Holidays

The Ultimate Halloween TV and Movie List

The Ultimate Halloween TV and Movie List_The Road of a Small Town Girl

We all know October is the time of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, chunky sweaters, Jack-o-lanterns, and thankfully Spooky-tainment! (Now just imagine that last part said with an echo or something cool like that.) In the last few weeks Freeform released it’s line up for 13 Nights of Halloween and using the word underwhelming has become an understatement. So instead of watching the same 3 Halloween movies and 5 non-Halloween movies set on repeat for 2 weeks, I thought it would be better to create my own Halloween TV and movie list to get me through this spooky time of year. In order to keep it from being too long, I am not including the well known horror movies like Poltergeist, The Exorcist, etc. because we all know that they are needed and we all probably have them. If you would like to check out a much more extensive list, obvious movies included, check out the list of best Halloween movies from Halloween On Earth that also include release dates and what type of movie it really is. Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated since 2012 but then again their may not have been any new movies that should be on the list since then.

TV Shows

The Scariest Places on Earth – This is the only ghost related show that I will recommend. It was a perfect combination of interviews, history, and of course ghost hunting. Also Linda Blair.

American Horror Story – Of course this needed to be on the list. It has been more than a cult favorite over the last few years. It is an amazing horror anthology series that has a new theme each season. Everyone has their favorites, but mine is still season three’s Coven. A lot of people thought that I would like the most recent season (Roanoke) simply because I am from North Carolina, and in reality, I don’t like it.

The Munsters – This early 1960s TV Sitcom classic was a favorite of mine growing up and along with The Addams Family created my love for all things spooky.

The Addams Family (Original Black and White or Animated Series) – I grew up on three television versions of everyone’s favorite spooky family. Though no one likes to speak of the live-action show made by Freeform (Then called Fox Family) back in the end of the 90s. It made weird people who liked the odd dark things seem not so scary, and poked fun at some things like horror movie tropes from that time.

Penny Dreadful – I honestly feel like this series brought back the Gothic Horror genre. It reached in to all of the dark tales we know of and brought them into one universe. It is a great, cohesive, dark story that I just don’t want to look away from.

Supernatural – Maybe I am biased because I am a big Supernatural fan. It’s a great series with stories that stick with you and characters you really root for. Of course there is all the monsters they go after in the first few seasons, but I still love this series even though it has evolved quite a bit in the last 12 seasons.

Movies:

The Original Creature Features – In my opinion, this needs to be the base of all Halloween movie collections.  Dracula, Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, all amazing black and white films. Though today the current generation will feel like the pacing is too slow, these movies are classics for a reason, and helped create the foundation of scary movies. Thankfully they actually offer the collection sets for each creature now.

Halloweentown I and II – Out of the series the first two are the best ones. They have the original cast and they are both fun stories. If you haven’t seen them yet, you need to.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – There will forever be the debate as to whether this movie should be played during Halloween or during Christmas. My thoughts are why not have it at both? Tim Burton movies in general are amazing for this time of year, but this particular one is the absolute best.

Trick ‘r Treat – This horror anthology movie is a favorite in our house. So much so that Sunshine dressed up as Sam last Halloween, and probably will again this year. Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology movie where everything in it happens in one small town throughout the night of Halloween. It does incorporate a lot of different Halloween superstitions like razorblades in the candy bars, and having Jack-o-Lanterns out to keep the bad spirits at bay. It’s gory and scary but I can’t help but watch it every year.

Rocky Horror Picture Show – If you have ever watched this movie, you know exactly why it’s on this list. Going to a viewing of Rocky Horror with everyone in costumes is one of the best things about Halloween.

Hocus Pocus – Another movie that doesn’t need explaining.

Kiki’s Delivery Service – This is my favorite Studio Ghibli film. Sure the only thing that relates to Halloween in it is the fact that the main character is a Witch, but during this time a year a cute movie that makes you feel good isn’t a bad thing to have. It gives you a break from all the horror movies.

Crimson Peak – In the theme of Gothic Romance/Horror like Penny Dreadful, this movie is beautifully done. The creatures that Guillermo del Toro created are absolutely terrifying and the story itself is unexpecting when you first watch it. Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam being in it does kind of help though.

Addams Family and Addams Family Values – Just like the TV shows I mentioned earlier, these two are the best out of the ones aired. Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci are perfect actors for the characters that they play. Sadly Pugsley and Grandma Addams were pushed a little further into the background.

