Thursday, July 28, 2011

Etsy Finds- Lets Have a Tea Party

Whose in the mood for a tea party? Here are a few low sales (less than 50 sales) shops who have totally cool tea party items. Please stop by their shops and show them some love.

TeaPartyWhimsy is based out of Conway Arkansas. A tea party fan from the time she was a little girl shop owner Hannah is now a tea specialist. Check out her blog for discount codes and tea party ideas.

PickledPinkParties is an adorable shop filled with items any little girl would love to own. From Tremonton UT shope owner Andrea also has another etsy shop PickledPinkPaperie that specializes in announcements, printable party supplies, and digital cards. (edit: whoops put the  shop owners name sorry it is Andrea not Hannah) 


CandiedFlamingo is run by aunt and niece team Libby and Samantha. All edible items are made at the time you order. Be sure to check out Samantha's dessert blog, their facebook  and their other etsy shop burgermeisterin  full of handmade and vintage items.


Vacation Review- Shady Maple Smorgasbord

Lancaster is full of Smorgasbords (buffets). The two most popular are Shady Maple and Millers. In the past I've been to Millers and love it. This time around I tried Shady Maple for the first time. We went there for breakfast one morning. Instantly we fell in love and came back for one dinner and one more breakfast.The price was great!

Shady Maple is HUGE. They have multiple stations full of yummy foods. For breakfast they have several grilling stations that make things like eggs Benedict and custom made omelets. There is even a grill station where they make pancakes. There are plenty of drink stations with tons of drink options. Milk, coffee, juice, cappuccino, soda, tea, even have a couple of those Freeze machines full of icy drinks.  Hubby tried one of their jelly donuts and proclaimed it was the best jelly donut he has ever had! All different kinds of sausage (the turkey cheese one was hubby's and my favorite). Lots of crisp bacon and all different kinds of potatoes. Donuts galore and a few desert items. TONS of  fresh fruit including watermelon, grapes, bananas, oranges, pineapple etc.  There were a few dishes I avoided like scrapple. They had lots of buttered toast with a nice variety of breads including bagels. Fortunately my 3 year old was free because he decided to be picky. His favorite item was when I grabbed him a box of honey nut cheerios.

As to the dinner experience we all agreed breakfast was better but still enjoyed dinner. We went monday night where they have steaks and smoked pork chops at the grills. I tried the Delmonico and my husband had a pork chop. The pork chop was more like ham than a chop. The steak was thin but juicy. I ordered it medium rare and got medium well. It had a bit of gristle to it but was a nice huge piece I was given. My carnivorous side tore through it. The fried chicken was AMAZING! I also really loved the mac and cheese and gobbled up a huge salad full of my favorite ingredients (only thing they didn't have that I missed was blue cheese). They had baked potatoes that were yummy. OH and the deserts were something to behold. Shoofly pie, whoopie pies (my stepdaughter's and my favorite), and two Ice cream bars serving Turkey Hill Ice Cream with tons of toppings to put on top.

After all of this chowing down make sure you run downstairs to check out their GIGANTIC gift shop. I've never been in a gift shop this huge. I picked up a bonnet for my niece for only $6. They bathrooms...well here was the hitch. In the morning they were nice and clean and well stocked. However after a full day of thousands of people running in and out the bathroom was disgusting. Think of a truck stop... Toilet paper all over the place, half the toilets clogged, trash overflowing from the garbage holes next to the sinks, no paper towels in site and slimy water all over the sinks. Not to mention the classic woman squats to pee but doesn't bother to wipe up her tinkle. If you pee on the seat clean it up please! You are so worried about your health but don't give a damn about others? ARGH, talk about huge pet peeve of mine. The purel dispensing machine was out but there was one a couple of feet away from the bathrooms that I was able to use.

For the buffet itself I give the breakfast buffet 5 out of 5 stars. The dinner buffet 4 out of 5. As for the bathrooms I give them a rating of 1 out of 5 stars.

Etsy Shop Profile- LAS81101 Lindy's Whimsies

Las81101 Lindy's Whimsies shop is run by Linda of Alamosa Colorado. To keep her clients happy she has an easy return policy and she even just lowered the prices on some of her piece and/or shipping. Her unique jewelry will have people begging you to find out where you got it from!

What is your favorite medium to work with?
I like to work with sterling silver and semi-precious gemstones. I often add crystals for their sparkle! I also love antique trade beads. 

What is your favorite item in your shop?
I have a lot of favorites! This one:
is one I like a lot.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from the beads. I like to lay them out in different combinations, and try stringing them in different ways, until I am really happy with the result. I also enjoy looking at books, magazines and other people's work to inspire me.

What are your future plans for your shop?

I have really enjoyed being on Etsy, because it is a nice, supportive community. The more I get involved, the more I enjoy it. I hope to learn more about jewelry making and to have my shop be financially successful.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Etsy Finds- Bows Perfect for Back to School

Here are some low sale shops (under 50 sales) who have gorgeous bows perfect for any little girl going back/ or starting school for the first time. Enjoy!

NeedlesandPaints is run by mommy for life Jessica. Not only does she have adorable bows but she has purses, aprons, painted glasses, tutus, bow organizers and much much more. Here are some of my favorite bows from her shop.

MoesBows is another shop run by a mommy. Shop owner Melissa is based out of Indianapolis, IN. She is a mommy to two drama queens and one little prince. She is open to custom orders and local pickups. Here are a few I fell in love with


Army Wife Bows based out of Boise ID is full of adorable bows. It is run by shop owner Amanda. Come take a look at all her goodies.

Etsy Shop Profile- CutieMonster

Talk about a shop the specializes in something different. Based out of San Diego CA shop owner Katie enjoys...well making monsters. But these monsters are cute. You can't help but fall in love with them. She plays around with bright colors and faux fur is flying all throughout her shop. Through in a tentacle here and there and some scented shimmering powder and you've the got recipe for pure fun. You can keep up to date with Cutie Monster through Twitter, Facebook, and through her blog. You can also view her personal portfolio at

You have some very unique items in your shop! Where do you come up with your ideas for them?
I get my ideas from a wonderful little disorder called ADHD. I'll be working on something completely mundane, when my mind leaves the task completely and says things like, "what if powder puffs had eyes?" and, "what kind of bracelets do werewolves wear?" Or, maybe, I'll be doodling in the margin of something important and say, "hey, those tentacles would make cool earrings." Creativity often comes to me when I should be doing something else, like working or sleeping.

What is your favorite item in your shop?

I think my favorite item is the monster cuff. It's exactly the kind of thing I love - it's fuzzy, it has jingly pieces and chains, and it stands out from the crowd. When I was in high school, I would have done anything to have something like this in a local store; my style was all about playful pieces, and being able to play with my jewelry was always a big bonus. 

How long have you been creating your little monsters?
The specific monsters in my shop I've only been making for a few months, but I've always been creating monsters. When I was little, I made them out of pipe cleaners and beads and clay, when I was in art school I drew them in the margins of my notes or created them from scrap pieces from serious projects. I used to make fancy ballgowns or coats for my toy dinosaurs, which are only a step away from being monsters, anyway. I think what I like about monsters is that they can be anything you want to be; they don't have rules. They're the perfect place for creativity to start.

                                                                                                                          What are your future plans for your shop?
I'm going to be branching out to a few different places with my shop soon; there will still be monsters, but I'm developing ideas for costume pieces as well as avant-garde accessories made from recycled materials - can't say too much about it yet! I also look forward to someday being able to sell my stuff in a physical store (or stores), to make unique handmade accessories more accessible to teens and young adults who share my love for the cute and slightly monstrous. I wouldn't ever consider selling to a shop like Hot Topic as selling out - as a teen, even though I knew it was a bit contrived, I didn't have much access to stores that sold anything but run-of-the-mill popular style. It was nice to be able to catch a ride to the mall and be able to add something a little different to my wardrobe. I didn't have any way to buy online at the time, so it was the best I could do. If I could give teens some quality alternative pieces they could pick up from a physical store,                                                                                                that would be awesome; I'd love to encourage self- expression and                                                                                                                playfulness with fashion.

Vacation Review- Fractured Prune Donuts

It is sad to admit but one of the first things hubby and I did when planning our Lancaster vacation was to look for donut places. The reason being that there aren't many good ones here in Jersey so whenever we go on vacation we scout out Krispy Kreme locations and homemade donut shops. Well one of the donut places we came upon was Fractured Prune Donuts. While a name like prune may not sound appealing don't let that sway you from visiting. They have a number of locations but are mostly based in Maryland.

