31 Nights of Halloween: Nancy Drew (2019)

31 Nights of Halloween

Hey, guess what, I’m that person who likes to make lists and then I’m like – who needs lists, I’m a free-spirit, I don’t need lists. Needless to say, I did not watch Carrie this evening and instead, watched the first episode of The CW’s Nancy Drew reboot. This is the problem with lists, amazing things could present themselves that might be missed out on if one stuck to a list! I will slot Carrie in for that horrible Hulu original series that I already mostly forgot about and watch it this weekend. See, at least I have a plan…

I grew up on the Nancy Drew mystery series and was excited about a reboot but also hesitant because of that travesty of a show Riverdale that is loosely, loosely based on the Archie comic books. I’ve said it before and feel compelled to say it again, Ms. Grundy was a 70-year old matron and not a hot body music teacher who banged underage pupils. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Anyway, I still decided to give this new series a watch and see how it compared to the beloved books. To start, the characters seemed a lot older than those in the book (the teens in the book are a lot more innocent if you know what I mean). Nancy has ‘retired’ her detective work after the death of her mother. She is waitressing in her small hometown, still dating Ned Nickerson. The show deviates from the book with her other friends, Bess & George are still around but in a vastly different capacity. They aren’t really friends at all and are just forced together through circumstances, that circumstance being they’re accused of murdering a local heiress. While trying to solve this case, they uncover details about the unsolved disappearance of a local girl from decades ago. There’s a surprising amount of supernatural elements in the show and it’s pretty dark in nature. I guess that’s what happens when producers try to add a modern twist that appeals to a younger generation that didn’t grow up on the books and can’t relate to the stories. I think it’s cool to see Nancy make a comeback but also, can everyone stop ruining my childhood icons?! Come up with your own damn content. Anyway, it was a romp but I’m not sure I’ll keep watching.

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Happy Halloween Eve: Spooky Tag P. I

Blogoween, Random

Or, October 1st for the normies πŸ¦‡ How about getting into the spirit with a festive tag?! I love tags, I can’t help it – this one is a bit long with 30 questions, I’m breaking it up into 10 questions over three days. Let’s get started!

Spirit Halloween

John Carpenter’s Halloween Theme – it’s my year round ringtone and the perfect theme for any tragedy.

Spirit Halloween

A rabid deer or a human being that doesn’t look like they are exercising or otherwise supposed to be in the forest. More on the deer thing, I do a lot of trail running in densely wooded areas and one day, a deer came tearing out of the brush right in front of me. I don’t think it was rabid but ever since then, I’ve been afraid of getting clocked by a deer!

Spirit Halloween

Only fools think it’s a game πŸ˜› When I was a kid, I do recall one for instance where one showed up at a slumber party but what I remember more vividly about that night was watching The Craft when I was absolutely not supposed to be watching it!

Spirit Halloween

Dracula or any blood-sucking villain but preferably ones who look like Lestat.

Spirit Halloween

I’ve recounted this chilling tale a number of times and literally nobody believes me or they blame my cats. One day, in my youth, I was home alone and got out of the shower when I smelled propane. I had a gas burning stove at the time, all the burners were turned onto light and just filling my apartment with gas! I still don’t know what happened but I’ve since refused to live in dwellings with gas appliances. I mean, nothing really happened, it was just weird.

Spirit Halloween

Probably. True story, my old lady neighbor passed away a little over a year ago. She wasn’t found for several days, perhaps more than a week, she apparently didn’t have any family. The weird part is that she would always say that she was going to see her kids/grand kids constantly and she had this little cart the she rolled around filled with activities for kids but apparently she wasn’t ever leaving the building! I think she’s haunting the building now, specifically my main hallway and my cats agree.

Spirit Halloween

I don’t know if I have ever had the opportunity to test the theory. I mean, maybe? I think it’s human nature to believe in a little hocus-pocus to explain the inexplicable.

Spirit Halloween

I don’t think so, unless I am driving at night and feel like there are creatures hiding just beyond the scope of my headlights.

Spirit Halloween

Skinwalkers, because they’re real and the other members of my middle school volleyball team can confirm this!

