Wednesday, December 23, 2020

December fun facts

 Did you know….

Hanging stockings started by accident.

According to legend, we hang stockings by the chimney with care thanks to a poor man who didn't have enough money for his three daughters' dowries. Generous old St. Nick (remember, that's his trademark!) dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night, where the girls had hung their stockings to dry. That's where the gold ended up, and how the tradition began.

Did you know….

Astronauts broadcast "Jingle Bells" from space.

This prank almost went too far. Nine days before Christmas in 1965, the two astronauts aboard Gemini 6 sent an odd report to Mission Control that they saw an "unidentified flying object" about to enter Earth's atmosphere, traveling in the polar orbit from north to south. They interrupted the tense report with the sound of “Jingle Bells,” as Wally Schirra played a small harmonica accompanied by Tom Stafford on a handful of small sleigh bells they had smuggled aboard.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

You’ll Ho-ho-ho with these funny Christmas jokes!


Q: How do snowmen get around? They ride an icicle!

Q: What do snowmen have for breakfast? Snowflakes!

Q: What does Santa do when his elves misbehave? He gives them the sack!

Q: What did Santa say to the smoker? Please don’t smoke, it’s bad for my elf!

Q: What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations? Tinsilitis!

Q: What’s green, covered in tinsel and goes ribbet ribbet? A mistle-toad!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Pucker Up Monday

  Welcome to Pucker Up Monday. It's not what you think, lol. Since Mondays do tend to suck, I though I'd try to start the week off right for y'all.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Finicky Friday - Christmas Style!


Holiday Tree Brownies


1 box (16 oz) Betty Crocker™ Supreme original brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box 

Miniature candy canes (2 inch), unwrapped

1 or 2 drops green food color

1/3 cup Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (from 16-oz container)

Betty Crocker™ Decorating Decors red and green candy sprinkles or miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits


1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Line 9-inch square pan with foil, allowing some to hang over edges of pan. Grease bottom and sides of foil with shortening or cooking spray. Make brownie mix batter as directed on box. Spread in pan.

2 Bake 28 to 31 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 1/2 hours. Freeze in pan 15 minutes. Using foil to lift, remove brownies from pan, and peel foil away. To cut brownie into triangles, cut into 3 rows. Cut each row into 5 triangles (See More About This Recipe). Set aside leftover pieces for snacking.

3 Break off curved end of candy cane; insert straight piece into bottoms of triangles to make tree trunks.

4 Stir food color into frosting. Spoon frosting into small resealable food-storage plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut off tiny bottom corner of bag. Squeeze bag to pipe frosting over brownies. Sprinkle with decors.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Anti-hero promo on Bookfunnel!


Hey y'all! I'm taking part in an Anti-hero promo on Bookfunnel. 

Searching for your next favorite story? Look no further! Several authors have teamed up to offer a delightful selection of Dark Romance books. Available for a limited time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

You’ll Ho-ho-ho with these funny Christmas jokes!


Q: What do Santa’s little helpers learn at school? A: The elf-abet!

Q: What kind of motorbike does Santa ride? A: A Holly Davidson!

Q: What is the best Christmas present in the world? A: A broken drum, you just can’t beat it!

Q: What do snowmen wear on their heads? A: Ice caps!

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? A: Frostbite!

Q: What did the stamp say to the Christmas card? A: Stick with me and we’ll go places!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Pucker Up Monday ( NSFW)

 Welcome to Pucker Up Monday. It's not what you think, lol. Since Mondays do tend to suck, I though I'd try to start the week off right for y'all.

Saturday, December 12, 2020


Okay y'all! I'm starting a newsletter, and as a special gift a short is included.

It's the harvest of Chad!

Please keep in mind that this is just a short lol. It shows what only happens that day, and Chad's thoughts and feelings. I have a bit more to do before it's completely ready, but we're close to being done! 

As soon as it's ready, Avril Marie PA will be sending it out!


Friday, December 11, 2020

Finicky Friday - Christmas Style!



