I first met Amy Clark at the first ever brand/blogger event hosted by Johnson and Johnson in 2008 and it didn't take me very long (or anyone else, having had the pleasure of hanging out with her for no more than 5 minutes, for that matter) to realize that Amy is just as engaging and emits this positive energy IRL as she does on her blog, Momadvice.com.
Truth be told, I had a little girl crush on Amy. Honestly, in my eyes, she is the definition of a homemaker: the woman cooks, knits and crafts the h-e-double hockey sticks out of...well...anything...and is still able to run a household, while sticking to a strict budget...while I, on the other hand, suffer from severe clumsiness and should NEVER be trusted with pointy objects or run anywhere, without access to a bathroom, close by.
Still, it was her sharp wit and endless enthusiasm that drew me back to her blog, over and over again: Amy NEVER fails to encourage her readers with practical and practicable advice.
In her newly-released book, The Good Life for Less: Giving Your Family Great Meals, Good Times, and a Happy Home on a Budget, Amy offers up a clever lifestyle plan that is long on creativity and short on cost to help achieve a peaceful, thrifty home and a loving, happy family.
However, Martha Stewart she is not: I sometimes find it hard to relate to Martha's sense of perfecting stuff...all the time...and using only "the best" vanilla, from some remote island somewhere, at an equally unattainable price.
IMHO, Amy Clark is the anti-Martha: for example, in Chapter 2 (The Frugal, Generous Kitchen) of her book, Amy suggests that her readers look for bargains in the "day-old items" section of your grocery store and reassures us that the term is often times misconstrued as suggesting that the food is spoiled.
This is rarely true. "Day-old" usually means the item has a "sell by" date of the day you are buying -- and since store-baked goods are made fresh every day anyway, this does not mean the item is stale. It means that tomorrow the store won't be able to sell it at all, and they'd rather take a small loss than complete one.
Even though my kids are older, I found myself learning something new and wonderful in each successive page, like helping my family practice our frugality wherever or whenever we can.
Re-creating the expensive coffee-shop experience right here at home, for example: by providing simple recipes for cinnamon lattes, iced mochas, chai tea and creative cocoas to enjoy with my kids, while teaching them that the money they would have spent on that expensive cup of coffee can now be used elsewhere.
It's called stealth-parenting, btw, and I highly recommend it.
Final Verdict: I read Amy's book in just a couple of hours this past weekend (I'm a fast reader), but found myself returning to it the next day to try out one of Amy's slow cooker recipes (chicken tacos, a winner with the kids, YUM!!!) then dog-earing page after page of organizing/budgeting tips and, well, my copy is looking pretty worn, already.
In the meantime, I would like to take this moment to congratulate my friend Amy and wish her much success on her new book -- she deserves it!
We'll leave the porch light on for you, just in case.
© 2003 - 2013 ThisFULLHouse
Disclosure: No payment was received for this blog post. I received a copy of Amy's new book for review purposes, but have ordered another copy for my niece who is getting married in August of this year :) All links to Amy's book on Amazon is thru an affiliate link which, when ordering thru it, will help my family make a little milk money, too -- thanks!!!