Book Review of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

I picked up a copy of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch, because I have been challenged and encouraged by posts on her blog. And because no parent wants to raise a selfish and entitled kid, so I wanted to make sure I was doing the right things.

Book

Lets talk about the book~  First, the beautiful white cover. I was worried I would have smudgy finger prints or tea stains on it before I made it past the introduction. Somehow I made it cover to white cover with no stains to speak of! I loved the texture-y feel of the book. It is like thick parchment and the gold lettering set it apart from other books on my shelf.

What is inside is even more beautiful. Written in a friendly and conversational manner the author shares her heart and vision for her family. A desire to remove the "is that all" attitude and replace it with gratitude and contentment.
With relatable stories and anecdotes of her family, which she admits is still a work in progress; she explains how serving others takes the focus off oneself and leaves a feeling of joy and gratefulness.

There are tips at the end of each chapter covering the chapters subject.  The suggestions are tailored for toddlers through the teenage years.  The last chapter is set apart for parents.  It is a beautifully written chapter on the relationship you have with your child and is full of encouragement for the journey ahead, which may not always be easy.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World was an inspiring parenting read.

Here are quotes from the book I am still pondering.

~Entitlement didn't start with my kids. It began with me. I entitled them because I was entitled.

~We teach gratitude by living it. We are the example.

~I would love for my kids to one day say they are grateful for their lives because their dad and I were grateful in ours.

 

The Afternoon Tea Collection

The The Afternoon Tea Collection has won me over and I have not even prepared one recipe yet!

Afternoonteabook

This book is a must have for anyone who enjoys tea time treats and needs creative ideas that do not sound overwhelming to prepare.

Brimming with beautiful color photographs, this book thrilled my visual senses and had me drooling over the treat selections.
How do people get their food to turn out like this?! 
Imagefromatcbook
Everything looks scrumptious!

The book is divided into sections based on food type.  Recipes include sandwiches and tarts to savory and sweets.

The only challenge is deciding what to prepare first!

The Afternoon Tea Collection is a fantastic book choice for any tea time enthusiast.

 

 

Book Review of Real Food What to Eat and Why

Real Food What to Eat and Why, kicked off my nonfiction reading for 2016. 
This title is from my annual reading list and was chosen because we are what we eat….or so they say.

Funny
I generally eat pretty healthy. But after indulging during the holidays I needed a little inspiration to get back on track. 
This book dives into the science and reasoning of why eating real food is so important.  For those who are not familiar with the thoughts of Weston Price, Joel Salatin and the teachings of Nourishing Traditions, this book may seem a tad "out there" and against the norm.

The author shares her story in the first chapter, of growing up on real food and how she deviated from this and into "health crazes" and then journeyed back to real food again.

The other chapters are broken into food categories- dairy, produce, meat, etc. Each chapter delves into how our food used to be grown or raised and how the more modern methods of production are lowering the nutritional benefits of our food.
There is a lot of information on these pages, so this title is not a binge read in one setting, more of a let it sit and digest, kind of thing. 

Realfoodbook

I particularly liked the tips in the Real Fruit and Vegetables chapter on how to get more vegetables into your body. One tip was to have a salad at every meal, (while I could not handle this at breakfast), this would help me get that vege count up throughout the day.  The other tip I thought feasible was to eat the salad at the start of the meal, before filling up on the carbs.

The only negative I had with the book is the constant reference to the earth and our species being millions of years old. I am from the thought that it is more in the thousands of years, but this difference in opinion did not change my thoughts on the healthy eating information.

Real Food: What to Eat and Why is a wonderful book for those looking to find a way back to eating real food or those in need of helpful reminders.

 

 

Vintage

Vintage – the ideal name for a clothing store of unique and classic pieces.
I need a Vintage store in my area.  I am in search of gloves for tea time.

Vintagebook

This novel by Susan Gloss, is about a girl who never really fit in back in her small town.  Violet moves to a bigger and more open minded city to open her own clothing shop called Vintage.
Violet specializes in seeing the treasure in old things and in people too.
As customers come in with items to sell, unlikely friendships and bonds are formed. Three fragile women will become strong and whole again.

