The Tao of Martha: My Year LIVING; Or, Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog By: Jen Lancaster
One would think that with Jen Lancaster’s impressive list of bestselling self-improvement memoirs—Bitter Is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; Such a Pretty Fat; Pretty in Plaid; My Fair Lazy; and Jeneration X—that she would have it all together by now. One would be wrong. Jen’s still a little rough around the edges. Suffice it to say, she’s no Martha Stewart. And that is exactly why Jen is going to Martha up and live her life according to the advice of America’s overachieving older sister—the woman who turns lemons into lavender-infused lemonade. By immersing herself in Martha’s media empire, Jen will embark on a yearlong quest to take herself, her house, her husband (and maybe even her pets) to the next level—from closet organization to craft making, from party planning to kitchen prep. Maybe Jen can go four days without giving herself food poisoning if she follows Martha’s dictates on proper storage….Maybe she can grow closer to her girlfriends by taking up their boring-ass hobbies like knitting and sewing.…Maybe she can finally rid her workout clothes of meatball stains by using Martha’s laundry tips.… Maybe she can create a more meaningful anniversary celebration than just getting drunk in the pool with her husband….again. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll discover that the key to happiness does, in fact, lie in Martha’s perfectly arranged cupboards and artfully displayed charcuterie platters. Or maybe not.
Jen is at a point in her life where if I try and compare myself to her or put myself in her shoes I feel like my life is lacking. I’m twenty-nine it’s completely normal for me not to have the nice brick house in the suburbs or the dinner parties or all the other little superpowers she has. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that though.
It’s like when you get your first “real” job and you’re out of your parents house and you can’t understand why you still have a dinky bed while your parents have a nice bedroom suit. So you either accumulate a huge amount of debt or hoard money like it’s precious and don’t live your life. I’m in the middle (right now closer to the debt part, babies are expensive and I spend too much time on entertainment to have any real skills).
Anyway, this book made me want to get all crafty. She almost had me wanting to throw dinner parties, but it takes a lot more to get me to forget how awkward and horrible a host I am.
I actually started to wonder why I don’t do more craft projects. I’ve certainly got enough ideas pinned and I’m not a complete newb, I’ve crocheted stuff, and baked stuff, and painted stuff. I could totally get all crafty.
Then I remember the two year old permanently attached to my hip that doesn’t let me do anything fun without wanting to try it herself. It’s like I’m the most amazing thing in her world and if I’m doing it she has to do it because it must be the coolest things ever. It’s hard being someone’s world.
Since crafts are put on hold for a few more years I thought, well I could decorate the house for Christmas. I went so far as to image surprising my husband with a completely decorated house when he comes home from work and that’s where the fantasy ended. My husband is a perfectionist when it comes to Christmas decorations and anything I did he would have to go back around and fix. It’s annoying and totally defeats the purpose of me decorating the house.
Sorry for the rabbit trail, however, it does convey nicely what reading a Jen Lancaster book is like, to an extent. Liked the book, made me want to be crafty. Cried when Maisy died and I’m not even one of those animal loving weird-o’s. (I feel like I need to clarify that I was being sarcastic with this line)