Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pomp Scrapbook Page

Today I am sharing more scrapbook layouts from our summer vacation album. We're still on day 1 of our time in London. We continued our on-foot sightseeing tour with Buckingham Palace and walking along The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk in St. James Park. We saw swans!

I decided to title this layout "Pomp" because we had the picture of the palace guard and the palace itself, and they were just such a regal display, and "pomp" does mean "ceremony and splendid display".

Supplies used on this layout include Basic Grey Mon Ami Fleur, Basic Grey Mon Ami Bonjour, Basic Grey Mon Ami Registre, Basic Grey Mon Ami stickers, American Crafts Thickers Amy Tangerine Kal Barteski, Me & My Big Ideas Scrap Notebook postcard, and Jolee's Boutique London stickers.

It's been fun to look back through these pictures and remember how we spent our summer last year! It's also been fun using up some old papers and supplies that have been in my stash!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Meal Plan Monday - June 29

Over the weekend we bought a car. Pretty exciting! This means that my husband won't have to drive me and pick me up during the work week as he's been doing the past two weeks. He'll be able to get dinner started before I get home from work!

Speaking of... here's what we're eating for dinner this week:

Sunday: pork chops

Monday: chicken caesar salad

Tuesday:  pasta with meat

Wednesday: sloppy joe's and fries

Thursday: grilled cheese, carrots, and chips

Friday: hamburgers, corn, and potato salad

Saturday: leftovers

Friday, June 26, 2015

Day 1: London Calling Scrapbook Page

These are the next two pages in my vacation scrapbook! We arrived at our London (Canary Wharf) hotel in the early afternoon, and the hotel was able to let us check in early. So we showered and headed out to do some sightseeing. Our first stops: Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and M&M's World.

Supplies used on this layout include: Basic Grey Offbeat Easygoing, Basic Grey Offbeat Novel,
Basic Grey Carte Postale Ocean Drive, London Calling postcard from a Boden catalog, October Afternoon Boarding Pass Chip n Stick, Me & My Big Ideas bling, American Crafts Thickers Amy Tangerine Hello, Jolee's Boutique London stickers, and C.R. Gibson Orange Paper from the Celebration Deluxe Paper Pad.

I thought the colorful patterned paper would be good for the colors of the M&M's in the photos. I was also glad that I could include our London travel cards on the layout. Seriously, if you ever plan on going to London, check out the London Pass. It was a great deal and got us into so many sights for free or at a discounted rate. Plus, we got discounts on other things!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thrive - Book Review

So many people think success is only about money and power. But Huffington Post co-founder, president, and editor in chief Arianna Huffington believes there is a third metric of success, one that can be broken into four legs: well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.

In Thrive, Huffington outlines how you too can redefine your concept of success and focus on your own well-being, using your intuition and inner wisdom, constantly being in awe of the world around you, and using your time and talents to give back in some way.

I think this is a very important book for women, especially, because so often women don't spend enough time taking care of themselves. But men and women alike can both suffer from this false sense of success. It's all about work, work, work in order to rise to the top, keep your position at the top, and make as much money as possible. But if you're neglecting these other areas of your life, you can't fully thrive in your life.

What I found interesting about this book was that there was such a focus throughout the whole book on meditation. And as someone who practices yoga every week and meditation in one of those yoga classes (though I'm not very good at it), I can't tell you enough how much I agree with this! Just spending a few minutes closing your eyes, turning off the endless loop of thoughts running through your brain, and just being has such a relaxing effect on the body that ultimately affects your well-being, your wonder of the world around you, helps you get in touch with your intuition or gut feelings, and re-energizes you so that you're better able to give back to others.

The back of the book also includes resources that readers can use to help them reach all four levels of the third metric of success. I'll be downloading a bunch of the meditation apps for sure!

Thrive is published by Harmony Books and is available in paperback now. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Big One Scrapbook Page

Well, I finally got around to starting on scrapbooking our summer vacation pictures from last year. I feel like this happens every year. I'm always finishing up the summer vacation album from one year just as the summer vacation for the current year is coming up! Is anyone else as behind as I am in their scrapbooking?

