Summer 2018 Wrap-Up

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I don’t know about you, but I am always excited to see summer coming to an end. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I just can’t stand the humidity, blazing sun, bugs, and heat of summer. Bleh! Bring on the cool, crisp weather, gorgeous scenery, tasty treats, and Halloween festivities! πŸ˜€

Although I’m excited to see it go, this summer wasn’t a total bust, so I figured I’d do a wrap-up post with some of the highlights for this particular season as it comes to an end.

In June I went to my little cousin’s wedding. It was a fantastic celebration. Funnily enough, this was the first wedding I have ever been to where I was simply a guest and didn’t have any responsibility so that was interesting. Everything was amazing and everyone had a wonderful time. I’m so happy for her and her new husband and the life they’re starting. ❀

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Look how cute their dessert table turned out!

In other news, we got some succulents! I’ve been wanting to get some of these little bad boys for a while, so I was beyond elated when my boyfriend took me to pick a bunch out for the house and get all the supplies we needed to take care of them. πŸ™‚

Speaking of plants, we also took a day to visit Grand Rapids this summer and made sure one of our stops was at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This place was MASSIVE. I feel like we could have easily spent the whole day just at this one place, but we had a zoo and brewery to go to that day too, so we had to hustle just a bit. We got to see some wonderful and bizarre sculptures as well as tons of gorgeous and interesting plants. If you ever find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan it is definitely worth a visit!

We didn’t end up going to the movie theater quite as much as we normally would these past few months, mostly due to how busy things have been, but we did manage to squeeze in a few good movies.

I only got to review one of these three films (Deadpool 2) but I did actually enjoy all three of them. πŸ™‚

Haven’t gotten to do very much reading this summer, either. Squeezed in a few things, and slowly chipped away at a few more, but I’m hoping fall will prove to be better for getting cozy and curling up with some good books. πŸ™‚ In other book-related news, I did score some great deals on books I will (hopefully) be enjoying soon.

We got some major yard work done this summer, so it’s been cool seeing how the property has really transformed. You can tell someone who lived in this house previously really enjoyed gardening and had quite the green thumb and eye for landscaping. Years of renters, however, seem to have let things grow a little out of control, so we had some hard work to do, but I love our yard and all the cool plants that came with it. We even started using out fire pit and I’m looking forward to some fun bonfires come fall.

Well, that is my summer wrap-up post for the year. I’m excited going into fall mere days from now and plan on doing a lot of fun stuff throughout that particular season before winter comes creeping in. Expect a fall bucket list post in the near future! πŸ˜‰

How about you guys? What were your own personal summer highlights? Anything you’re particularly excited about for fall? What’s your favorite time of year? Let’s talk about it!

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Whirlwind of a Month: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of August

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Well, well, well . . . look who finally stumbled her way back onto WordPress. This old gal! It may have seemed like I dropped off the face of the earth, but it was only due to the frenzy of chaos I like to refer to as August 2018. Sooo, yeah, totally ready for this month to be DONE.

Monday is Labor Day here, so that means a nice three day weekend. While some of the people I work with are going on trips for the holiday weekend, the only trip I shall be taking is straight to the Oral Surgeon this Saturday morning. Yaaaaay. Wisdom teeth, amirite?

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Quit being such dickheads, Wisdom Teeth. Seriously, go home. You’re clearly drunk, growing in all sideways and shit. Get your act together.

Anywhoo, that sums up “the ugly”, leaving “the bad” as all the other stressful stuff that just never seemed to come to an end this month, so enough of all that, let’s get to the FUN stuff, THE GOOD:

August’s Book Haul:

After watching and enjoying the movie Odd Thomas, I’d been pretty interested in reading the book series that it came from. I was pretty pumped to discover two of the books in the series at a recent used book sale and so I promptly snatched those babies up. I’ve never actually read any Dean Koontz books, so I’m curious to see what I think.

