Posted in Baking/Cooking/Nomming, Uncategorized

Calvatia Gigantea: The Giant Puffball!

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Behold! The giant puffball (and my shoes).

I’ve stumbled across a few giant puffball mushrooms before, but had never bothered picking one since you often hear the warnings about those poisonous look-alikes and I’ve grown slightly fond of breathing over the years. 😉

Well, after reading some helpful info on properly identifying edible giant puffball mushrooms, we decided to chance it by plucking up this bad boy we found on my mom and dad’s property. Here’s my mom plucking it up. Say “Hi” Mama Moth! 😛

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After my mom picked it out of the ground we brought it inside and prepared to cut it open. The guides we read said you wanted a pure white center in the mushroom, and no gills and whatnot, so we were pretty pleased to cut it up and see that snowy center. 🙂

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We’ve still gotta cook it up, but we’re excited to try it. If I suddenly stop posting after this, well, I guess our mushroom identifying skills were not quite as up to snuff as we’d hoped. Wish us luck!

Do you ever hunt/cook mushrooms? Any experience with puffballs? Lemme know! I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

It (2017) No-Spoiler Review

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Hey, guys! ❤ As promised, here is my post regarding the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Please Note: There won’t be any spoilers, so any pics or gifs I post here will have already been released in the various trailers/ads. That said, let’s begin! *Cue the creepy clown music.*

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Adaptations, reboots, remakes, etc can be really dividing when put to film. Especially ones concerning something like It, which traumatized so many people, either through the original novel, or Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 1990 TV mini-series. This left some pretty big shoes to fill for the new film adaptation just recently released. (“Big shoes”, get it? Because clown shoes are big. No? Okay, then, I’ll just excuse myself and take my leave.)

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Anywayyyy, getting back on track. (It’s early and I am not properly caffeinated, so please bear with me.) I really enjoyed this movie, and it surprised me in a few ways. A major surprising factor for me was just how damn funny it was. The kids that make up the legendary “Losers’ Club” were great. I was really impressed by how well all the child actors did. How many times do we see kids cast in movies who fit the bill of the adorable child, but just really can’t act? That is not a problem in this movie. Far from it, actually. Each of the young actors has talent and range that allows them to flow easily between humor and terror and back again throughout the story. Excellent casting, in my opinion. Each of the “losers” has believable chemistry with one another, and their friendship really does add to the enjoyment of this film in a major way.

Movie-Cast-2017-1024x549 And while speaking of acting, we of course cannot forget the central antagonist of the story, Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård. First of all, I was really happy that he and the creators of the movie chose not to try duplicating the feel of Tim Curry’s performance in the 1990 version. They went off in a different direction with the look and feel of the character, and I think that was smart. Otherwise, everyone would have just been non-stop comparing the two, and forgetting that these projects are completely separate entities revolving around the same original story. Of course they are going to be different. But when someone like Curry manages to traumatize an entire generation with his portrayal, it can be difficult for people to not expect the same of the next person to don the clown makeup.

Bill Skarsgård, I feel, did a great job with the character. As I mentioned before, I’m not particularly scared of clowns, but I really loved what he did throughout the film as Pennywise. He was interesting to watch, and the guy has a natural calling to the horror genre, as seen in this and Hemlock Grove. Plus, I love that he is an actor that chooses not to just get by on his “pretty boy” looks, which is always a plus in my book. 🙂 Go for those weird and/or challenging roles! That is what makes an actor memorable in my humble opinion.

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Bill Skarsgård pre-clown makeup and the blood and tears of children.

The movie was fun to watch, and never dull or dragging. It’s more like a coming-of-age story with horror splattered in for good measure than a straight-up horror movie, and honestly, I think it made the movie all the better. And this is coming from someone who loves horror. It’s a good one to see in the theater if you can, and definitely worth watching.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

SHARK WEEEEEEK!!

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Awwww, Yeaaaahhhhh! It’s that magical time of year again, guys: SHARK WEEK!!

