Thursday, May 29, 2014

Goals and Dream Life

Today is Thursday.....

    That means today is the day for me to sit down and rewrite my 10 goals for the next 12 months. Every Thursday, I write 10 goals that I want to accomplish in the next 12 months in my goal journal. After completing Chalene Johnson's 30 day Push Challenge, I learned about setting goals and how to work towards my push goal. Basically, your push goal is the one goal that will allow most of your other 9 goals to happen. Each week during the 30 day challenge, you are suppose to set your 10 goals. These 10 goals may change over the course of the past 6 months and that is okay. A few goals will the stay same and others will change depending on your priorities that week.

   The key to writing good goals is making sure they are positive, measurable and given a deadline and written in present tense as though you have already accomplished your goal. For example, if you wanted to write a year goal to pay off your $10,000 mortgage loan debt in the next 12 months, you would say "I own my house free and clear by June 2015. or if you want to earn more income in your business, you would say "I am earning $1000 a week in my business by March 2015."

  DREAM BIG! That's right, don't be afraid to dream big! If your goals don't scare you, then they are NOT big enough! It's okay to get uncomfortable and get a little crazy. By writing your goals each and every week, it will help you stay focused on your goals and help you achieve your dream life.

Since starting this in January, I have noticed that I have accomplished a couple of my goals already! One of my goals was for Ed and I to purchase a house together which we did in March. How cool is that! Now I am working on completing new goals including continuing working on my push goal. With these goals, I can stay focused on my dream life which helps me to work even harder and smarter on my goals daily.

Now I am off to write this weeks 10  Goals....

Share with us in a comment one of your goals. We would love to hear them! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Red, White and Blue Healthy Treat

This past weekend was Memorial Day Weekend. So in honor of Memorial Day, I just had to make a Red, White and Blue treat for our family BBQ while camping. This treat was super easy to make! Our 6 year old boy, just ate them up! He wanted 3 helpings after our BBQ and even asked for more after dinner the next day.



*Cut up the banana and strawberries (if you would like). Place on skewers with Blueberries.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Homemade Spaghetti/Pizza Sauce

Last Tuesday, I shared with you a pizza recipe, so today I am sharing with you a homemade spaghetti/pizza sauce. This was my first time EVER making a homemade sauce and it was SO simple! I will never buy store bought sauces again. There was enough sauce to use on the pizza and two nights worth of spaghetti dinners. Did I mention it was super good and simple?
Give it a try! :)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove (diced)
  • ½ small Vidalia onion (diced)
  • 4 Campari tomatoes (diced) OR 14 oz can diced tomato
  • 28 oz pureed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Crushed red pepper (optional, to taste)
  • ½ tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • Chop up garlic, onions, and tomatoes
  • Olive oil and chopped garlic in a medium sauce pan
  • Rub garlic around the pan and then turn the heat onto medium-high
  • Add in the onions
  • Then add in the diced tomatoes
  • Next add in the pureed tomatoes
  • Stir well and bring to boil
  • Add spices: oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, crushed peppers (to taste), and salt (to taste)
  • Reduce heat to low simmer
  • Allow sauce to simmer for at least 15 minutes 
  • Place over spaghetti or dough for pizza

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Power of Belief

Believe you can and your halfway there... Isn't this SO true?

If we want our dream life then we must believe in it and believe that we deserve it. It's the only way it will come true. Believe and WORK for it!

This picture is of the sunflower plants Ed's little guy planted as seeds in our yard. To be honest, we didn't think they would grow right there, but HE believed they would and planted them with love. They are growing just fine. Proud of our little guy for believing.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Steps to Visualizing your DREAM Life

If you are anything like us, you long for and dream of what we call the million dollar view.... the view of farm fields and beautiful countryside right out your door. We are working hard to make this dream a reality and we want to share with you the tools and strategies we have learned and are implementing to help us make this dream a reality.  Are you fired up yet?

GREAT! Let's get you started then.....

Our first tip and strategy.....


Yes, visualize! We are giving you the go ahead to let your mind wonder and daydream. How cool is that!?! 

Step #1: Find a quiet and comfortable spot. I like to lay outside and stare up at the clouds on a sunny day or visualize before I go to sleep at night, but you can go where ever your special place is at in your home. 

Step #2: Clear your mind! I know this can be a difficult task for most of us when we always seem to have so much on your minds; what's for dinner, work stress, the kids, etc. But this is a time for YOU to think about you and your dreams. Let those thoughts and worry go. 

Step #3: After you have cleared your mind with your thoughts, close your eyes and think about your dream home and  land. Be specific! What color is your home? What does the land look like? Do you have crops? If so, what kind? How many acres do you want? Is it on a dirt road or paved road? Long driveway or short? Porch or no porch? I think you get the idea. 
If you  are already living in the country, visualize your dream life or the dream projects you want to accomplish on your farm, land, or house. 

