Book Review: The Cure for the Perfect Life

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

My kids and I like to listen to audio books in the car…whether we are on a long road trip or just going across town. Right now, we are working our way through the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. We just love Ramona! She has such a spunky spirit, and the scrapes that she gets in are so funny…even to me, who hasn’t read these books since I was a third grader, about 30 years ago.

A few days ago, we heard about Ramona’s 10th birthday party in the book Ramona’s World (affiliate link). Ramona has been looking forward to her birthday for a while, and has planned a fun party at the park. The only snag in her plan is that Ramona’s mother forced her into inviting her nemesis Susan, a prissy and popular girl from her class.

Susan threatens to ruin the party by refusing to eat any birthday cake because she is afraid that Ramona may have spit on it when she blew out the candles. Some of the girls start to follow Susan’s example, which makes Ramona hiss at Susan, “What’s wrong with you? Everybody eats birthday cake!”

Susan, a little shocked, abruptly starts to cry. She says, “It’s so hard always having to be perfect all the time.”

Look at that. A 9 year-old girl, already thinking she has to act perfect all the time, and she’s exhausted.

What’s a Perfect Life Anyway?

How many of us are going through life like Susan, trying so hard to look perfect, act perfect, BE perfect? In this modern world of Pinterest and Facebook, where anyone can compare oneself to very talented mothers practically around the clock, it’s no wonder many of us end up trying harder, just to keep up with some idea of what a perfect mother should be.

I’m guilty of this too. And frankly, I’m just so tired. Tired of never measuring up, tired of never getting it all done, tired of never hitting my goals.


Luckily, two very brave and wise authors have written a book just for those of us who can’t ever reach perfection. The book The Cure for the “Perfect” Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver written by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory has been one of my most favorite books this summer.

Moms, I have to be honest…this book was like a long talk with a old friend, who was lovingly pointing out how what I had always believed was all wrong, and I didn’t need to stay in a prison of my own making anymore. Honestly, it was such a relief!

Kathi and Cheri talk about how the four “P Bullies” are making us all crazy:

  • Perfectionism: trying to always look perfect and do everything perfectly, all the while criticizing yourself and others for not reaching this standard
  • People-Pleasing: putting others’ feelings above your needs, doing whatever it takes to avoid conflict and have people like you
  • Performancism: thinking that you have to “do it all” at the expense of your relationships and/or health
  • Procrastination: putting off hard or boring tasks because you might be worried about the process of getting those tasks accomplished.

Does any of this sound familiar? It sure did for me!

As Kathi and Cheri guide you through the process of figuring out how you are trying to live a perfect life, you fill find many short quizzes that will help pinpoint the issues that are specific to you. I was amazed at how accurate the results were! Of course, that made it so personal to my situation and helped me a great deal.

Do you have a perfect life now?

Ha. Far from it. In fact, I was supposed to write this post last week, but I had procrastinated until the last minute and knew I couldn’t do a good job, so I put aside my people-pleasing tendencies and asked for a few more days (which Cheri graciously provided!).

But now that I’ve been through the book, I can see where my thinking had made a wrong turn and can work to get it back on track. I do know one thing, however. Although living a braver life is a process, the freedom that you receive when you realize that perfectionism isn’t getting you anywhere is an immediate and lovely feeling. Like a weight off your chest.

So, if you have found yourself tired from all the to-do lists, last-minute projects, and volunteer work that you never really wanted to do (in addition to that nagging voice from inside that you are not good enough), I promise that you will find great relief from these wonderful and wise women.

Bonus time–You can read the introduction and first chapter of The Cure for the Perfect Life for free…head over now to get started!

This Week’s Best Kindle Books

Updated with another great book!

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week….and are looking forward to a long holiday weekend :)

Before I get to the freebies for the week, I wanted to let you know that the Kindle version of Women Living Well (affiliate link) is on sale for only $.99 right now!

I read this book several months ago and absolutely loved it! You can check out my review here.

I just saw that another awesome book (Kindle version) from Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae is also on sale for 99 cents today! I heartily recommend Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe to any mom with young children…it’s a life saver! Read my review of this book here.

Lastly, you may want to also pick up A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” by Rachel Held Evans for 99 cents. I read this over the summer and learned so much…plus, it was so entertaining that I couldn’t put it down!

And now, on to the freebies!

Thanks to Shelly at Frugal Family Home for contributing to this list! Please note, this post contains affiliate links.

Free Kindle eBooks


Fiction (4)

Thicker than Blood (Thicker than Blood series Book 1)

Tattler’s Branch

A Walk on the Edge: The Faith, Fellowship, & Friends Series (The Faith, Fellowship, and Friends Series Book 1)

Black Sam: Prince of Pirates

Non Fiction

1-Minute Habits: Optimise Your Brain, Form Any Habit And Live A Fulfilled Life

Natural Cleaning Made Simple: Easy natural green cleaning solutions for every room of your house

Strength Training for Beginners – 15 Minute Workout Without a Gym

Mind Mapping for Kids: How Elementary School Students Can Use Mind Maps to Improve Reading Comprehension and Critical Thinking

Store This! Simple Home Storage Systems & House Organization Solutions (Gleam Guru Book 2)


Pumpkin Recipes :The Ultimate Recipe Guide – Over 30 Delicious & Best Selling Recipes

Stuffed! The Ultimate Recipe Guide – Over 30 Delicious & Best Selling Recipes

Dump Cake: 50+ Top Dump Cake Recipes For Easy And Delicious Desserts (Dump Cakes, Dump Cake Recipes Book 1)

Paleo Freezer Meals: A Healthy Dinner Is in the Freezer

Kids Books

KidsEbooks (3)

Mystery on Church Hill (The Virginia Mysteries Book 2)

The Comeback

Pinkerton, Behave!

