{Art Students League of New York on Painting}

By James L. McElhinney and the Instructors of The Art Students League of New York

This is a great book to learn about the world of art from great artist and inspirational teachers!

I was surprised to discover that James is a graduate of Tyler School of Art which happens to be the art college I attended! Tyler has always hosted amazing artist and has amazing teachers!

I love how informative this book is, I was expecting more picture pages however I was surprised, again, to find how much information and teaching makes up most of the book!

I am so excited to learn and grow as a painter with this book!

Check out http://www.mcelhinneyart.com/ to discover the work of James! I really really really really love his travel sketches!!!

~[P.S….I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review!}~

. . .

{Fresh Made Simple}

Fresh Made Simple: A Naturally Delicious Way to Eat!

By Lauren K. Stein and Illustrated by Katie Eberts

LOVED this book!

The recipes are easy + all the food used is FRESH!!!

The illustrations are beautiful + they are easy {AND TONS OF FUN} to follow along with!

I am so excited to make ALL the recipes in this book!

The author Lauren K. Stein does an amazing job at putting together easy recipes that encourage healthy eating! She has a website http://www.laurenkstein.com/ where you can read her blog, discover more great recipes + learn more about Lauren! You can even like her on facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/laurenkstein !!!

The illustator Katie Eberts has captures the perfect illustrations to showcase Lauren’s recipes! They more than compliment each other! I love to study every drawing in the book! You can check out more of Katie’s work on her web page @ http://www.katieeberts.com/ + like her on facebook as well @ https://www.facebook.com/Katie-Eberts-Illustration-521039721271262/ !!!

Fresh Made Simple is an amazing + useful cookbook that I plan to use a LOT!

. . .

{The Time Garden}

The Time Garden:A Magical Journey and Coloring Book 

By: Daria Song

Imaginative + FUN! Take an adventure with Daria as her world evolves into a day dream filled with travels, clock pieces + owls!

9781607749608 (448×450)

This book is filled from front to back with creative + intricate drawings of a beautiful day dream of a little girl! I love the story + love to follow her along on her adventures!

I love owls! I love looking + searching through each nook + cranny on every page looking for a hidden wise owl!

I am ECSTATIC to start coloring in my very own time garden!

Daria Song is an artist + author from Korea! While she was a child she spent 5 years living in San Francisco + Song explains that the “sense of wonder + mystery that comes from living in a far-off place” is the inspiration behind the book.

Discover more @ https://www.facebook.com/artistdaria

~[P.S….I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review!}~

. . .


Owls: Our Most Charming Bird

By Matt Sewell

   I am utterly shocked about the quality of this book! I was going back + forth between this book + another…my love for owls ran wild + I selected this book not knowing what to expect.

 Owls is filled from cover to cover of beautifully drawn owls of all kinds. I had NO IDEA how many different types of owls existed + how they live in all types of environments around the world!

Matt Sewell is an outstanding illustrator who has published several illustrated books. Being an Ornithologist.. Sewell focuses his work on BIRDS!

I love how he includes a quirky fun paragraph about each of the birds! Fun to learn about owls + to gaze at the wonderful colors + lines of each owl! The book even starts with my favorite owl…

The Barn Owl! Sewell writes “Easily one of the most beautiful, elegant and enigmatic of all animals, never mind owls, the Barn Owl is transcendent to view in the wild: a shining pure illumination with dark, unfathomably deep eyes.”

Sewell has an amazing website where he showcases his work from paintings to wallpaper he has a wide imagination + shares his passion + dedication through several types of art forms!

Click here to visit Matt Sewell’s web site! ..check out a wonderful selection of his personal art + illustrations.

+ visit spotting + jotting to explore the amazing world of birds with the artist himself, “Welcome to the digital treehouse HQ of Spotting and Jotting, a cornucopia of delights for bird-lovers and wonder-seekers of all ages. Not just for twitchers and the mildly obsessed, but for the young of heart and all those wishing to immerse themselves in the zen-like treasures of nature. We are here to bring you hand-crafted pieces from amazing artists and beautifully designed field kits and stationary to sit stylishly in the the haversack of any keen birder, student or city rambler.’

~[P.S….I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review!}~

. . .

{Fried Chicken}

Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy, Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic

By Rebecca Lang

Fried Chicken is in my TOP 5 food’s that I love! This book does not fall short in offering a VERY TASTY array of recipes to fry chicken to!

The recipes in this book are AMAZING, unique and FUN! I love how Lang ties in memories and stories with each and every recipe offered in this series!