When I walked in I instantly smelled the sweet smell of donuts and coffee. I stepped up to the counter and the friendly cashier was more than helpful especially upon hearing it was my first time there. He showed me the convenient chart they have on the counter and informed that I didn't have to stick with the flavors choices but that I could make my own. Being new to the shop I decided to pick the flavor combinations they already came up with. I picked a dozen different donuts and watched as he wrote each one of the lid of the box (this made it easier later for me to identify and tell my hubby which donut was which).

They have a wide variety of specialty donuts. The best part is they make them fresh right there after you order them. It was nice to see them throwing the hot donuts into the different glazes then hand dipping them into the other toppings. The donuts were delicious very soft in the middle but a nice crispy outside. Best eaten hot these were amazing. Some flavors were more well liked that others. But hubby and I oooohed over the orgasmically good creamsicle donut. Other favorites were the Blueberry Hill, the Banana Nut Bread (tied for first with the creamsicle donut), strawberry shortcake and peppermint patty. 

I think both hubby and I will definitely hit Fractured Prune again if we are in an area with one. While they were not the best donuts we ever had they were yummy and novel enough that we both agreed that it is worth the trip to one. As for the kids both greedily ate up the donuts we gave them. I give Fractured Prune donuts a 4 and half out of 5 stars rating.

Etsy Shop Profile- Phonechays Creations

Shop owner Phonechay (pronounced pawn) specializes in upcycling and using eco friendly materials. She make some of the most adorable children's hats. Check out her shop and her Facebook. Also as an added bonus just MWTR readers she is offering a 30% off code for your entire purchase in her shop!! How awesome is that? Just enter in code mommyreads30 . Get your kids some really cool knit hats just in time for back to school! I personally am in love with the Despicable Me Minion Hat!

What is your favorite material to upcycle?Right now, plastic grocery bags! lol. I turn them into strips and knit them into grocery bag holders. I thought the idea is funny. Turning grocery bags into a grocery bag holder. lol.

What is your favorite item in your shop?
My Teemo hat is my favorite. I actually made that hat for me. It is inspired by an online game (League of Legends) I play with my finance and brother. I love it so much that I thought other people who play that game might like it too. Turns out, they do! :)

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My fiance and brother. They are excited that I can make cool things with yarn and they are always telling me to try to make this or that. Or if I can make something for them and it turns out so awesome that I have to make another one to share. 
And of course, League of legends. I am so in love with certain characters that when I am not playing them, I am dreaming about how to make the characters so I can have them with me all the time. I am a geek/dork, I know. lol.

 What are your future plans for your shop?             
Well, right now I'm thinking about the holidays and holiday shopping. I'm working on more winter/fall items. I make awesome fingerless gloves/mittens and other super warm hats that are not based on characters. Hopefully by Sept, I will have a full line of winter accessories available.

New Layout Thanks to Miss Felicity Designs

Visit {Miss Felicity} Designs for a Layout!
Some of you may have noticed the change in my layout. As I'm fast approaching my 1 year blogoversary I decided to make a change. While I loved the old layout I wanted something a little bit more funky and Felicity did a great job! She kept with both the mommy theme and the reading theme while giving it a bit of a pick me up. If you are a blogger who wants to change up your layout please consider Felicity. Through the end of July she is giving out free designs to all who are interested. Not much time left!

You can visit both of her blogs at and Thanks again Felicity. I love the new look!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Etsy Finds- Edible Flowers

What's better than smelling a flower? How about eating one? There is something about consuming these fragrant treasures. I still remember years ago when I was in France and tried Rose petal jelly for the first time. Here are some shops who have specialized edible flowers. MMM...which one would you try first?

 SalmonBerry Origins Shop is unique. Owner Rainey "Nasugraq" Hopson is an Inupiaq Eskimo artist from the North Slope of Alaska. Rainey directly handpicks the herbs from the tundra just as her ancestors did. Check out her facebook page and blog for her latest updates. Here are her dandelion Bloom jelly, Fireweed Flower Jelly, and  Healing Tisane.

   Simply Lavender is based out of North Pasco, Washington. They are a family owned and operated farm and have over 600 organic lavender plants. All items they make are handmade and and all-natural. Check out their blog for the latest goings on. Here are their Lavender Sugar ,Organic Lavender Fudge and Sweet Lavender Mint Syrup 

Heavenly Honey Farms Shop is run by shop owner Gary. Gary is a beekeeper with hives in both Oregon and Washington.  He uses the natural method for beekeeping and tries to keep the bees to organic fields. He specializes in raw honey that is not processed, heated, filtered or altered in anyway.