Happy Halloween (Tag)

Tomorrow is HALLOWEEN!!

Tonight is trick-or-treating in my town & I’m so excited. I carved some pumpkins last night for the big day! Also, Saturday is our annual Halloween party so stay tuned for pics from that!

For today’s post I’m borrowing this Halloween tag from Stephanie. I’m adding to it, though.

Favorite Halloween movie? Beetlejuice. I don’t know if that’s considered Halloween or just creepy- but I love it.
Least Favorite Halloween movie? I don’t watch any slasher flicks, so I guess those would be my least favorite. Also… Hocus Pocus isn’t my favorite at. all. I know I’m in the minority here.

Favorite Halloween (or Halloween adjacent) song? Dave Matthews Band has a song called Halloween that I love.
Least Favorite Halloween song? I don’t really like Black Magic Woman or Somebody’s Watching Me. But I honestly don’t feel that strongly about it. Lol

Favorite candy? I don’t love candy but Twix bars, runts (the bananas!), and gobstoppers.
Least favorite candy? Candy corn is ew. Whoopers are ew. Peppermint Patties are ew. There’s a TON of candy I don’t like…

Favorite costume you’ve worn? Oh man… I don’t know. I’ve been Wednesday Addams & loved it. I was a Rockford Peach one year with Kyle as Jimmy Dugan. I’ve loved the majority of my costumes. My mom made me a princess dress one year- it was awesome. I’m SO excited for our costumes this year!!
Least favorite costume? My freshman year of college I went to a party and I was a “sexy librarian.” I was actually a mess and I HATE that I went with that. First because of the stupid “sexy” adjective but also because the costume suuuuuuuuuuucked. Shame on freshman Audrey.

Favorite Halloween related activity? As an adult, it’s our annual Halloween Party 🙂 I’ve always looked forward to decorating the house, trick-or-treating, and carving pumpkins.
Least favorite activity? I honestly thought I’d love passing out candy but our neighborhood is dull. Hopefully as they continue to develop it we get more kids!

Favorite Halloween decor item?  I just bought a vulture this year and I love him!! I named him Edgar. (I got him from Target.) I love all my decorations!
Least favorite…? Who are we kidding. I only keep the stuff I love and I love it all.

Favorite Halloween memory?  I remember getting dressed every year and setting out into the neighborhood with my parents and brother. We’d always run into friends in the neighborhoods behind our house, and then I’d creep around with them. We were the only kids on our street so our neighbors put together HUGE bags of candy and full size bars for us. It was great!
Also, my mom has always been SUPER into Halloween and I think that’s where I get it from. She still dresses up each year and goes all out in her 1st grade classroom!

I hope everyone has a safe & spooky & spectacular Halloween!

Share your favorite costumes or memories with me!

What I Read…

This month’s book roundup is a little light so I added a questionnaire at the end!

As always, linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!! Happy 4th Anniversary, ladies!!!

On a Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
★★★/5
Three women board the Titanic, survive the tragedy, and live to rebuild their lives, but the weight of their choices do not sink with the boat. Twenty years later fate reunites them & old secrets and stories are brought back to the surface. 
I enjoyed this book, but it didn’t blow my mind. I loved that all three women came from different walks of life and the author opened the book with stories of their lives before the ship sailed. I liked how the story was set up. I thought the jumping around was easy to follow and it definitely added something to the women’s stories. But there were things I didn’t like… First of all, I feel like there wasn’t much of a point. There was a weird focus on romance- the ending was especially odd. It was also kind of slow. I don’t mind a slow pace in a historical fiction, but it reminded me of a British drama- very slow and building, small twists but nothing mind blowing, polite with hints at impropriety. It was a good story about the Titanic and how people felt after they’d survived- I really enjoyed the historical aspect of it.
Should you read it? If you enjoy historical fiction, reading about the first half of the 20th century, and British dramas, yes.

An Act of Villainy by Ashley Weaver
★★★★★/5 
When amateur socialite detective Amory Ames and her husband Milo are asked to look into drama at a friend’s theater they are both suddenly swept up into a world of acting and mystery.
I love this series. Weaver’s most recent book, Villainy, was just released in September and it’s the perfect installment in the Amory story. (I actually rate this book a 4.75 but I round up.) I love that she’s *actually* working with her husband, not against him, and I also love that their marriage is slowly but surely improving. This book had a few repeat characters and many new ones. I didn’t love the theater setting but it didn’t detract from the story in any way. I 100% did NOT see the ending coming, although it’s similar to an Agatha Christie in that I don’t know if there’d been enough signs for me to guess the ending (thus the docked .25 star). I hope/can’t wait for the next Amory story!
Should you read it? Yes, but read from the start of the series.