Tower of Terror – It took me forever to find this on DVD! It was one of my favorite Disney Halloween movies growing up (along with Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus) and riding the Tower of Terror at a Disney Park is actually on my bucket list, but who knows if I will get to now that they are changing the rides to Guardians of the Galaxy.

Young Frankenstein – So I will admit, I watch this movie at least once a month and have it almost on repeat when I am sick. A Mel Brooks movie that pokes fun at the old creature features is sometimes the best medicine during a fall and winter cold.

Practical Magic – This is another movie that is a staple in our family. We don’t watch it just during Halloween, and I’m pretty sure that we all watch this one at least once a month.


So what are your must haves for this time of year? Were there any that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

See you soon!

Jess

 

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Books · Magical Life · Reviews

Reading Corner – September 2017

I haven’t been able to read much as of late but this past month I was finally able to finish something.

Everyday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World by Deborah Blake

Everyday Witchcraft - Deborah Blake

Living a life where I have a day job, work on this blog, and have the side hustle of book editing through Fiverr; it is difficult to create the time to put aside for my own spirituality. When I picked up this book, I had heard about Deborah Blake and read her articles in different pagan magazines.

The focus of this book is connecting with Spirit in even the most mundane of moments, and has an entire sections on creating 5 minute mini rituals that are easy to incorporate in the day, as well as ways to incorporate magick in your cleaning tasks, and connecting with you chosen Diety regularly. In the final section of the book, she includes a list of amazing Wiccan and Witchcraft books to continue from from the classics of Raymond Buckland and Scott Cunningham to more modern books by Christopher Penzack.

I really enjoyed reading this book and have even put little tabs in it for the sections I want to incorporate more in my life to hopefully bring some balance back. It has amazing tips for taking the steps to make you life more magickal and helps keep it from seeming so daunting a task.

One of the main things that I’m going to begin incorporating into my life is connecting with a Diety. The steps she includes in this section from Chapter 2 are things I know that I am able to do in the small moments of stillness I have within my day. Things as simple as trying to just talk in the morning when I’m drinking my coffee will help me create a connection again, as I have been feeling a little lost as of late, as I used to talk to Diety all the time.

I felt like this book was something I needed at this point of time, to try to help me come back into focus as to who I am and what I want to be.

What have you finished reading this month that has really spoken to you? Please let me know in the comments below, so I can check it out!

Jess

Holidays · Magical Life · My Story

My Fall Essentials

 

My Fall Essentials

Ever since I was small, autumn has been my favorite season. School was about to start and it wasn’t nearly as hot as it was during the summer. Halloween was in the air, and in the stores, and all things spooky were on the TV. It’s the time of year for warmer sweaters and extra blankets. It feels like home to me. Over the last 25 years I’ve come to have a set group of items that I have around me every autumn that just make the season much better and probably easier for me.

Wood Wick Candles

Though bonfires with friends and family are the picture of summer and autumn nights, many states have a burn ban in effect. As well, in most states it’s still too hot to get your fireplace going. Having a wood wick candle is a perfect substitute since they don’t emit the heat of bonfires but you still have the crackling of burning wood. A lot of stores now carry them and they are often made as soy candles as well, making them a little safer to burn chemically.

My favorite scent for this is the Nature’s Wick candles in the scent Bonfire Nights (pretty obvious huh?). I love the smell of this and the way this brand’s wicks burn are amazing and I haven’t had any popping outside of the candle yet.

Lots of Hot Tea

In my house I am considered the Tea Queen, so much so that I got a tea pot with infuser and a travel container for my teas for Christmas from Sunshine’s parents last year. My mug always has either some sort of herbal tea or coffee in it. I even have a bag of herbal tea bags that I keep in my purse for when I’m at work to drink.

For this time of year, I am usually drinking a detox tea or even a tea meant to help with the immune system as cold and flu season never sleeps. (But I do use these as a supplement to a healthy diet and other things as there is no proof by the FDA of the help of herbal teas and the immune system.)

Heavier Body Lotion

Dry skin is never fun during sweater weather, so during this time of year I start using a heavier body lotion daily. Though this does get me to use up project pan lotions, it does help to have a scent that you really enjoy.

