blogtober

What I Love About Halloween

Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday for many reasons. As a young girl, I would sit under this maple tree in our front yard & read books like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark or Goosebumps. It wasn’t just the fall season I romanticized – Halloween has been like my Christmas. And here’s why…

It Conjures Up Wonderful Childhood Memories

Some of my best memories revolve around Halloween. From Halloween slumber parties with dancing & games to helping my dad carve pumpkins & watching It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown & Hocus Pocus with my family ; we definitely had a lot of spooktacular memories. One of my favorite memories was going to this local pumpkin patch / garden shop & going through their haunted house. I remember dressing up in costume with my cousin & “helping” make the haunted house even better by scaring people as they walk inside.

A Stereotypical Dark Holiday Actually is Joyous

Although Halloween is seen as a rather scary & dark holiday, I find it to be very positive & joyous. I mean, who doesn’t love coming home with a sleeping bag full of candy? The nostalgic feeling of pouring the entirety on the living room floor & asking my brother to trade all the Reese’s peanut butter cups with me. Those were the days. The holiday allowed me to really bond with family & all sharing the similar love for the holiday. Even as we got older, my parents, brother & I loved going to our local historical town & get lunch or go to the local coffee shop & watch all the trick or treaters & elaborate costumes. I hope to continue this with my future family.

There Aren’t High Expectations

Other holidays like Christmas hold so many expectations & underlying stress. Halloween was never that way. We didn’t have to please anyone else & we could be as low key or extra as we wanted. If we wanted to just stay in & watch spooky movies, we could most certainly do that!

Dressing Up & Sparking Imagination

Being able to dress up like anyone we want ( to an extent) & be imaginative with our looks is one of the reasons I love the holiday. As I got older, my makeup game improved & started to really come up with elaborate looks. Especially when we started going to the Ren Fest, I loved doing multicolored eyeshadows, false lashes & gems on my face. I mean, you could do that on a regular day but I don’t think my 9-5 would approve.

It Fits Everyone’s Vibe

There’s something for everyone on Halloween. You don’t just have to love scary movies or gore to appreciate the holiday. I personally, am not the biggest fan of scary movies. I embrace the things I do enjoy & ignore the rest.

The Weather

Now, as a kid I used to hate having to wear a coat trick or treating. It would ruin the costume, you know? But overall – fall is my favorite time of year because I can be fashionable & I won’t freeze my ass off. The colors of the tees also help with the overall Halloween aesthetic. If I had to choose a season that best described me, I’d pick Halloween season.

Fall Activities

There’s so many fun things to do ine the fall. Last year, I shared my fall bucket list & those activities are still my favorites. Going to Ren Fest & drinking Meade, going to the pumpkin patch, eating apple cider donuts & going through corn mazes never get old. I also love going to haunted forests or houses & ghost tours in my local area. Roasting marshmallows by the bonfire, watching spooky flicks, & carving pumpkins. I also would LOVE to visit Salem one day. That is definitely on my bucket list.

Embracing The Spooky Side of Things

I’m the type of person who loved all things spooky 24/7 but Halloween is the one time of year where being weird & out there is kind of cool! If you believe in ghosts, this is the time of year to really immerse yourself in the history of things & stories. It’s fun to believe in the unbelievable.

Pumpkins Galore

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice lattes – All Things Pumpkin all the time! I love decorating our front porch with them, carve them in cool designs & just the aesthetic of it all.

Ghost Stories & Urban Legends

Like I said, embracing spooky season is so much fun. Reading about ghost stories and urban legends is something I personally enjoy. Whether you think these stories are fake or not, they are still entertaining.

