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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

We are in the middle of the winter season, and I am counting down the days until spring. As you know, dear reader, I have to work hard to fight off the winter doldrums. This winter season seems particularly harder than past seasons with continuing to deal with COVID conditions and the aftermath of Ida on top of a holiday season that flew by so quickly my face feels chapped from the wind burn. I know, a bit melodramatic. However, the festive season came and went with a flurry of activity, followed by more flurries of activity, leaving Kelsi and I no time to really stop to catch our breath. Hence, why my Christmas Fun List wrap up post is late. I almost decided to scrap it; however, my bestie Shelly encouraged me to write it because, after all, someone might want to read it. Without further ado, this is how I spent my Christmas season.

MOVIES: Classic Christmas

In the month of December, I watch 24 Christmas related films, 12 are Christmas Horror and 12 are what I consider Classic Christmas. Kelsi and I already wrapped our Christmas Horror movies topped nicely with a bow. You can check out my blog post and YouTube chat with Kelsi if you are interested in the horror films we watched earlier in the Christmas season.

I had a terrific time watching the movies on my Classic Christmas list. My top three films were all movies I have seen several times but really, really love. To be fair, I generally watch Love Actually and Elf every Christmas, so I probably should not even include them on my annual fun list. The Holiday is a delightful romantic comedy and was fun to revisit this year, especially because of the dreamy Jude Law. Surprisingly, this year was the first time watching It’s a Wonderful Life. This FABULOUS movie is about being grateful for your blessings, not taking your life for granted, and getting second chances.

All four movies are 5 stars in my book. I could watch them over and over, and it would never get dull. Pottersville: A Magical Life rounded out my Top 5 films with 4 stars. It was my first watch and definitely a good time. The main character Maynard gets mistaken for Bigfoot after he is caught wallowing in moonshine and cavorting around town in the middle of the night. The Holiday Calendar (another Hallmark-esque romantic comedy), right on the heels of Pottersville, is about a magical Advent calendar that shows the main character Abby that dreams can come true in unexpected ways. The Night Before (adult humor), The Christmas Chronicles (kids catching Santa off guard), and Rise of the Guardians (holiday representatives come together to solve a problem) all received 4 stars as well for pure enjoyment. Rise of the Guardians was another rewatch and every bit enjoyable as the first time I watched it with Andrew in the theater many moons ago. My 3-star movies included Holidate (more adult humor mixed with a Hallmark vibe), Surviving Christmas with the Relatives (British comedy), and Unaccompanied Minors (kids catching airport officials off guard). Unaccompanied Minors replaced Almost Christmas since I could not get the DVD in time from Netflix. All of the Classic Christmas movies on my list this year were enjoyable, and I would recommend all twelve of them.

Books/Short Stories

I read my first Fear Street book, Silent Night, by R.L. Stine. Kelsi gifted me a copy for Christmas. I loved the thematic setting at Christmastime blended with a mystery, murder, and mayhem. The other books that I read this season were Robot Santa (sequel to Santa’s Twin) by Dean Koontz, Wraith (prequel to NOS4A2) by Joe Hill, and He Sees You When He’s Creepin’: Tales of Krampus (collection of 12 short stories) edited by Kate Wolford. All of my books received 5 stars

because they are all awesome, in my opinion. What a great reading season! Kelsi and I talk more in depth about our books and movies in our wrap up chat which you can watch at your leisure. I have included our video below for your viewing pleasure.

Thematic Potpourri

In addition to amazing books and several terrific movies, I wore Christmas socks and pins. I added gnome socks and a Grinch t-shirt to my Christmas clothing collection. On the subject of gnomes, I bought a few to add to my Christmas decor. I am officially obsessed with GNOMES. My affinity for these small mythical creatures happened quite by accident when I found a couple of them at Hobby Lobby to add to my autumn decor.

I am also collecting little birds that reflect the season. You will notice them popping up here and there in my pictures. I received one a few Christmases ago, and since this last fall (again shopping for autumn decor), I am noticing them for other holiday seasons. In addition to buying Christmas decor, I bought Christmas cards to send out to my family and friends. I love sending cards to my favorite people for Christmas and for other special occasions. Funny enough, I picked out my cards way before I knew I was joyspotting in 2022.