I titled this layout "The Big One" because that's essentially what this trip was for us. We went to London and Paris, something we had always talked about doing for our 30th birthdays. (It was really more of a 31st birthday, wedding anniversary, and Christmas present thing for us.)

This is the first page of the vacation album. The journaling comes from my vacation journal. I made a point each night to write about what we had done that day. I went back through all the pictures I had taken that day, numbered them in my journal, and wrote down what each one was. Super helpful!

Supplies used on this layout include October Afternoon Boarding Pass Chip n Stick, Basic Grey Carte Postale Ocean Drive, American Crafts Thickers Everywhere, and a very old American Crafts travel sticker (luggage).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pick Your Own Strawberries + Recipe

At the beginning of June, a friend of mine and I went to pick our own strawberries at Donaldson Farms in New Jersey. You can bring your own container or purchase containers for as little as 25 cents. 

I had never picked strawberries before, so I didn't know at all what to expect. It's back-breaking work! You've got to bend over to pick the strawberries from the little plants close to the ground. But this farm had lots of lusciously red berries ready for the pickin', and we had a good time filling up our containers with fresh berries.

I ended up getting about two pounds of strawberries, which was perfect for making a strawberry cobbler recipe that I found in Everyday with Rachael Ray.

The original recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cobbler can be found online here. It's not a gluten-free recipe, so I had to adapt it by using gluten-free all-purpose flour. Maybe it was because I used this different flour, but instead of using 1 cup of flour, I needed to use 2 cups because the biscuit dough consistency was just too liquidy. I actually thought it might have been a misprint because I usually don't have trouble doing 1:1 substitutions with the gluten-free all-purpose flour, but I will assume that the editors at Everyday with Rachael Ray know what they're doing.

The cobbler wasn't as sweet as I had hoped. Maybe that was due to the cocoa powder. But I still enjoyed it. The strawberries themselves were sweet, and I liked the chocolate chips in the drop biscuits on top. If you make this (with pick-your-own or store-bought strawberries), let me know! I'd love to find out how yours turned out.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meal Plan Monday - June 22

So, there was no meal plan last week, which actually worked out for the best because we ended up having to play last week by ear. But this week we've got some good stuff on the menu. Or at least I hope it's good stuff. Most of it is new!

Sunday: on our own

Monday: grilled chicken with basil chimichurri and green beans

Tuesday: swiss chard omelet

Wednesday: penne with ricotta cheese and greens

Thursday: TBD

Friday: soy-soaked pork chops with potatoes

Saturday: TBD

I'll keep you posted as to how we fare with these new recipes. In the meantime, what are you guys eating this week?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Lantern Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden

A few weekends ago, I attended the Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The structures in this exhibit are crafted from silk and steel, and they are lit from within. Some even have movement and fire! You can also catch performances from a Chinese Acrobatic Performance Troupe.

This exhibit goes until August 23, 2015, so if you live in the area or will be traveling around St. Louis this summer, it's definitely worth a visit.

Here are just a few of the pictures I took at the exhibit:

part of the exhibit during the day

lit up before the sun went down

This is one of my favorite pictures.

walking through the lantern flowers

another lit walkway

This sculpture was made using tied-together porcelain dishes.

behind the water fountain

the entrance to the festival at night

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Cookbooks at BEA

Did you think my Book Expo America coverage was done? Well, think again! For all you gluten eaters out there, I haven't forgotten you. There are plenty of new regular cookbooks hitting bookstore shelves this year and into next year. And as a lover of all things food, I got the details to share with you.

1. Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson by Institute of Culinary Education chefs and IBM's Watson
Yes, you read that right. Remember Watson, the IBM computer that competed against Ken Jennings on Jeopardy and won? Now you can take your culinary cues from this super computer through the 65 recipes in this cookbook! It was described to me as being ideal for foodie home chefs. Sounds interesting, right?

2. Your Kids Cooking by Barbara Brandt, M. ED.
If you want to get your kids interested in cooking, then check out this kid-friendly cookbook that aims to make kids active and engaged learners in the kitchen. It also introduces kids to the food groups! It's for ages 8 and up, but yes, even parents can learn a few cooking pointers through this cookbook.

