Book It for Holiday Gifts and Cut Your Shopping Time with These Titles!

A book gives someone a mental vacation or the ability to live vicariously through someone else’s life– albeit they might be
Here’s a few books that splashed across my radar that would make great gifts:
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Irene Zutell’s Pieces of Happily Ever After captured my attention at page 3! It’s that good a read and it’s like diving into the life of someone you know. Irene’s ability to capture someone’s attention easily and make them so comfortable with the character as well as sympathetic with the disintegrating life– and marriage– of her protaganist is amazing. She’s quite gifted and I took this book with me “everywhere* so that I could finish it. The well-drawn characters of the daughter, the alzheimer mom as well as the nurses aide are central and the rest of the characters are people you might find in your own life. It’s a great read and anyone who wonders if there is a happily ever after or if there is a life to be had after a major crisis, need only read it to realize that networking and rebuilding that circle of friends that will help you out (and you them) in times of stress is what really matters. Everything else (including a man) will fall into place if you stop hunting for it.
Find it at all major booksellers.
Switching to non-fiction and more than that a how-to book in fashion is always a welcome gift for the fashionista. You might want to buy two of these books–keeping one for yourself.
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Faith and Justina Blakeney AKA the Compai Sisters, have put together a must-have book for any fashionista or recessionist in these leaner economic times. Refashioned Bags: Upcycle Anything inot High-Style Handbags is the book of the season (or the last few years). The Blakeney sisters twist and weave, turn inside-out, and reappropriate just about anything and everything to fashion radical accessories with mad style and a message.
Helpful detailed diagrams accompany the step-by-step instructions, along with bonus crafting ideas, fun facts, and tips and tricks from top bag designersin the DIY field who work with, at times, unusual materials. By following just a few easy steps that require little more than cutting, folding, gluing, and basic stitching, you’ll be able to add refashioned bag designer to your repertoire
In Refashioned Bags, you’ll learn how to create carryalls, clutches, laptop bags, totes, and more. And all of them will get a unique look, whether from the use of an old wool sweater, an ex-boyfriend’s neckties, extra shower curtains, dad’s hand-me-down suit jacket, a quilt, an umbrella, or even a bath mat. Some of the inventive and one-of-a-kind bags you’ll learn to make include:
• Boho Hobo Bag– love this!!
• Sweater Computer Cozy — got to have this one
• Dapper Diaper Bag– makes a great satchel for anyone.
• Messenger Bag– made from an old suit.
• Le Zip Sac — the HIGHLIGHT of the book and an homage to Yohji Yamamoto
• Tux Redux Bag And more!
This one gets more love because I fell in love with the bags and I know Justina and Faith!


Closet Confidential (Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way) by Winona Dimeo-Ediger of the www.daddylikey.blogspot.com.
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Sharing both fashion-savvy advice as well as her own personal style disasters, Closet Confidential offers tips on shopping and style and putting them together on YOUR body and working with what’s in your own closet. From the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Jeans– and how to find the right ones for your body type ( a much needed topic and also one that can help you find affordable jeans. You don’t have to spend $200 for a pair of jeans!) . Ediger runs from intimate apparel, tights, bags, shoes, and everything else and covers what to ditch and what to keep and how to put it all together so that you look fashion-savvy instead of a fashion faux pas. I wish this book had actual photos than drawing but then again, styles change and then the book would require updating.
Worth a buy for the college, high school, new job or anyone who needs some fashion help– which happens to be all of us at one time or another!
The Cocktail Hours is a fiction book that happens to include a cocktail recipe with every chapter and is written by Margaret Rose Lester.
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That alone captured my interest and kept me reading it along with all the LA & So. California locations, hot-spots and name-dropping done in the book. Written by a Toronto transplant, this book is so “LA-esque” in feel. You start out reading it and like it but keep hoping for a bit more. Like those too-little tapas or appetizers, this one keeps leading you on while you cache great cocktail recipes and learn about pick-up lines in LA and how to spot the wannabes and phonies from the real thing. Nothing is ever free in Southern Calfiornia and this book underscores that principal. While the girl does have a thing for various men and an occasionaly booty call as well as the “poor girl” experience (and all of us in LA certainly have had them — even those of us born in So. California). The book is a light read and a great book to take on a vacation or if you don’t mind a fast read with a too quick ending that needs more fleshing out.
Would love to see a sequel with more depth and better thought-out ending.
“>Ms Taken Identiy by Dan Begley (having read this far, you might be wondering WHY it’s hear. Give it a moment please).
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This contemporary women’s literature.. (oops. Sorry girlfriend Lauren (Lipton), but I have to say chick lit here because this is written by a guy. It doesn’t quite seem right to be a contemporary women’s lit category because it’s not written by a women. I can be a bit chauvinistic). This book is actually good. It’s about a guy– so this suddenly fits and you are seeing things from a guy’s perspective. Remember the column in the women’s fashion magazine penned by a guy where he writes about a topics about how to deal with guys? This is that same sort of spin but if you want to learn what’s going on inside a guy’s head, who better to write it. Dan Begley has an interesting twist to it and if you always read those columns written by a man for a women’s magazine, then you need to read this too. The premise is solid. Begley’s got a good voice. Would like to see a deeper sophomore effort.
For those cooking out there, there are waaaaaaay too many books for me to choose from so I am going to give you my favorite book. One that I merely look at because it’s from my favorite chocolatier– and given to me by a friend who understands my obsession and turned me on to this brand. (heaven)
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Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor by Michael Recchiuti & Fran Gage . This is an amazing book that will teach you how to make everything Recchiuti sells. I would rather buy it already made, thank you very much. The shipping on the chocolates is so high as to give you nosebleeds so maybe you might make use of this book other than drooling. But then look at the calories you save!
Other books you should check out include
How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace
Cosmo’s Sexiest Beauty Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Gorgeous
The Truth About Beauty: Transform Your Looks and Your Life from the Inside Out
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com


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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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