Currently I’m working through my Sweet Pea lotions from Bath & Body Works,  but I love the fall line of lotions from them that also have pure honey in them. My favorites from that line are the Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte and Autumn Blooms, and I only got travel sizes because I wanted to test them out before I would buy a full size. Having one at your desk or in your bag that is your favorite scent helps not only ward off dry skin but helps a little bit with a positive attitude.

Entertainment of the Spooky Variety

I used to love watching 13 Nights of Halloween on ABC Family (now Freeform) but in the last few years they have become very disappointing when it comes to their selection. I love Addams Family and Hocus Pocus but they are not the only movies that you can watch for Halloween. Growing up with shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Truth or Scary and movies like Teen Witch and Tower of Terror, have caused me to become reliant upon myself for quality spooky-tainment. Between myself and Sunshine, we have quite a Halloween movie collection. He has more horror movies and I have more family friendly ones, and of course the entire series of the Munsters.

Nightmare Freddy and Spookytainment
Nightmare Freddy looks ready for some spooky-tainment!

When it comes to reading, I am still working through Stacy Schiff’s Witches, but I have realized that I have a couple of spooky reads as well. Of course we have the staples: Frankenstein, Lovecraft, and Poe. We also have some newer stuff, like the Five Nights at Freddy’s novels, Welcome to Nightvale, and the Sweep novels. Having our own spooky-tainment helps when you can’t rely on regluar TV, or if you are like us and decided to cut the cable anyway.

The Color Burgundy

Burgundy Fall Flatlay Items

I have no idea why but I become almost obsessed with this color during the fall. From my makeup and nails, to my clothes I usually have the color burgundy somewhere around me. This color makes me feel confident as well as safe but it also may be because this the time of year where I need this color in my life. Reds are the colors of the Root Chakra and this is the time of year where it definitely comes into play as to feeling grounded and rooted into yourself and the world around you.

Cleaning Supplies

Pretty odd to have this on the list but I do major cleaning and decluttering in the fall.You can have your windows open and not worry about pollen that you need to clean. Also you are starting to switch out your summer clothes for something a little thicker and warmer so it is the perfect time to get rid of things that don’t fit or you just don’t like anymore.

This is also a great time of year to start doing energy clearing. Summer is usually a very stressful time of year for both me and Sunshine with our jobs getting busier and we do bring those frustrations home. During this time of year things start to slow and calm down, so it is a good time for us to get those frustrating energies out of our home so we can bring more positive ones in. Everyone has their own way of doing it, for example I really like doing some deep cleaning and also have a purification blend go through on my diffuser all day.

A great book to help is Debroah Blake’s book Everyday Witchcraft as it has an entire section of the book dedicated to cleaning, grounding, and protection you can do for your home during this time of year.


So these are the essentials that I have to make autumn more special and easier for me. What are your essential items?

My Story

Re-Introducing Myself

Since a lot has happened to me over this summer, and it’s been almost 2 (3?) years since the first post on this blog, I thought a re-introduction of myself was long overdue.

I am not the same girl I was when I started this blog. Back then, I had an exciting hope for the future Sunshine and I had set in front of us at that time, and that future was scrapped and rewritten a couple dozen times. I also have  a different scope of importance since then.

My name is Jessica, but everyone calls me Jess (except family of course), and I am originally from a very small town in North Carolina. The best way I can summarize myself in one sentence is with something my dad said about me a lot growing up:

I walk to the beat of my own drum, it just happens that my drum has holes in it.

This is more true about me than people realize. I have always been the oddball of the group. Sarcasm is my humor of choice. I always a book in one hand and a cup of hot tea in the other. My bedroom is littered with half-filled notebooks and candles. I have a love for all things spooky and creepy, but I also have and entire bookcase overflowing with nerdy plushies.

I have a fascination with makeup and am currently doing the largest project pan ever done (143 products with no deadline). I am also that person that loves making blankets and baking things for the people I care about in my life.

Sunshine is my fiance and I don’t feel comfortable using his real name on here without his expressed permission, but if you follow me on Instagram you have seen pictures of the elusive guy. We have been together for almost 7 years, and it doesn’t seem like we’re going to stop anytime soon.

One of the largest things about me that tends to rub people the wrong way is that I am a pagan. I follow the wisdom of the Celtic pantheon, and that gives me a different worldview.

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of trying to learn homemaking skills and sharing my experience of trying to learn them. Now, that topic just feels very limiting to me. I want to get to the whole meaning behind the name of this blog. The Road of a Small Town Girl is meant to be about my path in general and the things I enjoy and learn on the way.

