Friday, May 24, 2013

The Simple Living Handbook by Lorilee Lippincott

When I saw this book at our library, I knew I had to read it! 

Have you ever gotten to where you are stressed as soon as you walk into your home, office, or into a specific room in your home?  I have!  I couldn't figure out what the problem was.

After reading Ms. Lippincott's book, I realized what was causing that stress.  We need to de-clutter!

Overview

How one family beat the rat race by stepping off the track, and how you can, too.

Where did all this stuff come from? I don’t have time for a life. I need to get away! Ever feel this way? Society is quick to fill our minds and homes with all the latest gadgets, tools, obligations, and entertainment, but what happens when it all doesn’t fit? The Simple Living Handbook is a how-to memoir about creating a life that has space for what really matters to you.

Lippincott’s road to simplicity started in the fall of 2010 when she was on the verge of a breakdown. Her life was basically “normal”—husband, two kids, comfortable home, three home businesses—but she felt like she was running a rat race. She was desperate for more time and space to focus on family, health, and her own interests. So she and her husband decided to cut back on clutter—drastically. Now the family of four lives in a one-bedroom apartment with only the possessions they actually need and use; they stick to a simple diet of only whole foods “that God would recognize”; and they have managed to become productive without feeling busy. They’ve never been happier or healthier.

Through personal stories, advice, and tips, Lippincott teaches how to make the hard decisions necessary to simplify your home and your schedule. Beyond that, she addresses the hidden emotional hoarding that threatens to keep our souls running in circles. Through her inspiring story, readers will learn to take a step back, reassess priorities, and commit to making space for those people and things that really matter.

My Review

I wanted to share a few excerpts from the book that really hit home with me.

1. "You are not your stuff and your stuff doesn't define you"!!!!!  I LOVE that sentence! 
2. "Your stuff isn't your memories"!!!!
3. "Your stuff doesn't dictate your economic value, yourself worth, or importance"!!!

And she is so right!!  Our stuff doesn't define us at all!  If we lost all of our worldly possessions, would it matter?  No, not really.  As long as my family and our pets are safe, that is all that would matter.  STUFF can be replaced. Our family and friends can't.

Reading this book made me realize too that life is too short for drama and stress.  We all know we aren't promised tomorrow, so we need to live each day to the fullest.  Is it worth feeling stressed when you walk into your home?  NO!

I am planning to incorporate some of the suggestions the author discusses in the book.  What is it worth having all of this "stuff" when there isn't time to even USE it? And it really is silly buying more storage products to keep STORING more stuff!!

I highly recommend everyone to read this book!  Folks, it's time to "simplify and de-stress"!



Monday, May 13, 2013

Woman to Woman by Daniela Granzotto, Psy.D

Overview

In Woman to Woman you will read about women who experienced such challenges, as well as those who were able to find fulfillment in their romantic relationships. In their own words, they talk about marriage, sex, infidelity, divorce, and single life. Entwined within their stories, Dr. Granzotto discusses critical issues that characterize a healthy intimate relationship. In the same way that a woman speaks intimately to another, she provides her expert knowledge and insight that will empower you with a better understanding of yourself and your love life.

My Review

How many times have we sat down to read a book on relationships and end up being lost by the time the book was over?  Or felt like the book was just about the Author and their life with no helpful insight or words of encouragement?

I know there are times I have been so frustrated when reading books on relationships.   I am always a bit apprehensive when I am asked to review a book on relationships.  They are usually all over the spectrum.  I am usually either lost, bored, feel worse than I was before I started reading the book, or just give up half way through the book.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I started reading Dr. Granzotto's book!

Woman to Woman is a very well written, easy to read book.  I appreciated the fact the book wasn't about the Author nor was she promoting her business, website, or herself.

Woman to Woman focuses on stories from real women who have been in a wide variety of relationships. 

After each story, there is a discussion and Dr. Granzotto discusses each situation in no nonsense terms.  She talks to you, the reader, like you are sitting right there next to her.  And she relays different parts of her life in the book as well. 

In the book she also reminds us "that we need to take responsibility by reflecting on our own choices, acting with appropriate caution, and having a firm grasp on reality". 

There are 17 chapters in this book and they are as follows

1.  Married and lonely
2.  I felt like a sex object
3.  I couldn't take it anymore
4.  I lost my self esteem
5.  My mother in law shred me to pieces
6.  It all began with friendship
7.  I fantasized that marriage would be an eternal honeymoon
8.   My husband changed
9.   We don't listen to each other
10.  I feel worn out
11.  My husband cheated on me
12.  My life is so much better
13.  I need you dad
14.  We're best friends and lovers
15.  I'd like more affection
16.  I've always feared getting married
17.  Women's Words of Advice

We all can relate to at least one of the chapters.  That's another reason I highly recommend this book for all women!  This would be a great gift to buy any woman in your life!

Thank you to Dr. Daniela Granzotto for providing me with a complimentary copy of the book for my review.




Hillbilly Heart by Billy Ray Cryus

Overview

Hailing from small-town Kentucky, Billy Ray Cyrus is an American country music singer/songwriter who helped to make country music an international sensation. His album Some Gave All has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling debut album of all time for a solo male artist. In addition to his music career, Cyrus starred in the TV series Doc from 2001 to 2004 and co-starred in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana with his daughter Miley Cyrus.

