Yes, I am still alive…
March 28

Howdy!  I’ve been so busy the last few months making new and exciting products to include in my line of handcrafted beauty and bath products.  If your interested in the lotions and potions I make with the amazing peppermint that we grow here on the farm, visit my Etsy shop Oregon Mint Girl!

I’m working on getting additional products and photos up on the site, so if you don’t see one of your favorites in my listings, just shoot me an e-mail order!


Grocery Budget Challenge
June 25

A few weeks ago on Facebook, somebody posted this.

Fast Food

At first I was irritated. Then I was disgusted. Finally, I was irate.  Are there really people that believe this garbage?  So I commented and obviously what followed was a somewhat heated exchange between two of us who were absolutely horrified at the ridiculousness of this statement and a few others who were defending the statement.  Now don’t get me wrong, we have definitely been through the drive-thru window at times, but my personal opinion is that American kids and adults are obese because people simply are not taking the time to prepare their families healthy and affordable meals.  Yes, even for “busy” families on the go.  I mean seriously. It takes the same amount of time to sit in line at a drive thru as it does to whip up a quick sandwich, fill up a bottle of water and put it in a lunch sack with a piece of fruit.  And if you have to go to fast food, who says you have to buy a bottle of water? Ask for a CUP of water…it’s free! Oh… here’s another idea…have your kid make his/her own sack lunch if you’re too busy!

One opposing opinion on this particular thread was that healthy foods are just so expensive and that families on a budget just can’t afford to eat healthy. Another person posted that they knew a single man who had a meager budget of $176 per month to feed himself and that it was nearly impossible for him to eat healthfully with that little to spend. What? Were these people for real?  So I shared a couple of links showing some price comparisons between one fast food meal for a family of 4 and a homemade meal showing clearly that a healthier homemade meal was cost comparable or even less expensive. Yikes! Did that strike a nerve.  I got my ass handed to me by one person! Here’s where I’m at…eat what you want, but blaming obesity on the cost of food is just plain lazy in my current view.


But, I perhaps I AM naive. I am fortunate enough to not have to have a grocery budget but I also don’t go to the store and go crazy buying everything on the shelves either.  I almost never shop in the inner isles where most of the “cheaper” processed foods are kept but I am certain that I could easily feed myself tons of delicious, fresh and healthy meals on $176 a month. And sure, there’s always going to be someone who has a “special circumstance” when it comes to grocery shopping and cooking for themselves, but I’m talking about an average, able bodied, of normal intelligence person here. No excuses.

Sooooooo…just to prove to myself (and anonymous Facebook person) that I am not completely diluted and idiotic I decided to do my own grocery challenge in July. $400 for my family of 3 ($176 for each adult and a little extra for the child who eats nothing). I’ve been online checking out lots of folks who have done similar challenges. One family did a challenge for $170 for the ENTIRE MONTH! Wow. They did theirs by raiding their pantry and the back of their freezers for “forgotten” food and supplemented it with their $170. So Smart!

I’ve decided to design my challenge similarly, but I want to see how it is to have to start from scratch because I know a lot of people don’t have freezers or pantries full of forgotten food. One of the goals I have for my household is to make it a center of production, not consumption, therefore, I will use what’s already in my pantry and freezer and deduct from my budget what I would have spent at the grocery store.  And it HAS to be primarily lean meats, vegetables & fruits, and whole grains. No Wonder Bread for us.

So here goes! Starting July 1 I’ve got $400 in cash only to spend for the entire month. And I will take the debit card out of my wallet so I don’t cheat. I’m not gonna lie…I’m kind of excited for this! See you next week for an update!






If it weren't for those damn telephone poles...

Time to Refocus
May 29

So I fell off the blog wagon already. To be honest, I just really haven’t had anything that was worthy of sharing this past month. And to be real honest, no time. The month of May is insanity for parents with end of year activities, field trips, summer prep, yada yada yada. But to be fair to myself and you, I have been thinking a lot about it and what my intentions were when I wanted to start a blog, and what the reality of the amount of work and dedication it takes.

I guess the reality for me is that I love reading blogs about crafting a fooding and entertaining. Do I do those things that I read about? YES! And I’m pretty good at it, too. Do I have time to sit and blog about those things, too? Nope, it turns out. I also don’t necessarily have a particularly new or interesting point of view to offer on most of those topics, which kind of sucks to admit, but it’s true. I suppose what I’m getting at is that trying to do too much of too many things is 100% against what I was trying to do when I quit my job to become a full time Farm Girl last summer. So what exactly was I striving for, you ask?  This…

1. A simpler, less complicated and more humble life. To have more time to devote to taking care of my family and myself.

2. To foster a real connection to this amazing farm land that I am really privileged to be a part of.

3. To make my home a center of production, not consumption.

4. 1-3…with flair!

