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Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking (+Giveaway!!!)

I’m the sort of gal that gets excited about reorganizing my pantry, takes pleasure in making a bed the right way (and I’m rather specific about this; I used to manage a B&B, mind you…), and wholeheartedly enjoys doing the laundry (even the bits of ironing, infrequent though they may be). I love anything related to the home, from cooking to cleaning to entertaining and decorating and beyond. If it’s domestically-inclined, chances are I’m a fan.

And so, it stands to reason that I would become friends with Kate Payne, at first digitally and later, in person. Author of the just-released Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking (and blog of the same title), she loves the domestic sphere as equally as I, and wrote a book as a testament to her devotion. From clever ideas for thrifty decorating to details on how to build a proper compost pile, with etiquette tidbits like which side of the plate the fork goes on included for good measure, Kate’s penned the perfect guide for becoming the hostess (or HOST!) with the most-ess (even though it’s titled the hip “girl’s” guide, in the introduction she invites readers of all genders along for the ride).

Kate will be coming through the Asheville area in late May. I’ll be hosting a potluck book launch for her chez English on the 22nd, and then later that afternoon, she’ll be giving a talk at Malaprops. You can find information about the event here. I highly encourage you to go hear her speak. I can attest personally to her infectious enthusiasm, consummate graciousness, and all around cool-lady-ness.

And, because she is so grand, Kate and her publisher are kindly giving away a copy of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking to one small measure reader! To enter, all you need to do is leave some comment about homemaking. It can be anything-that you loathe washing dishes, that you’ve arranged your book collection by spine color, that you built a bed that hangs from the ceiling. Anything. Just tell me a little something about you and the place where you hang your hat. I’m an inherently curious individual as it is, so I’d love to learn a bit more about you!

The contest will run through Monday May 2nd, midnight EST. Good luck!

172 Responses to Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking (+Giveaway!!!)

  • This book looks so good! I'm a fanatical gardener and compost-maker. I love baking, canning, and pickling. I also like cleaning, but with 4 kids my house is never neat for long 😉

  • Christine says:

    You don't need to enter me in the contest, since I was lucky enough to meet Kate at an upstate NY book party and now have my own signed copy! I can attest to how awesome the book is and how awesome Kate is. The Hip Girl's Guide now perfectly complements my copy of Home Dairy and will soon be joined by the rest of the Homemade Living series :)

  • Amanda says:

    I love to be organized, but I'm an all or nothing kind of a girl. I have perfectly organized and neat kitchen cupboards, but dishes in the sink. I delve head first in to projects, but have a hard time keeping up with the basics. Thanks for the giveaway! I can use all the help I can get! You can read more about me here

  • Grace says:

    If I don't make my bed, I think about my grandmother's freezing disapproval all day. As you can guess, I make my bed every single day! But now I'm dying to know how to make it the RIGHT way. Do share, please. I clearly need something more to obssess about.

    My best homemaking tip is, as always, the old saw “A place for everything and everything in its place.” If you can manage to make that your ironclad home policy and keep everything picked up and put away as soon as it occurs, you almost never need to make huge, time-sucking, Herculean housecleaning efforts. It works, People, try it!

  • Annie Mac says:

    I love using lots of color to make my apartment feel more personalized.

  • Chris says:

    I can't sleep if there are dirty dishes in the sink! I also like the bed made every. single. day.

    On another note, I just made homemade yogurt and butter, inspired by Home Dairy! Next up is sour cream and cheese.

  • Melissa says:

    My husband and I love to make our own furniture. I take designs from items I see in stores and we make something that is higher quality and better looking for a much lower price. I can't wait to start planning our next projects for when we move soon!

  • Kate says:

    I keep trying to get into new things. This week: repurposed raised garden container gardens, making homemade yogurt and I made scones for the first time!

  • Katherine says:

    This month is homemaking hell. Our basement apartment in a historic mill has been flooding all spring, and now the rats have moved in for the kill. I've been trying everything I hear about to scare them off (dryer sheets in their holes, jars for all our food staples) and dreaming of starting fresh in new digs next month.

  • we are revamping everything after becoming instant adoptive parents to 3 kiddos. it's crazy how much our tastes and styles have changed-and how things i never thought i'd care about, i totally do now. like, organizing and canning and clean sheets!:)

  • Gardenmis says:

    Oooh I haven't heard of this book before but it looks exciting! I love to rearrange my house ~ makes it hard to keep the troops in the know of where things go but fun all the same.

  • cora mae says:

    With no real background in anything vaguely domestic (grew up with a single working parent, then room after room in apartments that never really felt like home) it's only in the last few years that I'm really taking pride in the things i've made myself and the ways i make the small, modest half of a duplex i share with my fiance into a place we both love. i've taken up baking, knitting, gardening (indoors, we have no yard)… and despite my slow learning curve i am having a great time. he even claims i'm good at this whole cooking and cleaning thing (news to me!). we hope to move into a house of our own soon, with a real garden, and i can't wait for that day when we have a “real home” to cultivate.

  • Ilona says:

    I love learning new cooking and baking skills. Right now I am teaching myself how to make bread (the old way, without a Kitchen Aid). Making my place smell delicious is always a plus, too!

  • I bought an almost 100-year old home a couple years ago. My parents and I spent the first weekend refinishing the hardwood floors by hand. The floors were coated with shellac, which can't be sanded off, so we had to strip the entire floor with paint scrapers!

    Totally worth it! The floors look fantastic.

  • Gina says:

    I would love to get my hands on this book! I've just started getting into canning and I really want to learn to make the “perfect” sandwich bread. The high altitude I live at has been working against me so far!

