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Romancing the Ordinary: A Year of Simple Splendor
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Romancing the Ordinary: A Year of Simple Splendor

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  383 ratings  ·  43 reviews
In her first major book since "Something More," #1 "New York Times" bestselling author Sarah Ban Breathnach takes readers to a new level of personal fulfillment and spiritual awareness as they learn to rediscover and savor the sensual experience of daily life.

Organized as a saunter through the year, "Romancing the Ordinary" celebrates the spirituality of the senses, seaso

Hardcover, 560 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by Scribner (first published October 2002)
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My go to book when I need a pick me up. It inspires me to love myself and my life and to see the beauty in all things.
"Each day should begin and end in the reverence and rapture of wonder," states Sarah Ban Breathnach in this followup to her best-seller Simple Abundance. As I had enjoyed that first book so much, I was eager to read Romancing the Ordinary, and even though I did not find this book quite as inspiring as the Simple Abundance, I still enjoyed it. Breathnach continues with her quest to urge all of us women to indulge and pamper ourselves to achieve maximum inner peace and self-actualization. Since g ...more
I loved the book back while my husband was in medical school. I bought the book in Roanoke, VA when I was going to my Aunt's Cabin off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I needed the break from life. This was almost a mantra to simplifying the busy life I was living.I still have the pages marked where I made the recipe for Carrot Marmalade Torte Paradiso and Frozen White Hot Chocolate. I love the mint in the frozen White hot chocolate.
On page 288 Bliss Blockers still speak to me when I have to make choices
I loved this book. It is beautifully written and helped me to see the beauty and wonder in the ordinary. Because of this book, I have a much more grateful heart. I read a small section each morning for a year and am sad to be done with it. However, it is a book that I will continue to read over and over when I need a gentle reminder of how blessed my life really is. I'm staring this year with Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance and hope it can lift my heart as this book did. The carrot marmalade t ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Cindi is currently reading it
I am reading through this slowly each month. Some days I read one passage, some none,some several. I started several years ago and didn't follow through. I allowed life to get in my way. Now I am retired and I am trying to start each day with some meditation/reading/celebration time and this book fits in perfectly. I loved her simple abundance which I started and stopped ( again letting life get on the way) but eventually started and finished in same year). And lived and am really enjoying this. ...more
This book has been a constant companion for me throughout the year. I didn't start it in January - I bought it too late for that - but it has guided me seasonally through the year, teaching me to notice things around me and to take pleasure and appreciation from everyday life. It is particularly aimed at women, just so you know.

I will definitely keep this book and read it once again: if not 2013, but another year in the future. It is full of indulgent recipes, inspirational quotations, and serve
Sherri Dub
I have to review this book, as I re-read it each year. (Seriously, over and over)~
I have suggested it to many women.
Happily, my sister started it this year and she has reconfirmed my faith in its powers to heal.
I feel it's best to start it on January 1st and leave it laying around to fill in the days that pass~Take your time, go slowly. Absorb it.
It is a spiritual book that helps you (no matter your religion or lack of one) to discover who you are now and who you want to become. It doesn't force
Emma Sedlak
Jan 06, 2015 Emma Sedlak is currently reading it
I love this:

