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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!

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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. πŸ™‚

READING:

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

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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! πŸ˜‰

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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!

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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. πŸ™‚

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!) πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚

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.

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

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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! ❀

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. ❀

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??

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Adjusting to My New “Normal”

Hi, there! Hope you guys are doing well. ❀ In my previous post I mentioned how the trials of sorting out my mental health have not been without its ups and downs, but how I was finally starting to work on creative stuff again. …Guys… it’s been absolutely amazing being back at it. I am someone who thrives off doing creative things just about every day, so to experience the dry spell I recently had where I had no desire to write or draw or do much of anything with my solo free time was a nightmare.

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I’m so happy to be working on my hobbies again. I have really been enjoying working on the next draft for the book I’ve been writing, and I also have plans this week to get together with a friend to create some art. Hopefully I’ll have some new illustrations and maybe even a painting or something to share with you guys soon. πŸ˜‰

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I’ve also become a lot more outgoing recently. It’s been kind of surreal learning how to live a less anxious and more focused life, but hearing the positive changes my loved ones have been seeing really makes me feel like I’m headed in the right direction. ❀

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Now that it’s summer, what things are you guys looking forward to the most? How are your hobbies going? I’m looking forward to more time spent with amazing friends (like this past weekend we spent with Mr. and Mrs. Cupcakes & Machetes having fun) and doing the things I love to do, as well as trying new things along the way as well! πŸ™‚

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Fighting My Devil Mermaids . . . er, I mean Demons!

To say creativity has been a struggle lately would be a vast understatement. Trying to finally tackle my depression, anxiety, and apparently ADD (look at that, I’m a triple threat now!) has been an entire process. I’m still only in the beginnings of this journey despite dealing with all 3 issues pretty much forever, but there is definitely an overall improvement in my quality of life even if things aren’t perfect.

I’ve been waiting for the urge to create things to return for several weeks now. This weekend I finally was able to scratch that itch. Mr. Moth and I just enjoyed a lazy weekend without any set plans of things to do and I found myself writing again and drawing this devil mermaid because Hell deserves mermaids too, damnit! πŸ˜›

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What’s your go-to self care tactics for boosting your mental health? Also, what creative things are you guys all working on these days?? πŸ™‚

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Long Time No See!

*Gently dusts off blog like it’s an ancient relic from an archeological site.* Hello, there! It’s certainly been a while. I hope everyone is doing well. ❀ I’ve been away working on my mental health and trying to adjust to slowly reentering the world again after the past couple years of mostly living the pandemic hermit life.

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I am seeing a new primary care physician who is wonderful and has been so helpful in starting my journey in actually treating my depression and anxiety. I’ve “lived” with these issues for far too long and I finally have had enough. Something had to give. I’m already seeing a world of difference. We’re still in the process of nailing down the right course of action for me, but I really do think we’re on the right track. I’m hoping it will help me become a lot more productive with all of my goals/ongoing projects as well. πŸ™‚

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Mr. Moth and I are out of town right now visiting with our besties Mr. and Mrs.Β Cupcakes & Machetes for the weekend to celebrate C&M’s birthday! ❀ We gave her her prezzies, went bowling (which was surprisingly a total blast!), tried a delicious restaurant none of us had tried before, played video games, and made plans for lots of exciting upcoming adventures! It feels so good to be making actual plans again. πŸ˜€

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Also, speaking of exciting plans, keep your peepers open for an upcoming update over on the Sugar and Scream blog as we finally plan to resurrect it from its long slumber.

Looking forward to catching up on your guys’ blogs soon, but if you have any special news I’ve missed while I’ve been away, let me know! πŸ™‚

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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. 😦

Thankfully, other than being tired and having the bad headaches it was all very mild. Thanks, Science! πŸ˜€ 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. ❀

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”. πŸ™‚

Books Read: 3

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Vicious (Villains #1)Β by V.E. Schwab

I absolutely LOVED this book.Β 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! πŸ˜€

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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 theΒ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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.

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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!)

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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!!)

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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.)

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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!) πŸ˜€

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

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October/November 2021

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Well, to say things have been busy, would be an understatement, but fortunately (for the most part) October and November have been a lot of fun. I hope you all had a spooky season full of horror movies aplenty, sweet treats, and Halloween fun as well!

Here’s some of the highlights of what my October was like:

Mr. Moth and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary, as well as 6 years of being a couple. ❀ 

I completed about half of the Corpestober art challenge prompts for the month.

