First line: At the crisp, inky hour of midnight, Jack and I are married atop Spiral Hill in the Death’s Door Cemetery.
Summary: Sally has married the skeleton of her dreams, Jack. She is now the Pumpkin Queen but she feels that maybe she is not cut out for the job. After their honeymoon, Sally decides to take some time alone where she stumbles upon a new door hidden in the tree grove. As her curiosity takes over, she discovers the door leads to Dream Town but with her actions she has let a monster loose on the other holiday towns. And now it is up to Sally to figure out how to stop the Sandman and wake the residents of Halloween Town.
My Thoughts: Only several years ago did I finally watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. It really is a fun movie. I liked the music but most of all the technique used to create the movie, stop animation. When I saw that a novelized version of what happens after was being released I thought it would be a fun read for the fall leading up to Halloween. And I did find it fun. A little more juvenile than I had originally expected but still a good little story. It brought all the characters from movie and added several new characters plus we got a peak into Sally’s background.
I enjoyed the narrator. She did a good job of mimicking the voice of Sally from the movie but also adding some the voices of other characters as well.
FYI: Definitely watch the movie, even just for the artistry of it.
Music:Spotify playlist: ConfiDANCE(Song spotlight: Not 20 Anymore by Bebe Rexha; Okay Okay by Alessia Cara)
We all have our struggles. Two at the top of my list are mornings, and confidence. In an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I created a Spotify playlist to start my mornings with a little pep. As soon as I turn off my alarm in the morning, I try to queue up this playlist, and keep it playing during my morning routine & trip to drop my oldest off at school. I sought out about half of the songs, knowing they already help me improve my mood on bad days. The other half Spotify suggested to me! A couple of my *new* favorites include Not 20 Anymore by Bebe Rexha, and Okay Okay by Alessia Cara.
Available on Spotify
Movies: He’s All That
I suppose I’m a shameless millennial. I was scrolling through the Netflix “coming soon” tab when I found this. She’s All That was one of my favorite movies for the years after it came out. I mean, Paul Walker you guys. Even as the jerk bad guy, he’s dreamy. Anyhow, it gave me all the teenage angst lovey-dovey vibes that I wanted. I had such high hopes for this movie. I watched it the day it launched onto Netflix. A little overzealous, I know. Anyway, they did a great job of giving the story line an update and making it current to today’s youth. The characters have the same personalities and attributes of attraction that the original actors did. Matthew Lillard and Rachel Leigh Cook even make an appearance! It didn’t live up to the original’s hype, for me, unfortunately. Perhaps that is just because those were my people, and I suppose that makes these ones my kids’ people. Whatever. Worth the watch—but maybe just once.
Available on Netflix
Television Show: Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
Some might say I’m a bit of an oddball. I would say I just really love Halloween, and spooky stuff, and all things weird. This Netflix series is all of those things and more. Christine is kind of a Martha Stewart of the…spooky variety. She shows the audience how to make beautifully creepy creations like cakes, tea services, and edible tree ornaments. She also has a host of strange Jim Henson-like creature friends who are always getting into mischief while she tries to teach us about her creations. It’s a strange show, but I suppose I’m a strange person.
Available on Netflix
Kid’s Television Show: Dug Days
My son is two, and I stay home with him during the daytime. It’s a fun age riding the line between constantly having to tell him, “no”, and staring at him with a big goofy grin on my face because he’s just SO wonderful. Watching him watch Dug Days does that second one to me. He just loves Dug. I’m not sure what it is—he’s not very verbal just yet—but the grin on his face when I turn it on just melts my heart. There’s only five or six shorts in the series, and they are short, but they are adorable and definitely worth the watch.
I read this series a couple of years ago and truly enjoyed it. I must have talked about it quite a bit, because when my husband decided to start an audiobook series (and the book he was hoping to read was checked out), he started listening to this series. I became very excited to enjoy the story with him—a tiny book club for two. The story was just as good the second time around! I’m not a huge fan of the narration of this series, but I am glad they got the same narrator for all of the books (so far); it made it a consistent read. I’m a sucker for a few specific things in stories, and this series seems to check all of those boxes.*sigh*
Are you a fan of free and inexpensive? I am a fan of free and inexpensive. Chirp is an audiobook application I learned about through their sister (e-book) company Bookbub (which you should also check out if you haven’t heard of them). After creating your account, you can select favorite genres, authors, and narrators. Based on these favorites, you will receive a daily e-mail with a list of books you can purchase at discounted prices! The only disadvantage is you have to listen to it through their app. It’s a free app and subscription, though, so I’d call that a win! All books suggested to me so far are $5 or less. You can also put audiobooks on a wish list, and the app will alert you if they ever go on sale! I, um, I’ve purchased more $5 audiobooks than I care to admit so far.
About two years ago we moved into a new place to make room for a new little addition to our family. It had everything we were searching for, if it was a little higher in the price range than we were hoping for. Anyhow, the basement was unfinished. This might be daunting for some (read me), but the benefit was worth it. I aspire to write– and when I’m not writing, I’m usually reading—so, one of the unfinished rooms in the basement has been reserved as an office/writing space for me sometime in the distant future. I guess I decided I wanted less distance, because I moved all my books back into storage and started working.
Man I underestimated the work that goes into a project like this. I was excited to paint, but forgot about the dry walling and mudding that had to occur first. I did a decent amount before deciding a garage sale to fund a professional to finish the work was probably the best idea. Now that is done, and I’m in the painting process. I love the gothic library look I’ve chosen, and I’m excited to decorate now. Again, I forgot how much work has to occur before that step can be taken, though. Baseboards, crown molding, door trim, window trim, carpeting, and installation of shelves ALL have to occur before I can decorate. Picking those items out is enjoyable, and the installation isn’t unenjoyable—but the bill that accompanies it? That’s is for the birds. So, my project is somewhere in the in-between now. Not exactly the distant future anymore, but further away from the now I was eager for. These things take time, I suppose.
ON MY RADAR: books on my “TBR” shelf, movies and television shows on my “Queue”, podcasts I’ve been eyeing but haven’t had the time to listen to yet. Things I haven’t bit the bullet and purchased, but really hope to sometime soon.
Summary: It’s the summer of 1967 and London is swinging. Estella has spent the last four years living by her wits with her partners in crime, Horace and Jasper. She steals what she needs to survive and the fabric she loves for her clothing creations. Then by chance she meets rich siblings who take her under their wing and show her a whole new world. Dazzled by the money, food, clothes and lifestyle Estella sees the world she believes should be hers but it does come with some downsides as well.
My Thoughts: This was a fun young adult book. It is neat to see authors looking into the lives of villains. I loved that it was placed in Swinging London. The colors, people, lifestyles and music were all reminiscent of Austin Powers but for young people. I loved the way the name Cruella was introduced and her back story. It always seemed rather strange that someone’s name is Cruella but the author made it seem more natural. And that Horace and Jasper were included was great to tie it in with the original cartoon movie. I have yet to see the live action movie but I am looking forward to seeing it. Especially after reading this.
Summary: In the last installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Jack Sparrow is being hunted by the ghostly Captain Salazar. The only way to save himself is to find the Trident of Poseidon.
My Thoughts: A fun romp through the paranormal Caribbean. Johnny Depp does not disappoint in his performance of Captain Jack Sparrow. His wild antics and swagger make him the lovable pirate we cannot get enough of. I will be sad to see this series end.
DVD Release Date: October 3, 2017
*Titles may not always be available on the release date due to item delivery and cataloging time.