Paris Charm Quilt

This was my first quilt I made inspired by a book, Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I absolutely loved that book! It’s really the only one in the series that I really, really loved.

Sarah @ Crinklelove had this adorable pantograph with the Eiffel Tower and poodles on it and since I have a poodle (well, a poodle mix) of my own, I just had to have it!

The backing is a gorgeous minky dot fabric in my favorite color! I want to surround myself in this gorgeous aqua shade! It’s beautiful!

Size: Twin / Throw
Pattern: Paris Charm by Blue Meadow Designs (no longer in business)
Fabric: Hello Luscious by Basic Grey & Cuddles Dot
Pieced & Bound by: Nina Stoma aka. CherrySprinkle
Professionally Quilted by: Crinklelove
Quilting Design: Paris – Edge to Edge

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Book Review: Anna Todd – After We Collided

Book Two of the After seriesβ€”Tessa has everything to lose. Hardin has nothing to lose…except her. AFTER WE COLLIDED…Life will never be the same.

After a tumultuous beginning to their relationship, Tessa and Hardin were on the path to making things work. Tessa knew Hardin could be cruel, but when a bombshell revelation is dropped about the origins of their relationshipβ€”and Hardin’s mysterious pastβ€”Tessa is beside herself.

Hardin will always be…Hardin. But is he really the deep, thoughtful guy Tessa fell madly in love with despite his angry exteriorβ€”or has he been a stranger all along? She wishes she could walk away. It’s just not that easy. Not with the memory of passionate nights spent in his arms. His electric touch. His hungry kisses.

Still, Tessa’s not sure she can endure one more broken promise. She put so much on hold for Hardinβ€”school, friends, her mom, a relationship with a guy who really loved her, and now possibly even a promising new career. She needs to move forward with her life.

Hardin knows he made a mistake, possibly the biggest one of his life. He’s not going down without a fight. But can he change?Will he change…for love?

I may just have to mark this whole series as unrated. :/ It was more of the same.. love/sex/drama/hate/repeat the entire novel. The ending was not a cliff hanger like the first book, at least not for me. The entire novel felt WAY too long, and the relationship is still as unhealthy as ever.

I can identify with Tessa a little bit but.. there is a difference between being a compassionate, empathetic lover and being an abused doormat……. she teeters that line quite often. I will say that I did somewhat find this book better than After but, it didn’t quite hold my attention the same way. I don’t know if I even have it in me to finish the series.. Hardin is really exhausting to read about and I find myself questioning what the hell Tessa sees in him at all.

Still not a HESSA shipper. Meh.

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Book Review: Anna Todd – After

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rudeβ€”to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she doesβ€”until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER … Life will never be the same.

Let me first say that.. I would really love to give this book a rating but I have absolutely no idea how to go about it.

Let’s get the ugly out of the way first. I hated Hardin. Yes, hated. The entire book. I kept waiting for some redeeming quality, something to make the whole near-600 pages worth reading.. but it never came. He is a slimebag. Sure, he’s witty and can be charming but is that really worth all the emotionally abusive crap he puts Tessa through? No. Absolutely not. The entire book, and I do mean entire book, is filled with love/drama/hate/repeat. I never found one single thing about him that changed my opinion of the entire relationship. Let me make it clear, I love a good steamy book about a beautifully damaged boy.. but this book, this is not it. He’s abusive at best. I’m also not a die hard One Direction (Harry Styles) fan but I do love me a good tattooed bad boy.

Now the pretty.. This book isn’t necessarily badly written, it made me feel things (albeit frustration), I kept reading because I HAD TO KNOW what the ‘secret’ was.. and I wasn’t all that “shocked” by it. I actually could identify with some of the way Tessa thinks and I enjoyed the witty banter…

I did keep reading and I don’t feel that it’s entirely worthy of an extremely low rating because I genuinely was entertained but I don’t know that I would recommend this book to anyone either, I feel there are much better books out there with a much healthier main character.

I may continue reading the series to see if some how he.. redeems himself but, I won’t hold my breath either. What concerns me about this book is — there are people actively wanting a boy like Hardin and that worries me. I get it, I get it.. he really does love her deep down, he made bad mistakes and yadda yadda yadda.. but no. The things he’s said and done to Tessa are completely unacceptable. Period. I’d NEVER want my daughter to be in this kind of relationship and that’s where I’ll end my ‘non-rated review’.

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May 2015 Wrap Up

I read mostly from my local library this month but I did manage to sneak in a few of my own. I started reading Say My Name by J. Kenner but my library loan ended before I could finish so next month. I’m not quite finished with After by Anna Todd or The Walking Dead either.. but here we go!

1.) Fire (Graceling 2) / 3 Cupcakes
2.) Are You There Vodka? / 5 Cupcakes
3.) Gathering Darkness / 5 Cupcakes
4.) Seraphina / 3.5 Cupcakes
5.) The Bane Chronicles / 4.25 Cupcakes
6.) Sharp Objects / 4 Cupcakes
7.) Eternal Kiss of Darkness / 4 Cupcakes
8.) Invaded (Alienated 2) / 4.25 Cupcakes
9.) Lead (Stage Dive 3) / 2 Cupcakes
10.) Bound by Flames / 4 Cupcakes
11.) Anya’s Ghost / 5 Cupcakes
12.) Nightshade / 3.5 Cupcakes
13.) The Girl on the Train / 2 Cupcakes
14.) The Treatment (The Program 2) / 4 Cupcakes
15.) Prodigy (Legend 2) / 4.5 Cupcakes
16.) Two-Way Street / 3.75 Cupcakes
17.) Night Embrace / 3 Cupcakes
18.) A Great & Terrible Beauty / 3 Cupcakes
19.) Don’t Look Back / 5 Cupcakes
20.) Vanishing Girls / 4 Cupcakes
21.) Rogue (Talon 2) / 4 Cupcakes
22.) Shadow Scale (Seraphina 2) / 2.75-3 Cupcakes
23.) Black Iris / 4.5 Cupcakes
24.) Half Blood / 4 Cupcakes
25.) The Walking Dead Compendium 1 / 5 Cupcakes
26.) After / TBD

