The Hunger Games ...Opinions from a non-fan.

I saw The Hunger Games last night and wanted to give my honest thoughts without trying to spoil it for those that haven't seen it yet. I actually had no idea what this movie even was, and had never read the book.  I became curious after seeing so many fellow bloggers going nuts over the fact that this movie was being made, all the way up to its release.

Honestly, it was a decent movie. Was it great? In my opinion, it was nothing spectacular. I felt like it was very much made for those who had read the book and kind of left the rest of us out in the dark a bit.  It was all very fast paced, which I actually tend to like in a movie because that leaves little overly drawn out scenes. However, at times it did feel rushed. I understand that they had to fit a whole book into a 2.5 hour movie, but I wish there was some more emphasis on certain things.  For example, the deaths all happened so quickly. We're left to wonder what happened to half of the cast. I guess if you read the book you're supposed to already know what happened, but that's an easy example of leaving us non-Hunger Games fans out in the dark.

Secondly, the whole idea of "The Hunger Games" in general is obviously a weird and unrealistic concept, but in a way I guess it just seemed kind of flawed to me. Why were these communities of people simply going along with it all? How did the Capital come to power and have such an insane amount of control over the people? Why were they interfering with the game and essentially killing off people on their own when the whole point was to see how long the tributes could last on their own (that part just didn't seem fair to me, especially if people are supposedly bidding on each district)? This stuff I thought could have been explained a bit better. I'm sure it all made sense for people who had read the book, but for everyone else that hadn't, it seemed like we were just thrown into the story.

I think I just expected to see a lot more things that seemed to be missing from the story.... more story building I guess. The sponsors and bidding on the tributes was something that I thought was going to make it more interesting, but aside from a few instances, this didn't seem help build the story at all. I also found much of it very predictable, even having not read the book. Dustin and I were actually calling what would happen next throughout the film, and it would happen just as we envisioned. I like some element of surprise to my movies, and this one didn't really give me any of that.

One major thing I needed to point out was something that I am SO confused about after reading other fan's reviews of the movie.  They were so enamored with the whole relationship between Katniss and Peeta, and I honestly just don't understand it. I didnt feel the love between the two at ALL. I didn't even know that they were supposed to be in love until reading other fan reviews.

The history of the two was rushed, and from what I gathered they didn't even know each other well. Sure there were flashbacks of one scene from their past when They looked at each other after he did a nice deed for her but I felt absolutely no love from that... In fact I thought that she and the other dude from her district were more into each other than her and Peeta. It kind of surprised me when they suddenly had brief emotions for one another, but even then I didn't consider it a love thing, I just thought that they were sticking together because they were team mates.  I felt as though the whole "couple" thing, if anything, was forced so that the sponsors would fall for this "young love" story. Am I the only one who felt this way!?  Even near the end she was almost hesitant to show the world that they were a "couple".

Being that everything happened so quickly, at the end we were left thinking "oh, that's it? What was the fuss about?"

As I said though, it wasn't a terrible movie, it was still a pretty decent movie, I just don't really understand the obsessiveness with it, and it wouldn't be something that I'd watch again.

On a positive note, I thought the acting was great, the set design was awesome, and I was kind of excited to see my first musical love and past client Lenny Kravitz appear, with his glamorous gold eyeliner and all (lol).

I know my opinions probably greatly differ from those who were fans of the book which is totally understandable. I know how it feels to be completely in love with a story and see it translated to the big screen. When I was a kid my favourite book was Tuck Everlasting and when that was finally made into a movie I was stoked! Barely anybody had heard of it before but I was completely in awe with it. It brought back so many childhood memories just thinking about the short novel. The movie turned out to be exactly as I had pictured everything in my head, from the set design to the characters... Everything. So I can completely understand how something like this can excite the fans.

So there you have it. Now try not to hate me, Hunger Games friends..? ;)

Discuss your thoughts with us in the comments!

photos: google images & etsy

new designs and pretty pennies!

Hey friends! I have another blog post that I'll be posting later today about my opinions on The Hunger Games movie... (as someone who didn't read the book)... but but but I wanted to share with you a couple of my latest blog designs first! There are a few others I haven't posted before but have put on my design services page so check it out.

