A Few of My Favorite Things

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Well hello, December! You slipped up on me quite quickly! My intention this year was to get a head start on my holiday shopping. I have started a little but have a lot more to go. But I have my nice (and maybe naughty ;)) list made which is half the battle!

So I’m sure I’ve mentioned in other blogs and on my Facebook page that I love supporting independent businesses. My husband is an independent business owner so I see the hard work that goes into owning your own business. Let me just say, it’s not as easy as it looks! You are your own everything….Public Relations, Marketing, Creator, CEO, Assistant, Human Resources, Finance..the list of departments and job titles goes on! And a lot of times it’s rolled up into one person. So my point about this is why I love supporting an independent business owner. Whatever business that may be. I know my money is going towards someone’s business that they love and put their heart and soul in to. They can have an actual shop that I can go to or a virtual one. Both work for me.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite “things,” which are places or people I recommend you shop with!

Vintage or vintage re-production clothing: I love it. And something I spend lots of my monies on. My heart races when my eyes make contact with a 70+ year old garment. I mean, come on, it survived so many years and here I am holding it! So one of my favorite places to shop for these things is Sugaree’s located in historic downtown Murfreesboro, Tenn. This adorable shop tugs at my heart strings. I truly feel like I’ve stepped back in time like I’m a 1950s woman having a shopping day. Staci Higdon, the owner, carries an array of fashion lines including BB Dakota and Stop Staring! Clothing. She also carries many accessories such as jewelry, vintage hats, vintage gloves and shoes. You’re sure to find a gift for someone and probably walk out with something for yourself.

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My next introduction got the spotlight last summer when I wrote a blog about it. Live True Vintage is an East Nashville, Tenn shop with good intentions and amazing vintage items. I follow Live True Vintage on Facebook and Instagram and Tammy Pope, the owner, posts the treasures she finds and I’m constantly having to practice restraint from not wanting to immediately go there and buy it. Her shop is very charming and she carries TONS of items; men and women’s clothing, hats, accessories, posters…the list just goes on. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and put this business on your go-to holiday shopping destination. Another place you’re bound to walk out with a gift for yourself too. Hey, treat yo’self!

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Number 3 on the list starts our journey into the virtual realm. That’s one thing that’s convenient about the internet; you can buy and sell across the globe. Parlor Tattoo Prints caught my eye the first time I saw the owner’s designs. This woman creates the most exquisite artwork. Some designs speak to the old school tattoos that you’re grandfather had inked on him in WWII and some are straight from your favorite movies such as Edward Scissorhands or The Shining. Either way, you’re likely to find that perfect picture for your favorite someone. I bought one for my best friend for her birthday and it was a hit.  I’ve always love artwork as a gift too.

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Next up is another creative designer that creates the most darling ties that have a hidden surprise. Shannon of Truly New Vintage creates peek-a-boo ties that are the bomb! She takes a tie and adds a pin up girl to the underside of the tie. So when you see someone randomly smiling as they are standing there looking totally professional, you can guess they may be wearing one of these cheeky accessories. She has an assortment of pin up pictures and ties to choose from so that you can come up with the perfect gift.

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My next introduction is a destination gift. Natchez Hills Bed and Breakfast is the best gift for a little get-a-way. This quaint and peaceful place has all the right stuff. A nice place to sleep, great amenities, beautiful scenery and best of all, wine! This place is located in the heart of a large wine area in Tennessee with the Natchez Hills Winery being one among them. The owners are the nicest people that you just can’t help but feel like you’re at home when you stay. Don’t live in the middle Tennessee area? Check out what your local area has to offer in this realm.

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To continue the destination gift ideas, why not present your beloved with a ticket to an event, concert or festival?! Whether it be a one-day, weekend or week excursion, plan a trip to an event. Know someone that loves music? Make their holiday by gifting them a ticket to a concert or festival. Or maybe you know someone that is into a specific genre or area and there is an event taking place that specializes in this. Guess what, that’ll be a crowd pleaser too. I love taking mini-trips so if someone bought my ticket to an event I was planning to go to, they’d be number one in my book. The memories are the gift that keeps on giving. Here are my two recommendations for 2015 events. The Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender & Car Show taking place May 1 through 2, 2015 and the Summer Wine Train Social presented by Muddy Roots Music departing on July 18, 2015. Both are taking place in beautiful Music City, Nashville, Tenn. Don’t live close by? Well, we have an international airport you can fly in to. 🙂

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To top off my list of holiday shopping recommendations, I must insist you look into photography. As in contacting a professional photographer and getting a session as a gift for someone or even for yourself. It’s a timeless investment and worth every penny. A lot of professional photographers offer gift certificates so don’t be shy to ask. Much like a day at the spa, a photo shoot is a pamper session as well. Makeup artists and hairstylists are often included in packages so all you have to do is show up and let the professionals do their magic. Don’t know of any? Search in your area and read reviews to get a feel for it. You can view their website to see their work and make a decision from there. This may be an uncommon gift but I assure you, if you give that special someone this as a gift, you’re sure to be loved for life. And the plus side? Photo shoots are fun!

My recommendations for photographers that I’ve worked with and love to death are La Photographie Nashville, And How! Imaging, Blast ‘Em Photography, Shannon Brooke Imagery, Retrospect Nashville and Uvudu Imaging.

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Now that you’ve been given some recommendations, what are you waiting for?? Get to shopping! 🙂

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For a Charm of Powerful Trouble, Like a Hell-broth Boil and Bubble

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Oh Halloween, how do I love thee, let me count the ways! I felt the need to write a little blog ode to my favorite holiday of the entire calendar year: Halloween. Why it’s my favorite? Hmmm, good question. To quote dear Lydia in the movie Beetlejuice“I, myself, am strange and unusal.” My affection towards the dark and strange started at an early age. And considering this is my mom’s favorite holiday as well, it’s only natural I developed a love for it too.

I’ve thrown many parties in honor of this spooky holiday. The music, the costumes, the food, drinks, the games and decorations are the best. I think this holiday gives people the opportunity for their creative side to shine. Even if someone doesn’t consider themselves creative, this holiday just drags it out of people.

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This month, I’ve been soaking up and taking advantage of watching all the horror movies that are being shown on television. I’ve always loved a good scare. Even though I’m the person that has the covers pulled up to their chin, pillow-clinching and adrenaline pumping because of watching the person being chased by the killer. Or even more nail-biting, when the movie is so silent you can hear a pin drop and the soon-to-be victim is curiously checking out what that “noise” was. Don’t do that, by the way. Simply exit the building and don’t look back.

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I also love putting on a good, vintage Halloween mix. I’m on a marketing committee for a local historic organization, Historic Nashville, Inc. and we recently hosted a Spooky Soiree. I took on the task of supplying our haunted mix. There are so many great vintage Halloween songs out there! Nothing like some old-school Halloween songs to listen to while mingling among party guests.

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I LOVE seeing what costumes people come up with.  I’ve seen some great Halloween attires over the years. Whether it’s a spin on a phrase or pun or a classic monster, I love them all. Halloween is creativity at it’s zenith.

So with the “spook-tacular” holiday right around the corner, I’m going to be counting down. I’ll be flooding my Facebook news feed with lots of wonderful and delightful Halloween images. So join me on my Facebook page to revel in it, if you dare! ☞

In the meantime, here are a few costumes of Halloween past I’ve adorned.

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They’re coming to get you, Barbara!

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So I know it’s not October yet and that I may be jumping on the Halloween train too soon, but this time of year is my most favorite! Right when the summer and fall season collide and we start preparing for all things that frighten us. That infamous line: “They’re coming to get you, Barbara!” was repeated to me as a child by my oldest brother who loved to hear me scream in fright as he came towards me like a zombie.

One way I get in the Halloween mood is by watching some good ‘ole horror flicks. When I was younger my cousin and I completely rotted our brains out watching scary movies ranging from total classics like Frankenstein to the most D-rated ones such as Slumber Party Massacre. There was no scary stone left unturned when we raided the local video store renting every movie they had in their horror film stock.

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So this post is dedicated to my top ten horror films that definitely give me goosebumps. I’ll count down from ten and lead to my number one favorite of all time. Note: there are more than ten favorites I have but these make the top of the list. Here we go:

10. Sleepaway Camp – If you haven’t checked out the Sleepaway Camp movies (there are more than one), go ahead and do so. The first one is my favorite though. It’s your typical early 1980s scary movie and it’s based at – yep, you guessed it, a summer camp. The ending is twisted so it makes up for some of the cheesy parts. Go ahead and sign yourself up for this one.
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9. Scream – Okay, before you roll your eyes at me, let me explain. This movie came out my freshman year of high school and I saw it in the theater. So it has a nostalgic factor for me. It may not be the absolute scariest movie I’ve ever seen but it’s “jump factor” (what I like to describe as what gives me the jitters and makes me jump out of my seat) is still a solid 6. Plus, one of the characters gives the ultimate advice: Don’t say “I’ll be back” because you won’t!
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8. Psycho – Alfred Hitchcock was the man. He knew how to crank out the thrillers and give us all a good fright. Plus, I love a psychological thriller. I watched a lot of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and films when I was younger so I’d say he helped plant the seed in my scary movie heart. I saw the 1998 re-make in high school too. But I’m still a bigger fan of the 1960s version.
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7. Bram Stoker’s Dracula – There are many versions that have graced the horror film genre. Really, it’s a tie between the 1992 and the original 1931 film with Bela Lugosi. So number 7 has to play nice and share the spotlight. I saw the 1992 version at a young age and it definitely solidified my love for the dark and scary.
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6. Pet Sematary – This one comes with a bonus fact: I love Stephen King books and Pet Sematary is by far one of my favorite chillers to read. I’ll always proclaim the book is way scarier than the film. Like, sleep-with-the-light-on-and-bed-sheets-up-to-your-chin, scary. But the film does a great job and still creeps me out. Still, to this day, I have nightmares about Zelda (*shivers*).
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5. Freaks – This one definitely has to be in the top five. If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and do yourself a favor and become “one of us” and watch it. In my opinion, this one has to be seen by any scary movie fan. It’s pretty much expected. This movie proves that the 1930s could be just as creepy as any modern day flick.
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4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Okay, here’s another one that has to share the number list spotlight. I saw the 1974 version first during those years my cousin and I were rotting out our brains. It was one of those that was definitely on our must-see list. Then, I saw the 2003 version in college with a roommate. We were so terrified when we came out of the theater that we ran to our car in the parking lot, hearts racing from what we just saw. And then (lucky us) we lived in a house surrounded by woods and it was at night. Needless to say we ran into the house when we got home and turned on every light possible and probably kept it that way the rest of the night. Ah, memories 🙂
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3. Alien – This film never gets old to watch to me. It’s a classic. I’ve always had a fascination with creepy things and space. And this one is the mother of all the sci-fi/horror films. Plus, Ripley is just my hero. Period.
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2. Identity – This one is very close to number one for me but didn’t quite steal my heart. But this is a great film. It may not have a scary monster like some of the rest but it certainly messes with your mind. I love a good mystery and this one has tons of twists and turns. I was quite surprised by the ending and those are my kind of movies.
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1. *Drumroll please!* Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my number one favorite…The Shining! The first time I ever saw this film I was about 13 and I’ve been a fan ever since. It’s so weird and it haunted me! Such a simple concept of a small family and a large hotel but the ultimate nail-biter flick. Jack Nicholson did a great job going, well, basically crazy. I even taped (yes, VHS taped) the 1997 mini-series but it didn’t carry the torch. And of course I read the book; which I devoured after watching the film.
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So there you have it folks, my top ten get-me-in-the-mood for the spooky season flicks. Now, excuse me while I go check out that noise I just heard in the kitchen….

Here are some other favorites that didn’t make the list but definitely give me the chills and thrills:
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? – Joan Crawford, the ultimate villain!
House of Wax – Paris Hilton or not, this movie scared me!
The Strangers – Two thumbs up to this modern day thriller. Jump factor is WAY up there.
It – Um, one word: clowns *also a great book.
Resident Evil – Jovanovich does a great job in her role and the zombies are pretty frightening.
Silent Hill – Creepy. Just creepy.
House of 1000 Corpses – A film I watched by myself. In that same house surrounded by woods. Big mistake.
Puppetmaster – This is a old favorite. And yes it’s as cheesy as the title.
Angel Heart – I didn’t realize Robert DeNiro had tapped into the horror genre until I saw this film.
Se7en – My number one favorite psychological thriller.
Poltergeist – That old man was scary!
Friday the 13th – An old favorite indeed.
Donnie Darko – Not scary but weird. And I like weird.