Book Review – The Outsiders

Author: S.E. Hinton
Rating: 3.5 stars (on a scale of 1-5)

I don’t know if I’m emotionally ready to talk about this book yet. I finished it a few days ago, so hopefully enough time has passed for my heart to heal.

The Outsiders is a book written by S.E. Hinton. It tells the story of fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis and his group of greaser friends. I really enjoyed this book. The way Hinton wrote it is so natural feeling – it seems as if Ponyboy himself is talking directly to you and I love that in books. The characters are also very natural and life-like.

It’s a quick, easy read but very enjoyable. My thirteen-year-old sister read it a couple weeks ago and passed it to me when she finished, but I’m glad I didn’t read it when I was younger. The book at first glance seems very similar to the Baby-Sitters Club or the Boxcar Children with it’s group of kids and teens figuring out life. However, I was pleased when I found that it was a darker version of those other “coming of age” books. This book dives right into the division of society and the clashes between the classes. Although in the point of view of a young lower class member (called ‘greasers’), it shows a balanced attitude of both classes. Well, eventually.

Character developement is also very important. The narrator, Ponyboy, develops a lot in this book. Not only because he’s fourteen, but because of his situation. He’s seen some stuff. He’s been through some stuff. What he does in the book and why he does it is the result of what he’s been through.

Another thing I greatly appreciated was the way S.E. Hinton was able to get the reader to become emotionally attached to the characters. To me, if I’m not attached to the characters in any way, even if the plot is great, I most likely won’t enjoy the book. I love books that make me feel, make me laugh, make me cry. And this book did all of that. More crying than laughing, though. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will say that the ending is one of those where I just closed the book, sat back, and felt like my heart had just been ripped out and stomped on. In other words, the ending was great. 

Since this is my first book review, I want to know what you guys think. Did you like my review? Should I do more? Any book suggestions?

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Kitchen Musings & Bakery Names

This past year, I decided what I want to do with my life career-wise. I want a bakery business. That’s where a lot of my passion is. Yes, I love writing (and I will always be writer before baker), but it’s a shame writers don’t get paid very much, unless you’re a best selling author. I’m not at that level, unfortunately, so author is off the possible job list for me 🙁

But it’s okay! Because I have other passions! And baking is one of those. 

I love to bake. I really, really do. I love cooking as well, and both are so therapeutic. I could spend hours upon hours in the kitchen. It’s my favorite room in the house.

I’ve been wondering lately what it is about baking that I love so much. Is it the food itself? Is it because neither of my sisters like to bake, so they know to stay out of the kitchen otherwise I’ll put them to work? Well, because psychology is another subject I have a passion for, I had to analyze why I love baking as much as I do.

My love of baking, I found, most likely stems from my insatiable need to serve and help others. A few years ago, I noticed in myself that I love to serve people. At eleven years old, you know what my dream job was? Waitress. I wanted to be a waitress for the longest time, and I still do. So I want need to help people. It doesn’t matter what kind of help; if I see someone suffering, I feel that suffering deep in my own heart and I just needed to help. If I see someone with an empty glass the dinnertable, I get up and refill it without thinking. And so upon taking the personality test and learning I’m an INFJ, I immediately knew I wanted to be a psychologist (funny sidenote: my autocorrect decided it knew what it was doing and changed ‘psychologist’ to ‘psychopath’; “So, do you know what you want to be when you grow up?” “Yes, I want to be a pyschopath.” 😝😝)

And I really, really wanted to be a therapist. It was the perfect job for me.

Until I learned I had to go to college for nine years. I can barely make it through four years of high school; and in college, I’ll just have to do high school all over again – but for longer!

So that’s out. I’m sad about that; two of my dream jobs, my hopes of becoming them squashed. Well, the waitress thing is still a possibility and will most likely happen.

I started baking more. Not a lot of eating, just baking. When I bake, I don’t have an appetite for the sweets and treats I’m making. Not that they don’t taste good; believe me, they do. It’s just being around baked goods a lot, for some reason, has lowered the intensity of my sweet tooth. It’s seems counter-intuitive, but my love of baking is not because of the end result. It’s the process itself I love.

I get this rush of joy and fulfillment when I serve someone a piece of cheesecake that they enjoy. I don’t mind clearing the table after dinner, or fetching someone an extra glass of water. It’s my purpose. It’s my job. That’s what I want to do. 

Okay, so I’m rambling. I didn’t intend to make this post very long, but that just goes to show that writing is my outlet and all my feelings pour out when I put words together.

Here’s what I really wanted to talk about in this post. Last night I was brainstorming bakery names.

One of the suggestions given by my parents was “Kayla’s Kakes.”

The mistake in grammar alone would drive me crazy, not to mention that I don’t like my nickname Kayla very much. 

I was kind of in a silly mood (it was almost 10pm), so I was making puns from bands and songs. I wanted to share a few of them.

  • twenty øne pies
  • Panic! At the Mixer
  • My Cupcake Romance
  • Fall Out Brownies
  • One Confection
  • Bread Sheeran (I was cracking up when I thought of this one)

And then I was making up some songs too:

  • ‘Fried’ by twenty øne pies
  • ‘Heavydirtybowl’ by twenty øne pies
  • ‘I Bake Sweets Not Disasters’ by Panic! At the Mixer

Yeah I was really tired 🤣

Right Now – January 2017

Hey everyone!

This post is the first of a monthly series. I saw a few other blogs do these kinds of posts, where they update about what’s happening in their lives, what they’re currently reading, and so on. I thought it was a great idea and I want to do a series like that too. Here the first post!

Guess what I got in the mail the other day! 

My favorite book, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury! I read this book in ninth grade and it instantly stole first place of my favorite books. I love the concept, the dystopian future, and it never ceases to interest me. It’s the book that sparked the idea for my own book, Before the Clock Strikes Zero

Favorite recipe right now? Uh, definitely cheesecake. It’s a simple, NY style cheesecake with graham cracker crust, but oh so delicious. It’s so rich and heavenly. 

Music! Oh it’s been amazing! My favorite artist currently is twenty-øne piløts, with Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco in the second, third and fourth places. Favorite album is ‘Vessel’ by tøp. I found Tyler Joseph’s album from when he was nineteen, ‘No Phun Intended’. It’s been on repeat, and some of my favorite lyrics come from this album. I wish it was on Spotify, along with Regional At Best 😞

Writing. Ok, well, BCSZ has been kinda pushed to the back burner for awhile. Not that I have writer’s block. I don’t. I’ve gotten plenty of attacks by plot bunnies (one of my friend’s favorite writer sayings; I’ve picked it up from her), but I haven’t had the time to sit down and have a serious writing session. And I haven’t worked on my second book, Burning Embers, in months. 

It’s shameful, I know, and I hope to be back to writing soon.
Speaking of being busy, here’s why: since I’m homeschooled, I have to opportunity to graduate high school next year at sixteen years old. All I have to do is take four Regents exams. So life has been studying, studying, studying. Not. Fun. At. All. But at least I’ll be done with high school and I’ll have a bunch of useless knowlege floating around in my head.

      Well, that’s my life right now. What’ve you guys been up to?

      He Broke His Leg When He Was Six…


      If you heard the news earlier this week, you know exactly what I’m talking about. After a year off, Ed Sheeran informed his fans that he is coming back, with new music. Today is that day.
      Ed Sheeran released two new singles this morning around 12:30 am. I was up, waiting in anticipation. As soon as I opened Spotify, all I saw was Ed Sheeran. I immediately listened to ‘Castle on the Hill’. Within the first two seconds, I was in love with the Celtic sound. I was not disappointed with this song at all. I’ve already lost count of how many times I’ve listened to it. 

      ‘Shape of You’ is more like a slower ‘Sing’, in my opinion, with it’s dance club sound. Still good, but not the acoustic sound I was hoping for. I do love it though. 

      The two tracks are already at the top of the iTunes charts, which isn’t surprising. Everyone loves Ed Sheeran!

      S’mores Cupcakes


      If you know me, you know I don’t like summer. I don’t like the heat, and the beach isn’t my first choice of a hang-out place. However, my dislike for summer does not include food that is usually associated with the season. Of course it wouldn’t. I love food all year round, whether it’s summer or winter related. 

      I think it’s safe to say that most people associate S’mores with summer. Being with friends around a campfire, roasting marshmallows is what most people enjoy during summer.

      I love S’mores. I can only eat one or two (three at most, and only if I want to be sick that night), but I savor each bite. Have you ever tried putting a Reeces peanut butter cup in place of the chocolate? Mmmmm, so good!

      Anyway, we can all agree that S’mores are definitely a favorite summertime treat. But what happens when it gets too cold to sit out there, roasting marshmallows? Well, you certainly could withstand the winter and make traditional campfire S’mores. And who am I to stop you? If I get the craving strong enough, you bet I’d be out there. The cold never bothered me anyway, as a Disney queen likes to put it.

      But what if I told you that you could get the S’mores flavor without freezing, trying to make a fire? I’m sure I’m not the first to tell you, but there is a way.

      And what better way than…. cupcakes?!

      No campfire necessary.

      S’mores Cupcakes

      Serves 12

      Ingredients:

      • 1 stick butter
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 egg
      • 1 tsp vanilla
      • 1 cup milk
      • 1 cup AP flour
      • 1/2 tsp baking powder
      • 1/8 tsp baking soda
      • 3/4 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs plus 1/4 cup for topping
      • 1 cup marshmallow fluff (or as much as you need to frost the cupcakes)
      • 4 Hershey chocolate bars

      Equipment:

      • Muffin pan
      • 1 piping bag (you could use a disposable one, but because the marshmallow fluff is so sticky, I think a resusable bag is better. I used a vinyl bag from Wilton)
      • Piping tip 2A (the frosting doesn’t need to be fancy)
      • a kitchen torch

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. 
      2. Stir together the dry ingredients. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix. Then add the milk and the second half of the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
      3. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick. Using a small cookie scoop (a regular spoon works fine though), scoop and drop the batter in each cavity. They should be filled almost completely, about 3/4 full. 
      4. Break a few chocolate squares in half and place one on top of  each cupcake. Smooth the batter over the chocolate.
      5. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned ontop and then let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Prepare the piping bag with the marshmallow fluff and pour the remaining 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs into a small bowl.
      6. When cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe about a tablespoon onto the top of each cupcake. Using a butter knife, swirl the fluff around, making sure to cover the entire top of the cupcakes.
      7. Dip each cupcakes in the graham crumbs, rotating so that only the outer edges of the tops are covered. 
      8. Using a kitchen torch, brown the top of the marshmallow fluff.
      9. Top with a Hershey square and enjoy!

      Note: These are not the best cupcakes to have leftover. They’re not pretty and the fluff kind of melts and runs down the side. But on the bright side, they look more like traditional S’mores – sticky and messy but still so good. Also, I made mini cupcakes. If you are using a mini muffin tin, reduce the bake time to 10-15 minutes instead.