Currently: Fall Edition

Thinking… how fun it was to spend a day in Kansas City and how great it is to come home, though I’m not excited about the days worth of cleaning I now am behind on! I jumped on a plane Thursday morning (which is actually a lot of work when you live 4 hours from the airport), went to ChoppedCon on Friday, and left my hotel Saturday morning at 3am to catch a plane back home to my babies. This was my first conference that was exclusively for food bloggers and it was awesome. It was small and personal and filled with amazing people who have very similar dreams and passions as I do. Those kinds of circumstances foster so much excitement and inspiration. Bjork and Lindsey from Pinch of Yum were kind of the “main speakers” and most of the reason I went. I love their blog and am always so inspired by their income reports (if you haven’t seen them you need to check it out. You’ll be shocked at how much a couple of food bloggers are making! My goal is to make like a 6th of what they do!), plus their recipes are always awesome. You guys, there’s a really awkward picture of me on their blog today! Of course you’d have to know me to know that it’s me in the picture, but still, I’ll take it! I feel like I learned a lot but at the same time, I’d tell you that I’m already doing just about everything I’m “supposed to”. After writing about recipes for five years I know what I’m doing. Of course there’s always more, different, and better, but for now I’m really comfortable and happy where I’m at. I hope you feel the same.

This was the whole conference! Isn’t that fun!


It was so great to have a reason to dress up! Skinny jeans and cute flats for the win. The whole time I was getting ready I just kept thinking of the phrase “like putting lipstick on a pig”. Of course there was no real lipstick involved (heaven knows I have no idea how to wear that kind of thing.

kansas city

Feeling…excited for the weekend! Thomas and Baby have their golden birthdays this weekend! How fun is that? And how on earth is the baby already turning one?! I’m going to do a homemade donut party with fresh cider for them on Saturday night. Donuts and cider are both golden right?! It’ll be a low-key tasty party in the backyard with family… my kind of shindig.

Watching… my baby turn into a mobile funny little person. I’m just in awe of how quickly he’s changed from a chubby little newborn to a happy mini person who loves being outside, animals, and his siblings. Being allowed to watch my children grow is such a gift I’m grateful for.

baby paul and dad

Reading…all kinds of things. Reading is a winter activity in my life and it’s almost that time of year again! How did that happen?! My nightstand is always full but I’m in love with Carry On, Warrior which I’m continually reading. I actually finished the book while traveling this weekend, but plan to read it again right away. It’s a collection of essays so it’s easy to pick and choose from. I sat on the plane literally crying and then laughing out loud and then crying some more. I love this book so much and the business professional next to me on the plane didn’t know what to make of all that love. It has a bit of cussing in it and I don’t agree with all of her thoughts on religion and other social issues, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the true message of what she is saying. I highly recommend it. I think I’m going to buy a million copies for Christmas to give to all of my favorite women. Also on my nightstand that I’m hoping to start is The Storyteller and Love Does which were recommended to me.. Oh the simple joy of reading and learning. It’s the best isn’t it!

Screenshot 2014-10-27 10.06.09

Excited…that my ebook is DONE! I started on this project in January and it’s finally ready. I’m not sure what to do with it now. I assume I’ll do some kind of introduction post, but until then, here it is. Real Food for Real Families by Me. It’s all about my thoughts on real food, balance, and it includes a brand new 2 week meal plan including 10 recipes that have never made it onto the blog! They are tried and true and I’ve saved them just for the book. It’s $4.99 at the moment and I’ll probably up the price once January rolls around. This little button will allow you to purchase it and it should just be sent to your inbox (the book is in PDF format). Let me know what you think. I’m dying to get feedback! Buy Now Thank you thank you thank you too. I wrote it because I knew you would read it.

Missing… my new phone. I washed it with my sheets on Monday. I had had it for 3 weeks. It took the most beautiful pictures. Now I’m back to the old phone with the busted screen that rarely works trying to decide if I can fork over the dollars for a second new-to-me phone. First world problems.

Wondering… If I could bug you for prayer requests. My faith isn’t something that comes up much on the blog. That part of me is quiet and tender and real. But know I consider myself a woman of strong faith. I believe in the power of pray and I believe in miracles. I’ve been both things in my life. I was wonder if you could add a few people who I love to your prayer list. My Aunt Mary is fighting leukemia, my cousin is in her second round of brain cancer (she’s only 8!), and a dear friend from home, Amber, just found out she has color cancer. This too, is her second round with cancer, she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24 (10 years ago). This time around she has a husband and two young kids to support her, but also to worry about. So if you are the praying type, Mary, Christina, and Amber could all use your prayers. Thank you for letting me ask that. It matters so much to me.


