Book Review: How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind

How To Manage Your Home Wihtout Losing Your Mind Book Review

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book, and a Proctor and Gamble Swiffer gift box in order to facilitate my review. I received no their compensation and I was not required to give a list I’ve review. All opinions are my own. 

Confession time: I’m a “Messy”. My husband sometimes uses the word, slob. Sometimes that hurts my feelings.

I’m actually quite an organized person. However, I’m a creative person, so my “organized” looks very diffferent from yours.

The book I’m reviewing today is for people like me. If you have a dedicated system of cleaning your house and your bullet journal is full of daily, weekly, and monthly housekeeping tasks that get regularly checked off–this book is not for you. If your mother-in-law smiles approvingly when she enters your impeccably tidy kitchen–this book is not for you.

If you regularly are hunting for a pair of clean socks for your first grader and your third grader is wearing the dog’s hat–this book is for you. If you have considered paying a neighbor teen to spend a day washing your dishes–this book is for you.

Dana White, AKA Nony the Slob, has been, and still is in your shoes. I have been a reader of A Slob Comes Clean for several years now. Every post that Dana writes leaves me nodding my head and realizing that she writes to a very interesting and needy niche–moms who WANT a clean home, but who also get overwhelmed with the thought of getting it–and keeping it– clean.

So, then, How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind is full of funny, witty, practical wisdom. This meaty (221 pages) book is divided into four sections: I. Reality Check–in which White outlines how your house got to be the way it is. II. (My favorite) Daily Stuff: The Down and Dirty Truth About a Clean House (which includes two whole chapters on my nemesis–laundry!). III. Decluttering: The Down and dirty Truth About All Your Stuff (spoiler alert–decluttering is not a one-off event!) IV. Change that Lasts (because shouldn’t that be our goal?)

One of my very favorite parts of this book is the appendix–it includes the previously released as a stand-alone eBook “28 Days to Hope For Your Home”. I purchased this year ago, and it is really amazing, even in its simplicity. I even give you permission to skip to the appendix, work through the 28 days and then come back and read the book. The 28 days will help form some pretty powerful (and simple) habits the may just jump-start your hopeful mindset.

Honestly, what I love about this book, and some of the downright common sense simplicity found inside, is that Dana White is not a cleaning or organization expert. She is a real mom. A real mom who is struggling just like you to keep afloat. And the message of the book is–yes, there IS hope for your home. It is just going to take work, determination and HABIT!

This book gets my hearty recommendation–and makes it totally worth you reading my confession up above. And yes, this book HAS made a difference in our home. I still have some habits and spaces to tame, but things are a lot less overwhelming now–even laundry!!!

Proctor and Gamble sent me this box full of Swiffer supplies to help me along on my de-slobbification journey!

Buy it: How To Manage your Home Without Losing your Mind is available on Amazon! (Aff link).

Chime in: What is the most overwhelming part of your homemaking? Leave a comment here or on the Facebook page!

Review: The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri

Disclosure: I received this book in order to facilitate my review. I have received no other compensation, and, as always, the opinions are my own.


From the Publisher:

The-Witch-of-Belladonna-Bay-207x300 Bronwyn “BitsyWyn” Whalen hasn’t set eyes on the red dirt of Magnolia Creek, Alabama, for fourteen years—not since her mama died. But with her brother, Patrick, imprisoned for the murder of her childhood best friend, and her eccentric father, Jackson, at his wits’ end while her eleven-year-old niece, Byrd, runs wild, Bronwyn finds herself once again surrounded by ancient magnolia trees and the troubled family she left behind. She becomes immersed in a whirlwind of mystery and magic as she tries to figure out what really happened that fateful night her friend died. And as her bond with Byrd deepens, Bronwyn must face the demons of her past in order to unravel her family’s uncertain future.In Suzanne Palmieri’s thrilling new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, readers will learn if love and magic are enough to bring a broken family back together.

