Add a splash of color and charm to your wardrobe or home by
creating the delightful projects in author Gillian Harris’ new book, Carnival
of Feltmaking. Gillian draws on inspiration from the carnival atmosphere,
featuring a diverse range of twenty-six brilliant accessories and home items.
Additionally, Carnival of Feltmaking contains an overview of equipment and
materials, plus step-by-step breakdowns with close-up photographs of all the
major techniques used in the book, including wet felting, 3D felting, needle
felting, fine cobweb felting and more ($15, amazon.com).
It starts out like a scene from a movie. Actress Nia
Vardalos is newly nominated for an Academy Award for her film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but she is solely focused on
one thing—getting to the fertility clinic for her next round of labwork.
It’s with that episode that Instant Mom begins, Nia’s autobiographical journey of becoming a
mother. Nia’s engaging (and hysterical) voice rings through the entire book.
It’s the anthem for the underdog, and with each page, you root for her, hoping
that this time will be It, that she will become the mother she’s always wanted
Sure, you can expect a lot of laughs in this book but what
you won’t expect to do is cry…and cry a lot. Instant Mom is witty and honest, and just a great, great read. And
just like in a film, when you get to the climax—a preschooler is available for
adoption, but with only 14 hours’ notice—you hold your breath, barely able to control
your excitement for Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez.
Family comes in many forms, and Instant Mom celebrates the joy when a
new family is born. Of course, it’s not all perfect, but as Nia is quick to
point out but their parenting foibles are true, honest---and honestly funny.
Instant Mom is destined to be an instant classic for every family ($19, amazon.com).
Inspired by Jane Seymour’s "Healing Hearts” paintings and the actress’s
trademarked Open Hearts Family jewelry collection, this book celebrates
both the families we were born to and the families that we make for
ourselves among friends and all who touch our lives. The Open Hearts
design reflects life’s joys, heartaches, and inspirations. Moving
quotes, poems, real-life stories submitted by fans to the Open Hearts
blog and Jane’s equally inspirational artwork come together in this book
that reminds us that if we keep our hearts open love will always find
its way in ($11, amazon.com).
We’ve been fans of Amber Dusick’s hit blog, Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures
for quite some time. So we were thrilled when Amber’s first book of the same
name was published. It’s a fun, fast read—which helps when your kid is pounding
on the door while you’re in the, um, loo. Amber herself makes fun of the fact
that she is no artist, but her unflattering stick figure characterizations of
her husband (aka Crappy Papa, and two sons, Crappy Boy and Crappy Baby) just
add to the charm of her book. It highlights the good, the bad, the ugly and the
overall wonderful ride that is parenting. But even the tough parts are always
related with a wink and a smile, because as any parent knows, this time goes
all too fast. We love Parenting:
Illustrated With Crappy Pictures for its sweetness and poignancy, and
utterly funny (and crappy) pictures. And that’s not a load of crap ($16.95,
Good things come in small packages…and what’s more delicious
than adorably miniature munchies? Tiny Food Party! Bite-Size Recipes for
Miniature Meals is a cute cookbook stuffed with scrumptious, fun recipes for
your favorite classic foods, from mac ‘n cheese to crab cakes—all made mini.
Authors Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park include recipes for
snacks and finger foods, entrees, desserts and even cocktails, all of which are
simple and fuss-free. Kids and adults alike will enjoy teeny-tiny versions of
favorites old and new, including Tiny Taquitos, Pint-Sized Chicken ‘n’ Waffles,
Mini Homemade Pop Tarts, and Itty Bitty Bloody Marys. There are also a dozen
menus for effortless party planning, such as Quick and Easy Party Food; Tiny
Food Party for Kids; Tiny Breakfast Food Party and Tiny Cocktail Party.
With fun and easy recipes, Tiny Food Party! is a go-to
resource for those who love to entertain at home—and for anyone who can't eat just one ($14, amazon.com).
He's taller than the Chrysler Building. He drools more than a baby
sucking on a piece of Jello. Dog people will revere him. Chick and Pug
know him only as . . . The Dude.
When the larger-than-life Dude
ambles into Pug's territory and steals Squeaky Hamburger, Pug's most
favorite chew toy, Chick is ready to take down the slobbering scoundrel.
But that would require making Pug get up. . . . Will Chick save the
day? Will Pug nap through all the best parts? One thing's for sure: The
Dude has arrived. Stay tuned!
Everything tastes better with bacon. Never a truer word has
been uttered. Authors Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama know this all too well.
That’s why they created Bacon Nation: 125 Irresistible Recipes, a yummy
cookbook that features bacon as its star ingredient. The recipes vary from
breakfast to, yes, dessert. Fry up some bacon and make Bacon Curry Split Pea
Soup or Rum Ice Cream with Candied Bacon Chips. The gorgeous full-color photos
in this book will make your mouth water. If only Bacon Nation came with Smell-O-Vision
Even with a history as rich as its naturally dreamy, creamy
flavor, vanilla is often overlooked, misunderstood and taken for granted. Yet,
did you know that vanilla is almost every crowd’s favorite flavor? In fact,
vanilla ice cream is almost four times as popular as the next most popular
Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques celebrates vanilla with a stunning array of 80
recipes accompanied by beautiful full-color photographs. It has recipes for
desserts, drinks and more. The book also explores the history of vanilla from
orchid to extract and proves the fascinating origins and helpful tasting notes
for all of today’s varieties. There are instructive how-to’s that demystify the
process of making homemade vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, and vanilla-infused
liqueurs. So step aside, chocolate! It’s time for Pure Vanilla ($15, amazon.com).
With an endless to-do list getting in the way of her workout
time, busy mom Carolyn Barnes decided to take matters into her own hands. She
created the ultimate multitasking program: The cLEAN Momma Workout. Soon she
was losing weight fast and her home was cleaner than ever. Barnes’ Taskercise
program will allow you to get fit, lose weight, and have fun—all while making
your home sparkling clean. You’ll get both your home and your body in shape, no
matter where your household chores take you. You’ll discover how easy it is to
look and feel great while taking care of everything on a modern family’s to-do
list ($12, amazon.com).
Perfect for Date Night, Kinky Cookies is a cute book that
offers a kitschy collection of tantalizing treats. Author Joanna Farrow offers
step-by-step instructions including recipes for various cookie dough, templates
and detailed instructions for icings and decorating as well as working with
fondants and more.
So turn up the heat and bake up a batch of racy cookies that
will have you skipping straight to dessert ($11, amazon.com).