Look, Martha Stewart I ain't. Give me 200 pounds of tomatoes to can or boar legs to cure and hang and I'm down, but when it comes down to the myriad chores and tasks that make up the art of keeping a perfect home, I find it hard to get excited. In fact, when I went freelance last year, and we made some fairly radical changes to our spending habits, the one luxury we kept was the house cleaner, because he was still significantly cheaper than couple's therapy or a divorce lawyer.
All that said, I have found inspiration in Kate Payne and her new book, "The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking," spun out from her blog of the same name. A New York transplant, Kate sought to conquer the homemaking beast to create a serene and personalized oasis amidst the urban maelstrom of the city, all in a manner that is friendly both to the wallet and the planet.
The book is chockablock with handy tips and ideas, and always in her breezy, chipper voice. You can tell she finds great inspiration in making each homemaking task her own little conquest, and delights in sharing her hard-won efforts with the reader.
Kate's common-sense approach to the home is everything Martha is not. Her philosophy is not about making a home that's perfect, but one that makes you perfectly happy. Unlike Martha's relentless pursuit for the camera-ready life, Kate's tips are approachable, inspired, and will not send you into a shame spiral.