Two new cookbooks from Canadian Living + A giveaway!

Simon and Schuster Canada sent me both Canadian Living cookbooks in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think.

Hello from Florida! I’m writing from my aunt’s kitchen table in Zephyrhills, looking at the the palm trees swaying in the breeze outside the window. It’s sunny but cool — in the day we wear pants and a sweater and in the night we put the heat on. But I’m not complaining! Not knowing how miserably cold it’s been back home. Speaking of home, before I left I tried a few recipes from two new Canadian Living cookbooks, Quick 400-Calorie Favourites: 90+ Tested-til-Perfect Recipes from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen and One Dish Favourites: 90+ All-in-One Meals from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. Maybe you remember seeing them on Instagram?
Two new cookbooks from Canadian Living + A giveaway!

Looker: A Novel by Laura Sims

Simon and Schuster Canada gave me a digital ARC of Looker: A Novel in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think. 

Have you read your first book of 2019? Mine was Laura Sims’ new psychological thriller, Looker: A Novel. It was also the first book I’ve ever read on my phone. I’m old school — I love the smell and feel and weight and look of books! — but the digital copy was the only ARC available and I really REALLY wanted to read it so I gave it a whirl. I thought reading on my phone would bother my eyes but that wasn’t an issue. (Maybe because I’m always on it anyway.) But it DID feel weird to not have a hard copy to share and read again and have around, so I bought one. It’s SO SO GOOD!  It’s about a woman whose obsession with the actress who lives across the street turns terribly wrong.  Looker: A Novel by Laura Sims

January is for…

Annnnnd we’re back! And by we I mean you and me. You reading, me writing, you commenting, me replying — I like this little cha cha we’re doing here. Much more fun than just talking to myself. Which I do do and can be fun but there is a limit. (Eventually.) It’s taking everything in me not to binge watch Marie Kondo’s new show (have you seen it?) but I know just from watching the first episode that I’d end up spending the next couple of weeks sorting, folding and donating anything that isn’t nailed down (I suspect we have many, many things around here that don’t exactly spark joy) and now isn’t the best time. Not to go whole hog anyway. (Maybe half hog, if that’s a thing.) Instead, here’s what January is for.  January is for…

Last-minute dash to the book store? Three brilliant books for kids

Penguin Random House Canada sent me the books in this post for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I don’t know how Christmas Eve arrived so fast but here we are. If you’re making a dash to the book store and need some help deciding which books to buy for the kids on your list, you can’t go wrong with these three. We’ve got a charming story about a bear and a mouse with very different ideas of Christmas; another about a boy with learns to stand up for himself with a little help from the alien living in his nose; and a third, heartwarming book about a tween who lives in a van with his mom and struggles to keep it a secret. Last-minute dash to the book store? Three brilliant books for kids

It’s Harry & Meghan, only they’re paper dolls! Two must-have books for royal fans

Dover Publications sent me the books in this post for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Now I know we’re cutting it pretty close to Christmas, but if you’ve got Harry and Meghan fans on your gift list and Amazon Prime you can totally get little Harry & Meghan Paper Dolls and Harry & Meghan The Wedding Paper Dolls in time to put them under the tree. What a super fun gift idea for Royal fans, am I right? We’ve got hunky Harry in the swim trunks he wore on a vacation to Jamaica with Meghan when they were dating, the crisp white Misha Nonoo shirt, Mother Denim jeans and Everlane tote Meghan wore to the Invictus Games in Toronto, of course Meghan’s EXQUISITE Givenchy wedding gown, and the adorable sleeveless Shoshanna Ashland gingham dress Meghan wore to Harry’s polo match this past June. Plus many more outfits which I’m not ashamed to say I totally remember obsessing over seeing in pictures. Okay, okay I TOTALLY OBSESSED OVER THEM. It’s Harry & Meghan, only they’re paper dolls! Two must-have books for royal fans

Missed these? New books for cooks, creatives and more to gift + A giveaway!

I received the books in this post for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I love giving books any time of the year, but Christmas can be especially fun because the crop of new books that come out in the fall is always so, so good. Today I’ve got some ones you might not have seen that would make great gifts for the fashionista, the interior design and decor lover, the entrepreneur (especially those in creative fields) and the cook in your life. Missed these? New books for cooks, creatives and more to gift + A giveaway!

Home Made Christmas by Yvette van Boven + Win a copy!

Christmas at our house is usually a sprint — we decorate mid-December, get the tree a few days before the 25th and tear around the grocery store hours before it closes for the holiday. But this year I’m approaching it more like a marathon: slow and steady wins the race. I’ve got a leg up on the shopping, brought in a few bits of greenery to make the house festive and tried some new recipes that made the kitchen smell like Christmas. Including a couple from Yvette Van Boven’s wonderful new cookbook, Home Made Christmas. The prolific writer, editor, illustrator and television host (the Dutch cooking show Koken met van Boven is filmed in her kitchen) shares more than 100 recipes, a variety of menus, and many helpful tips to help relieve some of the stresses that come with holiday entertaining. (And just entertaining in general, really.)

Home Made Christmas by Yvette van Boven + Win a copy!

Handmade Living: 40 Step-by-Step Projects for Crafting a Beautiful Home + Win a copy!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy of Handmade Living in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think. 

You don’t have to be God’s gift to crafters to make most of the projects in today’s book, nor do you need a lot of time. Which is ideal any time of the year, but especially coming into the holidays when our to-do lists are long and our patience is short. Handmade Living: 40 Step-by-Step Projects for Crafting a Beautiful Home by Willow Crossley has a wide variety of lovely DIYs to gift and keep, many everyday objects made more personal with bits and bobs you might already have around the house. Turn an old book into a secret place for safe-keeping, trim a plain-jane basket with spare ribbon to make a pretty piece, and make a personalized print using old stamps, buttons or Scrabble tiles. AND NOWHERE DID I MENTION A SEWING MACHINE (aka THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.) Granted there are a few projects where a stitch or two is in order but no one said you couldn’t do it by hand. Handmade Living: 40 Step-by-Step Projects for Crafting a Beautiful Home + Win a copy!

A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy: Be More Sloth With These Fail-Safe Tips For Serious Chilling + Slothilda: Living The Sloth Life + A giveaway!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me Slothilda and A Sloth’s Guide to Taking it Easy in exchange for an honest review. So here’s what I think.

They say you should write what you know. Well let me tell you, I know a thing or two about being a sloth. That’s not to say I sit in a tree all day eating leaves REALLY, REALLY SLOWLY, but finishing a box of chocolates on the couch can take me an afternoon and that’s pretty much the same thing. Maybe being a sloth isn’t so bad. Maybe it’s even good! Especially coming into the holiday season when so many of us would be happier doing less. Today I’ve got two books that celebrate that sloth life — one with 20 tips on how to embrace your inner sluggard and CHILLAX and another about a relatable little sloth who really wants to succeed and grow but also really likes sleep and junk food and her phone, laptop and TV.  A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy: Be More Sloth With These Fail-Safe Tips For Serious Chilling + Slothilda: Living The Sloth Life + A giveaway!

What’s inside October’s Sweet Reads Box

I received October’s Sweet Reads Box for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The other night I started the novel in this month’s Sweet Reads Box and I’m super stressed about how it’s going to end. Thrillers don’t typically tie things up in a bow but I really don’t want to be haunted by this one. It’s called Three Days Missing and it’s about two mothers who become unlikely allies when one of their sons (the same age as mine!) vanishes on a school camping trip.  What’s inside October’s Sweet Reads Box

She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own by Erika Kotite + Win a copy!

Quarto Publishing sent me a copy of She Sheds Style in exchange for an honest review. So here’s what I think. 

With a backyard not much bigger than a postage stamp we don’t have room for a shed, but if we did I would love to turn it into a little refuge I could call my own, aka a she shed. It would be light and bright with all the mod cons (I BIRTHED TWO BABIES ALLOW ME HIGH-SPEED INTERNET AND WIFI) and space to blog, shoot flatlays, and stretch out with a book. Which might seem like a tall order but people do it. We saw that in Erika Kotite’s first book, She Sheds: A Room of Your Own, which introduced us to artists, yogis, gardeners and others who have turned tiny structures into spaces to work, dream and treasure. Now in her new book, She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your OwnErika shows us how to plan and style our sheds (real or imagined) so that they reflect our own design sensibilities.  She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own by Erika Kotite + Win a copy!

Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits + Win a copy!

Simon & Schuster Canada sent me a copy of Whiskey in a Teacup in exchange for a sincere review. All opinions are my own and true as the day is long. 

Well paint me green and call me a cucumber! I’ve been all atwitter for Reese Witherspoon’s new book, so I was pleased as punch the other week when an advance copy arrived in the mail. (Bless your heart, @simonschusterca!) It’s Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits, a guide to bringing Southern charm to your everyday life through family recipes (from Reese’s Corn Bread Chili Pie to her grandmother Dorothea’s Tea Punch), tips on entertaining and decorating, hair and beauty secrets and even how to speak like you come from the South. (If you’re wonderin’, it’s pronounced I shore doo lack the look of the them there jumbo shramp.Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits + Win a copy!