Amazing things happen when Woman taps her inner Girl Scout. In You Can Do It!
, Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas and friends present an engaging cast of female "mentors" who share their expertise in activities ranging from money management to firewalking. Fanning the can-do spirit kindled during her own scouting years, Catuzzi goes beyond the badge with this concept; wealthy information and the book's visual charm encourage women to embrace their aspirations and, in turn, to build self esteem. All who completed this commendable handbook following Catuzzi's tragic death deserve applause.
Want to fly airplanes? Break a habit? Learn photography? Grandcolas demystifies 60 popular activities here. Low-key visualization and a biographical page featuring a talented mentor kicks off each chapter. Badge steps follow, conveying all the necessary how-to's. Margins contain revealing anecdotes, plus thumbnail definitions for mastering each skill's language. For example, the wine appreciation chapter offers brief descriptions of common whites and red, tips for ordering in restaurants, a glass guide, and suggestions for creating a wine journal. The final step--stocking your own cellar, in this case--concludes with a hearty "Congratulations!" and tips for venturing "Beyond the Badge." A pageful of resources including books, magazines, web sites, and related organizations completes each chapter. For those who groove on such things, 60 silver-dollar-sized merit badges await earning (okay, they're just really pretty stickers at the book's end). Never motherly nor professorly, You Can Do It!
fuses straight talk and wry humor to keep the read enjoyable, and success within reach.--Liane Thomas
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Discover Sample Badges and Related Reference Books Below
| || Badge # 3 - Roam Where You Want to |
This badge helps you "define your dream trip, prepare for takeoff, and wind up with a departure date, itinerary, and perfectly packed bag. Consider St. Augestine's words: 'The world is a book; those who stay home read only one page.' ...Get ready to say bon voyage. You can do it!
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| || Badge #21 - Get down to the Knitty-Gritty |
Whether you're a trendsetter hankering for a hand-knit PDA cover or a traditionalist after a tea cozy just like Grandma's, this badge will have you in stitches - and a new scarf - in no time. As your fingers fly, you'll soothe your soul, relax your mind, and satisfy your creative urges. Get ready to get hooked. You can do it!
| || Badge #27 - Get Well-Read |
Being well-read means different things to different people. It usually assumes some depth in a specific subject area or breadth across an "established" list of classics. But there is no right or wrong to any great love affair. The purpose of this badge is to open doors to a lifetime enriched by reading on your own terms, without any literary presumption or prejudice. You can read whatever you like, and as much (or little) as you like, so long as you stay true to the call of what really interests and delights you. You can do it!
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| || Badge #28 - Dine In |
Imagine this... When afternoon turns to evening and stomachs start to growl, you invite your friends to stay for supper - and bowl them over with your baked ziti...How did someone who used to find cooking for people intimidating turn into such a gracious gourmet chef? By keeping a panic-proof pantry, learning to rustle up a few reliable dishes, and refining your repertoire. Grab an apron. You can do it!
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| || Badge #29 - Know Your Best Cellars |
There's a difference between drinking wine and tasting wine. When you are drinking wine, it blends with the experience to become a poignant memory. When tasting wine, the process of swirling, sniffing, sipping, and spitting is educational. It's fun to buy, order, serve, and savor wine. Learning what you like and a willingness to experiment is all you need to get into wine. Grab a corkscrew. You can do it!
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| || Badge #33 - Hang Ten |
Imagine this... You stride purposefully down the beach, board under your arm, sun on your back, smile on your face. When you reach the water, you gracefully throw down your board, ease yourself onto it, and begin paddling into the clear blue of sea and sky. Thoughts of deadlines and duties recede with the shoreline. You have just one thing on your mind: catching a wave and riding it sure and strong. If this is your beach-chair daydream, this badge will get you up, out to sea, and on a board. You can do it!
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Grandcolas was an experienced sales and marketing professional embarking on a writing career when she died on United Flight 93 on 9/11; her husband, family, and publisher rallied together to complete her outstanding debut, which encourages middle-aged women to do the things they have always dreamed of doing. The text-patterned after a Girl Scout manual-is made up of seven "badge" categories (e.g., "Dare," "Create," and "Learn") that are further organized into activities such as learning to skydive and care for one's car and building family rituals or breaking bad habits. Each badge takes readers through the task from start to finish and includes excerpts from professionals in that field. A bibliography of books, magazines, and web sites for further information is included. A pure pleasure to browse, this is the perfect gift for those celebrating 40th birthdays and beyond and will enjoy a high circulation among public library patrons. Highly recommended. Library Journal
Not long before 9/11, Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas posted a motto on her refrigerator door: "Get busy living or get busy dying." The 38-year-old marketing executive, pregnant with her first child, had recently started work on a book encouraging women to pursue their dreamsno matter how outlandisheven as they struggled with the daily demands of children, marriage and career. Grandcolas came up with a set of "merit badges for grown-ups" and even hung her old Girl Scout sash above her desk as inspiration. Before she could finish, Grandcolas was killed aboard United Flight 93. After her death, Lauren's husband and sisters gathered her notes and met with her agent. This week, Chronicle Books will posthumously release "You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls." "She truly, truly wanted women to get out there and taste life," says Vaughn Lohec, Lauren's younger sister. "But it's bittersweet that she can't be here to talk about the book herself." Newsweek
Many of the badges are based on adventures from Lauren's own life: taking her husband sky-diving to celebrate her 30th birthday, earning her emergency medical technician credential, learning how to kayak and Rollerblade. Other badges are more practical, such as getting personal finances in order or quitting smoking. "Lauren worried that women got too caught up in their 'To Do' lists instead of their 'Dream to Do' lists," says her husband Jack. "This is her final gift." Book proceeds will be donated to a foundation supporting Lauren's favorite charities. Newsweek
"...it is more than just a life-maintenance manual - the emphasis is very much on breaking through personal boundaries and trying something new." London Times
"You Can Do It!: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls, for all Girl Scouts at heart, embodies the spirit of sisterhood." USA Today