Fabulous Finds for Fright Nite (a.k.a HaLloWeEn

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Hello Peeps,

I hope you are all doing well and having fun planning for Halloween.

I thought I’d pop up a Halloween post for you today, sharing some of my favorite reads, merchandise  and other super treats, old and new.

Let me start by saying that I just LOVE Halloween; and in this house it comes second only to Christmas. We tend to decorate inside the house more than outside, but each year we add more decorations to our growing scary collection.

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What we have discovered is that by being savvy (very strong willed) and only buying AFTER the holiday is over, we get some amazing deals on items that otherwise would be out of our budget. I mean how do you justify spending $200 on a statue that is good for just one day each year?

So by waiting until the day after, or even a couple of days we have snagged some great deals.

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For example, look at these fabulous figures that we picked up last year from Home Depot. Our Hip Witch was originally just under $100 prior to the holiday. We got her for $29 two days later! Our butler, who has animatronics and whose eyes turn red and has spooky sounds started off at $129 then went down to $64 and then he was only $44.50 when we picked him up!

I have my eye on one for next year that I am praying doesn’t sell out.

And of course Halloween is the perfect time to pick up a good horror book to read. I am a great one for horror stories, and don’t need Halloween as an excuse to scare myself silly, but I do love to match my reads to the season, and I have some classic horrors and some super new Witch and magic themed books that I want to share with you today.

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First up is by my favorite author Alice Hoffman. Alice wrote the amazing Practical Magic which was made into a cult movie starring  Nicole Kidman & Sandra Bullock, way back in 1998.

 

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Well Alice has come up with a prequel to Practical Magic, and it’s just as fabulous. This is a perfect read if you want a nice magical story and not horror.

 

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For true horror lovers I would have to recommend the King. Yes, Stephen King. I’ve read just about every book he has ever written and loved every one, but those I recommend most for this holiday are: #drumroll … ‘Salems Lot’, ‘The Shining’ and ‘ Night Shift’. These are my favorite cover designs too. The glossy black covers are gorgeous. I hope they bring every book out with this cover design. I finally had to donate my original King paperbacks to charity as the pages had all begun to turn yellow- I didn’t have the heart to  throw them away.

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Of course the true icons of Halloween/ horror has to be Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Poe’s  collected works. I love these particular copies, both by Barnes & Nobel

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If you’re a #bookstagrammer then you can find some delicious scented candles from the lovely Amanda North Ave Candles easy store. Amanda has candles to match many books,  including her most recent Merlot one which is the perfect companion while you are reading  Dracula.

 

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If you prefer a more contemporary Vampire and Witches story, I absolutely LOVE All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness I have the single editions and also this beautiful boxed set, which is currently $40

 

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If you like the more adult Witch themed merchandise, then how about gifting this set along with some beautiful element candles from Unicorn Manor

 

 

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There is ‘Earth,’ ‘Fire’, ‘Air’ and ‘Water’ along with the ‘Samhain’ one which I light most evenings. These are truly stunning to gaze at, and smell delicious. Perhaps you can cast a romance spell…

 

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If its Art you are really looking for, then look no further than Terri Foss’s Etsy store

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I’ve been collecting Terri’s art for more than a year now. She has hundreds of prints available in many sizes, and all priced perfectly. Terri also regularly has original art pieces in her store, such as the one’s above. But you have to keep checking as they sell out fast. I mean, as soon as she lists them. I snagged these gorgeous ones this year.

 

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So what about some spooky Halloween reads for children? I guess  the most obvious choice would be the Harry Potter Illustrated Editions by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay. Any of these three editions by Jim Kay are beautiful, and really bring the stories to life. I can’t wait to one day have the completed set.

 

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And don’t forget that Amanda also has awesome  Harry Potter candles too

 

 

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If you already own every Harry Potter book, then the  other children’s scary Halloween recommendations that I would strongly suggest, are any of the Goosebumps sets. They are scary fun but not too scary. I’m loving this limited edition vintage style tin of books. This would make a super present. It’s in my cart as we speak! Another by the same author is the Fear Street series by R.L Stine.

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I love all the retro style covers.

