USDA Rural Loans


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.

A Simple Idea

Practical Ways To Be More Sustainable

Striving for self sufficiency naturally leads us toward a more sustainable lifestyle. In my previous post, Sustainability is Self Sufficiency, I discussed why living a more sustainable lifestyle is important. Through research, I have learned a number of useful suggestions that work for our family. While there is more to be learned, there is way more to be done. Let’s learn and do together, friends! Keep reading for a little more in depth look at the ideas of where we can begin.

A Goal

Sustainability is Self Sufficiency

Sustainability is a word that has been thrown around in the recent years. I hear it quite often nowadays. What exactly does sustainability mean? Why is it important? Most importantly, what exactly can we do to be more sustainable?

We cannot strive for sustainability without taking responsibility for a greater level of self-sufficiency. As my family strives to become more self sufficient, my definition of what that means developed largely from me learning about sustainability. The more self-sufficient we can be – the more we are able to meet our own needs, the easier it will be to live in a sustainable way.

A Bit of Science

The Science Behind Cleaning With Vinegar

I have heard about and read about how cleaning with vinegar is a natural option but never have I seen where someone cited actual research. My curiosity led me to do some research on the scientific proof of how effective cleaning with vinegar really is.

The internet is great because there are plenty of people out there willing to share their tips and tricks for every topic that you could think of. The internet is also great because you can educate yourself on subjects that have been researched and written about in scholarly journals.

A Natural Cleaner

Homemade Orange Vinegar Cleaner

Fresh orange juice is amazing! Since we bought our juicer, oranges are quickly becoming one of my favorite things to juice. When we make a bunch of orange juice, we have a bunch of orange peels. I hated throwing them away so I have found a great way to use up those orange peels. Orange vinegar cleaner is an easy, effective and natural option for the home.

Citrus peels contain a compound called limonene or d-limonene. Oranges contain the most limonene of any citrus fruit. Limonene is added to cleaning products for fragrance and its ability to dissolve oil.

10 Places

You Are Forgetting to Disinfect!

Every year going into the winter season we start to see a rise in the Flu virus. The combination of colder weather and less than perfect execution of hand washing best practices, inevitably increases people’s generosity of germ sharing. The need to disinfect commonly touched areas comes in second on my list of ways to stay healthy during the flu season. The first is, of course, hand washing.

I have compiled a list of places that you likely touch on a daily basis but unlikely disinfect regularly. Don’t worry…I am not being a Judgmental Jessie here! I am by no means perfect and actually came up with the list by thinking about all of the things that I don’t disinfect enough. A cleaning calendar may need to be in my future. Check out this list and see if there are any that you neglect also.

Household Cleaner

Alternative to Chemical Cleaners- Thieves

This month we are going all in with a natural all-purpose cleaner. We tried some samples of Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner before and really like it. So far, we have only used it in the kitchen. Now that we have more on hand, we can start to see how we like it in other areas of the house.

Switching to Thieves Household Cleaner aligns with the goals that we’ve set for our family. If you missed my post on our Four Goals to Simplify Life, be sure to check it out!

What Is Thieves Household Cleaners?

Thieves Household Cleaner is a naturally derived, plant-based multipurpose cleaning solution offered by Young Living. That is what I like about it. It fits what we are trying to accomplish. We want to replace the chemicals with more natural options.

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