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2023 BFF Bucket List

Having a fun weekend with my bestie (the notoriousΒ Cupcakes & Machetes )Β  got me thinking about all the fun things I can’t wait for us to do together this year. We spent this weekend enjoying a healthy mix of relaxing while watching movies, playing with the dogs, and starting the new season of The Legend of Vox Machina before bundling up in multiple layers for warmth and venturing off into town to enjoy the local ice sculptures and delicious donuts from one of the food trucks (fluffy mini donuts drowning in Bavarian Cream and chocolate sauce, and chai sugar mini donuts, perfectly fried.) As you can probably tell by Noi’s face in the picture below, they smelled AMAZING, and tasted even better. ❀


So, what other shenanigans do we hope to get up to in 2023? Let’s dive right into our bucket list, shall we? πŸ™‚

Couples trip to Anatomy of Death Museum and local oddities shops.

3 Buddy Reads together throughout the year.

Dress up and attend Marche du Nain Rouge

Celebrate C&M’s graduation from college (last day of class: April 29th!)

Try to finally visit the Toledo Zoo together.

Take the dogs to Watkins Lake Preserve dog trails for nature adventures.

Work on some sort of wood project together this summer involving woodworking and pyrography.

Have C&M beta read the next draft of my book this summer.

Plan an epic joint birthday party for our pups in August.

Photoshoots with the dogs throughout the year.

Annual cookout.

Couples trip to Kalahari Resort and Water Park

Best friend tattoos in September.

Attend the Renaissance Festival together.

Try making some new recipes together.

Cider Mill crawl in the fall.

Make Halloween costumes and attend Theatre Bizarre.

Visit 3 new bookstores neither of us have ever been to.

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Looking forward to another amazing year of fun adventures with my partner in crime! ❀

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Dorohedoro Read-A-Thon Part 1: Vol. 1 & 2


It’s no secret that I love the anime Dorohedoro. I mean, my husband and I named our husky puppy after the character Noi from it, and we started gathering supplies for working on a cosplay of our favorite dynamic duo Shin and Noi for conventions late last year. πŸ˜€

I’ve wanted to make the jump over to the manga series that inspired the anime for a while now, but at a sprawling 23 volumes, my wallet was a little less enthusiastic about the venture. Thankfully, I have the bestest friends and husband ever, and they treated me to the entire collection at Christmas. (When I tell you my eyes were popping out of my skull when I opened the gift and saw the ENTIRE collection in front of me, it doesn’t even fully convey the excitement I felt.) I was so surprised and elated, and I immediately wanted to shut myself into an isolated cabin in the woods and read each book aloud for all to hear. I mean, that always works out okay in the movies, right? πŸ˜‰


Much like summoning demons after reading something in Latin that you probably shouldn’t have, it’s always a little intimidating checking out the source material from a show or movie you absolutely love. Will it live up to your expectations? Is the show you enjoy even anything like what you’re about to read? Will you love the characters as much? Will you love them even MORE and then see where the show is suddenly lacking?? These are all legitimate concerns, I feel. So, I am setting that fear aside and stepping forward, excited and curious about the wonders and pitfalls I may encounter exploring my beloved anime’s origins through the manga, and even getting to read beyond where the anime left off to see where the story goes and what becomes of my favorite characters come the end of the series. That said, let’s get on with this Read-A-Thon, shall we? πŸ˜€


Dorohedoro, Volume 1, by Q. Hayashida

A blood-spattered battle between diabolical sorcerers and the monsters they created.
Caiman was not lucky. A sorcerer cursed him with a reptile head and left him with no memory of his life before the transformation. Adding to the mystery, there’s a specter of a man living inside him. But Caiman has one key advantage: he’s now completely immune to magic. Along with his best friend, Nikaido, Caiman is hunting down sorcerers in the Hole, searching for the one who can undo his curse and killing the rest. But when En, the head Sorcerer, gets word of a lizard-man slaughtering sorcerers, he sends a crew of “cleaners” into the Hole, igniting a war between two worlds.

I really like the rough, sketchy style of artwork by Q. Hayashida. It perfectly fits the chaotic and hyper-violent world she’s cobbled together for Dorohedoro. Which brings me to another thing I’m enjoying about this series: I’m a total sucker for worldbuilding and complex characters, and Q. Hayashida delivers both in spades. To the point that sometimes you aren’t even really sure which characters you should be rooting for, and which (if any) are actually the bad guys. The series wastes no time kicking off the violence, and from there it only continues along at breakneck speed on its dark and gritty but also silly and fun rampage.

