Books she’ll love for Mother’s Day + A giveaway

Mother's Day reads HBG Canada

Yes of course I want to see my kids on Mother’s Day — I’d like to see them playing outside while I curl up inside with a book. Who’s with me? Uh huh. I see a few nods out there. Any one of these four would suit me just fine, and a tea if you’re making it, maybe a couple of tarts too. (*brushes pastry crumbs off leggings* How many days have I been wearing these?) Spring brings a bounty of new releases in every genre, and today I’ve got a look at a selection in stores just in time for Mother’s Day — two for those who love to cook and bake and entertain (alone or with kids helping alongside), one for fashionistas and another for the reluctant traveller. Because every one knows a mom who just wants time to think and read, and one of these books might make the perfect companion. (My thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada, who sent me all four to review.) Continue reading “Books she’ll love for Mother’s Day + A giveaway”

The Greenhouse Cookbook: Plant-Based Eating and DIY Juicing + Win a copy!

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You know when you climb into bed with a great cookbook and wind up equal parts ravenous (‘tho too lazy to get up and fix yourself something), inspired, and more than a little bit charmed? That was my experience with The Greenhouse Cookbook: Plant-Based Eating and DIY Juicing by Emma Knight (with Hana James, Deeva Green and Lee Reitlelman), and I have a sneaking suspicion it’ll be the same for many of you too. It’s the first book from the creators of Toronto’s wildly popular cold-pressed juicery, The Greenhouse Juice Co., and features 100 plant-based, gluten-free meals and drinks that promise to nourish and energize with nutrient-dense delicious goodness anyone can make and adapt (vegetarians and omnivores alike). Penguin Canada was kind enough to send me a copy and allow me to share one of my favourite recipes from the book, the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Dinosaur Kale.  Continue reading “The Greenhouse Cookbook: Plant-Based Eating and DIY Juicing + Win a copy!”

Pancakes & Waffles: Delicious Ideas for Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond by Hannah Miles

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Pancakes are a favourite for Sunday breakfast and occasionally dinner and I’ve been wanting to get over my fear of the waffle maker (a dead-heavy lawn sale find that I’m always worried about closing on my fingers and worse), so I was excited when Thomas Allen & Son surprised me with a copy of Pancakes & Waffles: Delicious Ideas for Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond by Hannah Miles. (Book mail is the best mail!) Inside are 27 recipes for sweet and savoury pancakes and waffles and their assorted toppings and photographs that’ll make your tummy rumble. Think buttermilk blueberry pancakes with blueberry lime sauce; potato waffles with barbecue beans; orange waffles with roasted plums; and ginger and sesame waffles with steak and dipping sauce. Hungry yet?  Continue reading “Pancakes & Waffles: Delicious Ideas for Breakfast, Brunch and Beyond by Hannah Miles”

Five things + Win Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Beartown A Novel by Fredrik Backman (cover)

Hi guys! How have you been? I’m sorry it’s been so quiet here on the blog — I was sick for about a week there (maybe food poisoning, ‘tho it really hung on so I’m not sure what it was) and busy this past week making up for lost time by taking extra classes at a fitness studio I’ve been doing a challenge with over the past month. Today I’m checking in with a few highlights from the past couple of weeks and a chance to win a book I’m just getting into and really loving, Beartown by A Man Called Ove author Fredrik Backman. (Thanks for the copy, Simon & Schuster Canada!) It’s not out ’til April 25, but you can get a first look here.  Continue reading “Five things + Win Beartown by Fredrik Backman”

Miracle Mug Cakes and Other Cheat’s Bakes by Suzy Pelta + Win a copy!

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My husband’s late grandfather had the habit of starting many of his sentences with “Here’s another thing you didn’t know,” followed by a long ramble about something obscure that I couldn’t possibly have known or cared to know, like how the father of former finance minister Paul Martin got his start in business or any number of things about Napoleon (the man, not the dessert.) Then it made me bristle, now it makes me snicker. Because despite his gruff delivery, he was almost always right. (Maybe not factually correct, but his versions of events were certainly new to me.) And the more I try small things, the more I think, “Here’s another thing you didn’t know.” Like you can make a cake in a couple of minutes and it’s actually really delicious! At least the ones I tried from Suzy Pelta’s Miracle Mug Cakes and Other Cheat’s Bakes: 28 Quick and Easy Recipes for Tasty TreatsThomas Allen & Son sent me a review copy, and I think you’d like it too.  Continue reading “Miracle Mug Cakes and Other Cheat’s Bakes by Suzy Pelta + Win a copy!”

