I am definitely a fan of Halloween, as well as ghost stories. So when I found myself in Ireland last year, I just had to stop by haunted Leap Castle – one of the world’s most notorious castles due to reports of ghostly and supernatural occurrences. But only during the daytime bc I’m still a scaredy-cat.
So I stopped by Leap Castle in Roscrea, Ireland. This is considered one of the world’s most haunted castles, and has been featured in several paranormal documentaries such as the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” and ABC’s “Scariest Places on Earth”. Do you watch those types of shows? I love them.
History of Leap Castle
I also looked-up some facts about Leap Castle for you on Wikipedia. It was built as a fortress during the civil war in Ireland in 13th century AD, most likely on an even older ceremonial structure as old as 500 BC. It has a very violent history due to rival clans fighting for it.
The most famous spirits supposedly haunting this castle is “The Red Lady” ghost that walks all over holding a dagger. And the “It” elemental spirit that does not have a human form, but can be smelled and supposedly foretells impending death if you witness it. Before their deaths, the people that have actually seen “It” describe it as a sheep with a human face, black holes for eyes and a nose, and the odor of a rotting corpse. THAT was what worried me the most about being there, that I would start smelling it. 😟
My Visit at Haunted Leap Castle
When you arrive, the owner of the castle will greet you. He’s there to answer your questions, and tell you a few stories about the history of the land and the castle itself. He’s a musician too, so he’ll play you some of his music too if you feel like attending a recital. There a isn’t a fee for the visit, but he does suggest that you leave a donation that goes towards the restoration and maintenance of the castle so that visitors can continue to tour it.
When you’re done chatting with him, he gives you a flashlight and that’s it. You’re on your own for the tour.
To be honest with you, I didn’t explore the whole entire castle bc I started to freak myself out. So I turned around to leave maybe halfway through. I feel like such a wimp about it, but I was scared! Would you have been scared?
My Photos of Leap Castle
Below are some of the amateur pics I took. They are unfiltered. Most areas of the castle had no lighting at all except from my flashlight, so please be forgiving about the photo quality…
So have I told you all lately that I go a bit overboard for Halloween?! No? Ok then… Well, I do. And one of my faves was the Britney Spears kid costume that I put together for my daughter one year.
There was this one year, where my kid was a Britney Spears fan bc I was a Britney Spears fan and we used to enjoy all the same things. (Lol, those days are long past us now.) But my daughter had 3 different Halloween parties to attend, so of course, I just HAD to prepare 3 different Britney Spears costumes.
Of course we did the obligatory “Hit Me Baby One More Time” outfit.
And believe it not, we put together a kid costume for “I’m a Slave 4 U” too! My kid was obsessed with doing this particular outfit bc she wanted the snake prop. We called it “Snake Britney” at home bc that’s the best thing about it.
And finally, we did the “Toxic” outfit too.
Anyhow, that’s the scoop on my daughter’s Britney Spears Halloween… Hope you all cracked a smile. I sure did. 🤣😁
So we just got back from our vacation to a beach condo in Destin FL in the U.S. Of course I took a ton of photos of the place before we moved in, while it was still clean and before we added all our clutter to it.
We stayed at The Silver Beach Towers in Destin FL. We found our condo via VRBO. This isn’t an affiliate link at all, I’m just describing to you what we did.
The condo was truly lovely and impressive. We needed the large kitchen too because we planned to eat “at home” for every meal. We only went “out” to eat one time during the whole vacation. Lol, which actually is the opposite of what I prefer to do while on vacation but we were being mindful of all the covid pre-cautions.
The one time we left the condo to go out to eat, we went to The Back Porch, a seafood and oyster house, which was actually within walking distance and it was a very pleasant and comfortable walk to get there.
I wish I could just live there permanently instead of just a few days. I hope you don’t mind a post full of photos of our beach condo in Destin FL, but here you go…
Since Halloween is the theme of the month, I found pics from one of my favorite costumes ever. My daughter and I dressed in Jem and The Holograms Costumes one year.
What is “Jem and the Holograms”?
Not alot of folks are familiar with “Jem and The Holograms”. It was only the greatest 80’s cartoon series of all time, so you truly missed out if didn’t watch. Don’t fight me. 🙂
But just in case you don’t believe me that it’s a real show that actually happened, you can check out all the scoop on Wikipedia. 🙂
Not alot of people remember this cartoon TV series, which makes me sad. It was on during the 80s and definitely targeted the young girl crowd, and I was hooked ever since. I was mostly addicted to the music, as Jem was a rockstar/popstar and had the catchiest songs and the most outrageous fashion.
She was also a real-life person with a real-life job and real-life responsibilities raising foster kids. Her real-life persona was Jerrica, and she had to keep her rockstar persona a secret from everyone.
Holy smokes. Kinda like me with this blog. I’m using the alias Pepper Valentine here (lol, my rockstar name), and I am keeping this blog a secret from everyone in my real-life so I can be uncensored and unedited here, and have no real-life consequences for being myself.
Anyhow, the reason she had to keep her identity such a secret was because she had a secret supercomputer (in the 80s!) that created all the music and all the fashion via holograms that looked real to everyone else. And she thought that if that supercomputer was discovered, that it could be used for evil purposes. She was using it simply to be a rockstar.
So that’s a quick summary as to why I am a “Jem and the Holograms” fan. I’m a bit obsessed with the series still, and I have fun creating projects that are inspired by Jem, like these Halloween costumes for myself and my daughter. My daughter even had a Jem and the Holograms birthday party theme one year and I saved those pics on another post here. I’m happy to be able to share these pics even though it’s all over and in the past. I hope you like it too…
My Photos – Jem and the Holograms Costume
So one year myself and my daughter dressed as the main characters, Jem and Pizzazz, and we had a great time. Lol, how’d we do though? We look just like them, right?
Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday of all time! My daughter loves it too and dressed in The Descendants Mal costume one year.
I enjoy the costumes, and getting to dress-up, and being able to PRETEND to be someone else for a few hours.
I’m a weirdo and I usually start planning and gathering everything I need for costumes in the summer. Mostly because I hate the annual Halloween pop-up stores – they’re too crowded, over-priced, nothing will fit correctly right off the shelf, and everything is handled and picked-through. Gross.
So I usually start prepping WAY in advance, but the prices are better and it gives me alot more time to make sure I’m happy with it and overall it’s a much less stressful experience for me.
Anyhow… I personally don’t dress up as much anymore since I’m usually focused on my daughter and her costume instead. She has an epic one planned for this year, and we’re all prepped and ready to go. I’ll keep it a secret until the big day but I can’t wait to share it with you all!
But in the meantime… I can post some pics of past costumes for you. I love Halloween!
Here’s a pic of my daughter dressed as Mal from Disney’s “The Descendants” movie.
I finally got time this weekend to try to fix up some things that have been bugging me on my blog. I was stumped about how to create blog menus in WordPress, as well as how to use categories to feed posts to specific pages. So once I figured it out, I decided to document it here and share in case it can help anyone else with the same problem.
I also had an issue with my default posts not showing up correctly on my home page. Only the 2 latest posts would ever appear, regardless of the number of posts settings I had saved. The solution for that specific issue is at the end of this post.
I am on WordPress.com so these tips would be applicable to that platform specifically.
I figured out how to create a new page and feed certain posts to it. This one was tricky and took ALOT of Googling to figure out, and even more trial-and-error. But I finally made it work using Categories.
If you’re a newbie like me, then Categories can be difficult to figure out. There are basically 3 locations you need to make Categories feed certain posts to a specific page. All 3 locations are in your WordPress Dashboard. You can access your Dashboard by going to “My Site” > “WP Admin”.
Once you are in your Dashboard…
Dashboard > Posts > Categories
This is where you create your Category and describe it
Dashboard > Pages
This is where you create your new Page
I used “Use Blank Layout” for mine and it worked ok
If you’d like to Copy an existing Page, be sure to use the “Copy” link available
Dashboard > Appearance > Menus
This is where you assign a Category to a Page, so that certain posts (labelled with that specific Category) will automatically feed to that Page.
You use the “Add Menu Item” section, and double-check that when your Page gets added to the “Menu Structure” section, that it is labelled as “Category” instead of “Page”.
I have a sneaking suspicion that different templates can react differently to this, so just keep double-checking on your live site that you’re happy with it.
One problem I ran into that took an extreme amount of Googling to resolve, was my issue with my Home page not displaying more than 2 of my latest posts, despite all my settings everywhere setting it to 10 posts per page.
The solution was a weird one, but it worked! So I’m sharing it here as well in case anyone else is having a similar problem.
Dashboard > Appearance > Menus
In the “Add Menu Items” section, you will expand the option for “Custom Links”
Enter “/” (right slash) into the “URL” field
Enter “Home” into the “Link Text” field
Select the “Add to Menu” button
You will notice that a new “Home” item appear in the “Menu Structure” section with “Custom Link” as it’s type. Drag it to the correct order where you’d like it.
Then, in the same “Menu Structure” section, and you will remove the original “Home” item that appears there as a “Page”.