Friday, December 30, 2011

In my Mailbox

These great titles were in my mailbox this week.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Cupcakery! Max & Mable Giveaway

If you love cupcakes, then you will adore this Etsy shop! Mad & Mable make sweets that look simply edible! Cookies, cupcakes and more grace their site! Even an egg or two!

Yum! Cherry Chocolate!

Gorgeous Custom Orders!

Sugar Cookies!

Want to win a set of two cupcakes?
How about $10 store credit?

Fill out the giveaway form below 
and be sure to stop by Max & Mable's Etsy shop
to thank them for being a part of this wonderful event.

The Cupcake Diaries Review and Giveaway!

The Cupcake Diaries is a delightful memoir with recipes by the sisters and stars of the hit TLC series DC Cupcakes. Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne inspire readers with their recipe for success: equal parts determination, smarts and the belief that if you do what you love, you can’t fail.

When Katherine and Sophie took a leap of faith and quit their secure jobs in fashion and finance to open a small cupcakery together, they knew they were risking it all. But from an early age, their Greek grandmother Babee instilled in them a love of baking and a fire to follow their dreams. From the moment they opened the doors to Georgetown Cupcake, crowds have been clamoring for their sweet, wholesome treats and they sell as many as 10,000 cupcakes a day. And for two seasons, fans have been following their escapades-including making a giant gorilla, a slot machine and a wedding gown out of cupcakes- on the hit TLC series, DC Cupcakes.

Georgetown Cupcakes meteoric rise is the realization of a dream rooted in the special bond that Sophie and Katherine with each other from childhood.  The Cupcake Diaries is a tribute to that bond, the memories they share and the important lessons they learned, both about baking and about life. The book follows their personal journey that started in their grandmother’s kitchen years ago. Arranged by season, the Kallinis sisters reveal secrets of their business success and include over 30 delicious recipes including their bestselling red velvet cupcakes and the grandmother’s delicious Greek Easter bread.

Cover to cover, recipes, tips, heartfelt stories and gorgeous photography burst from every page. The Cupcake Diaries is a celebration of what it takes-luck, courage, family support and determination-to go from dreaming to doing.

Visit the authors online:
Be sure to watch for new episodes of TLC DC Cupcakes!

When I first received this wonderful cupcake book from the publisher, I sat down and started thumbing through it, grin growing wider with each page. All of the stories, recipes and great photography grabbed my attention and I wanted to set to work making one of the recipes. I chose one from the winter collection.
The Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting was my choice.

The batter laid out…

Baked to perfection using the wonderful baking tip regarding toothpicks!

Frosted with Cinnamon Cream Cheese icing!

What I liked:

This book had great baking tips, some that I already knew and some I didn’t. The history of baking with their grandmother brought back memories of being in the kitchen with my own grandma, making Yugoslavian buns and Strukla. All of the wonderful life lessons and unforgettable memories warmed my heart and made this book all the more special.

The tips on frosting were great. My book girl on a budget baking tip collection is going to need a new tip after I tried to use one a little too small for the job and it went exploding off the end and into a heaping pile of cinnamon cream cheese goo. Obviously the wrong size, so when I make this recipe again, I will have the right tip ready for the job. I can happily say, with a mouth full of delicious gingerbread cupcake, slathered in cinnamon cream cheese icing as we speak, that this recipe is sure fire amazing and I can’t wait to cook my way through this book.

The combination of the cinnamon cream cheese and the gingerbread is wonderful.

What I didn’t: Not a thing.



The recipes and baking tips are clear and give you lots of practical ways to make your baking experience pleasant. The flavor combinations are wonderful and the photography makes you wish the pictures were 3-D and edible. If you have anyone in your life that loves cupcakes, this book is a must have.