My Review:

I lost a week in my review cycle. I went to visit @EssieBurns to help her with a major project in Minnesota last week, and that just so happened to entail going without internet for four days. That may not be a big deal for you, but for me it is HUGE! I also accidentally left my iPad at home. The iPad that houses many of my books, and all of my favorite time killers (Candy Crush, anyone?). I learned though, that this internet exile was a really good thing. I had no choice but to spend good, lovely, quality time with my dearest friend. But, long story short, this review did not get posted last week.

I have a disclaimer for this review. I am a woman of strong Christian faith. I am not a fan of witchcraft. I do not condone witchcraft. This novel DOES deal heavily with many aspects of the supernatural. I am able to discern, and have the curiosity and ability to read about other cultures without being pulled away from my faith. Because of this, I was able to enjoy this gothic novel. IF you are more sensitive about themes like this, you may want to skip this book.

Disclaimer aside, I enjoyed [easyazon_link asin=”1250015537″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]The Witch of Belladonna Bay[/easyazon_link]. I enjoyed the comparison and contrast between Alabama and Massachusetts. The relationship between Bronwyn and Byrd is touching to watch unfold. The dysfunctional family dynamics, combined with the magic, intrigue and mystery make this a page turning novel.

Suzanne Palmieri About the Author:
Suzanne Palmieri Hayes is the author of [easyazon_link asin=”1250015510″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]The Witch of Little Italy[/easyazon_link] and the forthcoming [easyazon_link asin=”1250015537″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]The Witch of Belladonna Bay[/easyazon_link] (May, 2014). She is also the co-author of I’ll Be Seeing You under the name Suzanne Hayes. She lives by the ocean with her husband and three darling witches. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Connect with the Suzanne Palmieri:


The Witch of Belladonna Bay: A Novel (Paperback)

The Witch of Belladonna Bay: A Novel (Kindle)










Review: Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

Cure for the Common Breakup Cover

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


From the Publisher:

Cure for the Common Breakup Cover Flight attendant Summer Benson lives by two rules: Don’t stay with the same man for too long and never stay in one place. She’s about to break rule number one by considering accepting her boyfriend’s proposal—then disaster strikes and her world is shattered in an instant. Summer heads to Black Dog Bay, where the locals welcome her. Even Hattie Huntington, the town’s oldest, richest, and meanest resident, likes her enough to give her a job. Then there’s Dutch Jansen, the rugged, stoic mayor, who’s the opposite of her type. She probably shouldn’t be kissing him. She definitely shouldn’t be falling in love. After a lifetime of globe-trotting, Summer has finally found a home. But Hattie has old scores to settle and a hidden agenda for her newest employee. Summer finds herself faced with an impossible choice: Leave Black Dog Bay behind forever, or stay with the ones she loves and cost them everything…

My Review:

Are you headed to the beach, or even poolside anytime soon? If so, you need to pick up [easyazon_link asin=”0451465857″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]Cure for the Common Breakup[/easyazon_link] by Beth Kendrick.

I fell in love with Summer Benson, and I even found myself smiling at crabby old Hattie. The book is an easy, light read with loveable characters. I loved Black Dog Bay so much that I found myself wishing it was a real place so I could book a trip!

[easyazon_link asin=”0451465857″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]Cure for the Common Breakup[/easyazon_link] is the perfect book to tuck into your beach bag, or to download to your Kindle before your next trip!

About the Author:

beth-kendrick-headshot Beth Kendrick is the author of [easyazon_link asin=”0451415736″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]The Week Before the Wedding[/easyazon_link], T[easyazon_link asin=”0451236661″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service[/easyazon_link], and [easyazon_link asin=”B00HRUQ9BA” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]Nearlyweds[/easyazon_link], which was turned into a Hallmark Channel original movie. She lives in Arizona with her two rescue dogs, but she loves to vacation at the Delaware shore, where she goes to Funland, eats boardwalk fries, and wishes that the Whinery really existed.

