Monday, April 19, 2010

Comfort Living: A Back-to-Basics Guide To a More Balanced Lifestyle by Christine Eisner

Comfort Living: A Back-to-Basics Guide To A More Balanced Lifestyle by Christine Eisner
82 pages
Published January 2010 by Lifestyle
Source: supplied by the publisher for review

From the book:

"Each chapter in Comfort Living will prompt and guide you to reflect on what matters most to you, along with step-by-step tools, exercises and examples that show you how to use these tools in your own home."

The book provides the reader with an eight week program to bring balance to your life by making changes in your surroundings to make them work better for your lifestyle. Each week focuses on a lesson, introduces concepts, gives to-dos for the week and requires the reader to make observations. A weekly worksheet is also included. The book includes profile pages to develop your own plan. My book also came with a companion Journal to record treasures and obstacles (concepts introduced in the book) and to-do's.

One of the concepts introduced in the book is the the creation of campfires, or centers of energy that attract. One example is a reading campfire: a comfortable chair, a lamp, a lap blanket, and some books create a reading campfire for you and your child to cozy up in.

Bridges and Echoes are other concepts that are worked on in Week 5. Bridges create a connection or continuity and can be a person place, thing or even a routine. Echoes are objects or other elements that have the power to transport you across time a place, such as a favorite song or the aroma of a comfort food.

I've had this book for a while and really wanted to be able to read it a little at a time so that I could actually use the ideas as they were introduced. The idea was to do it the first of the year. Which came and went. And then I couldn't start until the Christmas stuff was down and put back where it belongs. And get the picture. So I finally just sat down and read it. And found a lot of great ideas, presented in a very straight forward manner with very practical application ideas and beautiful photographs.

As with with so many self-help type books, some things are easier said than done. And there were definitely ideas that I know I won't be implementing. Setting the table in the morning for dinner doesn't work for me. I just don't like the idea of the dishes that I'm going to eat off of sitting out all day. I think the biggest hinderance for this book will be the price; $19.95 for an 82 page paperback may deter some buyers.

Now I just need to make sure that I start back at the beginning and really put the book to use. I'll let you know how it goes!


  1. I like the idea of the reading campfire. I know exactly what you mean though about self-help books. You read them and say yes, this sounds great, but implementing the advice is another story!

  2. I can't imagine setting the table early in the day either - especially not with the kids running around and possibly touching things. Ugh! :)

  3. Sounds interesting, but as you say self-help books...
    Thanks for the review.


    Publish or Perish

  4. I like books like this that make you take a step back and reassess priorities.

  5. Sounds like this book has some great ideas. I look forward to hearing how it goes when you try to implement them!

  6. Sounds like a good book for the times. If it really did help someone, it would be worth more than the $19.95 price tag.

  7. I need a center for energy. Well, I need a lot of things but that sounds very appealing to me. I like the idea of stepping back and simplifying my life but it never seems to happen.

    I do find that the less I go out, the less I want things. Just the act of "going out" makes me want material things (iPad, Kindle, new computer for the loft) but if I stay home, I don't think of those things.

  8. Hmmm, I'm intrigued! Thanks for reviewing this!

  9. Hmmm--this is not a book I would normally pick up, but I am feeling the need to balance, do less, etc. so maybe...

    Most self-help books point out the obvious, so I end up skimming them, but this sounds like there might be some fresh ideas.

    For the record, I was trained from the time I started helping out as a kid to always set the table first when starting to prepare dinner. My mother did this because my father's mother did this, and my mom found early in their >65-year marriage that my dad was confused when he got home from work and didn't see the table set...assumed "no table set, no dinner" I guess. So, I always set the table before I do any other table prep...and the world continues to turn in greased grooves.

  10. Must read,full of good ideas. Thanks!

  11. My bed is my reading, eating, leisure, and occasional sleeping campfire. Too multi-purpose, no?

  12. i don't really read much in the self-help genre, but the bridges and echo concept seems so spot on that i might have to reevaluate my position on the genre!

    not sure i'll spend $20 but might look for it at the library. thanks for the review.

  13. Sounds like this book could be very helpful to me, but the price tag doesn't fit in my budget right now :(
    I will have to see if I can find it another way, as it sounds like it has some really useful ideas in it! Nice review, and glad it was useful to you!

  14. This book sounds kind of nice. I'm big of to-do books, if they can help my life get better and less cluttered. I agree, not all ideas can be implemented though. I won't jump in for placing dinner plates out from morning. It's just a minute job.

  15. I'm with you in not wanting dinner plates sitting on the table all day. I imagine you can find some new routines (from the book) to implement, though. Any little efficiencies add up to life running more smoothly (IMHO)