As far as Erin’s 9.0 challenge goes…

|5 points| Freebie: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
|10 points| Starts with the letter N: Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen
|10 points| Has a mostly orange color: A Tyranny of Petticoats by various authors
|15 points| A book with an unlikable character: An Act of Villainy by Ashley Weaver
|20 points| From 100 books PBS calls “The Great American Read”HP & the Prisoner of Azkaban(illustrated version) by J.K. Rowling
|20 points| Related to water in the title: On A Cold Dark Sea by Elizabeth Blackwell
|25 points| Owned/TBR the longest (GoodReads): The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
|30 points| An emotion word in the title: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
|30 points| Each word in the title begins with the same letter: After Alice by Gregory Maguire
|35 points| A book featuring a character who shares your profession or similar one (i.e. does the same kind of thing as you do day to day): The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

I have 165 out of 200 points!


I snagged this tag from Sarah Elizabeth!

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
I’ll read any format, but I like hardbacks the best.

Amazon or brick and mortar?
Brick & Mortar for sure. I resort to Amazon when I need a Kindle book or a hard to find book.

Locally owned bookshop or big name chain store?
Any bookstore near me! I only have a locally owned bookshop in town, though.

Bookmark or dog-ear?
Usually a bookmark. I’ll dog-ear my own copies if absolutely necessary.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
Alphabetize by author.

Keep, throw away, or sell?
What monster throws books away?! Usually keep. Occasionally gift or donate.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Keep it.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
I don’t have an issue with the dust jacket. I leave it on.

Short story or novel?
I like both 🙂 It just depends on my mood.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
I don’t have much experience here, but I like anthologies.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Usually at chapter breaks. If the authors ends every chapter with a cliffhanger then eventually I stop when I’m tired.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
It was a dark and stormy night 😉 Not so much thrillers, but adventure or mystery!

Buy or borrow?
Both.

New or used?
Both.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
I like tidy endings. If I’m planning to pick up a sequel immediately, I’m ok with cliffhangers.

Morning, afternoon or nighttime reading?
I like to read on weekend mornings and weekday nights.

Single volume or series?
Both.

Favorite series?
Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles. When I was younger I like American Girl books and The Magic Tree House and books by Eva Ibbotson.

Favorite books read last year?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid), The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood), The Bear and the Nightingale (Katherine Arden), The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein), And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie), The Sisters Brothers (Patrick deWitt).

Favorite books of all time?
Alice in Wonderland & the Harry Potter series.


What did you read this month?

Life According to Steph

Spread a Little Sunshine…

When I first started blogging I got nominated for the Sunshine Award that floats around blogland every few months/years. I think it’s a cute little award because a) it means some blogger somewhere is thinking of you & your blog and b) you get to answer some tag questions (and who doesn’t enjoy that?!). Anyway, Bev from Confuzzledom tagged me for the award a few weeks ago ❤︎

sunshine blogger

The rules are… thank the blogger who tagged ya, answer your 11 questions, ask 11 more bloggers 11 new questions, and display the Sunshine Award. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

1) What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2018?
My two 5 star books of the year so far are HP & the Chamber of Secrets, which was a reread, and Three Dark Crowns.

2) If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be?
(In this imaginary scenario you have the perfect conditions to keep it happy and healthy and there is no danger of being eaten.)
Let’s be real… probably a fox. But I also would love to have a hawk. I think they’re stunning. And also a wolf. And a mountain lion. Pretty much any animal… (I’m a firm believer in letting wildlife be wild. I know you can own foxes and hawks. I never will.)

3) What food could you happily eat every day?
Ice cream. Rice. Chips & salsa. Not together, of course.

4) What is your favourite thing about the place you live?
I like the size of my town. I also love all the hills, trees, and farmland on the outskirts of town. And I love living in the Midwest.

5) Where were you born?
Born & raised in Ohio.

