Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Winter 2019 Pusheen Box & Holiday Soup

This time of year always ends up being very very busy, but with Thanksgiving being a week late, I feel like I'm really behind, rushing, and a little overwhelmed. So I didn't have time to take a video to share with you the Pusheen Winter 2019 unboxing, but here is what was included. (Read further down and I've included a super easy vegetarian Holiday Soup recipe perfect for this time of year when you don't have time!)

Looking at the outside of the Pusheen box you would think that it would be Christmas themed. Well you're wrong! It's all about baking!



Some of the items are useful, but I have questions about the mini vaccuum. Lol.

1. Small silicone Pusheen Spatula. I like the smaller sizes because they are great for getting things out of cans.


2. Pusheen shaped Cooling Rack. While the idea behind this is cute, it's really small and feels cheaply made. I'd use it more for displaying cookies and cupcakes.


3. Measuring Spoons are always good to have. These will be useful.


4. Pusheen Cupcake Liners. I love the color, but Pusheen is really hard to see on them. Maybe once they are baked it will be better?


5. Pot Holder. How did they know I always set mine on fire?! This will come in HANDy.


6. Recipe Cards. I've been using index cards for years, so these will be a nice upgrade!


7. Sweatshirt with a yellow on yellow embossed Baker Pusheen. I love my Pusheen sweatshirts. I like that this one isn't for a specific holiday and can be worn year round. I have an autumn one, Christmas, and bat hoodie.


8. Mini Vacuum. Not sure how I feel about this yet. I'll have to see it in action.


9. Vinyl Cupcake Pusheen.


Thanks for reading and if you got this far, here's a soup recipe....


Holiday Soup

28 oz. vegetable broth (you can use chicken too)
9 oz. cheese tortellini (or tortellini of your choice)
1 can 15 oz. white kidney beans (or cannellini beans or chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1 can 14 oz.  Italian diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3 Tbsp fresh basil, minced (I used 2 Tbsp dry)
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

~In a pot bring broth to a boil, add tortellini. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
~Stir in beans, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Return to a simmer 5 minutes, or until tortellini are tender.
~Stir in spinach and basil, cook until spinach is wilted.
~Top with cheese.

Takes about 20 minutes, serves about 6.

Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 2, 2019

Lolly Willowes: A Great Book for Witches

I recently discovered Laura aka Lolly Willowes and if you like witches or being an independent woman I suggest reading about her! Lolly Willowes is a character from the book Lolly Willowes or The Loving Huntsmen written in 1926 by Sylvia Townsend Warner, but the story takes place at the turn of the century and follows her discovering the witch life.


A little background is that Lolly's in her mid twenties, unmarried and living with her father. Her hobbies include studying herbs and plants. When he dies, her world is pushed in an unexpected direction. She goes to live with her brothers family, as was the norm of a spinster. In her new abode the family is religious, conservative, and quite boring. Always trying to set her up with various suitors, she has obligations, and duties to be "Aunt Lolly", but she couldn't be less interested. Lolly finds the daily monotony draining and one day while out on a walk decides to move to the country by herself to escape the drudgery. (The book was written by a woman and her characters feelings still resonate today with many women ~ myself included.)


Page one. The type is small, the book is small and short at 250 pages, and it doesn't have chapters, so you can really stop and start anywhere when taking a break from reading. This makes it great for travel.

Lolly moves in with another woman, truly enjoys her solitude and the countryside. She makes friends with the towns folk and feels like this is where she belongs. Meanwhile her family visits and can't relate to her and how she could ever be happy there. I think they secretly resent her for doing what she wants to do with her life and not being confined to societal norms.

One day while out on a walk she thinks she may have summoned a force ~ possibly the Devil ~ and she makes a pact with him. When she gets back to her room there's a kitten waiting for her. She has no idea how it got in, but it scratches her and now it's official she made a blood pact with the Devil. She names him Vinegar and he sounds like the cutest thing in the world.


