Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pin It and Do It : Crocheted Flowers

The little girl is going as a bee to a friend's Halloween party and I have been told that I need to be her flower. :)

Well, I thought, why not be a whole garden of flowers? I looked for a pattern, on Pinterest, for an easy crocheted flower that I could make many of and then chain them to make a garland to drape over my green dress.

This flower worked perfectly. Here is the Pin.
You can find the pattern at AnneMarie's Haakblog.

Thanks, Trish for the Challenge! That makes two pins completed! Yay!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pin It and Do It: Halloween Craft

One item I had pinned earlier this month, was this fun art activity to do with a classroom of 2-4 year olds. It was actually one of three activities, so its simplicity was perfect.

I was looking for something with less prep and with items I already had at home. My teacher supplies came in handy. I have a huge box of cookie cutters I used for play dough and there I found the perfect pumpkin cutters in there. All I had to buy was the paper and the paint. 
The kids seemed to have a good time with the activity and there were some really great results. No paper was the same. The kids did a great job.
Here is the original pin: 

It can be found at: 

Thanks,Trish, for the challenge. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Speak Out: Domestic Violence Awareness

Speak out against domestic violence FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid by Joshua Safran
FreeSpiritNote from Joshua: “The award-winning documentary Crime After Crime told the story of my seven-year struggle to free Deborah Peagler, a battered woman who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 20 years. I was inspired to help her because of the years of abuse my mother and I endured at the hands of my stepfather when I was a boy. My representation of Deborah grew into a deep friendship, and she gave me the courage to finally write about those experiences in my memoir, FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid. My biggest hope is that by telling my story, others will be inspired to speak up, and we can work together to end the wall of silence and finally break the cycle of violence.”
In recognition of October being National Domestic Violence Awareness month, we are proud to speak out with BookSparks, book lovers and author Joshua Safran against domestic violence.
Here’s how you can speak out, too!

  • Facebook it:  Share the badge, this campaign (, #SpeakOut #DV, and your words against domestic violence via Facebook and tag us (BookSparksPR) so we can share, too!  
  • Rate it: Head over to Goodreads and rate Joshua Safran’s FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid ( It’s a book about Joshua’s journey of the spirit; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other.
  • Buy it:  If you buy Joshua Safran’s book, FREE SPIRIT: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid, let us know and we will match with a donation to a domestic violence awareness organization. On October 24th only, if you buy the book for you, a friend, a holiday gift or all of the above, send us your receipt(s) and we’ll be donating up to 20% of book sales that day (based on emailed receipts) to the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in support of BookSparks Speaks Out: Domestic Violence Awareness and victims everywhere.  Buy on Indie Bound; Buy on Amazon; or Buy onBarnes & Noble. Send receipts to

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

San Francisco City Hall, lit up purple for Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. 

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
384 pages, Hardcover
October 2013, Sourcebooks Landmark

Source: Sent for review by Nicole at Sourcebooks, ARC from NetGalley

Lucien is a Paris architect trying to make a living in Nazi occupied France. He is offered a job that would make him a lot of money but could also mean death. He has a hard time saying no to the money and to the challenge of making undetectable hiding places within homes for Jews.

My sister in law is an architect and my father in law studied architecture, so it has been fun reading this from somewhat of an architect's eye. Just the language used reminds me of my family as they discuss "elegant solutions" for buildings and "activating spaces".

Of course, the seriousness subject matter of the book is what really drew me in. Attempting to save the lives of people during a time when doing so would get you killed is frightening and interesting. I was totally invested in the characters, despite not really liking Lucien at the beginning. My heart pounded every time his did in fear that the Nazis were on to him.

This is a wonderful book, full of history and suspense. Quite an impressive debut novel. I look forward to reading Belfour's books to come.

For more info on the author and book visit the books  WEBSITE.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Kid Craft

The little girl and I had some fun today. We reused our toilet paper rolls to make some really cute Halloween decorations. We have a lot of construction paper in the house, so we had everything we needed.  There was no paint or glitter involved, so it was a non-messy craft for indoors, and there is no wait time for playing.

They were a big hit and have now found a home in her room. They had a Halloween dance party.

Would you like to make these?

