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Posts tagged ‘Leanne Shirtliffe’

Don’t Lick The Minivan: an interview with Leanne Shirtliffe

On Tuesday, I gave you a Leanne teaser. Today I’m giving you the rest!

I was lucky enough to be included on Leanne’s book launch team, so I got an advanced copy of Don’t Lick The Minivan. And it was really great!! I can’t wait for my “real” copy to come in the mail.

Then Leanne agreed to be my very first guest on my new podcast. And she was great in that too!!

I had a wonderful time talking to her, and I couldn’t have been more impressed, excited, thrilled and lots of other adjectives.

Basically, Leanne is pretty awesome.

Listen to our interview 🙂

(There’s a link to win a free book at the end, too!)

Leanne Shirtliffe answers her fan mail!

You guys! I was so excited to be able to interview Leanne Shirtliffe!

Super excited. You can tell when I laugh my maniacal crazy laugh, which I edited out whenever possible, and the fact that I kept shouting at her. That’s nervous crazy laugh and excited loud talking you’ll be hearing.


Leanne, if you let me interview you for your next book, I almost promise not to be so much like myself.

Anyway, I kept poor Leanne talking for so long, ya’ll, and she was so sweet about not just hanging up on me. She’s cool like that, you know. But since the interview ran longer than I expected, I chopped off this little bit as a kind of teaser.

Here are the questions Leanne’s super fans sent in for me to ask her:


Listen to the full interview on Thursday! Leanne talks about her new book Don’t Lick The Minivan, her writing process, depression, parenting twins and her upcoming project. I crazy laugh and shout all my questions.

Also!! Renee is giving away a copy of Leanne’s book. Definitely hop over to her site to read her review and find out how you can enter the drawing!


PS: Sorry Stacey for mangling your last name by sounding out every. single. syllable. What can I say? I ain’t right.


Thanks to:

Ricky Anderson

Stacey Gustafson

Barb Marshall

JM Randolph

Renee Schuls-Jacobson

Don’t throw your pee out the window!

When I first uttered those words to my nephew, I immediately thought of Leanne Shirtliffe.

I should point out that Leanne wrote a book called Don’t Lick The Minivan (and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids).

Even though I don’t have my own children to say crazy things to, I had really been looking forward to reading Leanne’s book about raising twins.

Then I went on vacation with my sister and her family. Including two teenagers, a five-year-old and a two-year-old. And I heard myself saying a lot – A. Lot. – of crazy things.

That’s when I realized this book is for everyone whose ever been around kids ever. In the supermarket. On the street. In church. If you’ve ever so much as thought  a strange comment in a kid’s direction, then you’ll relate.

As a fan of Leanne’s blog,, I know she’s a funny lady. And from my interactions with her on her blog and other places out there in the webby world, I know she’s funny, kind, smart and generous with herself. And did I mention she’s funny? Because she is.

In Don’t Lick the Minivan, Leanne is all those things I’ve come to expect and more.

She shares stories of her struggles with perfecting motherhood in an open manner, including “the lost year” of postpartum depression. Eventually throwing out all of the parenting books (turns out it isn’t a job you can actually “perfect”), she took the DIY approach to motherhood, and we get to go on that rollercoaster ride as well. 

Leanne tells so many stories that make us laugh at her kids antics, without ever making them subjects of ridicule. Where some writers would go for the snark, she manages to be kind with her reminiscences of her kids licking, well, lots of stuff, peeing in bicycle helmets (on dolls, on the lawn…) and wanting to do crafts.

She knows how to laugh at herself and her husband too, recounting stories of those first crazy days of parenthood (if you’ve ever woken a baby up just to make sure it’s still alive, then you’ll know what I mean), and then all the crazy days of parenthood to follow. There are laughs everywhere, but you get a real sense of family in this book – you’re laughing in the way that makes you feel a part of the family, like you know these people. And you genuinely like them.

So, a few other things I liked about Don’t Lick The Minivan:

  • each section ends with a letter to one or both of her kids, a sweet addition to this humor memoir (laughter through tears is my favorite emotion)
  • sections are broken into smaller essays that are easy to consume on a work break – or whenever you get a moment of peace from your kids
  • the Index
  • Leanne’s “Parenting Tips”, super funny (don’t try this at home, kids) parenting strategies sprinkled throughout the book

Don’t Lick The Minivan is so often a laugh out loud funny book, the kind where you feel compelled to tell everybody in the room what you just read. But it’s also sweet and honest and tender. It’s definitely a book worth sharing.

I suggest you pick up a copy for yourself and your parents (It might be nice if you wrote an apology note inside, you know, for all the stuff you did when you were a kid. Just sayin’.) and for anyone you know who has kids.

And keep an extra copy on hand for the next baby shower you’re invited to. It’s the only book on parenting they won’t eventually throw out.