All posts by cupcakesandmachetes

About cupcakesandmachetes

I read stuff, I bake stuff, I rant about stuff. Book in one hand, cupcake in the other, machete for a mind. I find myself endlessly entertaining. You might too. Or you might not, but you'd be lying to yourself.

Two Weeks of October

Usually, I do a weekly report of all my fun Halloween shenanigans in October, however this year is proving difficult to get anything done blog-wise. Outside of that, I have been watching the crap outta some horror movies. I started that over two weeks ago so this incoming list includes only what I’ve watched in the last 2 weeks:

Head over to Sugar and Scream for our joint reviews of Rawhead Rex and Puppetmaster.

Nightbooks might not really be a horror movie but it was spooky and we enjoyed it so it makes the list. My favorite out of all of these movies was Demons. There is barely a plot line but the practical effects were incredible and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Books

4 out of 5 stars – I very much enjoyed this book. As with the first one, it’s a fun and sassy ride. I just did not feel like reviewing it.

Recipes

In case you missed it – Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with Vanilla Chips.

Lastly, it’s been almost 2 years since our last concert. Work has been hell with Covid vaccines, flu vaccines and Covid testing so we decided we deserved a win. We went and saw KISS. It was an outdoor venue so we felt a little better about going and it was worth it. We had so much fun and they played a great set list.

How has everyone’s October been treating them? (Or tricking them?) What spooky madness have you gotten up to??

Coffee & a Chat – Still Here

Good morning creeps. Your ghoul is still undead and kicking. Quite frankly, that’s very much what everything feels like right now. Haha. I think the past 3 weeks have just reeked havoc on me, physically and mentally.

First, there was Ozzy’s crisis. He’s doing splendid now but there was a full 2 weeks dedicated to not much besides his care. We did get a little break away up north but that carried it’s own stressors that I will post about when I get time to upload some lovely pictures.

Second, I came down with some type of stomach bug? Not sure what exactly but it wasn’t Covid. I tested out of paranoia.

Third, when I finally started to feel better, I got my third Pfizer shot. The side effects kicked in about 24 hours later. So, I didn’t do much this past week except lay around feeling like hell and binge watching Grace and Frankie, plugging in a couple of horror movies here and there.

Now, I just feel altogether run down. Work has been chaos so that hasn’t helped anything. I haven’t even decorated for Halloween yet! Perhaps once I get past the Accounting midterm this week, I can stress a little less.

Until then, I hope everyone is having all kinds of Halloween fun!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles w/Vanilla Chips

Welcome to October Ghouls and Ghosts! Sure, I am 8 days behind that statement but who cares? It’s the greatest month of the year!

I made some new cookies as a thank you to my coworkers and aunt for helping me out during Ozzy’s healing process. (He’s doing great.) They were a huge hit and all of them, I mean ALL OF THEM, were sucked down in one day.

I highly recommend dunking them in a pumpkin spice coffee for maximum pumpkin goodness. In fact, I think I should make another batch of these this weekend!

The original recipe calls for white chocolate chips but your ghoul here, did not have any. I had vanilla though and they still turned out scrumptious!

Recipe here.

Coffee & a Chat – Cystotomy

Whew. It’s been a week.

The weekend before this past one, Ozzy began acting funny. Crying constantly, needing to go outside constantly, dribbling pee but not much coming out. He was so uncomfortable. I know this because this is the most stoic dog I’ve ever met and he never whines about anything except boredom. We stayed up almost that entire Saturday night. I think we may have got about 3 hours of sleep collectively.

Sunday morning, I took him to the emergency vet. They took him back (you’re not allowed to go in still) and proceeded to keep him for 4 hours and did nothing for him. I know they have to triage critical cases, however, how do you determine who is critical when you do not even examine them for hours? I had to make the decision that if he was going to die due to lack of medical care, that he might as well do it at home where he is comfortable. They handed him back wordlessly to me, he was dribbling pee everywhere and went back inside. No apologies.

Thankfully, he made it through the night and his regular vet got him in immediately the next day. After examining him, she was furious at the ER vet. He had a urinary blockage and his bladder was distended 4-5 times its normal size. It took her 30 seconds to palpitate his bladder and find the problem. A x-ray revealed a bladder full of stones and one was blocking his urethra. He went into emergency surgery and she saved his life.

He is almost 13 but we were not ready to let him go over something so stupid as bladder/kidney stones (still waiting on the labs results). He is that once in a lifetime dog. One night without him practically crushed us because we got a taste of life without him.

We’re just over a week into recovery now and he’s finally feeling a little spunky again. He gets to go to work with me this week so I can keep him from jumping and licking his incision. He’s enjoying all the attention and treats.

He gets his staples and stitches out this Thursday and then we head up north for bow hunting season this weekend. We’ll hang out at my dad’s, continuing his recovery while the boys go hunt things. I have so much schoolwork to catch up on, I’ll be hitting cafes while he sleeps since my dad doesn’t have internet.

Look at that cute face. LOOK AT IT.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism – Book Review

Published Date: May 17, 2016

Publishing Co.: Quirk Books

Pages: 330

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Well, this book certainly did not make me miss high school. Teenagers are just too much drama and make so many dumb decisions. I know, once upon a time, I was one. I don’t miss those days unlike a lot of people. This is part of the reason why I don’t read YA all too often, I get all grouchy about the young idiots.

Gretchen and Abby are accidental BFFs. Gretchen was forced to come to Abby’s birthday party by her parents and when no one else showed up, a very rude Abby managed to make a best friend while being very rude. I for one, would have said peace out to this beast and went home. But Gretchen is a better person than I am and saw someone in pain and tried to help them.

Fast forward several years to high school, they’re still inseparable. However, a strange night at the lake ends with Gretchen missing in the woods and when she is finally found, she’s not the normal Gretchen. As months go by, her hygiene declines, she starts fights with everyone and she is scribbling creepy things in her notebook.

My one major issue with this book is, we never find out just HOW Gretchen gets possessed by a demon. There isn’t a demonic backstory. This demon was just hanging out in the water/woods, waiting to possess someone?

The ending is DEPRESSING. Mostly, because I cannot imagine having the kind of friendship they end up having, with my BFF. I know it’s realistic which makes it all the more sad.

The moral of the story here is; don’t let your BFF jump off the end of a dock without you. If someone is getting possessed, you might as well bring chaos down on those around you TOGETHER. Twice the possession, twice the fun.

Thank you Melanie at Grab the Lapels for the book. ❤

Went to Hell

Sorry for being MIA. I went to Hell.

But don’t worry because I came back again!

You see, there is tiny town in Michigan called Hell. It’s only about an hour from our house. Mr. C&M has gotten into riding motorcycles so for his first bike trip, my dad and his friends came over and we took the road paved with good intentions.

It was one Hell of time.

Once the Hell puns start, you have a Hell of a time stopping them.

The food was to die for.

Hellions.

The town fully leans into it’s name and the people that work there have fun with it. We had a great time and I will definitely be dragging some people back to Hell with me. >:D

August 2021 Recap

I kept my promise! I was very active this month. It was easy for once. Now I get to go back to school starting today and I am sure things will slow down for me, blog wise, until this semester is up in December. I will try to post at least once a week.

I managed to finish 3 books this month. I don’t know the last time this happened. Probably before school started.

The Invention of Sound review

The Last Mortal Bond review

I just finished this last night and I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars. I don’t feel like reviewing it however. There is a lot of world building to explain and I rather just enjoy the bliss it brought me instead of worrying about how to describe it.

eBooks Purchased:

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews $2.99

The Poppy War by RF Huang $1.99

Death Masks by Jim Butcher $0.00 (coupon for this book specifically from Amazon)

TOTAL SPENT: $4.98

Movies Watched:

I’ve clearly been on a horror movie kick. I decided to go back and watch all the ones from the 80s that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

TV Watched:

As you can see, it was a productive month. My three weeks off of class flew by. I’m going to miss all the free time.

What was your favorite part of August??

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #3) – Book Review

Published Date: January 13, 2015

Publishing Co.: Tor Books

Pages: 649

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

In my review of the second book in the series, The Providence of Fire, I promised that the third book would be mine by Christmas. That might have been true, I don’t remember when I bought it but let me tell you, I thought I read that book last year. Turns out…..it was four years ago.

Now I sit here, absolutely torn. I was riding high on this book for ¾ of the way through, positive down to my bones that this was going to be another 5 star edition. Then, the last 60 or so pages happened. I HATE to say anything bad about this series, I’ve recommended it to SO many people, but I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t brutally honest.

The ending falls flat on it’s face. At least it did for me. We’ve spent so long, following an amazing story line with truly epic world building and some great characters, that it seemed the ending was thrown in just to finally end it. I wish I could describe accurately, how incredible the build up to this final battle was. Hell, there were so many battles before this that were more suspenseful than the grand finale. It was a disappointment that I was just not expecting. There is a quick end to this epic tale and a lot of questions left. Character deaths that felt unjust to the character themselves. As in, there were deaths depicted rather lamely for characters who carried the major plot points. The last person standing in a position of power is my absolute least favorite character of the series.

Before all that happened though, I was loving every second of what I was reading. It will remain a series that I recommend to people, as other people seem to love the ending, so it may have just been a case of it’s me not you. I will still read the standalone novel that comes after this and probably everything else Staveley writes, but this ending just left me unfulfilled.

“Nira just shrugged. “Sometimes ya gotta kill people to save ‘em.”

July 2021 Vacation

I finally got around to sending myself the pictures from my vacation back in July. The plan was relaxation, exploring Michigan and trying new beers in celebration of Mr. C&M’s birthday. He’s a big craft beer fan so he did a lot of drinking of beers he’s never tried and beers that we just can’t get in our area of Michigan. He says the birthday was a huge success and now he doesn’t want to drink any beer for awhile lol.

You don’t want/need pictures of all the breweries we went to so here are some of the pretty points of the trip:

Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula – Highly recommend.

Mackinaw Island – We didn’t take a lot of pictures outside as it was pretty rainy half the day. This was the big beer goal. Inside of the Grand Hotel is a bar called The Cupola, Short’s Brewing Company does an exclusive beer that you can only get at this location so of course, Mr. C&M just HAD to have it. The Grand Hotel requires you to pay $10 per person if you’re not a guest of the hotel just to walk around it. With the right swagger, acting like you belong there, no one questions your presence and you can get in for free. At least, that’s how we did it. He says Big Porch Ale is totally worth it. The butterfly house is a lot of fun too.

Sunset on the Mackinaw Bridge.

A whole day was dedicated to the dogs having fun. We hit a lake for swimming and followed that up with ice cream for everyone.

My dad bought me an informational book about the Upper Peninsula for more places to check out. I’ve done some traveling in the U.P. as we Michiganders call it, but a lot of it was when I was much younger so I want to get back up there and see what other adventures we can get ourselves into. Honestly, just driving place to place in the UP is fun as the scenery is just breathtaking pretty much everywhere you go.

It was a much needed getaway from day-to-day life and helped refill the gas tank so to speak. It also reinforced my desire to just sell everything, get a camper and travel. :3

The Invention of Sound – Book Review

Published Date: September 8, 2020

Publishing Co.: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 240

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Haunting her was the idea that we each summon our own death.”

Do not pick up a Palahniuk book unless you are ready to get dddaaaaaarrrrkkkk.

That’s honestly what I love and what I count on when it comes to Chuck Palahniuk. He reaches into every taboo zone and drags you along with him. If he has to step into the dark to write it, you are going to have to walk through the dark to read it. We’re going places you never thought an author would go.

For example, we start this adventure with one of the main characters picking a Xanax out of the damp pubes of her lover after sex. This is how I knew I was back in Palahniuk territory. His characters are always massively flawed and that’s part of what makes them so interesting to read about.

Mitzi works for the Hollywood sound industry. She sells screams for movies and TV. She is on a quest to make the best scream ever recorded and she would do anything, even kill to get it.

Foster’s daughter disappeared during a game of hide and seek. Walked off with a stranger never to be seen again. Now he scours the dark web, seeking out child molesters and murders, trying to find out exactly what happened to his daughter. He assumes she’s dead, it’s seventeen years later after all, but his lust for revenge hasn’t died.

Both will bring Hollywood to it’s knees in their quests.

Palahniuk’s best book in years.