Here is what you will need:

Toilet paper rolls
Construction paper (black, green, white and orange)
Tape or glue
Markers and/or crayons

For all, cut out paper same length as tube, wrap it around and tape or glue to secure.


Orange paper
Green, half length of tube. 
Cut a fringe, roll up and tuck inside top of tube. 
Black marker or crayon for face. 


Black paper
For wings, cut out a semi circle from left over paper, same diameter as tube. 
Scallop the bottom edge and cut out a small semicircle off the top. Tape to back of tube. 
Use pieces cut off from scalloped bottom as ears. 
Yellow or white crayon for face

Frankenstein's monster

Green paper
Black paper 1/4 length of tube. Attach at top for hair. 
Draw on face, scars and bolts. 


White paper
Black marker for face

Have fun!
Here is the ghost the little girl made. 

She cut out the paper with a little help from me. Taped it into the tube herself and drew the face. She embellished with the stickers. 

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney

Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney
274 pages, eBook
September 2013, Publerati

Source: Sent for review by the author, NetGalley

I love Thanksgiving and all the fixings. Turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce. I was really excited to read a book set during this holiday. There are always so many Christmas themed books, but there really needed a good Thanksgiving book. One that could be read yearly. A new Turkey Day tradition.

Well, this one may be it for me. I could easily see myself reading this every year at Thanksgiving. Each chapter is named after a food at the Thanksgiving table and tells the story of one generation of the same family on Thanksgiving preparing that dish starting in 1662 and ending in the present. What a cool concept and it works! Each little glimpse into the lives of this family is enough to keep you turning the pages wanting to see what the next generation is like.

By the end of the book, you have yourself a complete meal that leaves you satisfied.

For more info about the book and author visit the publisher's WEBSITE.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Paris Architect Blog Tour Schedule

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure came out today! Check out the schedule for the Blog Tour, which began yesterday, and see what fellow bloggers have to say about The Paris Architect. Look for my review on the 21st.

Blog Tour Schedule

10/10 - Poof … Books
10/14 - Broken Teepee
10/15 – Mina’s Bookshelf
10/16 - Great Thoughts
10/21 - Mari Reads
10/28 - Chick Lit Plus

"The ingenious hiding spaces and the people in them infiltrated my imagination for weeks.
dreamed about this novel." —Jenna BlumNew York Times bestselling author of THOSE WHO SAVE US

“Belfoure’s portrayal of Vichy France is both disturbing and captivating, and his beautiful tale demonstrates that while human beings are capable of great atrocities, they have a capacity for tremendous acts of courage as well.” – Library Journal STARRED review

“Belfoure’s characters are well-rounded and intricate. Heart, reluctant heroism, and art blend together in this spine-chilling page-turner.” – Publishers Weekly

“Belfoure writes like an up-and-coming Ken Follett” – Booklist

“If you enjoy fast paced, graphic, and fascinating historical fiction, I recommend you read THE PARIS ARCHITECT.” – Erika Robuck, author ofHemingway’s Girl

“All novelists are architects. But are all architects novelists? Charles Belfoure in his impressive debut seems to have brought us the best of both worlds. Here is a novel to read alongside the latest Alan Furst. I hope there will be more.” – Alan Cheuse, NPR book commentator

# # #

Lucien Bernard didn’t expect to join the French Resistance. It starts out as a game—an architectural puzzle. When a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris, Lucien can’t resist the challenge.

He begins a secret life, designing expertly concealed spaces invisible to the untrained eye—all while working with the Germans on the other side.

Set during the roundups and deportations of 1942, The Paris Architect (October 2013; ISBN: 9781402284311; $25.99 U.S.; Fiction; Hardcover) is a powerfully human novel of survival, self-knowledge, and the challenge of sacrifice in the midst of uncertainty and fear.

# # #

Charles Belfoure is the author of the debut novel The Paris Architect, an October Indie Next Pick and National Reading Group Month Selection. An architect by profession, he graduated from the Pratt Institute and Columbia University. His writing has appeared in the Baltimore Sun and theNew York Times. He lives in Maryland.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Halloween Decorations

Halloween crocheted bunting

For more Wordless Wednesday visit

Happy October!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.