The Year Without A Halloween Party

If you’re new around here, you might not know that Halloween is kind of a big deal. It is my favorite non-religious holiday (although if we get down to the nitty-gritty, paganism is a religion and Samhain is a festival to celebrate the harvest…. AND Halloween is All Saints’ Eve which falls on the day before the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day… so can we really call it non-religious? I digress).

Anyway… we typically celebrate big around Halloween. For example:
2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | (I didn’t post the 2013 party)

Since we said “I do”, we’ve been hosting Halloween parties. It’s expected. People start asking me in August what the theme is going to be. And while I absolutely love that and look forward to the party every year, this year it felt forced and exhausting.

So I decided to cancel it. (I’d even made the FB event already.)

As soon as I did I had a few friends reach out to make sure I was ok. I had a few people tell me they were glad I took the year off. Some people were sad to not be getting together.

I felt very blah about it. Which kind of let me know it was the right decision. If you’re not excited about a voluntary just-for-fun party, why are you throwing it?

I love having people over and planning parties and celebrating Halloween with costumes and food and games, but… none of it sounded fun to me this year. I’m worried about COVID. I’m tired from chasing a toddler. I’m swamped at work, buried in home projects, and deadass tired by 7pm.

There is a small part of me that’s sad I cancelled. It doesn’t really feel like Halloween this year. Maybe that will change when we dress Maddie up on Saturday to trick-or-treat, but I didn’t make a puking pumpkin or carve a jack-o-lantern or buy costumes for the dogs. It’s a weird year.

And also, after last year’s party, I came down with COVID. (I don’t know that it was the party- we were outside the whole time, food was individually packaged, and I was the only one of all the guests to get it.) It made me very hesitate about getting people together. And I still feel that way.

It’s difficult to make a decision that might let others down (or feels like it might). Maybe past guests are thrilled to not have to come to another Halloween party at our house. Maybe it won’t be missed. I don’t know. But it did feel a little selfish to cancel.

I know it was not. I know our friends will celebrate the holiday in their own way this weekend, and we will take Maddie around the neighborhood, and next year we can chose to have a party or not. But it’s odd to break an 8 year tradition. And there’s my explanation for why there will be no Halloween post.

And now let’s switch topics. Tell me something fun you’re doing or did for Halloween!

-Aud

Spooky Reads for Spooky Season

I’m not a book aficionado or a full-time reader, but I’ve read a handle of stories that go great with a fresh PSL, cozy blanket, and fall-themed candle.

I love a good spooky story. This is not a comprehensive list, but these are good ones to get you started. Some are for kids, some are classics, and some are YA or adult reads. I’ll note what they are & how many pages. That helps me when deciding what I have time for during a book break!

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Childrens / 208 pgs / Goodreads
Surprising creepy for a kids book, but that’s how Dahl is.

The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Middle Grade / 465 pgs / Goodreads
This is such a fun read! (And a series!)

Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson
Middle Grade / 186 pgs / Goodreads
One of my favorite books as a kid!

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Young Adult / 7 books / Goodreads
This series is good for any time of year, but especially cozy season.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Young Adult / 162 pgs / Goodreads

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Young Adult / 182 pgs / Goodreads

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by
Classic / 139 pgs / Goodreads

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Classic / 464 pgs / Goodreads
I did not enjoy this story, but the setting is spooky enough to be included.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Young Adult / 145 pgs / Goodreads
I didn’t love this one, but it is a Halloween story.

The Whisper Man by Alex North
Thriller / 355 pgs / Goodreads
A very eerie and dark thriller.

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox
Paranormal Fantasy / 364 pgs / Goodreads
A slow but spooky historical fiction.

The Darkling Bride by Laura Andersen
Gothic Mystery / 368 pgs / Goodreads
Another haunting (and relatively slow) mystery.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
Magical Realism / 336 pgs / Goodreads
Not spooky, but hauntingly beautiful.

Next up for me is The Ex Hex. What do you like to read in the fall?

-Aud

Hello You Snuggly, Cozy, Warm, Spooky Season!

Fall always makes me want to write, even when I’m technically on a hiatus 🍁

This is Moo’s first fall! And I turn 30 next month! Despite 2020’s best efforts, we’re going to enjoy these last three months. (I’m ignoring the fact that the election is happening during this time- not neglecting to vote, though!) (Also ignoring the fact that my wallet was stolen from my car yesterday. Grrrrr.)

I dyed my hair purple for the spooky season. It took a few attempts but I’ve got it where I want it and our shower is 100% purple now. (From washing- I had it professionally done.) It is what it is.

We’re still having our annual Halloween party!! I’m excited. We’ve revamped it for COVID, of course. It will be outside in the backyard, lots of social distancing, masks and hand sanitizer available. Instead of an evening party we’re doing a kid-friendly afternoon bon fire. I’m pretty snobby about COVID protocol so you can rest assured that it’s going to either be safe or cancelled. Ha.

