Bibliophiles, Sewing a Straight Seam

Books, Books, Books Galore

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As far as your friends and family that absolutely can’t put a book down and would much rather be holding a leather bound book than a brand new cell phone or Ipad, here are some great sources for book suggestions as to which book to buy for what person…

Blogs can be excellent sources of information. A few blogs about books are Book RiotBustle BooksOmnivoraciousThe Millions, and The New York Review of Books.

Book clubs can also be useful as you embrace a literary lifestyle. Four of the better known book clubs are DoubleDayOprahGoodreads, and Book of the Month.

Book lists can also be found with reviews on sites like Book List OnlineList ChallengesGoodreadsBook RiotNew York Public Library, and Reading Group Choices.

Book reviews can also be read on pages with Book Challenges. Several challenges that I have been following this year are…

All About Austen…Read or watch anything inspired by Jane Austen.

Back to the Classics…Discover and enjoy classic books you might not have tried, or just never got around to reading.

Christian Reading Challenge.

Foodies Read…”Do you read books about food? There are books about food in so many different genres…

  • Cozy mysteries set in bakeries…
  • Romance books set in tea shops..
  • Nonfiction books about the history of ingredients…
  • Cookbooks
  • Memoirs from chefs or waiters or people who just love to eat…

Full House Reading Challenge ...Complete the Bingo card of challenges with fiction or non-fiction books

Netflix and Books Challenge. This is going to be a yearly challenge focused on watching television shows we’ve been wanting to get to (both new and old), and reading books we’ve been wanting to read that match some fun challenge prompts

Reading Assignment Challenge... Commit to reading 1, 2, 3 or 4 books a month and make a list of the specific books you will read each month.

Share-a-Tea Reading Challenge...This challenge is about QUALITY and not quantity. It’s not about reading fifty books or even twelve books. This is an anti-rush reading challenge. Enjoy where you are in a book, and, engage fully in it. Live in the book.

Victorian Reading Challenge…More than any other time in modern history, the Victorian Age saw the most change to European and American societies. Many agrarian, rural communities transitioned to urban centers of industry. Men and women began to talk about and take steps toward redefining their traditional roles. Theories about God, the origin of man, and the practice of religion began to be publicly put forth, challenged, refuted, or solidified. The Victorian Age saw a great revolution in the western world and it’s a topic that fascinates me endlessly.  

Pinterest Boards may also prove to be a great asset a few worth noting are

  • Book Community Board
  • Goodreads
  • Penguin Random House Boards
  • Random House Official Pinterest Board

Websites can obviously give you reviews, reading guides, interviews with authors, and so forth. A few websites worth investing your time in are…

 

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Dropping the Kids Off

How to Help Your Children Experience Christmas All Year Long

Never thought that I would be nearly fifty chasing a three year old 24/7…but life happens…

And so many of us are raising, or even adopting, our own grandchildren these days…(so not getting on my soapbox about different generations right now)…
But there are several advantages of spending lots and lots of time with your grandchildren.

1. Assurance–-Knowing that your child is safe and well taken care of while your kids, aka their parents, are at work or school is so important…do you really want to entrust the maintenance and upkeep of your most precious investments with just anybody who puts up a sign and calls themselves a daycare center…

2. Example—You have a unique position to serve as a role model for your grandkids that they might not otherwise get. they watch how you go through the day and how you interact with other people. You set the precedent for how they will treat their own kids…and they will treat their own kids…and they will treat their own kids…hopefully producing generation after generation of people who make a positive difference in the lives ariund them.

3. Relationship–Having the privilege of getting to spend both quantity time and quality time with your grandchildren is a privilege that many grandparents never get. my husband was active duty military when my kids were little…and we never lived closer than eight hours from our own parents.

4. Trust—Develop a relationship that allows you to be that You are that one person, or often one of the very few people that a child can tell or count on if there is a challenge that she is at first unwilling to approach with a parent. spending quality time and quantity time with your grandchildren teaches intimacy, trust, and commitment.

