The Time Garden

A Magical Journey and Coloring Book

by Daria Song

 

Coloring books are all the thing, they are fun, relaxing and they actually reduce stress. The illustrations that are in them for coloring are beautiful and I love them. Time will fly by so you might want to keep an eye on the clock or set a timer if you have to be somewhere. I know that almost happened to me, thank goodness my mom called with a quick question before I had to head to work. 🙂

The Time Garden is such a wonderful, magical coloring book. It is meant for adults and older kids. My 4th grader grabbed it and all her colored pencils the minute arrived and has been coloring in it over the past few weeks. I love this book and have been wanting a “grown up” coloring book for quite some time now. It is full of detailed coloring pages with so much to color. Some pages can take several days to finish. I’ve even had fun grabbing some pencils and relaxing. What is it about setting down with some art supplies that makes you relax. If you have an older child (upper middle school through high school and even adults) who loved to color as a child than think about grabbing The Time Garden: A Magical Journey coloring book along with a big set of colored pencils in all kinds of colors. This would make for a perfect gift idea for birthdays or holidays…

thank blogging for books and Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of The Time Garden. I have had so much fun relaxing and coloring. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free coloring book.

Cravings

by Chrissy Teigen

 

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

 

I love cookbooks, and I really like Chrissy Teigen’s blog so I jumped at the chance to have this little book on my shelf and in my kitchen. I’m always on the lookout for recipes that we will eat, not just ones that look great but cost an arm and a leg to buy all the ingredients. Not to mention having to go to umpteen millions stores to find that 1 ingredient that is impossible to find. Cravings is not about fancy foods with hard to find ingredients, that cost lots of money. Cravings is about good down home flavorful foods that families will like. I have so many post it’s  coming out of this book it looks like a rainbow is stuck with in the pages. I have made many of the foods and even did a week of Cravings meal. Guess what my grocery bill was not really any different price range wise. It was a  few dollars more but nothing that would make me say wow these recipes are too rich for me. Chrissy is a tell it like it is gal and her charm and wit come across in the recipe descriptions. I laughed so hard while reading through this book, and that is a first with a cookbook. I just love Chrissy  and John and so happy for all the happiness they have going on right now, first her book baby and her pregnancy. Gift Cravings to any one wanting to good, or someone who loves to cook. This book makes a great gift for a bridal shower or birthday. Cravings would also make a wonderful new mom gift – make a meal from the book and gift the meal and book and you’ve just giving a wonderful gift to new parents.

Some of my favorite meals we’ve eaten so far from the book:

  • Spicy Tomato Skillet Eggs
  • Pull Apart Buttermilk Biscuits with sausage gravy
  • Pot Pie Soup with crust crackers (genius idea and so yummy)
  • Vegetable Tortilla Stew (so yummy! Even my have to have meat with every meal guy liked this one)
  • Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Ranch Dressing
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf
  • Spicy Cajun Sausage Peppers and Cabbage
  • John’s Tuscan Brick Chicken with Charred Lemons

and so many more….

thank you Clarkson Potter, Chrissy Teigen and Bloggins for Books for sending me a copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Modern Printmaking

A Guide to Traditional and Digital Techniques

by Sylvia Covey

 

Modern Printmaking by Sylvia Covey

 

First off I most say this book is beautiful, it is very well made and printed on thick glossy paper. Modern Prinkmaking would be a wonderful “coffee table” type book yo have on display not shelved. This is one that every one can flip through and admire and enjoy. I got this book because I have a love of art and wanted to learn more about Printmaking. This book is divided into the chapters based on the type of printmaking technique that is being introduced. Each chapter gives a brief history and introduction as well is what materials and equipment are needed and how to prepare for that type of printmaking. Sylvia Covey also introduces the reader to so many great artist that use printmaking for their form of art. I love reading about and discovering new artist.  There are so many types, many I had not heard of. While most are ones you can’t just do in your home unless you have the money and studio this book is still amazing and I enjoyed every minute of it. There are some techniques that you can do at home and are not as hard or as expensive to get the supplies. I think this summer I might try my hand at a few, that way I have the time to slowly gather my supplies that I do not have. While she does explain everything and this is an instructional book I’m not really it is for the beginning or average home artist, it is geared for the art student who is working on learning all these techniques. I loved this beautiful book and I know I will continue to flip through it from time to time. This book gets 5 out 5 stars and I’d give it more than that if I could it is just so beautifully made.

summary: A fully illustrated instructional printmaking book presenting step-by-step examples alongside representative works from thirty top contemporary printmaking artists.

