“T” is for “Tracey’s Basement” – An A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Post


For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^

No one who comes to this blog even a little bit casually could have possibly missed this fact, but for those of you who might be stumbling in because of the blogging challenge: I’m a YouTuber!

I began my YouTube channel in the summer of 2014, and it began as a pure unboxing channel. Before then I hadn’t even known unboxings were a thing – in fact, I hadn’t even known subscription boxes were a thing – but after watching a few other people doing I thought, “I could do that!” I placed orders for a couple of nerdy subscription services and a couple of girly ones as well, and started unboxing. Those first videos were…not great. But I got better, bit by bit, and talking to the camera slowly began to help me calm my anxiety flare-ups as well.

Eventually my husband, Jason, began helping out on the channel by putting together a “studio” for me, creating an opening for the videos, making nicer thumbnails, working on branding, and other such things, and it really began to blossom from there. Jason started joining me in videos, we started focusing more on quality, and the channel became what it is today: “Tracey’s Basement” featuring Tracey and Jason (and sometimes the little one as well). It took me about a year and a half to get my first thousand subscribers, but once Jason took over quality control and we got into a groove, that number tripled in less than the following year.

These days Jason and I still do unboxing videos, but we also do toy hauls and mail calls (whenever awesome, awesome people send us things), and whatever random geekiness comes across our desks, such as the My Life in Movies TAG we were tagged in not too long ago. So basically, what I’m getting at, is that if you’re a geek, or if you just love collectibles and/or subscription boxes, come check us out over at “Tracey’s Basement“!

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for May 2015

It’s that time of the month again, my friends; time for a SUPER late Horror Block unboxing. You know the deal, so let’s get right down to it with the unboxing video:

That wasn’t so bad of a box was it? But is the value there? Let’s check out the breakdown:

“Will Graham” Funko Pop figure: I always love a Funko Pop, that’s no secret at all. It’s just unfortunate that I have no interest in this particular one since I’ve never watched the show. Perhaps in the future I’ll get around to it and then this Funko will be a welcome addition to the collection, but for now it’s just kinda gonna be there. Still, it’s a Funko, and it’s worth approximately $13.

“Silent Hill” t-shirt: Just so you know, when I was first looking at this shirt I totally didn’t notice that there’s a bloody silhouette of Pyramid Head behind the words. Blame it on the glare coming in from the window. Anyway, I’m actually pretty impressed with this shirt. I’m not always keen on shirts that have the main point (SILENT HILL!) emblazoned across the front, but the phrase and background image are pretty cool, and it’s something different! A video game reference (even though they’re probably thinking of the movie, themselves)! I can get behind that, for sure. As usual, I give this shirt a standard shirt price of about $15.

“Creature from the Black Lagoon” collectible print: I’m not the biggest fan of these mini-posters and the like, but at least it’s something a little different. You don’t usually see a whole lot of “The Creature” stuff around, and it should go nicely with my husband’s horror movie display. Even though they call it an “exclusive” collectible print, however, it’s just a piece of poster board with a picture on it, so I can’t really assign it a value of more than, say, $2.

Horror Block Short Film Festival DVD: This one is really hard to put a value on because it’s something that was made by Horror Block themselves, and as near as I can tell (correct me if I’m wrong), you can’t actually purchase this DVD anywhere. It’s a neat little addition and I’m interested to see what the winning short films are like, but since it’s a DVD rather than a Bluray I’m going to be what I feel is generous and give it a value of $10.

“Weird Stats and Morbid Facts” book: This is the second “Rue Morgue Library” book I’ve gotten in Horror Block, and it’s pretty neat. I already took a browse through it and some of the facts are pretty interesting. It’s definitely a step up from the supernatural romance that came a couple of months ago, and it adds a good value to the box with its retail price of $15.

Rue Morgue magazine: And, as always, the magazine. Honestly, I’m getting rather sick of getting these magazines. I know that they’re part of the box, and that’s something you have to consider when deciding to subscribe, but I personally don’t read them so it would be nice, in my opinion, if they were changed up for a different item every now and then. Regardless of my feelings, these magazines retail at about $10.

