Books that will bring lots of joy

UNOFFICIAL GUIDE WALT DISNEY WORLD 2022 comes out just in time for Disney’s World’s 50th anniversary. This guide will save you time in lines, score a spot on the new rides and get the most for your money. Authors Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa have really do their research and that makes this guide indispensable with creative touring plans, expert reviews of restaurants and hotel rooms, insider looks at the new rides, handy know how to get on the top rides, ride ratings by age and where to find money-saving deals. This is a Disney tourist’s best friend. Published by AdventurerKEEN. Visit

THE ACCIDENTAL ADVENTURE OF MATTIE THE GIRAFFE is a charming 32-page beautifully illustrated tale of the day Mattie learns to ride her bicycle. There is no better way to share something special with your children or grandchildren than reading his book, a captivating and whimsical story that will inspire wonder and curiosity.

Today, Matte the Giraffe finally learned to ride her bike all by herself! Suddenly, she had two feelings at the same time: the pure joy of freedom and the scary thought that she didn’t learn how to stop! Ride along with Mattie as she meets new friends and explores strange places on her very first awesome, accidental adventure.

Six years in the making, a clever plot which will entertain children and adults alike as you pedal with Mattie through imaginative travel spots. And who, among us, hasn’t felt the pure joy of freedom when first learning to ride a bike and the scary thought of not knowing how to stop.

Mattie the Giraffe began as the subject of the twentieth anniversary poster for Destin Festival of the Arts and went on to win multiple awards culminating in this book. Order at and your book will come signed by author Andi Scurto or on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Target. Also check out

SHOP CATS OF CHINA is a charming collection of felines photographed in a range of quirky and atmospheric shops across China, reflecting the country’s unique culture. With photos by Marcel Heijnen, foreward by Catharine Nicol and light-hearted Haiku and cat stories by Ian Row, these humorous, astute and profound musings on shop life and cats’ interactions with humans takes readers to 10 different cities on a memorable adventure with these photogenic mousers. Published by Thames & Hudson.

NOW WHAT? is a new children’s book that crafts language and images into a humorous, mindful message. From the award-winning team of Brenda Faatz and Peter Trimarco comes a playful “Lizzy” book that brings to life the famous Kandinsky quote, “Imagination is what allows your mind to discover.”  Written in lyrical rhyme, we are taken on a little journey through a day that brings personal growth and the meeting of Luna, a new neighbor, who just moved from the Caribbean. Together, they color their way through adventures and embrace the concept of “living in the now” while being creative with what life presents.

Just in time for early readers on everyone’s shopping list, NOW WHAT? celebrates “living in the moment” and was praised by Foreword Reviews as, “a charming picture book whose creative, quirky heroines make the best of a dreary day. Humming prose, powered by rhymes and clear meters, helps the story to proceed with a spring.” Order through Amazon or click here:

For foodies on your list this holiday season, we’re recommending award- winning sauces and dry rubs from Mike D’s BBQ based in Durham, NC. Their sauces are a twist on the traditional BBQ sauce with some unique seasonings and spice levels inspired by Mike D’s African American and Latino heritage. Mike D’s BBQ sauces are also a nod to the rich and well-deserved notoriety of BBQ in North Carolina. They have the perfect sauce or rub for every type of foodie on your list, including:

The one into all things mild: Their BIG Sauce is mild/medium sauce that has won many awards, most recently 1st place for Medium BBQ Sauce in the 2021 International Spicy Flavor Awards. It also finished in 3rd place for Kid Friendly BBQ Sauces in the 2022 Scovie Awards.

For those who loves trying spicy things: 1st place in the 2021 International Artisan Flavor Awards for Rubs and 1st place in the 2022 Scovie Awards in the Dry Rub/All Purpose Category, Mike D’s Sweet & Spicy Rub is exactly what the lovers of spicy are looking for. If you believe in supporting small food businesses, Mike D’s BBQ is a small, family- owned company.  Check out all products and awards here:

Jigsaw puzzles from goodfit, puzzles that showcase exclusive artwork from emerging talent and internationally recognized artists. Whether you’re an art collector, a design lover, or a puzzle fanatic, we think they are a very good fit.

Goodfit has redefined the jigsaw puzzle: their puzzles are made from 100% recycled materials, eco-friendly ink, are FSC certified and made in ethical environments. They celebrate body-positivity and inclusivity, highlight crypto artists and oil painters, and they’re in the constant pursuit of unique artwork and puzzle experiences unlike any other brand. All of their artists share in the profits while retaining ownership of their creations. Goodfit also gives back 10% of every purchase to a cause or charity they’ve chosen.

We especially liked their INTERIOR WITH YELLOW CHAIR puzzle which we’re a still working on– it has over 1000 pieces! Shop now or go to

GREEN HAT Distilled Gin, made in the first distillery to open in Washington D.C. since Prohibition. This is a premium gin, distilled with a unique blend of botanicals in copper pot stills. There are four expressions of Green Hat Gin: Original Batch, $29.99, made for those who appreciate a juniper-forward blend balanced with original botanicals; Green Hat Navy Strength Gin, $32.99, a higher-proof spirit with bold notes of candied lemon and grapefruit plus lavender and clover; Green Hat Citrus Floral Gin, $29.99, a bright spring mix with aromas of lemon and sweet orange plus hints of cherry blossoms and rose petals; and Green Hat Summer Cup Cordial, $29.99, a complex cordial infusion of their powerful Navy gin plus botanicals that yield tastes of citrus, rosehips. cucumber, black tea, verbena and lavender plus other spices.

Green Hat Gin is inspired by the Man in the Green Hat, a mysterious bootlegger who supplied wet and dry Congressmen throughout Prohibition. Bottled by hand, there’s a story in every sip.

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