Saturday, March 19, 2016

Start Where You Are

Published in 2015, Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration by Meera Lee Patel, an artist who lives in Brooklyn, is Bohemian in the best sense of the word.  Meera's vibrant, colorful watercolor illustrations and words provide ample inspiration, and present various quotations by authors, including many well-known women writers, such as Anaïs Nin, George Eliot, and Anne Frank (featured below).  This journal pairs quotations with writing and drawing prompts which encourage reflection, exploration, and understanding through informal, expressive writing and drawing.  I believe that there are numerous benefits to journaling (or simply writing) and drawing; this is a great book to get you to think about your own life in a positive and constructive manner, and to perhaps solve a few matters. 

I've taken the liberty to photograph and present a few of the pages to showcase the style and content of this special book. 

What a treat this book is!  Start Where You Are is a beautifully designed journal, and it will be a pleasure for me to do some of the exercises.  I know I'll enjoy writing and drawing in this book (currently I'm considering which writing and drawing instruments to use). The pages on the right of this book are related to the quotations on the left pages, and ask readers to become personally involved, with prompts such as:

  • What are three thoughts that made you smile today?
  • List four times you continued to try even though the odds were against you.
  • List three traits you'd like others to see in you.
  • Think of something you recently gave someone.  Draw it here.

We book bloggers are a lucky lot!  I felt very fortunate to be offered this book from Angela from Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House.  Thank you very much, Angela!


Have you experienced the benefits of journaling?  Your comments are welcomed, as always. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday Snapshot: Art Books

Over the years, my collection of art books has grown.  Recently I decided to gather them and put them in this baker's rack turned bookcase.  Many of these books are gifts from family members--mostly from my mother, and mother-in-laws, and a handful are from friends.  I would love to set aside a leisurely, rainy weekend or two for looking through these beautiful books exclusively.

Here are a couple of close-up photos, which show the titles more clearly.

I probably have a few more around the house that I haven't discovered yet, and some space to add them to the bottom shelf.  To have open space in a bookshelf is a minor miracle in my home!

Do you have a special collection of books, and how do you shelve or display them?  Your comments are welcomed.


Many thanks to West Metro Mommy for hosting Saturday Snapshot!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Really Random Tuesday #96: Daisy's New Sweater, the Mystery Collection Winner, and Homemade Nut Butters

Argh!  I haven't posted a Really Random Tuesday post in nearly ten months!  Since I have a winner to announce, I'm back with a RRT post.  But before I announce the winner of the books, here's Daisy . . .

My blogging friend, Naida from The Bookworm, crocheted this adorable, super soft sweater for Daisy, and also these over-sized potholders/hot pads, which I adore.  These handmade items are absolutely fabulous. 

Daisy is stylin' now!  The sweater fits her perfectly. Thank you very much, Naida!


The winner of a box set of the Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection: Books 1-3  is  Lisa Brown.  Many congratulations to you, Lisa!  Special thanks to award-winning author Barbara Venkataraman for offering this generous giveaway to my readers.

If you didn't win this time, please check the right side of my blog for other giveaways.  If they seem scant now, don't worry.  I add book giveaways to my sidebar on a regular basis.


Until recently, we suffered with loud blenders that never worked well.  I usually ended up hand-mixing ingredients, and having extra dishes to clean, too--I was not a happy cook!  Finally, we bought a deluxe Vitamix as a family Christmas present from CostCo at the end of last year.  Among other things, I've been having fun making fresh nut butters, such as cashew butter, almond butter, coconut butter, and peanut butter. They are super flavorful and healthy, the real McCoy.  (Some of you may have seen these photos on Instagram already.)

Cashew Butter
Almond Butter
Peanut Butter
Coconut Butter

My favorite so far has been almond butter. The flavor is very "almondy" and intense.  I even tried making sunflower seed butter.  Surprisingly, it took quite a long time to make this type of butter.  I used raw sunflower seeds, and the tiny seeds took their sweet time releasing their oils.  (Raw nuts and seeds take longer to release their oils than roasted ones.)  My patience was rewarded, eventually.

Sunflower Seed Milk

The bonus is the milk you can create from what's left in the container after the butter is scooped out, by just adding some water and turning on the Vitamix for a few moments.  It helps clean out the container, and gives you a special, flavored milk, which you can use as you would any other type of milk. 


Appearing on random Tuesdays, Really Random Tuesday is a way to post odds and ends--announcements, musings, quotes, photos--any blogging and book-related things you can think of. Often I announce my book giveaway winners in these posts.  If you have miscellaneous book news to gather up and are inspired by this idea, "grab" the button for use on your own blog, and add your link to the "master" Mister Linky on the Really Random Tuesday page.  Thanks for stopping by!  Your comments are welcomed.

Some of the books featured here were given to me free of charge by authors, publishers, and agents. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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