Talk About Scary!

Happy Halloween ATG FINAL 3


Happy Halloween, One and All!

The last day of the week, of the month, and of the rest of 2014, as we know it, is here. The countdown to the end of the year starts now, and that’s because from here on out, it’s just one thing after another. Go-go-go, celebrate-celebrate-celebrate season is here. I’m excited! Yet, it’s a bit overwhelming to realize that I distinctly remember what I was doing a year ago on this exact day. As cliché as this saying has become: “time flies!” And this is certainly the case from now until just after the new year if you ask me. Talk about scary!

That aforementioned cliché expression comes with some of my favorites things to do that seemingly pile up into the last two months of the year: the AFI Film Festival, my boyfriend’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas (which comes with a much-needed and very welcome record 20-day holiday break this year – yay!), New Year’s, then an anniversary with said boyfriend. Not to mention that FINALLY the better caliber and more Oscar-worthy films flood the market.

(Why the industry waits until the end/most expensive time of year to further suck money that you already don’t have to see the good stuff, I’ll never understand.)

Needless to say, I can’t wait for the festivities ahead, but no need to rush. Time will get us there…whether we like it or not.

So, let’s focus on the situation at hand.

I’m looking forward to another low-key Halloween this year. I don’t get Trick-or-Treaters….and this is beyond a-okay with me. (That means more candy for me!) Tonight, as of writing time, the plan is dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, followed by a scary movie marathon at home. However, this is totally dependent upon how Google Maps looks later this evening. I’m quite concerned about how much more congested my beloved LA streets will be as the sun sets. Seeing as how it’s not only Halloween, but Friday night, I don’t anticipate that I’ll get very far in my car, which isn’t how I’d like to spend my Halloween. Therefore, this plan might quickly change to ordering pizza over a scary movie marathon. Whatever plan we go with, sounds perfect to me.

Whether tonight finds you decked out at a party, home with someone special, or in bed early because you hate Halloween, have a great time!

Take a deep breath, the seasonal craze is upon us. Talk about scary!

Have a lovely weekend…

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Image source:
Happy Halloween Theme” by Ariom P, used under CC BY / Modification: text added to original.

Halloween Is in the Air

Happy Halloween week, boys and girls! Finally, I’m in the Halloween spirit! It took awhile to get here, but the weather is cooling and the sun setting earlier, creating the perfect ambiance to finally welcome fall…and all things spooky to LA. I’ll admit what really put me in a festive place was having my first official fright night of the season – paying a visit to what has to be, hands down, one of the best haunted mazes I’ve ever been in last night, the Sherwood Scare. You might recall last year’s visit to the Sherwood Scare, where I raved and raved about what a great cause and a great time it was. This year was no different. It did not disappoint. I was happily spooked by the time we left and ready for Halloween.

What is it about a good scare that just gets a gal in the mood? In honor of Halloween week, I’m sharing 5 good frights and lots of good laughs to get us ready for the big night this Friday.

Until then, beware….Halloween is in the air!

#1.

#2.

#3.

#4. I’ve shared this video on my site before, but if you live in LA (or are aware of the culture here) this bears sharing again! Classic.

#5.

Have a great week! x

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Highlights

What I Know for Sure ATG FINAL{A new read for a new season.}

What I know for sure? T.G.I.F! I’m happy the weekend is upon us again. And while this sentiment is rather surface compared to what Oprah might say, it’s about as fitting as I can get at the moment. I waited almost a month and a half to grab a hard copy from the wait list at the library, and I can already tell after reading just a few pages so far, it’s going to be something quite special to take in and reflect on. I’m actually considering just buying a copy of my own so that I can add it to my non-growing bookshelf because I made the switch to a Kindle and never looked back (though admittedly, it took awhile to give into digital reading).

I’ve always known when it comes to books, there are just certain reads that work well the good old-fashioned way: with pages that you can turn, and words you can highlight in bright yellow as you make your way through them. It’s no secret that I read a lot, but what you might not know is that I don’t usually buy books in general, unless it’s something I’d like to reference again – it just saves money and space. Thus, I get my fix from being an eternal lover of the local library and use it frequently, but mostly for downloadable titles now.

Side note: I’ve also heard that the “What I Know For Sure” audio book is quite moving because Oprah (and that thoughtful voice of hers) personally reads it.

As I think about this week, I do recall stopping a few times and asking myself “What do you know for sure?” I hope to have a much more eloquent answer as I think more about this (with perhaps a post in the future dedicated to exploring this topic), but one thing that comes to mind as I write this is remembering to always be grateful if you wake up every morning with your health alive and well. It seems medical scares and stories are rampant lately about those who are struggling with what I’m sure most of us take for granted, or don’t take the time to really be mindful of…and that’s good health. So I’ll answer this question, in part, now:

What I know for sure is that if you can get out of the bed with your health in tact, that my friend,  is truly priceless. Take care of yourself. Take care of each other.

Life lately has been good, a little hectic, but overall well. It feels like fall, though almost a month behind the calendar, is slowly starting to join us here in LA. Mornings have been foggy at times, my car windows might need de-frosting before I hit the road, a sweater is almost always necessary, and I successfully dusted off my leather jacket and black boots earlier this week to celebrate the transition. Funny enough, I was talking to my boyfriend about how it just didn’t feel like the Halloween season last weekend. Yes, I have my festive pumpkin lights up, and have indulged in at least 3 pumpkin spice lattes already, but it’s strange (even for LA) to be doing so while wearing sandals, with your A/C on in 95° weather.

