29 September 2014

Macabre Monday: List of Creepy Crawly Stories

It's not Halloween yet--it's not even October--but I'm already digging into horror books/stories that I've read before or that are on my TBR list. 
Okay, that's actually a year-round theme for me, but I really get going when the terror season comes to town. 

  • It by Stephen King 
I believe most people have probably seen this classic horror film by now, but unless you're a Stephen King fan, you may not have read the book--probably due to its off-putting size. (Or because of the spooky clown.) 

I actually first read this book when I was in the fifth or sixth grade (I had an adult library card, yes ma'am!), and every day riding home on the bus, I would scare myself silly as spitballs fired around me and boys played AC/DC on their CD players. Yep, smack dab in the terror of school-bus-riding, I was being terrorized by a clown shape-shifting and bursting through toilets. 

If there's one thing from this brilliant novel that will always stick with me, it's that toilets are never safe. 

stephen king book it cover

This spooky read, which I reviewed here, is sure to creep you out to the max. Full of freaky imagery, freaky happenings, and freaky...freaks...you'll probably get a few good chuckles in, but be a little weary about reading the book in the dark at the same time. 

If bugs give you the creepy crawlies, look no further for a book to truly give you the heebie jeebies. Or maybe, look away. 

parasite book cover yuck scary

The only item on this list not a book, this short story is one of my favorites from Lovecraft. 

The best advice I can give about this story is to not read anything about it beforehand. I'm not even going to give you anymore details about it for fear of spoiling it for you. 

hp lovecraft outsider cover horror spooky

Yet another creepy crawly to muck around with, this book (that I wrote a review on Goodreads about here) was a clear winner in the horror genre for me last year. 

I still think about this book sometimes, and I read it last summer! If there ever was a book that made me first of all, scared of parasites and second of all, a little scared of boy scouts, this would be it. 

the troop parasite book cover

I'm sure there will be more lists similar to this next month, so be on the lookout!

Do you have any favorite horror stories?

28 September 2014

{Widened Horizons}

It's rough going when you feel like you've had barely any sleep; I've been having nightmare after nightmare lately.
However, while most of us tend to think that's a bad thing, research might offer up another conclusion. In the video below, not only are there statements on nightmares, but on the dream world itself (and what would happen if you suddenly stopped visiting it).

Handmade home decor items are my Achilles' heel. Which is why, when I came across these ceramic pear cuties with real twig stems, I knew I had to share!
pear trio ceramic fall

While I adore my own headboard, that doesn't mean I can't still look at other headboards! (You know, look but don't touch.) I came across this phenomenal storage headboard at the BHG website, and I freaked out. It's adorable!
storage drawer organization headboard

I've been back into candles lately, and so for this week's owl find, I discovered this vintage owl candle holder from the '70s. It's in great shape, and I love anything vintage!
etsy vintage owl candle

I really need to take this advice myself:
advice quote inspiration motivation

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27 September 2014

Playlist: "Daze"

Beams of light

I've been feeling dazed (and confused?) recently. Worse is, I don't know the reason why.
Good news is my anxiety has been down and instead of concentrating on every little detail in my life and everyone else's, I'm just going to sit outside in this alarmingly crisp fall weather and let my hair down.

Maybe you'll follow in my footsteps...taking these tunes with you of course!

To be honest, I have never been a huge fan of Kimbra, but this funky little song is too catchy to write off. Her soothing but passionate voice fits right in with what I think of as '70s atmospheric music (updated slightly ha).

It's definitely been a bright day! Even if it wasn't, this song would have you thinking otherwise. It's so cheery and indie and full of cute guitar chords (yes, cute). You also may have noticed--IT HAS CLAPPING.

YEAH BOYEEE. That's exactly what I want to yell out every time I hear this song start to come on. I love every single sound in this song and the voices: glorious man voices.

What songs are you kicking it to right now?

