Be Mindful & Stress Less by Gina Biegel

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Completely helpful!
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and review Be Mindful & Stress Less by Gina M. Bigel!
The fifty ways to deal with your crazy life are broken down into parts. Pay attention with senses is part one, part two is self-care, part three is always consider other responses, and each of these focuses on how to handle stress, learning to be mindful of our surroundings and stress triggers and self-care. My favorite stress relief is to “just breathe”! So relaxing. Taking mindful pauses to keep stress in check and to become more aware of our responses to problems is a wonderful tip also. The 5 G’s, gratitude exercises to help express and experience gratitude, and encouragement to treat yourself with kindness are resourceful and beneficial advice sections. Wonderful book for dealing with life’s inevitable stresses, 5 stars!

Gardening Under Lights by Leslie F. Halleck

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I’m interested in having a greenhouse someday and began reading Gardening  Under Lights by Leslie F. Halleck with greenhouse ideas in mind. The first fifth of the book explains light for plants scientifically and in depth with the variations and types of light. The next section discusses grow lamp options and their effects on plants. Then the following: growing environments, pests and diseases to be aware of, plant care and propagation and, the final section: edible plants and ornamental plants, make up the biggest part of the book with plants listed alphabetically in both categories. This is botanical level information, which is helpful but I would prefer a more concise instructional guide for plant growth, 4 stars.

Hypertufa Containers by Lori Chips

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Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Hypertufa Containers by Lori Chips. Hypertufa containers or troughs are made from cement, peat moss, perlite and fiber mesh and they are frost-resistant and meant to bring miniature alpine plants up close for better viewing. Photos and detailed instructions and information give everything needed to create your own hypertufa containers. The only thing missing is your imagination and supplies! A list of categorized plants is included along with a glossary and zonal information. Helpful and creative-4 stars!

Where the Sea Takes Me by Heidi R. Kling

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Brilliant and eye-opening!
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Where the Sea Takes Me by Heidi R. Kling!
Sienna has just finished college finals and is planning a Team Hope trip to Cambodia. Her friend, Spider, wants to make their relationship more than just friends and Sienna isn’t too sure about that idea. Her father knocks her off her feet when he calls to tell her that Deni will be visiting soon. Deni, as in the Deni that Sienna fell in love with two years ago and who she helped recover from the tsunami in Indonesia on her last Team Hope relief trip. Deni arrives and he and Sienna fall instep with each other and Spider doesn’t quite know how to handle the situation. Team Hope travels to Cambodia on a long ride and Sienna has her eyes opened wide to the beautiful country torn apart by war, poverty and sex trafficking. The Cambodian people have extreme perseverance and are living in the results of Pol Pot’s destruction. Realistic fiction, adventure and history create the story and a touch of romance brings it all forward. Where the Sea Takes Me is a brilliant, eye-opening read, 5 stars!

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris

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Wonderfully informative and humorous guide to Meditation.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the opportunity to read and review Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren. I chuckled at the Table of Contents and how accurate the section and chapter titles were when applied to human nature. Some of the headings are “I Don’t Have Time for This”, “If I Get Too Happy, I’ll Lose My Edge” and “People Might Think I’m Weird”. So great and opens up the path for humor in its pages. I was excited to discover the app that accompanies the instructional meditation given in this book. The commentary is full of humor and deals with thoughts that swirl through our minds as we try to relax and meditate. Short and easily doable meditations are introduced along with helpful, concise cheat sheets. I love the “RAIN”, “Walking Through Sound” and “Ten Good Breaths”! This quote captures the true essence of this practical and useful book, “Meditation is basically the end of boredom.” I was surprised and disturbed by the results of the study “Pandora’s Box” where people were left alone in a room with no stimulus, except a button that produced an electric shock. Many of the participants chose to give themselves electric shocks because of their discomfort of being quietly alone. Wonderfully informative instructional guide on meditation for anyone who wants to try but is skeptical of meditating, 5 stars!

Graceful Exit by Gustavo Ferrer, M.D.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Sounds True Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Graceful Exit by Gustavo Ferrer, M.D. This self-help guide opens with advice and explanations on getting a proxy written up for medical treatment if you or your loved one cannot speak for yourself. Full of sound advice and needed information on the process of dealing with death and how to help take care of terminally ill loved ones. Includes information on healthcare options and how to handle the stress that goes along with this difficult part of life. Recently having been a part of this with my husband’s family, this book will be helpful for all family members involved, 5 stars.

Can Your Outfit Change the World? by Erinne Paisley

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Thanks to NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers for the opportunity to read and review Can Your Outfit Change the World? by Erinne Paisley, a book in the PopActivism series full of information on eco-friendly choices in clothing. PopActivism is Activism fused with pop culture. “Buy less, choose well, make it last” -quote by Vivienne Westwood, fashion icon that sums up the content of this book. This book contains a basic education of where our clothes come from and what they are made of, sweatshops, child labor, debt slavery and the story of Iqbal Masih, who was in bonded child labor, escaped and joined the Bonded Labour Liberation Front and helped over 3,000 other children escape before he was murdered at the age of twelve, which inspired the creation of Free the Children; an organization that fights for human rights. Some blogs and websites that help in the search for positive brands are listed: Freestate, Style Wise, Eco Fashion World and The Good Trade. There are many ethical companies in the world and this book gives details of several of them and the good things they do, such as TOMS giving shoes and eye exams to those in need. I’m impressed by Emma Watson’s fashion statement when she wore an outfit made from recycled plastic bottles which was created by Calvin Klein along with Eco-Age. I’m equally impressed with Melissa McCarthy’s clothing line, Seven7! Resources are listed at the end of the book, by chapter. Amazingly informative, 5 stars!