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Fitness Focus for 2015 + Deliciously Ella Book

Thanks to my obsession with burning hours on Amazon while my baby snoozes, I found a new book (and new to me blog) called Deliciously Ella. Ella Woodwards, the young lady behind the blog, has created 100 dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free recipes that supposedly will make you feel great which is the most important thing in life right? Because your health, mental and physical, can really make or break you. I’ve been off of white and brown sugar and honey since January 6th and cut out most diary (I use rice, almond, coconut milk or oat milk now) and already feel so much better after the initial detox headaches and cravings subsided. I’m no longer in sloth-post-holiday mode. I’m ready to take on projects again with gusto and get movin’ at the gym. Health equals wealth and not just financially. When you feel great you become rich in so many other areas in your life. I’m learning that the reason why so many highly successful people are fit and work out daily is so they can stay or become more successful. It’s true. You get more accomplished when you feel amazing and your energy levels soar. Why do you think the fabulous Martha Stewart can sleep only 4 hours nightly for so many years and be such a powerhouse?

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Ella’s personal story and motivation behind her work is quite inspirational, “In 2011, nineteen-year-old Ella Woodward was diagnosed with a rare illness that left her bed-ridden, in chronic pain, and plagued by heart palpitations and headaches. When conventional medicine failed her, Ella decided to change her diet. She gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar, and anything processed—and the effects were immediate: her symptoms disappeared, her energy returned, and she was able to go off all her medication. A self-confessed sweet tooth, Ella taught herself how to make delicious, plant-based meals that delight the palette and improve overall well-being.” Sounds wonderful! This book promises simple prep and raw, natural ingredients so I’m definitely going to grab a copy and start using it. Here is a peak inside of Deliciously Ella below straight from Anthropologie, where you can purchase it or buy it on Amazon UK (with cover shown in this post) or on Amazon US with a different cover, same content.

Now to share with you a few books that I do own and love that share the same approach to eating healthy.

1. It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turschen (Amazon US/Amazon UK)– I love that Julia lost a lot of weight eating the foods in this book while creating it. When someone loses weight writing a health cookbook I feel like ka-pow! That’s the book for me! Julia made it a huge draw because I love GP but she is so perfect that I often feel like she’s just not relatable in all of her gorgeousness (I mean did you see her at the Oscars in that fantastic pink Michael Kors dress? How can we compete?), but Julia is one of us and is also super gorgeous minus a full staff and access to top trainers and fitness gurus and unlimited cash. Don’t get me wrong, GP rocks and she is why I bought the book in the first place, but learning about Julia through the pages of It’s All Good instantly made it my fave go-to guide for healthy eating. That combined with all of the book photography by one of my top five photographers in the world, Danish-born Ditte Isager, and I was hooked. Plus I got my hands on a signed, dedicated copy from GP herself so hey, I can’t complain. In fact, I tell everyone about this book and even buy it for my friends. You can see some of the gorgeous pics in this book on Ditte’s blog.

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2. Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett (Amazon US or Amazon UK – German version here which I also have). British-born Natasha turned me on to OMbar (chocolate sweetened with coco milk) and I just love some of her recipes in this book and her amazing website and videos, too. I’m dying to attend one of her supper clubs or cooking classes in London because meeting her would be interesting since her mom is Kelly Hoppen and I think Kelly is just the best but even more, I just want to watch her cook and learn some new tips. I actually love the idea of scheduling a private cooking class with Natasha and a few of my dear friends, this would be so much fun and would make for a great blog story, don’t you think? Perhaps I’ll connect with her for a story like that as I’m looking to bring more lifestyles to decor8 this year that encourage us all to life our best life. I like Natasha’s cookbook because it lives alongside her online content so I feel close to her – like I can watch a video (What’s In My Fridge is so great), flip through her book, make her recipes, read her blog, follow her on Instagram, etc. It’s dynamic, alive, fresh. I love when authors have a very active online presence and do video work too (if they are, in fact, good on camera and not awkward of course. I often wonder if I’d be good or awkward, I have to try it for my next book and you can let  me know). It just brings it all together.

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In addition to these three titles above, has anyone picked up a copy of Nourish by Amber Rose, Holly Davidson and Sadie Frost yet? I’m in love with the cover, it makes me so SO happy. I love lifestyle book covers with either photos of people or multiple lifestyle photos so you get a preview of what’s to follow on the pages inside. The cover alone for Nourish makes it very interesting to me to look into further.

What is your favorite cookbook at the moment? Have you made any health or fitness goals for the year? Tell me about them. I’d love to know what you’re doing.

Here’s to better health for us all in 2015! And congrats to Ella for the new book and much success to you!

