Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Movie Reviews

Tomorrow I promise to have something crafty for you!  But since I've seen 4 movies in the last 2 weeks, I figure I better write about it before I forget what I want to say in my Project Life.  :)  I've seen 21 Jump Street, The Help, The Hunger Games, and American Reunion  Now, American Reunion doesn't come out until April 6th, but we were fortunate to get tickets to a screening and got to see it early and for free.

I have enjoyed all of these movies, but I was the least connected to 21 Jump Street.  The other two, I've read the books, and I grew up with American Pie.  The first movie when they were seniors in high school, was my junior year in high school.  I haven't watched them in years, but I did see all 3 of the other movies. 

21 Jump Street

Brent was the one who actually really wanted to see this.  I never watched the show as a kid, though it's totally my kind of show nowadays, since I love suspense/solving crimes shows and books.  Because of that, I didn't really have anything to compare the movie to.  Everyone says the movie is much more of a comedy than the show, but overall, I thought the movie was pretty good.  And for you Johnny Depp fans, he does make a cameo appearance in the movie. 


These guys in high school were the smart nerd and the dumb jock.  Years later, they both end up in the academy and help each other to pass the training.  During this time, they become partners and best friends.  They get sent undercover to do a high school drug bust.  They set up the ending to work it's way into a sequel, so I'm sure we'll see this duo soon again.

The Help

I went and hung out with my Jenn last week and after dinner and ice cream, we decided to watch this while we crafted.  I read this book awhile ago and I just never got around to seeing the movie when it came out.  Like any movie/book combo, they have to leave a ton out to make the movie a normal viewing time.  No Thornbirds saga here, lol. 

I love that they included Minny vacuuming the huge bear, lol!  But was sad that they didn't show the part where Minny thinks Celia is an alcoholic.  If you enjoyed the book, I think you'll like the movie. 


This story is about a group of white women who have black maids.  One of the white ladies starts writing a cleaning column for the newspaper and gets help from one of the maids.  As she does this, she starts to see how people treat them and starts writing a book about the help are treated.  The story ends with the hope that she'll be a successful writer in New York. 

The Hunger Games

After reading the trilogy, I really wanted to see the movie.  Brent actually ended up liking it, though I had to explain alot of it to him, since he didn't read the books.  I think it's hard to truly understand all of it without reading the series. 

I saw it opening weekend, so almost everyone in the theater had read the books.  They laughed when they mocked Effie, when they show Gale watching Katniss and Peeta kissing, etc.  And Woody Harrelson makes a great Haymitch, lol. 


I was really upset that they changed a major part of the story.  The author is even a co-producer, so shame on her for letting them change her story, lol.  Madge was not in the movie and Katniss gets the mocking jay pin in a totally different way.  I feel like Madge and the way Katniss gets the pin carries a big significance through out all 3 books.  You find out later in the series who the pin actually belonged to and how it carried through the district. 

Aside from that, I thought the movie was good.  With a ton of stuff cut out, the movie was still 2 hours and 20 minutes...so I get why it's the way it is.  To read what this is about, see my post above about the book. 

American Reunion

It's kindof weird, because it's actually their 13th year reunion, lol, but they acknowledge that in the movie.  That their class wasn't with it and didn't plan a 10 year, so they're having one late.  It was a funny and mindless movie.  It's probably too crude and sexual for most of you, but since these were really popular movies while I was in high school, I had to see how this 4th movie would turn out.

They all return home for the 13th year reunion.  They reminisce on all of their old memories, good times, and shows what they're all doing now.  They go to all their cool hang out spots in high school and there's high school kids partying, lol.  It's quite funny seeing 30 year olds partying with 18 year olds.  Everyone from the original cast at least makes a quick appearance at the reunion, so it was nice to see the gang all back together. 


In the end, it shows the compassion, forgiveness, and cherishing their high school moments, first loves, and realizing that it's their past and that things will never be that again.  I know it's just a movie, but I wish my reunion would of been more like that.  No holding on to grudges...not wanting to see past significant others, etc. 

They left the ending at a point where there could possibly be another movie.  I'm guessing if they do, it would end up being more like Hang Over...and since Oz and Heather are back together, maybe a bachelor party and another wedding?  Now, this is just me guessing...so I could totally be wrong.  But I'm just trying to think of what would be appropriate for their stage of life now. 

I haven't felt that great the past couple of days, so I'm hoping to feel more energized!  I hope you all have a wonderful hump day!

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. 


Work
  • 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.

Personal
  • 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
Budget
 

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!  PS...it 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. 

Hawaii

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!

Monday, March 19, 2012

SCRS Challenge #75 - Sketch Challenge and Cupcake Ruby Card

Welcome to Week 2 of Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps Challenge #75! We appreciate you taking the time to join our challenge and look forward to seeing your creations each week. You have until Sunday, 3/25/12 @ 9 PM PST to play along with the current challenge, which is to use the sketch!


