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The 10 Best (Not Scary) Autumn Films

LifeHannah Drake3 Comments

I have never in my life enjoyed scary films. It stresses me out too much. I think I've only seen The Shining and Ghost Ship. Well, does Cabin in the Woods count? I actually enjoyed that film, but it was still stressful for me. I've managed to avoid all others for the last 27 years. Still, I love films and I love watching certain films at certain times of the year and autumn is no exception. Today, I'm sharing--in my opinion--the ten best not scary autumn. A few are Halloweenish, a few just have stunning fall foliage and of course I included the best football film of all time. (Don't @ me.)

Last year, we watched a few on the list, but this year I'm determined to literally press pause on whatever show we're bingeing to have some cosy nights having movie marathons instead. You gotta have some hearty soups or seasonal treats. Light some autumn-scented candles. And definitely pray for rain. If you're in the mood for a delicious autumnal cocktail, stick around to the very end.

BEWITCHED

Okay, so it's the complete opposite of scary and it actually came out in June of 2005, but it's about a witch so it counts. The film isn't quite a reboot of the show, but actually a film about the reboot of the show and an actor who unknowingly casts an actual witch for the starring role. It's quirky and silly, but it has Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, and sometimes a quirky, silly Halloween is all you need.

My favourite IMDb fact: Broomsticks were sent out to movie theatres as promotional items for the film.

DEAD POET'S SOCIETY

Who hasn't seen this film about an all boys boarding school set against the backdrop of a Vermont autumn? It's one of Robin William's best roles, but it's also crazy to think that the late 80's film also starred two of the biggest stars today: Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles. It's been years since I've seen the film and actually, I think we watched it in health class in high school when we were learning about mental health. It will make you feel all the feels.

My favourite IMDb fact: When the boys show Professor Keating his old senior yearbook picture, it is, in reality, Robin Williams's high school senior picture when he was a student at Redwood High School in Larkspur, California, north of San Francisco.

GHOSTBUSTERS

It's a supernatural classic, isn't it? It has easily stood the test of time. It's still referenced in other movies and TV shows and everyday conversation. How many people still dress up like the Ghostbusters for Halloween or shout "Ghostbusters!" when someone says something even remotely along the lines of "Who ya gonna call?" While I did enjoy Ghostbusters 2 and the 2016 reboot with women starring, nothing beats the original. 

My favourite IMDb fact: In the DVD commentary, Ivan Reitman says he received a call from William Atherton complaining that the movie ruined his life. The character of Walter Peck was so hated that people would talk to Atherton as if they were giving the character Peck a piece of their mind. Apparently more than once, physical fights had been started with Atherton in bars.

HOCUS POCUS

It's a cult classic starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker, but I actually just watched it for the first time last year! Needless to say, I loved it! It's a great Halloween movie and isn't at all scary. Like most films from the 90's, it's aged and you can see that, but it just adds to its charm, in my opinion.

My favourite IMDb fact: Sarah Jessica Parker has said that she thoroughly enjoyed being in the flying harness, so much so that she would stash a copy of the New York Times on her person and would read in the air between takes.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

Even though I do still enjoy kids' films, I always brushed the Hotel Transylvania films under the rug. That is, until my sister highly recommended them ahead of the third film's release. We decided, since it was a slow month at the cinema, to give it a shot, but we wanted to watch the first two to catch up with the story first. Luke and I agreed that Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is the best yet because they keep building on the jokes, but I do think the first film is best suited for Halloween. Either way, give it a shot and I definitely recommend a marathon of the trilogy.

My favourite IMDb fact: Dracula, The Invisible man, The Mummy, Frankenstein and The Werewolf are influenced by the monster universe set between 1930-1940 and are brought together in this film.

PRACTICAL MAGIC

Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman play sisters who also happen to be witches looking to break a curse to find love. Strangely enough, I have a very vivid memory of the first time I watched this film. I still like it today, but I think it also has a bit of a nostalgia factor for me. 

My favourite IMDb fact: According to Sandra Bullock in the commentary, in the scene where Gillian and Sally get drunk with their aunts and they sling insults, the actresses actually got drunk. They were drinking some very bad tequila that Nicole Kidman brought.

REMEMBER THE TITANS

My favourite football movie of all time! I love Denzel Washington as Coach Herman Boone. At one point in my life, I knew most of the lines and to this day it's still one of my favourite soundtracks. Nothing says autumn quite like football and even though it's a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, it's still a fun, feel-good movie.

My favourite IMDb fact: The film is made more accessible to non-fans of football by careful music editing. Whenever the Titans complete a key play, or turn the game in their favour, the music changes to upbeat rock.

STEPMOM

Starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon, this movie is set in New York in the autumn. Susan Sarandon has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is coming to terms with Julia Roberts being the stepmom to her children. It's emotional, to be sure, but is there anything more beautiful than New England when the leaves are changing colours?

My favourite IMDb fact: In the film, the characters played by Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon are often at odds with each other. In reality, the two are close friends, and chose this project specifically to work on together.

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY

It's a classic rom-com and always will be, even if it is kind of hard to wrap your head around Billy Crystal as a romantic lead. Not only does it have one of the most iconic scenes (with one of the most quotable movie lines) in cinema history, but it also features beautiful shots of New York in the fall. 

My favourite IMDb fact: The orgasm scene was filmed at Katz's Deli, an actual restaurant on New York's E. Houston Street. The table at which the scene was filmed now has a plaque on it that reads, "Where Harry met Sally...hope you have what she had!"

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

One night when I was younger, my mom and sister wanted to watch this movie and I absolutely flipped out. I was so sure they were trying to trick me into watching a horror movie, despite their assurances that it was actually a comedic masterpiece. Because of that, I got it on DVD for Christmas one year as a joke. It's been one of my favourite comedies ever since! 

My favourite IMDb fact: In 1974 rock band Aerosmith took a break from a long night of recording to see this film. Steven Tyler wrote the band's hit "Walk This Way" the morning after seeing the movie, inspired by Marty Feldman's first scene, the "walk this way . . . this way" scene. 


SPIKED SPARKLING CIDER

If you’ve been hanging around here since last fall, you know my favourite go-to drink this time of year is a spiked sparkling cider. It’s simple to make and so easy to enjoy:

  • 1 oz spiced rum or 1 oz whiskey (room temperature)

  • 3 oz apple cider (warmed)

  • 3 oz ginger beer (room temperature)

Stir ingredients together in the glass of your choice. (I usually use copper mugs.) Serve warm.

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What are some of your favorite films to watch in the autumn or for Halloween?

Guest Post: 5 Ways to Decorate on a Budget

At HomeHannah DrakeComment

For the next four weeks, I'll be sharing guest posts from some of my favourite bloggers & photographers and people I'm lucky enough to call friends.

First up, my friend Anne from The Home Handcrafted! Anne moved to Denver around the time I moved from Colorado. We found each other through Instagram and have been following each other for about a year. In July, we met for coffee at one of the cool spots she's always hanging out at in Denver. It was like sitting down with an old friend! She's constantly inspiring me when it comes to cocktail creations, home decorations, exploring Colorado (I miss it!), honesty about mental health and self care, and finding the coolest spots in town. Check out her blog for all of the above and more! 


Making your house feel like home can be expensive AF. But it doesn't have to be. It's tempting to go over budget to finish certain projects to achieve a sense of "completeness." However, in the long run, repurposing or repairing what you already have, will keep your bank account happy and reinforce more intentional spending habits. By not rushing the decor process and buying the first thing you see, you're giving yourself time. Time to figure out your style and time to figure out what purchases are worth the investment. Frugal decor doesn't necessarily mean "cheap" either. It just means you're decorating your space in a way that is upcycled, vintage and totally unique. Below are five tips for frugal decor. And, ultimately, a more intentional living space.

SHOP SECOND-HAND

It's amazing what thrift and antique stores have hidden inside them. Be open to what you may find, but also expect to not find anything right away. Pro Tip: Check out thrift stores in neighborhoods different from your own. The chances of finding treasure increase when you get outside your comfort zone! Looking online is also a great option. Here are some of my favorite sites:

Everything But the House
AptDeco*
Chairish

*a little expensive, but great to peruse for inspiration

REPURPOSE 

Try using a bar cart as your nightstand or an old bookshelf as a plant shelf for your balcony or patio. Moving pieces around your space and giving them new purpose not only saves you money, but can also help to infuse new energy into a space.

REPAIR

This one is tough for me. I tend to think of repairs as something I need to do for items that I no longer need. In some cases, that's true. There's only so much repairing a piece can take. But if it's a small scratch or a lose nail, fix it instead of replacing it. Some things just feel good to DIY.

TAKE YOUR TIME

Decorating is a marathon. Not a sprint. Sometimes, a time crunch leads to impulse buys that don't inspire joy and therefore, wasted money. Start with essentials like a place to eat, sit and sleep. Everything else can wait. Make sure you understand your space and your needs before you rush out to buy anything. When you force yourself to wait and look for the perfect quality piece, you'll end up loving it for the long haul instead of feeling temporary gratification.