 

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Moving on to really scary books based on true stories.

I would suggest that The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty is a must read! I bought my copy as a scratch and dent from the Book Outlet, but I see they don’t have any left so you can find it HERE

And finally in books, I will recommend the only book that ever gave me real actually nightmares for two nights in a row (I never get nightmares). This is The Soul Collector This is apparently a true story, and it gave me the total creeps. When I say nightmares, I mean waking up in a cold sweat thinking there are Demons in the room. I shook with fear! Read it at your own risk!

So…

Moving on to some Halloween Merch.

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For some cute Halloween gifts for friends and family, how about these cute PocketBac Sanitizers from Bath and Body Works

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And these matching hand creams

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halloween witch 6They are priced so well too! Right now you can pick them up reduced to $3 for the hand creams and packs of five hand sanitizers for around $5

 

 

 

So what other merchandise can we add to our gift boxes for our Halloween loving friends and family?

Well, I figure that some spooky Halloween themed Funko POPS

IMG_0682Funko’s are usually priced between $9.99 and 12.99, although larger one’s can be more expensive. These are a few of the one’s that I have collected over the last two years. Freddie is my favorite! (Though Rowens Ghost is a close second.

 

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This has turned out to be a long post. I hope you have enjoyed it, and hopefully have discovered some new ideas to make your own Halloween rock! there are still a ton of things that I’d love to share with you, and if I find time in the next couple of days, I’ll add another post showing my collection of Tarot cards. I collect so many and I’d love to share some of them with you.

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So until next time, thanks for reading. If I don’t talk to you before..Have a happy and safe Halloween xxx

Love Sally

Autumn Vibes

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I love autumn.

I love the cool sharp bite of the air, the colors of the changing leaves, the silky damp chill in the breeze, that you feel flitting across your face as you leave the house and the door clunks closed heavily behind you. I love the scent of fall too. There is a special scent that fills the air that is different to any other season; somewhat spicy and fruity- due perhaps to the fallen apples after they have tumbled to the ground, spilling their scents and adding their own fragrance into the atmosphere.

 

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I love watching little children walking with their parents, while kicking up the fallen leaves, so they can watch them swirl and dance about them. Who doesn’t love to see the pinch of pink in our cheeks after a brisk walk when the autumn air has been nipping at them? Autumn air seems so cleansing.

 

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I love the transition from summer clothes to fall layers. Shades of brown, cream, green and teal, and deep brick red. I feel warmer just looking at these colors, never mind being wrapped up in them. I ‘m always excited to see the changing storefront displays, noting how the artists can manage to create a swirling forest of magical colors. No wonder I feel the urge to treat myself to new fall make-up collections, and clothes, despite a closet that is already pretty full. These people can work magic.

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Yes magic is in the air, and I’m under its spell.

Which leads me to the excitement of Halloween coming up. It’s such a wonderful season! For children everywhere, the importance of ‘what to wear’ on that special night is tantamount to happiness, if only for twenty-four hours.

 

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For the rest of us, we must remember to buy in huge supplies of candy, because as much as we have better things to do with our money (such as buy books) we don’t want to be that house. And finally after jumping up a thousand times to answer the doorbell, when the candy tub is empty and the last little witch has gone home, we get to switch the porch light back off and collapse on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate (made Italian style please) and a giant bar of Toblerone that we hid earlier.

 

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Now is the time to curl up in front of a good movie, usually a vintage rom,com, set in the fall. Try ‘Stepmom’ if you want to have a good cry too. This follows the wheel of the year along with its story – but have your tissues ready. What about ‘You’ve got Mail’? Oh how I love the vintage set design for Cathy’s apartment. Swoon.

 

Or maybe you would prefer a good old horror? ‘Poltergeist’ for example, either the vintage version or the newer one, both are so good. I love to marathon my DVD’s of the ‘American Horror Story’ series. ‘Dream House’ is another great favorite of mine. And today I just watched ‘The Conjuring 2’ It was SO good, and based on a true story. Rent yours from Redbox, and if you like it, buy it later.

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Now is the time to bake all your pumpkin spice cookies. You don’t need to bake from scratch; you can buy the Pillsbury version to save time. Either way you will fill your home with a fabulous aroma of fall that cannot help but make you want to curl up in a corner with your next favorite read.

 

Here are some books I’d recommend for the season.

 

img_6092The first two are by my all-time favorite author: Alice Hoffman. Most of you will have heard of ‘Practical Magic’ the Disney movie which this book inspired, but have you ever read the actual book? It is much different. You can see where the movie was inspired by it, but there are many more adult themes in the book. I have read all of Alice Hoffman’s books and my personal favorite is: ‘The Probable Future’. I’m actually rereading it right now. It was one of those books that I held to my heart right after reading the last word on the last page.Do you ever do this?

I also wholly recommend that you read ‘Garden Spells’ by Sarah Addison Allen too. Her writing style is very much like Alice Hoffman’s, inasmuch as she uses much more description than dialogue in her stories. I was so thrilled to discover Sarah’s books. I’m sure I did a little happy dance after reading the first page.

 

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Next I recommend you cook up some delicious fall recipes from Sophie Dahl’s cookbook: ‘Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights’ This girl loves autumn so much she started her seasonal cookbook with it. I personally loved her recipe for ‘Poached eggs on portobello mushrooms with goats cheese’ although I broiled/ grilled the mushrooms for ten minutes and not the five that she suggested. I prefer them more wilted than raw.

img_6090I could really wax lyrical about autumn for hours on end. I guess I miss it so much. Living in Florida is lovely but I do miss my seasons.

If you have any great fall reads that you want to recommend, I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, with love, Sally xx

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Can Too Many Books Spoil the Broth?

Huge Witchy Book Haul….

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Hello my lovelies thank you so much for joining me. It’s so good to see you again! Here in the ‘Sunshine State’ it is dark and stormy, with the lightning cutting off the power intermittently and the house shaking with the thunder that seems to have set up home overhead. It is just the weather for me to share with you some of my huge spooky book haul. And I have to start it with a picture of my dream house, which I’m sure would look so spooky today.

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We all love a good book haul, right? especially if we were not planning on one, so that it is a surprise even to ourselves.I have been so good with my self-imposed book buying ban, that it’s been a full month since I last stepped foot into a book store or clicked that button on Amazon.I know the staff at my local bookstore will be sending out the cavalry to find me soon, if I don’t show my face in there.

Anyway, if you happen follow me on Instagram you will know that my hubby and I went on a day trip to St. Augustine on Sunday.It’s about two hours drive from our home in Central Florida. We had some business to take care of, with a little house hunting thrown in, and we wanted to spend a whole day there to take in the beautiful surroundings in this amazing and historical part of Florida.We had a wonderful time, but as usual the day went by far too quickly. Once everything was taken care of we hunted down somewhere to eat, where we could relax, hide from the sun, and scroll through all the amazing photos we had taken during the day. To be honest, the photos I was most interested in were the house ones. Sigh…

As we rolled out of the restaurant, my radar detected a huge Barnes & Nobel bookstore right behind us, winking in the sun. I looked at my hubby, he looked at me, sighed, and drove us the ten yards to the bookstore. He decided he would stay in the car while I browsed (he never learns) So I browsed lots. Too much. I was phoning him with updates while I shopped. I think I bought more in one haul than I’ve ever done. You know, the one where you split the bill between your debit card and your credit card so you can still pay the mortgage at the end of the month.

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I blame the staff. 😉 They didn’t limit me. They actually ENCOURAGED me! ‘Double points today” they said. “If you sign up for a new points card today you get 40% off hardbacks” they said. Only “$25 to join” they said. So how could I argue? After all it was only twenty-five dollars to join and I was getting double points and forty percent off too….

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I initially went in to buy a new Penguin cloth bound classic to add to my collection. I promised myself that I would only buy a new one of these gorgeous designs, when and only when, I’d read the previous one. So far I’ve stuck to that rule.

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How gorgeous are these Penguin cloth bound classics?