3. Sweets & Treats with Six Sisters' Stuff: 100+ Desserts, Gift Ideas, and Traditions for the Whole Family by Six Sisters' Stuff
I want the Six Sisters to make space for a seventh sister - ME! Not kidding. These women run a blog with cooking and crafts and all the fun stuff that I like. And they're bringing all of that into their fourth cookbook. It's not just dessert recipes. It also has a section for kids and DIY craft project ideas, such as a wooden cake stand that you can make for $5.

4. The Everyday Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge
I got to take a home a sampler of this cookbook and taste the author's biscotti at BEA. Yum! If you're into baking, know someone who is, or want to learn how to bake, turn to the recipes and techniques in this cookbook.

Emeril Lagasse signing autographs at BEA

5. Essential Emerial: Secrets and Recipes from a Life in the Kitchen by Emeril Lagasse
I received a sampler of this cookbook AND Emeril's autograph. Yes, he does sign it "BAM!" If you're a fan of Emeril, then you'll like this cookbook's 100 classic Emeril recipes divided into categories so you can easily find a nice appetizer for a party or the perfect brunch recipe.

6. The Whole Grain Promise: More than 100 Delicious Recipes to Jumpstart a Healthier Diet by Robin Asbell
I fell head over heels for the Bob's Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook, which was all about healthy gluten-free whole grains, so I'm very excited about this new cookbook coming out this fall. This includes more than 100 recipes that use quinoa, bulgur, and millet and appeal to the whole family.

7. Brunch at Bobby's: 140 Recipes for the Best Part of the Weekend by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson
Bobby Flay was supposed to sign autographs of this cookbook at BEA. I was a little torn about whether or not I wanted to stand in line for him, but Bobby made the decision easy for me. He cancelled his signing! (And, boy, were there some unhappy ladies in the Random House booth!) But review copies of the cookbook were still passed out, and I was lucky enough to grab a copy. I don't know about you but I love brunch. And in this cookbook, you're going to get some recipes that are easy but still deliver Bobby Flay's signature flavors.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I'm Not a Pig ... I Have Migraines

If you've ever gone on a trip with me or attended a work event with me or just read this blog, you'll know that food plays a huge role in my life. I can't wait to eat the next meal.

No, literally. I can't wait to eat.

It's not that I have a gluttonous nature. Yes, I do like food - both making and eating it. But what I don't like is getting a migraine. And while I sometimes get migraines for no reason, there are a few things that I know for sure cause me to get a migraine:
  • standing on my feet too long in unsupportive shoes
  • lack of sleep
  • going too long between meals
I basically have to eat every four hours. That's when my stomach starts to growl and if I don't silence it with something, I run the risk of my head starting to growl.

So, yes, I do always need to schedule breaks for lunch. I do always need to have a snack with me. Not because I'm such a food-obsessed pig but because I'm trying to remain pain-free.

Migraines are no fun. (Helpful hint: don't ever suggest to someone with a migraine that they take a Tylenol. Migraines don't usually respond to traditional pain relievers, which is why there is a major difference between headaches and migraines, and a plethora of prescription migraine medications.) 

I usually have pain on the left side of my forehead. I might also feel it in my left temple, the back of my head, and my neck. It's a sharp, often throbbing pain. All I want to do is close my eyes and go to sleep. Sometimes I can't lie down, though, because doing so makes my head throb even more. Sometimes I dry heave because the migraine makes me feel sick. Sometimes it hurts to use my eyes and bright lights bother me. Sometimes it hurts just to move. It impairs my driving. It affects my ability to work. It interrupts my day, and what I really want to do is stab myself in the forehead with a spoon and scoop out the pain.

Luckily, I do have a prescription medication (Maxalt) that works if taken immediately at the onset of a migraine. It's the fifth migraine medicine I've tried. I have yet to find a migraine preventative that works or that doesn't have super wacky side effects that just don't seem worth it. 

"Pain" layout from 2008
No one knows why some people (mainly women) are more prone to developing migraines than others. There are so many potential migraine triggers, too, and not every potential trigger is an actual trigger for every migraine sufferer. There are so many unknowns when it comes to migraines, and that's where organizations such as the Migraine Research Foundation come into play.

