Scary Movies for Halloween Weekend — Favorite Things {Day 30}

31 days 2014

When I started this series, I had several posts in mind about different movie genres, but now I’m down to just two days left in the series. So we’ll have to go with one genre and save the others for another time!

Since Halloween is tomorrow, and since I LOVE a good scary movie, I thought I’d give you some suggestions for your weekend. These flicks are great for popping up some corn and snuggling on the couch with all the lights off.

A quick disclaimer: I’m not including movies that are so chock full of gore that it’s beyond ridiculous. I’ve seen a few of those movies and they aren’t my style. Some of these suggestions DO have blood and gore in them, but it’s not the main focus of the movie. I’m also not including movies with a satanic focus. Those are too scary in my opinion, and so I can’t in good conscience recommend them!

My Favorite Scary Movies for Halloween

The Sixth Sense  – 1999

A classic thriller starring Bruce Willis, with one of the best twist endings EVER. This movie gave us the popular line: “I see dead people.” Very scary.


The Others – 2001

This flick stars Nicole Kidman and is a little like The Sixth Sense  in its premise. It’s a spooky mystery set at the end of WWII that begins with a bloodcurdling scream and never lets you go until the very end. One of my absolute favorites.

The Ring – 2002

This movie might just be the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t really say why because I don’t want to spoil it if by some chance you haven’t see it yet. But it is downright terrifying. It starts with a video tape and a phone call and just spirals into absolute terror. Plan to sleep with the light on and the TV turned OFF.

The Silence of the Lambs – 1991

I can remember in vivid detail seeing this in the theater. I kept my feet tucked up underneath me in the seat the entire time, uncomfortable as it was, because I was absolutely terrified. Warning: this one is gory. Even still, the psychological aspect will scare you much more than the blood and guts. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins are at their very best in this film.



Open Water – 2003

This is one of those movies I’d never heard of but we decided to rent one night. It’s about a couple who are stranded in — wait for it — open water. How could they make a whole movie about that? Well, I don’t know, but they did and it’s intense and scary as all get out. Again, it’s the psychological part of it that will get to you. I couldn’t breathe while watching this.


The Mothman Prophecies – 2002

Just plain weird and creepy. About a reporter (Richard Gere) who goes to a small town to investigate weird events and ends up getting sucked into the drama.

The Changeling – 1980

A classic ghost story. I remember watching this over and over as a teenager and it never got old. Not to be confused with the 2008 Angelina Jolie movie by the same name.

The Strangers – 2008

This is one intense movie. A young couple is staying the night at a house in a remote, rural location. It is late and a strange child shows up at the door. The events only get spookier from there. The scariest thing about this film is how the tension and dread continue to build, even before “the strangers” begin to make their official appearance. Absolutely terrifying.

The Blair Witch Project – 1999

When this movie came out people either laughed at it or were terrified by it. I was one of the ones who was horror-stricken. Watching this is like watching a home movie that some kids filmed out in the woods. You never see much action. But as the terror builds, your imagination does most of the work. By the end, you’ll feel as if you’ve been lost in the woods yourself. SCARY.


Hope this gives you some fun ideas for your weekend Halloween viewing! Stay safe and eat lots of treats!

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This post is part of the 31 Days Link-up. To see what other bloggers are writing about, click here. To see all my 31 days posts so far, click here.

*There are Amazon affiliate links included in this post. If you click on a link and make a purchase from Amazon, a small percentage of the sale helps to support this site. You will never be charged more for any item, and I only link to items that I personally recommend.

My Favorite Autism Resources — Favorite Things {Day 29}

31 days 2014

I can’t believe I’ve stuck with this 31 Days thing for 29 days already! I thought for sure I’d flake out by now!

But I’m still here.

Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorite autism resources — from books to websites to movies. We started our autism journey almost seven years ago when my son was diagnosed at age 4. It was a difficult time and I found the amount of information out there to be overwhelming. It was hard to know who to trust, what to do, or which resource might actually work.

I get a lot of readers who are parents of special needs kids, particularly kids on the autism spectrum. I hope that some of the information I’ve gathered here will give you a jumping-off point into the vast amount of information that’s available.

My Favorite Autism Resources

Books for Parents:



My Favorite Book about Special Needs in the Church



Books to Read with Kids

Fiction Books with Characters on the Spectrum





Online Resources:

  • Do 2 Learn (Great resource for making visual schedules)
  • Autism.Net (Another site with lots of visuals and ideas for making schedules)
  • Future Horizons – fantastic resources available on this site. Future Horizons hosts conferences throughout the year. I was able to attend one a few years ago and heard both Tony Attwood and Temple Grandin speak (two well known Asperger’s/Autism experts).
  • Temple Grandin’s website – Temple Grandin is a phenomenal human being with an amazing story. See the movie about her! Also, I met her several years ago when I attended Future Horizon’s conference here in Dallas.
temple grandin


Games and Manipulatives:


I’m sure I’ve left some things out! There are so many resources I’ve used over the years, and as my son grows, our list of useful things continues to evolve. I hope this list will at least give you some ideas of where to start!

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This post is part of the 31 Days Link-up. To see what other bloggers are writing about, click here. To see all my 31 days posts so far, click here.

*There are Amazon affiliate links included in this post. If you click on a link and make a purchase from Amazon, a small percentage of the sale helps to support this site. You will never be charged more for any item, and I only link to items that I personally recommend.

Your Favorite Posts — Favorite Things {Day 28}

31 days 2014

This blog has been around since July of 2013. I thought this might be a fun time to let you know which posts have been the most popular.

According to my blog stats, these are your Top Ten favorite posts of mine, in David Letterman order

Top Ten All-Time Favorite Posts 

10. When You’re on the Outside Looking In {My Church Experience as a Special Needs Parent; Part 1}

outside looking in


9. Mean Girls Go to Church

mean girls pin


8. When the Grinch Lives at Your House



7. Imagine She’s White: A Call for Sympathy

imagine she's white


6. When You Don’t Feel Like Going to Church Anymore



5. Why It Doesn’t Matter What Christians Think about Hobby Lobby

what christians think about obama


4. Stepford Christians

stepford christians


3. Why Taking a Special Needs Child to Church Is a Little Like Public Nudity



2. No Room in the Inn: When Your Special Needs Child Is Rejected



And, drumroll please. . . .the most-read post on this blog ever is:

1. The Unique Grief of Special Needs Parents



Do you sense a theme here? Seems as though my posts about special needs and church are always the ones to hit a nerve. That’s a good thing, because both of those topics are near and dear to my heart.

As are you, reader. You who take the time to read these words that I write and send out into the worldwide web.

You are my favorites.

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A Few Random Things — Favorite Things {Day 27}

31 days 2014

There are lots of things that are my favorites that don’t really fit into a neat category. So I thought I’d lump them here.

A Few of My (Random) Favorite Things

1. Fuzzy Socks

Do you know the kind of socks I’m talking about? They sell them everywhere for a dollar or two a pair. I’m in love with these socks. In the winter, these are my go to socks to wear with boots. The rest of the year — even in the summer — I wear these to bed. My feet get cold when I sleep and fuzzy socks feel so warm and cozy to me.

2. Flip Sides Town House crackers

These delicious little crackers are like Ritz on one side and pretzel on the other. They are so good!! I love these as a snack or a light meal with some ham or turkey and cheese. Yum! My favorite crackers by far!

3. Diet Coke

I’ve been drinking it since high school and anybody who knows me knows that Diet Coke is my coffee. Believe it or not, I’m trying to break the habit because it’s not good for me. But I love it so. 

diet coke

So those are a few of my favorite (random) things! Want to share some of your favorites with me?

Happy Monday!

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This post is part of the 31 Days Link-up. To see what other bloggers are writing about, click here. To see all my 31 days posts so far, click here.

*There are Amazon affiliate links included in this post. If you click on a link and make a purchase from Amazon, a small percentage of the sale helps to support this site. You will never be charged more for any item, and I only link to items that I personally recommend.


App Happy — Favorite Things {Day 26}

31 days 2014

Yesterday I posted about my favorite websites, but today is even more exciting!

Today I’m talking iPhone and iPad apps.

Does anyone remember how we lived without smart phones? Yes, I realize that the technology is slowly rotting our brains out and giving all of us ADHD, but seriously. I’m not sure how I ever managed my calendar, remembered important things, nagged my husband, or entertained a toddler without an iPhone.

Just a little disclaimer: the iPhone is the only smart phone I’ve ever had or used. So if you’ve got one of those other kinds, I can’t really help you. I’m assuming most of these apps are available for other phones as well, but I can’t guarantee it. All of these apps are available on the iTunes app store.

Apps that Make Me Happy

1. Overdrive

This app is connected to local libraries. With just a library card, I can use this app to access all the digital titles and audiobooks that my library has to offer. It’s worth checking out to see if your library is hooked into this fabulous resource. I use this app almost daily to listen to my audiobooks and I frequently use it to borrow Kindle titles as well.


