Archives for April 2014

Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Three books of a quartet: Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress by Marisa Meyer


Titles: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: fiction, fantasy
Format: book

Synopsis (from publisher):

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, Book 1)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2)

Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison—even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does—in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.

Cress (Lunar Chronicles, Book 3)

In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

My Review:

Wow… I came across Cinder while watching some book bloggers back in February. So many people were talking about it and let’s face it, the cover is really cool.  So I ordered it from BookOutlet for an amazing price.  I took it with me on my annual girl’s craft weekend in Jackson New Hampshire. I always bring a book to read before I go to bed.

I started reading Cinder (the first in the series) and found myself up hours later, totally engrossed. Now, this is a Young Adult fiction and I am past Young Adult in age but let me say that I thoroughly enjoy many books from this genre.  I don’t turn my nose up to a good story.

Ms. Meyer takes the story on a wild adventure while still keeping the basis of the story grounded in the traditional fairy tale, Cinderella.  I enjoyed the first book so much because it created the world with vivid descriptions.  I instantly liked the main character Cinder although a few times I don’t know why she didn’t make smarter choices.  I like that social issues (Like what defines being human.)  were intertwined with the story but weren’t being forced down your throat. I found myself going to my room while on my weekend away and reading a few chapters. I just wanted to know what would happen.

As in the Hunger Games, each book of this series end with a cliff hanger so you have to read the next book to find out what happens. What I also found fascinating is that Ms. Meyer took different fairy tales and found ways to link the books to each other. For example the first book is Cinderella, the second is Little Red Riding Hood and the third is Rapunzel and the next to be released is Snow White.

I really enjoyed this series and read them very fast. I think there was good character development in each book and just enough romance without ruining the story.  My favorite of the three would be Cinder because that is where Ms. Meyer created the world for us in such lovely detail.

I highly recommend this series. The only problem is that I have to wait for the final book, Winter which will be released in 2015.

I will be back with more reviews very soon.  I have been reading a lot lately and just need to sit down and write up some reviews.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My rating was 5 butterflies!


Happy Reading!


Silhouette Sunday #11: Silhouette Studio Software update 3.0.343 release

Hello Everyone!

Wow I almost missed Sunday! My boys are on vacation this week and my work schedule has been crazy so things are way off schedule. I was hoping to share some projects with you but they got pushed to the side to play with my boys.

I did want make sure I commented on the latest update to the Silhouette Software.  As you know from my previous post, I downloaded the update as soon as it was released. Many people were upset about many of the functionality that they come to rely on being removed from the first update.  For example the cut lines functionality was removed and you were forced to adapt to the new layers and line color feature. I am also a Photoshop Elements user so this wasn’t so foreign a concept.

The long and the short is that with in a month, Silhouette listened to all the complaints and now they released an update to the update which brought back many of the items that people missed. As a matter of fact,you can use it the same way and now all the new features are advanced options. So if you aren’t comfortable yet with the change you can keep doing what you have been doing.  Another complaint was that if you saved a file in the new version and a person using the Legacy (older version) software would not be able to open it. In the latest update, you can save for Lagacy use too.

I feel comfortable saying to update now, I think the biggest obstacle for some is getting used to the new user interface where many items are in different locations. But that will resolve itself the more you use it.

One thing I am liking a lot about the new release is that if your machine crashes or you close it without saving, the program automatically recovers the documents and when you open it again, it will give you the option to save them.  Loving that.

One thing that I think is brilliant about the layers feature is that if you buy a file with many components for example like the ones you get from SVG Cuts, you can leave them all on the mat and cut each component one by one on whatever color material you want without having to move each item on and off of the cutting mat. You just turn off the layer or cut by color and it saves you time and allows you to keep straight what you need to cut. Saves a lot of time.

I will continue to share more of the things I am liking as I explore the software.

Debbie H. on YouTube has three great videos that answers so many questions and helps to assure everyone that this new version is worth the installation:

Studio 3.0.34 Update Release

Studio 3.0.343 FAQs

Studio 3.0.343 Standard and Advance Cutting

Happy crafting!


Fun Photos Friday #23: Movie Theater Adventures


Hello everyone! Happy Friday!  I can’t believe how fast this week went by. It has been spring break for my boys and we had a pretty fun week. On Wednesday, I took them to lunch and then we went to the theater to see, “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”.  But when we got there, this amazing display was up for Rio 2.  I told the boys to pose for me. And I was definitely the crazy mom that made them wait until all the people were out of the shot.  I hate when you take a picture and there is a random person’s arm in the frame.  I love how both of them, despite my telling them to look at me are looking to the side. They both have the same fake smile and are looking out of the frame. I also love how their coats match the birds.

I am going to do some crafting this morning and then wrap up our Earth day crafts with the boys this afternoon.  I hope you all have a great weekend.


AC Moore Haul: Amazing paper sale

ACMooreApril2014aHello! I must first give you the background so that you will find me innocent in ‘the case of a craft shopaholic’!  Yesterday, I took the boys to lunch and to the movies.  I recently signed up for an online watercolor for cardmakers.  It sounded like something that can help expand my product offerings on Etsy. So I parked my car near AC Moore with the intention of buying one of the water color sets recommended on the syllabus.  However, on my way to the arts section, I saw this…A Managers’ Special. Those yellow labels popped and I looked and then I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy 12×12 pads of paper for $6.88.  That would simply be insane.  So I loaded one into my cart.  Then I turned and saw 6×6 pads being sold for $2.99.  I could not resist. They are what I use for my cards. So I loaded up the cart. Mind you, I have yet to reach the art section to pick up my watercolor set. After stuffing many pads in my cart, I managed to find the art section and locate the water color set.

ACMooreApril2014bSo that little watercolor set in the middle is what I originally went in for and the pile beneath is my actual purchase.

I have yet to get my video process ready so I thought I would share pictures of the pads of paper I selected and show you two of my favorite papers in each:


This pad has been around for a bit but for $2.99, I thought the time was right to add it to my collection. My two favorite papers in it are:

ACMooreApril2014e ACMooreApril2014fThe next paper pad I bought was the brand new Maggie Holmes ‘Style Board’.  I love the colors she uses on her papers.

ACMooreApril2014gMy favorite two papers are:

ACMooreApril2014h ACMooreApril2014iThe next pad of paper I bought was Front Porch by Pebbles.

ACMooreApril2014jMy favorite pages of this pad are:

ACMooreApril2014k ACMooreApril2014lI could see me using these little phrases on cards. My next paper pad that made it into my shopping cart is Studio Callico’s Wanderlust.

ACMooreApril2014mTheir products seem to be popping up everywhere. Here are my two favorite papers in this pad:

ACMooreApril2014n ACMooreApril2014o

I can see me wanting to ‘hoard’ this colored wood grain paper. The last 6×6 next paper pad is from Dear Lizzy’s Polka Dot Party.

ACMooreApril2014pI own some Dear Lizzy paper and this one will be a nice addition. My favorite papers in this pad (I bet you can guess one of them!):

ACMooreApril2014q ACMooreApril2014rYup..the butterflies paper and this one is so cute that can be used on Valentine’s or just a regular love themed card.

The 12 x 12 paper pad I selected at this amazing price was Dear Lizzy’s Day Dreamer.


My favorite two papers in this collection is:



I have something for the colored dots. They are so vibrant and who could resist the bicycles?

Ok… so what do you think? Crazy Shopaholic or Savvy Crafty Shopper? (And if my husband is reading, he should refrain from weigh in on the matter!)

Have a blessed day friends!



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