Vegan Lunch Box: Perfect for the New School Year

Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann has fun and tasty ideas for lunch, all completely vegan.

Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will LoveJennifer McCann thinks "outside the box" to create appetizing and fun vegan meals perfect for the school lunch box, and her menus make meal planning easy.

Read more at Suite101: Vegan Lunch Box Book and Recipe for Tofu Fish Sticks

The Hour That Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal by Les and Leslie Parrott

If getting the family together for a dinner meal seems next to impossible, apparently you're not alone. Les & Leslie Parrott's new book The Hour That Matters Most (2011, ISBN13 9781414337449) shows that while it is hard to do with everyone's schedule in different directions, it can really help the family unit.
The Hour That Matters Most

Read my review on The Hour That Matters Most

The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Linamen

It's always conforting to know someone else is going through the same things you are - and Karen Linamen, author of The Chocolate Diaries (ISBN13: 9780307729590) tells the stories of different women and adds a sweet touch to bring them all together and how to learn from them.

Linamen has sprinkled all through the book little bits of wisdom. Throughout the book, her 'Sweet Secrets' are honest answers from different people promted from the same question: What's your secret to a sweeter journey on the rocky road of life? The 'Because Real Women Don't Need a Cookbook' are little treats that can be prepared, literally, without a recipe. And the 'Food for Thought' are questions and prompts to consider for inner thinking.

In the ebook, there are numerous links to explore and ways to explore topics that need exploring. A self-help book for chocophiles and regular folk alike.

I recieved an eletronic version for review purposes from the Blogging for Books program. Any opinions are my own.

The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words

The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin In Her Own Words (2011, ISBN13 9781595553560) is a collection in book form of quotes by former governor Sarah Palin, edited and a foreword by Matt Lewis. The quotes come from a wide range of topics, including gun control, health care, and politics.

This was an offering from a blogger book group, and while quotes are something many people, including myself, enjoy reading, this didn't seem to hold my attention, maybe because some of the quotes were from a few years earlier and didn't seem to fit with what is going on now in political culture. But, reading some of the quotes did take me back to when she first came onto the political scene. Whether you like her or not, there is no question of her impact. Overall, The Quotable Rogue was an entertaining book, but I think the author could have done better picking and choosing the quotes from Palin.

Book Information:
  • The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words; Edited by Matt Lewis.
  • ISBN13: 9781595553560
  • Thomas Nelson, 2011
  • Ebook
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. Any opinions expressed are the author's own.

Healthy Cooking: Mediterranean Diet Books

Interested in the Mediterranean Diet? Here are two books based on the principle:

The New Sonoma Cookbook:
The new updated version of The Sonoma Cookbook has over 200 new recipes inspired by the Mediterranean way of eating.

Read more at The Cookbook Papers: The New Sonoma Cookbook
Just Tell Me What to Eat:
Just Tell Me What to Eat, by Timothy Harlan, provides a 6-week weight loss plan using both convenience foods and homemade recipes.

Just Tell Me What to Eat!

101 Tees: Restyle, Refashion, Revamp by Cathie Filian

If you're looking to restyle any new or old t-shirt, then this book has multiple ideas for you.

101 Tees: Restyle, Refashion, Revamp
Fun, funky, and artistic, DIY and HGTV networks' host Cathie Filian brings 101 creative ideas to common t-shirts in her book '101 Tees'.

Looking for ideas to dress up, revitalize, or completely change a t-shirt of yours sitting on the bottom of the dresser drawer? Cathie Filian, co-host and creator of the shows on HGTV and the DIY network “Creative Juice” and “Which Crafts,” has come up with 101 different t-shirt designs to experiment with in her book 101 Tees. T-shirt designs are for women, men, children, and even special ones for the holidays.

Blank t-shirts are the ultimate canvas for all types of artists and crafters. The work created on them becomes a wearable piece for different kinds of art and craft mediums such as paint, dyes, yarn and embroidery floss, iron-on stickers, and transfer images. For those who have inexpensive new t-shirts to embellish, Filian gives tips in the introduction on how to prep a new shirt, such as laundering it before crafting, and where to find discount shirts.

Saving Money by Repurposing and Revamping Old T-shirts

New t-shirts are not required for any of the crafts. In fact, throughout the book there are many ideas on how you could reuse old t-shirts that you may have or ones that were purchased used from a yard sale or other sources. Old t-shirts with torn or loose hems and necklines can be appliquéd or have pleats and ruffles stitched onto them. Favorite t-shirts with a stain or two on the front can have an iron-on image or a hand painted stencil applied to hide it. Frayed t-shirts with fun graphics can be cut out and stitched onto a newer t-shirt bringing life back to one shirt while 'retiring' the other.

