Tag: Thomas Allen & Son

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Handmade Living: 40 Step-by-Step Projects for Crafting a Beautiful Home + Win a copy!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy of Handmade Living in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think. 

You don’t have to be God’s gift to crafters to make most of the projects in today’s book, nor do you need a lot of time. Which is ideal any time of the year, but especially coming into the holidays when our to-do lists are long and our patience is short. Handmade Living: 40 Step-by-Step Projects for Crafting a Beautiful Home by Willow Crossley has a wide variety of lovely DIYs to gift and keep, many everyday objects made more personal with bits and bobs you might already have around the house. Turn an old book into a secret place for safe-keeping, trim a plain-jane basket with spare ribbon to make a pretty piece, and make a personalized print using old stamps, buttons or Scrabble tiles. AND NOWHERE DID I MENTION A SEWING MACHINE (aka THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.) Granted there are a few projects where a stitch or two is in order but no one said you couldn’t do it by hand.

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A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy: Be More Sloth With These Fail-Safe Tips For Serious Chilling + Slothilda: Living The Sloth Life + A giveaway!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me Slothilda and A Sloth’s Guide to Taking it Easy in exchange for an honest review. So here’s what I think.

They say you should write what you know. Well let me tell you, I know a thing or two about being a sloth. That’s not to say I sit in a tree all day eating leaves REALLY, REALLY SLOWLY, but finishing a box of chocolates on the couch can take me an afternoon and that’s pretty much the same thing. Maybe being a sloth isn’t so bad. Maybe it’s even good! Especially coming into the holiday season when so many of us would be happier doing less. Today I’ve got two books that celebrate that sloth life — one with 20 tips on how to embrace your inner sluggard and CHILLAX and another about a relatable little sloth who really wants to succeed and grow but also really likes sleep and junk food and her phone, laptop and TV. 

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“I don’t want to get organized” said no one ever + A giveaway!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me my favourites from the Pipsticks X Workman Publishing collab in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and from the heart. 

“SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER WHICH MEANS SOON U GET TO HIDE INSIDE NOT TALKING TO ANYONE WITHOUT FEELING WEIRD ABOUT IT.” — Orlando Soria

I love September for all of the usual reasons, but even more so this year because I’m starting it with a super fun planner that’s going to help me get a grip on all of the things I’ve let slide and crush my goals. The vast majority of which will not require leaving the house. #killingit #pajamasarelife I know, now you’re over there all TELL ME MORE and as luck would have it, I’m over here (in my pj’s) all OKAY I WILL. 

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Five things

Hey everybody! How’s July treating you? I’m writing from the train home to Ottawa after a few days visiting family in Barrie and Toronto. I hadn’t seen my brother-in-law and his hubby in ages and my own brother and nephew in even longer so a trip down was well overdue. I’d planned to write a few book reviews while I was away but felt soooooo lazy (maybe from the constant eating? you know how one meal blends into another when you’re on vacation) so that didn’t happen. 

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Five things

I received some of the products mentioned in this post free of charge and name the sponsors below. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

For a couple of years in my teens I worked at the only Tim Hortons in town. The steady stream of customers kept us counter girls hopping, but the instant we caught a break and stopped to chat our manager would waltz through the swingy saloon doors dividing the back from the front and say, “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.” (Which naturally we resented.) I remembered that this weekend when I had some time to lean, but instead of avoiding the mess like I usually do, I leaned into it and cleaned my little heart out. Then rewarded myself with a good chunk of my book — I’m finishing Calypso — a few episodes of Queer Eye, and a couple of awesome spin classes at The Dailey Method. (This coming Saturday marks the end of the latest 30-day challenge where you try to do as many classes as you can in 30 days. I wanted to do 26 but will probably only get to 17.) And then we had that incredible rainbow last night! Good things are coming. 

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50 Ways To Draw Your Beautiful, Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons In Pencil And Paper + Win a copy!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy of 50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful, Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons in Pencil and Paper in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

“I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.” — Vincent Van Gogh

When I was in high school I did a three-month student exchange in Quebec and took an art class heavy on illustration. One of our assignments was to draw our reflection in an everyday object, and I remember sitting at my host family’s kitchen table one day after school, totally engrossed in my homework as I tried to sketch my face mirrored in a chrome kettle. Until the smell of smoke broke my concentration. I looked up from my sketchpad and saw the croissant I’d forgotten in the toaster oven engulfed in flames and black smoke curling up the cupboard. (Merde!) A glass of water put the fire out (and shattered the door of the toaster oven), but I’ve never forgiven myself. I was so in the flow that I nearly burned the house down! Which is why I think maybe today’s book should come with a warning. Because it’s easy to lose track of time (and everything else) when you sit down with 50 Ways to Draw Your Beautiful, Ordinary Life: Practical Lessons in Pencil and Paper

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The Pesto Cookbook: 116 Recipes for Creative Herb Combinations and Dishes Bursting with Flavor by Olwen Woodier

Thomas Allen & Son sent me The Pesto Cookbook in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart.

Although I’m rather pitiful with houseplants, we’ve had a few times when our herb garden has done so well that we didn’t know what to do with it all. But now I’ve got all kinds of ideas, thanks to The Pesto Cookbook: 116 Recipes for Creative Herb Combinations and Dishes Bursting with Flavor by Olwen Woodier. Her new book (she also wrote The Apple Cookbook) combines herbs, oils, garlic and other ingredients in a wide variety of pestos, pastes and purées, plus an additional 75 recipes to incorporate pestos in dishes both savoury and sweet. Today I’ve got a peek inside and one of Olwen’s recipes we really enjoyed, the Olive, Thyme and Parsley Pesto. 

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Whole Beauty: Daily Rituals and Natural Recipes for Lifelong Beauty and Wellness by Shiva Rose

Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy of Whole Beauty in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart.

“Self-care is about more than eating clean and exercising. When you approach beauty rituals with reverence, you begin a wellness journey that will connect you to your deepest self and honor the essence of your being.” — Whole Beauty: Daily Rituals and Natural Recipes for Lifelong Beauty and Wellness by Shiva Rose. Are you still there? I feel like I might have lost a few of you with the last part of that quote — the bit about connecting to your “deepest self” and honoring “the essence of your being”. It sounds New Age-y (and it definitely is), but give it time (which is kind of what the book is about) and Whole Beauty grows on you. Inside are more than 40 natural recipes for masks, exfoliants, tonics, deodorant and toothpaste; how-to’s on Ayurvedic practices like dry brushing, oil brushing, smudging and sage-ing; and numerous ways to use essential oils. It’s informative, beautiful and easy to read — sometimes more aspirational than anything else (I feel like sourcing some of the ingredients locally would be impossible for a lot of readers, but a list of online vendors is included) but inspiring all the same. 10 years ago Shiva Rose was broken (which you can read more about in the book) and today (by practicing natural health and beauty and mindful rituals) she is not only healed, but a leader in the world of all-natural beauty and lifestyle. Here’s a look inside Whole Beauty.