June is Migraine Awareness Month, and the Migraine Research Foundation is spending the month chronicling the day-to-day life of a girl named Meghan, who is a young migraine sufferer in NYC. If you want to know just what it's like to have migraines (without actually feeling our physical pain), follow the hashtag #TheMeghanFund on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

It's also possible for you to donate to the Migraine Research Foundation to help with the organization's research into finding migraine causes, improving migraine treatments, and finding a cure for migraines. The organization says that 100 percent of donations go toward funding research.

And you can click here to find out more information about migraines from the Migraine Research Foundation's website.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Little Brony - Book Review

When I was a little kid, I played with My Little Pony figures. Back then, My Little Pony characters were pastel and sweet and perfect for little girls. But today's My Little Pony characters have a much edgier, fashion-forward, anime-style look making them appeal to girls and boys.

If you've never heard of Bronies, then let me introduce you to the 7-12 million American males who self-identify as My Little Pony-loving and -watching Bronies.

And if you are a Brony, then you might enjoy the new novel My Little Brony by K. M. Hayes.

This is my kind of novel for kids. The teenage characters aren't engaging in underage drinking, drug use, or sex. There's a romantic interest but it's a very minor subplot and doesn't define the whole story.

This novel tells MY truth as a teenager!!! (Except instead of liking My Little Pony, it was Star Wars, Spice Girls, BSB, and The Lord of the Rings.)

My Little Brony is about a boy named Drew who is struggling to fit in at school and live up to his father's expectations. He's just started high school, and while he feels bad or the girl in his class who gets picked on for dressing like My Little Pony characters, he doesn't stick up for her because he's just glad no one's picking on him for a change.

And the one night while babysitting his little sister, Drew actually watches an episode of My Little Pony. And it's not bad!

Watching the show opens up a whole new world for Drew. A world of new friends, the courage to stand up for others and himself, and self-discovery. But just as Drew is finally figuring out where he fits in, will his father take it all away?

This book is perfect for My Little Pony fans both boys and girls, and it will most likely appeal to them most. But it's also good for any kid who feels left out or doesn't know what direction they want their life to take. This is definitely an engaging book for ages 12 and up. I finished it in a day! It's an easy, fast-paced read that will have readers rooting for the characters and, hopefully, rooting for themselves, too!

My Little Brony is published by Skyhorse Publishing and is on bookstore shelves now. I received a free review copy of the book for my honest review.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Case of the Sin City Sister - Book Review

A nun. In Las Vegas. Solving mysteries? That's the premise of the novel The Case of the Sin City Sister, the second book in Lynne Hinton's Divine Private Detective Agency Mystery Series.

Sister Eve returns in this book, and she's on a sabbatical from the abbey to figure out if she should remain a nun or continue working with her father's detective agency. During this time off, two cases present themselves to Eve and her father: the case of a miner who went missing in 1891 and the case of Eve's missing sister, Dorisanne.

When Eve can't get in touch with Dorisanne, Eve begins to worry that something has happened to Dorisanne and her husband, Robbie. The search brings Eve to Vegas where, with the help of a family friend, Eve uncovers clue after clue, but will she also uncover her sister?

I didn't read the first book in this series, Sister Eve Private Eye, but I almost wish I had just because I felt like I needed more background on Sister Eve. I had a little trouble understand who she was, how long she'd been a nun, and even what she looked like because that information wasn't clearly presented right off the bat. I guess I had expected a Miss Marple-esque character. I mean, Eve's a nun, right? She must be old and walk around in her habit all the time while she's off playing detective. But now. Sister Eve is in her mid-30s, wears jeans on sabbatical, and rides a motorcycle without a helmet. I'm sure you trust God to protect you, but I think God also wants you to protect yourself, especially if you're going to speed!

The ending of this book doesn't answer the question of will Eve remain a nun or not? But I'm thinking that Eve fits in better in the secular world than in an abbey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, June 12, 2015

2015 Summer Travel Guide

School is almost out here in the Northeast! And that means summer vacation is upon us. Whether you're "staycationing" this summer or hitting the open road, make sure you've got these must-haves with you to ensure your summer fun stays fun!

