Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Sunday Post [7]

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly at the Caffeinated Reviewer! It's an opportunity to share news, post a recap for the previous week, showcase books, and highlight what's planned for the week ahead.

News:

Hello lovelies! I'm sorry I missed The Sunday Post last week. We were out of town visiting family for the girl's birthday, and we stayed pretty busy. We decided to have small party for them while we were there, and the playground we went to was enormous! They also received more gifts than we could fit into our car, so we had to leave a few behind (they're going to bring them down later when they visit)!

My spur-of-the-moment smash cake! I tried to light the candles when we got there, but it was way too windy. The girls didn't seem to mind! It was a vegan cake, so relatives were hesitant to try it for themselves, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was way better than the vegan cake we purchased for our son's birthday earlier this year. The best part about that cake was the Hot Wheels car top.

My son patiently waiting for his piece of the cake! He was the first person to run back from the playground when we brought it out. 

This is the view of the playground from the parking lot, but I had to walk around to see the full extent of it. It was my first time at this particular playground, but it's one my husband played at when he was a child. It's very close to my in-laws house and the school where my mother-in-law used to teach.


It is the best playground for hide-and-seek! There are so many tunnels and stairways, hidden alcoves and slides, and it would be impossible to keep up with three kids on my own. Jacob was running in one direction, and I was going in the other. All of the grandparents just tried to keep up! I'm really happy we made the trip to see family, and everyone had a blast while we were there.



My son and I made gingerbread cookies last night! I let him do most of the decorating, and the girls wanted to add sprinkles once we were finished. They love sprinkles! The cookies weren't as soft and chewy as I would have liked, but they tasted okay. I think we made them too thin, so they cooked more quickly. The kids just broke off all the extremities and ate the softer stomachs. Jacob and I ate a lot of hands and feet last night!

We do a lot of baking around the holidays. It's something that everyone can help with, and it's fun! We're going to make sugar cookies next, and we purchased some new cookie cutters for the occasion. I just have to make sure my son doesn't try to drink the food coloring for the icing -- ugh. Kids!

Previous week on the blog:

Sunday: Nothing!
Monday: Nothing!
Friday: Nothing! 

...and the week before that:

Monday: Nothing!
Thursday: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Friday: DNF&Y [11]

What I'm currently reading:
 A Very Large Expanse of Sea has been amazing so far! I love Shirin's personality and that she doesn't tolerate people's ignorance. There have been a few times when she reacted sarcastically to a situation that pissed me the hell off. I hate how judgmental and stupid people can be. I was also surprised by the breakdancing and how complicated it is. I had high hopes for this book, and Mafi is exceeding my expectations!

Paper Girl and Once Upon a River have both been enjoyable reads so far, but I'm not far enough into them to really have a solid opinion. Maybe next week! I haven't had much time to read this month, but I'm hoping things slow down soon. Have you read any of these? What did you think?

What I plan on reading next:
Naughty or Nice by Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Emma Chase, Marie Force, Corinne Michaels, Susan Stoker 
Willa of the Wood (Willa, #1) by Robert Beatty

What I'm watching:

We sat down as a family and watched Isle of Dogs last night and loved it! It's similar to Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is another movie we really enjoy. I highly recommend both!

Riverdale is getting really trippy. I'm a little frustrated with Jughead, because he should be more concerned about Betty and questioning why she hasn't returned any of his calls. He's supposed to know something is wrong! C'mon Juggy!

Daredevil is super dark this season. He's been struggling with himself and his purpose in life. Fisk is out of prison but not free, and that's impacting a lot of people. I was shocked when I learned the show had been cancelled, because everyone said a fourth season was already in the works. Disney starting its own streaming service has been really frustrating so far. Netflix and Hulu are sufficient.

Dumplin is on Netflix, so I'll be watching that soon! The final season of Fairy Tail was recently released, so I've been watching those episodes as they pop up. They're trying to get the guild members back together, and it's been fun seeing what they've all been doing the past year. I'm curious how this show is going to end!

Challenge Updates:

Goodreads: 415 / 250

I don't think I'm going to complete the Beat the Backlist Challenge, because 40 books in three weeks seems like a lot! I'm happy with the books I've read, though. That's 60 less books on my TBR!

