The other night I had the privilege of attending a book tour house party for Kate Payne’s new book, "The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking" ($19.99). Payne is hitting the traditional book tour stops as well as the homes of some people who have graciously volunteered to host house parties. (I love the house party idea.)

What’s the book about? Anything and everything doing with homemaking in a sustainable, budget-friendly, moderny-retro way that (and this is the most important thing) makes your home work for you. Payne's advice and tips will give homemakers the confidence to keep house according to their own style and the know-how to pull it off. 

There’s advice about decorating (curbside-found décor is just fine), gardening, composting, cleaning without harmful chemicals, laundry and stain removal, sewing (nothing too complicated), using tools, buying groceries, home cooking, canning and throwing parties.

I am crazy about this book. Payne (pictured at right signing my book) has given me some fresh inspiration to do things around my home that are unrelated to food. We’ve owned our home for 13 years, and there's one room that we’ve done nothing to — the master bedroom. You can still see the marks on the dirty off-white walls from where the previous owners hung paintings. There is a cornflower blue wallpaper border around the ceiling that I hate.

Brian and I are finally getting around to this room, and “The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking” has given me creative ideas that have me excited about tackling the project. From hanging my necklaces directly on the wall to schlepping over to IKEA for hardware for curtains (we’ve had nothing but plastic vertical blinds on the windows since we moved in), I’ve got a list of ideas that will make our room work for us, feel like it’s “ours,” and won’t break our budget.

Whether you’re looking to add some homey touches to your living space, get more active in your kitchen, or finally ditch the chemicals you clean with, I would be surprised if you didn’t find some very helpful ideas in Payne’s book that will inspire you.

You’ll also want to check out her blog where she shares her homemaking ideas regularly — like using dresser drawers as raised garden beds.

I want to give a quick shout out and thank you to Marisa McClellan from Food in Jars who opened her home for the house party. McClellan is a canning genius who has her own book in the works. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it when it’s published.  

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