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.

Banana Pumpkin Muffins

The whole bunch of bananas went bad this time. Mr. C&M just triumphantly points to them and says, “Guess you have to make banana something now!”

He’s a pest really.

So off to the store I went to buy a can of pumpkin puree. I had all the other ingredients on hand. The dogs love it when there is unused pumpkin at the end of a baking endeavor. It means there will be some pumpkin goodness in their breakfast or dinner. (100% pumpkin puree only for dogs. Not the pumpkin pie in a can. Works great on upset dog bellies too.)

They’ve been great for breakfast the past week.

Recipe here.

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October Week 2: Apple Cider Slushies

The second full week of October was a bit of a doozy. Work has been absolutely swamped with hordes of people coming in for their flu shots. We’ve been doing anywhere from 20 to 50 per day. As you can imagine, this interrupts the natural flow of work when it’s busy in it’s own right. Plenty of people getting sick already and a few confirmed cases of the flu. I don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon so it’s even more important to enjoy the season whenever I get a chance.

Watching

I was pretty skeptical the first few episodes of this season. Yes, it’s honoring slasher films but in the beginning, it was pretty basic. Then, we had some twists and turns that brought my interest back. The last episode was so weird, I don’t know how to feel. We might be coming to ‘absolutely ridiculous’ grounds but I’ll hang in there and find out. I can say that I am LOVING Billie Lourd this season. I can’t stand Emma Roberts, if she’d hurry up and die, I would enjoy it a lot more.

This one was weird but in a good way. It was original and how often do we get to say that about movies anymore? I would recommend giving it a try. It’s not amazing but I enjoyed my time watching it. 3/5 stars

Reading

I finished In a Dark, Dark Wood and you can read the review here. I’ve picked up one of my absolute favorite authors, R.S. Belcher’s Nightwise. It had my attention at the very first sentence. I binged about 45 pages before I was interrupted but I can’t wait to get back at it.

Treats

Oh, the treats were glorious! We went to the local orchard during the town’s fall festival strictly to get apple cider slushies because, what about that does not sound amazing?! It was cold, but we wanted one anyway. Worth it. We also picked up a pumpkin cream coffee cake that we have yet to break into and chocolate covered cherries and bananas. Both of which, we HAVE broken into and they’re damn tasty. We also bought a jar of apple butter and I forgot to make myself an amazing sandwich with it today.

I also baked up another goodie that I will post later in the week. Sipping an apple cider slushie while baking is the only way I want to bake every autumn now.

Apple versus Pumpkin, GO!

In a Dark, Dark Wood – Book Review

Published Date: April 19, 2016

Publishing Co.: Gallery/Scout Press

Pages: 308

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Leonora, aka Lee, aka Nora, has been invited to the hen party (British version of a bachelorette party) of her best friend from school. Whom, she lost connect with ten years ago. She thinks to herself that it’s weird that she’s invited and she shouldn’t go, but when a common friend decides to go, Nora makes the decision to as well.

The hen party is in a literal glass house in the middle of nowhere, surrounding by forest. If you’ve ever stayed in the middle of nowhere, you know how creepy the woods can be at night. Add a bunch of city folks, and the atmosphere is scarier when they all begin to share their feelings. Not just feelings about where they’re staying but their actual feelings about things that have happened in the past and the complicated present.

Complicated feelings that lead to lies and murder.

I liked it. It wasn’t near as spooky as I had hoped but it’s a pretty solid murder mystery. I won’t say that I completely understand the hype around this one but, I would say to give it a try. The big secret that Nora won’t talk to anyone about was less exciting than I had anticipated it would be so that was a let down.

I’m not good at reviewing mysteries. I’m so afraid to ruin plot points or twists that I avoid saying much at all.

5 Minute Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you’ve been following this blog for a length of time, then you’ll know that I do not like attending a party empty handed. Even if I don’t have the time to make something, I’ll buy something from the store. However, over the last couple of years, it’s almost become expected from the people that know me, that I bake something.

In this recipe’s case, I had a small 2 hour window to make something happen. So you can say I was a wee bit excited to be able to get anything done in that time.