25 September 2014

Thursday Threads: Patch of Blue

Patch of Blue

Print shirt, $29 / Current/Elliott destroyed jeans / Report bootie boots / Neiman marcus handbag / BCBGMAXAZRIA bracelet jewelry / Maybelline eye shadow

It's been sooo cloudly lately. Really gets you into that blue sort of mood, doesn't it? With the fall breeze suddenly making its appearance, I wanted to make sure with this outfit that it would be appropriate for a little bit of chill without giving off an eskimo vibe.

I'm not really a jeans kind of person. In fact, I really only wear dresses outside of the house, but I definitely respect a good pair of jeans and these look awesome--especially with the price tag. You definitely can't knock destroyed jeans with ankle boots!

Are you breaking out the long sleeves yet? Or have you already gone full bore with jackets and all? 

20 September 2014

Book Review: Detour from Normal by Ken Dickson

detour from normal book

*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads description (x):
Detour from Normal is the shocking true story of a respected engineer and devoted family man who is driven to insanity by complications from life-saving surgery and medications. After he tragically loses touch with reality, a whirlwind of visits to hospitals and psychiatric facilities ensues. His loving wife is ultimately forced to make the unthinkable decision to commit him to a high-security psychiatric ward. There, he is branded “persistently and acutely disabled” and “a danger to himself and others.” That man is author Ken Dickson, and this is the fascinating story of his journey into and out of madness.
My rating: 2 out of 5 hoots

When I was reading this memoir, I really wanted to like it. I tried so hard to like it, almost straining my mind to make the decision that this was a wonderful book. Unfortunately, while it had some unbelievably great perks about it, when it came down to it, I just couldn't bring myself to be fully convinced that I liked it.

Ken Dickson, the man behind the memoir, packs a punch with a personal story. The problem I had was that, while the story was emotional and full of health information that actually kept my attention (some simply educational, some sad anecdotes), I simply didn't like the storyteller. I really don't know what you do when you like what the book is saying and what's inside of it, the inspiration involved, and the bravery it took to tell the story, but you just don't seem to connect with the narrator. I definitely felt for him, but the way he portrayed himself at times, and I don't just mean his mental state, turned me off towards him. Out of the all the reviews I read on Goodreads, I seem to be the only person with this problem, so I really don't know?!

Really the only other problem I had with this book was that Dickson would, in some random chapters, begin passionately describing in vivid detail how he was planning on creating a new Utopia. I thought at first, Oh that's kinda neat I guess, but as it continued to develop throughout the novel, I became frustrated and had to separate myself from the book several times actually.

On the opposite but positive end, Ken Dickson does quite the job of depicting what mania is and what life is like with it, especially going into detail with the symptoms; for example, hallucinations, irritability, racing thoughts, ideas of grandeur, and the main problem he faced--trouble sleeping. Because his mania affected his family to an extreme extent, like many mental illnesses (and illnesses in general) seem to do, he depicts the feelings of hopelessness anyone feels when their loved ones and people they trust seem to betray them, forget them, or even worse, become engulfed in anguish because of the scenario.

What's almost worse is how you put your trust--and your life, even--in the hands of doctors and healthcare facilities, becoming completely vulnerable, only to come out on the other side a completely different person. Dickson unveils in his book how disturbed our healthcare system can be--which I know all too well from firsthand experiences. Detour from Normal also shines a light on how doctors just seem to haphazardly prescribe medication, and in excess.

The health elements of this memoir stood out to me because I'm so heavily involved in medical elements due to my own predicament with Lyme disease and its symptoms, which involve cognitive and mental symptoms/disorders. However, as stated above, while Dickson's story was intriguing, I just could not find myself able to relate to him, and that can be a large problem in a memoir.

*Thanks again NetGalley for the free copy of this book. 

18 September 2014

Thursday Threads: Empowered


Of course, each item is under $100.

I love cocoon shrugs/cardigans, and this one looks so warm and cozy paired with the printed dress!