Her housemate takes her out for a walk when neither of them can sleep and they end up in a field where the other towns folk are dancing and carousing. They are celebrating the Sabbath. Lolly is put off and uncomfortable. This was all so unexpected. Her inner witch has been awakened but she's scared by it.

Her nephew marries a girl from her countryside town, Lolly sees them off via taxi and ends up waiting for a late train to get home. While taking a walk to find a place to rest while the train comes, she stumbles upon a grassy area with a groundskeeper. He introduces himself as the Devil and he knows her. He tells her "women are sticks of dynamite" and "all women are witches even if they never do anything with their witchcraft". I feel that this is an empowering statement that women need to hear more often. Lolly finally has her freedom, but the cost is forever tied to Vinegar and the Devil.

I know that not all witches make pacts with the devil, but as of late that seems to be a common theme with the popularity of witchcraft and witch style. Take for example Sabrina. This book doesn't portray the devil as "bad", but just an alternative option for your lifestyle, after all he IS the "Loving Huntsmen". I like that. 






Thursday, November 14, 2019

Dr. Sleep (2019)

Lately Stephen King has had a resurrection (pun intended) of sorts, with movie remakes of his classic horror novels like Pet Sematary and It, but I was interested to see the sequel to The Shining, Dr. Sleep. Did I mention this sequel was released almost 20 years after the original Stanley Kubrick Shining movie? I think they wanted to take their time and get it just right, and I have to say this Shining Pinup wasn't disappointed!


Before you attack me, I did read the book Dr. Sleep before watching the movie and even if the movie didn't include everything, it did hit the mark for all the important events of the book!

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

There's really three separate stories that mesh together at the end. Here's the movie in a nutshell.

Story ONE
The movie picks up with Danny Torrance ~ the little boy from The Shining ~  and his flashbacks of seeing the ghost of the dead lady in the bathtub from the Overlook Hotel in his house and how Dick Hallorann ~ his friend from the Overlook Hotel ~ taught him to trap the ghosts in boxes he created in his mind. This is a key plot point.

The actors that play Danny, Wendy (his mom), Jack (his dad), and Halloran resemble the original actors. They aren't exact, and I know this bothers some people, but you get the jist of who they are.


You get the jist. This is from Dr. Sleep, not The Shining.

Danny as an adult is an alcoholic like his father. I like that they addressed this. In The Shining movie you are given clues that Jack was an alcoholic, but it's never specific that that's what's causing his temper. Danny drinks to stop the hallucinations, but unlike his father is really trying his best to stop. He packs up what little he has after a wild night out and heads further east to New Hampshire to start over. He befriends a man named Billy that helps him find a place to stay and is also a recovering alcoholic.

Danny gets a job as an orderly in a hospice facility. In the facility there's a cat named Azzie that can sense when a patient is going to die and Danny works with the cat to visit the dying patient and help ease them to the other side with his "shining" gift. Danny becomes known as Dr. Sleep. (I wish I could find a picture of the cat. It's white and fluffy in the movie.)

Story TWO
There's a little girl named Abra that also has the shining that lives near Danny. She's more powerful and can sense him. She communicates with him through a chalkboard on his wall for years. Neither of them meet in real life until one of the visions shows her a boy with a similar gift being kidnapped and killed by a gang that steals his "steam" or essence by brutally killing him. They "eat screams and drink pain". While Abra sees the vision, the head of the gang ~ Rose the Hat ~ sees her! Abra researches and finds out the boy is indeed missing and she has the clues to find out where he was buried. She tells Danny about it. He tells her to walk away.


Danny and his chalkboard.

Story THREE
If you haven't read the book, this part can get a little vague. There's a group of wanderers called the True Knot that also have gifts. They search out others like them to either eat their "steam" or convert them into immortal beings like they are. Rose the Hat sees Abra in her vision and wants to find her to take her steam.


Rose taking steam.

The closure for me was at the very end when Danny and Abra do fight the gang and lure Rose to the Overlook Hotel. The ghosts that haunt the Overlook ~ that Danny saw as a child ~ are similar creatures to the True Knot and feed off live people to take their essence. The hotel itself is a character in this movie and in the grand finale Danny opens the boxes in his mind and lets those ghosts kill Rose, but in the end he ends up dying too.

That being said, it doesn't end on a sad note! It's hinted that their are others out there with the shining, and now the spirit of Danny visits Abra. He becomes her Halloran. So with others out there it's hinted that there could be a sequel but I think they should just box the story up for now, like the ghosts in Danny's mind.

There are lots of nods to the original movie especially in the overhead outdoor shots, the music, and simply revisiting the Overlook. We see the door that Jack axed through, the "REDRUM" door, the ballroom and bar, the bloody elevators, the wintry hedge maze, and even inside room 237. It was satisfying to watch. I give it 4.5 doses of medicine out of 5.


The Overlook is a character all on it's own.

Here's the trailer...


p.s. My Shining photoshoot was included in the most recent issue of Rocket Magazine. The Autumn October 2019 Vol. 2! I got a two page spread!!!






Sunday, November 3, 2019

Fall 2019 Pusheen Box

Here's the latest Pusheen Box, it is awesome! The last two fall boxes were autumn themed or spa day themed, and this one is Halloween!!!! (In the video I'm wearing the Pusheen sweatshirt from the Fall 2017 box) You can watch me try to figure out the pouch situation. Lol.




Batty Pusheen Sticky Notepad...and it's huge!



Mini Dustpan and Brush...and the print is on the other side!



Adorable Plush Candy Corn Pusheen...and it's sparkly!

 

Zombie Vinyl Figure.
 

Candy Corn Pusheen Storage Container.


Witchy Pusheen Mug...that changes color!


Drawstring Pouch....that you can open up flat to completely see what you have inside!


Pusheen Hoodie...with ears and bat wings! I love that it's longer too!


You can see my past boxes too:
Fall 2017 Pusheen Box
Winter 2017 Pusheen Box and
Spring 2018 Pusheen Box
Summer 2018 Pusheen Box
Fall 2018 Pusheen Box
Winter Pusheen Box 2018
Spring Pusheen Box with Jodee Bowie,
Fall 2019 Pusheen Box

Thanks for reading & watching, until next time! Have you hugged your cat today?

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Movie: Rabid (1977)

As a kid I remember seeing Rabid on Up All Night on the USA Network and the thing that stuck with me all these years was the girl in the freezer and it being a bad movie. I'm sure it was heavily edited for TV because Marilyn Chambers ~ the porn star ~ was in it...which means boobs.


With the Soska Sisters putting together a remake of Rabid and the original playing at my favorite haunt The Screening Room, I decided to revisit this David Cronenberg "classic" to see if there was something I missed the first time around. On reflection, it does have a solid story, but I can do without all the boobs and close up nipples. I feel like they are just filler. (Pun intended?) Needs more butts and wieners.

***SPOILER ALERT***

The basic premise is that a couple ~ Rose and Hart ~ get into a motorcycle accident in the country and the closest medical facility to help them is a plastic surgery clinic. There they do some radical skin grafting on Rose to save her. A month later the grafts are going well and Rose wakes up out of a coma only to stab a patient that's trying to calm her down. I should clarify ~ she stabs him with a phallic stinger that protrudes from her vaginal-looking armpit. No I'm not making this up.


Phallic stinger.

She ends up leaving the ward, going on a rampage, killing people and eating them. Rose doesn't know what's going on, all she knows is that she craves people, the city thinks it's a rabies outbreak, and we find out she's leaving a trail of rabid zombies. Rose doesn't realize she's the carrier of the infection because she doesn't have the same symptoms. In an experiment she just takes a little blood from a victim and stays with them to see what happens. He ends up attacking her and she dies, ending the movie.

My conclusion, her victims are easy to find because she's pretty and men can be creeps. The story is solid, needs more explaining though, special effects good, the music is foreboding, and the acting is mediocre. It's an early Cronenberg and I can see where he's going with it. I give it three phallic stingers out of five.


Creeper and her side eyes.

