Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Reading Pretty: Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. by Lara Casey



I devoured Lara Casey’s book Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live on Purpose in two day. It was a particular gloomy Saturday and I wanted something to break the fiction books I was reading. I received a preview copy of the e-book, but I enjoyed the book so much I wanted to support her and purchased a “real” book.

Lara is a major proponent of looking at your life and making the necessary changes you need to make without blaming someone else for your happiness. She goes deep into her unhappy marriage and work and how she turned it around without making any excuses. I know there are a lot of self-help books out there, but what makes Laura’s book great is her desire to discuss the art of not “being perfect.” I’m still trying to figure out when perfect became the ideal. Life is messy, thank goodness. We need stories to tell and perfect doesn’t make good story telling.

I always say Instagram is the highlight real of your life and not the real dirty work. Yes, I consider what a photo will look like before I post, but actually my bed isn’t made, my office is a hot mess, I’m tired, and the past few days made me realize I need to make some shifts. She has a yearly conference and I’m seriously considering going.

Lara thanks for a great book. Keep making it happen.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Net Galley. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty. 

Holiday Gift Guide 2014 – The Book Nerd

Book Nerd

I have an addiction to books. I can’t stop buying them in all forms. I read hardback, paperback, and e-books. If I’m having a bad day the best thing for me is to walk around in a bookstore and I feel much better. I have always been a voracious reader and I read all types of books. I have been known to read cookbooks to in bed at night. I’ve read some great books this year and I wanted to give my favorite books for the book lover in your life.

I offer a few of my favorite wellness books because we all can take better care of ourselves. Beauty starts inside dear hearts. You all know about my love for Elena Brower.

At the moment I am blowing through the Daniel Silva ‘Gabriel Allon’ books. I’m obsessed. Seriously. I have been tweeting him and because he lives in Washington, DC I am putting out in the universe that I’m going to meet and talk with him in 2015. I don’t mean book signing chats, but an in depth conversation. I have so many questions I want to ask him and it needs to be in person. As the daughter of a U.S. Marshal and FBI graduate my conspiracy theory brain is always working.

I’m also obsessed with Ann Patchett. As an English major I love a really well written book that causes me to think and engage the brain cells that at times I want to turn off. If you haven’t read Bel Canto do me a favor and go buy it stat. Baby it’s cold outside and these books are perfect for enjoying with a big cuppa tea.

A Discovery of Witches is a must. If you haven’t read Deborah Harkness brilliant trilogy please don’t talk to me. Just kidding. It’s that good. I bought them in ebook and hardback. Yep, I need those beautiful covers on my shelves. My love for her is deep people. Deep. Joy the Baker is my new food girl crush. I’m still making her simple spicy vegetarian tortilla soup at least once a month. Plus, Joy recently moved to Louisiana (my birth state) and that makes her equally as wonderful based on her 504 area code.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Read more because it’s all about the pretty.


Wellness Books









Reading Pretty: The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger

The Divorce Papers

The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger was a fun and enjoyable read. I will say this is a good book to add to your summer reading list. The book is obviously about a couple going through a divorce, but to me it shows what happens when we don’t communicate with the people we love in our lives. Technology brings us together and separates us at the same time.

I love technology and all that it brings. I’m all Apple. At times I want to throw my phone across the room because the art of conversation seems to be a dying breed. I still crave human interaction via a phone or in person. I love hearing my nieces and nephews voices on a call. It’s nice to get a text from them, but I don’t want to live all my words on a tiny screen. My mother is a big text-er. At times it is great, but a lot of times I just want to hear her voice.  Her voice is so grounding and soothing even when she’s asking me something about her iPhone. She loves it as much as I love mine. I’m learning to embrace my inner geek as I long for more substantial connections.

Words mean things. And sometimes they are better left offline. Do you miss real phone or in person conversations? Let me know in the comments.

This post was inspired by the novel The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. Young lawyer Sophie unwillingly takes her first divorce case with an entertaining and volatile client in this novel told mostly through letters and legal missives. Join From Left to Write on March 18 we discuss The Divorce Papers. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Reading Pretty: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

Happier at Home

Happier at Home. A perfect book for the start of a new year. But how do you make that true when it’s July and nothing seems to be going right? It’s simple. It’s a choice. That’s how I’m looking at another year to begin again. One of my big complaints is the weather here in DC. I don’t work well with the cold anymore. I just don’t. I realize that I am 3 years past my DC expiration limit. But, I have another person to consider when deciding it’s time to jaunt to the west coast. A husband. I finally finished this book yesterday and decided that right now I can’t move. I just need to be happy that I do have a warm home, health, family, friends, and a really supportive husband.

