Blogging for Books: Instant Happy Journal by Karen Salmansohn

I have loved being a part of the #bloggingforbooks community!  The book I choose for this month’s book of the month is a journal that I’ve been so anxious to get!   It’s called the Instant Happy Journal  by the famous Karen Salmansohn from and it’s completely going to change my perspective on life.

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This bright and colorful journal is all about changing your mindset to think about the positive things in your life-what’s giving you joy, what you are grateful for, and what inspires you.  It helps you focus on what’s really important.

This journal is filled with 365 different “happiness prompters” that include scientific studies, motivational quotes, and thought-provoking questions.   These prompters inspire you to notice the joy and gratitude in your own life on a daily basis.

I love the idea of this journal-it makes you more conscious of your thoughts and feelings and gives you the space you need to jot down what’s on your mind and get those feelings out and onto paper.   It’s so good to let it all out and it helps bring things out into the open so you can focus more on what you can do make your life happier!

There are some seriously great prompters in this journal.  Below are just a few of my favorites:

“You can’t control everything that happens to you-but you can control your attitude and how you deal with things.”

“Sometimes you need some time and space alone-except for the company of a bird and a few trees- to sit quietly and try to figure things out.”  This one prompts you do to do just that go sit outside and take a moment for yourself.

Word of the Day:  Blesson-when you are able to view painful lessons as blessings.  This prompter asks you to write down some of the blessings that you have learned from some of those challenging lessons.  

365 days of amazing prompters like these above in this little bright and bubbly journal.  What an amazing gift this would be for a family member or close friend.  I challenge you to buy your own Instant Happy Journal and go on this journey with me.

You can purchase the book on Amazon here.

I was given the opportunity to review this book courtesy of Blogging For Books.

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Blogging For Books-Owls: Our Most Enchanting Bird by Matt Sewell

Owls by Matt Sewell

Matt Sewell is a well-known avid ornithologist, a contributor of the website Caught by the River, and the author of the best-selling books Our Garden Birds and Our Songbirds.  His new book Owls:  Our Most Enchanting Bird is quickly becoming very popular as well.  Matt’s pop-art watercolors of the owl species (over 50 species) are just so fascinating and intriguing.   He captures the beauty of the birds in his own illustrations.  The book is filled to the brim with owls-you have four major categories of the species: Woodland Owls, Tropical Owls, Wilderness Owls, and Desert Owls.

Matt not only gives us his beautiful artwork but also gives us valuable information on each species of the most enchanting bird.   A charming book for any nature lover or bird lover!  I personally love birds-especially owls…they are so mysterious-yet compelling!  This book is a perfect coffee table book as most people would pick it up and enjoy it-for it’s not only a book, but a piece of art!

I received this book courtesy of Blogging For Books in exchange for a review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.  

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Blogging For Books: Rooted In Design by Tara Heibel & Tassy de Give

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My latest book to review from Blogging For Books is Rooted In Design by Tara Heibel & Tassy de Give.   I just love the idea of indoor planting but I’ve never really had the chance to really put some time and effort into it like I want to.  Rooted In Design is a wonderful book consisting of a ton of creative ideas for indoor planting.  Tara Heibel and Tassy de Give (the team behind the successful Sprout Home garden design boutiques) show us how to get started and transform our home into a indoor garden!

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The chapters in this book include ideas for planting on a wall, on a ledge, on the floor, in the air, on the table, in the kitchen, and even undercover gardens like terrariums, or “gardens under the glass”, along with the final chapter The Roots that educates us on the importance of light, water, and fertilizer in indoor planting.  There is also a plant directory that is a excellent guide to have and shows us which plants need low light, part sun, or full sun and how to care for our indoor plants.

I have a ton of ideas now from reading this lovely book and I have already started on my own indoor garden.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post showcasing them!

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I was given the opportunity to review this book courtesy of Blogging For Books.

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Blogging for Books: The Sweetapolita Bakebook-Rosie Alyea

I’ve been a fan of Rosie’s blog Sweetapolita for about a year now.  From my very first glance at her blog…I fell in love!  Ever since I can remember I’ve been baking for my family and friends.  It’s truly what I love to do.  I have quite a few hobbies that I love…baking and photography are my top favorites!sweetapolita 00

So needless to say I was highly anticipating the arrival of her first cookbook….The Sweetapolita Bakebook!!  Boy, what a surprise it was to see all the goodies in this cookbook.  Recipes galore!  Rosie includes her own beautiful photography work with each recipe.  The recipes are easy to follow and contain ingredients that are obtainable.  These sweets are imaginative, super creative, and most definitely will appeal to your sweet tooth!

Rosie shows us how to make homemade sprinkles, the basics of baking and different decorating techniques, yummy frostings and fillings along with recipes for cakes, cookies, and more!

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Some of my favorites that I intend to try out soon include the Coney Island Cheesecake with Cotton Candy Whipped Cream, Chalk-A-Lot Cookies with Edible Chalk, Watercolor Graffiti Cookies, Chalk-A-Lot Cake, Doodles & Daydreams Cake, Toasted Marshmallow Frosting, and Salted  Caramel.

SO much fun especially if you are feeling creative.  These recipes are great to get your kiddos (in my case…my nieces) to help out with.  They can show off their artistic side by helping to decorate the cakes and cookies!

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I received this book courtesy of Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.  

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Blogging for Books: John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography

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John Shaw is a very well known nature and travel photographer.  His photos are simply beautiful and stunning.  He’s one of the reasons why I have such a passion for nature photography!

John has been a professional nature photographer since the 70’s and his work has been published in many publications-including National Geographic among others.  He offers six books and a total of ten e-books.  This book that I received free courtesy of Blogging for Books-John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography is his latest book!

Nature, landscapes, and wildlife have a special place in my heart and always will.  It’s so peaceful to go out for a nature walk…even in your own backyard!  You will be surprised at what you find once you start to focus on the little things.

John has a blog {see here} and he also offers e-books and workshops for those interested in learning more about nature photography.

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This book covers some of the basics including what gear you should use (hence, this is a guide to digital nature photography), how to set up many menu options of your camera-including image quality, RAW recording, white balance, picture control, color space, and many more options.  The list really goes on and on!   He also shares a section on Tripods & Heads, Filters, and Flash in the first chapter.

Chapter two is all about Getting Started-including topics on Working in Stops, Exposure Modes, Metering and Metering Patterns, Manual Exposure, Autoexposure & Exposure Compensation, Proper exposure and Histograms, and High ISO.

Chapter three is all about Lenses!  He goes into great detail about certain topics like Depth of Field and Focusing a Lens.  Chapter four is about Composition, Chapter five consist of helpful information on Close-Ups, and the last and final Chapter six is all about John’s gear and his settings, his work in the field, and some great tips on working in the digital darkroom.

I see myself referring back to this book on a regular basis and John’s expert tips and advice will help anyone that is wanting to venture into the art of nature photography-whether you are a beginner or intermediate photographer. This book is also wonderful to  place on your coffee table for a conversation piece for guests.  His photography work is simply the best and anyone who enjoys nature will love his work.

I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review courtesy of Blogging for Books

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Make it Happen by Lara Casey


Lara Casey‘s new book Make it Happen is one of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read!  A must read for all women no matter what stage you are at in life.  This book will give you purpose, hope, and the strength to make things happen in your own life.  

“You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them!”

“The goal of life isn’t to make a lot of money.  It’s to make a life that means something.” 

“Making it happen means knowing God’s grace is bigger than your mistakes.”

“Choose what matters.”

“Exchange your fear for faith.”

“Surrender your fear.  Take the leap.  Make it happen.”

“Choose purpose over perfect.”

Lara teaches us that we don’t have to live a perfect life…we can live a beautifully imperfect life and be completely happy with it’s imperfections.  We have the power to make changes in our life, stand up to our fears, and make it happen.  

Lara Casey is a wife, mother, friend, blogger, author, publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Weddings magazine, the founder of the Making Things Happen movement, and a inspiration for all women today.  

In Make it Happen, Lara shares some of her most personal and private stories from her past and future and gives us the hope, strength, and courage we need to take the leap of faith to make our lives more meaningful and teaches us how to surrender to our fears. 

Lara gives us time to think about what she says with a “Take Action” plan at the end of each chapter.  She encourages us to interact with her story by journaling or talking out our thoughts as we go through the book.  

If there is one book you must read this year, it’s definitely Make it Happen!


You can follow Lara via her many social media outlets below:






I review for BookLook BloggersI received this book for free in exchange for my honest review, thoughts, and opinions courtesy of BookLook Bloggers.  

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The Beauty of Grace by Dawn Camp

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 I’ve been a fan of Dawn’s for awhile now and let me just tell you…she is such a great role model for all women.  She is so very talented and inspiring and I am slightly addicted to her blog:  My Home Sweet Home!  Dawn is a wife, mother of eight, friend to many, talented Photographer, as well as a teacher.  Dawn has her own shop where you can purchase her prints and canvases and they are just so lovely!

The Beauty of Grace is Dawn’s first book and it was released TODAY!  Oh, what a treasure this book is!   I was given the opportunity to download the book and review it courtesy of NetGalley.  Needless to say I was very ecstatic to read this book and I’m even more excited to receive my own copy soon in the mail!

The Beauty of Grace is a book filled with stories of God’s love written by many talented authors.  It’s a compilation of stories from woman you may recognize such as Lisa Leonard and Maggie Whitley-two more of my favorite women and bloggers!  Beauty of Grace is a must-have read for every woman.  It’s definitely a book you want to grab a cup of coffee or tea, some kleenex, and curl up with.  It lifts you up, gives you a peace of mind, inspires you, and makes you grateful and thankful.  I found it very comforting to my soul.

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These are just a few of the lovely quotes from The Beauty of Grace.  There are so many women that contributed to this book and Dawn’s put this book together beautifully.  I felt so encouraged while reading this book.  Their stories are so powerful and meaningful.

There are over 50 stories divided up into 7 categories:


The Big Picture



Lessons Learned

Hope & Encouragement


Each story comes with a scripture verse and I’m told the book comes with some of Dawn’s lovely photography work.  **I will be able to see that once my book arrives hopefully this week sometime.**  This book truly is a gem to read and it will be one that stays on my coffee table for years to come.  I will be purchasing extra copies to give to friends and family for gifts just because I love it so much.

 I know you will love it as much as I have.  So go grab your own copy here.  While you are at it, purchase two so you can gift one to your friend.  This is a book you will want to share!

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