Announcement: Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021

Welcome to the 6th Annual Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021 hosted by myself and Drew’s Movie Reviews.

This year, we’re changing things up a little. Instead of picking an entire decade, we’ve adopted the Decades Blogathon from Thomas J and Three Rows Back. How this blogathon works is that we pick a number and of course, we’re going to just do it the easy way and work our way up starting from 1 and choose a year ending in “-1”. So movies from 1921, 1931, 1941, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011. We’re allowing doubles for any year to keep it easy for everyone and see all of your choices from movies that stood out to you in those years (although if someone chooses 1921, 1931 and 1941 would be rather impressive since I don’t know much about them so it would be pretty cool to read about).

To help you all see what movies are from what year, here are some links to help you make a choice:

The details of this blogathon:

  • Any movie released in a year ending in “1” is a valid choice.
  • You can choose to do more than one review (just give us a heads up in advance)
  • We are posting the reviews on our blogs so it has to be submitted to us (let us know if you want to post on your blog also and we will let you know the release date so that you can pair it).
  • Submission Deadline: Entries should be sent to us by February 15th (if you need more time, let us know in advance and it will be absolutely okay)
  • Blogathon kicks off on February 22nd
  • Email me at kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com and/or Drew at drewt510@gmail.com to notify us of your participation and your selection(s).
  • You can tag us and help us promote using #UltimateDecadesBlogathon

Welcome all to join! We’re look forward to your choices and submissions. Feel free to use the banner above to show off your participation. If you know anyone that would be interested in joining the blogathon, please help us spread the word. Since we’re posting it, with or without a blog can join in. The more the merrier!

My November Adventures

November was a bit of a mess of a month. I was close to a burn-out after back to back film festival coverages and its why it took a while to wrap up the remaining films for those festivals. Luckily, that’s all done. With work also being an explosion of work, its been quite the crazy ride. I don’t foresee December being a lot better but at least, the slowed down posting schedule got my focus back on writing posts. With that said, not a really exciting month overall but still a few things to talk about plus at the end, there’s some December plans.

Not talking about any new projects until December’s wrap-up or January’s beginning of the year post as I have some final decisions to make on some possible changes or a new project/segment.

Blood in the Snow Festival

The ranking for the feature films (with the except of one Parallel Minds that I didn’t see):

  1. Come True (Review)
  2. For The Sake of Vicious (Review)
  3. Anything For Jackson (Review)
  4. The Return (Review)
  5. Hall (Review)
  6. Bloodthirsty (Review)
  7. Bleed With Me (Review)
  8. Shall We Play? (Review)

Overall, Blood in the Snow Festival was a good one. There were some really fun discoveries and some good direction on the stories that were being told. All the reviews for the feature films are up. I usually do something for short films but it already took so long to get this batch done that I haven’t had time to do that. I might still go back and highlight a few that I thought were rather unique and entertaining.

New Restaurant

New restaurant opened up yet and its a Hong Kong style noodle shop who has both curries but even more for the fish soup base that they have for their noodle soup. The noodle soup is ordered similar to what you’d do for Japanese ramen where you get to pick the base, the type of noodle and then 2 toppings. The soup itself actually has quite a bit of extra ingredients added in. I had the combo which included a drink and mine was the lemon ribena which is something very much part of the Hong Kong landscape. Can’t go back to visit in this current landscape but at least there’s food to make me feel more connected, right?

New Spices & Masks

The husband had some company coupon codes sort of deal so we went ahead and took a look at the catalogue. I have some fun candles on the way that didn’t make it on this post but we ordered the spices kit from Gourmet Inspirations. So far, we’ve only tried the Veggie Fusion which adds a nice kick to the veggies.

As for the masks, the Instagram posts says it all. I’ve tried a few companies that make masks and Hop La Gogosses is by far my favorite so I’ve returned a few times. Not to mention, they are close so when I have time, I usually try to do a pick-up instead of getting it delivered. They have these custom ones so you get to choose the front and back from a range of choices.