5. Success...Finally, active grandarenting gives you unstructured time to build the foundation for academics and real life that lie ahead. These early years can create a love of learning in your child and give him the confidence to try new things.
Instilling a love of reading in your kids at a young age doesn’t always have to mean cracking a book. If you can find a children’s magazine that is the right fit for your child, it can be the ticket that turns your child into an enthusiastic reader.

 

 

Anyway, enough of my rambling on about being a full-time grandmother-“mother”…

Let’s look at some ideas as far as what to get them for Christmas, without encouraging their screen time any more than it already is…

 

Surrounding your kids with a variety of reading material and exposing them to different types of writing—fiction and nonfiction, poems and recipes—can make reading so much more exciting.

Book experts and bloggers from around the world agree that magazines can inspire a love of art, crafts, nature, reading, writing, comics, puzzles, cooking, and hands-on experiments.

If you too remember the thrill of your very own magazine arriving in the mail with your name on it,here are a few options to spurn a whole new generation of readers.

 
1.  Babybug Magazine..

  • Cost…9 Issues: $33.95
  • Contents…brightly illustrated action rhymes, Mother Goose and other traditional nursery rhymes, basic concepts, and simple stories that are perfect for parents and grandparents to read aloud…featuring a variety of art styles and media, including paint, watercolors, woodblock prints, tapestry, collages, and pastels.
  • Geared towards…children ages 6 months to 3 years
  • Published…9 times a year, every month except for combined May/June, July/August, and November/December issues
  • Publisher…The Cricket Magazine Group
  • Started…1995

 
2.  Chirp Magazine..

  • Cost…$34.95
  • Contents…colorful pages, stories, puzzles, silly jokes, engaging stories, crafts, recipes,  and early-learning activities
  • Geared towards...3- to 6-year-olds
  • Published…10 issues per year
  • Publisher…Owl Media, Canada
  • Started…1997

3.  Click

  • Cost…$36.95
  • Content…takes children on a journey of discovery about the world around them…science, art, nature, and environmental issues…one intriguing topic at at time
  • Geared towards...3-6 years
  • Published…9 issues per year
  • Publisher…Cricket Media


4.  Clubhouse Jr.

  • Cost...$23.99
  • Content…faith-filled fun and biblical values for young children
  • Geared towards...3-7 years
  • Published…12 issues per year
  • Publisher…Focus on the Family

5.  Disney Junior

  • Cost…$18.00
  • Content…magical storytelling and playful activities, featuring the best-loved Disney characters. From the delights of Mickey Mouse, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and the swashbuckling adventures of Jake
  • Geared toward…ages 2 – 7
  • Published…six times per year
  • Publisher…Disney Magazines

6.  Family Fun Magazine.

  • Cost…$10.99
  • Content…ideas for family cooking, vacations, creativity, traveling, parties, holidays, crafts, fun, and much more to get the whole family interacting
  • Geared toward…parents with kids from the ages of 3 to 12
  • Published…monthly
  • Publisher…Meredith Corporation
  • Started…1991

7.  Fun To Learn Friends

  • Cost…$19.97
  • Content…join characters such as Curious George, PAW Patrol, Clifford, and Peppa Pig in activities designed to make learning fun, while helping to develop key skills in math, reading and creativity…each issue includes a 12 page workbook to encourage and develop early learning skills
  • Geared toward…age 2 – 7yrs
  • Published…six times per year
  • Publisher…Redan Publishing


8.  Highlights High Five

  • Cost…$39.96
  • Content…free online audio stories, matching games and other puzzles, easy recipes and crafts, action rhymes, stories from other lands and cultures to expand children’s empathy
  • Geared toward…ages 2 to 6
  • Publisher…Highlights for Children, Inc.
  • Started…2007

CRAFTS

Art should also play a role in the development of your kids. There are many benefits For children being given the opportumity to do arts and crafts during their formative years. these include self-confidence and problem solving ability,

Taking time to be creative at an early age will help them during their actual school years and later in their careers.

In the business world, these children will be be valuable employees who are able to embrace diversity, envision  innovative and valuable ideas and solutions to a problem, take risks and feel comfortable with the outcome and any mistakes, see other points of view, and think outside of the box.

Most importantly, these kids will never losing touch with the creative child inside of them.