No fun list is complete without thematic adult beverages and food. Unfortunately, I did not do any baking this year for Christmas. However, I enjoyed two new cocktails. The first concoction was a Mistletoe Margarita that I made for our family get-together on my husband’s side.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Silver Tequila
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 cups Cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 cup Lime Juice
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to large pitcher.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour into individual glasses over ice.

That is sugar on the rim of the glass.

The second concoction was a Cherry Ripe Martini that Kerry, Shelly’s husband, made for my hubby and me on Christmas evening, one of our favorite drink nights to spend with awesome friends. This year, my two boys came over and hung out with all of us.

Ingredients

  • 30 ml White Creme De Cacoa
  • 30 ml Cherry Liquor
  • 20 ml Vodka
  • 100 ml Coconut Milk

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to large pitcher.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour into individual martini glass over drizzled Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

I also bought a “happy” for myself. OwlCrate, a YA book subscription box I have purchased in the past, offered a 12 Days of OwlMas box for the holiday season, and I ordered one. Starting on Monday, 13 December, I opened one gift each day for twelve days leading up to Christmas Day. I recorded my unboxing each day through pictures on my Instagram account (katherineloyacano). It inspired me to make a 12 Days of Christmas “happy” for Kelsi with all kinds of little gifts related to pop culture that she loves. I had a blast gathering the gifts, wrapping them, and writing out the clues on each tag. I love this project so much that I want to do it again next year and plan to expand it. Plus, I have all year to gather the little gifts instead of just a couple of weeks.

December was a fun-filled month that made my life merry and bright. I spent time with amazing people, participated in awesome activities, and received some great gifts. As I mentioned before, dear reader, creating a fun list for a holiday, a month, or even a season adds a happiness boost to your life. It can be as simple or as extravagant as you want it to be, but the goal is to add a little extra fun to your existing plans. Stay warm, dear reader. Happiness!

“Christmas,” says Santa,” is about living your life with love and a spirit of giving, friendship, compassion, peace, and bright hope.” ~ Dean Koontz, Robot Santa: The Further Adventures of Santa’s Twin

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Kelsi and I have neatly wrapped up watching the Christmas horror movies on our Christmas Fun Lists this year. When creating our lists, we lamented that we watched all the best Christmas horror movies in 2020. She fared far better than me this holiday season because I chose quite a few duds and barely eeked out a Top 5 list.

The Mothman Prophecies, which was a rewatch for me, topped my list. If you are a fan of The X-Files, urban legends, or Richard Gere, you may enjoy this slow burn movie, dear reader. A reporter’s personal tragedy leads him to the discovery of a mysterious entity in a small West Virginia town. Second runner-up is The Lodge, another slow burn that is dark and disconcerting. It is a psychological horror film about siblings marred by a sudden tragedy that leads to disturbing consequences.

The third movie on my list is a Christmas comedy-horror film that took me by surprise. Mercy Christmas is a “when something seems too good to be true, it is” kind of story with an unexpected twist and social commentary. The protagonist, Michael Briskett, is a likeable but lonely guy, who is spending yet another Christmas alone when a beautiful co-worker invites him for Christmas dinner at her family’s home. Horror ensues shortly after he arrives and serves the perfect blend of bloodshed, brutality, and black comedy.

P2 took fourth place. This horror thriller fairs well as a one-and-done film for me. It is a predictable story about a workaholic who quickly learns that working late on Christmas Eve can be deadly. Finally, Dead End snags the fifth place spot on my list. This is another slow burn horror film about a dysfunctional family going through an existential crisis after taking a wrong turn on their way to a family member’s home to celebrate Christmas.

Except for Christmas Evil, the other films on my list are not really worth mentioning; however, of the remaining movies on my list, Black Christmas (2006) and Slay Belles both earned 2 1/2 stars. While they are not the greatest Christmas horror films out there, they may warrant a watch from horror fans, but do not expect much. Unless you are a glutton for punishment, I would steer clear of Krampus: The Christmas Devil, The Traveler, Mrs. Claus, and All Through the House.

Kelsi and I had a chat on December 12th about the films we had in common this season, which included The Mothman Prophecies, Mercy Christmas, Slay Belles, and Mrs. Claus. It was a terrific talk.

Last but not least, Kelsi and I wrapped up our ongoing debate of Christmas Evil. I reluctantly agreed to rewatch this film and participate in the Christmas Evil Challenge. Bantering back and forth with Kelsi about this ridiculous film, which is one of her all-time favorites, was a great deal of fun. Surprisingly, I did discover some new insights about the film and even bumped it up another 1/2 star for a total rating of 2 1/2 stars. Kelsi and I had a lively livestream on December 23rd where we revealed the winner of the Christmas Evil Challenge.

I may have completed watching all of the Christmas horror movies on my list; however, I still have plenty of traditional Christmas movies to watch and a sufficient amount of holiday reading left. The Christmas season has been enjoyable, and I am loving my time off. I hope your Christmas was merry and full of good cheer, dear reader. Happiness!

“To hear a voice is one thing. But this isn’t just a message, it’s a prediction. It came true.” ~ John Klein (Richard Gere), The Mothman Prophecies

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Ho, Ho, Ho! It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my neck of the woods which means it is time to reveal my Christmas Fun List. I recently purchased some new Christmas socks with gnomes on them from Cracker Barrel in Hammond. I will be wearing Christmas socks and pins to work again to show my Christmas spirit. And, talking about spirits, the Christmas season would not be complete without mixing a Christmas cocktail. I have my eye on the Sugar Cookie Martini. I will try my hand at making a Christmas dish or baking a Christmas treat. I subscribe to a bunch of magazines that feature holiday-related recipes this time of year, so I am sure I can find one that is not too complicated. Additionally, my hubby and I will be attending a play with friends, Shelly and Kerry, on Saturday evening. Our friend Karen is performing in the musical, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, at Slidell Little Theatre. It is based on the wonderful children’s novel by Barbara Robinson about the havoc six misfit children cause when they decide to perform in their town’s annual Christmas play. We also plan to have dinner and cocktails prior to the performance.

Reading is definitely on my Christmas Fun List again this year. As of this moment, I have four books on my list that I will be reading along with Kelsi throughout December. Kelsi Kringle is gifting me a copy of Silent Night by R.L. Stine which will be my first Fear Street read. It is about a spoiled brat that gets her comeuppance when she acts naughty during Christmastime. Another book on my list includes Robot Santa by Dean Koontz. It is the follow-up to Santa’s Twin that Kelsi and I read last season. Bob is up to his old tricks again, causing Santa to have another stressful Christmas Eve.

I read the terryifying NOS4A2 written by Joe Hill last December; therefore, it should be no surprise that the graphic novel, Wraith also by Joe Hill, has made it onto my TBR list for this month. It reveals the “twisted beginnings” of Charlie Manx, the monstrous antagonist who feeds off the souls of children after luring them into his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith that takes them to Christmasland.

Happy Krampusnacht! Today is the celebration of Krampus, the dark and hairy, horned beast who wanders the streets on the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas, scaring children who misbehave. I will be reading another collection of short stories edited by Kate Wolford that centers around the Christmas demon. The anthology includes twelve tales and is titled, He Sees You When He’s Creepin’: Tales of Krampus. Kelsi has already finished it and tells me it is FUN.

12 Days of Christmas Horror

While I am on the subject of Krampus, I have included a film about the horrifying creature on my 12 Days of Christmas Horror. Movies are a HUGE part of my Christmas Fun List. I will watch all 12 of my horror movies for the first half of December. Kelsi and I have five Christmas horror movies in common that we will be chatting about on Sunday, 12 December. I watched my first movie (Mercy Christmas) last night, and it was a terrific way to start off my holly, jolly horror movie marathon.