Now a chance to win a copy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Suzy's Santas- Just in Time for Yule

If you are looking for a truly unique holiday gift or something to grace your own mantle this Yuletide season, check out Suzy's Santas shop on Etsy. I love the detailed workmanship. So beautiful!!! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In My Mailbox: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She Woke is, in its simplest terms, a futuristic retelling of The Scarlet Letter. This sophomore novel from Mudbound author Hillary Jordan takes Hawthorne's classic several steps further, turning it into a pointed, blunt warning about the consequences of an America run by the church, not the state. Hannah Payne is sentenced to sixteen years of melachroming for aborting her child. Instead of bearing a scarlet "A" like Hester, Hannah's pigment is dyed a stop sign red, leading her to endure an ostracizing societal punishment as well. Jordan seamlessly interweaves the back story of Hannah's relationship with her unborn child's father; their relationship is sudden, passionate and the short interspersed flashbacks enhance the story and Hannah's spontaneous personality. While she stumbles through rebuilding her life, her sudden decisions in moments of trouble are made with confidence and determination. Jordan purposefully makes the story about Hannah's journey by keeping her secondary characters exactly that -- secondary. Although they may guide and assist Hannah on her path, the decisions, character-building, and strength all come from within. Hannah is ultimately responsible for her future and she takes full responsibility for her past. While some readers may balk at Jordan's political and religious messages, the story of owning our decisions and actions is the focus of this engaging tale of redemption.


If you want to read a futuristic Scarlet Letter, check out this book. When it arrived in my mailbox, I was so excited! Can't wait to start reading.

Treasure Hunting Tuesday: Moonlight Journey Digital Art

ViNtAgE ChRiStMaS AnGeLs and fRieNdS Digital Elements Pack victorian santa holly angel png transparent atc single images extracted

TrAdiTiOnaL ChRiStMaS collage sheet santa vintage angel music grungy old worn word strips atc aceo backgrounds

If you want a digital collection of images to help you create a holiday to remember, check out the digital art from Moonlight Journey. These ladies have all kinds of images, kits and how to's to make your scrap booking, blogging and creative energy sing. I loved their Halloween collection, and now that I am starting to look into Christmas, I can't wait to dig into these! Pop over to their Etsy site and see even more goodies. They also have a website where you can sign up for their newsletter and see a seemingly endless array of amazing art. 
SuGaRpLuM fAiRyS collage sheet faerie fairy faeries wings glitter magnet ornament ornie holiday christmas candy cane poinsettias

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween from Busy Mom Designs

Busy Mom Designs is a one-mama operation!

I am Tricia, busy mom to 4 little ones, but I still somehow find lots of time to crochet (often in the wee hours of the night) and love to design patterns for all levels of expertise.

In under 2 years, since my first pattern was published, thousands of Busy Mom Designs patterns have been sold worldwide via Etsy and several other resources (ArtFire, Ravelry, Annies Attic, Lulu, etc.).

Patterns are easy to read and understand and are always fun to work up!

I am always happy to help if ever you should have a question about any of my patterns (or crocheting in general) and will do my best to work with you to help you make the perfect creation!

CROCHET PATTERN - The Elegance Headband - All sizes included - Beginner - PDF 301

CROCHET PATTERN - Simple Pumpkin Appliqué - Motif - Embellishment - Great for any Autumn or Halloween Project - PDF 206

I noticed this pattern on Tricia's site and knew I had to try to make it. Being a very beginner at crochet, I felt the fear and did it anyway. Take a look at my progress!



A visit to Busy Mom's website was
very worthwhile...on the pattern, she gives the link
to how to make the magic circle to make sure you get a perfect
little circle in the center that slides closed every time.

Step 12b


I did it!


And around we go! Time to form the pumpkin.


Wow! It is starting to look pumpkiny!


Making the stem...


We have a baby pumpkin!
Off I go to make some more!

If you would like the chance to win this really great pattern, fill out the giveaway form. Make sure you thank Tricia for being a part of our Halloween fun!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Treasure Hunt Tuesdays: Crankbunny

Paper Puppet Doll Mermaid Fish Lady

Funky mermaid!

Super cool greeting cards, popups, calendars and more. Check out the original art of Crankbunny. I fell in love with the mermaid fish lady first thing! Head over to their Etsy site for even more gorgeous art!

magic perpetual calendar 2011 to 2030

How cool is that?!?

Fish Head Popup Card


purple zebra orchid flower pop up card


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Treasure Hunt Tuesday: Blackberry Designs

Alice in Wonderland, Drink Me, Vintage Inspired Charm Bracelet, Round Charms

If you are looking for some quality costume jewelry, take a look at Blackberry Designs. I found her shop while I was hunting for some Halloween bling and was super impressed by the quality of her work, the variety of the pieces featured and the sheer loveliness of the bracelets (and other items) she has featured. 

Gypsy Fortune Teller, Vintage Inspired Charm Bracelet

Harry Potter Inspired, Vintage Inspired Charm Bracelet

Treasures from the Sea, Mermaid, Vintage Inspired Charm Bracelet

The Black Cauldron, Witches, Halloween, Vintage Inspired Charm Bracelet

Which one is your favorite?

Pop over to Blackberry Designs 
and tell her which one you like the best.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New on the Nook...Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reading Now: The Countess by Rebecca Johns

Was the “Blood Countess” history’s first and perhaps worst female serial killer? Or did her accusers create a violent fiction in order to remove this beautiful, intelligent, ambitious foe from the male-dominated world of Hungarian politics?
In 1611, Countess Erzsébet Báthory, a powerful Hungarian noblewoman, stood helpless as masons walled her inside her castle tower, dooming her to spend her final years in solitary confinement. Her crime—the gruesome murders of dozens of female servants, mostly young girls tortured to death for displeasing their ruthless mistress. Her opponents painted her as a bloodthirsty škrata—a witch—a portrayal that would expand to grotesque proportions through the centuries.

In this riveting dramatization of Erzsébet Báthory’s life, the countess tells her story in her own words, writing to her only son—a final reckoning from his mother in an attempt to reveal the truth behind her downfall. Countess Báthory describes her upbringing in one of the most powerful noble houses in Hungary, recounting in loving detail her devotion to her parents and siblings as well as the heartbreak of losing her father at a young age. She soon discovers the price of being a woman in sixteenth-century Hungary as her mother arranges her marriage to Ferenc Nádasdy, a union made with the cold calculation of a financial transaction. Young Erzsébet knows she has no choice but to accept this marriage even as she laments its loveless nature and ultimately turns to the illicit affections of another man.
Seemingly resigned to a marriage of convenience and a life of surreptitious pleasure, the countess surprises even herself as she ignites a marital spark with Ferenc through the most unromantic of acts: the violent punishment of an insolent female servant. The event shows Ferenc that his wife is no trophy but a strong, determined woman more than capable of managing their vast estates during Ferenc’s extensive military campaigns against the Turks. Her naked assertion of power accomplishes what her famed beauty could not: capturing the love of her husband.
The countess embraces this new role of loving wife and mother, doing everything she can to expand her husband’s power and secure her family’s future. But a darker side surfaces as Countess Báthory’s demand for virtue, obedience, and, above all, respect from her servants takes a sinister turn. What emerges is not only a disturbing, unflinching portrait of the deeds that gave Báthory the moniker “Blood Countess,” but an intimate look at the woman who became a monster.


I am reading this now and I can't put it down. Stay tuned for a giveaway and an interview with the author coming up later in the month in the 10 Days of Halloween event at On the Broomstick and Zombie Girl Shambling.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dreaming of autumn...

The weather has finally turned from a steamy 100 degrees to a cool, crisp fall evening. I am gathering up some new books to keep me company as I climb into bed for the night. The new Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry is excellent. I also just downloaded Daughter of Smoke and Bone onto my Nook. Life is good.

What are you reading this fine autumn evening?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Follow Friday

Fairy Pictures, Images and Photos

Happy Follow Friday!

Lots of great things are happening at Bookgirl Knitting. Our sister site, On the Broomstick, is getting ready to participate in the Practical Magic Blog Party. If you are interested in checking out some witchy book reviews, giveaways and fun, head over to the Broomstick on the 24th for some broom popping fun!

Q. Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one??

A. Yes. I cheered and  hoped for the Wolfman to kick the inspector's butt in The Wolfman. All those judgemental townspeople really needed a talking to. Also, he really did need to kick his father's butt for killing his mom.

I am trying to think of some other examples...Dracula. Yes. I completely rooted for him. Danged Van Helsing. Ruined everything.

“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

My favorite genre is YA. There just will never be a time when that isn't available. I love that over the past few years, more and more books are flooding into the teen realm. I also love zombie, witch, vampire, mysteries, women's fiction and cookbooks. Oh, and crochet/knitting books. With my diverse habits, I don't think I will ever lack for anything to keep me occupied.