Black Friday Haul

  • Best Buy: Chromecast
  • Google Play: The Almost Gone, Very Little Nightmares
  • Cineplex: Rental: Guns Akimbo
  • Steam: Gnog, Jenny LeClue Detectivu, Celeste, Transference, Sea of Solitude, The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories
  • Xbox Ultimate Game Pass

Black Friday has pretty much mostly been an online deal even before the whole pandemic landscape so seeing as I did overall spend less this year, I ended up picking up on some of the sweet deals online for games and such. The only physical item I got was a new Chromecast. Our old Chromecast was starting really casting some things really well and was starting to get a little tempermental so we changed it and it seems to work better.

Everything else was mostly gaming related. Xbox Ultimate Game Pass for PC was dropped to $1/month and that’s great since I had a few games to catch up on so my next month of gaming is pretty much sort out since when I cut my subscription 2 months ago, I still had a few games that I hadn’t tried out yet.

As for Cineplex, there was some good rentals but the one that I’ve been meaning to watch is Guns Akimbo so that’s going to be done soon.

Christmas Marathon & Upcoming Plans

End of November means that its time to welcome in the Christmas Marathon! Christmas movies have been fairly slim pickings but thanks to Netflix releasing an immense amount of Christmas movies (whether good or bad), there’s a little more selection. Hopefully enough to fill out these few weeks leading to Christmas. It should start tomorrow December 1st if all things go well.

A quick mention on December plans while we’re at it. I’m trying to work out all the backlog and releasing some more current release stuff, mostly TV (Netflix and Chinese Drama TV binges). I’m going to blend it all in this month while catching up with some 2020 TV series that I’ve missed or didn’t finish. Fingers crossed that I can work on as much as possible.

That’s it November Adventures!
Nothing too exciting and just a lot of spending overall.
What have you been up to?

My September Adventures!

September has come to an end as Canada has officially announced the beginning of the second wave of COVID-19. We’re going through regional alert levels where with the past weekends leaps in increase of cases, Montreal (along with two other regions) will enter into maximum alert on October 1st meaning generally that other than shopping centres and retail businesses/personal care services, everything where social gathering can happen (theatres, libraries, bars, dine-in at restaurants, etc) are all closed for the next 4 weeks including all private gatherings. Just a little update on the currents of my whereabouts.

New Restaurants in Town

Perhaps my fave place so far to open would have to go to Shuyi Tealicious where I just love the Jasmine Tea or Oolong Tea with Grass Jelly. Its some delicious stuff in the simplest way. So good. Whereas the husband loves the milk tea with oats.

The first dine-in since COVID-19 and the only one for a while, I’d assume seeing the current state of situation. Either way, this new ramen place was pretty good. Its new so there was a line-up which if it wasn’t for my friend’s birthday, I wouldn’t have lined up for it or chosen to dine-in. Luckily the tables here were spread out pretty good.

With the new restrictions in place, we’re back to hibernating at home and cooking our own food or taking out or maybe trying out some delivery services if we want to try new food. The little joys in life, right?

Fantasia Film Festival Wrap-Up

Fantasia International Film Festival ended on September 3rd with a successful first ever virtual edition which had a very good platform for its movies and loved the mix of live screenings, Q&A as well as the on demand film selection. If only I didn’t have actual work, I’d have done a much more elaborate coverage of many more films. Still, I managed to do a bigger load of movies in a shorter timeframe so I’m rather proud of myself in general plus, I picked some solid choices with maybe only one or two that was a little disappointing. As a final wrap-up since I don’t want to do another post for it, here is my top 10 (which I’m thinking whether it would have been great if I did it in a Youtube video format or even podcast format, right?)

  1. The Oak Room
  2. The Paper Tigers
  3. Sheep Without A Shepherd
  4. Detention
  5. A Mermaid in Paris
  6. A Witness Out of the Blue
  7. Chasing Dream
  8. The Mortuary Collection
  9. You Cannot Kill David Arquette
  10. Jumbo

Movies and Tea Podcast

The latest episode of Movies and Tea Podcast transferred to Youtube is here as Season 2 is in progress of being put up.

We’re in Season 5 David Fincher on the Movies and Tea blog. The latest podcast episode released was our After Hours special for You Cannot Kill David Arquette HERE.

