Making a house a home: BYU grads add LDS twist in new book


Budgeting, cooking and cleaning are all necessary tasks of daily life, so two authors decided to take on the challenge of finding a fun and effective way to do them in their new book.

Natalie Hollingshead and Elyssa Andrus, two BYU graduates who live in Utah County, wrote “Happy Homemaking: An LDS Girl’s Guide.”

Andrus described the book as “a best friend’s guide to homemaking, making crucial household tasks seem manageable and fun.”

Both Hollingshead and Andrus graduated from BYU with degrees in print journalism and have worked in the field of journalism. Using this experience, Hollingshead and Andrus interviewed more than a dozen experts on household tasks to create their book.

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The book uses graphics and a conversational tone to list effective ways to perform homemaking tasks such as laundry, budgeting or cooking.

Hollingshead described the book as “a modern homemaking manual with a LDS twist.” For example, the budgeting section of the book discusses tithing and fast offerings.

The idea for the book developed a few years ago, Andrus said. It was Christmas time, and she was making bread pudding to take to her in-laws.

“It turned out really pretty, and I was so proud of it,” Andrus said.

After taking the pan out of the oven, she set it on a hot stove burner and the pan exploded, spewing bread pudding everywhere.

“It looked like a crime scene,” Andrus said. After this incident, Andrus decided she needed to learn more about homemaking.

Andrus then talked to Hollingshead about her idea for the book. Hollingshead and Andrus are both working mothers and knew they would be able to use the skills  in the book themselves.

“Homemaking contributes overall to your family and your family life,” Hollingshead said. “It’s useful to put thought into how and why you do things every day.”

Tres Hatch, local chef and author of “Miracle Pill: 10 Truths to Healthy, Thin & Sexy,” said she found the information in the book useful.

“For me it was a lot of new information, and I’m a chef,” she said. “But the point of the book is that you don’t have to be a chef. You don’t have to have a big house or a lot of money or a degree in homemaking to have a really high quality of life at home.”

For more information on the book, visit

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