Another author I’ve never ventured into reading yet is Laurell K. Hamilton. Not sure if it’s a wise or risky move diving into a collection of her short stories rather than an actual novel, but we shall see what happens! πŸ˜€

I’ve not really even dipped so much as a toe into the pool of mystery literature out there, but the Detective Lavender Mysteries series caught my attention when it popped up for sale on the kindle recently. Gonna give it a shot.

More volumes of Giant Days is always a plus, so getting volume 6 as a surprise definitely lifted my spirits on a particularly rough day this month. πŸ™‚ Don’t be fooled by the whole “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” load of silliness. Sometimes, comics will prove to do just fine. πŸ˜‰ It’s all about the thoughtful gesture, not the extravagance of it.

The Resurrectionist caught by attention just from that snazzy cover quite some time ago. Caught it on a good deal via the Kindle and am looking forward to giving it a go!

And although I haven’t gotten to see the film version of The Meg like I’d have liked to by now, I did obtain the book, so yay for that! Will it be outlandish and probably ridiculous? Of course. Will I probably love it even more so because of that?? Most definitely.

I got some other books this month thanks to that used book sale I mentioned, but these are the six I’m most intrigued about.

Anywayyy, just wanted to pop in and say that I’m still kicking, just been busier and more stressed than normal lately. September is shaping up to be a busy month as well, but I hope to be able to squeeze in more blog time than I was able to in August. πŸ™‚ You guys are awesome and I’ve missed getting to see what adventures you’ve all been up to. I’m going to try to catch up some this weekend, but it may take a while. Especially since I don’t know what to expect after oral surgery (except a swollen face and a healthy dose of hurting). If you’ve had any recent exciting news or anything and wanna chat about it please comment it up so I can read all about it. Feel free to even link me some of your spiffy posts I may have missed. πŸ™‚ It’s always great catching up with you guys! ❀ Have a happy weekend, everyone! ❀ ❀ ❀

 

 

WTF Happened to July???

Jeez, I can’t believe how FAST this month has been going by! I feel like it’s come and nearly gone so quickly already. It’s been a ridiculously busy month, but a mostly good (and extremely productive) one at least. I’ve been working on a lot of too-boring-to-bother-blogging-about-but-necessary-things in my life, so yay for that, but I’ve missed all my blogging buddies. ❀

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Sooooo, since it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been able to really post anything *COUGH COUGH it’s been over two whole weeks but who the hell is counting COUGH* let’s just go ahead and cover a few quick updates, shall we? πŸ™‚

BLAH #1: So far this month I was able to squeeze some reading time in despite how busy things have been. I got to read some other works by authors I’ve read and enjoyed previously, like George RR Martin’s The Ice Dragon, Emilie Autumn’s short story The Gown, and I FINALLY (after several years) read the third book in Laini Taylor’s The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series Dreams of Gods & Monsters. I also binge-read volumes 2, 3, and 4 ofΒ The Girl from the Other Side and finished reading the last ofΒ The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp. Some of the reads I liked more than others, some I found to be surprisingly not as enjoyable as I’d thought they’d be. We’ll save all that for other posts when I finally get my slacker ass around to reviewing some of the things I’ve been reading lately. πŸ˜›

BLAH #2: I’ve got a current series of shark illustrations I’ve been working on for some upcoming Shark Week posts, so expect an explosion of shark-related blog content from me starting this Sunday. I’ll also be babbling on about shark facts throughout the week because sharks are awesome and learning shit is rad.

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BLAH #3: Kind of random, but if you haven’t watched Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now comedy special on Netflix you probably should rectify that. It’s hilarious. (Unless you are easily offended. Then maybe stay faaaar away from it.)

BLAH #4: Does anyone on here use Audible? I just wonder because I was offered a 2 month free subscription for it for a membership to something else I recently signed up for. I’m wondering what anyone out there that has tried it thinks of it. Is it worth the money? Listening to audio books can be really useful when your schedule is extremely busy. Multitask or bust, am I right? πŸ˜‰

Anywhooooo, that’s enough from me. It’s past 1 in the morning and I’m honestly stunned that I’m even still awake and functioning at this point. How are things in your corner of the world? Any exciting BLAHs of your own you’d like to share? Have a great weekend, everybody! ❀

 

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.