Sunday, January 10, 2010

Review/Giveaway: Comfort Living

A WINNING READINGS GIVEAWAY!

Title: Comfort Living: A Back-to-Basics Guide To a More Balanced Lifestyle
Author: Christine Eisner
Genre: Nonfiction lifestyle/self-help
How to enter: Leave a comment on THIS post right here! If you're a subscriber or a follower, leave a second comment for a second entry.
Entry deadline: January 25, 2010
Restrictions: Open internationally

That's right, enter right here for this giveaway. Please note: we are giving away our review copy, so it has been gently read.

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I feel more balanced and peaceful just flipping through this book...

I love design magazines and catalogs with their photographs of cozy nooks. I just have no idea how to create what I see in my own home.

Comfort Living: A Back-to-Basics Guide To a More Balanced Lifestyle is an eight-week guide to organizing your home into a positive, comfortable place. It is written by Christine Eisner, a designer, consultant, and writer with an impressive international résumé. This 84-page paperback is published by Lifestyle Designs and has a list price of $19.95. For more information, check out http://comfortlivingbychristine.com/.

Here's how the website describes the book: "In Comfort Living as well as in life, "less" can be so much more. This book is as much about what is in it, as what isn't. Every detail of this book - from the copy, pictures and layout, to the size, format and length - is geared to making the path to a more balanced lifestyle simple, straightforward and accessible. Home can be as simple as looking inward and realizing, 'There's no place like home.'"

This is very much an action-oriented book, containing eight weeks of concepts, worksheets, and activities. The graphic design and illustrations are great - it makes one want to dive right in and get started. And it really is that simple! In the introduction - even before week one, are a couple of easy assignments that get you motivated and feeling the change right away, like arranging your table placesettings the night before so you have a more welcoming meal environment when you arrive back home the next day. This is not just a theory book - it is loaded with specific tools and activities for your use.

What I like about the book is that it doesn't start with layouts and color designs and that sort of thing, like my first inclination is. First you walk through the steps of identifying your personal treasures and obstacles - meaningful moments and things that get in the way. You define how YOU want to feel at home. And that sets the foundation for the rest of the choices and actions you take.

Of course, I appreciated the fact that this process doesn't require huge amounts of money, either. You can do a lot with what you have, and adding nature accents can make a huge difference without costing anything...

By the way, if you're a Christian and have had concerns with some of the origins and principles of feng shui, I thought I'd mention that I didn't catch any specific references to this type of thing. Some of the terminology (guiding lights, echoes, bridges, etc.) felt a little odd to me, but made perfect sense upon explanation and certainly reinforced the concepts being presented.

Now the tough question - does the book work? Hmmm... I'd like to give an unqualified yes, and there ARE some changes I've already taken that have made a significant difference. And I am completely motivated to declutter - which I think will make the most difference of everything we do.

We've still got lots of work to do on our home. We've got several specific challenges:
  1. I started working through this book during the holiday period. Bad timing, as I wasn't able to devote the time I'd have liked to. The activities aren't that complex, but they do take time and can add up over the weeks as some actions carry over from week to week.
  2. We (husband and wife) differ pretty significantly on the words we use to describe how we want to feel at home. There are a few things we agree on - like "not cluttered" - but our definition of clutter differs! We can designate different areas for each other, I know, but this realization did put a damper on things for me.
  3. I've got a two-year-old who has this need to cover all flat surfaces with something or another. A pretty little bowl of shells won't stay that way for long - I'll start finding shell crumbles all over the house sooner or later. Trying to stay ahead of her is tricky!
  4. There are all kinds of little hangups, like the fact that our "main" door - the first sight when we arrive home - opens up into the utility room - not exactly the most inspiring of spots with cat dishes and laundry staring one in the face. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
I'm not giving up, by any means. I've taken notes and have specific ideas of what I want to do, specifically in incorporating nature into our home. I'm especially excited about applying some of these ideas to our new preschool/homeschool house that is being built right now.

But with our shortage on time and the two-year-old challenge, I'm going to give myself eight months instead of eight weeks to pull it all together. Especially the decluttering part.

Thanks to The Cadence Group for organizing the review copy of this book.


68 comments:

Healthy & Happy said...

typing from a very cluttered desk, i think i'd like this book. i did declutter my office during a holiday last week...

Healthy & Happy said...

or i guess it still would be up for debate if my office was decluttered....

christine eisner said...

This is Christine (the author)! Thanks so much for your comments on the book. I'm glad you feel it's making a difference in your life.
My kids are now 13 and 19, so I've dealt with that age. A couple of specific suggestions for what you bring up:
1st: Now that the holidays are over, you can more gently continue the process (and join me for my Comfort Living Club)
2nd: I have a cluttered desk, constantly. I know this is a fact of life, but I make a point of routinely clearing it off, so that I can get a fresh start and not let things get to a breaking point
3rd: A suggestion for your entry (which I have done). A spring rod and a curtain from Home Depot or Linens 'n Things might be all you need to hide that hanging laundry. (Looking at a curtain is alot better than the intricacies of hanging laundry.) Also, how about mounting a shelf or two and putting that bowl of shells (and maybe even a candle and matches) out of reach, but so that it's easy to experience?

Back to my Comfort Living Club: This Tuesday (Jan 12th) from 7:30 - 8:30pm EST, I am livestreaming the first session of my Comfort Living Club. Look for Comfort Living Club on my website. I'm also on twitter: @comfort_living

Again, thanks so much!

Beth (BBRB) said...

This looks great! Please enter me!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Beth (BBRB) said...

I'm a follower.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Sandy Jay said...

This sounds like something I need to read. Count me in!

forwhlz at gmail dot com

Sandy Jay said...

I'm a follower.

forwhlz at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, 8 months instead of 8 weeks, but forward progress is key right? Sounds like a great book.

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I follow with google reader.

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Jennifer said...

Are you giving away your review copy?

Jennifer said...

RSS subscriber too

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

I follow.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Ticia said...

Looks interesting to me.

Ticia said...

I'm a follower.

Jill said...

Oh, I luv idea books like this one!

Thanks for a Great Giveaway :)

Jill said...

I am a Happy Follower and Subscriber :)

Benita said...

Many aspects of my life are cluttered. I could really use a guide such as this to assist me with change.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

Follower and subscriber.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(Dot)Com

Anonymous said...

i'm a subscriber :)

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(Dot)Com

wmmahaney said...

I would love this book.
wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

wmmahaney said...

I subscribe in Google Reader.
wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

409cope said...

This looks like a great book that we all should read. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

409cope said...

I follow through google friend. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Nancye said...

Please enter me in this giveaway. Thank you!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower and E-mail subscriber

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

cstironkat said...

I could use some balance in my life right now. This book would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

I would be most appreciative of any helpful information!!

David Johnson said...

Please count me in, thanks.

toughturtles said...

we can all use some balance

Nicole said...

I would love to enter!

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

Michelle said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for hosting!

michellemsherman(at)gmail(dot)com

Annette said...

I need all the help I can get!

Annette said...

I follow you!

sweetsue said...

I believe less is more, but somehow I don't practice it!
smchester at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

I'm all about making our home and lives about comfort (and joy). Thanks for the chance to win a book that will help me do that. asthenight at gmail dot com

Deborah said...

I follow your blog. asthenight at gmail dot com

Colengal said...

That is exactly what I need. Help editing my space and re-imagining things in different spaces.

hbokor said...

This book sounds divine. It would come in handy for all of us. Thanks for this giveaway.

heidibokor @ yahoo . com

hbokor said...

I am a follower via Google Connect - hbokor. Thank you.

heidibokor @ yahoo . com

Nickolay said...

Another great book. Thanks for the chance

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

Nickolay said...

blog follower

nickolay

jason(at)allworldautomotive(dot)com

demmi said...

please enter me in the book giveaway
con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another great book!
shawnac68@hotmail.com

yellowlabs said...

Looks like a great book!

yellowlabs said...

I follow your blog!

Karrie said...

Please add me to the giveaway

Kathy said...

As I sit here, surrounded by stacks of magazines on the floor, and overflowing (and not in a nice way,) bookshelves that beg to be put in order, old videotapes (yes tapes!) I feel that my family room (which is tiny and really my own space,) is screaming for a more organized life! This book sounds like what I have had in mind as the way to start the new year to TRY and organize my home. The method sounds perfect...done in steps, and wouldn't make me feel pressured to try to do the job in one day! Count me in!
kateswen(at)gmail(dot)com

chromiumman said...

we could really use this

karen said...

This book looks great. I could really use it. Thanks.

president(dot)peaches(at)hotmail(dot)com

Hotsnotty2 said...

I'd love to read this, thanks for the chance!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

dreamcleavers said...

dreamcleavers@yahoo.com
i think mywife would like this one

dreamcleavers said...

dreamcleavers@yahoo.com
i follow you
dreamcleavers

packerfantimmy said...

I am currently un-employed and always stressed so this book would be great to give me ideas on re-organizing my house while I have the time and helping me relax.
titletowntreasures(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

packerfantimmy said...

google friend follower-packerfantimmy
titletowntreasures(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

kathy pease said...

Thank you for the AWESOME GIVEAWAY.. Please count me in :)

kathy pease said...

following your blog as klp1965

purango said...

This sounds like a great book. I would love to win it. garrettsambo@aol.com

ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

All I have to do is watch Hoaders & I get the icth to start throwing things away. Yet, I need a more How too book to teach me how to simplfy things!

I would love to read this book!
zestywonderland@gmail.com

ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

I follow!

zestywonderland@gmail.com

ZESTYWONDERLAND said...

I subscribe!
zestywonderland@gmail.com

Gianna said...

Please enter me :)

Kerrie said...

I really need to learn how to declutter! I have stuff everywhere and I am being swallowed by laundry:-)
kerriekg@yahoo.com

Kerrie said...

I follow your blog!
kerriekg@yahoo.com

lilyk said...

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

lilyk said...

I subscribed to your blog.

SueFitz said...

Sorry I missed this one definately sounds like a good book. I will definately have to add to my TBR list