"Chief among your discoveries: that Surprise is another one of Spirit's concealed names and Divinity is to be found where and when you least expect it. Moses found his God in a burning bush. I found mine in a pot of homemade spaghetti sauce. I'm hoping you will discover that God is present in the exquisite warmth of a soft blanket on a chilly night, the soothing sips of chamomile tea when you're weary, the fragrance of homegrown roses." (4)
This the second book of Sarah Ban Breathnach's that i have read, the first being Simple Abundance. i enjoyed the first one more. i kept hoping she'd go deeper. The thing i love the most about her books though is the quotes she shares, and the bibliography at the end of the book. It was telling to me that the favourite parts of this book were the words and thoughts of others. I wouldn't say that it was a waste of time, it may be a more interesting blog though.
I've read other daily comfort books by Sarah Ban Breathnach but this is my first read of Romancing the Ordinary: A Year of Simple Splendor. This book may not apply to everyone, but the understanding behind her ideas can lift many. The idea behind this book is to "romance" your authentic self and come to love the person you are. It is a reminder to take some time for yourself and to understand the real you, not the you that someone else wants you to be or that you feel you should be (i.e. the per ...more
This is the kind of book you buy, and keep on the nightstand or coffee table. Each chapter is one month of the year, and many ways to honor each season and holidays with simplicity and love. The author wrote this after her divorce from a long marriage (she was married when she wrote Simple Abundance) and I can relate to a lot of her experiences: finding love (of self) and things around you during February, for example. It's a book I just keep picking up even if months go by without reading it. M ...more
Love her writing style. Warm like a cozy blanket wrapped around you. Recommend, if you enjoy reading about the sensory part of life--food, furnishings, relationships with others as well as yourself.
What a delicious romp as a new sensualist. (That is someone that indulges in their senses, silly). This book is my indulgence every morning. Breathnach's use of words and author's voice takes you on a silky roller coaster through word choice and senses. Her book is an escape into another world that some will never know. She not only lets you escape the noise and chatter through her book but she does it with such ease and does it with such class. This book is an orgasm of the senses that no one s ...more
Great Book~
Love love love!
This book is very similar to Simple Abundance and I use it in the same way. It is a book with sections and essays that go along with each month of the year. When I reach the end, I go back to the beginning and go through the next year with it. It is also a good book to use to reflect on the good things in life. It also is inspirational when you're not sure what to do next.
Nicole Kapise-Perkins
I love this one even more than 'Simple Abundance.' This book is beautifully, romantically written, encouraging the reader to look inside oneself to find true love. Add to this the fact that she wrote it while living in a jewel of a cottage in the English countryside once belonging to Sir Isaac Newton, and really, you can't go wrong.
Sep 04, 2013 Mel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: sommish
If this was written today, it would have been more appropriate as a blog. There are a few gems in the essays but overall the message gets old. I would admit that I actually tried one of the recipes and was pleasantly surprised. p131 Peruvian Roasted chicken. That may be reason the "Great Mother" brought the book to me.
Dec 11, 2008 Marka added it
I really enjoy this book. There are many motivating stories, recipes, and things to think about, and plenty of good quotes. It is a soothing narration of her struggles and triumphs over heartache and loss, as well as the simple joys of life, like finding the perfect "thing" at a garage sale.
This is the second time I've read this book. I read it initially when it was released. Similar to her previous book of Simple Abundance, this books gives numerous ways to appreciate daily life. Definitely worth reading if you're looking for a way to make your daily routine more memorable.
I am genuinely surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. No doubt, my appreciation would have been more had I been sharing the reading experience. Maybe next time. For more:
Sarah Ban Breathnach's books all offer some bits of wisdom but the shining star is Simple Abundance in my opinion and the rest basically echoes which are hit and miss. This is a fair follow-up for some of the ideas found in SA but as I said -- that one is the star.
My plan was to continue reading each month's entries throughout the year to continue to be inspired and find the joy in life's simple pleasures. However, it's just so boring it's weighing me down instead of inspiring me.
Jen Rox
A little lusciousness in the ordinary opens up to infinite amounts. I am good with this premise and highly recommend this book to anyone who is wishing to have plush essence to life forever more.
A gorgeous girlfriend, Ros, gave this book to me some time ago as a gift. It's a lighthearted book that I always return to for inspiration, rejuvination and relaxation. Recommended!
Sarah changed my life. If you're into old time-y Victorian ways, fun home-making, gratitude, bad ass books recommendations, and smiling...then you'll like this book.
This is a great daily inspiration book. I think it helps one get focused, learn about one's self and understand the experiences that life sends.
Christy Baker
Currently re-reading bits of this monthly guide with short essays as part of re-invigorating spiritual practice and my own contemplation and writing.
Ros Stanley
Love this book. It is another that is always on my beside table to encourage me to appreciate the little things in life. And there are so many!!
Leido en castellano: El encanto cotidiano
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In addition to SIMPLE ABUNDANCE, Sarah Ban Breathnach is the author of THE SIMPLE ABUNDANCE JOURNAL OF GRATITUDE, SOMETHING MORE, and MRS. SHARP'S TRADITIONS. She currently resides in California. Please visit her website at
More about Sarah Ban Breathnach...
Simple Abundance:  A Daybook of Comfort and Joy Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude Moving On: Creating Your House of Belonging with Simple Abundance Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy

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