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Thursday, April 17, 2014

9 Heart Review: My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag by Jolie Kerr + Giveaway! (US/Can)

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha
Jolie Kerr
Ask a Clean Person | Tumblr | TwitterFollow the Tour!

Page Count: 238

Release Date: February 25th 2014
Publisher: Plume (Penguin)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Penguin and TLC!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

The author of the hit column "Ask a Clean Person" offers a hilarious and practical guide to cleaning up life’s little emergencies.

Life is filled with spills, odors, and those oh-so embarrassing stains you just can’t tell your parents about. And let’s be honest: no one is going to ask Martha Stewart what to do when your boyfriend barfs in your handbag.

Thankfully, Jolie Kerr has both staggering cleaning knowledge and a sense of humor. With signature sass and straight talk, Jolie takes on questions ranging from the basic (How do I use a mop?) to the esoteric (What should I do when bottles of homebrewed ginger beer explode in my kitchen?). My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag proves that even the most nightmarish cleaning conundrums can be solved with a smile, the right supplies, and a little music.
At this point you should be thinking, "So why wouldn't everyone just use [laundry detergent] pods?" Well, I'll tell you! They present a serious hazard to children and pets, in that they're brightly colored and sort of look like fun toys and they're also just about mouth-size, and you see where I'm going with this? Right, of course you do. So it's something to take into consideration if you've got children and/or pets. You could, of course, get rid of the children and/or pets, which would allow you to use pods with impunity and also would mean you'd have a lot less laundry in general. But I understand that some people feel rather attached to those children and/or pets, so if you want to choose a podless, laundry-riddled existence, be my guest.

Cleaning isn't the most thrilling chore I could think of—in fact, I can say with certainty that no one actually looks forward to the dirtiest job around—but Jolie Kerr's devotion and simply outlined tips really make me want to get my butt off the couch and clean the damn house. It's like when you read food blogs and become motivated to start taking the time to cook and eat healthier; I see someone being really productive with their life which motivates me to at least attempt to reach that level.

The trick is that Kerr actually makes cleaning seem fun; her enthusiasm is contagious and her anecdotes uproariously funny. She's kooky, fanatical, and just becomes your weird best friend who loves cleaning—a hyped-up Martha Stewart, you could say. But unlike Martha, Jolie Kerr isn't a domestic ideal; she's been through real world, real girl problems (like boyfriends barfing in handbags) and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty—literally.

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is conveniently sectioned off into eight different cleaning categories:
  1. Kitchen
  2. Floors, Ceilings, Walls, and Other Immovable Things
  3. Bathroom
  4. Personal Hygiene Tools and Appliances (brushes, hair dryers, razors, etc.)
  5. Wedding Cleaning
  6. Laundry
  7. Car
  8. Things You Really Can't Ask Martha (or Mom, for that Matter)
I love how each chapter is outlined, making the book all the more useful as a reference tool. Just look up your problem area in the index and you'll find the solution Kerr suggests—super easy!

I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful the guide is. There's lots of cleaning advice that I have never come across (or, let's be honest—have never had the opportunity to need) before, things that aren't just common knowledge. The book is filled with comprehensive tables and charts that streamline specific cleaning methods and materials; it's a nice break from huge chunks of text every once in a while. And to make your life even easier, Kerr provides DIY cleaning solution recipes—made with ingredients that are probably already in your cupboards!—as well as specific brands and products she recommends for targeted problems.

There's definitely a lot of spunk in Kerr's voice, but that's what makes the book so entertaining; the rambling, direct style doesn't hold back. There's absolutely no BS and readers are taken straight to the emergency, no matter how mortifying—and isn't that what we all want in a cleaning guide?


Extensive, easy-to-follow tips for any spill and situation // Humorous, light // Organized into sections (bathroom, kitchen, car, etc.) // Helpful graphics to compare and contrast different cleaning methods


A reference book... not exactly something I would sit down and read cover to cover


This isn't a word-for-word excerpt, but just a condensed tip I got from the book and wanted to share with you guys:

Ever pull off a shirt or dress only to see some of your makeup rubbed off onto the garment? Ugh! To get rid of foundation stains from clothes, rub the area gently with a baby wipe or makeup remove wipe. Be sure to be gentle enough not to push the stain even deeper into the fabric. Then, throw it in the wash.

For trickier, oilier stains such as lipstick or mascara stains on clothing, do the same thing except with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball instead of a baby wipe. The makeup should slide right off. Convenient, right?


Highly charged, full of personality, and conscientiously charming, My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is a stylish but frenetic cleaning guide for the everyday woman in everyday situations. With advice that ranges from generic but crucial (how to do laundry in a way that won't wear clothes out, how to clean the toilet, how to get rid of mildew, etc.) to ridiculously specific and quirky (how to deal with a Laffy Taffy that's melted in your pocket, how to get embarrassing fluids out of your bedsheets, how to even wrap your head around poop stains, etc.), this book is a handy reference tool that's simultaneously thoroughly entertaining. Jolie Kerr zealously combines chick-lit with how-to by contributing her and her readers' own experiences, just for kicks—who knew cleaning would be so fun to read? Americanflag

9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf (x)


Books à la Mode is giving away one finished print copy of My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag—yay!! To enter, all you have to do is tell me:
Share one of your favorite cleaning "life-hacks"—any sort of tip or trick you use to clean that may make everyone's life just a little easier!

Don't forget to include your email address or Twitter username in your comment so I know who to contact when I choose a winner. Don't make me track you down!!!! No email = No entry!
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Jolie and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC and Penguin!
Giveaway ends May 1st at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only—sorry, international readers! Check out my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide—there are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!