12 Days of Classic Christmas

For the second half of December, I will be watching Classic Christmas movies leading up to Christmas Day. Not everything about Christmas has to be horror-related. Elf and Love Actually are two of my favorite Christmas movies, and I must watch them at least once during the holiday season. Kelsi and I only have one film (It’s A Wonderful Life) in common for this half of the Christmas movie marathon.

Last but not least, Kelsi and I are having a Christmas Evil Challenge that kicked off on December 1st and will last until December 22nd. She and I have been debating the merits of the film, Christmas Evil, since we both watched it for our movie marathon in December 2020. She ADORES it! I DESPISE it! Therefore, we thought it would be fun to reach out to our friends, family, and online communities to settle this debate once and for all. Additionally, there is a giveaway and an Instagram activity connected to the challenge.

Kelsi put together a video explaining the challenge, the rules of the giveway, and how to show your team spirit on Instagram. If you participate on Instagram. please include the hashtag #ChristmasEvilChallenge along with your picture. Team Kat wears green and is a NO for Christmas Evil. Team Kelsi wears red and is a YES for Christmas Evil. And, for those of you who are on the fence about the film, wear white to show that you really don’t know how you feel about it. A livestream is scheduled on Thursday, 23 December at 6:00pm CT where the winner of the challenge will be revealed. We hope you consider joining the challenge and our livestream. It should be a great deal of fun.

Of course, like all of my fun lists, I am open to adding activities if something fun pops up throughout the month. I am open to reading more Christmas-related books, short stories, or articles if time permits. What activities do you have planned for the Christmas season, dear reader? Share in the comments or email me at katloyacano@gmail.com. Maybe something you plan to do will strike my fancy, and I can add it to my list this year or maybe the next. In the meantime, ’tis the season to be jolly. Happiness!

“Christmas,” said Santa, “is about living your life with love and a spirit of giving, friendship, compassion, peace, and bright hope.” ~ Dean Koontz, Robot Santa

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It is the last day of November, dear reader, and I am finally wrapping up the spooky season which was a HUGE success. The only activity I was unable to do on my Halloween Fun List was the New Orleans Zombie Run which was an extra activity that I thought would be fun to do if my schedule permitted. However, I just could not fit it into my schedule once I accepted the role of Eleanor Slides in the play, The House on Haunted Hill.

Kelsi and I participated in our first Halloween ReadaThon which was successful. Even though I had to rearrange my original TBR list, I still completed all of the prompts and read some fabulous books and short stories. In fact, I read one more book this season than last season. As for short stories, I read three this time around which was two less than last season.

Horror movies were also on my list, and I was able to watch 20 movies this season which is amazing. I only watched 13 movies last year. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch Near Dark or Trick ‘r Treat because they were both unavailable; however, I replaced them with The Halloween Tree and Dark Was the Night.

I accessorized my work wardrobe with Halloween/Fall earrings, pins, and socks. My hubby bought me a Halloween t-shirt which I wore on Halloween Night for when I handed candy out to trick-or-treaters. Ironically, it has the face of a creepy clown on it, and clowns freak me out. I added some Halloween decorations in the reading area of my bedroom, but unfortunately, never added any to my fall decorations on my front porch. Kelsi and I hung out together the first weekend of October and vlogged about our wonderful day having lunch, shopping for Halloween decor, and more. It was definitely one of the highlights of the spooky season. Two activities that I left off my list was sending out Halloween cards to a few of my friends and posting a daily Halloween-related Snoopy picture on my FB story. I even received a Halloween card from Kelsi. Happiness Boost!

I tried a new spooky adult beverage called the Drunk Witch Cocktail. It consisted of Vodka, Grenadine, and Blue Curacao topped with Sprite. I enjoyed it, but it was strong, so drinking one was quite sufficient. I also drank fall flavored coffee throughout the month. And, I baked an Autumn Pumpkin Cake from a recipe featured on the blog, It’s a Charming Life (itsacharminglife.com.). It was simple to make and tasted delicious.

Kelsi and I had several wonderful chats about all the enjoyable activities we did during the spooky season. Our final one was a Halloween 2021 Wrap Up Chat where we discussed our thematic activities, including The House on Haunted Hill. What an exciting opportunity! I had the best time performing in the play and will eventually share my incredible experience with you.

That’s a wrap, dear reader. As Kelsi mentioned in her description of our chat, “we put a bow on the 2021 Halloween season.” Kelsi and I could not have asked for a better spooky season, especially following the turmoil of Hurricane Ida. Planned activities for a season or surrounding a specific holiday boosts happiness, creates fond memories, and enriches one’s life, especially if you share those activities with a friend, a family member, or your significant other. Do you plan activities for a season or surrounding a specific holiday? If so, please share in the comments. In the meantime, I need to finish my Christmas Fun List. Happiness!

My Halloween decorations I bought while shopping with Kelsi along with the Halloween card I received from Kelsi.

“Make a commitment to having fun. See your best friends and make time for your hobbies and passions.” ~ Robert Holden

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Thanksgiving this year looked a little different from years past. We were missing a couple of people around the table, and the hubster and I went with a nontraditional Thanksgiving meal. We were striving for simple. Normally, Barry fries a turkey, and it is usually joined by cranberry sauce, a green veggie, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a pecan or pumpkin pie. Since it would only be the four of us gathered around the table on Thursday, our menu consisted of turkey burgers, broccoli casserole, spinach artichoke dip, and cheesecake for dessert (courtesy of Rouse’s). Thankfully, I married a man who likes to cook. Everything on my plate was delicious. Of course, Mrs. Billie baked cookies. Chocolate chip cookies to be exact. My Daddy and Son #1 spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my sister Rachel, my brother-in-law Lee, and my beautiful niece Emma. According to my Daddy, their menu consisted of “ham, green bean casserole, and of course, dessert.”

On Friday evening, Barry and I joined Shelly and Kerry to attend Friendsgiving at my friend Wendy’s house. Shelly and I graduated from Riverdale High School with Wendy. This was my very first Friendsgiving event and Wendy’s first time hosting one. There were about 15 of us, mostly Riverdale graduates. What an absolutely awesome evening! Fantastic food, terrific conversation, and lots of laughter, especially when Wendy, Sharon, and Kristie performed their award-winning dance moves to the song “Heartbeat-It’s a Lovebeat” by the DeFranco Family, a Canadian pop music group from the 70s. Back in the 6th grade, they won the overall prize at their school’s talent show with this performance. Everyone had a wonderful time, so Wendy is planning to make Friendsgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, an annual event. Happiness Boost!

High School Friends: Shannon, Chris, Kat, Jeff, Kristie, Sharon, Michelle, Shelly, Stacey, Kim, Steve, Eddie, and Wendy (holding Millie)

The weekend kept on giving with last night’s Drink Nightsgiving (just made this up to even out the “giving” theme in the title of this post-HA!). Barry and I drove over to the Cyrus’s house to partake in libations with Shelly, Kerry, Mrs. Carol (Shelly’s mom), and Mr. Mike (Shelly’s bonus dad and my Godson). Drink Nights with the Cyruses originated because of COVID restrictions. I am not a big drinker; however, I like trying fancy cocktails. Kerry, who is our official bartender and enjoys mixing fancy cocktails, served us Black Cherry Chocolate Martinis last night. This yummy adult beverage is his very own concoction. To make one marvelous martini, you will need the following ingredients: 1 ounce chocolate vodka; 1 ounce cherry vodka; 2-3 ounces of Just Black Cherry Juice (Knudsen); Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup to taste. According to Kerry, “you can increase vodka amounts if you want it a bit stronger. Or, decrease vodka amounts if it’s too strong.” In addition to our martinis, we nibbled on snacks which included a cheese dip that Mrs. Carol made (shaped like a turkey), a crab rangoon dip that Shelly made, chocolate, and Cape Cod potato chips (provided by me). Another enjoyable evening spent with fabulous friends.

