Three on Thursday [Halloween Edition]

October 29, 2015

welcome back to three on thursday, a post of my weekly (and all time) top three favorites.  this week we're all about halloween of course!  it's my favorite holiday of the year, actually. 

1. hocus pocus drinking game.  i've mentioned this before, probably around this time last year.  but it is my mission to share it with the world.  let's be honest - you're going to watch this movie.  we all do it, every year.  it's a classic!  make it more entertaining with this themed drinking game.


2. halloween makeup tutorials.  there's so many good ones but i've been loving the series by shaaanxo. especially this mermaid one! though her creepy, gory ones really speak to my halloween loving heart, i'll be honest.

3. 2 halloween netflix movie picks - tucker and dale versus evil for the wusses out there.  it's hilarious and campy and terrible and great all at the same time.  and children of the corn for those looking to be scared.  an oldie but goodie.  and it was filmed in iowa.

happy halloween!  enjoy your weekend!

I Finished 25 Movies!

October 28, 2015

in case you don't remember this post, i decided this year to participate in jenn's movie challenge.  to watch 25 movies in the different categories she set, and i finished!  (i think i finished in 1st place actually...) the rate at which i finished these... was quick but not surprising, really.  john's pretty game for watching a movie every week night, rather than going out.  and if i'm alone and doing laundry or cleaning/organizing, i can easily knock out two at a time.  so here's my thoughts on what i finished:

one. any set in new york city. Shaft.  it's totally cheesy.  i thought it was a legit, serious cop movie, but it's so not.  it's more funny than anything.

two. any incorporating hot air balloons in the story. The Mummy 2 loved!  i had only ever seen the first one, so i marathoned it, plus this and the 3rd, and then the scorpion king.  they're so good.  scorpion king was awesome, but that might be my love of the rock talking.

three. any featuring a child as the main character. The Big Green.  typical disney movie of my childhood.  it was like little giants but with soccer instead of football.  it was cute though.

four. any disney film. The Sorcerer's Apprentice. i swear, nicolas cage just plays nicolas cage.  i think it's why i love him.  not my fave of his movies (or of disney movies) but it was good.  ending was a little off.  like... there was a lot of build up and the ending was just super quick or something.  i expected more.

five. any set in egypt OR have an egyptian character OR star an egyptian actor/actress. The Scorpion King. see #2

six. a close friend or family member's favorite film. Blazing Saddles - john's dad's pick.  john's pick is roadhouse.  we did both one movie night.  they're both totally terrible, but in a hilarious way of course.  though blazing saddles is worse.

seven. any with the word great in the title. The Great Gatsby.  it was what i thought.  i love leo, he's a phenomenal actor.  and the movie is visually beautiful.  but ugh that gatsby story line, i just hate it.  i thought they made daisy more likable in the movie, because i loathed her in the book.

eight. any starring harrison ford. Patriot Games.  i have no idea what i thought it was about, but it wasn't what i expected.  i think i got it confused with the mel gibson one.  the patriot?  regardless, it was good, i really liked this one!

nine. any featuring an idiot as the main character. Black Sheep. hilarious!  just like tommy boy, it's my kind of movie.  stupid funny.  john loved it too.

ten. any mentioned in levis strauss' list: denim in the oscars: a look at jeans in cinema. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.  again, i have no idea what i thought it was about, but it was not what i was expecting.  for some reason i thought it was a totally serious movie.  nope.  the ending was uggggh but the movie was really great.  i can see why it's my dad's fave.

eleven. a film about a knight. Braveheart. uggggh. hated it.  it was going ok and then they stabbed the horse and i was 1000% done.  too bad i still had 2 hours left to go.  and i knew, i just knew, there would be so much more horse stabbing and falling and hurt neighing and i just cannot.  hated this movie with every fiber of my being.  (i realize, i hope at least, that the horses weren't actually hurt.  and that the stunt horses were made of foam rubber. does not change my opinion.)  terrible rotten sucky movie and if i weren't so determined to finish this list, i would have shut it off after the first 20 minutes.  i don't like animal stunts in movies.  two horses died in flicka, you know.  even without all the horse issues though, it was an otherwise terrible movie.  why is this a classic?  why do people love it?  it sucks.

twelve. a love story. Top Gun.  no, i had never seen it.  it was fine.  probably could have been content never seeing it but meh, at least it's off the list and people can stop saying 'you've never seen top gun?!'

thirteen. a movie about something miraculous. Miracle.  i loved this one.  it was probably too slow for some people but i like hockey and i like this story and i thought it was an awesome movie.

fourteen. any starring an actor/actress with the same first name as yours. You're Not You.  definitely saw the story/ending coming from a mile away.  it was sweet, well-acted, all around a good movie just... not my type of movie.

fifteen. a film about the olympics. The Cutting Edge.  as good as everyone said, or better.  the lines are just hilarious.

sixteen. a film on time magazine's list: the top ten newspaper movies. Welcome to Sarajevo.  i liked it better than i thought i would.  i have literally nothing else to say about it.

seventeen. any with a question in the title. Are We There Yet? ice cube on kids: "they're like cockroaches, except you can't squish 'em."  i take back every negative thing i said about having to watch an ice cube movie.  i was super into this one, it was funny and he hated the kids up until the last 10 minutes of the movie, which i can definitely get on board with.

eighteen. any with a score of ninety percent or greater on rotten tomatoes. Snowpiercer.  the ending is strangely realistic, which i like.  spoiler alert - this is not a boy gets the girl (there is no girl, anyway) and defeats the villain and lives happily ever after movie.  and i think that's why i like it.  it's dark. 

nineteen. a film about a superhero. Hellboy.  i like this one.  apparently there's a second and i'm going to find it.  i'm not usually big on super hero movies that don't star robert downey jr, but this was an exception.

twenty. any with subtitles. Ragnarok - terrible disaster movies are my jam, this was no different.  it was like... anaconda, but in finland.  and i loved every terrible horribly-acted minute of it.

twenty-one. any incorporating unicorns in the story. Stardust.  didn't hate it, for not being a fan of love stories or claire danes.  it was really weird but also kind of cute.

twenty-two. a film about a personal victory. The Maze Runner.  really, really good.  i'm so excited to see scorch trials now.

twenty-three. a film with black or white in the title. Little Black Book.  fine, predictable, cute.  i miss brittany murphy.

twenty-four. any set in a country you would most like to visit. Scott Pilgrim vs The World. so freaking weird.  i knew that going into it (people warned me) but still... anna kendrick and all and i still couldn't love it.  it was just too weird and jumpy, and i don't smoke nearly enough pot to have enjoyed it. (i've never smoked pot in my life, for the record.)

twenty-five. a film set in a zoo. We Bought a Zoo.  adorable!  i can't believe it doesn't get better reviews, it's so stinking cute.  and so is matt damon.

so with all that said, here's what i learned - just because the world likes it, doesn't mean i will.  in fact, it likely means i won't.  oscar winner picker i am not.  braveheart ended up being my least favorite.  and the dumbass ice cube movie was pretty high on my 'liked it' list.  i'm a conundrum, what can i say?  now i'm currently working on the bonus round, but i'm not doing nearly as well.  i've only checked off 5 out of 15 since it started october 15.  you can see my list in the comments here, except entourage instead of the rage for a gary busey movie.

thanks for hosting, jenn.  i hope you do it again next year, i'm in!

Saving Money on Halloween (and After)

October 27, 2015

well, i'm past the days of buying store bought costumes.  partly because they're not creative enough, partly because they're too slutty and i'm at the age when i just want to be warm, but mostly because they're too expensive and really, you only wear it once.  i'm a cheapskate, we all know it.  so here's a couple other ways i wanted to share with you to save money this halloween - and after!


buy your trick or treater candy last minute.  i know you're thinking that you'll get a better deal price -wise if you shop early, and that may be true.  but here's the thing - you're going to eat it all and then need to buy more anyway.  don't even pretend like i'm not right.  just buy it last minute and therefore only buy it once.  you'll save money in the long run.

