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DNP "waterlily525" (Framingham, MA United States)

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The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread
The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread
by Peter Reinhart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.56
39 used & new from CDN$ 25.06

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love good bread, this is worth every penny and more, July 15 2004
This book is a real education in bread baking. You'll learn the science behind the process; as another reviewer stated, you'll feel like you are sitting in one of the author's classes at Johnson & Wales University. You'll learn various dough-shaping techniques, including tips that I otherwise would never have known, like how to create surface tension so that the loaf will rise up and not just out. Basically, you will learn everything you need to know to create really great bread and you'll learn it in an engaging, easy-to-read manner from a person who obviously has a real (and contagious) love for good food.
You may find as I did that to begin with you will have to do a lot of flipping back and forth in the book, to review particular processes. However, once you learn how to shape a baguette or how to judge the dough's gluten development, as examples, you won't have to keep going back to review that information and you'll be able to follow the recipes with more flow.
The Poolish Baguettes are to die for. I often make a batch when I have company (since a good deal of the work is done the day before) and let me tell you, if you want to see people REALLY SAVOR their food, give them a warm loaf of this bread!
Of the other recipes I've tried so far, my other favorite is the foccacia.
Another reviewer felt like you had to have a state-of-the-art kitchen to use this book. I must disagree, as I felt Mr. Reinhart went out of his way to teach the user how to recreate (to a reasonable degree) the commercial baking process, including steaming the loaves to create that delectable crunchy crust.
If you love good bread and want to know how to achieve superior results baking it yourself, don't hesitate a moment to buy this book.

Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner
Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner
by David Bach
Edition: Paperback
81 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful; much of it timeless advice, March 10 2004
There were three things I especially liked about this book.
The first was the way the author presented the fact that small things do add up. In the beginning of the book, he states that most people overestimate (financially) what they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can accomplish over many years. He includes graphs that illustrate this dramatically.
The second was the chapter on values. This chapter had a number of exercises for each partner to complete independently. Then, together, they can begin to draft a plan for their finances that embraces the values they each hold most closely. If the financial plan is customized to fit the values of the particular couple, taken together, it makes all the sense in the world that it will be easier and more satisfying to LIVE with that plan and carry it out over time (without either of the partners sabotaging the plan).
The third is somewhat tied into the first point I mentioned. It is a chapter called "The Couples Latte Factor." This chapter discusses "small," daily expenses and how, if a couple decides to eliminate or reduce even one or two of these daily expenses and invest that money instead, it can result in a lot of money, over time. This and most of the other chapters include real-life examples of couples whose experiences illustrate the principles being discussed.
I recognized the value of all of this advice right away as I was reading it, but initially felt a bit overwhelmed, thinking: "This is great, but how am I going to do it ALL?" Because I imagine that other people may have the same feelings, I will share the answer we ended up coming up with. A little at a time. I still haven't gotten up to investing 10% of my income in my company's 401(k), but as a couple, we ARE very near to reaching our goal of setting aside a year's worth of expenses in an emergency account and we HAVE adjusted the amount of life insurance we carry and had estate documents drafted by an attorney. Once we do have the complete year's worth of expenses set aside, I'll change my 401(k) investment to 10%.
Is this the order Mr. Bach or another financial planner would advise us to do things in? I don't know. I DO know that doing things the way we have, gradually following more and more of his advice has GOT to be better than being paralyzed and doing nothing...which is what we would have been in danger of doing if we hadn't taken it a little at a time.
A book I would recommend in conjunction with this is The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life by Suze Orman.

Prussia's Glory: Great German Marches
Prussia's Glory: Great German Marches

5.0 out of 5 stars "Functional" music, March 5 2004
I bought this CD for the following reason:
I had decided to start up a walking program and I wanted some music to walk to. I read the following suggestion for walking music: Marches! (To give credit where credit is due: Anne Barone is the author I'm referring to; she has two books listed on Ms. Barone mentioned that marches were designed to have the beat and "mood" to keep tired soldiery marching. Made sense to me.)
I'm happy to say that this is great walking music. It's not something most people would listen to for the sake of beauty per se (although the songs are by no means unpleasant to listen to), but it's the perfect tempo for walking, which is why I called it "functional" in my title.

by Jonni McCoy
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource on reducing expenses, Feb. 27 2004
This review is from: MISERLY MOMS, 3RD ED. (Paperback)
For anyone who wishes to stay home with their family, this is a terrific resource on how to lower expenses. The author was once a senior buyer for Apple Computers, among other firms, and you can see this working experience in her thorough and analytical approach to family frugality.
The fact that the book is called "Miserly" Moms may be slightly misleading (it initially put my husband off, which is why I mention this). "Miserly" indicates stinginess, penuriousness, lack of generosity. By no means is this the message contained in this book. Rather, it shows many ways families can cut expenses in order to meet a particular goal: that of having one parent stay home with the child(ren).
In fact, the author's approach is to find those areas where she can make the biggest dent in expenses in the least amount of time. Approximately half of the book is dedicated to saving money on food, since for most families with two parents working outside the home, cutting back on food expenses offers the biggest opportunity to save a lot of money quickly.
Her first principle is not to confuse frugality with depriving oneself. The reason: if you think you're depriving yourself, you cripple your ability to make long-term changes. Rather, she presents frugality as a choice, made every day in many different ways, both large and small. (Example: Would I rather have this Starbucks coffee and muffin now or would I rather do without them, if that is what it takes to be home with my children?) This principle is reflected throughout.
There's also a great chapter in this book on raising frugal children.
I would recommend this book in conjunction with another book called You Can Afford To Stay Home With Your Kids. I felt the latter book was stronger in helping the reader to break down his/her particular monthly expenses and make a budget ahead of time. Also, I felt that book included more discussion on what would-be-stay-at-home-parents can expect once home...while it's true that there are huge emotional payoffs to feeling that you're making the greatest possible contribution to bringing up your child(ren) by being home with them, nothing but nothing is all sunshine and roses. Two funny examples these authors cite are that your children will have more opportunities to drive you bonkers once you're home with them and that if you never liked housework, you will not magically find yourself liking to scrub the toilets and you may find yourself doing it more often.
In my own case, I felt that these two books taken together made a GREAT partnership. You Can Afford To Stay Home With Your Kids has more to offer families prior to making the transition from two incomes to one (in my opinion). Miserly Moms shines in showing many, many specific ways families can reduce expenses without sacrificing quality...which of course is valuable both before and after making the transition.
Oh, yeah... I bought both books about a year and a half ago. It took about a year to lay all the groundwork, but I'm home with my two children now. The suggestions in these books helped me to lay that foundation and now that I'm home, to be able to stay there by practicing a frugal lifestyle.

You Can Afford To Stay Home With Your Kids
You Can Afford To Stay Home With Your Kids
by Malia Mccawley Wyckoff
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended in conjunction with Miserly Moms, Feb. 24 2004
What I liked best about this book:
1. The chapter on contingency plans. Yes, it's obvious that it's a good idea to have a backup-plan in case the working parent gets laid off, there's a large unexpected expense, etc. Nevertheless, I found it helpful to read the authors' experiences regarding such emergencies which happened in their families and to consider the various ideas and options presented. My own contingency plan was that I worked fifteen months longer than I wanted to and progressively worked up to putting my entire paycheck in savings; by the time I quit, we had enough money set aside to pay our living expenses for an entire year, if that became necessary.
2. The chapter on stay-at-home blues. I appreciated the authors' candor in describing the pros and cons of staying home. A humorous (but true) example they give is that you won't necessarily fall in love with cleaning the bathroom and once home, you may do it more often than you did before. Most importantly, they're honest about the feeling of isolation that can creep up on a stay-at-home parent and how one can deal with it.
3. They "tell it like it is". As they say, unless one of the parents' incomes is completely disposable, it is going to be necessary to make some sacrifices somewhere. Something will have to go in order to keep the family's financial boat afloat. My family experienced this period of adjustment while saving for our emergency fund; by the time I left work, we were already used to managing on one income and it wasn't so difficult.
I address the chapters on the "cons" of staying home specifically because if most people pick up a book like this in the first place, it's probably because they already want to be home with their child(ren). What they want to know is how to achieve that goal and what to expect along the way. I found this book a terrific primer on how to get off the fast track in the smoothest possible manner.
The reason I recommended this book in conjunction with Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy is that I feel the latter book presents a larger share of nuts-and-bolts information on how to reduce expenses. Jonni McCoy once worked as a senior buyer for Apple Computers, among other firms, and you can see this real-world experience in how she analyzes and approaches the issue of frugality.

A Part of the Sky
A Part of the Sky
by Robert Newton Peck
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and touching, Feb. 18 2004
From the author's dedication to his mother and aunt, "who worked a farm like men but stayed as soft as quilts" to the end when they lose their farm and have to start over, this book is filled with charm and honest emotion.
After I read "A Day No Pigs Would Die" to my two children, they were clamoring for more about Robert and his family.
This book is not didactic about values, but as you read the struggles and misfortunes Robert and his family face at the onset of the Great Depression, you will find those down-home, bedrock values in every chapter. GREAT family reading.
I, as an adult, enjoyed it every bit as much as my two children did.
Another series of books with the same "flavor" is Little Britches by Ralph Moody.