Total approximate value of box: $65
Total cost to me: $37

So right off the bat you can see that this was a high-value box – one of the highest-value Horror Blocks I’ve received, so that definitely makes person feel good. It’s very unfortunate that I can’t really enjoy the Funko because I’ve never seen the show, but it is still a Funko. The shirt was a pleasant surprise because it’s nice to see something a little different for a change. I reserve an opinion on the DVD until I get a chance to watch it, but it is definitely a neat idea. The book is probably my favorite item because I like books like this, and now I’ve got a little collection of them going.

All in all, I’m decently happy with this box, although I can’t say that there was any one item in it that really WOWed me. Again, I can’t help but mention that Funko…boxes with a Funko have huge potential for me, but they just chose the wrong line, in my opinion.

What do you think of the Horror Block for May? Do you subscribe to Horror Block? What was your favorite item in the box? Least favorite? Please share!

Happy Holidays (Now Please Let Me Sleep)

The holidays are a busy time, which is why I elected not to worry about the blog during them. To be honest, I assume that none of you really gave much of a second thought about my blog during the holidays, and that’s the way it should be.

But now the holidays are (more or less) over, and as I recover from all the cooking, cleaning, present-opening, and imbibing of alcoholic beverages, I’ll be trying to get back to normal. I’m hoping that 2015 is going to be a good year, and I’ll be starting it with another round of goals and plans.

So for the next couple of days don’t expect anything ground-breaking – maybe a couple of unboxing videos and that’s about it – but be sure to visit the blog on January 1st when I get back to the grindstone! 😀

And before I go, to brighten your day, here’s a pic of a kid who got exactly what she wanted from Santa this year. ❤


Nerd Block Unboxing and Review for November 2014

For a change I’m actually getting one of these posts out in a reasonable time frame! Progress! 😀

Yes, it’s Nerd Block time of the month because I let another month go by without cancelling the service, so let’s go ahead and get down to it. First check out the unboxing video:

Did you catch all the embarrassing bits where I kept talking about not getting an autograph when there was totally an autograph staring right at me? Yeah. Good times.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown:

Deadpool “King” t-shirt: Finally a Deadpool shirt! I’m so happy! And as usual I’ll be assigning a value of about $15 to this item.
“Classic” Robin stuffed toy: I can’t find these toys anywhere, except for the ones that popped up on Ebay after this Nerd Block was released. As such, I’m going to assign it the value that I think a plush toy of this size is actually worth, which is about $5. If anyone knows better, please feel free to let me know.
“Boo” Slap-watch: I couldn’t find this exact item either, but I found similar-looking slap watches for about $7. Since this watch has a Boo on it, I’ll round it up to an even $10.
“Iron Man” comic print mug: Finally, an item in the box that I was able to track down! I found this mug for $8, which seems pretty standard for a mug. If anyone was wondering, the site I found it on also states that it is NOT dishwasher safe, although it doesn’t say anything about microwaves.
“Boba Fett” vehicle fanwraps: First of all, this product comes in a variety of sizes, depending on how large you want Boba to be on your vehicle. Second, the pack that we got in this month’s Nerd Block looks to be smaller than the smallest size you can buy on the website. And third, whereas the packs you can purchase for yourself have two sheets of stickers, Nerd Block’s inclusion only has one. Therefore I’m taking the price of the small pack ($50), cutting it in half for there only being one page of stickers ($25), and knocking off another $10 because of the extra-small size. So we’re going to say about $15.
Bruce Campbell’s “Horror Fest” discount code and Signature: This one is very difficult to put a value on. First off, the “Horror Fest” card comes with a 10% off code for admission to the convention, which is worth different amounts depending on which option you purchase. For me that means it’s worth nothing because I definitely won’t be going to Chicago any time soon. But if you were to purchase the full 3-day admission package the coupon is worth about $7. Then you have the autograph…how do you put a value on that? It’s pretty cool, but you can’t really assign a dollar sign to it unless you actually sell it and get cash for it. So I guess we’ll just kinda ignore that one for now.

Total approximate value of box: $60
Total cost to me: $33

So yeah, the value is definitely there on this box. Even if you only include the items that I really like, we still have a value of $32, which is pretty much the box cost. In the end I’ll probably end up selling the vehicle fanwraps and the Robin toy because one is something I won’t use and the other is something I kinda don’t like looking at, so that’s actually a little annoying because it’s extra effort to me, but I guess I can’t really complain too much.

In the end, I’m glad I continued for one more month so that I could get the Deadpool shirt, and I’m probably going to wind up wearing the Boo watch because it’s so adorable.

What do you think? Do you subscribe to Nerd Block? Did you enjoy this month’s products? Let me know!

Loot Crate Unboxing and Review for September 2014

I was super-excited for this month’s Loot Crate, which had the theme “Galactic”. I won’t say I was disappointed, exactly, but I was a little bit let down. Check out the unboxing video:

Can you see the “let down” look on my face? It’s not that the items weren’t cool, but most of them just weren’t for me, you know? *sigh* So let’s do a value breakdown:

Science Fiction Mystery Mini Loot Crate Exclusive: Mystery Minis of a wide variety tend to go for anywhere between $5 and $10 depending on where you’re buying them. Since this one was an exclusive made just for Loot Crate, I’m going to go ahead and assign it the higher value of $10.
Loot Crate Exclusive Tribble: It’s hard to put a value on this since it’s another exclusive, but I found similar items online for about $10.
Single-Pack Pop Rocks: These seem to go for about $1.50
Star Wars/Asteroids magnet: As usual, I assign these magnets a value of about $1 because, come on…it’s a magnet.
ReAction Kane figure (from Alien): The ReAction figures go for about $10 pretty much everywhere.
Halo comics redemption code: I couldn’t actually find a price for these digital downloads, and I suspect they may actually be free normally, which would make their value $0. If you know better, please correct me.
Firefly Universe Fake “Credits”: Believe it or not this stack of fake money goes for the real price of about $10. Come on, people…it’s kind of cool, but would you really be willing to spend $10 in real money to get a stack of fake money?
Han Solo in Carbonite mini-poster: This mini-poster goes for about $2.

Total approximate value of box: $45
Total cost to me: $30

So, all in all, this wasn’t a great box. The value was lower than previous boxes, and most of the stuff in it just doesn’t do anything for me. The tribble is cute, but I can’t get past the fact that it’s just a ball of fuzz, and the ReAction figure would have been cool if I’d gotten the Alien, but who really cares about Kane in a spacesuit? And I’m sorry, but the Firefly credits just seem stupid to me, especially now that I know that, value-wise, it was actually one of the biggest items in the box. All in all, the only item I really like is the Malcolm Reynolds Mystery Mini.

The Villains and the Heroes boxes were so awesome, Loot Crate…what happened? 😛

Accountability Wednesdays: Week 31


Before we get down to it this morning, I have a quick review for you.

I had long resisted the concept of the Roomba iRobot Vacuum system. Being totally honest, I thought it was ridiculous. I couldn’t see how it would possibly work well, and the price tag on them just seemed astronomical to me. My husband even asked a couple of times if I wanted to get one and I said no because I could think of hundreds of other things I’d rather spend that money on.

Recently, however, I’ve been getting very cranky about the state of my floors. We have hardwood and tile throughout the house, so everything is visible – every hair, every crumb, every tuft of cat fur. Add to that the fact that one of my biggest pet peeves is stuff sticking to my bare feet, and I was starting to get super, super, super cranky. So it was that my husband brought up the possible purchase of a Roomba again, since there was one on sale at Canadian Tire. We hadn’t actually spent any significant money on ourselves for our anniversary last month so I thought, screw it…I’ll give it a try.

Now, the model that we bought is definitely not top-of-the-line. It’s about mid-range on the Roomba scale. But let me tell you, I’ve been thoroughly impressed. It’s a lot louder than I was expecting it to be, but then again, it is a vacuum, so I can’t complain too much about that. It comes with a “virtual wall” to keep it from going down the stairs, so I can put it on any floor in the house and just let it go. And go it does. The little dude just wanders around, poking around, following walls and furniture and swirling around in the middle of the floors, and it actually gets the floor clean. Ladies and gentlemen, this is genuinely a revelation for me. I’m seriously considering buying two more so that I can have one on every floor in my house. If you have the money to be able to afford a Roomba – even one of the lower-end ones – it is totally worth it. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Goal #1: Lose ten pounds and become healthier overall.

I have terrible, horrible news for this goal this week. I’m finally in a position to weigh myself in time for my accountability post, so I did so, and the results were extraordinarily depressing. I knew that I hadn’t been doing very well on this goal, but I figured that the worst case scenario was that I hadn’t lost anything. Oh no. It’s much worse than that. Ladies and gents, I’ve actually gained more than five pounds. I have to say that I am totally, totally disgusted with myself. I’ve had a terrible year so far when it comes to being healthy, and now I find that I’ve actually turned myself in the opposite direction. I need help. Seriously. Please, help me.

Goal #2: Be more active on social media and work hard on my author platform.

The success of this goal this week depends on which aspect of social media you are looking at. I’ve been pretty active on YouTube (I uploaded three more unboxing videos, if you missed them), but I’ve been pretty quite everywhere else. Something that I definitely have to focus more on this week is browsing the blogosphere. I always talk about community, but I’ve been a pretty quiet neighbor of late.

Goal #3: COMPLETE my zombie apocalypse novel, Nowhere to Hide.

I didn’t get as much done this week as I had hoped I would, but I did go through and do a final re-read on the chapters that I had deemed “done”, and that re-read helped me pick up a few typos and word repetitions, so it was worth doing. I hope for this week to be a lot more productive too, especially since I bought a new battery for my laptop (the old one would die after five minutes of being unplugged) in anticipation of taking my laptop out West with me for a run. I hate traveling with my laptop because it’s enormous, but I think that one good shift with it out there with me and I should be able to bang out the final edits for this goal. Wish me luck!

Goal #4: Write 500,000 words

As previously discussed, this goal is going to go by the wayside for a little while as I focus my attentions on goal #3, but I still managed to squeeze in a few words this week via my unboxing video posts. The grand total was 1572 words. Not exactly thrilling, but some words are better than no words, right?

In conclusion, this week I invite anyone reading this to offer me advice on banging out some real work toward these goals, particularly #1. Motivate me, people! Please!

Blogging 101, Day Twenty: Add a New Page


Sometimes you might want to share some information with your readers that you want them to be able to find quickly and easily. For these moments the best option is to create a “Page”, which is why Michelle W. assigns us today to add a new page to your blog, and make sure readers can find it easily.

In a previous assignment we created an “About” page for our readers to learn a little bit more about us. This is the perfect kind of thing to have a separate page for, so that readers can quickly check out this info without having to do an extensive search on our blogs. Other common “Page” ideas? How about a “Links” page to share important websites? Or a “Contact” page to share your alternate online presences and info on how to best reach out to you?

But it’s not just all about the common options. Pages should be tailored to the information that you think is important for your particular blog and your readers. For instance, I have a page set up for information on my projects. As a writer – with followers who are both fellow writers and readers – I thought it would be nice to have an easy and noticable spot on my blog where visitors can check out what I’m working on. Someday when I’m published I’ll create an alternative page with information on my books and where to purchase them. Once I’ve gotten a few more unboxing videos made and uploaded to YouTube I’ll probably create a page that consolodates all the information on those.

It all comes down to figuring out which information is important, and then creating an easily noticable page to reflect that information. Ready? Set? Go!