Saturday Extra ~ Book Review

Prepare to be inspired. The Tall Poppy Project by Kylie Pratchett encourages you to take a good look at yourself to find what it is that will take your life from ordinary to delicious. This book gives you a holistic approach to bringing out the best in yourself, body, mind and soul. By encouraging you to explore the possibilities of improving your life through simple and incremental changes to diet, exercise, relationships, self image and more.

Base on her own experiences of redesigning her life, Kylie Pratchett, who went from forensic scientist to Holistic health coach, shares her tips on seeking out and making the changes you may need in yours. Encouraging you to embrace the wonders that are already there but perhaps not appreciated or utilised to their fullest. Making the most of life’s pleasures is something she strongly advocates and who wouldn’t want a piece of that action.

With a deadline for this review I read the book without following through on the excises Kylie includes to help the reader identify and work through their issues. I will most certainly be reading the book again and participating in the exercises next time around.

To be honest I found some chapters of this book were more relevant to me than others which was a relief, because I would hate to think I needed help in all aspects of my life. I found myself highlighting passages that were very thought provoking and rereading them over a few times. Here is one I wanted to share with you.

“…I too, am a recovering perfectionist. There, I’ve said it! You probably know people like me… obsessed with the clean house, needing the crockery to match and the cushions on the lounge to be set ‘just so’. Unfortunately this quest for perfection can grow its tentacles into every area of your life, and contribute to you feeling constantly under pressure from that nagging voice in your head.

On the one hand, you become quite the control freak, trying to keep tabs on everything that crosses your path. Of course when you are a perfectionist it is a short and slippery slope to judging other people just as harshly. On the other hand, needing to do everything exactly right can be a really good cop out! It can be an excuse to not even try.

How far then do we push ourselves? Generations born since the late 70s have been sold this notion that we can have it all. You know, the fabulous house, the husband, the 2.2 kids, the picket fence, the snazzy car, the lovely holidays and above all else the amazing career! There’s one problem with all of this: it’s sold us all that this is what success looks like. And it may well be for some. But if we are honest, it is highly likely that on a soul success level, success might look very different at least for some of us…”

With that passage fresh in your mind I would suggest that if you too would like to unearth the real you and start living a more delicious life you might want to get your hands on a copy of this book. It is neither preachy or judgemental in fact Kylie’s style of writing is more along the lines of a gentle guiding hand.

If you would like to try before you buy you can sign up to Kylie’s website and receive a free chapter of the book.

The Weekend’s Mini Missions

Saturday – Make-up and medicines (pills, ointments, antiseptic etc). Both these items are made from substances that perish over time. Although medicines will usually have a used by date some cosmetic don’t. Either way you need to do a regular declutter of, what is or what you believe to be, out of date products in your medicine cabinet, your first-aid box and your make-up kit. (Read here for advice on used by dates for make-up)

Sunday - Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Well, this is simply amazing. The passage you quoted is exactly how I was feeling this morning. I wondered why I feel that everything had to be just so. Then I thought that I was just trying to keep things organized and under control. I then got all uncomfortable and generally dissatisfied and then I just gave up (for the moment)! Maybe I just need a cup of coffee. 😉

    • My daughter has a habit of getting her room in a mess and then not being satisfied with just picking up and making it look tidy. It is all or nothing, pick-up, rearrange the wardrobe, tidy up the make-up kit, clear off the desk… In the end she gives up before she even gets started. I can’t seem to get it through her head that if she just puts things away as she uses them such as hanging her half used clothes on the hooks behind the door or on coat hangers in a designated spot in her wardrobe and arranging her make-up so it is simple to put things back in the right spot… then she would never end up having a big mess to clean up.

      That being said she made crepes for dessert last nigh (after earlier cooking our dinner) and insisted on tidying up herself and this morning she made her bed before going out to breakfast with her boyfriend and then filled up our car prior to coming home. So life is good.

  2. Colleen, this sounds so like me. I have worked hard with the help of God to get over perfectionism. That is my Mom straight up and being raised that way and living with it makes it hard to change but I feel I have done it. I will have to keep this book in mind and get it when it comes out. Thanks for this book review.

    • Hi Deb J, the bit about perfectionism is only a small thing in the book. What I loved about that passage and the whole book for that matter is that Kylie encourages you to be your authentic self and not just beat yourself up trying to fit into societies idea of success. Which usually boils down to making a lot of money or being famous doing what you do. Which of course doesn’t include being a stay home mom or care giver or quietly volunteering for good courses.

      Of course the book is also full of tips on relationships, good health practices and enjoying life to the full.

      • I really do like the sound of the book. We do need to be ourselves and stop letting the world mold us into someone else’s idea of what everyone should be.