79 comments:

  1. Oh yes, all the baking around the holidays that's so great and these gingerbread cookies look adorable and yummy, too :D
    I'm happy you're enjoying A Very Large Expanse of Sea, that book sounds so wonderful, I can't wait to read it :)
    I hope you'll have a wonderful week! <3

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    1. I want to make carrot cake cupcakes soon, but I have to go to a Whole Foods for the vegan cream cheese I need for the icing. It's all the way across town, so we go infrequently. I love to bake, but it seems like it's more fun over the holidays. My kids always want to help, which is nice. They make a mess and have fun, so I have fun.

      A Very Large Expanse of Sea just keeps getting better! I hope you love it, too! <3

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  2. That playground looks so cool, and I'm glad to hear everyone seemed to enjoy the vegan cake. I've never tried one but have always been curious.

    I just finished Once Upon a River last week so I'll be really curious to see what you think of it.

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    1. I've only made a few vegan cakes, because it's hard to find substitutes for some of the ingredients. It can cause the cakes to look weird or not rise properly. Occasionally they're too try and taste bland. It takes a lot of baking and re-baking to find a recipe that works and tastes good! I can make a pretty decent carrot cake, banana bread, and blueberry muffins. I've had issues trying to make a German chocolate cake (my favorite) and cheesecake. Although, I plan to keep trying until something works. :) Their smash cake was okay! I needed to flour the pan a little more before baking, and it needed to cool completely before I smothered it in icing (no time!), but it was moist and had an enjoyable taste.

      I'm steadily making my way through Once Upon a River! I'm reading it and two other books right now, so I alternate between them. It takes a little longer, but I'm trying to read these three quickly. <3

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  3. The park and playground look like a beautiful place to play, especially with the fall colors. The cake looks pretty! I'm happy to hear it was a vegan hit. I love gingerbread cookies! Your post is making me hungry. Happy reading, Lindsi! :)

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    1. I love being outdoors in the fall! The crisp air, cooler temperatures, and lovely settings! It's just so amazing. My kids would live outside if I'd let them. They all really enjoyed the playground, though the girls missed their nap that day and crashed hard once we got back in the car. They were exhausted! Our vegan foods are always a hit or miss with relatives, but I'm happy they're willing to try new things. <3

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  4. The cake looks yummy, and the other photos show what fun was had by all.

    I am curious about Paper Girl. I added Dumplin' to my Netflix queue. Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. We all had a lot of fun on their birthday! We had to make sure our son knew that the gifts were for his sisters, so he was there to be helpful and supportive. He made the argument that we're all supposed to share, which I told him was true, but that he needed to let them at least open their presents on their own. He was amazing and helpful the entire day! When we got everything home, they all shared and played together (after crashing in the car for about half an hour). They're really great kids.

      I've heard Dumplin' is very similar to the book, so I'm hoping it's good. I haven't read the book, but I like it when movies and TV shows try to stick to the original story.

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  5. I'm seeing Once Upon a River everywhere. I hope it's good!
    Ohh, so yummy pics in your post. I want to try your vegan cake too!
    I'm glad you had a nice time last weekend.

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    1. I started seeing it around a lot more after it's release date! I hadn't heard too much about it before then, but everyone seems to be enjoying it. It's been interesting so far, and I hope that continues! Thank you! We had a lovely time at the playground and with family. We don't see them very often, and it was nice having everyone in the same place. As for the cake, I don't think they mail very well! ;)

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  6. That park looks amazing. I love that you had such a fun and low-key family celebration. So much better than those OTT kids parties I was subject to. Maybe they weren't soft, but those gingerbread men are adorable.

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    1. We love to keep it small! We want to focus on the kids and what they want/need, and that's love and attention from their family. Friends are wonderful to have, but the girls are two. They're friends with each other and their brother, haha. I remember my birthday parties always consisted of more people than I actually knew. It would have been much more enjoyable had it just been me and the few people I was actually friends with. My mom would go crazy for birthdays, but the only things I really remember are the elaborate cakes and feeling overwhelmed by people.

      The gingerbread cookies taste okay despite their crunch! I really enjoy doing things with my kids, and I don't know what I'm going to do when they start school. Probably cry a lot. This is my life, spending my days with them, and I love it. I don't want things to change! <3

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  7. We baked lots of cookies this weekend. The gingerbread men are so cute and so funny you had to eat hands and feet. The park looks like so much fun! My kids would have a blast.

    I hope you have a great week, Lindsi! Happy Reading!

