Happy Halloween!

I am going to keep this post a bit short today. Today not only marks the most bewitched (haha, no pun intended) holiday of the year, but also a day that is special to me in another way. It is my boyfriend’s birthday, and he is turning 23 today. It’s amazing to me how time flies because when I first “officially” met him (that’s a long story I will go into later), he was 16. I remember that year he was dating one of my good friends, and she and her other friends threw a birthday party for him. I was so jealous, I wanted to go too. However, there were tensions between Troy (that’s his name) and I. Anyway, I just wanted to brag to my readers that the most important person in my life has the world revolved around him today (at least in his mind, haha!)

Troy, if you’re reading, I hope you have a wonderful birthday! You don’t know how much you mean to me.

Tomorrow also marks a couple of things to me as well. First and most importantly, my mother’s birthday is tomorrow! I’m going to spend all day with her tomorrow, she deserves so much. Secondly, NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!! I am still in the research process, but I think I have a pretty good idea what I’m going to write about. Wish me luck, guys!

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween as well, and please stay safe. For now, I will let you enjoy photos of this year’s most creative idea for a Halloween costume.

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What does the fox say!

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My best-friend Nikiya! The cat says, ‘meow.’

Audrey

My Fall Favorites

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Image credit to myself, AudreyColleenPhotography via Tumblr

I was inspired by one of my online friends to create a list of things about my life right now or that I favor about fall in general. I actually love creating lists because it helps me keep in order the things that inspire me and that are important to me. Let’s start, shall we?

1. Anything and everything pumpkin-flavored. From the infamous Pumpkin-Spice Lattes from Starbucks to trying out interesting recipes such as Pumpkin soup, I am all about the festive, fall-spicy taste of pumpkin and pumpkin-spice. To me, products coming out that have a hint of pumpkin to them are a trademark of the autumn season. One of my favorite treats are the pumpkin-flavored Pop Tarts you can find usually at Wal-Mart or Publix. I haven’t tried to find them yet this year, but I definitely will try to once I get the chance.

2. The sound of a football game from the television. I am not much interested in football as much as I am for the marching band, but it is still a staple of the fall-ish atmosphere to be sitting at the table doing homework and being able to hear the sportscaster’s voice naming off the different plays chosen by the football team. The cheering of the crowd, and the tinkling of the marching band’s fight song also is a wonderful thing to listen to. Going along with the subject of football, I also enjoy being able to go to them football games to support my boyfriend (who is in the marching band where he goes to school) playing his trombone in the stands or across the field. Other than that, I would say I don’t care too much for football. I kind of get a sense of glee to hear that the football team I have grown up with to love wins a game, but I wouldn’t get upset if they didn’t win either.

3. Halloween. Other than Christmas, I would say my favorite holiday of the year would be Halloween, due to many reasons. I absolutely love Halloween decorations! I am actually an avid fan of bats, and so any decoration that has to do with the flying little animals will be on my wall in a split-second. Oh, and I also love black cats too! I enjoy all of the usual October/Halloween traditions that come around this time of year: Pumpkin carving, haunted house exploring, hayrides, bonfires, ghost stories, horror movies, you name it. It has been a tradition for my dad and I to go to a scary corn-maze and then retrieve to the movies to watch the current Paranormal Activity movie, but unfortunately since there is going to be a delay on the fifth one, we may have to substitute it for a horror movie night. It still sounds fun though! Also, I might add, it doesn’t help that my boyfriend’s birthday is Halloween!

4. The wonderful woodsy scent of the outdoors. You know that smell. It smells like a mixture of pine, fire, and a little hint of cinnamon from the nearby houses that burn their autumn candles during the fall. This smell always makes me want to put on my hiking boots and go tread through a nearby nature park or run barefoot through the woods near my home. It makes me want to rake up all of the colorful, sensitive leaves and jump in them. Or, just simply, it makes me want to relax in the backyard and read a book.

