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.

Paddle Your Own Canoe – Book Review

Published Date: October 1, 2013

Publishing Co.: Dutton

Pages: 340

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I read this book at a time in my life when I very much needed it. While Offerman becomes his own bard, recounting his travels to success, he also offers wisdoms about life. “How to live deliciously,” as it were.

Honestly, those were the parts that spoke the most to me. It was great getting to know his origin story but those nuggets of suggestions on how to live better, buttered the bread. I knew that I wanted to focus the year on good things and Offerman handed me ideas and reminders of how just to do that.

Don’t be an asshole – easier said than done. The public these days are rude as fuck and yet somehow, I should be the nice one. No promises on this one.

Find a hobby – I need to get back to woodworking or anything creative to feed the lack of creativity in my life.

Less screen time/social media – Stop wasting my life away staring at that screen when I could be making real memories or doing something more productive.

Spend more time with friends – After the last two years, I would love to dedicate more time to friends.

This is just a snack-sized sample of his offerings.

Come for his tales and leave fed with inspiration to change up your life.

2022 Bookish Resolutions

The ONLY resolutions that I truly enjoy making are book ones. Let’s see how I did last year!

2021 Bookish Resolutions:

Continue working on my stockpile at home – CHECK. I read 19 books that I own.

Spend as little as possible on books – CHECK. In total I spent $51.13 on books last year. That’s up from 2020 but less than $100 so I consider it a win.

Mood read the entire year – CHECK.

Build a bookshelf – DIDN’T HAPPEN. I really shouldn’t be surprised on this one. That’s 3 years running I’ve failed at it.

Three out of four isn’t bad!

2022 Bookish Resolutions:

Continue/complete series that I have started. I have series ADD so it’s time to force myself to focus a little and clean up my reading habits. I continued/completed 7 series in 2021 without it really being my goal so with my new master list of FORTY series to work on, maybe I will make some much needed progress.

In conjunction with the first resolution, no spending limits this year!

Mood read for the entire year. That was awesome.

Give up on building a bookshelf. Should it happen, it will be a surprise to you AND me! Haha.

Did you make any fun bookish resolutions for 2022??

Christmas 2021 Book Haul

I hope that everyone had the jolliest of holidays and a great New Year’s Eve. May 2022 be WAY better than the last two years.

Between Christmas and New Year, I had the mighty pleasure of meeting Melanie @ Grab the Lapels and her horror movie crafting husband Nick. They came to our neck of the woods and we celebrated over good food and good beer at the local brewery just a few minutes from our house. Unfortunately, they got the displeasure of driving here during a snow storm. Now that’s dedication folks! I’m so glad that they did though because we had a great time out with them. If only it could have been longer! Stupid work, get’s in the way of all the good stuff. D:< Melanie gives fantastic hugs. They make you feel loved and welcome immediately. We’ve semi-planned some future get togethers so that’s exciting. ^_^

You can’t miss the joy on our faces!

Now, onto the Christmas book haul because as both Melanie and I agree, books are important:

The top book, Dead Space, wasn’t a present technically. I won a book from a raffle over at the lovely Books, Bones & Buffy blog. When I couldn’t decide on a book, I asked her to just send me one of her favorite science fiction books and this is what she sent me. It sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to read it.

I’ve already started Paddle Your Own Canoe and it’s inspiring me to do a few things for the new year. Less social media, get back to woodworking when the weather warms up. I crafted zero wood projects last year and that bums me out.

What was your favorite book you received over the holidays?

Top 5 Reads of 2021

Reading for me slowed WAY down in 2021 thanks to going back to school. Therefore, I shouldn’t be all that surprised that it wasn’t the greatest year in reading. It wasn’t the greatest year in general. You know what? Up yours 2021!

Anywho, here are the reads that made it to the top of the list in the year that was almost just like 2020:

Did you read any of these? If so, what did you think?

Merry Jolly Holidays!

It’s almost Christmas and I find myself STILL needing to complete shopping for a couple of people and grab a few more things for Christmas dinner/dessert. So, I thought I would take a moment to say Happy Holidays to all my blog friends before I disappear for roughly 3-4 days.

Happy Holidays!

I hope you have a wonderful time and give/get wonderful things and eat delicious food. We all deserve it. ❤

Dhampir (Noble Dead Saga #1) – Book Review

Published Date: January 7, 2003

Publishing Co.: Roc

Pages: 376

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Magiere and Leesil (along with his weird dog, Chap) have been scamming small villages for a long time. Peasants are superstitious after all and if anything goes wrong, vampires are to blame. Magiere and Leesil have never actually seen a vampire but they’re all too happy to take the village’s money to pretend like they’ve destroyed one. After, they march along with their bounty, leaving the villagers light of pocket and stuck with their original problem.

Magiere is getting tired of the game (poor baby!) and wants to settle down somewhere once and for all. She dreams of running a tavern somewhere along the coast and eventually hears from her broker that one is available. Now, she just has to convince Leesil that it’s a good idea.

In a run of karma, the town where the tavern is located IS actually run by vampires. Magiere and Leesil learn the hard way that Magiere may be the only one who can destroy vampires. Weird changes happen when she’s confronted by the undead and her rage consumes her, making her into a lethal weapon she never knew she was.

For most of this novel, I thought I wouldn’t continue to the next book however, the author writes great characters with intriguing back stories and a world just interesting enough to keep me going. I like that Magiere didn’t know what she was or what her abilities are and we’re learning it all right along with her. I want to see what adventures lie in wait for Magiere, Leesil and Chap. (Who is weird because the cover depicts him as a husky-like dog while the story refers to him as a silver furred hound. Huskies and hounds do not look alike good sir.)

Best Baking Recipes of 2021

It’s that time of the year! Time to make lists of the good things that happened in 2021. Now, baking wise, I didn’t go crazy but I still had some really great recipes happen. Here they are in order of greatness:

  1. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with Vanilla Chips

2. Apple Butter Cookies

3. Soft Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

4. Eggnog Bread

5. Easy Banana Bread Pancakes

2021 was the year of the cookies!

What was your favorite recipe of the year? Are you going to be trying out any of the ones I made?

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

‘Tis the season to hit the baking HARD. I don’t know that I will actually get too because work is burning me out so bad but I am trying people.

These cookies were awesome. They even go well dipped in coffee. Exceptionally well. Just don’t let it hang out in there too long because they break off fast and then you end up with cookie crumbs in the bottom of your coffee and well, that’s not all that bad really. 😉

Recipe here.

Birthday Boi

The goodest of bois has turned 13. He’s had a rough couple of months. Hopefully, 2022 will be a more relaxed retirement for him. Some animals you just know you’ll never have another close to in the future. He’s that once in a lifetime dog. From the streets of Flint, Michigan to his own house purchased with his golden years in mind, he deserves every single thing we can give him and we’re so happy that we’ve had 13 years with this handsome devil. I wish we could have 13 more. Happy birthday Ozzy ‘No More Tears’ Ozzdog! ❤

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) – Book Review

Published Date: May 7, 2019

Publishing Co.: Ace

Pages: 303

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Nothing makes me happier than a Mercy Thompson-Hauptman binge read.

Miniature zombie goats. Black magic witches. Mysterious origin story of a newer character. These are the things that lead to great entertainment.

A new group of witches has come to town and they have some big plans for the place. Take out the resident witch and stop the human/fae negotiations at all costs. They don’t have just one idea of how to accomplish these things so they’re hitting hard on multiple fronts. Raising the dead, spreading curses and killing anyone they want.

Mercy claimed the Tri-Cities as pack territory years ago, vowing to keep everyone safe. With Adam trapped (sometimes literally) in peace talks, their resident witch’s entire family massacred, Mercy has to pull help from other fronts. Some favors she would rather not call in but these witches are powerful and she’s just one stubborn little coyote. But, she’s made allies with some very scary creatures.

This was a fun romp but not my favorite Mercy novel. There was just some pizzaz missing somewhere along the way and I am having a hard time determining where or why. Nevertheless, I couldn’t put it down.