Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review: The Full Catastrophe Travels Among the New Greek Ruins


James Angelos has crafted a witty and eye opening account of the Greek economic crisis.  He doesn't hold back with his opinions and was able to get many of the Greek citizens to share with him some of their "tricks" for not paying taxes.

It astounded me that amount of corruption and cheating that took/takes place.  The mindset of the people is that the government should give to them not them to the government...but they seem to miss the does the government get money if not from the people?

You can't afford social programs, health care, education, etc without the support of taxes from the people.

The amount of ruin that the Greeks suffered is really mind blowing.

James does a great job of explaining everything and not bogging you down in is written easily enough for anyone to read and enjoy.

Prior to this book I didn't understand at all why the Greek government was in such a terrible state and why the government was collapsing.

This isn't a book you take to the beach but it is a great book to during the cold winter while cuddled up under a blanket with some hot chocolate/tea/coffee/golden milk (whatever your preference is).

I do need to mention that I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Year to Forty

On October 3rd of this year I will be entering the last year of my 30's...I'll be

                                           Image result for number 39

The number doesn't scare me in the least but it did make me reflect on some things that I might like to do that would make me a healthier and more well rounded person.

I had a fleeting thought that I would like to spend the year doing 30 day 12 challenges over the course of the year.  But then I was immediately stymied by wondering what to do for each month.

I knew a few things I wanted to do such as meditate for 10 minutes everyday and run a 5k everyday for a month...but then the ideas dried up.

So I turned to the almighty Pinterest.

Most of the challenge ideas they had were exercise related...and whereas I would like to get into better shape again...I didn't want to spend the entire year working out.

I was able to find these two blog posts with 100 ideas each and from there I narrowed it down to the 12 I wanted to complete.

Post #1

Post #2

The twelve I decided on, and in order that I will be completing them are:

October 2016: Sell/donate 1 item everyday
November 2016: 100 push-ups, 100 crunches, and 100 squats
December 2016: Take a photo a day of something that makes me happy
January 2017: Send a card a day to a friend
February 2017: Play a game with the family everyday
March 2017: Do an act of kindness everyday
April 2017:Spend the month learning Italian
May 2017: Average a 5k everyday
June 2017: Go Vegan
July 2017: Meditate 10 minutes everyday
August 2017: Drink fresh juice every morning
September 2017: Make a new recipe everyday

I've also decided to start a new blog to chronicle the come join me at The Challenge to Forty.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Review: Braving It

Recently I finished the book Braving It by James Campbell.

I selected this awesome tale of a father and daughter and their adventures in the Alaskan wild.  

It is a beautiful story of a father getting to go on an adventure with his 15 year old daughter and to the awakening that travel and the outdoors brings to his daughter.

The feeling of depression that his daughter, Aidan, feels upon returning from her first trip and the yearning to go back (as soon as possible) is a feeling we can all relate to.  We don't have to go to Alaska to appreciate nature and the healing it can do for us.

I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone I know as it really does stir the wanderlust (even if you are only going as far as your local park).

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Review "Something to Food About"

I saw the cover of this book and was instantly intrigued by it...aren't you?

I love the veggie art

I read this synopsis and couldn't wait to start in on the book:

Questlove is a drummer, producer, musical director, culinary entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author. What unites all of his work is a profound interest in creativity. In somethingtofoodabout, Questlove applies his boundless curiosity to the world of food. In conversations with ten innovative chefs in America, he explores what makes their creativity tick, how they see the world through their cooking and how their cooking teaches them to see the world. The conversations begin with food but they end wherever food takes them. Food is fuel. Food is culture. Food is history. And food is food for thought. 

Then I cracked open the book and was instantly disappointed.  Perhaps as the numerous Amazon reviews have stated "I don't get it."

I wanted a history of food but really it was just heavy and too verbose to my liking.

I am sure this book is for someone...but that someone is not me.

I received a copy of this book for review from Blogging for Books.  However the opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review: Home Cooked

I love cookbooks and typing that doesn't really relay how much I enjoy perusing the pages of recipes and pouring over pictures of delectable food.

I have a fairly large collection of them ranging from strictly vegan to a book that teaches you how to cook everything and everything in between.

I have reviewed a few cookbooks in the past and have always been excited to try a couple of recipes and see how they turned out (we all want them to look as good as they do in the book), but this time I have to say I was not so excited.