Connect with the Beth Kendrick:

Purchase :

[easyazon_link asin=”0451465857″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”dakotapamcom-20″]Cure for the Common Breakup[/easyazon_link] (paperback)


Cure for the Common Breakup (kindle)


Review: The One and Only by Emily Giffin


I am super excited to be participating in the Book Sparks Summer Reading Challenge. I’ll be reading (and reviewing) one new book a week from now through Labor Day. Between my cozy reading chair and my favorite spot on my back porch, I’m going to be unwinding with books every night.

I’m a reader. I was born a reader. I chose my English major in college because I loved the looks of the reading lists in the college bookstore. Since starting back to work, my reading has taken a more professional turn as I have soaked up books on event planning, fundraising and business strategy. That is good reading as well. . .but I miss novels. This reading challenge will get me back on track!


The first book of the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge officially released yesterday. The One & Only: A Novel
by Emily Giffin is a rare treat for me. It is a must-read for college football fans; and yet is enjoyable for someone like me who can hardly tell a home run from a touchdown.
From the Publisher:

Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade.

But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets.

Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As I mentioned earlier, I am no football fan, and yet, the human side of football was displayed so well, that I hardly minded the sports references. Giffin’s characters are well developed and true. While I may not have made the same decisions Shea did, I could relate to her conflicting loyalties between career and team.

I enjoy reading about complex family interactions, as it lets me know that perhaps, just maybe, I’m not alone. I enjoyed the “inside look” at the world of college and professional football, though I suspect that it was a pretty sanitized glance.

There are racy moments in the book–not 50 shades racy, but racy–so this is not for the easily offended. (and, the racy parts are easily skipped).

This is a great, relaxing, poolside read.

 Learn More

Emily Giffin is the author of six New York Times bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, and Where We Belong. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she now lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children.
Summer Reading Challenge 2014

Connect with Emily Giffin:


Purchase The One & Only: A Novel


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to facilitate my review. I received no monetary compensation and I was not required to give a positive review.


Finding Mommy Bliss: Review and Giveaway

Finding Mommy Bliss



Mothers Day has once again come and gone. Many of us spent some extra time with our families this weekend, and the fortunate among us had kids and husbands that remembered the day and took a moment to let us know something so basic: what we do as mothers matters.

I’m a seasoned mom.

My oldest will turn 18 next month. He graduates from high school next week. Somehow, in spite of my many mistakes, he managed to survive to adulthood. I’m biased, but I think he has turned out pretty well. I’m going to miss him like crazy when he leaves for university in August.

But I’m also a mom of preschoolers. You know, walking messes, tantrums in tiaras, sticky, sweet little preschoolers. Mothering preschoolers is mothering in the trenches. I’ve been in the trenches of motherhood for the better part of 18 years.

I’m worn. I’m battle scarred. I’m tired. Some days I am so. Tired. Of. This.

And then, and then, the kiddos do something sweet. They tell me I am beautiful. They give me a sticky kiss. They fall asleep on my lap. I am reminded that I have been given a very precious gift.

And that, my friends, is where my friend Genny Heikka comes in. Genny and I went to high school together. We shared many hours in English and dance classes together. Then, life happened and we went our ways. . .only to meet back up online some twenty years later as a pair of “mom bloggers”.

Genny has a heart for encouraging mothers. It is her gift, and she uses it well. In her encouraging new book, Finding Mommy Bliss: Discovering Unexpected Joy in Everyday Moments, Heikka walks mothers through some positive steps for identifying the pitfalls that snare mothers, and encourages us to pursue our passions now.

I’m practical, and this is a practical book. The 20 chapters are short, but jam packed with can-do advice and encouragement that can be read in whatever snippet of time that you have. Each chapter is sprinkled with “Be More Blissful” sidebars with real-life tips and experiences. Each chapter ends with a “Mom to Mom” journaling prompt, a “Heart to Heart” scripture memory verse, and “A Mom’s Prayer”.

Genny’s heart for moms and motherhood shines through. I want to share her gift with you! Finding Mommy Bliss: Discovering Unexpected Joy in Everyday Moments, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores near you.

I also have a copy to give away to one of you wonderful moms! Simply use the Puchtab entry below!