• Book Review: DO YOUR LAUNDRY OR YOU’LL DIE ALONE by Becky Blades

    woman standing on pile of laundry
    I read a lot of advice books. Trust me when I say this: DO YOUR LAUNDRY OR YOU’LL DIE ALONE by Becky Blades stands out from the rest of the graduation-gift-book pack. It’s not only informative, but also insightful, entertaining, funny, and a breath of fresh air.

    Book Summary

    When Becky Blades sent her firstborn daughter off to Harvard, she knew the world’s top-ranked college would not be covering the most important material: how to be kind, happy, and appropriate in public; how to protect oneself from sock monsters, boring conversations, and scary dates; and why you should keep your clothes clean. So the day before classes started, Blades emailed a good-bye letter with motherly advice she had kept to herself for a year. Just in time for her youngest daughter’s graduation from high school, Blades illustrated the prose with her signature mixed-media artwork, creating a thought-provoking, conversation-starting book. With warmth, wit, and a hint of motherly sass, Do Your Laundry, or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give If She Thought You Were Listening blends bite-sized morsels of coming-of-age common sense with tiny essays on more substantial topics.

    My Thoughts

    The book is a collection of “warm, witty, and wise coming-of-age common sense.” The entries range from lighthearted (“Keep at least one stuffed animal”) to lenghty (essays on topics like phone etiquette and forgiveness). Unlike many other “gift” books, this one takes advantage of humor, witticism, and colorful graphics scattered throughout. I liked looking at the myriad designs almost as much as I enjoyed reading the book.

    This is the book I wish I’d gotten as a graduation present. Blades offers a unique blend of advice and comedy in a style that is entirely new. Here are some of my favorite bits of wisdom from the book:

    If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. You’re smart enough to think of something nice.

    Make something every day.

    Don’t press ‘send’ in the heat of emotion.

    The best way to glow is to shine the spotlight on someone else.

    Reading is sexy.

    Do something nice or good every day and tell no one.

    Have a list of things you like to do that don’t cost money.

    Of course, there are hundreds of other tips in this book for you to take advantage of. It’s difficult for me to choose my favorites. If you want to read Becky Blades’ wisdom for yourself, you can purchase this book in various formats through Amazon, Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, and Rainy Day Books. Go get your copy today!

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

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    Read @brianawrites’ review of DO YOUR LAUNDRY OR YOU’LL DIE ALONE by @BeckyBlades2. (Click to tweet)

  • 23 Before 23 Update

    Cherry Soda in a Glass with Two Straws
    It’s been a while since I talked about my 23 Before 23.

    In my last post on the subject, I made a list of 23 things I wanted to accomplish before my 23rd birthday. Since my birthday is now only three months and one day away (June 17), I thought it might be a good time to update you on my progress.

    Long story short – I haven’t accomplished as much as I’d hoped to by now. I could really use some help.

    Once more, here’s my list of 23 Before 23:

    1. Stop drinking soda. I’ve cut back a lot, and at the time of writing this post, I haven’t had soda in five days or so. (Thanks, Chris!)
    2. Read 23 books. I think I’ve read about seven so far. Eek.
    3. Pay off my cat’s veterinary bills.
    4. Make a dent in my student loans. I need to make this goal more specific somehow… Any suggestions?
    5. Host a dinner party. Oops. I actually forgot about this one.
    6. Get published. Working on it!
    7. Join a club. I’ve signed up to volunteer with the local theater. Fingers crossed!
    8. Comment on at least one blog post per day. I need to get better about this one, too.
    9. Trade guest posts with three bloggers. One down, two to go!
    10. Mentor someone. WHO NEEDS A MENTOR??
    11. Get a new laptop. Found a MacBook Pro for pretty cheap. I just need to save some money.
    12. Save $1000 dollars. I was close, and then I hit some financial hardship. *sighs*
    13. Go ziplining. I found the place, but I don’t want to go alone.
    14. Try out for a play. See number seven.
    15. Consistently post three times a week.
    16. Say “yes” to invitations.
    17. Volunteer.
    18. Contact one writer, blogger, or person I admire per week.
    19. Compile a blog directory. Ava Jae’s blog directory is absolutely gorgeous and an excellent idea.
    20. Support my favorite authors and beloved writing tweeps.
    21. Stop biting my nails.
    22. Make my bed every day. Why is this so difficult?
    23. Visit New York again. Except I don’t really want to do that anymore – I want to go somewhere new instead.

    So, there it is. I have my shortcomings. I’m running out of time to accomplish all these things, and I’m going to need help and support from all of you. Please keep me accountable to this list! If you could ask me how I’m doing with it every so often, I would love you forever.

    Well, more than I already do, anyway.

    I’m also thinking about starting some kind of club where we all try one new habit or routine each month, like a thirty-day challenge. Let me know what you think!

    What tips can you give me to help with this list? What would your list look like? What do you think about my thirty-day challenge club idea?Tweet tweet:

    Three months before her birthday, @brianawrites discusses the items on her list that have yet to be crossed off. (Click to tweet)