Printmaking is flourishing in the modern era, appealing to both traditional artists as well as those interested in graphic design and digital techniques. This all-in-one guide is both technical and inspirational, examining the history and contemporary processes of relief, intaglio, lithography, serigraphy, mixed media, digital transfers, and post-digital graphics. Featuring step-by-step examples alongside representative works and profiles of top printmaking artists, this colorful resource provides a truly fresh look at printmaking today, in all its forms.

thank you so very much blogging for books, Sylvia Covey, Waston Guptill and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read and start my printmaking adventures. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Life Changing Magic: A Journal

spark joy every day

by Marie Kondo

Life Changing Magic A Journal

 

I’ve been looking for a new little journal, but so far no luck. However all that changed when I opened book mail and laid hands on this little gem. Life Changing Magic A Journal is a 3 year journal with labeled pages. This is perfect each page has 3 paragraph sized entries all you got to do is add the year. I love that 3 years of memories is at your fingertips and it’s all in this little, but thick compact book. Through out the book she has placed random joy quotes. I’m not sure if this is from her first book or the new book Spark Joy. I’m on hold for both at my library, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I can’t wait for January 1st so I can start this journal, so I’ve decided to start it on Christmas Eve. Who says you have to start a journal on the 1st day of a new year. I’m ready to preserve get joyful memories, funny quotes and stories from my girls and other day to day joy for the next 3 years. I think if I write in it each night that would be best but we will see.

summary: I’ve been looking for a new little journal, but so far no luck. However all that changed when I opened book mail and laid hands on this little gem. Life Changing Magic A Journal is a 3 year journal with labeled pages. This is perfect each page has 3 paragraph sized entries all you got to do is add the year. I love that 3 years of memories is at your fingertips and it’s all in this little, but thick compact book. Through out the book she has placed random joy quotes. I’m not sure if this is from her first book or the new book Spark Joy. I’m on hold for both at my library, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I can’t wait for January 1st so I can start this journal, so I’ve decided to start it on Christmas Eve. Who says you have to start a journal on the 1st day of a new year. I’m ready to preserve get joyful memories, funny quotes and stories from my girls and other day to day joy for the next 3 years. I think if I write in it each night that would be best but we will see.

thank you blogging for books and crown publishing for sending me Life Changing Magic A Journal. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Doodletopia: Cartoons

by Christopher Hart

Doodletopia Cartoons

 

Do you have or are you a doodler? Do you or someone you know love to draw? We have many artist in the house and Doodletopia Cartoons is a great book and one that would make a wonderful gift this holiday season. Add Doodletopia Cartoons, with some sketch pencils, kneaded eraser, some colored pencils and you have the gift that fosters creativity and one that can be enjoyed for a long time.

Doodletopia Cartoons teaches so much from how to draw full bodies or faces, to lettering. This book also has blank pages so you can sketch even if you don’t have a sketch pad on hand. Granted doing the sketches in a sketch pad makes the book last longer. You can still sketch in the book and in a sketch pad. Doodling helps you get better with your drawing skills and I would recommend this for all ages, and for all different levels of artistic talent.

summary: An interactive doodle book from a best-selling art instruction author and cartoon master that pairs illustrating insights with drawing, designing, and coloring activities for aspiring artists.

Welcome to Doodletopia! Your first stop in this paradise of creativity? The world of cartoons. Your tour guide Christopher Hart is ready to introduce you to the interactive, artistic possibilities of creating your own exciting, hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters, gags, and more.

Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. For the first time ever, you can pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and draw, doodle, or color right on the same page as the author.

From finishing cartoon faces to selecting costumes to completing wacky cartoon scenes,  the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Open up and start doodling!

thank you blogging for books and Waston Guptill for allowing us to review this great resource. We have learned so much and our drawing is improving. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

The Homemade Kitchen

by Alana Chernila

The Homemade Kitchen

The Homemade Kitchen is a good cookbook and made perfect for the seasoned at home cook or the brand new to cooking person looking for info. Really this cookbook would be the perfect gift for a person that is new to cooking. The author has divided the book into chapters that as simple as Be A Beginner which is all so full of so much information it is one of my favorite chapters. I know how to cook eggs, veggies and such but she breaks it down into all kinds from how to steam and roast veggies to transforming milk or cooking grains. This is good for all levels of cooking and I learned a few things and have several post-its in this chapter. The other chapters are about making meals and while I won’t use a lot of them due to picky eaters I do have some post -its. My favorite book of hers will always be The Homemade Pantry but this one is good and I’m glad to have it in my kitchen cookbook library.