Step #4: Have FUN! Yes, this is meant to be an enjoyable experience, so let loose and enjoy. Have fun with the process and dreaming about your house and land. DREAM BIG! Don't let allow objections, negativity, worry or fear in your head. There is no room for them today. Think positively and have fun! 

Step #5: Draw or write about your vision. We keep a notebook for our drawings and writings. This notebook is just for our visions. This will help you to remember your vision which will help you stay focused and motivated. 

So I bet you are wondering why this is important? Visualizing your dreams helps you to be focused on what you are working towards. It's your final destination of this adventure you are embarking on and we need to always know where we are going in order to be successful. 
Visualizing your final destination helps you to stay motivated. When those bad days full of fear, worry, and doubt rear their ugly head, you can fight back with your visualizations. Being focused and positive is crucial to making your dream life a reality. YOU deserve this life, so get started visualizing today!

We recommend doing this at least once a week, visualizing with purpose and being present and mindful. This will help you stay even more focused. Set a day and time each week to do this. It's also a great idea to reflect on your week after your visualization. What did you accomplish this week that put you closer to making this a reality? What got in your way or put you further away from your dream life this week? Add this reflection to your notebook each week as well.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Corn Bins and Barn Wood

What  makes for the best weekend ever?

 A fallen barn, wooden corn bins, trucks and Ed makes for the best weekend EVER! 

We got the go ahead to head over to a family friend's barn and dig through what was left of their fallen barn. Say What!?! We get to spend our Saturday going through old barn wood.  YES!!!!

This was definitely the highlight of my weekend. The barn was originally taken down about 4 or 5 years ago. The people collected the wood they wanted and left. They were suppose to clean up the rest of the wood and didn't, but hey, this only meant there would be wood for Ed and I to go through years later.  So grateful they didn't take it all, otherwise we wouldn't have the opportunity too.

Lots of wood was already rotted and was no good, but we pulled out 1 truck load of wood that we can use for our upcoming projects. We also found an old wooden box and still have a pile waiting for us to pick up. Each piece was hand selected by us and will be used for some really neat projects!

Not only did we get to go through the barn wood, but we also were able to take down the corn bin. The corn had amazingly perfect weathered wood on it. The whole corn bin was able to be salvaged and used later, so we took it down and added the wood to our pile. I can't wait to see how this wood will be used in our projects. It is going to look AMAZING! :)

Be on the LOOK OUT for projects in our Etsy store!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pizza-A-Dough Dough

So I have been honing in on my cooking skills and I must say I have surely surprised myself. I am learning how to cook and bake like my grandma use to do... everything from scratch! And to my astonishment and amazement, I am a pretty darn good cook! Who know! ;)

I made this super delicious pizza and it was SO mouth watering good... I can't wait to make it again. In honor of it being Tuesday and just because, I am starting a new segment on our blog on Tuesdays where I will be sharing the yummy recipes that I find and enjoy as I begin to experiment and learn new recipes. 

Let's face it, I went from NEVER cooking to making items from scratch including the pizza sauce! Stay tuned next Tuesday for the amazing pizza sauce recipe I used. 

Pizza-A-Dough Dough


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups flour 
  1. Pour the warm water into a bowl and mix the yeast into the water. Make sure the water is only warm and not hot. If it is hot, it will kill the yeast and we don't want that. Stir until it is completely dissolved. 
  2. Add the sugar, salt, olive oil and flour... mix until it is to hard to mix. 
  3. Flour a surface area and dump the dough onto the floured surface. You will knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and not sticky. 
  4. Cut the dough in half! Yes there is enough dough to make two pizzas or you can freeze the other one until later if you only want 1 pizza now. I also used the rest of the dough to make bread sticks. 
  5. Put the dough on the pizza pan and smooth out the dough with your hand until it is as thin as you like. I like a thicker crust, so I left it thicker around the edge. Make sure the pan is greased. You can also roll out the dough on your floured surface first and then move it to the pan. 
  6. Add the sauce and pizza toppings of your choice. 
  7. Bake at 475 degrees for around 12-15 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned. The thicker the pizza the longer it will take, so keep an eye on it. :)
  8. Allow it to cool after taking it out.
  9. Enjoy!
    Pizza Dough ready for toppings!
Pizza ready to go into the oven

The final pizza... so delicious! :D

Monday, May 12, 2014

Farm Life is our Dream Life

Ed and I decided there is a specific life we want to create for us and our future family... THE FARM LIFE!

