Archives for August 2015

Silhouette Sundays #18: Pencil Awards



Nicholas started a comic book club this year in our town. He calls it, The Doodling Club and each week the kids meet in the library to share the comics they are working on and help each other out.  He has been making comics for years now and I am so proud of his accomplishments this year.

When he told me that he was going to have a contest this summer and then have a meeting where they will meet and he will present awards for the winners, I just knew I had to find a way to incorporate my Silhouette. He said they were going to be called The Pencil Awards so I searched for a pencil cut file and found these cuties. It is called Pencil Candy Bar Sleeve (ID #90387)


These were perfect for inserting a Hershey bar inside them as an added bonus. I also printed up the recipient’s name and what award category they won on the reverse side of the pencils.
pencil3I just can’t get over how cute this file was and super easy to assemble.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer!


Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley


Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Copyright: April 28, 2015
Genre: fantasy
Format:book  Pages: 320

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.


My Thoughts:

I admit, I fell in love with the cover of this book before I even knew what it was about. Not only is the dust jacket beautiful but the hardcover is embossed with the feather and birds on a brilliant blue cover.  Just stunning. I always take the dust coat off when I read hardcover books and then replace when I am finished. I’m pretty sure this would be the reverse of purpose of dust jackets but that’s how I roll! So I have to say, I found myself looking at the cover while it was all over my house during my reading times.

This is my first bit of fantasy in a long while. Not including graphic novels. I fell into this story from the first page. It pulled me in to the mystery of what was wrong with this girl. I think the author did a great job of exploring the experience of a terminally ill person with little details.

I also enjoyed the development of the the two main characters, Aza and Jason. Their friendship was enviable. Of course they did through in a little bit of a love-triangle as most YA fiction seems to have but I didn’t mind it.

The world that Ms. Headley created in the sky was so amazing. I thought it was beautiful like the movie Avatar. Remember all the blue beings and the amazing jungle scenes. That is how pretty I believe Magonia to be.

I look forward to that follow-up book. This was a great summer read.  Light, engrossing, and fast.

I gave it 4 1/2 stars for all of the above reasons and just for the originality of this other world and beings.


Happy Reading!


Happy World Elephant Day!!!


Today is World Elephant Day! I had meant to have this post up this morning but it looks like I will not have a “normal” schedule until school begins in September.  In honor of World Elephant day I thought I would share a picture of some elephant cards I made earlier this year.  I have had a thing for elephants since I was a child and it just stuck with me.

adoptelephant1This year for my birthday I adopted two elephants (Tarra and Flora from The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. I learned about them after reading, “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult. A great book which I will post a review for soon.

adoptelephant2I can go online and see how they are doing. It’s a great program and elephants need our help today more than ever.

elephant_decor1I also began to look around my craft room and noticed I have lots of elephants hanging out in my room. I received these and the next ones as gifts from India.

elephant_decor2If you have time check out these links:

The Atlantic’s post.

IBT’s post regarding poaching.

Have a blessed day my friends!


Belinda’s Book Nook Book Review: Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home by Jessica Fechtor


Title: Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home
Author: Jessica Fechtor
Copyright: June 23rd 2015
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
Format: ARC, review-book, e-book Pages: 288

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

The beauty of reviewing for publishers is that I can select books that I think I would enjoy reading. When I saw the description for this book a few months ago, I knew it was a book for me. As I am getting older, I am finding I am focusing more energy on my health and what I put into my body. This book sounded like a remarkable true story that I felt might inspire me to continue to strive towards health.

What I found out was I quickly fell for the format of this book. Jessica oh so nicely weaves the most scrumptous recipes into her story that it seemed natural.  I found myself anxiously waited to see what yummy recipe she would share at the end of each chapter. It seems so fitting that her book would do this, for you instantly see the importance food, family and friends play in her life. At such a young age, she really seems to be wise beyond her years. She didn’t allow this awful event in her life to prevent her from seeing a new path and embracing it.

Being sick is suppose to come along with grand realizations about What Really Matters, but I don’t know. I think deep down, we’re already aware of what is important and what’s not…. we know. We just forget to know sometimes.

She talks about how near death experiences force us into a state of what she calls aggressive gratitude and how the big and the small come to the forefront and we are just grateful to be around to experience them. It reminds you to be in the present moment. This not to say that she had no worries which are from the past or future. But that we are meant to work through things while still being present.

Her descriptions of her interactions with food whether preparing a meal or hosting friends at her home for dinner, were Zen-like. She truly is in the moment of the experience.

I feel inspired by her to recapture my love of cooking and baking. I think somewhere between drop off, pick up, homework, and all of the other day to day things I have lost my joy with food preparation. While doing my recent cleanse, I felt a bit of that spark only for it to back away again now that I have completed the cleanse. This book pulls you into the present and makes you re-examine yourself in the process. It does a lovely job of exploring  her beautiful relationships with friends and family while keeping me the reader fully engaged.

I managed to copy several recipes out of the book and will definitely giving them a try.  Here is a list of a few that caught my eye:

  • Kim Boyce Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Louise’s Applie Pie
  • Whole Wheat Banana Bread
  • Italian Prune Plum Tart

Jessica has a well established food blog that I implore you to visit. You won’t regret it. Her blog is called Sweet Amandine

I really enjoyed this book and think you will two. I am giving it 4 1/2 butterflies. I hate that Goodreads doesn’t have half stars so I was forced to give it 4 stars there. I think this is a great book that explores many topics and leaves you feeling filled with joy.

Happy Reading!




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