Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Blogging {Well, Almost…}


how to blog

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately…

…in regards to this whole blogging gig, so I figured I’d take you behind-the-scenes today and talk nuts-and-bolts about running a blog.

Now, I realize this topic may be horrifically boring to some of you, and if that’s the case, feel free to skip this post altogether. Or jump over to this week’s Homestead Barn Hop and peruse all the homesteading posts over there.

But if you are a bit of a blog-nerd like me, then grab that cup of coffee (or tea, or raw milk) and let’s get started!

My Story…

Sometimes I look back at my blogging journey and I don’t know how the heck I got here… As much as I’d like to say that I had the perfectly laid-out vision of what I wanted my blog to be before I started it, that’s simply not the case.

I started The Prairie Homestead on a whim. And honestly? I’m not even sure why… Although I suspect it had a lot to do with my need to share all that I was learning about natural lifestyles and whole foods at the time–and my friend’s and family’s eyeballs were starting to glaze over, so I figured I’d spew it all over the world wide web instead. ;)

Several months into my blogging journey, I realized that I could encourage folks everywhere that homesteading was possible–regardless of where they lived. That gave me a bit more of a direction, and my vision gradually grew into what it is today.

I’m not sure I’d recommend that people follow my exact path to “success” since it’s a pretty crazy one with a lot of detours. I’m sure there’s a faster way to do it, but I’m thankful for my unorthodox journey, since it taught me some priceless lessons along the way.… [Continue Reading]

What 2013 Taught Me and My Homestead Goals for 2014


homestead goals

Crazy.

If I had one word to describe 2013, that’d be it.

But I’m not complaining, because as you know, we rather like a bit of organized chaos around here.

I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about the last 365 days and thinking about what I learned, the mistakes I made, and the adventures I’ve had. And instead of keeping them to myself, I thought I’d share them with you (cuz that’s what bloggers do, after all) ;)

20 Lessons I Learned in 2013

1. Perfection is overrated.

2. Thou shalt not die if your house is not perfectly in order all the time…

3. If you are a homesteader, the summer months are not a good time to decide to write a research-heavy eBook.

4. But finishing that 200-page research-heavy eBook is the BEST FEELING EVER.

5. A good camera makes all the difference.

6. I am not naturally talented at gardening. In fact, my thumb seems to be getting browner as time goes by.

7. You can’t do it all.

bull snake

8. Finding a snake in your house is a good way to get your heart pumping.

9. Geese are mean, but definitely seem to deter snakes. (Except in the house…)

10. Water Kefir: If you have a bottle that’s been fermenting for a while, open it outside–pointed away from your face. And blueberry water kefir is not fun to clean off of your ceiling.

11. Having a wood stove in my house is even more awesome than I thought it would be.

12. If you are a one-year old boy, a toilet is the most fascinating item in the universe.

christmas1

13. It IS possible to mix up your own GMO-free chicken feed. Not easy, but possible.

14. God answers desperate pleas for rain.

15. And a torrential downpour after a year-long drought is so beautiful it will make you cry.… [Continue Reading]

8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House


small house living

I always used to feel like I had to defend my little farmhouse…

… when people would first walk through the door. No one ever seemed to notice all the neat things about my home; the hand-painted signs adorning the walls, the farmhouse antiques I had salvaged from yard sales, or my creative furniture arrangements…

They only seemed to want to talk about the size.

“Wow… this is… small.”

“So, are you going to build an addition soon?”

“How are you going to have more kids?”

Now honestly? Our house isn’t that small. It’s around 1100 square feet. I know of much larger families living in much smaller spaces.

But it is very representative of the houses built 100 years ago out here on the high plains of Wyoming. Resources were scarce, so the rooms are small and choppy and the stairs are so narrow that if you have big feet (like me) you kinda have to turn your foot sideways when you walk down the steps.

small space living

Is it functional? Absolutely. But my boxy little farmhouse is a far cry from many modern-day homes with sweeping living rooms and a bathroom attached to each bedroom.

But what started out five years ago as “I guess we’ll just make it work,” has turned into, “Hey… I actually kinda like this!

My insecurities have melted away and this quirky little 96-year old farm house has grown on me… A lot.

As of right now, I can confidently say that, not only am I content with living in a small space, but I’ve actually come to prefer it. Here’s why:

8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House

1. Little houses are more budget-friendly. 

Small spaces are cheaper to heat and cool, and usually have smaller electric bills as well.… [Continue Reading]

What Dishwashers, Blenders, and Washing Machines Have to do with Homesteading


Dishwasher after cleaning process

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t have a Dishwasher!

Earlier this week on my Facebook page, I casually shared a tip about how I use Lemon essential oil to keep my dishwasher from getting stinky, which I assumed would lead into a simple discussion about household cleaning and essential oils.

Imagine my shock when I popped over to the page to find folks expressing their displeasure at the fact that I have a dishwasher.

I sure didn’t see that one comin’.

So I’m clarifying a few things today.

I am a modern-homesteader, not a historical reenactor.

And as a modern-homesteader, it is my goal to weave as many old-fashioned skills as possible into my 2013 existence. I want to enjoy the best of both worlds.

As much as I like Little House on the Prairie, it is not my goal to emulate every single part of the book series.

I am thankful (yes, thankful!) for my washing machine and dishwasher. I personally do NOT think they detract from my goal of a wholesome, old-fashioned lifestyle in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I think they enhance it.

You see– while modern homesteading might be considered the “simple life,” it is not easy.

The workload I have from my garden, barn chores, milk cow, and from-scratch cooking is intense– especially when compared to the lifestyle of the average city-dweller who may or may not have to feed their goldfish before they plop down in front of the TV for the night.

Am I complaining? NO WAY!

But I’m also not Superwoman (sorry to disappoint you…), and trying to juggle the demands of homestead life while mothering two very small children and running a booming online business while  my husband works in town isn’t for the faint of heart.… [Continue Reading]