Working Hard on Pumpkins and Party Themes

Sorry I've been MIA. I've been working hard on my book. Deadline is February 1. I even rented an office at Stockton House so I could set up a photo studio to stage the party themes.

I'll be back soon with new posts, new DIYS, and all kinds of plans for 2020.

Bring your Halloween party theme to life with these quick tips and tricks!

Pumpkins and Party Themes features ten unique party themes with five do-it-yourself pumpkin designs for each theme. The pumpkin projects have a variety of decorating ideas that include carving, painting, and mixed media craftiness and easy-to-follow steps on each creation. Author Roxanne Rhoads also includes quick ideas on how to bring the theme to life through d├ęcor, costumes, and activities. These fun party themes range from gothic elegance to Edgar Allan Poe, under the sea, let's get literary, and more!

With beautiful full-color images to illustrate the tools needed, steps to follow, and final products, this book makes for the perfect gift for Halloween enthusiasts and party hosts alike!

Pre-Order on Amazon

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Creating Vision Boards By Roxanne Rhoads

A wise man once told me, “Surround yourself with successful people, ditch the losers who aren’t going anywhere they’ll just drag you down with them.”

I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice I ever received because it was true.
Once I got rid of the toxic people in my life I started to be more successful.

But I had to do more than just surround myself with successful, positive people. I had to learn to think positively as well. Negativity brings everyone down and in hard times it can be difficult to see things in a positive light. But until you do, things will not change.

One of the ways I learned to focus my dreams and goals was through vision boards.

A vision board is a tool that uses the law of attraction to attain your goals.

The law of attraction means that “like attracts like”. If you focus on positive things, positive things will come to you. If you focus on the negative, then negative will come to you.

This sounds like a very new age thought but it’s been around a long time.

The New Thought philosophical movement developed in the United States in the 19th century, following the teachings of Phineas Quimby.

In 1887 Ralph Trine’s In Tune With The Infinite has this passage, “The law of attraction works universally on every plane of action, and we attract whatever we desire or expect. If we desire one thing and expect another, we become like houses divided against themselves, which are quickly brought to desolation. Determine resolutely to expect only what you desire, then you will attract only what you wish for.”

In The Master Key System published in 1912, Charles Haanel wrote “The law of attraction will certainly and unerringly bring to you the conditions, environment and experiences in life, corresponding with your habitual, characteristic, predominant mental attitude.”

Rhonda Byrne’s 2006 film and 2007 book, The Secret, put vision boards in the spotlight. She emphasized that you should not just think about what you want to obtain but also infuse the thought with the emotion associated with that wish. Combine thought and feeling to see the wish as reality. See your desire as though it was already real. This is what attracts the universe to make your vision manifest as reality.

You must use positivity to think, dream, desire and put those things out into the universe.

Thoughts are energy. Thoughts are things.

Study results published in Psychology Today found that “Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow – all relevant to achieving your best life!”

Creating a vision board, or a manifestation board as they are often called, is a way to focus your energy and thoughts on the things you want. Take your desires and manifest them into reality.

A vision board is a representation is a concrete representation of your thoughts, desires, and goals.

Jack Canfield, the creator and bestselling author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, believes in the power of visualization, “Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you.”

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said: “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.”

We can manifest what we want with the power of our minds. Thoughts can create reality.

If we put our thoughts and desires out in the universe in a meaningful way, in a way that makes us and the universe believe – this can help bring those things into our lives.

Vision boards put our thoughts and desires on something real, something concrete- taking our mental thoughts and putting them on something tangible. This is a way of manifesting them as reality. You can look at something real every day to remind you of what you want.

Critics of vision boards say they don’t work because you can sit and dream about something all day long and it isn’t going to make it real.

I tend to agree. You still have to work for what you want. Like Henry David Thoreau said in Walden, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

To me, this means go ahead and dream big but work towards that goal. Figure out what you can do to make your dreams come true. Set goals. Create milestones.

You can work this into the creation of your vision board.

A manifestation board should be a collection of things you want to bring into your life. Choose things that you want that are reasonably achievable. If you are flat broke a mansion in Beverly Hills probably isn’t a realistic goal. However, a moderately larger house (or a house in general if you don’t already have one) can be achievable if you envision it realistically.

Be clear about your goals. New job, new body, a better relationship, nice car- be specific and envision exactly what you.

To create your own vision board start by creating a list of what you want- dreams, goals, wishes, desires - these can be items you desire like a new car, new house, places you want to go, achievements you want to reach, like a new job, a promotion, a book deal, etc.

I often create separate lists which will translate into individual boards for things. I have a physical/health board, a career board and I’m working on a vacation board and dream house board.

For example- on my career board I have images of a woman typing, an open book, a contract, money, more money and the images for bestseller statuses. So my manifestation board not only includes the end goal of what I want (money and being a bestseller) it also includes steps that will get me there.

