DK Canada Books for Canning, Home and Gardening #Review and #Giveaway ~ CAN 05/24

| April 30, 2015 | 31 Comments

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 If you’re like me, you probably remember those orange Idiot’s Guides  from the late 90’s. Virtually on every topic imaginable, I’ve borrowed, browsed and bought these books as they suited my interest. But, they’ve changed! I’ve had the opportunity to review two titles from the new line of Idiot’s Guides by DK Canada which includes FULL colour and step by step photos in the books. ‘The Idiot’s Guides to Organizing your Life’ and ‘The Idiot’s Guides to Canning & Preserving’ are the two titles I’ve had the opportunity to peruse.

Along with these books, I have the ‘Kitchen Gardening for Beginner’s’ book to showcase as well, from DK Canada’s extensive selection of gardening. Since I’m not a gardener by any means, this title was an obvious choice for myself.

Idiot’s Guides: Organizing your Life, by Cyndy Aldred


I love the photos in this book. Honestly, the steps and projects couldn’t be any clearer. There are many interactive tools in this book, including printable lists, checklists to jot down notes, and DIY projects both big and small. I like how the author includes small, doable projects, such as inserting drawer organizers into existing drawers. One constant in each chapter of the book is “quick tricks” which are little things you can accomplish right away in an effort to organize your life. There are tips galore which obviously draws from the extensive experience author Cyndy Aldred shares with the readers.

From organizing your fridge to organizing a children’s bathroom, there isn’t one area of the house that isn’t covered in this organization book. The ideas are modern and thoughtful and I particularly liked the chapter on entryway organization. But, I could relate to most of the sections and was often nodding or saying “what a great idea!” out loud to my husband. I can see myself using this reference book often and picking it up for guidance and inspiration as we continue the giant task of organizing areas of our home.

Idiot’s Guides: Canning & Preserving, by Trish Sebben-Krupka


I decided to review one book from the line on a topic I know nothing about but have a great deal of interest in pursuing. This summer, I would like to try my hand and canning and preserving, and it looks like I’ve found just the book to help me along.

Another guide filled with vibrant photos, this book covers all the basics and necessities of taking on canning and preserving projects. It doesn’t skimp on the tools needed or the safety precautions to take when canning. For example, there are “Spoiler Alert!” notifications scattered throughout the book, warning the readers of this guide on ways a (homemade) canned good could be ruined. Little tips like this are so important to novice canners like myself. Once you have safety measures underway, there are many canning recipes to choose from, along with conversion charts, and supplies needed. Need a way to use these canned goods? There are more recipes to extend your salsas and jams, too. If you’re unsure of one of the terms used, check out the useful glossary at the back of the book.

Both of these titles in the Idiot’s Guides line really do showcase how they take the guesswork out of everyday interest topics, making one feel less like an idiot.

Check out DK Canada’s Idiot’s Guides boutique for more book ideas!

gardening-boutique-button-2-185x185Kitchen Gardening for Beginners: a simple guide to growing fruit and vegetables

This simple looking book with its whimsical illustrations on the front and back covers really had me fooled! By no means is it a wimpy book when it comes to gardening. This is full-fledged gardening! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that beginner gardening goes far beyond my imagination. From creating plots, to storing and preserving your bulbs, this reference book spends the first half describing projects to prep your land and get ready for actual gardening. Then, it dives in to how to plant specific fruits and vegetables. The detailed care given to preparing your soil and protecting gardens from the elements just shows that no matter how big or small, gardening is a project that needs attention to detail. At the same time, it’s not overly daunting to worry about as the step-by-step photos really bring tasks to the surface and provides great information in completing these steps. There are many DIY projects available, and one I found intriguing is how to create an onion and garlic drying rack. If you are at all interested in gardening or considering giving gardening a try this spring or summer, then you must check out the new line of DK Canada gardening books.Gardening_book

For more titles in the DK Canada Gardening boutique line, check them out here!

Disclaimer: I received these books from DK Canada in order to write this review. The opinions expressed are my own.


DK Canada wants to share these titles with one lucky reader!

Enter for your chance to win copies of the books I’ve reviewed here.


The giveaway is open to Canadian residents and ends on May 24th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST.

Good luck!