(images: anthropologie)

Posted in Books + Magazines on January 14, 2015

Giveaway: Free Books! Win IN DETAIL By Hans Blomquist

I have a GREAT giveaway for interiors enthusiasts out there today. You can win one of FIVE copies of the stunning brand new title by stylist and art director Hans Blomquist, IN DETAIL, from Ryland Peters + Small. Photographed by both Hans and professional photographer (on the world’s best) Debi Treloar, this is THE coffee table book of the moment. Would you like to WIN a copy? C’mon, of course you would! And since it doesn’t release until next week – and I’m kicking off his blog tour online – 5 days, 5 bloggers — I’m also including a book review and some brand new images from the book to feast your eyes upon that you can pin and click on for a larger view.

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I’ve snapped a photo of the book on my coffee table above so you can see how lovely it really looks as a decorative object in addition to a learning tool.

About the author: Hans Blomquist is a renowned art director and stylist whose evocative, painterly style is highly sought after by a multitude of prestigious brands. Hans started out working for IKEA in Sweden at the tender age of 16 and ended up art directing their catalogue. He then moved to London, where he was based for eleven years working as a freelance art director for clients such as Harrods, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis. Hans now lives in Paris where he recently directed campaigns for H&M, Monoprix and Zara.

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Description: In Detail takes a closer look at the details behind international interiors stylist and art director Hans Blomquist’s unique and idiosyncratic take on the world. In hundreds of ravishingly beautiful, inspiring pictures, he encourages the reader to see the world through his own eyes, revealing the possibilities in even the humblest of items and putting together pieces to create striking, painterly and evocative rooms and displays. Chapter by chapter, Hans focuses on and discusses the key ingredients of his distinctive look: Nature, Texture, Colour, Textiles, Collecting and Display. He explains the creative process, offers up his own treasures and puts inspiring ideas for beautiful interiors within every reader’s reach.

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5 Things I Liked About This Book:

  1. I love that it is split into the very details that make a house a home. Nature, Texture, Color, Textiles, Collections and Display.
  2. I love the paper quality, the jacket image, the jacket texture, the size, the overall quality of the book makes me happy.
  3. The moody, gorgeous photography – each photo has a cinematic feel to it – like you are watching a gorgeous film.
  4. That Hans has a conversation with the reader. He doesn’t ramble on and on. He gives food for thought. Lots of it.
  5. Hans offers styling tips and ideas throughout. He doesn’t show, he also tells. Often stylists have a hard time putting into words what it is that they do, which often means that books by stylists can lack real advice and are mostly filled with inspirational imagery. These days, we can get all of that on Pinterest and blogs. Content is king. What does the author have to teach? Knowledge is what I think we’re going for when we buy interiors books today. Hans doesn’t show elaborate step-by-step projects for any of his ideas, but he does talk through the images explaining the thinking behind how he has styled it or what you, the reader, could try at home yourself.

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5 Things That I Learned By Reading This Book:

  1. I learned that you can take a large branch and simply prop it against your wall at home or turn it into a lamp by wrapping a long cord around a couple of the stronger branches, adding a decorating light bulb to, “create an unusual and cozy corner” (page 28).
  2. You can make plant pots for growing cuttings or smaller plants using newspaper. I love this idea! (page 37)
  3. Vintage wooden clothes pegs can be used to display posters instead of picture frames (page 51).
  4. Use painted backdrops in a home because they are a, “brilliant way to add interest to an interior, and they can be repainted at any time to ring the changes” (page 87).
  5. Use luggage labels and rubber stamps to make hand-printed labels to kitchen storage jars. Simple tie them with twine (page 186).

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5 Ways I’d Like To Use This Book:

  1. To wrap in brown paper and give as a gift.
  2. To showcase on my coffee table.
  3. And later, to display on my bookcase with his first book, The Natural Home, published in 2012. My review of The Natural Home can be found here.
  4. To read it from cover to cover and try to apply some of the ideas.
  5. To identify some of the vintage objects that I like and hunt for them at the local flea market.

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Visit the rest of my blogger friends this week to see their reviews too. You can stop by Lobster & Swan, The Lifestyle Editor, Such Pretty Things and Decor Art all this week.

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Now it’s time for FIVE of you to win a copy of this book! The contest will wrap up on Friday October 17th at 11 am EST and I will announce the winners at the end of the day this Friday. To enter, please leave your first name, blog URL (if you have one) and tell us what 5 things you love about interiors books in general.

UPDATE Oct 18, 2014: Winners have been chosen and will be contacted. Books will be sent to winners directly from Ryland, Peters and Small in London. A warm thank you to all who entered. Comments on this post have now been closed.

WINNERS: #23 Irene, #36 Marilen, #44 Lesley, #151 Emma, #189 Aga,

xo,

Holly

Posted in Books + Magazines, contests on October 13, 2014

In Detail By Hans Blomquist: Giveaway On October 13th!