non-chocolate candy is cheaper than the chocolate stuff.

and you can get name brand candy at the dollar store.

if you can hold out and not eat it all, buy the discount candy strategically once it goes on sale on november 1.  things that are fall colored like orange and brown are totally fine for thanksgiving, as long as they don't blatantly say happy halloween on the individual packaging.  a lot of things, like sweet tarts baggies or mini packs of gummy bears, aren't in any sort of seasonal packaging once you get past the outer bag.  these work for stocking stuffers come christmas.

if you're still wanting pumpkins, they're cheaper at the grocery store.  particularly if you have kids who would want to go on hayrides or buy candy apples at a farm.  they're also cheaper the closer it is to halloween.

make your own costume from things you already have.  fill a clear garbage bag with balloons and go as a bag of jelly beans.  or do all purple balloons and go as grapes.  get a few mini boxes of cereal all beat up and fake bloody and tape them to you and go as a cereal killer.  it's pretty easy to find all these and more on pinterest and barely spend a dime.  or try one of the makeup tutorials i'll show you this coming thursday.

go out rather than host a party.  it's so expensive to host.  go to a friend's party or to a bar.  here in chicago, you should never pay full price for anything on halloween - every single bar has specials and wristband deals for a couple hours of open bar!

or just stay home watching scary movies on netflix, with the lights off, ignoring any doorbells.  nothin wrong with that, my friends.

but if you're handing out candy at home, embrace the creepy aspect and turn out the lights (besides any that let the trick or treaters know your house is open for business!)  light your decorations with glow sticks (like using toilet paper rolls with eyes cut out and a glow stick inside, hiding in your bushes.)  saving on your electric bill is still saving money.

everything is on massive sale the day after halloween, as is all seasonal merchandise after a holiday.  stock up on decor or costumes for next year.  halloween specialty stores desperately want to clear out their inventory.

any tips i missed?  share them in the comments!  and have a happy halloween!

Three on Thursday [Short Edition]

October 22, 2015

welcome back to three on thursday, a post of my weekly (and all time) top three favorites.  i titled it short edition this week, not because there's less than 3, but because i'm really swamped and didn't have time for photos or long descriptions!  but i think you'll get the jist of these week's favorites anyway.  check them out!

1. recyclebank this is a website where you do mini quizzes (5 questions, you can get them all wrong) or click through mini slide shows about recycling to earn points.  those points can be redeemed for many things, like movie tickets or store discounts, but i use my points towards magazine subscriptions.  actually, i use them towards subscriptions for my mom, which i always renew around this time so they arrive for christmas.  it takes almost no effort to get enough points for 2 year subscriptions of real simple, martha stewart, runner's world, shape, self - all things my mother loves.  just try it out, it's totally free.  you'll see what i mean when you're there.  very very simple, and hooray for free magazines!  also, it's a pretty awesome company; you can get points for recycling as well and they work with communities and donate to schools.

2. battleship online tara introduced me.  sometimes, you just need a mental break from the work day.

3. books by celebrities.  namely, melissa explains it all by melissa joan hart and down the rabbit hole by holly madison.  they're fluffy reads and i love that, but to be honest, i didn't read them - i listened to them on audible.  because they're narrated by their respective authors, which i find so fun.  if you know of any others that are similarly formatted, let me know in the comments because i'm loving listening to them while i walk to work.

happy thursday!

This Is Mostly Just to Show Off Hawkeye

October 20, 2015

i am, surprisingly, not hungover after my weekend with tara.  i did get insanely busy at work though, so while i haven't had time for post writing, i have had time for video editing.  well, not much editing.  basically us playing flip cup in an empty parking lot, and video of hawkeye in her favorite bar.  because i'm sure you're wondering how i spend my time and well, this is it.  happy fall!

you can also view it on my youtube channel, where you can give it a thumbs up and subscribe.

Three on Thursday

October 15, 2015

welcome back to three on thursday, a post of my weekly (and all time) top three favorites. 

