All I Want For Christmas is… Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck!!!

Check out this adorable Christmasy video of my children’s travel and adventure picture book!

It should be under your Christmas tree 🎄 for the special children in your life!

Put the pedal to the metal and purchase this perfect Christmas gift today!

Order here 👉🎁:

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

-Huntersville, North Carolina 👑

#CarolinaRenFest

My lady family and I attended the Carolina Renaissance Festival last weekend in support of my cousin Ivy Mackinson— a talented thespian in the Charlotte area, who is a performer with the annual festival.

When I was told we would be attending, I had no clue of the festival’s magnitude and the thousands of Renaissance enthusiasts who would be attending— as well as the caliber of highly talented performers.

I was completely shocked to find an entire Renaissance themed village set in a Sherwood-ish Forest 🌳 off a country road on the outskirts of Charlotte in Huntersville, NC.

I was impressed to say the least!

And could not believe I’d never heard of this magical place prior.

From the adorable structures to the amazing musicians, comedic jesters and more, it is surely a sight to behold and a real crowd pleaser! There is plenty of yummy food for all tastes as well.

Today is the last day of festivities for the season which runs each fall weekend from October through November.

If you’ve no plans today, put this place on your agenda!

Cook up your best Maid Marian or Robinhood costume, and spend the day in a lovely outdoor venue!

Ride a camel! 🤗

Hug a pirate! 🏴‍☠️

Dance with a darling mime!

It’s perfect for children and families with tons of attractions and performances to hold the attention of young tots.

And anyone who enjoys lovely nature, Knights jousting while riding horseback, fun shopping as well as a pint of cider or ale.

If interested in attending, look 👀 here👉 https://www.carolina.renfestinfo.com/

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck Celebrates First Birthday 🎂

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November, 9, 2019-

One year ago today, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck hit the presses!

What was a little dream, became a huge accomplishment.

Over the past year, there have been many firsts… holding my published children’s book in my hands for the first time, attending my first bookstore author events, first library events, visiting elementary schools as an official author for the first time, reading my book to children across North Carolina, and the list goes on.

The opportunity to share my children’s travel and adventure picture book has been a priceless gift to me.

I’ve driven all types of new terrain with Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck, and feel like we’ve barely hit the surface.

I am ecstatic to see what adventures lie ahead in 2020.

I would like to thank each bookstore, library, school, media outlet, and other venues for welcoming me with open arms.

To my friends and family, thanks for the amazing encouragement and support.

To my little monster truck fans, thank you for reading my book!

To everyone else that helped me find my way as a new author, who gave me advice, connected me with resources, helped spread the word… thank you.

The greatest lesson I learned this year is this— when you have a dream, follow it.

Make it happen.

Put your truck in gear and…

DRIVE TOWARD YOUR DREAMS!

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of the Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Ghost Tales of North Carolina

North Carolina is filled with ghost stories stemming from the shores of the Graveyard of the Atlantic down to the southern coast in Wilmington, up the Cape Fear River to the Sandhills in Fayetteville, and westward to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I’ve loved hearing these tales my whole life and have a collection of classic North Carolina ghost stories and legends books I cherish.

My love of ghost tales started as a child while listening to old folks, cousins and friends whittle yarns of things that go bump in the night.

I’m not much on horror films and gore, but I love a good old ghost story. So I decided today on Halloween 🎃, I would tell you all a few of my favorite ghost stories.

Listen 👂 Here 👇👻:

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Ghost-Tales-of-North-Carolina-e6abiq

Cool Spring Tavern, Fayetteville, NC known for its ghosts

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fayobserver.com/news/20191023/8-famously-haunted-spots-around-fayetteville-region%3ftemplate=ampart

Ghost Story Hayride by the Market House, Hay Street, Historic Downtown Fayetteville, NC

Sanford House Ghosts- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pWT9s-mVaIw

Ghosts of Old Wilmington https://www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com/about/news-blogs/post/ghosts-of-old-wilmington-one-of-the-most-haunted-cities-in-the-south/

https://visitncsmokies.com/blog/the-legend-of-the-boojum/

-Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Jami McLaughlin- Mom On The Go!, Community Advocate, and Spring Lake, NC Mayoral Candidate

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Spring Lake, NC-

Jami McLaughlin is a visionary, active community partner and volunteer, mom on the go, and advocate for her beloved community of Spring Lake, North Carolina.

She is the creator of Mom on the Go! blog https://www.fayobserver.com/blogs/mom_on_the_go which was voted the #5 Best Blog by WRAL Reader’s Choice Awards 2018.

She serves as Spring Lake, North Carolina’s Town Historian and is a Member of the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board as well as Partnership for Children of Cumberland County Board of Directors.

Jami is a Sustainer with Junior League of Fayetteville and Fayetteville Holly Day Fair past chairwoman, and current active committee member.

To top it off she is an author and writer… among a ton of other accolades and professional experience in bettering communities located in Cumberland County, NC.

The busy mother of four’s current mission is to be elected as the Mayor of Spring Lake (a neighboring community and gateway to both Fort Bragg and Fayetteville) and Jami’s family’s native home where her deep roots are sowed. She vows to make the community shine through her leadership.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jami at my home to discuss her vision for Spring Lake, NC and why it’s residents should consider electing her as their mayor. http://jamiformayor.com/get-updates/

Listen to our podcast interview here 👇

https://anchor.fm/jalisonpaulyahoocom/episodes/Jami-McLaughlin–Mom-on-the-Go–Community-Developer–Spring-Lake–NC-Mayoral-Candidate-e8cbej

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

Zombie Walk— Fayetteville, NC

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Fayetteville, North Carolina-

Zombie Walk— an amazing Halloween-inspired event which draws thousands of zombies 🧟‍♀️ and onlookers— occurs each year on Hay Street in the heart of Historic Downtown Fayetteville conveniently located off I-95.

https://m.facebook.com/events/699055680599266?ti=icl

The creepy and creative citywide tradition has lured my family (and friends) into its monster mash over the past several years— and we absolutely love this ghoulish time.

Last night, we attended the 2019 event where Hay Street turned into a frighteningly fun festival with artisans, entertainers, live music, food, and spooks galore with 12,000 attendees!

Scroll below to checkout some of last night’s highlights of Zombie Walk 2019!

US Army Rock Band

Fayetteville Artist Saundra Rubiera

Fayetteville Artist Hannah Locklear

A nod to “Stranger Things” at The Sweet Palette

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Podcast and Blog

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.

A Haunting We Will Go In Cross Creek Cemetery In Downtown Fayetteville, NC

-Fayetteville, North Carolina

Along Cool Springs Street— one of the most notable historic lanes in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina— sits Cross Creek Cemetery, established in 1785.

The cemetery is one of the oldest and most iconic graveyards in Fayetteville, NC— a city famous for its significance in ratifying the United States Constitution and it’s colonial era namesake, Marquis De Lafayette.

Cross Creek Cemetery holds pieces of the past and is part of the Civil War Trail which connects with nearby Linear Park.

You can hear the rushing waters of Cross Creek steps away from the wrought iron fencing that encases the cemetery filled with so much history and possibly a ghost or two.

My mom (who is visiting from out-of-town), my son and I decided to go walk the grounds of Cross Creek Cemetery this week for some ghastly fun— to take in the sights of old graves and headstones as well as fall foliage scattered about the mature landscape of the resting place.

I admit… I have a thing for old graveyards.

I find them eerily beautiful and poignant. I love to read the headstone carvings about the people buried beneath the land.

Who are they?

What was their life like way back when?

Are we related somewhere way down the lineage trail?

Many notable North Carolina politicians, dignitaries, and artists are buried in Cross Creek Cemetery. Some of which are listed here on Wikipedia:

For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed walking in graveyards. There is a peace there… a sense of respect and wonder.

Call me morbid.

Call me weird.

I’m perfectly okay with those labels because I understand the significance of preserved history graveyards provide us.

Plus it’s kind of spooky and fun to walk about the grounds and ponder if an apparition lurks in the shadows.

Civil War Memorial

If interested in an organized tour to learn more about the history of Fayetteville and Cross Creek Cemetery— along with some fabulous ghost storytelling, check out Downtown Fayetteville’s plethora of guided tours!

https://downtownfaytours.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/621070681650855/?ti=icl

https://www.facebook.com/Hauntingsatheritagesquare/

If you enjoy a hands-on haunting experience, join the fun TONIGHT at the ZOMBIE WALK which is one of our favorite Halloween events!

https://m.facebook.com/events/699055680599266?ti=icl

– Alison Paul Klakowicz

Host and Creator of Hodge Podge Blog and Podcast

Author of Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck

https://www.amazon.com/Mommys-Big-Red-Monster-Truck/dp/1525530178

http://www.alisonpaulklakowicz.com

Alison Paul Klakowicz is an Eastern North Carolina native, children’s book author, blogger, podcaster and creative writer. She is a military spouse who resides in Fayetteville, NC with her husband, Adam, and son, Mak.