George W. Bush’s new book Portraits of Courage. A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors is an artist and former President’s salute to the armed forces -to the men and women who serve selflessly to protect the freedoms that we hold so dear. I am a big fan of artists. All types- pottery, fashion, sculptures, and paintings. My favorite style of paintings is impressionist. I love Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Manet, you get the picture. I always assumed art is something that you have in you as part of your DNA – either you have it or you don’t, or you have a little. But I never imagined that one could take up art at the age of 66 and become not only a professional painter but also an outstanding one at that. This is what our 43rd President George W. Bush has accomplished. His paintings are amazing. They speak volumes, they communicate a story, and most of all they look like any of the impressionist painters out there. I have to say, it’s very impressive. Continue reading Portraits of Courage by George W. Bush
Sometimes you just want a pretty book you can get lost in. A book that is not heavy on writing but gives us just enough information to make us want to read more about the topic, maybe in another in-depth book or article.
I love flowers. Love, love, love them. If I could, I would eat flowers for dessert and live in a greenhouse surrounded by them. Sometimes I actually crave flowers. A craving for their lovely colors, textures, fragrance, and myriad flowerfull beauty. I especially crave flowers in the winter and early spring when my garden is still half-dormant. When I get a flower craving what I turn to are my books on flowers and gardening. Continue reading A Craving for Flowers. Fun Few Books on Flowers
I don’t recall how I came upon this book really, maybe I was browsing Amazon’s book selection, or maybe I saw it in a bookstore. The title got me interested. Flourless? Really? Continue reading Flourless. Recipes for Naturally Gluten-Free Desserts by Nicole Spiridakis
I love Ina Garten. She is my all-time favorite celebrity chef. What I like about Ina Garten is her cooking style. It’s very warm and friendly, and her kitchen and garden are always so cozy and inviting. Continue reading Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten
Herbal Transformations: Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity Using Herbs and Spices, Yoga, Hygiene and Spirituality. The title says it all. My aunt Uma Swaminathan is the author of this wonderful book that gives you valuable information about Indian spices and herbs and also shows you how to use them to enhance the positive aspects of those spices and herbs. Continue reading Herbal Transformations. Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health and Longevity by Uma Swaminathan
Have you heard of FIKA? I hadn’t. Not until a few months ago that is, when I was catching up on my daily world news on BBC.com. I came across an article that read Why Are Swedish Workers So Happy?. This article was about FIKA, the Swedish workplace tradition of taking a coffee break with sweet treats and chatting. In many companies in Sweden this coffee break is not only encouraged but in some offices it is actually mandatory. Research has shown that taking a work-place coffee break leads to happier and more productive employees.
I know it’s silly of me, but when I read that people take a coffee break every day with a sweet pastry or two, all I could think of is, “Why aren’t Swedish people overweight?” Eating that much sweet treats every day must have some negative impact on the body. Right?
The quest for the answer to this question is how I came upon this cookbook Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann. Continue reading Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann
The Healing Garden. Gardening for the Mind, Body, and Soul by Gay Search is a wonderful resource on gardening whether you are starting a garden from scratch, or just changing a part of your garden. Though I bought this book many years ago, I find the information in it to be relevant and applicable even today.
This is an excellent book on how to grow and maintain a garden that speaks to all our senses including touch, smell, color and even spiritual components to the garden are addressed in this book. The author Gay Search looks at many aspects of gardening and shows us how it is more than just plants that go into a garden. She shows us how a garden can be a refuge for us to escape into another world, where for a few minutes you can be transported to a peaceful place. Continue reading The Healing Garden by Gay Search
I watched this movie on Valentine’s Day with the family. After a scrumptious Valentine’s Day dinner I convinced the whole family to watch Chocolat with me. I had seen it years ago when it first came out and fell in love with it! I had forgotten about the movie until recently when I was making decadent hot chocolate from scratch at home. As I was stirring the dense creamy chocolate into the milk and adding cream, and vanilla; my memories of the movie Chocolat came back to me with a smile as I remembered Juliette Binoche doing the same thing in that movie – stirring creamy hot chocolate to serve to her customers. Continue reading Chocolat the Movie
It’s chilly and dreary in Los Gatos, California. What? You say? In sunny California? Yes! It is winter after all. I see grey clouds today as we are expecting another bout of rain. A perfect day to read a book with a hot cup of tea.
Speaking of grey and book, here is a suggestion for a good read – Gray Mountain, by John Grisham. Hitesh recommended I read this book, but then he is a big fan of John Grisham. He has read every single book John Grisham has ever written. He said he likes Grisham’s style of writing because “he has a dry sense of humor and wit.” Continue reading Gray Mountain, by John Grisham