101 Tees: Chapters Overview and Contents

There are 11 different chapters covering just about every topic and craft niche: Cut and Stitch, Painting, Dyeing, Appliqué, Embroidery, Ribbons and Trims, Iron-Ons and Patches, Sparkle and Shine, Mixed Media, Just the Boys, and Holiday and Special Occasions. The Templates section at the back of the book has printable images used on various t-shirts for stenciling, copying or reproducing.

Recommended for Those Needing Ideas for Recycling T-Shirts

At the beginning of each chapter there are tips and guidelines for creating your own designs. The Dyeing chapter, for example, lists the basic dyes to use for fabrics, and steps for successful t-shirt dyeing. The many photographs throughout the book shows how each design looks on a real t-shirt, making an approach to a design variation for an old t-shirt easy.

Book Information:
  • 101 Tees: Restyle, Refashion, Revamp; by Cathie Filian
  • Lark Crafts, an Imprint of Sterling Publishing Co.; 2011
  • ISBN13: 9781600598227
  • Softcover, 179 pages
Disclosure: This book was given to the author by the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.


Ring A Day: 700 Photos From a 365 Day Jewelry Challenge

Marthe Le Van assembled 700 fun and creative images of rings from a Flickr design challenge of which more than 16,000 were done in one year.

Challenge artists to come up with different ring designs for a year, photograph them, and post them to the Ring A Day group on Flickr, and what will you get? A Brooklyn jeweler came up with that challenge in 2010 and she received over 16,000 photographs at the end of the year. Marthe Le Van then assembled 700 creative and unique designs from the project for her book, Ring A Day: 700 Photos from a 365 Day Jewelry Challenge. Brief biographies are listed of all the featured ring designers, and all photographs are set in a diary or dated notebook entry style for each day.

How the Ring A Day Project Started

The RAD (Ring A Day) project was a Flickr photo sharing project in 2010 set with these parameters: make a ring a day for a year, with whatever materials you have available on any given day (and with whatever time you can squeeze in for the ring), take a picture of it, then post it to the Flickr group. Those who participated expressed their creative sides and sometimes used the rings to show the world a special event, such as using a saved-cork from a Champagne bottle opened on New Year's Eve.

Ring A Day Materials Used: Old, New, and Found

The materials that the artists used for the rings are varied, and sometimes inspiring. Edible creations (rings made with food) were made of torched angel hair pasta (day 73); fruits and vegetables (day 85); rice noodles (day 318); lime zest (day 142); a piece of chocolate (day 359); and even a curved octopus tentacle (day 173). Days with ordinary materials — such as paper, tape, and string — were shown alongside days with rings made of fancy gemstones and sea shells.

Along with the culinary theme, the copper ring creation shown on day 324 was a multi-function utility ring which was a kabob maker and an alfalfa sprout pot, and also a candle holder. Day 203 featured a unique ring for roasting mini marshmallows over a match.

Functional rings include a pin cushion (day 229); mini vase or flower holders (days 4, 79, 148, 158); pencil sharpener (day 105); a mini cleaning brush (day 209); a sundial (day 336); and even a tin foil holder for chocolate chips (day 115). A unique use of letters and the printed word came in the form of cut-out sentences from paper, and a contraption made of four individual rings that turn to read different words such as 'love' and 'life.'

Since designers had to create rings each day of the year, some seemed to be spur of the moment with whatever they could find with no further fabrication on their part, such as making a ring from plastic bubble wands or a curved piece of scrap sand paper or piece of bark that formed into a ring. Other rings were not made to be worn, and were photographed from things outdoors such as a ring found on a patch of grass and one on cement. Animals were even used in the creative process such as a cat's tail twirled around a finger.

Some rings were not created from actual materials at all. On day 32, a ring was photographed that was created from kindergarten children's pointer-fingers surrounding an artist's finger. Technically, it is not a tangible ring that could be worn, but a unique take on a ring, nonetheless.

Recommended for Crafters Needing Ring Design Inspiration

Ring A Day provides 700 images of rings that were created with all kinds of materials representing different shapes, colors, and formats, such as one-finger rings, multiple-finger rings, and more. If you have a particular material that is plentiful in your craft box that you need help fabricating into jewelry, this would make a great stepping stone on using those for interesting designs.

Many designs were thought-provoking and inspiring, some were comical, and others were useful such as a Parmesan cheese grater ring was made on day 68. Despite the varied nature of the rings, they all give would-be ring designers a starting point for ring design.

Book Information:

  • Ring A Day: 700 Photos From A 365 Day Jewelry Challenge; by Marthe Le Van
  • Lark Crafts, an Imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., 2011
  • ISBN13: 9781600598241
  • Paperback, flexbound, color photographs, 256 pages
Disclosure: This book was provided to the author from the publisher. Any opinions are the author's own.