So out with the superficial stuff and in with the real stuff. Time to refocus.

I’ll be deleting some categories and adding new ones. I’ll be less worried about just throwing something out there for the sake of putting something up and more worried about putting up something that is useful and meaningful, with the heart of it being the journey to create the life I’ve been dreaming of.

Here goes…

If it weren't for those damn telephone poles...

If it weren’t for those damn telephone poles…




Retro Table Restyle
April 18

So I really love old stuff. Jars, vases, trunks, dishes, folk art, so on and so forth. Oddly enough, though, don’t really like old furniture. At least not for my house.But when I came across this gem for $1 at a recent estate sale, I immediately saw the potential in it and knew it was exactly what I’d been looking for to go in our newly finished basement media room/bar.
I’m sure your face was the same as Farmer’s when he saw it. I told him my vision. He was skeptical. So I really had something to prove.

I wanted the frame to match some of the metal work on the exposed beams we have so I chose the black enamel spray paint. And for some reason I already had 3 cans of ivory satin spray paint laying around so that’s what I landed on.
I made sure to clean it up and wipe it down really well, because you know, sometimes old crap from yard sales sometimes has gross stuff on it. Like spider baby nurseries. Sick.

On a well covered area on my back porch I turned it upside down and began spraying – make sure to stay several inches away and spray in evenly as I went around the frame making sure to get all the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, with such a small area to spray, a lot of paint ended up floating away. That’s why I always make sure to spray standing up wind.

While I was waiting for the bottom side of the frame to dry, I started on the table surfaces with the ivory satin. I’m not going to lie. I wasn’t thrilled with it. I’m not sure if it was the brand of paint or the satin finish, but it didn’t really cover all that easily and I had to use A LOT of paint to get it to cover evenly. Serious hand crampage occurred. It also took forever to dry.

Once it completely dried I placed the trays back on the frame (I forgot to mention that they were not attached so that was super handy). It looked fabulous! But it was missing a little something. So I came up with a genious idea and headed down to my local craft store to have Darcy print me up some vinyl lettering.

The font was perfect but just a spaced to far apart for what I had in mind so I cut out each letter individually so I could stick them on closer together.

Having never used this stuff, I learned that it is awesomely easy as long as you have something to help keep the lettering straight. I was able to use the lip of the tray to line up the letters so they were perfectly straight.




The lettering stuck very nicely to the surface with just a light rubbing.

I had already done the #hello on the top tray just to make sure that the lettering stuck and that my lettering placement was going to be correct (before I took pics) so I was done!

I’m kinda in love.


Who would’ve thought I could have a table this cute for just $23? Here’s the cost break down:
Table $1
3 cans Spray Paint: $12
Custom Vinyl Lettering: $ 10

I hope this inspires you to get creative, too, because I for one can’t wait for the next one.


French Country Sunday Dinner
April 1

For Christmas 2013 I was stumped for creative gift ideas for my parents and in-laws because I am sooooooo over buying stuff. So I came up with the idea to buy them each a case of wine and treat them to a home cooked gourmet dinner one Sunday per month. They each bring a wine from their case that pairs with the dinner I am serving. It was so well received that I basically got brow beat into doing it again this year. I will say its a lot of fun but a lot of work, too. I really enjoy being able to practice some more advanced cooking skills as well as creating a beautiful dining atmosphere. It’s putting effort into the little details that means the most to me.

I hadn’t planned on sharing about this latest dinner, but as the evening came together on Sunday it ended up being one of my favorites. I didn’t take any meal prep photos or notes. The photos are from my phone. Unstaged and unfiltered. But it was such a lovely evening that I just wanted to show how easy it is to turn an ordinary dinner into a really lovely experience by adding just a few thought out details. Again, this was all unstaged and photographed in real life so please disregard some of the background faux pas.

I love setting up little areas for beverage self service. A beautiful glass bottle for the wine and some fresh flowers in a vintage vase set the stage for the French country theme.

Random appearance of free range chickens also adds to the country ambiance, but those are probably harder to come by for most folks.

We got this adorable, handmade, navy and yellow floral picnic linens for our wedding almost 11 years ago. We don’t do a lot of picnicking but they sure came in handy to to add a little color and texture to the tablescape. They matched the daffodil and white tulip centerpieces (in vintage milk glass frogs) perfectly. I didn’t have enough matching napkins so I just alternated with accent green napkins. Which just happened to match the super cute yellow and lime chair cushions I got from Tuesday Morning a few weeks ago. Can I just say how freaking awesome that place is. If you’re into nice but inexpensive home decor and haven’t ever been there, I recommend you get there ASAP.


