• Triple Berry Muffins - a recipe

    Triple Berry Muffins

    Now that Christmas has passed, our local markets seem to think it’s time for summer, and so they stock the produce section with berries. Considering I live in Southern California, warm weather in January is possible (70s and sunny all week!), so I suppose they’re not wrong about summer approaching. Alas, it isn’t quite berry season, which means I’m sorely tempted, but the quality is spotty and the taste is only perfect if you happen to enjoy tart. Yet, I still adore berries. Well, except blueberries. I think those are disgusting, but I’ll happily stock my fridge with all the others. Whenever I see them in the market, I must…

  • Book Review: The Omega Archives by Erik Melendez

    Book Review: The Omega Archives by Erik Melendez

    Title: The Omega Archives Author: Erik Melendez Publisher: Self-published Publication date: December 1, 2019 Genre: YA, Science Fiction Summary: Born with scientifically engineered mutated genes into a training facility, Alex is anything but a normal teenager. When the facility is attacked and everyone either killed or taken, Alex is the sole survivor. Adopted by loving and patient parents who work hard to remediate him and assimilate him into normal society, Alex just tries to live a normal life. But he and his town are attacked and he ends up being recruited by a counter-terrorist group searching for the mastermind behind the attack on the training facility. And Alex will do anything he can to find answers…

  • Book Blog Tour: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades by S. M. Stevens - a fictional novel about the lives of two women in the 1980s who have been and are victims of sexual harassment and abuse

    Book Blog Tour: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades by S. M. Stevens

    The Lily Cafe is thrilled to participate in the book blog tour for Horseshoes and Hand Grenades by S. M. Stevens. A fictional novel exploring the lives of two female victims of sexual harassment and abuse, this is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel. Title: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Author: S. M. Stevens Publisher: Touchpoint Press Publication date: September 26, 2019 Genre: Women’s fiction Summary: (I usually write my own summaries, but, in this case, I think it’s best to use the book’s description.) Fragile but practical Shelby Stewart and ambitious, confident Astrid Ericcson just want to start their PR careers in 1980s Boston and maybe find a nice guy to hang out with. But long-buried memories of incest at…

  • Guest Post: Appaloosa Sky by Karen Brenner

    Guest Post: Karen Brenner, Author of Appaloosa Sky

    The Lily Cafe is thrilled to welcome Karen Brenner, author of the fiction novel Appaloosa Sky! Enjoy a brief excerpt from her novel and a short piece about what publishing a debut novel was like. Title: Appaloosa Sky Author: Karen Brenner Publisher: Brenner Pathways Publication date: December 13, 2019 Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction Summary (from Amazon): At only eleven years old, Ginny Spangler is left orphaned after a horse theft gone bad. As Ginny grows from a self-reliant young girl to the fiery matriarch of a sprawling Texas ranch family, she passes on her resiliency and bold spirit to her nieces, Scottie, Rory, and Georgie O’Brien – sisters that are growing up with a distant…

  • Finding contentment by redefining motherhood

    Finding Contentment by Redefining Motherhood

    About two years ago, I brought this blog back to life after a, well, too long unscheduled hiatus. My first post back in 2018 was about how I came to be a stay-at-home mom. Back then, I was certain I wouldn’t stay a stay-at-home mom forever, that I wouldn’t be doing anything other than documenting my journey into becoming a working mom. I was quite insistent that being at home was not going to last. But life happened and life made changes without consulting me and now I find I’m exactly where I had never wanted to be. But, perhaps, I’m actually exactly where I’m supposed to be. Didn’t Want…

  • Adventures in ratio baking: pie ratio plus custard ratio equals chocolate pie - using only ratios to make a chocolate custard pie

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Pie Ratio Plus Custard Ratio Equals Chocolate Pie

    About a year after starting ratio baking, I’m finally at a point where I can combine ratios. Quite frankly, I was kind of counting down to this day. How amazing would it be if I could made a dessert using just ratios? Well, it finally happened. Last year, I tried the ratios for making pie dough and custard with the goal of making a chocolate custard pie. Now, I’m not adverse to eating a whole pie, but, most of the time, I just want a slice. I’m not that much of a pie eater. At some point last year, I decided to pick up some mini cake tins, and then I kept…

  • Book Review: Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman

    Book Review: Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman

    Title: Mr. Nobody Author: Catherine Steadman Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Publication date: January 7, 2020 Genre: Mystery and Thriller Summary: With just a name written on his hand, The Man regains consciousness on a British beach with no memory of who he was or is. In London, neuropsychiatrist Emma Lewis is hoping that his case will make her career. But the patient brings her back to her childhood home, and a horrific past that led to her and her family relocating and changing their names. As she fights to hide her identity and he struggles to regain his, their presents collide. My thoughts on this book are completely scattered. I’m not sure what,…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, part 18 - a work in progress inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 18

    Chapter Eight Hazel was a quiet soul. She wasn’t one for small talk. It was hard to get to know her at first, but, once we hit on something we had in common, it was hard to shut her up. I sometimes wished I had let her be in her quiet little world. My ears would have thanked me. Still, she was quite knowledgeable on gardening and helped create the herb garden. I planted the Peace rose in her honor, because that’s all I wanted after she left. Robert tugged at a particularly stubborn weed, wondering how he had missed the nearly two foot tall thing until it had reached…

  • Some of my favorite moments as a mom

    Some of My Favorite Moments as a Mom

    I’ve now been blogging consistently for 2 years. Two years ago I decided one of the things I would be writing about was motherhood. I never intended on actually sharing too much about my kids as I’m really serious about protecting their privacy, but, once in a while, I can’t help but document a small slice of their childhoods. Two years ago, my son was 3 and my daughter was about 8 months old. That means there’s actually quite a bit of their young childhoods that have been documented in some way. here While I don’t really talk about them much, I do talk a lot about how I’m raising…

  • Learn to Love Mini Cake Tins With Me - why I love using 4 inch cake tins when baking

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Learn to Love Mini Cake Tins With Me

    A few months ago I found myself wandering around a craft store. I believe it was summer because my husband and kids were with me, though the three of them were wandering elsewhere. As for me? I was in the baking aisle. Of course I was in the baking aisle. I mean, I like yarn, but so do my cat and daughter. I like fake flowers, but have nowhere to put them. I like making pretty little things with vases, flowers, marbles, sand, etc., but it’s not always child-friendly. No, I can usually be found in the baking aisle. By the time summer had rolled around, I had been ratio…