 Servings 30 cookies

Easy Brownie Cookies:
1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 C. oil

Chocolate Frosting:
3/4 C. butter softened
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk. more if needed
2 C. powdered sugar more if needed

Mint M&M's, you'll need the red the white
Nilla Wafers
1/4, C. Melted chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with parchment paper.

2. Combine cake mix, eggs and oil together. Batter will be thick. If you you think too thick, you can add a touch more oil!

3. Make dough balls just smaller than a golf ball and place on pans, press down so they don't bake up too tall!

4. Bake for 7-9 minutes depending on how fudgey you want them to be.

5. Let cool.

6. Frosting: Beat butter. Add cocoa, vanilla and milk. Slowly add in powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency. Add more milk to make thinner.

7. To make Reindeer Eyes: Melt your chocolate (I used melts but you can use whatever you hand on hand). Use the tip of a toothpick to "dot" a glob of melted chocolate onto each white M&M. You can make the chocolate part of the eyes as large as you want! (see photos above)

8:To assemble (see photos above) frosting cookies, place Nilla wafer, pretzels, then use a little frosting to stick on the red nose (red M&M) and eyes. If you want some reindeer other than Rudolph, just use brown M&M's or Reese's Pieces!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Thursday book recommendation


These are books I’ve read and really enjoyed. Most of what I talk about will probably be paranormal/scifi but not always. Although it’s rare, I do read some contemporary.


This week is: Jon's Downright Ridiculous Shooting Case (Jon's Mysteries Case 1) by AJ Sherwood



A psychic without an anchor. A student in trouble. A shooter on the loose.

I’m Jonathan Bane, a licensed psychic who consults for the police. I routinely help the police put the bad guys away and, for that reason, the criminal world doesn’t like me much. People like to take a swing at me, or go stabbity, or try for a gun. It makes for interesting times. My psychic ability prevents me from handling anything electronic—and I do mean ANYTHING, I fry it in seconds—so calling for help isn’t always a possibility.

I need an anchor, a partner, but I’m resigned: it’s just wishful thinking.                                                                                                                

At least, I thought so until he walked through the door.

Donovan Havili looks like a thug and has the soul of a superhero. He shines so bright in my vision it’s like watching a supernova. He definitely has the right mindset and skills for this crazy job. But asking anyone to take me on long-term is a bit much. And now we’ve got multiple cases to handle, a Chinese exchange student falsely accused who needs our help, and someone taking random shots at me. It’s a bit much for any new guy to handle and I’m half-afraid that my new partner will run for the door.

But in Donovan Havili, the criminal world has met its match. And maybe, just maybe, I have as well.


Trigger Warnings:

Your average cop show violence and criminals



Companionable snark, Flirting, Kissing, Jon needs a hug, Donovan gives the best hugs, Getting together, Self-esteem issues, Explicit content, Anal Sex, Romantic Sex, Random shooting, Which Donovan isn’t happy about, Donovan is a gentleman, Sort of, Jon just makes it REALLY REALLY HARD Okay?, Bisexual character, Public displays of affection, Muscles, Communication, Healthy relationships, The fluff might kill you, Supernatural elements, Modern with Magic, Feels, All the Feels, Mostly accurate medical stuff, Multiple electronics died in the creation of this story, blame Jon

Amazon link:

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

You’ll Ho-ho-ho with these funny Christmas jokes!


Q: What kind of Christmas music do elves like? A: “Wrap” music

Q: How can Santa deliver presents during a thunderstorm? A: His sleigh is flown by raindeer

Q: What do you call a snowman with a six pack? A: An abdominal snowman

Q: What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney? A: Claus-trophobia!

Q: Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas? A: Santa Jaws!

Q: What do they sing at a snowman’s birthday party? A: Freeze a jolly good fellow!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Pucker Up Monday

Welcome to Pucker Up Monday. It's not what you think, lol. Since Mondays do tend to suck, I though I'd try to start the week off right for y'all.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Finicky Friday - Christmas Style!