  3. This review really hit the nail on the head for me today. I need to do some clean-up in my bedroom but I just keep anticipating how long it will take to to it and that I want it to be “just so” that I keep putting off doing anything.
    I never thought I was a perfectionist at home although I know I am at work. But the quote you included shows me that I am a perfectionist and that I need to Lighten up on myself and just remember that anything I do is better than just doing nothing. And thanks to 365 Less, there is less in my house than there was before. Everyday gets me closer to having a decluttered house. Not perfect but what suits our lifestyle.

    • Hi Maggie. I know exactly what you mean on the bedroom front. There are justo so much stuff, so many things out of place that, sometimes, we don’t even know where to start. I had urges to empty the bedroom and buy new furniture, more adequate to the changes I have in mind. I have neither the money, nor the will to do everything at once. So, once in a while, I pick something (today it was underwear and socks) and purge old/with holes/worn out and put back. And yes, everyday there is less, even with doing little at a time. I need to keep reminding myself of that 😀 . Congratulations on your declutter and keep it up! You will achieve your confortable home longer before you imagine.

    • Hi Maggie,
      as I said to bed that passage is only a small part of what the book is all about. Each chapter tackles a different subject in the way of make the most of the life you have. Diet & exercise, relationships, pleasure, power… Take a look at her web site to get an idea of what she is all about.

      Your home only needs to be as decluttered as suits you. It is not a competition. When people who know I blog about decluttering come to my home they expect it to be devoid of stuff. I have to explain to them that I am not a minimalist nor have any aspiration to be. I just don’t want a home from of things I don’t need or love. I would be happier with less but all the loved things in this house don’t belong to me and that is fine too.

  4. Hi Colleen,
    what a good week over here! Not necessarily because I managed to grab you attention twice (though the vain parts of me love attention and sunbathe themselves in the idea of having some impact on others) but because this week really triggered some action. Sometimes I feel I am (too much of a) thinker but don’t act accordingly to my “insights”. This week got me going even if it wasn’t always the same day. After commenting on office supplies and other little useful things I have decluttered and after Sanna described how she found at that the five pencils she kept still was approximately a 10 years supply I reassessed my stash again and let some more of the little things go – Which in total then amassed to a whole shoebox of bits and bobs heading out the door (curbside freecycling). And of course Cindy got me to cross off some embarrassingly old (and, yeah, quick) to-dos from my list. And remember that some weeks ago in the comments someone started bringing up how many scissors she had? I assessed mine back then but still had a two digit number left after letting the most obvious ones go. Yesterday one I kept wasn’t performing well and knowing I had too many anyway out it went and got replaced with one of the backup pairs.
    I really love the impact your blog and all the discussion on it is having on my life and thinking (and acting) – even if I sometimes have to wait for it (and be more patient with myself than I am willing to ;-))

    • Thanks Ideealistin for saying what I was thinking! Great stuff Colleen!

    • Way to go Ideealistin! Yes, the comments here are very inspiring, if I can say so without sounding a bit smug 😀 . And you mirrored my thoughts. No more to be added.

    • Thanks you Ideealistin and well done you. I am sure Sanna and Cindy will be glad to have been an inspiration to get you going. I have to admit they both had me taking a look at a few things as well. Even I threw a few more pens in my donation box. I so rarely use them these days so every now and again I reassess my idea of how many we need on hand.

    • Well done, Ideealistin!
      I remembered the scissors yesterday as well and got rid of another 4 pairs. There’s now one in the kitchen drawer, two in the sewing kit, one at my desk and two at my boyfriend’s desk (he wants to keep both of them). And I think, it’s the first time in years that I know exactly how many pairs of scissors we own.

      • I don’t really know how many pairs of scissors I have either. I will however take a guess at seven. I’ll do a roundup and see if I am right. I believe there are four in the craft tool drawer, one in the garage and at least two in the kitchen drawer. I think you have just inspired me to let a couple go. Maybe at times I will get a little extra exercise to get my hands on a pair but that won’t do me any harm.

        I just remembered there is one more pair in a small tool kit also in the craft room. That actually make three pair of very similar small detail scissor in the house. Maybe that is a good place to start decluttering a pair or two. I’ll be back later with the tally.


        Back with my count. There were two pairs I didn’t include in my initial count which brought the total to 10. There was another small pair in the craft drawer and one small pair in the kitchen. I have now decluttered three pairs.

  5. I completely missed the ‘out 31 January 2013’ part and searched kobo, e-books, amazon, whitcoulls, fishpond etc – don’t mind me!

    This sounds like the kind of book I am looking for at the moment, so many areas of my life are falling into place at the moment, but other areas are just lagging behind, and whether to put the brakes on and address these or to just go with the flow. I look forward to its release.

  6. Sounds like a good book. I will have to check it out.

  7. Thank you to Colleen for sharing a review of my first book here – and thank you to all the lovely comments above. I am so passionate about putting simple, yet supremely powerful tools into women’s hand to help them design a Delicious Life. Not by adding in anything, but by simplifying and aligning your life with your deepest desires. Here’s to our Delicious Lives ladies! x Kylie