  • Keri says:

    I enjoy canning, freezing, and coming up with ways to use what I have on-hand to make tasty meals. This book sounds right up my alley!

  • I've begrudgingly admitted that I'm a terrible gardener but I can make fantastic roast chicken & veg and challah without a recipe – and that's more than good enough for me and the boyfriend.

  • Julia says:

    this book looks amazing! this summer, i'm working on expanding my back and frontyard gardens (and balcony container garden too) and i'm going to start keeping bees. as far as inside my home- my new goal is to have at least one item handmade by me in every room- ideally a quilt!

  • I do not like washing windows or mopping floors but a clean house is very satisfying and I am very particular about how the laundry gets hung on the line. And nothing like laundry fresh off the clothesline!

  • tamanna says:

    I used to have zero interest in growing anything I couldn't eat or use in some domestic capacity (lavender for homemade linen spray? wonderful!) but I've lately gotten addicted to houseplants, so much so that my last little house felt like walking into a jungle – and I absolutely LOVED it! Just moved into a new place 2000 miles away, and working on filling my new home with lush, gorgeous plants, both edible and not.

  • kate says:

    I'm living with my parents after having my own place for years. Having saved up enough and deciding to take my life down an entirely unfamiliar path despite the economy, I'm about to move out again. This time around I'm starting from scratch – new bed, bedding, decor, the whole nine yards. I guess this will be my first real “home.” Dishwasher is a must!

  • jacqui says:

    I grew up loving to clean my room and re-organize furniture and my closet all the time. When I had friends over I would purposely scatter a few clothes and objects around because their rooms were always such a mess and I must have thought mine would look to clean. I laugh thinking about it now! I've kept my love for cleaning, but now I don't make it look “fake” messy, ha! Looks like a great book!

  • Sarah Rachel says:

    Both sides of my family are from the (very) rural South, and so homemaking on a budget connects me to the matriarchs of my past. My mother hated chores and cooking–even sewing (forget knitting). But for some reason, the homemaker gene skipped a generation and found me. I love making my small apartment a home with hand-me-downs and homemade quilts and pillows. I even like washing dishes by hand. xoxo

  • hippychick says:

    I have started doing a lot, like canning, making homemade mixes, etc., but still have much to learn! I can't wait to read this book!

  • Kathleen says:

    Recently started making my own yogurt. Love to sweep, hate to mop. A little obsessive about a clean kitchen but I hate to clean bathrooms. Like lots of color and meaningful decorations. Two small boys keep me on my toes!

  • The Q says:

    I am newly-wed, and I feel like I suffer in this area. I think I just have high standards, though. We have a pretty large garden, and I cook and bake. I do feel like I am succeeding at homemaking when I can walk out to the garden to pick something for dinner.

  • Thought I'd tell you a bit about where I literally hang my hat: The hat is an Annie Larson knit one with a giant pom pom on top. It hangs on an Eames Hang It All beside my garden apron, Moop diaper bag (with homemade butt spray as an essential), craft show bought purse with a Jill Bliss wallet tucked inside, thrift store found jacket beside my Mr's jacket and a Shriner hat that once belonged to a Briarhopper. Thought those items probably say a lot about who I am!

  • Jane says:

    I love sitting by the fireplace on a day like today. Rainy and blustery for this time of year, even a little snow in the air. I'm in my big comfy chair with a homemade quilt (mine) on my lap, a cup of coffee and a good book on Keeping Bees(yours). Split pea soup with Easter ham is on the stove. All of my senses are satistied, and I'm totally in love with my home today.

  • Jane says:

    I love sitting by the fireplace on a day like today. Rainy and blustery for this time of year, even a little snow in the air. I'm in my big comfy chair with a homemade quilt (mine) on my lap, a cup of coffee and a good book on Keeping Bees(yours). Split pea soup with Easter ham is on the stove. All of my senses are satistied, and I'm totally in love with my home today.

  • Sharah says:

    I would love to get my hands on this book!

    My husband and I have been gardening for a few years now and we are currently saving up for a house of our own with some land so that we can have goats, chickens and bees :)

  • Bethany Nash says:

    Confession time: I am a terrible housekeeper. But I dream of being better!

  • Anna says:

    I'm working on improving my homemaking skills. I mean, I have the basic skills down pat, but it's becoming more of a vocation for me lately, so I'm trying to be more systematic. I no longer have a 9-5 lifestyle, with a catch-as-catch-can chore list. This means I have more time to, say, try home-baked bread recipes, but it also means that I'm harsher on myself to improve, not just maintain the home.

  • I homeschool my three kids and oddly enough never seem to spend enough time at home. But it's the place I love best. My home (designed and built by DH and myself) is my nest and our kitchen is the heart of it all. This book looks fun! Love your blog!

  • Michelle says:

    Oh this book looks fantastic! I'm not at all organized (my husband keeps me and the house orderly). But I do love to cook, bake and make my own cleaning products. On Monday I made my own butter (thanks to your DS post) and added mint to it and tossed with grilled asparagus.

  • BoogaJ says:

    This book looks wonderful! I'm a dabbler — I make jam, garden, do minor home repairs and other things. Over the years, I have learned to like cleaning — especially after having to give up my cleaning service a few years ago when money got tight. Considering how much money I'm saving, cleaning doesn't seems so bad! (But my floors don't get mopped as often as they used to!)

  • Melissa says:

    I really love baking. And sewing!

  • Carrie says:

    I hope you choose me for this book. I am not the best-homemaker but I try to improve everyday. I would love the help of a “hip girl”! Thank you. I own, love and enjoy all of your books!

