Thursday, December 8, 2016

Puppy Pals: Bijou by Susan Hughes (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.

About the book-

The newest adventure in the pawsitively adorable Puppy Pals series!

When three bichon frise puppies are left on the doorstep of Tails Up!, Aunt Jenn asks Kat, Maya, and Grace to look after them and find them new homes. Best of all, they get to choose names for the pups! They pick three French names: Aimée, Chantal, and Bijou.

Calls begin to come in from people interested in adopting the puppies, and Aimée and Chantal are soon placed in loving homes, but Kat worries that nobody will see the playful side of Bijou, the shy puppy. Even worse, Grace is being teased at schoolagain. Can Bijou help end Grace’s conflict and find himself a new home?


My thoughts-

The Puppy Pals series are popular among my third grade daughter's classroom. They love these books, each about a different puppy or two. This was the series that got her out of her "I only read Junie B. Jones" phase, so I am thankful that they allowed her to branch out and try something new. The Puppy Pals books are always cute books, easy to read, but there is usually a lesson in there somewhere. In "Bijou" the lesson is that what you see on the surface with someone isn't always the whole story. I think that is a great lesson for the age group that likes these books and I love how sweet the story about these three puppies that need to be adopted, including sweet, but lonely Bijou, just add to that lesson. I recommend this book for children ages 7-10. Puppy Pals: Bijou will be available February 7, 2017. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.com.

The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan by David Perlmutter, MD (Book Review)

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

The official guide to Dr. David Perlmutter's revolutionary approach to vibrant health as described in his New York Times bestsellers Grain BrainThe Grain Brain Cookbook, and Brain Maker

With more than a million copies sold worldwide, Dr. Perlmutter's books have changed many lives. Now, he's created a practical, comprehensive program that lowers the risk for brain ailments while yielding other benefits, such as weight loss, relief from chronic conditions, and total body rejuvenation. Science-based and highly accessible, THE GRAIN BRAIN WHOLE LIFE PLAN expands upon the core advice from Dr. Perlmutter's previous works, and introduces new information about the advantages of eating more fat, fewer carbs, and nurturing the microbiome. Including original recipes, tips and tricks for common challenges, meal plans, and advice on everything from sleep hygiene to stress management, exercise, supplements, and more, THE GRAIN BRAIN WHOLE LIFE PLAN shows how to live happily and healthily ever after.


My thoughts-

Eating gluten free was a piece of the puzzle I figured out for my family a while back, mainly due to my daughter's behavioral problems getting so much better when she doesn't have gluten in her system. We are still working on being 100% gluten free, so reading books like these help me on that journey and help cement the idea that we are on the right path.  I love books like The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan that offer science to back up statements. I also like that this book isn't just about eating habits. It is about the bigger picture. Stress, sleep, exercise, and supplements that will help lead to optimal health are all discussed here. There are also many great recipes to get you started. I read a lot of books about diet and lifestyle and I think each one offers at least a little bit of good advice on how to become healthier or start down a healthier road, but I feel like The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan is a great place to start and may be the only book necessary to begin a journey to better health.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Skinnytaste Fast and Slow by Gina Homolka (Cookbook Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Blogging for Books in  exchange for my honest thoughts. I  was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

80+ Under 30 Minute Dishes and 60 Slow Cooker Recipes

The easiest, tastiest, most convenient healthy recipes—ever!


With Skinnytaste Fast and Slow, you can get a nutritious, flavor-packed, figure-friendly meal—complete with a flourless chocolate brownie made in a slow cooker—on the table any night of the week. Gina Homolka, founder of the widely adored blog Skinnytaste, shares 140 dishes that come together in a snap—whether in a slow cooker or in the oven or on the stovetop. Favorites include:
 
Slow Cooker
Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Korean-Style Beef Tacos
Spicy Harissa Lamb Ragu
Peach-Strawberry Crumble
 
Under 30 Minutes
Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Feta
Pizza-Stuffed Chicken Roll-Ups
Grilled Cheese with Havarti, Brussels Sprouts, and Apple 
Cauliflower “Fried” Rice
 
Each recipe includes nutritional information, which can help you take steps toward weight and health goals, and many dishes are vegetarian, gluten-free, and freezer-friendly—all called out with helpful icons. Gina’s practical advice for eating well and 120 color photos round out this indispensable cookbook.


About the book-

The first Skinnytaste cookbook is one that I utilize often in my kitchen, so I was excited to see that there was a new one that utilized different cooking methods. The book is full of beautiful pictures and filled to the brim with all kinds of tasty recipes sure to please your palette and save you time. The best thing about slow cooking and also about quick to throw together recipes is that it saves you time to devote to other things in your day and you still get delicious food to eat out of the deal! I love that the book includes several different types of diet friendly recipes, particularly I am glad to see gluten free recipes since those are the kind of recipes I am looking for. Skinnytaste Fast and Slow is a cookbook for anyone who wants to eat well, but doesn't want to spend hours in the kitchen. 



















Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!
The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn. 

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora's wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them--and her future--in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

My thoughts-

I am a huge fan of Mrs. Klassen, she has written some of my favorite books. The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill isn't her usual fare. It's still historical fiction, but not the regency era stuff I typically clamor after. Maybe because of that, I had a hard time getting interested in the characters in this novel or the over all story. The writing was still great, it just didn't resonate with me personally. I still can't wait to see what is next in this series, and I am so excited that Julie Klassen even decided to write a series because she is wonderful at character development and I think that will really shine in this format of work. I recommend the Inn Keeper of Ivy Hill to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Scentsy FLASH SALE 11/16/16 50-80% off!

At 9 am Pacific time (11 central) Scentsy will be having a BLOW OUT sale ! Up to 80% off! Set your timers and go get your deeply discountedScentsy today! These products will go fast!


Select buddies will also be buy one get one free. That includes scent paks for both buddies! Get those kids marked off your Christmas lists!! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Oh, Ick by Joy Masoff (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

My thoughts-

This is the exact kind of book my kids are always asking for. They love hands on science experiments and learning how things work and getting messy every now and then. I love books like these too, that make learning fun! Oh, Ick covers all of the different faucets of science and offers many great ways for kids to fall in love with science. This would be a great resource for science fairs!


Gluten-Free Small Bites by Nicole Hunn (Cookbook Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Small bites aren't just for fancy parties with twee hors d'oeuvres (and no small children in sight). Gluten-free guru Nicole Hunn shares recipes for portable foods fitting every imaginable occasion—mini quiche for your book club, crispy coconut shrimp for the office potluck, and handheld chicken pot pies the kids can devour on-the-go. Complete with bite-size sweets—mini éclairs, little apple pies—that no one can resist, Gluten-Free Small Biteshas a recipe for every occasion—spicy or sweet, vegetarian or meaty, fancy or kid-friendly.

My thoughts-

We are still pretty new to the gluten free lifestyle. Our basic game plan is basically just to avoid everything other than fruit, vegetables, or meat for the most part, but we have definitely been missing out on some of our old favorites. Now that we are getting more used to it, we are ready to add more things in. Gluten Free Small Bites is a fantastic book for all of your favorite party foods! Most of these foods would also make excellent lunchbox additions which I know my kids will be so excited about! There are only so many times one can eat sushi, nachos, soup or salad for lunch. Gluten-Free Small Bites will allow me to give my kids some of the foods that they have been missing since we changed our eating habits! Pot pies, gyros, burritos, tacos, quiches, and so much more. I am so excited to have a book with so many fun recipes in it!