January is the time for new resolutions, the time when people want to make changes in their life for better. Some want to lose 50 lbs, some want to set aside cash for savings and so on. Personally, I am really bad at New Years resolutions. I love the idea of starting something new in the New Year instead of some silly resolution I will never keep.
I found that DK books have a wonderful selection in their Start Something New Boutique, (which are all 30% off for a limited time), to help just about anyone try something different this year.
I picked out a few books I was interested in, and I had my sister pick out two for herself to try something new. I decided on Get Started: Preserving from DK books “Learn Something New” line as well as the Fully Updated 4th Edition of Digital Photography: An Introduction. My sister chose Get Started Yoga and Crochet Step by Step.
I was really interested in Get Started: Preserving because I already do preserve a few simple things – Salsa, Blueberry Jam, and Freezer Pickles but I would really love to start preserving more to add to my pantry so I can cut down on some of the items I currently purchase.
I love that Get: Started preserving takes you step by step through beginner recipes like pickling and freezing right through building on these skills with jams and bottling to some advanced skills like curing meat and fermenting your own wine. I am a very visual learner and definitely appreciate all the photos included. Each recipe is headed by symbols showing the volume it makes, preparation time and maximum shelf life. The tips, advice and help for when things go wrong included with each practice recipe as well as suggestions for varying the recipes are exceptionally helpful.
I chose Digital Photography: An Introduction as I really would love to step up the photography on my blog and have no idea where to start. This is an amazing guide for beginners touching on core skills like picture composition, perspective, colour composition and more. There are also included valuable ideas for photography projects such as various ways to capture children in photography beyond the usual cheesy grins.
I was surprised by the depth of image development tips that was also included, I do have Photoshop but that doesn’t mean I know how to use it effectively to improve my photography. This book is going to help me immensely beyond just taking photos and that is amazing!
Probably the most invaluable resource included in this book, at least from my perspective, is the buying guide. As a beginner I have no idea what to really look for and this goes into detail about the benefits of various camera types and other accessories.
My Sister chose Get Started: Yoga because she is interested in relaxation and fitness as well as mindfulness. She had been interested in learning Yoga for awhile but did not know where to start.
She loved that each yoga pose in the book had several really clear photos that went well with the description. Each pose also includes a “make it easier” option as well as showing common errors as well as a description of the body areas being worked on. She loved that the book also focused on breathing techniques and how to incorporate them into Yoga as well as laying out the benifts of Yoga.
Get Started: Yoga also maps out 15, 30, and 45 minute sequences helpfully mapped out for the reader. The difficulty in the poses increases as the book goes on and builds upon previous lessons. She did find it difficult to read and initiate at the same time so the poses took longer to master than she had thought they would, but not to the point of being prohibitive.
She was interested in the Crochet Step by Step book because she has tried crochet in the past but really wanted to work on tidying up her skills and picking up new skills this year.
My sisters found this book full of different techniques and really useful patterns. Crochet Step by Step begins with some great descriptions on various tools, yarns and colours which she has found extremely helpful. She has her eye on a gorgeous patchwork blanket pattern from the book and I can’t wait to see the end product!