Quick Non-Fic Reviews – Home and Garden

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tenancy to borrow waaay too many books. The last post I did like this was all about the sustainability and cook books that I had recently borrowed. Well this post is all about the Home and Garden books I borrow.

Okay so the below books are all so tempting because they have such beautiful covers! How can you look at them and not want to borrow them? Also I really like succulents and am really interested in terrariums. I mean I haven’t had the initiative yet to make anything pretty from these books but I live in hope of someday.


Home and Garden

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things (Revised Edition) by Cy Tymony

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things is such a fun and interesting book! The whole time I was reading this I was just thinking about how the projects could be incorporated into school holiday programs at my library. The skill and understanding level needed to complete a lot of these projects would be perfectly suited towards young adults and would be just educational and engaging enough to not bore readers.

I adored that as an adult readers I could easily follow the instructions, and really enjoyed the graphic illustrations that demonstrated a lot of the projects and steps. Even more than that, the book doesn’t fix itself in only the American market, as when needed it converts information, for example, the book offers information on how to find south in the southern hemisphere. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things is a perfect resource for some sneaky learning and STEM work!


Small Space Big Ideas by Philippa Pearson

Small Space Big Ideas was a beautiful book full of so many fun looking home and garden projects. I want to return to this book at some point to look at the vertical gardens featured, as well as the use of old tea cups and saucers for housing succulents and potentially using them as bird feeders. I think there are a few editions of this book floating around with different names, so if you see Small Space Garden Ideas, this is also that book, however I think the one I read was published for Australian audiences.


Creative Terrariums: 33 Modern Mini-Gardens for Your Home by Enid Gonzalez

I am a weakness for books about terrariums 😅 I’m very interested in making one but have neither the time, money, nor inclination to actually start a project. Creative Terrariums is both a visually stunning book but also a practical one. Unlike a lot of terrarium books I have read, Gonzalez takes you through and explains the necessary steps needed for not only making the terrarium but maintaining it.

Definitely give this book a go if you’re thinking about making a terrarium as it not only shows you how to make one but educates you along the way. I am particularly interested by the terrarium chandelier!


Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant, and Kate Baldwin (Photographer)

Okay so this book confirms that I mainly borrow these books for the pretty pictures. And this book is full of pretty pictures! I really love some of these terrarium projects, they not only look good but I am tricked 😋 into thinking I could make these beauties.

What I really like about this book and what separates it from others, is that it has step by step pictures of how you can create terrariums. These pictorial steps do happen only at the beginning but they are still a really valuable resource as with anything, I would no doubt need visual instructions so as not to completely mess everything up. The rest of the book is filled with pictures of projects you can make which include all of the things you will need.


Quick Non-Fic Reviews: Cook Books

You may noticed that I work in a library and you also may have noticed that I have a tenancy to borrow waaay too many books. My previous Quick Non-Fic Reviews were so fun to write that I’ve decided to keep doing them, as I for some inexplicable reason, I have not stopped borrowing books 😋 This post will look at all of the Cook books that I have borrowed recently and read.


I Didn’t Know My Slow Cooker Could Do That: 150 Delicious, Surprising Recipes by Better Homes and Gardens

This book was a mixed bag for me because yes there were recipes in there that I didn’t know you could do in a slow cooker but there were also not a lot of practical meal in there. A lot of the more ‘out there’ recipes that incorporated the slow cooker were ones that could have been accomplished in the oven. Now I’m not saying that a recipe that calls for you to fry ingredients, cook them in a slow cooker, put them in a food processor, and then pop in the oven aren’t practical but they’re really not in the spirit of the slow cooker.

I will say though that I will be trying some of the bread recipes, in particular the chilli corn bread one which looked amazing 🤤 Also it appears that this book has lit a sudden interest in making preserves as gifts for people. The tomato and bacon spread not only had my stomach growling but had my frugal mind spinning with present possibilities.


Ice Cube Tray Recipes by Jen Karetnick

Food from ice cube trays?! Yes please, I though as I caught a glimpse of this book cover. It wasn’t until I was reading through each recipe trying to visulise how some of these would work that I realised the books flaw. There simply aren’t enough pictures of the recipe.

For such a strange cooking concept you really do need images to back these recipes up. While there was a detailed section at the beginning of the book about the different types of ice cube trays and the ways in which to cook with them, I would often find myself reading a recipe and simply not being able to visualise the cooking process or the final product. I did read an eBook version of the book though, so who knows maybe a physical copy had more images (to be fair though I read a lot of eBook recipe books and this is not the case).

Other than that though, I really thought this was such a cool concept and would be a great type of food to whip out at parties 🤤


Tots! 50 Tot-ally awesome recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-Tot-O Pie by Dan Whalen

Just to start I will say that I have a weakness for ‘tots.’ I say ‘tots’ because in Australia they are called potato gems and they are just so yummy with a little bit of chicken salt. Tots! is a great little cook book because it has so many recipes that not only use this lovely food item but because they are easy to make and look dilicious!

I am looking forward to trying Totchos (nachos but with potato gems) and also Shepard’s Pie with a Totty Top (normal Shepard’s pie but with potato gems instead of mashed potato). Also I am very intrigued by the idea of mooshing and flattening the potato gems and serving food on top of them – the book suggests caviar and sour cream but I will never be that fancy 😋 If you do see this book around I would really recommend giving it a read! It will 100% make you crave some potato gems.