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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parenting is Overrated.
Laura Bennett's MOTHER'S GUIDE TO SANITY IN STILETTOS speaks less about child rearing and more about remaining fabulous despite your children. I can best sum up her parenting philosophy using her own words. "I have a genetic predisposition to laissez-faire parenting"..."The truth is my children are a bit LORD OF THE FLIES...I like it that way". She is most definitely of...
Published on February 25, 2010 by L. J. Schrader

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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars At least the title is funny
This is a little bit like what the new blogging mommy hath wrought these days; an overarching effort to remain "fabulous" amid the pestering daily duties of parenthood. And it's not so much of an effort as it is a sewing together in-jokes about fashionable footwear and your family, buried under the notion that anyone with children automatically has a story to tell...
Published on March 9, 2010 by J. GARRATT


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parenting is Overrated., February 25, 2010
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This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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Laura Bennett's MOTHER'S GUIDE TO SANITY IN STILETTOS speaks less about child rearing and more about remaining fabulous despite your children. I can best sum up her parenting philosophy using her own words. "I have a genetic predisposition to laissez-faire parenting"..."The truth is my children are a bit LORD OF THE FLIES...I like it that way". She is most definitely of the school of thought that kids learn best when they are left to themselves, and certainly mommy is happier when left to herself, too.

So, who would be interested in what she has to say? My guess is that anyone who spots a book that asks "Didn't I feed you yesterday?" on the cover would be expecting some entertainment on the subject of families, likely not P.C. and probably pretty funny. That is just what you will get. This is a humorous look at life from the point of view of a somewhat narcissistic, modern mom of six with an attitude.

I had never heard Laura's name before, and was unaware of her stint on Project Runway, but my guess is that she made a name for herself based on her candor. She talks about her reality show adventure and subsequent forays with interviews and online forums and alludes to the fact that she earned herself the unflattering nickname of "bad mommy". She also states that she is no stranger to angry comments and takes full responsibility for everything that she says and the wrath that comes along with it. She just might want to be prepared for a bit more criticism based on this book. Those who can't understand her style will be up in arms more than ever. But, those of us who can take her with a grain of salt will find her interesting, if nothing else.

This book was much more of a bitch session for the author than it was any sort of parenting guide, so it needs to be taken lightly. I found her writing to be witty and somewhat sarcastic. I can't say that she is voicing "all the things that all mothers really think but don't dare say", since I just don't agree with her myself on many points. She is not your old-fashioned mother in most respects, and yet she is when it comes to making the point that we adults turned out okay for the most part even with parents who let us learn many lessons the hard way.

Whether you loved her or hated her based on her time on Bravo (or never heard of her, like me) she has something to say. She would probably recommend that you take her book, lock yourself in the bathroom away from the family and crack a smile. I agree.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lighter Side of Motherhood, March 16, 2010
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Amazon Customer "Opa" (Colorado Rocky Mountains) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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"Didn't I Feed You Yesterday" is one of the most entertaining books I have read in many months. Laura Bennett presents the reader with a narrative of events in her life. She discusses her husband (a very patient man), each of her children, and her work, both at home and in her career. As she narrates she quips about her acquaintances and the places around her, making observations like a trained tour guide while offering comic statements about the people and events she encounters.

This book, written like a diary, is a very funny commentary on life as a wife and mother of six, with a husband who hasn't really grown up himself. The interactions among this unlikely family group are very laughable, while helping us understand how a mother can survive with a career, six children, and numerous pets while remaining sane.

Laura devotes part of her book to a dress design competition she entered called Project Runway. This section is a must read for anyone who contemplates entering a TV reality show contest. She may be exaggerating, but if even half of it is true, there is no way I could survive to the finals of such events.

