2 Year Blogiversary AND 301 Followers!

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Hey, guys! πŸ˜€ Today officially marks 2 years since this Ignited Moth first fluttered onto WordPress, and just like any moth to the flame, I just can’t seem to stay away. There is such a fantastic community of bloggers here. So thank you ALL for making this such a fun place to come to, to post, to read, and to chat with all you awesome people. ❀

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In other exciting blog-related news, I just reached 301 Followers here at my humble little nook in the WP blogosphere, and that makes me so happy. πŸ™‚ Thank you all for the support and having taken an interest in my ramblings, doodles, pictures, and the like. It really does mean a lot. ❀ ❀ ❀

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I mentioned recently that I’d really be pushing myself and making more time for pursuing my creative endeavors in the second half of the year, and that is still the plan. So from this point forward, expect more art/writing/etc. posts peppered in again with the usual reviews and ramblings. I’m hoping to give the good ol’ blog a nice makeover soon as well. So lots of new stuff to come! πŸ˜€

Aaaand to those of you celebrating it, Happy 4th of July! ❀ I’d wanted to make this post much bigger and grander, BUT today I’m going with my boyfriend to his family’s big 4th of July bash and there is an Oreo dessert and S’more dessert to be made, so off I must go. I’ve given myself a nice little vacation from work surrounding the holiday so I’ll be using this time to catch up on some writing, reading, drawing, and blogging (my own and catching up on what all you fine and fancy folk have going on!) πŸ˜‰

Have a great week, everyone, aaaaaaand thank you for your:

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Science & Nature Days: Geode Project!

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Have you ever had one of those days at work where you just wanna take a hammer and SMASH things?? Well, I got to do just that recently. πŸ˜› I found this cool geode project in a catalogue that I thought would be fun for a science and nature day project. I thought we could get the job done with the tools pictured above, grossly underestimating just how hard we had to smack the hammer against these geodes, so it was time to up our game and get a bigger hammer!

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With the proper tools for the job, we busted these little bad boys open, sending sparks flying multiple times in the process, and were delighted to see what we could find inside. πŸ™‚ Some were duds, but some were quite pretty. My photos unfortunately don’t quite do them justice, but I wanted to share them just the same.

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We get to do some pretty snazzy things at work, but my favorite days are usually the ones we do fun nature projects. For our next science and nature adventure we’re going to be hanging out with rescued sea turtles and other cool marine critters at the aquarium. Needless to say, I cannot wait! πŸ˜€

Have a great weekend, everyone! ❀

Book Club, Buddy Reads, and Vegan Chocolate Mousse– OH, MY!

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This weekend has been a blast. We had some good friends over to the house for the first time, which was very exciting. I hosted this month’s book club get-together, and my boyfriend and Cupcakes and Machetes‘ husband went out to one of the nearby breweries so we ladies could have the whole place to ourselves. Which basically involved a lot of snacking, inappropriate conversation, a tour of the house (the reading nook and giant bean bag were both a hit!) and more snacking. Most of the girls in our book club are strictly vegan, so I made a variety of vegan dishes for everyone to nom on and everything turned out great. The chocolate mousse was definitely a success, so I’ll share the recipe at the bottom of this post in case any of you are interested. πŸ˜‰

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C&M and her hubby brought us an amazing bundle of goodies, which was so sweet and thoughtful. Aaaaand she and I decided to do a buddy read for Kevin Hearne’s A Plague of Giants in August, so there’s that to look forward to as well.

3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe:

This recipe is SO EASY. You just need 3 ingredients:

  • 2 small boxes of Jello brand instant chocolate pudding mix
  • Chocolate almond milk
  • “So Delicious Dairy Free” coconut whipped topping

In a large mixing bowl, whisk your pudding mix and chocolate almond milk together, adding enough almond milk so that it gets to a cake batter consistency. Then, using a rubber spatula, fold in the coconut whipped topping so that it is fully blended but not over-whipped. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

I served ours with graham crackers for dipping and it was seriously addicting. I think it would be great for dipping strawberries or sliced banana into, too, though. The great thing about this mousse, is how versatile the recipe can be. If you want to use vanilla or plain almond milk instead of chocolate, the pistachio, banana cream, vanilla, and lemon flavors of Jello instant pudding are also vegan-friendly, so you could make a mousse in any of those flavors just as easily. The mousse is also great for filling or topping cupcakes, or even just eating plain or parfait-style, so you can really do a lot of different things with it.

And, if you are not interested in making it vegan, just use regular milk and a tub of regular whipped topping instead, and you can use whatever flavor of instant pudding mix you want, so the possibilities are unlimited. Go crazy, this stuff is so easy and delicious.

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June Update Time!