 

 

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But on Sunday something magical happened. Well actually it was a whole AREA devoted to the magical that happened. My jaw dropped, my hands shook and my basket became very heavy. I was in more than book heaven; You see, I’m writing a trilogy where fantasy and witchcraft are the main ingredients. I’ve been researching my subject since I was at college, and I have been actively writing for the whole of this year, and I’m finally seeing my life’s’ ambition coming together. So that one trip into the bookstore was an all-my-Christmases-come-at-once moment. Before long I was onto basket number two.

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Some local historic Haunting books.

So, let me share my treasures with you.

‘Spooky South’ by S.E. Schlosser – Tales of huntings, strange happenings, and other local lore.

‘Ghosts of St. Augustine by Dave Lapham twenty-four collected stories from the oldest city in Florida.

llewellyns 2017 Magical Almanac by Billington, Zaman, Blake et al -Ideas and techniques, calendars, stories and spells.

I figured with the local history books, if I’m moving into the area, I ought to know more about it. I can’t wait to get my teeth into these books.

 

 

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Next up are some super legends.

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The Story or King Arthur and Dancing with Dragons

‘The Story of King Arthur and his Knights’ by Howard Pyle is one of the children’s classics. Its only $10 and it is stunning!  It has tons of lovely illustrations, beautiful end papers and of course the silver edged pages that are the trademark of the Barnes and Nobel children classics.

‘Dancing with Dragons’ by D.J. Conway – What are Dragons?, how do they feature in magic? This appears to be an interesting investigation into the lore of Dragons.

 

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Oracles and Runes

Now these really intrigue me! I’ve been reading tarot cards since my Grandmother taught me at the age of ten. I collect so many different designs, yet I always seem to use the same pack that I’ve had forever. Nevertheless, I’m now venturing into the realms of oracle cards  (wait until I write my post on the work of the gorgeous and fabulously talented artist, Terri Foss- watch this space) These Faerytale oracle cards are just so beautiful.These are by Lucy Cavendish. All the cards are based upon a well-known fairy tale character. These have to be added to my top ten favorites. Now the Lenormand cards are something that I’m just getting to know. I have heard that they’re more difficult to learn, but I’m always looking for a challenge. Finally ‘The Book of Runes’ by Ralph H. Blum. I once began investigating the Runes but couldn’t seem to get ‘into’ them enough. But now I’m excited to try again.

 

 

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Learning wicca

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These three books are all schooling in the art of Witchcraft.

First up is ‘The Black Arts’ by Richard Cavendish- This book explores every aspect of the dark side of magic: psychic attacks, evil spirits, astrology, and summoning. Eeek…I think this one needs reading in daylight and in company!

‘Witchcraft theory and practice by Ly De Angeles- This is described as a manual that explains in-depth how and why magic works. I think this one looks more non-witch user-friendly.

‘Witch School’ by Rev. D. Lewis- Highcorrell – goodness that’s a mouthful. I thought my surname was, but he gets the prize. This is cited as a three-volume Witch school, rather like a college course on Wicca. The synopsis  tells us that there are twelve lessons to be completed in a year. Hmmm interesting.

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Herbal Magic and A year of Wicca

‘Wicca a Year and a Day’ by Timothy Roderick- This is an intensive study course of solitary witchcraft which focuses on the changing of the seasons and working with natural elements. This seems to go hand in hand with ‘Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs’ by Scott Cunningham. This is a dip in and outlook with meanings and uses of each herb that you can think of. I’m looking forward to this because I’m always blending teas and trying to invent new tastes for myself. Ok so these are the last two I’m going to share today. I see there is a lot to take in here. I haven’t read any of these books yet but I’ll have them to hand as I’m working on the novel, I want to weave as much history and folklore into my book as I can. It totally fascinates me! I hope you’ve enjoyed my witchy book haul post. I’ll be back with more this week. I’m hoping the sun shows up again soon so I can take more pictures. I’ll also be posting part 2 of my candle collection. As for my Barnes and Nobel trip, while I did buy books from some other genres too,I never did remember to look for my next Penguin cloth bound. ;?

I wish you all a lovely day. Curl up in your book nook, light a candle and drift to other worlds.

 

lots of love

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Sally xx