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The Modern Girl's Guide to Life
     

The Modern Girl's Guide to Life

4.4 31
by Jane Buckingham
 

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A stylishly smart collection of practical advice for the busy modern woman

With information on entertaining, etiquette, housekeeping, basic home repair, decorating, sex, and beauty, this indispensable book has everything today's young woman should know-but may not! The Modern Girl's Guide to Life is a collection of all the helpful tips and secrets

Overview

A stylishly smart collection of practical advice for the busy modern woman

With information on entertaining, etiquette, housekeeping, basic home repair, decorating, sex, and beauty, this indispensable book has everything today's young woman should know-but may not! The Modern Girl's Guide to Life is a collection of all the helpful tips and secrets that get passed on from generation to generation, but many of us have somehow missed. It's full of practical, definitive advice on the basics — the day-to-day necessities like finding a bra that fits, balancing a checkbook, making a decent cup of coffee, and hemming a pair of pants. Modern Girl guru Jane Buckingham includes loads of savvy counsel to help us feel more refined, in charge, and together as we navigate the rocky terrain that is twenty-first-century womanhood.

Editorial Reviews

Busy modern women know how to run corporations, dress to the nines, and power date, but they never learned how to find a bra that fits, balance a checkbook, fold a fitted sheet, or hem a pair of pants. Practical matters like entertaining, home repair, and etiquette elude them. While interviewing hundreds of young women, trend spotter Jane Buckingham realized that they shared her sense of ineptitude about "everyday things." The Modern Girl's Guide to Life is designed as a tutorial on skills not taught in M.B.A. programs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061748202
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Series:
Modern Girl's Guides
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,096,699
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Modern Girl's Guide to Life, The

Chapter One

The Only Thing You Should Ever Fake ... Being a Domestic Goddess

I'll admit it: The words "domestic goddess" give me a panic attack. Maybe it's because I consider myself a twenty-first-century career chick who's better at making spreadsheets than folding bedsheets. Or maybe it's because the idea of spending eight gazillion hours of my (nonexistent) free time fashioning swan-shaped souffles and embroidered his-and-hers laundry bags just doesn't sound like a party to me.

The problem is I want to revive the traditions that made me feel at home as a little girl. I want my mother-in-law to know that her son isn't living one step up from a hostel, my children to realize that dinner doesn't have to come from a delivery boy, and my houseguests to enjoy staying with me, rather than balking, "No, really, Jane! We'll just stay at a hotel!" But the more I try to make my house the perfect example of domestic goddestry, the more befuddled I become.

Meanwhile, so many of my friends seem ridiculously "together" on the home front. Take my friend Brooke, for example. Every time I walk into her home, there are tuberose Diptyque candles burning, fresh flowers in clean glass vases in every room, and freshly folded towels in her bathroom ... rolled in a basket, just like the B&Bs do it. The second I sink into her (vacuumed) couch, she always offers me something freshly baked or freshly squeezed from her kitchen. Her pantry, medicine cabinets, and closets are perfectly organized (I snooped, sue me). And she doesn't just go into Martha mode when she knows company's coming over -- her abode has looked equally abundant when I've dropped by unexpectedly. On top of that, she holds down a demanding nine-to-seven job at a law firm. I admit, all of that je ne sais quoi she had for chic living started making me feel resentful... and increasingly horrified to invite her and her husband to my own messy digs. That is, until the night I got it out of her over cocktails: She has a housekeeper. Twice a week. Who cooks. Everything.

So there you have it. Not all domestic goddesses are quite as savvy as they seem. It's fairly reassuring, no? Sure, some women are more naturally adept at keeping house than others (surely Brooke surpasses me). But what I've recently learned is that being a modern (aka "mock") domestic goddess isn't about doing it all: it's about taking shortcuts to give the impression of having it all. And all you need to do is get a little more organized, learn some kitchen basics, and cut a few corners here and there. Not only will these tips and tricks streamline your life, you'll probably feel just a tad more in control of your day-to-day. Because while a girl's identity doesn't revolve around playing little miss homemaker anymore (thank God!), knowing that you can do a flawless load of laundry, whip up a fabulous dish fast, keep your palace in order, nip a vino stain in the bud, and play hostess like a pro will give you confidence that you've got your entire act together (and will impress everyone, especially you). Here's your crash course in domestic goddestry.

Welcome to the Scariest Room in a Modern Girl's House ... the Kitchen!

Let's face it: Our purses often contain more items than our fridges do. And when we do go to the kitchen to make a meal, our grub tends to fall within the four basic Modern Girl food groups: booze, baby carrots, microwave popcorn, and leftover takeout. Now, there's a legit reason for it all -- we're just too busy to cook up something elaborate. But if you know what to stock up on beforehand, and can get it all in one time -- saving trip to the market, you may find yourself more inspired to let your inner chef come out to play.

Things You Need in Your Kitchen

No need to outfit the room like Williams-Sonoma or a five-star restaurant, but certain props and utensils will make a difference:

You Really Should Have

  • Blender (skip the dicer-slicer-blenders can do most things)
  • Dish rack
  • Manual can opener
  • Microwave
  • Toaster oven (comes in handy if you need to cook two things at once at different temps)
  • Timer (but many ovens and microwaves have them built in)
  • Coffeemaker

Preparing/Cooking

  • Cheese grater
  • Chopping board
  • Cookie sheet
  • Colander
  • Garlic press
  • Kitchen shears
  • Knives
    • 6-inch chefs knife (and ideally also a 4-inch pantry knife and an 3-inch knife, but it depends on how violent you get)
    • LSerrated bread knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Meat tenderizer
Modern Girl's Guide to Life, The. Copyright © by Jane Buckingham. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Jane Buckingham is the president of Trendera, an innovative marketing and media consulting firm with numerous Fortune 500 companies as clients. She is a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan, a regular guest on Good Morning America and The View, and was recently named by Elle as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, bestselling business author Marcus Buckingham, and their two children, Jack and Lilia.

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Modern Girl's Guide to Life 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book and very informative. I have always been very busy with school, sports, and now my career, and never really took the time (or had the time) to learn basic skills of cooking and keeping a house. This book has been a lifesaver! It teaches basic, useful skills for entertaining, what you need to get by in the kitchen, laundering your clothes, building a basic wardrobe, decorating. it is give very realistic, practical tips for a busy modern girl!
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aprilthomas More than 1 year ago
It was my pleasure to use this guide as check off for how I live my life and ways in which I can grow. It felt great to know that I have been living a classy life. Every young woman who desires to be sophisticated in this crazy, impolite society needs to read this guide. I am very feminine, and I love discovering more ways to feel like a woman. The guide has a lot to offer for I don't know everything about etiquette. Books like this excite me.
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Tbear88 More than 1 year ago
I like this book. It's very helpful in many subjects. It came in the condition that was described to be in. I love it! :)
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Guest More than 1 year ago
At first when I borrowed it from my friend, I hesitated to give it back. It's got every thing you need, and want to read. I also love the front cover it's so cute. It makes you want to buy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh my, I wish I had this book a long time ago. I would not have made so many mistakes. It is great for everything, and more. If you have a question and am not sure who to turn to or who to ask, ask this book. It is great. I am so getting the other one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will answer any question you wanted to ask but were afraid to. I turn to it almost every day and the advice has worked!