1. Sunskis
These sunglasses are amazing! Though more expensive (each pair costs between $48 and $58) than what you can find at Target, they are super comfortable, come in different colors, have polarized lenses, and offer full-spectrum UV protection.

2. Plum Hill Organics Nourishing Body Creme
Get those dry, cracked winter feet ready for sandal weather with Plum Hill's organic Nourishing Body Creme. This stuff goes on like buttah and comes in different scents, including the summertime-appropriate coconut lime.

3. Neosporin to Go
If you've got kids, you've got boo-boo potential! No matter where you go, Neosporin to Go is there. Just throw this handy sprayable version of Neosporin in a purse, backpack, or suitcase and you're, well, good to go!

4. Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit
And for even more protection from the makers of Neosporin, make your own first aid kit! Did you know that at participating retailers, you get a free first aid bag when you buy three or more first aid products (Neosporin brand products, Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages, and Benadryl Anti-Itch topical ointments) to put in it? And now Band-Aid brand bandages come in fun designs from Isaac Mizrahi and Star Wars.

5. Icebreaker Bliss Wrap
Ladies, take the guesswork out of packing with this easy-to-wear travel item. It'll keep you warm on a chilly airplane or a cool morning of sightseeing. It's also versatile because it can be worn in different ways to create different looks.

6. Coppertone CLEARLYSheer
Whether you're on the beach or sightseeing, protecting your skin from the sun is SO important. Check out Coppertone's new line of CLEARLYSheer suncare products. This lightweight sunscreen can be worn every day and comes in two lines: Sunny Days and Beach & Pool. Sunny Day is best for everyday use and can be worn under makeup. The Beach & Pool products offer a higher SPF for longer days in the sun.

7. Lonely Planet Road Trips Guides
Got a road trip planned? Let Lonely Planet's Road Trips guidebooks be your guide. These new travel books feature four sections offering suggested itineraries, routes and detours, destination reviews and city information, and driving tips and instructions. For the U.S., Road Trips guides are available for Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, and the San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country.

Luggage brand Heys is just one of the licensees making Marvel-inspired travel products this summer for on-the-go superhero fans. The company will launch hard shell suitcases for adults and families that will be just as durable as the superheroes featured on the products.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kids Scrapbook Page

I apologize for the poor photo quality of today's layout. I just couldn't get the lighting right in my scrap room, and no amount of photo editing was really working. The close-up shots are better.

These are three pictures of some of our friends' kids taken toward the end of last year and the beginning of this year. The first and third pictures were taken by our friends to show us how much their kids liked the stuff we gave them. And the middle picture was taken at our house when our friends brought over their daughter. For some reason, the little girl just stood at the front door staring into the corner. It was sort of like being at the beginning of a horror movie. Our friends later told us their daughter was talking about a cat in our hallway. Hmm.

All of the pieces on this layout came from a do-it-yourself page kit I compiled months ago. I thought the cheery little stickers would be fun and kid-like for a layout about pictures of kids.

Specific supplies include Sonburn Designs Cool Dude Collection Energy paper, Paper Trunk Wrangler Side-Saddle paper, Fancy Pants Designs About a Girl cards, Sassafrass stickers (Can't remember the collection), Stampin' Up Daffodil Delight Ribbon, and Pink Paislee Enchanting Alphabet Stickers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

More Happy Than Not Blog Tour

Today I'm participating in the More Happy Than Not blog tour through Soho Teen. More Happy Than Not is a new YA novel by Adam Silvera that comes out this month.

I actually picked up an advance review copy of this novel at the Book Club Speed Dating session I attended at Book Expo America, so I had the chance to read the novel before posting in this blog tour.

In the book, Aaron is a teenager who has gone through some tragedy. When he meets Thomas, things start to look up for Aaron. He's got a friend to hang out with while his girlfriend is away at art camp, and Aaron and Thomas become really close. Thomas also helps Aaron understand more about who he, Aaron, is and that's more scary than anything else. So much so that Aaron contemplates undergoing a memory-erasing procedure so that he can forget meeting Thomas and hide a truth about himself.