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    1. Nice! What kind of cookies did you make? We're planning on making sugar cookies next; they're simple and easy to decorate. We have a tom of wintery cookie cutters: a snowman, stocking, snowflake, and tree! The hands and feet aren't terrible -- just a little crunchy! ;)

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  8. I love holiday baking :) In fact, I need to run and make some oatmeal cookies this afternoon! And that playground looks like a kid's wonderland. I remember visiting a couple like it when I was younger and had an absolute blast. I hope you have another great week, Lindsi!

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    1. I've always loved oatmeal cookies! The last time I made a batch, I added peanut butter to the batter. I was craving both types of cookies and decided to combine them! I know it's nothing new, but it was delicious! Oatmeal and peanut butter were meant for each other, haha.

      We had a decent playground in the town I grew up in, but it was nothing like the one we went to for the girl's birthday. It's big enough to get lost in! <3

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  9. What a great playground! And happy birthday to your girls.

    Gingerbread men sounds like such fun! I haven't done any holiday baking in much too long. For one thing, I haven't been home for the holidays in 6 or 7 years; we've been spending them at my parents' house. But maybe I'll do some this winter anyway.

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    1. Thank you! We had a lovely time at the playground and with family. It was nice getting everyone together!

      I love baking for the holidays, whether I'm at home or visiting family. If I can't use my kitchen, I'll just use theirs! Like for the girl's birthday, I baked their cake at my mother-in-law's house. I didn't want to travel with it (it was likely to get squished), so I borrowed her kitchen while she played with the kids. My husband was making pizzas for the party, and we enjoyed our interrupted baking time. Normally, there are kids asking for something or trying to help! ;)

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  10. The cakes and cookies look good. I love Riverdale, but it sometimes does get frustrating. Veronica's parents are really annoying. LOL Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Right?! I can't tell if her mother is complicit or just too unwilling to believe what her husband is capable of. She seemed hesitant about him returning from prison, and wanted everything to be perfect. Was she scared he would be upset about something, or just overjoyed at having him around again? I also can't figure out what her father is trying to accomplish. Everything is so twisted! It's definitely a show I'll keep watching, but the parents are crazy. Especially Betty's mom. The woman needs to stop trying to send her kids off for "help" at that crazy place. And what's up with The Farm??

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  11. Happy birthday!! And what a fun looking cake!

    I need to do some gingerbread cookies now too - baking scares me, but it's Christmas so the effort is worth it!

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    1. Thanks! Why does baking scare you? You just toss the ingredients together and let the oven do the rest. ;) I've made many, many mistakes in the kitchen, but they're fun learning experiences. We also have dogs, and they're willing to eat almost anything. <3

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  12. 415 books this year! Thats amazing! I'm having trouble hitting my goal of 200...

    Awesome playground! Glad they enjoyed the cake!

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    1. A lot of those are comic books! I thought setting my goal at 250 was high, but I guess I read more comics than I originally thought. It could also be that I've read more books this year, too. I won't know until I have another Goodreads challenge to compare it to. Good luck reaching 200! It's a nice number. :)

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  13. Glad you had a nice birthday celebration for the girls. Too many presents to bring home---I'm guessing they were happy about that! :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. My parents bought them little cow cars (the ones they can sit down on and move with their feet), and they were too big to fit into the car with everything else. I felt bad because the girls have asked for their "moo cars" more than once since we've been home, but it was impossible to bring them back with us right then. We also left behind some building toys and a bowling pin set, so I guess our problem was more size than quantity! They did love their gifts, and I know they really want to have them all in the same place. :)

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  14. The park looks lovely and the party sounds like fun. Those cookies are making me have a snack attack. LOL

    My Sunday Post

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    1. If you want to have a snack attack, read Love a la Mode! It's an amazing book, and it made me crave food constantly! <3

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  15. My niece loves decorating cookies and brownies! It's so fun to do stuff like that together. Have a great week!

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    1. I agree! Cooking with the kiddos is a lot of fun! I know they won't be this age forever, so I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts. I'm sure they'll want to cook with me when they're a little older, but it will never be like it is now.

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  16. Cool playground! We have a park like that here that is so cool, it's same way- all these little nooks and crannies. I would have been ALL OVER THAT as a kid haha! Glad you guys had a good time!

