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Scream Queens – The Best of the Best

30 Oct

Scream Queens

Halloween is tomorrow and my annual Halloween horror movie marathon is in full swing. Fact: I am a fan of the horror genre.   I blame it on my Mother – she always made Halloween so fun and magical when I was little. From costumes and trick-or-treating, to staying up late each year, vegging out on the living room floor, eating candy while watching Michael Myers. I grew up thinking horror movies were fun.

One of my earliest memories is watching The House of Long Shadows starring the fantastic Vincent Price. Granted, this is probably one of my earliest memories because it scared the ever living crap out of me and scarred me for life. Nevertheless, I love me some scary movies. Particularly the cheesy nineteen-eighties films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and my absolute favorite, Halloween. Since it’s that time of year again, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to all the classic Scream Queens of the silver screen.

Neve Campbell – Scream series

Neve Campbell Scream

Scream was released in 1996, a time when good horror movies were few and far between. When it was released, Scream took the world by surprise, reinventing the slasher film genre by none other than Wes Craven – the man who helped build it more than a decade earlier. Neve Campbell portrayed Sidney Prescott, a high school student who is targeted by a crazed, knife-weilding murderer known as Ghostface. Sid and her friends battle the murderer(s) while learning the “rules” of horror movies, which include (according to Randy): “1. You can never have sex. The minute you get a little nookie–you’re as good as gone. Sex always equals death. 2. Never drink or do drugs. The sin factor. It’s an extension of number one. And 3. Never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, say ‘I’ll be right back.'”

Scream movie poster

I will never forget seeing this movie in the theater when it came out and it is still one of my all-time favorite movies. Fans will always remember that creepy voice asking “What’s your favorite scary movie?” at the opening of the film. And Sidney is my top choice for Scream Queen in terms of what a good horror heroine should entail – she was a good girl who was determined to stay alive at any cost. Campbell went on to star in all four additional Scream movies, all of which were note-worthy horror films – something that rarely happens in the world of sequels.

Heather Langenkamp – A Nightmare on Elm Street series

Heather Langenkamp

In 1984 we were introduced to one of the most recognizable monsters of all time, known for his striped sweater, stylish hat, burned face and of course, the infamous knife hands – Freddy Krueger. The lead in A Nightmare on Elm Street was a character called Nancy Thompson, played by Heather Langenkamp. Nancy was a high school student (starting to notice a trend here with horror movie leads…) who, along with her friends, begins experiencing horrific dreams that are all too real, starring none other than Freddy himself. As her friends are killed off one by one in the most gruesome of ways, it’s up to Nancy to stay awake and figure out how to take down Freddy. Langenkamp went on to star as Nancy in 2 sequels –  A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Sadly though, her reign as a Scream Queen came to an end in Dream Warriors when Freddy finally caught up to her. But then she comes back in New Nightmare. Go figure. RIP, Nancy.

Nightmare On Elm Street

Linda Blair – The Exorcist series

Linda Blair

What do I say about this next Queen? She starred in one of the most scary movies of all time – The Exorcist. Linda Blair portrayed 12 year old Regan, a little girl who is possessed by a very, very evil demon while her mother is forced to helplessly watch. Regan endures some pretty sick torture by the demon possessing her, things involving crucifixes and pea soup that I don’t wish to repeat. And then there’s the head-spinning horror of the actual exorcism performed by the priests.

 

 

The Exorcist movie poster

Linda Blair starred in the sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic, which follows Regan years later, where she finds that some of the evil that once possessed her still lives inside her. All I can say is, if you don’t want to be thoroughly creeped out and not be able to sleep at night, absolutely do not watch these movies.

Jamie Lee Curtis – Halloween series

Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween

And finally, we come to my all-time favorite Scream Queen – Jamie Lee Curtis herself. Halloween was released in 1978 and starred Curtis, in her first movie role, as Laurie Strode, an awkward teenage girl who got stuck babysitting some neighbor kids on Halloween. Poor Laurie had no idea that her psychotic, long-lost brother, Michael Myers, would decide to come get his kicks by killing all of her friends and coming for her in the end. But Laurie kept her wits about her and was determined to live and keep those kids safe! She fought back (with a coat hanger to the eye) and made it to the sequel! Halloween II picked up right where Halloween ended – following Laurie to the hospital after her traumatic fight for survival. But once at the hospital, Michael rises from the dead in the  morgue and goes on another killing spree.