Here are some of the best blogs that I have found that we, as parents and teachers, can use to gather ideas and inspiration to encourage creativity in our children.

1.  Art Bar Blog… This blog is written by a former graphic designer who now teaches art from her home in Connecticut.

She believes that providing a space, time, a table, a willing parent, and art materials for children to create, explore, invent, and tinker develops their ability to flourish into a lifelong creative thinker.

Her art projects have been featured in publications, such as Real Simple.


2.  Art for Kids and Robots…Jeanette Nyberg, author of Tangle Art & Drawing Games for Kids, finds both art and kids to be creative, interesting, and fun. She also believes that art is not fostered nearly enough in American public schools and offers art projects for kids on her blog to hopefully fill in that gap.


3.  Elise Gets Crafty…Elise Blaha Cripe, author of the Get to Work Book, started a blog in 2005 and began sharing craft projects and tutorials. In 2008, she opened her first online shop, where she has made and sold everything from letterpress prints to wooden plant stands.
Fun at Home with Kids…Asia Citro, Author of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, The Curious Kid’s Science Book, A Little Bit of Dirt, and the Zoey and Sassafras seri

4.  Hands Free Mama…Rachel Macy Stafford, author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today…started this blog in 2010 and now has 98,000 followers on her Hands Free Revolution facebook page.

Her goal is to provide strategies that will allow for parents to be less distracted and more fully present in the moments spent with family.

5.  Hands On As We Grow...Jamie Reimer, uses the blog “Hands On As We Grow” to post simple “hands on” activities…such as crafts, art projects, gross motor activities, and fine motor activities…that are simple to put together for your kids.


6.  hello, Wonderful…Agnes Hsuan, author of My Color is Rainbowoffers the best ideas to create, celebrate, and enjoy those magical everyday moments and create memories  with your kids, saving you hours of sorting through endless websites and inspiration boards.

7.  Meri Cherry…Meri Cherry is a reggio inspired atelierista and private art teacher in Los Angeles with nearly twenty years experience. she believes that creativity is not only fun, but also a great source of self-confidence. Her mission is to inspire both the  young and the old to be creative, think outside the box, and go for their dreams.


8.  Picklebums…This blog was started in 2005 by a former early childhood teacher from Victoria, Australia.

9.  Pink Stripey Socks…Leslie Manlapig, co-author of STEAM Kids- 50+ Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math Activities for kidsSTEAM Kids Christmas- 25 Activities for kids, and Happy Handmade, is a minimalist who believes that crafts can encourage others.

10.  Red Ted Art…Maggy Woodley, author of Red Ted Art: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids..is a blogger who loves all things crafty  and desires to share easy, do-able, and fun craft ideas and how-tos for all ages.

11. Simple as That Blog…Rebecca, a professional photographer and mother of four, from Alberta, Canada, has been sharing easy-to-follow crafts and recipes, organization tips, mom-hacks that will help your home and your life run a little more smoothly, photography tutorials, and ways to save your family’s story since founding this site in 2005

She enjoys putting together simple DIY projects using easy-to-find materials and a few basic supplies, and believes that…

Fewer elaborate projects means easier-to-organize supplies.
Fewer distractions means more focused attention for my kids.
Fewer to-do’s and less stress means more joy in the everyday.


12.  The Art Pantry…The Art Pantry is a design studio specializing in children’s creative play spaces, founded by Megan Schiller. Her mission is to design organized and functional spaces dedicated to creativity and quality art supplies in order to foster children’s independence, investigation, and creative play.

Heading Off to Work, Writing on Wednesdays

Review and Resources—Writing

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Developing the habit of writing for an hour as soon as I wake up has become one of the things that I truly look forward to each day. I have had the opportunity to learn so much about various topics, to express myself creatively, and to learn self-discipline.

As I continue to write, there are so many things that I realize would be helpful as I continue this process.