-B

blogtober, books

22 Books To Read This Fall

With spooky season quickly approaching – I figured it was the perfect time to share a list of thrillers, mysteries & eery page turners for the months ahead. A few I have read & 100 percent recommend, while others on this fall’s TBR. Here are books to read this fall season:

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

Synopsis: Six friends.
One college reunion.
One unsolved murder.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent. Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year.
But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

Verity [ Collector’s Edition ] by Colleen Hoover

Synopsis: Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. * exclusive new chapter included*

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

Synopsis: Gwyn Jones is perfectly happy with her life in Graves Glen. She, her mom, and her cousin have formed a new and powerful coven; she’s running a successful witchcraft shop, Something Wicked; and she’s started mentoring some of the younger witches in town.

Payback’s A Witch by Lana Harper

Synopsis: Set during October in a witchy Midwestern town, it focuses around three female witches who were all hurt by the same man, also a witch, and who now want to get their revenge by ensuring he doesn’t win the tournament that determines which family gets a magical boost.

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Synopsis: Our Crooked Hearts follows seventeen-year-old Ivy in the present day as encounters a stranger on a road in the middle of the night. This mystery triggers a series of strange events, leading her to question everything around her mother and their relationship.

A Stranger in The House by Shari Lapena

Synopsis: Karen Krupp is left with a bad concussion after crashing her car into a pole while fleeing from an abandoned restaurant in a sketchy neighbourhood in a town in upstate New York. She claims she has no memory of what happened, and her doctors acknowledge that this could happen, but add that she might regain her memory.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Synopsis: When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Synopsis: Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Synopsis: It’s a “dark and twisted love story about a man who writes a letter to his wife every year on their anniversary, even after she dies”. (The book is interspersed with letters that written to Adam on their anniversary, but never given to him, inspired by his Rock Paper Scissors screenplay.)

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Synopsis: If it Bleeds is a collection of four unrelated novellas. The first two, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone and The Life of Chuck, both deal with characters approaching the end of their lives. The third story, the titular If It Bleeds, is basically a mini-sequel to The Outsider with Holly Gibney as the main character. The last one, Rat, is about a writer who strikes a Faustian bargain in order to write a novel.

Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson

Synopsis:  Turns out that reading nothing but true crime isn’t exactly conducive to modern dating—and one woman is going to have to learn how to give love a chance when she’s used to suspecting the worst. PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Synopsis: Alternating between Maggie’s uneasy homecoming and chapters from her father’s book, Home Before Dark is the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them—even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting.

The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager

Synopsis: When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.

Horrid by Katrina Leno

Synopsis: As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response.

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Synopsis: Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon. They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Synopsis: In life, not every sin goes unpunished. For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.

Sign Here by Claudia Lux

Synopsis: A darkly humorous, surprisingly poignant, and utterly gripping debut novel about a guy who works in Hell (literally) and is on the cusp of a big promotion if only he can get one more member of the wealthy Harrison family to sell their soul.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacey Willingham

Synopsis: When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Haunting Adeline by H.D Carlton

Synopsis: Adeline is a writer who moves into her grandmothers house a year after her passing. It’s a creepy old house that hides the story of her great grandmothers murder. Adeline finds her great grandmother’s diaries and finds out that her great grandmother not only had a stalker but had a sordid affair with him.

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough

Synopsis: In this twisty, paranoia-inducing tale, a woman anxiously awaits her 40th birthday—but not for the reason you might think. When Emma’s mother turned 40, she lost her mind…and now, as Emma’s own 40th birthday approaches, she begins to fear the very same thing might be happening to her.

Long Live The Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw

Synopsis: Jack and Sally are “truly meant to be” … or are they? Sally Skellington is the official, newly-minted Pumpkin Queen after a whirlwind courtship with her true love, Jack, who Sally adores with every inch of her fabric seams — if only she could say the same for her new role as Queen of Halloween Town. 

It Starts With Us By Colleen Hoover

An extra book to the list for those who aren’t into spooky season. Coming in October…

Synopsis: Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.

Let me know which books you plan to read during the fall season. I’m always looking to add more to my TBR.