    Riverdale- I LOVED the Betty part of the last episode- the Sisters of Quiet Mercy is such a deliciously creepy setting. My only gripe is I LIKE the supernatural angle, and I know they're only teasing it- when the visions and the gargoyle King and everything else turn out to just be hallucinations or drugs or whatever, I'm gonna be so disappointed. I've always wanted them to g supernatural on this show. :)

    I agree about Jugs- he's way too casual about Betty not answering. He should be booking his ass back to Riverdale lol.

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    1. I wish we'd had a playground like that growing up! We lived out in the country, so we used bales of hay and trees when we played hide-and-seek, haha. We only went to the playground in town if it was for school, or someone's birthday party.

      The Sisters of Quiet Mercy freak me out! What the hell are they doing to children?? Betty's mom needs to stop sending her children away when she doesn't want to deal with them. The Farm sounds like another problem waiting to happen, so maybe that will be next season's issue. Right now everyone is too separated. Archie and Jughead are on the run, Betty is drugged and locked up, Veronica is sleeping where she works and taking advice from Daddy dearest, and I haven't seen the others.

      Everyone knew when Cheryl disappeared, so why hasn't anyone noticed Betty's absence? Isn't she a Serpent now, too? Wouldn't they have noticed? Jughead should be checking in with them as well, so someone should know Betty is MIA. Veronica, her best friend, hasn't even said anything. What is happening??

      I'm really enjoying the supernatural vibe, too, but I also think it's just a tease. However, both Betty and her mom saw the Gargoyle King, and neither of them were taking Fizzle Rocks. Though FP climbing through that window was a little suspicious. He's been erratic for a few episodes now. I doubt he would go to The Farm with Betty's mom, so what is he doing? What did Archie write on that piece of paper Kevin gave to his dad? Kevin! Why hasn't he noticed Betty's disappearance? Ugh -- so many questions right now. You're probably right, though. They're going to say H.L. was drugging the town's water or something and sweep everything under the rug.

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    2. That's a great point- why doesn't anyone care that Betty has disappeared?? I mean veronica is clearly self-absorbed at this point lol but geez. The Serpents should be wondering? And speaking of Cheryl, we hardly see her anymore. It's like now that she's in a relationship with whats her name, she's like disappeared.

      I also can't wait to see the Farm, I hope it's creepy too haha.

      And yes they need to go full supernatural! I remember when Sabrina was in the planning stages the showrunner dude kept saying they'd crossover and Riverdale might go paranormal kinda, but then they always pull it back. Like they think it's too much- um, the show's already wacky AF? I mean, why not go for broke?? :) Remember the episode last season with the mysterious crate and the Lovecraft references? I need more of THAT!!

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    3. Yes! FULL SUPERNATURAL would be amazing! Like you said, there were all of those references last season, and now the Gargoyle King -- totally doable. Your post the other day had an Archie comic with vampires, so it's not like it's outside the realm of possibility. Do you think they're worried about losing viewers? There are a lot of popular supernatural shows out there that do really well. People like to lose themselves in the unimaginable. I think it would work!

      I'm sure the Farm is going to be super creeptastic. I think Betty's mom drank the juice a little too easily, and they were really weird when Betty asked to meet with the leader. Like, why would you keep him hidden away? Why is that girl at their school? Isn't the farm super reclusive? You'd think that wouldn't be allowed, unless she's doing weird stuff. What's up with everyone's seizures?! That still hasn't been addressed. Also, is Jughead playing the game, or is he in over his head?


      SOMEONE should have noticed Betty's absence. If they know where she is, they should also know their previous escape route has been sealed. I'm worried about Betty's mental state, and what's going to happen to her while she's there. Those nuns are insane! Right?! Where is Cheryl now? She had a pretty large role until recently. Her dad's weird twin brother (I think it's her dad, tbh), and her mother are doing weird things, but they seem to have dropped that thread for now. I do love Cheryl's girlfriend though! And Veronica is obnoxious now. Clearly, her parents are corrupt murderers, and she's crying over Archie leaving town. It wasn't like he had a choice! And what about Archie's dad??

      I still have a lot of questions, haha! :)

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    4. I do think it might be a viewer thing! I saw an interview where the showrunner said something to the effect that he didn't want to alienate viewers by going TOO weird. I'm like dude have you seen your own show lol? So I'm with you, I don't think it would hurt. A Riverdale with like vampires and werewolves, or just a supernatural creepiness under the surface, would probably be my favorite show! ESPECIALLY this season- it's almost too creepy to NOT be supernatural??

