Sep 30, 2014

Books That Need More Attention Giveaway Hop!

I love promoting books and there's one book that I think should receive a lot of extra attention. By My Side by Wendy Lou Jones is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It's a book that deserves to be read. That's why I've chosen it for this hop. I'm giving away 2 kindle copies of the book plus one time $17 to spend on books on Amazon or the Bookdepository. You can choose between kindle books or paperbacks.

Sep 29, 2014

Book Talk: Books with great birthday scenes & Happy Birthday Tanya!

Happy birthday Tanya!

Because my dear friend Tanya is celebrating her birthday today I've made a list of books that have really good birthday scenes. Tanya always cheers me up and I love our chats in the middle of the night. She likes reading as much as I do and we often talk about books. Her favorite birthday books are all from the Harry Potter series. I love those books as well. Check out Tanya's wonderful post about birthdays and Harry Potter which you can find here. I like reading books about birthdays, they always have something extra special.

This story contains a wonderful birthday cake for a very special person.

The birthday of the main characters is a very important part of this series.

A great birthday party with a cool challenge is one of the last times life is normal.

Making some important life changes because of an upcoming very important birthday isn't an easy decision.

I loved reading about the memorable birthday party of a teenage girl.

Making sure someone you loves has a special birthday is something really sweet.

Krysten Lindsay Hager's Birthday Questions!

 Krysten Lindsay Hager is my last guest for this month. She asked me some birthday related questions and answered them herself as well. I love this idea and had a lot of fun reading her replies and answering my questions. I'm really glad I've met Krysten, she's such a sweet person and I love our chats!


 1. What is your favorite birthday memory as an adult?
One of the best  birthdays was the year I had moved overseas and I was feeling really lonely about being away from home on that day. We had to pick up our mail from the post office and it only came on weekend. That Saturday, I went to get mine and I had so many friends and family members send cards and packages. This year was also pretty great as I got some surprise packages including the “happy mail” from you! Totally made my birthday!

2. Did you have a birthday party as a kid that really stands out for you?
My grandparents always threw big parties for me as a kid with themes like: ballerinas, or Raggedy Ann. When I was in grade school my mom had a party for me at a miniature golf place. I was turning thirteen. Because I was into makeup, every single one of the girls showed up wearing makeup…just to play mini golf! It’s funny to look back on that and how much fun we had listening to music and hanging out there. I still remember some of the presents I got that day including this big pink and green makeup container called a “Caboodle.”

3. What is your favorite kind of birthday cake (or birthday treat)?
I grew up an hour from Detroit and there’s a company there called Sanders that makes a “Bumpy Cake.” Bumpy cake is chocolate cake with thick, fudge-y frosting with “bumps” of buttercream in the frosting. It is literally the best cake on earth. There’s even an ice cream inspired by it.

4. Best birthday present you ever received and why?
My then boyfriend, now husband, had a necklace engraved for me when he was overseas. I don’t have a lot of things with my name on them because of the different spelling, so this was really special. Unfortunately, I lost it after we were engaged. I must have gone back to that restaurant a million times asking if anyone turned it in, but nope. Still, it’s a nice memory of a really thoughtful present.

5. Best birthday party you ever attended as a guest and why was it so memorable?
My friend Barbara’s sleepover in sixth grade remains one of the best. We all stayed up eating pizza, watching music videos and scary movies and my friend Melissa and I decided to mix a bunch of flavors of soda pop together. It was so much fun. My friend Dene’ also had a party where we watched a zombie movie that terrified me. That sleepover and movie inspired the scene in True Colors where Landry and her friends get scared watching a movie and all go to the bathroom together out of fear. P.S. I still HATE zombie movies with the exception of “Shaun of the Dead.”

6. What wish (if any) have you made while blowing out your birthday candles that has come true? Or are there any birthday wishes from the past you wish to share! :)
One year I wished for someone to come home safe after being in Iraq. That was probably the most memorable wish that, thankfully, came true.

1. What is your favorite birthday memory as an adult?

For my 30th birthday my husband and I threw a large dinner party. There were two long tables filled with food and all my friends and important family were there. It was amazing.