Books about blogging and writing that are currently on my reading list include the following…

 

 

1. 100 Shareable Blog Post Ideas (Easy to Write, Easy to Share) by The Digital Writer and Jonathan Wondrusch

Topics

  • creating an editorial calendar.
  • ideas for effective content
  • sample headlines for blog posts

Other Books by Author

  • How to Write a Sales Letter That Works (Without Wasting Your Time).
  • Writing Online

Author Website—None found

2. 5 Minutes a Day Guide to BLOGGING: How To Create, Promote & Market a Successful Money Generating Blog 

Author—Penny King

Other Books by Author—

  • 5 Minutes a Day Guide to PINTEREST + FREE eBook “ATTRACTING AFFILIATES”: How to Create, Promote & Market a Successful…Nov 19, 2015
  • 5 Minutes A Day Guide To FACEBOOK + FREE eBook “Attracting Affiliates”: How to Create, Promote & Market a Successful…Nov 18, 2015
  • 5 Minutes A Day Guide To BUSINESS, INCOME & SOCIAL MEDIA Box Set: How To Promote, Market & Create Business Using…Jan 9, 2016
  • 5 Minutes a Day Guide to TWITTER + FREE eBook “Attracting Affiliates”: How To Create, Promote & Market a Successful…Dec 21, 2015
  • 5 Minutes A Day Guide to LinkedIn + FREE eBook “Attracting Affiliates”: How To Create, Promote and Market a Successful…Dec 21, 2015

  Author Website-–None Found.

3. Becoming The Perfect Networker… Succeeding One Connection at a Time – Golden Kennector EditionJul 31, 2010by Ken Rochon and Tara Hannon
Topics

  • making connections
  • turning them into relationships that produce income and opportunities
  • being successful in social networking

Authors and Other Books by Authors

Ken Rochon

  • Empowerment & Beyond… A 6-week self study program practicing reflection, wisdom and peaceApr 12, 2013
  • Make Your Connections Count: September 22, 2011

Tara Hannon (illustrator)

  • When Mommy Has Our Baby by Rachel Cedar and Tara Hannon
  • Lion and Rabbit’s Opposite Day by Tara J. Hannon
  • Wings by Belinda Fraley Huesman and Tara J. Hannon
  • Sex Sells But I’M Ugly by Dan Kendrick and Tara Hannon
  • Santa Claus Was Once a Kid Too by Philip H. Scharper and Grace M. Scharper
  • Ada Chewed Some Gum by Thomas Knight and Tara J. Hannon

 Author Website

4.  Breakthrough: The Complete Guide to Growing Your Platform & Blogging Your Way to a Full-Time Income

Author— Adeline Ganley​

Topics

  • Building a viable business
  • Developing a brand strategy
  • Improving your productivity
  •  Increasing traffic
  • Monetizing your platform
  • Writing content to build an audience that is engaged and frequently returns to your website

Other Books by Author

  • Real Ways to Make Money from Home: Start Making Money Now

 AuthorWebsite


5.  Blog To Book: An expert guide to building your blog business and income through ebooks and paperbacks​

Author
—P.R. Newton

Topics

  • growing your blog business and income with ebooks and paperbacks.
  • self-publish a book that will bring value to your current readers, attract new audiences and build your income and blog business.
  • write a book inspired by your blog content

Other Books by Author

  •  Shattered Embrace: An Adoption Tale
  •  And Then My Uterus Fell Out: A memoir on life with pelvic organ prolapse
  •  The Tindou Tablet


Author Website
Steam Powered Family

6.  Blogging: A Practical Guide to Plan Your Blog: Start Your Profitable Home-Based Business with a Successful Blog

Authors—Dale Reardon and Jo Reardon
Topic—planning your blog, obviously

Other Related Products from Authors

  • Blogging: A Practical Guide to Find Your Niche: Start Your Profitable Home-Based Business with a Successful Blog (Create Your Amazing Blog: Your…

 Author WebsiteThe Online Beginners Hub – or ‘The Hub


7.  Blogging For Dummies

Author— Amy Lupold Bair

Topics

  • advertising tools and techniques
  • emerging platforms like Squarespace and Overblog
  • integrating your blog with social media
  •  latest blogging software and utilities
  • search engine optimization
  •  social plug-ins
  • the anatomy of a good blog
  • the tools you need to get started

Author Website— Resourceful Mommy


8.  Blog, Inc.: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and to Create Community

Author—Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Topics

  • attracting readers
  • overcoming blogger’s block
  • starting and growing a blog

Other Books by Author

  • Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create and Give Joy
  • Creative, Inc.