I’m a huge fan of a beautifully presented cheese plate. I kept it simple and elegant and served it on a cake stand – Brie cheese, grapes, cured meats and freshly baked bread with pomegranate paste. I could easily eat just these for dinner any day.

I slow cooked Beef Bourgiugnon for the main course and served over rustic mashed potatoes with a side of French cut green beans. The recipe is perfect as is and I didn’t change a thing except I used 2lbs of meat instead of the 3lbs it called for. There was plenty for 7 people with lots leftover, too.

For dessert, I prepared a Ghirardelli chocolate mousse and topped it with homemade whipped cream. Like I said, I didn’t plan on blogging about this so there are no photos, but trust me, it was To.Die.For. Click here for the recipe.

I hope this inspires you to add a few special touches to your next family dinner. I know my family loves it and I’m sure yours will too.



Farm Girls Need Style, Too.
March 19

Who doesn’t get to the point where they just want to literally get rid of every piece of clothing they own and start completely over. That’s exactly where I am right now. After 8 months of being on the farm full time I am still trying to replace my old work wardrobe, full of fabulous high heels and dry clean only dresses, with more functional, farm-girl- appropriate-yet-cool clothes. And when I say functional, I don’t mean stuff like Crocs (gagging) or Carhartt overalls (super functional but NOT at all cool.) I mean just really wearable, good looking clothing with a purpose other than just being pretty (which I am still a huge fan of).

Here are a few pieces that I am really excited to add to my wardrobe this spring. Click on the pics to go to connect to buying sources.


AG Piper Patchwork Jeans

Get these pants on my body now.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  AG Jeans and these are so cuuuuuuute and farmy, right?  I have several pairs of AG’s that feel like I’m wearing pajamas. BTW…am I the only one happy to see way fewer skinny jeans out right now? Thank gawd.


Bed Stu Lita Oxfords

I’ve been dying for an awesome pair of worn looking oxfords and here they are. Totally wearing these with the Piper jeans, rolled cropped jeans and denim cutoffs all. summer. long.

Draped Sweater

Cashmere Draped Cardigan

You can never have enough drapey sweaters in my opinion, especially in eastern Oregon.  For some reason they look cool with just about anything. And if you’re like me and always a bit chilly, even when it’s 80 degrees outside, this is always what I go to for that extra little layer. It’s like a little blankie with arm holes.


Project Social Sunflower T

I am huge fan of rayon blend tee shirts. They hang well and just look, well, nicer. Casual without looking sloppy. They take slightly more laundering care but totally worth it.

denim skirt

Pilcro Distressed Denim Midi Skirt

Holy crap am I obsessed with this skirt or what? It’s the perfect length for someone of “my age” and modest without being sister wifey. I could wear this every day and maybe I just will.









Mint Oil

Junior Mints and Other Minty Wonders of the World
March 12

I’m sure most people don’t open up their box of Junior Mints at the movie theater and wonder where that ridiculously gooey minty deliciousness comes from. And with Girl Scout Cookie Season in full swing, who is pondering the origins of that magically addictive cookie that could have only been born from a GS troop witch craft project, The Thin Mint. (Well played, witches, well played).

Well, that mint comes from our farm. Or at least some of it. Probably. Maybe. Farmer B grows peppermint on our eastern Oregon farm (amongst a few other crops including grass seed, wheat, oats & alfalfa) and is the producer of some of the country’s finest peppermint oil. It is used in internationally known brands of toothpaste (rhymes with Smolgate) and chewing gum (rhymes with Quigley’s). I am very proud.


Photo Courtesy of Wild Flavors.

So besides being a crazy delicious addition to chocolate, as well as its use in breath freshening products, there are tons of really cool (pun intended) uses for peppermint oil in your day to day life that you probably never would have guessed.  Although there are dozens of uses and more being studied all the time, here are my top reasons why everyone should have a bottle of peppermint oil in their kitchen/bathroom:

1. Respiratory Benefits – Menthol is a compound derived from peppermint oil and is an active ingredient in the cold remedy Mentholatum. It has the ability to open your airways and act as a decongestant. If you’re not into store bought remedies that have undesirable ingredients, you can mix some peppermint oil with coconut oil and eucalyptus essential oil to make your own homemade vapor rub to help reduce the symptoms of colds, asthma and bronchitis. (My dirty little secret as a kid was that I would hide Mentholatum in my room just so I could smell it any time I wanted, sick or no. I still love that stuff and open it up for a quick whiff when I come across it in the medicine drawer.)  It may also help with allergy relief. Peppermint oil is highly effective at relaxing muscles in your nasal passages and can help clear out the muck and pollen during allergy season.

2. Digestive Aid – Peppermint oil can help with a multitude of tummy issues including nausea, heartburn, constipation, stomach aches or even IBS. Simply adding a drop of peppermint oil to water or tea, or rubbing 1-2 drops behind your ears, or even diffusing it can help to reduce nausea, heartburn & stomach aches. Adding a few drops to a carrier oil and rubbing it on your abdomen may also help with constipation and bloating. Taking it in pill form has shown to reduce symptoms by up to 50% in IBS patients.

3. Hair & Scalp Care –  Peppermint oil is used in many high quality hair care products because it can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. My absolute favoritest in the the world forever and always is Aveda’s Rosemary Mint (and don’t forget the conditioner and lotion). Obsessed with it. If you’re not down with paying $13.50 for a bottle of shampoo, just add some peppermint oil to your current shampoo hair loss and dandruff control, stimulate the scalp, energize your mind, and wake up!. It can also help with a sunburned scalp (the worst thing ever).  If your one who has a coconut oil hair care regimen, try adding some peppermint oil for some added benefits.  Because it is a powerful antiseptic, peppermint can also help get rid of lice.

4. Headache Cure -Peppermint oil has the ability to improve circulation and relax tense muscles. If you’re prone to headaches or migraines simply rub a small amount of oil on the forehead, temples and around the hair line for an excellent natural remedy. Using a flaxseed eye pillow infused with peppermint oil is also and excellent headache zapper.

5. Natural Energizer – Instead of a nasty energy drinks, take a few whiffs of peppermint. It will perk you up on long road trips, in school or any other time you need to focus. Peppermint oil may improve focus and concentration. I personally keep a small sprizter of peppermint and lavender oil (diffused in vodka and distilled water) in my car to keep me alert and to make my car smell not so much like kids & dogs. I also have my own special aromatherapy blend of citrus and peppermint that smell and dab on before my workouts.

6. Cooking – Use it in place of mint extract.  The flavor will be much better and because it doesn’t evaporate, it can withstand high cooking temperatures.  Because it is HIGHLY concentrated, start with 1/4 of what the recipe calls for of mint extract. You can always add more, but you certainly cannot take it away. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. I used mint oil in my Julia Roberts Cookies (thin mint-oreo smash up) and Farmer B said they were the perfect amount of minty goodness.

7.  Household cleaning:  Peppermint oil is antibacterial and antifungal. Some studies suggest that it may be effective in killing up to 99% of human pathogens within 24 hours. That is really amazing to me, and a really good reason to be using it to clean your home. And it smells way better than those nasty cleaners filled with chemically fake fragrance. Try making your own all purpose cleaner here.

8. Sore Muscle Relief – Peppermint essential oil is a very effective natural painkiller and muscle relaxant. Besides helping with headaches it can be extremely helpful in soothing an aching back, sore muscles & tired feet.  Here is a good recipe for an achy muscle remedy. I personally add peppermint oil to my own blend of epsom salts and other essential oils for a relaxing and therapeutic bath soak.

So now that you know some really awesome ways that you can use peppermint oil in your home, now is the time to stock up. Now through the end of the month, I will be offering free shipping on my 1 Oz bottle of Mint Condition Pure Peppermint Oil. Your cost is just $8 for some of the worlds finest peppermint oil! Simply message me your email and I will invoice you via PayPal.  Local customers can pick some up right now at the Community Bank Valley Branch.  If you’re interested in more of my handmade, small batch bath and beauty products, locals can swing by Community Bank for a peek.  If you’re far away, keep an eye out on my Instagram feed @thismodernfarmgirl for occasional flash offerings until I get my retail website up and running! Cheers until next time!

Mint Oil






Suck it, computer. That is all.
March 6

So….I spent some hours writing a great post that was going to be very useful to you and change your life forever, however, my computer and the internet conspired to ruin my life today and it somehow deleted the whole.effing.thing. Unretrievable. Instead, for your weekend enjoyment and inspiration you will get this. Cheers!