Just as I was beginning to groan about the seeming lack of development in the change in relationship between Aaron and Thomas, part three of the book totally smacked me in the face, and suddenly, parts one and two of the book all made sense!!

This is definitely an important book for teens today to read, however, there's a lot of cursing, underage drinking, and sexual situations. This YA novel doesn't have a specific age range, but if it was made into a movie as is, the MPAA would rate it R for language alone. I'm all for "writing real" and reflecting what's really happening instead of presenting an unrealistic and unrelatable story, but the cursing did get very old after awhile.

But now onto why I'm really posting in this blog tour! I'm here to share with you what makes ME more happy than not.

Right now, I would say that it's my yoga classes, even when I'm losing my balance in half-moon pose. I really enjoy the way I feel after taking a class and that they are a nice break in the middle of the workday.

What makes YOU more happy than not??

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Cake Cutter Scrapbook Page

Today's scrapbook page was made super fast using scraps left over from another scrapbook page I completed. I love when stuff just sort of comes together. Like, I look at the paper scraps I have and find just the right embellishments in my stash and just the right letter stickers and just the right coordinating paper.

At first, I didn't have a picture in mind when laying out all the pieces. I just decided to create something and fill it in later. And then I realized, a picture I was printing at Walgreens from my Instagram feed would work really well!

This picture is from my husband's 32nd birthday dinner. For some reason, I was given the task of cutting his ice cream cake. 

The caption for this picture on my Instagram feed said "Always let the women handle the sharp knives." So I included that in my journaling, too.

Supplies used on this layout included letter stickers from the Target $1 Spot, American Crafts Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm papers, American Crafts 3-D sticker phrases, Sassafrass Anthem papers, and Studio Calico papers (though I don't remember which collection).

Monday, June 8, 2015

Meal Plan Monday - June 8

Welcome to the second week of June! There's really not much else to say, so let's just get into what we're eating this week:

Sunday: parmesan chicken and noodles

Monday: pasta

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: tilapia, rice, and corn

Thursday: turkey burgers and fries

Friday: on our own

Saturday: out

What are you guys eating this week?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Best New Book Club Books from BEA

One of the sessions I attended at Book Expo America (BEA) was the Book Group Speed Dating put on by Reading Group Guides. Several of us sat at one table while one or two folks representing different publishers went from table to table to talk to us about their publisher's best book club picks.

I didn't get to hear from each publisher (there were 27!), so my list of the best new book club books is culled from the books I did get to hear about. And here they are:

1. Lost Canyon by Nina Revoya (Akashic Books, August 25, 2015)
This novel is about four backpackers in the Sierra Nevada who find more adventure than they bargained for.

2. The Measure of Darkness by Liam Durcan (Bellevue Literary Press, March 15, 2016)
You'll have to wait until next year for this one, but I think it's going to be well worth the wait! In this novel, an architect suffers a head injury and must uncover the truth behind the accident.

3. The Do-Right by Lisa Sandlin (Cinco Puntos Press, October 13, 2015)
I picked up a review copy of this book! If you like strong female characters, then I think the one in this book will not disappoint.

4. The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson (Hogarth Shakespeare, October 6, 2015)
Hogarth Shakespeare is a new imprint of novels written by popular authors that retell classic Shakespearean stories. Jeanette Winterson tackles "The Winter's Tale" in this novel.

5. Eleanor by Jason Gurley (Crown, January 12, 2016)
This novel, about twins and tragedy, was recommended for fans of Life After Life (which my book club read and had a really great discussion on) and The Time Traveler's Wife (which I really enjoyed).

6. The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block (Grand Central Publishing, September 8, 2015)
This novel was described as a "gripping page-turner" about a psychiatrist who has to help solve the mystery of a young amnesiac girl's identity.

7. Early One Morning by Virginia Baily (Little, Brown, September 29, 2015)
If you like historical fiction, then you might like this novel about two strangers who save a child during WWII and that choice's repercussions throughout the years.

