Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

Flourish for Mums

Sonia Bestulic

Big Sky Publishing

ISBN: 9781922387998

Description:

This book is a warm hug for mothers. Motherhood is a personal journey of self-discovery. A mix of feeling delight and wonder, to challenged and overwhelmed – often, all in one day! FLOURISH for Mums is your perfect companion to cultivate 21 healthy ways to let go of unrealistic expectations and create space to celebrate your unique parenting pathway. Filled with uplifting anecdotes and supportive strategies, while busting big misconceptions – this is personal, yet universal in its strong, yet gentle messages. Handbag friendly and always ready to provide a dose of inspiration. Dear mum, it’s time to relax – replenish – FLOURISH.

My View:

There is so much “real” in this book. So much that resonates. It is promoted as a book for new mums but I think this book has a much bigger audience; it’s a book we can all find something to take with us on our life’s journey.  A book for life.

“If I had to summarise the experience of self-forgiveness; it would look a little like this:

SELF-FORGIVENESS

= Self -Awareness

  = Acknowledgement

     = Self- kindness

     = Openness to listening

        = Learning

           = Acceptance

              = Owning

                  = New space for personal growth

Review: Flourish for Mums – Sonia Bestulic

…. tune in and listen to yourself.” P98

Grilled Chicken, Mango & Avocado Salad: Food for the Soul – Lucy Lord

Grilled chicken, mango and avocado salad with cashews and chilli lime dressing

Serves 2

2 skinless chicken breasts

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

Pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

Large handful of soft leafy greens, such as lamb’s lettuce and baby spinach

1 mango, peeled, stoned and sliced

1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

Handful of basil, roughly torn

30g cashews, roughly chopped

Lime wedges, to serve

FOR THE DRESSING

2 tbsp olive oil

Zest and juice of ½ lime

½ tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ tbsp honey

Pinch of chilli flakes

Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the grill to high and line a baking tray with foil.

2. In a mug or small jar, whisk the dressing ingredients

together with a fork.

3. Butterfly the chicken breasts in half lengthways and use your hands to rub the olive oil over each one. Place

on the baking tray and sprinkle over the garlic, chilli powder or cayenne pepper and salt, gently rubbing

the seasoning on to both sides of the breast. Grill the chicken for 4–5 minutes on each side, turning halfway,

until golden brown.

4. Meanwhile, assemble the salad leaves and top with the mango, avocado and basil.

5. Once the chicken is cooked, thinly slice into strips and add to the salad along with the cashews. Drizzle over

the dressing and serve with lime wedges.

NOTE

• This salad is best enjoyed fresh but you can cook the chicken and make the dressing in advance and keep

in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days, just add the fresh fruits and assemble when

you’re ready to enjoy.

Recipes and images taken from Food for the Soul by Lucy Lord, published by HarperCollins.

Review: You Will Rise – Sjana Elise Earp

You Will Rise

Sjana Elise Earp

Ebury Illustrated

Penguin Teen

ISBN: 9781760897864

RRP$32.99

 

Description:

The debut collection from nature-loving yogi and Instagram phenomenon Sjana Elise Earp, featuring 150 of her uplifting poems.

 

For the light seekers and the love givers. This one is for you.

 

For anyone who has ever loved and lost. This one is for you.

 

For the sensitive souls, the magic makers, the time takers. This one is for you.

 

May this book brighten your shadows, illuminate your path and walk you home to yourself.

 

Sjana Elise Earp inspires thousands of people around the world with her infectiously joyful approach to life. But happiness hasn’t always come easily. During her recovery from her experiences of anxiety and depression, writing has been Sjana’s tool to reflect, find gratitude and grow through her emotions. Now, she’s ready to share her vulnerability in her first published collection of poems and photography, and help lift up her sisters too.

 

Dip in during moments when inspiration or comfort is needed, or take a cover-to-cover journey through Sjana’s tender words and beautiful images of nature’s wonders. Either way, you’ll feel grounded, calmer and more connected to the unique power within you. And you, too, will rise.

 

 

My View:

This is a beautifully produced, photographed and moving read. Inspirational, meditative and calming…I am sure there is something here for most people.

 

This is my favourite quote from the book:

 

“Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart. Do it with your

whole soul. Do it with meaning. Do it with intention. Do it

with grace. Do it with lightness and do it with love. Do it with

thought. Do it with compassion and do it with kindness.” P 47

 

This will make a fabulous Christmas gift for someone you love.

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths 2 – Eddie Woo

Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths 2

Eddie Woo

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760981976

RRP $19.99

 

Description:

A bumper book of maths fun stuffed with things to draw, puzzle, invent, order, unscramble, code, decode for kids aged 7+ years from Australia’s best known maths man. There’s magic in maths – if you know where to look…

 

 

AUTHOR Eddie:

Eddie Woo teaches mathematics at Cherrybrook Technology High School, Sydney. He has been teaching maths for more than ten years.

 

In 2012, Eddie started recording his lessons and uploading them to Youtube – creating ‘Wootube’. Since then, he has amassed a following of more than 1 million subscribers and his videos have been viewed more than 60 million times.

 

In 2018, Eddie was named Australia’s Local Hero of the Year and shortlisted as one of the top ten teachers in the world.

 

 

My View:
This is the perfect book for your school aged child to engage them with the fun world of maths – and yes maths can be fun.  There are puzzles, word hunts, games, colouring in, “spot the differences” to name just a few of the fun exercises here …I think some of these can be played with younger kids if they are supervised/assisted by an adult.  My grandson (4 ½ years) and I will enjoy playing “sprouts” pps 158- 160 – a game about connecting dots. Because maths is all about patterns, and our universe is extraordinarily patterned, you will find something  here that can interest everyone. I learned my art practice is about fractals, so much fun to be had they won’t even know it maths they are learning 😊

 

 

Thanks, Eddie, for a fabulous fun and entertaining book.  I am glad I have discovered you and your maths books, now to discover your YouTube videos.

 

PS – this will make a great Christmas present for someone you know.

#FridayFreebie : Max – Alex Miller

#FridayFreebie : Max – Alex Miller

Max

Alex Miller

Allen & UNwin

ISBN: 9781760878160

RRP $29.99

Description:

An astonishing, moving tribute to Alex’s friend, Max Blatt, that is at once a meditation on memory itself, on friendship and a reminder to the reader that history belongs to humanity.

‘Max tells of Alex Miller’s search — in turns fearful and elated — for the elusive past of Max Blatt, a man he loves, who loved him and who taught him that he must write with love. Miller discovers that he is also searching for a defining part of himself, formed by his relation to Max Blatt, but whose significance will remain obscure until he finds Max, complete, in his history. With Max, Miller the novelist has written a wonderful work of non-fiction, as fine as the best of his novels. Always a truth-seeker, he has rendered himself vulnerable, unprotected by the liberties permitted to fiction. Max is perhaps his most moving book, a poignant expression of piety, true to his mentor’s injunction to write with love.’ Raimond Gaita, award-winning author of Romulus, My Father

I began to see that whatever I might write about Max, discover about him, piece together with those old shards of memory, it would be his influence on the friendships of the living that would frame his story in the present.

According to your 1939 Gestapo file, you adopted the cover names Landau and Maxim. The name your mother and father gave you was Moses. We knew you as Max. You had worked in secret. From an early age you concealed yourself – like the grey box beetle in the final country of your exile, maturing on its journey out of sight beneath the bark of the tree.

You risked death every day. And when at last the struggle became hopeless, you escaped the hell and found a haven in China first, and then Australia, where you became one of those refugees who, in their final place of exile, chose not death but silence and obscurity.

Alex Miller followed the faint trail of Max Blatt’s early life for five years. Max’s story unfolded, slowly at first, from the Melbourne Holocaust Centre’s records then to Berlin’s Federal Archives. From Berlin, Miller travelled to Max’s old home town of Wroclaw in Poland. And finally in Israel with Max’s niece, Liat Shoham, and her brother Yossi Blatt, at Liat’s home in the moshav Shadmot Dvora in the Lower Galilee, the circle of friendship was closed and the mystery of Max’s legendary silence was unmasked.

Max is an astonishing and moving tribute to friendship, a meditation on memory itself, and a reminder to the reader that history belongs to humanity.

 ** Today I have 3 copies of this moving tribute to friendship. If you would like a chance to read this book by the remarkable Alex Miller  simple comment with a title of one of Alex Miler’s previous book.  Australians residents only. I will randomly select winners on 10/10/020   https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/other-books/Max-Alex-Miller-9781760878160  

 

Review: Living on Stolen Land -Ambelin_Kwaymullina

Living on Stolen Land

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Magabala Books

ISBN: 9781925936247

 

Description:

Living on Stolen Land is a prose-styled look at our colonial-settler ‘present’. This book is the first of its kind to address and educate a broad audience about the colonial contextual history of Australia, in a highly original way. It pulls apart the myths at the heart of our nationhood, and challenges Australia to come to terms with its own past and its place within and on ‘Indigenous Countries’.

 

This title speaks to many First Nations’ truths; stolen lands, sovereignties, time, decolonisation, First Nations perspectives, systemic bias and other constructs that inform our present discussions and ever-expanding understanding. This title is a timely, thought-provoking and accessible read.