It’s now Sunday, the last day of my vacation. Although it was shortened this year because of Hurricane Ida, I am grateful for the much-needed break from my day job and for spending quality time with my family and friends. Family relationships and friendships are super important to me, and I have been blessed with many wonderful humans who bring so much joy to my life. And, you are also counted among those humans that enrich my life, dear reader. Thank you for being you and reading my content. If you participated in a “giving” activity or have a suggestion for a fancy cocktail, please share in the comments or email me at katloyacano@gmail.com. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend. Happiness!

“Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring, it is not taking things for granted, it is present-oriented.” ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky

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I am having the most fang-tastic weekend, dear reader! The play I am performing in, The House on Haunted Hill as Mrs. Eleanor Slides, opened on Friday night. And, I am having the time of my life. My dear, bootiful friend Kelsi attended last night’s show with her boyfriend Paul. They drove all the way from Harahan to inky black Louisiana to see me perform. We were able to chat for a few minutes after the show.

My good friend and co-worker Debbie and her husband Jerry also attended the show last night. Debbie and Jerry snuck out after the performance since Jerry had to work early this morning, so I didn’t get the chance to see them afterwards. However, I received a sweet text from her this morning. Everyone enjoyed the spooky production. I am super appreciative of my friends’ support. What a happiness boost!

This morning, I finished the most spooktacular book. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is the first novel that I have read by Grady Hendrix, but it will not be the last. Kelsi recommended it to me ages ago, so I chose it for one of the prompts on our Halloween Readathon. It is AWESOME! Anyone who grew up in the 80s or enjoy 80s nostalgia will enjoy this book. While it is a horror novel, friendship is at the heart of the story. If you have ever had a best friend who will stick by your side until the end, this book was written for you.

Today happens to be Halloween which is my absolute favorite holiday of the year. I have a bunch of activities planned for the day that will extend well into the evening hours. The first activity on my Halloween agenda is to bake an Autumn Pumpkin Cake. While the cake is baking, I will read one of the two remaining selections on my Halloween Readathon (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Widow’s Broom). I’ll read the other one while the cake cools.

I will be handing out treats tonight with the help of Andrew and my hubby, sporting my new Halloween themed t-shirt that my hubby bought for me last week. There are only three movies left to watch on my Halloween Movie Marathon list. I am planning to watch two of them throughout the day and saving one for after the trick-or-treaters have departed our neighborhood for the evening. My Halloween Fun List must be completed by midnight tonight. Kelsi and I will be scheduling a few chats very soon to discuss our Halloween season festivities, books, and movies.

In the meantime, dear reader, enjoy the spookiness of Halloween. And, if you are in the area and have a couple of hours to kill, consider attending a performance of The House on Haunted Hill. It will be running for two more weekends on Friday and Saturday nights (November 05, 06, and 12, 13) at the Columbia Theatre in Hammond. It’s a party like no other. Happiness!

“Don’t let the ghosts and ghouls disturb you, love.” ~ Frederick Loren, The House on Haunted Hill

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On the first Saturday of October, Kelsi and I spent the entire day together (which spilled over into the evening) hanging out and participating in many Halloween-related activities.

We created a vlog of our jam-packed day, and I want to share it with you today, dear reader. It includes us enjoying a scrumptious lunch at La Madeleine: French Bakery and Cafe, shopping for Halloween decor, baking cookies, and so much more.

Kelsi and I are collaborating on a few more Halloween activities. In fact, tomorrow, 09 October at 3:00 p.m. Central Time, we will be having a LIVE CHAT on Kelsi’s YouTube channel. Our discussion will be about Stephen King’s book, Cycle of the Werewolf and a review of its movie adaptation, Silver Bullet. Of course, we will also sprinkle in all things related to Halloween. I’ve included the link to remind you to join us. It should be a lively discussion.

I am having an awesome time vlogging. I loved working in television, and vlogging is a wonderful opportunity to incorporate my television knowledge and skills in creating content. One of my goals in the near future is to get editing software, so I can edit my own vlogs. Kelsi has been sweet enough to help me out with the ones I have done solo which I am extremely grateful; however, she is super busy between her day job, Halloween-related activities, and creating content for her YouTube channel. It is the logical next step in my creative journey.