  • Stephanie G. says:

    This book is on my Amazon wishlist! As for a peek into my own domestic sphere, I abhor cleaning bathtubs and have organized my spices alphabetically and by brand. Nerd. I know…

    Stephanie :)

  • Aimee says:

    I'm new to homemaking so I'm not that good at it yet. However, I hate my closet not being color coded and my sleeve-d shirts CANNOT go on those hangers with the slot for tank tops in them, ha! I want to grow a garden, start canning, and make my own laundry soap soon, though!

  • Julie says:

    laundry is my favorite housekeeping chore: it's so little effort (bring stuff to machine, add a cup of soap, turn machine on, walk away) and the return is so huge–a giant pile of clean stuff where once there was dirt!

  • GardenFresh says:

    I, too am very domestically inclined, but unfortunately mostly anything relating to the kitchen: cooking, organizing spices or recipes, cleaning out the fridge, etc. Even growing foodstuff outdoors. While I love decorating and organizing other areas of the home, I find cleaning to be more of a chore than a joy. I hope that someday, maybe when I have a home that I really love and am proud of, that may change.

  • I'm constantly reorganizing my kitchen cabinets and my closets. Typically I'm rearranging to find new ways to arrange things to make life easier, more beautiful, or just new and interesting! I also loathe vacuuming, and I'm thankful my husband will do it for me!! I also love anything that's both functional and beautiful. :)

  • Rachel Fox says:

    I feel that I'm always learning new ways to do things around my home. I love trying to re-purpose old things, and love to decorate my home from thrift stores. Something that hasn't changed through the years is that I always have a small herb garden; in pots for now, though when we do have a home, I can't wait for a real herb garden.

  • Amy says:

    I'm working at being a better homemaker, but finding it difficult. Tiny steps, it's what I keep telling myself!

  • Alexandra says:

    My husband and I are on a bar-kick; homemade liquors and syrups in repurposed whiskey bottles.

  • iamredmeat says:

    I am very particular about the way the bathroom is cleaned and how clean it has to be. In fact, I am the only one that cleans it.. even though I HATE doing it… must be done.

  • MEG says:

    I need this book! I am the queen of the kitchen and anything homemade but I need help with the “keeping house” resposibilities. I am not a super organized person and strugle with clutter. Will the book actually clean my hosue for me??

  • Sarah says:

    As much as I like to think I have some inclination towards homemaking, I'm afraid I'm just a big ole slob. I'm trying to create some method to keep the homeplace a wee bit tidier (because, aside from being lazy, I'm a bit OCD about clutter) while saving time and energy, but nothing seems to be doing the trick. Maybe I need a few pointers.

  • Mamawolf says:

    I am crazy about how the laundry is folded. Maybe how you are about bed sheets? I constantly refold things that my partner has folded. It irritates him to no end and I feel so bad, but it's a compulsion I just can't control. It has to be done just right!
    Hmmm… not something I ever thought I'd share publicly. Oh well!
    Thanks for the give-away! The book sounds lovely.

  • Suzanne says:

    Okay, I am totally anal about a clean fridge:-) I simply can't function in the kitchen if my fridge isn't clean. I hear my Nana's mantra in my head, “the only food I want to see growing is in the garden, not my fridgidaire”! LOL!
    Fingers crossed for the book, looks great!

  • Tru Vani says:

    I wish I didn't mind dusting on a regular basis…but at least the dishes are done daily!

  • camille t. says:

    I seem to be unable to make decisions about PAPER, and so it piles up and up until I lose it and start shredding. I've just purchased a tiny scanner to streamline the process…my hope is to avoid the freak out stage! thank goodness we are all works in progress.

  • Looks like a fab book. I'm all about the laundry this week. All the sunshine means great drying weather so I'm finally getting to the bottom of the laundry basket. Laura x

  • Ella says:

    This book looks like a fun!

    I am finally realizing that the more stuff you own the more home maintenance you have to do, so we're taking the opportunity of an upcoming move to really focus on purging useless stuff. It's taking a lot of effort, but I know it will make a difference in our new home.

  • Thanks for this giveaway!

    I'm not much into decorating but I love kitchen alchemy. We're lucky to get raw cow milk and I've been making my own yogurt for years, and now am making cheese. I live at 6512 feet in Colorado with 2 kids, 7 chickens, a large garden and small orchard and many thousands of honeybees.

  • Stacie says:

    I've been looking at this book on Amazon and put it on my “wish list” so it'd be nice to win it!

    I love EVERYTHING homemaking too! One of my faves though is cooking. Trying out new things or sticking by the old grandmother faves, creating something yummy with my own hands is a magic I'll never tire of. My husband also approves (as does his little gut, which after his deployment I'll have to work on again). Thanks again for hosting the contest!

  • i find dishwashing rather relaxing but wholeheartedly wish the darn laundry would fold itself! and i used to oversee a community garden but lately i've been killing all my houseplants. a bundle of contradictions, this one.

  • This book is for my husband! He is about to leave his job and stay home to start our homestead, grow and raise the bulk of our food and be my househusband:) We can't wait!

  • Melanie J. says:

    When I clean the kitchen, my head gets clear…I like having things in a particular place. I can't wait to decorate a kitchen when we rent a house later this year, because I've so outgrown our current galley kitchen in our seriously cluttered and ugly apartment. The book sounds lovely; thanks for the opportunity, Ashley!

  • Hollie says:

    I love being at home and creating a wonderful place for my four sons to grow into men and for my husband to enjoy his family when he gets home from work. I LOVE books that are dedicated to homemaking! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Bridget says:

    About homemaking: Although I miss my grown-up kids, the house stays much cleaner now that the nest is empty. So now I have more time for gardening and bees, pretty soon!