I literally JUST finished publishing this one for the lovely Zoe of Zoella. I'm a fan of her blog and am so thrilled she trusted me to make her site pretty :)

Next was this header design for Suzels Says.  She had a previous blog design that needed some fixing (bad coding needed a tuneup) and wanted a new look for her header:

Posh Purses Boutique was another recent one I completed for Yolanda. I am happy I was able to pull off her vision and create something pretty with a bit of vintage wear:

Anna is a doll and was thrilled with her new design for Wild With Wanderlust. She wanted something simple that still made an impact. Her initial idea came from some band type posters so I recreated the same feel throughout her design:

So there you have it! Just a select few of the recent work I've been busy with lately.  Now onto some other news...

Our shop Fawn & Flora started these awesome flash sales, called Pretty Pennies Popup Sales. Basically, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday we will be bringing you some new sales that will only last for the day.  These sales will be totally random and based on current inventory.  We'll have everything from a certain % off a select section, buy one get one free, free shipping... They will always be different!  Today, you can take 15% off all FABRIC until 2am EST.  The discounts are automatically applied at checkout for you.

Be sure to subscribe to our Facebook page, Twitter, or blog for all of the latest sale announcements!


taking time to refresh

When you work from home, it is so easy to get stuck in the same routine. Believe me, my entire days consist of doing the same things over and over again. I've always got plenty to do, and my list of projects is currently a mile long (I'm currently working on 12 blog designs at once). While it's great to feel accomplished while working your little butt off, I've found it can actually be a bit detrimental to your success.

As the above image reads, "sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need."  It cannot be more true. I've always found that taking a break from what I'm doing to focus on something else, or even taking a break to do absolutely nothing at all, is so necessary. I call it my "refresh" mode. If too many things are going on at once, my mind is too crammed to concentrate properly, which in turn results in lousy work. Lousy work isn't exactly something that I can be proud of.  I need those refresh moments.

I'm currently working on an e-book (that will be available here), among everything else I have going on. This project has been in my mind for quite some time now and it feels so good to finally put my plan into action. While it may seem like I have absolutely no time to even tackle this idea, I do. I separate my projects effectively so that there is always time to work on each one. I suppose writing this e-book IS a part of my "refresh time" since it's a different type of process. It's calming in a way, and takes me away from the routine I'm so used to.

If you ever feel overwhelmed, or if your work just isn't measuring up to your own expectations, I assure you that you probably just need a break. There is ALWAYS time to finish something, and taking as much time as you need to refresh and clear your mind will be so worth it and can only result in good things. 

How do you break away from your routine?

p.s. I've chosen the winners for the big birthday giveaway... go here and scroll down to see if you won!


Little Cosmetics Haul

On my birthday Dustin took me to the drugstore to pick out some cosmetics. I normally only purchase my mascara and eyeliner at the drugstore because I had never been a fan of the quality of products they offered for other things.  To my surprise though, drugstore cosmetics have improved so much! The brands are plentiful and there is a great variety for everyone. They also stock different price points which is fantastic... i.e. if you are looking for something a little better in quality they have it!

I am probably the worst at picking out cosmetics. It takes me SO long.  There are just too many pretty things to look at, and I always have to compare brands to see which one is better for the price. Thankfully, he didn't complain (probably because it was my birthday!) and I walked out with some new finds.

I really didn't get too much, but I was satisfied for the day. I was even more satisfied because everything was on sale for like half off. I'm kind of a sale hunting queen.

The first thing I grabbed was a perfectly pink lipstick by Rimmel. As you probably know, I swear by their mascara (and kohl eyeliner) so I wanted to try something else out.  I grabbed the last of this colour called "Airy Fairy" Lasting Finish Lipstick and let me just say that it is the most perfect shade of light pink. It's pretty much a natural shade when it's on my lips, but it just adds a bit more life to my face.

The other things I grabbed were from Gosh Cosmetics, which I had never tried, but always walked by their displays and thought how colourful and pretty they looked.  My drugstore had a box of these "final sale/clearance" colours so I spent the majority of my time digging through it all.

First I got a golden waterproof Velvet Touch Eye Liner in Rising Sun, which I planned on using as an all-over eye colour too. The other two things I snagged were both Extreme Art Eyeliners, which are "extremely waterproof"... and I can attest to the fact that they definitely are. I just loved the colours and vibrancy of them both. I got #09 Blue Art Eyeliner and #04 Yellow Art Eyeliner.  The tip is a thin brush tip and it really goes on smoothly.

See how vibrant those liquid liners are? Fabulous!  You can apparently also use them on your nails (weird, right?!):

INSIDER TIP: Apply a little on the outer layer of the eyelashes – this gives a super funky look. Use it for body art or to decorate your nails. Beautiful lines and flowers can be drawn on the nails and then sealed with a clear nail lacquer such as GOSH TOP COAT.

Overall very  happy with my purchases... well, Dustin's purchases haha. I think these shades will be great for summer too.  What colours do you like to wear in the summer? What are your fav cosmetic brands?


i found my dress!

Well, I've done it. I bought the dress I will be married in! I randomly found it at a popup sale and it is perfect, not to mention I scored it for like 90% off. It's definitely not a traditional gown, but absolutely perfect for what we had in mind. Well, what we sort of had in mind. Plans... we do not have them in stone yet though we are still talking about getting married on our anniversary which is August 1st.  Either way though, it will be outside, either on the beach, a lake, a or forest perhaps.  The style I'm going for is fairy-like... a woodland/beachy goddess if you will, haha.  I'm enlisting the services of my partner in crime to create a lovely floral halo to finish off the look.

We still haven't decided exactly where it will be, and if we'll just do our own private little thing or invite our families.  We don't want a traditional wedding, but more like a quiet ceremony and hang outs afterwards. Not to mention we don't want to spend a lot of money on this thing. Maybe I should start a new feature on my blog as we plan it? Thoughts?

I wish I could post a photo here but Dustin might see it!  So unfortunately you will have to wait.  This experience has actually made me really excited and ready to start making some definite plans!  Is that what normally happens when you find a dress??!  Eeps!!

I've even started a new Pinterest board full of wedding inspiration if you want to take a peek!  I'll surely be adding to this one.

How did you feel after you found your dress? Or if you're not yet married, what does your perfect wedding look like?

I'll leave you with some of my fav photos from my board: 



slacker sunday: would you rather....

Would you rather...
Be able to speak every language on earth
Be able to talk to animals?


another year older

Thank you for all of the birthday love yesterday!  It felt really great to just take the day off and spend it with my man!  My mom surprised me Thursday night with a bike and some accessories (more on that later) so Dustin and I decided it was necessary to take a ride together.  I honestly haven't ridden a bike in like 15 years, but once I got over my butt hurting I was good... and also learned that I'm pretty out of shape.

We later headed up to the beach in hopes of enjoying the sun, but it started to cool off and wasn't really "beach weather".  If only we did this Wednesday instead! We broke a 100 year old record when temps reached 27°C! It was like summer, absolutely amazing!

The beach was empty but there was a nice fog happening just over top of the sand that was pretty cool. We hung out there for a little while together and enjoyed the view.

Soon after these photos were taken I noticed this:


So I made friends with a seagull instead...

And then we left.

We did some shopping and I spent way too long in the cosmetics department. I'll share my grabs with you later!

Now back to the bike thing. Seriously, my mom is the best ever. I was talking to her on the phone Wednesday night and then I hung up to take my dog outside. As I step out onto the front porch I see this sitting there:

A brand new bike! And a tire pump. And a birthday bag full of goodies. And pink streamers. Yes, streamers!  At first I thought Dustin did this for me because that very same day he actually went to the store to get me a bike but was told to come back the next day because they weren't put together yet.  He had no idea what I was trying to say as I exclaimed... "what?. omg!.. bike... front.. BIKE!".  Please note that my mom lives over an hour away. I called her back immediately and she laughed! I had NO idea she had this waiting for me.  She apparently drove it all up here after work, dropped it off, and went on her way back home. Somehow without me even knowing!  It was such an awesome surprise!

All in all it was a fabulous day. I loved reading all of your birthday wishes, they made it all that more special :)

P.s. I'm skipping Self Portrait Saturday this weekend. I think I'm going to start doing it every 2nd week instead due to the ups and downs of turnouts. This will give you more time to prepare. So the next one will happen next weekend instead and it will just be an open submission, no theme!


Hey guys, it's Dustin!

Hey friends! Today is my birthday and I'm taking the day off, so my fiance is taking over my blog! Such a sweetheart, isn't he!? ;)

* * *

Hello everyone! You probably don't know me, but I'm Dana's fiance. My name is Dustin and I'm the luckiest guy in the world. Why? Because I just won $10 on this scratch-off lottery ticket. Oh, and I'm also with Dana ;)

Dana and I met on the interweb -- Myspace in particular (remember Myspace? lol) -- and we started off as friends because I never thought I'd be lucky enough to meet her. Actually, I thought she was an e-celebrity because she had like 50,000 friends on Myspace.

I would spam her every day on AIM with links to stories that I wrote on my blog, and she slowly realized how awesome I was. We were both in relationships with other people at the time -- shady, I know. One day, we decided that I should visit her in Toronto, so we broke up with our bfs and gfs and I headed over to Canadia to meet my future wife for the first time in person.

You know how some people meet and there are magical sparks? Well, Dana and I had a cosmic explosion between us. It was like the sun collapsed on itself and then exploded, wiping out the whole galaxy... but in a good way. I didn't want to leave two days later, but we said our temporary goodbyes.

I returned about two weeks later and had a so-so time. Just kidding -- it was even more awesome than the previous time with her. The only crappy part was when I swiped the side of my car against a concrete pillar in a parking garage. That sucked, but that car ended up being a monumental piece of metal poo anyway, so whatever.

After my fourth visit, I went on a four day vacation to Los Angeles because I got plane tickets for $9 each way. Who could turn that down? The day I returned home and went to work, my boss called me into his office and fired me for being on the internet too much at work.

I know you're thinking "that sucks," but it was actually the best thing that's ever happened to me. I had three choices after that:

1) Try to find another job in Michigan.
2) Move to Alabama where my parents live, stay with them, and start over -- but I'd be twenty hours away from Dana.
3) Throw away most of my belongings and pile whatever clothes I could into the trunk of my car, and cross the border into Canada with my cat.

Option 3 seemed like the most logical to me because I had strong feelings for Dana and decided I'd rather be broke and in love in Canada than semi-broke in the U.S. dating girls that weren't Dana.

Dana took me in and supported me like a sugar mama for THREE YEARS while I went through the arduous immigration process. I'll be indebted to her forever, emotionally and financially. Simply put, she saved me. Kinda like Jesus.

Fast forward almost four years and we're still together and make eachother laugh every day. Sometimes we can read each others' minds. I'll be singing a song in my head, and she will somehow start singing it out loud at the exact part that I left off in my mind. Where is William Shatner to say "Is that weird or what?"

I used to be a ladies man, but now I'm a Daney's man. That's my nickname for her... Daney Bizmo. I usually just call her Bizmo. Lately, I've been calling her Pimzbro because it sounds like Bizmo and all my nicknames eventually evolve into something else that's more fun to say.

Dana, thank you for letting me write this blog post, but I am very hungry now and you're making me do the dishes today. Still, I love you and want to wish you the happiest birthday ever!

Justin Bieber

* * * 

I loooooooove you baby! I mean, Justin Bieber! I must say, the man can certainly still make me laugh every single day!


death and guilt

I just found out that my grandmother passed away today. The past couple of weeks haven't been so good as far as death and hospitals go. My grandma was a great lady, when I knew her.  I can't say that we've been close the past decade or so... in fact, far from it.  I hadn't talked to her or seen her in many many years, since our families disconnected when my parents split up.

I should be sad, but I don't feel anything and it's making me feel badly. Maybe it's because I haven't been a part of that family for half of my life now. As if she was already gone... because in reality, she was.

I've been asked to the funeral. I've been made to feel guilty if I don't go.

Guilt.  It doesn't make much sense to me. The necessity of funerals don't make much sense to me to be honest.  Especially if you haven't been a part of that person's life for so long. Yes, she was family, but family in my opinion goes deeper than a last name. I'm not bitter, but this wouldn't accomplish anything. We found out about her passing through a posting on Facebook.

Does that make me a bad person?  I don't think it does.

Funerals in general. I can't do them. I am not someone who can sit in a room full of people and let my emotions out. I prefer to do that in my own privacy, and deal with things in my own way. Pressuring someone into feeling guilty for making the choice not to attend is not right. Looking down on someone for not publicly grieving is absurd.  I believe that everybody should find peace in their own way, whether that be in a church or in their bedroom, alone. I'd already found mine.  Who are you to decide what's right for someone else?

I didn't go to my other grandma's funeral last year. I couldn't. I loved her a lot and I still think about her every day, but the thought of going didn't sit well with me. I had already made my peace with her as she was fading away, alive and in person. And that was good enough for me. I've been looked down on since then for not going. I've been asked if I regretted it. If I thought I would regret it, I would have been there. I don't regret it for one second. I dealt with her death in my own way. I cried my own tears.

Why should seeing my face and my emotions in an unhappy setting be something that proves to others that I cared? Why should I even have to prove this at all?

I won't feel guilty, because guilt has no meaning. It is just a feeling placed upon you to make you feel like less than you are.

RIP Grandma. I wish you could have been a bigger part of my life.

Am I wrong?


Spring DIY Inspiration

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope you all had a safe weekend!  I definitely enjoyed the beautiful weather we're having. Got in some outdoor time and had my mom visit, with intentions to pick up my birthday gift! She had planned to get me a bike (yippeee!) but by the time we had arrived at the store to pick it up they were closed :(. Oh well, I still have a couple more days before I hit the big 2-8 on Thursday, so we'll pop in during operating hours sometime.

A couple of Dustin's family members are coming today, so I don't have much time to post this and get ready and clean this entire house! First time meeting them so it should be fun.

Anyways, with spring just around the corner, I thought it was necessary to pull out some of my fav DIY projects!  I don't know about you, but this amazing weather has me in a crafty mood. (By the way, I heard that the reason for this gorgeous sunshine is due to the horrible earthquake in Japan that happened... Apparently it affected the Earth's rotation and threw it off it's axis by four degrees or something... crazy!).

Turn a spoon or fishing rod rack into a cute little sunglasses holder!  How cute is this? My sunglasses always go missing and pile up in random places so this would be so perfect. Check it out here.

Make your own heating pad! Love this idea, and I would have never thought to use RICE!  Check it out at The Paper Mama here.

Turn an old cookie sheet into a cute spring inspired tray! I can just see some fresh glasses of lemonade being carried outside on this thing.  Check it out here.

Tint your own mason jars! Loving the colours! You could even serve cold drinks in these with a cute straw (update: apparently these are unsafe to drink out of :( darn!)! Check out the tutorial here.

Cute little fabric covered DIY journals!  Perfect for jotting down quick thoughts! Check it out here.

Make some keychains using scraps of fabric!  Awesome little gift idea too! Learn how here.

Make your own adorable picnic blanket! I love this idea, and it can be done super cheap! Check it out here.

Have a lovely day, friends!


self portrait saturday: with a pet!

It's Saturrrrrrday! I don't know what it is, but these weeks lately are just flying by!  I'm glad you decided to visit #6 of the Self Portrait Saturday linkup series!! I was a little sad that not as many of you linked up last week, so I'm hoping this weekend will be better! The theme is a fun one. It's "with a pet". If you don't have a pet, or you can't do this theme, why not try with something else you love!? But for those that do have a pet... I wanna see you link up!

If you read my blog the other day, you would have seen that we just lost our family cat. It's so sad to think about, but just knowing that he's in a better place now and that I still have the love of four other little monsters makes me grateful for them. That's what this weekend's theme is about. Unconditional furry love.

