Blog Tour Review: Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger by Julie K. Nelson


With four growing children, one of which with ADD, I'm always looking for ideas and positive things I can do to help be an effective parent. When this came up for review, I jumped at the chance. Plus, it's just an awesome title and cover! :) Check out my review below...

Keep It Real and Grab a Plunger: 25 Tips for Surviving ParenthoodKeep it Real and Grab a Plunger
25 Tips for Surviving Parenthood
by Julie K. Nelson
Nonfiction, Parenting
Paperback, 176 Pages
March 10th 2015 by Cedar Fort, Inc.


As a popular blogger, a college professor, and a frequent parenting guest expert on TV, you might suspect Julie K. Nelson is immune to the realities of actual parenting. But in fact, she’s been there—through all the late nights, huge messes, and tough moments.

Now she combines her expertise with her experience as a mom of five in this entertaining and pragmatic book. Learn how to overcome your natural manipulative, authoritarian tendencies and foster your child’s self-discipline, respect, and emotional maturity.

Humorous, insightful, and authentic, this book will get you through the sticky stuff with grace so you can enjoy those parenting moments that make it all worth it.

My Review

The first, short chapter immediately drew me in to this book and made me think: "Okay. I can do this." Some parenting books feel like one huge long research, discussion, and/or lecture. Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger frankly did not. Each chapter was concise, but also chalk full of great things, examples, ideas, definitions, etc. It's definitely a book I'll be keeping on my shelf to pull out when I need a little parenting lift or a reminder of what I should be doing when I fall into a rut or become frustrated. 

Let's talk a little about subject material. The author tackles some tough and can-be-frustrating (at least to parents) topics. There's a chapter on potty training (I am so glad I'm done with my own children!) where one line sums it all: "Staying emotionally disengaged and putting the responsibility and internal reward on the child is fundamental." Then she shares a rather humorous story that was unbelievable, but true. There's another chapter on co-parenting after divorce that has some points for those not in this situation as well, primarily with "gatekeeping." There is also a chapter on using technology wisely, which is definitely a hot topic these days.

You'll find the usual topics as well, but presented in a way that I easily connected with and understood, which made them much easier to apply and implement. I loved the encouragement and praise chapter, the eight values that are common to strong families section of the values-based parenting chapter, the chapter on lifting children who make mistakes, and found the chapter on helping children overcome their fears especially helpful with one of our children. I could go on and on because I basically found gems of knowledge and applications for my own children in every chapter.

Keep it Real and Grab a Plunger was informative, enjoyable, but most of all gave me a lot of things to think about and implement as a parent to enrich my children's lives. I liked that I didn't feel each topic was repetitious or overly discussed, but got the point across in a way I could relate to, understand, and easily apply. This is definitely a parenting book I would recommend!

Content: Clean

Source: I would like to thank Cedar Fort, the publisher, for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.

Book Trailer

Julie K. NelsonAbout the Author

Julie K. Nelson is a wife and mother of five children, raising them in Illinois and now Utah. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from Utah State University in marriage, family and human development. Her scholarly research and creative writing have been published in journals and anthologies, and she has won numerous state and national awards for her writing. Julie has enjoyed teaching children in public and private schools and currently teaches at Utah Valley University.


  1. I loved this book as well :)!

  2. Oh I like this sound of this and will recommended it to my daughter.

  3. Wasn't it so good?!!! It was entertaining while being educational and motivating.

  4. I really liked this one. It was just the right length for each topic and it was enjoyable to read. Parenting books aren't always that way.


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