5. The beginning of cold, dark days. It’s not that I don’t like sunny days, because I really do. I love cold, yet sunny, windless (or at least a little breeze) days just as much as I love cold, gray and dark days too. I don’t know what it is, but it feels more in tune to the season than a dark, dreary day in the spring or summer. I love going out on a dark day bundled up in my leggings, blue-jeans, undershirt, flannel pull-over, two pairs of socks, my Converse shoes, and a scarf and go outside to do early Christmas shopping or what-not. I also like going out in just leggings, a huge comfy sweater and boots or rain-boots as well. I just love the potential comfiness of a cold day! These are also days that are wonderful to have apple-cider or hot chocolate and sit somewhere warm and comfy to read a book.

6. The feeling of being able to start over. Every semester of school, I love the refreshing feeling of being able to start all over again from scratch. I can start the semester off clean and organized, and this is also the point where I make the best grades. The overwhelming feeling I sometimes get at the middle of the semester is where I always wished I took the time to buy all of the supplies I needed and read the organization tips I found via Pinterest.

7. Big cozy sweaters. Yes, when I say big cozy sweaters, I mean the monstrous, 80s-print, wool-made sweaters that you can stick your knees under and still be covered comfortably. I wear them no matter the circumstance, whether I’m going to the store, going to the movies (with leggings of course), or lounging around the house…yes…reading a book! My favorite sweaters are always the floral-print ones. If you don’t know me, I am a big floral-print person. They just scream vintage to me. The only thing I don’t care about big cozy sweaters is that when you take them out of the dryer, they tend to zap you with their evil electrical powers.

8. Oktoberfest! Being interested in German culture, specifically Bavarian culture, I like to expose myself to as much German traditions as I can. When it comes Christmas time, it is always so fun to put up a Christmas tree knowing that many (if not most) of the well-known Christmas traditions originated in Germany. With September and October being here, Oktoberfest is that part of the year in which I can celebrate another tradition! I actually went to an Oktoberfest celebration in a small town near my home with my boyfriend last Saturday. It was a lot of fun, and I plan on going back again next year, only with a little more wisdom on my shoulders. We met up with a friend the latter part of the night, and I was afraid that I had scared her off!

9. Owls, owls, owls. Whoo-whoo! Other than bats, I would have to say my second-favorite animal are owls. They are all over the place, no matter where you go, but I can’t help but smile every time I see a little decoration or a shirt with one of those big-eyed, hooting birds.

10. My favorite fall semester class: Nazi Germany. Ever since I was about fifteen, I have been very much interested in the time period between the 1920s-1940s. What also came about from this interest was my fascination with World War II, but most specifically the role of Nazi Germany. If you refer to a previous post, I stated that I was interested in Japan’s role of World War II when I was nine-years-old, but seven years later, I came upon the notion to just start reading about Adolf Hitler. I delved into the subject a lot more over the span from my sophomore year in high-school to the present: concentration and extermination camps, Aktion T4, the components of the SS (Schutzstaffel), Anne Frank and her family, Josef Mengele, the Hitler Youth and BDM (Bund Deutscher Madel), and resistance groups such as the White Rose and Claus von Stauffenberg to name a few topics. I decided to take the class so I could get a more detailed, in-class perspective on the politics and culture of the Nazi era. So far, the class has proved to be pretty impressive. My professor goes into great detail on all topics of National Socialism, and why it came to be. He is also a very particular grader, which a lot of students do not like, but I have come to appreciate the concern for proper writing. I am very interested in what we are talking about now at the moment (Hitler’s rise to power, the purge of the SA (Sturmabeitlung), the use of propaganda to obtain power), and I will be so much more excited when we get to the resistance of the Nazis. Mind you, I have no positive opinions toward the Nazis, but it is a part of history that fascinates me, historically and psychologically. I have to ask a lot of “why” questions to myself when reading about it.

Those are my fall favorites at the moment! What are your favorite aspects about fall? What is going on in your life that makes you super intrigued or excited? Feel free to share!

Audrey

People have harsh words for these days of autumn, but, reader, they are dear to me, I love their unassuming light, their quiet beauty. Autumn attracts me like a neglected girl among her sisters. And, to be quite honest, she is the only one that warms my heart. She has her good points; whimsically dreaming and free from vanity, I find her charms appealing.” – Alexander Pushkin, from “Autumn,” translated by Peter France.