I knew I wanted to add some kind of pearls to the equation, but didn't want the outfit to look stuffy. When I found this bracelet (with an imitation pearl), it just clicked!

Although I wasn't sure at first if the black shoes would weigh the outfit down, I think they're too beautiful not to share, and they look lovely with the dress.

17 September 2014

Wordful Wednesday//Letter (to My Mother)

Dear Mom, 
You are an inspiration. I have never met someone who embodies the word "superwoman" so well. 
I know my illness has been hard on you, and I am not always the most cheerful person--especially when I am in pain, which just happens to be most of the time.
But even so, you fetch me chamomile tea, and you rub my back. Soothing me comes natural to you, and you are one of the few people who can calm me down when I am upset about losing a friendship or developing a new symptom.
Laughter surrounds us even through simple text messages. You care for me so much that it makes me care for myself more.
I love you mother, friend, nurse, mentor. 
Your daughter,

14 September 2014

{Widened Horizons}

Rainy, rainy weekend over here! (My joints would certainly agree.)
These earrings reminded me of the rain, and what better day to show off something shiny than when it's gloomy outside?
raindrop earrings

I used to hate clutches, thinking I needed a large bag to fit all my needs ALL THE TIME.
As I've gotten a bit older, I've realized clutches can serve a purpose and look chic at the same time. This handmade leather clutch is something I'd carry around for special events, and I'm sure I'd get compliments galore.
handmade leather special clutch

I've been looking for a cute cell phone charger that I can use when I'm somewhere without any power outlets (camping, anyone?). I love the Jonathan Adler ones and their fun patterns, but then I stumbled across this neat little guy and fell in love.
iphone apple charger cute cool
I just think the charger is so cute and it even comes in the colors green and pink!

Finding handmade home decor items is probably my favorite thing to do. When I discover the items are made in North Carolina, I get even giddier! These lovely napkin rings are so sweet and would be a perfect touch to any home.
napkin rings handmade porcelain

The owl find this week is a necklace that immediately made me say holy cow! It is so well-made and so adorable. I just NEED to add this to my jewelry collection.
owl totem necklace cute

And something for this rainy day, even though you may be feeling blue...
be kind picture inspiration

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11 September 2014

Thursday Threads: Season's Relish

Season's Relish

Quiz pink top, $29 / Chicnova Fashion pleather shorts / Black ballet shoes / Gold jewellery / MAC Cosmetics evening makeup

I'm not going to go into much detail with this outfit, except to say I'm completely digging these shorts and yes, I think those flats are completely acceptable to wear as we transition into fall.

Also, I'm buying that bracelet. I'M DOING IT.

08 September 2014

Macabre Monday: Antisocial

antisocial social media movie

Revolving around the idea that a social media site similar to Facebook is to blame for a virus turning people into zombie-like creatures, the movie Antisocial actually wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

It was almost like a PSA though. I half-expected a voice to claim at any moment, “Parents, tell your kids to hop off the Internet and enjoy the outdoors instead.” I don't know if the directors really intended for that to come across in their horror film...

The five college kids the film centers on are soon told by friends and news broadcasts that something terrible has happened and to stay inside, not letting anyone in or out. The tenseness of moments like that are palpable, and you know an apocalyptic turn is about to happen.

What is really not stressed is how great of an apocalypse this is. While we see footage from the characters' Internet, the few times we get a glimpse of “out there” is when the creatures come inside, which actually, isn't as often as I would have preferred.

laptop internet antisocial movie
They even watch live webcam feed of a girl stuck with the virus

There are a few scenes of “death by ___” which weren't extremely creative, but I enjoyed them anyhow.

I did like the ending to an extent but I'm still rolling over in my head exactly how I feel about it. Maybe that's a good thing—it's kept me thinking about it.

As for our college kids, well...you'll see just how connected they are to social media.

