Modern Girl’s Guide To Life: Domestic Goddess

The Modern Girl's Guide to Life
The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life by Jane Buckingham

I’m back at it for another round of informational blogging! This time I’ve decide to expand beyond finances and read The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life by Jane Buckingham (William Morrow). Full disclosure, I work for the publisher, but this in no way affects my reading. I must be on some sort of self-improvement kick because I find myself looking for ways to simplify my life and get my act together. I’m managing my life, but I’d like to be at a point where my motivation comes from within rather than a self-help guide.

So to begin, this book covers a lot of topics surrounding being a modern woman, and is broken down into nine chapters. (There are lots of lists!)

Chapter 1: Fake Being a Domestic Goddess

This is the quick and dirty about keeping up appearances and the basics of home maintenance. I would love to see this info being shared with any male counterparts who are living in the home because I’m sure not all of these tasks should fall on the “Modern Girl.” Also, I don’t really see how any of this is quick and easy because there’s so much stuff I have to get and remember.

{Side note: I tried to create columns for this post to make it easier to read, but WordPress doesn’t seem to agree with column formatting…}

Kitchen Starter Pack:

For cooking and prep

  • Blender
  • Dish rack
  • manual can opener
  • microwave
  • toaster oven
  • timer
  • coffee maker
  • cheese grater
  • chopping board
  • cookie sheet
  • colander
  • garlic press
  • kitchen shears
  • knives
  • measuring spoons
  • meat tenderizer
  • glass measuring cup
  • measuring cups for dry ingredients
  • microwave-safe dish
  • mixing bowls
  • muffin pan
  • pastry brush
  • pots and pans
  • rubber spatula
  • stirring spoons – on metal and one wood
  • slotted spoon
  • tongs
  • vegetable peeler
  • wire whisk
  • bottle opener
  • cork screw
  • salad tongs
  • serving fork and spoon
  • 2 large bowls
  • 2 small bowls
  • large tray
  • soup ladle
  • salt and pepper mill
  • wine stoppers
  • plastic wrap, wax paper, aluminum foil, plastic storage bags
  • assorted glass storage containers

For the pantry

  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • canned soups/beans/chili
  • canned veggies
  • canned whole tomatoes
  • chicken (or vegetable) stock and bullion cubes
  • chips, crackers, cookies, popcorn
  • chocolate chips
  • cornmeal
  • dried beans, peas, lentils
  • dried fruits
  • dry soup mixes
  • extracts: vanilla, lemon, almond
  • flour
  • herbs and spices
  • hot chocolate mix
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • nuts
  • olive oil
  • pancake mix
  • pasta
  • pepper/peppercorns
  • rice
  • salt
  • sugar (white granulated, brown, & powdered)
  • syrups: maple, honey, chocolate
  • tea
  • tomato paste and sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce

OMG this is the basics for a kitchen?!? Living in a NYC apartment has really slimmed this list because there’s no way I would be able to fit most of these things! I would LOVE to be able to have a full spice rack and a blender. *le sigh*

More on the kitchen, the author gives a few simple recipes that everyone should know for last minute guests and dinner occasions (like pasta alfredo and caesar salad). Plus how to care and pick good fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs.

From the kitchen she talks about best practices for cleaning, like washing as you cook, and moving on to other parts of the home like laundry and the bathroom. The cleaning tips are very specific and would be super useful in the event that someone would get a wine stain or need to know whether or not to dry clean a shirt.

Another section of this chapter is about organizing. I also found it to be very helpful. The author suggests that it’s better to start fresh with everything rather than work on one issue at a time. For email organization, create a folder that says something like “my past life” and dump everything in there. When answering new emails, do so right away and file them away. No need to see the clutter in your inbox. For closets, the same also applies, get rid of anything that you feel “iffy” about. “It’s much better to have a sparse closet of must-have items than a packed-to-the-gills mishmash of random outfits you haven’t worn since Bush was in office.” 

Here are some things to put in your bathroom medicine cabinet in case of need be. (SO helpful!)

  • ace bandage and tape
  • antacid
  • antibiotic ointment
  • band-aids
  • clear nail polish
  • dental floss
  • eye drops
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • ibuprofen
  • mini-scissors
  • new toothbrush
  • over the counter cold meds (a.m. & p.m.)
  • over the counter cough syrup
  • pepto-bismol
  • petroleum jelly
  • rubbing alcohol
  • sunscreen
  • tweezers

One of these days I’m going to own a home and have it filled with the essentials, meanwhile having my closets and life organized. But until that day, I’ll be happy lighting a candle that smells like fresh laundry or cookies to fool everyone into thinking I know what I’m doing. Having it all together takes work! oy!

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this book, just to see if I am able to keep up with being a modern woman!


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