Susan McCorkindales’s 5 Do’s and a Do-Over

We’re city girls.  No doubt about it.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t love a nice vacay out in the sticks every once in a while.  But if we’re more than five miles away from a Starbucks for more than a few days it can get ugly.

So when we saw Susan McCorkindale’s 500 Acres and No Place to Hide, we had a feeling it would be hilarious.  She’s a city girl and former Family Circle marketing director who picked up and moved to a beef cattle farm in the middle of Virginia!  500 acres is the follow up to her first memoir, Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl.  And we can happily tell you that both are hilarious-a fun read for sure!

Here’s the scoop:  It’s been four years since Susan’s husband dragged her kicking and screaming from their comfortable, big city East Coast life to a farm in Virginia cattle country. Susan’s adjusting as best she can, which isn’t easy considering she’s been known to wear Manolos in manure. She’ll never be a real farm girl, but as readers will see from her side- splitting confessions, she’s faking it just fine.

Sound up your alley?  Great-we have FIVE copies to give away!  Just leave a comment here and we’ll enter you to win. We’ll choose the winner Sunday, August 14th after 6pm PST.  Note:  This contest is open to US residents only.


5 DO’S

1. Laugh. If you can’t fix it, kill it, cure it, or eradicate it from the face of the earth, you can laugh at it. And you should. It helps. It heals. It makes the whole “life’s a bitch” thing more bearable. Trust me on this.

2. Love. Never miss the chance to tell someone you love them. Your mom, your kids, your spouse, the hair stylist who fixed the dye job you did yourself, the friend who de-skunked your dog so you wouldn’t come home to it after a long day at the hospital. Life is short. If you love someone, tell them.

3. Listen. The little voice telling you to buy the shoes and the bag, get the Goth black manicure, and learn to ride a horse? That’s the one to listen to. You can always take the shoes and the bag back, the polish will last ten days tops, and as long as the little voice isn’t suggesting your ride bareback (and if it is, I suggest you stop putting Bailey’s in your breakfast coffee), go for it.

4. Leap. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see the Amalfi coast or try stand-up comedy. Maybe you’re itching to ditch your corporate gig to run a tiki bar or write the great American novel. It doesn’t matter what you want to do, just that you do it. Don’t wait for the time to be right, for someone else to give you permission, or for all the pieces to be in place. The stars will never be a hundred percent aligned so leap, as the saying goes, and build your wings on the way down.

5. Let go. Anger, guilt, resentment, perfectionism, and shame are all crippling, soul-sucking emotions. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. And for Pete’s sake, stop trying to be perfect. Flaws are the new black. Pass it on.


Not laughing, loving, listening, leaping, and letting go sooner. It took my husband’s illness and subsequent death to make me realize how little time we really have, and how crucial it is to be present and thankful for each moment. I don’t regret not getting to this point sooner (particularly since regret is one of those aforementioned soul-sucking, crippling emotions I urge all of us to kiss off). I’m just happy to be here now.

Thanks Susan! xo, L&L

To read more about Susan, head on over to her website or find her on Twitter and Facebook.

45 Responses to “Susan McCorkindales’s 5 Do’s and a Do-Over”

  1. Deborah Rudd

    I love your do’s! as an older person who just bought their first pair of “barn boots”, can’t step in horse sh*t with sneakers….lol I can certainly relate to your big change of residence!

  2. Sarah Schwartz

    This sounds like a wonderful book! Having grown up as a city girl married to someone who lived on a farm, I often wonder how long before he drags me out to milk cows at 5 am!

  3. Jane Cook

    I need a good, funny book! Having spent time both in the city and on a farm, I’d love to read this!

    jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

  4. Kimmi

    Her books sound like wonderful reads. I have the feeling they’ll be everything The Pioneer Woman’s book wasn’t (I had such high hopes for that book and was really disappointed).

  5. nina priddy

    This sounds like a good book, I love the do’s and do over and I’d love to read her book, she sounds very interesting!

  6. chris perrone

    No truer words were ever written. What Susan says is the 5 dos and do overs should be posted in every womans kitchen.. I especially like ” flaws are the new black”. I can’t wait to read her new book.

  7. Jenny Ryan

    As someone who moved from the big city, urban (Toronto) to a much smaller, prairie city (Saskatoon) I can relate. Not to the manure on Manolos, but close enough! I’d love a copy.

  8. Amber

    Love your list.

    I definately laugh a lot.

    The book sounds hilarious. I’d probably cry if I was brought to the country too. Unless there was a Target nearby.

  9. Julie H.

    This looks like a great story. Who hasn’t wanted to escape the daily grind…perhaps for a grind of another sort. Her five do’s are wonderful. Would love to win and read this! Thanks!

  10. Lynn Ewing

    Great advice. I decided to Leap 10 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did, no regrets. Along the way, I also got the opportunity to forgive someone, who later died unexpectedly and boy, was I grateful for the healing that had taken place in that relationship. Life is short and hard, but so beautiful, it’s a shame to let anything stand in the way of enjoying it. Can’t wait to read these books!

  11. Nancy Roessner

    Well, I’m just going to take the leap and jump in the middle of this contest and hope for the best. Lovely Do’s and Don’ts – all positive and inspirational.

  12. Mary

    Susan could have written the script for the Group Therapy session I conducted this morning. Love the way she thinks !

  13. Susan McCorkindale

    Thanks for loving my Do’s and Do-Over, and for your interest in 500 Acres and No Place to Hide! I’ll be at the Barnes and Noble on M Street in Georgetown on Wednesday, Sept. 7th at 7pm if any of you are close enough to stop in. I’d so enjoy meeting you!

  14. Nina

    I can’t imagine leaving the city for the country! Sure it will make for a great read!

  15. Sarah R

    Great list, Susan! I especially like the line “flaws are the new black”!!

  16. Kara

    I am going to be kind of vulgar, Susan McCorkindale has balls, I wish I could find mine. Maybe she is right just leap in and do it all you can do is fall and try again. That would not be so bad I guess, it is just, I lost my balls so to speak awhile back. I would really like to read this book maybe I will run out and buy both of her books if I don’t win. Thank you Susan for the encouraging words.

  17. Trisha

    The book is awesome! Susan is awesome! And these are 5 really great do’s!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  18. Shannon J

    Oh I love the cover of this book!! I’m definetly putting this on my tbr list!! I love the d0’s and do-over really seems simple but very good advice!!

  19. Lisa

    Well, this was an eye opener for sure. Your LEAPING brought tears to my eyes as I am personally going through something and this is what I needed; a good kick in the butt! I loved your first book and am reading the 2nd. Thanks for the laughter and the tears and the honesty! YOU ROCK SUSAN MCCORKINDALE!!!

  20. Nina T

    I agree with so many of the Do’s. I especially like the one about telling someone you love them. This is so important. I liked the Do Over too although it almost made me cry. I would love the book.

  21. Lisa S.

    She sounds like a well rounded amazing woman! She has a great way with words too. I can’t wait to read her book. It sounds like it will stay with you for a long time!
    pinchbuggies at

  22. Amy

    I try so hard to practice Susan’s Dos. Learning to let go is one I’ve been trying to master for a long time, still not 100% there yet. I luv reading memoirs by the way. I am definitely a fan now and would love to read this book. Either way both, including Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl, are on my to read list.

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