Hey, friends! I thought I’d switch up the pace of my blog this week in honor of the best month: October! With fall weather finally settling in and Halloween right around the corner, I figured it would be neat to talk about all the spooky s**t I’m obsessed with this season.

Last year, my October favorites blog post was my most well-received post, so I’m here to give the people what they want! Forewarning: Stranger Things, S2, did not make the cut for this list because A) it’s a given and you should definitely be watching and B) I won’t be binge-watching it til Halloween comes.

Whether you’re hosting the ghoulish get-together of the century or having a low-key, fright-night-in, here are a few things I’ve been indulging in that’ll make your Halloween night to die for:

FOOD PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD

The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread - Super soft, moist, rich pumpkin flavor, and loaded with chocolate chips! Easy, no mixer recipe that's the BEST!!

I usually stick to TV/film/music when I talk about October favorites, but this recipe is just too good not to include. Pumpkin flavored everything seems to the standard this time of year, but I don’t f**k with anything made with artificial pumpkin. Gross.

Baking is one of my passions year-round, but baking in the fall always feels the most rewarding. The flavor of real pumpkin purée mingling with, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, in a toasty oven, is like a hug for your nose.

Late last November, I found this recipe online for “The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread” and it definitely lives up to the hype. I’ve made my fair share of pumpkin bread throughout the years, but this recipe combines those homey fall flavors with morsels of chocolate, which of course makes everything better.

The magic behind the moistness (I’m not sorry) of this pumpkin bread is the addition of sour cream — or Greek yogurt, if you prefer. The softness of the cake and the gooey-ness of the melted chocolate rightfully upholds this recipe’s title as ‘the best.’

Pro Tip: Bake the batter in mini muffin pans, instead of a bread pan, for perfect bite-sized treats that are easy to serve at a party and even easier to shamefully shove into your mouth while you binge watch horror films all night.

TELEVISION — ERASED (2016)

Between two jobs and a full-time academic workload, I haven’t had much time to get into new shows or movies this semester, but I did manage to come across a particularly noteworthy series.

If you’re one of those people who can’t watch a show with subtitles, you are egregiously f**ing up and missing out on a stellar series.

ERASED is a Japanese anime about Satoru Fujinuma, a 29-year-old, struggling manga artist with a strange, supernatural gift. In moments of oncoming tragedy, Satoru finds himself in periods of ‘revival,’ in which he is sent back several minutes before an incident occurs. He uses this rewind-in-time as a second chance to spot approaching danger and save lives.

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In the first few minutes, this anime seems to establish the themes of most, generic anime plots: awkward protagonist who lives alone and works a dead-end job, cute/potential high school love interest/friend/coworker pushes his buttons often, and the difficulties of paving your career path in the Japanese job market.

However, the first episode quickly escalates as Satoru experiences a period of ‘revival,’ saving an innocent passerby and establishing that very little is normal about our protagonist’s life.

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I don’t want to reveal too much about this series, but the plot quickly thickens with overtones of murder, mystery, and a long-time unsolved case of child abduction. This show is perfect for those who aren’t a fan of excessive gore and jump-scare horror, seeing as it fits the bill of more of the thriller/mystery genre.

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You can access ERASED on VRV.co, an online TV and film streaming service. It’s $10/month to sign up with VRV, but you can definitely take advantage of their 7-day free trial before you commit to it.

Pro Tip: Do NOT skip the opening theme before each episode of ERASED. In fact, I encourage you to pay close attention to it for full immersion, which will aid your uncovering of the mysteries presented in the series.

MUSIC — “TT” by TWICE

Image result for twice tt black dress

If heart-stopping, frightening things aren’t your jam, I’m disappointed, but not surprised. I try to work Halloween into small-talk this time of year and I’ve noticed that a lot of people aren’t as jazzed about the grim and eerie side of the season as I am.

If you’re one of those people, or if you just so happen to really love K-Pop, then you have to check out the music video for “TT” by TWICE.

I’m a pretty big K-pop buff but, seeing as I’m not a huge fan of girl groups, I hadn’t heard of TWICE before. A good friend of mine introduced me to them during the first week of October and I was hooked. Halloween? K-pop? Cute girls? Yes.

The premise of the video is just, weird? Like, it doesn’t make sense at all, but — as with all things K-pop — it’s extremely aesthetically pleasing.

Two little kids who seem to be trick-or-treating (?) walk into a creepy house and find a group of girls dressed in pastels and, several outfit changes later, are seen embodying an assortment of Halloween characters – all while they sing about some dude they’re crushing and crying, or ‘TT-ing,’ over (T_T).

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After watching the video a few times, I noticed that the girls’ costumes might actually be a sly homage to certain Disney characters, including but not limited to a snow queen, a puppet, a tiny blonde fairy, and a mermaid.

I’m not gonna lie though, regardless of the cute Halloween theme of the music video, this song has been my October anthem for the catchy-ness of the song alone. It’s a total banger…that I may or may not have memorized the dance moves to.

Have a Happy (and safe) Halloween!

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X,

Katerina

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