Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake

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Deciding to try out a new recipe is always kind of exciting. Will it turn out like you’re hoping? . . . Or will it turn into a radioactive pile of mush even your pets turn their noses up at? Being as sick of winter as I currently am, I decided to go for one of the more tropical kinds of recipes I found online. So here we are, with this delicious pineapple coconut rum cake. I tweaked the recipe I linked above just a smidge since I didn’t have any actual rum extract or pound cake mix. I was also lacking crushed pineapple, but it turned out pretty well even with the “chunks” style. (Which, by the way, who in the hell in marketing decided “chunks” sounded appetizing to begin with??)

Here’s the ingredients I used:

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix.
  • 1 20 oz. can of pineapple (chunks) in 100% pineapple juice.
  • 1/2 Cup shredded sweetened coconut.
  • 1 tsp. Malibu coconut rum.

Following the recipes directions, I mixed it all up, poured it into a lightly sprayed pan, and popped it in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It certainly doesn’t rise quite as much as your typical cake might, but it was a good, light cake with a pleasant flavor. Especially when there is whipped cream added on top, as pictured above! 😉 And for those of you who despise coconut, one of my testers who also loathes coconut said that it wasn’t even really noticeable, and also enjoyed the cake. So, all in all, I chalk this one up as a pretty decent success. 🙂 The flavor was good, but I don’t think it will really win many points for overall presentation any time soon. But if you’re just looking for an easy tropical dessert to enjoy at home, it does the trick quite nicely!

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Ignited Birthday Moth!

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Woo! It’s my burfdayyyyy! 😀 Time for a birthday-cake-fueled-sugar-high that results in the mass murder of countless Piñatas, opening my presents to discover that I FINALLY got that pony I’ve been asking for all these years, and of course an obnoxious amount of confetti and glitter.

Psh, I wish. 😛 Nah, I’ll actually be going to work today like some lame ass adult. (When you work a Monday through Friday job, partying is reserved for the weekends.) 😉 This past weekend my boyfriend took me out for some birthday adventures including exploring some really cool shops, going to a fantastic Irish pub for dinner and drinks, and spoiling me with prezzies and the most amazing peanut butter cheesecake with dark chocolate ganache. Yum! (Not to mention the birthday dinner and delicious homemade pistachio cake topped with pistachio mousse my family made me on Sunday.) Sooo good! I’m sorry, but eating healthy just isn’t an option when birthdays are involved.

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Going into this new year of my life, I’m feeling really good. 🙂 I have so many things to be thankful for and excited about, and I’ve got some truly amazing people in my life. ❤ Here’s to making this year just as good as last year!

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New Year’s Resolutions: 2018

Daaaaaaaamn, guys. I seriously can’t get over the fact that tomorrow is the final day of the year. It feels like 2017 went by in the blink of an eye. A lot of things happened and a lot of changes were made, all for the better. 🙂 I feel like this was a fantastic and much-needed year for patching up what was once the fast-sinking vessel that is my mental health. I’m happy to report that I accomplished a lot of important goals I’d set for myself this past year, and that I’m not only much happier, but also much stronger, because of it.

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I had a lot of things I wanted to work on in an attempt at bettering myself and I conquered the goals set before me. Honestly, it’s probably been my best year ever as far as slaying New Year’s Resolutions goes and it feels pretty damn good. I plan on riding that high right into 2018 by continuing to try and better myself. That’s kind of the thing about life, isn’t it? We’re always pushing ourselves, learning new things, and taking new chances.

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So, that said, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what exactly my goals are for the new year! I’ve got several themes for my various goals concerning different aspects of my life. Things like reading, fitness, writing, etc. (Knowing me, I’ll probably come up with several additional goals throughout the year, but as of right now, here’s what I intend to work on in 2018:)

Reading Goals of 2018:

  • Finally read the neglected books that have been sitting on my bookshelves, untouched.
  • Venture into reading more poetry.
  • Read 50 books/graphic novels (Last year’s goal was 45, so I upped it by 5.)

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Creative Goals of 2018:

  • Bust my ass to get my writing project ready to start submitting by the end of 2018.
  • Start utilizing art tutorials and online courses to learn snazzy new art skills.
  • Experiment with watercolors.
  • Draw! Draw! Draw! Write! Write! Write!

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Fitness Goals of 2018:

  • Do more cardio, kickboxing, and dance.
  • Drink more water.
  • Find more fun and active hobbies like going to the trampoline park.

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So, that just about covers my personal goals for the new year. 🙂 How about you? Are you planning on making any new year’s resolutions? Did you complete any this past year? I’d love to hear about them! 😀

Since I don’t know if I’ll have time to hop on tomorrow, let me just wish you all a very Happy New Year! Here’s to what will hopefully be a fantastic 2018! ❤

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Giant Days, Vol. 3 (No-Spoiler) Review

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Giant Days is, as I’ve seen it described before, “a slice of life” sort of comic following a group of friends as they navigate their first semester at university. It’s honestly quite charming in my opinion, and one of those feel-good sorts of easy reading. Not to say it doesn’t have the occasional sad or angering moment thrown in as well, but overall it’s got fun and silly humor and good female characters/friendships. Good male characters, too. Just good, human characters all around it would seem. (Maybe even a good pigeon character as well.)

