Author: Cami Mills

A Dream Come True – Almost But Not Quite

“They accepted your offer.” Four words that opened a floodgate of emotions, hurried tasks and excitement. We have been thinking, praying, planning, and working toward this for at least 4 or 5 years now. The time is finally here! We finally have the homestead that we have been hoping for. To our surprise, our first offer for a new home was accepted. Everything has been going smoothly.


Almost Property - E. Jean Homestead


A Dream Come True – almost. This was the first paragraph of the blog post that never came to be.


I do not want to write a long, detailed poetic post about this situation. The summary is we were steps away from purchasing a property, it did not happen and we are all disappointed.


As we move forward from this experience, we have a new realtor that we are working with. We have learned lessons about the homebuying process. I am not over it. It still hurts. As more time passes, I find that the disappointment does not seem to improve. I am sure the reason for that is the fact that we are still on hunt for a new home. The housing market is competitive right now. Since this situation, we have made offers on four more houses that were all beat out by other offers.


There have been events in life that has left me in a state of disappointment. This event redefines disappointment for me.

Our AirBNB Farm Stay Experience

The fellas and I just returned home from an incredible adventure. We indulged in a little AirBNB farm stay experience. It turned out to be a great way to get away from home and have one last trip before Mini Human starts kindergarten next week. When we decided that we wanted to live a homesteading lifestyle, we made that decision having never experienced it first hand. This week we experienced it and we absolutely loved it.

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Make Your Own Vanilla Extract – 2 Ways!

After I learned how easy it is to make vanilla extract, I have never regret taking the little bit of time to make it to keep on hand. Vanilla extract is one of those pantry staples that is just always in our kitchen. When I started making an effort to eliminate processed foods by cooking from scratch, I gained an appreciation for the quality of ingredients used in cooking. The quality of individual ingredients in a simple meal could be the difference between delicious and blah. I don’t know about you but I want to strive for delicious every time! Homemade vanilla extract is delicious.

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Our Gingerbread Farm – The Decorations

Our gingerbread farm decorations evolved as we built it out. Although we planned the sizes of the structures to ensure everything would fit on our board, the decoration inspiration came as we saw and purchased items from the store. Thinking outside of the box while browsing the candy aisle at the grocery store was indeed the name of the game!

Husband and I put much of our time into the small details of the gingerbread build to make the scene as realistic as possible. While all of the materials are food items, we did not want a whimsical looking gingerbread house. That drove many of the decoration decisions. Let’s highlight a few of the decorations!


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Our Gingerbread Farm – The Basics

Our family has watched plenty of the gingerbread building and decorating contests on the food shows. I should not be surprised that editing makes gingerbread house building look easy, right? Personally, making my first gingerbread this year required more forethought than I initially expected. Determining sizes, materials and theme was my starting point. Many of our ideas came from searching the internet. We adapted what we found to fit our scale and plan.

Let’s explore the basic recipes and templates used for constructing the gingerbread farmhouse and barn. I encourage you to check out my previous post: My First Gingerbread House. 

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My First Gingerbread House


Building Gingerbread - E. Jean Homestead

Something like 6 or 7 years ago, my mother, sisters, Justin and I sat down for our first gingerbread house decorating competition. We had picked up some of those build your own gingerbread house kits from the store. The kits come with pre-baked house pieces, icing and different types of candy for decorations.

These kits were assembled, decorated and judged for the best looking . One year my mom was the judge. Another we left it to social media. There’s no better prize than bragging rights. It was always a fun time.

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Planning For A Future Farm

Farm Business Plan - E. Jean Homestead

Took a break from planning for a future farm and writing our business plan to write about writing a business plan…


I have previously mentioned our family’s desire to live a sustainable lifestyle, where we live on our land and grow as much of our own food as possible. Recently, Husband and I have decided that we do not want good clean food for just our family. We also want to help other families in our community to have good clean food for themselves. As a result, the homestead business plan has officially been started. We are officially planning for a future farm. In fact, much of the business plan is already finished.

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Herbal Baths for Self-Care

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, visit my disclosure page.

Having time and a space to calm your mind and relax your body is arguably one of the fundamental practices in self-care. Herb-infused water has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. In fact, herbal tea is among the first medicines used by humans. Herbs are rich in nutrients and beneficial compounds. Herbal baths are an effective way to utilize the medicinal benefits within herbs. After all, the skin is the largest organ of absorption.

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Is a USDA Rural Loan The Right Option?

Rural Loan - E. Jean Homestead


When we started considering our options for moving out of our current apartment and on to land to pursue our homestead dreams, we thought that we only had two options. We thought that our options were to buy with a traditional mortgage loan or buy with cash. It would take us quite a while to save a down payment for a traditional loan. Certainly, it would take us a short lifetime to save to pay in cash. The USDA Rural loan may be the option we are looking for.

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