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Friday, April 24, 2015

It was Me All Along Review

It Was Me All Along Description:

A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.

All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.

It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.

My Review:

If you have ever struggled with weight, or loved someone who has struggled with weight, then you need to read this book.  I don't say that lightly.  It took me 3 months to finish this book, which is a long time for me since I can devour a book in a week if I so choose.  Mitchell's total honesty struck home with me in so many ways and forced me to stop and take a look at my own journey.  Many times it was just to much and I put the book down and walked away.  I didn't want to read about someone else who was turning to food for comfort, who was hurt by insensitive comments, or who saw weight loss as a battle of numbers.  It was convicting.  And yet each time I set the book down I knew that I would be back, that I needed to know how it all worked out for her, how she managed to be a food blogger after struggling with weight for most of her life.

It is the story of one woman's mission to find herself rather than identify herself by the number on the scale.  To accept who she is and what she looks like-fat or thin.  And it is a story I hope to one day be able to write myself-not in a published book, but to finally be able to write that last page and be able to say that food and my weight no longer define me.  Mitchell reminds us that it is possible to reach that point if we are willing to work through the things that brought us to where we currently are.  She is honest about the difficulties, the set backs and the successes and that is what I love about this book.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Easy Bootees to Knit review

Book Description:
Easy Bootees to Knit is a delightful book with detailed instructions on how to create stunning bootees to keep the most teeny tiny toes warm. There are funky animal boots, nostalgic lace patterns, simple slippers, snug cuffed bootees (guaranteed to stay on the most restless feet) and classic cables among the collection - indeed, something to suit any baby, from newborn to 18 months. For beginners there is an easy-to-knit practice pattern, and a size chart allows you to decide which size to knit. Each pattern is accompanied by appropriate charts and diagrams, embellishment tips and full pattern instruction. Easy Bootees to Knit is part of the brand new Make Me! series - a collection of books packed with easy and beautiful craft projects.

My Review:
The majority of the 41 designs are for 3-6 months, but there are a few 0-3 and 6-9 month patterns thrown in to give it some variety.  A few of the patterns begin with a basic design and then include ways to alter the basic pattern to customize it. 

My favorite are the animal patterns, the duck slippers, zebra bootees, bee bootees, sheep bootees, and the tiger bootees.  That being said, there are several lace bootees that called my name as well. 

You will find techniques such as fair isle, entrelac, lace, and bobbles throughout.  And while the title of the book states the patterns are "easy", I would venture to say that many of them require some experience with knitting and that they aren't for the novice.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Review: The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen
The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen by Tosca Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An interesting look at what the relationship between Solomon and Sheba's queen might have looked like. Lee does a great job of combining research and human nature to give these two depth of character.

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Review: Two Renegade Realms

Two Renegade Realms
Two Renegade Realms by Donita K. Paul

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book picks up where the first left off, the quest to save the realms from both the evil council members and from invasion. Again, I enjoyed the book, despite it's predictability. I found it a light read, even if it felt like this novel was longer than it needed to be and attempted to stretch the story so that there could be a third book. However, it is a book I am comfortable letting my kids read and it could open the door for some great conversations- Relationships, blind obedience to tradition, fulfilling your purpose, the effects of greed. That alone makes this a good book to share with my children.

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Review: One Realm Beyond

One Realm Beyond
One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teenage bravado, dragons, trials, the ability to transport between worlds- what more could you ask for? This is an easy read that remains interesting, if not very challenging. A great casual read.

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