Category: Books

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

What’s Inside September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

I received September’s Sweet Reads Box for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the ❤️. 

It’s here! September’s Sweet Reads Box arrived this week and it’s their one-year anniversary so we are going to PAR-TAY. And by that I mean stay home and read books. Which is a good thing since I have very little to offer you in terms of snackages apart from the highly disappointing Skinny Pop popcorn mini cakes I’m munching on that are apparently sharp cheddar flavour but I am getting none of that. Also we’re out of Diet Pepsi. So yes I would make a very bad host. But let’s move along. In honour of this very special occasion, and to thank all of you who’ve followed along since I first started reviewing the boxes last September, I’m giving away a September 2018 box out of my own pocket to one lucky reader. Let’s see what’s inside already! (Alsoooooooo, if this is the first time you’re hearing of Sweet Reads Box it’s a Canadian book subscription box that comes with a novel, something sweet to eat, a beverage and a few other bookish treats related to the story. Fun, right?) 

Read More

Books for a long weekend: Five favourites for middle grade readers

Penguin Random House Canada sent me the following books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

This summer’s been hotter than pearls in a pawn shop and I can’t say I’m sad it’s nearly over. I’m all for fall and cozy sweaters and piles of books to read without that annoying voice in my head telling me I should be outside enjoying the sun. (It burns! It burns! LOL.) Today I want to catch you up on some recent and recent(ish) releases your kids might want to tuck into this long weekend, five books for middle grade readers that made the grade with us. First, a mega cute tale out earlier this month, Anna Humphrey’s Megabat.

Read More

What’s inside August’s Sweet Reads Box

I received the August Sweet Reads Box for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Next month marks the one-year anniversary of one of my favourite subscription boxes and I feel like we should do something to celebrate, yes? I think I’ve got just the thing. I’ve ordered one of September’s Sweet Reads Boxes to share in a giveaway with one of you, the readers who support me month after month and make it possible for me to blog about it in the first place. (Thank you thank you!) In the meantime, let’s look at what’s inside the August box. 

Read More

She: Muses, Visionaries and Madcap Heroines by Kate Spade New York

Abrams Books sent me a copy of She in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

I keep thinking about a blog post I read about Kate Spade shortly after she died. “It is important to not only celebrate her life,” wrote Kate Arends, “but to try and understand her death in a way that changes the dialogue around what it means to create a persona and be a person.” The stark contrast between Spade’s public persona and private pain does not make her brand any less authentic, Arends says. “I can only assume that so much of the Kate Spade brand … came from a deep understanding of what it means to be human,” Arends says. “The highs, the lows, the beauty, the darkness.” It’s a great post and I could quote it all day (you should read it) but what I’m getting to here are two things: 1) that Kate Spade herself belongs in the pages of the brand’s fourth book, She: Muses, Visionaries and Madcap Heroines; and 2) that the women celebrated in the book — even those larger than life — each experience (or experienced) struggles that informed who they are: whole, fallible, three-dimensional people who can inspire us by their words and actions, regardless of how much of their inner lives they choose to let us see. 

Read More

What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food + Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart + Win a copy!

Abrams Books sent me a copy of What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Ottawa summers are like Zac Ephron: short and hot. California hot. Too hot to think about what to have for dinner, but too short not to make the most of all of the fresh fruits and veggies in season. Luckily people like Gaby Dalkin have done the thinking for us. The LA recipe blogger from What’s Gaby Cooking just released a cookbook with the same name, and it’s full of everyday dishes designed to be made and enjoyed in an easy, carefree, Cali state of mind. The 125+ recipes use fresh seasonal produce and readily available pantry staples for dishes for any occasion, from a day at the beach or a picnic at the park, to a Mexi-Cali fiesta and outdoor pizza party. Nourishing smoothies and salads and veg-and-grain-packed bowls are balanced with indulgent treats like Strawberry Shortcakes, Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares (sooooo deelish!) and a Summer Fruit Galette. Here’s a look inside the book and a recipe to try (we did!), the Heirloom Cherry Tomato Tart. 

Read More

What’s Inside July’s Sweet Reads Box

I received July’s Sweet Reads Box free of charge to review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

What kind of books do you like for summer? A light romance? A mystery that keeps you guessing? An epic historical drama spanning four generations? Or do you like to read the same kinds of stories year-round? July’s Sweet Reads Box features a bestselling family saga told in more than 500 pages and some treats tied to the story to enjoy while you’re reading. 

Read More

Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way + Fish Tacos + Win a copy!

Abrams Books sent me a copy of Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Although Nathan Turner didn’t get as much air time as the other stars of Million Dollar Decorators (probably because he stayed pretty clear of the drama), I always wished we’d seen more of his California Casual style. “To me, it means a laid-back room, a friendly host, and a beautiful table with simple recipes and fresh ingredients,” the decorator/author/entertainer and California native says in the introduction to his new book (and my wish come true), Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat and Entertain the West Coast Way