The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking Book Review and Giveaway

by autumn on April 25, 2011

It doesn’t always feel good to be on a budget. I’ve lived and worked in New York City during the leanest years of my life (hopefully!) and as much as I love rocking coupons at Whole Foods, it can be hard not to get caught up in the “everyone-should-have-everything-they-want-all-the-time” feeling of the city. Still, most days I’m proud of the little tips and tricks I’ve built up over the years to live well on a budget.

Speaking of those little tips and tricks, imagine that your funny and down-to-earth friend talked to all of her own funny and down-to-earth friends about their little tips and tricks. Then she put them in a book for everyone to use and love (you see where I’m going with this). Kate Payne’s The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking really is just this.

Kate is a friend of mine, whose blog (also called The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking) I admire.  I gladly accepted an advance copy (don’t fret, it’s in stores now) of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking to share with you here. Kate’s publisher, Harper Collins, was also kind enough to provide a copy for me to give away!

The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 is a room by room guide to making the most of your living space, even if you have linoleum as hideous as mine. Kate urges you to not get hung up on imperfections like horrible floors and work with what you have (empty pickle jars, for example) to make your space lovely and livable.

More MacGyver than Martha, part 2 highlights “Impressive Acts of Domesticity,” which includes things like a section on non-toxic, DIY cleaning products that I know I’ll be referring back to in the future. Finally, part 3 details “Life After Restaurants,” and has some soothing words on all things homemade and hostess-y. There’s also a knock-your-socks off preserve recipe in this chapter that will help you get over any lingering canning fears in no time.

After finishing The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, what really stuck with me is the way that Kate makes frugality both rewarding and empowering. Living well with less is something to be proud of!

If you follow The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking on Facebook, you know that Kate supports bragging about homemaking feats. In that spirit, enter to win a copy of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking by leaving a comment on this post about something that you’ve done around the house lately that makes you proud. I’ll get things started by sharing that I’m proud that I recently made my best gluten-free bread yet! Comments will close at midnight on Sunday May 1st and I’ll randomly select a winner. One entry per person and US and Canada entries only please. The giveaway is closed! Thanks to everyone who entered and congrats Meredith!

Check out the book tour page on Kate’s site and be sure to catch her near you. I’ll be joining her at the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg on May 8th for some thrifting fun, more details on that soon! Peep inside the book here and do watch this cute video Kate put together about getting maximum mileage out of a $5 bouquet:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75QSH0N7s3E

About 

Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie April 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I just made THE BEST cinnamon rolls ever for easter dinner. YUM!

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2 Katie April 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I’ve finally figured out how to make long grain rice. It’s such a small thing but it makes me so happy to finally have rice that’s cooked through.

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3 nicole April 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I just baked a devil’s food cake and successfully iced it with my new icing wand. It was very exciting.

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4 Tanya April 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Hosted my entire extended family for Passover… without crying even once!

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5 Kate April 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm

I am finally getting into baking from scratch, making some basic no knead breads and scones, and planting a garden from seed. There are never enough hours in the day…

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6 Lisa April 25, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I’ve learned that re-purposing items is more satisfying, eco-friendly and budget-conscious than always buying new. I love finding funky fabrics in pillowcases and sheets and making curtains and throw cushions out of them!

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7 Mrs B April 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm

I am successfully growing tomato plants from seeds! They are looking great and I can’t wait to see how much canning I can get done from them.

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8 Sarah April 26, 2011 at 2:59 am

I learned last week (from Kate’s youtube video!) how to fold a fitted sheet. Seeing as I am self-employed as a housekeeper, this is INVALUABLE information. I joked with my boyfriend that I now want to go fold all the fitted sheets in the world now that I know the trick!

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9 Meg April 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I made stuffed french toast for Easter brunch. It came out great!

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10 Stephanie April 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm

My partner is lactose intolerant so he drinks soy milk. For Passover, he usually switches to lactose-free milk but it’s twice as expensive! So, I found a recipe for homemade almond milk and it turned out really well and costs us only a couple of bucks at the bulk food store. Even better, I used the leftover almond pulp to bulk up some matzo granola!

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11 caroline April 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I primed and painted the inside of the barn i live in yesterday. And I learned how to do it the right way too, with rollers, and without drips and globs everywhere. (that’s the big feat for me!)

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12 Niya April 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I successfully took on converting my bedroom into the best guest room ever: including pillow mints, scented linens and personalized welcome notes. My mother (and maybe Martha) would be proud.

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13 Maria Birch April 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Just opened a retail area on my cute little front porch where upcycled and specialty items made by local artisans are offered for sale, trade and barter. It will become the best Saturday morning gathering place in this town! Good friends, good beverages, good noshing and good times.

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14 Lauren April 26, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I refurbished an old shabby chic dresser. Had to replace the bottoms of each drawer with new wood and lining, sand down the rough edges, and replace the handles. I left it unpainted to maintain that vintage look. Easily the home project I am most proud of.

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15 Helen April 26, 2011 at 5:11 pm

My partner and I were lucky enough to travel through Egypt last year. Throughout Egypt, the food markets are filled with spice vendors. Each vendor has perfect cones of colour- and scent-filled loveliness. The vendors coo you into their stalls with the aroma of burning frankincense. In the Nubian towns, a local specialty is Indigo, a bright blue powder that’s as lovely as its name. They wash their mud/stucco homes with it, creating a gorgeous visual landscape throughout the sandy desert. We bought some of this indigo powder home with us and mixed it into some leftover-from-many-tenants-ago white paint in the basement. We then painted key walls in our home; the bathroom, the inner trim of a doorway, one wall of the living room. The colour is light but vibrant – a beautiful memory of our travels, a really inexpensive way of redecorating, and a good way to use up some of that old paint lurking in the basement.

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16 Helen April 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

PS – Thanks for this! Great idea! And what amazing ideas from others!

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17 niina April 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Recently, I’ve started re-filling soap containers from bulk soap at the co-op. It’s so simple and obvious but such a mindful act.

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18 Jesse Miles April 27, 2011 at 5:18 am

I am proud that this year I have started all my garden plants from seed and I can’t wait to plant soon and hope to have a bountiful summer!!

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19 Sarah April 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I’m proud that I am no longer throwing away bread and instead making homemade croutons! Just mix whatever spices you like in olive oil, brush both sides of the bread and cut into bite sized pieces. Cook at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until bread is hard. Yummy! :)

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20 Jess April 29, 2011 at 11:01 am

I’m pretty darn proud that I found, cleaned & canned ramps for the first time ever!

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21 bren May 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

i’ve been remembering to save my veggie steaming water to water my seedlings this spring!

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22 Bethany ~ Sustainable Food for Thought May 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I’ve begun making my own homemade, no-knead bread this past year. It’s the perfect way to share/celebrate home canned jams and jellies, and if it ever lasts long enough to get a bit stale, it’s served as a great base for bread pudding and croutons. All for the cost of a little water, flour, and yeast.

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23 amanda {the habit of being} May 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm

we’re no longer throwing away old food or veggie scraps, instead we’ve got worms working for us!

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24 craftosaurus May 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I started tomato seedlings in a windowsill a few weeks ago, and planted peas/lettuce/spinach/beet seeds outside!

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25 Meredith May 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I made my own pancetta. Dry cured it for about 3 weeks, and it was outstanding! Will definitely do this again instead of buying it.

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26 L. Hernandez May 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Bought out the rhubarb at the local farmer’s market, and spent Sunday morning cutting it up and freezing eight pounds of it in ziploc bags. This year, my homemaking project is rhubarb cookery.

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27 Heather G May 5, 2011 at 12:15 am

My most recent feat was actually the rose marshmallows on this site! I dipped them in dark chocolate and sold them at a charity action.

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