 

There is no part of this place

that was not

is not

cared for

loved

by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander nation

There are no trees

rivers

hills

stars

that were not

are not

someone’s kin

 

 

My View:

This is a timely and significant read.  Ambelin Kwaymullina offers the reader a chance to “walk in someone else’s shoes,” to hear views and perspectives that are not often heard in the dominant Settler culture. It is a moving read in a stream of conscientiousness style prose that has a voice that demands to be heard, to be listened to.

 

“Ask How Not What” (p58)

Many Settlers

ask what can be done

to support Indigenous peoples

But there are many “whats”

Many initiatives

Ideas

The only people who can can tell you

Which ones are right

For which homelands

Are the sovereign Indigenous peoples

It is for them to say

What’s right for them

What’s right for their Country…..

 

 

Review: Parlour Games for Modern Families – Myfanwy Jones and Spiri Tsintziras

Parlour Games for Modern Families

Myfanwy Jones & Spiri Tsintziras

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781921844416

RRP$ 24.99

 

Description:

Reviving the tradition of indoor family games, this guide invites mental stimulation, silliness, and laughter back into the household. From games of logic, memory, and wordplay to rough-and-tumble activities and even simple recipes, this collection takes the environment into consideration, only requiring items easily found around the home, such as a deck of cards, a dictionary, an hour glass, dice, or paper and pen. The featured games are organized thematically and cross-referenced for age-appropriateness. Concise rules and instructions are included, outlining games that will challenge and stimulate, last all night, or fill the empty half-hour before dinner. Ideal for a wide age range, this guide brings back long-forgotten pastimes, guaranteeing entertainment for all.

 

My View:

What a lovely trip down memory lane revisiting so may childhood games. In particular I liked the section on card games – it has been so long since I have played cards that I am a bit fuzzy on the rules and it is so helpful to have something “concrete” in front of you when playing. Now if this had only included a “How to Play Mah-jong” it would be perfect! 😊

 

#Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Soup – Dinner in 5 – Pete Evans

**If you swap out the chicken bone broth in this recipe with vegetable stock you have the perfect autumn vegetarian soup.**

Dinner in 5

Pete Evans

Plum

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760559168

RRP$39.99

 

 

Cauliflower Soup 

SERVES 4

cauliflower 1 head (about 1 kg), broken into florets

onion 1, chopped

garlic cloves 4,

chopped chicken bone broth 1.25 litres (page 231) **or vegetable stock**

+ coconut oil or good-quality animal fat 3 tablespoons, melted

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

“When cauliflower is abundant and cheap, I love to eat it in as many ways as possible. I roast, fry, pickle and use it raw in salads. One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to prepare cauliflower when you have a glut is to make a delicious soup. This one is really versatile, so use whatever seasonings take your fancy.” p 194

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

Place one-quarter of the cauliflower florets on a baking tray, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil or fat and toss to coat. Sprinkle on a little salt and roast for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden. Set aside.

Heat the remaining coconut oil or fat in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the remaining cauliflower florets and cook for 5 minutes to soften.

Next, pour in the broth (**or stock**) and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium– low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender.

Puree the soup with a hand-held blender until super smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into warm serving bowls and top with the reserved roasted cauliflower. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle on some pepper, if desired, and serve.

 

 

 

Review: I’m Staying At Richard’s – Bernadette Agius

I’m Staying at Richard’s: Raising the Exceptional Son I Never Expected
Bernadette Agius
Atria Books
ISBN: 9781501174568

 

Description:
This inspiring, heartfelt, and powerful memoir by a mother of a child with Down syndrome explores the incredible blessings and challenges of raising a child with disabilities.

When Bernadette Agius—an ambitious career-focused woman—became pregnant, she imagined her unborn child attending the best schools and dazzling everyone with his impressive wit, charm, and intelligence. But when the doctors placed her baby boy in her arms and told Bernadette he had Down syndrome, those dreams instantly disappeared.

While her first impulse was to fight against this new reality, she soon found the strength to become the champion her son, Richard, would need and deserved. With the help of her husband and a newfound village of professionals, Bernadette forged a new life, discovering along the way that everyone has a different version of normal. Ultimately Richard, now thirty, was able to defy expectation and become an independent adult.

Grounded in love, offering a message of hope, and told with humor and honesty, I’m Staying at Richard’s shines a light on the fierce, unwavering love of a mother for her son.

 

My View:
This is a very powerful story of unconditional love. Reading this memoir felt a lot like stepping into somebody else’s shoes and for that insight I am grateful.

If you want a powerful, heartening, optimistic and joyful (mostly) story about finding your path and yourself when life throws the totally unexpected at you, read this poignant story.