Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Art of American Whiskey // A Blogging for Books Review

Not knowing too much about whiskey myself, but having a boyfriend who is a great whiskey lover who is ever in the pursuit of new and exciting whiskey facts, I knew this book would be too perfect. Wanting to learn more myself, this is a great book to start with. It's incredibly unique in its display of iconic labels from 100 whiskey bottles, and the book's aged look lends itself the the history that it is trying to portray.

Above all, the imagery is the hallmark of this book. All the photographs are detailed and beautiful, and they truly enhance the design aspects of all the labels featured. Short histories accompany each picture, and each chapter contains recipes and cocktails from all the eras depicted.

This book is really  terrific for any whiskey connoisseur or budding bartender who is interested in learning more about the story of American whiskey. I know that I've enjoyed learning more because it's not just a lesson in whiskey but really American history as well.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bread and Butter // A Blogging for Books Review

Bread and Butter is a cookbook devoted entirely to gluten free and/or vegan baking. Because two people in my immediate family have celiac disease, gluten free cooking has become a staple in my family, especially for family events where the potential for gluten cross-contamination is a very real thing. Gluten-free cooking is no easy task though. Especially when it comes to baking, the specific flour substitutions can be overwhelming, and the price behind gluten-free eating can add up quickly.

Because cooking gluten-free is no easy feat, it's nice to have cookbooks devoted to glutenless recipes becoming more prevalent. Probably the best part about Bread and Butter is the introduction. It carefully goes over the nuances of gluten-free (and vegan, although that's not really what I'm using to book for) cooking, and the details are on par with what I would expect from a high-end cookbook. The book takes the time to anticipate any questions you might have along the way, thoroughly answering every last one.

When it's all said and done, I will probably give this to one of my two sisters who has celiacs in their families. Although gluten-free cooking is something that circumstances have forced me to be passionate about, I know this cookbook will better suit them.

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I have yet to get a non-selfie photo of the top, and for that I apologize, but hopefully you can get the general idea from my mirror shot ;)

This is the Make Up Your Mind tank, and although I can't remember the exact date that I started it, I do know that I took a serious hiatus from this shirt for a year. I just couldn't motivate myself to finish it once I had finished knitting the body and needed to progress to the bust and straps. But I randomly picked it up again, and I finished it much faster than I had anticipated (or else I probably would have done it a long time ago!).

I was a little skeptical about the finished result when I first put it on, but I really think it's growing on me. I love the designer's other work, and this top turned out to be no exception.

You can find my Ravelry notes here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Letter to My Mom // A Blogging for Books Review

I cannot express my love of A Letter to My Mom enough. This book only took my a couple days to read (although I could have sat down and cranked it out in just a few hours, I wanted to restrain myself and try to savor it), and every letter in the book filled my heart. A Letter to My Mom contains dozens of letters written by celebrities and everyday people. Everybody has a mother, and every person's relationship with their mom is different, but I learned something and related in some way to all the letters in this book.

My personal favorite letters in the book (aka the ones that made me cry the most) are the ones written by Luis Guitart, Sonia Kang, Michael Levitt, and Suze Orman.

This book touched me in multiple ways, and it is the perfect addition to my bookshelf, especially since Mother's Day is next month. I know a lot of people I am looking forward to passing this book on to, and I'm sure they'll enjoy it as much as I did.

received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review

Thursday, April 9, 2015

On My Bookshelf: April

I've been a bad blogger recently... Every time I sit down to write, I come up blank. In the meantime though, I'll just keep trying and look for inspiration in new places.

This month, I'm planning to read:

A Letter to My Mom created by Lisa Erspamer
This is the latest book that I have received on behalf of the Blogging for Books program. It's a collection of letters written by celebrities and everyday people to celebrate the bond between moms and their children. This is going to be a great pre-Mother's Day read, and I'm sure I'll be passing it on to my own mom to read after I'm done.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Now that Lent is over and we're in the Easter season, I am reading this book to get more theological insight and to explore religion more deeply as a Christian.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I think Easter inspired me to just start making pretty things. I've always been more prone to knitting and crocheting garments and accessories, but as spring finally makes itself known, the need for lots of scarves and hats has decreased, and I'm brainstorming new ideas. Crochet doilies are perfect because they work up quickly, and in this warmer weather, the cotton crochet thread doesn't make my hands sweat like wool would. Plus they're just darn pretty. I made five of them this weekend and I want to find a pattern for a bigger doily that I could use as a table centerpiece or under a vase. Ooh, or maybe to use as placemats! Anyone have a good pattern in mind that you've used before?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Better Than Before // A Blogging for Books Review

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project which I read last year and enjoyed thoroughly, is a book about habits, especially how the formation of habits really varies from person to person, but quintessentially how, no matter who you are, habits are "the invisible architecture of everyday life."

At the beginning of the book, Rubin breaks down humankind into four main categories: upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels. From here, Rubin defines the characteristics of each of these four personalities, and how habits specifically relate to each kind of person. The biggest pro of the book for me was that once I was able to identify myself as falling into one of these categories, Rubin regularly comes back to these categories while outlining different habit-forming techniques while also providing tips and tricks for habit formation.

While I did enjoy the book, it was hard to ignore Rubin's condescending tone that was evident throughout the book. She gave off a holier-than-thou attitude because, as a rare upholder, she can easily form good habits. The book was also filled with anecdotes of her efforts to also help transform everyone in her life, and while some people can certainly benefit from such attentions, she gave off a smug and nagging demeanor that really turned me off from her writing.

received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.