BubbleLife Staff
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The weather here in Boston is shaping up to be pretty dreary this weekend, which is why we'll be spending our free time hitting the movie theater. There are several superb films playing at the moment, and if you haven't made plans to see some of them with friends, now's the time to do so.

In our opinion, here are the top five new films you need to see ASAP.

First Man 

Ryan Gosling and director Damien Chazelle take on the story of NASA's first mission to land a man on the moon. The riveting adaptation of Neil Armstrong's first-person account will leave you on the edge of your seat .

The Hate U Give 

This racial drama is both gripping and surprisingly comical. Based on the best-selling YA novel, The Hate U Give takes a tough story and makes it something honest and relatable. You'll love watching the main character, Starr, find her voice in a community fraught with so much controversy. 

The Guilty 

If you're in the mood for something intelligent and thrilling, check out this October release. It follows a police officer who is demoted to desk work. He receives a call from a kidnapped woman, and he must do everything he can to locate the woman and save her before it's too late. 

The Old Man & The Gun 

Robert Redford's stellar performance in this cops and robbers tales has people applauding across the nation. His character, Forrest Tucker, attempts to escape from San Quentin while conducting a string of dangerous heists, resulting in an easygoing and thoroughly enjoyable story. 

A Star Is Born 

Since its release at the beginning of October, A Star Is Born has maintained a steadily high rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Viewers rave about the film's star cast (Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga), and its plot is an emotional ride everyone needs to take. 

What films are you going to watch this weekend? Let us know in the comments. 

BubbleLife Staff
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If you're engaged and beginning to plan your wedding, then you've probably already seen how ridiculously expensive the process can be. Everything from the cakes to the flower arrangements can cost thousands of dollars. Here in Boston, couples end up spending an average total of $36,000 on their weddings, making the area one of the most expensive places to get married in the entire country. Yikes. 

According to Wedding Wire, most couples end up spending between $1,200 and $3,000 on the photographer alone. That's a big chunk of change, and although your photos from the big day are incredibly special, you probably don't want to spend thousands if you can help it. 

While looking for your perfect photographer, keep some of these helpful tips in mind. With luck, you might be able to keep your photography expenses under the national average, but you have to play your cards right. 

1. Don't assume that The Knot, Wedding Wire, or other sites list all of your options. Although these sites are helpful in many aspects of wedding planning, they can limit your scope when it comes to looking for cheap photographers. Browse their recommended services, then branch out and do some searches on your own to see if there are more affordable candidates in the area. 

2. Compare prices from at least four or five candidates. Even if you fall head over heels for one photographer's work, don't assume that your search has come to an end. Shopping around for affordable wedding photography packages will help you determine who actually has the best deals and how much you're willing to pay. 

3. Ask every photographer to break down their pricing for you. Many photographers will present you with a lump sum for their services, but don't take that number at face value. Have them break down how they charge clients. Is it by the hour? Are they including printed photographs in that price? The more you understand, the more you can negotiate for a lower price. 

4. Only book a photographer for the important parts of the day to avoid extra charges. Many popular photographers charge by the hour, so by reducing the amount of time they need to be present, you can save hundreds of dollars. After all, do you really need them to stick around after most of the guests are tipsy and the cake has already been cut? Probably not. 

BubbleLife Staff
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Everyone knows that Boston winters can be harsh. If you, like many, are looking for transportation to a warmer destination (say, Cancun or The Bahamas), now is the time to snag your flights before they get more expensive.

As the holidays approach and airlines raise their prices, here are the top five ways to save money and still book your dream vacation. 

1. Only search for flights online in "Incognito" mode. Airline websites use your browsing history to keep track of what flights you're interested in, and more often than not, they'll jack up their prices when you return to evaluate the tickets a second time. That's why it's smart to use a private browsing mode every time you search for your flight. 

2. Plan to fly out in the middle of the week. Leaving on a Friday or Saturday is almost always going to be more expensive than departing on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Try to pay attention to what days of the week are the cheapest, not just what dates are less expensive. 

3. Know when to book and when to wait. The general rule of thumb is to book domestic flights one to three months in advance and international flights two to eight months in advance if you're looking for the best prices. 

4. Remember that not all flights come up on Google and other search engines. For instance, you'll have to go directly to the Southwest Airlines website for their prices, which are often very affordable. 

5. Be flexible. 
Searching various dates and airlines will help you hunt down the best deal. The more wiggle room you give yourself, the more money you'll end up saving. 

Where do you want to fly this holiday season? Let us know in the comments! 

BubbleLife Staff
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As Halloween approaches, we're all in the mood for a few good scares. Luckily, our favorite streaming services are here to accomodate our morbid cravings. 

Here are some of the newest, most spine-chilling shows that have hit Hulu and Netflix this month. Binge-watch a few to jumpstart the creepiest holiday of the year. 

The Haunting of Hill House
 - On Netflix Now 

Even the "King of Horror" himself, Stephen King, has dubbed this new show as "close to a work of genius." A loose reimagining of the novel by Shirley Jackson, this new show mixes horror and emotional family drama in a twisted, haunted way. Don't watch it alone or you might end up sleeping with the lights on. 

- On Netflix October 19 

This is no make-believe scary story. In Haunted, real people sit down with friends and family to share the most terrifying events from their past. Although their memories are recreated by actors, the stories themselves are true. 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - On Netflix October 26 

Those of us who grew up loving Sabrina the Teenage Witch will get a real kick out of this new adaptation of our favorite young sorceress. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Sabrina must decide: will she choose the path of light and righteousness, or will she turn wicked? Either way, this show promises to be full of magic and mischief. 

Light as a Feather On Hulu Now 

Everyone knows the game "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board," but you've never seen it go so wrong. This show follows a group of teenage girls who play the game, then start dying off. Can they deal with the supernatural repercussions of their fun, or will they be picked off one by one? 

What scary shows are you watching this month? Let us know in the comments below! 

BubbleLife Staff
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On October 20 and 21, Stone Zoo invites New England children and their parents to trick-or-treat with the animals with "Boo at the Zoo." Wear your costumes and find out what chills and thrills lurk around every corn of this haunted zoo. 

There will be creepy crafts, fun games, costume contests, a haunted maze and so many other spooky events for the family to enjoy. Alongside all of the festive holiday activities, there will be chats with zookeepers and the opportunity to learn about different kinds of creatures, like the elusive snow leopard. Zookeepers will even give many of the animals special pumpkins so that you can see how wild creatures react. 

Admission to "Boo at the Zoo" is the same as general admission, but if you purchase online, you'll save 15 percent. Click here to buy your tickets now. 

BubbleLife Staff
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Whether you're looking for family-friendly activities or adult fun like ghost tours and beer festivals, Boston has you covered this weekend. Here are seven of the most exciting events to attend in your area. 

Frog Pond Pumpkin Float (October 19) 

The entire family is welcome at this floating pumpkin celebration. The best part? Admission is free. Bring your own carved 8-inch pumpkin to a drop-off point along the pond, then let volunteers illuminate it and send it floating on the water. After, enjoy a heap of frightful fun and plenty of music and refreshments. 

Not So Spooky Halloween at Edaville (October 19 - 28) 

If you're looking for Halloween celebration fit for young children, head over to Edvaille Family Theme Park this weekend. Everyone is welcome to dress in their favorite costumes and join in some trick-or-treating while braving all sorts of rides. To buy tickets for this weekend, click here

36th Annual Salem Haunting Happenings (Today - October 31) 

More than 50,000 people attend this event every year in search of some creepy entertainment. Stop by to celebrate Halloween with special treats like ghost tours, haunted houses, delicious seasonal food, and of course, tons of elaborate costumes. To learn what's happening on the day you plan to attend, check out this list of upcoming events

Ghosts and Gravestones Tour (Today - November 5) 

During this time of year, there's no better way to spend a Saturday night than by embarking on a guided tour through the more terrifying parts of Boston's history. Sign up for an evening full of jumpscares, ghost stories and historical details. The descriptions of ancient torture and punishments aren't for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for a good scare, then reserving a spot on the Ghost and Gravestones Tour is an excellent way to celebrate this spooky holiday season. 

2nd Annual Wachusett Mountain Oktoberfest (October 20 - 21) 

This weekend, raise your stein and join in a variety of German festivities at Wachusett Mountain. There will be keg tossing competitions, live music, contests, shows, farmers' market vendors and tons of other family-friendly activities. Tickets are $9 for visitors 13-years-old and up, $4 for children six to 12, and free for kids five and under. 

22nd Annual Boston International Fine Art Show (October 20 - 21) 

At the Boston Center for the Arts, adults and children can experience an impressive art show and sale featuring creations from more than 40 different exhibitors. Browse everything from artwork to sculptures, then decide if there are any masterpieces you want to take home. You should also make time to stop by some of the special events with speakers and book signings. Admission to the event is $15 for adults and free for children.  

Boston Asian Film Festival (October 21 - 28) 

The BAAFF works to empower Asian American by showcasing their experiences and providing resources to filmmakers. It's the largest Asian American film festival in New England, and with over 50 films and many filmmakers present, there's something to interest every attendee. Learn more about the film festival's schedule here

What are your plans for this upcoming weekend? Share other local events in the comments below! 

BubbleLife Staff
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As temperatures begin to drop and Boston faces another cold winter, you'll probably start craving dinners that warm your chilled bones but that require little preparation during your busy schedule. 

That's why we've rounded up five great soup recipes that are simple to make but always filling and delicious. Give some of these recipes a try and let us know what you think. If you have other soup recipe recommendations, leave them in the comments below! 

Beef Barley Vegetable Soup 

With three pounds of beef chuck roast and some freshly chopped vegetables, you can use this recipe to create a hearty meal for the whole family. Just leave everything to roast for four to five hours, then follow the rest of the directions and serve with warm bread. 

One-Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup 

This super simple recipe on Tasty will help you chop up fresh broccoli, saute butter and onion, then mix together all of the ingredients to create a cheesy soup masterpiece. Drizzle your creation over some hot baked potatoes, or eat it out of a bowl with crackers on the side. 

Homemade Tortilla Soup 

In the mood for a soup with a bit of a kick? This recipe from Food and Wine contains just the right amount of spicy and hearty. It takes less than an hour to prepare the ingredients and cook them. Enjoy the soup with tortilla chips on the side and plenty of shredded cheese on top. 

Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch 

Stop eating Progresso from the can and boost your immune system with this protein-heavy, fresh chicken noodle soup. You'll have the whole thing prepared in five minutes, and the soup cooks in less than thirty, making it an easy option for weeknight dinners. 

Minestrone Soup 

This recipe from the Food Network is a go-to soup for many people who crave a little warmth during the autumn and winter months. Load it up with everything from zucchini to kidney beans for a treat that's even better than the one they serve at Olive Garden. 

BubbleLife Staff
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As temperatures drop here in Boston and winter weather begins to approach, it's smart to start prepping your home for the biting winds and snow that will eventually arrive. Spending just a little time preparing now can save you a world of trouble (and lots of money) once the weather does turn foul. 

If you're a homeowner in the Boston area, here are the five big steps you should take to prepare your home before the weather takes a turn. 

1. Have your roof inspected. 

The last thing you want is for your roof to give out once rain and snow start to weigh it down. Examine the roof yourself and look for signs of lost shingles, warped metal or debris. If necessary, contact a roofing company to have them conduct more serious inspections or repairs. 

2. Make sure your heater is working properly. 

Furnaces should be inspected by a professional HVAC technician at least once a year to ensure that everything is running safely and smoothly. You don't want your heater to give out in the dead of winter, so use the mild weather in autumn as an opportunity to give your heating equipment some much-needed attention. 

3. Fix any cracks or leaks in your house's walls. 

You'll spend an excessive amount of money heating your home this winter if there are cracks in your walls through which hot air can escape and cold air can seep inside. Seal your windows and doors tightly, and if you need to, patch up weak spots in your walls and ceilings. 