8. After the Crash by Michel Bussi (Hachette Books, January 5, 2016)
I almost didn't pick up this book because I thought the "crash" in the title had to do with the economy and that this book was non-fiction. But it's fiction and has been compared to "reading Stieg Larsson for the first time". In the book, there's a plane crash and only one survivor - an infant girl.

9. Us by David Nicholls (Harper Perennial, June 30, 2016)
I probably should have picked up a review copy of this book, but it was hardcover and my shoulders and arms hurt from lugging around books. This novel is about marriages and families and what happens when they fall apart.

10. The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo (Harper Paperbacks, September 8, 2015)
Had the opportunity to pick up a review copy of this book, which has been compared to Where'd You Go, Bernadette? and books by Liane Moriarty, but I didn't! This is a debut novel about a woman who travels to her mom's hometown and gets sucked into the family history and mystery.

11. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips (Henry Holt and Co., August 11, 2015)
This book, which is partially about a couple trying to conceive, seems like it's going to be funny and a bit out there.

12. Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 1, 2015)
This historical fiction novel is based on a true story of the first female deputy sheriff in Hackensack, NJ back in the 1940s.

13. Couple Mechanics by Nelly Alard (Other Press, January 19, 2016)
In this novel, a wife learns that her husband is having an affair. What makes this really interesting is that it's based on a similar situation in the author's life! And when the author won a prize for this novel in France, the woman who presented the prize was the other woman!

14. Super Better by Jane McGonigal (Penguin, September 15, 2015)
The author of this non-fiction book suffered a head injury that was hindering her life, but she designed a video game (she was a video game developer) to help her recovery process, and now she's writing about how it can help you recover from injuries and setbacks!

15. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (Riverhead Books, September 15, 2015)
This book starts off from the man's point of view, but then something happens and the book starts over from the woman's point of view. This one sounded so interesting to me that I made sure to grab a review copy before they were gone!

16. Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford (St. Martin's Press, August 18, 2015)
Entertainment Weekly recently named this book to its 10 Must-Read Summer Books list. It's about a young girl in New York City circa 2006, right before the recession.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Gluten-Free at BEA 2015

As I always do at Book Expo America (BEA), I look for what's new in gluten-free writing and cookbooks. I almost didn't think I was going to find anything this year, but then I did come across three publishers with new books being featured in their booths.

1. Good Without Gluten by Frederique Jules, Jennifer Lepoutre, Mitsuru Yanase (Murdoch Books, October 2015)
When we were in Paris, one of the places we thought about eating at was No Glu. Ultimately, we passed up this gluten-free restaurant because it wasn't in a location that fit with our travel schedule and it seemed a bit pricey. But now, if we wanted to, we could make some No Glu-inspired French delicacies at home with the new Good Without Gluten cookbook by the No Glu chefs.

2. Gluten-Free Family Favorites by Kelli and Peter Bronski (The Experiment, out now)
While this book isn't necessarily new, it was new to me! I stopped in at The Experiment booth and inquired if, among the other cookbooks I saw, they had any gluten-free cookbooks. Bingo! The Experiment publishes this cookbook and a few others from the Bronski family, including Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking and Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes. (Peter Bronski also wrote a guide with Melissa McLean Jory for athletes on a gluten-free diet called The Gluten-Free Edge.)

3. Gluten-Free Classic Snacks by Nicole Hunn (Da Capo Lifelong Books, out now)
This cookbook seems to sum up my philosophy when it comes to gluten-free cooking: just because you're on a gluten-free diet doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of your favorite foods! If you still want to enjoy Girl Scout Thin Mints, Hostess Cupcakes, and Kellogg's Pop Tarts Toaster Pastries, then you can make them gluten-free in your home kitchen so you never have to miss out!

4. Various Gluten-Free Books (Ryland Peters & Small/Cico Books, out now)
I also stopped in at the Ryland Peters & Small/Cico Books booth to see if they had anything new in the way of gluten-free cookbooks. While there is nothing new for fall, the publisher does have several books already available: The Easy Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes, The Savory Gluten-Free Baker, The Gluten-Free Baker, and Gluten-Free Holiday.