Hiking: La Montée du Dragon

Parc National du Mont-Megantic

Nothing like a little hiking as we return to Mont-Megantic National Park earlier in September. You can check out the hiking recap HERE.

Announcement: Halloween Marathon Starts TOMORROW!!

October is around the corner (tomorrow) so its time for the annual Halloween Marathon! I’ve got quite a nice line-up as we tackle two different franchises. I was only suppose to be one and then I started watching the sequels of another one and finished it so kind of wrapped up another franchise as well. Its the Living Dead franchise (including the remakes) and Insidious sequels (since I already reviewed the first one before). I also have some random movies to slot in between so it should be fun. Living Dead franchise is a little hard to find some of the movies and I didn’t plan it better so I’m hoping that I will find some of them if not I might just skip over it depending on the situation. If you have any horror films that you’d like to recommend for me to watch, let me know and I’ll add it on to my list if I haven’t seen or reviewed it before.

That’s it for this September adventures!
What have you been up to during these crazy times?

Blogathon Reminder: Ultimate 2010s Blogathon! There’s Still Time To Join!

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Hey everyone!

A friendly reminder to everyone! Ultimate 2010s Blogathon deadline is right around the corner in ONE WEEK on February 9th!

If you missed the announcement and would like to join in, there’s still time. You can find all the info HERE.

If you are just seeing this now and need a little more time, don’t be shy to drop us an email and we can arrange it. If anyone you know would like to join in, share it with others. The more the merrier~!

 

My January Adventures!

2020 is among us and well, January has passed, hence why this post is here! January is always a busy month for myself especially on the personal life and work front. Its unavoidable and just regular clockwork and expected in general. This year kind of hit a little as it included some health issues like infections and whatnot. However, first line of business is to apologize for the second half of January lacking posts in general as life kind of destroyed me between preparing for Chinese New Year (a happy thing) and working crazy overtime (a more exhausting process). Its been a rather negative first month but I’m still trying to stay positive. If I can’t change the situation then just change my mindset, right?

Re-Organizing the Office and Bookshelves

The first in the operation is to free up two levels of bookshelf filled with Disney plush toys so that I can use it for some other overflowing books sitting around the different bookshelves elsewhere. It was a debate to use the new utility cart for plush or for books. The final decision was plush toys and use the book shelf for actual books or other little gadgets lying around.

Announcement: Ultimate 2010s Blogathon

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If you missed it, this year’s Ultimate Decades Blogathon was announced. We’re looking at 2010s movies and the ones that made your favorites whether it identified the decade or it was one that highlighted the decades best. Here is all the info on the blogathon. There’s still time so don’t be shy and share with your friends who you think might be interested in joining!

Happening Gourmand: Taverne Gaspar

Taverne Gaspar

Happening Gourmand went on as an Old Montreal event. The past few years, we’ve missed out on our group dinners due to work or whatever other reason. This year, we ended up making it for Taverne Gaspar. I’m still working on the recap and its going to happen.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinese New Year happened on January 25th which is a week before of just deep cleaning the house and preparing everything. In our case, it was a day of taking down Christmas and then jumping into getting into Chinese New Year vibe from getting flowers to doing some grocery shopping to stuff up the fridge and buying things that bring good luck. Looking back at this, we can only hope that its a long term luck thing because we’ve got some pretty meh updates lately. Apparently, Tigers are supposed to do well this year so fingers crossed 😉

Montreal Auto Show 2020 & La Centrale

Kicked off the actual Chinese New Year day with friends at the Montreal Auto Show. It was a crazy 5 hours of walking about looking at cars. We did have some solid goals for friends who are looking for the next car and also to see whats new on the market. The highlight this year was the electric cars as well as the one hydrogen car from Toyota. Its pretty interesting as well to see the other fancy cars as well, of course.

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After that we all went out to see Le Central which is a new concept food court style food but with some classier food. We tried out the fried chicken place called Ho Lee Chix and had their burger combo. After that, we went ahead to Mignon Churros & Nougat to pick up some churros and chose their house chocolate dip and then bought some nougat to go.  Everything tasted pretty good. I’m definitely a fan of Le Central than Timeout at Eaton Centre.