      I hope we see the Farm soon. I'm sick of waiting! And I love Evelyn- how creepy she is. I do kinda miss the old Alice from season one though- she was so suspicious and snarky, and might not have fallen for the Farm stuff- at least not as easily. Now she seems like a pushover. She used to make references to the Blossoms being in cults... between that and the crate thing last season it just seemed like they were seeding the supernatural ideas. And I'm not sure about Jugs- I think he THINKS he's playing the Game but when he talks about ascending he does seem kinda in over his head??

      This show causes a lot of questions because the writing is so goofy. I mean they do whatever they want whether it makes sense or not. That whole juvie fight club thing was so dumb. I mean really? And yeah Cheryl is criminally underused haha. I would love to see the Blossoms up to some really nasty stuff- if it just turns out they're drug dealers I'm gonna be so disappointed!

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    5. It's definitely too creepy not to be supernatural! Lodge has bought everything that's relevant in Riverdale with the exception of Pops, but Veronica is being just as underhanded with her dealings to make a profit. She even went to her father for advice KNOWING he had a hand in everything that happened with Archie. Dude is CROOOKED and she still asks him for help? I wouldn't be surprised if he orchestrated the entire thing at casino night. He wanted her to feel like she was being played and manipulated, because he knew she would rely on him once she found out. It was likely his idea in the first place! He has his hand in too many pots, and I'm just waiting on him to get burned.

      Alice didn't have a great relationship with her husband to begin with, but she seemed inconsolable after his crimes were revealed. They show her in bed with F.P. once, but that never went anywhere. He's been pretty absent from the overall story, only popping up to chain Jughead to a refrigerator (which was never really addressed afterwards), and climbing a ladder into Betty's room. Why is he acting so weird?? Also, Alice said someone told her Betty would resist going to the Farm and with the Sisters. Who was it she mentioned? The leader of the Farm or someone else? I want Betty to get away from the Sisters and then enlist help investigating the Farm. Do you think they have anything to do with the Gargoyle King, or they're just setting up the next season?

      I wish the parents were more involved and less oblivious. Obviously, they're all hiding something about the G&G game and the Gargoyle King, but no one is saying anything. They've all done some shady shit, especially Cheryl's mom, but none of it has come to light yet. Except the one guy's death being a murder instead of a suicide. UGH -- so many loose ends and unexplained theories. I need more answers! I wish they would wrap one thing up before moving on to something else, but I feel like I'm left suspended between multiple things.

      They have a lot of options for this show, and I hope they utilize the supernatural aspects. Maybe they're using the Gargoyle King as a test to see how receptive viewers would be to an otherworldly/magical twist? We can only hope!

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    6. I would be all for that, if the GK was a test for supernatural. Bring it!! I mean, I feel like at this point- after having watched the midseason finale- they are SO out there now that supernatural- honestly- would make MORE sense to me! I mean Hiram quarantining the whole town??? Come on, that's so silly. How would that even work? Just because a few people had seizures?? And yes they gave us a parents' episode where someone DIES lol and then... the parents all mostly disappear from the show! Except for ugh Hiram.

      FP especially should be around more. Are he and Alice in a relationship or not?? What a wasted opportunity. And good point about who told Alice Betty would resist? I forgot about that. I totally thought the Farm would be part of all this- the impression I got was it was all related and that we'd see the Farm, but now we're at midseason and nothing yet. That's disappointing too. We even have Evelyn Evernever acting all weird but they're not going anywhere with it yet. Maybe in the back half of the season?

      This show would be so much better if we could get the paranormal stuff!

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    7. I didn't realize it was the mid-season finale, so I wanted to cry when it said the next episode would air in January! That's so far away (not really, but still sort of)! Hiram managed to get Jughead, FP, Archie and his dad all out of Riverdale before the quarantine. How are they supposed to get back inside? They can't block every access point. Why is Veronica's mom going along with this? Surely she realizes her husband is insane?! Alice is back from The Farm and can't leave, so we know she'll be around.

      Damn! Jughead's mom wasn't playing with Penny. You don't mess with someone's kid -- geez. And Arche and Jughead seemed totally okay with it. Why is Hiram so desperate for Archie anyways? Why is he crucial to the game? Is there a Gargoyle King, or is Hiram batshit crazy?? Like you said, he shouldn't have been able to quarantine a town so easily, even when V told everyone it wasn't really the CDC. I've had to suspend a lot of belief for this show, so there better be some supernatural explanations!

