Chocolate Cupcake w/French Vanilla Frosting

Cupcake made cupcakes!

I actually need more cupcakes in my life and after finding this stellar chocolate cake recipe, they will definitely happen more often.

It was a different method combining ingredients than I’m used to, and the batter was strangely thin, but oh it’s so delicious.

Recipe here.

I didn’t use the frosting recipe that is on the website. I used Ignited Moth’s tried and true light whipped frosting recipe.

1 package instant pudding mix (any flavor)

Milk

1 tub cool whip

Use just enough milk to make a paste of the pudding mix, then fold in half the tub of cool whip. Taste test. Add more cool whip to preference.

Bathroom Remodel Part 1

Part 2 might take awhile to get to you because this is exhausting. There is no part of me that wants to work a full day at my job and then come home and work on the bathroom. This weekend I will finally start taping and mudding while my husband in class to get certified to ride his motorcycle.

I didn’t get a before picture of the bathroom before my dad went all Godzilla and just started tearing it apart, but it was a bad bathroom. It was the only room in the house I was embarrassed to show people and we only have the one. There was a cast iron tub that your knees almost touched while you were on the toilet and two people had to squeeze past each other if you needed to be in the bathroom at the same time. So tore the whole thing out, right down to the studs. (Plaster walls were fun to destroy.)

It felt good to tear everything out except the cast iron tub. That required a LOT of effort with a sledgehammer.

The old tub/shower just had a very old plastic insert lining the walls. We got fancy with some tiles:

If I can avoid tile work for the rest of my life, I probably will. At the same time, it looks SO much nicer.

You know you’re an adult when you get super pumped for new floors (previously linoleum) AND a new toilet:

That’s the progress on the bathroom thus far, the thing keeping me away so much for the past few weeks.

Like I said, now we just have to tape, mud, primer, paint and install the new sink.

Now that I’ve listed that out, it seems like a lot.

Sugar and Scream Blog Launch

Oh that’s right kiddos. The terrible twosome have united once again to rain horror, science fiction and fantasy down on your heads! (That’s myself and Ignited Moth if you hadn’t figured that out already.)

If you’re looking for a monstrously good time, rest assured, you’ve come to the right place. We’re two best friends with a sisterhood forged in the Unholy Trinity that is Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction. When we’re not busy devouring books, we’re cooking up sinisterly scrumptious baked goods and other delights (and sometimes horrors) in our kitchens. Expect the unexpected, because we like to shake things up. Our blog is its own Frankenstein’s Monster of our own hobbies and passions all stitched together into one glorious abomination that encompasses everything from what we’re reading and watching, to the hobbies we’re working on, our adventures in baking, and plenty more!”

FOLLOW THE DELICIOUS CHAOS HERE.

April’s Mini-Reviews

Wooooo! April. What a month you were. I turned 34 and the celebration was better than last year’s thankfully, work party where everyone was vaccinated. The reason behind the party was actually a vaccination relief party to let some steam off from the stress surrounding distributing the Covid-19 vaccines. It just happened to be on my birthday and I made the most of it. 🙂

4 out of 5 stars –

Let me preface this mini-review with the disclaimer that I have never read the original story. I’ve always meant to but I just haven’t. Therefore, nothing done here could offend my delicate senses when it came to comparing the two.

There was a profound sense of amusement created by the idea of maintaining decorum whilst battling unmentionables, as they’re called here. The struggle to lure a future husband based not only on your manners but your skill with decapitating zombies, was a balancing act that inspired humor.

Something about all of the above brought upon me, a constant state of enjoyment, although it never succeeded in becoming a favorite.

3 out of 5 stars – I’m not really going to go into this one because….REASONS… to be revealed later. But, YA and I do not always get along. This landed in the ‘meh’ category.

Books purchased:

$1.99 on the Kindle.

Currently reading:

I’ve been on a bit of a YA kick as of late, but it never lasts long.

How was your April??

Easy Banana Bread Pancakes

Sorry that I’ve been a little MIA. I’m currently lost in the process of remodeling our bathroom and it’s been a doozy. But, I have to keep people fed to keep the work going so I tried out a new recipe this morning.

It was quick, from scratch and delicious. Thick batter just FYI.

Classy paper plates because screw all those dishes.

Recipe here.

Prophet’s Prey – Book Review

Published Date: September 13, 2011

Publishing Co.: Bloomsbury USA

Pages: 336

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Any religion that tells you that you should be raping (stop saying ‘having sex with’, that’s just sugar coating rape) little girls, should make you turn tail and run for the hills. However, what a perfect haven for predators. Anyone tries to stop your rape of children, just start hollering about your freedom of religion and how you’re just misunderstood and people will back off. No one wants to offend someone’s religion, especially the United States government. No, they prefer to just pretend it’s not happening. Put it’s collective head in the sand to avoid the screams and suffering of children. Even though this book was published ten years ago, these communities are still very much active.

If you want/need a solid understanding of the FLDS and it’s history, I will always recommend Jon Krauker’s Under the Banner of Heaven. For a short summary, this cult (the most accurate term) is a group that broke away from mainstream Mormonism years ago when the church outlawed polygamy. Not a lot of women are not necessarily down for plural marriage, so the easiest way to deal with little ‘issue’ is to marry little girls who can’t say no. To make that even easier, you start brainwashing them from birth and demonize anyone who doesn’t live the same lifestyle. If the outside world is too scary, they’ll stay right where the predators can get them.

Also, there is a lot of incest.

On top of all the despicable things they do, the patriarchy of the cult functions much like the mob. They will find you, and they will silence you at all costs. They will stop at nothing to keep their steady supply of victims out of the hands of safety.

Now that I’ve set that little background for you, this is the story from the perspective of one of the investigators who helped bring down the leader of the FLDS, Warren Jeffs. The worst of the predators. It took ridiculously long, as you can see by the title. Nothing in government moves fast but building a solid case takes time too. Of course, as you’ll find out throughout this book, there are plenty of people who will stand in the way and try to slow things down even more. That is what is always fascinating about these big, true crime cases, how often things get bungled before justice can finally be served.

Sam Brower dishes out the details in this deep dive into Warren Jeffs and the FLDS. From brainwashing, rape, incest, power struggles, and hideouts, to big money, political clot and swayed journalism. This covers the full scope of a true crime story that continues to this day. It’s not really justice when the leader still leads his puppets from prison and children continue to be abused and families torn apart. Although sometimes redundant, this was a horrifying read that will pull you into a world that should no longer exist in this age and that you will have a hard time coming to terms with.

Coffee & a Chat – Prickly Pear

I thought I was busy at the pharmacy on my last post, little did I know, the next day it would go live on vaccinefinder.org that we had the Covid-19 vaccine in stock and I would experience the craziest day EVER in my entire pharmacy career. I’m not even going to sit here and explain. I don’t want to think about it anymore, it was that level of absurd.

Instead, I’ll focus on the fun stuff. It was finally a work hard, play hard kind of week.

As you can see in the picture above, I went to the library for the first time in over a year. It felt insanely good to just browse the racks. I was so excited that I forgot to bring my library card and had to go home and get it. (Apparently our very small library still doesn’t have the technology to look someone up without them knowing their library ID number. I don’t even have my driver’s license # memorized.) I do not live far from the library though so it was a small price to pay for the level of joy that I experienced.

We went out to dinner with friends for the first time in over a year as well. The local Mexican restaurant has one of those outdoor igloos and there was hardly anyone there. It was raining which made the experience in an igloo bubble even more atmospheric and fun. Everyone in the party is at some stage of their vaccinations. With Michigan surging in case numbers again, we were a bit nervous but the lack of people and plenty of precautions made, we think we’ll be a-okay. If I deserved nothing else after this hell week, it was my favorite prickly pear margarita. (Although it was hella bittersweet without Ignited Moth! My BFF and Margarita-annihilating partner!)

Currently reading:

What does this week entail?

Who knows. I’m basically flying by the seat of my pants and just making it through everyday at this point. A week from today is my birthday so hopefully some cool stuff happens that day and the following week brings a desperately needed bathroom remodel.

How has April been treating you thus far?

Woo Dog! This is Exhausting

I hope that everyone had a rather lovely Easter weekend. We had a quiet day at home. The weather was nice, we took the dogs for a car ride and the husband polished up his new motorcycle.

We have now been bombarded by Covid vaccine supply at work, so chaos has broken out trying to keep up with the phone calls, scheduling people and then actually giving the vaccines. This week will probably continue to be a quiet one when it comes to me posting. Some days I’m coming straight home and just plopping down on the couch until I’m required to move. I foresee much of that in my future this week.

Take care everyone!

Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3) – Book Review

Published Date: April 21, 1976

Publishing Co.: Ace Books          

Pages: 609

Rating: 4 out 5 stars

I did not review the first two books in this series as I read them during my Book Review Boycott of 2020.

That makes attempting a review at this point, all the harder.

I resisted picking up this series for years as I had heard from some avid fantasy/sci-fi fans that it was long and kind of boring. Some people would say it was still worth it and others said you could avoid it and be fine. Such a lukewarm description didn’t exactly pique my interest. Fast forward several years and my aunt and little cousin are shoving the book at me and telling me that I just have to try it. Since it was loaned, I didn’t have much to lose and back in November I finally sat down and gave it the ol’ college try.

Why did I listen to those Negative Nancys?? I’ll never trust them again.

I absolutely loved Dune and Dune Messiah. Apparently, a lot of people had issue with Messiah as you see the dark side to your hero. BUT I LOVE THAT KIND OF THING AND BURNED THROUGH IT.

Children of Dune was a little slower for me and probably my least favorite thus far, but it’s still a great book. I’m trying to avoid spoilers and honestly, so much happens and I did not take notes so I would be garbage at really reviewing it anyway. I just needed to say, if you like a slow burn, political intrigue and beautifully crafted world building, pick up Dune. It’s not boring, YOU’RE BORING!

March’s Mini-Reviews

This month’s mini-reviews weren’t ‘meh’ like February, however, they didn’t quite inspire me to launch into a full fledged review to sing their laurels from the roof tops either. I suppose they qualify as honorable mentions.

4 out of 5 stars – Although this one bills itself as a satire, it doesn’t reach the ridiculous level that others do. It took a minute for me to find my stride in the story but once I did I enjoyed myself. The ending was great and my only hesitancy in continuing the series is that my boss said the second book isn’t quite as good as the first. (He followed his reasoning with, second books are almost never as good as the first.)

4 out of 5 stars – Very easy read. Author describes a movie plot and then follows up with the true crime stories that inspired it. This is also the very reason that makes it difficult to review it. Overall, it’s a very simple template.

Currently reading:

I think that I will complete Children of Dune before the month is up. I didn’t review the first two books last year while I was on my review boycott, which will make reviewing this extra difficult but I think I will at least try.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has actually surprised me with how much fun it is. I’ve been reading it on my work lunches but it might come home with me soon so I can devote more time to proper ladies wielding swords and wooing men with their decapitating abilities.

I recently came this ————————> close to going on a book binge. I resisted. Probably for the best because school books are not cheap.

How did March treat you? Book related or otherwise.