The Tao of Abby

I recently read “The Tao of Martha” by Jen Lancaster in which she attempts to live her life according to the advice of Martha Stewart with everything from closet organization to party planning. It was an okay read, but that’s not the point.

The point is that as evidenced by my issues with sheets and vacuums, I’m no Martha Stewart.

In fact, the only thing me and M-dawg have in common is that she’s an ex-felon and I commit crimes on a daily basis that would keep the Fashion Police busy if they had any actual authority.

But I would like to think that most people tend to lean a little bit more towards “drawer of shame” instead of “bedazzled closet hangers” on a daily basis. As such, I have decided to do a “modified Martha” version of some of her tips for those other domestically disabled divas out there.

They might not exactly be helpful in a “Watch out, Martha!” sort of way, but at least they’ll help you feel less alone.

Cleaning a Mini-Blind

Martha: If blinds are very dirty, remove them from the window and lay them flat on a drop cloth outside. Scrub closed blinds with a soft brush and warm soapy water. Repeat on the other side; rinse. Open and hang outside to dry.

Me: miniblind

Cleaning a Shower Curtain Liner

Martha: A homemade curtain of ripstop nylon works well. Curtains and plastic liners can be cleaned with laundry detergent in the washing machine, on the gentle cycle.


Me: We’ve been over this before. Cut down the $5 liner from Target and replace it with a new $5 liner from Target. Much like the mini-blind situation, don’t be a hero.

Making a Cup of Tea

Martha: Gather leaves from a Darjeeling bush. Warm your pot first with steaming water, dump it out, refill it and let it boil. Warm your cups, strain your tea and add a lychee nut to the cup before you sip.


Me: Fill Hot Shot with water, get impatient before realizing you forgot to hit “start.” Hit start, dispense water and tea bag into cup 1 minute later. Use all available methods for not burning your mouth with the exception of actually waiting for the tea to cool.

Readying Clothes for the Laundry

Martha: Empty pockets and turn them inside out, unfurl socks, and unroll cuffs. Tie sashes and strings to prevent tangling. Place delicate items like lingerie and fine knitwear in zippered mesh bags. Turn delicate items, sweaters, and cotton T-shirts inside out to prevent pilling.


Me: Throw dirty clothes in the vicinity of the laundry basket and congratulate myself if it goes in. Eventually notice that I’m out of socks, gather laundry surrounding the basket and shove it all in the washer. Forget about it, wash it again and then eventually throw in the dryer.

Making a Cake

Martha: Fancy flourishes and pretty piping really are the icing on the cupcakes. Faux bois, or imitation wood grain, is a favorite motif of Martha’s; it can be applied to chocolate using a wood-graining rocker, found at paint-supply stores.


Me: Go to the bakery. If you ask really nice, they’ll even decorate it for you.

I think her empire is safe.

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23 responses to “The Tao of Abby

  1. I’m with you 100% on the mini blind front. In fact, I’ve tried to rid my home of most of them, simply because they are a son of an itch to clean. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  2. Yeah….I never even thought of cleaning my mini blinds (or my ceiling fans, for that matter). Some dust is good for you! I read that…somewhere.

    “Clean” the liner?!? HA! No no, those are replaceable. I agree, $5 at most – and you can get the weighted ones for that much!

  3. You and I have very similar cleaning sensibilities. I knew I liked you.

  4. butterflyny75


  5. People clean mini-blinds and shower curtains? Whoa.

  6. My boyfriend once described me as the only woman he knows who can’t boil water. So that tells you what level I’m working on.

    I can wash a mean load of laundry, though.

  7. Love the term “Procrastibaking” – it’s my new best word. Thank for the … and the smiles xx

  8. Hello! Lisa Newlin turned me on to your blog. Both of your girls are hilarious. I’m with you on Jen Lancaster’s book. It was okay. I liked her first few books but I think she has peaked. You and Lisa are a breath of fresh air and I look forward to getting my laughs with you guys. 🙂

    • Hello and welcome aboard! I’ve only read three of Jen’s books, but think this was a bit…forced at times? I liked it enough, but I just think we’re on completely different (unrelatable) levels at this point if that makes sense.

  9. Cherish Amy Forkner Storm

    Abby, your way is all me! Especially the laundry part! Lovin it!!

  10. Just, YES. Me and Martha go way back.
    Over my lifetime, I’ve gone from my younger years, when my mantra was “That’s not how MARTHA does it” for every category of my life, to…”What the heck. Martha doesn’t live here. I’ll be in the hammock with a book, facing AWAY from those pesky weeds/dusty valances/unsorted laundry.” It’s a lot more relaxing, I’ll tell you that! Besides–I was doing all that crafty-wizard/cooking/gardening/preserving/sewing/being a Polish girl from New Jersey stuff before she even thought of making it into a gazillion-dollar industry anyway…so I figure she owes ME money.

  11. I was hoping the auto industry would fail only because I was wanting to buy the assembly line conveyor belt system on ebay or amazon for pennies on the dollar and install in our laundry room.

    hilarious abs

  12. I. Love. This.

    I’ve embraced this philosophy ever since I had kids. If the baby left something disgusting on the crib sheets…well…crib sheets weren’t THAT expensive.

  13. Never did agree with Martha. I take the low road – easy.

  14. We have a fair division of labour in our house, Comma do does the cleaning (most of it) and I cook. It works well and I never have to worry about any of the above except the cakes and, as I’m always on a diet, I don’t bake cakes.

  15. I definitely prefer your way Abby 🙂

    And stef I like your new mantra – ‘what the heck. Martha doesn’t live here’.

  16. Martha Stewart bugs the crap out of me – I just can’t imagine being so crafty and proper all of the time. I wonder if she is REALLY that way all the time or if it is just her celebrity persona. If we just dropped in unannounced at her house, would it be a mess and would she be hanging out in sweats?

  17. g2-5ce1be4ac24815d28a8e4b5f7fbe64b0

    Amen! That is EXACTLY how I do laundry! See? Her empire isn’t so safe after all!

  18. The dirty blinds are out of here as soon as the temp goes below 85.

  19. Yeah it is nice to be reminded of those things. They are completely forgotten. I clean everything but the mini blinds and the shower curtain.:)

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