At work, I dressed up as Coraline for our fun Halloween festivities. It ended up being cold and rainy the day of the work Halloween party, so I was thankful that part of my costume involved a rain coat. πŸ˜›

Halloween weekend we went to Hell. (Hell, Michigan that is.) We went with Mrs. and Mr. Cupcakes & Machetes and met up with a couple of their friends for a hellishly fun game of putt putt, an amazing lunch, and just some general shenanigans and adventuring around the little town. It was such a good time. The day before that (Devil’s Night) we spent going to multiple cider mills, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies. It was an absolutely amazing Halloween weekend with absolutely amazing friends. ❀

We also got our booster shots of the vaccine at my work, so that was nice to get that done so easily.

The whole month of October I took a break from writing and just focused on fun stuff, which meant getting to play video games, too. Something I love, but haven’t been able to devote much time to for a while. (Too many dang hobbies!) Mr. Moth got me the game Lost in Random and I absolutely loved it. ❀ 

So far in November my main focus has been NaNoWriMo, aaaand I have a buddy read of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells with C&M for Science Fiction month. I’ll probably be fairly scarce around here the next 3 weeks or so since I’m really trying to reach that 50,000 word count for the NaNoWriMo writing challenge this month. I’m a little behind where I want to be, but still hopeful I can make up for it. πŸ™‚ I won’t beat myself up if I don’t make the 50,000 words I’m aiming for. I have a lot to do in preparation of the holidays, Mr. Moth’s birthday, and plenty other things to keep me busy, and I’ll still be co-hostingΒ Sugar and Scream with C&M so we’ll see what I can do with NaNoWriMo this year.

Did anyone else watch the new Netflix show based off League of Legends called Arcane? Mr. Moth and I watched the first 3 episodes and it’s sooo gooooood! πŸ˜€

Anywho, I’m off to try to slay the NaNoWriMo beast. Hopefully I’ll have something successful to report when I return. Have a great November, everyone! ❀ ❀ ❀ Hoping to return to a somewhat normal blogging schedule in December. πŸ™‚

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

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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.) πŸ˜›

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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. ❀ Hopefully this year’s harvest will be just as good!

Update #3: Writing Progress

Writer Girl Summer is going really well. πŸ™‚ 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.

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Update #5: Drawing

Other than completing theΒ 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!

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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 bakedΒ 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! πŸ˜€

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May 2021 Wrap-Up

May really feels like it lasted all of ten whole seconds this year. I couldn’t have told you it’s already been 2 weeks since my lastΒ Fan Art Friday post, but here we are just the same. πŸ˜›

Anywhoooo, it’s update time. Gonna keep this brief because I’m very, very tired and sleep is calling my name.

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READING: I finished reading all the volumes of Attack on Titan that are currently out, and now it seems I’ll be waiting until October for the final volume to be released so I can see how the epic saga ends. That will be pretty good timing since the second half of the final season of the anime will start back up this winter. I really hope there’s a good ending because the series has knocked my socks off since the beginning.

TELEVISION: Schitt’s Creek and a bunch of anime, including Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, which I’m really enjoying so far. πŸ™‚

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BAKING: The only things I was ambitious enough to bake this month were a coconut cream cheese danish for Mother’s Day and a dark chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for a family member’s birthday.

DRAWING: After finally getting the iPad Pro and accessories I’ve been drooling over for a while, I’ve been having a ball starting to learn how to use it all and have already picked up some really useful new techniques and skills I didn’t have before. It’s all been very exciting! ❀

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I am soooo ready for this long holiday weekend. I have 5 days off from work and I’m planning to savor every single minute of that time. Especially because I finally get to be reunited with the most fabulous BFF in all the land, my number #1 Partner in Crime, Cupcakes & Machetes!! ❀ ❀ ❀ Can’t wait for the shenanigans to commence! πŸ˜€

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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:

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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! ❀

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.

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Bailey’s been living her best life, as always. πŸ˜› 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. ❀

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My parents new fluff monster is also doing really well. πŸ™‚ 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. ❀ 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. ^_^

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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. πŸ™‚ How was your March? Oh, yeah, and Happy Spring! πŸ˜€

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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. πŸ™‚ 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! ❀

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 BFFΒ Cupcakes & Machetes since she is going back to college as well starting in the spring. πŸ˜€ 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. ❀ 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. πŸ™‚

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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:

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

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Well, those are my updates for the month! πŸ™‚ 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. ❀ 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?

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