Author Website—Oh Joy

 
9.  How To Start A Profitable Blog: A Guide To Create Content That Rocks, Build Traffic, And Turn Your Blogging Passion Into Profit 

Author

David Lim

Other Books by Author

  • Blogging: How to Write Blog Posts That Go Viral Without Selling Out: Attract a Raving Fan Base, Understand Your…
  • How To Blog For Profit: A Powerful Step-By-Step Guide To Create Passive Income Online And Replace Your Day Job For Life


 

10.  The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users 

Authors

  • Guy Kawasaki
  • Peg Fitzpatrick

Topics

  • building your foundation
  • amassing digital assets
  • optimizing your profile
  • attracting more followers
  • integrating social media and blogging

Other Books by Author

Guy Kawasaki

  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
  • Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
  • APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
  • Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition
  • Selling the Dream
  • How to Drive Your Competition Crazy: Creating Disruption for Fun and Profit
  • What the Plus!: Google+ for the Rest of Us
  • The Macintosh Wa
  • Rules For Revolutionaries
  • Hindsights: The Wisdom and Breakthroughs of Remarkable People
  • Database 101

Author Websites


 

11.  The Blog Post Tool Kit

Author—Gina Luker

Topics

  • creating photography and graphics to grab readers
  • planning posts that get results
  • properly write SEO rich content
  • using social media

Other Books by Author

  • Super Fast Freezer Meals
  • How to Start a Home-based Etsy Business

 

12.  How to Write 37 Different Types of Blog Post

Author—Sarah Arrow

Author Websites
Sarah Arrow

Heading Off to Work

Be Interesting

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Perhaps the most important thing that you consider as you write is actually not that you write often and have much to offer, but that your writing is interesting. If your writing is dull and boring, then nobody—including your mother will want to read it.

 

So first you must find your niche. Recognize who your audience is, and what their preferences and interests are.

Next establish a sense of purpose. Know what you are going to write about and why you are going to write it. Don’t waste time wandering around aimlessly in cyberspace. Find your passion. Write down your goals and your plans. Tell others about these plans. Find people to hold you accountable.

In the case of my blog, I am writing primarily for myself and other people like me who may be wanting to transition from old habits and ways of doing things, to new and more “politically correct” practices—such as minimalism, living a “green” lifestyle, switching to environmentally-friendly and cruelty-free products in all aspects of our daily lives, …

 

KEYWORDS…One of the most important things to remember as you write is the use of “keywords.” Keywords are words used by search engines to rank websites that are the most relevant and useful to what a user may be looking for. Keywords enable your search engine to find what you’re looking for accurately and quickly.

It is important that you learn to use keywords to your advantage. Here are a few tips…

Keywords are normally categorized into three groups…

  • Head Keywords…These are usually single words that have insane amounts of search volume, and articles based on these keywords face intense competition for ranking high on the list of articles found when searching about a particular topic.
  • Body Keywords…These are 2-3 word phrases that large amounts of search volume, and articles based on these keywords face less competition for ranking high on the list of articles found when searching about a particular topic.
  • Long Tail Keywords…These are long word phrases, containing at least four words, that are usually very specific. Each individual word does not get much search volume…but the specific groups of words found in these keyword phrases make up the majority of searches online.

So at this point, creating a list of keywords to focus on as you establish your  editorial calendar and write future content. Google, Yoast, and their competitors all have databases where you can research your keywords as far as estimated conversions, historical statistics, predicted clicks, search volume data, and traffic forecasts.

And then once you have your list of potential keywords, how do you use them to your best advantage.

Choosing Keywords…Average somewhere between 5 and 20 keywords per post.

Title…Start your article title with your keyword as often as possible.

Introduction…Place keywords early in the article.

  Body of the Article..

  • Place keywords early in the article.
  • Include each unique keyword in a subheading, bold or italicized sections, or bullet points.
  • Mention your keyword, and possibly related terms, as many times as possible.