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Dorohedoro, Volume 2 by Q. Hayashida

Once a year, hordes of the dead rise and roam the streets of the Hole, hungry for live flesh. And every year, Caiman and Nikaido sign up for the local zombie-killing contest! Whoever sends the most zombies back into the ground will win some fantastic prizes. But the fun ends quickly when En’s cleaners finally track down Caiman and Nikaido. Somebody’s going to lose their head. Literally.

Remember when zombies exploded in popularity and almost became too mundane because of it? Well, the zombies roaming around in the Hole in the second volume of Dorohedoro have a unique twist all their own that makes them anything but boring.

My immediate reaction upon reading the first 2 volumes is being pleasantly surprised by how well the anime stuck to the source material. Even so, both mediums do a good job bringing their own magic to the series, and the manga serves to further flesh out the world and its characters that I’ve come to love in the anime, so needless to say, I very much look forward to reading the rest of this series!

What are you reading right now? Get any good books over the holidays?? If you had to get cursed by a sorcerer and given the head of any animal, which one would you choose??? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Then & Now: 2022 Wrap-Up

Happy New Year!! Here’s to what will hopefully be a very happy and healthy year for all! ❀ This time of year is always an interesting time to reflect on the prior year and think of what all you can look forward to moving forward. So, as we leave 2022 in the dust, I wanted to make a little post of highlights and changes that came about last year before I’m fully ready to tackle 2023.

First Selfie of 2022: January                                      Last Selfie of 2022: December

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Number of Pets at the Start of 2022: 1                   Number of Pets at the End of 2022: 2

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Favorite Vacations/Events of 2022 in No Particular Oder:

  • Getting my mental health under control and seeing all the amazing changes I’ve been able to make because of it.
  • Welcoming our new fur nephew Ridley to the family and getting to see his amazing transformation. We’re so proud of him for how far he has come, and for Mr. and Mrs. C&M who have provided him with his forever home, endless amounts of love, patience, and treats. ^_^
  • Couples’ trip to Kalahari Resort and Waterpark with Mr. Moth and Mr. & Mrs. Cupcakes & Machetes
  • Having our baby werewolf puppy Noi officially join the family, and then her immediately becoming BFFs with C&M’s little gentleman Ridley! ❀ “Yeti Butt”, “The Tiniest Banshee”, and “Noi ‘No Bones’ ” are just a few of her many nicknames. She loves everyone she meets and is such a playful little clown.
  • 2 Year wedding anniversary vacation with Mr. Moth in Toronto, Canada
  • Dragula: World Tour (Detroit, MI) with our besties.
  • The Birthday Massacre concert with Mr. Moth
  • Taking Mr. and Mrs. C&M to their very first Theatre Bizarre
  • Finally getting to meet Melanie from Grab the Lapels and her hubby! They were an absolute blast and so great to hang out with.

Books/Graphic Novels Read: 20

Art Challenges Completed: 2 (Shark Week art & N64 gaming/art collab)

New Years’s Resolutions for 2022 Completed: 3.5 out of 5 (not too shabby)

New Hobbies/Interests Discovered in 2022: 

  • Relaxing and kicking my creativity into gear with adult coloring books
  • Learning new massage techniques and trying out new tools
  • Renewed love for swimming. Seriously, how did I forget just how much I love being in the water?!
  • Tracking the cycle of the moon, utilizing lunar rituals for maintaining focus and perspective (aka: witchy shit)
  • Dog training (pretty important to learn now that we have summoned a demon, er, I mean puppy into our home.) πŸ˜›
  • Just even trying new things in general. Since I made so many strides with my mental health in 2022 it’s been nice not being so intimidated by change or new opportunities.
  • Being more social and outgoing with people

Favorite Movie Watched in 2022:


I absolutely LOVED the movie Togo (2019). So. Many. Feels. ❀ I loved the cartoon Balto growing up but I was so happy to see that this movie was made since Togo never fully got the spotlight he deserved compared to Balto. Cannot recommend this movie enough!

Favorite Show Watched in 2022:


I feel like my answer is gonna have to be House of the Dragon but I’m also really struggling to remember what all I watched last year.

