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Scary Pumpkin Carving

BOO! Did I scare you? If not, maybe our pumpkins will do the trick. Halloween is my family's favorite holiday by far. This Halloween we finally broke down and spent the extra monies for a fog machine. I also bought a creepy talking doll from Party City to complement my living doll Halloween costume. The baby doll is totally creepy-awesome. But....before the Halloween festivities can begin we must carve our 800 pumpkins a strewn in our yard. 800 pumpkins is a bit of an exaggeration, but I did go overboard with the pumpkin buying this year. Now, it is time to get down to slimy pumpkin-pulp scooping business! Roll up those sleeves and let's do this!

Step 1.) Cut off the top and scoop out the innards. I always rinse and save some pumpkin seeds to bake in the oven for the kiddos.

Step 2.) Use a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil to wash out the pumpkin to keep it looking fresh for up to 2 weeks. Turn up side down and let dry.

Step 3.) Decide on a theme. Zombie, classic, scary, painted, etc...and try to go overboard! I heard on TV from a master pumpkin carver that you should work with the pumpkin not against it. Meaning...use the shape or form the pumpkin has. Sometimes you can see the pumpkin face before you carve it. I never use pencil. You are never gonna get it perfect....this is pumpkin art. Every pumpkin is beautiful!

Step 4.) Use props. I heavily believe in adding fake blood, limbs, organs, floral, candy, or whatever else is necessary to achieve your desired look.

Zombie Pumpkin Carving
To achieve this look, chisel many gashes or scars on the pumpkin face. Use a plastic brain instead of the traditional stem top. Paint red paint around the jagged mouth. Wa-lah! You have yourself a zombie pumpkin! This guy looks really cool in our front window.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pumpkin
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(TMNT)! This is the coolest pumpkin EVA! However, I cannot take full creative credit. Here is the pin on Pinterest that sparked the creative eb and flow. This TMNT pumpkin is very easy. You paint the pumpkin green. Cut two almond shape eye holes. Cut a light mouth shape that does not go the whole way through the pumpkin. After you have your outline, take the edge of your knife and scrape the orange part off. Then, use your knife to create gaps for the teeth. Finally, paint a face mask going over the eyes and around the head. BOOM! Coolest pumpkin EVA.

Flower pumpkin centerpiece
The most bizarre pumpkin came from my own brain(of course)! Cut oval-esque shaped eyes and a sizable hole for the mouth. Buy a zombie hand from party city and shove it inside the mouth. I also included roses and placed a wet paper towel over the edge of the stems before shoving them inside. It kinda looks like the dismembered zombie hand is handing you flowers. Sorta sweet right?

 Happy Halloween!
Vegan Cuts Subscription box
*I was sent a Vegan Cuts October snack box to compose this post. All opinions are mine.

There are times when hunger strikes and it can be incredibly tempting to reach for a calorie filled(void of nutrition) treat, instead of the shiny red apple. That problem, however, can be wiped clean from your life with Vegan Cuts Snack Subscription Box. 7 to 10 health conscious, non gmo, nutritional, Organic, and Vegan goodies are delivered straight to your door step each month! Delicious and healthy? Now that is something I can get behind!

Vegan Cuts Subscription box
I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of treats and the hefty amount you receive. Hefty is especially a good thing if you have ravenous family of boys. While I was photographing the Vegan Cuts spread of snacks I could feel two sets of eyes burning into the back of my head.

Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn
My two toddlers were vying and squabbling for the Rosemary Truffle popcorn by Pop Art. After the photo shoot, they proceeded to devour every lip smacking kernel. I did manage to snag one piece of popcorn and they were definitely delicious. The rosemary and truffle flavor notes are balanced, but definitely notable. I am quite surprised the boys liked it sooooooo much!

The other hit of the day was Coconut Organics Coconut Chips in Dark Chocolate. They are salty and satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly sweet. Healthy fat and I are okay with each other. Apparently, my son also has a good relationship with those healthy fats too:) I would definitely purchase these again. That is always the mark of a good product. Will you buy it again? Yes.

The overall experience with Vegan Cuts Snack Box was an excellent one. There was something for the entire family. My husband took a shining to the Veggie Elite protein powder and I cannot wait to enjoy a nice steaming cup of Organic Numi Tea in their chocolate combo flavors! I already get two box subscriptions every month and this is probably going to be my third! I love the ease of someone else doing the shopping for you and I detest grocery shopping. This is a win win. Thank you Vegan Cuts Snack Box for ensuring that when a craving hits I will be ingesting something that is indeed good for me!

Wanna Win a Vegan Cuts Snack Box? Enter Below.

Ebola Virus 1st US outbreak
*This post is presenting my views and does not involve the CDC in any way, shape, or form.

Are American hospitals ready for Ebola? No. The main reason is lack of experience. American nurses and doctors are not trained on how to deal with Ebola, because it lives in Africa(or used to). Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA has first-hand experience with Ebola. This is something that I have recently learned via recent news articles. Their first hand knowledge is very important to the preparedness of our American hospitals. There is nothing quite like first hand experience to really refine and hone your skills.

Now onto the highlight of the day, the national news stations are shocked and awed with the latest CDC/nurse blunder(this is really a duel party effort blunder). I call it a blunder(can we say blunder again), because the second nurse from Texas Presbyterian Hospital(recently diagnosed with Ebola and now at Emory) actually called the CDC asking for permission to leave the state. A CDC official(whom I am sure has been fired) asked the nurse what her temperature was. 99.5 was the temperature given by the nurse(USA Today, 10/16/2014). Not clinically a fever. No problem right?! Well...this nurse took care of Mr. Duncan(now deceased from the Ebola Virus) while he has vomiting and diarrhea-ing everywhere. She was at a high risk for virus transmission, because she was in direct contact while Duncan was highly contagious. This nurse has potentially exposed "at least" an entire airplane's worth of people. WOW...just wow.  Preacher, take it away.