Conclusion…Use your keyword at least once in your conclusion.

Other Tips as Far as Writing Posts

  • Create a useful, information-rich site.
  • Focus primarily on “Body Keywords.”
  • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Publish fresh, keyword-rich content regularly.
  • Write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.

Other Tips as Far as Publishing Posts

  • Build an internal linking structure.
  • Create “landing pages” for specific keywords.
  • Don’t put the text that you want indexed inside images.
  • Ensure a clean, keyword rich URL structure is in place
  • Have at least one static text link for every page.
  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links.
  • Make sure content is not buried inside rich media.
  • Make sure that rich media doesn’t hide links from crawlers.
  • Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
  • Use keywords to create descriptive, human-friendly URLs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Healthy

Book Review…The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Simple Rules for Losing Weight While You Sleep

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

This book is a guide about the connection between inadequate sleep and weight gain written particularly for women faced with the fatigue, moodiness, and weight gain that we often experience because of chronic stress or hormonal changes to show how a good night’s sleep will actually enable you to lose weight, especially if you have been chronically sleep deprived.

 

This book sparked my interest because who wouldn’t love it if all we had to do in order to lose weight was sleep…If this were truly the case, then we would all be skinny, because all of us sleep, right?!

 

The title,  The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Simple Rules for Losing Weight While You Sleep, is appropriate for the book because the book gives you the tools to overcome the stress, poor habits, and environmental challenges that are causing you not to get adequate rest. The author of the book is Michael Breus, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and board-certified sleep expert.

The book shows how simple health and lifestyle changes can help increase your energy level, eliminate many health concerns, and help you lose weight loss without having to eat “rabbit food” every meal of spending a crazy amount of time spent exercising.

 

I enjoyed reading this book because I learned many things about how sleep affects your body—like how sleep boosts your metabolism, ignites fat burn, and decreases your appetite. I also liked the fact that the book provides information, advice, and practical strategies designed to help you get the sleep you need.

These tools include a realistic action plan designed to help you get both your best sleep and your best body possible, involving a slumber-friendly evening routine, stress management techniques, recipes for healthy meals and snacks all designed to help you fall asleep more easily.

Some of the key factors in losing weight while you sleep, according to this book are…

  • eating small meals that are high in protein and fiber every three to four hours
  • eliminating calorie-laden sodas and juices from your diet
  • substituting an olive oil cooking spray for butter or margarine
  • sticking to a specific sleep schedule
  • eliminating all caffeine after 2pm.
  • not drinking alcohol for three hours before going to bed
  • not exercising for four hours before going to bed
  • doing thirty minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise early in the day, most days of the week
Getting Dressed

A Baker’s Dozen of Books About Soapmaking So That Your Friends and Family Can Give Soaps to You for Christmas Next Year Instead

  
For those of us who are “old fashioned” and still love learning  from books, instead of or in addition to, the Internet, there are many books available to help you along your journey into the adventures of making soap.

    Even though there is much to be learned from the internet, a few basic soapmaking books written by different soap makers will serve as handy references for recipes, formulations, troubleshooting, techniques, and information about different types of soap.

      Although the basic soapmaking processes will remain the same,there are always new and unique tips, tricks and techniques to be learned from every author.

        Some of the best soap making books include…

              
            1.  Essentially Soap

            • Author…Dr. Robert S. McDaniel
            • Geared Towards…all levels of soapmaking experience
            • Price (all prices are Amazon new cost)…$5
            • Published…2000
            • Review
            • Topics…simple instructions for cold process soaps, melt-and-pour soaps, and rebatched soaps “custom-made” with just the right scent, emollients, eye-appeal, fragrances, skin treatments, colors, shapes, and essential oils

                  

                2.  Making Transparent Soap

                • Author…Catherine Failor
                • Geared Towards…readers that already have an understanding of ingredients and basic techniques
                • Price…$12
                • Review…From Nature With Love
                • Topics…creating large batches, as in dozens of soap bars for each recipe, of soap with a more transparent and appealing design to sell or give as gifts

                  

