Monthly Round-Up: October

Is it me, or did this month fly by? We actually had a decent autumn for once, with lots of beautiful, sunny, crisp days that let me wear boots and sweaters and everything else I dream about while I’m drowning in my own sweat from April through September. And next month, after what seems like no time at all since booking our flight and hotel, we’re headed back to London! Make sure you follow me on Instagram to see all of my pictures. It’ll be my second time there, and we plan to visit all different sites this time. I’ll be posting a ton of photos whenever I have access to Wi-Fi, so make sure you follow me @courtneyjhall_author and don’t miss anything!

Here’s a rundown of all the fun things I did in October.


With the exception of Noble Blood and Fatal Voyage, I am always so very late to every podcast party. I’ve recently discovered Crime Junkie, a nearly three-year-old podcast that explores true crime stories – disappearances, murders, cold cases, solved cases, and more. The hosts really know their stuff, and listening to them is like sitting around having coffee and talking true crime with friends. As someone whose mom always had a stack of Anne Rule novels on her bedside table, I am very much at home with true crime, and I’m really having fun working through this podcast.


I’m not a horror aficionado – I enjoy it, but it’s not my go-to genre. As a result, I’ve missed a lot of the movies most other people have seen. A while back I decided I was going to try to watch one scary movie every night in October. I also decided I was going to try and add 50,000 words to my current work-in-progress, A Holiday Gift. Suffice it to say, I achieved neither goal, but I did make some very good progress on the novel, and I watched two new (to me) scary movies – Insidious and Insidious 2. I’ve been told that I can stop there and be totally satisfied without seeing the third and fourth, and Friday begins Hallmark Christmas movie season so I’m pretty sure I can put the ghost stories away, but I really did enjoy these movies. They didn’t resort to cheap jump-scares and I even screamed out loud a few times (to the amusement of everyone around me, who can handle this stuff better, evidently). And if “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” wasn’t the creepiest song in existence before, it definitely is now.


Last weekend I had my family over for a cookout and firepit. It was a perfect fall day, but coming up with a cookout menu for a chilly Saturday was a challenge. After deciding on burgers and barbecue chicken, I was in need of a side dish that wasn’t corn on the cob or something equally summery. I stumbled upon this fall pasta salad from Two Peas and Their Pod. Meant to be served warm (or room temperature), it was so good! Roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, tri-color rotini, pecans, cranberries, all dressed in a nutty brown butter sauce. Even if you’re not having a cookout, you should make this.

That’s all for October! How did you spend the month?

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