Book Review: A Book That Takes Its Time

A Book That Takes Its Time by Irene Smit
A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness
by Irene Smit, Astrid van der Hulst

5 out of 5 stars

This beautiful book has postcards, stickers, small posters, removable journal booklets, and a dozen other adorable things included! You can write lists, read poetry, make a collage, write in your thoughts, or learn to do your own creative hand-lettering. There are articles about following your dreams, letting go of stress, reaching out with kindness, slowing down, and being more creative.

There are inspirational stories, beautiful poetry, and famous quotes. You’ll find common sense advice about how to get rid of old habits, how to find your life balance, how to start an exercise routine, how to connect with nature, how to be vulnerable, and how to be more grateful.

You can make your own timeline, cook up some of the recipes, send a postcard to a friend, or take a photograph. There are dozens of activities that you can choose from! Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: When the World Feels Like a Scary Place

When the World Feels Like a Scary Place by Abigail Gewirtz
When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids
by Abigail Gewirtz

2 out of 5 stars

This book has some good ideas about talking to your kids in a calm and productive manner. It has techniques for defusing anger with compassion, and managing stress and anxiety when your children are confronted with difficult issues.

There are example conversations and situations that deal with circumstances like bullying, immigration, social justice, climate change, violence, activism, technology, and more. Some of the issues are definitely following a political agenda, instead of just giving general advice. I didn’t like that the author was pushing politics and a leftist world-view. Continue reading

Activity Book Review: Origami City

Origami Neighborhood by Taro Yaguchi
Origami City: 75 Models to Fold and Build: A Fold-by-Number Book
by Taro Yaguchi

5 out of 5 stars
This kit has everything you need to create an origami paper city! There are pre-printed papers and a book with instructions for folding 75 different elements in the city, like buildings, vehicles, trees, and even animals.

Gradually the book moves from simple designs to more complex designs that require more folds. Everything is explained with detailed instructions and diagrams that clearly show each fold. The thing that makes this so easy is the numbered lines on each piece of paper. You just have to find the number and fold along the pre-printed line.

I love the colorful designs for libraries, fire trucks, and trees. There is even a fountain and a clock tower! Each design has beautiful details that make it really special.
Continue reading

Activity Book: Paint By Sticker Dogs

Paint by Sticker by Workman Publishing
Paint by Sticker: Dogs
by Workman Publishing

5 out of 5 stars

This activity book has 12 beautiful designs, and hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! Each design shows a different breed of dog running, playing, fetching a ball, swimming, or cuddling. It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

The stickers are sturdy and easy to remove from the sticker sheet. The colors are vibrant and it’s simple to follow the instructions to find the right placement for each sticker. I really loved that the pages are perforated, so that you can tear out the sticker sheet or the design or both. That way you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth in the book. Continue reading

NonFiction Review: English Grammar Workbook for Adults

The English Grammar Workbook for Adults by Michael DiGiacomo
The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing
by Michael DiGiacomo

4 out of 5 stars

This book is designed to help non-native English speakers to perfect their English grammar and navigate the many exceptions to the rules while speaking and writing English. The instruction goes way beyond “i before e except after c” type of rules, and addresses common pitfalls and mistakes that people make when learning English.

The reality is that many people who are native English speakers could read this book and learn a lot about their own language. Americans are especially known for having a poor understanding of the most basic rules of grammar and syntax, and could really benefit from a refresher in this book. Continue reading

NonFiction Book Review: Family Tree Workbook

Family Tree Workbook by Brian Sheffey
Family Tree Workbook: 30+ Step-by-Step Worksheets to Build Your Family History
by Brian Sheffey

4 out of 5 stars

If you are doing any kind of genealogy research, this book will help to organize the information, catalogue the facts, and track all the records of your family history. This book also includes wonderful advice about how to find US Census documents, death and birth records, and marriage records of your ancestors. There are also worksheets to use when interviewing family members and recording oral history. There is a log for cataloging family heirlooms, another for charting your distant cousins, and even one for researching the sale of enslaved people.

I do love a good worksheet! But this book takes it to the next level with charts, records, timelines, maps, trackers, logs, medical history, and more. My little organizational heart is so happy with this design! Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Dairy-Free Meal Prep

Dairy Free Meal Prep by Silvana Nardone
Dairy Free Meal Prep: Easy, Budget-Friendly Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go
by Silvana Nardone

4 out of 5 stars

This book begins by exploring the different benefits of living dairy-free, such as anti-aging, clear skin, improved digestion, and a stronger immune system. There are lists of foods to avoid, common dairy substitutes, and staples to include in your kitchen pantry.

Chapter Two is all about Meal Prep: how to make large batches and store them, how to plan ahead, and what not to prep ahead of time. There is a chart that shows how long meats and salads will keep fresh in the fridge or freezer.

The next chapters give detailed meal plans for 6 weeks, with a shopping list for each week, and recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Budget-Friendly Vegan Cookbook

The Budget-Friendly Vegan Cookbook by Ally Lazare
The Budget-Friendly Vegan Cookbook: Healthy Meals for a Plant-Based Diet   by Ally Lazare

4 out of 5 stars

This book begins with advice on being vegan and the benefits for your health.
There are some good instructions about including vitamins and supplements in your vegetable diet, as well as answering questions about getting enough protein. Meal planning is made easy with grocery shopping lists, kitchen supplies and tools, and how to buy items in bulk to save money.

The recipes are divided into sections for “Staples, Sauces, and Dressings; Tofu, Tempeh, and Soy; Beans, Legumes, and Seeds; Fruits, Vegetables, Mushrooms; Grains, Quinoa, Millet; Snacks and Sides; and Desserts”. This includes things like homemade vegan mayonnaise, tempeh BLT sandwiches, chickpea omelets, minestrone soup, vegetarian chili, barley burrito bowl, cinnamon orange french toast, and peanut butter chip cookies. Continue reading

NonFiction Review: Inner Peace

Inner Peace by Jordana Reim
Inner Peace: A Guided Meditation Journal for Beginners
by Jordana Reim

4 out of 5 stars

With guided meditations, mantras, and intentions, this book leads the reader into a more peaceful mindset full of gratitude and joy. There are journal prompts that explore deep questions and emotions, always moving toward a more positive outlook.

The writing is beautifully encouraging and gentle. I love how the author softly draws us into a quiet place of reflection.

This book is divided into four chapters entitled “Find Inner Peace, Focus Your Mind, Overcome Obstacles, Foster Gratitude and Spread Joy.” Then each chapter is divided into sections for each meditation, journaling pages, and intention setting. There is plenty of room for journaling and writing in your thoughts. Continue reading

NonFiction Review: Actually, the Comma Goes Here

Actually, the Comma Goes Here by Lucy Cripps
Actually, the Comma Goes Here: A Practical Guide to Punctuation
by Lucy Cripps

3 out of 5 stars

In case you missed it in elementary school, here are the rules for using punctuation so that your writing will make sense. There are snippets from history about how punctuation was first invented in the library at Alexandria, and how the Greeks and Romans developed their own styles of punctuation that morphed into what we use today. There are tons of examples of correct and incorrect punctuation in different types of sentences, questions, quotations, and clauses.

The best thing about this book is the comedic writing style. The author uses humor to make the punctuation rules memorable and fun.

There are sections for the period, comma, apostrophe, question mark, colon, semicolon, and a dozen others, and an entire chapter for markings that look like punctuation but aren’t, like the & and @ symbols. Continue reading