The children use profanity, and, in an attempt to appear as a cool, composed parent, Laura overlooks her children's language. Profanity is something I have always seen as evidence of a poor vocabulary. Maybe she tolerates their language and believes that by ignoring it the profanity may decrease. Laura also tolerates rude conduct by labeling it as masculine. Yes, compared with girls, boys may be more violent and more of a threat to furniture and guests than girls, but that doesn't mean we allow discourteous behavior. I must admit, however, that when her five sons barge into an adult party and disrupt some stuffy friends, it is very funny.

Some of Laura's comments that I enjoyed are: The advantage of six children is "If I lose one somewhere there are extras." When some people suggest she trapped her husband (a confirmed bachelor) into marriage - "I can see trapping a man with one pregnancy, but five?" Encountering critics of her parenting she says, "all my kids' therapists say they are well adjusted."

Laura Bennett may have intended this book for women, as it is certainly told from a women's point of view. I think this book is insightful and funny. Women, I am certain, will probably understand references that leave me scratching my head. When she talks about childbirth, for example, I get an image but, as a man can not empathize. I am a male who has only experienced childbirth as a coach. Accordingly, I think mothers, who have born children and labored every day to raise them will love this book.

I highly recommend "Didn't I Feed You Yesterday." If you appreciate the lighter side of family life you will enjoy this book. I especially recommend this book to women and hope someday a woman will explain the parts that passed me by.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caustic and Ascerbic Wit from a Self-Proclaimed Bad Mother, March 2, 2010
This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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Laura Bennett is the type of mother whose young son, upon arriving at their converted dairy barn in the Berkshires, notes that the working barn next door "smells like ass." She is proud that the woman at the airport who complained about her poor parenting skills got it wrong when she accused Laura of dressing the boys in varying hues of Ralph Lauren shirts when in fact, she dressed them in L.L. Bean for half the price and used the rest to buy a new pair of Manolos.

How many women refuse to feel guilty over hiring nannies and mannies...can actually handle having one of their children refer to her as "Lawa" while calling one of those nannies "Mom?" If that makes you cringe a little, her reasoning makes a certain kind of sense: "If I'm going to entrust my children to another woman, I'm glad they love her."

In addition to dispensing her brand of parenting - follow the airline oxygen mask rule and put yourself first - she provides wardrobe and diet tips, although I don't know many non-smoking women who take up the chewing of Nicorette because it helps them maintain their girlish figures.

Bennett's style of parenting takes laissez faire to the next level, but she makes some cogent points. About peanut allergy hysteria she offers this theory: It's really Munchausen's by Peanut. After all, as she points out, "where were all those [allergic] kids when I was growing up? Did they just fall dead under the cafeteria table, swept up with the dropped spaghetti?" If that sounds at all familiar, Bennett wrote shorter versions of some of these essays for The Daily Beast. She has taken to the longer form with panache.

I may not live a life like Laura Bennett, though sometimes I also wish I were Auntie Mame, descending a sweeping staircase while dispensing bon mots. It's not likely to happen, but reading her book made me feel a little better about it. After all, I may not live in a Manhattan loft with my famous architect husband, but I count my lucky stars I don't own a gaggle of in-bred finches who may be committing birdicide.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, fun read!, April 24, 2010
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This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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I love this book! I love Laura's sense of humor and her take on parenting. She is so down-to-earth, a little bit cynical, downright hysterical and sincerely isn't bothered by what others think. I'm a mother and a Project Runway fan so I think I am right smack in the middle of the demographic for this book, however I don't think you have to be a Project Runway fan, a Laura Bennett fan, or even a parent to enjoy this book; I think anyone can enjoy and/or relate to the things she writes about here. Honestly, I was a teensy bit annoyed by Laura Bennett when she was on Project Runway but I did like her sense of humor when she let it show. But she really lets you get to know her in this book and I like what I see.

She starts the book by "introducing" the reader to her children, one by one, which is just a riot. I love her admission that she has a favorite child and that her kids jockey for positioning on The List of faves. I just really enjoyed the spirit with which she wrote the book. She says things that are surprising and shocking but deep down you might actually have been thinking yourself and I love that candor. It makes it all so much more relatable.