6) Are you eating or drinking anything right now?
Coffee, per usual. Lol

7) What is one talent you wish you had?
I wish I could play the piano. I also wish I could speak another language (German) fluently. Technically those are both things I could work on…

8) Do you have a favourite board game?
It used to be Life, but I really like any board game. Clue is another fav. And Trivial Pursuit. K hates playing board game, though.

9) What is your favourite thing about blogging?
All the friends I’ve made. I also love the creative outlet.

10) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Probably chocolate covered crickets in 6th grade biology. But I’ve also had snails, turtle soup, alligator bites, and a small piece of a dog treat. *shrug*

11) If you won a large sum of money, what’s the first thing you would do?
In this order… buy land in the country and open a no kill shelter/sanctuary for dogs & cats & farm animals, build Kyle a large garage and let him fill it with cars he loves, pay off debt for my parents, in-laws, and siblings.

Those were fun! Thanks again, Bev!!

Eleven bloggers is a lot to tag so I’m going to nominate/tag some friends who I know enjoy questions like these. But please play along, too, if you want to answer them! Don’t be shy!

Alright Tanya (A Mindful Migration) & Stephanie (Not Entirely Perfect) & Rebecca Jo (Knit by God’s Hand) & Nadine (Life by Nadine Lynn), here are your questions:

1) If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with that time?
2) If you were transported to another decade, which decade would you choose?
3) What’s something you wish you knew more about?
4) Would you rather live in a castle, mountain cottage, seaside bungalow, or Beverly Hills mansion?
5) What’s a food that you hated as a kid and love as an adult?
6) Are there any “mythical creatures” (big foot, unicorns, ghosts) that you believe in?
7) What is something about you that people think is weird?
8) If you had to move out of your city/town, where would you choose to live?
9) What’s your favorite television channel?
10) What is your favorite dessert food?
11) What’s your favorite kind of writing to do? (i.e. blog post, creative, letter, etc.)

If you ladies don’t want to answer the questions I will definitely not be heartbroken 🙂 All for fun.

First and Foremost

Hi! I missed y’all 🙂 Coming back strong with a fun little “firsts” tag that I borrowed from Stephanie! I was driving my parents nuts with all these, “What was my first xyz…?” questions.

What was your first word? My mom thinks it was “Nan.” My dad and his siblings called their grandma (my great-grandma) Nan. According to the story I was told, I tried to call my dad’s mom Nan. Since that was bound to get confusing, I was forced to figure out a different name. Some how the term “Numna” (num-nuh) came about. And that’s what everyone has called my grandma since I could talk. Yay for being grandkid #1!
Do you still talk to your first love?  Not really. We’re Facebook friends and I see him around maybe once a year, but I don’t go out of my way to talk to him.

What was your first alcoholic drink?  Wine coolers. I’d tasted my parents’ beer/wine before, but my first intentional just-for-me drink was a wine cooler.

What was your first job?  My first real collect-a-paycheck job was at Quiznos. And after a month I got fired. Lol

First pet?  Bruno, who was a very good boy.

What was your first car? My darling yellow Volkswagen Beetle. His name was Lenny and I totaled him four years and three days after I got him.

Who was the first person to text you today?  Aubrey! Saying how excited she was for Kayla and I to come hangout in Cleveland with her. (I answered this question last Thurs.)

Who was the first person you thought of this morning? Enzo, because he kicked me in the throat at 2 am.

Who was your first grade teacher?  Mrs. Turner.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?  My dad’s pretty sure my first plane ride was to Boston. My aunt & uncle lived there at the time and they took me there to meet them.

Who was your first best friend and do you still talk?  I had two best friends growing up, but we were friends because our moms were friends. The first bff I picked for myself was a girl named Lindsey. We still talk. We went to a country superfest last year together.
Lindsey is on the right.

Where was your first sleep over?  Ever? Probably my grandparents’ house. I also remember staying with my aunt and uncle (not the ones in Boston) when I was a kid. They were in their twenties and we’d play Nintendo and Sega way past my bedtime.

What was the first concert you ever went to? A Fallout Boy, Hawthorne Heights, From First to Last, and All American Rejects concert. I was a freshman in high school.

What was your first broken bone?  I snapped my tibia and fibula when I was 7. That hurt a bit.

What was your first piercing?  I’ve never had anything pierced.

What was the first foreign country you’ve gone to?  Switzerland when I was six.