Speaking of Halloween, I have a pretty good idea of what our first family-of-5 costume will be… We’re not going to take M trick-or-treating (because safety and because she has no clue), but if our town decides to still have trick or treating I saw this cool idea in Parents magazine (I’m a real mom if I reference Parents magazine, right?) where you decorate the front door and post treat bags there. I’d still sit on the other side of the porch to ensure greedy little fingers only take one 😉

My bday is mid-October and we haven’t made any real plans yet… What I want to do and what we’re able to do/comfortably doing doesn’t really line up so we haven’t decided on anything. Hopefully we figure it out soon…


I’ll be around a little more in the next few weeks. (Fall gives me that creative spark ✨) Next Monday I’m remembering Lylee a year after her death, on Thursday I’m recapping my 3Q goals & sharing my new ones, & then the following week is SUYB day!

So I guess I’ll see you around 🧡

Unconventional Halloween Movies

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of horror or violent films. I don’t mind creepy or sinister, but seeing people mutilate and harm other people isn’t my cup of tea. But I freakin’ LOVE Halloween. I love fake blood on the bathroom mirror, skulls on the mantel, bottles of ogre teeth and witches brew on the bar cart. LOVE. IT.

And I love watching films that put me in that spooky mood, even if they’re not traditionally Halloween movies. (Some of these are, though. I’ve written about my favorite Halloween movie before here.) This is the unconventional list that I’m planning to tackle this year!

Beetlejuice is one of my favorite films of all time. I’ll watch it all year long. | Every year around my birthday I watch the film Clue. I don’t know why I started this little tradition, but I did and I love doing it 🙂 | I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Rocky Horror Picture Show all the way through but it’s one of my mom’s favorite films. This year I plan to watch the whole thing. | I watched The Haunted Mansion a looong time ago- probably when it first came out. I love that it reminds me of the ride at Disney World! | Sleepy Hollow is such a strange film. It’s definitely not my favorite on the list but it’s spooky without being too gory. | Admittedly, Hocus Pocus isn’t my favorite Halloween movie (gasp), but I know it’s a classic and I still watch it almost every year. | I know Coraline is a kids movie but it freaks. me. out. Perfect for Halloween time. | I’ve never seen The Monster Squad but it looked cheesy and classic so I added it to the list.

I added some not-so-spooky but still fall-flavored films, too. Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my all time favorite films ever in the history of me. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It has nothing to do with Halloween and it’s the most adorable, quirky, witty movie ever. | The Blind Side is one of those movies that sucks me in every. single. time. I always laugh and cry and worry like I’m watching it for the first time. | Last but certainly not least, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a classic and deserves to be watched every single year 🙂

**You can find The Monster Squad on Hulu & Coraline on Netflix. There are also a bunch of cute monster/Halloween kids movies on Netflix, too.

What movies are you planning to watch this fall?

The Fall Bucket List 2018

One Monday morning, not too long ago, a co-worker arrived & I greeted him cheerfully. He gave me a sideways look because a) it was a Monday and b) it was morning. Then I saw a lightbulb go off and he laughed and said, “You’re in a great mood because it’s cold outside.”

YOU BET YOUR ASS, I AM.

And that is my classy intro to this year’s Fall Bucket List.

This year’s list feels a little light but life has been busy and I won’t pretend like I’d enjoy filling all my free time with traditional fall activities. I tried to stick to stuff that I either enjoy doing or stuff that really need done.

Outside Stuff

  • Go to at least one festival
  • Take a vacation
  • Family Thanksgiving trip to Williamsburg
  • Get some mums
  • Get some pumpkins
  • Carve some pumpkins
  • Do a fall craft
  • Take a dog or two on a fall hike

Inside Stuff

  • Gather the necessary items for our costumes…
  • Host our annual Halloween party!
  • Decorate the house
  • Start & finish a project I’m working on with K
  • Try out three new recipes for dinner
  • Bake a new fall cookie
  • Drinks lots of apple cider
  • Meet my cousin-in-law’s new baby! (She’s due early Oct.)
  • Celebrate my bffs’ birthday!! (One in Sept. & one in Nov.)
  • Find a new fall cocktail to make at home
  • Get a PSL
  • Get 50% of my Christmas shopping done
  • Paint the house
  • Hang 90% of all art/pics once house is painted
  • MAKE. ICE. CREAM.(If I don’t do it this time around I’m selling my ice cream machine)
  • Scrapbook Year 4
  • Order Year 5 photos
  • Continue working on office & emptying my parents’ basement

Do I already have some things crossed off? Yes. Am I ashamed that I jumped the gun? Hellz no.

I’m working on my overhaul goals, too. This month has been… rough. But I’ll recap that during Kristen’s link-up at the start of October.

What’s on your fall bucket list?