On Friday I gave you a promise. It looked like this:
I met Kate via her blog last year participating in the Can Jam. Right away her blog intrigued me. Bastion of canning, homemaking, cooking gluten-free and living sustainably and beautifully while on a budget. And she keeps it real. Which I super appreciate. Information and inspiration is nice…but useless unless it translates to real life. Because my life is a bit like this: “Sure those custom built-in bookshelves are lovely, as is that $700 lamp and I-don’t-want-to-know-how-expensive rug…but I’m gonna go to collections because of a $55 contact lens fitting and a parking ticket…so I’m pretty sure I’ll have to pass.”
None of that out-of-touchness from Kate. She is individuality, style, self-sufficiency firmly rooted in reality. A beautiful reality with plenty of pizzazz.
But on with the book. The Hip Girl’s Guide is chock full of information, tidbits, inspiration, tips. And it is presented in a readable, accessible of-course-I-can-do-it-too sort of way. The most awesome thing though is how Kate’s voice, her humor, her sassiness, her down-to-earth (yet flashy) style shines through on every page, making the book not only useful, but a delightful (dare I say charming?) read.
The book is divided into 3 parts: Room-by-Room Guide to the Homey House, Impressive Acts of Domesticity and Life After Restaurants. Each section is broken down into manageable bits that include a run through the entire house, how-to skills of day-to-living and cooking/entertaining. And fantastic illustrations! Would you like a sneak preview of the inside? Check it out here.
It even includes a bit on “how to fold a fitted sheet without going insane.” Now that is a tip I can get behind. Because I have never done it. I don’t even try. There is a video if you can’t wait to get your copy of the book.
I officially used so many sticky notes to mark things I wanted to refer back to that I rendered the concept useless. (I also realized that using sticky anything around a 3-year-old doesn’t work anyway. If it is sticky, it must be a sticker and therefore must be moved to somewhere, anywhere, else. Hair. Walls. Fingertips. Onto random bits of paper that you should NEVER dain to recycle. Just warning. There could be tears.)
In a section about cleaning a fact that stuck with is “that there are 82,000 chemicals in use in the United States, with 700 new ones added each year. Of these 82,000, only 650 are monitored through the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory and only 200 have ever been tested for toxicity.” Does that freak you out? It should. “By subjecting ourselves to things that haven’t been proven safe in long-term studies we’re increasing risk factors for developing cancer, autism, asthma, infertility, miscarriages, behavioral disorders, and even obesity.” Ed.note: Additionally, few of these have been tested in the combinations we are exposed to over the long-term. I’m still on oncology nurse. Listen to me. All the crap out there adds up to horrific and heartbreaking end results.
Kate clearly lays out what those mystery ingredients are. Maybe you already know. But I didn’t. Sodium hydroxide? That is lye. Sodium hypochlorite? That is chlorine bleach.
I could go on and on…but really, I want to say: I simply love this book. And you will too! How would you like a chance to win a copy? The nice folks at Harper Collins sent me my advance copy and will send you one too. (*Note, that is right, I didn’t buy my copy. But all the opinions are my own. And I’m going to buy copies for people I know. Graduation time is perfect! )
To enter to win: Leave a comment by Friday, June 10th a midnight PST. Please leave comments on blog–it will be easier to randomly select winner if the comments are in one place! Thanks! Open to U.S. readers only. Tell me one (or all) of the following:
- What makes your living space feel like your home? What thing(s) give you a sense of belonging with your space?
- What is your favorite tip for decorating or DIY on a budget?
- Why do you want to win?
- How do you like to entertain on a budget?
See? I gave you so many options in comment-leaving! Answer what shouts out to you and leave that comment by Friday, June 10th a midnight PST. I’ll pick the winner randomly…but I’ll probably highlight some great answers!
Oh, and if you haven’t already you should pop on over and “like” Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking on facebook. (And, shamelessly, if you are already on facebook…you might as well pop over and “like” Grow and Resist while you are at it.) It won’t increase your chances of winning but community is a good thing.
And lastly- stay tuned for information about a cocktail party at our home in conjunction with Kate’s visit to Seattle for book signing at Elliott Bay Bookstore. It will be June 25th from 5-7pm and limited to 20 people. More sign-up info coming as soon as I can get it together.