                3.  Melt & Mold Soap Crafting

                • Author…C. Kaila Westerman
                • Geared towards…both basic and more advanced soapmakers
                • Price…$15
                • Reviews
                • Topics…soaps using a meltable soapbase, techniques, possible problems you might  encounter and their solution, colors, ideas, and advice

                  

                 4.  Natural Soap Making

                • Author..Kelly Cable
                • Geared towards…beginners
                • Price…$12
                • Topics…organic soapmaking, different soap oils, coloring additives, cold process technique, ratios and recipes that can be scaled and adjusted for your needs

                  

                5. Pure Soapmaking

                • Author…Ann-Marie Faiola
                • Geared towards…intermediate soapmakers who have already made some soaps at home…one of the most complex yet most detailed books available, so super complicated for beginners
                • Price…$16
                • Review…Soap Queen
                • Topic…massive list of 32 recipes with step-by-step instructions, but  involving many steps and ingredients 

                  

                6.  Soap Crafting

                • Author…Anne-Marie Faiola
                • Geared towards…all levels of soapmakers
                • Price…$15
                • Topic…three dozen recipes using various household ingredients like avocados, cinnamon, and pumpkin spices…with techniques for adding swirls and glistening effects into your soap

                  

                7.  Soap Maker’s Workshop

                • Author..Robert and Katherine McDaniel
                • Geared towards…beginners
                • Price…$22
                • Topic…a light overview of soap making with basic practice ideas…includes a DVD with instructions for each of the major recipes

                  

                8.  Soap Making Reloaded

                • Author…Janet Evans
                • Geared towards…novice soapmakers 
                • Price…$9
                • Topic…an overview of the soapmaking process written especially for people wanting to explore soapmaking without making an actual commitment 

                  

                9.  Soap Naturally

                • Authors…Australian soap makers Patrizia Garzena and Marina Tadiello 
                • Geared towards…”novices and masters alike”
                • Price…$150 (why?!)
                • Review…
                • Topic..hands down, the absolute ‘must have’ book for all natural, homemade, handmade soap 

                  

                10.  The Soapmaker’s Companion

                • Author…Susan Miller Cavitch
                • Geared towards…at-home soapmakers
                • Price…$14
                • Topics…one of the best references for at-home soapmakers because it covers such topics as adding textures, colors, varying oils, and altering the soap’s aroma…as well as soapmaking as a business and selling your soaps with e-shops like Etsy

                    

                   11.  The Complete Soapmaker

                  • Author…Norma Coney
                  • Price…$11
                  • Topic…detailed instructions and recipes for basic lye soaps made with animal or vegetable fats, and for hand-milled and specialty soaps using almond meal, chamomile, glycerin, and milk.

                       

                       12.  The Everything Soapmaking Book 

                      • Author…Alicia Grosso
                      • Geared towards…beginners who need simple advice for getting started in soapmaking
                      • Price…$11
                      • Topic…a detailed guide to the entire soapmaking process

                        

                      13.  The Ultimate Guide To Soap Making
                       

                      • Author…Amanda McCarthy
                      • Geared towards…beginners
                      • Price…$12
                      • Review…The Curiously Creative
                      • Topics…a true encyclopedia answering all sorts of questions about soap making from start to finish…including recipes, the difference between cold process and hot process techniques, and the potential dangers of individual ingredients and how you should handle them with precaution
                      Getting Healthy

                      Book Review—Cruelty Free Living by Jennifer Thomson

                         
                      Living Cruelty Free is a much-needed guide full of tips and advice on how to start making more informed choices as a consumer, living a cruelty-free lifestyle, and perhaps even becoming a vegetarian 

                      This book sparked my interest because I have begun a journey to embrace a more cruelty-free, natural, and minimalistic lifestyle.


                      The title, Living Cruelty Free, is appropriate because the book exposes the truth about cruel experiments on animals, factory farming, forced labour, and the cruelty that goes into meat production and cheap clothing. 

                      This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by her ability to teach us how become more aware of the impact we each have on the environment, and the book adequately pinpoints the message of the book by providing facts, resources, and tips on how to be an ethical consumer and live a more compassionate lifestyle.