1. pull on dress pants from ny and co yes that's right.  they look like typical work pants, but they're pull on like yoga pants - no buttons, no zippers, it basically feels like wearing yoga pants or sweat pants to work!  i practically live in these things in the colder months.  you're welcome.

2. the beginning of fall seems like a good time to remind everyone that snickerdoodle apple cobbler exists, and it's the easiest thing ever to make.  it's like, what, 6 ingredients and 5 steps?  you'll love it.  you won't love sharing it, but i don't think you have to anyway.  apples are good for you, or something.

3. this post from lauren, though i'm a couple months late in remembering to share it.  i'm definitely stealing it one day, because real life posts are fun.

happy thursday!

Chicago Blackhawks 2015 Banner Raising [New Video]

October 9, 2015

in case you didn't know, the blackhawks won the stanley cup a few months ago.  wednesday was opening day of the new season, so they had a whole ceremony thing for raising the banner up into the ceiling of the united center (with all our other champion banners, holla!)  john's brother ended up getting us all tickets (you'll see him and his girlfriend beth in the video as well.)  i filmed a ton of it, and ending up loving the awesome footage so i decided to add it to my youtube channel.  the video is about 4 minutes long.  i did fun edits and put pictures and music in, so hopefully you like it.  you still get the jist without the sound, for those of you watching at work.  but the sound is more fun.  my edits and photos start at about a minute 40, but the first part is really neat.  they had these light up wristbands at each seat that they lit up during the entire ceremony and game, in different patterns.  you'll see what i mean.  such a fun effect.

check it out on youtube and if you like it and want to see more videos, subscribe and give it a thumbs up.  that stuff helps out, analytics-wise.  i'm still not entirely sure how, i just know it does!

happy friday!

Three on Thursday

October 8, 2015

welcome back to three on thursday, a post of my weekly (and all time) top three favorites. 

1. scentbird.  scentbird is like a subscription box but better - you get sent a .25 oz spritzer of perfume each month for $15.  it's about 30 days worth of perfume.  and you get to pick the scent, so it's never a surprise.  if you use my link, you get a free month.  i think it's the second month, so you pay $15 for the first month then get the second month free.  then you could cancel if you wanted and essentially get 2 high end perfume spritzers for just $15.  which is a steal because, for example, they have prada candy and viktor and rolf flowerbomb, both of which are $30 at sephora for the exact same size.  i just got a givenchy one that i love and i have a cartier one coming next.  i highly recommend it!

2. ace pumpkin cider i dunno, it's like 70s here today so is it really fall yet?  i don't think so but it was colder over the weekend so we busted out the ace pumpkin cider.  you can get it at target.  i think it tastes like pumpkin pie but without the super sweetness.  there's a lot of pumpkin beers but they all tend to be very wheat-y, which triggers john's allergies.  all wheat beers do this, but pumpkin ones seem to be worse.  so we go with the cider version for a nice fall drink.  for one or two, and then i switch back to pbr, because i'm a lady.

3. PlanInColor etsy shopif you're a paper planner lover, get yourself some sticker's from erin's etsy shop.  her designs are great, but what i love is that she also has things in normal, neutral colors.  i love color of course, but i can't use crazy ass stickers in my planner at work and expect to be taken seriously.  and she has gameday stickers!  even though my fantasy team is 0-4, the bears are awful as always, at least my hawkeyes are undefeated so i can still appreciate a good football sticker.

i also hired erin awhile to make my blog business cards, so i know she does good work.  highly recommend her.

happy thursday!

