Little People, BIG DREAMS + A giveaway!

Quarto Publishing Group sent me the books in this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

After reviewing a number of subscription boxes over the past few weeks, I’m turning to something a little different today: books! (But I do have one more box to share with you before the month is out. And I think you’re really going to like it.) Today I want to share some of our favourites from a highly collectible series for young readers, Little People, BIG DREAMS. They’re whimsically illustrated picture books aimed at kids aged 4 to 7 that tell the stories of people who pursued their dreams to achieve incredible things, despite some difficult beginnings and/or hardships along the way. Quarto sent me advance copies of the newest additions to the series — Stephen Hawking and Muhammad Ali, both published earlier this month — and the Women in Art Gift Set featuring Audrey Hepburn, Frida Kahlo and Coco Chanel.

Little People, BIG DREAMS + A giveaway!

Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone + Win a copy!

Running Press sent me Fantastical Cakes in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think. 

You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.’ — Jerry Seinfeld  I’ve loved baking and decorating cakes since I was a kid but I can’t remember any that were spectacular to look at or eat. (Well none except the Strawberry Shortcake one I had for my 10th birthday, but that was store-bought.) It’s only since having my own kids (and a few years later, starting this blog) that I’ve learned a little about the hows and whys of baking and decorating and experimented with a few different techniques. If I could turn back time (🎵 If I could find a way🎵) I would have read Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone YEARS AGO because it taught me so many things I wish I’d known before. Unfortunately the book only came out in November and before that Gesine was busy running her Vermont baking school and writing five other books and tending to two dogs, two cats, a flock of chickens and the other animals on her farm. (She’s still got the baking school and the farm. And probably another book already started.)  Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone + Win a copy!

What’s inside Sweet Reads Box’s first YA Box

I received the Sweet Reads Box YA Box for free in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think.

I’ll understand if you won’t be exactly sympathetic when I say it was quite the SHOCK coming home from Florida to the frozen tundra chez nous. Did it just snow for two weeks straight or what? I don’t know how the mailman didn’t break his neck going up and down our ice-crusted front steps but I was happy to see a few packages waiting for me, including the first Sweet Reads Box YA Box. (Yay!) Let’s see what’s inside.  What’s inside Sweet Reads Box’s first YA Box

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!