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Being a young adult makes for stressful and odd times, and the events that have transpired over the first three volumes of Giant Days do not shy away from that. In fact, GD fully embraces it with a running start and tackle-hugs it to the ground. This volume in particular covers topics ranging from bedtime romps and heartache to student elections and the terror that is camping.

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My boyfriend and I have been reading through this series together and our personal reviews on this volume were mixed. We both liked volume 1 the best so far, but he wound up enjoying 2 more than 3, and I on the other hand enjoyed this volume more than I did with volume 2. We both agree we’re definitely going to continue reading the series though with volume 4 at some point. 🙂 The series just has some sort of comfy cozy vibe that keeps me coming back for more if that makes any sense. Maybe it’s because I enjoy the characters so much, even when they’re doing normal everyday stuff.

So, how about you guys? Reading anything good right about now? Do you have any go-to feel-good reads you enjoy like this one?

Horses > Cars

Uuuggghhhhhh . . . grooooaaaan . . . grumble grumble . . . and lastly, but perhaps most importantly, Harumph!

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Cars: amazing when they work properly, and absolutely infuriating when they don’t. Not to mention insanely expensive. As my car goes onto day three of repairs I am finding myself thinking more and more about how much better a horse would be. In honor of this notion, I share with you the gifs I found that only seem to confirm this notion that horses are vastly superior to cars (and in many cases people). I mean, if cartoons present it as such, surely it must be true, right?

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So, yeah, to sum it up:

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Giant Days, Vol. 2 (No-Spoiler) Review

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I’m a wee bit behind writing up my review for this because of the recent business with work and whatnot, but here we go!! Better late than never, right? 😉 So, a while back I read and reviewed volume 1 of Giant Days. (To sum it up: I loved it!) ❤

A few weeks ago my boyfriend got me volume 2 and I was excited to read more of the shenanigans of the characters I came to love in the first volume. This series is cute and fun, with fantastic characters. Volume 2 picks up right where Volume 1 left off, with new-but-great friends Susan, Esther, and Daisy banding together to get through the madness that is their first semester at university. We’ve got dances, relationships, hometown rivalries and antics, and other hijinks abound in this volume.

gd2 It was a fun read, but I will admit that overall, I did like volume 1 a little bit more, but I still enjoyed volume 2 and will definitely continue reading the adventures of Daisy, Esther, and Susan. Curious to see if many other people felt how I did on the matter I went ahead and read several other reviews regarding volume 2 and it seems pretty split down the middle: either people enjoyed volume 1 a little bit more, but still liked this one as well OR they preferred volume 2 because they’d already gotten to know the characters in volume 1 and now felt more connected to them going into this volume.

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There’s also an artist change part way through this volume. The artist change isn’t bad or anything, but I did miss some things about the first artist’s (Lissa Treiman) style. Mostly their bold lines. The new artist (Max Sarin) did a good job though not making it too jarring by matching up pretty well how the character’s looked and everything, while still adding their own flair. (And we still get Whitney Cogar’s awesome colorist skills this go around.)

Overall, Giant Days is a fun series about three girls with a great friendship. John Allison has written them realistically from the very beginning, with flaws and strengths, distinct personalities and interests, and their own insecurities and hangups.

What are you reading at the moment? Anything good? Anything horrid? Anything just “meh”? Let’s talk about it! 😀 I always love to hear what you guys are reading, too.

Sometimes it’s the Simple Things in Life

Hey, guys! ❤ Hope you all had a great weekend. Did you get up to any exciting hijinks? I know I did. I went out for dinner and drinks with a good friend of mine on Saturday and then while we were adventuring we stumbled upon something I’ve been wanting to try out for months now: One of those places full of trampoline floors and walls, foam pits to hurl yourself into, and other shenanigans. I practically screamed with joy when I saw it. Okay, there is no “practically” there, I quite literally screamed with joy.

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Oh man, was that place fun. I grew up with a big trampoline that I used all the time, and it had been years since I’d used one, but it was just as fun as I remembered it being. Even more fun in fact, because there were such long stretches to bound and leap, and walls to hurl yourself into and bounce off of. And, guys, that foam pit. Omg. It was so much fun to spring off of the trampolines into foamy bliss like that. Needless to say, it was a total blast, and I will be going back again. 😀

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Heed my advice: If you come across one of these places, don’t question it. Just do yourself a favor and go in. It was great. I want to go all the time now. Lol And yes, it is meant for all ages, so don’t feel like it’s just for little kids. They had all kinds of things you could do there, too. Dodge ball trampolining? Yeah, that’s a thing.