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Book Review: From My Mother’s Kitchen

I love doing book reviews and since I started in ‘06 it seems you enjoy reading them so for this year I plan to keep ‘em going and hopefully schedule reviews on a more regular basis (weekly). In fact, I already have two slated for next week so stay tuned! I find that books matter more and more as some of our favorite magazines fold, I’m referring to my bookshelf more than ever for inspiration, advice and ideas. I can’t imagine a world without beautiful books, I love to pick them up, crack them open for the first time, breath in all that yummy paper scent, and cozy up under a blanket to take in all of the words and images. In my wee attempt to save books and promote reading and the purchasing of them, I want to continue to point you to some of my favorite titles.

Today I’m giving you a glimpse inside the pages of a brand new cookbook (published a few weeks ago) that I recently fell head over heels for called From My Mother’s Kitchen. It’s a collection of comfort food written by London-based freelance food writer Jenny Linford who founded the well known Gastro Soho Tours (something I want to sign up for in the future), and published by Ryland Peters and Small. I love the recipes because their uncomplicated, wholesome, and very delicious which is the whole reason for buying a cookbook in the first place right, to prepare delicious meals. I also found the ingrediants pretty basic – eggs, olive oil, herbs, cheese, veggies… stuff you already own so you don’t have to run out to buy some exotic ingrediants especially for a recipe that you most likely will never use again. These days, I’m all about affordable, local and healthy foods.

You can purchase the book from my Amazon shop for $18 if you’re interested or find it elsewhere too, search online for ISBN:978-1845978181

(photographs: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, kitchen on March 11, 2009

Recycled Home {Book of the Week}

After several days of research with my head buried in books I thought today would be a great time for a book review since one in particular comes to mind that I know you’ll love. With 250 photographs and 160 pages of inspiration, Recycled Home written by Mark & Sally Bailey and photographed by Debi Treloar is honest and surprisingly fresh given that so many books have been dedicated to recycling in the past that I wasn’t sure what to expect. Mark & Sally share their unique eye for the abandoned and unloved, their passion for the simple and well made along with their love of home restoration, architecture, and stripped-back simplicity is evident page after page. This talented couple encourages us to abandon preconceived ideas about the purpose of things and to think of the home as a place to experiment with new ideas. Would you like a glimpse of what you can expect?

Recycled Home features rooms from around Europe including Mark & Sally’s restored home in England. Chapters cover storage, walls & floors, display, textiles, lighting, tones & textures and elements and then continue by breaking down sections by room from kitchens to bathrooms, bedrooms and work spaces.

This book is practical in this economy, thinking about what we own already and how we can use it differently is a fun, creative exercise but also very good for the wallet. After reading about their many finds I felt encouraged to return to my roots and spend days at junk shops and outdoor sales searching for an inexpensive treasure that simply needs a little love. I jumped in my car this past weekend and found myself in a delightful little antique store in Concord, MA this weekend digging through gorgeous Victorian wedding cards, vintage illustrations from French children’s books, and antique letter holders from England alongside of my husband who found Longfellow’s complete poems published in 1877, Poems of Goethe from 1874, translated to English by Edgar Alfred Bowring and Heinrich Heine’s complete works, 7 volumes, in German, published in 1898.

Recycled Home is $29.95 at Anthropologie and in your local book store but you can buy it on Amazon for only $19.

(images from holly becker for decor8, all links are affiliate links since I have an Amazon store.)

Posted in Books + Magazines on February 23, 2009

Attention Cooks: Jamie Magazine

The launch issue of Jamie Oliver’s food and lifestyle magazine, Jamie, is here and it’s gorgeous. If you love to cook, or simply to be inspired by beautifully designed restaurants, well set tables, and gorgeous travel destinations, head to your nearest bookseller to see if you can get your hands on a copy. Filled with amazing photography, you’ll love it, it’s like no foodie mag I’ve ever seen before. It’s beautiful right down to the thick pages and the Monte Carlo Script font featured throughout.

You can click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see a sneak peek of the issue. Though the images do it very little justice, in person it is much better.

I should add that this magazine is printed in England and at Barnes & Noble I paid $9.99 for it.

(image from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, kitchen on February 05, 2009

Domino Folds

In media news this morning, and prepare yourself for this one… Domino is officially over. I felt it coming for a few months now, especially when my editor resigned (I know how much she loved her job there), and of course their were rumors, but this is just so upsetting. Especially for those of us with columns there, I’ve been writing for them since 2006. Details here.

This is SO sad, it’s the only shelter mag I look forward to each month. Their last issue will appear in March. What do you think? What magazine will you now turn to for your monthly fix? What did you love about Domino? What will you miss?

God, I feel like lighting candles or something. This is pretty yucky news.

(image from Domino magazine)

Posted in Books + Magazines on January 28, 2009

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