Favorite Anime Watched in 2022:


This is soooo hard because ever since the pandemic started I have grossly lacked ANY comprehension of time, so my gut instinct is to say Dorohedoro, but I feel like I watched that before 2022 . . . but, then again, I have watched and re-watched it far more times than I care to admit. (Just kidding, your girl has ZERO shame or regrets!) πŸ˜‰ Buuuut, for the sake of picking something I most likely watched for the first time in 2022, I’d have to say it’s a toss up between the last season of Attack on Titan or Jujutsu Kaisen.

Favorite (non-anime) Animated Series Watched in 2022:


The Legend of Vox Machina. Can’t wait for more fantastical shenanigans come season 2!

Favorite Novel Read in 2022:


It was so hard to pick which book was my favorite, but I think the characters in V.E. Schwab’s Vicious just really stole the show for me. Such a fun read. πŸ™‚

Favorite Short Story Read in 2022:


Interesting short story about werewolves, the end of the second World War, and a small village in war-torn Europe where childhood fairytales and horror are very much one and the same.

Favorite Graphic Novel Read in 2022:


I’ve read SO much of this over on Webtoon and loved every bit of it, so needless to say, I had to show my support and buy it in printed form and enjoy it all over again. It’s all about Hades and Persephone and other Greek gods being their chaotic, messy selves but with a modern twist. Love the art and the characters. ❀

Writing in 2022: Well, unfortunately, due to a serious lack in free time, I just didn’t get as much writing done in 2022 as I’d been hoping to. However, absolutely refusing to let that happen again, I’ve got a quarterly schedule mapped out for this year. I’ve been doing a lot of planning as the new year was creeping closer, and I’m really hoping to make 2023 a year full of focus and intent.

How did you ring in the New Year? Are you looking forward to anything special in 2023? What was one of your best moments in 2022?

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Back From Beyond the Blogosphere


Egad! What year is it? *Dusts off cobwebs and coughs up grave dirt* Well, I certainly didn’t mean to go on hiatus for like a quarter of the year, but life was . . . to put it mildly, a raging dumpster fire. Truth be told, it wasn’t ALL bad, but damn, did it get overwhelming. To be fair, there were some good points over the past few months, but for the most part, it’s just seemed like one exhausting and endless loop of me or any assortment of my loved ones being sick/injured/having surgery/requiring around the clock care at any given time. Aaaand, to make things even more stressful, apparently, somewhere in the back of my burnt-out mind, I thought this to be the perfect time to throw bringing home a puppy into the mix, because, who really likes being able to get even a moment’s rest anyway? Not this girl, apparently.


Buuuuut, things are looking a little more stable (for now, at least) so I wanted to make sure to dust off my trusty old blog and try to catch up with my favorite blogging buddies. ❀ How are you guys?? What exciting things have you been up to lately, and what are your plans for the last few weeks of the year?? πŸ™‚

As we continue to race ever closer to the new year (can you believe 2022 is almost over?!) I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my goals and the ways I can best check them off my list one by one. Aaaand, to be honest, I’m getting pretty damn excited about it. More news on that to come though! πŸ˜‰

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August 2022: Victories, Video Games and Vaudeville

Is anyone else absolutely blown away by how quickly this summer is going by?? I, for one, am always Team Autumn so I’m not completely heartbroken about it, but it’s certainly shocking that August is already nearly at an end!


As per usual, things have been pretty busy. Family medical stuff, work, big career moves, and more haven’t left me with as much free time as I’d like but I think I still managed to squeeze in some time for a lot of good stuff. πŸ™‚


Cupcakes & Machetes and I had a couple back-to-back buddy reads, and as luck would have it, we really enjoyed BOTH books!


Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia was the first of the books we read, and we’ll be posting a buddy review for it in the near future over on our joint blog Sugar & Scream so keep an eye out to find out what we thought of this gothic horror! πŸ˜‰


Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals, by Laurie Zaleski. This one was C&M’s pick and I was a little reluctant, expecting it to be a total tear jerker but although it definitely had its sad points, it was SUCH a good book. C&M already posted her review for it over on her blog, so be sure to check it out. We both loved it!


As for solo reads, I’m currently reading I’m Glad My Mom Died, by Jennette McCurdy. As shocking as the title is, it isn’t hard to see her motivation behind it while reading through the chapters I have so far. The author does not hold back anything as she unveils the story of her mother’s manipulative, psychologically abusive and toxic parenting, as well as the way the life of a young child actor was forced upon her when she never even wanted it.


