book reviews, MIndful

The Lost Art of Good Conversation by Sakyong Mipham-Book Review

In a world full of screens, we forget to look up and make eye contact, and then use our breath to create words, and our ears to listen. I like the simplicity in the book! It come from a Buddhist perspective, but it’s open for everyone to take in and learn from and use.

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My favorite part that resonated with me was the one on Being Kind. For the simple reason that  it is just nice. Especially now in a world full of uncertainty…..being kind as a base for all decisions is a damn good idea!

It’s a quick read full of wonderful chapters:

  1. Why Conversation?
  2. Be Mindful
  3. Be Kind
  4. Enrich your World
  5. Strive for Conversational Excellence

I think anyone would enjoy and have something to gain from reading this book!!!!  See below for pictures!

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book reviews, Meals

Vibrant India-Cookbook Book Review


Going back to my roots with this one! Chitra Agrawal, chef and owner of Brooklyn Delhi has brought me back to tastes of turmeric, garam masala and coconut curry!



This cookbook is full of tips and techniques for Indian cooking! I love the sections on spices, as it gives wonderful descriptions of each kind of spice. There are over 200 recipes to try! I love popcorn, so I was pleasantly surprised by the Ben’s Curry Leaf Popcorn. So damn delish!



I’m looking forward to trying all the different, exciting recipes! Ands you will also enjoy reading about the author and her traditions in her family and cooking!


FTC disclaimer -I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

book reviews

Cookbook Review-Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations, Pure Yum!


This cookbook is beautiful! Right away, I noticed how heavy it was and new it would be substantial! Every recipe has a color picture, and I love the theme of celebrations, allowing you to cook gluten-free, dairy free and paleo recipes for all the special occasions you can handle!

In the back of the book resides a cool special diets index. This cookbook is now one of my goto’s. It really is for everyone regardless of your eating needs, but all the more special because not only will it taste great but will be better for you!

FTC disclaimer -I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

book reviews, MIndful, possibilities

Remote…Making a case for more productivity and work life balance!

Enjoyed this quick read! Although it took me some time to post, it was very easy to read! I’m always interested in way to make work life balance more feasible. I feel very lucky that I work for a company that promotes this already!

This book reads like a manual for those companies that don’t yet think this way, but want to! It makes sense to allow for this, especially as we move into workloads that are as demanding, if not more, than family life. And the whole common sense about this is that it works! Remote illustrates  that working remotely is good for everything: family, balance, environment and productivity!

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book reviews

Book Review: Make Up…Your Life Guide to Beauty Style and Success online and off by Michelle Phan


My daughter is starting to dive into the wonders of makeup and style! That along with our decision to get her a phone is creating a whole new set of parenting concerns. Thank goodness she is into sports, as this is helping with keeping the healthy lifestyle going. And there are a multitude of videos via YouTube that she has access to, but screen time is something we limit as well. So when this book cam out, I thought I would first read it and then see if appropriate for my daughter. And I am happy to report, that it is very insightful and my daughter loves it, and I have learned a few things too!

This book goes way beyond just learning about make-up. It also teaches about career goals, professionalism and modern manners! Here is a list of the contents that I think will help you see all that is included. I appreciate how Michelle shares her experience and again serves as a nice role model for my daughter to see (items in parenthesis are my ideas on the chapter!):

My Life so far, parts 1 and 2

Skin Care Savvy

Makeup Basics and Beyond (I am learning lots here for my own makeup application!)

Hair and Nails Know-How

Fashion Tips and Tricks

Digital Dos and Don’ts (With the age of cell phones and online everything access, this is now something that everyone needs to learn)

Find and Keep a Job you Love

Turn Your Passion into a Profession

Modern Manners Made Easy

Ask Michelle

Good Luck!


I approve this book for my own daughter to read, and I am learning from it as well. It has actually created some nice conversation for us to discuss and I also ask my daughter for advice, which she is happy and proud to offer me too!  It’s easy to read and everything is in color with great photos. It makes for a great reference that we both now goto!