My goal is to be honest with you, whether it is through reviews or even the occasional post like this. My hope is that you are okay with that honesty.

See you soon,

Jess

Beauty · Product Reviews · Project Pan

Largest Project Pan Ever – Summer 2017 Update

If you’ve read my last post, it’s has been quite some time since I last posted and update for my project pan. Even though I haven’t posted any updates on here, it doesn’t mean I have stopped doing the project altogether. I have still been panning products and fortunately I have finished 10 in the last 4 months.

Items Finished In May:

 

Treseme Beautiful Volume Shampoo and Conditoner Sample packs (2 sets)

I did receive these through Influenster and it took me a while to actually get to them. The concept of doing you conditioner first sounds interesting but didn’t work for how I normally wash my hair. On the other hand, it did bring a lot of volume to my hair.

Bath & Body Works Body Wash in Sea Island Cotton

As always, this is my winter scent and my goal was to finish this product by the beginning of summer, and thankfully I was. I love this scent but I’m not going to purchase any more bath products for a while.

Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Anti-Breakage Shampoo (Travel Size)

With Suave shampoos, I never really see any difference in my hair. During this time I was still having a lot of fall-out and breakage in my hair but I feel that it had more to do with my health at the time rather than the shampoo.

 

Items Finished In June:

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte & Poreless Foundation in 112

This was a very light coverage foundation, which is nice for days where I want to cover up a little bit of my acne scarring but I am a full coverage kind of girl. I didn’t like that I had to apply so many layers to get the coverage I want that my skin looked cakey. Unfortunately this shade had too much yellow in it for me and did oxidize to be even more yellow, which is a recurring problem for me trying to find foundations, on top of the fact that it didn’t even last a few hours against my oily skin.

Be a Bombshell! Tinted Lip Balm in French Kiss

I had received this in an IPSY bag a long time ago, and I hate it so much. This shade is horrible for people with fair complexions like me as it is very very frosty but on top of that it feels waxy and leave a white residue on your lips that you have to wash off.

Village Naturals Aches & Pains Shower Wash

I really do love this brand, and it sucks that I can’t find it in my local Target anymore. This shower wash has a bit of a citrus/mint scent to it, and it also leave a slight cooling sensation on the skin. I used it the most when my joints started hurting from a physically exhausting day. I miss the scent and feel of it.

 

Items Finished In July:

Simple Moisturizer

So the big thing about this brand is that it meant to be sensitive skin friendly, but this was not. It smelled like mildewed clothing and actually had a burning sensation when I would apply it. I’ve essentially given up on this brand that I used to love after this.

Bath & Body Works Body Cream in Sweet Pea

The first to go down so far out of what’s left of my Sweet Pea B&BW stash. Still love it, and how the formula of the body cream feels as it absorbs into the skin.

 

Items Finished In August:

Pixi by Petra Mini Brow Trio

This was another item I received in an IPSY bag a long while ago. I had to find a variety of ways to use it since it was three different colors. I used the large taupe shade to set my eye primer and the medium brown shade for my crease, since they were both too light for my brows. The shade I did use for my brows just took forever to use. The powder itself applied fine and blended well.

NYX Butter Lipstick in Little Susie

I loved applying this extremely creamy lipstick. This is actually one of NYX’s more pigmented lipsticks and I have really enjoyed the application. This shade of hot pink worked well for my skin tone and surprised me with how much I liked it since I normally don’t go towards hot pink shades. I can’t wait to try out more colors after I finish the rest of my lipsticks.

 

So what have you finished panning over the summer? What are your goals for the rest of the year? At the moment I hope by the end of the year I can finish at least some skin care products .

Also, how do you feel about having a seasonal update rather than a monthly update? The post will be longer for a seasonal one but it will also give me more time to get products done. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

See you soon!

Jess

My Story

A More Personal Post

For the last couple of months, I haven’t really posted on this blog, and usually when that happens I just say that I’m sorry life got crazy but I’m back now! This time it wasn’t the case.

At the end of May, I lost my grandmother, words I never thought I would say, and I have been taking it really hard.

The best way I can explain what I’ve been feeling is a scene from the Quarterback episode of Glee. The scene where Finn’s mom is packing up his stuff and says this.

You know, when I would see that stuff on the news, I would shut it off because it was just too horrible to think, but I would always think, ‘how do they wake up every day?’ I mean, how do they…how do they breathe, honey? But you do wake up. And for just a second, you forget. And then, oh, you remember. And it’s like getting that call again and again, every time. You don’t get to stop waking up. – Carole

In this moment she was talking about a parent losing child, but this experience that she speaks of has become a daily occurrence for me since my grandma passed. After a few weeks, I ended up having one of the worst depression episodes that I have had in years.

It made me realize that I was so full of regret. I hadn’t been back home in 4 years, and my mind kept telling me that I shouldn’t have left. That I should have been there to help take care of her. I would have fought with her to make sure she ate, and took her medicine like I did before I left. I would have been a better granddaughter. I became resentful of myself, and my selfishness for the things I wanted.

I haven’t felt the desire to write or the creativity to make posts for this blog. Then again, I had lost motivation for most things lately. So I took an unannounced hiatus to try to get a better handle on my grieving and get my mind straight again. I have also been dealing with other personal things that I don’t feel comfortable talking about on here, I needed to get worked on as well.

Now that a few months have passed, I am doing better. I guess you can say I’m trying a little harder now.

I’ve had to think about what I want to keep doing and that does include this blog. Even though there are not many that read it, it does give me a sense of purpose, and I do plan on posting here again (starting with a Project Pan update). I do plan on making this a priority again, and have reconsidered some of the topics that I cover here.

For those of you that are reading this because you are still subscribed to notifications, thank you for your patience with me and I can only hope the future content I post will be worth it and valuable to you.

For those of you that have this as the first post of mine that you read, welcome and I’m glad we’ve gotten the experience of me being vulnerable out of the way.

As always if you have suggestions for things you would like me to do for this blog, please let me know either through the comments or contacting me through the Contact page. But until then, I love you all.

Jess

Books · Reviews

Reading Corner – May 2017

In the month of May, I had a couple of lofty goals. I wanted to finish at least two books, and try to do a Reading Marathon, but that obviously didn’t happen. Usually I don’t create a Reading Corner post unless I actually have read something and finished it but I did still want to keep you updated. I’m still trying to read when I can, and this last month I ended up stumbling for a little bit. I had a lot going on that last week but I’m hoping that with June I’ll be getting back into the swing of things. In the meantime, I am working on a new list of books I want to read, and trying to get back into literature analysis (yes, I do that for fun) like I used to. If you have suggestions of your favorite books, please let me know in the comments below.

See you soon,

Jess

Reviews

13 Reasons Why – A Depression Sufferer’s Review

13 Reasons Why has become a small Netflix phenomenon resulting in memes flying everywhere. Even if you haven’t watched it I bet you have seen the “This is your tape…” memes on your Facebook.

I personally have mixed feelings when it comes 13 Reasons. As a person who has suffered from depression and suicidal urges their whole life, I feel like if I didn’t put in my input on it then the whole point of the show becomes useless. I just wanted to wait for my head to get straight before I did. Honestly, I had to stop multiple times watching the show as well as when I write this because it’s difficult for me.

Show Summary

The show itself is based off of the book 13 Reasons Why written by Jay Asher, and can actually be found in the Teen Fiction section of your local bookstore. The show and the story take place in the aftermath of a teen girl, Hannah, committing suicide and left behind a series of tapes about her “reasons” for doing it. The tapes are then given to each person on them to be listened to. Once they have completed the tapes, they pass it on to the next person. We follow Clay as he goes through his turn of listening to the tapes and what he goes through with them. All during this, Hannah’s parents are in the midst of suing the high school. The season ends with Hannah’s parents having the tapes and the teens on them are beginning the testimonies.

It’s The Little Things

There are a couple of things that I feel like people missed when watching the show:

  1. The time stamp on the video testimonies are for a future date in our time and gives us a possibility that Hannah hasn’t killed herself yet. It shows us that the events in the show didn’t have to happen.
  2. For a small moment, during one of the times it shows Hannah’s parents fighting, they mention that Hannah has dealt with bullying before in her previous school and that it was one of the reasons why they moved. It’s mentioned one time and then never referred to again so if you don’t pay attention, you miss it.

Both of these moments give us the thought that none of these event’s had to happen at all, but also gives us a bit of a fatalistic view of things. If Hannah stayed at her old school, she may have still gone down this same path because of how everything was handled.

What They Got Right

After giving it a lot of thought there were a couple things I feel like they approached correctly, but also a lot of moments where they got the show completely wrong.

What they did get right only involved Hannah and her actions. For one, how she acts around her parents even to the last day. She acts like everything is fine and there is nothing bad going on in front of them, even though she is absolutely falling apart. Some sufferers of depression create a mask of being okay in front of family members because they feel shame for their depression, or can feel like they would be a burden to them. This can especially be from the fact that Hannah knows that one of the reasons they moved was because of her and they are so worried about the store she doesn’t want to add one more thing to their worries.

Secondly, through the tapes Hannah is essentially blaming these people for her depression and suicidal thoughts. In some stages of depression, it can be shown that a person will have this “It’s your fault that I’m like this.” view point. They can be dealing with the anger and frustration as well as feeling of they aren’t in control.

Where They Went Wrong

I feel like they got a lot of things wrong that can actually become damaging to people, particularly teens, who are dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts in a way that might prevent them from going to get help. What they did wrong in the show is where I almost felt like rage quitting. These things can be really damaging for people watching the show who suffer from mental illness, or are family members of those who are.

The biggest problem I had, was how they portrayed as going to get help as useless. The counselor and his actions when Hannah comes to his office are troubling. Schools just like other workplaces have a cell phone policy when it comes to their staff, normally cell phones are not to be used during school hours unless it is an actual emergency. The fact that he brought his phone out during a session with a student could get him in a lot of trouble. On top of that how he handled Hannah’s conversation with him, was bothersome. He was too distracted to listen to her and instead of trying to dig deeper and try to help her he blows her off and tells her to get over it. Hannah is obviously telling him that something is wrong and giving him signs that she might hurt herself, and in most states he would be obligated by school policy to notify the authorities if she mentioned such things, but the fact that he didn’t pay attention was troublesome.

With her  parents they didn’t try to encourage her to go to therapy after dealing with the bullying before but instead think that just getting away is enough. Clay’s parents also referenced that he has gone to therapy before, but after he is showing warning signs that they notice, they don’t push him much to go back. They just say “We need to do this together” or “Do you need us to call your therapist” but don’t really make an effort outside of that to get him to go.

How Skye portrays self-harm is a stereotype that has been circulating around for a while. The thought that self-harm is better than killing yourself  because committing suicide is for cowards. This can create the idea that self-harm is okay when it really isn’t. I did appreciate that they showed multiple forms of self-harm, including alcohol abuse, more than just cutting yourself, but the moment that they did show it it comes to perpetuate a stereotype. They had an opportunity to address it but they didn’t.

Finally, the part that bothered me the most,  Hannah’s suicide. Part of the reason why I had such a hard time watching this is that it made me relive the times I have tried to kill myself. There were a couple of times where during the scene I had to pause and walk away for a moment. When I did finally feel up to watching it all the way through I looked at the details of how she did it. She chose to be in old clothes, filled the bathtub, then slit her wrists. That seems like a lot of thought into something she says she just decided to do. Something that I see that they missed is when she cutting into herself, there could have been a moment where she kind of had a clarity. I can’t say that many people who have fully committed suicide have had this moment, but many people who have attempted that I have talked to did experience it. A moment of “Oh shit” and fear setting in. Why did we feel this? Because death is terrifying even to those who think they are ready. By doing the scene without that moment in the show created a dramatic and almost romanticized veil over Hannah’s death.

This is not even mentioning the fact that how Hannah’s death is portrayed along with the tapes as a suicide with the intent on revenge and not that someone needed help and we didn’t pay attention. In a way this blows out the validity of Hannah being shown to have mental health problems. It instead shows it in a way of, “I’m telling everyone your secrets and I can’t face the consequences if I’m dead.” as well as, “You killed me.” and not “I decided to do this because I felt like it was my only option.”

Final Thoughts

In my final opinion on this, though Selena Gomez is a self-proclaimed mental health advocate, I feel like she as well as everyone involved very much missed the mark on this show. I understand the fact that it is meant to be a conversation starter and it has achieved as that, but the valid points that many people from mental health sufferers to mental health professionals have against the show have been frequently blown off by the people involved with the show. They had a major opportunity to change the narrative of how mental health is addressed in the media and they failed, horribly. They could have had the chance to bring the topic of how teens are often shown to go through multiple phases of depression without showing signs and that there are ways to get help. They could have taken the time to show having a mental health professional in school is important to help the students. Hell, they could have said that helplines need more funding to encourage others to call and be able to handle the load. Instead they added a little 40 minute commentary as a completely separate thing on Netflix about how this was Selena’s sort of pet project.


I hope that if you have lasted long enough to read through this post, that if you suffer from depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mental health conditions that you know you are not alone in your struggle even if you feel that way. Getting help isn’t easy but it is important. Reach out to family, friends, or even your doctor. If you feel like that isn’t an option there are hundreds of help lines of strangers with their whole job is to listen to you and help you. Feeling this way doesn’t make you less. Just because you feel broken doesn’t mean you can’t mend.

And for people who have family members that are going through this, pay more attention and listen to them. Help them get help, and get informed. Their are multiple books on depression, as well as informative websites. Take a step with them and let them know that their problems are valid. Continue to encourage that they receive professional help.

And don’t forget. I love you.

Jess

My Story

6 Ways I Got Control of My Acne

Since I was a teenager, I have been insecure about my skin. Acne, blackheads, and extremely oily skin bothered me daily, and continued to do so into my twenties. Over the past year and a half, my goal has been to finally get control of my acne. This hasn’t been easy for me and was a series of trial and error, but I do think there are a lot of different factors that have helped me with getting my skin closer to how I want it to be. [DISCLAIMER: Everyone’s skin type is different and have different issues. So what may work for me may not work for you. If anything I can recommend seeing a professional that will help you through this process as they are knowledgeable about what is and isn’t good for your skin. But don’t forget underneath the zits, blackheads, dry patches, and acne scars, you are f-ing gorgeous.]

These are all the things I’ve either began incorporating or started doing different that work for me:

I started getting professional facials.

This is actually the most expensive part. At my day job I can get a professional facial at a discounted price, but because it still costs a lot for me so I only get one maybe twice a year. Once in the beginning of summer, and once in the beginning of winter just so I can get ahead of my skin changing how it acts. Doing this helps because I actually have a licensed aesthetician talk to me about what is going on with my skin and about what may not be working. It also helps that I work with that same person a lot so she is often the one that will tell me to put down the soda.

Replaced soda with herbal tea.

Soda has always been a big part of my life. Every weekend when one of my uncles when shopping he would always come home with 20 2-Liter bottles of Pepsi for all of us to drink during the week. I ended up having to condition myself to liking bottled water when I got older.

A couple of months ago I ended up having a really bad cold and since I didn’t have the ability to go to the doctor I overloaded on herbal teas and things to boost my immune system. They did help me a lot for getting through my cold so I could still go to work everyday, but drinking them  also became a habit and something that I really enjoyed. After a while I rarely drank sodas, and I noticed that my skin started clearing up. It ended up being a way that I could get my water intake in without having to worry about added sugars, so I was staying hydrated as well.

I found a routine that works for me and I stick to it.

It took me a long time to find products that work well for my oily skin without being overly drying, but once I did I created a routine that I stick to religiously. I actually have two routines. My longer routine are for most days where I use my skincare routine as a way to destress from the day or want to start the day with a really good cleanse. The shorter routine are for my days where I am running late, or I am just too tired to do my full skincare routine but the needs are getting taken care of. For the products I use, it is a mixture of high-end and drugstore products but if I see that there is something that isn’t working for me anymore, once I finish it I don’t repurchase.

I clean anything that ends up touching my face.

Whether it is my pillow case, my phone, or even my hair, I try too keep the things that touch my face as clean as I can. Oil and bacteria build up from your skin can and will compound onto everything that it touches and when you apply those items to your face again this is one of the things that can cause a lot of breakouts. This is usually how often I’ll clean the things that touch my face:

  • Makeup Brushes: Deep clean weekly or sooner if my makeup start’s applying weird.
  • Cell Phone and Work Phone: Wipe with a disinfecting wipe daily
  • Pillow Case: Every two weeks. I usually sleep on one side for a week, and then flip it to the other side for a week before I wash it.
  • Hair: Every three to four days. The minute I start getting oily, second-day hair it gets pulled back or it gets put up.
  • Hands: EVERY CHANCE I CAN. I know that one tip that everyone keeps saying is to stop touching your face, and that is pretty much impossible to do. You will touch your face without realizing it 98% of the time, so it is much easier to make sure your hands are clean when they touch your face rather than constantly fighting yourself because you like to lean on your hand while reading.

