A South Florida “Life Skills expert and mother” offers her definitive survival guide for those preparing to leave the nest.
Originally titled Useful Information for Everyday Living, this second incarnation of Sfakianos’ home-economics guidebook compiles a compendium of rudimentary and practical information “to maintain a healthy and happy home” and boasts a wellspring of everyday hints, advice and wise guidance, primarily, though not exclusively, aimed at the younger generation. In 26 chapters, the author covers many pertinent themes such as computer care, automotive tips, home repair, sewing, grilling and simple etiquette. Her environmentally friendly guide to housework and cleaning products is refreshingly contemporary, as are approaches to disaster preparedness, funeral arrangements (theirs and yours) and some interesting, sage counsel for parents faced with the unexpected return of “boomerang kids” back to their childhood home. Sfakianos is strongest and most persuasive when her narrative discusses a subject at length rather than allowing a long list of do’s and don’ts to accomplish the legwork. She employs her extensive medical training in chapters on healthful eating habits (for adults and children alike) with a smart emphasis on portion control, conversion charts and food freshness limits. She also offers many key behaviors to keep newborns and children at their healthiest, as well as essential, emotionally centered tips on caring for yourself (“love yourself”) and a significant other (“forget the drama and focus on being happy”). While much of the material offered can be considered fundamental common knowledge (“keep a room freshener close by the commode,” “change light bulbs when they burn out”) and some even border on the draconian (when driving “[k]eep your doors locked at all times,” in relationships “[d]o not suffocate each other,” “[d]o not sit and drink alcohol alone”), its straightforward presentation and friendly delivery makes this volume a satisfying refresher course to folks both newly independent and those seeking what the author touts as “a new dimension of potential.”
A pleasingly functional, life-affirming reference tool.