Homesteading like a City Girl: How to build a compost bin for around $5

So, about 2 weeks ago we bought a house. Hash tag adulting ya’ll! Anyway, we have plans for this little piece of earth of ours. Hubs wants to add solar, I’m getting a rain barrel and chickens are lined up for next spring. The garden has been planned but first we need a mower. We went from a second floor apartment to a two level house with an acre of land! Now I know for some an acre might not seem like a lot but for us it’s Gods country out here! And we love it!!

So one thing I really wanted to do was start full on composting so the garden will be good to go next spring. Why? Well one main reason is composting can remove 20-50% from your household waste. Like wow! Why wouldn’t you want to do it?

Now if you’ve never composted let me let you in on a few things.

  1. It doesn’t smell if done right. I know it seems counter intuitive to keep decomposing food on your counter, but, with a charcoal filter and adding only the right things there’s no smell at all. There are a lot of things you CAN add and a few you CANNOT.  I’ll break that down in a minute.
  2. It take little to no effort. You’re going to throw all that stuff away anyway just turn left to the counter instead of the garbage. By making it part of your routine I won’t notice the little extra work at all. I even got my 5 year old to do it for me.
  3. It’s safe. I had a friend tell me he heard compost bins catch on fire all the time. It’s just not true. With minimal effort it’s a completely safe practice. There are some things to consider when you are setting up your backyard bin. Again I’ll go into more detail in just a minute.

Let’s looks a little bit more into what you CAN compost:
Green and Brown composting.
Green compost refers to the the nitrogen-rich materials you should be adding to your compost pile. Things like grass clippings and kitchen scraps, plants and coffee grounds are all considered green compost. Brown compost refers to paper, leaves, straw, egg shells and tea bags. I tend to think of it as green for fresh and brown for dried. You want to try to keep a 4:1 browns (carbon) to greens (nitrogen) ratio for your compost pile. Currently I have waaaay too much green in my pile. But I will be fixing that by adding in some broken down cardboard, one it is no longer needed as a spaceship.

So what CAN’T you compost?
What to keep out of your compost bin:
Most things are ok to put in the bin but a few you really do what to keep out. One being cat and or dog (and other carnivores) waste. You could get sick from it. Their waste often contains microorganisms and parasites that you do not want to introduce to the crops you will be eating. Just saying… You will also want to avoid fish and meat scraps. You can use fish bones to help your garden grow, however, adding them into your compost pile might attract local wild life and cause a not so neighbor friendly smell. Most paper is totally fine, but glossy paper should be avoided since gain it won’t breakdown properly and could contain toxins you don’t want in your soil. Lastly ash from coal fires or charcoal-briquet fires should be avoided since they can make your soil too acidic, and that can harm your plant.

Setting up your backyard compost bin:
There are tons of different models and designs to chose from when it comes to compost bins. You *could* buy a $400 counter compost bin or a $90 tumbler bin. But if you just want to do you part to save the earth and save some of your own green, I would suggest getting a simple bin like mine. I have the Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin. Love it! Simple to use and clean. From there I built my own backyard compost bin for just about free! Heres what I did:


Find some pallets – I found 4 pallets for free from my local hardware store. Some places might charge you but most are happy to get rid of them. You will need 4 of roughly the same size. Be ready to lift. The ones I got were heavy and I carried them an acre to get them set up.

Get some zip ties – I bought a few zip ties for about $5 at a local store. These ones worked great. Plan on using 3 to make one loop.

Plan your area – Take a minute and think about where the best spot would be for your pile. I chose a spot a little out of the way. Not as much sun as I would like. But I have two curious boys, so out of the way was best. Plus I wanted it far enough from the house that if any critters did start digging around they wouldn’t be tempted to check out my fridge. You will also need to have enough air flow around your pile to help with the decomposition. Make sure the area can drain well and is relatively free of ground plants and vines.

Set up your bin – Take two pallets and tie them together. Tie one more pallet to create a U shape. For the last pallet attach one side and leave the other one open so you can get in to turn the pile.

That’s it! With a little care and some time you will have a great pile of gardening gold.


Just to touch on the concerns of composting. It is extremely rare for composts pile to catch fire on their own. They will generate heat and steam, but if you turn the pile from time to time there should be no issues. Practice good hygiene when dealing with compost. Don’t have a picnic on top of one and you should be fine.

Happy composting!!


3 free ways to invest in yourself and 1 that’s worth the money

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

We moved!! Like yesterday. Into a great new home. Huge yard (chickens here I come) more living space and friends in the area! This house is the total package for us. But there’s one thing about this house I’m the most excited about. It’s this one area. And the thing that makes it so special is that it’s for me. My space to workout. My space to write. My space to be.

This got me thinking about the importance of having your own space. No matter where you are in your life. As a mother I find it’s important to remind myself I’m more than just a mom. So here a little list of things I’m doing/setting myself up to do to keep my space. Both physically and mentally.

Meditation: Cost $0
Create a space that is your own. You don’t need a whole room for this. It can be a chair in the quite part of your home. Or a closet if you have children like mine. Spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing to help clear your mind. Set your intentions and focus on what kind of day you want to have. Then face the crazy awaiting you. If you would like to invest in some training to help you I suggest my friend Emily Aarons from Life Made Simple with Emily Aarons.

Working Out: Cost $0- $50
A walk cost nothing to do but can give you so much back in return. I know first hand there are about a million and one things you can spend you money on for work out gear. From yoga mats to full home gyms. But honestly you are enough. Read that again. You do not need to spend all your money to feel good. You also don’t need to be a size two. You do however need to be healthy to feel good. Think about your area and maybe plan out a walking/running route. Ask a friend to join if you need some accountability. I got an old treadmill from a family member to help me on days when I’m stuck at home with the boys or the weather is bad. I also have a yard. These things are great!! Lunges, planks, push-ups, you can do them all for free in your yard!! Don’t know what to do? Check out my Pinterest board for at home work outs

Claiming a Space: Cost $0 – $100
This can be a big one for some people. Often as a mother I like to make sure there’s a space for my kids, there’s a place for my husband, and that the fridge is full. After that I tend to not think about what I need. I don’t think about what is important to me. But as we are in a new house it’s the perfect time to stop and not only think about it but also do it! Here’s what my thought process was:

What do I want to do in this space? Well I want to be able to work out. I want to be able to blog/work.

What is the most important thing to make sure that happens? Having enough space for a treadmill and a desk. Having electricity and internet connections.

What would be nice to have in the space? Some natural light and the ability to keep an eye on the boys.

After that it comes down to implementing some style. Even if it doesn’t go with the rest of the house it’s ok. The idea is for it to be a space that when you are in it you enjoy it.

Healthy Choices: Cost $15-$70
So with all the changes in my life I started noticing, shall we say, issues with my health. Thankfully nothing serious, just digestive issues. It happens sometimes. Stress wreaks our bodies like my 2 year old wreaks a coloring books. Add in the unavoidable take out and excess coffee intake, I’m less then in my prime right now. So I decided to try Restore. Restore is a health supplement that helps strengthen your gut. I got to try to sinus spay, the travel bottle and the month supply. First honest reaction was it taste like pond water. Tempting I know. But I wanted to try this for two weeks for a few reasons. One, gut health is so important, 60-70% of our immune systems in our gut membranesystem! That’s a lot. The gut also creates 80% of our antibodies.

So when the stress of moving with two kids to an area I don’t really know with only one car stared to get to me, I thought hey couldn’t hurt. And it was weird, it didn’t. It actually helped. I noticed a change in my mood and my digestive issues seemed to subside. Well that’s win for me. Actually Restore was proven in lab studies and peer reviewed studies to protect the gut lining against the effects of gluten. I’ve been eating a lot of pizza.


So how does this magical bottle of not amazing tasting, but worth it stuff work? Well Restore strengthens the gut lining, which keeps chemicals and
fiber from escaping through that lining and getting out into the bloodstream, which the immune system would have to deal with. SCIENCE!

Check them out. And if you want to give them a try use the code B7X66JY. Code expires July 16, 2017