Working… on canning all the things. This week was grape juice and jelly, carrots and pumpkin purée from the garden and turkey stock. The season is winding down and I’m excited for a break and looking forward to eating all the summer bounty in a bottle.

Stressed… about Halloween sewing! I normally get that kind of thing done in like September. I tried to make a bubble skirt for Macey, who is going to be a witch, but it turned out really weird. I’m not sure if it was me or the material but it’s not going to work. So now I need to decide if I’m going to try to save the bubble skirt or just try something different with the same material. Time will tell, but man there isn’t much time left.

self portrait

Proud…of Thomas and I. We work 12 to 16 hours a day trying to open hardware store, work from home, run an Etsy shop, and Thomas is still a part-time Engineer. We work like crazy people because we are working towards our goals and dreams. I know that I’ve said this before but it’s still ringing so true in my soul – we are working towards our dreams and not someone else’s, there’s so much power in that realization. It’s hard, consuming, and demanding, but in the end it’s what we have chosen to spend our time doing and it’s how we support our family… by doing things we believe in and love.

I walked about a mile to the conference from my hotel on Friday and happened to pass Planters Seed Co. which is a gorgeous old hardware, seed, and spice store right in the middle of the city. Of course I had to go in and look around and it made my heart so full. This family had worked hard and now, almost 80 years later, their dream was still alive and well. It was worn and loved and real. Sometimes I think about our lives in 50 years and marvel at the possibilities. I was a lot jealous of the scale they still use at Planters and am on the hunt for one on Ebay now. Our hardware store needs it!

kansas city2

Wishing… we knew what the perfect house for us would be. As winter is approaching it’s time to start making some decisions and plans for the house we plan to build at our new farm. We assume that we’ll live in this house for the rest of our lives, so it better be what we want and what we need! That’s so intimidating though because life changes and evolves but the house won’t. We’ve been pouring over design books, chatting with my mom (who drafted blue prints in her past life before the dawn of AutoCad and has an amazing eye for flow and layout), and of course pinterest is ever helpful (here’s my dream house board and my dream kitchen board if you are interested!). It’s a fun but overwhelming process!


Eating… homemade sausage gravy and biscuits. This treat from my childhood was made even more delicious by using fresh sausage we just got from this years pig! Our pig lived at my sister-in-law’s house with my niece’s fair pigs (they do better when they have other pigs to live with). I paid them $371 for the piglet and for about 6 months worth of feed. I paid a friend and her husband, who own a nice little meat shop in the next town over, $133 to go to my sister-in-law’s house to slaughter the pig, to take it to their shop, and to process, cut, wrap, and quick freeze the meat. I ended up with 153 pounds of pork for the freezer which put me at $3.29 a pound for sausage, chops, ribs, and roasts. That’s an awesome price for high quality meat from an animal that I know lead a healthy happy life. In the future we want to pasture raise pigs which is supposed to be even healthier meat and the price should be even lower. I love being in charge of providing our own food!

Drinking… warm grape juice fresh from the steamer, apple cider from my own apples, and caffeine-free apple cinnamon tea. Fall is such a great time in the beverage department, is it not?!

Loving…your love, support, kindness, emails, messages, and sincere words. You are why I am here. Thank you for being here too.

cedar mountain 2

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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My heart is breaking for your sick friends and family. I’ll be thinking of and praying for them. On a lighter note, what gorgeous photos and awesome things are going on in your life. You guys are the hardest workers I know and I’m so glad you’re getting to see some fruits of your loooooong labors:)

You are amazing, kind, and generous! Love you lots and thanks for the added prayers on my behalf!

Melissa, I so wish we would have had more time to chat on Friday evening! I didn’t want to leave the fun early, but a 3-hour drive was ahead. I had the best time at ChoppedCon! It was my first blogger conference ever, and I’m so glad it was. Super low-key and warm. Everyone was so kind, including you!

Lots of life updates for you! I’ll certainly be keeping your loved ones in my thoughts. Cancer stinks.

Melissa, I didn’t get a chance to meet you at the conference, but I absolutely love your blog. You (and your family) will be in my prayers.

Just remember, just as it is baby’s first birthday, it is also mommy’s first birthday, after all you were there too! Happy first birthday to you both!

Love reading this, new to here. i said prayers for the ones mentioned, i also believe in the power of prayer, it changes things. will order your book for certain:)

I will pray for your Aunt Mary, cousin Christina, and dear friend Amber. I’m catholic so I will ask St. Peregrine to intercede. He is the patron Saint of cancer patients.

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.