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The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency--on a Budget! Paperback – April 19, 2011
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Living comfortably in your home is endlessly rewarding, and all it takes is attention and creativity. I’m so convinced that I’m taking Kate’s advice on bread baking this very week! (Zora O’Neill, co-author of Forking Fantastic! Put the Party back in Dinner Party)
I am a huge fan of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking! Kate nailed it in this humorous, creative guide for fabulous, chic, and easy-on-the-wallet ideas. It’s a joy to read a book that makes you laugh and get great ideas fromanother must have for my girlfriends (Kim Barnouin, co-author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Skinny Bitch)
The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking is a wonderfully insightful, encouraging, non-perfectionist guide for creating a pleasurable home without killing yourself (or the planet). It’s full of information your mother forgot to tell you, that will help you live well and sustainably, and have fun in the process. (Sally Schneider, Founder of 'the improvised life' website, author of The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook.)
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. (Ashley English, author of the Homemade Living book series and small measure blog)
The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking will release your hidden domestic talents. Kate’s friendly voice will transform even the most clueless guy or gal into a homemaking marvel. Loaded with smart, frugal, and pragmatic tips, it is the ideal home-life manual for the modern age. (Marisa McLellan, creator of foodinjars.com)
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.
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have met the author and was interested to read the book. So far I'm loving it and beginning to implement some of the suggestions and methods offered in the book.Published 10 months ago by rhiannon luck
This is so not what I thought it would be. The content is a mess and I was under the impression there would be DIY recipes, tips, pics, etc. Yeah, none of that.Published 19 months ago by catbanks
This guide has some great tips and is an excellent start for beginners. Love the author's quirky humor and personal anecdotes!Published on October 4, 2013 by Stephanie Staton
I was expecting a Martha Stewart for the new age working girl, but it was geared more towards apartment owners. Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by Liz
Purchased this for my friend as a housewarming present after she bought her first home. I'm not sure how totally useful it is but its a really cute book to have floating around a... Read morePublished on July 2, 2013 by kaley
I'm sure there are people that could gain from this book, but I feel like it was oversold to me and it underperformed.Published on May 13, 2013 by Jess
This book is wonderful for someone starting to live on their own (or with a partner/roommates). It covers a lot of the basics that my grandma taught me, but not everyone is so... Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by Brandy
This book was a fun read, and it gave me the confidence I needed to be a better homemaker. If you think you might want to try canning, buy this book. Read morePublished on April 8, 2013 by Reader