Halloween

 

Jamie Lee survived the hospital too, and went on to appear in two other Halloween films – Halloween H2O, which also starred Josh Hartnett and Michelle Williams, where she played Laurie as a mother and head mistress of a boarding school. Of course Michael comes for her there and she now has to protect her son and some kids at the school. (This one was also one of my faves!) And sadly, Jamie Lee’s reign as Screen Queen came to an end in Halloween: Resurrection in 2002, where Michael finally catches her in a mental hospital – where she has stowed herself so he couldn’t get to her. I gotta say, I was pretty upset when they killed her off. But Halloween isn’t the only horror movie Jamie Lee is known for. She also starred in such films as Prom Night, Terror Train and The Fog. I think she will always be the ultimate Scream Queen.

So, what’s your favorite scary movie? 

Happy Halloween!

Forget It, Black Friday – Shopping From Home

24 Nov

Yesterday was Black Friday, and I was foolish enough to get out amongst the crazies (does that make me a crazy, too??) and hunt for those amazing deals that stores promised us. It’s kind of a family tradition, where no matter how much I don’t want to, I just have to go to at least one store the day after Thanksgiving. Victoria’s Secret, Express, Toys R Us, and Kohls were blowing up my inbox all week telling me to get my bottom to their store and take advantage of all the free stuff they’re going to give me. Well, I ended up getting out late yesterday afternoon – I refuse to be one of those people who stands in line until midnight and then ferociously make a mad dash for the electronics section – and hit up a couple of department and non-chain stores in search of a few unique gifts. While I didn’t make it to any of those mass merchandisers, I did take advantage of their sales early yesterday morning from the comfort of my couch. Which brings me to the topic of this post – the joy of online shopping.

Unless you live in an area where internet coverage is not offered or are in a coma in the hospital, there is absolutely no excuse for you not to shop via the internet this holiday season. I got all the offers and discounts that I was promised in store this Black Friday, plus free shipping, and didn’t even have to get out of my pajamas.  I didn’t wait in line anywhere, I didn’t have to deal with the attitudes of sales clerks who had been working since 11:00 the night before, giving everyone the stink eye, and I certainly didn’t have to drive around a parking lot for twenty minutes waiting for someone to leave so I could park. I shopped at my own pace, taking my time browsing the sites. Doesn’t this sound like a pleasant shopping experience?

Now, I understand that there are some Black Friday and holiday deals that are only offered in store. This is when you have to ask yourself, “Is this item really going to make or break Christmas for the recipient, and is it worth going through all of the shopping madness for?” If the answer is yes, then bless your heart. When you are forced to venture out to the stores for gifts, please follow my simple rules of Christmas Shopping Etiquette, some of which include shopping with a plan, leaving little ones at home, and getting well if you are sick before doing your shopping.

In summary, try to enjoy the Christmas season and don’t make it all about presents. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas, especially with stores constantly in our faces with ads for the latest and greatest gadgets. Only buy (or better yet, make!) gifts that are from your heart to the recipient. And please, stay in and do your shopping from the comfort of your home whenever possible!

Happy Holidays! 

Fun Fall Activities

10 Oct

Happy Fall, y’all! I absolutely love this time of year because it means cool weather, crisp air, Fall clothes, and of course, the start of the holidays. I like to be outside as much as possible to enjoy the changing of the seasons, and there are certain things that help get me in the right frame of mind for the upcoming holidays. I’m sure you have family traditions or activities that make you associate this time of year with happiness, too, right? There are so many fun, family oriented things to be done this time of year and I’m sure no matter where you live you can find some in your area.

Here are five ideas to help get you ready for Fall:

Get pumpkins from a pumpkin patch. Support your local farmers by purchasing your pumpkins from them. Also, pumpkin patches are a great place to snap some family photos and if you have kids, even better! Go here to see if there’s one near you.

Pick apples at an apple orchard. Ok, so I’ve never actually been apple picking. I think maybe it’s a Northern thing? I’ve never seen any apple orchards down here in the South but I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts on apple picking recently and I must admit, it looks pretty great. Especially since you get to take them all home and bake pies with them. Count me in! An apple orchard is going on my destination wish list.

Carve a pumpkin. After you get your pumpkin from the local patch, do one of Halloween’s most famous traditions – carve that sucker! You can find carving templates to print online (check out bhg.com or marthastewart.com for free, printable patterns) and create a spooky or sweet pumpkin with your friends or family. And don’t forget to roast the pumpkin seeds! Mmmm!!