On Monday, October 13th you simply must keep an eye on decor8 because I’ll be writing up a book review of the gorgeous new title by stylist Hans Blomquist, In Detail, photographed by Debi Treloar and Hans as well — AND giving away 5 gorgeous copies. It’s part of a blog book tour I’m kicking off for Ryland, Peters and Small. You’ll want to pin ALL of the photos that I plan to show you, I promise — so watch this space!

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In Detail blog tour poster

It’s moody, it’s edgy, it’s romantic and it’s the book that you’ll want on your coffee table for Autumn!

(image: ryland peters and small)

Posted in Books + Magazines, contests on October 07, 2014

3 Inspiring German Books On My Table Right Now

Hey guys! How are ya? I had a really relaxing weekend and plan to bring a little of that serenity with me into the new week because why should a Monday be stressful, right? Oh and guess what? Our baby started crawling officially. Until now, he’s been snaking around the house on his belly for the past three weeks. He’ll be 7 months old tomorrow so I’m really proud of him. Did you also have a nice weekend?

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bookreview

Let me begin this post by first stating that I’m about to review some books but they’re in the German language, which may feel a little alienating to some of you. But this is an international blog and I love showing what’s new in various markets from Denmark to Australia and beyond. Try to keep an open mind is what I’m trying to say. So today I want to share three books that I’m proud of because I really like the authors and  think they each lend something special, a little something for everyone. I have personally met two of the authors (Steffi + Delia), worked with one (Steffi) and was interviewed by the other (Delia). As for the third, Yvonne Bauer of Fräulein Klein fame, well I’ve never met her but hugely look up to her work not only on her blog but in her beautiful books which have a strong focus on baking and party hosting. I find Yvonne such an inspiration in the German market, a real breath of fresh air, so let’s start by sharing a review of her book while I’m boasting about it…

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BOOK 1: Fräulein Klein lädt ein
Yvonne’s new book, Fräulein Klein lädt ein: Backzauber und Dekolust für jeden Anlass, took seven months to write and is just beautiful and packed with inspirational imagery and recipes. Also the book cover and overall design and layout is just lovely as is the paper quality. Yum! Shot with her family and friends present (you see them in the book filling it with so much love), I can’t wait to bake some of her cakes. She also writes a great blog (also in German) and what I find totally cool about this lady is that she’s in Finance by day and manages to tap into her creative side when she’s not at work producing recipes and photos, blog posts and books – this is her 3rd title. I LOVE that she is going for her passions no matter what plus she’s so creative and her fans in Germany are super loyal and totally in love with her recipes. Buy it on Amazon here.

5 QUESTIONS WITH YVONNE
What is this book about? For the most part, this is a baking book with recipes that I have developed around a season or a special occasion.
Who is this book for? It is for anyone looking for ideas for decorating on certain occasions. And also for recipe ideas for all who love to bake.
Who produced this book? I made everything alone – the recipes, styling, photographs – all of it. The only exception is that if you see me pictured in photos, those were shot by my husband.
How did you decide on the recipes? I thought about the typical fruits for each season and then thought about recipes for them. The events were considered too – seasonal. When the celebration was a bit more festive, I made some special – like cakes for a party. For a more informal celebration like brunch, I made pancakes and cereals.
How do you plan a party from start to finish? I write down all of my ideas first and from there, begin with the overall decoration and then, the recipes.

PHOTOS FROM THE BOOK

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Next, it’s time to review a decorating book called Wie eine Wohnung ein Zuhause wird, from a German blogger and journalist, Stefanie Luxat from the OhhhMhhh blog, who lives and works in Hamburg. This book features home tours of creative people who live mostly in Germany with two homes in Cape Town and one in Denmark. My favorite property is the one belonging to Simone Sauvigny and her family, who is the owner of Hamburg-based interiors store, LYS. I love Simone’s shop (I’m a customer) and her home so I was happy to see it in this book. I also like that Steffi has her newly renovated apartment inside too, complete with a photo of her nursery + work space combo that she shares with her new baby girl. You can buy this book on Amazon here.