Neither Ed nor I were raised on a farm... in fact we are both 2 generations removed from the farm. However, we both love the farm life. The hard work, the passion, harvesting, planting, barns, farmhouses, animals, home cooked meals, living off the land, mason jars, tractors, love, freedom, raising kids out in the country and teaching them the value of work are all the very things that we love about the farm life. But as you can imagine, starting a farm from scratch is VERY expensive and there won't be farm land handed down to us from our family. So we MUST work for our farm life and build it from the ground up.

And today is a perfect day to start living out that dream life! Why wait!?! Yes, we are currently living in our house in town and not in the dream house we picture in our heads. We have only about a half acre of yard with lots of neighbors close by which means we aren't miles away from neighbors separated by our acres and acres of precious crops and farmland like we envision. But why let that stop us!

We are starting to create a mini farm life here in town until we can buy the acreage with that big ol' farmhouse with my wrap around porch and big RED barns! Oh I just love wasting away time dreaming about our dream life! Anyways, back to creating our "mini farm life" here in town. We are working hard to get our trucks paid off, our mortgage paid off on this house, learning about farming, honing our garden/planting skills along with our cooking skills and crafting abilities, completing personal development, and learning how to can and preserve foods from our mentors, so when we are ready to actually start our farm we will be READY to roll!

Working for our dreams is tough... It's not easy! Sometimes we want to give up because it's easier, but giving up won't create that dream life and the ability to live out our dreams. We have to be lazer focused, determined, and work hard each and every day. As they say.... "All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds we sow today!"

So what's stopping you from building your dream life? What are you waiting for? Stop waiting/wishing and start working towards your dreams!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bridal Shower Season!

It's that time of year again.... It's bridal shower season! This year is a special year though because both my baby cousin and myself are getting hitched this year. On Sunday, May 4th, I celebrated my 30th birthday at my cousin's baby shower. She looked amazing and she had an beautiful shower. We had a blast spending time with her and her bridal party.

 These are some photos from her beautiful bridal shower....

Myself, my cousin Kelly, my cousin's wife Haily, and her little baby girl. Isn't she just adorable? 

Table Settings... The plants were gorgeous!

Lots of yummy food to choose from. 

The gift table

Water, Pink Lemonade, and Ice Tea served in Mason Jars

PRIZES!! Who doesn't love prizes!?!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Our Engagement Photo Session

Back on September 14, 2013, Ed proposed to me at a park standing on a foot bridge over looking the Chippewa River. We knew we wanted a fall country wedding and set our day for September 14, 2014, so naturally we JUST had to have a fall country engagement photo session. Our photographer is Dave Helvie from DMH Photography. These are some of our engagement photo's from our session! They turned out absolutely amazing and perfect. I can't wait to see how our wedding photos from our barn wedding this September will turn out. They will also be taken by Mr. Helvie and DMH Photography. 

Who Doesn't LOVE homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies?

So lately, I have been on a cooking from scratch kick here at Dow Farms thanks to Pinterest and all of everyone's lovely inspirational posts and ideas! I decided this weekend to give homemade chocolate chip cookies a try again. It's seriously probably been years since I have made cookies from scratch, but I planned on making these cookies much different than homemade cookies of the past. This time around, I am much more in tune and aware about the importance of organic and non-GMO foods, so I went to the store to purchase organic sugar, whole wheat flour, organic brown sugar, organic eggs, organic butter as well as to pick up some chocolate chips and the other items I needed for the recipe. 

Did I also mention that we recently purchased a brand new range for our new house? I am absolutely in LOVE with this new range and I am sure getting the use of it. This is the first time in years that I have had a real range and we went with gas instead of electric like in the past. Gas is SO much nicer to cook with, but hey if you plan on canning and creating a life made with things from scratch, you need to have a wonderful range capable of producing your work of art, right? 

Well, after creating the cookies from scratch with LOVE, I have to admit these turned out to be the BEST homemade cookies I have ever made! The organic products truly made these cookies bake better as well as taste AMAZING! From now on, I will only use organic products for my cooking and baking. It is well worth the extra cost not only for health benefits, but also for the better taste! :)

Cookie Recipe:

1 cup Organic Butter
3/4 cup Organic Sugar
3/4 cup Organic Brown Sugar
2 large Organic Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz chocolate chips


1. Mix sugars, vanilla and butter
2. Add in eggs
3. Mix all dry ingredients, then add slowly
4. Fold in Chocolate Chips
5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes per batch on ungreased cookie sheets

Enjoy!! :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Simple Homemade Promegran Cherry Protein/Energy Balls

Anyone else sick of chemicals and artificial flavors in so called "food" these days? I, personally, am! Thanks to Pinterest and learning about GMO's and clean eating through my Fitness Coaching business, I am on a making food from scratch kick just like grandma used to make. I can honestly say that I have been living the last 29 years blindly and ignorantly, but now my eyes are open and I am making some changes here at Dow Farms. No more preservatives, no more sugars, no more fake "food" and certainly no more ingredients I can't pronounce.

