A Family, Beauty, Health and Lifestyle Blog
A Book is a wonderful holiday gift to give to somebody who enjoys reading. And a book is certainly a gift that keeps on giving! No matter who is on you holiday shopping list this year, you are certain to find a book for everyone!
Below are a few of my favorite Gift Picks from Agate:
For the True Crime Aficionado
The Leopold and Loeb Files by Nina Barrett
A stunning history of Chicago's 1924 Leopold and Loeb murder case, told chiefly through a rare collection of primary source material, including court transcripts, psychological transcripts, evidence photographs, and more.
Hardcover | $35 | 7.5 x 9
For the Royko Fan
The Best of Royko by Mike Royko
A new collection of columns by legendary journalist Mike Royko from his years at the Chicago Tribune.
Hardcover | $28 | 6 x
For the Instagram Guru
A rare collection of photographs from the Chicago Tribune's underground vault, curated for the popular @vintagetribune Instagram account. Yes, there are cats. Everything you ever wanted to know about Chicago.
For the Activist
An inspirational, practical guide on why we need to elect the first Madam President in 2020 with action items all of us can take to help get us there. This might be the perfect gift for those who love to talk non-stop about politics. This book will be a great conversation starter.
For the Sports Fan
Chicago Tribune Staff
A decade-by-decade team history of the Chicago White Sox from the Chicago Tribune comprising essays, original reporting, archival photographs, and various memorabilia. Hardcover. I could picture a Chicago White Sox fan treasuring this trove of baseball treasures
For the Nonfiction Lover
A rich new memoir about one girl's experience in the US foster-care system and how she emerged not only to survive, but to flourish.
This book is a very interesting, but very sad read about the life of a foster girl who was abandoned whose journey through bleak and unloving foster homes came close to destroying her, but instead helped her find her voice.
I am a lifelong book lover. I love to read! I am always on the lookout for new reads. I especially enjoy seeking out DIY books, cook books and books about beauty and health. RobertRose Books has brand NEW Fall releases, which I have listed below, as well as a few of my favorites from this past summer.
THE COMPLETE INDIAN INSTANT POT® COOKBOOK 130 Traditional and Modern Recipes Gone are the days when preparing Indian food just seemed too intimidating or for weekends only. Cooking Indian food has never been this approachable, fast or easy!Gorgeous photography with delectable and accessible recipes. Chandra Ram, Chicago
BEST OF BRIDGE WEEKDAY SUPPERS: All-New Easy Everyday Recipes The Best of Bridge ladies (established in 1975 with a group of 8 female friends) are back with another bestseller and 175 simple recipes with gourmet results for every night of the week. Best of Bridge
5-INGREDIENT INSTANT POT® COOKBOOK: 150 Easy, Quick & Delicious Recipes Dinner is about to get even easier now that you can cook mouthwatering meals in your Instant Pot® with five ingredients or less. Marilyn Haugen, Wisconsin
THE CHEESECAKE BIBLE, SECOND EDITION: 300 Sweet & Savory Recipes for Cakes and More This is the ideal guide for beginners and seasoned bakers alike, ensuring that they make the very best cheesecakes. George Geary, California
THE FONDUE BIBLE, SECOND EDITION: The 200 Best Recipes This updated edition offers 10 new recipes in an entire section devoted to throwing fondue parties. Ilana Simon, Winnipeg
CROHN’S & COLITIS, THIRD EDITION: Understanding & Managing IBD A valuable tool for improving quality of life for anyone diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. Dr A Hillary Stein, Toronto
From Spring / Summer 2018:
AROMATHERAPY WITH ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSERS: For Everyday Health & Wellness Aromatherapy and essential oils are more popular than ever. Diffusing essential oils can improve your health and well-being. Karin Parramore, Oregon
150 BEST WAFFLE MAKER RECIPES: From Sweet to Savory Now home cooks can enjoy scrumptious restaurant-quality sweet and savory waffles. Marilyn Haugen, Wisconsin + Jennifer MacKenzie, Ontario
USING THE GAPS DIET: 175 Recipes for Gaining Control of Your Gut Flora A comprehensive introduction and 175 tasty recipes to help you gain control of your health and intestinal flora. Signe Gad, Copenhagen
RobertRose also has a number of skincare & beauty books , natural health & aging/brain exercise titles, sports & wellness books , BBQ + cook books, baking books and parenting books. They even have books focusing on autism , ayurvedic , recipes for camping and hiking , and everything in between! Happy book hunting!
To order any of the above titles, or to check out the amazing and vast collection of titles from RobertRose Books, simply visit: www.robertrose.ca
Perfect Gift Books for Kids from Candlewick Press
Who is on your list this year? Candlewick Press has something for every reader on your list! Here are a few of my son, Braxton's holiday favorites!
For kids dying to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree:
For families excited to pick a tree together:
For young dancers seeking a new spin on their favorite ballet:
For readers of all ages wanting to revisit a true classic:
For the curious ones always asking the Five W’s:
For those seeking wonder and magic:
For craft lovers during the holiday season:
For everyone STILL looking for Waldo:
For more Candlewick books, please visit their website: www.candlewick.com
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
I have always believed that there is no better gift that you can give to someone than a book. Whether it be for a child or a grown-up, books are the gift that keeps on giving. I still have books that I was given as a child for my birthday, or for Christmas, and they are well-loved. Below, I have compiled a list of some of the best books that I know will make a cherished gift for someone special on your list this year!
For the sports fan!
Decade-by-decade team histories from the Chicago Tribune comprising essays, original reporting, archival photographs, and various memorabilia from Chicago’s most beloved franchises.
For the true crime aficionado!
A visual retelling of the rise and eventual fall of Al Capone—the Chicago gangster, bootlegger, and leader of Prohibition’s most infamous crime syndicate.
For the holiday baker!
A collection of the best recipes from theChicago Tribune’s annual holiday cookie contest, as judged by the newspaper’s award-winning food writers.
For the photography guru!
A powerful and visually stunning photographic collection that tells the dark story of Chicago’s nefarious crime underworld.
For the trivia whiz!
10 Things You Might Not Know About Nearly Everything
Mark Jacob, Stephan Benzkofer
A carefully curated collection of fun and obscure facts, covering everything from language and food to politics and war.
For the caffeine fiend!
Craft Coffee: A Manual
Jessica Easto with Andreas Willhoff
This accessible guide to making coffee explores multiple pour-over, immersion, and cold-brew techniques on 10 different devices.
For the history buff!
A Century of Progress
A comprehensive photographic portrait of the second Chicago World’s Fair, a civic milestone forever honored by the fourth star on Chicago’s flag.
For the Chicago enthusiast!
The Chicago Coloring Book
Hours of coloring fun in more than 50 original pen-and-ink illustrations, featuring modern architectural treasures, local icons, and Chicago food and fauna.
I just love books. I love to read. Even if I am just flipping through and looking at colorful illustrations, and inspiring photos. I am a huge fan of almost every cookbook, or crafting book I can get my hands on. I prefer non-fiction, but I will read just about anything. I love to learn!
Sound & Vision by John Riordan: Love music? Love illustration? Want to know more about some of the best musicians ever to record— from Bowie and the Beastie Boys to The Strokes and St Vincent? Then Sound and Vision is for you.
Ball Sport Trivia by Alf Alderson: Whether you’re a football fan, a rugby player, a tennis aficionado, a keen golfer or a cricket nut you’ll love this fascinating collection of over 250 sport facts.
Can You Believe It by Carolin West & Mark Latter: Try and get your head around this brilliant collection of over 300 mind-blowing facts.
Cool Cats & Fashion Felines by Rus Hudda: Featuring a plethora of pussies, puns and pet-a-porter, Cool Cats & Fashion Felines is a stylish yet surreal culture clash between cats and high fashion.
Best Reads for the Kids
The Nutcracker~ For little ballerinas who dream of the Land of Sweets.
Christmas for Greta and Gracie~ For sisters who are opposites and the very best of friends.
How to Track a Truck~ For kids who can’t get enough of trucks and all things that go.
Animals~ For animal lovers who think bigger is better.
Are You Sure, Mother Bear? ~ For little ones who can’t fall asleep without a bedtime story.
Blue Penguin~ For tiny tots who march to the beat of their own drum.
The Christmas Eve Tree~ For anyone who can't get enough of Christmas. (I sure can't!)
The Christmas Story~ For paper engineers and pop-up lovers:
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
Picking out a special book for a loved one is always a thoughtful gift! With the holidays upon us, you are probably starting to think about what to get your friends and family this year. Ulysses Press has a collection of books will cover anyone on your shopping list and they make for great hostess gifts as well as present exchanges.
Here are some of my favorite titles from Ulysses Press that are perfect to give to someone on your list:
Enter to win! One winner will receive three books of their choice from Ulysses Press. (Up to a $60 value.)
How? It's easy! Just enter to win using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
For more information please go to: http://ulyssespress.com/
*Products received. All opinions are my own.
When you give a child a book, you are giving a gift that can last a lifetime; the gift of a love of reading. I have complied a list of the best selling children's books that are perfect for every child on your list!
