Monday, December 31, 2018

Wishing You A Scary Boo Year!

Who's ready for 2019?! I am bidding farewell to 2018 and looking forward to a scary boo year in 2019. Before welcoming in the new year, I wanted to reflect a bit on 2018, if you would be so kind to indulge me in some recollections.

2018 was a whirlwind of activity for me. It was my busiest Halloween season yet, and I got to attend so many incredible haunts, conventions, and events. 2018 saw some of my best posts, which were a blast to write, and I'm so happy they were well-received (I had my highest readership ever thanks to you ghouls and boils!!). Not only that, but I also had the pleasure of guest posting on several blogs, a zine, and having a monthly column published on a popular horror site.

The year was not without its heartbreaks, though. I suffered a devastating loss when my Nonna passed away as well as going through various personal struggles. I don't delve into too much personal stuff here, but it was a hard time, as I'm sure you can imagine. It was a year of highs and lows, which everyone can relate to, because that is life, right? You gotta take the good with the bad.

During the end of the year, I like to focus on the positive and reflect on what brought me joy in 2018. I wanted to share a few of these favorite things from 2018 with you, dear readers, which included:

Miss Havisham's Curiosities
  • Oddities Flea Market - I was in awe of the Oddities Flea Market that finally came to LA in 2018 (which, unfortunately was so crowded I didn't get any good photos so I didn't get to do a full post on it), so I am so happy to have already grabbed my tickets for their 2019 marketplace, that will come back to the Globe Theater in Los Angeles for a full weekend in May.
My favorite place for viewing horror movies - my living room!
  • Horror movies - There were so many good horror movies released in 2018, and I love how much variety there was for horror fans, from eerie arthouse pieces to slasher comebacks to creepy cults to brutal revenge films to clever horror comedies. I believe we are in another golden age of horror, and 2019 promises many more excellent horror films (keep an eye out for my top horror films of 2018 list as well as my most-anticipated horror movies of 2019, both coming soon)!
Chilling with the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Horror television - Besides horror films, there was so much exciting horror on TV! It seems like every week there was a new series to binge-watch on Netflix, Shudder, Hulu, etc. I really enjoyed Dark (on Netflix), Black Mirror (on Netflix), Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (on Netflix), The Haunting of Hill House (on Netflix), Channel Zero (on Shudder), and the Into the Dark series (on Hulu).
May I present you the glorious Pumpkin Rock!
  • Hike to Pumpkin Rock - This short hike was so fun and I loved checking out the giant boulder painted like a Jack Skellington pumpkin! If you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out - further details on getting there, where to park, etc. via the link above.
Getting festive with Beistle's vintage-inspired decor!
Home spooky home, aka Midsummer Scream!
  • Midsummer Scream - Wow, 2018 was the year this Halloween convention completely exploded! I went both days (check out coverage for Day 1 and Day 2!) and it was extremely packed the entire time, with so many things to see and do. 2019 will be an even bigger event that will fill the entire Long Beach Convention Center! It is one of my most favorite events to look forward to (I've gone every year since it started), and it cannot come soon enough.
Searching for ghosts in the depths of the Queen Mary
  • Visiting The Queen Mary's most haunted rooms - Wow, this was such a special treat! I got invited to check out the most haunted locations aboard the infamous Queen Mary. I was taken on several different "mini" haunted tours and got to explore so many amazing locations aboard the ship that are generally closed off to the public. I didn't see any ghosts, but it was a thrilling adventure nonetheless! The link above will take you on a tour of all the haunted rooms I got to explore.
Universal Studios' Trick 'r Treat scare zone
  • Halloween 2018 season - This year I really did the most I've ever done and still barely made a dent in all the Halloween events in SoCal. It is really hard to pick a favorite, but I loved Warner Bros.' Horror Made Here, the Ghost Train in Griffith Park, Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, and Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights, to name a few. It was a beautifully exhausting season and I'm ready to do it all over again next year!
Whoa, it's me!!
This little hayride in Big Bear was one of my fave experiences of October!
  • Big Bear's Scare Valley Farms Haunted Hayride - I visited Big Bear for the first time ever to attend a haunted hayride, and it ended up being one of my favorite experiences in 2018! We rented a cozy cabin, drove around the lake, saw fall foliage, ate vegan food in a dive bar, and went to this insanely fun hayride! Next year I want to take a group of friends up there and show them how fun it is (who's in?).
I love lists
  • Ten Things lists - I just started these posts a few months ago (inspired by the always incredible Sarah E. of the Unquiet Things blog), and am thrilled to dedicate a post to the things I am loving every month! I hope this way you get a glimpse into some new discoveries and favorite things of mine, and I also hope it makes me reflect and be more mindful of all the things I have to be grateful for, of which there are many.
  • Monthly column on A Nightmare on Film Street - I also have a new monthly column for A Nightmare on Film Street, which is one of my favorite podcasts as well as a killer horror site! My column is about must-have items for horror fans - check out my first feature, 20 Gifts for Horror Fans Under $20!
  • Reading - I read 40 books this year and most of it was excellent stuff! I am not very good at keeping up with current book releases, so my reads were probably a few years old (or older), but some of my favorite books I read this year include Grady Hendrix's My Best Friend's Exorcism, HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt and a book of empowering poems by Claire C. Holland called I Am Not Your Final Girl.
One of my vegan food hauls from Trader Joe's this past autumn! Yes,
everything pictured here is vegan!!
  • Vegan lifestyle - Veganism exploded in 2018, and promises to grow even bigger in 2019! It is such an exciting time to be vegan, with vegan options starting to hit fast food chains (I just had vegan tacos at Del Taco!!), awesome new vegan products (Beyond Meat is killing it with their vegan burgers and sausages, and so many beauty companies have pledged to go cruelty-free), vegan options popping up at more restaurants, more vegan options on grocery store shelves, bigger companies investing in vegan products, and just the crazy fast expansion of the vegan market in all sectors, from food to beauty to fashion and beyond. If you are interested in going vegan (it will be the best decision you will ever make, seriously!), I highly recommend checking out Veganuary for resources. They have reported that a new person signs up to go vegan every 8 seconds!! I've been vegan almost 11 years and it is really encouraging to see veganism going mainstream. It's not a diet - it is for the animals (no animal deserves to die to feed humans when there are plentiful plant-based alternatives), for the planet (animal agriculture is the biggest polluter of the planet, poisoning the water, the earth, and the air), and for your health (going vegan has a huge impact on mental and physical health). At this point, there are no reasons you shouldn't go vegan!

I hope the good outweighed the bad for you in 2018, and if it didn't, I hope that 2019 will be kinder and gentler for you. I hope 2019 brings you all the spooky goodies you could hope for, health, happiness, and makes all your Halloween dreams come true.

Stay spooky, my fiends, and have a Scary Boo Year!

Don't forget to follow my 2019 adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

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