2. Did you have a birthday party as a kid that really stands out for you?
I actually had such a rotten experience one year where one of my 'friends' spoiled my party with stupid secrets I wasn't supposed to know. On birthday parties with my friends in high school I always felt like an outsider. The party I had for my 10th birthday was the last one that was really nice. I was allowed to invite a large group of girls and we went swimming. We also played games and had a very messy dinner, because we tried to make caramel (and failed) and we had a lot of fun. Several small accidents happened, like stolen underwear, a raw egg that landed on the table instead of in the pan, burned cucumber, etc. which made the party even more hilarious.

3. What is your favorite kind of birthday cake (or birthday treat)?
Champagne and chocolate cake. Food and drinks are a vital part of celebrating for me. A birthday isn't complete without my favorite treats. This year my husband made my birthday cake and I loved every single bite. Fortunately we celebrated my birthday several times, so I had three chances to eat that delicious chocolate sachertorte.

4. Best birthday present you ever received and why?
That's a difficult one. My husband always gives me something romantic. He asked someone to design me a piece of jewelry more than once and all of those pieces are equally precious. 
That isn't a complete answer for me though as it always makes me very happy when I feel loved. That's even more important than the actual gifts. I cherish every postcard, message or call. I love personal messages. Krysten has sent me a very special card this year, that means a lot to me. I keep all my birthday mail as it's precious to me.

5. Best birthday party you ever attended as a guest and why was it so memorable?
My uncle's 50th birthday party. It was actually a surprise wedding. My uncle and aunt had been together for a very long time, but they were boyfriend and girlfriend. They planned their entire wedding in secret and only the best man and woman knew about it. They got married at that party which was so romantic. It was pretty amazing and I will never forget it.

6. What wish (if any) have you made while blowing out your birthday candles that has come true? Or are there any birthday wishes from the past you wish to share! :)
I haven't made any wishes as making a wish when blowing out the candles was something we never did. I haven't had any candles on my cake for years. Maybe I should start this tradition next year as I really like the idea of making a wish as a part of my birthday celebrations.

Sep 28, 2014

Lavender Loves zusnA & win a ladybug for luck

When I browsed Etsy and found zusnA I was immediately intrigued. Katarzyna's jewelry is very special. The rings and necklaces she makes are miniature pieces of nature. I think they are amazing. I bought a necklace for myself and am really happy with it!

Everything in zusnA's jewelry is real. The flowers have been dried and the bugs are actual bugs, who of course haven't been killed to make the pieces. I think including them in jewelry is amazing. Some of Katarzyna's creations are stylish and some are eclectic, there's certainly something for each person who loves nature inspired accessories.

Would you be brave enough to carry your worst fear around your neck? The wasp is mine and I know plenty of people who are afraid of spiders. I think these pendants are fascinating and I can't stop looking at them.

 I really like these shiny bugs and the butterfly wing. They have something pure which makes these necklaces special to me. I think they are really pretty!

These two necklaces would be perfect to wear this autumn. Inside you can find a dried leave and a poppy seed. Katarzyna makes jewelry that contains the best things that nature has to offer.

One lucky winner will receive this beautiful ladybug ring (on the first photo of the post you can see if from a different angle). Ladybugs bring good luck, so the winner of this prize will be extra fortunate. As usual this giveaway is international. 

La Marelle Giveaway 5

1) pencil pouch, big wallet, make up pouch, coin bag, small wallet.

2) Tote bag, necklace, brooch, notebook.

My last La Marelle giveaway for this month consists of two prizes. There will be two winners. The giveaway is worldwide as usual. All of La Marelle's jewelry is nickel free, so people with allergies can enter as well.

Sep 27, 2014

The Amber Fury by Nathalie Haynes

When you open up, who will you let in?
When Alex Morris loses her fiancé in dreadful circumstances, she moves from London to Edinburgh to make a break with the past. Alex takes a job at a Pupil Referral Unit, which accepts the students excluded from other schools in the city. These are troubled, difficult kids and Alex is terrified of what she's taken on.
There is one class - a group of five teenagers - who intimidate Alex and every other teacher on The Unit. But with the help of the Greek tragedies she teaches, Alex gradually develops a rapport with them. Finding them enthralled by tales of cruel fate and bloody revenge, she even begins to worry that they are taking her lessons to heart, and that a whole new tragedy is being performed, right in front of her...