Valentine’s Marathon Coming Up!

I’m a bit behind in everything because of the work rush. Obviously, as this post is also going up later than I expected. However, I’m lining up the start of the Valentine’s Marathon with some romantic film double features and of course, a review for the upcoming To All The Boys: P.S. I Love You, among a few other things!

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this January Adventures!
Its been kind of a crazy month with lots of stuff going on and probably the definition of work hard play hard, if anything else!

My Weekly Adventures: The 8th Blogiversary

my weekly adventures

This weekly adventures is a tad later than usual…because of the big event that Tranquil Dreams is 8!!

disney birthday

It all fits perfectly because I didn’t have much that happened other than working on some personal matters that I don’t prefer to share here. On top of that, its a whole lot of overtime at work and you all don’t want to hear about that just as much as I don’t want to talk about it, I’d presume. Then there’s the obvious issue of being sick which I had mentioned briefly on a What’s Up. So all in all, not a ton of fun activities in the last two weeks.

 

Normally, I have the habit of an annual vlog to celebrate the blogiversary but let’s just say that the plans fell through because I forgot I had to film and ran out of time. I have to say that it might be for the better. Before we move onto the more Weekly Adventures bit, let me write a little on celebrating the blogiversary today.

disney birthday 2

For one, its a massive thank you to everyone who has stopped by here, liked a post and the other bloggers and podcasters that I’ve worked with. Its pretty fantastic to think that I’ve been doing this for eight years and that now its part of my daily life and the content has grown and changed as well. Its also been a journey where I’ve learned a lot not only in finding my writing style and simply writing better but also the fact that without here, I wouldn’t have learned video editing and audio editing and learned how to be a part of podcast co-host and co-host a blogathon as well. At the same time, I never thought that I’d get the opportunity to cover festivals and review screeners and all that fun stuff. All in all, a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone whether you drop by today or later on or before this post existed.

This past week was a nice little work up to this because I had one announcement and one little decision in the making which is the only Weekly Adventures worthy parts…

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon Announcement

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In case you missed it, Drew and I announced out Ultimate 2000s Blogathon on Monday. Sign up and submissions are open for 3 weeks. We are looking forward to it all. Its the 4th year that we are doing what we have called the Ultimate Decades Blogathon this time of year and the 2000s has such great movies that we are looking forward to what picks show up.

If you missed the announcement, you can find it HERE.

To Come: Videos, Vlogs, Discussions and more

Ever since I stopped doing What’s Up videos, I’ve been pondering this video business for a while. To be honest, I’ve been thinking about this even during that phase. Doing every other week seems to be hard to keep up with mostly because it just falls out of routine and seems a bit redundant. So I decided to do a monthly What’s Up roundup sort of thing. At least thats the idea for now. The goal is to eventually get something much more entertaining like discussions or compare and contrasts on movies and adaptations or their remakes or reboots or sequels. Something that I like to talk about preferably so it can really be anything. I might do audio and just do clips in the background more than myself showing up in the videos.

I still have some decisions to make but I think its a nice way to liven up the Youtube channel a little and do some extracurricular video editing practice. I did think about doing like a podcast style as well or maybe just doing an audio version as well.

All in all…

We’re 8 after all! I’m looking forward to changing things around and a part of me wants to go back to where it all started with a bigger focus on food and baking which I honestly miss a lot. I miss the days that I watched a lot of Chinese and Taiwanese TV series and Hong Kong movies and I guess its the years that its been here that I’m not as afraid to take those risks so I’ll slowly get that going as well. Its been on my mind for a few years now and I never figured out how to integrate it so I’m going to just go for it once I find the right structure and angle.

That’s it for this special Weekly Adventures!
Thanks to everyone for being a part of this journey!
Being here for 8 years means that I’ve seen many bloggers come and go.
As for myself, I see myself going further a little longer 🙂

Announcement: Ultimate 2000s Blogathon! Sign up now!

Ultimate 2000s Blogathon

WELCOME TO THE 4TH ANNUAL ULTIMATE DECADES BLOGATHON HOSTED BY MYSELF AND DREW’S MOVIE REVIEWS!