FTC disclaimer -I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.



book reviews

Book Review: Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, 40th Anniversary Edition


This cookbook was an ultimate pleasure to read through and use. Now mind you it does not have any pictures. Sometimes that can throw people off, but I like the fact that I have no visual expectation to live up to! It’s all about the process and then the feast!

This is all vegetarian, but I can see adding meat to various recipes where I need to as well.

Here are the table of contents: Intro, Pantry Notes, Some Useful Tools, table of Conversions, Soups, Salads, Sauces and Dips, A Few Baked Things and Sandwiches, Entrees, Desserts, Index.

There is a wide variety of recipes and tastes throughout! From a dish called Satyamma’s Famous Cauliflower Curry to HErbed Carrot Soup, Pepper and Oninon Shortcake, Lentil-Walnut Burgers and Cardamom Coffee Cake!

I made the simple Guacamole recipe, using the recommended augmentations to make is a bit more flavorful……It was gone just like that!!!!

If you already don’t know, Moosewood is a well known restaurant in Ithica, New York. From the website:  “The Moosewood Collective is a group of nineteen people who own and operate Moosewood Restaurant and write cookbooks. “Collective” is our group’s philosophical identity, not a legal term. Most of us have worked together for more than twenty years and some of us have worked together since Moosewood opened in 1973. Our membership has changed over the years, but basically we are a stable group. When all is said and done, Moosewood is a hard place to leave.”

One day I hope to travel and visit Moosewood for reals, but until then, I can enjoy their recipes right here in my own home with this staple cookbook! Hope you can find the time to try some of these out yourself! Cheers!

FTC disclaimer -I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

More about the author Mollie Katzen here!

More about the book here!

book reviews, MIndful

Book Review: A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home by From the creators of A Beautiful Mess, Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

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Having once met Elsie at a Los Angeles scrapbook convention, I have always admired her work. So when I found out she wrote a book with Emma Chapman, I had to check it out! Both Emma and Elsie have the blog A Beautiful Mess, that if you get a chance to look at, you will be filled with amazing creative spirit!

The book, A Beautiful Mess, Happy Handmade Home, Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful More Inspiring Space, delivers their unique style for you to pour over! It’s divided by titles of spaces in a home….living room, play spaces, outdoor spaces, etc. You will find something to create for each part of you home.

But what inspired me most about this book were the quick easy sections on hosting themes parties…I love this! For example, the chapter titled, Celebrate, Birthday Cocktail Party. This included a yummy drink recipe and then several ideas with pictures for inspiration.

I was surprised by how thick and sturdy the book was too…the pictures are all in color and the pages are thick quality, making it easy to turn to the next bit of genius!

This will be a goto book for me when getting inspiration for our house, future parties and simply creating! You will be thrilled too!

For more information on the book, check it here

To read more about the authors click here

Now get out there and create! I hope to post some finished projects here from this book!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

book reviews

Book Review: Tacolicious by Sara Deseran, with Joe Hargrave, Antemelo Faria, and Mike Barrow



In the mood for something inspiring and wonderful! Since I couldn’t make it out to San Francisco to the Tacolicious restaurant, I brought the book* home to me!

There is a wonderful mix on traditional and non-traditional mexican dishes and recipes that will have your taste buds roaring for more. Ask anyone I know, and they will tell you that I’d tell you I’m not a cook. They are true. But this book makes it look easy, and taste delicious.  By the way the recipes are well organized with gorgeous pictures and the book itself is hearty and thick!

There are various tips and anecdotes scattered throughout that will make you smarter…ok…well not smarter, but definitely keep help you impress your family and friends. I’ve already decided to go create a menu from this book for next year’s Bunco group! But I had to try a few of the recipes and went with a few of the drinks first. You could add alcohol too, but I went the route of family dinner with the girls….and since we rarely have soda in the house, this was even more of a special treat! It’s called Silas…named after the author’s oldest son. Mint leaves, lime juice, agave syrup and soda water…girls loved it. For dinner I went with their old-school taco. I know…tacos are easy…but what I enjoyed about having the recipe is home made hot sauce and spices I get to use!

If you enjoy Mexican Cuisine and want to go one step above what you may be used to, you will enjoy this book! For more info on the book click here.

Thanks for reading and Salut!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.