  • I just learned that I can pressure can on my glass-top stove. I sincerely hope that is a long-term lesson and not a freak accident.

  • Meg says:

    I am not a very good homemaker. I'm a much better mess-maker. But making my own cleaning products has upped my excitement about keeping this spic and span!

  • City Girl says:

    I love books about homemaking and think there should be more of them! Having a clean, happy, well-functioning and funky home makes such a difference in life! I work fulltime but have the priviledge of being married to a fulltime homemaker. As we always joke, I make a living and she makes life worth living! :-)

  • The Talberts says:

    My favorite home reference book is Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson, even though my style tends to be much more relaxed than hers. My idea of a great time is when my husband takes our four little ones outside and I have an hour to tend to the little things that go by the way-side here in our home: toilets and laundry and whatnot.

  • Erika Myers says:

    I love my label maker. Every once in a while, I go on a mad label-making spree – making new labels for all of my color-coded files. (not so good at filling the file folders regularly, but gosh darn it they are labeled). Lately, with Lucas in daycare, I get to label all of his snack bins and sippy cups and such. It makes me look organized, but really, I just like making labels.

  • Petitevie says:

    I love a clean floor. I have two toddlers who play on it at all time. I use hot water and white vinegar but hide the smell with a few drop of lavender essential oil.

  • Beth says:

    Oh, this book looks like it will be so good! I am a throwback kind of girl – I love anything domestic – I garden, sew, bake, can etc.

  • Heather MK says:

    Oooh, I can't wait to read her blog & the book is bound to be amazing too!
    I love to dream up new projects that make our home cozier and better-suited to who we are. Custom bookshelves here, shrubs over there, patio gardens, basement renovations, etc, etc! The list never ends & I love it!

  • Petitevie says:

    I love a clean floor. Since I have young kids, I only use hot water and white vinegar but I add a few drops of lavender essential oil to hide the smell.

  • Anonymous says:

    I found out about this book earlier today, and now I want it!!! As for homemaking – – – I just made my very first sourdough starter, and I am quite proud. :)

    Kate in NY

  • Sara says:

    I recently figured out how to successfully make yogurt without a yogurt maker (in part with help from your book) and I'm pretty excited about it. Even at 5$ a gallon for organic milk, that's $1.25 for 16oz of yogurt. Not bad. (And yummy).

  • JizzleK says:

    sign me up! I could use some ideas.

  • Liz says:

    I love making homemade stock (chicken, turkey, veggie) all year round – in the winter it's warm and homey, and in the spring I open the windows to let the steam escape, and throw in some leeks! I freeze it up in small batches, and am ready to make soup, bulgur, anything I want, all year long.

  • Heidi says:

    I'm moving next month after being in my current home for 10 years, so I'm looking forward to clearing out the clutter and starting fresh. It would be lovely to have a hip girl guide to help me do it right!

    The two things that make my house feel clean are clean dishes and a made bed. Everything else is negotiable.

  • Victoria says:

    I would love to see this book. I enjoy domestic endeavers, but I'm terribly disorganized and hate to clean. I'd rather make a mess on a project than clean it up.

  • Angie says:

    My husband and I both love to cook unfortunately doing dishes is about our least favorite chore of all time. A couple of years ago I put my foot down and said that for our next move, there had to be a dishwasher. And there is. It took some creative engineering, but it's there and it is quite possible the best investment we have made. Ever.

  • Eli says:

    Every time I think I've conquered the dishes…… they pile up and attack!

  • Andrea says:

    I love making things both in the kitchen (i.e., cooking, baking, making yogurt and cheese) and elsewhere (knitting, crocheting), but cleaning up after myself is just so tedious! Everything just seems to pile up before I get the motivation to go at it.

  • Wendy says:

    I avoid ironing and scrubbing the toilet. However, I do appreciate a clean, mostly uncluttered house. I'm constantly trying to find ways to better streamline my cleaning tasks so that I can spend more time sewing, knitting, or working in my garden.

  • Stef says:

    I wish I was more organized! I need help in that department, without a doubt. I live in Tampa, FL in a 3/3 apartment with my friend, my boyfriend, 3 cats, and a turtle. Recently aforementioned roomies bought me a mini-greenhouse for my plants outside, since the bugs were starting to attack them (we live near a pond, it's bound to happen). I've also been fortunate enough to use said roomies as guinea pigs and cheap labor when it comes to the many different projects I've decided to take on, canning in particular, and soon it'll be cheese making. I love all of your homemade living books and Kate's book looks equally fascinating and full of projects and tips! If I don't win the giveaway, I plan on buying her book anyway :)

  • jen says:

    I have embraced my inner homemaker in the last few years. I really love to bake bread and always prefer having a very tidy home. looks like a great book, love her blog.

  • Terry says:

    I'm a lousy housekeeper but would like to win this book to put into circulation in my library. Our patrons are desperately trying to make ends meet and are going back to basics. It's all good.

  • Amanda says:

    OH my gosh! I've been wishing forever that I lived in your area so that I can take your classes and such and now I am wishing again! Sounds like so much fun. And I've been drooling over this book as well!!!! ANYhow, I do try and work my homemaker magic – I don't have time for all of the things i WANT to do but like to make natural wholesome food for my family. I've dabbled in canning and we joined a csa for the first time this year so I'm really looking forward to tons of experimental new cooking and canning and finding ways to make use of our sweet veggie stash!

