random slip of paper, this year, I created an electronic schedule. It makes me feel legit - I like feeling legit.

Here's my holy grail of all network programming aimed to fright and excite. First, I edited a super cute graphic, adding my selection movies I plan to catch for 13 Nights of Halloween and the days I plan to watch them (*note: see document below for entire schedule).

Below I've attached my two separate, full schedules. Just wanna reminisce with childhood movies? Click the schedule labeled "cute" for the Disney and ABC lineups combined on a single calendar! Not afraid of a little lot of horror? Check out the mashup of Syfy and AMC titled "scary"!

Click to enlarge!

*I found all these Halloween-y lineups conveniently on this website & the 13 Nights of Halloween graphic came from ABC from a past year, which I then painstakingly edited. 

I hope these darlings guide you through the millions of movies broadcasted for the season. What movie are you most looking forward to for Halloween?

Happy, happy Sunday! <3

Cozy & Chic Fall Accessories

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall-O-Ween is still in full effect even though I was absent there for a few days (check out the beginning of yesterday's post to find out why). I still have plenty to share regarding my favorite season, so expect to see me popping up on your blog feed quite a lot in the next couple of weeks. You may even see me during the weekend. Oooooh.

We've already talked about how much I love Fall-O-Ween because of the decorbooks, beauty, music and nails. But I also just love accessorizing for fall. I get a majority of my fall accessories from store like Forever 21, H&M, and, sometimes, ASOS Online because they always stock really cute pieces at very affordable prices. When colder weather hits, I can hardly wait to cuddle up in a warm, chunky scarves and rock those suede booties I love. Getting dressed for a crisp fall day is so fun and easy, which is why fall fashion is my favorite.
Fall Accessories

Tortoise Sunglasses - I adore these quirky patterned sunglasses all year 'round, and I don't put them away for fall simply because the sun's play hide-and-seek. Throwing on a pair of cute sunnies, to me, is so chic all the time.
Faux Readers - Another fashion trend for the entire year, but I've recently been liking the idea of adding these specs to complete a look. Not only do they instantly make you look smart, but they remind me of libraries and books, and I mean, helloooo, I love books. Win!
Cozy Scarves - I don't doubt this is on everyone's "fall list". Simple a must-have, especially in a basic color to go with everything in your closet.
Rings, Rings & More Rings! - I tend to load up on rings in the summer and fall. Don't ask me why, I just do.
Berry Nail Polish - I reserve my berry-colored polish for fall. It just feels special that way. I also really love the way deep-purples look against my skin tone.
Booties - About two years ago, I bought a pair of suede, black booties from Urban Outfitters for $80. Best eighty dollars I've ever spent! I've worn them so much yet they are still in amazing condition. Because they're suede, I don't like pulling them out until it gets cooler, but when it does... those babies are a fall staple for sure.
Animal Accents - Hello, leopard print everything :)
Wide-brimmed Hat - Who says a big, floppy hat is only appropriate for the beach? I laugh in the face of fashion faux-pas. I'm loving this wide-brimmed fedora for fall.
Bold Lipstick - We've talked about this :)
Studded Items - I'm in lurrvvvee with this Alexander Wang Rocco bag. It's gorg. It's also very expensive, but let's not talk about that. Any studded accessory is perfect in my book.
Bow-shaped Things - Bows are acceptable anytime, but these berry ones are great for the season.
Colorful Stockings & Socks - How fun are the 2 socks above?
Florals - For some strange reason, I've been really into florals for the past year. Floral bedding, floral skirts, florals in general. And this floral watch is no exception. I think the brown band makes it less spring-like and more fall wearable.
Candles - Because candles are accessories too. Kinda? :\ The Pumpkin Caramel Latte one is heavenly.

Those are my chic and cozy accessories for fall. What are your favorites?

Speaking of cozy things, you may want to check out this week's giveaway! I went a little crazy online shopping the week and picked up a few extras, including a candle and scarf, by accident :) Enter below, if you'd like to win this quick little prize.
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Don't forget! The Fall-O-Ween Giveaway #2 is ending tonight
If you like fall beauty, be sure to enter before midnight!

