Enchanted Herbal- Book Review

Thank you, NetGalley, Llewellyn Publication, and Gail Bussi, for the digital arc of Enchanted Herbal: Connect to Nature and Celebrate the Seasons in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely love this book! I love how the content is organized around the seasons and how nature can teach us to recognize the seasons and cycles in our own lives. These seasonal chapters organize the book:

  • Spring: creation and renewal 
  • Summer: abundance and passion 
  • Autumn: celebration and harvest 
  • Winter: peace and reflection 

Each chapter/season includes these sections: 

  • Heart Notes: thoughts and simple rituals/magic for each season’s rhythm 
  • Create: simple body/beauty products to make, as well as ideas for a natural home 
  • Nurture: ideas for natural health and wellbeing on every level, both physical and spiritual Grow: practical inspiration for planting, growing and harvesting one’s herbs and other aromatic plants, and other ideas for garden magic and enchantment 
  • Taste: seasonal recipes using herbs, spices, and flowers in delicious ways

Each season aims to identify ways to grow through self-discovery and using herbs to aid in this process. The tone of the book is very nurturing while also sharing reliable information about herbs and their benefits. I also love the focus on nature. We’ve become such a frenetic culture of being overly digital with our faces in screens far more than is healthy. Shifting our focus to nature is a much-needed reprieve from our overly social media. 

This book includes seasonal recipes and guidance on using herbs to eat, things to drink, things to do, happy home, and body care. As an herbalist, I love that she encourages the reader to keep a  Green Alchemy Journal, a journal for recording recipes, ideas, experiments, illustrations etc. as you experience herbs throughout the year.  There is an abundance of information on herbs available on the internet and countless books dedicated to herbs’ specific properties, etc. My experiences have taught me that to know and understand an herb, you need to spend time with it. Instead of learning superficial information about many herbs,  select a few for each season, and really get to know them well. This book by Bussi coupled with keeping your own seasonal herb journal is an excellent way to focus your energy on learning herbs and the different ways we can benefit from their many uses. Each season is filled with recipes, meditations, rituals, and journaling prompts to guide you in learning about and experiencing herbs.

I also love her recommendation of keeping a moon journal. Like the seasons of the year, the moon moves through predictable cycles each month. I love recognizing nature’s cycles and how closely we are connected through them. Finally, the appendix of this book is filled with useful information. Enchanted Herbal is a book I highly recommend to anyone interested in herbs and living an inspired life.

Pages: 288
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book review: Yoga by the Stars

Thank you, NetGalley, Jilly Shipway, and Llewelyn Publishers, for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Yoga by the Stars includes yoga practices inspired by the zodiac wheel; this consists of asanas, meditations, visualizations, and breathing exercises. I’ve honestly never considered the symbolism between yoga practice and zodiac signs, yet reading the book and completing some of the sequences, it feels very intuitive. 

The book is broken into two parts. Part one focuses on Shipways approach to blending yoga and the zodiac wheel. Part two leads you through each month and the corresponding zodiac sign and yoga sequence to accompany that sign.

Jilly Shipway does an excellent job of providing information on the zodiac wheel, the poses, the breathwork, and mantras to get even the most novice yogi going. With the intention of improving health and wellness, mind, body and soul you will move through the months of the year gaining valuable personal insight. The book is filled with a wealth of information. As a yoga teacher, I enjoyed her creative sequences and will incorporate this into my practice and with my students. Yoga by the Stars will make a wonderful gift to any yoga student (beginners included!) or yoga teacher. 

Earth Almanac Book Review

Thank you to NetGalley, Ted Williams and Storey Publishing for an ARC of Earth Almanac in exchange for an honest review.

Earth Almanac is organized by the four seasons, beginning with winter, spring, summer then fall. Each season provides images and interesting facts and information about all manner of plants, birds and animals. It’s evident that Ted Williams is very knowledgeable on the content and it is clearly well researched. But what I especially love is the beautiful way the information is written and described, and oh my goodness, the lovely illustrations!

Honestly, Earth Almanac is a beautiful gift to readers. From the cover and throughout, the images are appealing and the writing is masterful. This is a wonderful resource book to keep on display on a coffee table. As a homeschooling mom, this book will be a wonderful resource for our weekly nature walks and discussion on plants, animals and birds. I recommend this book to everyone, especially fellow nature lovers, it’s one you will treasure.

Pages – 256
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Little Cornish Inn- Book Review

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries/Aria Publishers for a copy of “No Room at the Little Cornish Inn” in exchange for my honest review.

I love a sweet Christmas romance, and this one was wonderful! Rosie Anderson, the single mom to her son Danny, has her Christmas holiday plans upended by an over-demanding boss. Rosie works for Johnson Hotels, and her boss, Susan the Sacker, is sending her to the Old Bell Inn to sort out why the inn is receiving negative reviews, oh, and she has to fire the manager , Michael Fitzpatrick. Despite this mission ruining her young son’s Christmas plans, Rosie agrees because she is anxious to finally earn a well-deserved promotion. There is only one problem when she and Danny arrive; they discover there is no room at the inn; they are overbooked! 