Our challenge is open to all players. Each week a random winner will be chosen, and this week's winner will receive Swimming Lucy. In order to qualify for a prize, you must use a Sparkle Creations image on your creation. Most importantly, have fun!  We can't wait to see your creations!

I did something totally unthinkable for me and sold a ton of my old stamps on Ebay. Over the years, I can't believe how much I've accumulated! I sold enough to get me an early birthday present and I just got the new iPad 3. It took some effort to figure it all out, but with the camera adapter, iPhoto app, iWatermark app, and Blogsy app, I'm doing this whole post from my iPad!

I absolutely love knowing that I can be without my laptop and Photoshop and still do full posts! I guess technically I could of taken my card pic with the iPad, but I take much better pics with my DSLR camera. :)  Honestly, I love Photoshop too much so my first choice will always be to use a computer. 


To play along in our challenge, upload a photo of your project and provide a direct link in the linky widget at the bottom of the SCRS post. If you use an online gallery (e.g. Splitcoast), please also use the keywords SCRSC75 and SparkleCreations (no spaces). If you have a Facebook account and are a fan of Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps, you can also upload there. Deadline for challenge #75 is Sunday, March 25, 2012 @ 9 PM PST.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lollipop Crafts SURPRISE Birthday Blog Hop for Krista and Celebrating Chloe Card

It's Krista Palakiko's birthday today and a few of us are throwing her a surprise birthday blog hop!  If you've come here from Lisa's blog then you are on the right path, but if you just popped in you might want to hop on over to the beginning at the Lollipop Crafts blog.  Why? Well, one lucky hopper will win a SURPRISE PRIZE!

I originally colored her to match some MME paper and for whatever reason I just couldn't get the card to come together.  I went more simple and love how the aqua really pops off of the white!  Well, and you know I had to have sparkly balloons, lol.  It's no celebration without them. :) 


All you need to do is hop along to each friend’s blog, leave some love, then head back to the Lollipop Crafts blog and let them know you completed the hop.  Who knows maybe along the way some of Kris' friends might be giving away RAKS of their own, so make sure you stop and give some love to everyone.  The winner will be announced on Sunday, March 18th. 

Now it's time to head to {Kathy's blog}!  Thanks for stopping by and good luck!  Everyone have a great Thursday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

SCRS March 2012 Release & Preview - Mr. and Mrs.

Hello everyone and welcome to RELEASE DAY!  All new stamps are now available to buy from the SCRS store! Click here or above on the Sparkle Creations Store link to start shopping now. We are also previewing the darling 'Mr. and Mrs.' stamp today.


Be sure to visit our fabulous SCRS designers for more peeks of Mr. and Mrs.. Sparkle will be giving away a Mr. and Mrs. rubber stamp to one lucky person! For a chance to WIN, you need to visit and comment on all of the designers' Mr. and Mrs. blog posts (listed below) and then leave a comment under this very post here on the SCRS blog. You have until midnight EST tonight to comment.


I hope you enjoy our new release and all have a lovely weekend! Thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SCRS March 2012 Previews - Engaged Lucy

Hello everyone and welcome to the first day of our March previews! Today we are excited to show you Engaged Lucy! All new stamps will be available to buy on Saturday, March 10th, 2012.

Since Lucy is Brent's favorite...I actually used her to make Brent's valentine.  With friends getting engaged and married this year, I'm so happy to finally have some of my own wedding stamps!  Aki did such a fabulous job as always!!


Be sure to visit our fabulous SCRS designers for more peeks of Engaged Lucy. Sparkle will be giving away a Engaged Lucy rubber stamp to one lucky person! For a chance to WIN, you need to visit and comment on all of the designers' Engaged Lucy blog posts (listed below) and leave a comment under this very post here on the SCRS blog. You have until midnight EST tonight to comment.


I hope you all have a great Thursday! We'll be back tomorrow with a darling new Karber clear set preview!

Monday, March 5, 2012

SCRS Challenge #74 - Number Challenge and Cupcake Ruby Card

Welcome to Week 2 of Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps Challenge #74! We appreciate you taking the time to join our challenge and look forward to seeing your creations each week. You have until Sunday, 3/11/12 @ 9 PM PST to play along with the current challenge, which is to use some kind of number on your creation.


Our challenge is open to all players. Each week a random winner will be chosen, and this week's winner will receive Celebrating Chloe. In order to qualify for a prize, you must use a Sparkle Creations image on your creation. Most importantly, have fun! We can't wait to see your creations!


I'm down to 1 birthday card left in my stash...and I have a ton of birthdays in the up coming months.  Most of my friends and I are turning 30 this year, so I figured this challenge was a good excuse to make a fun celebration card.



To play along in our challenge, upload a photo of your project and provide a direct link in the linky widget at the bottom of the SCRS post. If you use an online gallery (e.g. Splitcoast), please also use the keywords SCRSC74 and SparkleCreations (no spaces). If you have a Facebook account and are a fan of Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps, you can also upload there. Deadline for challenge #74 is Sunday, March 11, 2012 @ 9 PM PST.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday!