Monday, October 26, 2015

Instant Happy Journal - Karen Salmansohn

There were three things in the title which attracted me to this book.  First, 'journal'.  I love to journal and love journals of all kinds.  Second, 'instant'.  As in instant gratification.  And third, 'happy'.  Who doesn't want to be happy?  

I can add a couple of other things which are attractive about this book.  It's small.  Only about 5.5"X6.5" and about an inch thick.  Just the right size to keep on the bedside table or throw in your bag and carry with you.  And it has a solid feel to it.  It doesn't feel like it would fall apart after a few uses. Secondly, the dates are blank.  So you can start anywhere in the book, writing down your responses to the questions or skip around.  Each day has a prompt in the form of a quote or question for you to think about and respond to.  All the pages are sturdy, so most pens will not bleed through to the other side.  Each page has an attractive colored graphic border of some sort around it.

Now for the downside.  It's too happy!  The outside, with the red, orange and yellow, I know is suppose to be energetic and, well, happy.  But it reminds me of McDonalds and just too happy for me.  I think I might have to make a cover for it as I have it on my bedside table.  I am using it at night before I go to bed.  Or at least that is my plan at the moment.

Another 'unhappy' thought about the book some of the prompts are really not prompts at all.  For example, how am I to respond to "Love the Heck out of Life"?  Or, in such a small space, how am I suppose to write a letter to myself or the first chapter or two of my life story?

Since I have it beside my bed and I would like to use the book, I will probably collage on some of the pages and put in other words or phrases over the prompts in the book and make it more my own.

I think this is a book you would give someone who you know loves 'page a day' books, but overall I probably would not buy this for myself or a serious journal writer.  

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Review - Dessert & Booze Hacks

After my last review of the coloring book from Blogging for Books, I allowed Texter to pick out the next book to review.  Needless to say, this immediately caught her attention.  What drew my attention was I am sort of familiar with Buzzfeed and was interested in what Peggy Wang.

First, the book is what we call at the library, a board book.  It's a sturdy book, well suited to handle rough handling with ease.  The colors and pictures are simple and bright.  The type, easy to read.  A delightful 'feel' to the book, especially for the topic.

So Monday, since everyone was home, I decided to make some of the desserts.  I couldn't do any of the booze hacks without going to the store, so I passed on those.  Plus, we all had to go to work or school the next day.  But believe me, there are several booze hacks noted for future use.

The first recipe I tried was the "Easy Thin Mints".  I microwaved the Andes Mints and dipped the ritz crackers.  In order to cover the entire cracker, I dipped half, threw them in the freezer and then dipped the other half.  With a little more care, they would be really pretty.  But regardless, they are tasty and are similar to the actual thin mints.  I had some melted chocolate left over (I used one and a half packages of mints), I threw in some 'O' cereal and cashews and made some munchies out of them.

Once again, just emptying out things I had on hand, I made the Chocolate Chip Stuffed Raspberries, Bite Sized Caramel Grapes, Salted Chocolate Cuties and a couple of different versions of Autumnal Dessert Nachos.

Needless to say, once I called in the troops, the snacks disappeared in a flash.

What I have to say about the book - 
  • The recipes are simple and easy.  Well suited for even children to help with.
  • Most of the ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
  • They are quick to make.  No hours spent slaving away.
  • They're fun.
  • This would be a great stocking stuffer or present for a young adult in college or their first apartment.
  • Fairly inexpensive to make (until you get to the booze aspect of it).
Already, even though I have only had the book about a week, it's been well thumbed through.  It will find a place of honor on the bookshelf and will be referred to often, I can tell.  I would give it two thumbs up, but I'm too busy eating.