Thursday, February 28, 2019

book chat - Living Simply

Living Simply: A Teen Guide to Minimalism

Thank you to Lerner Publishing Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

book chat - Seven at Sea

Seven at Sea: Why a New York City Family Cast Off Convention for a Life-Changing Year on a Sailboat

Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by Shadow Mountain
I thoroughly enjoyed traveling along with the Ortons on their family adventure! Erik, Emily and their five children decide to learn to sail and this leads eventually to the purchase of a catamaran they rename Fezywig and a 5,000 mile adventure lasting nearly a year. Not every couple, let alone a family this size, could stand so much closeness; this family not only survives intact but grows through the shared experience and trials and joys along the way. The reader is treated to the whole experience, both the highs and lows. The Ortons travel to some amazing places, but also get stuck waiting on boat repairs and weather and have to rethink their plans and expectations. Through this process, they all learn to slow down and take life as it comes. There is no sugarcoating here. Life on a boat can be dangerous, but without risk, there is no reward. Living the life of a cruiser is not for everyone, but this family inspires with their willingness to break out of the mold and try on a new lifestyle.
Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

book chat - Watcher in the Woods

Watcher in the Woods (Rockton #4)

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

book chat - The Lost Man

The Lost Man


Monday, February 18, 2019

book chat - Mini Meadows

Mini Meadows by Mike Lizotte, Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by Storey Publishing, LLC
Beautiful photos and great information that even a beginner gardener can follow to create their own mini meadow. I've been looking for a way to make my own small property lower maintenance and I think this is the perfect solution. I've wanted a more natural landscape since my area is very hot and dry in the summers; keeping grass alive is a battle. I actually made a half-hearted attempt last year with wildflower seed, but now I see I went about it all wrong. I can't wait to turn my "hellstrip" and the hilly portion of my yard into lovely patches of wildflowers!
Thank you to NetGalley and Storey Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this beautiful book! All comments are my own, unbiased opinion. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

book chat - Block Print Magic

Block Print Magic: The Essential Guide to Designing, Carving, and Taking Your Artwork Further with Relief Printing

Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group – Rockport Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

film chat - I'm Fine, Thanks

Something a little different today. Not a book, but a documentary film.

I'm Fine, Thanks
A feature-length documentary about a crew of filmmakers who criss-crossed the country talking to every day people about how they fell into lives of complacency (and most importantly, what they did to change their lives and create their own paths to happiness). (2012)
I actually watched this one back when it was first released in 2012 (or soon after anyway), but watched it again over the weekend. While this isn't my favorite documentary focused on people simplifying their lives, it is definitely worth a watch. Books and documentaries of this type always make me take a step back and look at my own life, questioning if I'm making the choices necessary to live the life I truly want... or am I just slogging through, doing what I'm supposed to do? One of my best decisions in the past several years was quitting a crap job with a horrible boss that all but outright demanded ridiculous overtime, opting for a company that never asks for overtime. While those overtime paychecks were nice, I didn't really have time to do much more than just use the money to pay down my mortgage. Paying off my home faster was a very good thing, but working 60-80 hours a week don't leave much time for anything else. I'm much happier working fewer hours and having less responsibility (and stress). I regularly dream of ditching the house and hitting the road on my own terms and I enjoy watching/reading about others questioning their current lifestyle and making changes (if necessary) to live a life more in line with their values. Live your own life, not one society has told you is the way to live.
The film can be found in multiple places, including available for purchase at the link above. I watched on Kanopy, accessed through my local library system. =)

Monday, February 11, 2019

book chat - Whimsical Cross-Stitch

Whimsical Cross-stitch by Cari Buziak, Expected publication: February 13th 2019 by Dover Publications
A super cute collection of cross-stitch designs! Designs are grouped in the following categories: animals (real and fantasy), dashing designs, home and hearth, nature in bloom and special occasions. As expected in this type of book, the basics of cross-stitch are covered before getting into the designs and many designs would be easily stitchable by a newbie, but there are also designs that would present more challenge. Charts are clearly done. I found quite a few designs I'd love to stitch for myself and for gifts.
Thank you to Dover Publications and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

book chat - The Happy Traveler

The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations


Thursday, February 7, 2019

book chat - Plus+

PLUS+: Style Inspiration for Everyone

by Published February 5th 2019 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
I love seeing people of all sizes being confident in who they are. I was happy to see a wide variety of people represented in these pages and have quite a few additions to my social media feeds. Along with photos, the reader is treated to a bit from each participant about their personal style. I found this book well put together and a joy to peruse.
Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this inspiring book in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

book chat - Pruning Simplified

Pruning Simplified: A Step-by-Step Guide to 50 Popular Trees and Shrubs

by Published February 5th 2019 by Timber Press
While this book doesn't cover every plant or tree in my yard, I did learn what I've been doing wrong with a few of them! This book covers 50 common plants and trees and includes information on formative pruning, routine pruning and remedial pruning for each. There is also a useful table listing when to prune various species, plants requiring little or no pruning and hedging plants. This will be a very handy reference.
Thank you to the author Steven Bradley, Timber Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. All comments are my own, unbiased opinion. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

book chat - Simply Hot Pots

Simply Hot Pots: A Complete Course in Japanese Nabemono and Other Asian One-Pot Meals by Published February 5th 2019 by Race Point Publishing

I'm a huge fan of Asian foods and was excited to see this book coming out. I was especially excited to see a section in the book of vegetable hot pot recipes since I choose not to consume animal products. 

A note to vegetarians and vegans, most of the recipes included here do include pork, chicken/duck, beef and/or seafood, though these are in specified chapters aside from the section with the broths and sauces. I did find a good number of broth and sauce recipes that did not call for animal products, though some recipes in the vegetable hot pot section call for broths that do contain animal products. This is something to watch for. I do think some substitutions could be made in some of these recipes to eliminate the animal products, though it would obviously impact flavors.

In addition to the various hot pot recipes, there are also sections for side dishes and desserts. The photography throughout is done well, making the food enticing. Though this book isn't a perfect fit for me, I'm so glad I got a chance to review it and I do have a few recipes I'll be trying out soon.
Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group – Race Point Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.