books

The More of Less by Emily Margaret

I'm a firm believer that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and have become a big fan of the currently popular minimalist movement. Late last year, I discovered the blog Becoming Minimalist from Joshua Becker, and have enjoyed reading about adopting a more minimal, simplistic lifestyle. So when I had the opportunity to read his new book, I was pretty excited.

The More of Less - Emily Margaret

In The More of Less, Becker shares his story about how he and his family discovered the benefits of living with less, shows how everyone can benefit from a more minimalist lifestyle, and offers practical tips to apply to your own life.

Becker defines minimalism as "the intentional promotion of things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them". When I first heard of this lifestyle, it was portrayed as living the the fewest possible number of possessions, so I like how Becker debunks this myth and shows that instead it is about only having things that help you do the things that matter most to you and getting rid of the things that don't.

However, I have to confess that I didn't finish this book.

As an occasional reader of his blog, I felt that this book sort of forced-feeling. To me, the first three chapters could have been shorted together to be only one chapter, and the rest of the book felt that way to me. I rarely stop reading a book before I get to the end, but this book felt like it was written to reach a certain page count and it wasn't holding my interest despite how much I like reading about the minimalist lifestyle.

For someone who hasn't read Becker's blog, they may not feel the same way, but as someone who is familiar with the minimalist idea, this book felt sadly unnecessary despite my best intents of finishing it. If you are new to the idea of minimalism, I would still recommend you give it a read as The More of Less provides some interesting insights in to the popular lifestyle.


I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Are you familiar with the idea of minimalism? Would you read a book about it, or would you prefer to read a blog?

The Knot Outdoor Weddings | Book Review by Emily Margaret

Engagements, weddings, and wedding planning have been on my mind lately. No, I'm not engaged, but several of my friends have recently become engaged (or will soon!) 

In helping my friends with wedding planning, I've seen that there's a lot more time and work going into the process than you'd think. Many wedding vendors, such as photographers, caterers, and florists, get booked several months in advance and popular dates get reserved quickly, so planning a wedding involves coordinating many elements. Having helpful resources is a great thing, and I recently read a book that you may find interesting if you're planning a wedding.

the-knot-outdoor-weddings-emily-margaret-photography
the-knot-outdoor-weddings-emily-margaret-photography
the-knot-outdoor-weddings-emily-margaret-photography

Written by Carley Roney and the editors of the well-known wedding website, TheKnot.com, The Knot Outdoor Weddings is a beautiful book featuring 50 real outdoor weddings in various locations. Elements of each wedding are featured in gorgeous photography (of course my favorite part), like stationary, flowers, cakes, venues, and other decorations, providing a wealth of inspiration. It's pretty much pinterest in a book, minus all the mason jars and burlap. Amidst the featured weddings, there are tips for choosing flowers, venues, cakes, and other ways to help your wedding meld with your chosen location. The last chapter in the book offers more in-depth advice, including a timeline checklist to help keep you on track, which I found particularly interesting as a chronic list-maker. I also especially appreciate that in the very back of the book, credits for the wedding vendors are included so if you see something you love, you can learn where to find it.

Overall, The Knot Outdoor Weddings is a beautiful book. It would make a great coffee table book or an engagement gift. However, I must note that the average person would not have the budget to recreate any of the weddings in this book, but that doesn't mean you won't draw inspiration from it, and even if you're not planning a wedding, it's still fun to flip through.

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own.

Clean Slate | Eating with intention by Emily Margaret

Whatever inspired you to pick up this book-a resolution to eat better, a desire to wipe the slate clean with a whole-body detox, or a wish to boost your energy level- you have just taken the first step toward achieving that goal. This book is designed for anyone wanting to hit the reset button and gain a more rewarding, and pleasurable, approach to food.
clean-slate-book-review-emily-margaret

Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide: Reset Your Health, Detox Your Body, and Feel Your Best, from the editors of Martha Stewart Living

One of my focus words for 2015 is intentional, and this book fits right in with that mindset. I've been working on exercising more and eating better, paying more attention to what I'm putting in my body.  I love the idea of eating more foods that are fresh and have been minimally processed, which is the focus of this book. 

You may have heard of the phrase "eating clean", which is eating whole foods (like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes) and avoiding highly-processed foods that usually have high sugar and sodium content, as well as preservatives. Clean Slate features recipes that do not contain butter, refined sugar, all-purpose flour, or red meat.

If you're interested in learning more about how to eat clean, the book's first section contains information on nutrients, tips on pantry-stocking, "Golden Rules of Eating Clean" and also a 3-day and 21-day detox eating plan, all giving you a place to start. The second part of the book contains the recipes, with each one having a notation if it is vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, or gluten-free. There are recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, smoothies, and even desert. I like that each dish is very approachable with easy-to-find ingredients and simple instructions.  No fancy cooking techniques required!

clean-slate-book-review-emily-margaret

One of the things I love about this book is the photographs (total surprise, right?). They are all light, colorful, beautifully styled, and make me want to go to the farmers market and buy alllll the food. I will definitely be adding some of these recipes in to my packed-lunch rotation. 

Clean Slate is a great resource for learning to live a more intentional, mindful lifestyle by starting with what you eat. It provides simple and tasty recipes containing whole ingredients with minimal processing. 

I received this  book from the  Blogging for Books  program for free in exchange for this review.  The opinions shared in this review are completely mine and have not been influenced in any way.

2015 Reading List by Emily Margaret

I have many lists and my to-read list is never ending. I enjoy seeing other people's lists and finding fresh titles to add, I have a hard time facing the fact that I will always want to read more books than I could ever realistically finish. Oh well. 

2015 Reading List | Emily Margaret

In years past my book list was 99% fiction, but I've found it's better for me to have a balance of fiction vs nonfiction. I love when Nancy Ray shares her yearly list and how she divides her list into categories that cover different areas of life.

This is my first draft, so to say, of my list so it's not complete. I plan to add a few photography books, specifically on lighting techniques, and will probably add a couple more fiction later on.

Nonfiction

Fiction

Follow along with the hashtag #emilymargreads on instagram and twitter. What's on your to-read list for this year?