Hey there!  I'm Staci and together with my husband, ditched the city almost a decade ago to try our hand at a simple, homemade life in the country.  Around here we grow much of our own produce, cook almost every single meal from scratch, hang our laundry on the line to dry, and share a love of our home and land.

But our life wasn't always this way.

Over the last few years we've learned two important lessons - 
1. life is short so working hard to purchase lots of things - including larger homes and expensive cars isn't the life we want to live, and 
2. managing our money wisely provides an enormous amount of options for how we can live our life.  

In fact, it has allowed us to achieve a dream we thought would always remain a dream because of our moderate income - living & working on our small homestead.

Our Story
I wrote a more thorough post here if you would like to read it.  A quick overview is:  we were living the only life we'd known, knee-deep in debt and on the work-to-spend treadmill.  It was a life of excess that was becoming very unfulfilling and overwhelming.  I came across an article about the voluntary simplicity movement and it immediately resonated with me.  I didn't realize at the time that implementing it would take years, but I held it close to my heart as a lifestyle to continue to fight for and strive toward.

By 2012 I was suffering significant health issues due to long workday hours, high work-related stress, and poor eating.  I was working for a company that I struggled with and it was harming my quality of life.  My husband and I began to dream about someday working for ourselves, assuming it would remain just a dream.  Enter frugality, contentment, and the need for less.....

After some research I learned that by incorporating frugality and judicious money management into our life in addition to becoming much better stewards of what we had, we could spend less, work-to-save, and have a much greater quality of life.  This was completely opposite than the way I'd been raised.  My life until that point had been mindless consumerism with a focus on working to buy more and more.  The idea of simple living coupled with a new found term (for me) of contentedness was the game changer I needed.  It became the perfect anecdote to our drive for material perfection.

Over the next couple of years we learned to live below our means, do more with what we earned, desire less things, and, ultimately, become much healthier and happier in the process.  And it's been a process.

Next I learned to implement meal planning which enabled us to pay off all our consumer debt.  Debt that was holding us at our jobs and causing an enormous amount of stress.  I fought against meal planning because it felt too restrictive but in the end, it was a huge help.  And after paying off more than $10,000 in debt we were left with one: our mortgage.  We are now chipping away at that, planning to have it paid off 12-15 years early.  And an even bigger lesson we've learned is to live life without incurring any further debt.  A completely foreign concept to my former self.

While working outside the home we decided to begin a soap & skincare business.  We knew we would need to continue working our current jobs in addition to our new business in order to continue building a business without incurring any debt, but secretly hoped our business would take off allowing us to both work for ourselves.

A long story short, within a couple years of beginning the business it took off and allowed my husband to leave his career first and then I joined him 2 years later.  While working my corporate job I was incredibly stressed, unhappy, and burned out and had been too scared of leaving the security of a regular paycheck to quit.  And then one day I did just that.  And you know what?  I've truly never been happier.  It can be scary at times but our new life allows us to take time for ourselves, fosters lower stress and increased peace, and a mindset of gratitude.

Because we'd reduced our needs and, therefore, spending and focused on changing our mindset, we now live a life that we love every single day.

What You'll Find Here
I share bits about our home, our garden, chicken keeping with a flock of girls with big personalities, our simple frugal lifestyle, recipes for cooking from scratch, and natural living projects.  I share the ups and downs, the lessons we continue to learn, and our entirely new rhythm of life.

My mission is to inspire and empower you to build your own path for living a simple homemade life.  A life that allows you happiness and options beyond what you ever thought possible, regardless of whether or not homesteading is a part of that vision.

What if you could live a life that you love no matter your age?

This is YOUR life.  This is YOUR chance.

the loves of our life - Emerson (passed in 2019 and we miss him every single day) and Oliver

Where To Start
- Reading: Our story of how we Ditched The City, Moved To The Country, Quit Our Jobs and Began Homesteading Full Time.  You can also read posts on the home page - these are the most current things I've published.  Or, if you would like to read something specific, you can either use the search bar on the right-hand side, or browse the categories (listed on the menu bar above.

- Check out some of our most popular posts including:  
How We Paid Off Our Debt With Meal Planning,
How We Cut Our Grocery Bill In Half,
The Choice To Live Simply,
A Guide To Living A Simple Homemade Life,
9 Small Steps Toward Minimalism (from a former shopaholic),
23 Frugal Tips To Try This Year,
Real Food Made Simple: Making The Switch or
12 Things You Can Do To Change Your Life.

- Do you meal plan?  If not, or if it is a struggle for you, check out my easy peasy how-to posts.  Why should you meal plan?  Start with the 6 reasons EVERYONE should meal plan post (spoiler alert - this one tool allowed us to pay off our debt completely!) and The ULTIMATE Step-By-Step Beginner's Guide To Meal Planning

Enough about me, tell me about you!
Email me at CobbleHillFarmNY{at}Gmail{dot}com anytime.  I would love to hear from you.

Thank you so much for stopping by!!


Unknown said...

Absolutely love this.. With all the garbage that our eggs are filled with at the store..it's time to have my own Chickens. I have raised everything else...why not Chickens! LOL Anyway, this was so good to me because I have the same problem as you do... Called Winter. I live in Wisconsin and sometimes we can have very harsh winters. Your notes on the coop are wonderful and most appreciated. I also found you on Facebook and will continue to follow you. Thanks so much, Dee

Anonymous said...

We have the opposite here in Australia, the extreme heat. My girls seem to be managing well though, chickens are so wonderful and resilient. We are loving our fresh Davis eggs. We have just added two ducklings to the family, gorgeous.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much Dee and Vanessa! I'm so happy you found us. :)

We hope to add ducks to the mix someday too.

hensintheorchard.blogspot.com said...

Hi Staci
I think we are trying to achieve the same dream in different parts of the world. It's great fun but certainly hard work. Happy farming
Sarah x

Maggie said...

What a wonderful blog. I am from upstate/northern NY originally and get a hankering to go home every fall. I am also writing a novel that takes place in northern NY around dairy farm country in 1969. You would not happen to know of any farm journals turned into books, or farmer's gazettes, that type of thing, from northern NY in the 60s that might be useful for research, would you? Not having much luck with googling.
Thanks again for you lovely blog. Am subscribing now...

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Sarah - I think you're right!! So happy you found us.

Maggie - I'm sorry, I don't know of any periodicals/journals that may help. Sounds very interesting though - I bet it's a lot of fun to research!!

Anonymous said...

Just got my second email from you and want to encourage you to get a couple bee hives. Contact a local bee club and someone there will be happy to help you. Here is a site you might want to check out: http://adirondackbees.org. Beekeepers love to help newcomers! God bless you!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks Homer! Yes, we have definitely found plenty of beekeepers welcome us with all of our rookie questions. :)

attyharden@gmail.com said...

Hi Staci, thank you for such a wonderful blog! I am planning my first coop based on your design and had a question. When using the deep litter method, how high did you position your chicken door and what are its dimensions?

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much Leonard. Our door is 6 foot high by 29 inches wide. We left almost 2 inches for the litter but could easily have used 3 inches space. We clean all litter out 4 or more times a year and scoop it daily so it's not a true deep litter method.

Farmbrews said...

Hi! I just found your blog while searching out other hobby/micro farms. I love your posts, so many great ideas. I am originally from upstate New York (north of the ADKs :) ), but after some moving around, my fiance and I have landed in New Hampshire.

We are blogging about our experiences with our lambs, chickens, gardening, brewing beer, and local finds in Northern New England on www.farmbrews.blogspot.com

I look forward to reading more from you!

PapaDog said...

Love your blog and your chicken coop. It looks like your hubby covered the outside of the coop with rough-cut cedar siding. Did he use any finish on it to get that nice deep brown color or is it 100% natural aging?

Nice blog spot which I've bookmarked. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Your blog is so inspiring to me! I live on a 12 acre farm outside Austin, TX and I recently started growing vegetables and raising chickens. Your posts are so informative and the pictures are beautiful!

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much FarmBrews!!

Papadog - thank you for your comments! That is 100% aging on the outside of the coop. :)

Wild Sky Farm - good for you!! Thank you and welcome! :)

soggybottomflats said...

Hi Staci, great blog and honestly awesome pics!! I am intrigued with making my own Miso soup, lots of health problems related to diet, I need to develop better eating with fermentation, etc. What form of Miso do you buy and from where please? Thank you, Elaine