Go on a hayride. Kick back and enjoy the scenery! Farms, apple orchards or pumpkin patches are likely to have hayrides this time of year and it’s a fun way to get in the spirit of the season with friends and family. To see if hayrides are offered in your neck of the woods, go here.

Check out a local Haunted House attraction… if you dare. Muhuhaha! Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Haunted houses, forests and trails are an excellent way to celebrate Halloween. It’s always more fun with a big group of friends, too! Go to hauntworld.com to find a spooky destination near you.

What are your favorite Fall activities? Have fun!

Why I Love October

8 Oct

October is my favorite month, but not just because it’s my birthday month (I shouldn’t get so excited about that anymore seeing as I’m becoming an old woman and all). October means Halloween, which is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Growing up, Halloween was always a big deal in my house. We always decorated, went all out with our Halloween costumes, and trick-or-treating was like, the most fun thing ever. But it also meant that right after Halloween we’d get Thanksgiving where I got to gather with all of my cousins, aunt, uncles, grandparents and just pig out. Then of course it is right on to the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas! Yes, October means the start of something wonderful in my world.

So, it’s no surprise that I’ve already started celebrating Halloween! The house is decorated, I have begun my annual scary movie marathon, and pumpkin carving ideas are underway. And to keep you guys in the Halloween spirit, too, I plan on posting Halloween related material all month such as: 1) my top 10 scary movies to watch at Halloween, 2) cool pumpkin carving designs, and of course 3) great costume ideas.

Be sure to check back, and let me know what Halloween traditions you have in your family!  

Happy October!

Comic-Con Fashion

29 Jul

July has come and gone and once again, so has another Comic-Con that I did not attend. Comic-Con is a 4 day convention exhibiting all things comic book, science fiction, horror, and related pop culture in film/television, novels and video games. It’s held every July in San Diego and I’d really like to experience it in my life (you may remember this showing up on my recent Bucket List post). I wouldn’t say I’m a huge comic book nerd or anything, but I probably do enjoy super heroes and zombies a little more than the average person. The idea of going to a 4 day convention celebrating these things where almost everyone is dressed up like it’s Halloween sounds absolutely fantastic to me. So maybe that does make me a huge nerd, after all.

Another really great thing about Comic-Con is the celebrity presence. Actors, directors and writers attend to represent their film or show, and the public are welcome to attend panels where they can get up close and personal with celebrities to hear them talk about their work, and possibly even meet and get an autograph. What people may not realize though, is that Comic-Con is as much for the actors as it is for the fans. Celebrities have been known to put on a costume and walk around the convention floor along with the public, completely disguised.

Although dressing up is not required to attend Comic-Con, if you’re gonna go you might as well go all out. I love watching the coverage every year and seeing some of the completely insane creative outfits people show up in – a lot of them homemade. Here are some of the highlights from the 2012 Comic-Con a few weeks ago.

Doesn’t that look like fun!? One day I will attend. Oh yes, it will happen. Until then, I’ll try to think of a creative costume.

What would you wear to Comic-Con? 

Christmas In July

12 Jul

We’re halfway there, people! Only 165 days left until Christmas. You may be wondering how on Earth I could be thinking about Christmas right now, which is a perfectly good question. The truth is, at some point in the middle of the year (usually in July or some other sweltering summer month) I get sick of the 100 degree weather and long for cold, wintery nights, cozying up in flannel pajamas and sipping hot chocolate. Realistically I don’t have to wait for Christmas to do that – I could just crank down the AC and make my house freezing enough to feel like winter, but it’s much more than just the cooler weather that I long for. I love Christmas time and all the things that go along with it that put me in a joyful mood:  little twinkling lights and decorated Christmas trees, holiday music with sleigh bells, big comfy sweaters with snowflakes on them and all of those yummy treats that we seem to only indulge in during the holidays.

So, every year when this Christmas itch begins I start to do little things that bring on that “most wonderful time of the year” feeling. Here are some Christmas in July activities that are sure to help you escape from the summer reality into a Christmasy frame of mind.

Create A Christmas Playlist

Pack your iPod or make a homemade CD full of Christmas favorites like “White Christmas”, “The Christmas Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. Whenever I listen to Christmas music it almost immediately puts me in a good mood. You can’t go wrong with a little Bing Crosby!

Watch A Holiday Classic

Dust off some of the Christmas movies in your DVD collection for movie night and curl up on the couch with a holiday classic like “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Scrooged” or my personal favorite, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  They’ll bring you that old familiar holiday feeling months ahead of schedule.

