Suzie Homemaker I am NOT. Just ask my husband and son and they’ll roll their eyes. After thirty one years I suppose they’ve learned to live with is. The question is…Can you teach an old “wife” new tricks? While this book seems to be geared to a much younger crowd than me (think 20 year olds out in their own apartments for the first time), there are some great tips for decorating, cooking and the age old art of being domestic that are timeless.
Kate Payne has a funky, artsy take on decorating that seems to run towards the shabby chic eclectic, which is a style that I ADORE. With simple ideas like using your jewelry as accent pieces on the bedroom wall, to which species of flowers last the longest. Did you know that amaranths are considered to be the “never fading flower?” Those along with statice, lavender and cockscomb with add beautiful color to your room without having to buy them quite as often. Ms. Payne suggests that we not only look for vintage glass bottles (I have a beautiful collection of vintage apothecary bottles from the 1920’s and 30’s), but don’t forget your mason jars, sparkling water bottles (like San Pellegrino’s Aranciata) or remembering to bring a couple of Mexican Coke bottles back as souvenirs from your trip to use as vases.
Moving your cookbooks from the living room bookshelf into the kitchen, where they belong is another suggestion that will have you using them a LOT more often. She offers a list of basic cookbooks that include everything from the bible – The Joy of Cooking and Julia Child’s The Way to Cook to Simple Cooking by Alice Waters (a perennial favorite). The food chapters include the art of stocking your kitchen to how to can and preserve.
This is one of those books that you’ll want to remember the next time you’re buying a gift for a new graduate going off into the world for the first time, to a wedding shower gift.
At my age, I’ll admit that I still have a lot to learn and I picked up a few new tips from this book. I love the easy style, the ecologically friendly tips and the funky decorating chic ideas. My only wish is that there were more illustrations. The line drawings are nice, but I’m such a visual person when it comes to decorating and even cooking that I would have liked to see more.
With or without this book, I’ll never be Martha Stewart. Then again, I’m not sure that I want to be. Still, the chic, fabulous and frugal ideas in this book made me realize that if I really wanted to, I could…and it’s not as difficult as I thought.
The Hip Girls Guide has a wonderful website where you can learn how to host a food swap, see where Kate will be heading to next on her book tour and more at http://hipgirlshome.com/hggh-book-tour/
The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency–on a Budget! is available in paperback at bookstores everywhere.
Review by Broad “Z” – Zippy
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.