June 30, 2011

Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power by Bob Doyle

Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power by Bob Doyle is a more than just a deeper understand of the Law of Attraction. It is a guide to help you actually put that universal law that we can all use into action.

Book Description
“Wondering how to make the Law of Attraction work in your life? With the publication of The Secret, the Law of Attraction has become a worldwide phenomenon. Yet, many people are still not getting the results they want and have been left disappointed and confused.

Now motivational coach Bob Doyle, one of the teachers featured in the film version of The Secret, dispels the misconceptions and myths about the Law of Attraction and offers a practical, easy-to-use program for creating abundance and happiness. Doyle addresses head-on the objections, questions, and comments that many still have about creating abundance to get the things they want in life.

Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power is a down-to–earth, no-hype, motivational approach to take control of your life and get the things you want. Doyle makes it clear that the Law is not a personal development tool you can use the right way or the wrong way; it’s a profound statement of how energy works in the universe. It has to do with paying attention, recognizing where you are, and aggressively striving for what you want. It is all about passion, vision, and purpose.

Get clear on your vision for your life, and follow a step-by-step plan to live your life by design.” – Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power

My Thoughts
Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power isn’t just a book. It is a tool to help you actually start using the Law of Attraction for your own personal growth. If you’ve seen “The Secret” or read any of the other books on the subject, have you actually seen any results? Well, it might be because you aren’t letting go of some of the things that are blocking you. This book explains how to start letting go of those negative thoughts and open up to receive the things that you deserve. It won’t be easy at first, but you can do it, and yes you do deserve everything you want!

Doyle does a brilliant job writing this book. It is like taking a personal workshop class with him, but being able to reference everything in it at all times when needed. I especially like the parts where he explains that yes, you do need to do the exercises, explains why, and urges the readers to actually do them. Just thinking about those things isn’t usually enough, so do it already.

I really enjoyed this book and found it to be quite helpful with envisioning what it is I want in my life. I think that everyone who reads this book will benefit from it tremendously. I highly recommend it to everyone reading this right now.

* Thank you to the publisher of Follow Your Passion, Find Your Power, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 26, 2011

Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker

Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker is a money saving book for all types of people. Sure, we won’t all cut back to only one useful present for birthdays or Christmas, but the tips included can help save your family a tremendous amount of money – if you use them. If you need new financial ways to help get out of debt, this is a great book to read to help you get back to the basics.

Book Description
“Discover the money-saving and wealth-building secrets of America’s thriftiest people, the Amish.

Author, journalist, and descendant of the Amish, Lorilee Craker, was just like the rest of us, feeling the pinch from the financial fallout of 2008. As a freelancer, her income was going the way of the dodo—family dollars seemed like an extinct myth, the bank account some archeological evidence of past prosperity.

Then, inspired by a news segment covering her people, the Amish, and how they emerged from the economic crisis unscathed, she realized it was time to get back to her roots and learn a thing or two about their time-tested approach to personal finances. While the middle-class was wringing its hands over the family budget and the wealthy were weeping over their slashed portfolios, the Amish were content as always, spared from the cares of the world and worldliness. They not only had financial health to support their lives, they exuded a wholeness that eludes so many when the financial bottom drops out.

In Money Secrets of the Amish, readers go on an “Amish money makeover,” learning the choices, secrets, and disciplines that safeguarded the contentment and the coffers of America’s favorite plain folk by spending less, saving more, and getting happier doing it.” – Money Secrets of the Amish

My Thoughts
Money Secrets of the Amish is actually a very funny and cleverly written financial help book. The unexpected witty humor was quite a nice treat because who really enjoys reading about money besides bankers? Maybe that is why everyone is in such financial trouble, besides of course learning at a young age that you deserve everything you want. Sure, if you can afford it, right? Well, kind of. Thoughts like that are what make millions of people go bankrupt and in debt.

Going back to how things used to be is still actually done by the Amish people. They have really good financial records and continue to thrive in today’s economy. Something can definitely be learned from that.

This book focuses on all of those budget conscious things that the Amish naturally do. They just take it to the extreme. For them it is normal, but for everyone who isn’t Amish, I really don’t think cutting back so far as having no electricity, sharing clothes and never buying new, making everything you can yourself, and only receiving one present on a birthday or on Christmas probably is going to happen.

The author also agrees on that and instead gives ideas on how you can make do with what you have and save money similar to how the Amish people do. Nothing is really “new” about the tips but they are still helpful to remember. Try these tips out for yourself and start seeing savings quickly!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

June 24, 2011

The Sims 3: Generations Expansion Pack Review

The Sims 3: Generations expansion pack is the newest EP released for the series that focuses on life stages for your Sims. This is a really fantastic addition to the game because it gives so much for all of your Sims to do – especially the younger ones.

About the Game
Enjoy a whole spectrum of rich life experiences with your Sims! Start off in the imagination-fuelled world of childhood and embrace the drama of the teen years. Experience the complicated realities of adult life, then reap the benefits of growing up in each life stage. A wealth of new options and activities makes your Sims’ lives more meaningful than ever before, whatever their ages. With new celebrations, dramatic life events, and all-new ways for your Sims to express their creativity, The Sims 3 Generations lets your Sims live life to the fullest!

• Sims of every age can enjoy new activities! Kids can hang out with friends in tree houses. Teens can pull hilarious pranks. Adults can suffer midlife crises. And so much more!
• Whether it’s a raging all-teen party while the parents are out, a high school graduation or an official wedding ceremony, new celebrations make every age more fun!
• From bachelor party hi-jinks to getting in trouble for bad grades to hearing rumors around town about Sims who cheat on their spouses, hilarity ensues when new drama unfolds!
• Sims will enjoy all-new ways to be creative including tinkering with chemistry sets, making their own home movies that they can watch on their own TVs, playing make believe as an astronaut, dinosaur, princess, and more!

All of the new activities, celebrations, and drama are easier than ever to remember and reminisce about with a new Memories system that keeps track of major life moments and also lets you share them on Facebook or your Sims My Page! - The Sims 3: Generations

My Thoughts
As a proud Simmer that enjoys all of the games in the series, I was really excited to get to do more with my Sims with this EP. Sure, no new vacation spots were added or anything as cool as vampires, but that is okay. Regular life things that Sims can enjoy all the time are a great thing to add too.

Sims can now have memories and add these to their scrapbooks. Additionally, if the gamer uses Facebook they can also share their Sim’s memory with their friends on Facebook. I’d advise against sharing all of these memories with your real life friends though because it would get annoying rather quickly.

I really enjoyed all of the new items that were added with this EP. It seriously has a huge amount of new items that you can use for your Sims’ houses. Items added range from tree houses to water slides and new furniture and everything in-between. There was also of course new clothing that was added. It isn’t as high fashion as those added in “Late Night” but that is to be expected.

The Chemistry Set was added and with it Sims can learn logic and also discover and make potions. This is a great addition that can make old Sims “Young Again” and can even transform your Sim into a ghost for a few hours. Very fun!

Adults can now run a daycare at their home. Adults can also randomly have a “Midlife Crisis.” Sims can go on dates and give flowers and other gifts. If Sims are engaged they can also let loose before the big day by having a bachelor and bachelorette party.

Children and teenagers can pull pranks on other Sims in their house or around their neighborhood. This is really funny and their parents can also punish them too. Kids can also be enrolled into afterschool activities. Children can also have a new imaginary friend that can (through a quest or a potion) become real!

Kids are also able to be sent off to boarding schools that will give them skills they need for later in life. Kids that aren’t enrolled in boarding school can attend prom now and even become King or Queen of prom!

Overall, this is a really fun expansion pack that gives a large amount of content for your game. It isn’t as noticeable at first because it centers around the different life stages. It is however, one of the better EPs that you can buy for the series, and will keep you entertained for a long time.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Sims 3: Generations, Electronic Arts, and Gamers Gate for providing me with a digital copy of this game and allowing me to review it. All experiences and opinions expressed are my own.

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds by Nicholas Boothman

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds by Nicholas Boothman is aimed to help people who want to make that good first impression. If this is something you need help with, this is a great book to help you do just that.

Book Description
“Yes, it really works: Nicholas Boothman's breakthrough program of "rapport by design" really does show you how to make people like you in 90 seconds or less. Now it's available in paperback, with a newly created workbook section based on the author's hundreds of workshops.

Whether selling, managing, applying to college, looking for a job—or looking for a soulmate—the secret of success is connecting with other people. Nicholas Boothman shows exactly how to make the best out of any relationship's most critical moment—those first 90 seconds that make up a first impression. Armed with his program, readers learn how to establish immediate trust by synchronizing voice tone and body language; the power of a Really Useful Attitude; and how to get people talking and keep them talking. He discusses eye cues, the magic of opposites attracting, and sensory preferences—some of us are Visual people, others are Kinesthetic (responding most to the sense of touch), and a few are Auditory. So when you say "I see what you mean" to a Visual, you’re really speaking his or her language.” – How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds

My Thoughts
How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds can help people make better first impressions by doing small changes when they first meet someone and could even help with making another impression on people (which is harder to change but not impossible).

It isn’t easy, it will take time and practice to master, and if you are shy, it will be even harder. However, the workshop exercises included in this book are a great push towards learning how to make a better impression and essentially make people like you. This isn’t a book that is only read. You will have to take action to get any use out of it.

If you are having problems with social interactions and need some help, this is a really great book to help give you that push you need to make better first impressions.

* Thank you to the publisher of How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds, Workman, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 14, 2011

The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz

The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz is a book that is also a practical guide to self-mastery. It is a “Toltec Wisdom Book” that expands on the original book The Four Agreements.

Book Description
“In The Four Agreements, a New York Times bestseller for over seven years, don Miguel Ruiz revealed how the process of our education, or “domestication,” can make us forget the wisdom we were born with. Throughout our lives, we make many agreements that go against ourselves and create needless suffering. The Four Agreements help us to break these self-limiting agreements and replace them with agreements that bring us personal freedom, happiness, and love.

Now don Miguel Ruiz joins his son don Jose Ruiz to offer a fresh perspective on the Four Agreements, and a powerful new agreement for transforming our lives into our personal heaven: the fifth agreement. The Fifth Agreement takes us to a deeper level of awareness of the power of the Self, and returns us to the authenticity we were born with. In this compelling sequel to the book that has changed the lives of millions of people around the world, we are reminded of the greatest gift we can give ourselves: the freedom to be who we really are.” – The Fifth Agreement

My Thoughts
The Fifth Agreement is a self-help or spiritual book about personal growth and enlightenment. It is a really in-depth look at ourselves and can guide you on the path to becoming more awake to what is going on, if you are ready for it that is.

The lessons in this book are invaluable. Reading the chapters feels like you are taking a course straight from the authors and getting one-on-one attention to help you. Not many books in this genre can give you this feeling, but The Fifth Agreement does.

The five agreements help you to discover the story of your life, how to not take things so personally, not to assume things, how powerful beliefs are, how to always do your best, and how to be skeptical with yourself and others.

Reading the book for the first time, it can be quite overwhelming. It will change how you think, what you believe and how you act. Being more peaceful and accepting who you really are is a beautiful thing though. By just reading it, you step into the path towards this. It really isn’t a hard first step, so if this is something that you are seeking too, I highly suggest reading this book.

When you read the book again (or even just parts of it) you will find new things in it to work on or to accept with yourself. It makes this book quite adaptive for your life and also a must-have for your bookshelf or nightstand. I highly recommend this book for everyone wanting to make those small changes to step on this path.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Fifth Agreement, Amber-Allen Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey – Bar Brawl!

One of my guilty reality TV watching pleasures is The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I honestly don’t watch any of the other Housewives shows, just this one. I really like the characters that are left from the original cast. The new ones are “eh” right now. Maybe I’ll like them more later into this season.

Speaking of later this season… hitting the news today is The Real Housewives of New Jersey bar brawl that happened earlier this year (February) when the cast was filming in the Dominican Republic.

According to MSNBC, members of the cast including Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice, the Manzo brothers and their roommate are being sued by Adolfo Arreola and his cousin Jason Gomez for the bar fight that they got into while in the Dominican Republic.

They claim that the cast were served too much liquor and it made them “intoxicated, belligerent and rowdy.” Which lead to the fight where they were injured.

Hopefully they show what happened to lead to the fight in this season. What can I say? My voyeuristic ways just want to see how it unfolded. I hope that the people injured are okay, though when cameras and people that are rich around…. well it makes it easy for people to be sue-happy hoping to get something. If that is the case, hopefully the judge sees through it!

June 13, 2011

Instant Karma by Barbara Ann Kipfer

Instant Karma by Barbara Ann Kipfer is a perfect book to take in a few lines or pages at a time. These tips will give your karma a good boost and can spread the feel-good vibes to everyone you encounter.

Book Description
“Help others. Help yourself. Be a better person, and make the world a better place. Using the wisdom of the East to instruct and inspire, Instant Karma is a universe of things a reader can do, right now, to accumulate good karma. And, like pennies going into a piggy bank, each is a seemingly little thing-but feed the bank day after day and feel it grow richer and happier.

Created by Barbara Ann Kipfer, the author whose books-including 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, 8,789 Words of Wisdom, and The Wish List-have 1.2 million copies in print, Instant Karma is a compulsive, densely packed, chunky little book of 10,000 or so suggestions, wishes, thoughts, and the occasional heartening quotation.

Line after line, page after page, mesmerizing to read and filled with inspiration, it is the best kind of call to action-good for you and good for others.” – Instant Karma

My Thoughts
Instant Karma is an inspiring book to read to give you good ideas to bring good karma into your life. The positive karma suggestions in the book are great for people to use throughout their life.

I loved going through the book and flipping it to a random page and picking out suggestions I’d work on that day. Some wouldn’t apply to me, so I picked a few from the page instead of the whole page. Seemingly small suggestions such as “start every day a little happier” and “when you ask people how they are, really listen to the response” among many others actually can make your day a little better.

Improving karma and having your day be even a little bit happier is worth reading this book for each and every day. Even if you just try to do one of the suggestions each day, it will help and over time, I think you will notice the difference too. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

* Thank you to the publisher of Instant Karma, Workman, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 12, 2011

Fairy Tale Rituals by Kenny Klein

Fairy Tale Rituals by Kenny Klein is gives a surprising look into the dark and mysterious side of the popular fairy tales we all grew up with. Be ready to throw your old thoughts for these tales out of the window after you read this book!

Book Description
“Magical and mysterious, Faeries are also subtle, sexual, sublime, stubborn, erotic, enticing, dark, and deadly…

So you think you know Snow White? You’re acquainted with Sleeping Beauty? You’re quite familiar with Beauty and the Beast? Fairy Tale Rituals explores the eerie, seductive Faerie lore lying just beneath the surface of eleven favorite fairy tales.

Feel the fear and passion these stories once inspired in ancient listeners. Learn how to create modern rituals that will bring the archetypal magical characteristics of these fairy tale icons -- the sexual attractiveness of Snow White, the totem animal journey of Rose-Red, the manifestation prowess of Cinderella -- into your own life.

Each tale here is explored in two ways: first by looking at the story itself, with an eye toward its mythic roots and magical elements. Next, a powerful ritual or spell is presented based on the characters or events of the tale, which you can use to find a true friend or lover, glimpse the future using divination, celebrate a coming-of-age ceremony, honor the spirit of death, and much more.” – Fairy Tale Rituals

My Thoughts
Fairy Tale Rituals is a very enjoyable and interesting read for someone such as myself who loves fairy tales and fairies in general. I was really excited to read this book because I quite enjoy reading about the original stories to the fairy tales I grew up with. Sure, they are more dark and eerie, but that is what I find more interesting about it.

This book first explains and gives the original story of the tale - not the Disney version of it or the one we were told as children. In the next part, the author gives a ritual that you can use in your life to use some of that fairy magic to use for yourself.

The fairy tales covered include:
Snow White, Snow White and Rose Red, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog King, or Iron Hans, Rapunzel, Strong Hans, and The Rose.

If doing a ritual isn’t your thing, that is okay. This actually only makes up a small portion of the book. The majority is spent on the fairy tales that are covered in the book. Personally, I really like how the format of the book was laid out and I probably won’t use the rituals. So, reading more about the story and how it was originally really was more interesting to me.

Overall, I found this book to be extremely interesting and written exceptionally well. I never knew just how much all of the stories covered changed so much over time. If you like fairy tales or faeries too, this is really a must read book!

* Thank you to the publisher of Fairy Tale Rituals, Llewellyn, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 11, 2011

Tarot Diva by Sasha Graham

Tarot Diva by Sasha Graham is exactly what those who are interested in tarot cards needs right now. This book brings a fresh and fun look at this area of divination with a whole new take on it.

Book Description“You are meant to live with grace, style, wisdom, and boundless joy. With this unique book, you can set free your inner diva and let your fabulousity shine through every day!

Putting a fun and fresh spin on the art of card reading, professional tarot reader Sasha Graham unveils the magic and mystery of a tarot deck. She shows that the tarot is much more than a deck of cards—it's a fantastic tool for embracing your beauty, unleashing your power, and enriching your life.

For beginners and seasoned professionals alike, Tarot Diva teaches tarot basics and presents creative new ways to explore each card's particular energies: meditations, exercises, recipes, spells, charms, and even fashion tips. You'll weave enchantment through every aspect of your life . . . and discover the diva within.

—Manifest your wishes by casting powerful tarot spells
—Re-create delicious recipes that invoke tarot archetypes
—Peek into your future with divinatory spreads
—Create cool charms to channel your inner power” – Tarot Diva

My Thoughts
Tarot Diva is a book that you can judge from its cover. It gives tarot a young, hip, fresh take on a practice that has been done for hundreds of years (or more). This book made me want to pull out my angel and fairy oracle cards (similar to tarot cards) and start doing daily readings again. It also made me want to purchase a new set of regular tarot cards as well. I haven’t decided which one to get, but I have many wishlisted!

This book also gives great tips and information about each of the cards, as well as fun ways to relate it to fashion, food (even includes recipes), and much more. This is not your ordinary tarot book!

One of my favorite parts that is found throughout the book are beautiful quotes by inspirational people. They don’t all have to do with tarot (actually, most don’t) but they do relate to what the section in the book is about.

This book renewed my passion for tarot, gave me ideas on some artwork and actually had me captivated from the time I started it to the time I finished. If you are a tarot reader too, or perhaps are just interested in doing so (everyone can do it), this is a must-have book!

* Thank you to the publisher of Tarot Diva, Llewellyn, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

No Free Internet for the Neighbors!

Is your internet running slowly? Do you sometimes notice that it is taking forever to load webpages that normally load quickly? Well, there could be multiple reasons for this, but one of them… could be that your neighbors or other random people in the area are actually using your wireless internet.

I live in the country. When people say they live in the country, you know what I mean. “Country” where it takes five minutes to get to our house from the main road due to the winding mountain road we live on. We have neighbors, but not many. We live on the lake (or river, depending on who you ask).

Our internet isn’t even that fast out here, so who would want to steal our internet is beyond me. I mean, it isn’t like we have 4G options or anything. Though, I do wish we had that option!

I recently read an article about bad neighbors, and being that we have some destroying the woods next to us to build a house, I decided to read it. Though to be quite honest, I don’t call these people “neighbors” instead I opt for “The Invaders.” They are annoying, arrogant, and worst yet – one of them was on a bad reality television show I never watched. More bad qualities can be written about them, but I won’t bother to do so now.

The article said that about 33% of American households don’t actually pay for their internet. They steal it from their neighbors. Yup.

Guess who also gets in trouble if they do illegal activities on their computers? You do! I knew this, but apparently most people find that shocking. If you pay per GB for your internet, it can also cost you a lot of extra money! They can also be severely slowing down the speed of internet at your house.

Unfortunately the article doesn’t say how to get rid of annoying neighbors with any VooDoo spells or anything, but it did give a good suggestion to password protect your wireless internet connection. I quickly did this and with a little search on the make of our wireless router, I figured out how to do it easily.

After setting up the password protected connection, I have noticed that it is going faster. I’m not 100% sure if anyone was actually using our internet or not (if they were they must have had an awful signal), but it does seem to be helping to speed things up.

Have you ever noticed bad neighbors doing this to your internet?
Have you ever used a neighbor’s internet?
Have any tips to get rid of bad neighbors?
Let me know!

June 10, 2011

The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon

The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon is a murder mystery with characters you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be involved in the story.

Book Description
“When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to school, and to Claire, finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it. Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is—a baby that almost no one, except her small innermost circle, knew she was carrying.

At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English department who is forced to examine the nature of the relationship between the school’s students and the adults meant to guide them. As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects as the novel rushes to its thrilling conclusion.

With The Twisted Thread, Charlotte Bacon has crafted a gripping and suspenseful story in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, one that pulls back the curtain on the lives of the young and privileged.” – The Twisted Thread

My Thoughts
The Twisted Thread is a story about a scandal and a murder of a young girl who had a bright future ahead of her. The boarding school is highly prestigious and when Claire is found dead it makes news fast. Then, when they find out about a baby she had – it is even bigger news. How did nobody except her closest friends know? Who killed her? Why did they kill her?

I started out liking the book and having high hopes for how it would play out. I’m not usually a fan of a novel switching to a large amount of different perspectives. Unfortunately, that is what this book consists of and it didn’t change my mind about not liking this type of a format to a novel. The characters aren’t all likable or even relatable. Reading through the story through different eyes is annoying, at least for me.

The story itself is quite chilling with twisted threads that you aren’t quite sure where it will eventually end up.

If reading from numerous perspectives doesn’t bother you, I think this book would be a great read for you. If you find that style of writing annoying, I’d say pick another book.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Twisted Thread, Voice, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 9, 2011

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal is a “what if” love story that is perfect for a summer read. This is one of those kinds of novels that will hook you in and have you wanting to read the next page long past bedtime.

Book Description
“Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio." Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn't look back.

Twenty years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?

TO BE SUNG UNDERWATER is the epic love story of a woman trying to remember, and the man who could not even begin to forget.” – To Be Sung Underwater

My Thoughts
To Be Sung Underwater is a beautifully woven novel that brings together the past and present for the main character, Judith Whitman. She becomes reacquainted with memories when going through her old things she places into a storage unit, which is something we can all relate to when going through old memories of the past. She takes it a bit further though and reconstructs it to look like her old bedroom when she was a teenager. All of these memories left her wondering “what if” she had stayed in Nebraska and also with her true love Willy? What would have been?

This is a really beautiful story that was written extremely well. There are at times a few places where it drags on a bit more than needed, but this may just be me being a little too critical.

I think that this would make a great summer read. It is however, the type of book that you’ll want to keep reading so perhaps not the best book to take on a vacation unless you plan on doing a lot of reading.

* Thank you to the publisher of To Be Sung Underwater, Little, Brown and Company, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 6, 2011

Creating Fairy Garden Fragrances by Linda Gannon

Creating Fairy Garden Fragrances by Linda Gannon is a journey of the senses to a magical fairy realm. If you want to celebrate the seasons by creating enchanting scents for your home, this is a must read book!

Book Description
“Mix Up Some Magic with Herbs, Fruits, Flowers & Essential Oils

Stir your imagination and summon enchanted creatures by bringing the fragrances of the garden into your home. Creating Fairy Garden Fragrances will help you to fully embrace and celebrate the changing seasons with recipes for bewitching blends of dried flowers, herbs, and fruits including: Dance of the Morning Nymphs, Pan’s Song, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Enchanted Forest, All Hallow’s Eve, and Christmas Magick.” – Creating Fairy Garden Fragrances

My Thoughts
Creating Fairy Garden Fragrances is a book that explains how to create your own scents for certain times of the year for your home. It is also a book that explains fairy lore and also why certain scents or flowers are used for certain fragrances. The fairy lore may not be the main reason you purchase this book, but it will provide many fantastic tales for you to share when someone asks about your potpourri or when you give it as a gift.

Although I was unable to make all of the types of fragrances featured in this book, I did make the “Midsummer Night’s Dream” fragrance for summer. It smells absolutely divine! I can’t wait to make more fragrances later.

I recommend this book for everyone who likes to make easy crafts projects. These fragrances are perfect for using in your own home and also sharing as gifts.

* Thank you to the publisher of Creating Fairy Garden Fragrances, Storey Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 5, 2011

Creating Affluence by Deepak Chopra

Creating Affluence by Deepak Chopra gives simple steps to help open up a whole new world of prosperity in all forms. If you can open your mind enough to let in small changes, you can see big results.

Book Description
“In this remarkable book lies the secret to creating unlimited wealth. With clear and simple wisdom, Deepak Chopra explores the full meaning of wealth consciousness and presents a step-by-step plan for creating affluence and fulfillment on all levels of our lives. According to the author, affluence is our natural state, and the entire physical universe with all its abundance is the offspring of an unbounded, limitless field of all possibilities. Through a series of simple steps and everyday actions, Creating Affluence gently fosters the consciousness needed to tap into this field and create anything you desire.” – Creating Affluence

My Thoughts
Creating Affluence is a small book with a big punch. It can easily be read in one sitting, and if you read this, I urge you to do that. Then, just for a few minutes each day after that initial reading, read a few pieces of it. For me, it is calming and something really great to read before bed. It is truly peaceful after a hectic day.

The “A-Z Steps to a Richer Life” portion is extremely impactful. Again, it isn’t too complex and the simplicity of such things is perhaps where the beauty of it is. Although the steps are simple, actually doing them all daily can be hard, at least at first.

The “Power of Knowledge, Desire, and Spirit” section I also enjoyed very much. It is simple, to the point, and has extreme effectiveness when used. I love knowing that everything is possible and anything you really want can happen.

I highly recommend this book for everyone. In a time of such chaos and disorder in our world, it is really helpful to read books such as this to help ease some of that in our lives. This would also make a very lovely present to a family member or friend.

* Thank you to the publisher of Creating Affluence, Amber-Allen Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 1, 2011

Design Your Own Tees by Jennifer Cooke

Design Your Own Tees by Jennifer Cooke is a how-to book that gives “techniques and inspiration to stitch, stamp, stencil, and silk-screen your very own t-shirts.” If you want ideas on how to transform plain tees into something fabulous, this is the book for you!

Book Description
“Sought after for her innovative use of color and pattern, professional t-shirt designer Jennifer Cooke has created 20 do-it-yourself projects--many can be completed in under an hour--for turning your classic tees (and accessories) into colorful, bold, graphic personal statements.

Combining basic sewing, hand-printing, and screen-printing techniques with stylish wearable projects, Design Your Own Tees gives you the tools to stand out in the crowd--whether you choose to re-create the looks shown or to adapt the techniques to express your unique artistic vision.

Use thread, ribbon, and fabric to play with texture through decorative machine stitching, hand embroidery, and applique. Experiment with found objects and stamps to create pattern through potato and block printing and stenciling. Choose your favorite doodles and images to enhance with color through screen printing.

Colorful photographs of the finished projects plus step-by-step instructions with easy-to-follow diagrams will soon have you wearing your art on your sleeve.” – Design Your Own Tees

My Thoughts
Design Your Own Tees isn’t exactly what I originally thought it would be. I thought that it would have more t-shirt reconstruction ideas in it. There really aren’t any of those included, but if you have a plain and boring t-shirt that is already fitted how you like, you can use the ideas included to really make it into something unique that you will love.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that it is simple and something that everyone with a small ounce of creativity can do on their own. You don’t need big expensive machines to do any of it and nothing included is too intimidating to try.

This is a fun book that really inspires those who read it to want to create something fun and a little edgy to wear. If you are tired of wearing the same thing as everyone else and you really want to wear unique clothing, this book is the answer to get you on the right path to creating your own works of art to wear! I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Design Your Own Tees, St. Martin’s Griffin, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

True Blood: Season 4 Trailers

The new season of True Blood is finally less than a month away! I really cannot wait. This is my favorite series on TV and I can’t wait to see more of Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman on the show).

Here are some of the trailers out to get you as anxious as I am to see it!

Do any of you know if you can use the HBOGO on the PC? I don’t have an iPad or an iPhone and if they let you see True Blood Season 4 episodes a week early, I really want to be able to (if you can also play it on the PC). Please let me know if you happen to use this too and know the answer.