Non Fiction Review: The Path to Positivity

The Path to Positivity by Caitlin Margaret
The Path to Positivity: Proven Positive Thinking Techniques for Getting Motivated and Living Your Best Life
by Caitlin Margaret

4 out of 5 stars


This book gives clear and practical steps for changing your mindset and changing your thoughts, emotions, and behavior to live a better life. There are techniques for dealing with fear, anxiety, negative people, and past hurts that influence your current experiences.

I really loved the intelligent writing style that breaks down complex ideas into small manageable pieces. Each section has actionable questions you can ask yourself to identify where you need to make changes and celebrate the things you are already doing well. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Bento for Beginners

Bento for Beginners by Chika Ravitch
Bento for Beginners: 60 Recipes for Easy Bento Box Lunches
by Chika Ravitch

4 out of 5 stars

This recipe book has all the instructions you need to start using Bento boxes for work or school lunches or dinners. It begins with the history of Bento and the traditions behind this style of food packing, then gives advice on using traditional Japanese recipes or using more Americanized versions of Bento.

I love that there are so many options for Bento-style lunches! The reader has the freedom to substitute favorite vegetables and dishes, mixing them with the recipes in this book.
The recipes are all simple and easy to cook, using basics like rice, beans, chicken, and veggies. Each recipe has substitutions and labels for vegan, pescatarian, nut-free, and gluten-free. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: The Loneliness Companion

The Loneliness Companion by Shrein H. Bahrami
The Loneliness Companion: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Self-Esteem and Finding Comfort in Yourself
by Shrein H. Bahrami

5 out of 5 stars


This book gives practical advice for connecting with others and finding fulfilling relationships. I love how the chapters are organized, beginning with why loneliness can be so crippling, how to pull yourself out of it, and how to cultivate healthy and meaningful relationships and friendships.

Each chapter ends with a page of affirmations and encouraging sentences that you can claim as your own life lesson or mantra. Instead of just a book that “tells” you about loneliness, there are meditations, activities, and journal prompts that get you involved in the process of finding freedom from loneliness. These steps are truly helpful! So many of the things in this book would help the reader to heal from past hurts, and look to the future with hope. Continue reading

Cookbook Review: Whole Food Vegan Baking

Whole Food Vegan Baking by Annie Markowitz
Whole Food Vegan Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Healthy, Natural Ingredients
by Annie Markowitz

4 out of 5 stars

This vegan cookbook includes recipes for Breads, Biscuits, Muffins, Scones, Cookies, Brownies, Bars, Cakes, Cupcakes, Pies, and Tarts. The introduction begins with some information about how to bake without eggs, butter, or milk, using vegetable substitutes like applesauce, nut butters, almond milk, or pumpkin puree to function as the oils and fats that bind a dough together. There are sections about types of flour and natural sweeteners as well.

Each recipe has information about whether or not the food is soy-free, gluten-free, or nut-free. There are excellent tips for storing your baked goods, as well as variations on the recipe to try out. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Beginner’s Guide to Weight Lifting

Beginner's Guide to Weight Lifting by Kyle Hunt
Beginner’s Guide to Weight Lifting: Simple Exercises and Workouts to Get Strong
by Kyle Hunt

4 out of 5 stars

“The best way to change your life is to improve your health and fitness.” This book gives advice on using weight lifting to get a healthier heart, stronger bones, better mental health, increased metabolism, and better flexibility and balance. Beginning with goal setting and information about muscle groups, this book has everything a beginner needs to begin training.

I really like that this book includes a glossary for weight lifting terms that not everyone would know. There is really good advice about warming up, cooling down, muscle groups, recovery, and nutrition.
There are tips for how to find a good gym or set up a gym at home, as well as gym etiquette rules and how to choose the right weights.
There is an entire chapter just about warming up, and then there are sections for basic exercises, as well as routines for designing your workouts for 4 weeks. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Aromatherapy for Self-Care

Aromatherapy for Self-Care by Sarah Swanberg
Aromatherapy for Self-Care
by Sarah Swanberg

4 out of 5 stars

This book begins with general advice about self-care, and the role that aromatherapy can play in your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. There is a chapter about the types of essential oils and carrier oils, as well as lists of recommended materials and tools. I especially appreciated the section on how and where on the body to apply oils using acupressure points.

There is a list of Top Ten Essential Oils and their uses, substitutes, and how best to blend them with other oils. There is also a lengthy chart with many other essential oils and their healing properties.

The following chapters have recipes for essential oil blends to be inhaled or applied topically to the body.

Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Minimalism Room by Room

Minimalism Room by Room by Elizabeth Enright Phillips
Minimalism Room by Room: A Customized Plan to Declutter Your Home and Simplify Your Life
by Elizabeth Enright Phillips

2 out of 5 stars


This book guides the reader through the decluttering journey with chapters for each room. The writing style is excellent with practical advice on how to make decisions for keeping or tossing your possessions. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the way it encourages the reader to examine their emotions about their home and possessions. The book provides affirmations and inspirational advice to fuel your motivation and create a new way of living.

It was odd to me that Bathrooms were lumped together with the Entryways in the same chapter. What do Bathrooms have in common with an Entryway? It made no sense to have those two areas together and made for a very confusing chapter. And the Laundry Room is included in the chapter with the Master Bedroom. The information is poorly organized. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Moving Through Grief

Moving Through Grief by Gretchen Kubacky  PsyD
Moving Through Grief: Proven Techniques for Finding Your Way After Any Loss
by Gretchen Kubacky PsyD

4 out of 5 stars

This book gives practical and realistic ways to deal with grief by accepting your feelings instead of pushing them away. I immediately felt confidence in the author’s voice, because the ideas in this book ring true and show a lot of common sense. I admire how the chapters are organized in a progression of healing that leads the reader into deeper living with healthy emotions.

Beginning with basic self-care and reconnecting with relationships in your life, this book addresses defining your core values that keep you anchored through tough times, and gently moves the reader into reassessing the “story” they tell themselves about their life. I really loved the chapters about the “observer self” and how we can remain detached from untrue thoughts that threaten to disconnect us from the reality of our grief. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Make Great Decisions

Make Great Decisions Christian Workbook for Teen Girls by Jocasta Odom
Make Great Decisions Christian Workbook for Teen Girls
by Jocasta Odom

4 out of 5 stars

This Christian workbook has wonderfully positive encouragement for young girls, reminding them that they are daughters of the King, more than conquerors through Christ, and they can navigate tough decisions in life with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

This book is peppered with Bible verses on every page, and excellent affirmations and Biblical truths to boost the confidence of the young Christian. The Scriptures are taken from various translations like NIV, MSG, NASB, and ESV, so the reader might want to read along with their own preferred Bible edition.

One of the special things about this workbook is the variety of activities included. There are quizzes, true or false questions, meditations and prayers, creative writing exercises, and ways to serve God in your family, school, neighborhood, and church. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Toddler Activities Made Easy

Toddler Activities Made Easy by Krissy Bonning-Gould
Toddler Activities Made Easy: 100+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Busy Parents
by Krissy Bonning-Gould (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars


This book gives fun and engaging activities for toddlers that require very little set-up, materials, or preparation. In the first pages, there are lists of specific motor skills, language skills, and emotional intelligence that you can look for in your toddler based on their age. There are labels for different skills that are used in each activity.

The activities include things like matching games, pretending to be animals, recognizing shapes and letters, hopscotch, dance parties, and simple construction projects with materials like paper, cardboard, and rubber bands. Continue reading