Studio: Creative Spaces for Creative People by Sally Coulthard + Win a copy

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It’s pretty tight quarters here at try small things HQ, but like so many other creatives who have to make do I’ve carved out a couple of spaces (however humble) to blog and shoot and style and bake and all the rest. As it happens, we also use those same spaces to eat and do homework and play LEGO and watch Netflix. Which is really not ideal. I dream of having a dedicated place to work and play, so I was delighted when Quarto Publishing Group USA sent me Sally Coulthard’s Studio: Creative Spaces for Creative PeopleTaking lessons from the myriad (and often fascinating) studios of crafters, designers, writers, artists and a couple of my favourite bloggers, Sally shares inspiration and insight to help you create your own space with tips on everything from planning your layout and organizing your tools to lighting, seating, wall treatments and display. (Hands up if you’ve never met a pegboard you didn’t love.) Whether you’ve got an entire room or just a corner, you can create a space that works as hard as you.   Continue reading “Studio: Creative Spaces for Creative People by Sally Coulthard + Win a copy”

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight + Win 1 of 3 copies!

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In Get Your Sh*t Together: How To Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need To Do And Start Doing What You Want To Do, author Sarah Knight says any goal can be accomplished if you break it into small, manageable chunks — you just need to strategize, focus and commit. She’s serious about helping people get their shit together, and she does it in the best way: with irreverent humour, relatable stories and solid advice. But as she warns in the introduction, if you don’t like colourful language, it’s probably not for you: “… unlike many traditional self-help authors, I am going to use the word shit 332 times (including several shitmanteaus of my own invention), so please do not go on Amazon saying you were expecting sunshine and kittens and got shitstorms and shittens.” Little, Brown and Company sent me a copy to review, and it’s some good shit.  Continue reading “Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight + Win 1 of 3 copies!”

The Unforgettable Photograph by George Lange + Win a copy

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A lot of us want to take better pictures but don’t know where to start. In The Unforgettable Photograph: 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life, renowned photographer George Lange (along with Cooking Light editor Scott Mowbray) says it’s not about using expensive equipment or getting caught up in technical details but in ways of seeing, in capturing moments rather than subjects, exploring connections and evoking emotion. It’s about feeling and playing and living the moments, forgoing cliches for fresh perspectives. Lange uses photos from his daily life to share lessons on everything from composition and lighting to exploring intimacy and the rhythm of a moment. If you want to learn how to shoot photos that are more meaningful and personal, it might be just what you’re looking for.  Continue reading “The Unforgettable Photograph by George Lange + Win a copy”

Wonder Plants: Your Urban Jungle Interior by Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner + Win a copy!

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Now some of you may say plants never go out of style, but in the past couple of years their popularity in home decor and design has grown in a huge way (pun absolutely intended). Wonder Plants: Your Urban Jungle Interior by Irene Schampaert and Judith Baehner, is a tribute to some of of the most marvellous and magical renderings of botanical style and a primer in plant care for readers looking to enliven their spaces with the same greenery at home.  Continue reading “Wonder Plants: Your Urban Jungle Interior by Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner + Win a copy!”

She Sheds: A Room of Your Own by Erika Kotite + Win a copy!

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For any woman who’s ever wanted a space to call her own — a retreat to squirrel away and work or dream or read or just sit — this book is for you. She Sheds: A Room of Your Own by Erika Kotite is a close-up look at 23 small and unique outbuildings around the world reflecting the diverse personal styles of their owners. From an art escape in Australia to a Bali-inspired retreat in Oregon, these purpose-built spaces constructed from a wide variety of new and salvaged materials will inspire readers to create a refuge of their own. The book launches in Canada and the US tomorrow, but today we have a sneak peek inside. Continue reading “She Sheds: A Room of Your Own by Erika Kotite + Win a copy!”

GOOP Clean Beauty + Win a copy!

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What we eat, how we sleep, how we deal with stress — all have a huge impact on how well (and how beautiful!) we look and feel. Which explains why so many of us feel so garbage-y at the start of the new year after weeks of indulging and running on fumes. And why beauty from the inside out is the focus of GOOP Clean Beauty, the first book from the editors of the popular lifestyle brand and online magazine, goopContinue reading “GOOP Clean Beauty + Win a copy!”