Posted in Uncategorized

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!

dorohedoro-shocking

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

READING:

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

53152636._SY475_

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

56269214

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!

59364173._SY475_

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.

BAKING:

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

DRAWING:

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 https://www.twitch.tv/heathen_rite this November. (More to come on that later!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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:

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

EVENTS:

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.

blog2

As for events coming in the near future, after a few years off due to Covid,ย 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

blog1

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! โค

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. โค

VIDEO GAMES/ENTERTAINMENT:

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??

Posted in Uncategorized

January 2022 Wrap-Up

Well, after dodging covid for nearly 2 full years, it finally reared its ugly head in our home. My husband and I had both been having these weird headaches for a few days and honestly, we have been so careful and had barely even gone anywhere around the time this happened other than the grocery store (both of us were even off work when this all happened) so the last thing we were expecting was covid. Well, my husband was due for surgery that week so he had to get tested and sure enough, he tested positive. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Thankfully, other than being tired and having the bad headaches it was all very mild. Thanks, Science! ๐Ÿ˜€ Very, very glad we were both vaccinated and had our boosters. It could have been so much worse. Anyway, my husband’s surgery had to get postponed, so that’s coming up this week. We both had masks on when we went to the store, so that is just further proof that this Omicron variant isn’t fucking around. Be careful out there, guys. โค

There were several other things that made January kind of a rough month, but I’m just thankful none of it was as bad as it could have been. Anywayyy, here are some things that brought me some joy in a month I would otherwise sum up as “mildly horrible”. ๐Ÿ™‚

Books Read: 3

38087912._SY475_

Vicious (Villains #1)ย by V.E. Schwab

I absolutely LOVED this book.ย Cupcakes & Machetes had read and raved about it years ago so it’s been on my radar for quite some time and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. I would have immediately dove right into the sequel but C&M and I are doing our annual beginning-of-the-year Harry Potter buddy read. It’s the fourth year, which means it’s time for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, baby! ๐Ÿ˜€

982911 299135

I recently decided that I wanted to re-visit some of the spooky comics I loved back in my teenage years, so I started re-reading theย GloomCookie series of graphic novels by Serena Valentino. Volume 1 held up, with gothic modern fairy tale-like stories and spooky-cute characters and humor. I still enjoyed volume 2 as well, but not quite as much as the first one. A lot of the characters were just too angsty and bitchy this time around for me. Still gonna continue reading the series though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Baking Buddies: New Achievement Unlocked!

I’m usually the baker in our household, but my husband joined in on the fun last month and we ended up making 3 different desserts together. 2 were great, and the other was “meh”, but I enjoyed having a partner in confectionery crime. ๐Ÿ™‚ He made a delicious peanut butter buttercream for one of the desserts, and it was his first time making any kind of frosting, so kudos to him! We share quite a few hobbies already so it was fun trying something new together.

20220121_151232

20220121_163154

Some of my Favorite Things I Watched:

The Lost Boys (You can check out the buddy review C&M and I did for it over on our joint-blog Sugar and Scream if you’d like!)

USHmod0

Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train (OMGGGG! Amazing animation and fight sequences, and it’s got me so hyped for season 2!!)

demonslayergif

Attack on Titan, Season 4 Part 2 (If you aren’t watching this show yet, GET. YOUR. LIFE. TOGETHER. AND. WATCH. THIS. MASTERPIECE. Seriously, if it doesn’t pull you in by the first episode alone I’d be stunned.)

aot1

Hobbies: Drawing and Writing

I’ll have to do a post soon with the drawings I made during January. (I think I only did like 3 for the whole month, but one was a rough/practice comic page, so that was fun and different.)

As for writing, it was a pretty productive month for working on my book’s second draft, especially given how stressful things were.

Leveling up to 35: My Birthday

With everything going on, it ended up being a very low key kind of birthday. My husband gifted me with a bounty of awesome books/graphic novels, and we got takeout from one of our favorite local restaurants (with cookie butter cheesecake for dessert!) ๐Ÿ˜€

Well, that pretty much sums up my first month of 2022. I hope you guys had a better start to the new year! โค What was your favorite part of January? Any plans for February that you’re excited for?

Posted in Uncategorized

My Year in Books: 2021

my year in books

Does anyone else look forward to when Goodreads posts your “Year in Books” at the end of the year? ๐Ÿ™‚ I always think it’s fun looking back on things you’ve done throughout the year, so maybe that is something I’ll try to keep better track of in 2022 in general. For now, though, I’ll just let GR do most of the work.

This year I surpassed my goal of reading 30 books/graphic novels, and read a total of 45. (Though, let’s be honest, A LOT of those were graphic novels this year.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

The SHORTEST book I read was: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, at 118 pages.

2493

The LONGEST book was: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, at 692 pages.

Screenshot 2021-12-16 at 19-56-58 Goodreads 2021 Year in Bookss

Favorite Buddy Read of the Year: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanย by J.K. Rowling

5._SY475_

Favorite Novel I Read This Year: The Graveyard Bookย by Neil Gaiman

2213661

Favorite Graphic Novel I Read This Year: I literally read all 34 volumes of the manga ofย Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama, so I think it’s a safe bet to say this one took the cake for me in 2021. ๐Ÿ˜›

13154150._SX318_

How was your own year in reading? What was your favorite book/graphic novel you read in 2021? How many books do you hope to read in 2022?

ย 

Posted in Uncategorized

November 2021 Wrap-Up

Hello, December! โค It’s kind of bizarre to think that 2021 has already nearly come to an end. It feels like we were JUST wishing for 2020 to be over. What even IS time anymore since the pandemic hit? 0.o

I hope you guys all had a great November. ๐Ÿ™‚ What was your favorite part of the month? Here’s some of the things I enjoyed most throughout November:

NaNoWriMo: NaNoWriMo was definitely interesting this year. This was the first year I’ve gone into it in 2nd Draft/Revisions mode, so it was a little more difficult for me to get my footing at first. I definitely added to my word count and fleshed out a lot of the bare bones areas of the book, but I also spent a lot of time moving things around and merging my new material in with the old. Near the end of the month I found myself less focused on the word count, and more focused on just doing whatever needed to be done. All in all, I may have veered off course as far as my original NaNoWriMo goal, but I still think it was a very successful month of writing/editing, and I’m proud of what I accomplished in that amount of time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Buddy Read:ย Cupcakes & Machetes and I did a buddy read for Science Fiction month ofย The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. If you want to see what we thought of it feel free to check out ourย post we did about it.

Thanksgiving: We kept things very small, just immediate family, and everyone involved was vaccinated. I like laid back holidays so I thought it was really nice. โค My dad and I love Bruce Campbell, so we watched his new movie Black Friday.

Watching: My favorite shows I watched this month are definitely Arcane (on Netflix) and Dragula, Season 4 (on Shudder).

Reading: I only finished reading ONE thing this entire month, and it was my buddy read with C&M. Buuuut, I did also just start reading Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, which has been very interesting right from the beginning. ๐Ÿ™‚

Video Games: I’ve been playing a lot of Mario Kart 8 this week. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Baking: Meh. I was pretty excited to try this no bake pumpkin pie recipe, but it was bland as hell, to be honest. I’ve only ever tried making 2 pumpkin pies in my life, both for Thanksgiving with my family, and both were terrible. The first one was when I was a kid, my dad and I made a gorgeous pumpkin pie but forgot one of the ingredients… SUGAR. D: So I guess failing at pumpkin pie is a family tradition at this point. lol

What are you most excited for in December? Any last minute projects or goals you have going on before the new year? ๐Ÿ™‚

