chocolate

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The Fangirl’s Guide to Navigating Life, Vol. 2

Published May 5, 2017 by Ashley Townsend

The Fangirl’s Guide to Navigating Life, Vol. 2:

Surviving a Series Ender

You’re incredibly excited about a new series, devour every book in the same week it releases, and proudly display every piece of book-swag you received for your dedication. And as you’re shedding joyous tears over the last page of the story and thinking about what new pins to add to your character boards, it suddenly hits you: That’s it, there are no more books left in the series. You’ve read them all like a manic without considering the fact that one day they would come to an end. Now all you’re left with is the memories of the story and a future that stretches out before you like a dark abyss.

shock horror.gif

brain is crying

We’ve all been there, although maybe your experience wasn’t quite as dramatic as this. But that’s neither here nor there.

It’s okay to hide in a dark hole for a short time and hope that the author decides to write another book in the series, but let’s be real: YOU NEED SUNLIGHT! And a shower, and food, and to give your cramping hands a break after holding a book for so long (most commonly obtained from books by Cassandra Claire and Sarah J. Maas). To help you overcome the tragedy that is the conclusion of a fabulous series—the pain, the agony, the tears!!—I’ve created a list of a few tried and true techniques to help you move past the crushing disappointment of the end of a book era. Because, seriously, you need emotional support after this.

feelings

-Feast on chocolate and/or (but especially “and”) ice cream

. . . . I’m sorry, is an explanation even necessary? I think not!!!!!

-Buy a shock blanket

shock blanket

Trust me, you’re going to need this

Drink all the coffee!!

For staying awake to search the online fandom pages and Pinterest boards to feel closer to the characters after it’s over. Better yet, just buy a plantation so you can grow your own beans. It’s a worthy investment.

Find a fandom candle

captain hook candle

In the Wick of Time and Flickering Fandoms make amazing candles inspired by so many different books and characters. You’ll fall in love and be reminded of your favorite characters every time you smell it!

-Music, baby

Accept the fact that “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. and Simon and Gafunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” are a part of life now. (Best paired along with the shock blanket and candle, also tested by me.)

-Create a Pinterest Board

 

napoleon dynamite typing

Strange as it seems, searching the web for images that inspire memories of the books-gone-by makes you feel like the characters haven’t left you entirely and helps with the healing process.

And the most important I’ve-lost-my-way technique:

-BUY A NEW BOOK!!!

richard excited face

Trust me, the best way to get over the end of an amazing series is to wash the tears from your face, swap out those Nutella-stained sweatpants for some jeans, and get back in the bookstore. You never know what magic awaits you! *hums the tune to “Back in the Saddle Again”*

Wintery Orange Mocha

Published December 5, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

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Happy December! Even though it isn’t nearly as chilly as I would like it to be, I was craving a wintery Orange Mocha and made up a batch last night. As always, I played with this recipe a bit and love the addition of cloves and the cinnamon stick because they add so much extra flavor. I also made my Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti the other day to go with it. I forgot to pick up cranberries and really wanted some extra pizzaz, so I added a ½ tsp of orange zest to go better with the mocha, and boy was that a tasty experiment! So put on your favorite Christmas CD, grab a pair of freaky animal slippers, and snuggle up while you enjoy this tasty spin on your typical hot cocoa. Who knows? Maybe this recipe will turn into a Christmas morning tradition for you.

1 orange, washed

5 C strong coffee, leaded or unleaded (note: you sacrifice flavor if you make it too light!)

7 cloves (the whole thing! They sort of look like tiny wooden screws, if you aren’t sure)

1 whole cinnamon stick

½ C unsweetened cocoa powder

½ C brown sugar (you can substitute ¼ C of it for honey)

½ tsp ground cinnamon (for more flavor, leave the stick in longer, don’t add more pwd!)

½ tsp vanilla

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Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the orange in wide strips; it makes it easier to remove them from the pan later on. In a saucepan, combine peels, cloves, cinnamon stick, and coffee; let stand over medium heat for 5 minutes. Discard orange peel, cloves, and cinnamon stick using either a sieve or a slotted spoon.

  

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together cocoa powder, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. Whisk into coffee to combine.

 

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Stir in cream and vanilla; the vanilla sometimes gets bitter if added earlier (also, you would add the honey in this step, if using as a substitute). If you have one, you can use an immersion blender to froth the mixture. Ladle into mugs and top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a curled orange peel. Works best as a hot drink. Serve with my Chocolate Cranberry—and orange!—Biscotti. And best of all, relax.    

Favorite Summer Things

Published August 1, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

Happy summer! This year, I finally decided to do something with my free time and thought I should share some of my favorite summer things with you all. Here’s a list of the things and activities that really made me smile this season, and I’ll be adding to it in the future as the summer progresses. Print this list out and check things off as you go to make your summer a little more interesting, and especially don’t be afraid to try something new. I’m having a blast doing just that!

-Find a view you cannot live without

-Facetime with a CCBFA (Crazy Cool Best Friend Always) and spend hours chatting and laughing over absolutely nothing.

-Bowl with some of your favorite people, where hanging out is more important than a perfect score … Thank goodness!

-Watch a summer sunset

-Get a caffeine buzz from Joe Macchiato’s caramel macchiato. Ah, dearest Joe (whose real name shall remain a secret!), your macchiatos are the carameliest. *Sigh*

-Write in a journal for hours with a trusty feather quill and purple ink. You make life more beautiful, Mr. Quill.

-Try a new summer food

-Iced coffee in the afternoon on the veranda … or backyard.-Discover a new book series.

-Go to the movie theater with your favorite people.

It’s a girl’s prerogotive.

-Eat gobs of chocolate dishes—chocolate chip cookies, cold chocolate silk pie, chocolate peanut butter frosting. Yummm.

-Evening strolls with trusty companion—dog or iguana, whichever behaves on a leash.

-Stalk newly-discovered authors on Goodreads and read every book and novel of theirs.

-Brainstorm. Doesn’t matter for what.

-Read non-stop

-Write a blog ~__^

-Read at Starbucks over a delicious latte or macchiato.

                                     -Wander used bookstore

-Discover new favorite cupcake shop next to said bookstore, and try the mint chocolate cupcake from the Cupcake in Santee. A-mazing!

-Search the Internet for pictures of the “cast” of favorite new book (yesterday I selected the cast for “Rising Shadows” and have them on my Pinterest, townsendideas. So fun!)

-Listen to music and create playlists for your favorite books

-Clean out your closest. It feels so good, and you might also discover forgotten cash.

-Classic movie night with the girls (Emma was last night)

-Master the art of wax sealing to add a “special” touch to hand-written letters.

-Give an old childhood activity a try—hula-hooping, hopscotch, freeze tag, etc.

-Watch a Jane Austen flick at night on a laptop with your sister/friend. Eat a bowl of cherries and popcorn, drink tea from china teacups, light a delicious smelling candle, and enjoy the show. (Developing English accents for the entire evening is optional.)

-Belt out a very popular new tune on the radio with the car windows rolled down at a STOP sign. Ignore strange looks you receive. Proceed.

-Don’t sweat the little things

-Spin in circles and dance in the rain, regardless of whether or not people can see you. Just enjoy the moment.

-Stop, Breathe, Relax, Smile, Move Along.

-Repeat

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