Vanilla Butter Cake (sponge cake)


2 sticks unsalted butter , cut into 8 pieces and softened


4 large eggs, at room temperature

1⁄2 cup  (whole or low fat, not no fat), room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract


1 3/4 cups plain flour (all purpose flour, 7 oz) (Note 1)

1/4 cup cornflour / cornstarch (Note 1)

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups caster sugar / superfine sugar (normal white sugar also ok)

3/4 tsp salt


2 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

14 strawberries , halved (1 1/2 punnets)


Preheat oven to 350F. Put the rack in the middle of the oven.

Butter 2 x 20cm / 8" cake pans (Note 2). Line the base with baking paper.

Place Wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Place Dry ingredients in a bowl and use a handheld beater on speed 1 (slowest) to quickly whisk.

Add 1/3 of the butter, then put the beater whisk in the butter, and mix using speed 1. Once the butter is incorporated a bit, speed up to 5 and whisk for 10 seconds. 

Add another 1/3 of the butter then repeat, then add remaining butter and repeat again. It should look like wet sand.

Add half the Wet mixture, beat until incorporated. Add remaining Wet mixture, then beat on speed 5 (medium) until almost completely smooth.

Divide between cake pans, smooth surface (it levels out in the oven), then bake for 25 minutes.

A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean but moist.

Cool on cooling rack for at least 15 minutes then remove cake from pan.


Optional: Use a serrated knife (I use a bread knife) to cut the top off each cake to make it completely flat. This makes neat layers when you cut into the cake.

Place cream, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Beat on high with a handheld beater or stand mixer until firm peaks form.

If piping little swirls around the edge like in the photos, transfer 1 cup of cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

Place a cake on a serving platter. Spread a thin layer of cream over the top.

Cover with strawberries, cut side down.

Top with 1/3 of the cream.

Place 2nd cake on top. Cover top and sides with remaining cream. Pipe cream around the edge.

Decorate with remaining strawberries, as desired.

 Recipe Notes:

1. The original recipe calls for 2 cups cake flour. I use a combination of plain flour and cornflour which is a substitute for cake flour because this recipe is my basic vanilla sponge cake recipe and I want to make it using pantry staples. Cake flour is not a staple in my pantry. Cake flour or cornflour + plain flour makes the crumb of cakes more tender and almost "velvety" than just using plain flour.

2. CAKE PAN SIZE: The original Cook's Illustrated recipe says to make this in 3 x 20cm/8" pans or 2 x 23cm/9" pans. If you level off the cake surface, so each layer is neat and flat, then I think 2 x 20cm/8" pans is better, otherwise the layers get too thin. However, if you do not plan to cut the top of the cake to make the surface flat, then you can use 3 x 20cm/8" pans or 2 x 23cm/9" pans.

3. Recipe SOURCE: This is adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe. The original recipe is made with just cake flour (see note 1). The butter is chopped into 16 pieces and added in 1 piece at a time. I find it easier to do it in 3 batches and didn't notice a difference in outcome. Also see Note 2 regarding cake pan size.

4. Cream: I know it sounds like alot, but if you want to have cream in the middle, top and sides as well as some to pipe for decoration, you really need this much! If you don't do the piped decorations on top, you can reduce the cream by 1/2 cup / 125ml.

5. STANDMIXER: Even on the lowest speed, there will be some "flour dust" so you will either need to use a guard to stop the flour flying up everywhere or do as per the original recipe and chop the butter into 16 small pieces and add them one at a time, beating for around 1 minute on low speed, increasing to high until it looks like what you see in the video.


Thursday, December 3, 2020

**Thursday book recommendation**


These are books I’ve read and really enjoyed. Most of what I talk about will probably be paranormal/scifi but not always. Although it’s rare, I do read some contemporary.


This week is: The Weight Of It All by N.R. Walker



After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.

He joins a gym.

Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.

As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.

Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.


Amazon link: