Thursday, June 30, 2011

Giveaway! Win a Teddy Graham Ring from Etsy Shop AnnieEDennis

The second I looked into AnnieEDennis' shop I was in love! So many wonderfully unique handcrafted items. Based out of Kalamazoo Michigan shop owner Annie has earned her BFA in ceramics at Western Michigan University. She is inspired by nature  especially the sea, fruits, vegetables, plants and other natural curiosities.  To keep up to date with her latest news check out her blog at She also has a Facebook page and Twitter

Who wouldn't love to own this unique Miniature Strawberry Dish?

                  How awesome is this Urchin Tealight Holder?

Love this adorable Mint colored Walnut necklace

If you would love to buy one of her lovely creations she has a coupon code for 15% any item in her shop. Just use code SUMMER15

Better yet why not win one of her items! I was so excited when she agreed to giveaway my favorite item in her shop. She is giving one MommyWantsToRead reader one of her super cute Porcelain Teddy Graham Rings! Winner gets to choose size and color (red, brown/yellow, green or blue). I'm so jealous!

RULES: Giveaway will run till July 8 at midnight. One winner will be randomly chosen. Open only to USA residents. Mandatory entry must be completed before bonus entries will count. Each entry must be left in a separate comment (if it says 2 entries you need to leave 2 comments). Your email address must be in at least your first entry. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

         Mandatory Entry: 
                     Visit Annie's Shop and come back and tell me your favorite item.

              Bonus Entries:
                      Become a MommyWantstoRead GFC Follower (+2 entries)
                      Heart your Favorite item in Annie's Shop     (+2 entries)
                      Heart Annie's Shop         (+2 entries)
                      Follow Annie on Twitter (+2 entries)
                      Tweet about giveaway include @AnnieEDennis and @giveawaymommy  ( Can be done twice daily 1 entry each)
                      Buy any item from Annie's Shop (+10 entries)
                      Follow Annie on Facebook (+3 entries)
                      Become a GFC follower on Annie's Blog (+3 entries)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Etsy Shop Profile- ReadingsByKat

Today I'm happy to bring to you the profile of a different kind of shop on Etsy. Shop owner Kat from ReadingsByKat specializes in intuitive tarot card readings and custom witchy-ware. Her prices range from $3 for a simple 3 yes or no question reading to $45 for a detailed love reading. She has also started a line of mommy and me magic including things like faerie powder and crystal kits. To keep up with all of her latest news including giveaways check out her Blog:
Twitter:, or Facebook:

 How did you learn to read Tarot cards and for how long have you been doing it?
I've been reading cards for over ten years now and it's difficult to answer the 'how' I learned as it just sort of happened.  One of my college friends bought a deck and we all just started playing with it, working with energy and reading for each other.  Even before I knew the 'standard' meanings of the cards, I pulled images and meanings from the cards and kind of translated them into readings for people around me.  Since then I've taken multiple workshops and classes as well as worked with other readers to keep learning more about the cards and new ways to use them.
What are the most common questions people want answered during a reading?
This question makes me smile.  I attended a divination workshop recently and learned the questions I am asked most commonly are the same questions people asked the Oracle at Delphi so long ago.  Humans haven't changed that much and they want to know about love and money.  "How can I improve my relationship with my: husband, boyfriend, sister, ect.?"  "Am I on the right track with my career?"  These questions are typical and also important to just about all of us.

What is your most popular candle spell?
On etsy it's a tie between the Prosperity and Abundance and the Faerie Powders (for the kids).  On ebay it's 100% the Re-Kindle the Romance kit.  However, many of my available kits have been written because of a custom request.  I love custom spell crafting; getting out my sources and supplies and scrawling notes all over the place... super fun!
I'm also always trying to expand to different spell types, like knot magic, sachets and crystals.  My goal is to have simple effective magic that anyone can do and has options for more experienced magick workers to add to. 

What do you tell skeptics?
If for some strange reason a skeptic actually decides to get a reading from me, I typically don't treat them any differently than my other clients; I tell them what the cards mean and also how they relate to each other and the client's situation.  Much more often than not, they walk away with their mind changed, at least for a little bit.  Thankfully I have yet to run into a rude skeptic, otherwise this might be a different answer. 

Have you ever had to give someone bad news during a reading?
Yes, and believe me it is just as difficult for me to say it as it is for the person to hear it.  I try to make it as compassionate as I can while still making sure the meaning gets across.  My worst experience was a reading for a gentlemen about his future health.  I threw the cards once, put them back, re-shuffled and pulled cards that while different, had the same meaning.  My hands shook as I typed up the reading, I sent it with a note that said I hoped I was wrong and re-funded his money.  Since then I rarely answer health questions.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Jackie who won the 3 piece jewelry set of a ring, pendant, and earrings. She has already confirmed. Thank you to everyone who entered. Keep an eye out as I'm sure there will be more giveaways happening on my blog real soon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Review- Lure by Stephanie Jenkins

Ugh first let me say I hate my laptop and I hate blogger. Between the two I just lost my entire post on this and now have to rewrite it again! Anyway I eagerly turned to this book because the second I saw this cover it hop skipped and jumped to the top of my TBR pile. So I was even happier when Annie from sent me a free copy to review. That fits right into my budget but honestly this book is at a great price you can get it for .99 from both amazon and smashwords!

17 year old Charlotte has had a hard life of late. After nearly drowning at a party where she becomes very drunk Charlotte finds herself changed. She no longer craves food but instead greedily drinks up salty water. She constantly finds herself waking up on the shore only to find out hours later about yet another man who has died at sea. Charlotte is a siren. Scared at the "monster" she has become. She doesn't know who she can trust till she meets another siren and her sister. As if things aren't bad enough Charlotte also has to contend with a crazy goddess who has sent out a hunter to kill her and the other sirens. Can Charlotte find true love in order to save her soul and mortality? Can Charlotte fight off the hunter who seems to find her every time she sets food in the ocean?

I really enjoyed this book. Though I did think a few parts could have been cut and it would still be just as enjoyable but a bit shorter. What struck me the most about this book is that aside from the whole siren thing it is true to teenage life. There is not white washing of teenagers. They smoke, have tattoos, sex, drink, drugs, and curse. None of it is blatant nor over the top. It just is. That's how real life is. I'm sick of books that seem to forget how teenagers really are.  It's not all goody goody gumdrops people. I enjoyed the love interest in the book. There were  sparks between Charlotte and Wyatt. The book was also full of enough action and twists and turns to keep me reading. I look forward to the second book (which she has begun to post teasers of on her blog). I can't wait to see what happens next. I give the book 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review- Iron Kissed by Patrcia Briggs

Oh what can I say I'm addicted to the Mercy Thompson books. Like chips or popcorn you just gobble them up and then look disappointingly down at an empty bowl and wonder where did they all go. Though I admit I walked into this book with some trepidation. I had the ending spoiled for me and I was afraid to walk into this book.

In this third book Mercy now has to repay her debt to the fae after they helped her fight the Vampire Sorcerer. Mercy is called in to help look into some murders happening to the faeries on their reservation. As always she truly steps into it and soon her life is at risk. No only does she have to fear the murderer but now the Fae have sent one of their assassins to silence Mercy. With a bounty on her head and one of her close friends in jail for murder can Mercy solve who the killer is and fight off those who come to attack her?

Wow this one was so good. We are given a closer look into the lives of the faeries and learn even more about the gray lords who rule the fae. Mercy is also now forced to choose between Adam and Sam. The ending of the book is hardest part to get through. I know it left a bad taste in many readers mouths and one has to ask how Ms. Briggs could do such a thing to such a beloved character. I rather found it to make Mercy an even more complex character and showed just how much of a fighting spirit she truly has. We also then learn more about the werewolf Ben and why he is the way he is. I love that at the end Mercy decides to take back her life into her own hands and not let what happen ruin her life and her spirit. I give this one 4 and half out of 5 stars.

Book Review- Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire

So I've been lax on my review writing. I've just finished rereading all 7 of the Harry Potter books but haven't been posting my reviews. So to save time I'm going to post two at a time and do number 7 by itself.

   This is probably my 4th favorite book in the series. This time around reading did not disappoint. I'm sure I don't have to give a summary of the book as by this point you've either read the books or well probably never will. One of my favorite parts of this book is how Hermione stretches herself so thin. She is constantly looking to be perfect and to be an expert in everything. I've always wished I could be that kind of person. The one who is an over self-achiever. I would have gotten so much further in life that is for sure.    While I admit I do miss Scabbers I love finding out more about Harry's father and his friends. I also love how Harry comes into his own even more at the end of the book and that there is glimpse of hope for happiness for him. I give prisoner 4 and half out of 5 stars.

Ah now we come to my favorite book in the whole series or at least tied for 1st with Sorcerers Stone. Everytime I read it it just makes me sigh in contentment. I swear I could read this one over and over again. Where to begin? I love that it grabs you right from the start. Harry joining the others at Ron's house and going to the Quidditch World Match.  Ah the Dark mark appearing in the sky. The introduction of the other schools. The dance....oh gosh my all time favorite part in all of the books with Hermione showing up looking gorgeous with Krum! This book was just perfection. I loved Ron being jealous of Krum but at the same time hero worshipping him. I loved Fluer turning all of the boys heads. Oh and Harry's crush on Cho. There is so much packed I can't even begin to mention it all.  As you can imagine I give this 5 out of 5 stars!

Etsy Shop Profile- RedHeadsandRuffles

Here is my latest etsy shop profile of shop owner Amanda of RedHeadsandRuffles

My name is amanda and I am a 29 year old wife, mother, and new college student. I quit my job of 11 years to return to school to pursue what I have always wanted to do, nursing.

Who taught you how to sew?
My mother taught me to sew when I was young, she made most of her own patterns herself. She could look at something for a minute and draw a pattern freehand and then cut and construct it in no time at all. I was blessed with the same talent.
   What is your favorite item in your shop?
My favorite item in my shop is the ruffle bodice dress. This was my first and most in depth pattern that I have made or sewn. All the ruffles are hand bunched and pinned one by one! It takes over 15 hours to make one dress. The 24 month size dress uses 3 yards of fabric alone. I am also quite smitten with the wall letters and the open back blouse and bloomers because they are recreations of items from my childhood.

What inspires you the most?
My daughter definately inspired me the most! Her name is Lily and she is my precious little flower! Before about 6 months ago I hadn't touched my sewing machine in several years just because I was so busy working, and al the day to day things. But now that she is up and running, I love making flowy little outfits for her. She also loves to help, but her idea of helping is bringing me scraps off the floor and telling me all my creations are "very cute mama". It's nice to have constant positive feedback!

What are your plans for your etsy shop in the future?

I plan on doing a local craft fair this summer and maybe a couple weekends at the farmer's market. 
I would love to see my shop grow and flourish. I really love sewing and I really love making things people love. If i had all the money in the world I would do this for free. I would just make cute little dresses and hand them out like candy, just to see the smiles and hear that people love them. 

I have a new blog at Soon I will start doing a Freebie Friday. Every other Friday I will be doing a giveaway, either from my shop, or other wonderful etsy shops. I also try to add a bit of myself to it too. I like to see the person behind the brand I like, and I hope that others will like seeing me!

I am also on facebook -
(i regularly list free shipping codes there.....)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Etsy Shop Profile- MeredithCarey

Shop owner Meredith Carey grew up always feeling like she was in the wrong time. Going to places where people reenact history like Renaissance Fairs was a homecoming for her. Now that she is older she enjoys surrounding herself with items from the past. Her shop is filled with wonderful items that anyone who is a lover of Steampunk or Victorian items will adore. Her shop is still new and growing. So stop by her shop and take a look around. Also when you get a chance check out her fan page on facebook you can also keep up to date and contact her at her twitter account @MeredithDCarey

If you could visit any period in time where would you end up?

If I could visit any period in time it would definitely be the Victorian era. I have always loved and admired the fashion, architecture, music, literature, and social history of the time. In fact, I received my BA in sociology with a minor in history partly because of it.

What is your favorite item in your shop?

My favorite item in my shop is a vintage barware set I found. It is like nothing I've ever seen before. It has four shot glasses and a decanter that all rest in what looks like a German soldier's helmet. The detailing on it is just amazing and fun. Sometimes I debate about keeping it for myself.

Since your shop is so new do you have plans on what you would like to do with your shop? My personality is very planned and organized so before I opened my shop I read a lot of books about having a business and they all said to pick a niche. They warned against being too broad or trying to sell everything to everyone. I really enjoyed cardmaking and scrapbooking so that's where I started. I make cards, invitations and scrapbooking kits for people that have a Victorian theme. But very quickly I felt unsatisfied because I also have a love for antiques and collectibles but I didn't want to try and start a second business while this one was still so new. Then one night as I was talking with my husband about it he suggested I add vintage items to the shop I already had. I was worried about being "too broad" but he thought I could sell the collectibles like I wanted and still offer cards to go with them for people who were buying items as gifts. And it just seemed to fit together. So now I am building on this idea. Since my direction has changed a bit I have some work ahead of me to clearly define my shop but I love every minute of it and am excited to share it with others.

What made you decide to open up a shop on etsy?

I had been interested in having a business, as I've said, and I knew it had to be online because of the financial costs involved with a brick and mortar building. One night I was reading an article in a magazine and someone was advertising their shop on Etsy so I checked it out and it was exactly what I was looking for. At that point I still hadn't decided exactly what I was going to do but since my passions are for handmade and vintage items, I knew I was in the right place. From there I worked my ideas until I had a shop that was really like me. A place where people can "Imagine life from another time," a slogan posted on my shop's homepage to remind me and everyone else of my mission.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Etsy Shop Profile- Fleurdelisquilts

I'm happy to bring my second etsy shop profile of shop owner Mary from Fleurdelisquilts. Mary is regular poster in the etsy blog team. This week her shop hits it's 1 year anniversary!! This grandmother loves to sew and pours into it the same love that she pours into the items she sews for her own family. Last year this caring woman had to all but close up her shop in order take care of her mother who passed away of cancer. Her shop is not just full of quilts but also has hair accessories, bridal veils, purses, bibs and more. But now she is back and ready to take on the challenge of custom pieces just for you! Please check out her blog at and  become a facebook fan.

When and where did you learn how to sew?
I've been sewing for as long as I can remember, but I was mostly playing until high school. After marriage and children, I really honed my skills sewing for my three boys and seven sisters. I've made prom dresses and a couple of wedding dresses. Eventually I found my way to making quilts, probably because I was raised with quilters as both my mom and grandmother were quilters. They influenced me quite a bit and really encouraged me in all of my sewing and quilting.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Anything can be inspiration....a beautiful flowers, a grandchild, a request or commission from someone else who has specific ideas for a quilt, lots of different magazines, dreams, fine art and, of course, memories of my mom and grandmother. When I pick up fabrics from mom's stash, I immediately begin reminiscing about her, often those are tearful memories, but they are also happy, love-filled memories. Calico, especially in blue or purple, take me back to my grandmother's dresses and her sweet smell.

What is your favorite use for your quilts?
Originally all my quilts were meant for the bed--queen size or perhaps twin for the grandchildren, but today I find that I am making more wall hangings, quilted pillows, art quilts, and even doll quilts. So really my quilts are meant to be used in all sorts of ways from art works to home decor to their original purpose of keeping loved ones warm.

What is your favorite item in your shop right now?
That would have to be a quilted pillow that I made a few weeks ago. ( 
It was fun to make in so many ways but especially in the designing and quilting stages. I was able to explore color and learn some new quilting motifs.

Lastly being a book blog do you have any recommendations for books I should read? 
I am currently reading "Ask for it" by , Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever which is nonfiction and really not my genre, but I'm enjoying it immensely. 

I just finished "Inside out girl" by Tish Cohen, which is a fabulous book about a family with a child who has nonverbal learning disorder (NLD). It's such a timely novel in that we educators deal with children who have learning disorders every day. This novel helped me to see the world through the eyes of child who might be in my classroom. 

And just before that I read "The Night Journey" by Kathryn Lasky. It's a great historical fiction which is my favorite genre. I love to read about the lives of people who experienced the world at a different time and place. 

I have several others waiting in the wings for summer reading but I'd prefer to read those before mentioning them


Book Review- Wonderous Strange Lesley Livingston

So I just happened to stumble upon this book while searching around for books to add to my TBR list. I've found that I enjoy finding books I want to read almost as much as I enjoy actually reading the books themselves. From the moment I saw the book cover I was hooked. As a self proclaimed cover whore this just spoke to me. A beautiful girl with long curly red hair. When I was younger I thought the most beautiful women on earth had long bright red curly hair.

The book is about an actress named Kelley who lives in NY. She is currently starring in a Midsummer Nights Dream playing the fairy Queen Titania. While practicing her lines in Central Park she runs into changeling (a human child raised in the fairy world) Sonny. Soon everything changes for her and she becomes aware the faeries surround her world and her connection to them that she never knew she had. A huge fight is coming as the doors between our world and the Otherworld are threatened to tear open.

I really enjoyed this book. It caught me from the first page. I loved Kelley's spunk. There were plenty of twists and turns. Some you could see coming from a mile away others you never see coming. While I think the romance between Kelley and Sonny could have been written better I still enjoyed it. I am just sick of the whole boy meets girl and there is instant flaming love. Sometimes love needs to develop over time. Other than that I really loved the book. I look forward to reading the next two books (both of which have gorgeous covers!)  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review- Maiden Flight Bianca D'Arc

So I decided to read this ebook because it fits in with the current challenge for the Hogwarts reading challenge. I thought the cover was interesting enough that I would have to check it out. Not very long in length I knew I could blow through this book.

I quickly dived into the book and was caught from the start as the main character, whose name I can't even remember, chases after a dragon who has stolen the deer she just killed. She has the rare ability to understand dragon's and the dragon decides to bring her to his rider. This is where the book takes a sharp right turn. This is also where I learn to pay better attention to all the details before I pick up a book. For this book is an erotica book. Which for anyone who knows how I am about sex in books they would be laughing right now. See it's not that I'm opposed to sex. In fact I find it strange when a book lacks characters who are doing it. I just have a problem with reading the details. I like the old black and white movies thing where it fades to black and they come back to them lying in bed smoking cigarette and just looking thoroughly satisfied. I say I'm not a prude but when I told my husband about this book and my shock at the erotica in it he cracked up and told me that I am indeed a prude.

I admit I did finish the book. If one were to take out all of the erotica it could have made for a good fantasy genre short story. But like a young girl on the verge of pubescence I found myself blushingly curious and I skimmed through the sex scenes. Some had me snorting with laughter, some intrigued, and some had me exclaiming "bullshit!". What had me claiming bullshit? Well the virginal female who barely was able to handle her mans largeness later on had no problem during a threesome taking that large penis in another much much much tighter hole. UGH! I know! I know! Oh not to mention there is a disturbing moment where the dragon goes down on her. Ick ick ick! This just had me certain that I'll never touch another erotica book again

So as you can imagine this is my lowest scoring review ever. If it hadn't been so short and if I hadn't had the stare at a train wreck response to it I never would have finished this book. Again I have nothing against sex I just necessarily like to read all about it. I give this book half a star. I would give it zero stars but the half comes from the parts that would make up a decent short (and I do mean short) story.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Follow Friday

Answer to today's question: It is so hard for me to pick just one character. When I was a little girl I always imagined myself as Mary in the Secret Garden. I always wanted to discover a hidden space I could call my own. 

Please enter my giveaway sposnored by gwenwalls. It's for a ring, earring, and pendant set 

Giveaway- Jewelry set from gwenwalls Little Fairy Shop

So I told myself I was going to wait a while before doing any more giveaways....but well I changed my mind especially after I got an eyeful of gwenwalls Little Fairy Shop. Filled with wonderful goodies that activate the imagination I just knew I had to contact her. So I was so excited and please when she agreed to do a giveaway. She has wonderful items that not only will delight little girls but also delight those young at heart. Here are just a few the goodies you'll find hidden in this fellow book lover's shop.