summary:  Written as much for the reader as the cook, The Homemade Kitchen covers a globe’s worth of flavors and includes new staples (what Alana is known for) such as chèvre, tofu, kefir, kimchi, preserved lemons, along with recipes and ideas for using them. Here, too, are dishes you’ll be inspired to try and that you will make again and again until they become your own family recipes, such as Broccoli Raab with Cheddar Polenta, a flavor-forward lunch for one; Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder, “late summer in a bowl”; Stuffed Winter Squash, rich with leeks, chorizo, apples, and grains; Braised Lamb Shanks that are tucked into the oven in the late afternoon and not touched again until dinner; Corn and Nectarine Salad showered with torn basil; perfect share-fare Sesame Noodles; Asparagus Carbonara, the easiest weeknight dinner ever; and sweet and savory treats such as Popovers, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Summer Trifle made with homemade pound cake and whatever berries are ripest, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake.

In this follow-up to Alana’s wildly successful debut, The Homemade Pantry, she once again proves herself to be the truest and least judgmental friend a home cook could want

thank you blogging for books, Alana Chernila and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read, and review The Homemade Kitchen. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season

165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes and More…

by Michael Symon

5 in 5

I love cookbooks, I love trying new recipes, reading them cover to cover and discovering new ways to cook food. I know in this day and age of e-books, pinterest, blogs and the net many find that cookbooks are no longer needed in book form. Not me I love having a big stack of cookbooks in my kitchen and use them so much many are duct taped together. I haven’t been a big The Chew watcher but I do know of Michael Symon from my favorite channel Food Network.  This is the first cook book of his I’ve looked through and read, however it won’t be the last. He has so many great recipes! I love the simple idea of 5 in 5. The book is divided into seasons so you can do fresh in season cooking. I know many of the dishes I have saved for later could actually be made now using frozen veggies so don’t let that stop you. He has all kinds of food types represented from vegetarian to meat eater. Some of my favorites from the 5 in 5 For Every Season are:

  • Rigatoni with Mushrooms & Swiss Chard: I like that it doesn’t have a heavy sauce. My hubby however puts sauce on it. So I guess you can do it either way. 
  • Spinach Salad with Ham Steak and Fried Egg: A grown up green eggs and ham. I don’t eat pork products so I did just the egg and salad it was still delish!
  • Spaghetti with Quick Sausage Ragu: I used chicken sausage and it was so yummy! 
  • Orecchiette with White Beans and Spinach: Very good and very hearty even meat eaters will love this one. This is a main dish but could be used a side for a grilled portobello mushroom or chicken.
  • Mashed Potato Cakes with Parmesan: This is a nice twist to pancake night and a great way to not waste food. Add some bacon (turkey, or regular) and some eggs and you have a great breakfast, brunch or breakfast for dinner.

These are just a few of our favorites we have so many more. I have post it flags coming out all over this book. It is my go to for meal planning and we are loving it. I might have to grab a copy of his first 5 in 5 and then I’ll be all set!

summary: 5 fresh ingredients + 5 minutes of heat = 165 recipes

Ridiculously easy from-scratch recipes to get you in and out of the kitchen in a flash every day of the week—now with sides and holiday dishes, too…

The follow-up to the bestselling Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, this new book delivers 165 quick, easy, fresh recipes organized by season with an entire section devoted to making the holidays simpler than ever. Each chapter features inspired main courses as well as recipes for sides and 5 fun ways to celebrate the season, including no-bake summer fruit desserts and spiked drinks to warm up with in winter.

thank you so much Blogging for Books, Micheal Symon and Crown Publishing for allowing me to review 5 in 5 For Every Season. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Avenue of Spies