Thank goodness this weekend will find it temperate! The plan here is to meet a few co-workers for happy hour tonight, catch what many are calling a sure Best Actor nomination for Michael Keaton in Birdman with my boyfriend and a group of friends on Saturday night, and perhaps a jaunt to the farmers’ market on Sunday to stock-up on produce, and of course, to spend some more time with my girl Oprah.

Have a great weekend ahead!

A few other highlights since we last did a life catch-up…

Pumpkins ATG FINAL

{My boyfriend’s sweet response when I complained about it not feeling “Halloween-y” enough. He brought me 5 mini pumpkins Add a $3 Glade pumpkin-scented candle and things are feeling more appropriate at home while we wait for fall to finally get here.}

Pedi ATG FINAL

{A Saturday afternoon at home pedi.}

Milk Hazelnut Ice Cream ATG FINAL

{After years of seeing the line hang out the door, I finally grabbed some of Milk’s famous all-natural homemade ice cream. Yum!}

plan check ATG FINAL

{A Tuesday date night over drinks.}

Urban Sunset ATG FINAL

{Admiring an urban sunset.}

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Halloween on Halloween

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Happy Halloween Guys!

The plan tonight is rather low-key: a night in with my boyfriend, indulging in some take out on the couch watching the original Halloween. It was just released on Blu-ray for their 35th anniversary edition (and was unexpected purchase while at Target last week for something completely practical. Happens. Every. Time.).

Play safe tonight,

Candice

Spooked

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What: Sherwood Scare

Location: 8856 Encino Avenue, Northridge

With the exception of the fact that pumpkins and pumpkin spice everything made an appearance with the turn of the calendar page to October, it hasn’t felt much like Halloween this year. I can’t pinpoint if it’s the general atmosphere, how chaotic life has been lately, or the very peculiar weather over the last few weeks, but I can’t say I’ve been very festive this season. In fact, for the first time in years, I didn’t even carve a pumpkin!

I have been making it a point to incorporate a horror flick here and there to try to shake things up, but when it comes to a good scare to really get in that Halloween state of mind, I knew I needed something new and something within budget,

Enter the power of a Google search.

Then enter Sherwood Scare.

An impressive promo trailer on their website (below), along with a reasonable fee, and 5 star rating on Yelp…and I was on-board!

Deemed one of the best D.I.Y. mazes in town, I couldn’t get over the mere $3 donation benefiting the Big Worm’s Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Not only was it an affordable excursion to get into the Halloween spirit, it was also for a good cause! Win. Win.

The plan was to head out the weekend before last, but I couldn’t make it. Knowing that the maze is only on for two weekends before Halloween, this past Saturday night the decision to hit the heart of the valley to locate that missing festivity and find a good scare was all I could think about. I knew I found it the moment I turned onto the eerily darkened residential street, filled with expansive homes, and a light fog in the air that lent to all good things spooky.

Muffled screams from inside the maze filled the atmosphere as I waited in a short line outside. I got to chatting with the guy working the front door and learned that Sherwood Scare, themed differently every year, is designed and produced by movie industry professionals who create sets. They develop and build the intricate and highly produced maze over what is essentially their basketball court in the backyard of their massive private home – a feat that took over 2 months of planning and construction alone.

2013’s theme, “Camp Sherwood,” welcomes guests into a room where they are introduced to Head Counselor, Skip, before engaging in an orientation video designed to entice visitors of Camp Sherwood’s awesome outdoor adventures…until the once happy-go-lucky campers somehow went missing, returning that fateful night not quite so happy-go-lucky. Thus begins the next 10 minutes of pure terror.

I can vouch that The Sherwood Scare is as awesome as you read about. One almost forgets that you’re simply in someone’s backyard, supporting a good cause. The actors were dressed head-to-toe in horror and stayed in character, successfully creeping me out the entire time. The production value of the scenery was detailed and far superior to what I’d even expected from a $3 admission.

Understandably, photography is not allowed – though you’d be too damned scared just getting through the 2,000 square foot maze to dare attempt to document any aspect of it anyway.

All I can say is, “Bravo! What fun!”

This maze easily rivals and outperforms even the high-end haunts I’ve been to over the years. I can assure you, my lacking Halloween spirit was revitalized by the time I left. I was happily spooked.

The last night to indulge in the dark side at Camp Sherwood is on Halloween Night, this Thursday, October 31st from 7pm-Midnight.

Highlights: Mid-October

Half-way through October. Someone seems to be hitting the time accelerate button yet again. It’s been a bit stressful this week, but here are some highlights that managed to brighten it:

{The appreciation of a good solid meal. Much pleasure came from some penne pasta with mushrooms lightly sprinkled with parmesan cheese; and the simplicity of steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower on the side.}

{The Halloween project is underway, Midnight by Dean Koontz is in hand.}

{Not to brag, but I have been having the best hair week EVER! There’s nothing you can’t handle when your tresses are acting right. I don’t typically use hairspray, but because of the humidity in the air and some major frizzing, I’ve been looking for a solution. Enter L’Oréal Elnett StrongHold Hairspray (unscented). Worth every dime.}

{A very thoughtful surprise from my boyfriend. This beautiful orchid.}