Here is my first attempt at making Protein/Energy balls from scratch. They might not be the prettiest, but they are delicious, healthy and clean!


1 cup of oats
1/2 cup natural Peanut Butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup Pomegran Cherry Granola (Nature's Path Organic)
1/3 cup honey
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein (Beachody)

Mix the ingredients in a large bowl until they are mixed well.
Roll the dough into balls. (I ended up with 14)
Refrigerate for 30 mins.
Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

15 Rules for our Stars and Stripes that Every American Should Know

Did you know there is something called Flag Etiquette? It's true!

 One of the things that was instilled in both of us is a LOVE and RESPECT for our great nation. An American Flag waving in the breeze and flying high is one of the ways we show respect and the love we both cherish for this country, so an American flag is a MUST at Dow Farms. However, there is more to it than just simply flying the Star Spangle Banner from our house. There is some responsibility that comes with it as well. Here is a list of some of the rules for flag etiquette that every AMERICAN should know....

1. Flags should be flown from sunrise to sunset daily. Flags maybe flown at night if they are properly illuminated during the hours of darkness. 

2. Flags should not be flown during inclement weather. Only if the flag is an all weather flag, may the flag be flown during rain, snow, etc. 

3. When flying two  flags on the same posts (ie. American flag and state flag), the American flag always goes on top. 

4. Never use the flag for decoration. Use Bunting instead of a flag for decorations. 

5. When flags are flown at parades, all uniformed military personnel should display the military salute. Military personnel and veterans who are not in uniform may display the military salute. All civilians present should face the flag, stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and remove all hats and other headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder (hands should be over the heart). 

6. Stars on the flag when displayed should face north or east depending on the direction of the street the flag is being displayed over. 

7. On special days the flag maybe flown at half staff. For example, on Memorial day the flag should be flown at half staff until noon and then raised. 

8. Do not let the flag touch the ground, EVER!

9. Do not fly upside down unless there is an emergency. (Flags flown upside down is a sign of distress)

10. Do not carry the flag flat or carry things in it.

11. Do not use the flag as clothing. 

12. Do not store the flag where it can get dirty. 

13. Do not use it as a cover. 

14. Do not fasten it or tie it back. The flag should always fall free. 

15. Do not draw or mark on the flag. 

Now that you know the flag etiquette for our American Flag, I strongly urge every American to display an American Flag on their house. Our soldiers and veterans have fought for our freedoms and some even gave their lives to protect our freedoms, so let's show them some respect for their service by displaying a flag and being a responsible American by taking care of our flags. It really is the least we can to do celebrate our freedoms and salute the soldiers and veterans everyday, isn't it? 

Info taken from:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday

Well, I must admit today was not only special because today was Easter, but it was also special because it was finally beautiful outside here in Michigan. We are both winter people, but it sure is nice to be outside watering our plants and enjoying a little time outdoors. The warmth of the sun on our faces sure does warm our souls. 

The day was spent watering our seedlings and plants. The seedlings are really starting to pop up. This year I am going all out for our garden and keeping my fingers crossed I can actually grow some veggies and fruit this year.  Let's just say my past gardening experience has proven, I do not have a green thumb! We have cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers, green peppers, sweet corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, carrots, peas, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, gourds, raspberries, grapes, strawberries, and fresh herbs. Boy, is that a lot of stuff! I'm still not really sure where we are going to put all of these plants. One of the many downsides to living in town is we just don't have the yard space we truly want to have for our garden. We will be building our raised garden beds soon and we surely will figure it out though or at least I hope we will! 

Today wasn't all work though. Chevy and I spent some time relaxing in the yard, watching the clouds roll by, and daydreaming. I'm sure Chevy was daydreaming about chasing all the squirrels in the neighborhood while I spent the time daydreaming about our dream farm. Yup, I can see it now..... Big old Farm House with a nice wrap around porch. Acre after acre of plants, fruit trees, and our future kids running a mock on the farm picking fresh fruits and veggies for cooking, selling, and canning while Chevy tags along. We both want to start a brewery/winery as well as having our own farmers market available. Oh the dream life..... We are working hard to make this dream a reality! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our Very First Blog

Welcome to our BLOG! 

We are Ed and Melissa an engaged couple living in a small farming community in Michigan. We LOVE the farm life, but our first house is in town and not that dream farmhouse sitting on acres and acres of farmland. Since we are two country bumpkins trapped in the town life, we are making the most of it by learning about farming, creating our dream life the best we can here in town and working hard to make that dream life become a reality as soon as possible.

This is our story.......