      Cheryl's back! I'm surprised by the relative ease in which she's able to basically torture her own mother. Maple syrup -- ugh. And where is her uncle? What is he doing? Why doesn't Archie go stay with his mom??

      I re-watched the episode, but I can't understand Alice when she says, "---- said you would resist," or whatever the hell that was. I also thought The Farm was somehow involved in all of this, and maybe they are. What if that's Hiram's outside contact? Evelyn Evernever should be quarantined with everyone else. Isn't she the guy's daughter or something? Surely he wouldn't leave her there if he wasn't part of it.

      I have so many questions! Also, I love that Archie has his dog, haha. :)

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    8. Did Alice ever actually go to the Farm? I don't remember although Polly must be there cause we haven't seen her. And you're right- FP and Arch's dad are both outside the town too, aren't they? Maybe they'll all sneak through the woods to get back in- that seems like a very wooded area, and with no sheriff they can't patrol everything can they?? Ha ha.

      Right? Juggie's mom is badass! And yes Jug and Archie were like *shrug* lol. I was like dang everyone's used to people just being stabbed now or whatever. This show cracks me up. Although it DOES require a LOT of suspension of disbelief...

      It killed me that Cheryl and V mapleboarded Penelope. This show. It's a crime they don't go supernatural, really. Can you imagine them trying top get back into town and encountering werewolves in the woods at night? What if the Ghoulies were werewolves, or some of them were vampires like say in Lost Boys? The White Worm too- with a name like that it should definitely have some mystical significance. They are blowing a chance for this to be really cool haha!!

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    9. Alice went to the Farm, but came back for the meeting at the school. Also, now that you've mentioned it, Alice did get really nervous when they wanted to pinpoint who had the first seizure. Was it Betty? Did Alice and the Farm do something to Betty that caused a seizure? Is Hiram working with them?? She just changed the subject as soon as someone mentioned finding the first occurrence. I think Polly is at the Farm. She was crazy when she was with the Sisters, so was she on drugs then like everyone else? Surely not since she was pregnant, but you never know.

      All of the sane people are outside of the town, which I think was Hiram's point. I'm sure the three of them will get together and find a way back inside. There's no way they can patrol the entire perimeter, and isn't the GK out in those woods? Even if there is a fence erected around the entire town, they should be able to crossover somewhere.

      I'm pretty sure Jughead's mom killed Penny, or severely mutilated her. We know she told Gladys (is that her name?) Hiram's plans, and then Penny told FP that Penny wouldn't be a problem for anyone again. JB is pretty intense, too. She clearly has daddy issues, haha. I guess he did abandon them, but then why was Jughead left there?

      Mapleboarded -- hahahaha! And then Penelope licked her lips and it was creepy. Also, why is she suddenly into prostitution? I thought she was too above that? Hah! Werewolves and Vamps being tied to the other gangs would be fascinating! They could totally do something with that and even the Serpents.

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    10. I would love for the Serpents to be infiltrated by, say, werewolves and the ghoulies by vamps, or whatever. The true power behind the gang kind of thing. Then you could have a supernatural rivalry to go along with the regular rivalry! I can dream... and yes that's one of my biggest issues- Penelope and prostitution all of a sudden. At first she was all like prim and dignified and now she's a prostitute?? That's on the writers though I think? Like I've said before- Cheryl used to be afraid of her mom, then when her dad died remember Cheryl was all like okay mom I'm the bitch in charge now- she even kinked her air hose in the hospital and threatened her remember?- then all of a sudden she was afraid of her mom again. They keep going back and forth and it's not consistent, which drives me nuts.

      Alice also had that throwaway remark in season one about the Blossoms being into cults of nameless gods or something- that always had me hoping they'd go there, but sadly they haven't. :) Running drugs through a maple syrup business just doesn't compare!

      Good point about Alice and who had the first seizure! I forgot about that. That was so freaky in the first episode with the babies and then Betty passed out- I really want to know what happened! But probably just another dumb hallucination...

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  17. I made toffee for a Christmas cookie exchange I held yesterday and it was SO GOOD. I definitely need to make more. I'm sure I'll be making even more holiday treats soon too though.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Mmm -- toffee! I've never tried making that before, but I've wanted to! I also want to see if I can make peanut brittle. It was my grandfather's favorite sweet before it became too hard for him to eat. Good luck with your future baking! I hope everything is delicious. <3

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  18. Happy belated birthday to your girls! And what a pretty cake. That park looks amazing! Love the little gingerbread men... so cute. It's great that you bake with your kids. They'll have such good memories of that. Lots of authors I either already like or want to try in Naughty or Nice. I'll have to check that one out.

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    1. I wish I could take pictures of us baking together, but my hands are usually covered in flour or dough, and the kids would inevitably spill something on my phone. It's safer to keep all electronics far away from the kitchen, haha. I hope they have awesome childhood memories. I know I'll always treasure these moments. It's why aging scares me -- I don't want to lose my memories or forget the things I love.

      I'm really looking forward to Naughty or Nice! I think it'll be a fun holiday read! If only we had a fireplace... <3

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  19. I want to read the Diane Setterfield book but I am a little wary. I loved one of her books and hated another so I look forward to your review of this one. The cake looked delicious! I liked Isle of Dogs as well. I thought it very funny. Hope you enjoy Dumplin' I thought it was really good.

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    1. This is my first book by Diane Setterfield, so I don't have anything else to compare it to. I had zero expectations when I started this one, which is usually a good thing. We really loved Isle of Dogs! Have you seen Fantastic Mr. Fox? If I can get all of my kids to nap at the same time today, I'll watch Dumplin'! It's the only way I'll have enough time, haha.

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  20. What a fun and busy week! I just learned what a smash cake was earlier this week!

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    1. We made one for our son's first birthday, too. It was simple and topped with blueberries instead of icing -- much healthier! The girls were older for theirs, so I didn't think the icing would be too sweet, though they don't eat a lot of sugar. I think they liked it!

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  21. Glad the cake turned out and everyone liked it! That park is gorgeous!

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    1. It was the perfect day for party at the park! It was a little windy, which wasn't good for the candles, but it felt lovely. I hope we can go back to that playground in the future. I think I saw a splash pad nearby, and those are always fun! :)

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  22. What a great week you seem and I don't know, this Monday morning imagining all those Gingerbread men without arms and legs just made me smile!

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    1. Haha! The gingerbread men are all smiles, too! Even when they're having their arms and legs snapped off. ;)

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  23. OMG why haven't I read A Very Large Expanse of Sea yet?!?! I'm so glad you're enjoying it so far. I have high hopes for it too! I need to read it NOW.

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    1. I'm listening to the audiobook and it's wonderful! I really love the narrator for this one, and I'm flying through the story. It's only 10 hours, so it shouldn't take me too long to finish it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!

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  24. I love to bake, and I especially love to bake sugar cookies. I have a really, really good recipe. I think I blogged about it. Let me see if I can find it, and I'll be right back.

    Found it! It's a bit sad, but the recipe is included. https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2013/12/virtual-advent.html

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    1. Thanks for sharing your post! I loved all the pictures of family. It's so much fun when everyone bakes together! Especially the decorating! I already have a recipe that we use, since we're vegan and have to make substitutions to non-vegan recipes. It's taken me a few tries to find something that works and tastes good! I appreciate you sharing your recipe, though. I might try it with vegan ingredients and see how it turns out! :)

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  25. Oh cakes! So much fun! It's nice to see you had a good time. Have a lovely week!

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    1. Thank you! We had a blast! I just wish they didn't live so far away, because six hours in car is tough on the little ones. It's also hard on me!

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  26. Happy belated birthday! The cake looks great and the park looks like fun, love the Autumn foliage. aww the gingerbread cookies :)
    Enjoy your books, they all look good, especially Naughty or Nice for this time of year.

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    1. The gingerbread cookies have been completely consumed, so I guess they weren't too terrible! I have to be in the mood for the taste of gingerbread, but the kids (and my husband) ate them every day. I really love the weather right now! Everything is colorful and bright!

      I'm really looking forward to Naughty or Nice! It has a lot of amazing authors. <3

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  27. Yum cake. Looks like you had wonderful weather to celebrate your daughter's birthday outside. We haven't started out baking yet, my children want to have a decorating party with their friends. Naughty or Nice, I need to pick up. Have a lovely week and happy reading!