How precious is this hair barrette? I love it!

                            Never get lost again with this Jack Sparrow compass ring!

I love these elegant white rose earrings!

                                              The Giveaway
  One reader will win this set of ring, earrings and pendant! I'm so jealous I love them! As a bonus anyone making a purchase before June 30 can get free shipping! Just use code MOMMY

Rules: Giveaway will end June 24'th. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be picked. Please put your email address in at least your first comment. Winner will be picked by random number generator. Mandatory entry must be done before bonus entries count. Leave a seperate comment for each entry please. US only.

Mandatory Entry: Visit gwenwall's shop and come back and tell me your favorite item

Bonus Entries:       
Become a GFC follower- old followers count (1 bonus entry)
gwenwall's shop (1 bonus entry)
                                     Tweet once daily  include @giveawaymommy in tweet
                                Buy something from gwenwall's shop (10 bonus entries)
                                Become a Fan of gwen's on Facebook (2 bonus entries)
                                Become an email follower on gwen's blog  
(3 bonus entries)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Etsy Shop Profile- LMG Design

Lisa from LMGDesign is a full time artist. She creates beautiful paintings, jewelry, book thongs and my favorite of hers upcycled puzzle pieces. I just love all of her pieces! You can check out her blog at  or visit her facebook page . She welcomes custom orders so feel free to contact her if there is a piece you would like her to make. Stop by her shop and check out all the other wonderful goodies she has!
                                                    Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Inspiration is pretty ambiguous. I tend to draw from the world around me, so nature, family, color all those things have an influence... my mood that day has an influence. But that is what makes art interesting and fun, it is ever changing.

What is your favorite piece in your shop right now?
My favorite item is the "Dreamer" Pieces of Inspiration set. I also love Gotta Paint, which is my avatar... I am in the process of making one for myself. That's the problem with my shop, I only make one of each design... and sometimes it is hard to not keep it for myself. 

Writers often suffer from blocks do you go through the same thing when creating a piece and if so how do you work your way around it?
I think it is part of the creative process.. everyone has experienced that frustration. I tend to leave the studio. Get a fresh perspective, do some yoga, get outside, play with the kids, read... anything to switch gears mentally. Then I come back with a fresh perspective, I am more relaxed and feeling more positive and that is when those creative juices really start to flow. Sometimes, it helps to not take it so seriously and just enjoy the process. 

When and where did you learn how to make jewelry?
I began making jewelry about 3 years ago, self-taught. I LOVE necklaces and earrings, so that was what I focused on at first. The puzzle pieces were a fun side project. We had so many lying around the house that I sat down with my kids for a creative exercise/art lesson and we all painted them. It was so much fun that I haven't stopped working with them, embellishing them... seeing how far I can push that medium. Book thongs were next, and those are my creative therapy. There is something so relaxing and quiet about stringing seed beads, it has a zen quality to it.

Need to Beat the Heat? Head to the Library!

For many of us across the US the weather has been unbearably hot! I live in an upper-floor apartment with no central air. Let me tell you the heat rises and leaves it feeling like a sauna. This year our main window unit air conditioner broke. Since we don't have huge windows we are stuck with stagnant humid air. Ugh it is horrible. So what is my solution? Well I could hole myself up in the bedroom with the working unit and blast it till my electric bill skyrockets. But no I chose another alternative. I packed up my laptop and some icy water and braved the mid day sun with my 3 year old toddler in tow. We walked the 8 minutes to our local public library. The second we stepped inside we were greeted with an arctic blast of cold air. Ah so refreshing.

So if your house is unbearably hot why don't you take a trip to the library. Many libraries have free wifi and the best part is you can grab a book or the latest issue of your favorite magazine find a cozy corner and dig in for the afternoon. What better excuse for making time to read than having to keep cool? And you can do it without spending any money.