07 September 2014

{Widened Horizons}

How are you doing today? Any plans for this gorgeous Sunday? (Gorgeous coming from North Carolina, anyway.)

As for yours truly, I've been trying to practice gratitude more. I used to keep a gratitude journal, as so many in the chronic illness community seem to do, and I think I'm going to get back to writing down what I'm thankful for each morning.

I'll share one of my "gratitudes" for today: I'm thankful I woke up refreshed. It's a rare occurrence, and I hope to take advantage of it by being productive today.

Now, I don't know about you but one of the first things I do when I wake up is to drink some water, shake myself awake, and put on some chapstick. I have so many flavors, it's unreal. (But I still love gathering more!) This lavender cocoa lip balm looks to be right up my alley, combining two of my true loves.
lavender cocoa chapstick

I like quirky. And I like pairing quirky with classic or pairing it with something else you wouldn't typically think of meshing. Enter this beautiful vintage ruler bracelet. I can see myself wearing it with a flirty, floral mini dress or an all black jumpsuit. I think what some people consider to be an "odd" accessory can make for a great focal point, and people like myself have figured that out. But seriously...this bangle really is cute.
vintage ruler bracelet bangle eccentric

I love entertaining. My favorite is to have small social gatherings of friends where we drink wine and eat cheeseball and crackers and maybe watch a movie together. (We'll probably get a little tipsy and play a game or two of UNO as well.) The best part of hosting is getting to use little pieces of dinnerware that you never get to use. This serving tray is so delicate-looking and just...well...beautiful! I would love to get my hands on it.
floral serving tray

Purple is undoubtedly my favorite color. So obviously this eyeshadow is a must-have for me. It might even be on your wishlist too! Plus, it's all-natural. eggplant purple eyeshadow

I'm not big on open-shoulder tops, but this one opened my eyes, you could say. It has plenty of details but they don't overwhelm the top or each other. It's really splendid and would look great would jeans or a pencil skirt.
open shoulder top silk

For the owl find, there's this really cute crocheted basket. I've seen some similar before but none this well-made or this adorable!
handmade crocheted owl basket

And finally, speaking of "thank you's" and gratitude...
gratitude grateful quote

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05 September 2014

When Friends Are Strangers

I'm shying away from the typical “Thursday Threads” to talk about something that's been on my mind—something that's almost always on my mind, unfortunately.

The other day when grocery shopping with my dad, I ran into an old high school classmate I was relatively good friends with. We chitchatted and I told her about how I had been sick so I haven't been as up-to-date with everyone as I should be, etc. and she says something along the condescending lines of, “Yeah, you're always sick.”

Wait, hold up. I haven't seen you in years, everything was going well, we were laughing and having small talk, and then KABOOM—there it is—my illness is held against me once again.

She simply said goodbye after that, taking her Spam and kosher pickles with her, but the image has been imprinted in my brain long after.

It's not just that silly incident to make me think of how past friends have perceived my sickness. There are countless others that I won't get into. The real point is...how has it gotten this far that I'm left with only talking to maybe two people every other day? If that, really.

When have my friends become strangers? Strangers who either don't know I'm still sick (they emphasize the “still” in a way you've never heard before) or who are almost tired of hearing about me being sick. 

I had a friend once say that communication works both ways, and that is certainly true. But ask any person with a chronic illness how hard it is to make that effort. Some days we are in too much pain to want to start or continue a conversation (even texting). Maybe we don't want to burden you with our problems. Perhaps we're in a depressive state once again, thinking about failed medical treatments and all the other crap we have to put up with. Communication works both ways, but sometimes we just want you to contact us and talk to us, to tell us everything is going to be OK, that we're warriors and to fight it out. That we have a friend.

So what to do when there's no longer someone there for you like that in your life?
When that person has become a complete stranger, like they once were to begin with?

Either brave up and say, “Hello” again.
Or meet a new stranger.

I'm working on both at the moment and trying not to let people like grocery store girl interfere.