Spirit Halloween

It depends, if it’s super cheesy gore that is so obviously fake then it doesn’t bother me but if it’s super realistic body-horror then I can’t watch it. I have this weird habit of recalling the most horrifically graphic things while I’m eating and then I lose my appetite, it used to really piss my mom off. I prefer thrillers, I think it’s what’s not happening that can be more terrifying.

I hope that you enjoyed this spooky little tag & Happy October!

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Best of May

Monthly Favorites

I can’t believe it’s June, spring sprung seemingly overnight after weeks of cool, rainy weather. I love the rainy weather but it’s nice to see the sun shining and we’re well on our way to Halloween πŸ‘» My deck is almost summer ready, I spent too much time and money in IKEA last weekend. I had this fantastic idea to change my master bathroom from beige to white because I love hotel bathrooms. Clean ones, that is with white towels and that subtle bleach scent. What I didn’t realize is that they get cleaned everyday, I’m pretty clean but it’s misery so far πŸ˜‚ I’ll post about my deck decor sooner than later. Anyway, here are some items that I was loving in May.

For the last year I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant, most of them have given me a rash. I picked this up recently and love it so far. It has a light, floral scent – not too rosy but just pleasant enough. The consistency is on the wet side but very moisturizing and dries down to nothing. It’s made my armpits so soft and cleared up the rash in no time. It’s on the expensive side but all of these natural deodorants are.

My skin tends to get congested as soon as the weather starts to heat up, this is a seasonal favorite since it dries my skin out too much during the winter. It’s a mild acid that keeps my back and chest clear. It smells funky like fermented fruit but it works and it’s pretty affordable.

This is one of those blue light therapy devices. It’s supposed to help kill bacteria and I could be nuts but I think it’s working. I had to stop taking oral contraceptive due to starting another medication so I’m getting some hormonal spots but I swear this is knocking them out. My skin is almost back to where it was before my change in meds. I use it for about 15 minutes each night, focusing on different quadrants. I like it because I’m not adding another chemical to my routine. I purchased this from my dermatologist but Amazon sells the exact same one.

Nature’s Bounty recently released a line of skin vitamins, I picked up this one and the moisture one. I really think that my overall skin feels firmer and smoother. I’m also trying the moisture one but can’t say that my skin feels any less dry than usual.

One day, whilst feeling sorry for myself, I ordered a bunch of Charlotte Tilbury because no brand makes me feel prettier 😝 These are the daily go-tos so far. The Peachgasm is this glowy, liquid blush that’s perfect for making pasty skin look flushed and glowy. The cream shadows in Rose Gold and Star Gold are easy to smudge on and go. Her entire summer collection is stunning.

And because I’m a total blush whore, this peachy Burt’s Bees blush has been my ‘bronzer’ of late. I like a bronzer that’s on the redder side because it looks more natural for me to be a bit burnt than actually tanned πŸ˜‚ I love this formula, not terribly pigmented but easy to build and blend.

I cannot get enough true crime as of late! Yes, I purchased some books but I’m on the hunt for an e-reader. I’m also hooked on the My Favorite Murder podcast and Buzzeed Unsolved: True Crime series on YouTube. I thought the Netflix Ted Bundy movie was pleasantly tame while still being super creepy. Finally, I cannot wait for Stranger Things season three and recently binged the first two seasons. What have you been loving recently?

These goslings were also a fave this month, look at how fat they are! There are spring babies all over the place, it’s lovely. Let me know what you’ve been up to!

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Vegan Things I Can’t Even

Sustainable Living

March 1 marks two months since I jumped on the vegan train and I’ve mostly been loving it. As with anything though, there are some aspects of the vegan lifestyle that I just can’t get into. There are things I wouldn’t eat prior to my lifestyle change like caviar, frog’s legs or quail eggs – there are odd delicacies in any diet, plant-based being no exception. I don’t care how nutritious these items are, I just can’t even.

Nutritional Yeast – This deactivated yeast was a staple of my childhood nightmares. My dad used it as a popcorn topping and I’d forgotten about it until I needed it for a recipe recently. Once I cracked the seal, all of those years of foot popcorn came flooding back. Yack. Apparently it’s a staple ingredient in cheese substitutes which probably explains my aversion to them 😭

Black Bean & Most Plant Based Burgers – Now, I’ve tried some good ones but the vast majority of these burger substitutes have total gag-worthy texture.

Tofu Hotdogs – Another delicacy from my youth, tofu pressed into any unnatural shape is off-putting. It tastes delicious without having to masquerade as something else.

Cheese’ – Vegan cheese is literally the worst, how does it smell 100 times more like cheese than actual cheese?!

Kombucha – I don’t think this a vegan thing as much as it is an everyone’s lost their fucking minds thing. My first kombucha experience, I ended up with all the globs of fungus coming in the first swallow 🀒 Just gagged a little thinking about it.

Eggs – I’ve tried one soy egg product that was amazing and one that was just what you’d think soy eggs would be like. I’m steering clear for now, the good ones are incredibly hard to find.

Toona – Mostly because this plant-based tuna tastes like an old folks’ home smells – don’t act like you don’t know what that means 😝

There are loads of delicious recipes and vegan treats available, I find that I just don’t like the ones that are trying to imitate something else. I much prefer hodge podges of veggies and legumes to any processed stuff but it’s all about personal taste. Let me know what food aversions you have.

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Death of a Paperback Romance

Minimalism

No, this post is not about my non-existent love life πŸ˜‚This weekend I went to a used bookstore that I frequent on the regular. I haven’t purchased anything in awhile and mostly just go to check out their enormous collection of unusual sci-fi novels with hopes of picking up my very own Fox Mulder 😝 It’s a very cool shop operated by some old hippies and just one of those peculiar places that are disappearing. There are literally thousands of books in this store and this weekend I got to thinking about all the stacks of unwanted books and if books are becoming too much of a good thing.

There used to be a time when printed books were incredibly hard to acquire and treated like precious commodities. In the era of the mass paperback though, every household tends to have a few dozen books laying about. As a former educator, I certainly understand the importance of reading and literature being accessible to everyone. However, clearly there’s a lot of waste when it comes to books. While it’s important to ensure equal access to books, does there really need to be 20 copies of one Danielle Steele novel in existence?! Books can be recycled but it feels a bit wrong to throw a book away no matter how trivial the subject matter might be or how well-worn it is. Unwanted books can be donated which seems like a great way to waste not but are they really being purchased or rather sitting on a shelf in triplicate?

Even if the rest of the world doesn’t recognize what I refer to as book-waste or, seemingly doesn’t since I can’t find a single statistic on it, it’s something I’m trying to be more cognizant of. I rarely purchase physical books but always buy used when I do or simply check the book out from the library. I still absorb a ton of literature though through other mediums as well like audiobooks and yes, even the sacrilegious e-reader 😝 I don’t love the e-reader, I only just recently started using one and it doesn’t feel like a real book to me. That aside, my library offers a service where I can check out most any book digitally and access it on my device. There are also loads of free books available through my Amazon Prime subscription. My favorite zero-waste book though has to be the audiobook which I never would have thought possible since I love reading so much. Listening to a book though somehow makes me feel more immersed in the story. Even though I’m sure it’s more beneficial to my brain to actually be reading I still love a good audiobook. I’m still a total book junkie, whenever I need my book fix, I’ll visit a bookstore, do some browsing and then download the titles I’m interested in. It’s not quite the same but having consumed so many book already in my lifetime, I feel better about not creating more waste.

What are your thoughts on book-waste, is it even a thing to be concerned about? Tell me if you prefer a physical book or are fine with digital media! Does it make you a bit melancholy to see stacks if unwanted books or am I just a bit odd πŸ˜‰

QuiteSimplyStella(1)

The Lost Man: A Teaser

Books

Jane Harper’s first standalone was an intense slow burn of a thriller set in the striking vastness of the outback. When I found out that this was no an Aaron Falk case, I was a bit disappointed but the characters in this novel were equally as endearing with their character flaws, secrets and histories – none more so than the man found dead of dehydration only feet away from the safety of his vehicle at the very start of the book.

