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The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life: A Year's Worth of Hints, Tips, and Tricks    by Mary Jo Rulnick & Judith Burnett Schneider order for
Frantic Woman's Guide to Life
by Mary Jo Rulnick
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life, released at exactly the right time for anyone to start their year off on the right foot, is an indispensable help for women who want to be more on top of things in the new year. 'We've all mumbled, 'If I can get through this week, life will be easier.' ... But did it? Definitely not. Why? Because we choose to pack as much into our days as we can - harvesting from life as much bounty as it has to offer.' With that in mind, do-it-yourself expert Mary Jo Rulnick and organization expert Judith Burnett Schneider offer their skills to help women get a handle on the responsibilities of day-to-day life, with tips which are like reminder notes to achieve every goal.

Sections are short and easy to read and digest. Checklist items are not overwhelming and most tasks can be accomplished in a short period of time. The book is divided into three parts. 'Year Round' provides information on getting started, getting the house into shape, filtering things out, decorating, cooking, and many other things that need to happen throughout the year. A handy 'One-Step-At-A Time Checklist' is included at the end of the section to help organize tasks without having to wade through all of the background information. Part two consists of 'Month-by-Month' chapters. Each month's topics include specific activities that will help women to plan ahead and accomplish tasks in a timely manner.

For example, in January, readers are encouraged to make plans and purchases for Valentine's Day, and to 'de-decorate' from the holidays. 'Whip it Into Shape' covers the intricacies of dealing with the household, 'Darling Little Angels (And the Whole Blissful Bunch)' focuses on family activities, holidays, school items, and tips for getting the family involved. 'All About You' speaks of balance, and offers quizzes and other pointers to keep yourself sane. At the end of each month is a checklist, helping direct completion of tasks. Section three, 'A Wee Bit More,' provides recipes, a myriad of lists: from 'Everything you'll ever need on the go,' to packing lists for every circumstance. Also included are comprehensive references to books and websites as well as spring cleaning checklists.

If you've always wanted to be someone who gets things planned and done in advance, this book will help. Personally, I have dreamed of having Christmas cards ready to send at the beginning of November, but I never seem to remember to do them. Filled with wit, wisdom, and tons of useful information, The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life is just what harried women need to get back on track and keep a sense of humor. It's flexible enough to individualize, yet comprehensive enough to help keep you organized throughout the year.

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