I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Urban Farm Magazine

For most of us the dream of homesteading and sustainable living is overshadowed by the practicalities of our daily lives - needing a job to provide income and health insurance coupled with needing to live in a more urban/suburban area to access said job. As a lover of magazines (the library has most for free that you can check out!) on the subjects of sustainability, gardening, crafting, cooking, etc. I think a magazine tailored to the urban homesteader has been long overdue. Most people I know live in suburbs and need to try and navigate HOA's, neighbors, and most importantly to figure out how to use the time they do have for sustainable practices wisely. I've learned that you can't do everything. Sometimes you simply aren't allowed to based on HOA, city or county ordinances or neighbors who are aggravated by anything less than a perfectly groomed jade green lawn. Sometimes after working a job all day long, making dinner and dealing with children, homework, baths, and general household chores there isn't time to do much at all.

I bought the premier issue of Urban Farm magazine with low expectations but it was really packed with all sorts of useful ideas. It is worth a look for anyone interested in making some changes while also adhering to a suburban/urban standard of living. Unlike magazines like Grit and Mother Earth News, every article inside is applicable for us urbanites. Very cool!

Simple Stuffed Shells

This is a VERY simple recipe that is pulled together and cooked up in about 30-45 minutes.


1 box jumbo shells
1 jar marinara
1 large carton ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1 egg
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375.

While shells are cooking, mix together ricotta, egg, salt and pepper, 2 cups mozzarella. Drain shells and cool enough to handle. Fill shells (this recipe will fill about 20 shells) and nestle together in a greased 9"x13" pan. Cover in marinara and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top. Top that with the shredded Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling hot.


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