Caravan: Ultimate Silk Road Album
Caravan: Ultimate Silk Road Album
Price: CDN$ 20.61
5 used & new from CDN$ 10.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and exotic, Jan. 23 2004
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not extremely knowledgeable about classical music; I just know what I enjoy listening to and this is one of my favorites when I'm the mood for something a little bit "exotic" sounding. A lot of the composers are Russian and the music has the flavor of the East. "In the Steppes of Central Asia" is particularly lovely.

Natural Beauty: Pamper Yourself with Salon Secrets at Home
Natural Beauty: Pamper Yourself with Salon Secrets at Home
by Laura DuPriest
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.95
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A gem: Information I've never found anywhere else, July 23 2003
Specifically, my review title is referring to three chapters.
One is a chapter on waxing hair. It includes a recipe for making a sugar wax at home. I'm one of those people who just hates paying to have someone else wax my legs and since shaving every day is irksome and time-consuming, I was really happy to find this information. Best of all, the recipe and instructions work great. I figure I paid for the book with my first leg waxing.
The second chapter is the one on shaping eyebrows. I already knew how to determine where the eyebrows should begin and end, but this chapter showed how to shape what's in between. It also showed common mistakes that people make.
Finally, in the hair-care chapter, there were great instructions on how to blow dry hair the way they do in a salon. I've never found such detailed instructions for that before and found them quite helpful.

Shrink Your Female Fat Zones: Lose Pounds and Inches-- Fast!-- From Your Belly, Hips, Thighs, and More
Shrink Your Female Fat Zones: Lose Pounds and Inches-- Fast!-- From Your Belly, Hips, Thighs, and More
by Denise Austin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.75
68 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four-pronged approach for a lifetime of fitness, July 23 2003
This book features a comprehensive approach to fitness...cardio, strength training, stretching and healthful eating. Each body type has a slightly different recommendation, in order to target (with toning exercises) particular problem areas. Denise's manner of writing is informative, friendly and encouraging.
What I liked best:
The cardio workout recommended is walking, which is nice because it can be done any time, anywhere. There are four walking workouts per week: an endurance walk, an interval walk, a walk with toning exercises incorporated and a combination interval/toning walk. Every two weeks the length of the walk is increased so that if you follow the schedule you will be walking 45 minutes/walk four times a week at the end of six weeks. There is a modified schedule for those who are quite out of shape, starting out. The fact that there is variety in the workouts makes it more interesting and less likely to result in a fitness plateau.
There is a wonderful chapter on emotional eating. Basically, Denise's suggestion is to keep a "hunger" journal...noting down what time you eat, how hungry you were (on a scale of 1 to 5) and what the surrounding circumstances were. I have tried this myself and keep going back to it occasionally as a touchstone. I've found this a very helpful tool as far as modifying my habits.
There are three eating plans along with suggestions for which would be most appropriate: a 1,400-calorie-a-day plan, a 1,600-calorie plan and an 1,800-calorie plan. Denise also has suggestions for modifying them. As one example, Denise explains why some women might find it most successful to alternate between the 1,400-calorie plan and the 1,600-calorie plan.
The food on the included menus has lots of variety and is delicious. I don't think anyone would feel deprived. It's also quite flexible, making it user-friendly. For instance, the shopping lists note which foods not to buy if you're planning to eat out on a given day during that week.
Finally, following her three-times-a-day stretching routine has been one of the best things I've done for myself. I've always stretched before and after workouts, but never throughout the day, every day. In the past month or so, little aches and pains that I used to have by the end of a day in the office have melted away.
As I get older, I find myself less concerned about a number on the scale, per se, and more concerned about maintaining strength and flexibility so that as the years go by I will continue to be able to do with ease the activities I love. I found Denise's advice in this book fit right in with my goals for a lifetime of fitness.

Fine Art Of Dressing
Fine Art Of Dressing
by Margaux Tartarotti
Edition: Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.76

5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing new look at beauty, April 17 2003
This review is from: Fine Art Of Dressing (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book because it celebrated many different body types, showing how best to enhance each one. It can be frustrating that today there is such a narrow definition of "beauty" and this book goes beyond that.
I also enjoyed the concept of labeling each body type by the artist that celebrated that shape, as opposed to fruit labels, i.e., "pear" or "apple". For instance, the Rubens shape is all-over voluptuous and generous. That doesn't fit today's "ideals" but why shouldn't one be able to look lovely just the same?
I myself felt like I was somewhere in between Modigliani (very slender above the waist and curvy below) and a Renoir (similar shape, but more solid above the waist) depends on my weight. In any case, some of the same styles apply to both body shapes.
I can say that following the advice of empire-waist dresses and dresses with bolero jackets for the Modigliani shape has garnered me compliments, both from my husband (a spontaneous, "Wow! That looks really nice on you!") and from others. And that feels great.

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