Tips & Tricks: The Key to Thicker, Fuller Hair

October 6, 2015

even though my hair my hair was falling out like crazy for awhile there, it's stabilized now.  it's not shedding, so now i'm trying to get it back to the fluffy mane it used to be.  now, i'm not an expert.  i'm not even a beauty or hair blogger.  this is just what i found works for me after trial and error.  but i'm hoping something in this line up will work for you too.

step 1. apply Women’s ROGAINE® Foam daily.  Women’s ROGAINE® Foam is the first and only FDA-approved once daily treatment with 5% minoxidil proven to regrow hair.  it's easy to apply just once a day, morning or night (though i do it right before bed.)  the foam can be used on chemically processed or color treated hair (my hair is highlighted!) and with any of the styling products i mention below because it doesn't leave any greasy residue.  as i mentioned before, it's what my dermatologist recommended and i've been using it daily since.

when i posted a couple weeks ago about starting the Women’s ROGAINE® Foam, a few people expressed interest in trying it as well.  if that's something you're looking into, there's a coupon available here for you.  the rest of the steps i take on my hair all involve temporarily fluffing it up or using something that coats the strands, but the foam is the only thing that's actually going to the root of the problem.  root.  see what i did there?!  but really, it's the only part that will actually regrow thicker hair and stop the thinning problem.  the rest is just a cover up.  but it still works so on to the rest of the steps:

step 2. use a thickening shampoo and conditioner.  i find that big from lush gives me really good volume, and the mane 'n tail conditioner leaves my hair feeling soft and healthy.  i also use an apple cider vinegar shampoo once a week, just to get any build up off my scalp.

step 3. apply a root lifter, a leave in conditioner/detangler, and a blow dry spray.  i use unite 7seconds as a detangler - this way, i'm not breaking any hairs trying to yank knots out.  then i use a root lifter to put texture at the top of my head, and then a blow dry spray or lotion all over.  this makes your hair dry faster plus it protects your hair from the heat of the blow dryer.  heat is a bad habit for your hair, even just the blow dryer.

step 4. use combs that don't hurt your hair.  never use a regular hair brush on wet hair.  i use a wide tooth cricket comb until it's mostly dry, then finish with a paddle brush.

step 5. use a good blow dryer, with the diffuser attached, and dry your hair upside down.  i use the rusk speed freak, and i have found that it dries my hair faster and with less frizz than the last 2 hair dryers i've had.  it can be pricey, but i highly recommend it and you can usually find it on sale.  drying your hair upside down directs the roots the opposite way so they lift up off your scalp, giving the appearance of fluffier hair.

step 6. use a volumizing hair spray and don't mess with it too much during the day.

tips for thick hair

all of these styling tips and tricks are great but the only long term solution is Women’s ROGAINE® Foam so together you will achieve optimal results.  i had a few more questions after my initial research into the foam, so i turned to celebrity hairstylist Jill Crosby (who has many helpful youtube videos on this topic!)

1. how do you know if your hair loss is normal or if it's really a problem that needs to be addressed?
Jill: "A good test to see if you may be experiencing more than normal hair loss is to gently run your hand through your hair from root to end and see how many strands of hair come out in your hand. If its 6 or more, you may be losing excess hair."  indeed, my dermatologist did this test - i failed miserably.  6?  i had like 16-16 every time he touched my head!

2. what are some bad hair habits that can make thinning hair worse?
Jill: "Bad hair habits for any hair type, including thinning hair, are to over work your hair with too much heat, tension and chemicals."  i was right on this one!  put the curling iron down.  and the blow dryer.

3. what about my highlighted hair?  should i stop highlighting my hair while i use the foam?
Jill: "No, you can do both color and use the treatment, just space them a day apart and then continue your Women’s ROGAINE® Foam routine as usual."

4. what about salon care in general - should women with thinning hair stay away from colors and cuts until the problem improves?
Jill: "Cutting and coloring can actually be a benefit while using this product as long as (and this is important) she is working with a well trained colorist and stylist."  the right color and cut can hide the fact that you have thinning patches, but... it isn't a job for the newbies at the hair school.  find a good salon.

5. what if i don't wash my hair? how does the foam interact with dry shampoo?
Jill: "We recommend not going too many days in between washing especially if you also use hair products because the treatment is a scalp based application.  So to get right to the scalp and penetrate is the key to its efficacy."  okay, so it was good i asked this one.  i'm as guilty as the next girl of turning to the dry shampoo too often.  make sure the foam can get to the scalp!

there you have it!  my hair care routine for full, thick, fluffy, soft, non-frizzy hair.  i hope it helps you too. 