While the staff at the inn are lovely, Rosie continues to deal with a demanding boss. Susan calls at all times, basically whenever she wants and demands an update. Rosie begins to realize there is more to this story than she realized. With random yet abundant customer complaints and the determined way Susan is behaving, Rosie starts to question the legitimacy of the negative reviews. Oh, and there is money missing from accounts, creating lots of suspicion . 

On top of everything she is dealing with, Rosie’s’ ex-boyfriend, Danny’s father, decides to drop back into their lives after years of being gone. There is a lot going on in this story, including some holiday romance, leaving you cheering for Rosie to have a happy ending. 
I enjoyed this book a lot. I love the writer’s style and flow and found this book to be a delight, perfect read for the upcoming Christmas season. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pages: 250

Spiritual Practices for the Brain- Review

Thank you NetGalley, Loyola Press and Anne Kertz Kernion for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review. 

Spiritual Practices for the Brain: Caring for Mind, Body, and Soul is the book I have needed since 2020 started! As a long time fan of Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila, I recognize the value of spiritual and meditative practices. But as it goes in life, I often forget to use the tools and examples I have been given, forgetting is so easy. This book is a fantastic reminder, encourager and set of tools to bring me back to nurturing these all important habits that are salve to my soul.

The book is broken into chapters that focus on intentional steps to take to improve spiritual and physical health. She supports her views and suggestions with current research. As a professor, I always enjoy cited sources. She provides suggestions including focused breathing, gardening, practicing kindness, living in gratitude, exercise and even play as opportunities to improve our lives, mind, body and soul. 

I love the practical and friendly style of her writing. I love the quotes she included. Every chapter was so relatable and practical. Beginning the book with the information about the importance of taking a minute to breath is huge. Breath work has such a huge impact on our state of mind, whether we are in fight or flight or using our breath to bring us to the present moment- how we breath influences everything! Anne Kurtz Kernion demonstrated a wealth of knowledge in the topics she discussed, the research she cites and the wisdom she shares. 

This book is truly written for everyone. You do not need to belong to a specific faith group to find value in the practices outlined in this book. Given how chaotic 2020 has proven to be, I cannot help but think we all can benefit from tending our mental, spiritual and emotional health. I definitely recommend this one!

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Length: 144 pages

Book review: Best Foot Forward

Best Foot Forward (The Liberty Lawrence Series #1) by Bea Stevens was a fun read that has drama, mystery, humor and romance woven throughout the story. This is my first read from this author and find her writing style to be both engaging with an on point sense of humor. I always enjoy a good mystery and this one delivered. 

The main character, Libby, is young, she works hard, enjoys fashion she cannot afford and tends to overthink things. As the story progresses, Libby finds herself working to solve a mystery with her best friend Cassie. Detective James Harper is also working the case and the fact that he’s gorgeous doesn’t hurt. But Libby is not happy when the detective does not agree with her theory about the crime that has occurred. Will she ever convince him or does she have it all wrong? You will have to read it to find out. 

I enjoyed this fun book, and the ending left me excited about book two in the series.  I recommend this book to those who enjoy a good mystery and entertaining characters. Grab it now while it’s free!

Length: 299 –
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Floriography – Book Review

I would like to thank NetGalley and Jessica Roux for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Floriography, An Illustrated Guide to Victorian Language of Flowers

This book is magic! I love all things Victorian, and this book is swoon-worthy. Because behaviors during the Victorian Era were widely scrutinized, any open display of emotions was limited and discouraged. So flowers were used as a secret form of communication, so romantic!

This book is a beautifully illustrated botanical encyclopedia that flower lovers will cherish. In this full-color collection of florals, each beautifully illustrated flower or herb includes its meaning, origin, and complimentary flowers to pair along with the meaning of the pairings.

A section dedicated to bouquets is also included. The bouquets are gorgeous illustrations and the details of which flowers are included and the meaning of the bouquet. While many flowers and bouquets communicated feelings of love and friendship, not all were intended to share positive emotions. There are florals and bouquets for warnings, bitter ends, and apologies.

Floriography would be a beautiful gift for the flower lover and the romantics in your life. It would make a lovely coffee table book for Victorian era lovers!

Pages: 224
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

photo credit: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Freebie Friday – Insta-Highlight Covers

Happy Friday Ya’ll! This weeks Friday freebie is an Autumn collection of highlight covers for Instagram! There are a total of six covers included. To download, click here and safe the zip attachment. Once you unzip you will find 6 individual images you can upload to Insta to get those fall feels going! If you have any question, just send a message, enjoy!