One of my favorite memories with Kate is one in which the Canadian and I spent a very quiet Christmas Eve with Kate, her partner Jo and a few other friends in the tiny house she was living in at the time. Normally the Canadian and I would travel to Fort Worth to see MomE's family, but that year we were in Austin while most of our friends/family were out of town. Kate invited a few of us over and we cozied up to each other on the couch, chair, and floor in the sweet little space, drinking hot chocolate, listening to Christmas carols and laughing. When the Canadian and I left that evening, the city was still -- a Silent Night -- and we have both remarked in recent times that that evening remains among our favorites.
The reason I tell you this is because, I want you to know how special Kate is and what an amazing person I consider her to be. A few years ago Kate and Jo moved to New York and it was there that the intersection of creativity, necessity, frugality and inspiration occurred. Kate's work-life and home-life were often one and the same as she worked out of her tiny place in Brooklyn and it was this situation that was the impetus behind making a space for herself that was both organized and inspired -- on a budget.
And thus her blog, and subsequently her book, were born.
As a fellow blogger/friend of Kate, I had the privilege of receiving a copy of her book to give away to my blog followers, so it with great delight that I present to you my first giveaway: The Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking!
So I jumped in and have been reading and re-reading ever since! The chapter I was (and still am) most excited about is the one on preserving/canning. I've been the recipient of several phenomenal batches of Kate's jams (blueberry lemon and meyer lemon marmalade are among my favorites!!) but have always been seriously intimidated by canning. Kate's easy-going writing style makes canning seem as simple as it probably is and she has inspired me to tackle canning as soon as I get to London...watch out world, a can-goddess is in the making!
The book is packed with all kinds of innovative ideas and fresh perspectives on domesticity, but don't mistake Kate for Martha Stewart - she doesn't have a giant team of designers making her life pristine for the camera. She's a trial by fire kind of girl with the sort of authentic advice that tells you this is not her first rodeo. For example, a few bouts of food poisoning due to eating leftovers LONG after their expiration date led Kate to research food-poisoning remedies such as Oregano-oil (a tip from her book).
This book is slightly geared toward the beginner (a lot of what Kate writes about is pretty familiar territory to me), but, there is something in here for absolutely everyone. You will read great tips from her family, follow her thought process as she tried to solve some domestic issues on a major budget, and laugh with her as she tells you about a few failures that led to great successes.
For more info about the book go here.
And now -- the giveaway rules:
1) How to enter: Leave a comment on this blog entry for one entry into the giveaway -- tell me about your most brilliant domestic accomplishment.
You can earn ONE additional entry by either:
**following me on twitter (@texpatsabroad),
**subscribing to the blog on Feedburner (to the right of this post on the sidebar),
**writing a post on your blog about this giveaway (with the link to this entry),
**OR tweeting about this giveaway at least twice.
If you do the additional entry, you need to comment on this blog again to tell me that you've done it and if you linked to it in a post, please include the link in your entry comment (for a total of two comments = two giveaway entries)
2) What you get: You will get a brand new, hot off the presses book, The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking and (I haven't asked Kate this yet, so no promises) but, I will try and get her to sign it for you. ALSO from me, you will get my grandmother's homemade banana pudding recipe. My sister used to make a vat of it and would eat two or three bowls a day (she barely weighs a 100 lbs *sigh*).
3) Contest dates: The giveaway will run from April 28th - May 6th - the drawing will occur .
4) Who is it open to: It IS open to expats (and of course US/Canada) -- I will ship *almost* anywhere in the world (depends on price but I'll do my best...no promises if you're in Somalia or the DRC or somewhere equally as difficult)
5) How will the winner be decided: Radom.org drawing on May 6th -- announced here and on Twitter.
Also, check out some of Kate's 'how to' videos below: