Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag by Jolie Kerr | Book Review

I LOVED THIS BOOK.  I loved everything about it.  I love the minimalist cover, I love the author's writing style, I love the layout, and I love the information presented within.  An enthusiastic five of five stars!

Jolie on cleaning the kitchen:  "Step 5: Take a break!  I'll let you in on a little secret: the hardest part is over... So as a reward for your hard work, would you care for a cold beer or soda?  I bet you would.  Remember to buy some before you start this project.  You get to make the best shopping list!  It'll be like:
~Soft Scrub
~Paper Towels"

Jolie loves to break down seemingly big projects into very doable small projects, so I'm going to write my book review the same way!  Yay!  (She also loves to cheer for us as we tackle and tame cleaning projects.  I appreciate that.)  So the first thing I loved?  The minimalist cover.  Well, there's not really much of anything to say about that.  So on to the second thing I loved:  the author's writing style.  I'm going to pepper this review with direct quotes to give you a feel.  I love how conversational Jodie is.  The entire book is written like we're right there with her (or she's right here with us) while we work on cleaning our house.  I also love how honest she is.  At one point she tells the reader how to deal with mold in the bathroom and she gives quite a few different options for cleaning it up and preventing it.  She's very honest in telling us that while it's great to worry about the environment, you need to be prepared to put in a lot of extra elbow grease if you're going to go with an all-natural cleaning solution versus bleach.  (I really loved this whole book, even the bathroom chapter.  Did you know that ferns are good for bathrooms?  They naturally filter out some funk (don't pretend like your bathroom never smells) and they suck up extra moisture, preventing mold, and they need almost no work when they're in a bathroom because your shower steam will water them.  Now I'm going to run out and get a fern or two....)  I also loved how Jolie just naturally assumes that everyone has all these cleaning quandaries because we do.  We totally do.  A lot of this is stuff we'd feel really silly or even embarrassed to have to ask someone about, but it's stuff that really happens when you spend time in spaces.  For an example:  see my parenthetical about ferns and bathroom funk.  We all have funk!  This is how you clean it!

Jolie on cleaning bathrooms:  "There's this thing that's used to clean bathrooms and, you guys?  I really, really love it.  Like, I delight in it.  It's called Scrubbing Bubbles... You're going to wipe down all the surfaces you covered with Scrubbing Bubbles, followed by a quick once-over to dry everything off and pick up any lingering lint or whatnot with a paper towel, and GASP WITH DELIGHT at how freaking easy it just was to clean the darn bathroom.  Then you'll consider sending me a gift to thank me for sharing with you this marvel of cleaning.  (My ring size is 5 1/2, my shoe size is 6, my birthstone is peridot, and I'm partial to stargazer lilies.)"

On to the third thing I loved about this book:  the layout!  The book is organized by space.  So, so, so convenient!  So there's a chapter on cleaning the kitchen.  Then there's a chapter on cleaning floors.  Then a chapter on the bathroom.  Then a chapter on laundry.  So when I finished the book and wanted to find a particular hint to make note of and try out I could turn to the correct chapter so easily!  AND there's an index too!  There's a lot of exclamation points in this paragraph because I really am that impressed with the common-sense approach to the layout!

Jolie on spilling red wine on yourself at a wedding:  "If red wine stains are going to happen at a wedding, the best person for it to happen to is a member of the groom's party.  Why?  Well, the members of the groom's party are the least likely to care about spilling on their tie...  The other thing is that, in the pantheon of things red wine can stain, ties are actually relatively easy to get cleaned up, especially at weddings, where there is, presumably, food and table settings and such.  The thing to do if you spill red wine anywhere basically is to run immediately toward the closest repository of table salt.  Pour the salt all over the stain, like a giant mound of it (but don't rub it in, just heap it on the stain).  In the case of ties it's probably best to take the darn thing off you rather than have to hold it flat in your palm while wearing it.  If you're a lady and get red wine on your skirt or pants, just sit down; if it's on your top half, retire politely to the ladies' room and hang around in there, topless, while the salt does its work.  Hopefully you've worn a bra!  But if you haven't, hey, good for you!  The salt will absorb a goodly amount of the red wine...  You might be tempted to talk to the red wine about its drinking problem."

A note:  I actually tried this already!  When I hosted dinner at my house, the hubby spilled a little red wine on our white tablecloth.  I immediately put little hills of salt on the spots.  A few hours later I shook the salt off, pretreated with Oxiclean, washed, and voila!  No wine spots!

The last thing I want to enthuse about:  the actual factual information presented within.  Ya'll, it's so doable!  All of it!  And she doesn't have you going out searching for obscure cleaning product brands or mixing up complicated solutions.  She give real, practical advice on how to clean your house and your car and yourself (your clothes).  I think the best recommendation that I can give is that I intend to purchase this book for myself.  I originally got it from the library, but it's already been so useful that I need to own a copy.  And I'll get a copy for anyone and everyone I know moving into their first place.  It's a gem of a book!

Jolie on cleaning bedding:  "Will it make everyone feel better if I admit that I find washing my bedding, excluding my linens, to be a giant pain in the tush?... But they need to be cleaned, and that's a fact of life.  "Why???" you may ask.  I will tell you...  1. They smell.  Yes they do.  2. They're harboring a Duggar-size family of dust mites.  Yes, they are.  3. Those stains?  Are because you sweat.  4. And also?  Because you drool.  5. And also also?  Because you have orgasms (YAY!) and they make messes.  (BOO!)  (But way more YAY than BOO, right?)  (RIGHT!)  6. And then also maybe because you bleed."

Go buy this book.

(Otherwise how will you find out what to do if your boyfriend barfs in your handbag?)

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