Simple Imperfection

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Seven years ago I started blogging as a hobby. I loved to write, I loved to save money, and I wanted to document our journey to the simpler life. It was fun. I would write when I felt inspired or when I felt like I had something worth saying. I’d share a little piece of my heart from me to you.

We didn’t have any kids yet so I didn’t have much to distract me. I loved writing what was real and what happened in my life. I didn’t care about what anyone else thought and I’d write fun little articles like this one where I made bread and cookies (with white flour…GASP). And I shared “Pictures from the Prairie“, and silly things like my first attempts at making soap. Then along came son #1. For a while it wasn’t so different. Other than the fact that I was tired, not much changed in my writing habits.

The blog started to grow and grow and I learned more about “other bloggers”. Being naive I thought the internet was big enough for everyone and that everyone had fun, creative things to add and to say. So I would write an article like….”The 10 Best Ways to ___” and the next week another blog would have “The 50 Best Ways to ____”. Seemed a little odd to me if we were all just writing to write and share our stories and experiences but no worries, I always have plenty of things to say so I kept on writing and pushed that all in the back of my mind. I guess I’m just not one of those competitive bloggers. I’m ok with that.

The competitiveness though….I could write all day about that! But instead, I will just tell you now; my garden has weeds in it, my house will never make it in the pages of a magazine, and I buy most of our clothing from thrift stores and rummage sales. It shows in my life, it shows in my blog pictures, and I just don’t mind…that’s life for me!

And along came all of the wonderful “offers”. You know when you begin reading a blog post and think it’s going to be amazing, just to find out that it’s a sales pitch? Yeah, I hate that too. I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to be “salesy” here on Little House Living. Yes, I do write the occasional sponsored post because, you know what? I need to feed my family and I’m not ashamed of that. Have I turned down hundreds of offers over the past few years to write about companies that I don’t agree with and would be awkward about writing about? Absolutely. If I feel like something is beneficial for me and for you, it’s ok, if not, I’m not going to sell out for the money.


Then as the blog grew, along came the comments. Comments that continually beat down my style of writing, my projects, my lifestyle, and even my family. I’ve grown some thick skin over the years but I can’t say that some of them still didn’t hurt and even if I promised myself to forever about them sometimes the thoughts would creep back into my mind when I was working on something….“Oh so-and-so doesn’t like it when I do this or say this or do it this way….” I shouldn’t have let those thoughts back in but sometimes things happen.

Then came baby #2 and a book deal. I still can’t believe I managed to blog and write a book all while saying home with 2 children ages 2 and under.

Don’t do that ok?

The book brought something back to my life…my passion for writing from my heart. Not writing to be better than the next blog or writing to be on a certain schedule or writing because I felt like I didn’t meet my quota for the month.

What was all that about anyways?

Now my husband has started a business, and if any of you that have ever been entrepreneurs you know that it’s not something you can do in your spare time, you have to work for 70 – 80+ hours a week and just keep praying that it takes off. Of course, in the meantime I’m promoting the book, still blogging, being a stay a home mom of 2 under the age of 4, and picking up extra work after the kids went to bed because we all know a new business doesn’t exactly pay the bills.

I was and am tired. Not just physically and mentally, but my heart got worn out. My passion for writing was gone and I missed it. My creativity went right out the window. I was totally burned out and I will confess….

I actually bought bread….I bought bread instead of making it.

Not because I didn’t have time, I just didn’t want to, I wanted to be a rebel. And you know what? The world didn’t stop.

Then I found a friend to help me with the blog for a while and I’m so thankful for what she did and does for me. I always have plenty of blog posts scheduled in my queue so I didn’t need to write for a while and I just handed over the reins for a few months on certain things and let other things slide for a while. I figured, the world wasn’t going to end if I didn’t spend every spare second I had blogging. And you know what?

It didn’t.

But I connected with my kids more, my creativity slowly came back, I sewed for fun, I baked for fun. I didn’t take pictures of anything besides moments I actually wanted to remember, and it was fantastic. My heart knew that this is exactly where I was supposed to be all along.


(After my creativity came back I made 25 busy bags for my kids…it was fun!)

Now I know what you are thinking about now (if I’ve managed to keep your attention through this long blog post!), IS SHE ABANDONING US???

Honestly I thought about my answer to that for a long time and I won’t lie, there were some nights (usually after a particularly nasty comment) where I told my husband that I was deleting my Facebook, not paying my next blog hosting bill, and forgetting about the whole thing. But then there is that nagging voice deep inside my heart…”you will NEVER stop writing” and that is the truth that I can’t deny. But that doesn’t mean that it will always be the same and I wanted you to know the details so you don’t spend your nights wondering where on earth I went off to. (Wow, I really hope you don’t do that anyways…)

Little House Living will still be here, always. Do you know how many articles are already on the site?? Hundreds and hundreds…probably over 1000…I can’t count that high (I write, I’m not a mathematician! j/k) 🙂 Plenty to keep you busy for a long time.

Oh and yeah….I have an awesome book that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already! I poured my heart into that book because as much as I would love to come to each and every one of your kitchens so we could just sit and chat and get to know each other…I just can’t, but if you have my book it will be kind of like that I hope. All you need to do is look at the book sitting on your shelf or (hopefully) open on your kitchen counter and know that I am there cheering you on and encouraging you, even from far away.

And in the meantime I will still be here blogging…maybe not on the latest topics that everyone else is carrying on about, maybe not perfect recipes, and probably not a lovely home decor tutorial where my house looks like a museum. Because you know what? I’m real and this is real life. I have a real family to take care of and they are my number 1 priority. After they are taken care of and I still have an article in my mind that just must be written, then it will get written. I’m personally looking forward to those articles because I know that writing with heart and passion behind it is the best kind of writing. That should be the kind of writing you want to see too, I hope. So make sure you check back often because you never know when the creative bug will hit me! Of course, I will still be sending out all new blog posts to our newsletter subscribers as well so that’s a great way to make sure you won’t miss a thing. You can sign up here.


(A massive butternut squash I grew in my garden last summer.)

I’m so appreciative for those of you that have stuck with me over the years. I know that this blog has gone through so many changes, just like me and my family have! And I hope you are looking forward to what the future has to bring. I know I am. 🙂


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  1. You are so lovely and this blog is fantastic. We are all here because of you and your wonderful way of writing. I have enjoyed this blog for several years and thank you for all you do. I also found your book in our local library and it is fabulous. SO happy you will keep doing what you do best!!!

  2. Ugh, it’s so sad that a person can put themselves out there, and the public recieves a free commodity, but some people still feel they have a right to judge and post cruel comments.

    You are a wonderful blogger. I have noticed your absence and figured it was due to having two young children. Thank you for all of your hard work, and thank you for living a simpler life and sharing your success with us.

    1. It’s funny what people think they can saw because they are hiding behind a computer screen isn’t it? My little ones do keep me very busy right now, and I’m loving every minute. 🙂

  3. Merissa, I just want to say how much I have enjoyed your blog and Facebook page even though I rarely comment. I’m old enough to be your mother and have grown children now. It was and is so nice to see a young woman of your generation learning and practicing the home arts and raising her children to value those things as well. You strike me as a very caring, creative, competent young woman who has her priorites in order. It is so refreshing to hear someone admit that their house is not picure perfect, that you have weeds in your garden, and I bet you’ve burned a meal or two alkng the way. ; ) You know what? So have I. Oh…and I also bought white bread this week and for the very same reasons you stated. My gardens need to weeded and I wish there was a magic wand to clean the bathroom. I am so sorry that people who hide behind their computer screens found it neccesary to rain their negative views on you. I think you are making the best decision for you and your family. When the kids are little we always look forward to that next milestone moment and then before you know it they are grown. Continue to cherish your time with them. We’ll still be here when or if you decide to write more and allow us a peak at your life. Take care.

    1. You understand perfectly Tricia! My babies are growing up so quickly and I know I won’t ever have this time with them again, and having a perfectly spotless house for blog pictures doesn’t do a thing to enrich their lives.

      Oh and speaking of burning meals, I happened to do just that for lunch today….and we ate most of it anyway! LOL

      Also…if you discover that magic wand to clean the bathroom PLEASE let me know 🙂

  4. I want to say I enjoy both your blog and book. While your “on the farm” life style isn’t for me and my family, I enjoy reading about it. I like to dig in the dirt, feed my family healthy meals, spend time with my 2 boys (who are also both under the age of 4) and live that simple life. I find all those things in your writing! So keep writing and I will keep reading.

  5. Hi, I’ve just recently found your blog an I love it!! I love what u blog about, your life an family, it’s real and honest. So pleased I’ve found you. Xx
    Ps I’ve also just ordered your book!! Xx

  6. I have enjoyed reading your blog for a few years now and have your book which is full of great stuff. The reason I enjoy reading what you write is because it is real and not some fake version of a life made up for a blog. Keep doing what you want to do, when you want to do it and don’t give any headspace to people who criticise you for that. If you need time out for family stuff that’s fine as that is your real life.

    By the way your video post showing us your garden was a great addition the other day.

    I look forward to your next post, whenever it is and whatever it is about.

  7. Oh dear, I’m so sorry those negative comments got you down. But I am so happy to hear that you are doing this for your family! I’ll be here whenever some creativity and passion strikes you to write some more. 🙂

  8. You were one of the first blogs I found several years ago while I was researching something. Yours is my go-to when I need a recipe for a mix or to make a personal care item. You introduced me to stockpiling and buying in bulk as a way to save money (I’ve saved hundred’s of dollars from Zaycon alone!). There are some very unhappy people out there that unfortunately, take it out on others. Please don’t let their negativity overshadow all the good you do and all the people you help. And to think you do all that just by being you and living your life. I will continue to read as long as you continue to write. And if you stop to focus on your family, than that is what you need to do. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  9. Thanks. Your honesty is wonderful. Just for those times when the negative comments pop into your head, there are those of us (me) who love your page, adore your book and are really grateful for your writing. I’ve made recipes from both blog and book, and have managed through some really lean times using your info and knowledge. I’m grateful and so happy I stumbled across your page with a random Google search. You have made a difference to my life and the lives of my kids. I look forward to your new posts, even when you’re writing about spring and I’m heading into winter. It gives me awesome ideas for the seasons to come. Thank-you.

  10. Don’t worry about negative comments, I don’t know why they have to do that. Only you can live your life so do it your way. You sound pretty awesome to me! Love your recipes too.

  11. There are precious few blogs I have not stopped following…precious FEW. Your blog is one of those. Why? Because it’s honest. Because it’s real. Because it’s ‘cozy’. Because I don’t read it thinking “I can never do this”. Your simplicity…your honesty…your genuineness are what keep me coming here. Why I follow you on Facebook.

    Comparing our gifts with those of others is the devil’s work tool. God does not gift us so that we can compare ourselves to others. He gifts us all in special ways so that we might share those gifts with others–that because we shared them, in some way–whether large or small–their life is made better. What may seem small to us may very well be everything to someone else. Exactly what they need at that very time!

    As for the negative comments, I’ve observed that there are those who need to feel empowered, and ripping others apart…tearing them down…judging them…mocking them…is the pitiful means they use to meet that need. Heck! Jesus Himself was mocked and judged and ridiculed.

    Use your gift as your heart leads you. Use your gift to serve others. Focus on those who are blessed by your offering. Perhaps we may not leave a comment (I never have that I know of), but you are helping others. Your simplicity and genuineness encourage me because I’m not intimidated into thinking I can’t do this or that (whatever you’re sharing). The only so-called perfection is the false image others project. Behind the masks they don are people like all the rest of us…imperfect, don’t-have-it-all-together people.

    Eagles soar. Turkeys don’t. Soar!!!!!!!

  12. You know I love what you write! I also support your lifestyle. As I have said MANY have done so much for someone so young!! Keep on and be happy..I will still be reading. God bless!!

  13. I really enjoy your blog and your writing and getting a glimpse into your family. I think you are great. Mean people are usually just people who are jealous and have their own issues. Take good care of you and I look forward to seeing more.

  14. I love your blog and things you post on Facebook and Instagram.
    Thank you for sharing so many wonderful things with us.
    I also love your book. We are just starting to get our place ready so we can have a garden and do so many of the things you do and talk about. I want to learn how to can. Want to have chickens. Pretty much we want to be self sufficient. With Gods help we will get there.
    Blessings to you and your family,

  15. I have been with you a long time. I for one want you to write about real things and be yourself. My house would never make it in a magazine either. I am real with real life struggles no fluff. Your book is one of my treasures I keep close. I think I have told you in the past it’s like having you right in the kitchen helping me make whatever. It’s just that easy to follow. I highly recommend anyone reading this comment to pick up the book if you don’t have it. You won’t be sorry.

  16. I have always loved your blog because of how real you are. Thanks for sharing some of your life with us. I have personally leaned a lot from you!

  17. Ugh. Those Negative Nancy’s ruin everything, don’t they?? 🙂 I just wanted to say that I am right there with you and it takes courage, strength and wisdom to decide to put your REAL life and your REAL relationships ahead of everything else. Cheers to you and may you encourage other bloggers to do the same!

  18. I rarely comment but I love reading what you write. I have pinned so many of your projects and recipe ideas because of the cozy simplicity of them. I’ll continue to read whenever you post! Thanks for what you share.

  19. Being a wife and mother are your number one jobs and priorities. You are doing what is right. Never forget that. I raised 6 kids and it is not an easy job. You have to do what is right for your family no matter what any one else thinks. You can’t expect to have a perfectly cleaned house, homemade meals, home baked bread and goodies all the time or sew your own clothes. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and definitely not enough energy. You are doing great. I love reading your Little House Posts. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Once upon a time I was posting to my three blogs daily. Pictures and all. Then I got sick and couldn’t and the world still turns. I didn’t realize how much they were taking from me. We do need to moderate our lives or as my Mama said, prioritize. You are a refreshing moment in my life. I appreciate you. Signed: imperfect, flawed fan from The Beautiful MS Gulf Coast

  21. I absolutely understand about horrible people that hide behind whatever wall they through their rocks from. In fact I just quit my professional job of over 30 years because of the toll it was taking on my soul. I left before I had nothing left. I’m glad you took a break and feel like coming back. Please don’t let the ill raised individuals win over what makes you feel whole. Besides where would I go to get amazing recipes like your zucchini relish? I can grow them like weeds and now I know what to do with them. I’m getting well and I hope so are you. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi – “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

  22. I’m so glad you’re not leaving the blogging world!! Your blog was one of the first ones I found when I began my frugal living journey. Seeing all of your homemade recipes and how simple your life is gave me inspiration and encouragement :). I look forward to your blog posts because I know I won’t be seeing the same old thing and I love how I can hear your voice and not the usual canned language in your posts.

  23. Love your blog, love your recipes, love reading about your home and family! It’s blog comfort food! 🙂 I also loved reading the adventures in an RV and how you made it work for your family. I’m thankful you “put it all out there” and hope you NEVER stop writing! Keep the faith!

  24. Thank you for your honesty. It’s so refreshing! I love the fact that you are not afraid to say your life is not perfect and your garden has (gasp!) weeds! That’s reality. I am sending you a big hug! You deserve it

  25. Marissa,
    I’ve been following your blog for less than a year. You have a beautiful soul and encourage us that it’s ok to still enjoy a simple life. No one will ever understand why people are cruel with their words. I believe that their critical comments somehow give them a false sense of comfort. Stay true to what you believe and remember that you have loads of supporters. Please keep the occasional simple recipes and homemaking tips flowing. Enjoy your summer! Amy from NC

  26. It is good to know one’s limits. Be sure to stay within yours to avoid burnout. Don’t worry – be happy! We’ll always be here and you’ll always be there. Remember that those folks who are unkind are unhappy and pity them. Rejoice in your simple life. Looking forward to the future.

  27. Marissa-I have been reading frugal living/money saving articles and blogs since before the Tightwad Gazette. There are many like yourself that get hate mail. Donna Freedman and J Money actually wrote about this very topic. I honestly think it is jealousy and nothing more than that. Just overlook them and remember that you have many, many wonderful people out here that look forward to your blog every week. Keep up the excellent work

  28. I love your book and your blog. I have no creative ability at all but love following simple home cooking and seeing what others are up to on the other side of the world. I am in New South Wales in Australia ,life is too short to always need to be better than the next person. My home is far from perfect and I don’t want it to be. Too much upkeep and pressure to have everything just so is not my cup of tea at all. I have a nine and a seven year old and both keep me more than busy enough. I don’t know how you manage to keep up with what you do except that you must love doing it. I have your book in Ebook and hard copy and looooove it. Keep up the awesome work you do. The thing about the nay Sayers I think is that they would like to be more like you but probably feel like they are stuck on the bigger is better treadmill and haven’t quite got the courage to get off it so need to comment in the negative to make themselves feel like their space on the World Wide Web is needed and necessary .

  29. Marissa,

    I, too, am old enough to be your mother. I love what you do here. Some days I don’t want to make my own anything! Cherishing those babies and your husband as much as you can when you can is what will carry you into the future. Those who think otherwise miss the life God gave us as mothers and wives. You are my role model!;-)

  30. I love your book and your newsletters , it’s about time there is a real down to earth person out there ! Keep up the great work!

  31. I am so thankful for you. And your friendship. Your heart is one of the biggest I know and I can’t wait to see how the Lord continues to use you to impact those near and far!


  32. I love your blog. It’s simplicity at it’s best, I think. I haven’t had an opportunity to read your book, it’s been checked out at my local library since they got a copy. 🙂 I hope to get an email soon that it’s in! Keep your chin up and don’t let others bring you down. I think what you’re doing with your life is inspiring. Thank you for allowing me a brief glimpse into your home and life.

    Have a wonderful summer and I hope your garden does so well that you can sell or give away what you can’t can or freeze!

    Kim Ralston

  33. Hello Marissa,
    One of the things I enjoy about your blog is that you are “Down to earth” I was drawn to the nostalgia as well. When I first saw your blog it brought back memories of my childhood with my Grandma. She taught me how to make homemade mixes, etc. and how to enjoy the simpler things in life. So, Thank You


  34. Love you Merissa! “You know who” comes to destroy, but God comes to give us life, and life more abundant! That’s what you’ve been doing, and I’m thankful.

  35. Hello Merissa, Simply put – Thank you for not giving up. I’m a late comer to your Blog (signed up November 2015) and have enjoyed every post I’ve had time to read. I’m not a farm girl nor do I have little ones to tend to everyday. However your Blog for me is a reminder that it’s okay to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life, no matter what that means to people individually. Again – Thank You

  36. Hello Melissa, what do you mean you can’t be superwoman? 😉 Well, coming from an older mom like me, I proud of you for discovering you can’t do it all and we all love your “realness” with your bloggers that care about you. You take as much time as you need because anything you have sent our way in a blog and your wonderful book, has been a blessing to us. I support you 100%. Hope you buy 7 loaves of bread and use the extra time recharging yourself with long quiet walks on the prairie, playing with your kids, relaxing with your husband, or whatever refreshes you. Your book is a refresher to me and I thank you for it. I encourage you to let the “haters” words have no power over you. What you blog is beautiful and enriching. Why people would have anything negative to say to you at all, is beyond me. God bless you and your family! Go, relax, put your feet up and eat bread from a bag. So many of us appreciate you and support you. Thanks for being real and wonderful.

  37. Hello Melissa–You probably have no idea how many people you have inspired through your blog. Many are lurkers, like me, and just don’t usually comment. But, YOU have given me motivation to try new recipes, crafts, simple things. I really enjoy reading and following you. Please do not let negative comments ruin your day. Those are just made by sad, lonely individuals. You are right on track with your priorities. Keep up the great work!!!

  38. Thanks for keeping it real. I just borrowed your book from the library and now it’s in my queue to buy it. I loved it so much. It’s going to be my new go to book for recipes.

  39. Hi my name is mary jo and I bought your book that I have really enjoyed.
    I didn’t know who you were but lots of things in your book looked inspirational. Not long ago I spent three winters and springs in Dillon,Montana so I have a feeling for your life. I was raised on a farm in Washington state. We had sixty head of cattle and raised our own hay and silage. I really miss Montana and being part of nature again. I did have a hint. When you have all your dry ingredients together use a whisk to really blend them together. I have made several of your mixes and every one really liked them. I even bought a crockpot

  40. Marissa, I realize this is a little older post by now, but wanted to share just a little something. Guess what. I don’t have kiddos at home anymore. We cook different things. Live in way different environments. And, probably do a good many things in completely different ways. That’s okay! I can still like your blog (& you of course.) I don’t need to attack and prove my way is better (as it probably isn’t.) I wonder what people who make such comments are trying to accomplish. It’s another idea. That’s what makes blogs great – there are so many ideas (& you have many great ones I might add) each person can pick and chose what might work best in his/her situation. I’m glad you’ve decided to continue writing. There are many readers out here who appreciate what you share:) Okay, that’s all.
    Keep well and a blessed Christmas to you and yours.