I’ve always loved sharks, so tuning into Discovery Channel each Summer for all this sharky goodness has been an absolute must for me for as long as I can remember. You know how a lot of people get pumped up about the Super Bowl? That’s me with Shark Week. 😛

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Disclaimer: This image may be photoshopped.

Shark Week has always given us landlubbers a chance to see (and learn about) what’s really going on out there in the deep blue yonder. I love sharks, but like a lot of things in nature, I prefer to love them from afar. Preferably curled up under a blanket with my cat minion purring beside me as we nom popcorn like sharks nom their prey.

A lot of people tend to mainly think of Great Whites when they think of Shark Week, but several of my favorite programs over the years has focused on the vastly different species of shark. Monday, for example, there will be a program called “Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins” about some of the unsung heroes of the shark populace, the bizarre weirdos of the deep. 🙂

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How about you? Are you going to watch any (or all of) Shark Week? I’ll admit, tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones will manage to pry me from my shark binge for at least an hour, but otherwise it’s gonna be sharks all day, every day.

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Wishing a merry and Jaw-some shark week to one and all! 😉

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Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

Wonder Woman (No-Spoiler Review)

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“You fight like a girl” is an all-too-often-hurled insult in school yards, but Wonder Woman is a classic icon of female empowerment, busting through these sorts of stereotypes and taking names. I’ve been excited to see the new WW film since the first trailer came out and it instantly gave me chills. After the long wait, the film finally hit theaters yesterday.  I was beyond excited when, by some lovely twist of fate, my boyfriend got out of work early on Friday, allowing us to visit the theater midday before the crowds came flooding in.

First thing’s first, I love Gal Gadot in this role. She nailed her performance in my opinion. Everything from Diana first being exposed to “polite society” in London after being raised and trained among only Amazons, to her refusing to back down from what she believes in and not being afraid to get into the thick of things in order to do so. She did a great job, and was someone you want to root for and believe in.

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This movie is Diana’s origin story, before the world would come to know her as Wonder Woman. The events unfold under the backdrop of WW1, in war-torn Europe. Having grown up in the Amazonian paradise that is Themyscira, Diana has no idea of the ugly reality of war she is stepping into when she decides to go into battle.

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I really enjoyed Chris Pine as Steve Trevor and what they did with his character throughout the movie. Even though the movie is called ‘Wonder Woman’ he doesn’t fall into some lame sidekick role with no ambitions of his own. All the actors did a good job in my opinion.

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I don’t want to go into too many more details because it’s more fun to just go see the movie for yourself. 😉 I thought the film was really good, though, and I’m hoping to see more like this from DC with their upcoming films. *cough cough and maybe a Batwoman movie would be nice, too. cough cough* Just sayin’.

Posted in Uncategorized, Whatcha Reading??

June’s Pick For The Happiest Reading Challenge

If you’re taking part in The Happiest Reading Challenge you know that June calls for reading “a book someone has recommend to you“. It didn’t take long to decide on what book I would read for this month’s part of the challenge. Like some of you guys, book and baked good blogger Cupcakes and Machetes has been throwing book upon book into my TBR mountain for quite some time. One of these books is The Lies of Locke Lamora (Book 1 of the Gentleman Bastard series), written by Scott Lynch.

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“An orphan’s life is harsh–and often short–in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly.

Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game–or die trying…”

Sounds pretty good to me! 😉

Epic fantasy is always a plus in my book. It also helps when it passes the C&M seal of approval. And by seal of approval, I mean she was willing to bare-knuckle fight anyone in a mud pit that had the audacity to say that Scott Lynch wasn’t a “fantastic fucking author.”

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I’m really excited to finally read this one. 🙂 I hear it is a seriously amazing debut from Scott Lynch. It’ll be nice to get to experience it for myself after hearing so many good things.

So, how about you? Reading anything good right now, or taking part in any reading challenges of your own? I’d love to hear about it! It’s always nice to talk about good books. 🙂

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Spring Blog Party @ Scale it Simple

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With all the holiday festivities I’m a little late on this one, but we’ll just go ahead and call it “fashionably late”. 😉

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There’s a lovely Spring Blog Party going on all day (April 16) over at Scale it Simple. Head on over and join in on the fun in the comments section with your fellow bloggers. It’s a nice way to connect with others in the wordpress community and introduce yourself and your blog to others. I got to know several great people from the last blog party I took part in there and would highly recommend it.