The characters in this book are likable and relatable. Their stories weave together smoothly.
Vintage was a pleasure to read and is just the title for a stay at home in comfies selection.

A paraphrased line from the book, that may become my life motto is- 
"Better a little something exceptional than a lot of something mediocre."

 

 

 

Review of Into the Wilderness

The novel, Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati, was my first fiction read for the new year.
I choose this title from a so you liked Outlander, you may like…. kind of list. Anytime you line up a new book with an all time favorite, it is a risky thing. It is a lot of pressure to put on an unsuspecting book. 

But the wild book reading person that I am started reading…..and didn't want the book to end!

Intothewildernessbook
This book was amazing. 
The characters are well written and well developed.  One thing that I loved is that the main character, Elizabeth, does not fit the typical beautiful and all perfect heroine.

The story starts off with the judge going to pick up his spinster daughter, Elizabeth, who has come to the colonies to teach school. The current becomes electric when Elizabeth and Nathaniel meet.  Nathaniel is a white man who is part of a family of Indians who want to purchase a mountain of land, called Hidden Wolf.
But the judge plans to deed this mountain to Elizabeth when she marries… and he already has someone in mind, someone who knows of his debts and is willing to pay the debts in return for the land. 

Elizabeth is determined to remain unmarried and finds her heart torn between the man she comes to love and her independent spirit. 

What I loved most about this book was the gasp-out-loud moment that I had.  Something that I had never encountered before; a mention of characters from a different book interacting within the book I am reading. 

That sounded confusing….so to sum it up-
Outlander fans…three of our favorite characters are mentioned in this book!  Yep, a certain red-haired Scot and his wife and one other! ( I will let you read it to find out who)

Openwithtea

Long winter days and lengthy books go hand in hand.  So don't let the 800+ pages intimidate you.  The story progresses at a good speed and is captivating once you get going.

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea and enjoy the adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Reading for the Downton FANatic

I would never consider myself a Downton Abbey fanatic. 
I am most definitely a fan of normal proportions.  I have my favorite characters and I set aside Sunday nights when the season starts. 

But knowing that this is the final season I have been a bit more curious about all things Downton Abbey.

Enter my recent book findings perfect for the Downton fan or the FANatic.

Downtonbooks

 A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey:  This book is separated into months of the year. Each month focuses on a different area of life at this large estate. Under the chapter is also a spotlight on an aspect of the filming of Downton Abbey.  The book is filled with beautiful photographs and even a recipe or two. 

A Year of DA

 Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey Just like it says on the cover, this is the backstage pass to the set of Downton Abbey! This book is loaded with photos of the actors, props, costumes and the set.  Along side these photos are the insider how to's with a smattering of the actors thoughts. A great read for those fans who want to know how Downton Abbey is produced.

BehindDA

 The World of Downton Abbey This book is like revisiting the show in book form. It has a storyline quality to it.  Again, great pictures of the actors and the set. It also included bits on how the designers came up with or how they produced the look and feel of the time period.  My favorite bit of this book was the quotes by the characters.  These really gave the book a Downton-ish quality that I enjoyed.

WorldofDA

 Last but not least is-  The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook:   This book is filled with yummy sounding recipes. A mix of traditional English  and Downtonesque recipes featuring characters names.  I have not tried any of these recipes yet, but I am mulling over the idea of a Downton dinner for the last episode.  Hmmm, or would a tea be better?

Cookbook

It is pointed out that this book is an Unofficial cookbook.  I wonder if an official one will come out by Masterpiece or Carnival? Hint, Hint to the powers that be….oh and add pictures!!

These books have kept me entertained and will keep me entertained as I enjoy this last season of Downton Abbey.

Have I missed any good Downton books?

 

 

 

The Night Circus

Do you want to read a book that is hypnotic and captivating?

Then I highly recommend that The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, be the next book you read.

I spent the majority of this title not quite understanding what was going on – and loving every page of it!

Maybe that is the magic of this book.

Thenightcircusbook

Two contestants, Celia and Marco, are chosen because of their skills in illusion and magic. They are bound to a contest, unknowing of the rules, requirements and even each other. They only know that they must take on an opponent and the contest will take place when they are ready.

