Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let’s Talk Dirt: Home Ec-101

Through my affiliation with One2One Network, from time to time I get the opportunity to participate in projects, reviews etc. I had one such opportunity to review a new book called “Home Ec-101: Skills For Everyday Living” by blogger and author Heather Solos.

Heather blogs at where she covers real every day skills for real everyday people. What made me excited about reviewing this book was the description of it being perfect for a variety of people including new college grads. While I’m not quite there, I hope to have one of those in four years ( FOUR mister…did you hear that?!) but he will be moving out this fall and quasi living on his own.

We think we’ve made sure he won’t be the roommate who has science experiments growing under the bed, but it’s never too soon to start preparing  your child not to move back home with you and live on their own after you’ve put them through college please oh please let that happen!

What I loved about this book, in addition to Heather’s biting wit and snarky style, is the way she’s broken down household realities into manageable chunks. There are four sections, divided into several chapters each:
  • Clean It
  • Wash It
  • Fix It
  • Cook It
She takes you through each section starting with the basics of each, infusing reality and humor throughout. For example before you get started in the “Clean It” section, you need to take the following oath:
I solemnly swear to always read the label, test in an
inconspicuous area, not feed the mogwai* after midnight,
and never mix chemicals without research.
(The mogwai comment refers to the movie Gremlins). Scattered throughout the book are “ Dear Home Ec-101” letters and answers. I really hope my son doesn’t have to deal with this one from the Clean It section in a dorm or future apartment: 
Dear Home-Ec 101,
What is the best way to clean diarrhea off of carpet? I’ll spare you the exact details, but let’s just say it’s pretty heinous.

Poopy in Peewauket
I highlighted that one to show that there’s no cleaning question she doesn’t tackle!

In the Wash It section, I plan to have my son memorize chapter 9:
Odors: Rolling Down the Window Is Not Always an Option
Teenage boys SMELL. I only have one but I’m pretty sure he’s going to have a roommate. Double the smelly. Fortunately, we have taught him how to do laundry and he generally manages to remember before the underwear runs out. Usually. But still…he’s going to read this chapter!

The Fix It section is great for anyone from renters to new or veteran homeowners. When you’re just starting out you do not want to spend money you barely have on pricey service calls. Heather provides great tips on basic handy-person skills along with checklists of things every home should have. There are chapters on appliances, plumbing, repairing floors and walls ( “Throw Rugs And Posters Only Go So Far”) you name it. I haven't put the "D" in "DIY" as much as I'd like to, and there's ample information on that.

Finally, there’s the Cook It section ,because after you’ve done all that cleaning, washing and fixing, you’re going to be hungry! From terminology to utensils to reading and understanding a recipe, it’s all there starting with the chapter: “Burned Water? There’s Hope Yet”.  Heather sums it up this way:
While most young adults have a metabolism that can handle a diet of pizza and Mountain Dew, there comes a time when broccoli is a welcomed addition,and your colon will thank you.
There’s also great information I wish I’d had when we first got married about how to PROPERLY care for all those nice utensils and gadgets you tend to get as wedding presents. Let’s just say “live and learn”.

Whether you’re single, newly married, just starting out or continuing to learn how to do things, this book covers it all. It’s available from both and and I think I am going to include it in what I know will be a series of college graduation and wedding gifts in my future!

I was provided with a copy of "Home Ec-101" to review but the opinions expressed are my own. 


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a highly useful book! I'm pretty good with what I know about those categories, but you can always learn something new.

And don't completely count on the 4 years. After some planning, I discovered that it would take me 5 years to complete college: first because the English Teaching major is that complicated and then because I needed to get the Elementary Teaching major done. And yet, here I am, year 6, still waiting to graduate and get my Bachelor's degree. Good luck, college mom!

Christine said...

Nice review Carol! Sounds like a great addition to any young adult's bookshelf...

LuLu Kellogg said...

Great Review!

LOL @ "science projects growing under the bed...."......


Melissa said...

Sounds both funny and informative.

Unknown said...

uggs outlet
ugg canada
cheap jordan shoes
nike uk
cheap rolex watches
michael kors
coach outlet store
levis outlet
true religion sale
discount oakley sunglasses