-B

blogtober

Blogtober 101: The Do’s & Dont’s + Post Ideas

It’s that time of year again where bloggers take part in the daily 31 post challenge in October & honestly – the sooner you prepare the better. I personally, will not be participating this year but you can always reminisce on last year’s posts. Since many bloggers take part in this posting challenge, I wanted to share some insight to Blogtober including a few do’s & dont’s as well as post ideas.

What Is Blogtober?

During the month of October, bloggers in the community share a blog post every single day for 31 days. Seems like a lot right? It definitely is! Although I successfully completed the challenge last year, it was a lot of work & took early preparation. Typically, bloggers will post Halloween or fall related content [ but you can of course post whatever you’d like ]. And if you are someone who finds the idea of posting daily for a month to be rather stressful, there are no REAL rules. You can create a schedule that works best for you. This year, I plan to post once or twice a week in October, sharing Halloween & fall content as well as my usual intentional living posts. Last year, I shared a recap on my first Blogtober, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already.

Now, that you’ve decided to participate in this challenge, the preparation is where the real fun [ or stress ] begins. Here are a few suggestions to make your Blogtober experience more of a breeze.

Prepare Early As Possible

Last year, I started writing fall content in July! In reality, 31 posts [ if you fully commit ] is a lot of content to write! I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed & stressed. The only issue I had with this was I would sometimes re-read a post a month later & not be satisfied with the idea. So, keep that in mind as well. You don’t want to write all of those posts months in advance & then want to start from scratch. Be sure the ideas you have will fit your future self. Anytime I had an idea, I would write them down & then schedule it accordingly. This year, I’ll be re-sharing a few old posts that needed edited & revamped. So, if you do run out of ideas, you can always look back at old posts for inspiration.

Guest Post & Collaborate With Other Bloggers

To help lessen the load, why not connect with other bloggers in the community. Open the floor up to collaboration or guest posts. This is a great way for other bloggers to expand their audience as well as give your typing hands a break. One of my favorite posts I did last year was share other blogger’s ghost stories / encounters. Whether you believe in the unthinkable or not, it was tons of fun to read through these stories & befriend other bloggers in the community. If say, a blogger has traveled to Salem Mass. & you haven’t yet – you can have them share their experience in a spooky travel guide. It’s always interesting to see other people’s takes on the season / holiday [ especially from those living all around the world ].

Get Outside Your Niche

Blogtober is the perfect time of year to get outside your comfort zone / niche. It’s a great time to experiment on topics you usually wouldn’t write about & to just have fun with it! I personally love sharing Halloween themed tags or share my favorite Halloween movies / tv shows as well as my general love for the spooky holiday. I love branching out from the usual decluttering posts, & sharing more about myself. It’s a wonderful way to connect more with your audience & allow them to see the writer behind the blog more authentically.

Have Fun!

Most importantly, these challenges are supposed to be fun & a way to connect with the writing community. So, don’t stress too much on being perfect or posting daily. My favorite part of Blogtober is meeting new bloggers & widening my audience. Be sure to support those who are participating by commenting on their posts, sharing them on social media & even advertising them in a future blog post. Let me know in the comments if you’ll be participating in Blogtober this year!

Post Ideas….

Before I go, I wanted to share a few blog post ideas to get you started. Also, be sure to check out last year’s 31 Blogtober Blog Posts for even more ideas! Also, if you have topics to share, be sure to include them in the comments below.

Local Haunted Spots & Their Origin Stories

Spookiest Places From All Over The World

The Blogtober Tag

Top Halloween Themed Movies / TV Shows in 2022

Halloween Costumes Throughout The Years

Halloween Through The Decades: Share Your Childhood Memories

Monster Mash Bash: Fall / Halloween Recipes

Share A Personal Ghost / Scary Story

Couple, Family or Single Costume Ideas

Why You Love / Dislike Halloween

If you decide to choose any of the topics suggested above, be sure to link back to this post!

-B