Here's the trailer, it doesn't really give you much to go on and it's not accurate. Lol.





Monday, October 21, 2019

Wands For Wildlife!



A few years ago I blogged about collecting mascara wands for the Wands for Wildlife program at Appalachian Wild. They've had such a huge outpouring of wands that they now only collect them twice a year in October and February.

Since my blog, I've been collecting mascara wands and making shout-outs on Facebook for customers and friends to drop them off at my shop Cats Like Us. I'm happy to announce we collected 79 wands! I washed and mailed them out.



If you would like to donate wands to the program be sure they are clean and that you include this form. Maybe you don't have mascara wands or October/ February is over? They are always collecting donations from their Wild Wishlist or monetary donations.

What I really liked was the nice email I received in response to our donation. It was appreciative and made me feel like even if it's an easy way to recycle, it really helped them out.

You can follow Appalachian Wild on...
Email Newsletter
Facebook
Instagram
You Tube
Twitter

Don't forget to check out the Wish lists from your local shelters too, you'd be surprised what they often need!



Friday, October 11, 2019

Movie: Hell Fest (2018)

I'm not gonna lie. I've never been through a haunted house and honestly, it's for the safety of the workers. My fight or flight would kick in and I'd end up kneeing an actor in the balls. Yep, I'm that person. This recently popped up on my Facebook feed, and it's me ~ I would do that, not to be a jerk, but for my own safety ~ so I simply avoid them...and I don't like things jumping out at me. I give the scare actors a lot of credit to deal with crap like this.


That being said, I decided to watch Hell Fest. I'm not sure if it's my fascination with amusement parks, my lack of experience and curiosity with haunted houses, or Halloween time, but I really enjoyed it! (Contrary to many critics.) It was suspenseful, the characters have good chemistry and seem like real people, and there was a couple of twists that made the story even better.


***SPOILERS AHEAD***

The movie begins in a haunted house maze with a creeper that kills a girl in the house and hangs her body with the other props. That's pretty smart. I imagine she wasn't found for three days because the guests going in thought she was part of the experience. (She probably got stinky.)

Cut to (pun intended), a gal named Natalie unexpectedly visiting her best friend Brooke. Brooke has a roommate Taylor, that doesn't necessarily get along with Natalie, but makes an effort for Brooke's sake. It's announced that they have VIP passes to Hell Fest, a traveling horror night with rides, a DJ, dance party, skeleton cage dancers, bars, haunted houses and more. Natalie isn't really keen on going but goes with the gang because Gavin ~ a guy she's interested in ~ will be there. Brooke and Taylor are going with their boyfriends.


Looks like a blast. You can find me at the bar. 

Brooke wears cat ears. She's a girl after my own heart. <3


Upon entering the park, everyone goes through a metal detector and is scanned with a wand, making it obvious you can't bring in weapons. Shown from the back, going into the park, is a guy in a black hoodie with scuffed boots. You get a cue from the muffled sounds that he's the killer. He's only ever shown from the back, and he puts on a mask, then he's shown with the mask on. You never see his real face. The guests think he's one of the actors and he hides in plain sight. He then grabs a knife from a food stand within the park. Again, that's pretty smart! Use a weapon that's already there.


Our killer.

The group of six, Natalie & Gavin, Taylor & Asher, Brooke & Quinn enter their first haunted house, aptly named Deform School. There's a girl running inside screaming at them to help her. They think it's part of the act. The masked killer, that we saw earlier stabs this girl in front of Natalie. Her friends try to convince her that it's just all part of the show. He then begins to follow their group and lurks behind them.


Taylor, Natalie, Brooke.

The next maze they go to is the Deadlands, where the actors are allowed to touch you. (That's a nope from me.) To enter you first have to go on an old school dark car ride called Night Bumps. (Side note: Interested in dark rides? The Dark Ride Project is a great resource.) They end up going without Gavin because he wants to go back and get a prize from one of the games for Natalie. He tries to buy one from the carnival worker, and after he says "no", Gavin tries to STEAL ONE! That's not cool bro. Just when you think he's not going to die, because he and Natalie had a moment in a photo booth, he ends up getting killed by our masked murderer, who then takes Gavin's cell phone, and continues to correspond with the group, so they think Gavin's still alive. Smart again. Also, they show Gavin's head getting bashed in with a giant mallet. The practical effects are great!