HARPER

Cameron Bright is a father of two with a beautiful wife, prosperous land and seemingly the best put together of the three Bright brothers. When his older brother Nathan starts to dig deeper into the mysterious death, events from the past and the secret life of Cameron starts to unravel. On the whole, the family is shocked at the unexpected death and can’t fathom what would drive a man to walk out into the desert to his demise. There are members of the household that hint at Cameron’s unstable mental state in the days leading up to his disappearance but there are whispers of something more sinister when a woman who accused Cam of taking advantage of her in their youth makes mysterious phone calls to the house. She wasn’t believed at the time but as the adults who were there start to recount the story, we find out that there are those who did believe her and suspect that Cam’s father drove the girl out of town.

With the police reaching the conclusion that it was a suicide, Nathan, the black sheep of the family who lives in exile starts to dig into who Cam really was as an adult and what secrets his wife and kids might be keeping. It’s pretty clear from the start that he knows that his brother has demons, having been raised in an abusive household and starts to wonder just how stable he really is. What he uncovers is a history of domestic abuse, a wife with an exit plan, adultery and a murder that was committed for love.

What I love about Harper’s books is the atmosphere, being set in an environment as hostile as the outback further augments the intensity and mystery of the story-line as you never know what’s hiding out there. You could fall victim to a killer on the loose or simply getting a flat tire and getting stranded in the elements. The setting creates an urgency that can’t be sated. Her books make me want to immediately experience the vast wilderness of the outback while also never, ever setting foot there at the same time. I could not stop listening to this book, I finished it over the course of two days and was so shocked by the ending that I had to go back and listen to it a second time to see if I missed anything. Even though this is a standalone, there are some references to her debut novel The Dry that I felt were very clever and helped to flesh out some of the character’s stories. It’s a fantastic book, the ending was tragic and unsettling but poetic in its own right. I’m sure that the book is just as good read but if you have a chance to listen to the audio version, Stephen Shanahan is awesome. I loved it, I will listen to it again and again. Have you read any of Harper’s novels? What’s your fave? I think mine is The Dry followed by this one with Force of Nature coming in last but still being very good!

QuiteSimplyStella(1)

February Reads

Books

How’s your February going? Sticking to all of those New Year resolutions? Me neither, mostly because I didn’t make any, I’m just making small talk πŸ˜› I haven’t been listening to a lot of books recently and can’t believe that I haven’t even started a single book this month! I usually don’t have an issue with listening to books since I can still do most anything while enjoying one but I just haven’t done it. February is packed with new releases from some of my favorite authors, I have a few books that I plan to make time for this month.

The Lost Man – Jane Harper: This is a standalone thriller, I really enjoy the Aaron Falk character but am still excited to revisit the Outback with some new characters. A husband and father of two is found dead in the elements, the reason for his demise is not immediately known.

HARPER

Redemption Point – Candace Fox: This is Fox’s second book featuring disgraced detective Ted Conkaffey. When we left Conkaffey at Crimson Lake, there were hints that his innocence could substantiated, I can’t wait to see what happens next and what case he and his bizarre partner are working on. I have been waiting for this book for ages, it finally comes out in March so I guess this will be on my March TBR as well.

FOX.PNG

The Reckoning – Yrsa Sigurdardottir: I got hooked on this author’s moody, atmospheric thrillers and though the Children’s House series is a bit of a departure, the first installment was insane. I hope this book fleshes out some of the characters that we met in the first book, I have no doubt that the plot will be awesome.

YRSA

The Stranger Beside Me – Ann Rule: Not to jump on the Bundy bandwagon but after finishing the Netflix documentary my curiosity is piqued. I better limit this one to listening only at work otherwise, I’ll be up for for days like the time I listened to a Manson family book.

RULE

I think I can get through these (minus the March release) before the end of the month, I just downloaded The Lost Man and forgot what a fantastic narrator Stephen Shanahan is! Let me know what’s on your list or what books you’ve been loving lately!

QuiteSimplyStella(1)