4. Double-check the status of your basement. 

Basement flooding is all too common during the winter months. Frigid temperatures often cause pipes to burst, causing serious damage if the issue isn't handled immediately. Consider installing a sump pump that will decrease the risk of a bad flood and protect your home in the event of pipe problems. 

5. Cut back overgrown trees and shrubbery. 

That branch stretching out over your bedroom ceiling might not seem dangerous, but when it's loaded down with snow or whipping around in a bad storm, it can wreak serious havoc. Get worrisome tree limbs and overgrown shrubbery under control before bad weather makes it even more difficult to do so. 

What steps are you taking to prepare your home? Share other pieces of advice in the comments. 

BubbleLife Staff
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As a community-driven publication, BubbleLife welcomes free submissions from all users so that we can cultivate a hyperlocal newsletter that truly reflects the Boston area. Right now, we want to hear about all of your Halloween parties, fall festivals, school events and more!

You can share your upcoming seasonal activities as articles, calendar events or classified ads that will be distributed to readers throughout the local area.

If you've never contributed to BubbleLife before, you can follow these easy instructions or visit our help page

1. Find your community here and visit the homepage of your city. 
2. Click on the yellow righthand button that reads "Share News, Events & Classifieds." 
3. Create a BubbleLife account or log into yours if you already have one. 
4. Fill out your form (article, event or classified ad) and click "submit." 

We look forward to finding out more about the events happening in our community. Thanks for using BubbleLife, and happy fall! 

BubbleLife Staff
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As the weeks pass by and Halloween approaches, we're all in the mood for a few good scares. Fortunately, there's no shortage of terrifying haunted houses in the area. Here are some of the ones you need to check out ASAP if you're in the mood for a frightening night. 

1. Barrett's Haunted Mansion
1235 Bedford St, Abington, MA 02351

Think you have the guts to brave this haunted attraction for twenty minutes or so? The ghouls at Barrett's pride themselves on upping the fear factor and keeping things interesting, so you'll never know what you're going to encounter in any of the attractions. Make your way through the outdoor Sanctuary, where the veil between the dead and living is thin. After, hurry through the haunted mansion experience, which is sure to ignite a flicker of terror. Tickets get you admission to all the attractions on the property and start at $30 per person. 

2. Chambers of Terror 

59 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970

Located in one of the most haunted cities near Boston, Chambers of Terror is chock-full of frightful fun. For under $15 per person, you can walk through a haunted house that's movie-quality and packed with nightmarish scenes. Demons, ghouls, psycho, murderous creatures; they're all lurking in the shadows at this popular attraction. 

3. Witch's Woods
79 Power Road, Westford, MA 01886

This Haunted Hayride and Halloween Screampark contains not one but seven haunted attractions that will test your nerves. Open Thursday through Sunday and Halloween night, Witch's Woods isn't for the faint of heart. Be sure to try out the Haunted Hayride, which drags you into werewolf-infested woods. Will the scent of your human flesh lead the night prowlers straight to you? Tickets are $38 per person and include admission to all the haunted attractions, as well as access to carnival rides, concessions and other exciting features. 

4. Ghost Ship Harbor 
United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum & The USS Salem, 551 South St, Quincy, MA 02169

Your ticket to Ghost Ship Harbor grants you access to three new haunted houses: Contagion, Plague, and Fear No Evil. A virus has taken over the ship, and now you can experience a totally immersive haunted attraction created by a paranormal investigator and a real-life psychic. Ghost Ship Harbor is only open on weekends and on Halloween night, so be sure to stop by before it's too late. Tickets start at $35 per person. 

5. Hysteria at Conners Farm 
30 Valley Rd, Danvers, MA 01923

If you're looking for a heart-stopping scare, check out Hysteria, which was rated as one of the top Screamparks in America a few years ago. You can also bring the whole family and experience the non-haunted World Famous Corn Maze, which spreads across seven acres and is just scary enough for people of all ages. Hysteria is open from dusk until 11 PM on weekend nights and Halloween, and tickets start at $30 for the haunted cornfield and $15 for the non-haunted maze. 

Which haunted attraction are you going to check out this year? Let us know in the comments.