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BOOK 2: Wie eine Wohnung ein Zuhause wird

5 QUESTIONS WITH STEFFI
1. What is this book about? Real people show their real homes and tell how they designed them. All of the ideas you see are explained so that readers can recreate it on their own and everything is linked to the shops where they bought the stuff.
2. Who is this book for? For everyone who wants to feel happy at home. For people who are looking for simple, not very expensive, creative ideas to turn their apartment or house into a home, a fun and relaxing place to be.
3. How did you decide on the homes that you would profile in the book? It was very important for me to show real homes with affordable ideas. And I wanted to show a good mixture of different styles in the book. That’s why I invited sixteen friends with very different styles to open their doors and tell me all their interior secrets.
4. What do you find about German homes that speaks to you? Germans like to mix different styles. It seems as if they pick inspirations from all over the world and mix them together at home. In my generation there isn’t just one German style. We (Germans) are much more creative than other countries.
5. You recently renovated your apartment. What got you so interested in decorating? We moved into our apartment five years ago and I wasn’t happy with different things in the beginning. I never really settled, arrived, in this apartment until last year when I was really pissed about being unhappy about the look of my home. I remembered what I learned and loved about living a creative life and chose to never accept big compromises again and so I renovated the apartment. Others asked, “Why would you spend so much money in an apartment that you don’t own?”, but I decided: Every happy day counts! So… We spent a few thousand euros on the renovation. We renovated the floors in every room, painted every wall, laid bare the wooden floor in the kitchen (it was hidden under cement),sanded the wooden floors in every room, sanded every single door and painted them AND we bought new furniture  – a new sofa, chairs, table and some other stuff for the living room, new desk in my office et cetera. That’s when I had the idea for this book and when I realised how happy a great home can make someone.

PHOTOS FROM THE BOOK

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The last, but certainly not least (these reviews are in no certain order), is Westwing: Das grosse Buch der Wohnstile the debut interiors book by Delia Fischer who is a real power Frau as the founder of Westwing Home & Living, a “flash sale” shopping site that is online in 12 countries and has over 15 million members worldwide. In fact, I’m a customer and find many great things on her site. Before launching Westwing, Delia was the editor of both ELLE and ELLE Decor magazine. In this book, she profiles homeowners sharing their different styles – and all of them are her friends and family from Anika Decker’s home in Berlin (she is the most popular German screenwriter for romantic comedies like Keinohrhasen) to her parents country home and her own apartment in the city. What I found really fresh and interesting is after all of the home tours and profiles of the owners conclude, she shows you one room several different ways – like a bedroom or entry, shown with many different themes, giving the reader tons of creative inspiration. Buy it on Amazon here.

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BOOK 3: Westwing: Das grosse Buch der Wohnstile

5 QUESTIONS WITH DELIA
1. What is this book about? It is about interior styles and how to decorate according to your personality. There are 8 styles in this book – Boho, Minimalist, Country, Glamour, Girly, Classic, Scandinavian and Eccentric.
2. Who is this book for? Everyone who likes having a beautiful home that reflects your personality! My book can help you to find your look or inspire you to develop a new one. I wanted to show that redecorating doesn’t mean you have to buy everything new. It’s the same with a sofa as it is with a little black dress: you can change the whole look with the right accessories. In fashion it is shoes, earrings, a scarf. In interiors it is cushions, table lamps, a beautiful throw. This makes redecorating affordable and of course fun, too! We can play with different looks a lot more!
3. Did you bring props to the homes? We mostly brought flowers and sometimes some accessories to style a table setting. The fun part was that the home owners always got real inspired and excited by us being there shooting and styling. Sometimes it helps to have another persons’ viewpoint and I also think that discussing your interiors and decoration with your girlfriends can be really inspiring, don’t you?
4. What do you find about German interior style that speaks to you? Germans care about quality, e.g. for materials, for the craftsmanship behind a piece. And as our autumn and winters can be rainy and gray we like to have our homes cozy! I believe that coziness is essential to a home.
5. What did you find challenging about writing a decorating book? We all have a limited amount of free time, so decorating should not be too complicated and it should be somewhat effortless in my opinion! And yet the ideas have to be new, unique, surprising and just stunning! I took a lot of time to find the right balance of all of these things as I worked on this book – that was my challenge.

PHOTOS FROM THE BOOK

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So, those are some of the books on my table at the moment – and yes, they are all in the German language so for those of you unable to read them, my apologies! But I’m inspired seeing Germans writing more lifestyle oriented books here as when I first visited Germany many years ago most of the books were written by authors from other countries and translated into German. I always wondered why there were not that many native Germans writing interiors and cookbooks. But things have changed (thankfully!) and with the rise of blogs, I see more and more great bloggers (like Steffi and Yvonne) authoring books as well as small business owners (like Delia) and I’m happy to see it. It was sorely needed and good for the confidence of all those living here because I think a country needs to have plenty of creative inspiration coming from its own residents to lend a sense of community, pride and a place in the world of decor and cooking as a whole.

Have a lovely day and a big thanks to my publisher, Callwey, for sending me these gorgeous books for review by my label mates. Callwey is also my publisher for Wohnen mit Blumen, Holly Beckers Wunderbare Wohnideen and Lust auf Wohnen.

(Images: With permission from Callwey Verlag, Munich, Germany)

Posted in Books + Magazines on September 08, 2014

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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