Rules: Open to Canadian residents 18 +. You have 48 hours to reply by email once you are notified as the winner. If you don’t, we will draw another entry. Prize is non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of prizes is permitted. The selected winner must correctly answer a mathematical question in order to win the prize mentioned above. The Ottawa Mommy Club is not responsible for prize fulfillment and for the delivery/shipment of the prize(s) mentioned above. For our complete set of rules, please click here.

Click here to view this promotion.

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Category: Books/Magazines, Reviews

About the Author ()

Charlene is a mom of three children, two boys and a girl, and recently returned to work following her third maternity leave. When at home she keeps busy meal planning, entertaining a 2.5 year old and 14 month old, meeting up with mommy friends, aka playdates, and attending school events for her 5 year old. When she has spare time, Charlene loves to cook, spend quality time with her husband, hang out on social media platforms and read a good book. In fact, when she’s not at home, Charlene is a professional Librarian. A graduate of McGill University, she’s worked the field as a Public Librarian, Children’s Librarian, and currently as a Health Information Specialist.

Comments (31)

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  1. Brenda A says:

    Areas of my life that I would love to improve on! I tried canning last year and attempted only jams, but they went well. This year I hope to get the courage up to try peaches (my FAV!). I also plan on expanding my tiny garden to grow more veggies!

  2. Florence C says:

    I do some preserving but would love to learn more about it.

  3. Joy says:

    no, i wish i did – it is a wonderful art form! Occasionally, i will make some strawberry jam, but nothing more complex than that!

  4. KD says:

    I have done some canning before, but not since my daughter was born.

  5. kathy downey says:

    We do loads of canning and preserving in the fall such as.meat,soup and stews,baked beans,jellies and jams

  6. Maegan Morin says:

    I make the occaisional jam but I have nver had a garden so that I could have things to can. This year however, I will and I am so excited!!

  7. Doreen Lamoureux says:

    Not yet, but I would love to.

  8. Amy C says:

    I do some canning.

  9. Melissa F says:

    We do some canning and got a dehydrator last year. Hoping to do even more preserves this year!

  10. KF says:

    I am interested in learning more about canning and preserving as a way to cut costs and avoid BPA in canned goods.

  11. Julie G. says:

    I like to make jam and spaghetti sauce.

  12. Doris H says:

    I preserve jams.

  13. Viv Sluys says:

    I do a fair bit of preserving but only a little canning as I have not had a lot of success with it!

  14. Jennifer L. says:

    I don’t yet but I plan on learning how to do canning and preserving this year.

  15. andrea amy says:

    I have in the past, but not for many years. I used to do jams, vegetables, salsas etc. I would like to get back to it.

  16. Fan R says:

    Yes, we do strawberry jams.

  17. amber y says:

    i haven’t done any canning yet, but I’ve been reading up and learning about it and debating giving it a try this year.

  18. Victoria Ess says:

    I’ve canned produce before.

  19. Carolyn mehdi says:

    I have always wanted to do some canning. I think it would nice to try some pickles and jams. Great for the kids to learn from.

  20. Heidi c. says:

    We did some pickles last year but I would love to learn to do more this summer and fall.

  21. Brenda Lacourciere says:

    I like canning salsa

  22. Darwin says:

    My wife loves canning! She’s always making jam

  23. wobbles13 says:

    I want to try seems so useful!

  24. Leanne S says:

    I haven’t done any canning or preserving but I’m planning to try this year.

  25. Melinda says:

    I can salsa.

  26. Silvia D says:

    yes, i can and make jams when fruit/veggies in season!

  27. holly o'gorman says:

    I never have before but would love to learn how.

  28. Nicole Jubleew says:

    I’ve made freezer jam but I’d love to learn to do more traditional canning.

  29. Gene D says:

    i used to do pickles.
    that was fun

  30. linda says:

    My first year canning so I want to do diced tomatoes. So excited to try!!

  31. Robyn Charbonneau says:

    Last summer I canned for the first time. My plum tree finally produced fruit after many years…and boy did it ever produced a lot! I called a friend and she taught me how to make plum butter, plum jelly and plum jam. I am hooked and would love to learn more about canning and preserving a variety of fruits and vegetables. As for organization skills, I’m lacking and could sure use some help!

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