2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Books For The DIY’er From Quarto Books

xmas_gift 125logo3This post is sponsored by Quarto Books

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Everyone knows the do-it-yourselfer, that girl or guy who always has a project going on. These books are perfect gifts for the D-I-Y’er on your list:

The 5-Gallon Bucket

The 5-Gallon Bucket

The ubiquitous five-gallon bucket can do more than carry things!  It can also be hacked, hot-rodded, reengineered, and upcycled to create dozens of useful DIY projects for homeowners, gardeners, and hobbyists.  Each project has simple step-by-step instructions, as well as parts lists and images of the completed projects.  The wealth of projects collected in this book includes inventions that range from useful to just plain fun, and from as simple as it gets to fairly involved. These can serve apartment dwellers (Small-Room Air Conditioner, page 12); homeowners (Cyclone Dust Collector, page 34) and their children (Air Cannon, page 94); small farmers (Chicken Feeder, page 72); hobbyists (Post-Mounted Birdhouse, page 137); and even back-to-the-land homesteaders and survivalists (Camping and Composting Toilet, page 48).  The odds are good you’ll find something to make that’s fun and handy!  Available for purchase at Quarto and retails for $19.95. It is also available at Amazon.com in paperback or for Kindle.

Black & Decker Home Planner & Logbook

Black & Decker Home Planner & Logbook

Every homeowner should know the answer to these questions, and many more, but keeping up with every little thing can be a challenge. It helps if you have a system! That’s where the Black & Decker Home Planner & Logbook comes in. This book tells you what you need to know, how to get the information, and gives you lots of room to keep records about everything you do to your home, including:

  • House History
  • Financial Information and Warranties
  • Scheduled Maintenance Log
  • Appliances
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Repair Projects
  • Decorative Log including Paint & Floor Coverings
  • Outdoor Areas & Home Exterior

Why not just use a blank notebook? Because the Black & Decker Home Planner & Logbook is full of photos, illustrations, and tips to help you decode every system in your house, such as how to read a water meter or estimate the shelf life of paint.

The book is organized in four segments. The first three, “Understanding Your Home”, “Your Home’s Systems”, and “Your Appliances” gives a tour of the various components and systems of a home that need ongoing vigilance, inspection and maintenance. These are organized with intuitive logic, starting from the roof, moving down to the foundations and landscape, then moving indoors to examine the structural and surface elements, like walls and floors, and examining the appliances and other add-ons. The fourth section, “Home Logbook” is the journal itself, where the homeowner can document everything that has been done to the home, or who to call when your home needs attention.

Two large pockets attached to the back cover help you securely store receipts, warranties, manuals, and other documents, so you won’t have to scramble to find your plumber’s phone number during an emergency!  Whether you’re an avid-do-it-yourselfer or a novice to the complexities of owning a home, the Black & Decker Home Planner & Logbook is the all-in-one repository for keeping track of everything that’s done to your home

Preview the book here: http://bit.ly/1FxvmWT Available for purchase at Quarto and retails for $24.99.  Also available on Amazon.com in Flexbound.

Barnyard Kids: A Family Guide to Raising Animals

Barnyard Kids: A Family Guide to Raising Animals

Parents and young kids now have a go-to resource to get started on raising chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, cows, horses, and rabbits. Written so parents and kids can read the book together, it’s filled with essential information, from choosing the right ones animals, to the work, time, and space that’s needed. Each chapter on each animal has four sections. “What Makes Them Tick” discusses food and water needs, hygiene, instincts and the animals’ social needs.  “What Makes Them Sick” includes signs and causes of illness, medical supplies and vaccination info.   “Where Do They Live” covers housing the animals.  “What Can They Give” covers just that – from the various by products each animal gives – from food to milk to the usefulness of excrement.

Kids have helped take care of animals for generations, learning responsibility and self-reliance  in the process. Barnyard Kids gives kids and parents the tools to dream about and plan for raising farm animals, empowering anyone who reads it to imagine a life with farm animals and make it real.

Preview the book here: http://bit.ly/BarnyardKidsPDF Available for purchase at Quarto and retails for $24.99. Also available at Amazon.com in Flexbound and for Kindle.

The Hand on The Mirror: Book Review

Grand Central Publishing sponsored this post

The Hand on the Mirror

The Hand on the Mirror

In 1979, my youngest brother, Bobby, died from injuries received in an accident. At the time of his death, he was in a hospital in Albany, Georgia. He had been hovering between life and death for three days. All of our family was there, spending as much time as we could at the hospital, just in case he regained consciousness and might be able to speak to us.

My brother Bobby about 3 months before he died.

My brother Bobby about 3 months before he died.

I was sleeping on the sofa in the intensive care waiting room, dreaming about my brother. In my dream,  he was walking away from me, towards a wooden fence at the other side of a meadow. On the other side of the fence, there were people waiting for him, waving for him to come on over, smiling at him. Bobby turned to look at me, smiled, waved, then turned around and continued to walk away from me.

I thought when I awoke that the dream meant that he was getting better. But suddenly, an alarm went off in the intensive care unit, and several doctors, nurses, and other hospital attendants ran into the small room where Bobby lay. About a half hour later, my brother’s doctor took my Mother and me into a conference room to tell us that Bobby had died.

My Mother was, of course, inconsolable. I did not shed a tear, because I know that Bobby came to me in his dream to tell me goodbye, and that he was happy to go.

I have not told this story to many people, but  I recently came across the book, The Hand on The Mirror by Janis Heaphy Durham.Here is a synopsis of the book, taken from the book website:

In 2004, Ms.    Heaphy Durham’s husband, Max Besler, died of esophageal cancer at age 56.  Heaphy Durham soon began encountering phenomena unlike anything she had ever experienced: lights flickering, doors opening and closing, clocks stopping at 12:44, the exact time Max died.  But then something startling happened that changed Heaphy Durham’s life forever. A powdery handprint spontaneously appeared on her bathroom mirror on the first anniversary of Max’s death. Incredibly, a similar image appeared on the second and third anniversaries as well. Clearly, something otherworldly was occurring.

This launched Heaphy Durham on a journey that transformed her spiritually and altered her view of reality forever. She interviewed scientists and spiritual practitioners along the way, as she discovered that the veil between this world and the next is thin and love is what bridges the two worlds.


Have you ever experienced anything paranormal, or “other worldly?” Do you believe in life after death? If so, you really do need to read this book. Download an excerpt here.

You may purchase The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death at Amazon.com, or at Barnes and Nobles; Books-A-Million; Apple ibooks; Powells.com; and IndieBound.org.

You can win a copy of The Hand on the Mirror. Use the Giveaway Tools entry form to enter.

Family Gift Guide: Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga Book Giveaway

Five Star Trails: Chattanooga

Five Star Trails: Chattanooga

If you love hiking, and either live in the Southeast or are planning a vacation in the area, then Five Star Trails Chattanooga will be ideal for you. The book includes routes for all ages, skill levels and abilities. Readers will find detailed directions to trailheads, GPS-based trail map,s and elevations for each trail. Each trail is rated for scenery, difficulty, trail condition, solitude, and accessibility for children.

The book is written by Johnny Malloy, who is one of the southeast’s most prolific outdoor writers.  He brings the trails to life with vivid descriptions of the trail, local history, flora and fauna. He also gives concise, accurate directions for the regions’s best trails.

BUY IT: You can purchase Five-Star Trails: Chattanooga: Your Guide to the Area’s Most Beautiful Hikes at Amazon.com

WIN IT: One winner will receive a copy of Five Star Trails: Chattanooga. To enter, us the Giveaway Tools entry form.