What will make me happier at home? Being happy with myself and to do that means I need to start planning some trips. There is nothing like setting goals of travel – the planning, plotting, and realizing the joy in just doing that. I am going to add some road trips to my travel list, figure out my annual Hawaiian getaway (Aloha!) and plan a major trip to Asia for 2016. In 2010 The Don and I spent 3 weeks in Africa. It was amazing, exhilarating, life-altering (got engaged), and expanded my views of the world and myself. It’s time I put energy into another trip like Africa and we might as well continue with the first letter of the alphabet. Why not 2015 you ask? That travel calendar is already 90% complete. That’s how I roll.

I’m happier at home because I’m happy with myself. Also, planning makes me a very happy girl. How are you happier at home?

This post was inspired by Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin where she runs a nine month experiment to create happier surroundings. Join From Left to Write on January 6 we discuss Happier at Home. You can also chat live with Gretchen Rubin on January 7 on Facebook! As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.



Reading Pretty: Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (And Dark Chocolate)

I always have a Paris book in my reading rotation. But before I headed to Paris in May, I wanted to read Amy Thomas’ ode to my beloved city. Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (And Dark Chocolate) is a sweet junkie’s tome on life and sweets in one of the greatest food cities of the world. It also gives you a glimpse in to the expat life of a hard working, smart, and sweet obsessed writer.

Amy was asked to transfer her job at a copy writer for Louis Vuitton and she jumped at the chance. Her memoir reflects the highs and lows of living in a foreign country, missing your friends, but also finding yourself.

Before I left, I made a list of a few sweet spots that Amy recommended. One is seeking out the croissant. Sure, they are croissants on every corner, but some better than others. After reading about the same croissant shop from Travel and Leisure I knew I had to go.

So, I dragged my friend Carol and we headed to Pâtisserie Boulangerie Blé Sucré. Light, buttery, flaky, with a hint of salad and a café was just what we needed. I bookmarked numerous sweet spots from Amy’s book and plan to recreate a sweet tour on my return in October.

Reading Pretty: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I discovered this book from one of my favorite podcasts – Books on the Nightstand. Every time I listen to it my Goodreads list gets longer and longer. I usually consult my book junkie friend Samantha because she always has the best book recommendations. I made her read it just so we could GChat about it.

I enjoy a good murder mystery. But, Gone Girl takes it to a new level. The twists and turns of the narrators and their subsequent revelations will have you flipping pages, swiping, tapping or listening with bated breath waiting for what’s going to happen next. When you reach the end you will be shocked. I read it in three days and want to re-read it because it is that good. I have told all my friends to add it to their list and I hope you add it to yours.

Eat, Pray, Love: Movie Trailer 2010

EPL I remember when I first read it Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I couldn't get enough. My life was in transition This book has two sides: people who love it (like me) and those who vehemently hate it. I can bring up this book to 10 women and it's always the same response (half love it/half hate it).  Elizabeth has a new book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage and because I'm a fan of all her work I've plowed through it. I find that it has bits and pieces of Elizabeth's voice that I love reading. At times she can be overly thinking, but she gives a hilarious take on why she didn't want to marry, but eventually couldn't find a good enough reason not to.

I read Pilgrims and Stern Men eons before EPL and her writing makes me happy.  Committed is vastly different, but I appreciate books of all kinds.  Some I get and some I don't, but that won't make me stop reading it.  Elizabeth is hilarious in person.  I highly recommend attending one of her lectures to see her personality come through. 

But when I saw the movie trailer for Eat, Pray, Love it made me want to revisit the book and curl up in its pages.  It makes me want to visit Italy to feast (again), head to India with Kimberly Wilson and Darren Main to pray and practice yoga, and Bali to fall even deeper in love with l'homme.  There is a line in the trailer where Julia Roberts says "I used to have an appetite for my life and now it's gone."  I hope to always have an appetite for my learning full of learning, traveling, feasting, yoga practicing, being kind, and remembering that this is the only life I get. 

I've cleared my calendar for Friday, August 13 so I can take in this movie in all its splendor with the one I love the most – me, myself and I.  I already know the movie will leave out certain parts of the book, but this traveler can't wait to see all the gorgeous locations where they shot the movie. 

Have a beautiful yoga filled weekend.  I'm attending a Yoga and Wine Workshop and can't wait to tell ya'll how it went.   

Sephora Book Contest Update

The rules for the Sephora Book Contest will post at noon on tomorrow.  My flight from Mexico was canceled yesterday so it didn’t go up today.  I sincerely apologize.  I’m really excited.  The book is awesome.  I’m perusing it right now.

1 2 3 4