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April 2015 Wrap Up

1. This Shattered World/ 4 Cupcakes
2. The Silent Wife / 3 Cupcakes
3. The Friday Night Knitting Club / 2-2.5 Cupcakes
4. Graceling / 5 Cupcakes
5. Gone Girl / 5 Cupcakes
6. I Hunt Killers / 3-3.5 Cupcakes
7. Night Circus / 4-4.5 Cupcakes
8. Spellcaster / 3 Cupcakes
9. Fairest / 5 Cupcakes
10. Clockwork Angel / 5 Cupcakes
11. Popular / 4 Cupcakes
12. Pretty Girl 13 / 5 Cupcakes
13. Unleashed / 2 Cupcakes
14. 13 Little Blue Envelopes / 3-3.5 Cupcakes
15. The Apothecary / 4-4.5 Cupcakes
16. Legend / 5 Cupcakes
17. Starters / 4-4.5 Cupcakes
18. First Drop of Crimson / 4-4.5 Cupcakes
19. A Sudden Light / 5 Cupcakes
20. Orange Is The New Black / 4 Cupcakes
21. The Elite / 4 Cupcakes
22. Forest Of Hands & Teeth / 4 Cupcakes
23. The Dead-Tossed Waves / 4 Cupcakes
24. The Dark & Hollow Places / 3 Cupcakes
25. Play / 5 Cupcakes
26. If I Stay / 3-3.5 Cupcakes
27. Doll Bones / 4-4.75 Cupcakes

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March 2015 Wrap Up

I read 36 books in March. On average I gave these 4 stars. I least liked Ruby Red & Prince Lestat.. and I had higher hopes for Landline but it wasn’t bad, I just didn’t love it. My favorite reads were Anna & the French Kiss (I read it twice!) & Cress.

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Book Review: Rainbow Rowell – Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-oldsβ€”smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

One day in Omaha, Nebraska circa 1986, an adorably awkward, overweight, shy girl gets on a school bus.. a cute Asian boy gives her a seat when other kids are giving her the cold shoulder and thus a blossoming friendship begins. Park wins Eleanor over with comic books and music. How could you not love a boy who brings you comics and cds every day?! In the book Eleanor gives her take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and I found the parallels between them to be quite fascinating. 2 young lovers torn apart by circumstance and family.

I enjoyed the subtle 80′s references (total nostalgia for me, I was a kid in the 80′s!), my emotions were all over the place with this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I actually feel a little bad that I didn’t absolutely adore this book.. the beginning half of the book I couldn’t put it down!! The second half was… very depressing. I hate Eleanor’s family.. I genuinely felt hatred and loathing for them which gives credit to Rainbow’s writing style. She doesn’t over-burden you with descriptions & facts, she lets you form your own opinions about the way the characters look, and the author has left the ending up to the readers interpretation.. The last 2 pages of the novel gave my heart wings, and I choose to believe the glass is half full. ;)

I really enjoyed the book over-all and gave it a 4.5 Cupcake rating. While this book is classified as Young-Adult, it is fun reading for any age. There is some light sexual tones so use discretion for young readers. Go ahead and pick up this book, I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Rainbow Rowell’s website
Eleanor & Park on Goodreads
Purchase this book on Amazon

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February 2015 Wrap-Up

I read a lot in February and I loved most of what I read.. how do I pick a favorite from all of these great books?! Ok, maybe Fangirl? or The Coldest Girl in Coldtown? The Shatter Me series was amazing!! I dunno, go read all those books, they were great! I’m going to keep this short and sweet since the list is quite lengthy..

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan / 4 Cupcakes
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi / 4 Cupcakes
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins / 5 Cupcakes
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater / 5 Cupcakes
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi / 5 Cupcakes
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White / 4 Cupcakes
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge / 3 Cupcakes
The Young Elites by Marie Lu / 4 Cupcakes
Talon by Julie Kagawa / 3.5 Cupcakes
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes / 5 Cupcakes
Hexed by Michelle Krys / 2.5 Cupcakes
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black / 4.5 Cupcakes
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins / 4 Cupcakes
Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins / 3 Cupcakes
Eleanor & Park / 4.5 Cupcakes
Yes Please by Amy Poehler / 4 Cupcakes
Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout as J. Lynn / 4 Cupcakes
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman / 5 Cupcakes
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco / 4 Cupcakes
Kill Devil Hills by Sarah Darlington free copy for review / 4 Cupcakes
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi / 5 Cupcakes
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell / 5 Cupcakes
My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins + 11 other authors / 4 Cupcakes
Manga for the Beginner Kawaii: How to Draw the Supercute Characters of Japanese Comics by Christopher Hart / 5 Cupcakes
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood / 4 Cupcakes

Full reviews of some of these books are coming in the next few days. Stay posted! :)

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February 2015 Book Haul

I thought I did well on the no book buying front but… I guess not! lol I did do most of my reading this month from my own bookshelf and the public library.. however, I did finish all but 2 of these books. :) I get to those in March!

Alienated by Melissa Landers
Invaded by Melissa Landers
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Manga For The Beginner Kawaii by Christopher Hart
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Uninvited by Sophia Jordan
The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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