Time to cut loose! Have a rockin' time introducing children to the fun of Footloose, rewritten for children by the one and only Kenny Loggins. As a zookeeper named Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party, this new original story from Loggins is sure to get your feet moving. Little ones will love the cast of characters, including the rockin' chimp Louise ("Geez, Louise"), Mister DJ Elephant, the lemur Marie ("Oo Wee, Marie"), Milo the wombat, Luke the funkiest cat in the zoo, and so many more rocking, bopping, boogeying, tangoing, shaking, rattling and rolling animals!
Explore ten of the world's most diverse environments and reveal their hidden secrets with a magic, three-colored lens that illuminates each page in a kaleidoscope of color.
Things you can't always touch, see, or hear. Can you guess what they are?
The Curious Guide to Things That Aren't features thoughtful riddles - one for each letter of the alphabet - paired with engaging illustrations that reveal and explain the answer. Each spread features a riddle with several clues about an intangible item, such as air, breath, and jokes. Kids then have to figure out the answers through detective work and a little creative reasoning. The clues on each page progress from challenging, more abstract clues to a simple, final clue that encourages the reader to turn the page to discover the answer. The book covers a broad range of themes, from science, language arts, social studies, math, music, and art.
Snow on the road? No problem. A blanketless manger? Have it covered. A choir needed pronto? One is always available. In The Snow Angels' Christmas: A First First Christmas Story, a heavenly host of snow angels is on call to assist the holy family in sweet and imaginative ways. This version of the Nativity story introduces children to the traditional Christmas story, which is accompanied by tender depictions of the travelers to Bethlehem and their angelic helpers. Youngsters will enjoy seeing the many ways in which the angels perform random acts of kindness for the baby Jesus.
Discover what it would be like to travel through the four seasons in one day, following a little girl called Isabelle and her dog, Pickle, as they take on the adventure of a lifetime. As a sign of the changing seasons, Isabelle carries a little apple tree with her, and we see it bud, blossom and lose its leaves. Each spread features a musical note to press and a 10 second sound clip from the original score of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Illustrated by artist Jessica Courtney-Tickle, the book also features a biography of Vivaldi at the back along with a guide to the music. This is the first title in a series of sound books that bring classical music to life for young children.
Join Nils as he is shrunk to the size of a thumb and embarks on a fantastical journey across the wilds of Sweden, from the glittering Baltic to the frozen north.
Enter to win! One winner will receive all six children's books (shown above) including the following titles: The Wonderful Adventures Of Nils, The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day, The Snow Angels Christmas, The Curious Guide to Things That Aren't, Footloose and Illuminature. (ARV: $120)
How? It's easy! Just enter to win using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
*Product received. All opinions are my own.
I was recently given the chance to review a wonderful and inspiring Christian film about dating and courtship, called "Old Fashioned." (see my review here.) There is also a novel by Rene Gutteridge that the film was based on. The book and the film portray the beauty of courtship and falling in love with the theme that chivalry is not dead. Having two teenage daughters, it was important for me to share the book and the film with them. I want my daughters to experience true romance and courtship, and to expect nothing less from the young men that they date.
About the book:
Turning his back on his reckless lifestyle, former frat boy Clay Walsh has settled down to turn an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town....and to purse lofty and outdated theories on love and romance. But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can't help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. Amber also finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay, but his ideas about relationships are unusual to say the least, and they bring to light her own deep wounds and fears about love. They say opposites attract, but can Clay and Amber move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an "old fashioned" courtship?
My thoughts: I loved this book. It is a perfect summer reading book about romance. Where was this book when I was a teenager who dated jerks? It is a real eye opener as to what romance can and should be for a young couple. You don't have to settle for less when you are dating! I have passed this book onto my daughters and I am certain that they will love it as much as I did. Perhaps I will make them turn in a book report to me by the end of the summer so I can make sure they read it and got the message the book is trying to send to young people about achieving old fashioned, ever-lasting love.
And if the movie and the book was not enough, there is also a beautifully written devotional on the subject of old fashioned romance!
Contrary to popular opinion, being "old fashioned" doesn't mean you're dull or unromantic. In fact, a true old fashioned relationship can be more exciting and romantic than anything you've ever experienced! So what does it mean to do things the old fashioned way? Sure, it means opening doors, holding out chairs, and taking things slow. But a true old fashioned romance goes much, much deeper than that.
Inspired by the motion picture Old Fashioned, this book will show you how to reclaim the lost art of romance by introducing you to romantic love as God intended it. Regardless of your past mistakes, where you've been, what you've done, or where you are now, you can find and create a love that will last a lifetime! As you work your way through this forty-day journey of inspiring readings and questions for reflection, you'll discover all the unique and amazing benefits of doing things the old fashioned way. And before you know it, you'll be well on your way to creating a love story for the ages.
See the promotional video of the book and the devotional here:
Win! One winner will receive a copy of Old Fashioned on DVD, Old Fashioned novel, and a devotional about how to reclaim the lost art of romance by introducing you to romantic love as God intended it. (ARV: $45)
How? It's easy! Just enter to win using the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
THREE FRIENDS, THREE PLANS FOR REVENGE, THREE SEXY NOVELS!
Fifth Avenue Trilogy
Currently ranked as one of the world’s most expensive streets, Fifth Avenue is home to the city’s most prestigious shops and historical buildings. It’s also called home by three of New York City’s sexiest men.
A brand-new trilogy from the world’s leading publisher of books for women, Harlequin Presents is excited to launch the Fifth Avenue Trilogy, stories of sex, scandal and the Upper East Side, beginning with:
Avenge Me by Maisey Yates
Scandalize Me by Caitlin Crews
Expose Me by Kate Hewitt
Description of the Fifth Avenue Trilogy
Austin, Hunter and Alex were inseparable during their school days, but the sudden death of their good friend Sarah Michaels tore them apart. However, her death was not as it seemed. Under the many falsehoods lies a corruption so sordid that New York’s elite would never believe it.
Now in positions of wealth and power, these men vow to use their influence to bring down the man responsible—Jason Treffen, an infamous philanthropic billionaire. With a plan in place, Austin, Hunter and Alex are ready for anything—until three very different women enter their lives, making them question their motives for revenge.
Maisey Yates found her very first Harlequin Presents book in a local thrift store. By the time she’d reached the happily ever after, she had fallen in love. She devoured as many as she could get her hands on after that, and she knew that these were the books she wanted to write! At age twenty-three, she sold her first manuscript to the Harlequin Presents line. Maisey lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and three children.
by Maisey Yates
Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York's elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof?
Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen's reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and sublime pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?
Caitlin Crews discovered her first romance novel at the age of twelve. It involved swashbuckling pirates, grand adventures, a heroine with rustling skirts and a mind of her own, and a seriously mouthwatering and masterful hero. Caitlin has made her home in places as far-flung as York, England, and Atlanta, Georgia. She currently lives in California with her animator/comic book artist husband and their menagerie of animals.
by Caitlin Crews
Hunter Talbot Grant III, sports figure du jour, wealthy beyond measure and disreputable by choice, has cultivated a reputation that masks the shadows of his past. When the opportunity to ensure financial destruction for Jason Treffen arises, he can't refuse. But first he must shake off the woman sent to tame him!
Zoe Brook, PR agent extraordinaire, never fails to transform a tarnished star. And Hunter's no different. Except there's a catch. Beneath their scorching mutual attraction, Zoe has a secret—she's also been on the wrong side of Jason Treffen, and she has as much of a taste for revenge as Hunter does!
Kate Hewitt discovered her first Harlequin romance novel on a trip to England when she was thirteen, and she’s continued to read them ever since. Kate moved to England with the man of her dreams and sold her first short story to a British magazine. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, traveling and learning to knit. After living in England for six years she now resides in Connecticut with her husband and her three young children.
by Kate Hewitt
With ruthless determination, Alex Diaz has risen up from his deprived roots to become the head of a global media empire. But he has one last thing to achieve…avenge his friend by destroying the man responsible for her death, Jason Treffen. With stunning talk-show host Chelsea Maxwell about to interview Treffen live on TV, this is Alex's chance.
He'll use her show to exact a very public revenge—and seducing Chelsea, if needed, would certainly be no hardship. But he underestimates Chelsea and the attraction between them, and as their relationship deepens, Alex realizes that to annihilate Treffen could also shatter the life that Chelsea has built to protect herself…
My Thoughts~ If you are a fan of romance novels like I am, then The Fifth Avenue Trilogy is for you! It has everything your heart could desire: romance, lust, intrigue, suspense, sex, happiness, sadness and tons of drama. I love drama.
To celebrate the release of the Fifth Avenue Trilogy, I was sent a Fifth Avenue “Summer Essentials Kit” Gift Bag which included:
- Avenge Me by Maisey Yates
- Kissing Elixers All Natural Fresh Breath Mist
- Kissing Elixers Looks Like Love Natural Lip Balm
- Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream
- Not Your Mother’s Beat the Heat Thermal Shield Spray
- Evian Facial Spray
- Aromaflage botanical fragrance & insect repellent
- NYX Love in Paris 9 Shade Eyeshadow Palette
- NYX Glam Lipstick
- NYX Glam Shadow Stick
When I received this fantastic gift bag, my teenage daughters tore into it and looted my bag! I didn't mind, of course. It was kind of comical to watch them fight over the luxurious items. All of the products are definitely perfect for summertime!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however, I received a copy of the books mentioned above. I also received a free gift bag including the products shown above. All opinions are my own.