The title really got my interest piqued and the book did not let me down. Laura leads what I would consider to be a somewhat unconventional life which is interesting material in itself but with her humor added in and some PR stories here and there, it is quite an adventurous, enjoyable read! I highly recommend it!
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars At least the title is funny, March 9, 2010
This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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This is a little bit like what the new blogging mommy hath wrought these days; an overarching effort to remain "fabulous" amid the pestering daily duties of parenthood. And it's not so much of an effort as it is a sewing together in-jokes about fashionable footwear and your family, buried under the notion that anyone with children automatically has a story to tell.

Again and again, former "Project Runway" contestant Laura Bennett reminds you that she balances her work with five of her six children living at home. This by itself can be a good thing. It certainly deserves a platonic acknowledgement along the lines of "good for her" However, I imagine most people's tolerance for narcissism lies somewhere in the finite area.

The subtitle of the book is "A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos," and the short answer one can gleam from this assertion is to be a reality show contestant and hire two nannies, a manny (?) and a housekeeper. Her defensive side shows when she involuntarily justifies having such help at home (I didn't feel like I was in a position to blame her), reminding me of "To Hell With All That" by Caitlin Flanagan, a book I hated reading.

It's definitely a view through the Manhattan socialite looking glass. Her kids take fencing lessons and go to therapy. She talks about the Porsche she got in her divorce because "a girl needs a sexy getaway car." (???) And then there is the relentless teasing of tee-hee-my-husband-might-be-gay (?????), as if this cute little fact can be traded for currency in the world of fashion designing. And shoes, so much name-brand-dropping.

It's a face palm moment when you make it to page 30 of this "guide" only to realize that it goes on for another 170.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eccentric Aunt Laura, May 19, 2010
This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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This book is for every parent who's ever been made to feel "you're doing it wrong."

I enjoy Bennett's writing style (I've followed her Daily Beast column from day 1). She orients the reader with her family and her personality right away. Use Amazon's "Search inside this book" feature to know if this book will appeal to you. Her writing is warm and conversational, her subjects poignant without being sentimental and frequently hilarious.

The tone/theme is more "here's how I do it, turtle poop and all" than the staid "here's how you should do it." Bennett doesn't so much offer advice as tell stories we can learn from, be entertained by, gasp at, laugh at and flat out enjoy. Her writing is also visual and visceral; you can picture and feel what she presents.

Some readers will be put off by her level of frankness and her wicked humor. These are the same people who give me and my friends the fisheye when we say that, in our households, "swirlies" -- with fits of giggling -- popcorn for dinner and sleeves-as-tissues are regular occurrences. If you don't like that idea, you probably won't dig this memoir and life's too short to read something you won't dig. If it is appealing, snatch this up with all due haste.

I've already purchased this book as a gift for a friend and am recommending it left and right to all of the "unconventional" parents I know. With so many parenting book sounding like stuffy old Aunt Edna, it's refreshing to find one that feels like take-it-or-leave-it not-quite-advice from stylish, eccentric Aunt Laura.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes to the sanity, No to the stilettos, March 9, 2010
This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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This book is hilarious. I laughed loudly and often as I was reading. It isn't a "how to" guide. Most of us cannot get 2 nannies, a manny, and a housekeeper. If we could, perhaps we would be more in control of our sanity levels. But, that doesn't make Laura's life and experiences less valid. They are just different than mine. We have different values and expectations in our parenting. But, as in all parenting style issues, I think we can learn from one another. I know I could be more laid-back about a lot of things. I could let my boys be boys more often. I can definitely relate to her house full of men.

Read this book for entertainment. Read it as though you are having coffee with a girlfriend and sharing mommy stories. If you read it that way, you will love it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanity, style AND sense of humor in stilettos, April 19, 2010
This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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I don't read a lot of non-fiction or a lot of humor. I can think of one title I wasn't paid to read from the last decade. Having been a fan of Laura Bennett on Project Runway (not only her fashion creations but her style and wit,) I was excited to see she had authored a book...even if it appeared to be a humorous look at childrearing.