This is a tasty little snack, although my husband repeatedly told me, “You’re better than this.” LMAO. Whatever, we do what we can with the time that we have!

So if you’re in a time-bind, you only need one hour for this little baby to chill.

Recipe here.

October Week 1: Axe Queen

Aaaaaaah! The first week of October has been splendid. Not quite up my alley, but I’m being a supportive wife, has been the three day weekend of Big House 9. A giant Smash Bros tournament. Today is day 3 and the Championships. The husband played the first day and won his first match, then lost his second. I love him for not being a sore loser and just using it as motivation to get better for the next tournament. He’s not into regular sports (neither am I) but man does he love E-Sports. He’s been like a kid in a candy shop through the whole experience.

Last night, after a partial day of gaming, we attended my uncle’s yearly Brewfest. He brews his own beer (he’s really good at it), and show cases what he’s done. It’s more like an annual get-together that revolves around beer. It’s always a fun time but this year, he built an axe throwing range. I’ve always thought throwing axes would be sweet so I of course gave it a try. Turns out, ya girl is a natural. I was named VIP of axe throwing. It may have been a little too much fun, this might become a ‘thing’.

I was the only person to duel wield weapons and stick them both. I was also the only person who managed to stick the cleaver at all.

Books – I gave up on The Five and picked up; In a Dark, Dark Wood. It’s October’s book club choice and so far it’s pretty interesting.

We only managed one horror movie for the week. We’ve wanted to watch US for quite some time since it was hyped as being seriously creepy. However, neither of us ended up being overly impressed by it. (We both enjoyed Get Out much more.) When you have to look up plot line details online afterwards, you know the story was missing large chunks. It wasn’t bad, but it was not as amazing as it was made out to be. 3/5 stars.

Treats – It was time to officially start indulging in pumpkin. We tried Meijer’s mini pumpkin muffins for breakfasts. They were pretty good, if you don’t want to make better homemade ones, they’ll suffice. I had my first Pumpkin Spice latte of the season from Tim Horton’s. Again, it was okay. (I think my pumpkin standards are set really high.) I also made an easy pumpkin treat for the part yesterday that I’ll post later in the week.

How did your first week of October treat you? Or was it full of tricks?

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper – Book Review

Published Date: August 9, 2019

Publishing Co.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 336

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: unrated

DNF at page 95.

For the first time ever, I’m not rating a book that I didn’t finish. Usually, if I don’t finish a book it’s because I hated it or it bored me to death. Those two things mean they deserve some type of rating either for the feedback of the author (if they bother reading reviews) and for other people who are considering picking up the book or both.

In this case, the book did keep my attention, however, in the end, I just can’t bring myself to care much about the lives of people who died 130 years ago. I respect the concept that these women don’t deserve to be remembered as prostitutes because there is not enough evidence that they were. But in the end, they are dead and they don’t care. (Does that sound super insensitive? Probably, but I’m too tired to care.)

This is thoroughly researched when it comes to Victorian London and that I really enjoyed. I learned things I didn’t know and that always earns my respect.

So this is a toss up kids! It’s research is fantastic. If you want to learn lots of information on that time period, this is great. If you don’t really care if someone who was murdered that long ago was a prostitute or not, this might not be for you either.

Lucky 13 Years

Good morning Ghouls and Ghosts! It’s the most wonderful month of the year and this ghoul is PUMPED. Last season was depressing due to a death in the family, so we’re going hard this year. Well, as hard as we can with a semi-ill spouse. BUT, we’re not going to let that get us down.

I’ve already finished two books to get into a spooky mood: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues and Blood Kissed. I’m currently reading The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. It’s not as spooky as I had hoped but the facts about Victorian London are currently keeping me going.

I’m not sure exactly why but, every year I have a different ‘thing’ that I’m all about during the Halloween season. Last year, it was witches. This year, it’s skeletons. We recently purchased a skeletal rat, cat and T-Rex skull and I love them all.

Mr. C&M and I already started with the horror movies about a week ago. He randomly choose one we had never seen and it was……..not good. 😛

Today also marks our 13 year dating anniversary. 13 is both of our lucky numbers so hopefully the next year together holds some really awesome things for us.

Like last year, I plan to do weekly updates on Sunday of all the Halloween fun we’re having. I had so much fun doing it last year that it will become a yearly blogging tradition.

I hope everyone is ready for a spooktacular season!

Blood Kissed (Lizzie Grace #1) – Book Review

Published Date: May9, 2017

Publishing Co.: ebook, no publisher listed

Pages: 330

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was having a werewolf itch, so I perused some books that I already own and this was one of the options. It also had witches, another favorite of mine, so I sat down, ready for some good paranormal fun.

Lizzie and her witch familiar, Belle, moved and opened up shop on a werewolf reservation. Things are pretty quiet for a couple of months until Lizzie is asked to use some of her psychic ability to find a missing teenager. The quest leads to murder and the discovery of an extremely powerful villain. Lizzie helps the local werewolf Ranger (werewolf police) investigate and attempt to stop the bad guy before more people die.

Extreme lack of werewolf. Sure, the love interest is a werewolf, but the wolfiest he gets is sniffing the air and one howl, maybe two.

And Judas Priest, the amount of showers I had to read about Lizzie taking. I get it, you’re cleanly, let’s move on. Twice a day showers is a bit obnoxious and took up entirely too much of the story. If the showers were axed, there would have been more room for character development or world building.

I’ve read the first books to a couple of Keri Arthur series now and honestly, the main characters are all very similar. I feel mostly in appearance but in personality too. I have yet to be impressed with any of the series and this one is the same. It’s not bad but not something I’m likely to continue reading unless I’m bored and my options are limited.

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues (White Trash Zombie #2) -Book Review

Published Date: July 3, 2012

Publishing Co.: DAW

Pages: 312

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Good thing I was a lying, untrustworthy bitch. ‘Cause there was no fucking way I was letting this shit go. Not as long as I was the one being slammed in the news. Both the zombie mafia and the rebel zombie alliance could suck my white trash undead ass.”

In her first life, before becoming a zombie, Angel Crawford was a loser. Now however, she’s working very hard at improving herself. After all, she could live a very long life provided she doesn’t run out of brains or get decapitated. She has a pretty steady relationship with a cop, her boss at the morgue enjoys teaching her and thinks she has great potential and her relationship with her dad is even improving bit by bit.

Then, a masked man forces his way into the morgue at gun point and steals a cadaver. She doesn’t resist….much because she knows there are cameras covering the entire property.

With luck much like her old life, the cameras haven’t been functioning for several days and so nothing is caught. The people who work directly with Angel believe her, but the higher ups that are running election campaigns have to lay the blame on someone since they have nothing to go on but Angel’s word. Her old life is brought to the forefront of the newspapers and she’s made to look like a drug addict who fell off the wagon and now some poor victim’s family doesn’t have a body to bury.

Even her boyfriend Marcus, thinks that she’s remembering things wrong or doesn’t know exactly what she saw. Thing is, she isn’t that junky bitch anymore and no one is going to treat her like it. If no one else knows what to do about it, she’ll figure it all out herself. She might be a high school dropout, but that was in a life that didn’t count.

Virtually on her own, a little help from friends here and there, she discovers that someone is experimenting on zombies. That someone convinced her old friend Ed to deliver zombie heads to them for research by fueling his hate of zombies he blamed for his parents death. But, it’s beginning to look like that person would like to have a ‘live’ zombie to experiment on and they know about Angel.

BookSirens

Morning lovely people of the world! I hope you’re waking up with delicious hot beverages and cuddly fur buddies to start a new, exciting day.

Weirded out by my optimism? Yeah me to. Just go with the flow.

I was recently invited to join BookSirens.com, a website for book reviewers. It appears to be much like Netgalley but the authors/publishers come to you. (Although it looks you can still request stuff too.) Now, I don’t plan to go crazy on ARCs but this may tie into my bookish resolutions for 2020. (To be explained at a much later date.)

Does anyone else have experience with this website? And if so, what are your opinions on it?