Wow, it’s still hard to believe we’re already SIX MONTHS into the year. Luckily, 2018 has been a great ride so far, so I really can’t complain. (Although, to be fair, there is some occasional whining before/after work.) πŸ˜›

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My spirit animal

The biggest change for me so far in 2018 has been moving in with my boyfriend to our very first house. It was a big, scary leap, but it’s been great. We make a good team and he always inspires me to push myself toward bigger and better things, so I’ve got some fun projects/ideas I plan to really get going on in the days to come. Next month my little blog will be turning 2 years old, and I’m planning some fun stuff as this Ignited Moth begins her terrible twos. Mwahaha!

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I’m having some friends over this upcoming weekend (my first non-family visitors since I moved in) for my book club’s June meeting. I can’t wait for them to come see the new house and hang out. πŸ™‚ Aaaand, speaking of books . . .

Here are the books I’ve bought so far in June:

The City of Lost Fortunes

Currently reading this one for book club. I’m enjoying it so far, I just wish I had more time to really dig into it. I was struggling to stay away the other night while reading this and wound up succumbing to sleep, thus letting my kindle slip from my grasp and bash me in the face. Not the nicest way to wake up. Profanities ensued.

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A Plague of Giants

I cannot wait to get to read this one! I’ve been enjoying The Iron Druid Chronicles, so I can’t wait to read Kevin Hearne’s first big epic fantasy. He’s been great in the urban fantasy department, but I am looking forward to seeing how he really turns his brain loose for this one.

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Godblind

Like the book above, this was a recent buy due to a fantastic deal pointed out to me by Cupcakes and Machetes. Not only does she make killer book suggestions, but she also points out great deals when she finds them. She’s like a fairy godmother of all things literature, waving her magic wand around and making good books appear on your TBR list. πŸ˜› I’d heard good things about this one, and with such a great deal how could I possibly pass it up?

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In other news, I bought some fantastic watercolor markers just recently. I’ve gotten to tinker around with them a little bit, but I’m really looking forward to going wild and getting the hang of them soon. With some encouragement from the always-awesomeΒ Imperial Rebel Ork, I’ve decided to post more of my scribbles, doodles, and artsy stuff on the blog. Which, of course, made me want to get some new tools of the trade to make it happen. πŸ™‚

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I feel like there are a thousand other things I could babble on about right now, but I’ll keep this brief. Just know: all is well, I’m feeling inspired, and there is plenty of fun new stuff coming to the blog in about a month. In the meantime, it’s business as per usual (AKA: random, unfiltered chaos.) πŸ˜€

I hope everyone had a great weekend! ❀ What’s been going on in your little corner of the world lately? Feel free to let me know what recent excitement you’ve had going on or what neat stuff you’ve been working on lately.

 

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Post 2

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I had a lot of fun last week, answering the first seven questions from Luna’s 30 Day Video Game Challenge over @ Gamers United GG. She came up with so many great prompts, so here we are for another batch of answers from yours truly. πŸ˜‰

Day 8: What’s your favorite video game pet?

Lamarr from Half-Life. Lamarr may be a headcrab, but ya know, I always found her adorable. Maybe because she was rendered harmless and is so obnoxious and troublesome all the time, I don’t know, but I’m giving this one up to Lamarr. ❀

Day 9: What is your favorite childhood video game title?

I would probably have to say the original Sonic the Hedgehog games I played on the Sega Genesis. I have several games I absolutely LOVED as a kid, though, so it’s hard to pick just one. Another game I was all about but haven’t really gotten to talk about yet would be Banjo Kazooie for the N64. SUCH a fun game, and with so many cool and different levels. I had a ton of fun with that one.

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Day 10: What childhood video game would you recommend and why?

I’m going to try to suggest one of the ones I haven’t babbled on about yet in either of these posts. When I was a kid, I really enjoyed playing *SOME* of the Disney games that I played on the Sega Genesis. Specifically The Lion King and Aladdin. They were just so much fun, and I loved the Disney movies that inspired them, aaaand that animation in the game was SO. DAMN. SMOOTH. Look at this shit!

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Day 11: Which video game has the best memories?

Mario Kart 64, without a doubt. From childhood to adulthood, I have so many fond memories of this game. From racing against my family and friends like Cupcakes & Machetes, to playing it tournament-style at parties with friends and strangers alike. This game is my jam. One of my favorite memories of it was destroying this one guy a few years back in one of the party tournaments who insisted girls couldn’t play video games. The same guy also got destroyed by Cupcakes & Machetes and I in doubles air hockey after making more sexist boasts.

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Day 12: What is the hardest game you have played? Why was it hard?

Hmm . . . probably Super Meat Boy? Although . . . The Binding of Isaac comes to mind as well. Both games involve a whole lot of dying, sooo . . .

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Day 13: Do you have a favorite video game villain?

Because I am eternally twelve and thus poop is funny to me, I’m gonna have to say The Great Mighty Poo from Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Because it’s a villain made of poop. Yes, they went there. They even gave him corn kernels for teeth. This guy sticks out to me because of the utter ridiculousness of it, and what a complete WTF moment it was when I first encountered him.

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Day 14: You jump down Mario’s Warp Pipe, where do you end up?

Peach’s Castle, just like how you start the game in Super Mario 64. I’d love to visit that place. I didn’t think of it at the time when I answered Luna’s Day 2 question about what video game world you would live in if you could, but it’s definitely a place I’d love to visit. The castle itself is awesome, but then with all the worlds you can visit from there by hopping through paintings. There would never be a dull moment, that’s for sure.

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Post 1

Hey, guys! πŸ˜€ Luna over at Gamers United GG is hosting a 30 day video game blogging challenge, so I figured I’d join in on the fun! Since I don’t have the time to post each day for 30 days, I’m going to answer several of the questions in a few posts spread out through the month. This post will include my first 7 answers to Luna’s questions.

1.) Who is your childhood video game hero?

Probably Sonic the Hedgehog. I was a Sega girl, and I put a lot of hours into the Sonic the Hedgehog games as a kid (and who am I kidding, as an adult, too.) πŸ˜› Plus, you save a bunch of cute and fuzzy little animals, so that was also a plus for me. Tails was my favorite to play as though when you eventually got the option, but we’ll get to Tails in a later question. πŸ˜€

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2.) Which video game world would you like to live in? Why?

Planet Pop Star from the Kirby games would be a top pick. Everything is just so cute and fun.

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3.) Who is your favorite video game sidekick?

Miles “Tails” Prower from the Sonic the Hedgehog games. I’ve been a fan since Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I even had a stuffed animal that was a fox (essentially the Hobbes to my Calvin) that I named Tails, despite the stuffed animal only having one singular tail. πŸ˜› I know Tails can sometimes be a hindrance (especially in the special stages) but I still love the little guy.

4.) What was the toughest boss that you had to face?

Haha this is going to sound so lame, but when I beat Diddy Kong Racing for the N64 it was on a pretty junky television, and racing Wizpig was a damn nightmare because the picture was wayyyy too dark to see at times on that TV. So, because I was being stubborn as hell, I did the race over and over again to memorize my way through the race even though I was basically driving blind at times. It was a giant pain in the ass and I was soooo mad, butΒ  eventually I got it!

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5.) If you can have a video game weapon, which would you choose?

I don’t like getting injured, so I’d want something I could use to destroy the baddies and keep myself from harm, so I’m gonna have to go with the Super Stars that give you invincibility in the Mario/Super Smash Bros/Mario Kart games. I’ve always liked mowing people down with the Super Star in Mario Kart. *Evil Laugh!*

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6.) What’s your favorite game?

Ooh, this is tough. I’ve got several games that I love and could play over and over again, but I’m going to have to give this one up to Super Mario 64. Just because it’s so much fun, and I still remember the way I felt blown away by it when I first played it. That game will always hold a special place in my heart. ❀

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7.) You’re in a Western video game and need to rob the bank, which video game character will be your partner?

Hmm . . . maybe Glacius from the Killer Instinct games? He can turn into liquid and slide into places that would be hard to get into otherwise, like vaults and locked doors. The dude can fight, and he has his own built-in weapons, so I could easily see him being the quickest draw in the West with that friggin’ sword-arm uppercut of his. Not to mention being able to freeze people. Yeah, I think we could get away with a bank robbery if I had Glacius as my partner in crime. πŸ™‚

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That’s it for my first 7 questions from Luna’s awesome challenge. Be sure to check out her blog to see her answers, the rest of the questions, and maybe even join in on the fun! Big thanks to her for coming up with the challenge and making such fun questions. Looking forward to doing the next 7 next week! πŸ˜€

 

Flower Friday Post 3: Rhododendron

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Woo! It’s finally Friday, which means it’s not only time for the weekend, but also another Flower Friday! πŸ˜€ Some of you might remember Last Flower Friday, when I mentioned that the rhododendron in my backyard finally had one single bud on it. Well, as you can see from the picture above, that lone bud turned into a poofy pink ball of magnificence. And several more sprouted up to join it, much to my delight!

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The leaves on this plant are pretty interesting, being much thicker and coarser than your typical plant leaves. Fun Fact: The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal. I can totally see why, too, because they’re absolutely gorgeous. I’ll be sad to see these guys go once they’ve finished blooming.

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I’ve got some yellow irises blooming out in the front yard right now, too. Those were quite the pleasant surprise to say the least. This past Memorial weekend I spent a lot of time out in the yard getting stuff done. Weeding, raking, trimming, more weeding. It was exhausting in the heat, but it really did make a big difference. Oh, and the pine cones. SO. MANY. DAMN. PINE. CONES. They’re everywhere. I rake them up one day, and the giant pine tree by my back porch promptly projectile vomits them up all over again by the next day so that my porch is covered once more.

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If this were accurate I’d be rich AF, just sayin’.

Well, that’s it for this week’s Flower Friday. Are you planting/growing anything special at the moment? Have a great weekend, everyone! ❀