I received a copy of Home Cooked by Anya Fernald

The book is lovely.  It is a fantastic hardbound book with a linen cover.  You hold the book and expect very rich and delicious food to be made from these words.

I looked through the recipes and couldn't find one that I wanted to make and was particularly turned off by one recipe, tallow fries.

I am sure that there is a market for the recipes that Ms. Fernald has published but I am not in that market.

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review: Growing Up Social...but not like you would think!

Gary Chapman (of Five Love Languages fame) and Arlene Pellicane have written Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World.

I was very excited to crack open this book.  As a mother to three children, who all love screens of various types (iPods, tv, video games, etc), I was curious to see what Gary would have to say about this.

I was not disappointed in the least as Gary and Arlene present research as well as events from their lives and struggles with screens (Arlene is a mother with young children).  The research will scare you just a little bit, which is probably a good thing because screen exposure for everyone (not just kids) seems to be out of hand for the majority of people.

The effects on kids brains are almost immediate with screens and can take a very long time to correct. Things such as a lack of attention or anger/rage by playing violent video games.  Have no fear though Gary and Arlene present a list of their 5 A+ skills for each child to master, they are:

  • Replace mindless screen time with meaningful family time
  • Establish simple boundaries that make a huge difference
  • Discover what's working for families that have become screen savvy
  • Equip your child to be relationally rich in a digital world
  • Learn healthy ways to occupy your child while you get things done
The book is eye opening and will make you think twice about turning a screen may find you would rather spend your evening reading a book and letting your mind relax or go enjoy some outdoor time and allow your mind to absorb the sounds of birds instead of the sounds of the Real Housewives.

I was given a copy of this book to review by Moody Publishers.  The opinions and thoughts are my own.

Book Review: The More of Less by Joshua Becker

I have just finished the book The More of Less by Joshua Becker.

I have been following Joshua Becker for about a year now and am familiar with his minimalist journey, he writes a blog on the topic, Becoming Minimalist.  

I was filled with joy to read his book "The More of Less" and read about other peoples journeys to owning less.  The most eye opening comment came early on in the book when a neighbor revealed to Joshua that "You don't have to own all of that stuff."  

What a revelation that you don't have to be a slave to your items and that indeed you can just enjoy the few things (and few is a relative for each person) that bring you happiness and joy to each day.

I would recommend this book to anyone as it doesn't talk about needing to get rid of everything in your house.  Joshua doesn't preach to you it is merely a conversation to get your mind thinking about how much you need to own and why do you own some of the things that are in your house.

Developing a more minimalist approach to life is an on going process...I'm not sure it is something that you are ever fully "done" with.  

I was given an advanced copy of this book to review from Blogging for Books.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book Review: Better Than Before...but is it?

I went into this book with an open mind, I previously read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and found her voice in the book to be pretentious.

It did not take more than a page or two before the author sounded completely arrogant.  She makes it out to seem as if she is the only one who has thought of her "fantastic" idea.

She just made me filled with anger when I read her work and also wishing that she had a thesaurus so that she wouldn't have to say the word habit every sentence.

To the author: Gretchen I realize you want to be some life changing author but maybe you should go back to your 40 ways to look at someone shtick.

My advice to anyone is to avoid this book and avoid this author.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for writing an honest review.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Review "Confections of a Closet Master Baker"

Confections of a Closet Master Baker: One Woman's Sweet Journey from Unhappy Hollywood Executive to Contented Country BakerConfections of a Closet Master Baker: One Woman's Sweet Journey from Unhappy Hollywood Executive to Contented Country Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up as a recommendation from Goodreads...I had no idea it was written by Sandra Bullock's younger sister. That isn't terribly important to this story as it is a fascinating read about the author Gesine (Geh-See-Neh) and her desire to move from the fast paced Hollywood life to rural Vermont.
Gesine does a fantastic job of spinning her tale and providing some very delicious recipes to go along with the book (I am a big fan of getting recipes when I am reading a food book).
I was disappointed though to learn that she's sold her bakery and is now in front of the camera...which is completely opposite to her viewpoint in the book (she talks about being an introvert and being almost a misanthrope).
That disappointment aside the book was a wonderful read, and it is a quick read so a great book to bring along when travelling.

View all my reviews