I don’t wear foundation much anymore.

I honestly hate trying to apply foundation. Being as pale as I am, I have a very difficult time finding a foundation that matches my skin tone, as a lot of women do, but is also able to stand up against the fact that my skin gets very oily. So this year I stopped wearing foundation all the time, check out my new year’s Instagram post about it. I am at a point where I only wear it when it is a special occasion and it wouldn’t feel right to me to go in not wearing any. Even then the foundation I have right now is a pretty light coverage foundation so you wouldn’t be able to tell anyway. At this point, the closest thing I will wear to a foundation is actually a primer and a little bit of face powder that help mattify my face.

I went after the inflammation first, then the acne.

This is actually a tip that my aesthetician co-worker told me about after my first facial with her. As long as your skin is dealing with inflammation, the acne will persist and be really difficult. Come to find out a lot of the products I used before were causing the inflammation on top of other things. So she recommended that I try out the Dermalogica Ultra Calming kit before I went back to my normal skincare. The kit itself was a 3-month supply of the line and after using it for the 3 months my skin was a lot less red and warm and my acne was starting to calm down. After I finished the kit, and went back to my normal skincare routine everything worked better. My acne clearing products actually started clearing out my acne and my moisturizers worked better at keeping my skin hydrated.


Do you suffer from acne, or any other issues? What are your holy grail items that have helped with those problems? Let me know in the comments below.

Jess

Beauty · Budgeting

How Project Pans have Changed my Spending

Right before I started my Largest Project Pan Ever in 2016, I was on the lookout for a new makeup case. I needed something large enough to hold my pallets but also compartmentalized enough to help keep everything organized. What I ended up with was a fishing tackle box. I’m not kidding.

When I brought it home I was excited to fill it up with all of my makeup items, and come to find out I had more than enough. I grabbed my box in the bathroom closet and off of the counter to start organizing. Doing this brought me to the realization that I had way too much stuff. I had samples from IPSY bags that I received almost a year before, and of course all the items I purchased at Ulta when I had a bad day.

This is where the idea for the Largest Project Pan Ever came from. I wrote down every single item that I had  and come up with 143 items in total. My goal being to finish them all, no time limit, and only purchasing if I need to replace something.

Since October, I have used a lot of the items in this project pan, and I have kept up pretty well with my low-buy, but I have seen a change in my spending when it comes to those items I’m starting to repurchase.

When I finish an item on the list, I decide if it is something that I know I would want to repurchase I would mark it and write it down on my repurchase list. Doing this helps a lot because if I know I already like something I am much more willing to repurchase just that item and not deviate.

With that I try to wait to order those items when they are on sale or have a free gift with purchase. Usually the gift is a sample of another item from that line. Also ordering it online helps because you get extra samples. I rely heavily on samples if I want to try a product out, that way I don’t have to purchase a full size and worry if I don’t like it. It saves a lot of decluttering in the long run.

This also helps with wanting to do my research before I try a new item. Having a sample or a travel sized version of the time does help, but I also check the reviews of an item or even beauty blogs. They often have visuals of the item in use as well as the results.

Speaking of visuals, having a way to completely visualize the amount of products I have helps because I know I don’t need more products. More than likely I have 5 similar eyeliners in black, I don’t need the newest liquid eyeliner from L’Oreal.

I cancelled my subscription to IPSY and limit my interaction on Influenster. I decided to do this so I don’t have to deal with a constant supply of makeup arriving at my doorstep. A good portion of the items on my list are from IPSY, and with some of them being full sized items,  it is going to be a while before I finish them all.

Finally, I’ve changed how I approach going to the beauty section of a store or a beauty store. I can now say that I am capable of going into Ulta just to look at stuff but to also not have the urge to go to Ulta on a bad day.

I’m not purchasing nearly at much as I used to and I’m currently experimenting will all the items I have. It’s more enjoyable this way because I don’t feel like I’m missing out on the new items. More than likely I already have something similar that I really enjoy. Hopefully, I can keep finishing items so my stash can be minimized and I can invest the money that I was spending on beauty items on things that I really need. Like getting an apartment.

For my other project panners out there, have you seen your spending change since you’ve started doing project pans? Are you willing to do one to see if it helps yours? Let me know in the comments below!

Jess