A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi – Occupied Paris

by Alex Kershaw

 

avenue of spies

Wow! I’m usually not a big non fiction fan but Avenue of Spies just made me one! I have to admit I did grab a copy since I tend to read anything I can get my hands on when dealing with WWII. Avenue of Spies was different from most since this one dealt with an American doctor in Paris. This was almost like all the page turning suspense books I’ve read. The author does a great job at presenting the real life events of the  Sumner Jackson and his family. Doctor Jackson was and is a hero in my eyes. He didn’t just stand back and let all those horrible events pass by he did his part in helping people escape even though it meant if caught his family would be treated as traitors and sent to concentration camps. Which is what happened, for Sumner, his wife and their son. Phillip their son was able to give accounts of their life and helped shape this book and made it an amazing read for any history buff. There were so many unsung heroes during WWII and Doctor Sumner Jackson, his wife and son were among those that no one had heard about until now thanks to author Alex Kershaw. I’m so honored to have read their story and it will stay with me always. Avenue of Spies is one of those books that I will place on my bookshelf, next to my copy of Diary of Anne Frank and read again and again.

 summary: The leafy Avenue de Foch, one of the most exclusive residential streets in Nazi-occupied France, was Paris’s hotbed of daring spies, murderous secret police, amoral informers, and Vichy collaborators. So when American physician Sumner Jackson, who lived with his wife and young son Phillip at Number 11, found himself drawn into the Liberation network of the French resistance, he knew the stakes were impossibly high. Just down the road at Number 31 was the “mad sadist” Theodor Dannecker, an Eichmann protĂ©gĂ© charged with deporting French Jews to concentration camps. And Number 84 housed the Parisian headquarters of the Gestapo, run by the most effective spy hunter in Nazi Germany.

From his office at the American Hospital, itself an epicenter of Allied and Axis intrigue, Jackson smuggled fallen Allied fighter pilots safely out of France, a job complicated by the hospital director’s close ties to collaborationist Vichy. After witnessing the brutal round-up of his Jewish friends, Jackson invited Liberation to officially operate out of his home at Number 11–but the noose soon began to tighten. When his secret life was discovered by his Nazi neighbors, he and his family were forced to undertake  a journey into the dark heart of the war-torn continent from which there was little chance of return.

thank you Blogging for Books, Crown Publishing, Alex Kershaw for allowing me to read the Jackson’s family acts of bravery. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Bradstreet Gate

by Robin Kirman

Georgia, Charlie and Alice each arrive at Harvard with hopeful visions of what the future will hold. But when, just before graduation, a classmate is found murdered on campus, they find themselves facing a cruel and unanticipated new reality. Moreover, a charismatic professor who has loomed large in their lives is suspected of the crime. Though his guilt or innocence remains uncertain, the unsettling questions raised by the case force the three friends to take a deeper look at their tangled relationship. Their bond has been defined by the secrets they’ve kept from one another—Charlie’s love and Alice’s envy, Georgia’s mysterious affair—and over the course of the next decade, as they grapple with the challenges of adulthood and witness the unraveling of a teacher’s once-charmed life, they must reckon with their own.

I grabbed a copy of Bradstreet Gate for review because I wanted a good mystery. I love mystery’s and thrillers almost as much as I love tea, and that’s saying alot! This book was good, I enjoyed it but not as mystery suspense as I was hoping for. It reminded me of a mini series or like the new thing a 10 episode drama. The characters were quirky and a bit dysfunctional but they kept you reading. The Bradstreet Gate is good, the classmates murder is really just the backdrop and not the main theme of the book. It’s really about this group of very driven friends that will do anything to keep their secrets, secret and their life on the same track they have always envisioned. If your into character driven fiction with a side of mystery than grab Bradstreet Gate.

thank you blogging for books, crown publishing and Robin Kirman for allowing me to read and review Bradstreet Gate. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book. 

The Mapmaker’s Children

by Sarah McCoy

When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.

   Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. 


   Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.


I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Mapmaker’s Children, it is about a time in history that is very interesting to me. I love reading everything I can about the Underground Railroad. I would like to think I would be like Sarah and help  the slaves to safety. So this book was one I had to read. I LOVED The Mapmaker’s Children. I’m not usually a fan of the back and forth switching from one person to the next. It gets confusing to me at times. However Sarah McCoy does such a great job at intertwining the two it just flows so well. I love all the historical facts she includes within the story. It really makes you want to research the history of your house if it is an older home. Mine is not old so sadly no fun stories here but can you imagine if you had a old 1800’s home. The Mapmaker’s Children has made me a fan of not only Sarah McCoy but of historical past/present story telling. I know this is a book I will read many times and one that in top book picks for 2015! 

thank you blogging for books, crown publishing and Sarah McCoy for allowing me to read this wonderful book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.