Here’s a neat and innovative idea: Since you follow recipes for cooking up delicious meals in your kitchen, why not use “recipes” to “cook up” the perfect design for your whole house? HGTV star Kelly Edwards takes this simple notion of assembling the right “ingredients” for designing the spaces you live in and gives us The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home. Edwards walks us through each and every room, showing how easy, fun and economical it can be to turn your unique concept of style into a livable dream come true. “Economical” is truly the key word: Edwards has been called the “MacGyver of Design,” able to turn the most meager, leaden budget into enviable, stylish gold. On any given page of The Design Cookbook, no consideration—not one pinch of design salt—is too small to be brought to light by Edwards’ all-divining eye for detail, color, accent, space, contrast, harmony and (above all) practicality. Every step of the way, she makes sure you feel confident about how smart you’d be to put your money wherever her intelligent design sensibility says it should go.

There are few greater markups in our entire economy than the one we literally swallow at our local bars and restaurants, where a glass of wine or a pint of beer gives merchants an exponential return on their investment. Smart oenophiles (and those who tipple other libations) are figuring out the joys and frugal benefits of making their own various homegrown glories. In Hooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking, and Infusing at Home, Scott Meyer reveals the simplest paths to fermenting self-sufficiency, whichever nectar you happen to imbibe. For Meyer, “frugal” and “fruity” are nearly synonymous. The chapter on “Homegrown Wines” is practically worth the price of the book alone, a cornucopia of basic instructions for making vintages out of everything under the sun, from the venerable grape, to peaches and plums, to the humble parsnip, right down to the dandelions missed by your lawnmower. Whether it’s a way to make cider from apples, mead from honey, or gin infused with rose hips, Meyer is still at it, at the still, distilling step-by-step knowledge into inebriating wisdom.

Who are you going to turn to when it comes to figuring out the best way to raise your child to become that almost unattainable ideal, that combination of crafty, thrifty, versatile and joyfully sybaritic—a set of qualities that will help your kid flourish and be creative and (therefore) be happy in the world? This is the book you’ve been waiting for, all of you moms and dads out there. Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids delivers “175 fun projects to create, build, design, explore, and share” on one gorgeous, full-color spread after another. But more than that, the book delivers on Stewart’s career-long promise to help us make our lives simply more beautiful, and beautifully more simple. Because the book offers so many projects, kids at any stage will find plenty to do, including making quick origami finger puppets, adorable button bobby pins, tie-dye t-shirts, pressed-leaf art (even a whole leaf alphabet book), bottle piggy banks and, my favorite, a wacky peg-board marble run.

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