Budget, Decluttering and Simplifying, Gettin' Those Ducks in a Row, Readings, The Piggy Bank

Why I Decluttered My Phone

Wedding Photo Credit: Devon Garton Photography

After reading the books Grace Not Perfection and A Simplified Life last December, I simplified many areas of my life, including my phone. Those bookss were my inspiration to find peace in simplification. However, this past month, of the biggest distractions I’ve had to being productive, to spending true quality time with my family and to getting all my homesteady reading accomplished, has been my phone. I find that I’m frustrated with myself for allowing this to happen again.

Even though I once again found my phone cluttered with apps that aren’t necessary, I still had used the principles I’d learned from the books when installing them. This included turning off notifications and moving necessary apps I did not frequently use away from the home screen. I turned off notifications for everything but phone calls and texts, and Emily Ley even recommends turning off texts too!

The biggest time suck? Farmville 2. Ya’ll, for a homesteader that doesn’t have her homestead established yet that game is addicting. Yes, I know it’s not accurate at all and there are many other more productive things I could be doing, but that didn’t stop me from playing while walking around in the yard with my husband and our pups just yesterday. I have never been that person before. And I didn’t like it.

So I changed it. My tech was starting to take away from my family time and my productivity. Today, before writing this article, I went through my phone and carefully dissected each app. Do I use it often? Do I actually need to use it often?

The first thing that went was Farmville. Next, I found myself with 6 photo apps, when I only use the camera and 3 others from time to time. So the extras were quickly trashed. There were more shopping apps on my phone than I’ve ever had as well. Not only are we building a house and need to save money, but I also only use Amazon and Ebates regularly. So out the others went.

Wedding Photo Credit: Devon Garton Photography

So on and so forth I went until all the fluff was gone. I even deleted my payment information from Amazon to make it less convenient to purchase items I may not need. Things with frequent little red notification bubbles (even though alerts were turned off) went to the third page where I could no longer see them. Yes, that’s right, I said THIRD. Third, because I put all the apps I use daily, or at least weekly, on the second page.

My home page? It is reserved for me to rotate favorite photos of my husband and I. It is reserved for what should be most important, and what I’m going to make sure is.

Wedding Photo Credit: Devon Garton Photography
Flower Garden, Green Thumb, Saving Money, The Piggy Bank, Vegetable and Herb

Turning Garbage into Gold

You know that stinky trash can or garbage disposal you have in your kitchen? What If I told you all that stinky garbage could be turned into gold? Or at least something pretty close to it in a homesteader or farmer’s eyes.

I’m talking about composting folks.

Our modern society is an expert at creating waste; our eyes are too big for our stomachs, we are materialistic and we buy and toss things quicker than the trash truck can remove them. So much of that waste could be used to make something that gives life. So why not turn the waste into something better?

Each time we food prep, each time we have leftovers, each time a fruit or vegetable goes bad it goes into a bucket. Every day that bucket is taken outside and dumped into a 4’x4′ metal basket. And do you know what is trickling out of the bottom of that metal basket? Gold.

There are also other “wastes” you could put in your gold making bin. I’m talking poop folks. Chicken, horse and cow manure specifically. All are great additives to a compost pile or bin and help the waste break down into fertilized soil quicker.

To help your compost further, it is important to keep it wet and turn it frequently. Our current metal basket system makes this a difficult task though. We are eventually going to make a new composting system, which I will share on here when finished, that can be managed easier. I would prefer to have something that I can continuously turn so that the compost turns to usable soil more quickly.

To sum up… the things that we add to our compost bins:

-Chicken manure

-Cow Manure

-Horse Manure

-Vegetable Scraps

-Fruit Scraps

-Egg Sells

-Coffee Grinds

-Tea Bags


-Newspaper-in small pieces

-Old Animal bedding

-Wood Ash


I’m sure there are other things out there we can toss in (I definitely need to do more research on the topic), but here’s a start. The possibilities are endless. AND you get free fertilized garden soil out of the deal!

A Piece of Work, Do It Yourself, Gifts, The Piggy Bank

Grow with Love

Photo By: Devon Garton Photography

Almost everything about our wedding was DIY and centered around nature. We both love being outdoors, love living in the country and attempt to participate in practices that limit our footprint on this world. So what better gift to give our guests than something to grow?

Initially I’d thought of giving small starts of my own African Violets. However, that was a bit time intensive and would be a bit more costly since we’d need pots. Given the fact that we were also trying to keep the wedding costs down, I preferred not to do that.

So I decided upon seeds. But what seeds? Daisies are my favorite flower and would be the centerpiece of the bouquets, not to mention they grow easily. So they were the clear choice. Now I just had to decide on a cute saying. I searched Pinterest, but didn’t find anything that I loved.

So I came up with my own. “Grow with Love.”

The next step was to actually create it. I already had an HP 4500 printer, which would work for the project. So, I only needed ink, seed packets and the seed. Oh and of course, a design. So I whipped one up. Painstakingly whipped one up, I should say, as I used trial and error to find out how to get all aspects perfectly centered when it actually printed on the packet.

The supplies I used for my project, are as follows:

Daisy Seeds-3

Blank Seed Envelopes -3


Seed Packets for Favors Free with Subscription (enable editing)

After I printed off all my envelopes, my mother and I funneled 1/2 oz of seeds into each envelope. We prepared 100 packets and still had a large amount of seed left over. In fact, 3 years later, we STILL have seed left over, including one whole 1/2 lb package that had never been opened. This should give you a vague idea of how many packets you could make with this particular amount of seed.

For final touches, we placed them on the guest book table at our wedding in a cute little galvanized bucket. I think the turned out pretty great, even if I do say so myself.