ARC Review: Room Love by Heather Wutschke

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I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Room Love: 50 DIY Projects to Design Your Space
Author: Heather Wutschke
Publisher: Capstone Young Reader
Publication Date: September 1, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): A floor, a ceiling, and four boring walls? No more! Get creative, show your room some love, and turn your personal space into your happy place. Show off your style and personality with DIY pizzazz to makeover furniture, create one-of-a-kind decor, and organize your stuff with dozens of projects and ideas to make your room as unique as you are

Goodreads | Amazon

I am always looking for ways to improve the spaces in my house, and Room Love has quite a few inexpensive little ideas that are fun DIY projects. Many of the ideas are geared towards tweens, however there are some great organizational tips that can be useful to anyone. If you have some washi tape, scrapbook paper and acrylic paint on hand, you are well on your way to get started on many of Wutschke’s projects.

shelfI have recently begun to organize my bookshelves and I was really inspired by the washi tape embellishment idea in Room Love. What is so great about washi tape is its versatility and the ability to remove it easily if needed. I never considered using it in my decorating before, and it is such a fun idea!

 

 

 

The layout of this DIY book is so pretty and has lots of pictures with step-by-step directions that can be followed with ease. It is one that will appeal to pre-teens that are wanting to jazz up their space a little bit without having to purchase expensive supplies. It is a definite gift for the tween DIYers on your list!

ARC Review: Essential Oils by Neal’s Yard Remedies

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Essential Oils
Author: Claire Cross (editor)
Publisher: DK
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Stars: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): An introductory guide to essential oils and aromatherapy from the experts at Neal’s Yard Remedies, a trusted source for natural health and beauty products.

Introduce yourself to the world of Essential Oils for treating maladies and improving mental and physical well-being. Featuring comprehensive profiles of 88 essential oils, all-natural remedies for common ailments, aromatic recipes for home and beauty, and helpful guidance for blending, storing, and using essential oils, this introductory guide is packed with authoritative information from the experts at Neal’s Yard Remedies.

Whether you seek natural alternatives to conventional medicines or want to eliminate synthetically produced chemicals from your home and beauty products, simple visual instructions and gorgeous full-color photographs make it easy. An illustrated A to Z reference section helps you identify the most useful oils, while information on application methods, tips on massage techniques, guidance on creating custom blends, and up-to-date safety recommendations help you learn how to use them for maximum benefit.

Essential Oils can help you improve your overall well-being and start you on the path to a more natural you.

Goodreads | Amazon

I have just recently become aware of the benefits of using essential oils, and while I probably will never use them exclusively to treat my own ailments, there are some interesting ideas and tips in Essential Oils. This book really is a great resource for anyone wanting to understand natural medicine and the different ways that essential oils are used. There are tips for your home, health, beauty, and a very descriptive guide about each plant and oil used in these techniques.

If you are like me and have a super sense of smell, the directions for how to make a diffuser or room spray may be of use to you. It does seem like a healthier alternative to use an essential oil to alter the scent of a room. I love a subtle floral aroma in a room and I am going to give the room spray recipe a try. It is a simple mix of vodka, mineral oil, and an essential oil. Seems fairly simple and might just be my new go-to for a quick room deodorizer.

As with most DK books, the book is packed with all sorts of information and really delves deep into the history and science behind using the oils as a benefit to your mind, body, and soul. Each plant and its oil is discussed in depth and if you are at all curious about what a simple lavender oil can do, you will be very surprised.

The section that appeals to me the most in the book is the beauty section. I have just started trying to make my own bath products to save money, and as a hobby. There are a few recipes for making bath bombs and melts that are simple and relatively inexpensive to make. If those amazing store-bought bath bombs are your thing, you may want to check this book out because I was really surprised to discover the simple ingredients in making them. Baking soda, citric acid and essential oils are really all that is required.

This is a perfect guide for anyone interested in learning about essential oils and how they can be used. The book is easy to follow and you will come away with a wealth of information on this hot trend that has been around for centuries. I look forward to trying  a few of them out myself.

 

ARC Review: 150 Years of STATS Canada!: A Guide to Canada’s Greatest Country by Julia Davidovich

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I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: 150 Years of Stats Canada!: A Guide to Canada’s Greatest Country
Author: Julia Davidovich, Andrew Bondy, Thomas Eric Taylor, Samantha Montgomery
Publisher: Penguin Books Canada
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Stars: 3/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Canada’s funniest online sensation is back to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary–bigger, bolder, and only 10% reused material!
Want to know what the hottest new Canadian apps are? Need a handy chart to help you decide what Can-Con music to listen to? How about the top Google searches across the nation? In this handy guide to Canada, the tireless experts at @stats_canada reveal all the must-know quirks from coast to coast to frigid coast. From helpful tips on the Vancouver housing market to planning the ultimate Montreal bachelor party, Stats Can is on the case. And discover just how Canadian you are with the official checklist, not to mention the Tim Hortons etiquette quiz. With crucial updates about Canada on its big birthday, and all the stats, charts, and graphs to back them up, 150 Years of Stats Canada! is the perfect way to celebrate everything we love about this great country.
Disclaimer: still 100.6% not affiliated with Statistics Canada

Goodreads | Amazon

If you have followed Stats Canada on Twitter, and not the actual Stats Canada, the parody account, you will already have an idea of what this book is all about. There are some funny moments that poke fun at all things Canadian, and while I did find myself chuckling a few times, there were also a few groaners. As with any satirical work, there is a tendency to go a bit too far and I found that some of the jokes were a bit offensive.