We’ve gone through the 70s, 80s and 90s in the past three years. For our 4th year, we jump forward to the 2000s. This blogathon is all about your ULTIMATE, Favorite films released between 2000 to 2009.

Like any other year, you ask why 2000s, right? Other than the fact that you might have noticed our pattern at this point. The millennium brought some fantastic films. It might not be any choices that quite classify themselves as classics yet for you but there are definitely some signature movies that not only define the decade but also brought to light some great directors, intriguing stories and brilliant actors and actresses. We sure have a few in mind. For example, if you like teen movies, Mean Girls is one that is great. In terms of foreign directors, Guillermo Del Toro landed on everyone’s map with Pan’s Labyrinth and Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli began highlighted with Spirited Away being part of the Oscar game joined by Ang Lee coming on the scene with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

spirited away

The Lord of the Rings franchise also was released throughout this decade and of course, James Cameron came around and delivered us the innnovative 3D experience that has kicked off a whole new 3D phase with Avatar. We also can’t neglect to look at some memorable Pixar titles that came to light: Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Up, The Incredibles. Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino also released so great films like Memento which kicked off the decade and Kill Bill Vol. 1 respectively. Before we go away, let’s give some more variety from outstanding zombie films like 28 Days Later to wonderful indie films like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine.

Look at all those great titles! Suffice to say, its really only scratching the surface. There are a ton of choices other than these ones that I’ve probably not mentioned and available for everyone to choose from. What 2000s film is one that you can watch over and over again? Which made an impression on you? Or maybe for some of you younger bloggers out there, you  might have even grown up with the 2000s film.

The details of the blogathon:

  • Any movie released from 2000 to 2009 is a valid choice
  • You can choose to do more than one review (just give us a head up in advance)
  • We are posting up the reviews on our blogs so it has to be submitted to us (notify us if you want to post on your blog also and we will work our the release date)
  • Submission Deadline: Entries sent in to us by February 11th (if you need more time, don’t be afraid to email us)
  • Blogathon kicks off on February 18th!
  • Email me at kim.tranquildreams@gmail.com and/or Drew at drewt510@gmail.com to notify us of your participation and your selection(s). (we’d like to keep your choice a surprise)

Welcome all to join in! We’re looking forward to your choice and submissions. Feel free to use the banner above to show off on your sites. Also, if you know anyone that you think would be interested in joining into the blogathon, please do spread the word. The more the merrier!

My Weekly Adventures: Christmas Is Just Around the Corner

November has come to an end. That was a quick and really busy month. Suffice to say, some projects and goals and that endless to-do list had its ups and downs. Its just how it is. The first part is accepting and being okay with it all. Not to mention, everything in general was kind of overwhelming so mentally, not in such a great spot. Its probably telling me something but I’m not going to discuss that because there are a lot of things on my mind right now as 2018 heads into its last month and I’m thinking a lot about 2019.

Blood in the Snow Festival (BITS 2018)

BITS 2018

First time tackling remote coverage is definitely a pretty good experience. Unlike physically being at the festival, remote coverage is all about time management and working with embargos and getting things done in a timely fashion because there is nothing pushing physically to be done and its all more superficial. Blog technicalities aside, its also the first time working on Blood in the Snow Festival and it had a lot of interesting and intriguing movies to offer. Nothing that was disappointing but some were average and some were amazing. It had different genres and covered Canadian films which I love to dive into. Its only a few days long which is a much lighter festival but its a pity to not be on the spot to see all the industry panels and everything they have to offer. The variety of content alone makes it an interesting one to be present in person for.

With that said, all the movies have been reviewed:

With that said, a festival page under movies for Blood in the Snow Festival has been created now so you can find all the reviews HERE.

Black Friday

Black Friday was pretty calm this year. I didn’t go out with a huge intention of spending a lot so I found some deals that I thought were worth it to fill some of the needs and stuff. A few purchases were surprises but nothing that broke the piggy bank too much.

You can see the haul post HERE.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas is in full effect at our house. I only showed the new little bits of our place and the Christmas tree. I might have a little Christmas decorations thing in December but then its not a big change anyways.

NaNoWriMo

The week after I decided to do NaNoWriMo, things pretty much went downhill. After BITS 2018 came onto my radar and work got hectic and whatnot, that was it. I never expected to finish it in the first place but I had to put it aside if I wanted to at least have some normal sleeping schedule. Either way, I might actually work on that during the year afterwards. I have some nice ideas for my fanfic. I’ve never written one and sponataneity wasn’t really working. Either way, not feeling too bad about it. Something had to be give and this was the choice I had to make.

Next year though, I do want to get back to it and get some planning done beforehand.

Announcement: Christmas/Holiday Marathon

We head into December tomorrow. Like the last few years, I’m going to be doing a little holidays and Christmas marathon of sorts. I’m going to see if I can find some holiday themed books to end the year while probably go through some films on Netflix. Its slim pickings and mostly Hallmark type films but I’ll make do with what I can. This will be the official announcement for the marathon.

Some titles  considered right now:

  • The Princess Switch
  • The Holiday Calendar
  • Bad Santa
  • The Night Before
  • A Christmas Prince 2 (I saw that its supposed to be released in December)
  • Nailed It! Holiday (also coming out in December)
  • The Christmas Chronicles
  • El Camino Christmas

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to?

Announcement: Halloween Marathon 2018 Officially Begins!

Halloween Marathon

The 2018 Halloween Marathon is upon us. It definitely came by quickly enough.

Halloween Marathon has been always an exciting month in the year over here. This year’s horror movies have been quite limited so its going to be an adventure to work on getting rid of some of the movies in My List on Netflix as well as some movies on our shelves that we’ve bought but never seen. We are in the phase of decluttering and trading in our films is one of the phases we are working on. I do have a lot of horror movies to catch up on and with the Netflix October movie releases and other bits here and there with books and hopefully some cooking as well, its going to be a ton of stuff happening and with a decent variety if things go as planned.

Reviews currently being scheduled and writing in progress:

  • The Babysitter (2017)
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2017)
  • Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (Season 1 & 2)

Some of my top picks:

MOVIES

  • Annihilation
  • The Babadook (because it seems like I’m the only person in the universe that hasn’t seen it yet)
  • Bone Tomahawk
  • Green Room
  • Gantz: 0
  • The Visit
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Sharknado: The 4th Awakens
  • Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

TV SERIES (These picks are priority because I want to wrap up the show as they are already done)

  • Scream Queens (Season 2)
  • Hemlock Grove (Season 3)
  • Ash vs Evil Dead (Season 2)

The Maybe List (if I’m in a mood and none of the top picks fit my liking or I want to watch a dumb horror):

  • The Forest
  • It Comes at Night
  • Anaconda
  • Mother!
  • Mama
  • The Open House
  • Winchester

Obviously, the list above is all subject to change and its on what I decide to pick. However, I’m open to any suggestions! If there’s any movie that you want me to review on this list, just leave it in the comments or tweet or email or whatnot and I’ll make sure to bump up the priority. 

Also, as I mentioned before, books will be included in there. I’ve currently started one already so we will be having 2 or 3 hopefully pop up over the month.

On top of the normal programming from movies definitely making it in and others in consideration above, Elwood and I are kicking off Movies & Tea Podcast’s season 2 with our look at Guillermo Del Toro’s directorial effort. With that said, there is a lot of horror movies coming out from there. I’d say that we might get through a movie or two in October if things go as it did in the first season of the show.

Before I wrap this announcements and start the Halloween Marathon out of the gates here, I do want to say that I have a last minute decision of attending the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal so I’ll be covering up to 10 films there. However, none of those films will be horror, or at least from what I think. So, there will be other things going on here. If the marathon takes a little slide in the background, the second half of October will be in full force. You just need to be patient with me as I work through real life, festival coverage and Halloween marathon.

That’s it for this morning’s announcement! 
We officially start tomorrow morning with a movie review! 🙂

Are you doing anything special for Halloween on or off the blog? Leave a comment and a link to your blog so others can go check it out!