Eat More Sandwiches
February 26

When it comes to sandwiches lately, I’m obsessed. We’ve been traveling a lot recently and I’ve been taking every opportunity to get in on some serious sandwich action. And I’m not talking Subway or PB & J on Wonder Bread. I’m talking stacks of delicious grilled cured meats and quality cheese piled onto fresh baked bread, like this Manhatten (+bacon) I shared with Farmer at New York City Subs in Hood River, Oregon this last weekend. When it comes to sandwiches I don’t restrain myself.
Or this custom stack of fabulous on homemade rosemary bread from Evening Rise Bakery in McCall, Idaho.
IMG_0667.JPG Fresh. Bread. Only.

But the one that started my sandwich madness was The Fat Lenny at Prodigal Son Brewery in Pendleton, Oregon. Oh Lord. I didn’t take a picture because the pure gloriousness of it put me into a sandwich consuming trance and it didn’t even occur to me until there was only 4 bites left. Go there and try it, like, yesterday.

So now I’m home and, well…you can guess the rest. Here’s an original straight from my kitch.

Taking these pictures was super hard because all I wanted to do was shove it in my face.

Here’s the ingredients. Divide them evenly, or whatever.

2 Fresh Baked Ciabatta Rolls
4 Slices Deli Turkey And 6 Salami Slices ( I use organic meats from here.)
Two Fire Roasted Red Peppers
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
Sun Dried Tomato Mayonnaise (Semi-homemade. See below)
Arugula & Spinach Salad Blend
Optional: 2 Slices Provolone Cheese



For the Sun Dried Tomato Mayonnaise, simply take your favorite mayo and mash in some packaged sun dried tomatoes with a fork. It will be chunky, so if you prefer a smoother texture use a stick blender to combine them. I chose a lower fat mayo this time. I normally don’t care for the taste but with the addition of the tomato it tastes really good.


Now toast your bread, mayo up BOTH sides of the roll and make yer sandy. (You’re smart folks and I’m sure you don’t need a step by step on making a sandwich.)






So it’s my birthday tomorrow which means I am really excited. But not for the regular reasons like attention (ew) , parties or gifts. For me it’s all about the cake. Anyone who knows me well knows that I will do just about anything for cake. Anything. I’ve stalked many a wedding cake table in order to scam a third (or fourth, maybe) piece of a really good wedding cake. And I will definitely send The Girl or Farmer in to hoard cake for me, too. If you’re ever with me at a function with a fabulous cake, I can’t be held responsible for what happens if you leave your cake plate unattended. I’ve also been know to bail on a function if the cake is less than worthy or store bought (gagging). I’m very shallow, apparently. For my big “-0” birthday celebration last year I had individual mini cakes made for all my guests just so I wouldn’t have to share the cake.

I think about cake a lot. Like a lot a lot. I like to plan events in my head around what kind of cake would be served. No, they are not all my birthday but since it just happens to be my birthday here’s a few ideas for my loving friends and family to think about.

This cake. Fresh Strawberries & Cream Cake. This for my imaginary summer birthday brunch that we would have on my back porch on a lovely Sunday morning in June. If this doesn’t appeal to you then you’re definitely not invited and we probably just shouldn’t be friends. Unless you’re allergic. That’s the only acceptable excuse. Find this recipe on The Kitchen McCabe.

Tropical Vanilla Mango Cupcake. This gorgeous little cake is for my sunny, SoCal, beachside getaway birthday with my fave ladies. OMG…that color! So pretty and light, just like me (haha). Find this recipe at Little Sweet Baker.

Lavender-Honey Crepe Cake. So it’s not a traditional type of cake but I don’t discriminate in regards to the different cake genres. Besides , I’m obsessed with the lavender honey combo. Freaking amazing. This is for my breakfast (and lunch and dinner) in bed birthday. In a perfectly clean bedroom, I shall awake perfectly groomed in a perfectly uncrumpled bed and be served by Farmer and The Girl. The House That Lars Built recommends this for a Mother’s Day breakfast in bed. I would accept that option too.

Frostbitten Raspberry Cake. Yes, yes, yes. It is very similar to a wedding cake I once stalked and will be the feature of my elegant, late fall dinner party birthday at home. Served by candlelight with a delicious Oregon coast blackberry dessert wine. Thank you Vikalinka for this.

Traditional Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting from The Wandering Fig. Not terribly exciting to most, but for me it’s pure nostalgia and that makes it my number one pick. It reminds me of summer days at grandmas house because back then grandmas made cakes in the middle of summer just because. It’s family cake. And this is the best (and most likely to be real) party of all with me, Farmer and The Girl sitting at the kitchen table in corny ass party hats, eating homemade pizza and opening up cheap perfume bought at Rite Aid. Perfection. Happy Birthday to me!