                      Having first read the title of the book, I expected the book to be a finger-pointing shame-on-them commentary about how meat eating is cruel.  


                      The author of the book is Jennifer Thomson, a freelance writer, who has been a vegetarian for 29 years and has always tried to live a cruelty free life. 


                      The main purpose of the book is to teach consumers how to avoid buying cosmetics, foods, and other products that have been tested on animals.

                      I particularly liked the fact that the book provides a plethora of information without ever sounding preachy, even though she is obviously writing about a cause that is very close to her heart. The author doesn’t push the reader into changing their lifestyle or beliefs or quit eating meat tomorrow.

                      The book was really interesting to read and easy to understand.


                      I would highly recommend this book mainly to readers who are interested in beginning to live a cruelty-free lifestyle..

                      After researching, and becoming more than a little bit frustrated, online switching to a cruelty-free lifestyle online, it was so nice to finally find a resource that lays everything out in a very organized manner that gives the reader the information they need 

                        Starting the Day Off Right

                        Stepping Out the Door In Well Read Shoes

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                        Another resolution that I have made for this New Year is to actually put some time into studying the Bible for myself.

                        But not only is my Father’s house a big, big house with lots of rooms…the Bible is a big, big book with lots and lots of chapters and verses and ideas.

                        Being a musician of sorts, I’ve been taught to “start at the very beginning”…when you read, you begin with ABC…when you sing, you begin with do-re-mi…when you study the Bible, why not start with Genesis…

                        So now that I’ve decided to study Genesis, how?!

                        Actually there are several different Bible study methods that have been used for decades, including…

                        • Bible Doctrine Studies
                        • Book-by-Book
                        • Character
                        • Life-Focused
                        • Topical

                         

                        1.  Bible Doctrine Studies…These studies place a heavier emphasis on theology by studying a particular doctrine. An example of a doctrine study in Genesis is What Happened in the Garden?...a book that offers scientific, literary, business, educational, and legal perspectives on creation…and how what we observe in the legal system, literature, gender roles, education, psychology, and science today are actually connected with creation.


                        2.  Book-by-Book...Book-by-Book Bible Studies move through a particular book or passage of the Bible in an attempt to understand…

                        • background and history of the original message
                        • events that take place
                        • how the text applies to our own lives today
                        • key themes,  topics, and verses
                        • major principles, insights, and lessons
                        • people mentioned in that passage
                        • personal applications that are personal, practical, and possible

                        I am a big fan of Warren Wiersbe, author of over 150 books, and his Be Series  of commentaries on every book of the Bible. The first book about Genesis is Be Basic and studies chapters one to eleven.



                        3.  Character Bible Study
                        …A character study is the study of a specific biblical character person and his or her heart, attitude, personality, strengths, and weaknesses… how he or she thinks, feels, and responds to circumstances….one of the character’s quality traits that you would like to work on yourself…a situation similar to the one being discussed that is happening in your own life.

                        An example of this would be Noah: Man of Destiny,  a novel about the man who built a large ship and spent months caring for thousands of animal, but also stood against a sinister belief system emerging throughout the land, escaped legendary beasts, tracked kidnappers, and acquired the skills he would need when God called him to his greatest adventure.


                        4.    Life-Focused Bible Studies...These studies begin with real-life issues that are relevant today and seek to apply God’s Word to our lives in intentional ways. Many of these books share stories from real-life experiences, such as struggles people have faced in their own marriages, families, and work.

                        Live Relationally bKenya Heitzig is an example of a lifetime-focused Bible study on Genesis. This study studies of the women in Genesis who experience death, marriage, divorce, rape, and family tragedy…women such as the complicated Tamar and the often oversimplified Eve…women who are wives and mothers, slaves and owners, sinners and saints… 

                         5.  Topical Bible studies involve choosing a specific topic, thinking of questions you’d like to have answered about that topic, and finding every single reference to that topic. An example of a topical study would be the ark…through books such as Inside Noah’s Ark: Why It Worked which show how the ship was an actual working vessel…and how a crew of just eight people could have housed, fed, and watered all of the representatives of the animal kinds.