Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy and Goals Update

I've been holding off on this post, with the hope that I would be more crafty and actually have artwork to share with you.  Weeks have gone by and I still haven't posted my goal update from February!  Yikes!!  So, nothing crafty today, though I do hope to have more birthday cards in the near future.

With Borders closing this last year, {very sad} I got mostly Barnes and Noble gift cards for Christmas.  I love to read and you all know I love paper.  So of course my first choice will ALWAYS be to have a physical book.  But after I got an iPhone and iPad, I did download the Kindle and Nook apps.  I actually prefer the Kindle app...more user friendly and books seem to be cheaper.  But since I had gift cards to use, I've done more reading in my Nook app.  Review wise though, I've seen that The Nook does come out a little on top of the Kindle in actual readers/tablets.  I use my iPad more for email and checking all parts of Sparkle Creations so I needed much more functionality than a reader...otherwise I would of gone that route.

I typically don't like to read multiple books at once.  But I read a lot when I take baths and for obvious reasons, I won't read with anything electronic in there.  I will admit I've dropped a couple of paperbacks in the tub, lol.  So, I'm reading my Myron Boltair series in paperback (I just started #3) at night and I finished the Hunger Games trilogy digitally while working out.  I am now reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

This type of read isn't the norm for me...but I'm one of those weird people who must read the book - watch the movie type.  Overall, I thought they were good books.  Lots of violence, politics, cruelty, and killing, so it may not be your thing.  It's not gory though and it's written for teens, so the reading is actually quite easy.  My recap is going to be pretty vague, as I read all 3 books back to back really quickly.  I don't want to spoil the ending of Book 3 for those who haven't read any of the series yet. 

Each year, every district sends in a boy and girl between the ages of 12-18 into the hunger games.  They fight to kill and the last one alive is crowned the winner.  Katniss's younger sister gets drawn to go into the games, so Katniss decides to take her place.  This trilogy is about her fighting her way through the games, being a rebel against the Capitol, figuring out who she really is, what side she's really fighting for, and who she really loves. 

Though Brent would never want to watch anything like this, he's being a good sport and is taking me to the movies this weekend to see it.  Since this takes place in the future, I expected people to look more like they do in The Fifth Element, lol.  But I will let you all know later what I think about the movie. 

  • Assistant Manager Workshop
  • Vault Teller Training - Canadian
  • Technical Writing Class
No progress in February so far with these 'big' projects, but my job is never dull. I've been doing updates for Washington loan changes and teaching class.

Sparkle Creations
  • Get new wholesale accounts
  • Add third stamp line to the store
  • Sales goal for each month - January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
  • More efficient in costs
  • Teach card classes
I have still been busy with the tail end of CHA and wholesale orders. Exhibiting at CHA was totally worth the money and effort. I just hope to balance this out with everything else I have going on.

  • Take Yoga classes
  • More efficient in costs - January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
  • Project Life
  • Utilize my iPhone
  • Visit my mom's grave

I went over on my monthly grocery budget of $150...but it was to stock up on coffee and vitamins. It doesn't sound as bad as you think, lol. With a sale and coupons, I was able to get Starbucks coffee (my favorite) at $5.99 a bag. This retails for $10+ a bag, so this was a good deal. Yes, you can get better deals on coffee...but not for fancy Starbucks, lol. I bought 6 bags and spent $36 now instead of spending $60 over the course of the year.

Make fun of me all you want, but I actually take kid vitamins. The Flintstones gummy ones are my favorite and with a sale and coupons, I was able to get these at $2.99 a bottle. These are usually $10+ a bottle and a bottle only lasts a month for me, since I take double of what a kid would take. I bought 5 of these, so now I have vitamins through July. :) I spent $15 instead of spending $50 over the course of 5 months. 

Project Life and iPhone

While at CHA, Steph told me about Day One. She uses it to keep notes for her Project Life. As soon as I got home, I downloaded it and gave it a try. I liked it, except I kept wishing I could attach pictures to my journal entries.

With that in mind, I went hunting for another app and came up with Momento. It's basically the same setup as Day One, except you can do more in it. You can feed your Facebook statuses in there, if you want to keep record of them. You can attach picture albums to your entries and the best part is that you can export your entries and pictures to your computer. Now, exporting is a bit more tricky, but if you're savvy with iTunes and zip files, you shouldn't have a problem. I am loving this new app and hope to work on my physical album soon! doesn't sync between devices, so I only use it on my iPhone.  Momento is working on getting it to sync between all iOS devices. 


Brent and I booked our tickets to Hawaii! We'll be spending 2 days in Honolulu and then 2 days in Hilo to visit my grandparent's and my mom's graves. Then we're spending 6 days in Maui! It's more traveling then what we would of liked, but I would feel guilty not seeing my family while I am there.

This is also my belated 30th birthday trip as we're going in August...though I do wish I were able to spend my birthday with Catherine (BFF) and my sorority sisters instead. Brent got to spend his 30th birthday with his best friends, so I am sightly jealous, lol. Catherine lives in DC and the rest of us are spread out over Chicago, Denver, Seattle, and Portland, so the timing just isn't right. But I definitely got a surprise for my birthday, so I'm very happy that I will still get to celebrate with some of my crafting besties! 

Well, I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I hope to have something crafty soon!


  1. It's good to catch up with you and your life even if it isn't a crafty post, Sparkle. Sounds like things are moving along quite nicely for you. Thanks for the book review. Never read the Hunger Games books as the topic seems wayyyy too dark for me. Brent sure is a great sport!

    Have fun in Hawaii when you do go. It will be emotional for sure, but in a good way, I'm thinking.

    Enjoy your new toys. No worries on the lack of crafty posts. Do so when you can, in the meantime enjoy your life!

  2. Good catch-up post. :) I might try the gummy vitamins since I HATE swallowing the horse-pill sized ones for adult and thus just don't take anything, haha. I finished the 3rd book last night. Although I liked the series, it was a bit too violent for my taste, so I don't plan on buying/re-reading it or seeing the movie(s) in the future. I've heard the movie is really good though... but I just don't want to see all that violence reenacted, lol. Have a great weekend!

  3. Hey Sparkle, thanks for the update! My ten year old son and I just finished the Hunger Games. Actually he is half way thru the second book. He went to see it with hubby last night, but I haven't seen it yet. Can't wait to hear what you think of the movie...I almost always read the book first too - I definitely do not think that is weird! lol Always too many books, not enough time! Same with the stamps eh?
    Take care,
    Shanna :)

  4. Just letting you know I have an award for you on my blog! Have fun in Hawaii!!


Thanks for visiting my blog! I truly appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! Love, Sparks