I took so many consecutive photos with my little pup Bear! It was honestly bunches of fun and he was being so cute.  I figured it was definitely necessary that I wear my bear hat in spirit of him!  My kitty Nugget even joined in half way through so I just had to share those photos too so he didn't feel left out!

My test shot actually turned out pretty alright, so I decided to include it too! It's so strange, this is actually the most comfortable I've felt doing one of these. I think I was just loving playing around with them and wasn't worried about anything else.

Tips and Tricks:
- If you're taking pics with your pets, it doesn't help if you just grab them and start shooting. Wait for them to come around and get comfortable. Remember, they have no idea what you're trying to do!
- Autofocus and a remote works best for these because animals tend to move around a lot. You don't want to spend all your time focusing in manual and hoping for clear shots. Autofocus, baby!  The remote helps so you don't have to keep getting up and down! If you don't have one, you really should get one. Mine is some "made in china" cheapo one I bought on Ebay for about $5. It works!

One of my favs from last week:

Maryam did some cool closeups with a cute pink telephone for our "with a prop" theme! Love the retro feel!!!

Don't forget to grab a button and add it to your post so others can play along!


wear: country chic.

skirt: c/o OASAP, plaid: Heritage 21, tank & bracelets: f21, leggings: Kill City

I've been experimenting with this look... tomboy on top, girly on the bottom. I quite like it because it still leaves you feeling casual while adding a little "spice" to your outfit. It kind of makes it seem like I tried a little harder or something...? I'm all about effortless style, if you haven't noticed.  This skirt, I am obsessed. It's the perfect amount of lace without being too "poofy" if you know what I mean. You can get it here.

I added a couple more things to my closet sale site, and will be adding even more today. Lots more bottoms coming your way!

We are also doing a Fawn & Flora giveaway over at Lemons, Avocados, and the Bay today! Our very first one! Go check it out!

Have a fabulous Friday friends!  Don't forget to start snapping your pics for Self Portrait Saturday! How will you be spending your weekend??



So, that ^ had to happen.  Let me tell you a little story about our property. When they were building our house, the Town workers came in and tore down a whole bunch of trees from the back of our lot so that they could access the hiking trails with their machinery to build some bridges.  Since doing that, people seem to think that our property is an access point for the trails. Our house is just like any other house in a sub division... two other houses on either side. It's still unfinished (no grass yet) but you don't normally just walk between two people's houses to get somewhere, do you? The Town has since come back and replaced the gaping hole with these little cedar trees, which completely do not blend in with the rest of the 100 foot high ones.  This was their attempt to stop people from using our property. Let's just say it hasn't worked.

Two days ago, I woke up and looked outside and noticed a woman and two kids trotting up through my yard as they exited the forest. I watched them walk across my driveway and out to the street. I was annoyed as I always am when I see someone do this (it happens too often).

About 15 minutes later, I was in the backyard with my dog, in my PJs. This same woman and her two kids come back, going the opposite way now into the forest.  As she crosses my driveway and enters my backyard my dog starts going nuts. "HI! :)" she says with a smile. Ok, what? Wait... HI?!  Do you realize that you are clearly trespassing on my property right now?  While I am right here even!  I was a little shocked and caught off guard and said "Hi" back, in a sort of confused tone. She continued on her way as her boys screamed and ran off into the forest.

I don't know about you, but this completely irritates me. The windows and doors on the back side of our house aren't covered because we back onto the forest. We purchased this lot for the privacy in particular.  What if I was walking around in my underwear, or even more awkward what if I was outside sunbathing on my lawn? What if I just wanted secluded privacy!? What if her kids got hurt on my lawn?? This makes me so mad. I immediately started constructing that sign you see up there and put it in place. I'd never been so proud of my sign skills and angry at the same time as I hammered it into the ground.

Am I being totally nuts about this or not? What would you do if people continued to travel through your own property whenever they pleased?  Until we can get a fence, here's to hoping that they get the hint....

yellow jeans and plaid jacket: f21, banded tank dress: ASOS, ugly muddy jogger boots: karmaloop
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