  • Jenny says:

    I'm a stay at home mom, and I love making things from scratch and getting my hands dirty. I just made my first batch ever of homemade jam yesterday, and I am working on my first feeble attempts at gardening.

  • I currently have my Fels-Naptha bar melting on the stove to make this year's supply of laundry detergent. I don't LOVE cleaning, but I love when I can clean with homegrown kid-friendly products! Ashley – my amazing coop is complete, please check it out on my blog. Maybe it can be in your NEXT book about chickens. :)

  • Daisy Driver says:

    I am not a fan of housework but someone has to do it! I do love cooking, canning, freezing meals and gardening! Can't wait to read the book.

  • k a t says:

    I have to admit… I'm a magpie so clutter follows me wherever I go. Still, I delight in a well stocked pantry. A crocheted cozy around the teapot. A homemade quilt on the (sometimes made) bed.

  • raehobo says:

    Great giveaway! I am purchasing my first house (signing tomorrow- can't wait!!) and I am seriously stoked to be able to cook in, plant by, clean up, and sew/knit in my very own house!

  • Claire says:

    I have excellent homemaking intentions (I just moved into my first apartment a few months ago–so exciting!) but for the moment the most impressive thing about my housekeeping is my spice collection. I think it's pretty impressive for a 23-year-old AND it's alphabetized.

    Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  • Heather says:

    I'm not a cleaner, but I have been cleaning everything to procrastinate studying this week!

  • melody says:

    Looks like an awesome book! I wouldn't be able to live in house that didn't have a window with a view above the sink!

  • Lisa Blair says:

    I am with you on making the bed… I fold my bed sheets in a very specific manner so that they are perfectly straight when I am making up a bed.

    I really hope to win this book!

  • Krystle says:

    I also enjoy most all aspects of home-making! I currently am enjoying the challenge of gardening and keeping an organized home in a small apartment space.

  • Anne B. says:

    I hate decorating my home. Partly, I can't stand nick-nacks. But even paintings, which I like, I hate to put up b/c it seems so final to put a hole in the wall.

  • Jill Benbow says:

    so happy that the derogatory connotation surrounding the word homemaking is dissolving away- because it is actually quite awesome! I love baking and cooking almost as much as I love eating :)

  • kendall says:

    I hate washing dishes even though I love to cook. Lucky for me, my husband doesn't mind it.

  • Leanne says:

    Love this title! Thanks for the chance.

  • Josée says:

    For the most part I enjoy homemaking but there are definitely things that I don't like doing… like washing the floors or washing out the trash bin.

  • keeko says:

    i wage a daily war against the dust bunnies that convene in all crevices of the house (plotting their coup against me), and really and truly love the gratification that comes from sucking them up with the vacuum :)

  • Jessica says:

    I *do* hate to do dishes, but I love everything else. Gardening, cooking, canning, knitting, keeping bees and chickens (well, I haven't yet… but I will someday!), and organizing anything that I can sort.

  • Leigh says:

    I must have a tidy and uncluttered house. It's easier to clean and you can think clearer! And it feels good to regularly pass along or toss things you don't need to hold onto. Children do make the “stuff” factor harder, however! :-)

  • lisa says:

    I have recently in the past year or two really begin to love homemaking. I love cooking, having a clean home that I can be proud of, and most importantly spending time with the people I love within it. I love gardening and growing food and am excited to start canning this summer – I LOVE being a modern homemaker!

  • Rebecca says:

    Though I knit my own dish clothes, when I need some extra scrubbing power I like the 3M scrubbing pads. To make them last longer I cut them into smaller squares. When they are no longer suitable for cleaning dishes, I cycle them into the bathroom clean supplies.

  • Angela says:

    Getting a juicer FINALLY got me to do my dishes everyday. You have to wash the juicer right after you use it and since I'm right there with wet hands and a soapy washcloth, I end up washing everything in the sink! Pre-juicer the dishes would sit for days and days…very stinky days. Plus, nourishing myself with veggie juices made me feel cleaner on the inside…another reason to keep my surroundings just as tidy.

  • Anna says:

    Both my husband and I like being in a clean space, but neither of us wants to actually be the one to clean it. Also, we moved into our first house a year ago and I feel like it's still devoid of personal touch or decor. Ever since having my first baby seven months ago, however, I have found myself wanting to make my home more comfortable and inviting for my family. I look forward to learning strategies to work towards my goal of making my home more homey.

  • Hi Ashley, I just found your blog about a month or so ago. I'm really enjoying your posts! Re. homemaking-I have a hard time leaving dishes in the sink at night no matter how late it is. I love (or rather I love the results of) a quick evening tidy-up. It all looks so good in the morning!

  • I dislike the chaos of my linen cupboard but can't seem to make it behave. I also really don't like to finish up doing the laundry by putting in all away. Isn't the dryer a storage unit?

  • Maria says:

    I homeschool my oldest child and work part-time, so I have little time (and inclination, to be truth) for doing things at home. But I like to dish and to have clean clothes (although I don't like to do laundry).

    I'm always looking for inspiration with chores at home, and this book looks great.

    Thank you. 1kiss.

  • Sometimes living in an old Victorian flat seems to bring nothing more than a constant battle with dust, drafts (the curtains in the living room can literally blow when the windows are shut) and the bone chill of no central heating…but the flip side is big, sunny bay windows, fabulous wainscoting and high ceilings, all of which I love! Also, I confess all of my knicknacks might have something to do with the dust.

  • { T G L } says:

    Oh, this sounds fantastic and just the sort of thing I'd love! Hereby I enter the contest :)

    Homemaking to me is not tied to gender at all, but rather to a commitment to beautify your livingspace. In today's rushed world, conscious and deliberate homemake can bring comfort and a sense of achievement.

