Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I first met Stephanie O'Dea at a blog event in June, and my first impression of her was, hippie chick. She was wearing a long peasant skirt and sandals. Her hair was long and flowing, and she charmed everyone with her infectious laugh and bright smile.
But make no mistake, Stephanie is no ditz. She's the total opposite of scatterbrained; she's actually one of the most totally together women I've ever met. She's the author of the popular blog, A Year of Slow Cooking, and the New York Times bestselling author of the Make It Fast, Cook It Slow series of cookbooks, and she has appeared on The Rachel Ray Show, Good Morning America, and various publications like Real Simple and the New York Post. She turned her love of crockpots into an empire with strength of character, hard work and determination.
So I was delighted and honored to be able to review and give away her newest book, Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life, which is coming out on August 2. It's a guide, calendar, notebook, checklist and planner to help busy people find some order in their busy lives.
Here's more information about the book:
Just in time for the back to school rush, TOTALLY TOGETHER (Berkley Trade Paperback; August 2, 2011; $15.00) is the indispensable guide to organizing a busy household so anyone can have a tidy and tranquil home in just minutes a day. New York Times bestselling author and popular mommy blogger Stephanie O’Dea provides a practical, how-to guide in a weekly calendar format to make home organization and time management a snap. The thought of company and entertaining can send the calmest of women into a tailspin. The cleaning, preparation and organization that precede a family party or overnight guests is enough to avoid the issue altogether. However, Stephanie says that her home is always company ready within 30 minutes and she can help you whip your home into shape as well! Stephanie has developed the “clean less, play more” method, which allows you to fly through all the chores and minutiae in minutes a day so you can move on to what you really want to do: spend time with family and enjoy living life. Using a weekly organizational planner format, Stephanie spells out exactly what chores are essential and how they should be tackled to maximize time and minimize effort including: · Seven daily chores that anyone in the family can do in just minutes · Yearly, seasonally, monthly, and weekly chores divided into bite-sized chunks · Household tips and cleaning shortcuts · Guide for setting up meal plans · Fun, fast recipes · Reproducible grocery list with check boxes · An action plan for keeping the entire family organized · And much more Stephanie’s book is ideal for both working and stay at home moms and even those with no children who want an organized home but don’t want or have the time to spend hours cleaning.
I know what you're thinking: How does one make the jump from cookbooks to planners? But when you think of it, Stephanie's cookbooks are all about easy meals that save families time and effort, without resorting to fast food, takeouts or processed food. Stephanie is all about streamlining and idiot-proofing day-to-day tasks so that you lead a quality life and free up more time for the things that matter.
Here are some things I really like about the book:
* It's small enough to fit in most women's purses.
* The weekly planner starts in September, which coincides with the beginning of the school, so moms can keep the same planner in their purse for the whole schoolyear.
* There's always something new and fresh to read in each week of the planner: a recipe, a craft, a quote, a tip, a reminder.
* A recurrent theme throughout the book is to Remember the WoMom -- the woman behind the mom. The book encourages moms to take care of themselves: do breast self-exams, go out with friends, exercise, say NO, ask for help, do something nice for yourself. Taking care of yourself is one of my mantras for 2011, and rediscovering the woman behind the mom is one of the main reasons I started my blog, Finding Bonggamom, so I couldn't agree more!
As planners go, I love Totally Together, and I highly recommend it for moms who use planners. Unfortunately, I'm not really a planner kind of girl! I prefer to keep my calendar and task list online, so Totally Together is not in my purse; it sits on my bookshelf as more of a reference guide. What we need now is a Totally Together app for the iPod, iPad and Android that can sync up with a Google calendar! Stephanie, there's your next project!
Win a copy of Totally Together
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will receive a copy of Stephanie O'Dea's book, Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life.
Leave a comment on this post and tell me your biggest organizational challenge. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Subscribe to Bonggamom Finds updates (1 entry).
2) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Totally Together giveaway! http://ow.ly/5JnWe
3) Write this on the Stephanie O'Dea Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered to win a copy of Totally Together on Bonggamom Finds! Enter by Aug. 7 at
4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).
5) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Win a Totally Together planner by @stephanieodea ! Enter by Aug. 7 at @bonggafinds http://ow.ly/5JnWe #giveaways
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on August 7, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on August 8 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US and Canada residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. Book synopsis is provided by the Penguin Group and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.