The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Product Details

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
By Marie Kondo
Tantor
Retail Price:  $24.99
Amazon Price: $22.49

Book Description:

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

Review

I wasn’t sure if a book on organizing my home would translate well as an audiobook, but it really did surprisingly well.  I found it to be inspiring and  engaging and it really made me want to dig in and organize my home using her methods.  She gave some excellent, practical tips that helped to get me started.  One of the most significant things I learned was how to let go of things I no longer needed and how to decide what to keep. This project will be ongoing, which will require me to listen again and again, which I am fine with as I am an audio learner.

~Reviewed by Janice D.

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    A Touch of Style

    Product DetailsA Touch of Style
    By Carlos Mota
    Assouline
    Retail Price: $85

    Book Description:
    Carlos Mota is the mastermind behind the amazing photographs seen in top design magazines including Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and Interior Design. His gifted and educated eye for selecting furniture, textiles, accessories, and art has produced some memorable imagery. Known for adding color and sophistication to the set, often by using elegant flower arrangements, Mota influences the way we see the world s most extraordinary interiors. Beautifully illustrated, A Touch of Style presents a curated journey through some of these incredible spaces.

    Review

    This is a gorgeous book meant to be displayed prominently in your home or office to have its fullest affect.  It  a virtual feast for the eyes and such a treat for the imagination.  The detailed photos and easy to copy ideas will spark the creative genius in you!  I love to browse through it and enjoy the colors!  And from those who have picked up the book off my coffee table, I’ve heard nothing but praise. 

    ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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      Weekend Woodturning Projects

      Weekend Woodturning Projects
      by Mark Baker
      Tauton
      Retail Price $24.99
      Amazon Price: $17.22

      Book Description: 

      Build your woodturning skills and confidence with this collection of projects that take between a couple of hours and a couple of days to complete. All of the 25 projects can be undertaken using a limited amount of tools and equipment. Making use of the six basic tools – spindle roughing gouge, spindle gouge, parting tool, bowl gouge, skew chisel, and scrapers – the book also introduces a couple of carving tools and a boring tool and explains why and how to use them. Each project has a list of tools and materials required, drawings with dimensions, and a sidebar on the wood used. Sections on safety and seasoning wood are also included.

      Review

      Woodturning is a form of woodworking that is used to create wooden objects on a lathe. Woodturning differs from most other forms of woodworking in that the wood is moving while a stationary tool is used to cut and shape it. Many intricate shapes and designs can be made by turning wood.  This book is an informative guide for both beginners and intermediate craftsman and has a variety of projects to choose from at different levels of difficulty.  The author provides a list of tools need for each project.  There are step-by-step instructions with  illustrations, photos and safety tips.  This is a great resource for the DIY enthusiast!
      ~Reviewed by Jeni W.

       

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        Grow a Little Fruit Tree

        Grow a Little Fruit Tree
        By Ann Ralph
        Storey Publishing – sarah.armour@storey.com
        Retail Price $16.95
        Amazon Price: $12.98

        Book Description: 

        Grow your own apples, plums, cherries, and peaches in even the smallest backyard! Expert pruner Ann Ralph reveals a simple yet revolutionary secret that keeps an ordinary fruit tree much smaller than normal. These great little trees take up less space, require less care, offer easy harvest, and make a fruitful addition to any home landscape.

        Review

        If you are looking to grow fruit trees this book has everything you want to know. It has information about planting, cultivating and pruning that will help you be successful.  Before I read this I knew very little and now I feel knowledgeable and comfortable growing fruit trees. It may be a small book, but it is chock full of useful facts and tips.  I would highly recommend for first fruit tree growers.

        ~Reviewed by John C.

         

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          Growing Healthy Houseplants

           

          Growing Healthy Houseplants
          by Ellen Zachos
          Ellen Zachos 
          Retail Price $8.95
          Amazon Price: $8.95

          Book Description: 

          This concise guide shows novice houseplant owners exactly how to keep indoor plants alive and healthy. Gardening expert Ellen Zachos helps you choose the right plants in the first place and then shows you how to care for them, outlining what each kind needs in terms of location, sunlight, water, and fertilizer. She also explains when plants should be repotted (and how to do that successfully), how and when to prune them, how to keep them clean of dust and pets, and more. This Storey Basics® guide has all the information you need to keep any houseplant thriving and beautiful!

          Review

          Growing Healthy Houseplants is another great title in the Storey Basics line of how-to books. As with most of the series, this volume is to the point, informative, and uses illustrations rather than photographs.

