- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 21, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0718098307
- ISBN-13: 978-0718098308
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 295 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living Hardcover – November 21, 2017
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About the Author
Emily Ley is Founder and Creative Director of Emily Ley Paper & Gifts. She is also the creator of the bestselling Simplified Planner—a daily agenda for what matters most. Raised in Pensacola, Florida (home of the most beautiful beaches you ever did see), Emily graduated from the University of West Florida with degrees in English, creative writing, and public administration and then went on to become the executive director of the city ballet. From there, she worked in nonprofit management and public relations before launching her brand in 2008. Following the success found at its online home, EmilyLey.com, the Emily Ley brand quickly grew to be carried in over 500 retail outlets across the United States and around the world. Emily has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best New Product—Desktop (for the 2015 Simplified Planner®) at the National Stationery Show as well as Top 10 Designers to Watch in 2015 by Stationery Trends Magazine. Now as a businesswoman, wife, and mama to three, Emily enjoys Friday pizza parties on the living room floor, strong cappuccinos with her college-crush-turned-husband, and making memories to savor for a lifetime with her twins and preschooler.
Top customer reviews
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1 - I find the information and advice it contains to be very surface-y. If you've never read anything about keeping a home, managing your life, etc. then this might be helpful for you. But I already know that I should only buy clothes that I love or that I should meal plan every week. There's nothing in here that I haven't seen in a quick blog post. It's a beautiful book with gorgeous photographs and quotes, but the amount of information in it could've been condensed into a bullet point or two per chapter.
2- This advice is clean and simple, just as advertised. But it's a little too much so -- if my life was perfectly ideal, then yes, these would be easy to implement. It doesn't address all of the moving parts that need to shift to get you to a point where you can live in a simpler manner. To me, her message is an ideal, not a truth.
3- While Emily makes a point of saying that you don't need to buy anything to implement her different tips, I think that I'd need more money if I wanted to do it all. There are certain facts of life that just can't be simplified away, like a full-time job with inflexible hours. I can't decide that I want to work less and spend more time with my family or put my self-care at the forefront of my life, because right now having financial stability is also a priority. That's not to say that you can't prioritize all of these things, but these priorities have to share my time. Emily made her planner business smaller to make it less overwhelming for her and to focus on her home, but even after doing so she can live very comfortably. I have no problem with her doing so and am glad she was able to, but not all of us have the luxury to make such choices.
3- There's a lot of fluff. Big pictures of Emily and her family, large-type font quotes pulled from the chapter. There's space in each chapter to write out different plans, but who would really write in a book as beautiful as this? For me, the aesthetic of this book reminds me a lot of what I dislike about it -- it's very pretty and minimal with lots of white space. It's more style than substance. I love to look at it, but the truth is that it doesn't benefit me very much, however much I want it to.
The things that I did like:
1- I love how Emily Ley writes, like she understands you and your daily struggles in the home. I would love to have her writing style combined with a more substantial book.
2- It's beautifully laid out and I think would make a nice gift. This isn't something that I really desire in a book of this nature, but I can see it being appealing for others.
1. I will echo many other reviewers by saying it is filled with basic common sense life-hacks anyone should have nailed down by the time they are at least one year out of college. There's alot of fluff by way of empty white space, tons of pictures, and blown up quotes already stated in the body of the text.
2. There are tons of inconsistencies between the text and the pictures as well as what you would find on social media. For example she tells you not to bother with a perfectly organized pantry full of plastic bins and labels and then shows pictures of her pantry, cabinets, and drawers all filled with bins. On social media when her mom comes to town she will often post a video of them at The Container Store shopping for more bins. To be clear I don't have a problem with a perfectly organized pantry it's the mismatch of advice and perceived lifestyle that is frustrsting. If you're reading a book about how to simplify and prioritze what matters most you want the advice to feel belivable and doable by way of the authors example.
3. Also, it is imporant to note that while she is a work from home mom she has more agency over her schedule than most people do. Whether you work full-time or stay at home with kids or work from home most people don't have the degree of flexibility and funds that she has to employ many of the simplification techniques she describes. Its hard to make room for most of these things if you have a full time job and as soon as you are off for the day you are spending all your spare time with kids and keeping the house afloat with food, laundry, etc. If you're a stay at home mom you are spending almost all of your time with kids, cooking, cleaning etc. There simply isn't enough nap time in the world to accomplish all of this along with the day to day tasks of running a home. I consider it an injustice to women to say you can have several kids and a thriving career and have your home in ship shape too. For most people that is either financially impossible or practically impossible or both based on the normal limitations and circumstances most women live with. Hers is a very unique life. Simply put most women don't run a financially thriving internet based work from home company and therefore can't replicate.
4. Lastly, it is frustrating to see a reputable Christian publishing house print a book like this. It was marketed as a spiritual book, but paying lip service to God a few times here and there doesn't make a book spiritual. There is very little if anything in this book that would point you to Christ. It's truly a missed opportunity on the publisher's part. The best way to simplify a life is to look at what matters most through the lens of scripture and focus on living true to that. It often frustrates me that this author is linked with authors like Lara Casey because one offers true depth and spiritual direction to a simplifed life focusing on what matters most while the other just comes across as disingenuous.
I would instead recommend
1. Cultivate by Lara Casey for a simplified life through Christ
2. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up for simplifying your environment.
If you do decide this book is for you just remember before you ever crack the cover that comparison really is the theif of all joy.