Spirit Halloween VLOG (2018) – First Trip to Spirit Halloween This Year!

Anyone who watches our YouTube channels knows that the Tobins love horror, and we love Halloween. So when we found out that one of our local Spirit Halloween stores was opening early, you know we had to get there on the double!

We hit the store on opening day and decided to vlog the trip so we could show off everything the store in Dartmouth (next to the Chapters by the Mic Mac Mall) has to offer! We spoke with the owner who told us that there was still stuff yet to show up and be displayed, but what was already there was plenty to oooh and ahhh over! If you’re a Halloween geek this is definitely the place to be!

Check out the vid and let us know in the comments what you’d like to be for Halloween this year!

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Yum Yum Candy Box (August 2018) Unboxing & Taste Testing!

“Wait,” you might be saying, “Weren’t you guys on a diet?”

“PSH,” says I, “Diets mean nothing when you’ve got a HUGE BOX OF CANDY TO SHARE WITH THE WORLD!

Today on the channel we’re showing you guys what a Yum Yum Candy box looks like! We got the We-Joy box, and it was absolutely packed with chocolatey and sugary goodness. To say that we gorged ourselves might be an understatement. Check out our unboxing/taste test video and let us know in the comment section which of these treats you’ve had for yourself!

Comic Shop Finds! Collectibles & Toy Haul from Giant Robot Comics!

One of my and Jason’s favorite places to go when we’re in the Halifax area is Giant Robot Comics in Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia. They have a huge variety of not only comics, but TONS of collectibles, including several glass cases filled with previously-owned pieces at discount prices. Recently we popped in to this haunt of ours and picked up a few things for ourselves, as well as something special for a friend. Take a look at what we got, and if you’re ever in the area definitely check out the shop for yourself!

Plans and Goals 2018: Week 34 Review

plansandgoalsweeklyreview

Okay! *claps hands together* I’m awake, I’m moderately alert, and I’m not currently in a terrible mood, so I think it’s a good time to throw one of these posts together!

I have nothing particularly specific to the week to say this time around before actually getting into the post. Aside from a couple of days of wicked nightmares last week it actually wasn’t a terrible week and nothing really stood out as something that I want to mention. So let’s just get right into it, I guess!

Plan #1: Focus more on Writing.
You guys aren’t going to believe this, but I actually have good news on this front for week 34!

  • Goal #1: Write half a million words throughout the year. IT WAS MY BEST WEEK OF THE YEAR SO FAR! That’s not to say that it was an absolutely stand-out fabulous week, the likes of which the world has never seen, but it was a good week for writing. Most of my words went toward posts for TraceysBasement.com, but they were (at least, I felt) good words that came together to create good posts. Together with a few blogging words for this site I wound up with 6449 words toward blog posts. I also wrote 352 words toward a fanfic I’ve been scribbling in my spare time for relaxation purposes. That’s a week’s total of 6801 words which, as I’ve already mentioned, is my best weekly total for the year so far! In fact, it’s one of only four weeks during which I hit the 6k mark. Go me! Week 34’s numbers bring me up to a year’s total so far of 142,062, and brings my daily average up a bit more to 597 words per day. Gotta love seeing that number move upward!
  • Goal #2: Sell more books. On the more sulky side of things, do you guys know what is extremely depressing? I sold exactly one – yes, ONE – e-book last week….and I was actually excited when I saw that sale show up. That’s how bad sales have been over the past few months. One purchase shows up and it feels like a heavenly choir is singing Hallelujah around me. That’s super-pathetic, right?
    On an absolutely related note, someone give me some new (free) ideas for promoting my books! Pllllllease! I’ll give you a cookie!
  • Goal #3: Complete and publish The Other World: Book Two. I have to own up that I didn’t get much work done toward this goal in week 34, mostly because those TraceysBasement.com posts I mentioned earlier actually took a good long while to write. I did work out some more on that annoying scene I mentioned last week, however, so that’s definitely something.

Plan #2: Focus more on YouTube.
You guys, it is so hard to get back into YouTube after taking so much time off. We didn’t intend to take that time off (*shakes fist to the heat wave*) but once we were finally set to start up again it’s been really difficult to get back into the swing of things. That said…

  • Goal #1: Film more often.  We did manage to film two videos last week, and they were fun ones. Entertainment Earth sent us a full case of “The 13” series Dunny blind boxes to show off, and Jason came up with a really fun opening for the vid that put us in a wicked-fun mood for the rest of the filming. The figures themselves were also bloody amazing and tons of fun, so that really helped as well. Additionally we did a little haul of stuff we picked up at a local comic shop (local, in this respect, meaning a three-hour drive away…ugh), which is the kind of vid we haven’t done in ages so it was fun.
    We’d hoped to get more done, but a few days of travel along with the aforementioned “hard time getting back into it” meant it never happened, but we do have plans for week 35, so stay tuned. 🙂
  • Goal #2: Put more focus into, and have more fun with, the social media aspect. I think I’ve mostly gotten back into my stride with the social media. I’ve been tweeting more often and Instagramming more often for sure. Facebook is still an anomaly on my personal radar, and I’ve definitely been much less active on the author accounts. but I’ve been working on it. The bigger thing right now is staying active on the YouTube accounts to keep interest alive since we didn’t post many videos over the course of the summer.

#3: Focus more on myself.
I’ll be honest: though I said at the beginning of this post that there was nothing remarkable about week 34 that I felt the need to mention, it was a stressful week in many ways and focusing on myself has absolutely been pushed to the back burner lately. In fact, it’s so far back that it’s toppled completely off the stove top.

  • Goal #1: Take time daily to read/watch/play.  I’ve been wanting to read Neil Gaiman’s Stardust since I made a post about it on the author accounts a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t even gotten a page in yet. I know I’m being foolish, but lately every time I try to sit down and read I just find myself thinking of all the other things I could and SHOULD be doing, so I can’t get into it. Similarly with playing games…I’ve spent a few minutes at a time playing phone games with missy as a compromise for being too busy to play much with her, but sitting down to play a real video game? I can’t bring myself to “waste” the time. I did manage to get a movie in last night (Hereditary….review to come!) but only because there are certain hours of the night that are set aside for me and Jason to do things together, and that’s what we decided to spend them on last night. I don’t mean to make that sound bad – I obviously love spending time with my husband! – I just mean to impress that it wasn’t “ME time”. At this point I honestly can’t remember the last time I took some genuine “ME time”.
  • Goal #2: Stay active, but don’t obsess. Did I go for a run last week? I honestly can’t remember. I want to say yes, but the old age is kicking in on me.
    can tell you that I’ve done a little bit of strength training recently, courtesy of a newly-purchased knock-off thigh master (no, seriously) as well as a strange device called “Wonder Arms” that I picked up at the Dollarama of all places. Neither piece of equipment is a quality device or anything, but for the prices I paid for them they’re worth the bit of muscle toning I’ve been doing (almost) every day. Yay for doing something!

So looking back I see that it was an excellent week for writing, a not-at-all-terrible week for YouTube stuff, and a crappy-but-not-the-absolute-worst week for ME stuff. I can live with that. For now. At some point I’m definitely going to have to figure out how to work focusing on myself back into the equation, but for the time being I’m just happy to be able to report a few results here and there.

How was your week? Were you able to accomplish anything? Do anything fun? Make any progress toward your own goals? Feel free to share!

Nightmares, Nightmares, & More Nightmares

dreamlog

The past two nights in a row I have been positively plagued by nightmares. Some of them have been of a more emotional kind of terror, some of them have been based in extreme stress, and some have been straight-up monster madness. It’s clear to me that my bedtime horrors are based in a more real-life stress situation, but I thought hell…why not scribble them down? You never know. There could end up being a book in here somewhere.


Nightmare #1:

The terrible dream that got me going two nights ago has mostly faded in my memory now, but I remember the most important bits. My husband was cheating on me. I have no idea how I knew this, as there was no actual action happening in the dream, but I knew it.

The entire dream revolved around my trying to work out how I was going to confront him about it, because I knew he’d deny it, and since I had no proof I’d end up being the one who looked horrible. But I knew it was happening, so it was a dream that basically involved my getting more and more depressed whilst being completely unable to figure out what to do about it.


Nightmare #2:

The second dream of the first night involved a flea market. It was a rather large one, with tons of prospective buyers, and my entire inlaw family was there as well. Jason and I had several tables filled to capacity with old toys and collectibles, kids’ clothes, dishware, and a ton of other stuff.

It doesn’t sound like it should be a particularly stressful situation, but by midway through the dream I’m sure I was sweating in real life. For one thing, it seemed as though I couldn’t keep a grasp on what was going on. There were too many people, there was too much noise, it seemed like the building was moving around on me so that I could never figure out where I was.

I’d step away from our tables for a moment to speak to someone, and they wouldn’t be there when I got back. The layout of the tables changed every time I looked away, so I could never find the items I was looking for. Kids kept showing up, playing with things, and moving them so that they seemed to disappear, and adults kept demanding items that I knew I had, but couldn’t find for the life of me.

On top of all that, it seemed as though everyone was selling except us. Jason didn’t seem particularly bothered as he chatted with friends and helped out at his family’s tables, but I was about to lose it. We’d dragged along enough stuff to fit every square inch of our car, and we hadn’t sold a single item.

Soon enough the flea market was over, and we had to go about packing everything up again. When I began to haul stuff back out to the car, however, I found the back of it positively stuffed with wrapped Christmas presents. Theoretically that should have been a cheerful thing, but it stressed me out even more because now I had no idea how I was going to fit our flea market stuff in there.

I started moving stuff around, trying to make room, and it only seemed to get worse. For some reason I had a bowl of cereal with milk in it back there, and I was absolutely insistent that I had to keep it, so I kept trying to find places to put it where it wouldn’t spill or get knocked over. Meanwhile I had everything moved when my mother-in-law showed up asking for something that she’d left in my car, and now I had to find it among the enormous pile I’d made.

At some point it transpired that the car was actually broken down. The last thing I can remember about this dream was piling a bunch of stuff in a small trailer, which I attached to the back of a 10-speed bike, and I began hauling it through town on just the power of my legs.


Nightmare #3:

The final dream of the first night incorporated a clear fear of rejection. I can’t recall exactly how it had transpired, but I was back in high school and the year had just ended. Prior to grading day there had been a call put out for short stories written by students. They were going to be compiled into a paperback book that would be handed out for free to students and sold in bookstores to everyone else.

I’d submitted a story – one that I was very proud of – and was a ball of energy when I received my copy of the book. Upon flipping through, however, I found that my story was nowhere to be seen. To make matters worse, as I started reading through the stories that were in the book, I found piles and piles of complete nonsense. There were stories that were literally a single sentence, stories that were actually just drawings with no words, stories that were actually just transcriptions of conversations, and much much worse.

I was enraged, and ended up going to the school, where the faculty were finishing up for their last day until summer vacation. I went to the principal’s office – I believe my father was with me but I don’t ever remember him speaking – and I just lost my mind. I was literally screaming at him with tears in my eyes, hurling insults, pointing out the complete and utter tripe that had made it into the book while my story hadn’t. And the entire time all the principal had to say was things like, “That’s unfortunate.”

By the time I left the office I was a trembling mass of rage and misery, but that wasn’t the final insult. I got an email that had apparently been meant only for the principal, but had accidentally been CC’ed to me as well. It was the lady who’d been in charge of the book telling the principal that there was no way I was going to get my way, and she kept referring to me as things like “special snowflake” and “entitled brat”.


Nightmare #4:

On the second night my mind delved into more monstrous terrors, starting with an undead psycho-killer.

