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The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency--on a Budget! Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This should be required reading for anyone with a roof over their heads. You’ll find yourself returning to it again and again, whether you’re looking for party ideas or which side of the place setting the napkin goes on.

From the Back Cover

With The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, it's possible and even convenient to create an inviting space for living and entertaining on a budget. From unique decor ideas to growing strawberries on your fire escape, Kate Payne shares fun, low-cost (and often free!) creative solutions that will make anyone feel more accomplished in minutes.

Inside this savvy motivational guide filled to the brim with small-scale creative home projects, Kate's tongue-in-cheek tone will keep you tuned in to her much-needed advice. In three easy sections, you'll learn how to create a comfortable space while being time- and budget-conscious. Section One, Home-ify Your Pad, features quick, convenient ways to make your place cozier with low-cost, special touches to help you tap into and show off your inner artist. Section Two, Impressive Acts of Domesticity, teaches how to impress others (and yourself) with the gratifying pleasures of self-sufficiency—a first-time guide to cleaning, sewing, repairing, and other previously out-of-the-question tasks. Section Three, Life After Restaurants, frees you to release the take-out menu, avoid pricey bar tabs, and entertain others in the space you've so thoughtfully and gorgeously created.

User-friendly "how-to" sidebars, illustrations, and tips and tricks throughout the book offer easy-to-follow recipes and do-it-yourself craft suggestions for making your home hip, comfortable, and inviting. Keep in mind that this is not your grandmother's handbook and it's not the kind of wisdom your mom knows how to impart. Modern women need a modern approach to domestic pleasures—a guide to doing household things on our own terms, because most of this stuff isn't as hard as we've been led to believe. Don't worry, she's not asking you to host Tupperware parties or iron your underwear. But as all beginning home keepers know, a sure fire way to feel bad about ourselves is to consult Martha Stewart. So ditch that 2-inch thick handbook, dust off your pots and pans, and join Kate on this journey to incorporating creativity and self-sufficiency on the home front.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1206 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (May 24, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 24, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JN1D9G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,132 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kate Payne is an author, grant writer, part-time nanny, after-hours poet, occasional painter, committed doodler, drive-by trash collector, big-time procrastinator, tea, toast and jam obsessed Austinite-in-Brooklyn. She collects old typewriters; some of them still work. She studied anthropology and sociology in the Sonoran Desert. She worked on a tomato farm once, and paper-mached gigantic thumbs once, too.

The creator of the Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking website, she is the internet's go to girl for domestic advice--an expert on thrift stores, flea markets, and Craigslist, and a frequent consultant for design, decorating, cooking, crafting, and urban living sites--as well as a creative writing instructor with the New York Writers Coalition where she leads writing workshops for all ages, from adults to elementary and middle school-aged children, and frequently uses her students to test out her new recipes. Most recently, they fell in love with her honey whole wheat bread.

Kate rotates her time between Brooklyn, NY and Austin, TX.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dan Herman on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
The title, The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency--on a Budget--says it all. Kate Payne has put together a book that will help you be creative and learn how to take care of your home...without spending a fortune!

Payne writes in a conversational tone--easy breezy--and fun. The book is filled with useful tips on everything from fixing things to cooking to crafts.

The book is arranged into three sections--a room to room guide, then a section on cleaning house, clothes and the essential tools--and how to use them--that you need. (Think about it--if you can't do simple fix-its, you can't be self-sufficient, right?) Finally, the third section is a cooking primer and guide to entertaining.

Payne loves to shop at thrift stores, flea markets and on Craigslist..and she explains how you can find stuff you need and love. The book is loaded with creative, practical and inexpensive tips. For example, she explains how to find something pretty to hold everyday utensils on the counter in the kitchen--saves drawer space and is more convenient to grab when cooking.

Another great example of a tip is to buy cases of mason jars--cheap--instead of plastic ones for kitchen essentials like grains, beans and so on.

She even offers ideas on objects that have a dual purpose--a fancy bottle of olive oil and become a soap dispenser, for example.

I like that Payne is NOT about collecting stuff/clutter but about buying only what you love and need. To that end, she encourages the reader to donate to the same thrift stores that you are buying from!

This book is great for those just starting out and for people who have just never figured out the basics on how to run a home.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. Hanhan on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
The hip girl behind Hip Girl's Guide gives you easy solutions to pesky problems throughout your kitchen, home & garden. Particularly perfect for the young and single or slightly older and coupled, this book is a really good reference for new home owners and renters. She gives you great little tips and tricks to make your life easier. A simplified introduction to canning, how-to's on freezing, cleaning hacks, and modern entertaining etiquette are just a handful of the topics in this book.

Even if you don't consider yourself Betty Homemaker, Kate's laid back approach to living is something we should all incorporate in our life. Don't freak out if something isn't perfect, you can make it work. I definitely recommend having this book on hand for those little questions that pop into your head. "How can I make this dang bottle of dish soap last longer?" "Isn't there something I can do with my leftover condiment jars after they're empty?" It can help you save money and make do with more, helping you feel like a proper, independent adult.

Simply put, Kate Payne is the MacGyver of Homemaking.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kate on August 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a beginner - I've never waterbath canned and I have only just scratched the surface of the amazing wonders of baking soda and vinegar - but this book seemed too beginner even for me.

Most of it seems common sense, there are a few good recipes and ideas for improvement however you could probably find a more intensive book if this is your interest (I'm liking Put Em Up). Essentially, if you've ever lived in your own apartment before, you probably know everything in the book.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hector Mexicanity on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a heterosexual man, I enjoy having a clean house, preparing good meals and several other homemaking projects. I enjoy inviting people to my home and being a good host. These, I feel, are skills that have been partially lost, due our busy lifestyles. Even if the book's title shows this is for "Hip Girls," many men would find the information in this book QUITE beneficial. I think this guide is a great and valuable resource for any person, not only girls.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JasmineLG on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great book! It made me think about my space and how I can improve it, make it more inviting and livable while working with what I have. This is not a book that will tell you to go out and buy a bunch of new stuff, but use what you have and look at them with fresh eyes. Tons of helpful hints and hip tricks to being less product-dependent. Makes a great gift for anyone with a space to claim.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne Meyer on May 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
There are a lot of very basic, starting-out kind of tips in this book, like making bookshelves out of cinder blocks and board, cleaning with baking soda, and using milk crates as furniture (mentioned several times). Some of the tips are somewhat more original, and using one or two may cover the price of the book.
If you don't enjoy talking to people who go on and on about health and environmental issues, you may not like this book too much. I found the frequency of comments on this topic to be tiresome, but I will say the author is at least knowledgeable and doesn't just repeat common, incorrect platitudes about what is and isn't healthy.
The book in general is interesting, enjoyable and somewhat useful. A lot of tips on DIY things. Good if you are a student or have more time than money.
I used to try to do everything myself, but I've come to be sceptical of valuing DIY for DIY sake. To me it's a means to an end. Most women working outside the home are taking on too much. I just heard that "working" women do more housework that women who don't have jobs outside the home. Time is limited, and your time has values. There are costs to trying to DIY a lot of things. They may or may not be worth it, depending on your values, but I think they are worth considering.
If you are working 40 or more hours a week, I think it's important to think about what is realistic to try to DIY and either focus on things that you will really enjoy or the DIY things that are really going to save you a lot of money vs other DIY things. This book seems more focused on things some people will enjoy, not necessarily things that will give you the best monetary return for your time vs other DIY projects.
This book gives some good options for things you might want to DIY or adopt, but I don't really see the point of spending time making my own clarified butter, for example, when I can buy it for almost the same price as the butter needed.
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