Women’s ROGAINE® Foam product was provided by the brand. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

My Cruelty Free Makeup 'Collection'

October 5, 2015

after i posted about all the cruelty free things you can find out there as far as makeup and hair care, some people were wondering what i use specifically in daily makeup routine.  which brings me to today's post/video.  but i put collection in quotes because it's not actually a collection if you ask me.  it's more like the collection of a minimalist who still likes makeup.  does that make sense?

anyway i started typing this post out and realized it's just a lot of information.  because i want to give details on why i like and use the products i do. so i filmed it instead and it still ended up being 20 minutes long!  hopefully you'll watch anyway.

i know not everyone is going to watch it.  or you can't, because you read blogs at work.  so for those people, here's the products mentioned list. (some are affiliate links i'm testing out, but nothing was given c/o.)  not everything i have listed is cruelty free, which i note in the video - i'm using some things up first!  the products marked with a star * are not cruelty free.

e.l.f. Studio Hydrating Under Eye Primer

and the organizer itself is from amazon.  i have a lot of lipstick, i'm aware.  and it does seem like, dang, that's a lot of products to put on your face.  but the fact that i can type all the products out in one relatively unextensive blog post makes me feel pretty good about what i have - i'm not feeling an overwhelming desire to declutter anything.  the day i can't fit everything into that organizer is the day i'll declutter!

let me know if you want to see more videos from me and what else you'd like to see (not 20 minutes again though, promise!)  if you do, thumbs up the video on youtube and subscribe, that helps a lot.  do i have a super chicago accent?!

Three on Thursday

October 1, 2015

and just like that, it's october.  one of my favorite months, because halloween is my favorite holiday.  but that can't be one of my three on thursday weekly favorites, so here are the real ones:

1. cozy sweaters from modern vintage boutique it might start being fall here soon.  notice the might and soon.  it's not yet.  it's still summer.  i've seen a lot of northfaces and ugg boots suggesting otherwise, but it's 70+.  the last two days have been mid 60s though so it's creeping down.  time for cozy sweaters.  i always have good luck with the online store modern vintage boutique.  (with tops.  i think i'm too tall for their dresses, they come up way too short on me.)  i have and love the hoodie with the plaid and i want to get this snowflake sweater.

 how adorable are all the little plaid spots?

2. sidereel if you're not using it, you need to be!  now that fall shows are starting and all.  on sidereel you add all your favorite tv shows to your tracker and it shows what's coming up in calendar view.  it even keeps up when new seasons start (like telling me that the blacklist is on on thursday, which i was unaware of.)  you mark off when you watch an episode, so you can know if you missed any.  and it tells you where online you can watch any episodes you missed (both for free or for subscription services, like hulu.)  you can make different lists of shows, if you have a lot.  it alerts you to new shows starting that you would like.  there's just a lot more than i can explain.  go check it out!  they have a phone app too.

3. foamy the squirrel.  oh this irreverent little asshole squirrel.  does anyone else remember him?  last weekend i was at this 5k race my parents always do with my friend ida.  i commented on the massive amount of squirrels in the park in this one spot (like 30 freaking squirrels, guys.)  and she started talking about 'that cartoon squirrel, he would rant and throw nuts, he talked really fast and his owner was a thin goth girl.'  i was so confused.  now, we've been friends since 2nd grade, so one or the other of us always has memories that the other has forgotten.  usually she remembers things better than me.  she told me i had sent her the links to these videos back when they were new, which was like our freshman year of college.  so that was 12 damn years ago, i don't know how she remembered, but she did.  i didn't, so i went home and googled it and found foamy on youtube and all my memories came back.  i freaking loved foamy, and apparently they're still posting new videos.  his rants are literally what it sounds like in my head, just in case you were wondering what kind of truly terrible person i am on the inside.  so for a good laugh, check out the foamy the squirrel videos particularly on the playlists labelled 'classic' and then the ones called rants or fan mail.  (not suited for those of you who are super sensitive and p.c. all the time.)  one day i will grow up and stop finding ranting cartoon squirrels hilarious, but that day is not today.

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