Fishin’ a Bowl

Twenty-Four Henri Rousseau’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids


You don’t have to have a Kindle to read these books. You can go here to download a Free Reading App so you can read any Kindle book on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Amazon has a selection of Kindles here (prices start at just $69)

Please note: Amazon pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change at ANY time without notice. Please confirm the price before completing your purchase

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning all! It’s the first day of school around here, and we are very excited, although, truth be told, Mommy may be a little tearful in a few hours when the kids step onto the bus.

Menu Plan Monday

Getting back into a more structured schedule is going to be a little hard, and I’m sure the kiddos will be pretty tired each evening after a full day of school, so I asked the troops what they wanted for dinners this week.  The menu is full of comfort food that warms up bellies, and makes enough to take for lunches the next day.

Luckily, these are almost all skillet dinners too, so there is easy clean-up afterward (so that I have time to help with homework)!

Here’s what we’ve got going for dinner this week:

Monday: Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

Tuesday: Taco Chicken Bowls, Rice, veggies

Wednesday: Tuna Casserole Skillet, veggies

Thursday: Chili Mac, veggies

Friday: Breakfast for dinner–eggs, homemade biscuits, fruit

Saturday: Eat Out

Sunday: Hamburgers on the grill, corn on the cob, watermelon

I’ll also bake a bit more this week, so that the kids have some homemade snacks to come home to in the afternoon…I’m planning on Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars, and Apple Cinnamon Cake.

For more inspiration for your own menu, check out OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday link-up!

What’s for dinner at your place?

This Week’s Best Kindle Books

Happy Friday! Today is the last official day of summer for us, as school starts on Monday here, so we are going to make the most of it. :)

I’ve got some great free Kindle books for you today…grab them while you can. (Please note, this post contains affiliate links.)

Thanks to Shelly at Frugal Family Home for contributing to this list!

Free Kindle eBooks


Say You Will (Summerhill Book 1)

Blue Hole Back Home: A Novel

Secret Keepers and Skinny Shadows: Lee and Miranda


Preacher’s Daughter, The (Annie’s People Book #1) (Annie’s People)

An Unforgivable Secret (Amish Secrets – Book 1)

Non Fiction

Clean Eating On A Budget: How To Avoid GMO’s And Processed Foods To Achieve A Healthier Lifestyle

How To Keep A Gratitude Journal

Life After Debt: Practical Solutions To Get Out of Debt, Build Wealth, And Radically Transform Your Finances Forever!

Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking-Free Chapters: Aggressive Behavior, Behaving Shyly, Fighting Cleanup Routines, Getting Out of Bed at Night, “Hyper” Activity, Lying

Knitting for Novices Volume 2: The Second Book for Taking your Knitting to the Next Level with Even More Amazing Stitches, Patterns and Garments


Cookbooks (1)

Granola! The Ultimate Recipe Guide

Grandma’s Secret 52 Sunday Recipes. Nans Perfection

Mason Jar Meals: Quick and Easy Recipes for Meals on the Go, in a Jar

FRANKENFOOD RECIPES: Unexpected Food Combinations that Sound Bad but Taste Great

Kids Books


Cool Jump-Rope Tricks You Can Do!: A Fun Way to Keep Kids 6 to 12 Fit Year-’Round.

Children Book : Can you See Me ? Hidden Animals (Amazing Book, Find the Animals) (Age 4 – 12)

Claire (The Helmsworth Project Book 1)

The Dog Who Watched TV (Creature Teachers – early readers Book 4)

100 Fantastic Stories for 4-8 Year Olds. Perfectly Written and Illustrated for Toddlers


You don’t have to have a Kindle to read these books. You can go here to download a Free Reading App so you can read any Kindle book on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Amazon has a selection of Kindles here (prices start at just $69)

Please note: Amazon pricing, promotions, and availability are subject to change at ANY time without notice. Please confirm the price before completing your purchase

Easy Last-Minute Teacher Gift

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year….”

Yes, moms, it’s back to school time (as if you weren’t already counting down!).  I always looked forward to school starting as a child, and my kids are no different. They can’t wait to start school next week.

For the past few years, my daughter and I have made a back-to-school teacher gift for her teachers, which she presents to them at the open house the Friday before the first day of school. It’s always a hit, and I think it also helps to get the year started off on the right foot.

This year, in addition to our regular pot of pencil flowers, we made an extra teacher gift to decorate their desks…a cute sticky note holder.


I saw this adorable idea a few years ago on Pinterest and immediately pinned it to my Things I Want to Create Board. Unfortunately, it took me 2 years to actually make one (isn’t that always how it goes with Pinterest?  Ahem…)

If you are a last-minute kinda gal, which I often am, you will love this project, because it literally takes all of 5 minutes to make. You’ll need these supplies:

supplies-needed-for-last-minute-teacher-giftYou can get these supplies at your local craft store or probably even Walmart or Target, which you’re shopping for school supplies.  Tags are optional, but I wanted to personalize this craft, so I found some adorable chalkboard clothespin tags at Hobby Lobby (with extras to last me for 2 more years).


To begin, cut your paper to fit in your frame. Using my paper trimmer made quick work of this, but you can always just use regular scissors.


After you have your paper in place, you’ll want to add some coordinating ribbon around the top of the frame.  This cute ABC ribbon is from Hobby Lobby:


Simply tie the ribbon into a square know at the top of the frame, making sure to trim the ends neatly. You can then add a clip or tag with your teacher’s name to personalize it. I used a chalk marker for a clean, legible letters.


Easy, right? It only takes a few minutes, but looks so festive, just in time for back to school fun!


I hope your teacher enjoys this fun little gift!

Do you usually make a teacher gift for back-to-school or wait until the holidays?