What was the first movie you remember seeing?  I think my parents took me to see The Little Mermaid in theaters, but I looked it up and it came out in ’89… so I don’t know. Air Bud was the first movie I ever cried during.

When was your first detention?  Six grade, I think. I was a good student, but I forgot to do my homework sometimes. I remember getting at least two detentions in middle school for incomplete work. In high school I got caught skipping class and got in-school suspension for two days. Lol. I was a good student, just defiant.

Who was your first roommate?  Kristene. We went to hs together (and elementary & middle school) so when we picked the same college we decided to room together our freshman year.

Kristene is in black. I’m the moron with ORANGE hair. Woof.

What was the first sport you were involved in?  Frickin’ T-ball. Then I went on to do baseball/softball for 8 more years. Woof.

What is the first thing you do when you get home?  Let the pups out, comb through the mail, and then sit on the ground with Ly and E to play with them and snuggle them.

When was your first kiss?  My freshman year of high school, toward the end of the year. It was actually a pretty good one (although K is my favorite person to kiss 😉 lol).

I love that pig picture so much, lol. I think someone in my family made me that costume.

Ok, now you answer some of these! What was your first plane ride or concert? Does anyone get anything other than their ears pierced first?! (Besides nothing at all, lol.)

The Boy Who Lived… ⚡

The stress levels around these parts are unreal. If you follow me on IG, you saw we listed our house last week. We got an offer within 2 days of it being online and we accepted it on Saturday. We’re pumped, but also stressed because inspections/appraisals/financing/buying a new home/money/moving/packing/fencing/fees/etc./etc./etc.

Also, as I mention all the time, summer is our busy season professionally. *groan*

So today I’m doing something fun that I can’t believe I’ve never done before: A Harry Potter Tag. (Thanks to Stephanie and Jenn for the questions!)

1. What is your favorite book?

The Prisoner of Azkaban. (& the Deathly Hallows)
2. What is your favorite film?
Order of the Phoenix. Although I think the Half-Blood Prince is hilarious up until the cave scene.


3. What is your least favorite book?
Goblet of Fire. I feel like most people say this one or OtP.
4. What is your least favorite film?
Probably Goblet of Fire, but it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen it.
5. Parts of the books/films that made you cry?
Probably every other scene for some reason or another. Molly v. Bellatrix, Hedwig’s final scene, the death of the twin, Dudley and Harry’s goodbye, Narcissa protecting her baby bear Draco & lying to Voldy. Also, Harry rescuing Ginny in the 2nd book always gets me since I know their end story 🙂 There are many, many more moments.
6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?
Movie George Weasley. Book Lupin. (Is that weird…?)


7. Who is your favorite character?
Book Ginny. Movie Molly. I like the twins, Luna, and Tonks in both forms, too.
8. Who is your least favorite character?
Umbridge is garbage. Duh.
But also Dumbledore. (Go ahead, burn me at the stake.) Snape also never won me over. And Wormtail creeped me ouuuuut.
9. What is your favorite quote?
I can’t even begin to answer this- book or movie quotes.


10. What is your least favorite quote?
“I must not tell lies.” (Crazy bitch…)
11. What would your Patronus be?
Pottermore said a basset hound, but I think it’d be a fox 🙂 Or a hawk.
12. What would your Boggart be?
A dinosaur riding a giant horse.
13. What would you rather have – the elder wand, the resurrection stone or the invisibility cloak?
The cloak.  Duhhh.
14. Which house would you be in?
Ravenclaw. (When Pottermore was revamped it re-housed me into Gryffindor. But nah.)


15. If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would you play?
I think chaser. Or I’d chill in the stands 😉
16. Which class would be your favorite?
Either Transfiguration or Care of Magical Creatures.
17. If you could bring one character back to life, who would it be?
Do Tonks and Lupin count as one…? (Sorry Hedwig/Fred/Dobby) I freaking hate that they died. Or maybe Sirius. He still had a lot of fight in him.
18. What would your job be in the magical world?
I think I’d want to be a professor at Hogwarts.
19. If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?
Dame Maggie Smith & Emma Watson. I typically consider people to be people regardless of their “job”, but those ladies are so badass I think I’d faint.
20. Were you happy with the ending? 
Yes. But I hated the spin “The Cursed Child” put on it. I refuse to believe Ron and Hermione had such a common and predictable love. And Ginny is better than that play gave her credit for.

Annnnd there we have it.