Some of my TOP PICKS:

–>Pineapple Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

–>Pickle-Brined Thighs

–>Denise’s Corn Flake Chicken

Lang has a great website to check out! It includes a list of articles that she has written, books published and even better…a list of recipes! Find all this over @


~[P.S….I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review!}~

. . .


“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me,

my journey was doomed.

Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves,

and so I choose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told.

I decided

I was safe, I was strong, I was brave.”

I LOVED this book! Full of adventure, tragedy, mourning + renewal!

I must admit I was taken back by this book when I started reading it! I had read Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer a few years ago + enjoyed reading about a journey that a young man took hiking into the wilderness. I thought Wild was going to be just as great just from a woman’s perspective.

Wow, the first part of this chapter is emotional + deep. This book is about the loss of a mother + the journey back to self after such a great loss.

Cheryl recalls that “The amount that she loved us was beyond her reach. It could not be quantified or contained.

She was going to leave my life at the same moment that I came into hers.

This quote spoke to me + had me thinking about my very own mother. How different our lives had been growing up yet how much like her I see in myself.

At her lowest, years after her mother’s death she decided to take back to nature and hike the Pacific Crest Trail for over three months!

A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me back into the girl I’d once been.

Along the way she meet inspirational friends who she would spend time hiking with + sharing great stories even though she would always get back on the trail to conquer the journey with self, alone!

I lay in the water as long as I could without breathing,

alone in a strange new land,

while the actual world all around me hummed on.

 She describes her journey as “powerful and fundamental,”  a “cold clarity inside of a deep haze.

Admitting to feeling “fierce and humble and gathered up inside,”

to a point of feeling “safe in this world

+ how the trail would both “shatter and shelter” her.

Overall this book was about a powerful journey of overcoming life + being a WOMEN travelling ALONE!!!

 “Maybe I was alone more than anyone in the whole wide world.

Maybe that was okay.”

. . .

{Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop}

History, Technique + Pictures!!!

Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop is a very well-rounded + informative step by step guide-book!

The author, Amy Vollmer, provides the history, the tools needed + the step by step guide that is easy to follow to create your very own traditional Mokuhanga! She even provides you with a great resource list on where to find all the supplies needed as well as reference websites!

I love the detail that she has provided in the making of traditional Mokuhanga’s! Everything from brushes, paints + even how to make the traditional Washi paper! She even provides tons of outstanding pictures of supplies, materials + examples. The process is so intricate, I had no idea!

I also enjoyed the fact that she shares a collection of works from other artists. She even provides a brief background + importance of each artist alongside their beautiful prints!

The ONE thing I think this book could have used is an about the author page in the back page! However after I started reading I did come across her background information which spanned several pages. It is randomly placed in the first section of the book + is not clearly noted in the Chapter index.

However I did ENJOY the section + learning her history as an artist, her studies + why she is so fascinated with the Mokuhanga as well as examples of her work! She has AMAZING pieces + wholeheartedly pours her heart + soul into her work… +it shows!

Her prints are so VIBRANT + hold so much BEAUTY!

To learn more about the author head over to her website @ http://www.aprilvollmer.com

Where you can sign up for a class, view more of her prints + even contact her!

~[P.S….I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review!}~

. . .

{Straight Up Tasty}

Caution: Do NOT read while hungry!

I LOVE this cookbook! The book involves my 2 FAVORITE things in life…

Travelling + Food!

This book is very much like the show..full of wit, humor and great food!

I love how he reminisces about his travels and shares stories along with the recipes!

It is all about adventure and eating!

It also includes an array of recipes that range from super easy to chef status!

My favorite Chapter is BREAKFAST!

Between the Oatmeal Pancakes, the Bacon + Cheddar Frittata and the Hangover Egg Sammy You will never eat a boring toast breakfast again!!!

I love just flipping through the pages, reading the stories + checking out the COOL PICTURES!

If you love the show, love eating + traveling this book is a must!!!

~[P.S….I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review!}~

. . .

{Blogging for Books}

I recently discovered a GREAT website…..

Blogging for Books @ http://www.bloggingforbooks.org

I absolutely love the concept of trading books for reviews!

You join the website, browse through the books and you can receive books in the mail or online versions as well. Once you have read the book you go back to the website and write your review which gets posted on your blog! Then you are ready to pick another great book to read!

My first book of choice is:

The Ballad of a Small Player by Lawrence Osborne

I just started and love the book already!

(Great book! I love the easy read and the great story! Very unusual and interesting main character! It is fun how you feel as though you are a British kinsman on hideout! I loved to read about all the unique characters and how their path’s meet…either by fate or by coincidence…. )

This is a great program, go check it out for yourself and dive right into a GREAT book!


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