Bachelorette Gift Guide

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Thursday and I'm just now showing up to blog :/ I've spend the past three days recovering from an amazing weekend. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it but one of my best friends is getting married next month and this weekend was her Bachelorette/Bridal Shower. It was a weekend filled with tons of laughter and lots of love, and although I totally lost my voice and I'm a little sick, I'd do it all over again if I could.

And so the weekend provides the inspiration for today's post because I had so much fun putting together a little Bachelorette care package for my girl. Now, I've known my bachelorette for over 4 years, so many of the things I included were very personal in nature (ie. things we've talked about, gifts that would be sure to make her smile). But before I decided to just go with my gut, I remember trying to find gift suggestions online and coming up with very little. So here are my gift suggestions for your bachelorette.

** NOTE: this is a post includes lingerie and other sexy-time things!

For the sweet, innocent bachelorette...

Not every bachelorette/bride-to-be is the kind of girl who wants a box full of kinky gifts. You really have to know your friend. If most of your conversations are pretty tame, if she's very reserved, or if you just don't know her that well, go more conservative in your gift giving. Basically, err on the side of caution. Don't make it about being sexy so much. Stick with cute, pretty things: sweet sleepwear, perhaps a more tame lingerie item in white, chocolate, luxury bath products and the like.

For the wild child...

In my opinion, this falls right in the middle of conservative and sex pot. She doesn't give you the impression that she'd shock at the sight of a pair of handcuffs or questionably-shaped icecubes but gifting her a male dancer might be a little overboard. Conversations have broached naughtier subjects but never gone as far as the play-by-play. You're walking a tight line here, but the good thing is that the wild child is usually pretty easy-going. Mixing the naughtier of the sweet gifts with the tamer of the kinky ones is probably your best bet. I'd say put away the more 'shocking' items but don't be afraid to throw in some more riskay things. Fill that box with everything from macarons and massage lotion to crotchless panties and sex dice.  

For the sex kitten... 

So we all have the friend that talks about kinky things constantly. Not that there's anything wrong with it! That bacherlorette - she's easy to shop for. There aren't really any rules. Anything, from cutesy lingerie to slings and toys, goes. So load up on the sexiest, barely-there lingerie you can find, scavenge the sex section of the nearest Spencer's or Ricky's and go ahead and place that dancer reservation.
***Note: check out the following slideshow at your own risk ***

Spooky Nail Ideas For The Artistically-Challenged

Friday, October 10, 2014

One thing I've always been jealous of? People who can do their nails really well. Cause homegirl is pretty terrible at it; and by homegirl I, of course, mean me. Really though, how do you people create these amazing designs? Teach me your wayyys!

Now I may be nail decal illiterate and unable to polish my right hand without smearing everything (lord, help me!), but I want themed nails too, especially with Halloween approaching. I'm not going for anything too elaborate (that would be a big fail), but I'm already feeling so festive, my nails should be too! So if you're challenged like me or can't go completely all out because of work or whatever, try your hand at these 4 designs I was able to successfully pull off (so basically a kindergartner can do it).

Shout out to my ratchet lil DIY dotting tool at the bottom! You da best :)

Spooky nails are great, but so's a deep purple or berry shade for fall! My dear Deb mentioned that she love Bahama Mama by Essie, and well, now I'm polishing my nails that color. What Deb says I do #basic :)

If you've written about fall beauty or any Fall-O-Ween themed posts recently, link up below. I'd love to read all about it!

Giveaway Time!!!

Interested in rocking a dark lip this fall? Thinking about trying a spooky nail on for size, or just in love with berry-toned polish? Enter to win this neat little bundle of goodies! Fall-O-Ween giveaway #2 features: Wet n Wild lipsticks in "Cherry Bomb" and "Vamp It Up", Ardell "Demi 105 lashes (all from the previous post), and the black and white nail polishes used above. You seriously want this beauty stash!

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Also, don't forget to enter the Gone Girl Giveaway! It ends Sunday night!

Tell me about your favorite fall beauty products in the comments below!