My first profession in life was as a Registered Nurse. I studied at Penn State University with experience in many renowned level I trauma centers across the country. Our hospital systems are simply not prepared for an Ebola Outbreak. I am certain hospitals are informing their hospital staff of signs and symptoms(while simultaneously updating existing policies). Hospitals will get up to speed really quick.

Thomas Duncan is the man who brought Ebola to the US and whom recently died as a result. A US nurse from Texas Presbyterian Hospital(Nina Pham whom cared for Duncan) has now contracted the virus. Lucky for her, she has been given plasma from a US doctor who survived contracting Ebola(CNN, 10/14/2014). If this nurse dies, I expect a nationwide panic to erupt. On a side note, she reports that she was completely garbed while caring for him(glove, mask/shield, and gown). That may be true, but a breach of protocol must have happened on the nurse's end during the care of Mr. Duncan for her to have contracted Ebola.

Interesting Fact: Did you know? According to the CDC, Ebola can be contracted by coming into contact with an infected persons sweat! For me, this is not the same as blood, urine, sputum(spit), and feces. FYI, a person is deemed contagious only after they are symptomatic(not prior).

World focus should be on creating an Ebola vaccine. The first testing is being done this week in Maryland for a Canadian developed vaccine. If deemed safe and effective, distributing it to the hot zones in West Africa could essentially stop this deadly virus in its tracks.

A government call to action: Shut down flights from the hot zones for a month. Give yourself time to thoroughly evaluate the situation. Check points seem to be at the same capability levels as the TSA. If this is true, I expect even more Ebola cases to surface here in the United States and in the near future.

The confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas, TX this AM has me asking questions. The biggest one being, "Why now"? We have been dealing with Ebola for some time now in Africa and only now have we seen our first confirmed case in the United States. My heart goes out to all the medical professions that have been exposed and now have to be quarantined for 21 days(the incubation period of The Ebola Virus).
In regards to the quarantine:  "no quarantine is a legal thing meaning they could be arrested if they leave their house. What they are doing is telling them to try to self isolate themselves and check their temperature at least morning and night (if not more often). In today's legal world, it's really difficult to do true quarantine. especially if they are not a threat until they have a fever which they can easily catch early on by following those rules". ~ Anonymous important person
Michael Crichton's novel "The Hot Zone" was one of the first books I read as a kid(not Wuthering Heights). Truly scary stuff. I want to know how we can prevent another outbreak in the future. I do not believe in cutting off hot zone flights altogether, but there must be some serious safety nets in place and we must be able to execute them 100% at the borders. Obviously, all individuals must be checked before they leave hot zones for signs and symptoms of Ebola. A hold tank is also necessary perhaps on both sides of the borders in Africa and in the United States. Also, limiting the number of flights would also reduce the risk of transmission to the United States.

I believe in most instances government involvement is not needed, but they are indeed in charge of protecting our borders and the American people. Currently, the secret service is having trouble protecting the President of the United States. What makes me think they can protect us? Let's put it this way, I have little faith.

The not scary part: The Ebola Virus is NOT airborne. Wash your hands and stay away from sick people. That goes for any cold and flu virus out there. Wash your hands before you eat and go to the bathroom. Wash your hands. That is real nurse talk right here.

The scary part: There is one confirmed case. You always have to assume where there is one there is two and so on. The CDC is very upfront and they do have experimental vaccines in the works(keep experimenting). The truth is our borders are bleeding. What is being done to stop illegal immigration from boiling over? As tax payers, we are paying for every miss stepped penny.

For more information on the Ebola Virus please visit the CDC.
Here is a fantastic article from The Network for Public Health Law. This article explains a great deal about how Ebola quarantines are handled overseas and here in the US.
Julep Maven Nail Polish
*Julep is not involved in the giveaway portion of this post. I was not monetarily compensated.
Dark & Brooding photo gallery collection by Second Ave Photography.

Tis' the season for ghouls, pumpkin pies, and apple orchards. All the immense fun that comes with the cooling of  the summer heat and the transition of breezy colorful Fall. A part of the immense fun for me is the playful wardrobe changes. Layers and scarfs...I love scarfs! Fall allows you to become very creative with your style as layering becomes more important...and are always important! The season also brings a shift in color palettes. From brights to a richer variety of colours. Deep plum and black are my personal Fall colors of the season. I am also deeply in love with Julep nail polish, which I recently used for the first time via their Julep Maven Box. It was the Halloween addition!!! Did you know your first Julep Maven box is free(just pay for shipping)? Eep...eek! So much fun.
Julep Maven Nail Polish
Julep Maven Nail Polish
 *I am wearing the Julep nail polishes in Jet and Queen Anne.

Of course, I have heard all the hype about Julep before, but I am not a huge nail polish person. Take one look at these nails and you can see that this lady is not privy to the local nail salon. That being said, I felt Julep had a very easy and smooth application. It dried fast and the colors are out of this world gorgeous! I am definitely looking forward to next month's box!
Dark & Brooding photo gallery collection by Second Ave Photography.

This Fall 2014 season the fashion surrounds earth tones and south western style. Turquoise is my absolute favorite jewelry, which gives a pop of colour and breaks up all the earthy tones of my ensemble. Beware my ghoulish boys and gals that the Julep nail polish colors are in transition as well;-) Who is ready for a teeny, but sweet Julep Giveaway for the orange shimmer polish named Tatiana(pictured below)?

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