Here are the party rules, as posted by Scale it Simple:

1. Choose one of your favorite blog posts from your own blog. Any and all kinds of posts are welcome.(Untasteful or inappropriate posts will be removed.) You can share up to three links. Wait some time in between your posts for best results.

2. Paste the link in the comment section of this post and write a little bit about yourself and/or your blog.

3. Share this party on at least one social media platform in order to invite your blogging pals. The more the merrier!

4. Now grab some chocolate, a glass of your favorite beverage and get ready to meet some new people and discover some new blogs! Read, comment, follow and share other bloggers links on your social media platforms or on your own blog.

So, that said, head on over and PARTYYYY!

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Posted in Uncategorized, Viewing Pleasures

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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“Tale as old as time . . . Song as old as rhyme . . . Beauty and the Beast.”

Beauty and the Beast (1991) is definitely a favorite among many Disney fans. So when the new live action version of the film opened in theaters this past weekend, hopes were high to say the least. I think a lot of people had their torches and pitchforks at the ready just in case.

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I, for one, LOVED it. The film was visually stunning. Emma Watson made a fantastic Belle, and the rest of the cast shined in their roles as well. The movie really stayed true to the animated version, but also added in more backstory and expanded on the relationships (friendships included) of so many of the characters. One of the characters I found much more fleshed out and enjoyable in this version was Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, a character who has recently stirred a lot of controversy due to *MILDEST OF SPOILERS* his character being Disney’s first openly gay character in one of their films. Kudos to Disney for finally taking this important step in the right direction. To any of the theaters that refused to play this movie due to it having a gay character in it I simply say “Shame on you” and also “Your loss. Because LeFou is the shit.” ❤

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The characters were awesome, but so was the music. The film included all of your favorite Beauty and the Beast songs as well as a few new ones. Nearly 24 hours later I still have the songs stuck in my head. And I am NOT complaining. 😉

I just want to gush and gush about this movie, but I will only say one more thing before I end this. If you think you enjoyed the library scene in the original, baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

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Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing, Tra La La

Staying Focused While Writing

So, sometimes my thinky thinky parts do a wee bit too much imagining. Having inspiration for your writing is a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but it can be hard picking which ideas to work with when so many come popping into your head.

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C’mon, Brain! Get. It. TOGETHER.

This overabundance of story ideas has resulted in me being what I affectionately refer to as “a raging plot slut”. Meaning that it is very difficult for me to commit to one story and stay 100% focused on it. Things will be going fine and then an idea will pop into my head, and suddenly I’m onto that story, and then before I even know it I’m suddenly working on another, and so on. I don’t mean to be a raging plot slut. It just sort of . . . happens. (Apparently I keep tripping and falling into other stories.)

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Now, I know for some writers that this is done with great success. They can juggle multiple projects and continue to make progress on all of them. You writers are to be applauded. I however, have not yet perfected this seemingly mutant-like ability. Maybe one day I will get there, but today is not that day. That said, I’ve actually been doing really well at staying focused and carving out some real progress on a single project since the end of December. Not a long period of time, sure, but it’s a start. Small victories are still victories. 🙂

So as far as 2017 writing goals go, I’m just going to continue trying to work on this one writing project and see how far I can get with it.

What about you guys? Any writing goals for the new year? Are you the type of writer who can juggle multiple projects or do you commit to one and only one until it is finished?

Posted in Uncategorized

Last Post of 2016

2016 is mere hours away from being a thing of the past. Something I know many of us are more than okay with.

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But let’s not forget that some really good things did happen in 2016 too. Their were some major strides and accomplishments in medicine, multiple species of endangered animals (including those adorable head-humping ground parrots, the kakapo) are seeing growth in their numbers, aaaaaand we got a really, REALLY good Deadpool movie. 😉

Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and fantastic 2017! ❤