It started out simple enough, with a big family get-together at my uncle’s house. It got stressful very quickly, however. My mother and I were driving there together, and it was my turn to drive when night fell. At first there was no issue, but it came to pass quite suddenly that I couldn’t see a damn thing. I was driving about 100 km/hr and all I could see was blackness in every direction. For whatever reason my mother was calm as could be, and at no point did it occur to me to just slow down and stop. I just kept driving, panicking more and more, having no idea where the edge of the road was or whether there were other cars around me.

Eventually, thankfully, small bits of light began to appear here and there and I managed to not kill us.

We arrived at the house, and lots of my other family members were already there. My father had to meet with someone for work related reasons, and the meeting point was just at a park down the road, so I went for the walk with him. The park was on one side of a busy intersection which had an island in the middle of it, and for some reason this seemed like a pleasant place for me to hang out while I waited for him.

I’m a bit fuzzy on exactly what happened next, but I know that a British man with short brown hair and wearing a pinstriped suit murdered a woman. I was evidently the only one who had seen it happen, and I was trying desperately to get information to the police about it, but I didn’t have a phone and couldn’t find anyone. I remember scribbling details on the back of a receipt I happened to have in my pocket as I quickly walked back to my uncle’s house, but at some point I noticed the British man was following me.

There are a few holes in the story here, but evidently he ended up back at the house with me and was acting normal, but at some point he tried to kill me and it transpired that he ended up decapitated. That should have been that, but the head continued to live, and for some ungodly bloody reason my family didn’t see fit to get rid of it or call the police or anything logical at all.

The rest of the dream was basically several members of my family continuing to talk to the head while it used telekinetic means to continue trying to murder me. My family could see this happening and even gave advice from time to time, but did nothing to actually stop it or help me. I can remember him psychically throwing knives, making live electrical wires chase me, and spitting some kind of poison at me. I kept managing to get away, somehow, but I was rightly ready to lose my mind by the end of it.


Nightmare #5:

The second nightmare of the second night actually came right off the heels of the first one. My family and I were still all at my uncle’s house. It was night and all the smaller kids like my daughter and her cousins were huddled up in a blanket fort, watching shows on a tablet. The adults were all either hanging out in the kitchen or sitting in the living room watching TV.

I don’t recall exactly what happened, but some kind of radioactive material (where did it come from? not a clue) spilled on some food and brought the food to life as little murderous zombie-like creatures. It was straight out of a Troma film, and would have been hysterical if not for the fact that it was a very vivid dream that felt very real.

This one gets muddled. I can’t really remember any details, except that every time someone managed to kill one of the little food creatures, more would show up. at some point there were killer tacos, and at another point a giant bag of gummy bears came to life and started swarming the house. It was completely mental, but strangely terrifying. I remember stomping gummies while shoving tacos down a garbage disposal, all the while my family members were running around like chickens with their heads cut off.


Nightmare #6:

And the final nightmare (at least until I find out what tonight has in store for me) was all about your good old fashioned zombies. There was an apocalypse happening, and I was another person entirely. I remember long black hair, and I was pregnant. I also had a toddler, and one of the first things I remember is dragging her out to the car and taking off like a madwoman.

Overwhelmingly most of the dream was actually pretty boring. I was mainly just driving around; every now and then I’d stop for gas or go to a fast food place, and the world seemed to be continuing to turn even though zombies were a constant threat.

The main thing that I recall being so terrifying about this particular dream is that for some reason there was a threat that the baby I was carrying would be born undead, perhaps even rip it’s way out of me itself. I don’t know where this concept came from, but it was a constant horror in the back of my mind throughout the entire dream. I refused to do anything to threaten the baby, but I was waiting for it to murder me from the inside out at any moment.


And so that was the culmination of two nights worth of nightmares. Every one of them, even when they didn’t seem particularly horrible, had me waking up with my heart racing and my stress levels through the roof. In fact, I slept a few extra hours each of these nights because these dreams absolutely exhausted me to the point that I didn’t think I could drag myself out of bed.

Clearly my mind is a wee bit on the stressed-out side, so hopefully I don’t wind up with another batch of these midnight frustrations tonight. If, however, it is what’s in the cards for me, I’ll be sure to share them here tomorrow. You never know what could turn into a story sometime down the line…