• Adventures in Ratio Baking: Let's Try Custard Again - making chocolate custard using ratio baking

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Let’s Try Custard Again

    A few weeks ago, I tried making custard using it’s ratio of 2:1 dairy to eggs. Since it just says dairy, and since I just happened to have a can of sweetened condensed milk sitting around doing nothing, I thought, well, why not? Turns out there’s a reason why I’ve never seen a custard recipe use sweetened condensed milk. It’s thick! And super sweet. Last week I decided it was time to try again. The right way. With actual dairy. And I mean using milk. Just milk and eggs, and, of course, cocoa powder because chocolate. Everything is better with chocolate. Well, that’s a lie. I wouldn’t want chocolate on…

  • Book Review: The Music of the Mind by Ash Adler

    Book Review: The Music of the Mind by Ash Adler

    Title: The Music of the Mind Author: Ash Adler Publisher: Self-published Publication date: November 14, 2016 Genre: Fantasy Summary: Almost murdered by a dark, shadowy being, journeyman bard Finn Bran emerges with the ability to hear the harmony or discord of people’s thoughts and intentions. Seeking both to be a hero and to escape the discord he hears in people, Finn willingly goes with a fairy lady into the realm of the Fair Folk. There, his own music reveals the discord in his own soul, propelling him back into his world where he learns to master his mind from a dragon, enabling him to set off to destroy the darkness that threatens to strangle his world.…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 16 - a story inspired by Beauty and the Beast

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 16

    (Chapter 7 continued) It was so fast that Elaina had to stifle another gasp as her feet suddenly kicked into gear. Her heart was thudding and her stomach was doing uncomfortable loops. She hadn’t expected to be alone in Rose’s presence so soon. What was it that Robert had to do? Rose walked quickly. She faced forward, trusting Elaina to scurry after her. The only parts of her that seemed to actually move were her legs and feet. Her neck and torso didn’t even bend a millimeter as they descended a staircase. They stopped abruptly at a mahogany door. Without ceremony, or even acknowledging Elaina’s presence, she opened the door…

  • The Bloggers I Love: Writers and Book Reviewers Edition

    The Bloggers I Love: Writers and Book Reviewers Edition

    Last week I shared the blogs of four amazing ladies I absolutely adore for their authenticity. This week I’m returning to my roots as a lifelong reader and writer with some readers and writers I enjoy. Writers and Authors Jennifer M. Zeiger – I adore this lady. She writes choose your own adventure stories and encourages her readers to participate. Her stories are fun and entertaining and I’m always looking forward to the next one. She’s a lovely fantasy author who is so wonderful at providing constructive feedback, and I love her insight into writing! Her most recently published book is The Adventure, which has three fun choose your own adventures…

  • Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 10: School and Pregnancy

    Finding Magic in Motherhood, Part 10: School and Pregnancy

    I had about a week between the ultrasound and the start of my Spring semester, a week to finally let the thought I was pregnant settle in. Of course, that came with a whole host of other fears. I still wasn’t past the first trimester, so there was still a good chance I would lose this baby, too. But my more pressing issue was having to sit in classrooms for most of the day twice a week while battling nausea and keeping my symptoms under wraps. I was lucky. The first trimester was kind to me. It was almost as though the universe decided I’d gone through enough with my…

  • A Christmas Cookie Tradition

    Neither an adventure in ratio baking nor a recipe this week. Instead, since it’s December, I wanted to write about a Christmas tradition my mom started when I was very young. For as long as I can remember, my mom would spend an entire day baking cookies. The funniest thing about them was that all the recipes came from cook books, but everyone raved about how good they were and would ask for the recipe. My mom always refused to give them away, but they were in printed cook books and could have been found by anyone. Haha, just one of our many family secrets! But it was really a tradition…

  • Book Review: Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri, book 2 in the Books of Ambha series

    Book Review: Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

    Title: Realm of Ash Author: Tasha Suri Publisher: Orbit Publication date: November 12, 2019 Genre: Fantasy Summary: The Ambhan Empire has been plagued by a curse, which seems to have become worse since the death of the Maha. Now that the Emperor lies near death, it becomes gravely apparent to young widow Arwa, who hides the true lineage of her blood and the curse it carries, and bastard prince Zahir they must find the answers from their ancestors in the treacherous realm of ash. This is the second book in the Books of Ambha series. I did not know that going in, but I don’t feel like I necessarily needed to have read the first book.…

  • Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 15

    Queen of the Garden of Girls, Part 15

    Chapter Seven Celeste was a mistake. She was pretty, but vapid. She also had a lot in common with a leech. Oh, she didn’t suck blood, but she sucked energy. Sucked it right out of me. After a week I was running for hiding places as soon as I woke up. It’s a good thing my mother scared her out of her wits one day. I don’t think I ever saw her run that fast. I must admit I chuckled while planting the White Cloud climbing rose. Elaina was certain that, had she been alone, she would have fallen to her knees and wept right there in the middle of…

  • The Bloggers I Love: Beautiful, Authentic Souls Edition

    The Bloggers I Love: Beautiful, Authentic Souls Edition

    While compiling the stories, writing related posts, and book reviews I had enjoyed each week, I noticed that, as much as I tried to share a post from different bloggers each week, there were still some that made the list almost every week, so I’d like to share why I adore them. There are also other bloggers I read religiously. They don’t necessarily write stories or focus on talking about writing, but they still have their own stories to tell. So, please, I hope you take a look at some of the bloggers I love. This week, I would like to invite you to check out some of the most…

  • And a New Phase of Worry as a Parent Has Begun - one mother's fears during her son's first year of public school

    And a New Phase of Worry as a Parent Has Begun

    Parents understand worry very well. Not only is the world a scary place, but babies and young children are just so fragile. I remember worrying about my kids when they were both newborns. SIDS terrified me and, since both were born early, both were slightly more likely to succumb to it. When my oldest learned to roll over just before he turned 6 months, he loved sleeping on his face. I spent a very sleepless week worrying about him. I slept with the monitor glued to my ear. I got up every 10 minutes to check on him. All night. Every night. Then the kids started to crawl and walk…