Bake Some Christmas Cookies

You don’t have to wait until December to put on your apron and set up shop in the kitchen. There is always more cooking and baking in my family during the holidays than any other time of year, and what better way to treat yourself than to make some traditional holiday goodies in the middle of the summer? Dig up the family recipes and whip up some sugar cookies, cakes and pies.

Start Christmas Shopping Early

You may think it’s too early to start doing your Christmas shopping but the earlier you shop, the more you save. I’m not saying go out this weekend and buy gifts for everyone, but go ahead and start thinking about what you’d like to get people and begin making a list. And next time you’re out shopping and see something on your list that is on sale, go ahead and get it. You’ll have less shopping to do just before Christmas when the stores are packed with people and high prices. (If you do find yourself Christmas shopping with the crowds, however, follow these guidelines for Christmas Shopping Etiquette.)

Do you ever get the Christmas itch in the middle of summer, too?

Merry halfway to Christmas!

It Must Be Awards Season!

8 May

Last week I was very pleasantly surprised to receive two WordPress awards from some of my favorite fellow bloggers. This isn’t an “official” award or anything (you don’t get a trophy for your shelf, unfortunately), but it is a big deal to me because it tells me that there are people out there that really do find what I have to say somewhat interesting! And people who aren’t obligated to find what I have to say interesting, at that (thanks, Mom!).

The first award I received was the Versatile Blogger Award from Lory (a.k.a. LoLo) over at Ranting on the Lolo.

The rules for accepting this award are:

  • Nominate 15 fellow bloggers
  • Inform the bloggers of their nomination
  • Share 7 random things about yourself
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Add the Versatile Blog Award logo on your blog post.

This is actually my second time to receive the Versatile Blogger Award, so I will defer you to my original post here, as all the 7 random things about myself are still true (and I really can’t think of 7 more things about myself that are interesting enough to share), and I would again like to acknowledge the 15 bloggers I originally nominated. And last but not least, a big THANK YOU to LoLo, whose blog I follow and find thoroughly witty and relevant!  And I’m sure you will, too!

The second award I received was the Liebster Blog award from Jeni at WeelilWimsy.

This is my first time to receive this one and I am so happy to add it to my trophy case! It is a German award that promotes up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. The rules for accepting this one are:

  • Acknowledge the person that gave you the award and link back to their blog.
  • Copy and paste the award to your own site.
  • Choose 5 other blogs to award and let them know you nominated them.

Well first, I already acknowledged her but I’d like to say THANK YOU again to Jeni from WeelilWimsy, who I have a strong feeling I’d be good friends with if we lived in the same town, and whose blog really inspires me creatively. I love your passion for writing and your outlook on life!

And now on to the 5 fellow bloggers I’d like to nominate! I have to say, on most of these I couldn’t tell how many followers they had (and wouldn’t be surprised at all if they had more than 200 because they’re that good!) but I’m just going to go for it:

  1. The Cubicle Views – On his About Me page, this guy writes: “It’s probably safe to say that no one in high school every uttered the following:  I want to go to college for 4-5 (or more) years and go on to graduate school for a couple more, so I can work my ass off in a 6 by 8 foot, 3.5 walled equivalent of the corporate jail cell for the next 40+ years.”  I often think this very thing myself and can totally relate to his sarcastic and hilarious truths about Corporate America.
  2. Olivia’s Opinions – I love this girl! On her blog, Olivia reviews books and movies and keeps me up to date on what I should be reading these days. And y’all mark my words, we will be reading books written by this creative young lady one day, I just know it!
  3. A Touch of Lovely – If you hadn’t noticed, I am a girl and love girly things. Jen over at A Touch of Lovely does too and I totally dig her style!  And she just launched a fabulous online bridal magazine called Bijou that’s packed with wedding inspiration, articles and giveaways.
  4. Lightness of Being – Katarzyna from Johannesburg, South Africa is a gifted photographer and I really enjoy seeing life through her lens in her blog posts. She freezes time and captures moments with her camera; making ordinary objects that we see everyday appear artful and inspiring.
  5. Mookology – Two things I absolutely love are movies and books, and this blog covers both. So naturally I’m going to love it. Alyssa takes books that have been adapted for the silver screen and writes a review of both the book and the movie, then breaks down what she liked or didn’t like about the adaptation. Brilliant!

A huge thank you again to Ranting on the Lolo and WeelilWimsy for recognizing my blog. I really appreciate your encouragement and support!

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