Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give If She Thought You Were Listening

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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 such as “Keep at least one stuffed animal,” and “A bad attitude makes your butt look big,” with tiny essays on topics like forgiveness and phone etiquette.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-03-26
Mixed-media artist and debut author Blades combines wit with sincere counsel in an innovative scrapbook format.With a daughter approaching high school graduation, Blades began compiling life lessons she hoped to impart on her daughter. The resulting book of aphorisms could have been schmaltzy but is instead both humorous and visually impressive. Offered as a numbered list in a quirky variety of fonts, her maternal instructions range from two words to paragraphs. The themes may be perennial advice-guide fodder—seizing the day, embracing creativity, being prudent with money and treating others with compassion—but snappy delivery and unsentimental wording help them feel fresh. Thus the doctrine of mindfulness becomes, simply, "WHEREVER YOU ARE, BE ALL THERE." Where Blades acknowledges clichés, she always adds a clever twist: "IF YOU CAN'T SAY SOMETHING NICE, DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL. You're smart enough to think of something nice." She also debunks a few old chestnuts: Instead of exhorting girls to "dream big," which she's nonetheless in favor of, she reassures them that "It's okay to OUTGROW YOUR DREAMS." Some standout features include two-page spreads in which each epigram repeats the same first word ("KEEP your knees together when you're sitting on stage"; "KEEP your head when all about you are losing theirs," etc.), occasional puns ("HAVE RUBBER GLOVES. On hand"), and echoes of Kipling's "If—" and Woolf's A Room of One's Own. In one notable, original proverb, Blades balances enthusiasm with discipline: "COMMON SENSE AND SELF-RESTRAINT SHRINK IN THE PRESENCE OF PASSION. Does this mean don't be passionate? Absolutely not." Pithy recommendations about forgiveness, charitableness, being a good hostess and accepting change would be valuable in their own rights, but the whimsical artwork renders the book all the more delightful. Cutouts of paper dolls and maps share space with colorful, textured illustrations of houses, trees and clouds. Fashion plates lend a sophisticated, faux Parisian feel, while plentiful tips on Internet and cellphone etiquette help put the book on trend for today's teenagers. Inspirational yet never syrupy, the text could easily be read in one sitting and should prove useful throughout college and beyond.A perfect graduation gift for young women—but the advice is applicable to all.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780989758307
  • Publisher: Startistry Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/1/2014
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 117,969
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Becky Blades is a writer, artist, business strategist, and philosopher of creative, adventurous living.  Since selling her award-winning public relations firm, Blades has served on corporate boards, as a civic advocate for the arts and entrepreneurship, and as a consultant and mentor.

A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Blades speaks on topics including creativity, entrepreneurship, marketing, public relations, the French culture, and women's issues.

Her blog, stARTistry.com, celebrates the art of beginning. She has started 2,865 projects and finished 127. Among the unfinished are two almost-launched daughters, proving her point that it’s not what you finish, it’s what you stART.

She lives in Kansas City with her husband of 30 years and her Maytag front load washing machine.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Great

    This book is a list of items, that the author placed in book form, to pass along to her daughters before going off to college.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    I absolutely love the look of this book, the design is just beau

    I absolutely love the look of this book, the design is just beautiful and the messages are delightful and not too saccharine, perfect for today's hip young grads. This will be my go-to from now on, with a check tucked inside :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 6, 2014

    Wish I did thisd for my daughter!

    LOVE the advise in this book! Of of my top faves is "A bad attitude makes your butt look big."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2014

    I requested this book because I thought it would be timely, in m

    I requested this book because I thought it would be timely, in my house, where I have two teenage boys. We like funny books and it seemed like it would have good advice in it too. When I received it I found it is clearly a girl book, so that won't work, but I really do like it. I would definitely slip this into my daughter's suitcase, Easter basket or Christmas stocking if I had a daughter. It's a beautiful book, it's funny, it contains good ideas and excellent advice for what's important and how to navigate the world when you're just starting out and beyond. It has a section at the end where you could leave your own personal note. I wanted to give it away because I have a friend with daughters the right age but I think I'm keeping it. Possibly because I grew up without a mother and without all this advice, I find I can read it again and again. Thanks to Good Reads for the First Reads copy of this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    This wine girl is still laughing over the simultaneously hilario

    This wine girl is still laughing over the simultaneously hilarious and profound witticisms in this book!  Loved every page and realize I've found the perfect book to give for graduation or to any friend needing a boost of happy!  And thanks to this author, I'll never forget that a bad attitude makes your butt look big.  I'm feeling skinnier already!  What more can you ask of a book?! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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