The stage is set in a magical black and white circus that arrives without notice.
Le Cirque des RĂ©ves, is a mulit-sensory delight for all attendees. But as the other circus performers become entangled in the contest – can love break the spell and save the day?

 The Night Circus is a must read and has a spot on my favorite books of 2015!

 

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Dominic

The old hardback copy of Dominic that I brought into the house was met with unease.  It looked like one of those classics that you had to read in high school, that you knew would be awful.

But we decided to take a chance on the mustardy yellow color covered book and we found a heroic tale of a dog with a superb blend of action and deep meaning.

Dominic

Dominic is an on the go sort of dog. He sets off with his piccalo to see what lies down the road.  His keen sense of smell leads him to find friendships on his adventures and right into the clutches of the Doomsday gang.  The Doomsday gang is a group of villians who attack the innocent animals of the countryside. Being a kind and courageous dog, Dominic must find a way to defeat these ruffians.

The exceptional descriptive vocabulary in this book make it a wonderful read aloud.  The reading level in my opinion would have to be 7th grade or higher. The beauty of the wording may get overlooked and skipped over if a child had to sound out many of the words.
That is why reading aloud is an easy way to learn new words. The challenging words are heard in context and are made to come alive in the mind.

The illustrations in Dominic are simple stick and line sketches.  I found them charming, but my children seem to have a more refined opinion of what an illustration should be. But by the end of the book they were asking to see the pictures as well. Simplicity can grow on you.

Drawing

To wrap it all up in a bandana ( story reference ) Dominic is a fabulous boy read or read aloud for mulit-ages, I lean towards 8 and up.  Boys will enjoy the sword fighting and heroic deeds of this loveable dog. 
Moms will appreciate the outstanding vocabulary and life lessons taught in the story.

I dog eared several pages but this is a tidbit I am still mulling over- "Fighting the bad ones in the world was a necessary and gratifying experience. Being happy among the good ones was, of course, even more gratifying. But one could not be happy among the good ones unless one fought the bad ones."

 

 

 

 

 

Tea at Downton

 Tea at Downton: Afternoon Tea Recipes From The Unofficial Guide to Downton Abbey, while short, a mere 77 pages, is a treat of a book.

Written by Elizabeth Fellows, Tea at Downton shares the origins history of afternoon tea time.
It came as no surprise that afternoon tea began as a necessity in a woman's life.  With a myriad of responsibilities, then and now, sometimes a woman just needs a treat to make it through the day.

Teaatdowntonbook

I enjoyed the history aspect of how World Wars influenced changes in tea time and its menu.  The book is filled with recipes and etiquette techniques.

With Downton in the title, you can expect the book to cater to we Downton Abbey fans.  The book does include tidbits of information on Edwardian kitchens and homes, such as Downton. There are recipes that bear the names of favorite characters from the television show.

My only grumble of complaint would be that a few photos would have been nice, throughout the book or at least in the recipe section.  Being an average cook, I like to see how my new creation should look when I am finished.

I am looking forward to trying out a new recipe or two when the last season of Downton Abbey airs in January 2016.

Tea at Downton is best, when read in an English accent and is a lovely addition to my kitchen bookshelf.

 

 

 

 

 

The Teashop Girls

Teashopgirlsbook

I can't take credit for this book find.
With the word "tea" in the title, I am not sure why it never came up on the many book searches I was do- but I am glad my daughter found this book.

The Teashop Girls is a cute story about a girl named Annie, whose grandmother owns a tea shop call the Steeping Leaf.
Someone needs to turn this fictitious tea shop into a real place! 

Imagesteepingleaf
Annie and her best girl pals, aka the tea shop girls, ban together after an eviction notice to try to save this special place. 

I found the images of old tea advertisments adorable, the smattering of tea facts, awesome.  The clincher for me had to be the tea quotes that began each chapter! 

This story is written for girls ages 8-14.  I do not speak for everybody, but I would bump that age up to 12ish.  I can't see the boy crush element of the story appealing to an eight year old who can't imagine liking a boy. Not to mention that the "Teashop Girls" are eighth graders.

 

Still those opinions aside, this was a tea-rrific, light hearted story.  A worthy read for tween girls and their tea obsessed moms!