Thursday, December 28, 2017

Book Review- Get Yourself Organized for Christmas by Kathi Lipp

Discription of book from
Have you lost your Christmas joy? Does the thought of jam-packed malls, maxed-out credit cards, overcrowded supermarkets, and endless to-do lists give you the feeling that maybe Scrooge was on to something?
In Get Yourself Organized for Christmas, Kathi Lipp provides easy-to-follow steps to reduce the stress of the holiday season, including tactics for how to
  • put together a holiday binder you'll use year after year
  • determine a budget that won't break the bank
  • gather your elf supplies
  • get your gift list together (including ideas for various ages and relationships)
  • collect your recipes and prep your kitchen
By putting into practice Kathi's tricks and tips, you'll finally be able to fully enjoy this most wonderful time of the year.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  There is some great tips to help with planning for Christmas and the whole holiday season.   The binder idea with the recipes is definitely a knew idea for me and one I will include in my planning and preparing for the holiday. This is definitely a book I will keep and refer to many times.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers of this book for a copy of the book for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Book Review- Valerie's Home Cooking

Amazon's description of the book:
As the current star of her Food Network show, Valerie's Home Cooking, and co-host of the network's Kids Baking Championship, as well as having spent years acting on television, Valerie Bertinelli has made a name for herself in households across America. But to really know Valerie, is to spend time in her kitchen.

Inspired by her family's cooking legacy, Valerie specializes in showing fans how to make dishes their own families will love that are for the heart and soul. As she often says, there's a story behind every recipe and Valerie shares them in this gorgeous cookbook, where home cooks will find more than 100 recipes that are easy to make and innovative--they're just as fresh, vibrant and down to earth as Valerie herself. Many of these classic comforting recipes have an original twist like Bloody Mary Tea Sandwiches, Lobster BLTs, Quick Rotisserie Chicken Gumbo, and S'mores Popcorn. These mouthwatering dishes will become your go-tos, whether you're having breakfast or lunch on your own, friends are joining for last-minute cocktails and small bites, or the whole family is coming together for a hearty dinner and dessert.

My Review:

I was so happy to receive this book to read and review.  I have been a fan of Valerie Bertinelli's since she was on the show "One Day at a Time".  I have watched Valerie's cooking show on the Food Network and new her cookbook would be very good.  
   This cookbook does not disappoint!! So far I have tried 3 recipes-- Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, Holiday Applesauce Cake and Slow-Cooker Red Beans and Rice. The recipes were delicious and easy to make.  I will definitely be making them again and adding them to my recipe file. 
   Even if you try a couple of the recipes you will very happy with this cookbook.  Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers of this cookbook for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest review.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Book Review: The Girl Before by JP Delaney

Here is Amazon's description of the book:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.


Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

My review:

I am so glad to see that this book is going to be made into a movie!!  I cannot wait to watch it.  This book had me intrigued from the beginning. The thought of an architect building a home then renting it out with so many strict rules to follow and how both of the girls handled it differently  was a story in itself.  Add in the suspense and the captivating yet totally spooky architect and it's a book I did not want to put down. The ending was a total surprise, LOVED it!! It will be interesting to see how the book is portrayed in the movie.
  I received this book from Netgalley for my honest review. I look forward to reading future books from JP Delaney.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Book Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Description from the Amazon website:
From beloved author Alice Hoffman comes the spellbinding prequel to her bestseller, Practical Magic.

Find your magic.

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human is to be true to yourself.

My review:

 I am already a big fan of Alice Hoffman because of the book and movie Practical Magic so I could not wait to read The Rules of Magic.  Let me start by saying, I hope this book is made into a movie. I really enjoyed the story and getting to know the Owens family better.  This book is a follow-up to Practical Magic, but can easily stand on its own.  I liked how the Owens children found ways to overcome and deal with a terrible curse that was put on their family.

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book for review of my honest opinion. I look forward to reading more books by Alice Hoffman.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Book review: Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber

Here is description of the book:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Christmas is the season of the heart, and #1 New York Timesbestselling author Debbie Macomber is here to warm yours with a delightful holiday novel of first impressions and second chances.

Merry Knight is pretty busy these days. She’s taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry’s well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her—minus her photo—and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects—or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.

My review:

As I started reading Debbie Macomber's book Merry and Bright, I knew I was not going to put the book down until I finished it. I really liked all of the characters in the book and the story.  I just loved the book and hopefully it will be made into a Hallmark movie.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers of this book for allowing me to read this for my honest review!!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Book Review: The Essential Thyroid Cookbook by Lisa Markley,MS,RDN and Jill Grunewald, HNC

Here is the description of the book on website:

Lisa Markley, MS, RDN and Jill Grunewald, HNC have created a groundbreaking and scientifically supported cookbook for those with Hashimoto's (autoimmune hypothyroidism). It's masterfully written and will support you for a lifetime of peak thyroid health no matter where you currently are on your wellness journey.

This long-awaited volume is a book within a cookbook — it contains a substantive educational component as well as over 100 original ''food as medicine'' recipes that not only satisfy and delight your taste buds, but also provide you with maximum nourishment for your thyroid and immune system and help you translate simple, thyroid- and immune-supportive nutrition to your plate.

For anyone who has wanted to cook confidently for optimal thyroid and immune function, this is your definitive guide. Be prepared for more unfussy, artfully crafted, mouthwatering recipes and well-studied, reliable, non-dogmatic thyroid- and immune-supportive nutrition information than you've ever seen in one cookbook.

Hashimoto's is the most common autoimmune disease and thyroid problems are among the most prevalent yet overlooked conditions that compromise women's wellbeing. (Additionally, men are being diagnosed in increasing numbers.) With their combined 20 years of nutrition and culinary wisdom, the authors have a mission to help those with Hashimoto's reclaim their health.

Markley is a dietitian with over a decade of nutrition and culinary experience and Grunewald is an integrative nutrition and hormone coach who's been in practice since 2008 successfully guiding her clients and students with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's to health and vitality. They've each experienced the challenges of Hashimoto's first-hand and have discovered that the most impactful way to reduce symptoms and improve thyroid and immune health — for themselves as well as their clients — is to focus on the sound nutrition strategies outlined in this cookbook.

They took a rigorous academic approach to this cookbook. In preparation for the choices of ingredients, Jill and Lisa created a ''nutritional springboard'' that's the foundation for their recipes. They extensively researched the most supportive nutrients for the thyroid and immune system and then identified foods that are dense sources of these nutrients, which ultimately laid the groundwork for The Essential Thyroid Cookbook.

Additionally, the recipes:

- Emphasize nutrient-dense, whole food ingredients full of color and flavor
- Are gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of refined sugars and other highly processed ingredients
- Are targeted to the home cook and easy to prepare; many can be made in 30 minutes or less
- Are thoughtfully created to appeal to all palates
- Contain sensible adaptations, whenever possible, to fit dietary practices commonly used to address thyroid imbalances and autoimmunity, such as Paleo and Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)

In this cookbook, you'll also discover well-researched and practical education about:

- Root causes of Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism
- Key nutrients known to boost thyroid and immune function and their food sources
- The connection between digestive health and thyroid imbalances
- Nutrition and lifestyle strategies for taming autoimmunity
- A discussion on ''goitrogenic'' foods, soy, and the dangers of ''low carb'' for those with hypothyroidism
- How to determine if certain foods may be triggering inflammation and autoimmunity
- Much, much more

This quintessential cookbook is a tour de force — a work of art and a work of science. It belongs on the shelf in every kitchen of anyone diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's.

My review:

This book is a wealth of knowledge.  It is basically two books in one,  the first part is a very detailed and researched medical book for thyroid disease and the second part is a cookbook.  This is a book to keep and use as a reference.  The cookbook has some delicious and easy to prepare recipes.

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Book Review: The Devil's Prayer

Here is Amazon's description of the book--
     A nun commits suicide in front of thousands in Spain. In Australia, Siobhan Russo recognises that nun as her mother, Denise Russo, who disappeared six years ago. 

In search of answers, Siobhan travels to the isolated convent where her mother once lived. Here she discovers Denise’s final confession, a book that details a heinous betrayal that left her crippled and mute, and Denise’s subsequent deal with the Devil to take revenge. In the desperate bargain Denise made with the Prince of Darkness, she wagered Siobhan’s soul. 

As Siobhan discovers the fate of her soul, she learns that hidden within the pages of her mother’s confession is part of The Devil’s Prayer, an ancient text with the power to unleash apocalyptic horrors. 

And now her mother’s enemies know Siobhan has it.

Can Siobhan escape an order of extremist monks determined to get the Prayer back? Can she save the world from its own destruction? 

My review--
    The Devil's Prayer is unlike any book I have read,  I did not want to like this book, but from the very beginning I was intrigued.  At the beginning of the book a nun hangs herself what follows is an explanation and description of the events that leads up to that horrific decision. Overall, I could not put this book down.  
   Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book for my honest opinion.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Book Review-- Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber

Here is how has the description of the book.

Beloved bestselling author Debbie Macomber returns with a powerful standalone novel about a woman forced to start her life anew, embarking on the most courageous journey of all—to a place where she learns what love and trust really mean.
Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.
Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.
The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.
But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future.

My Review

I am a big fan of Debbie Macomber's books and movies.  I was very excited to be able to read this book through Netgalley.

Any dream will do book is not like all of the other books written by Debbie Macomber.  I really enjoyed the story of this book and the characters.  The story had some different twists which kept it interesting.  I thought it was going to be easy to guess how it was going to end, but I was delightfully surprised.  

I would definitely recommend this book.  Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this book for my honest review.