For my body/weight loss board, I include body love mantras, images of my ideal weight/shape, and a focus on being healthy along with some dresses that are my end goal for a cosplay ball and a masquerade ball. By looking at this board I see where I want to get and know what I have to do to get there.

To me, this is the optimal way to plan and create a vision board. By focusing on not just what you want but how you’re going to get it.

Once you have your lists in place, start collecting images for your board(s). You can find images on the internet and print them out or cut out images from magazines.
I love to use images, words, and quotes.

Images give us a direct visual of what we wish to acquire. I love finding images that are a perfect fit for my vision boards. Photos of vacation spots, a fancy bed set I’d love to add to my bedroom, art to hang on my wall, the dress I want to fit into. Images are power, use them wisely.

Words are personal and can invoke feelings and experiences within us. As an author words hold much meaning for me so I choose carefully when adding them to my boards. I often use words that are written in bold colors and fancy fonts.

Quotes are one of my favorite things to put on a vision board. They can be from books, songs, movies, a favorite teacher, a grandma, or from history.

Most of us have a favorite quote that is filled with meaning for us. I have several that reach in and touch my soul. These are the ones I like to add to my boards, the ones filled with meaning that fit the situation and will motivate me towards a goal or invoke a sense of already being there.

You can also use self-affirmations. These are things you have written to self-sooth, to create a specific feeling within yourself. The best way to word self-affirmations that are in a positive light start with “I am…” I am worthy. I am brilliant. I am successful.

Other items you can add to your board are poems, postcards, souvenirs from places you have been and would like to go again, lists, stickers, bookmarks, feathers, beads, wine corks, anything that represents the things you want and the feeling of having them.

Above I have pictured digital vision boards I created with Pixlr’s collage feature. These are images I created for this article. My real boards are large physical creations.

It is very important that your vision boards are real tangible things you can feel and touch- and look at every day.

Cork boards are great for short term wants. You can switch them out with new desires and needs quite easily, just take that image down and pin up a new one.

You can create a vision board with a simple poster board from the dollar store and whatever craft supplies you have on hand.

Or you can create an elaborately framed board that looks like a work of art.

The most important thing about a vision board is what you do with it after you make it. Put it where you can see it every day- several times a day. Every time you look at it let it invoke feelings in you. Imagine how you will feel when you reach these goals when you have achieved or received the things on your board. Imagine yourself there- see yourself on that vacation in Hawaii, see yourself getting the promotion at work, see yourself signing the contract on that book deal. Feel it, experience it, make it real.

The power of intention is truly remarkable. Feel the universe sending your desires to you. Manifest the things you desire most.

Use your vision board as a daily reminder to feel your dreams and work towards your goals.

If you achieve a goal, remove it from your board and put up something new. Celebrate every milestone, be grateful for what you have and the things you acquire. I also recommend creating a new board every 6-12 months.

And remember positivity and the law of attraction are always in play.

By seeing yourself as successful and living a life of abundance more success and abundance will come your way. 

Need Last Minute New Year's Eve Invites? Check Out Paperless Post

Last minute plans for a New Year's Eve get together?

Send out fabulous email invitations from Paperless Post.

Paperless Post has a HUGE selection of e-invite cards or animated flyers for New Year's Eve.

I think my favorite card invitation is New Moon but I am really digging the animated flyers, especially the Ritz.

Which design do you like best?

Sponsored by Paperless Post

Review of the Coloring Book of Shadows: Planner for a Magical 2020

I have been looking for the perfect planner for awhile. And nothing ever fits.

They are always daily pages or just monthly calendars. Or...bullet journals which I don't do. I don't have time to put that much work into a planner.

Then I discovered the Coloring Book of Shadows: Planner for a Magical 2020 and it looked amazing.

So I bought one.

And it totally exceeded my expectations.

It has monthly at a glance calendars so I can see the entire month, then it has the daily entries plus it is full of witchy good things like the wheel of the year, seasons, moon phases, and astrological stuff!!!

I'm in LOVE!!

It comes in paperback, hardback and spiral- I got paperback because it is the cheapest. Next year I'll splurge for spiral now that I know it is exactly what I wanted.

Now I can stay on track and organized with my life plus have all my witchy stuff right on hand- moon phases, astrological details, Pagan holidays....all in one place!!!!

Update: I showed my wonderful new purchase to hubby and told him about the spiral bound, then added I should probably buy another for my daughter who would also love it. He said I should give her this one and buy the spiral for me, that's one Christmas present from him. So that's why this review was delayed until after Christmas :-)

Learn more at

Book Description:

Make Your Year Magical!

Harness the power of the seasons, planets, moon, sun, and yourself as you expand your horizons and create an extraordinary year.

With an inspiring blend of illustrations to color, seasonal spells and rituals, and monthly and weekly calendar pages, find yourself on the empowering journey of your own magical path.

• Paperback with Standard 55# Paper
• For use with colored pencils, gel pens, & ballpoint pens only.
• Markers or watercolors are NOT recommended
• Printed on both sides of the page
•Monthly calendar spreads
• Weekly planning pages with lined space for each day
• Moon phase and moon sign tracking
• A spell for each month and a ritual idea for each Sabbat
• Lots of magical illustrations to color and extra space for notes
• Handy 6×9″ size

Haunted Flint Tour October 18, 2019 Explore Ghosts of Flint and Genesee

On October 18 Haunted Flint partnered with the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce for a tour of some of Flint's most haunted locations.

This was our first ghost tour venture. Joe and I suggested locations and provided stories. The Chamber of Commerce secured the locations, planned the schedule, and worked with the MTA for transportation. Basically they did all the work. We were there to share what we learned about the locations.

There were also a couple psychics on hand to tell us about the locations, what they sensed, what they felt.

A few things didn't go right. The intercom systems on the buses didn't work. So the plan of telling everyone about the locations on our way to them was a mess because no one could hear my tiny voice without a mic. Joe probably fared better on his bus, his voice is much bigger.

At the locations, again, no microphones, so unless people were huddled next to the psychics they didn't hear what was being said. :-( 

And it was a crazy cold night so no one really hung out afterward for the bonfire, ghost stories, cider and donuts.

Now that we've learned a few things hopefully the next tours will go much smoother.

We started the tour at Avondale Cemetery. We arrived as the sun began to dip in the sky and parked at the old Flint Armory, a big hulk of an empty building also rumored to be haunted. The cemetery was quiet, guarded. Like all the spirits were hiding, watching. I'm sure this was the most activity that poor cemetery had scene in ages. Approximately 60 people walking the grounds.

Davonna gave us some history of the various stones, talked about some of the weirder places, like the two sisters, some of the trees, and these huge flower pots that tend to move around on their won. There is also an area that looks like an open grave. What happened? Sink hole? Grave robbing? Something supernatural?

But other than the group of us walking around the place was strangely inactive.

Below is the history I gave about the location.

Avondale Cemetery is one of Flint’s oldest remaining burial grounds. Avondale was established in 1878 but contains gravestones that pre-date the founding of the city of Flint in 1855 thanks to the City Cemetery being moved. The oldest stone belongs to Mary Lyons who passed away in 1839 and her husband, Isaac, who passed away in 1842. They share a grave marker.

Avondale is not as well kept as Glenwood but it is still a favorite destination for local explorers. Full of crumbling tombstones and ancient mausoleums the cemetery is filled with history…and spirits.

Disturbed spirits are a popular trope for horror movies and ghost stories. Often combined with a tale of the house or building being built on top of an old cemetery, where bodies were left behind.

In Flint this frightening tale is more than just a spooky story.

The Flint City Cemetery was established in 1842 when Flint was still just a village. By the 1950s trash and overgrown weeds had taken over.

The city decided to redevelop the land.

Around 1200 remains were reinterred at the Flint City Cemetery at the corner of Linden Rd and Pasadena Avenue. Around 925 of the remains were unknowns. Bodies had been buried on top of each other. Some of the remains exhumed were wearing buckskins.

The property was sold to Albert J Koerts in 1958, who owned Koerts Glass and Paint.

The remaining residents of the old City Cemetery were reburied in Avondale along with 122 grave markers.

Or were they?

The section where the gravestones were moved to inside Avondale is called Pioneer’s Row. The stones are arranged in two rows, very close together, in a way that suggests stones and bones are probably not buried together.

In 1985 the remains of more than 24 bodies were found during construction in the basement of the Holiday Inn Express at 1150 Longway Boulevard and I-475. They were eventually reburied at the Flint City Cemetery.

Rumors swirl that Albert J Koerts, who purchased the old cemetery property, just moved the grave markers to Avondale which means the remains of some of Flint's earliest residents may still be lost under Flint buildings and parking lots. Unfortunately Koerts is long dead and took that secret to his grave.

Those remains found under the hotel? Do they belong to grave markers in Avondale or do they belong in the Flint City Cemetery?

Both the Holiday Inn and Avondale Cemetery have numerous reports of haunting encounters.

Several psychic mediums say that Avondale is filled with spirits, they see them clearly...everywhere. The cemetery is a popular destination for both vandals and ghost hunters in Flint. Orbs and strange noises have been reported along with numerous sightings. More than one dead body has been discovered right outside the perimeter.

Are angry spirits lurking because their final resting place was disturbed?
Do ghosts linger when they do not receive a proper burial?

Next up was The Capitol Theatre. 

Now we had a little more activity here. 

Right off the bat I sensed something in the stairwell. Davonna seen a little ghost girl there. (there have been reports over the years about a little ghost girl being seen on stage and about hearing a little girl singing. I didn't even think about that the night of the tour. It just occurred to me when I was typing this up.)

She also sensed something strange about the water fountain in the hall. And no, it had nothing to do with the water crisis.

Inside the theater area  she could sense someone in the small box. She dubbed him "The Director" because he seemed to be watching and controlling the "show".

The hallway outside the theater, where some of the conjoined businesses are within the building, felt oppressive and very ominous. Just walking down the hall made me feel like there should have been a sign "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here". The beauty salon had a large neon evil eye symbol in the salon facing the hallway. Yeah, they know what's up. Trying to ward off whatever bad stuff lurks in that hall.

Here is a the brief story about The Capitol I shared during the tour.

The Capitol first opened its doors on January 19, 1928. The theater was designed by architect John Eberson.

Rumors of hauntings have swirled about The Capitol Theatre for decades.

Strange knocking sounds, disembodied singing, shadowy figures, mysterious power outages…

The Capitol’s recent renovations returned the building to its original glory.

Did this calm the restless spirits or make them more active?

There has been at least one death on site that could account for a lingering spirit. 

Outside the Capitol we visited Brush Alley which lies nestled between The Capitol Theatre and the buildings that front Saginaw Street like The Ferris Wheel and the apartment at 625 South Saginaw Street (if you read the book, this location is in Chapter 19).

Walking into the alley made me feel physically ill. It was dark, oppressive and felt wrong. I had to leave the alley, catch my breath and center myself before walking back in.

The psychics could sense someone, maybe multiple someones, had died there. This meshed with our research for the book.

Next the groups split and mine went to the Durant Dort Office Building in Carriage Town.

This is where history was made. The birth of General Motors. All the plans, plots, deals that Durant took part in.... yet it was remarkably sterile. I would think there would be energy, imprints, something in such a place.

But it felt to me like it had been scrubbed, or warded. As though, even long after death, the powerful men that worked here wanted to keep their secrets secret. Forever.

Davonna felt the same, like the place was remarkable empty for the intricate and emotional history that should have been ingrained into the foundation of such a building, especially considering the historical artifacts that remain like original furniture, books, etc.

The building doesn't have too many ghostly stories either. Employees complain that lights are on when they "know" they turned them off or vice versa, which can easily be chalked up to bad memory, someone else messed with the lights or faulty electrical in an old building. Others that have worked in the building have heard ghostly footsteps and felt as though someone was behind them, but when they turn no one was there. Again, easy to write off as imagination from being in an old creaking building.

But I did have one story relayed to me by someone who once worked in the building.

In the winter of 2006 an employee of the Flint Area Convection and Visitors Bureau arrived for work early one snowy morning. She was the first one there and went up to the second floor to get coffee started. While making coffee she heard a door open and someone enter the building. She yelled “Good Morning” but no one answered. When she looked down the staircase to see who had arrived, no one was there. She looked outside and hers was still the only car in the lot and her foot tracks were the only ones in the snow.

Across from the office building is Factory One. These shoes were just there. Random, weird and no one else commented on them. Odd. Very odd.

On the corner across from Durant is the old Nash House. Flint residents refer to it as the pink house or the doll house. No one currently lives in it but it is maintained either by Carriage Town, The Flint Land Bank or something.

Our final stop of the night was Stockton Center at Spring Grove. It was rather uneventful ghost wise. They were quiet for once. Too many people perhaps?

Board members of Stockton put together a wonderful presentation for us about the deaths of the Stockton Family members and death practices in the Victorian era.

Here was my history and story about Stockton, though I have another blog post on Stockton that is much more detailed.

The Stockton Center at Spring Grove first belonged to Colonel Thomas Stockton and his family before becoming a hospital and then a nursing home. Considered to be Flint's most haunted location, countless ghostly encounters have occurred in this building.

In addition to the many patients that died on site, both Colonel Stockton and his wife Maria passed away in the house.

I’ve heard many tales of spooky encounters in this building and I’ve had a few of my own.
A female spirit wanders around the hospital area quietly asking, “Do you know where the nurse is?”

Sometimes the vision of a man falling from the balcony will play on a loop.

And a creepy male spirit can be glimpsed in the hallway, just staring.  

Many people have heard the sound of heavy boots coming down the stairs, while others hear the sound of a man whistling.

While meditating in the front parlor I have heard footsteps on the stairs and doors open and shut in the hospital wing even though everyone in the building was in the same room as me.

I have also felt ghostly hands on me during Reiki sessions. Perhaps the nurses have learned a new skill in the afterlife.

A friend says she often sees an old woman watching us from an upper window while we hang out in the parking lot chatting. She doesn’t seem to approve of us lingering.
Hubby and I in Brush Park after the Ghost Tour