ย 

Posted in Uncategorized

Mission Accomplished: First Draft

“Writer Girl Summer” is finally at its end, and so is my blog hiatus I was on. My entire summer was pretty much just a caffeine-fueled writing frenzy of utter madness. It feels really damn good though to have completed my (very rough) first draft. I am so ready to take a much-needed break from writing to let the story breathe, and to regain some of my sanity before I go on to tackle the dreaded second draft.

post-14883-Penny-shutting-and-throwing-he-wWPK

Luckily for me, Halloween is just around the corner, so I’m going to use the full month of October to recover from my crazy writing binge and to just focus on doing all the things I love to indulge in during spooky season. We’re talking horror movies galore, catching up on some creepy video games, reading scary stories, fall baking, etc. I’m also planning to participate in the 2021 Corpsetober Art Challenge, so I’m really excited to get back into drawing. I really didn’t draw much this summer since I was so focused on completing the first draft of my book, so I can’t wait to get back at it and practice some more with my iPad Pro. It was kind of torturous just seeing it collect dust all summer, but I’m glad I remained focused.ย 

Screenshot_20210923-171331_Instagram

I can’t wait to start catching up on everyone’s blogs over the next several days, and see what you guys have been up to while I was away. In the mean time, how was your summer?? What are you most excited for this fall?

Posted in Uncategorized

37 Day Hiatus

type-writer

Oof. Deadlines are ROUGH. As I previouslyย mentioned, this summer is all about finishing the first draft of the book I’ve been plotting/writing. Now that I’m in the home stretch (just 37 days left to go) I really need to shift my focus into high gear and remain focused. It’s because of this that I’ve decided to take the remainder of this summer off from my blog and devote just about all of my attention and free time to making my self-imposed deadline.

I’ll still be contributing toย Sugar and Scream during this time though, so I won’t be totally removed from WP. Here’s hoping I make it back with a completed first draft AND my sanity intact come the fall. ๐Ÿ˜‰

bogusoptimisticgermanpinscher-small

ย 

Posted in Uncategorized

Pup Cups, Pumpkins, and Photos: July 2021 Wrap-Up

20210801_074151(1)

Update #1: Pup Cups

My mom and I like to try to get together for coffee once a week, specifically Biggby frozen coffees with extra espresso in them because we are absolute fiends for caffeine. Well, as of late, our girls’ day coffee adventures have only gotten better with the addition of a third member of our “Treat Yo’ Self” squad, that being my parents’ new resident fluff monster that they got a few months back. (Like this dog needed any more reasons to love going for car rides.) ๐Ÿ˜›

20210801_074225ย  20210801_074209

Update #2: Pumpkin Babies

Our pumpkin patch is already fast at work producing flowers and pumpkin babies for the fall. I think this pumpkin patch will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because I love pumpkins, but also because the first harvest was for our wedding last October. โค Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!

Update #3: Writing Progress

Writer Girl Summer is going really well. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve mostly been cruising along right on track to have my first draft complete by the first day of fall, so here’s hoping I can keep this pace up. *fingers crossed*

Update #4: Reading, Or Rather, a Lack There Of

I didn’t get much reading done in July, mostly due to a misplaced charger for my Kindle that has thankfully since been found. Also, when I wasn’t writing, let’s be honest, I was mostly watching a ton of anime. While my kindle charger was misplaced, I had to take a break on finishing Pet Sematary for my buddy read with Cupcakes & Machetes, I started reading Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

ninth house

Update #5: Drawing

Other than completing theย Drawing Shark Week art challenge I participated in, I didn’t get a whole lot of drawing time in since this summer my focus is mostly on writing. Buuuut I’m hoping to at least squeeze in a couple Fan Art Friday posts this month since my last one was *GASP* all the way back in mid-May??! I can’t even keep up with time these days it seems. 2021 is just barreling by at breakneck speed and it’s all I can even do to try to remember what day it is half the time. Back to the point though, it will be good to get some more practice in with Procreate and my iPad Pro. I’m still loving it, I just have soooo much to learn!

Untitled_Artwork (14)

Update #6: Watching

July mostly had me been binge-watching the first 4 seasons of My Hero Academia with my husband, but I also started Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on my own. We also enjoyed the 3 week Netflix event for the Fear Street trilogy of movies. I think we may have squeezed a couple other movies in as well, but the only one coming to mind at the moment is Gunpowder Milkshake.

Update #7: Baking

For my husband’s dad’s birthday I made a triple chocolate cake. My husband also really enjoys these honey cornbread muffins I make so I made some of those which we enjoyed with honey cinnamon butter. (SO good.) I also have an abundance of frozen blueberries I want to use up, so this weekend I made blueberry muffins. Aaaand if you follow the Sugar and Scream blog that C&M and I host together, you’ll have seen some pics of freshly bakedย bone-shaped snickerdoodle cookies we posted about in early July.

What shenanigans did you get up to in July? Any big plans for August? Hoping you all have an excellent month! ๐Ÿ˜€

Posted in Uncategorized

Enjoying The Finer Things in Life: Baking, Video Games, Reading and Kitties

happy-weekend-5b48ee

Ughhhh, work has been quite a doozy lately, to the point that I was in complete and utter zombie-mode each day when I got home. This weekend I decided to just indulge in some of the more relaxing things that make me happy. A Friday night drink/video chat with my amazing BFF Cupcakes & Machetes, some baking (Chocolate Coconut Cream Cake and a nice honey beer bread), playing lots of Super Mario 3D World on the Switch with my awesome husband while our adorable cat Bailey cuddles up with us, binge-reading a bunch of the Attack on Titan volumes of the manga which have been on my TBR list forever, and just enjoying the time off. I know next week will be just as tiring at work due to us being extremely short-staffed at the moment, but I’ll worry about that come Monday. For now, I’m just enjoying myself and relaxing. โค

I hope you guys are all finding your own ways to unwind and find some joy. What’s your go-to boredom vanquisher these days? ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

ย 

ย 

ย 

Posted in Uncategorized

March 2021: Digital Art, Fluffy Friends & Other Updates

Oof, March has been an absolute whirlwind of a month. It’s been quite the mix of high and low points. Registering for classes, family health emergencies, the sudden loss of a wonderful friend who taught me so much about life and brought so much joy to everyone who knew her, house and yard projects and repairs, and many other things have had me a bit stressed these past few weeks to say the least.

I did manage to squeeze in a bit of practice on my art tablet, taking some old sketches and outlining and coloring them digitally as seen below:

vamp girl redoneย  rainy sad girl

Started playing Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U with Mr. Moth so that’s been a fun distraction from some of the more stressful stuff that’s been going on lately.

I think the only thing I baked this month was a dark chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Soooo good! โค

I haven’t finished reading anything new at all this month. My mood has been all over the place, which also means my reading preferences have been just as erratic. I did start reading Leigh Bardugo’s The Lives of Saints and re-reading Shadow & Bone in preparation for the Netflix show coming out. It’s been like 7 or 8 years I think since I read S&B so I was definitely due for a refresher before the show starts. I always think it’s interesting to see the differences between a show or movie and its source material. I also started reading this big ol’ Encyclopedia of Witchcraft & Demonology that had belonged to my grandma back in the day. It’s something I have read bits and pieces from but never completed reading from start to finish so I’d like to finally do that. I’m not in a rush though, It’s a lot of information that I’d rather take my time and read here and there rather than all at once.

All the critters are doing well. Luna the baby hedgehog at my work is getting sooo big. She’s “quilling” right now so she’s a little grumpy at times but the Aveeno Oatmeal baths we’ve given her have helped a lot. Quilling is basically a process that can take up to 6 months of age where she will slowly be losing her baby quills here and there and having them replaced with her big girl quills. Here’s a pic of her after her first Oatmeal bath. She was so happy and relaxed afterward.

20210309_124637

Bailey’s been living her best life, as always. ๐Ÿ˜› Mr. Moth got her one of those little flower-shaped kitty water fountains and she LOVES it. It’s funny because he wasn’t exactly Team Cat before Bailey and I lived with him and he’s since turned into this Turbo Cat Dad, spoiling her rotten and researching things to make sure she is the happiest kitty she can be. โค

20210206_151022

My parents new fluff monster is also doing really well. ๐Ÿ™‚ He had his first vet appointment and got a clean bill of health. He did really well while he was there and so he got a special “Shit Happens” treat from the doggy bakery. Kind of appropriate since they needed a stool sample from him for his first visit. Haha He’s such a happy boy and has already brought so much joy to my parents’ home with his goofy personality. The neighborhood squirrels may not like him but we adore him. โค We’ve been working on tricks and he currently knows “Sit”, “Lay Down” and “Speak”. He’s also really good at solving dog treat puzzles. ^_^

20210314_180331ย  20210314_160139ย  20210314_184656

That’s pretty much it for my updates for March. I tried to focus on the more positive stuff for my post but it was definitely a month with its fair share of worry and tears. Hopefully April will be better. ๐Ÿ™‚ How was your March? Oh, yeah, and Happy Spring! ๐Ÿ˜€

ย 

Posted in Uncategorized

February 2021: Huskies, Hedgehogs, and Honey Chai Cakes, Oh My!

I can’t believe it’s already almost March! February was a busy and awesome month full of surprises so I figured it was time to get my butt back on the blog and do an update post. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just got my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine this past Tuesday and I’m so happy and grateful. (Even if it did really knock me on my ass the day after with sore muscles/joints, fatigue, little waves of nausea, and a headache). After that, I was back to my normal self though and I was just thankful to be able to get it, so no regrets. Thanks, Science! โค

I also started the process towards going to school for graphic design. Michigan has a new program it has rolled out to get people over the age of 25 back in school to get their associate degree by covering their tuition. It’s such a great opportunity and was too good of an offer to pass up, so I’ll be starting classes this summer. I’ve even already got my college ID! One of my co-workers is already taking the exact program at the same college and has had great things to say about it, so I’m really excited. Pluuuus, I’ll get to share in this experience with my BFFย Cupcakes & Machetes since she is going back to college as well starting in the spring. ๐Ÿ˜€ Different schools/classes, but we’re both excited to geek out over school stuff together so that will make it even better all the way around!

Other fun surprises this month came in the form of two new fuzzy and prickly friends. A girl I went to school with before was recently trying to find a home for a good dog in a sad and tough situation so he wouldn’t have to go to a shelter so long story short, my parents opened their home to him and now have a lovable, goofy, clumsy, fluff monster to call their own. โค My other new little animal friend came in the form of a lovely little hedgehog at my work. She’s so sweet and cute and the participants at my job just absolutely adore her, as do I. ๐Ÿ™‚

20210207_161626 (2)20210207_173334

20210226_111302 (2)

It wouldn’t be an update post on THIS blog if I didn’t mention recent reads, hobbies, and baking. I didn’t have as much time for those things as I’d have hoped, buuuut I did bake this delicious Honey-Drizzled Cinnamon Chai Cake:

IMG_20210221_001209_111IMG_20210221_001209_135

In reading news, I happily read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Bookย  this month. It was such a treat. Kind of a nice and cozy, comfort read. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also started reading Leigh Bardugo’sย The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse)ย  and, for a refresher before the Netflix adaptation comes out, I’m re-reading/listening toย Shadow and Bone. I just watched the official trailer yesterday and I. Am. PUMPED. โค

graveyard book

Well, those are my updates for the month! ๐Ÿ™‚ I also did some writing and more practice with digital art but not as much as I had planned due to all the other stuff going on. All in all, though, February was a pretty good month. I hope you guys all had a good go of it as well. โค Looking forward to catching up on some blog posts I’ve missed but please fill me in on any excitement I have missed in the mean time. What were your highlights of the past few weeks?

ย