    My husband and I both 'keep home' equally but each has our specialism. One of my favorite things is cooking and baking. There is nothing like baking your own bread… deeply nourishing on both a body-and-soul level!
    (See my blog for photos on my latest bread-related creation).

    Thanks and blessings,
    This Good Life

  • Molly says:

    Every weekend, I block off a couple hours to give me time to de-clutter and clean. My apartment isn't that big (I live in NY), but it makes me feel so happy to have that time to make sure everything is ship-shape!

  • Viviane says:

    This book looks wonderful! Count me in please!!

  • Meredith says:

    As soon as the weather turns warm enough, my favorite thing to do is carry a freshly washed load of laundry out to the line. I always wear flip flops so I can feel the warm grass and hanging up those clothes makes me feel like I am part of something.

  • Mama Bird says:

    I've had the challenge this year of managing a multi-generational household, after welcoming my parents into our abode. Our house is so ALIVE! We're growing food, composting, harboring worms and catepillars and tadpoles, canning, conserving, creating and learning to live simply within our means! With 7 mouths to keep fed and smiling, there's never a dull moment!

  • Kim says:

    I was created to be a homemaker just in the wrong century. I take great pride in having a clean, organized home. I live in rural West TN and love gardening and home food preservation. I long for rabbits, goats and chickens. I want more time to sew and bake from sratch. I would be so honored to recieve this book. Blessings.

  • Allison says:

    Probably my favorite homemaking activity is cooking. I love to cook up a huge stew, chili, or lasagna with my boyfriend for a bunch of friends, and have everyone over for an impromptu dinner party!

  • Helois says:

    this book looks fab!!!!! I love being a “modern homemaker” I love to bake but hate to cook meals. I love to wash dishes by hand but I hate to put them away and I love love that my hubbs put up a close line for me I love to hang laundray up on the line though again I hate to put it away LOL.

  • Rebecca says:

    Hmmm…. Something about are home….
    Well, there's children's artwork hung up everywhere-both framed and hastily taped up by a four year old. And it's, well, perfect!

    Thanks both to you and the publisher for a great giveaway!

  • Jennifer says:

    I always have moments of “enlightening” when I get really excited about homemaking. During those times I bake, sew, clean, and the whole nine yards. Unfortunately, those periods don't last very long and then I enter a slump where I don't want to do anything. I could use some guidance!

  • Chppie says:

    While I can get into the pattern of housekeeping I struggle with making cleaning a pleasure. It's nice to hear from those who enjoy those daily tasks. A new perspective can be so revitalizing.

    Thanks for featuring the book.

  • I have 6 kids and dream of the day when my kids are raised and my house stays clean all the time but I know that's wrong! I want to live in the “now” and be able to establish an orderly house AND spend time with my kids…I want it all! If you saw my basement you'd throw up! Christine @

  • JRoberts says:

    I love to be in the dirt. Gardening (but not weeding! :D) is a passion and I love to be in the soil with my bare hands. What a joy it is.

    I also love to bake, can, sew, pretty much anything that takes us back to the basics of life. :)

  • When I was a little girl, one of my favorite household chores was ironing. Of course, in those days, my mum had lots of linens that were 100% cotton and needed ironing (sometimes even a little starch.) I still LOVE to iron and get quite nostalgic when I smell that lovely steam rising from a freshly line-dried set of cotton bedsheets!
    -Heidi in Folk City

  • I love washing dishes, comes from growing up with a dishwasher and summers at Grandmas who didnt, she taught me how with the boiling water final wash too. So even when Ive lived places with a dishwasher, I use it for pot storage and keep hand washing.
    Hate to vacume though…

  • jord. says:

    I love taking care of my home, but I find that with a full time job and a large garden, household chores fall by the wayside. How does anyone have time???

  • Nina Pelaez says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Nina says:

    Nothing makes me happier than spending an afternoon in the garden with my family, filling a basket full of home-grown vegetables and cooking them up for dinner. I can't wait for summer to come. Our family signed up for a farm share to supplement our own produce (we're doing our best with our modest Brooklyn backyard)so we can spend the season living as sustainably and locally as possible!

  • mg says:

    I love making bread for my family!

  • Greta says:

    Wow! Just found your blog as I searched for good references for raising backyard chickens. Ordered your book on Amazon and am hoping to put it all together soon. I'd love to read The Hip Girl's Guide as I'm always looking for ways to fine tune my homemaking skills. (As distinguished from housekeeping: It takes love and work to make a house a welcoming, restorative home.) But, I do wish I loved to vacuum as much as I love to garden and sew. Suggestions?

  • Every time I'm in a funk, I move furniture. It works! My house is always in flu, and I'll never have a need for antidepressants. :)

  • A. Verzello says:

    There is nothing, NOTHING, better than a loaf of freshly baked bread.

  • Alicia says:

    When I was younger, I hated the idea of homemaking. I wanted to be a big-city journalist seeking out the latest story. Of course, I was raised surrounded by people who loved the outdoors. I took, and still take, pleasure in gardening and its related activities. But life changes…

    My mother was diagnosed with MS when I was 15, breast cancer a year later. I had to learn – and quickly! – how to manage the house, plus be a full-time high school student. My father worked 12-hour days as a postal supervisor.

    I still help with my mother's care. I live at home and am a full-time assistant teacher. The irony? I love cooking, baking, and canning. Doing dishes, for me, is a form of meditation.

    Now I just need to find someone who appreciates my odd blend of independent mind and Laura-Ingalls-Wilder ways…

    red.oak.cottage (at)

  • marshall p says:

    I'm currently cleaning out a hoarder house. Homemaking gone tragically awry.

  • Diana says:

    Our new house needs some TLC. Just a big mess right now…

  • kb says:

    I get the nesting urge in spring, but it always fades after a few months. I need inspiration to keep me going all year round despite work+kids+etc!

  • Ms. Hobby says:

    I struggle to get excited about the cleaning and laundry bits of homemaking. I'm very envious of those that it seems to come naturally.

  • NomNomNom says:

    I absolutely can not wait to get a place of my own (buying a house one day) just so I can theme every single room! Paint paint paint, pretty shelves, and furniture galore!! AHHHH!! and then a garden in the back with FRUIT TREESS!!! yumyum XD
    And ideally more shelves / drawers in my kitchen than I do now, so I can coordinate my dishes and pantry space a lot better than smushing them all in together O.o so sad so sad >.< ahahha

  • sherrie says:

    Hanging clean diapers on the clothesline is IT for me! Well, so is picking peas, barefoot, in the backyard. Yup, can't get any better than that.

  • sueguzman says: asked for it! True confessions time. I love ironing. It's not only me but mother and brother as well! My Grandfather was a professional “presser” in NYC's garment district in the 1940's and 50's, so I'm suspecting there's some genetic component to it! :) While many find ironing the bane of their existence, I find ironing therapeutic and zenlike.

  • Sarah C says:

    I would love to read it!

    I am moving twice in 2 months right now, so my perfectly organized life is in disaray. I can't wait until I'm settled to get back to beautifully labeling my canned goods.

  • Miss Minty says:

    Homemaking is all about the kitchen for me. Feeding my husband and myself is fun! I love the prep work, the cooking, and even the dishes! Now that I'm gestating a little human inside, eating is even more important, right?


  • Mary says:

    I requested Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook for Christmas one year. It weighs like 10 pounds and contains loads of information that I don't expect to ever use, but I still read it for fun sometimes. And my friends mock me mercilessly when they see it on my bookshelf.


  • Anonymous says:

    I love using up leftovers! The half a bag of lentils or the one carrot, handful of sultanas and half a cup of sour cream. I love the challenge! As you can see, I hate throwing away good food.

  • L. KIM says:

    I love keeping my home tidy and inspired–which includes hanging art everywhere. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Amanda says:

    hmmmmmmm~ homemaking……

    *laundry on the line
    *bread rising
    *steeping cup o' tea and good tunes filling the air
    *sweeping the floor
    *clean countertops and an empty sink

    yep, that sounds about right. about lovely.

    thanks for your sweet blog~

  • I live in a 100 year old craftsman home in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon…I adore all things domestic, trying to save money to boot :) Hanging laundry out in the sun is my favorite duty, and I find the whole ritual refreshing and wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to read such a great sounding book!

  • heather says:

    i am a total home-body & love all things home-related. i've enjoyed attempting lots of new projects from plumbing to decorating to lots & lots of new kitchen projects – homemade yogurt, canning, new recipes. the kitchen has always been my favorite place to dream & create – thankfully i enjoy doing dishes, too – but it's fun to keep expanding my horizons. i'd LOOOOVE to win this giveaway to fuel the fire :o)

    thank you ashley, kate & harper design for such a wonderful giveaway!

  • Trina-Lea says:

    My home is my refuge…
    It is a constant work in progress…just like me! I made a decision prior to our renovations that I would only allow things that really speak to me in my space.
    Over the years I have even managed to turn those “everyday loathsome chores” into quiet meditations of reflection and appreciation. My one regret is it took me so long to figure this all out! 😀

  • Samantha says:

    I live in Portland, Or with my artist husband. We have two house rabbits, would love to have chickens but our yard is too small and hope to get a dog real soon. I started my love of gardening about 4 years ago and since then have taught myself to can. I'm thinking of picking up sewing again and making my own cheese. I've never been that interested in things like these, but for some reason, after I turned 35, my thought process and outlook on life started to change. I love to see my pantry filled with things that I made…..who knew.

  • I alphabetize our spice jars, make our own bread, fail to fold cloth hand towel and napkin drawer's contents and often let the laundry pile up. I make choices, mostly based on what yields the number of giggles. I just won an autographed copy of Home Dairy in an auction yesterday, so I'm giddy about adding to my book collection. I'm a small town, island gal surrounded by fresh salmon and joyful farms; I'm

  • My husband and I enjoyed our kitchen garden so much that we started a small organically managed CSA. We enjoy cooking with ingrediants we grow ourselves and our homestead includes a mixed flock of half a dozen laying hens.

  • Ginger says:

    I learned on my just-over maternity leave that I'd rather do something crafty than practical with my time at home… so I may need a maid to clean them, but I'll have cute homemade curtains!

  • Jessica says:

    I looooove cooking but haaaate the dishes!

  • Stacy says:

    Two summers ago I completely revamped my entire house to reflect my growing passion for gardening and urban farming. I call it farm house chic. Everything got a nice coat of paint – bright whites and antiquey colors, I put bead board all around the dining room and kitchen, and hung up big, blown up portraits of all the beautiful vegetables that show up in my garden. I would love to own a copy of the book to help me continue this homemaking journey that I hope to some day share with a family.

  • Somedays I feel like a superhero because I can fold fitted sheets correctly and make really fantastic pastry. Other days I feel like a schlub because every room in my house has at least one unfinished project and I didn't start any plants from seed this year.

    In my defense, though, I'm 9 months pregnant and need a broom and tongs to pick stuff up off the floor…

  • Kathryn says:

    Ah, I love canning! It's my fav homemaking activity, along with preserving foods in other ways (drying, freezing, etc.) A lovely giveaway, thanks a bunch!

  • Kasey says:

    I hide all of my clutter in my closet. I torture my husband as I try to declutter my house, but if you look in my closet – it is all there.

    Also, I like to make my own ketchup.

  • oukay says:

    My homemaking has had its ups and downs. The cleaning is usually a lick and a promise. The laundry is a shared affair, but the garden is my responsibility. The food is the most fun. Also, my organizing tends to run in monthly cycles!

  • Many people complain about doing laundry, but it's my favorite household chore. For some reason, I just find it very therapeutic. On the other hand, putting the clothes away is a different story. It's 2011, where's my robot who can do that for me?

  • Wendy says:

    At 18, I was an mechanical engineering major destined for great things. Financial problems completely derailed that and I joined the Natinoal guard as a helicopter mechanic. At 28, I'm a full-time nursing major and housewife. Raspberry sauce made from my homemade jam spooned over from scratch chocolate lava cake is one of the great things I made this week. I clean like a madwoman if company is coming or before I go on vacation. I asked for a pressure canner for my birthday. I am nowhere near where I thought I would be but I'm getting closer to where I want to be. Next step, growing a vegtable garden so I can use my pressure canner without raiding my mother-in-law's garden.

  • Land of Lisa says:

    I love to have an organized and clean home. It always seems like it is hard to find the time to do everything. It looks like this book has some good ideas to try!

  • Mel says:

    I have a small small obsession with kitchenware. I don't have a kitchen (still living at the parents house while I job hunt) but I know when I'll move out, I'll have a chopper, steamer, processer, roaster, dutch oven, tortilla press (please don't ask!), multiple barware glasses, pots and pans and a 7 setting set of china – as well as many many other items. I cannot stop by a garage sale, thrift store, kitchen store or anything else without finding something that I lust over. It's an addiction.

  • Jolene says:

    This sounds like a good book for me! I like the idea of being organized and on top of it, but could use a little help and inspiration to get there! I love to garden, can and bake bread. I also can not leave the house unless ALL beds are made.

  • Hi Ashley,
    Thanks for sharing your love and encouragement of sustainable living. I am a mother to three girls, aged 10 1/2, 6 and 3 1/2, two dogs and two cats and all keep me laughing and loving life. I find joy in gardening and cooking for my family and living simply. I love trolling the local farmers markets for the wondeful bounties of spring vegetables and incorporating my finds into tasty meals for the girls. With the down turn in the national economy, I have found myself drawn to the domesticity realm and found I quite enjoy it. Currently we are preparing for our adventures of raising chickens and loaned your book of 'keeping chickens' from our local library. It's a wonderful read & informative. We will soon be picking up six “lady” Australops (sp) from our local TSC…and very excited too, I must say.

  • Anonymous says:

    After a five year search for our little piece of heaven on earth, my husband myself and our two sons have recently moved to our “Om'stead on the Hill”. Everyday is “beautiful chaos” (which we've learned always comes with homeschooling children!) with some kind of surprise around every corner! (As in last month, when we came home to a random package of 38 quail eggs asking to be hatched from the postal on our front porch!) My husband and I are currently eating through your chicken and bee books,(thank you for the lifesavers written in plain english!) in a desparate(albeit entertaining) attempt to look like we know what we're doing! We've always loved vegetable gardening, and take every opportunity to show our boys the absolute beauty in nature. I would love to add this book to my neverending (possibly obsessive)collection of books that I read….. In between the mudpies, treefrogs, my sons, baby chicks and quail all seeming to be endlessly hungry, and me….trying to reign in that “beautiful chaos” Much Love and Well Wishes ♥

  • Lacey says:

    After a five year search for our little piece of heaven on earth, my husband myself and our two sons have recently moved to our “Om'stead on the Hill”. Everyday is “beautiful chaos” (which we've learned always comes with homeschooling children!) with some kind of surprise around every corner! (As in last month, when we came home to a random package of 38 quail eggs asking to be hatched from the postal on our front porch!) My husband and I are currently eating through your chicken and bee books,(thank you for the lifesavers written in plain english!) in a desparate(albeit entertaining) attempt to look like we know what we're doing! We've always loved vegetable gardening, and take every opportunity to show our boys the absolute beauty in nature. I would love to add this book to my neverending (possibly obsessive)collection of books that I read….. In between the mudpies, treefrogs, my sons, baby chicks and quail all seeming to be endlessly hungry, and me….trying to reign in that “beautiful chaos” Much Love and Well Wishes ♥

  • Leanne says:

    Really want to win this book! My favorite thing around my home is to gather up fresh summer veggies from the garden and make a fresh dinner for my family!

  • Veronica M. says:

    I adore looking around at the items in my home I've put love into. When you move in it's just a series of walls. Then one day it becomes home.

  • Janis says:

    Looks like a great book.

  • I am just finding the joy in homemaking. For me it's been a slow process. I do love my new raised bed garden and working in it, but cleaning closets and dusting just don't have the appeal. :) But I do find that I really am happier when the work is done and the house is nice (presentable is a bit different when you have small ones).

  • mom of 10 going on 12 here, trying desperately to figure out a new home management routine, because, in 9 weeks my brood is going to grow exponentially!!! i love making food from scratch, building, and would love to learn to have a green thumb…so far i start every spring with a bang and come back by mid summer, i exit with a whimper….perhaps it is the texas sun, or the rocks i have for a yard….but anyhow….i live for simplicity, and love the challenge of striving for it everyday!