2. Kindle

Even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can read digital titles on your iPad or iPhone or other electronic devices. The best part? Kindle automatically syncs between devices, so if you’re reading on your Kindle at home, but then you are out and want to read on your phone, it will take you right to where you left off. No bookmarks needed. Cool, huh?


3. Blue Letter Bible 

This app has revolutionized my personal Bible study. I’ve mentioned it before in my Quiet Time series. My favorite feature is the ability to look up the original language translation for any verse in the Bible. Truly amazing.



4. Goodbudget

Apparently there’s a website that you can sync with this app. I haven’t used it yet but it looks cool. I use this app solely to manage my Dave Ramsey cash envelopes. Instead of writing down every amount I spend from my envelopes, I just enter it into this handy app and it keeps track of everything. It even reminds me when I need to slow down on my spending. Very useful.


5. Evernote

There are entire books written about Evernote. It’s great for collecting all kinds of information, lists, etc. I haven’t even scratched the surface on this one, but I’m trying to start. Just this school year, I’ve been entering in all school notes and important papers (as easy as snapping a picture) and “filing” them in my Evernote notebooks. Anything that can lighten my amount of paperwork is a winner in my book.


6. YouVersion

This is an incredible Bible app with just about any translation you can imagine right at your fingertips. This is the app I use for my daily Bible reading. There are lots of fun features, including reading plans, devotionals, reminders, and challenges. Best of all, you have your Bible with you everywhere you go.


7. Visage Lab

This is the coolest app for taking pictures of people, because it instantly makes anybody’s face look better. I wasn’t going to include this because I didn’t want you to know that I touch up my pictures. But it’s true. I touch up my pictures. Plus, when my friend Stacy texted me a while back asking me to remind her what the name of this app was, I knew I needed to tack it onto the list. It’s great for adding that extra special touch to all your selfies!

visage lab

If you don’t believe me, just check out these before and after photos.

PicMonkey Collagebeforeafter

Yep, it smooths wrinkles, removes pimples, whitens teeth, and just sort of softens everything. And it’s free!

And that’s a wrap for today’s app happy post! Now, let’s see those new and improved selfies!

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Favorite Websites — Favorite Things {Day 25}

31 days 2014


Can I just take a break here to say that blogging every day in October has been kicking my bootie? Even though these 31 Days posts haven’t been anything deep, it’s still been quite a challenge just getting the posts up and running!

Just a week left and we’ll be back to regular programming!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share my favorite, can’t-live-without-’em websites.

My Favorite Websites

1. PicMonkey

I love this website for editing photos and making graphics for my blog. PicMonkey is a really cool free photo editor even without the Royale features. I went ahead about a year ago and upgraded to Royale so I can get all the bells and whistles. The best thing about PicMonkey: it’s completely user friendly. So much easier than most photo editing software and simple for even a non-techie person to learn in a snap.

2. Amazon

Not only is Amazon a fantastic place to buy just about anything, it’s also a great website for finding product reviews and getting ideas about what to read next. It’s genius marketing, really. Every time I go to Amazon, they have recommendations for things I might like.

Amazon nails it every time. They really know me!

(Or, um, rather, their computers really know me. Big Brother is most definitely watching.)

But here’s what’s cool. If I find a book at the library that’s interesting, I can look it up on Amazon to see what other readers have to say about it. I also keep a running wish list  of books I’d like to read or products I might like to buy in the future. Yes, I’m sure the “internets” know far too much about me, but in this day and age, what are you gonna do? I love me some Amazon!

3. Plan to Eat

I mentioned this website in an earlier post, but Plan to Eat is the website I use for storing my recipes, menu planning and organizing my shopping list. You can try it out free for a month if you’re interested. After that it’s 39.99 a year, well worth it in my opinion.


4. My Local Library’s Website

Yes, I’m that much of a dork. I’m on this website almost daily. I can search the library’s catalog and place titles on hold or check out digital items right away. I can also renew items online and avoid fines. I’ve even used the online feature that sends me a text whenever books are due.

5. Pinterest

Seriously. Enough said. Get thee to Pinterest now.

6. Goodreads

I think I only have 12 friends on Goodreads. Seriously, if you’re on Goodreads, please send me a friend request. I’m hurting for more friends! I love keeping track of the books I’ve read, the books I’m currently reading, and the books I want to read. I also enjoy the yearly reading challenge and recording my progress as I’m reading. It motivates me to stay on task and get more reading done.

There you have it! All of these are websites I visit almost daily. What about you? Got any ideas for cool websites I should check out?

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