As I am wrapping up, a special shout out to Simon, mon frere, who is having a birthday today. He and I have been friends since the 10th grade. What a blessing he is to me! And, later this weekend, I will reveal some exciting news. No, I am not pregnant. Yes, it has something to do with my creative journey. Enjoy your weekend, dear reader. Happiness!

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

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Ghastly greetings, dear reader! I am pumped because its finally October, the spookiest month of the year, and I am all about spooky. Since last year’s Halloween Fun List was such a spook-tacular success, I decided to create another eerie-sistible list for this year which will include thematic clothing and accessories, fang-tastic food and drink, bone-chilling books, montrous movies, and so much more.

My work wardrobe will be accessorized from head to toe with Halloween/Fall earrings, pins, infinity scarves, and socks. I may even acquire a Halloween t-shirt or two for my creepy collection. Additionally, I will be adding some Halloween decorations in the reading area of my bedroom and on my front porch, mixing them in with the fall decorations already on display. Kelsi and I have planned a couple of days to hang out together, so I am hoping we will conjure up a thrilling treat or two while celebrating this enchanted month.

BOOKS/SHORT STORIES

This Halloween, Kelsi and I are participating in a Readathon that we created together. It is the first time that we are doing this type of reading activity. Our book and short story selections are based on horror movies. I have listed my terrifying TBR choices for the month below.

  • Cabal by Clive Barker
  • Thinner by Richard Bachman
  • Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King
  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  • Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
  • Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
  • Fear Zone 2 by K.R. Alexander
  • The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
  • ”The Mangler” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • ”Jerusalem’s Lot” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • “Sometimes They Come Back” by Stephen King (Night Shift)
  • “The Magic Ball” by Charles J. Finger (A Newbery Halloween)
  • ”The Man of Influence” by Paul Fleishman (A Newbery Halloween)

In addition to the Halloween Readathon, I will be reading The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury which was chosen by the mesmerizing members of the Chills, Thrills, and Kills Book Club (book club that Kelsi and I started back in May 2021). Also, I will be finishing up the spine-tingling short story collection AutumnCrow by Cameron Chaney which I started on the first day of fall.

MOVIES

October would be totally boring if it did not include a few hair-raising movies, so I decided on 20 movies for the Halloween season. A couple will provide lighthearted entertainment while others are guaranteed to raise goosebumps and inspire nightmares. Two of my movie choices are based on books, which will be enjoyable to compare/contrast and to discuss with Kelsi. Nightbreed is based on Cabal by Clive Barker, and Silver Bullet is based on Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King.

EERIE EXTRAS

There are two additional aah-inspiring activities that I would love to include on my list if my schedule allows, weather permits, and COVID restrictions relax. First, I would love to see the play, The House on Haunted Hill, I auditioned for at the Columbia Theatre back in August. Second, Barry and I would enjoy shuffling in the 2021 New Orleans Zombie Run. It is a two-mile run/walk/crawl that begins and ends at Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street. Of course, in the event any other Halloween or fall-related activities are lurking in the shadows this month, I will add them to my already unBOOlieveable list. Lastly, if the weather is pleasant on Halloween night, I will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

There was a certain crispness to the early morning air today, dear reader. October has arrived and is making sure we take notice. What are your plans for the month of October? Whatever you decide, have a howling good time. Happiness!

“There is a child in everyone of us who is still a trick-or-treater looking for a brightly-lit porch.” ~ Robert Brault 

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Happy Father’s Day to my daddy and ALL the magnificent men in the universe that take on the role of fathering. Even though it can be a tough job at times, fathers step up to protect and provide for their families. I am grateful for the gift of my Daddy, who I think is absolutely AWESOME. He is a fantastic father, a good-natured grandfather, and a hard-working husband. Without fail, I can count on my father to be there when I need him. He is smart, creative, and has a terrific sense of humor. He is always game for trying new activities and foods, going on adventures, and taking selfies.