REFRESH

It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint or a new knob can accomplish. Brighten up the walls in your space with a neutral color and change out the fixtures on all of your cabinets. Throw a hat up on the wall and use a garment rack to make your wardrobe feel beautiful. Paint a piece of furniture you're not in love with (or get rid of it if you really hate it). Little improvements like this are often affordable and can hold you over until you can do a larger renovation.

P.S. Flowers are always a good idea. Hello instant refresh. 

You should follow Anne on Instagram, too.

DIY At Home Spa Night

Self LoveHannah Drake4 Comments

I'm not really the spa type. I used to get massages every three months in Colorado and of course the occasional pedicure, and less frequent manicure, but that was about the extent of my self pampering. This year, though, I've been trying to focus on taking care of myself and loving myself. Self care can look like a lot of different things, but one thing that's become a weekly treat has been DIY at home spa nights.

Sunday evenings have become sacred in our house. Outside of travelling, I can't remember the last time we made plans for a Sunday night. Over the last few months, that time has become a block of time for us to hang out at home and to reset before the week begins, which has made it possibly my favourite time of the week. I actually look forward to Sunday evenings for the first time in my life. We set up a little at home spa while watching a movie or whatever show we're watching, occasionally have a glass of wine or a cocktail, and we always make it to bed by 9:30 on Sundays.

So how can you do it too? It's easier than it looks and you probably already have enough of what you need to treat yourself to a DIY spa night tonight!

There's two parts to making your spa night a success: feet and face. It's the easiest way to literally do it yourself if you're not trading massages with your significant other.

WHAT YOU NEED

Feet:

Face:

WHAT YOU DO

Feet:

  • Set up somewhere you're comfortable sitting for 30-60 minutes. Put a towel down on the floor to put the basin on. Grab another towel to use later.

  • Fill the basin with hot water. We fill ours up from the hot water tap, but top up with some boiling water so it's hotter than room temperature.

  • Dissolve 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt into the water. Add drops of whatever essential oil you want to use. I use Purification (deodoriser, cleanser), Stress Away (stress reducer, relaxant), and Lavender (relaxant) from Young Living. Stir with your hand to mix the oils and dissolve the salt.

  • Soak your feet for 30-60 minutes. Epsom salt baths (or foot soaks, in this case) are great for relaxing your muscles and loosening your joints. If you're sore or achy, a nice long soak in an Epsom salt bath is probably going to work wonders.

  • Pumice your feet to remove dead skin and callouses. Doing this once a week has made my feet so much prettier! If you're feet are like mine, you're probably not going to see that much of a difference after just one time, but if you do it regularly, it should start to make a noticeable different.

  • I sometimes clip my toenails too. But I usually file my fingernails while my feet are soaking at the beginning.

  • Use the foot scrub and foot butter according to the directions on the product you have. If it says to ensure your feet are dried, make sure they are! This is why you have the other towel.

  • Of course end with a fresh coat of nail polish if that's your style!

Face:

  • Start by cleaning your face according to the cleanser you have. For Ultrabland, this means coating my face with the cleanser to remove dirt and removing with a warm, damp wash cloth. Of course if you’re wearing make up and your make up remover requires another step, don’t forget it!

  • Apply your face mask according to the directions. Rinse your face at the end, if needed.

  • Spritz your face with toner water to refresh and rehydrate. Let your skin dry completely.

  • Apply your serum according to directions. Why a serum? They provide a high concentration of active ingredients, and penetrate further, effectively delivering beneficial nutrients and hydration actives to the deepest layers of the skin where moisturisers won’t penetrate, according to Bare Alchemy.

  • Use your rose quartz or jade roller by rolling up from the neck toward the forehead. According to Byrdie, skin cells are shaped like roof shingles on your face, which is why they'll absorb more product from that upward motion. (Read more about the benefits of rolling and the differences between rose quartz and jade rollers.)

Please note that I'm in no way a professional in any of this. We've developed this regimen around the products I have and use regularly, which I purchased and been gifted after doing lots of research. I love LUSH and The Body Shop because they're ethical, environmentally friendly companies that don't test on animals. I use Young Living Essential Oils because of their quality and purity, transparency in production (Seed to Seal promise), and environmentally-friendly practices. (Did you know that due to the lack of regulations for products like essential oils, companies can claim 100% purity when in actuality, their products only contain 5% oil.) I don't sell Young Living, but if you want to know more, I'll point you toward my friend Stephy, who knows a lot more than I do. I highly encourage you to do your own research to find products that work best with you skin type and a routine that works for you.

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This post contains affiliate links, so I may make a commission off any purchase you make through the link. Thank you to The Body Shop for gifting me with these beautiful products.