Happy me, once I got into reading the book, to find out that it was much more than that. Certainly there are plenty of stories about Bennett coping with career and her six children (seven if you include her husband Peter) but there is much more. Here she presents a series of essays or incidents grouped in themes that chronicle her life from the breakup of her first marriage through single motherhood, courtship, baby...baby...baby--a couple more babies (as she says: good to have a spare), Project Runway and after. It is a wryly examined life, peppered with laugh out loud moments. It's a John Irving life through the eyes of a latter-day Co Co Chanel...

I knew from the first on Project Runway, she was someone I could relate too (despite being QUITE different) and I see I was spot on. We share a sense of humor and much in the attitude department. You might too...but I guarantee you will be entertained (as long as you have a sense of humor--Laura provides the sense of style).
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Exactly Erma Bombeck, May 25, 2010
This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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For a purportedly light-hearted look at modern mothering, I didn't smile a whole heck of a lot throughout this.

It's hard to get involved with the daily struggles and tribulations of someone who has three full-time care-givers for her children plus at least one cleaning/cooking staff.

This woman never lets you forget for a moment that she wears $400 shoes, was a contestant on some "reality" show (Project Runway) and that her husband is a world-famous architect.

Her idea of a difficult day is juggling schedules for her numerous children to make sure their nannies and caregivers get them to the right place on time. No doubt a real laugh riot down at the Polo Lounge but a bit of a snoozer for the majority of us.

She's trying to be Erma Bombeck but she lacks the basic day-to-day experiences of life and home and finances that made Erma such a fun read. You can connect to Erma, you just sort of feel numb reading about the problems of getting a 10' long custom built aviarium into your apartment that this woman writes about.

Let this one pass by, there's better collections of essays and stories about day to day life that will bring a smile to you and make you feel sympathetic warmth inside. This just isn't one of those books.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common sense combined with FUNNNNNY!, March 3, 2010
This review is from: Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos (Hardcover)
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Not being of the "Mommy" Tribe myself, I wasn't sure if I would like this book or not. I don't really appreciate the humor or travails of finding that perfect stroller or daycare center and to be honest I don't understand the Mommy lexicon, so I started this book with some trepidation. I was so pleasantly surprised! I may not belong to the Mommy Tibe, but I do belong to the Fabulous Shoe and Handbag tribe - the first mention by the author of choosing the Hermes Birkin bag as her diaper bag reeled me in!

She writes with laughter in her tone - you can almost feel the smile (or smirk in some cases) as you read each word and that is a hard thing to capture and convey. It's not so much snarky as a reflection of silliness brought by simple happiness within her life and that made this book a page turner. The author is straight forward about the choices she's made and why they work for her and the simple fact that those who disagree or want to judge her negatively for those choices can move on. Gotta love that! (With five young boys in her home two part time nannies and a "Manny" seem mandatory for sanity if nothing else. They live in NYC - running outside to play is certainly not an option.) Yet in the midst of all the silly and the hired help and city drama, she does present some old fashioned, common sense thoughts that have been lost to parents today. Things like "talk to your children" , "eat meals with your kids - where those meals where prepared is less important than eating them together" and "let them play and learn things on their own" and "kids get hurt doing stupid things, it's what happens" and "a little foul language isn't the end of the world and neither is getting (or not) into THE pre-school" And as a member of the deliberately Childless Tribe the lesson I most appreciated the author reminding the world..... Do not travel on airplanes with small children - the sanity of the parents, the kids and fellow passengers depends on your family taking car trips until your kids are teenagers. Having read this book on a flight accross the country, I found myself laughing out loud and wholeheartedly agreeing with her! Charming, very funny and generally a delight = I'm very glad to have read this one.
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Didn't I Feed You Yesterday?: A Mother's Guide to Sanity in Stilettos
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