2 Year Blogiversary AND 301 Followers!

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Hey, guys! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. โค

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. โค โค โค

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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! ๐Ÿ˜€

Aaaand to those of you celebrating it, Happy 4th of July! โค 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!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

friends

 

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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. ๐Ÿ˜› 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ˜€

Have a great weekend, everyone! โค

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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.) ๐Ÿ˜›

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜› 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-awesomeย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.) ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope everyone had a great weekend! โค 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.

 

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! ๐Ÿ˜€ 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! โค

Sunflowers, Sweet Potatoes, Lemon Trees & Cream Puffs Galore!

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Hey, guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was a lot of fun. My boyfriend and I went to see the new It movie, so expect a review of that to come soon. ๐Ÿ˜€ Since my previous post was about scary clowns, I thought I’d mix it up with something a little sweeter before delving back into that. ๐Ÿ˜›

Speaking of sweet, check out this growing sweet potato bush from the green house. I feel like with Fall quickly approaching I’m running outta time to share these gardening photos so pardon this random post.

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We’re also growing two different types of lemon trees in the green house. They’ve been doing really well so far this Summer, but we’re going to have to move them inside pretty soon so they survive the coming winter.

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So, plant business aside, I’ve been meaning to share the photos of those cream puffs I mentioned making before for my dad’s birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s some of the Work In Progress pics, and then the final product, topped with powdered sugar and filled with a light and fluffy cream filling.

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Here they are as little dough balls, ready to go into the oven
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Fresh from the oven and ready to cool on the cooling rack.
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Stuffed to the max and topped with powdered sugar.

Updates of the Reading and Working Variety

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Hello, lovelies! ๐Ÿ˜€ Despite my recent absence, I swear I have not been eaten by monsters. (Not yet anyway.) Halloween is slowly creeping up though, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜› I’ve just been insanely busy lately. A lot of it due to work. I still love my jobs though, so it’s all worth it. I just need to learn to manage my time and perhaps do more multitasking so I can have a wee bit more free time to do some of the things I enjoy (like blogging with all you awesome folks!) โค

August has been an incredibly busy month, but it’s been a good one. It seems to be a big month for parties. I got to go visitย Cupcakes and Machetes for her housewarming party earlier in the month and that was a lot of fun. My work just had their 25th anniversary Luau party yesterday. I baked some strawberry cupcakes with cheesecake mousse topping and they were a hit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aaaand my dad’s birthday is at the end of the month, so my mom and I are making him lemon cream puffs (his request), an awesome dinner, and spoiling him with presents (several of which are Guardians of the Galaxy related).

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I haven’t had nearly any time to read this month but I am squeezing in a few minutes of reading here and there where I can fit it in. This usually results in me being super grumpy when I’m really interested in what I’m reading at the time and have to put the damn book down. lol So infuriating. I’ve started Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn.

Though I’m not as far along in either of these stories as I’d like to be by now, I am enjoying them both. ๐Ÿ™‚ Laini Taylor really does have a way with words, so it’s been awesome returning to her writing since it’d been a while. Aside from her writing style itself, I greatly enjoy her imagination. She’s so creative with her stories.

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Laini Taylor, pink-haired bad ass writer of books.

I feel like a lot of you already know about Strange the Dreamer, but for those of you who might not yet, here’s a quick blurb on what it’s all about:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundโ€”and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old heโ€™s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteriesโ€”including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazloโ€™s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

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Emilie Autumn, Singer/Writer/Violinist/Actress/Etc. Etc.

I’ve been a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music and poems for a while now, and this book of hers was on my TBR list for quite some time but A.) it was difficult to find B.) it was pretty damn pricey, so alas, it stayed put on my TBR list all this time. Buuuuut, it did recently get released on the kindle for a very reasonable price so I bought that baby right up! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a quick blurb regarding The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls:

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open. As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats talk. But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?
The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

So, those are my little updates. Do you have any of your own? Lemme know, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to catch up on reading everyone’s fantastic blogs, but I’m a bit behind right now, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting new news and whatnot you’ve got going on! Also, it’s Friiiiidayyyyyy!!! Have a great weekend, everybody!! โค โค โค

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