Alex needs a new start. She moves from London to Edinburgh, because she's heartbroken. Her fiancé died in a terrible way and she has to learn how to live with the grief. Her friend Robert has offered her a teaching job. As a former director of plays she hasn't got much teaching experience, but as she could use a distraction she's giving it a try. The Pupil Referral Unit, or the Unit, is a school for troubled children. Working with difficult teenagers could be a challenge, but there's one class in particular that's exceptionally hard to teach. Alex tries to get them to read plays. She discusses Greek tragedies with the children. She has a bit of success with them which is great at first. The question is if it stays like that or if the children will now create problems in a different kind of way? The children definitely bring more trouble than she's bargained for.
The reader knows something has happened with Alex and her pupils and I wanted to find out what as soon as I could. The Amber Fury fascinated me from beginning to end. Alex is a sad woman, but there's also some hope. She has a strong personality and she's so smart and kind. I wanted to find out what happened to her in London as well. This is a book filled with mysteries and I couldn't wait to see them unravelled. The best part of the story for me was the dialogue Alex had with her pupils about the Greek tragedies. Seeing problems from many different angles made it really interesting and it looked so realistic. It was almost like I was back at school again, Alex got me thinking and I tried to form my own opinions about the questions she raised. The Amber Fury is magnificent, it's such a great book! I enjoyed it very much and am happy that I had the chance to read it.

Farfetch Favorite Sweaters

I've done some autumn window shopping on farfetch and selected some of my sweater favorites for you.

This week's Etsy favorites!

Erin Lynn Schmitz

As a lot of people like my Etsy finds, I'm going to make this a regular feature. On Saturday I'm showing you items I've added to my favorites during the week.

Bijschrift toevoegen

Always Bookish


Magical Accessories

Creepy and Cute

VB Pure Designs

Little Bits o' Faith

Natural Pretty Things


Sep 26, 2014

Children's Book Challenge

My friends AJ and Tanya are reading children's books all week next week. I've decided to join them. I won't be able to read only children's books, but I definitely look forward to reading as many as possible. I loved books when I was a child and I always read as much as I could. Our village had no proper book store and I did go to the library and read a lot at school, but it's nothing compared to what children have access to these days. I can't wait to choose from the much bigger selection. It will be fun to find my inner child again! We're looking for more people to join us and if you have any great recommendations I would love to know.


Coryographies is the Etsy Seller of the Week! + Giveaway

My Etsy Seller of the Week is Coryographies. Cory Cuthbertson makes beautiful book jewelry. She's a PhD student who needs a creative outlet as well. As soon as she started using clay and wood she knew she had found her materials of choice.

I asked Cory a few questions about her art and her shop and you can find her answers below.

1) Where do you find your inspiration?

I get inspiration from things that make me happy - I love books and learning, and I love things in miniature. My home has a lot of books in it, since my husband and I are both students!

2) Could you tell me a bit more about your work and about your Etsy shop?

I run my business part time, as I'm a full time PhD student studying archaeology. It's flexible and creative, and working with wood and clay to me is a great way to relax and spend my time when I'm not buried in real books in the library! My Etsy store is a real job, and it helps pay the tuition, but it's also my hobby and my therapy :) I started three years ago for exactly that reason - I wanted something fun and creative to work on in the evenings when I came home from the office job that I had. I had tried knitting and crocheting, but wasn't very good at it! I wanted something more tactile, and tried Fimo. After a bit of practise and Youtube tutorial videos, I started experimenting and finding my own niche, which turned out to be the bookshelf necklaces I now sell. Now, if my shop ever closes for a while (I recently spent the summer away doing archaeology in France, and closed up for 6 weeks), I get really sad and miss making things for people!

3) What do you like best about running your Etsy shop?

I meet so many interesting people, many of them authors, teachers, librarians (or their partners!) who are getting a necklace to celebrate something, like a birthday or book release, and it's nice to hear about people's lives and their stories. I can't imagine ever quitting Coryographies, even after I finish my PhD and start a research career.

What I like about Cory's stunning book jewelry is how much attention she's paid to even the tiniest details. That makes her book cases so special and her earrings so pretty. I love how real it looks. Cory is a very talented person and I fell in love with her shop when I first saw the pink bookshelf necklace. There are many others I like as well. Each of them is equally stunning.

Visit Cory's Etsy shop and discover her bookish jewelry. There's so much to look at, you will certainly enjoy it. Her creations make perfect gifts for anyone who loves books.

Cory has made these earrings for one very lucky reader of my blog. They are amazing and I'm 100% sure the winner is going to like them a lot! This giveaway is international.

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