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    1. A decorating party sounds fun! I'm hoping Naughty or Nice is the entertaining read I'm looking for! I've read a lot of emotional books this week, so I need something fun. :)

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  28. Oh my goodness there is green grass in the picture! It looks so shocking since everything around here went dormant or got buried under snow a while ago lol. And have tons of fun baking and making sugar cookies! I always bake more around the holidays too, I'm addicted to Sally's Baking Addiction, so I have a ton I want to try by her. And I picked up Naughty or Nice also. Here's hoping we both love the stories in that book!:)
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. We still have green grass everywhere, haha! It rarely snows in Texas, though my son asks for it almost every day. He wants to build a snowman and have a snowball fight. I don't think he realizes just how cold snow actually is, or that a blizzard would keep him indoors. Right now he's happy to play in giant piles of leaves, but we'll go somewhere snowy one day. :)

      Baking is so fun! I love doing it with my kids. They enjoy making the batter and cutting out cookies, but I think decorating might be their favorite part. They also don't mind watching the oven and waiting for the timer to ding. I haven't heard of Sally's Baking Addiction, but I'm going to Google it! Good luck with your baking endeavors, and I hope you enjoy Naughty or Nice! <3

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  29. 😂 drinking the food colouring! Oh, I've had similar battles before... We do a lot of baking this time of year too but the little dude has thankfully aged to a point where he doesn't need watched like a hawk. 🙂

    The birthday celebrations look awesome. That is done park!

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    1. He was really sneaky about it, too. I'd already told him to leave the food coloring alone, because we wouldn't need it until the very end. The next thing I knew, his lips were blue and he wouldn't make eye contact with me. When I asked him about drinking the food coloring, he said he had no idea what I was talking about. When I told him his lips and tongue were blue, he said some may have accidentally gotten into his mouth -- ugh. KIDS! He's pretty great about most things, but he's recently started lying if he thinks it'll get him out of trouble. We're working on it! I want him to be honest with me whether or not he thinks he'll get in trouble, but that's not an easy thing to teach to a four-year-old. *heavy sigh*

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  30. "Jacob and I ate a lot of hands and feet last night!"

    Bahahaha

    That looks like a great place for a kids party!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I don't think gingerbread is dog-friendly, or I wouldn't fed the dogs all the extra hands and feet! ;) We had a lot of fun at that playground, and W is already asking to have his there next year. <3

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  31. Happy birthday to the girl! That playground looks awesome. I laughed at you having to eat all the gingerbread hands and feet. I hope they were good!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. The girls really enjoyed their party! They're too young to really know what was happening, so their brother helped them open presents to speed the process along. :) The gingerbread cookies were good, though I would have liked them to be a little softer. Too munch crunch in the extremities! ;)

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  32. Boys and food haha. Happy belated birthday.
    That playground looks like so much fun.

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    1. My kids are constantly eating! I can feed them before making something for myself, and they'll still want what I have. It should be a new diet, haha.

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  33. Happy birthday to your offspring! That's a really cool playground and those cookies look yummy.

    I need to look at your Artemis Fowl post. That series is a favorite of ours. :)

    Oh, Daredevil. Super dark and weird this season, but pretty good. I, too, was shocked it was cancelled but then I remembered with Disney trying to start their own streaming service it makes sense they'd pull the plug for their own site. I'm going to guess that Jessica Jones and Punisher will also go that way. *sigh*

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    1. Thank you! The playground was a blast, and the gingerbread cookies barely lasted a day. I'm going to read the second Artemis Fowl book to him once we're finished with the one we're reading now. It's such a fun series for kids!

      Boo! Disney is really ruining Netflix right now. I think they're being ridiculous pulling movies and shows off the site because they're starting their own. No one wants to pay for another streaming service, and Disney could have let Netflix keep the shows they'd already started. It's annoying. I love JJ, so I hope she gets at least one more season. I haven't been watching The Punisher, but my husband does.

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  34. I'm with your son... I run when the cake comes out, too. 😁

    My son picked up the bottle of vanilla extract and took a swig when he was four. I freaked and called poison control because of the alcohol in it and they were chuckling. To calm my nerves they told me to have him drink a glass of water or milk and eat a piece of bread. 😛

    Good to hear you had a nice visit with your family. 💜

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    1. It's hard not to run when cake is involved! ;)

      Hahaha -- I'm sure the vanilla tasted awful, too! I'm so glad he's okay. Kids! They'll put anything in their mouths until a certain age. It's exhausting and terrifying!

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  35. Wonderful post!

    @ D. Books and Reviews

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! What books do you like to read?

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless