Halloween Prep, pt. 2 

Hello guys and ghouls! Following up from my previous Halloween Prep post, I thought I’d share a few more of the fun Halloween things I’ve made lately.

“Are you my mummy?” cookies

Potion ingredient bottles

My second attempt at the creepy Victorian candle holders turned out much better than the first! (Ignore the weird noises in the background)


Next time I’ll show you some of the costume pieces I’ve been working on! 🙂


Just a Few Words


Taking a quick detour from discussing books, I would like to tell you guys about something that I experienced today.

As usual, I spent my lunch break at Barnes & Noble, coffee in one hand, book in the other. This is my favorite way to spend my breaks and really helps me unwind after having people in the office bother me with requests all morning. Lately I’ve really needed these breaks. As if work stress isn’t enough, I’ve been going through some very challenging personal stuff this past year.

I’ve been in therapy for a couple of weeks now, working on recovering from my relapse into depression and my eating disorder. If you are familiar with mental health issues, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how exhausting and frustrating the road to recovery can be. I’ve had some pretty good days since starting therapy. And some really bad ones.

I’ve been forcing myself to do all of the things I need to do to get back to a more normalized eating pattern and not be so obsessive over eating healthy. Some days I feel good about this, others I don’t. In addition to repairing my relationship with food, I’ve been trying to repair my damaged relationship with my body. After spending months of telling myself horrible things and beating my body image down to a bloody pulp, this is probably harder for me to fix than the food issue.

When I showed up at Barnes & Noble today I was determined to read my book and stay distracted enough that I wouldn’t let the negative thoughts start to creep out. It wasn’t an easy task though. Thoughts of what I’m going to eat for dinner tonight already started creating chaos in my brain. I was supposed to plan dinner out ahead of time, but I dropped the ball. I wasn’t feeling super confident in my appearance today either, having thrown my hair up in a messy bun this morning just before leaving the house.

As I sat there, struggling to focus on the pages before me and ignore the panic ensuing in my head, an elderly man in a wheelchair came up to my table and introduced himself. I’d never seen him before in my entire life, but I introduced myself and shook his hand anyway.

“Excuse me, miss, I don’t mean to interrupt you, but I saw you from my table over there and I just wanted to come over and say hello. You are absolutely beautiful and I just wanted to tell you that in case no one else has today,” he told me.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who would have gotten creeped out or assumed that the man was trying to hit on me. (This is often my first assumption also when strange men approach me.) He wasn’t though. He didn’t take his comments any further, didn’t say anything inappropriate, look at me funny, or ask if I was single. In the few more minutes we chatted he asked me about the book I was reading and told me how much he loved coming to Barnes & Noble, but given that he’s in a wheelchair, he doesn’t get out much. After that we wished each other a good afternoon and I left to return to work.

He didn’t say much and he didn’t know anything about what I’e been struggling with lately, but the kind words of that man made me smile. Part of me wanted to cry. Those few words that we exchanged were exactly what I needed to hear in order to pull myself out of the funk I was about to spiral into.

You never know what’s happening in someone else’s life. You never know what a few kind words to someone could mean to them. You could make someone’s entire day without even realizing it.


Blogging · Books · Fiction · Young Adult

Currently Reading (and 200 followers!)

Now that I’ve finished reading The Night Gardener it’s time to move on to the next book for the Halloween read-a-thon!


For the second challenge I’m going to be reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This one has been on my TBR list for a while now (like so many others). This felt like a good opportunity to finally pull it off the shelf. Hopefully it’s as creepy as the cover makes it out to be.



I would also like to mention that I’ve recently reached 200 followers on Once Upon a Spine. In comparison to how many followers some of you have this isn’t a huge number, but it’s more than I imagined getting when I started blogging at the beginning of the year.

I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you who read my posts and leave me comments. I really enjoy blogging, but of course it wouldn’t be the same without all of you! You guys are so awesome. 🙂


Adult · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Middle Grade · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Fall Covers/Themes

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is another fun one: Ten Books with Fall Covers/Themes. Since I am obsessed with all things Halloween at the moment, all I can say in response to this week’s theme is YAY.

Don’t worry, there is nothing pertaining to pumpkin spice anything on this list.

Top Ten Books with Fall Covers/Themes

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Cemeteries are one of my favorite places to visit this time of year.

To Kill a Mockingburd by Harper Lee – I confess that I dislike this book, but the cover of this particular version feels very Fall-y to me with with colors and the tree.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackon – Creepy family and a black cat. Perfect for a Halloween read!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling – The colors on this one reminds me of the leaves changing from green to orange to brown. (Obviously, the themes of the series itself are perfectly suited for Fall reading.)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving – I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory.

The Books of Elsewhere series by Jaqueline West – The series is an appropriate one as most of it takes place during Fall and around Halloween. Pus, magic, talking cats, witches, people trapped in paintings…

The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass – I actually know nothing about this book, but I’ve seen it pop up on the blogosphere and the cover is appropriate.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I love the creepy covers on these books.

Dracula by Bram Stoker – There’s no such thing as October without vampires.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – This one is a cozy, gothic-mystery to curl up with in the evenings.

Book Reviews · Books · Fiction · Middle Grade · Mystery

Book Review: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Orphans Molly and Pip have been through some rough times. When they show up at the strange Windsor manor they are hopeful that their lives are about to get easier, but instead they only get weirder. Neither the house nor the family are what they seem. The family is pale and sickly, there’s a giant tree coming out of the house, and there’s a man roaming the halls at night. Molly can’t figure out exactly what’s going on, but she knows that if she can’t figure it out soon she and her brother will be the next to fall victim to the sinister ways of the Night Gardener. 

I really enjoyed this book. I definitely would have been creeped out by this one when I was a kid. It felt like something that belonged on the pages of Grimm’s or Poe’s tales.

Molly and Pip were good protagonists. Neither of them were the “hero” type or the “chosen one,” which I appreciated. Despite the young ages of the two, Molly and Pip struggled with some very adult problems (poverty, losing their parents, disability, etc.) and, as a result, interjected some real wisdom into the story.

The tree and the night gardener were spooky and weird. I liked the way the way the “monsters” and the house were all tied together.

Overall, this one gets a thumbs up from me. The story is good, the characters are great, and it was a fun read. The only potential problem a young reader might have with this is understanding the Irish dialect.


That’s one book down for the Halloween read-a-thon. On to the next one!

Books · Fiction · Middle Grade · Mystery

It’s Halloween Read-a-thon Time!


Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews is back with another Halloween read-a-thon. As I wasn’t active in the blog world during this time last year, you can rest assured that I am partaking this year.

There are multiple challenges to try, but unfortunately I won’t have the time to complete all of them. (You know, there’s that whole full-time job thing. *eyeroll*) I’m going to try my best to do at least a couple of them, just for fun.

Coincidentally, the book I am currently reading fits the bill for the following category:


The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier



Are you doing any Halloween reading challenges this year? 

Books · Middle Grade

Halloween Prep, pt. 1

Keeping in the theme of all things Halloween, I’m trying to squeeze a few Halloween-ish reads into my repertoire this month. I’m still keeping it on the light side as to not overwhelm my brain at the moment, but that’s okay. I’m still finding plenty of spooky reads that fall in line with the theme of the holiday.

What I’m Currently Reading:


This one has been on my shelf for a while now, waiting for a rainy day. It’s a quick read, as it’s technically a “children’s” book, but it has kept me entertained. There’s an old, creepy house; a family with lots of secrets; and a mystery man who roams the house at night while everyone is asleep.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love dark children’s literature? I wish there had been more of it around when I was a kid.


Speaking of dark and spooky things, I’ve been getting the house ready for Halloween. Here’s a sneak peak:

I made these creepy Victorian people candle holders this past weekend. They aren’t perfect yet, but I think they turned out pretty good for a first try.

Witch’s station.