          The book is broken down into three parts: Essentials (light, water and humidity, growing medium/soil, fertilization); Daily Care (tools, re-potting, grooming, propagation, vacation, pests); and Designing the Indoor Garden (display, foliage, flowering plants, trees, cacti).

          There is a great introduction to understanding house plants and a very simple recipe for success: accurately evaluate light, choosing the right plant for that light, watering techniques, and then allowing it to grow. Small sections discussing vocabulary (latin, hybrid, etc.) as well as the difference between tropical plant and house plant are useful ways to ensure proper understanding of what we are dealing with when we purchase an indoor plant. This section is only a few pages long so it isn’t onerous to read.

          The Essentials section is the heart of the book – there’s no use in falling in love with a type of houseplant if you don’t have the light or environment (read: moisture) it needs. Tips such as the problem with house water, the tools that make the job easier, and how to elevator humidity levels help ensure houseplant success.

          Other useful tips include how to care for plants before going on vacation, specifics about the most common indoor plants (which didn’t include the African Violet, oddly enough), controlling fungus/mites/and other pests that surprisingly get on houseplants, and displays such as terrariums.

          ~Reviewed by Tavi

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            Sew Me! Home Decor

            Sew Me! Sewing Home Decor
            By Choly Knight
            Design Originals
            Retail Price $14.99
            Amazon Price: $11.64

            Book Description: 

            Beautify your home with easy sewing projects for handmade decor! Whether you are new to sewing or just want to freshen up your skills, Sew Me! Sewing Home Decor will show you how to personalize your home with classic accessories. Decorating a living space has never been easier, with friendly advice, clear directions, and easy-to-use patterns that take the guesswork out of sewing. With seven simple and straightforward projects designed to help you learn as you sew, you’ll soon be sewing with confidence and creating decor that matches your taste and the way you live.

            Review

             

            Want to bring a new look to a tired room without spending a fortune? Author Choly Knight shows you how to personalize your living space in just a few hours, with fresh, fun sewing projects.
            I am  not very experienced in sewing but this book is very easy to read and help me get a lot of ideas.  The projects are very easy and perfect for the novice. The gorgeous photos are so inspiring they make me want to sew up a storm! Sew Me! is a creative resource that you’ll return to every time you’re ready for a new look.

            ~Reviewed by Danielle V.

             

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              Kinfolk Volume 13

              Kinfolk Volume 13
              By Various
              Kinfolk
              Retail Price $18.00
              Amazon Price: $11.39

              Book Description: 

              THE IMPERFECT ISSUE What is perfection, anyway? The Fall 2014 issue of Kinfolk explores the beauty of imperfection across food, people, ideas and more, showcasing the narratives these notions encompass. Nothing is perfect and it’s often the most highly flawed things that give life its charm. So-called flaws should be embraced, diversity should be revered and eccentricity encouraged. The Imperfect Issue puts things society might deem rough around the edges under a microscope to explore their true character. Whether it’s mismatched eyes, patched-up clothing or a broken plate, such unusual features often reveal lives lived to the fullest and rich with stories.

              Review

              This is one of the most beautiful  magazines I’ve ever read.  When I ordered it, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was pleasantly pleased!  This magazine has it all: a diversity of well-written articles on interesting topics and great photos, and virtually free from advertising! The quality of paper, photographs and the publication itself are outstanding. I love the photo content and the text is written in a “blog” style, which I find refreshing. And so much attention was paid to detail. 

              ~Reviewed by Jenny Lee

               

               

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                The Nesting Place

                The Nesting Place
                By Myquillyn Smith
                Zondervan
                Retail Price $19.99
                Amazon Price: $12.64

                Book Description: 

                Popular blogger and self-taught decorator Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) is all about
                embracing reality—especially when it comes to decorating a home bursting with boys, pets, and all the unpredictable messes of life.

                In The Nesting Place, Myquillyn shares the secrets of decorating for real people—and it has nothing to do with creating a flawless look to wow your guests. It has everything to do with embracing the natural imperfection and chaos of daily living.

                Drawing on her years of experience creating beauty in her 13 different homes, Myquillyn will show you how to think differently about the true purpose of your home and simply and creatively tailor it to reflect you and your unique style—without breaking the bank or stressing over comparisons. Full of easy tips, simple steps, and practical advice, The Nesting Place will give you the courage to take risks with your home and transform it into a place that’s inviting and warm for family and friends.

                There is beauty in the lived-in and loved-on and just-about-used-up, Myquillyn says, and welcoming that imperfection wholeheartedly just might be the most freeing thing you’ll ever do.

                Review

                 

                I am  follower of  Myquillyn Smith’s blog and I was excited to hear that she was publishing a book. I enjoyed the book (it was a quick and easy read) and was thrilled with the project ideas. Since she is known for decorating for real families,  I thought the book gave excellent direction on how the reader can accomplish this kind of creativity in their own lives and home.  This book would be great for a person who lacks confidence in their own decorating style.  The author does a great job of encouraging individuality and instilling a sense that your home can be an expression of YOUR personal likes and not be a cookie-cutter imitation of everyone else’s home.  The content is warm, inviting, and insightful and it was highly readable with enjoyable photos.

                ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

                 

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                  How to Create a Zen Garden


                  A Zen garden can be used to help you meditate, find quiet and solitude. You can also enjoy a Zen garden for its simplicity. Traditionally, a Zen garden is comprised of sand and stones. Depending on the scale, you might also choose to plant a few trees or small plants.

                  Step #1 Decide on the scale. Zen gardens come in all shapes and sizes. You can create a desktop Zen garden. You can also convert your entire back yard into a Zen garden. The choice is yours. Keep in mind that there is some maintenance involved in a Zen garden. (You’ll need to water plants, weed, and rake the sand to remove debris and animal droppings. Kitties love Zen garden sand.)

                  If you’re not up for maintaining a large scale garden, you might choose a smaller, portable size. Your garden’s location will help determine the size. For example, if you choose to create a desktop garden, how much space do you have on your desk?

                  Step #2 Gather your tools and equipment. For your Zen garden you’ll need:

                  * Lumber. For indoor use you’ll want a piece of plywood for the bottom of the garden. For outdoor use you simply need to create a
                  frame for your garden. Plastic sheeting will work for the bottom. The sheeting helps protect your garden from weeds.
                  * Wood screws or nails and wood glue
                  * Plastic sheeting
                  * Sand. (Two inches deep. Determine the volume of your frame, length x width x height, to determine how much sand you need.)
                  * Rocks of an appropriate size for the garden
                  * If you’re creating an outdoor Zen garden and you want plants, add your chosen plants to the list. Consider:
                  * Moss
                  * Evergreens
                  * Shrubs
                  * Xeriscape plants like Mountain Laurel which doesn’t require much water.

                  Step #3 Design your garden. Before you start hammering and nailing your lumber plan how you want your garden to look. For example, a simple rustic Zen garden might use old railroad ties for the frame. You’ll want your frame to support at least two inches of sand.

                  Step #4 Prepare the area. If you’re creating an outdoor Zen garden prepare the area. You might want to remove any plants or grass. If you’re building an indoor Zen garden then find a flat surface and cover it with newspaper or plastic to help contain the sand while you work.

                  Step #5 Build the structure. Glue your corners together. Reinforce with nails or wood screws. For smaller gardens wood glue may work just fine.

                  Step #6 Fill the garden with sand. Decorate with your chosen rocks and plants.

                  Step #7 Enjoy. Enjoying your Zen garden is easy. Sit down beside it and simply enjoy the peace and simplicity. Rake it to create pattern and lines. Meditate, relax, enjoy.

                  Creating a Zen garden is a nice way to landscape your yard or adorn your home. It’s also an effective means of calming your body and mind. You might make visiting your Zen garden a daily ritual.

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                    Vintage Trailer Style

                    Vintage Trailer Style
                    By Lisa Mora
                    David & Charles
                    Retail Price $24.99
                    Amazon Price: $18.29


                    Book Description: 

                    Vintage Trailer Style is a visual voyage through the world of retro trailers, exploring both the exterior and interior design of these classic icons.

                    Celebrating the huge resurgence of interest in modern-vintage trailering, this quirky book is overflowing with inspirational images of the world’s most desirable trailers from iconic Airstreams to tiny teardrops, funky pop-tops, beautiful Beverleys and stylish Shastas.

                    Over 350 beautiful and inspirational photos sit alongside practical tips on restoring, upcycling, decorating and styling a little capsule of retro heaven–whether you own a trailer, beach hut or even a shed!

                    Lisa Mora is the editor of Vintage Caravan Magazine, the world’s first magazine solely dedicated to vintage, classic, retro-styled and custom trailers and those who love them. She lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. http://www.facebook.com/vintagecaravanmagazine

                    Review

                     

                    This is a celebration of the travel trailer’s unique place in twentieth-century America.  Filled with fascinating, diverse photographs and restoration tips, Lisa Moro puts on a grand display of this vintage piece of pop-culture and how we can still have a piece of it for ourselves.  If you are looking to refurbish a camper or trailer, you will find this book very helpful.  If you just enjoy the memories of camping in bygone days, you will enjoy this trip down memory lane!

                    ~Reviewed by Allie B.

                     

                     

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