Friday, October 31, 2014

Scent of the Month

This month's scent is Tom Ford's Noir. Although this is technically a men's fragrance, we think all of Ford's scents can be unisex. It 'captures the dual facets of... the refined, urbane sophisticate who the world gets to see, and the intriguingly sensuous, private (wo)man they don’t.' It features notes of Bergamot Oil, Verbena, Violet Flower, Caraway Oil, Baie Rose, Bulgarian Rose, Geranium Oil, Tuscan Iris Resinoid, Styrax Oil, Black Pepper Oil, Nutmeg, Clary Sage, Patchouli Oil, Vetiver, Leather, Benzoin, Vanilla, Opoponax, and Amber Civet.
clockwise from top left: mask, clutch, coat, gloves, earrings, boots, dress, scent

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Menu: Last Minute Halloween Cocktail Party

Whether you decide to go out (and have a pre-party) or stay in this Halloween, here are a few menu and decoration ideas.
To Eat/Savory:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Kimchi Deviled Eggs
Roasted Garlic Crostini with Assorted Toppings

 To Eat/Sweet:
Candy Corn and White Chocolate Cookies
Gingerbread Skeletons
Graveyard Pudding with Whipped Cream Ghosts

To Drink:
Witch's Brew Cocktail
Balsamic Bloody Mary


Glitter skull, bats and brains in jars (aka cauliflower)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

It's just two days until Halloween, and while some of us have had our costumes ready to go for weeks, others are rather unprepared...  However, we have some easy ideas - using some of the latest trends - to create fabulous costumes right out of your closet.

If you have:

  Hat, Plaid Shirt, Western Riding Boots

You can be a cowgirl - leave the make up natural, put your hair in braids, and grab a rope belt or piece of straw to chew on. Any horse, horseshoe, or Western accessories will be great accents.

If you have:
 Dress, Flower Headband

You can be a Dia de los Muertos Skeleton - get to the drugstore for some black and white face paint, pin up your hair, and add a shawl or any other traditional Mexican elements to complete the look.

If you have:
 Jumpsuit, Cat Ear Headband

You can be a Cat - this is a super simple costume, just needs some black eyeliner whiskers and nose to be completed.  Some little black or white gloves could be a cute addition.

If you have:

 Trench, Beret, Magnifying Glass

You can be a Spy - this would work well with some pin-up girl make up, a sleek hairdo, and a pair of classic black pumps.

Monday, October 27, 2014

We Recommend: Favorite Scary Books and Stories

Last year around Halloween we shared our favorite scary movies, and this year we want to share some of the books and story collections that have spooked us and held us in suspense over the years.  Some of them are factual, some are fiction, and others we aren't sure of...

Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier - Part of the 1971 collection of short stories Not After Midnight, Don't Look Now deals with a British couple who've lost their young daughter and go to Venice to try to move on.  It was later made into an excellent film starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, be sure to read this first - du Maurier also wrote Rebecca and The Birds, and is a master of suspense!

A Suspension of Mercy by Patricia Highsmith - Many people know Highsmith for the Ripley books, but she was a prolific writer who wrote a number of thrillers. This story is perfectly creepy, and keeps the reader wondering the whole way through if this murderous story of a young, Bohemian married couple is all in the disturbed husband's head or not. 

 The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston with Mario Spezi - This is a true story that follows the authors on their quest to discover who the mysterious Monster of Florence really is.  It's a fascinating book about the Italian justice system, Florentine culture, and the many suspects in the case - made all the more terrifying by the fact that the murderer is still at large.

Spook by Mary Roach - Roach examines death and the afterlife through science, trying to discover if the paranormal actually exists.  Sometimes science can explain things away, sometimes it cannot, but in either case this is a fascinating book.

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton - This is a very elegant selection of Wharton's ghost stories, many of them taking place in Edwardian New England. They aren't too outright terrifying, but just the right amount of spooky to get you into the Halloween spirit.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories for Late at Night by Alfred Hitchcock - This collection of short stories curated by Alfred Hitchcock features writers such as Ray Bradbury, John Collier and C.L. Moore. From ghost stories to science fiction, there's a tale for everyone in this book.

Essential Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe - The master of the macabre, Poe's stories capture one of our favorite horror story elements: dread.  From The Raven to The Telltale Heart to The Cask of Amontillado to the Mask of the Red Death, there's much to send a shiver down your spine.