Now You Tell Me

When I graduated from college, I last less than four months living back home when my parents and I looked at each other and said,


I needed to NOT live with them in order to get along with them.

My dad immediately begged and convinced sweet-talked my grandparents to let me fix-up and rent the little house they owned next door to their house.

The house was tiny–one bedroom, a living area, a kitchen, and half-bathroom, and a utility room that we added a shower stall to so I could be clean.

I know, I know.  This sounds so quaint and lovey for a young bachelorette.

In reality, while I was steam-cleaning the carpets, painting over the cigarette stains, and wiping out all remnants of old lady stink  (yes, a larger old lady with cats and a penchant for the nicotine lived there for a million years before me), I was told that the house was over 100 years old and actually started as two chicken coops that had been pushed together because an aunt was moving to the farm.

Excuse me, what?

From then on?  My living space was known as “The Chicken Coop.”

Anyway, I was 22 and living on my own.

And completely clueless.

I ate a lot of fast food.

I called Grandpa whenever something didn’t work.

I pushed furniture in front of things I thought were ugly.

Four years later, I got married and moved into a new build.  But I was not any smarter at planning meals, fixing stuff around the house, or just domestic things in general.

And now, seven years after that…after having a child and failing at these home-ec type things….NOW YOU TELL ME THERE IS HELP???

Where in the holy moses was this book when I was moving into The Chicken Coop?

Ok, yes, this book is all sorts of useful.  It will help you clean stuff you thought you couldn’t possible clean.  It will give you quick fix-it tips, and (my favorite), it has a meal-planning-for-dummies chapter.

It is like the Bible of all things Living On Your Own.

It should be handed out at college HIGH SCHOOL graduations.  It is that useful.

So now that we established that yes, it is totally useful?  I must tell you the best part.


Seriously.  Author Heather Solos not only walks the reader through things, but she cracks jokes the whole way.

It’s like having your best friend show you how to make chicken stock.  You learn, you are appreciative, and yet…you feel that someone is laughing at you just a bit.

It’s awesome.

Everyone needs this book.  Everyone.  So go buy it here.

Disclosure Stuff:  One2One Network provided me with a download of Home-Ec 101 for review, but my opinions are my own. And yes, the book link is an associated link.  I will get a teeny tiny small kickback if you purchase through that link.
About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. This is absolutely hysterically BRILLIANT!

  2. I loved your colorful description of the house and the remodel and the history! And yes, Heather Solos is amazing and her book is fantastic!!!

  3. I’m laughing because I mentioned in a recent post that a manual for different phases of our lives would be nice!

    I have a book with tips for the kitchen and cooking. It’s my kitchen bible. I definitely need to check this book out, too!

  4. That is so awesome! I would have loved to live in my own little chicken coop like that 😉

  5. I love Heather and her site and I know I’d love this book.

    And PS, even though I know you weren’t trying to paint a rosy picture of your post-college experience in that little house…I envy you anyway!

  6. I moved out at 19 and when my parents finished helping me unload my stuff, Daddy took me to Sears and bought me two screwdrivers and a hammer. And then Mama and Daddy left me standing in the middle of the Sears parking lot. On my own.

    (I mean, my car was in the parking lot too. I wasn’t stranded.)


    I wish I’d had this book to maybe, just maybe, tell me what I was supposed to DO with the two screwdrivers and a hammer. :/

  7. I love Heather. And right now a chicken coop sounds pretty darn fantastic. I would love a super old house. No, for real.

  8. The Chicken Coop sounds perfectly cozy.

    My first place, alone after college was the attic apartment in a three hundred year old house. That place was Creeptastic to say the least.

    • creeptastic. i like that.

      because who doesn’t want to live in a creeptastic attic apartment right after college.

      also? yay for made up words!

  9. JDaniel4's Mom says

    This sounds like a fun gift to give to young girls. I sure could have used it.