My Review

Recently while at the library, I saw the book, Hillbilly Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus, in the new release section.  We all know who he is, however, I was curious if his memoir was full of fluff or actual truth about his life.

After reading the book, I can honestly say that I was impressed with how truthful he was.  It was refreshing to see someone not blame everyone else for the things that happened in their life.  He was very candid about how his life involved drugs, alcohol, and many other things. 

He does mention other celebrities in this book. I understand why he mentioned them.  It's a part of his life.  It would be odd if he didn't.  I've read other reviews where people think that is tacky.  However, considering the profession he is in, it makes sense he did cross paths with the celebrities he mentioned.

His book is from the heart, easy to read, and a must read for anyone.  Regardless if you are a country music fan or not. 

At no time in the book does he try to put on a fa├žade.  He's honest, to the point, and as he says, just a boy from Kentucky.

This book is definitely a recommended read!




Friday, May 10, 2013

151 Uncommon and Amazing Art Studio Secrets

Overview

In her own artistic journey, author Marjorie Sarnat has discovered, improvised, learned, and gathered a wide array of hands-on tips, techniques, and inspirations for making art. Now she has collected them in this book, 151 Uncommon and Amazing Art Studio Secrets, and offers them for avid artists of any level. This body of knowledge is presented as quick and simple text passages organized into 12 sections.

My Review

I have really enjoyed reading both of Marjorie Sarnat's books on Art! 

As a parent of a child who loves Art class and as a person who likes to create items for my home, I have really been inspired and had the "oh my gosh" moments while reading the book.  We love collecting leaves in the fall and knew to put them in a book between wax paper, but her tips on what to do after that are great!!

I would highly recommend both of her books on Art Studio secrets!! 

Thank you to Marjorie Sarnat for the complimentary book for my review.

151 Effect and Extraordinary Art Studio Secrets by Marjorie Sarnat

Overview

In her own artistic journey, author Marjorie Sarnat has discovered, improvised, learned, and gathered a wide array of hands-on tips, techniques, and inspirations for making art. Now she has collected them in this book, 151 Uncommon and Amazing Art Studio Secrets, and offers them for avid artists of any level. This body of knowledge is presented as quick and simple text passages organized into 12 sections.

My Review

My oldest has quite an artistic ability and she and I reviewed both of Ms. Sarnat books together. 

We both learned a lot from her book as well got a lot of great ideas.  The tips she gave would be great for a beginning artist as well as an experienced one.

Something I never thought of was, "The Fabulous Five".  We all know the five basic shapes; Circle, Square, Triangle, Oval, and Rectangle.  But I never thought that every subject is made up of some part of the five shapes!

I would highly recommend her books to anyone who dabbles as an artist, has thought of becoming an artist but wasn't sure where to start, and to teachers who are looking for ways to inspire their students.

Thank you to Marjorie Sarnat for the complimentary book for my review.




Archetypes by Caroline Myss

Overview

Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to certain people, ideas, or products and turned off by others? Are you constantly searching for something you can’t put your finger on, or wondering whether you are living a life that truly fits?

In Archetypes, New York Times best-selling author Caroline Myss delves into the world of archetypes, which have been the subject of her work for more than 25 years. Archetypes are universal patterns of behavior that, once discovered, help you better understand yourself and your place in the world. In short, knowing your archetypes can transform your life.


My Review

Ever since I took Psychology and Sociology in high school, I've always been interested in personality types. 

I was looking forward to reviewing this book since this is a subject that I enjoy reading about.  Plus I was interested in learning about what Archetype I might be.

The Author said her reasoning for the book was to answer the ultimate questions we all ask, "Who am I and Why was I born"?  Did I feel like I knew myself any better AFTER reading the book?  No, because as being the age I am, I think I already know myself pretty well.  And did I feel like I knew why I was born after reading the book?  No, because I already know why I was born and that is to be the Mother to my beautiful children. 

Some people may find the answers they are looking for as well as the Archetype they are.  Would I recommend this book to anyone?  No, I would not.
Thank you to Hay House Book Nook for providing the free ebook for me to review.

The Language of Blessing by Joseph Cavanaugh III

Overview

Most people have no idea who they were created to be, nor what their own unique gifts and talents are. So how can we recognize and affirm these things in others—especially if we were not encouraged ourselves as we were growing up? How can we change course and learn a language of blessing that will lead to positive change in all of our key personal and professional relationships? In The Language of Blessing, Joe Cavanaugh gives us practical tools to recognize our own gifts and those of others and to use our newfound “language” to bless the ones we care about, breaking a destructive generational cycle and setting a new course for our loved ones’ futures.

My Review

I enjoyed reading this book!  This book is very interesting and easy to read.  As we go on in life, sometimes it's easy to lose track of ourselves and what makes us us. 

The only complaint I have about the book is that there isn't much of a scripture reference as it's more of a self help book.

Would I recommend this book?  Yes, if someone is looking for a self help book.  No, if they are looking for scripture resources.

Thank you to Tyndale Blog Network for the free book to review.