Scotti’s Favorite Cupcake Recipe

Can you spot the *secret* ingredient? If you want to check out the book you can go here.

Have a great weekend. 😀

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It’s all in the translation – British to American Terms Cheat Sheet

I thought it would be fun to do a cheat sheet that takes British terms/slang and converts to its American counterpart.  I think I got a little carried away because the list turned out to be huge.  And not too pretty.  Anyway, for lovers of trivia, and maybe even a few Brit writers here you go.  Annie

FOOD / FOOD RELATED
British American
Chips fries
Crisps chips
Bangers sausage
Biscuit cookie
Courgette zucchini
Aubergine eggplant
Jacket potato baked potato
Sweets candy
Ice lolly popsicle
Treacle molasses
Spud potato
Pudding dessert (pudding is one of many desserts in America, maybe you call it custard?)
Peckish hungry
Takeaway take-out or carry-out (or by its name “Chinese” “Italian” “Thai”)
Tin can
Cooker stove, cooktop, range
Eating Irons Cutlery, flatware, silverware, silver, table ware
LOCATIONS
Lounge Living room, great room
Garden Yard (although we often have gardens in our yards)
Pub bar, watering hole (if it’s bad it might be called a dive)
Flat apartment
High street main street
Loo bathroom / restroom / washroom/ head/john
Underground subway
Pitch field
Car park parking lot, parking structure
Motorway highway / freeway / expressway / interstate
Pavement sidewalk
Zebra crossing crosswalk
Snail Home Motor home,  trailer, RV, camper
Railway railroad
Cinema (at the) or (go to the) movies
Supermarket grocery store
Shop store
Lift Elevator
Phone box phone booth (although these are pretty rare in the U.S. these days)
CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES
Trainers sneakers, kicks
Jumper sweater
Waistcoat vest
Braces suspenders
Nappy diaper
Dummy pacifier / binkie
Kit uniform
Bum bag fanny pack
Trousers pants, slacks
Pants men’s underwear/briefs /boxers / shorts
Knickers ladie’s underwear/panties/briefs/ thong
VEHICLES / VEHICLE RELATED
Bonnet hood
Windscreen windshield
Indicator blinker/ signal
Boot trunk
Road surface pavement /blacktop/ road
Diversion detour
Lorry truck
Petrol gas
Flyover overpass / freeway bridge
Number plate license plate / tags
Artic semi truck, 18-wheeler,  big rig
FURNITURE / FURNITURE RELATED
Telly TV / television / boob tube
Settee couch or sofa
Hoover vacuum cleaner /  vac
Wardrobe closet
Secretray desk
Bin trash can / garbage can
PEOPLE
Justices of the Supreme Court Judge (only Justices of the Supreme Court are called Justices)
My Lord Your Honor
Mum mom, mommy, mama, ma
Dustman garbage collector / garbage man
Barrister attorney / lawyer
Copper cop / police / law enforcement
Postman mail carrier / mailman / mail person
Mate friend, buddy, girlfriend, boyfriend, bud, pal, gal pal
PHRASES / OCCASIONS
Holiday vacation
Brilliant great, cool, awesome, wonderful
Cheeky smartass, wiseguy / smarting off
Mad crazy / nuts / insane
Right OK
Kip Sleep, snooze, nap
Nick steal, lift, swipe
Arse/bum ass, butt, behind
Ta thanks
Taking the biscuit takes the cake
Uni/University College, Grad School
Wanker jerk, asshole, son of a bitch
Yonks ages, long time, month of Sundays
Rubbish Bullshit, BS
Pear-shaped disaster, a wreck, trainwreck, fubar (fucked up beyond all recognition)
Pissed drunk, hammered, wasted
Wag off To waste time, dick around, fuck off, screw off
Bollocks Bullshit, BS
Brassed off pissed off, angry, mad
Cock up screw up, mess up, make a mistake
Dodgy suspicious, questionable, not to be trusted
Knackered tired, beat, worn out, done in, exhausted
Posh high class, pricey, expensive, classy
Fortnight two weeks, couple of weeks
Skint broke, tapped, penniless, flat broke
MISCELLANEOUS
Timetable schedule
Rubber eraser
Post mail
Queue line
Torch flashlight
Mobile cell
Football soccer
Zed zee
Full stop period
Postal code zip code
Fag smoke / ciggie / cigarette
Protectives condoms / rubbers
Rubbish trash, garbage

Feel free to add to the list…


 

Writer Chick Predicts 2018

I’m back again to make my predictions for the coming year. I figure if I keep at it, I’ll get something right eventually. And now for the predictions…

  1. Donald Trump will remain president, despite talk of impeachment, congressional hearings, or a secret love affair with Putin.
  2. Mike Pence will stay awake during the entire State of the Union address.
  3. The new tax bill will help everyone – even those who don’t pay taxes and the Democrats will somehow get the credit for this.
  4. Psychiatry will ‘discover’ a new mental illness for those addicted to Game of Thrones. The affliction will be called, Throne Watchers Syndrome or TWS, or even just GOTcha for short. The pharma industry will happily devise a new drug for the affliction.
  5. Weather will continue despite laws to the contrary – including, rain, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, shifts in tides, and autumn leaves.
  6. OJ Simpson will get a new reality TV show geared toward solving cold cases. His first case will be finding out who really killed his ex wife.
  7. Siri and Alexa will increase their skill sets to include ‘smart babysitting services’ for work at home moms and dads.
  8. Unlike GMO vegetables, cloned meat will become all the rage among non-meat eaters and vegans who still crave cheeseburgers
  9. A ‘smart home’ will take its first hostage and carry on a 20-day siege with law enforcement until authorities locate a heretofore unknown super hero computer nerd who can disarm it. Years later the incident will become known as, “The House that Jack Unbuilt.”
  10. Cardigan sweaters will finally come forward and level sexual harassment charges against Mr. Rogers.
  11. Current California governor Gerry (moonbeam) Brown will find yet another loophole that allows him to run for a 4th term. When he wins, the remaining 20 Republicans who still reside in the state will move to Texas.
  12. Smartphones will continue to be smarter than their owners and get ever closer to world domination and becoming the overlords of all.
  13.  Tobacco will be compeltely outlawed in California and weed will be legalized – ensuring that the Democrats will maintain their super majority in the state for decades to come.
  14. Firebrand politician Ted Cruz will start his own line of soups called Ted’s Dinner and the line will become wildly popular in Texas.
  15. Nancy Pelosi will get yet another facelift and finally completely erase her face.
  16. Barnes and Nobels will become an organic grocery store that also sells books and umbrellas.
  17. Mark Coker will finally rewrite the style guide for Smashwords so that even a human being can understand it.
  18. Hugh Howey will author a new reality TV show called Wool Suit. It won’t involve silos but might involve sheep herders.
  19. Chuck Wendig will resolve to stop swearing. This resolution will last until some f*cktard pisses him off on his blog.
  20. In several states around the nation, it will snow on New Year’s Day.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. What do you think will happen in 2018? Regale us with your prediction prowess in the comments. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and have a very Happy New Year.

Annie

 

 

 

When I try to reflect, why do I think this?

2017 is coming to a close and can I just say, thank gawd!? Speaking for myself the year was a real dumpster fire. But as I reflect on the coming year and the things I’d like to accomplish, weird, random thoughts just keep popping into my head, like flies at a picnic. Like…

  1. When did emoticons become emojis? Who changed it? What’s the difference?
  2. Why don’t they have an ‘awwwwww’ button on Facebook?
  3. Shouldn’t Twitter have birdie like sound effects? I mean, their logo is a bird, right?
  4. Why isn’t there an app that makes your keyboard sound like a typewriter?
  5. Why do Siri and Alexa both scare the bageebers out of me – a box that speaks and acts as if alive?
  6. How come people do so many stupid things with smart phones?
  7. My dog sleeps 20 hours a day, why does she still yawn?
  8. Why are GIFs so addictive?
  9. Can you get hung over by too much exposure to political posts on Facebook?
  10. Why is my not-so-smart phone drunk dialing people in the middle of the night while I’m asleep?
  11. Is scrapple technically a food?
  12. Will I ever actually be able to figure out how to get a print version of my books before I die?
  13. Why do I laugh whenever I hear someone say, President Trump?

The good news I suppose is that I still have thoughts of any kind. Here’s hoping 2018 will inspire better thoughts.

Annie

Oh (Ugly) Christmas Tree

So I was talking to my BFF Jenny the other day and we got on the subject of ugly Christmas trees. When I was a kid, my mother loved those horrible fake aluminum trees that came in a myriad of colors.

So for fun, we started googling ugly Christmas trees. There are millions of them – and we were laughing so hard that we were both gasping for air. So, I though, why not share. We can all use a laugh right? And maybe, just maybe they’ll bring back some funny Christmas memories for you as they did for me:

 

And while perusing the trees I couldn’t help but notice the ugly Christmas clothing, which also got me laughing my merry little butt off:

And if you haven’t had enough, perhaps it’s time to up your game to a full on Christmas suit.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Love,

Annie

Free or Almost Free Things to do During the Holidays That Won’t Stress You Out

I don’t know about you but I am so over, stressing myself out because of Christmas. Worrying about the perfect gifts, the perfect meal, the perfect venue just guarantees your holiday is gonna be stressed.

To this day, I remember childhood Christmases where my mother was so intent on creating the perfect everything that she was utterly miserable by the time the day arrived. It still makes me sad that because she tried so hard to make Christmas wonderful for everyone else that she missed the joy herself.

Christmas is the time for family, fun, and reflection.

I offer the following ideas as some easy but fun and peace inducing activities to indulge in this holiday season.

Collect pine cones. They are everywhere. Even here in Southern California we have lots of pine trees. They come in all sizes, smell wonderful, are great fire starters for the fireplace, and make great elements in decorating and craft projects. Plus the walking in the cool air and doing something as simple as collecting pine cones will give your mind and body time to breathe and relax.

Tour the neighborhood for light displays. When the weather turns cold we tend to shelter inside and we tend to eat heavier foods too. Why not bundle up after dinner with the kids, a friend, or your special someone and do a little walking tour of the neighborhood lights. In my neighborhood, we have quite a few people who go all out and something about sparkling lights or entire Santa Workshops shining in the night makes the air feel magical. Plus you burn a few of those Christmas cookies off while you’re at it.

Baking parties/cookie swaps. I love the idea of baking parties and if you have a big kitchen or a friend has, that’s definitely something that can be fun do with some friends. Especially if you have a nice bottle of wine or mulled cider. But you can also work out a cooperative with friends and family. Instead of making all the many treats and dishes you make every year, get with some friends or family members and work out swaps. You make the sugar cookies, your sister makes the pumpkin loaves, your mom the jello mold and so on. It’s actually easier to make a lot of one thing that a little of a lot of things. And when it comes time to swap it’s fun.

Sign up for Book Bub or Instafreebie and get some free books to read by the fire. The colder weather also makes people slow down and want to curl up with a good book. Book Bub and Instafreebie (as well as other sites) are free to sign up for and you can choose from free and discounted books (from traditional best sellers to brand new indie authors) to download. All you need after that is some warm fuzzy socks and a mug of hot chocolate.

Christmas movie cooperative/marathon. Personally, I have a huge collection of Christmas movies and there is at least a few days during the holiday season that I want to just watch sweet Christmas movies. Work out a little lending library among friends and family to share your Christmas movies. Or just cook up some popcorn and hot chocolate and host a Christmas movie marathon. You can even make it a potluck.

Take winter photos. We’ve all seen them – those beautiful winter wonderland photos that all seem to possess some magic in them. Why not create some of your own? Grab your phone or your camera and just take a walk. Find something that strikes your eye and take few snaps at different angles. You get some fresh air, burn a few calories and come home with some possibly beautiful photos that you can use in holiday cards or as prints. Free online photo editing sites like Canva, iPiccy, and Pxlr can help you further enhance and design with your photos.

Share a little bit of yourself. I know I know, we’re all so busy with everything during the holidays but don’t forget your elderly neighbors or family members who can’t get out much. Offer to shovel their sidewalk. Make an extra batch of cookies or increase that soup recipe and bring it to a shut in or local shelter. Or offer to read at the community center or local library. Giving of yourself really costs so little and can mean so much to another person.

What are you reading?

I’m reading ABOVE SUSPICION by Joe Starky. True crime story about how an FBI Agent lost his way in the biggest way possible.

Also this month I’ve read…

Bone Baby by Diane M. Dixon

Ghost Writers in the Sky by Anne R Allen

And I’m happy to say I can recommend all of them.

So…what are you reading? Anything super good, fun, interesting, or different? Leave the link in the comments so we can check it out.

Phew just one more day til the weekend! Have a good one.

Annie

 

Tips, Tricks, and Little Known Halloween Facts…

Hey kids, it’s been quite a while since I did a whole big resource post but Halloween is always a fun  holiday,  so let the tips and tricks begin.

The facts

  • Halloween has its origins in Celtic, Wiccan and even Catholic traditions and celebrations. Most of which were meant to celebrate the end of the growing season, the coming of winters and the thin line between the living and the dead.
  • The celebration was a blend of All Saints Day, the Celtic celebration of Samhain, and the Roman festival Feralia.
  • The custom of putting lights in carved vegetables came from the pre-Christian Druids in northern Celtic lands. Before and during Druidic ceremonies practitioners hung a carved and lighted turnip around their necks as a “spirit guide” to get them safely through the dangerous procedures, which sometimes included human sacrifice.
  • By the 19th century, most of the religious aspects of the Halloween celebration were gone and became mostly a secular holiday that was more about dressing up in costume for fun and entertainment than confusing the dead and warding off spirits.
  • The tradition of ‘trick or treating’ in America is believed to have originated with Irish immigrants who brought with them the Halloween tradition of going door to door looking for sweets and other treats.
  • Many believed (perhaps still do) that Halloween is a pagan celebration of witchcraft. Among the traditions that seemed ‘witch like’ are –
    • Young women could determine her future spouse by staring into a mirror in a darkened room or by peeling an apple in one long strip and then casting the peel over her shoulder.
    • Baking small coins, trinkets, and a single, plain ring into a type of fruit cake that would be shared among the neighbors. If you got a trinket in your piece – that was your fate for the coming year, with the person who got the ring destined to wed.
  • Some Christian faiths still maintain that Halloween encourages witchcraft and hold “Hell Houses” meant to scare children and young adults away from the traditions and to lead them back to the church. Some even go so far as to hand out pamphlets on Halloween night to be found when kids go through their candy.

Halloween Safety Tips

Costumes:

Dressing up in costume is one of the more fun aspects of the holidays but some costumes can be problematic. The following tips might help prevent costume malfunction:

  1. With kids’ costumes you want to avoid choking hazards. Look over the outfit and accessories for anything that can be pried off or favored as a teething toy for a baby. Details such as buttons, beads, sequins, or other baubles meant to be decorations may need to be removed or given a couple extra stitches to ensure they remain intact.
  2. Make sure costumes don’t obstruct your view, including peripheral vision.
  3. Dragging hemlines can cause tripping and be caught in machinery, fences, gates and car doors. Hem costumes so your child won’t trip herself or others.
  4. Also check tags to see what kind of fabric is used. You or your child may have an allergic reaction to synthetic fabrics, or they may cause chafing if fabric is rough and your child does a significant amount of walking in it.
  5. Always ensure that the fabric of your costume is proofed against catching fire.
Trick-or-Treating:
  1. Make sure youngsters have flashlights and/or some sort of reflective tape adhered to their costume when going door to door.
  2. Make sure they are wearing appropriate footwear for walking and weather conditions.
  3. Organize it so that children travel in groups, and have a buddy system in place. Do not move from one house to the next until all kids are accounted for.
  4. Be extra careful crossing the streets, though drivers may be trying to be careful the streets will have more than usual foot traffic and accidents still happen.
  5. If you are driving on Halloween during trick or treating hours, be extra vigilant and keep your eyes on the road. If you need to break up an argument between your kids over whose candy is whose, pull over and work it out rather than looking away from the road.
  6. Never let the kids consume any of the candy from their bags until an inspection has been done. Check to ensure that wrappers and packaging is still sealed properly, wash and cut fruit such as apples before consumption, and check baked good as well. If you are in doubt about any item it is better to throw it away than take a chance.

 Halloween Recipes

Meringue bones and skulls

Easy roasted pumkin seed recipe

Watch this vid to see how to make “dirt pudding”

Halloween Laughs

If you’re in the mood for something punny – check this site for some groan worthy jokes

Halloween Games

Need some games for your Halloween party?

And if you happen to be staying home tonight with no particular plans, check out this movie trailer. Who knew Helen Mirren could be so scary? LOL!

Have a ghoulish good Halloween and don’t forget to save me some candy. Caramels and Hershey’s Chocolate, please. 😉

Annie  

HAPPY LABOR DAY – LET’S HAVE A PICNIC..OR SOMETHING…

It’s sad I suppose that summer is on its way out and well Labor Day is the punctuation mark that heralds the end of the season.

Did you know that in a galaxy long ago and far far away that there was this rule that you mustn’t wear white after Labor Day?

So what’s on the menu for your Labor Day picnic – fried chicken, two maybe three kinds of potato salad, sandwiches and lemonade? In that case, these recipes are sure to please.

And don’t forget the cocktails

If  you’re planning to stay home and do some serious binge watching on Netflix or Amazon Prime, check out Ray Donovan, Bosch, Luther, Gilmore Girls Reboot, House of Cards, The Man in the High Castle, all the Star Trek iterations and more…

If you want to get out and about and live in the L.A. area check out the top weekend events, fairs, festivals, fun in the sun and lots of eats

Or just stay home in your jim-jams and read a good mystery

Whatever you plan to do or not do as the case may be – be well, be happy, and be safe.

And say a little prayer for our firefighters out here in CA, presently working 24/7 to knock down the La Tuna Canyon fires – and our friends struggling with the havoc of Hurricane Harvey.

 

Annie