I tackled a new dessert and baked a S’mores Cake for my sister-in-law’s birthday. We’re talking a graham cracker crust bottom, chocolate cake, vanilla marshmallow frosting, topped with toasted marshmallows, a chocolate drizzle, and graham cracker crumbs.

My dad’s birthday is right around the corner as well, so I just picked up the ingredients to make him the cherry cheesecake that was his birthday treat of choice this time around. πŸ™‚


With limited free time this month, I haven’t drawn anything yet in August, buuuuut I am brainstorming some ideas for a video game themed collaboration with C&M’s hubby for his streaming channel this November. (More to come on that later!) πŸ˜‰ I’m also eagerly anticipating the prompts for some of October’s art challenges like #inktober and #corpsetober to pop up (hopefully) in the near future so I can start cooking up some ideas for spooky season as well.


Writing has been touch and go lately. With a lot of family stuff going on and whatnot, I haven’t had much time for writing, but when I have, it’s been a lot more productive than usual. Now that I’m taking medication for my ADHD, I can definitely see a difference in my ability to focus and not get as distracted by other things during writing time and other activities. It’s been really nice. πŸ™‚


I recently got the honor of presenting at this year’s International Gentle Teaching Conference. It was such a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to co-present with. This was definitely a high point for me in my career and I’m so proud to have gotten the opportunity to present among so many wonderful speakers. Public speaking is TERRIFYING to me, but thankfully, since I’ve started actually treating my anxiety, it is now something that is much more possible.


As for events coming in the near future, after a few years off due to Covid,Β Theatre Bizarre finally makes it’s grand return to Detroit this October! If you don’t know what that is, imagine the most epic Halloween party ever. Multiple floors in one of Detroit’s historic buildings are transformed into one big spooky bash with live performances, sideshow acts galore, fire performers, devils and deranged clowns, and more. We immediately snagged our tickets as soon as they went on sale. Aaand, to make things even better, Mr. and Mrs. C&M are attending this year for their very first time! We’re so excited to get to go together this time around. Time to start working on costumes! πŸ˜€


In other vaudeville-themed news, I also recently got in touch with another event planner in our neck of the woods and got the inside scoop that they will be bringing back the “Carniville of Madness” (a Gatsby style upscale event with performers and oddities) which made its debut before the pandemic hit. Mr. Moth and I had a blast there but since their first year was right before Covid, we feared they may not make a return. Thankfully, those worries were put to rest and we now have another great costume event to look forward to.

Also, a couple’s resort vacation with Mr. & Mrs. C&M is right around the corner and after all the stress and chaos the past couple years have brought, we are ready for a relaxing vacation with our besties! ❀

AAAAND, we haven’t nailed down the details yet, but in October Mr. Moth and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, so we’re hoping to swing another vacation at that point too to celebrate. ❀


Re-playing Mario games with Mr. Moth for fun is always a nice way to enjoy a bit of free time.

I’ve also been continuing along on completionist mode in Hungry Shark World. After you beat the game, you unlock 2 extra sharks that have really high goals and I just pick at those goals when I need to mindlessly de-stress for a bit.

I’ve had a lot of fun lately nerding out with Imperial Rebel Ork over the Predator movies. We even did a buddy review over on the Sugar & Scream blog for the latest film installment in the franchise Prey.

So, that pretty much sums up how things have been going on my end. How have you guys been? Any exciting August moments I may have missed? How’s your summer been??

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Shark Week Art Update #2

Well, another Shark Week has come and gone, but it was jawsome while it lasted! πŸ˜€ My last 2 pieces I did for Shark Week include an adorable drawing of King Shark from the hilarious cartoon Harley Quinn. ❀ It seemed fitting since the new season just started AND it has my absolute favorite version of King Shark, voiced by none other than the always-awesome Ron Funches.


For the final piece, I wanted to mix things up and make a mer-shark. Mermaids are cool and all, but I would 100% want to be a mer-shark. ❀


I really enjoyed myself this year with Shark Week. We did so much at work to celebrate sharks, and I had fun nerding out with friends about sharks and watching as much shark content as I could squeeze in! πŸ™‚

How was your July?? What are you looking forward to most in August? πŸ™‚

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Shark Week Art Update #1

Hoping your guys Shark Week has been absolutely Jawsome so far! ❀ Over on my Instagram the Shark Week shenanigans have been in full swing, so I wanted to share some of the illustrations I’ve made and have been sharing here on my blog as well! πŸ™‚


Hungry Shark World fan art of the zombie shark you can play as. This game has eaten up pretty much any of my free time the past 2 weeks.

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King Shark from The Suicide Squad movie. Had fun playing around with some different brushes in Procreate when working on this one.

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Ebisu in her shark mascot costume from the anime Dorohedoro. Such a fun series! It’s weird, violent, funny, and unique in all the best ways, and the characters are awesome!

There will be more shark week art to share soon, but I wanted to hop on and add these while I had a little bit of extra time. Have you been watching any of the new Shark Week content this year? There’s been some really good stuff! πŸ™‚

Work has been one big Shark Week party and my participants have been loving it which makes me SO happy! They really are the best! ❀ One of the girls in my room is loving the sharks I painted on the window so much that she always comments on them when she comes in in the morning and today she told me the big shark I painted was “so cute and so special” and it absolutely made my day. ^_^ We’ve been doing lots of cool shark art projects, playing Pin the Fin on the Shark, doing sensory with water beads and toy sharks, and more! It’s been an absolute blast.

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Happy Shark Week!

Woo! It’s that magical time of year again! ❀ I’ve been gearing up hard for Shark Week this year, so expect lots of fun shark-related posts. I’ve been working on fun shark-related drawings, using any ounce of free time I can get to play the video game Hungry Shark World, and am all set up with my Discovery+ account to binge-watch some fin-tastic shark content!

I may have gone overboard at work, but I know my class is going to have an absolute blast this Shark Week. I’m generally the only room that does Shark Week in the building, but this year our excitement seems to have caught on, and another team is joining in on the fun as well. πŸ˜€

In case any of you haven’t seen it already, here’s this year’s Shark Week lineup, as well as the extras available on Discovery+. Aaaand, don’t forget to check out all the oldies but goodies that air all throughout the week as well. πŸ˜›







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Will you be partaking in Shark Week this year? What’s your favorite fictional shark? I couldn’t find any art challenges going on this year, so I mostly just drew shark fan art for fun. I hope you guys all have a Jawsome Shark Week! Looking forward to nerding out about sharks with you guys! ❀

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Adjusting to My New “Normal”

Hi, there! Hope you guys are doing well. ❀ In my previous post I mentioned how the trials of sorting out my mental health have not been without its ups and downs, but how I was finally starting to work on creative stuff again. …Guys… it’s been absolutely amazing being back at it. I am someone who thrives off doing creative things just about every day, so to experience the dry spell I recently had where I had no desire to write or draw or do much of anything with my solo free time was a nightmare.


I’m so happy to be working on my hobbies again. I have really been enjoying working on the next draft for the book I’ve been writing, and I also have plans this week to get together with a friend to create some art. Hopefully I’ll have some new illustrations and maybe even a painting or something to share with you guys soon. πŸ˜‰


I’ve also become a lot more outgoing recently. It’s been kind of surreal learning how to live a less anxious and more focused life, but hearing the positive changes my loved ones have been seeing really makes me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. ❀


Now that it’s summer, what things are you guys looking forward to the most? How are your hobbies going? I’m looking forward to more time spent with amazing friends (like this past weekend we spent with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes & Machetes having fun) and doing the things I love to do, as well as trying new things along the way as well! πŸ™‚


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Fighting My Devil Mermaids . . . er, I mean Demons!

To say creativity has been a struggle lately would be a vast understatement. Trying to finally tackle my depression, anxiety, and apparently ADD (look at that, I’m a triple threat now!) has been an entire process. I’m still only in the beginnings of this journey despite dealing with all 3 issues pretty much forever, but there is definitely an overall improvement in my quality of life even if things aren’t perfect.

I’ve been waiting for the urge to create things to return for several weeks now. This weekend I finally was able to scratch that itch. Mr. Moth and I just enjoyed a lazy weekend without any set plans of things to do and I found myself writing again and drawing this devil mermaid because Hell deserves mermaids too, damnit! πŸ˜›


What’s your go-to self care tactics for boosting your mental health? Also, what creative things are you guys all working on these days?? πŸ™‚