On Night Bumps there's a locked bar that holds you in the car, Natalie has to ride alone because Gavin is still M.I.A. While she's on it, the ride stops and the lights go out. She sees the masked killer and you see him come towards her. So you think she's the next one to die, NOPE! PLOT TWIST! There's more than one person dressed in a black hoodie and the same mask


The group goes to the Deadlands and enter a triple maze haunted house where they are separated. The killer is inside and kills Asher ~ Taylor's boyfriend ~ by stabbing him in the eye with a syringe. The killer makes sure that Natalie knows he's inside too...disturbing. 

Natalie is thoroughly creeped out and gets sprayed with goo from one of the scare actors. Then Brooke and Natalie go to the bathroom to clean up. While in there, Natalie messages Gavin and hears a phone go off in a nearby stall. The killer is in there with her. He attacks her and she gets away. Brooke and Natalie tell security and of course, security doesn't take them seriously. They find some of the photo booth pictures in the bathroom and know the killer was in there with them.

Taylor being oblivious to what's going on volunteers to have her head chopped off on stage with the owner of Hell FestTony Todd (THE Candyman. He's the only big name in this movie.) The killer tried to chop Taylor's head off, but she gets off the stage. The killer follows her into the crowd and stabs her. That's when hell breaks loose! (Get it? "hell"?) Ok, so the crowd scatters. Natalie and Brooke end up in the Hell maze, supposedly the scariest of all of them. The killer follows them and upgrades his knife for an ax. Smart. The gals grab weapons from inside the haunted house. Also smart. They confront him, Brooke gets her leg slashed and Natalie stabs him. Cops come, but by then he's gone.


Dapper Tony Todd.

They show a car pulling up to a garage in a suburban neighborhood, the driver pulls in. He unlocks a cabinet in the garage WHERE HE KEEPS OTHER MASKS! It's our killer. He takes off his mask, hangs it, and we see that he still has photo booth pics of Gavin and Natalie, those also go inside the cabinet. It's as if he's punching out for the day and hanging up his work gear. Then we see him come into the house where he's greeted by his daughter who was asleep on the couch. The real scare is the realism. Killers can be family men...or women.


The killer seems to know where everything is inside the dark rides, he knows what mask to bring, he knows how to blend in and where to find good weapons, he's strong, but you never see him or find out who he is. You never hear him speak. After he was stabbed did he go to the hospital or just go home? Your guess is as good as mine.

Overall I give it 4 masked creepers out of 5. I've read a lot of bad reviews of this movie because there wasn't enough gore, or it was slow, or it's just a slasher film. I would venture to say that I liked it because I LIKE slasher films, amusement parks, realism, and that there are not one, but two final girls. Bonus: it was filmed in a real amusement park, Six Flags White Water in Georgia

Here's the trailer...






Thursday, October 10, 2019

Cats Twinning?

My friend Jodee ~ who you've seen in some unboxing videos ~ has kitties that are identical twins, I really can't tell them apart. I didn't even know that was possible, so I did a little research and it's definitely possible! Here are her babies Sheba and She-ra for reference....


It's very rare for a momma cat to have just one kitten. The average litter is five kittens. It's more prevalent to have small litters of two or three in new mother cats or mother cats over six years old. And it's more common to have big litters in spring and summer, so really twins can happen at any time.

In some cat breeds like the Singapura, it's more common for kitty twins to occur, but it's also possible in any breed. And it's not just twins, but cats can be identical twins too. If they both came into existence with one sperm and one egg they are identical.


Singapura Cats

The Singapura Cat is one of the smallest domestic breeds at 4-8 lbs. It's known for large eyes, ears, and an even larger personality!

Here's some internet famous twin kitties...