Yesterday morning, my hubby and I drove to the south shore to visit my parents. We all went to eat lunch together to celebrate my daddy. Since he was the guest of honor, we asked him to choose the restaurant. He selected Desi Vega’s Prime Burgers & Shakes located on Hickory Avenue in Harahan. I was excited because I have only eaten there once with my fabulous friend Michelle, and this restaurant serves delicious burgers, chili cheese fries, and shakes.

We arrived at the restaurant at the perfect time because there was no wait. Both of my parents ordered The Soprano burger. My daddy ordered it with cheese and my momma ordered it without cheese. My hubby ordered Desi’s Turkey Burger, and I built my own burger. I chose a veggie burger on a wheat bun with a slice of pepperjack cheese, tomato, pickles, and mayo on the side. I also added a squirt of ketchup. All of our burgers came with fries; however, I had to order chili cheese fries since I didn’t eat at Bud’s Broiler during my scrapbooking weekend. Everyone enjoyed their meals. I only ate half of my mine and took the other half home.

Even though the restaurant makes yummy handmade shakes, we did not order any this visit. Instead we headed over to PJ’s in River Ridge for some coffee and more conversation. We had a pleasant day, and I am so grateful for the time I spent with my hubby and my parents, expecially my father. He is one of the good guys, and I am blessed to have him in my life. We have made many wonderful memories together, and I hope we have many more years to make new ones.

Today, dear reader, my boys and I will celebrate my hubby and their father. Son #1’s girlfriend Kayla and her son Landon will also join us for the day. My hubby will grill ribs, burgers, and hotdogs for lunch. It will be a laid-back day at home with the focus on family. A shout out to all the fathers out there who provide care, love, and protection for others and remembering all those who are watching over us from heaven. Happiness!

Milton (aka Daddy) and Baby Kat

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” ~ Psalm 103:13

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Happy Mother’s Day to my momma, Mrs. Billie, and ALL the wonderful women in the universe that take on the role of mothering. Even though it can be a tough job at times, mothering is worth every moment. I am grateful for the gift of being a mother to my two sons and my three furbabies, and being a Godmother to my niece Emma and Mr. Mike.

Yesterday morning, my hubby and I drove to the south shore to visit my parents. We all went to eat lunch together to celebrate my momma. Since she was the guest of honor, we asked her to choose the restaurant. She selected Perrin’s Restaurant located on Hickory Avenue in Harahan. I was excited because my hubby and I had never eaten there, so this counts as trying a new restaurant (#18 on my 21 for 2021 list).

Since we arrived at the restaurant early, we were seated right away. My momma ordered the Bub Burger with Sautéed Veggies. I ordered a Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries. My Daddy also requested a wrap, but he chose the Southwest Chicken Wrap with French Fries. Barry decided on the Mini Seafood Platter with French Fries. We were all pleased with our choices. I ate half of my meal, so I could eat the other half for dinner. Yum! I give Perrin’s two thumbs up, especially since there are healthy options that taste delicious.

After lunch, we drove over to our favorite coffee shop PJ’s in River Ridge and hung out for a little bit before heading back to my parents’ house. We had a terrific day, and I am so grateful for the time I spent with my parents, especially my mother. I am very blessed to still have her in my life. She has always been a hard worker and did her best to care for my sister and me. My momma took on a second job selling Avon, so my sister and I could attend Catholic School from Kindergarten through 8th grade. She stayed up late many nights making my wedding dress. And, she always lends a helping hand whenever I need it. I have so many fantabulous memories of my momma, and I hope I have many more years to make new memories with her.

As for me, dear reader, I plan to spend today with my two boys. My hubby will grill us all steaks for lunch. Later this evening, Andrew and I will go to the movie theatre to see Godzilla Vs. Kong. And, we cannot forget Mrs. Billie, my awesome mother-in-law. At some point during the day, we will visit with her. How will you be spending your Mother’s Day? A shout out to all the mothers out there who provide care, love, and protection for others and remembering all those who are watching over us from heaven. Happiness!

Barry, Jr., Kat, Andrew, and Barry, Sr.

“A mother is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”  ~ Proverbs 31: 25-26

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