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'Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking' skims the surface

Published: Saturday, Dec. 31 2011 3:00 p.m. MST

Girls (or guys) living on their own in the big city may need a little help “keeping house.” Kate Payne's “The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking” offers economical advice and tips to those who might be domestically challenged.

“The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking” discusses everything from decorating, cleaning, gardening and cooking. Sprinkled throughout are snippets of tips titled “Hip Tricks” and “Word to the Wise.”

The book is divided into three sections with book recommendations and Internet resources at the end of each chapter. Section one, “Room-by-Room Guide to a Home House Homie,” covers the basic areas of the home such as the kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc. Payne offers advice on decorating and organizing these areas of the house.

Section two, “Impressive Acts of Domesticity: Do Try This at Home,” talks about gardening, laundry, homemade cleaning products and a basic home tool kit. The last chapter, “Life After Restaurants,” discusses cooking, food preserving and entertaining.

“The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking” is a primer in the basics of homemaking for those who are clueless about cleaning, cooking and decorating. It is not a comprehensive guide in homemaking skills.

The book starts off promising but barely scratches the surface of homemaking. Payne's advice is a combination of supply lists, do's and don'ts and explanations of why doing it yourself is cool and saves money. The book whets the appetite for homemaking but leaves the reader unsatisfied.

Payne gears her advice toward a specific readership, mainly those who are young, broke and live in an apartment in the city. Others may glean a few usable tips from the book, but nothing that couldn't be read in the latest women's magazine on a newsstand.

A word of caution for parents — there is profanity in the book.

The best part of “The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking” is the list of books and Internet resources at the end of the chapters. It leads the reader to resources that actually succeed where this book fails.

Tequitia Andrews has written about parenting and family issues for several newspapers, magazines and websites.

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