At first glance, and from the synopsis we are given a taste of what this book has in store for its readers. The top Google searches are hilarious, and I won’t spoil them here, as it is best to read them for yourself. There are also quite a few laugh-out loud Canadian Tire jokes that will have you reminiscing about your own experiences in Canada’s infamous store. Not only that, if you aren’t familiar with the Canadian tuxedo, the Stats Canada authors have got you covered.

Sometimes the book contains hypothetical stories, such as the Montréal  bachelor party, that are a little bit over the top and are not my cup of tea. One person’s sense of humour (mine), may not be the same as another’s, and I just don’t find vulgarity funny. Also, there were some jokes about Canada’s first female political activists and I really found this section to be in poor taste and was quite offended. There are other examples that I can name, but I think that these two examples give an idea of what to expect.

Anyone who enjoys satire and has an open sense of humour should give this book a try. Canadians have an interesting and unique culture that can be humorous at times. If you have enjoyed following Stats Canada on Twitter, then I encourage you to pick it up.

ARC Review: Adventure Cats by Laura J. Moss

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Adventure Cats: Living Nine Lives to the Fullest
Author: Laura J. Moss
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about cats comes the ultimate—and unexpected—guide to taking your cat into the wild. Here are cats walking on a leash. Cats hiking on a leash. Cats tramping through snow. Cats camping. Cats kayaking, canoeing, even surfing—yes, cats who love water.

When animal writer and active hiker Laura Moss couldn’t find an online resource for hitting the trail with her cat, she created one. AdventureCats.org took off like wildfire, with attention from Wired, the Huffington Post, Outside magazine, BuzzFeed, and much more. Now, the book Adventure Cats—a collection of jaw-dropping photographs, inspiring stories of real-life cats, and all the how-to a cat owner needs—will take readers and their cats well beyond the backyard. Learn how to leash-train a cat. What to do if you encounter wildlife on the trail. Plus, winter safety tips, and how to bring a little bit of the outdoors to an indoor cat.

The stories themselves are catnip for animal lovers, from Nanakuli, the one-eyed cat who hangs ten; to Georgie, a four-year-old gray tabby who lives on a sailboat; to Quandary, who not only insists on hiking with her family but also teaches them a valuable lesson: When you follow your cat’s natural tendency to wander, you experience the outdoors at a slower, richer pace. This book will delight every cat person, regardless of whether their pet is inclined to adventure. (Take the quiz at the beginning of the book to find out!)

Goodreads | Amazon

Adventure Cats is one of those blogs that I stumbled across while searching for nutrition information for my own cats. Discovering this upcoming book and a whole community of cat-loving adventurists really intrigued me and has given me a whole new perspective on my feline friends. The book is very informative with its tips, stories and beautiful images of cats and their owners out in the wild.

After taking the quiz at the start of the book, it became apparent to me that neither of my cats fit the description of the adventure cat. However, I did come away with a wealth of information on how to take care of my pets and ways to provide them with some stimulation in the form of an outside “catio,” or a little protected area for them to still enjoy the outdoors without being immersed fully into it. I can’t wait to try this out.

DIS WAI 2 TEH FISHEZ, HOOMAN. AdventureCats.org #AdventureCats 📷 @boltandkeel

A post shared by Adventure Cats (@adventurecatsorg) on

There are also lots of stories about different cats and their owners peppered throughout the guide. It is so inspiring to read about people who camp or even take their cats on boats! I will definitely be exploring these ideas with any new cat that I bring into our home and I look forward to having adventures like these myself! If you have cats or are considering adopting one of your own, I highly suggest this book as a resource and inspirational guide to enjoying your felines to the fullest.

ARC Review: This is Really Happening by Erin Chack

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I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: This is Really Happening
Author: Erin Chack
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack provides a collection of personal essays for the Snapchat generation.

Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company.

She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it’s her first kiss (“Sean’s tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.”) or her struggles with anxiety (“When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan”).

Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer, including learning of her mother’s own cancer diagnosis within the same year, and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid “un-normaling” everything.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | iBooks

I am not normally much of a non-fiction reader, but I was really drawn to This is Really Happening. This memoir contains a variety of stories, from Erin Chack’s experience with cancer to childhood memories. The writing is intimate and hilarious, which I really enjoyed. This is an inspiring and quick read that will definitely make the reader laugh.

This book has the perfect mix of serious topics and hilarious encounters. Erin Chack was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, and describes the hardship of things such as shaving your head. The whole book isn’t about her overcoming this, however, which provided some comic relief. There are some wildly entertaining stories, such as the time Erin peed her pants in elementary school, which created a nice balance. It makes sense that this book is so funny, since the author is a writer for Buzzfeed.

One of my favourite stories in this collection is Find Your Carrot. This one tells the story of Erin sneaking onto the roof of a building and being overly paranoid about getting caught and fired from her job. There is an epic plot twist that I was not expecting at all, and I was laughing so hard by the end. I related to Erin’s paranoia so much, and I think that this story has got to be the funniest in the book.

I adored Erin Chack’s writing style. As I was reading, it felt more like a conversation than a book, if you know what I mean. Erin really tells it like it is and has such a funny tone in her writing. She has an interesting outlook on life, and in 240 pages, it really felt like I knew her personally. I haven’t read too many memoirs, but this one has got to be up there with my favourites.

This is Really Happening is a memoir with a huge range of stories–from serious to light and back again. The writing style is very personal and reading it is like an intimate conversation. I would recommend this book, especially to younger adults.