Hello and Welcome!

Happy Simple Living founder Eliza Cross standing by a door.

I’m Eliza Cross, founder and publisher of Happy Simple Living, and I’m glad you’re here.

Happy Simple Living is where you can explore ideas and discoveries about simplifying, cooking good food, saving money, organizing, creating a comfortable home, organic gardening, and sustainable living.

How This Blog Started

I wrote my first post on July 22, 2006. (Was it really that long ago?!)

A screenshot of the original Urban Homesteader blog.

“Baby Steps” was a scintillating retelling of my replacing the lightbulbs in the garage fixture with CFLs to save energy and money. Back then CFLs were expensive and flickery, with a light quality that made our garage feel sort of like a cheap hotel.

The original name of this blog was “Urban Homesteader,” and I hoped to turn our suburban house and yard into a sort of mini-farm.

However, some other urban homesteaders trademarked the phrase and started taking legal action against people who used it.

Fortunately, this happened at exactly the same time I realized I was too lazy to raise chickens.

New Blog Name, New Focus

In 2010, I reframed the blog’s focus to better fit my heart and goals (and avoid getting sued). I changed the name to Happy Simple Living to share recipes, ideas, and tips for simplifying everyday life.

Since then, I’ve posted about hundreds of topics ranging from Homemade Cheese Crackers and Mega Toilet Paper Rolls to Bindweed and Pine Mouth.

Our strategies have been featured by Forbes, Business Insider, U.S. News and World Report, CBS-4 Denver, Fox 31 Denver, and others.

If you like bacon, please come visit our sister site BENSA, the Bacon Lovers Society. BENSA is where I post all my bacon recipes as well as bacon events, funny memes and jokes, and bacon cooking guides.

I would also love to connect with you over at my professional website ElizaCross.com, where you can read about my cookbooks and other work.

Top 5 Recipes

Top 5 Articles

Recent Press for Happy Simple Living

Inspiring Simplicity. Weekend Reads – July 15, 2023 – Becoming Minimalist

The Ultimate Room by Room Decluttering List – April 27, 2023 – Redfin Blog

#7 of 100 Best Simple Living Blogs and Websites – April, 2023 – FeedSpot

Top 30 Homesteading Blogs and Websites – Pure Living for Life

36 thoughts on “About”

  1. Eliza…your mom just told me about this site – GREAT!!! I’ll have to find time to read back entries. 😉 We met at a tea your mom hosted a while back. I am also a writer and work in marketing some still, but mostly am a book project manager for a Christian publishing company.

  2. I agree with your priorities, lately I have found the joy in simply living each day as it comes. I have found that everytime I make plans, life happens and all my plans are null and void. Rejoice in the day and the challenges it provides so that we may become stronger souls. My spirit is healthier today than it was yesterday and it will be fortified each day of my life. Riches don’t always have to do with money!

  3. Hi Eliza,
    I started following your other blog a couple years ago, I think we live in the same neighborhood, and in any case I share your dandelion issues in our yard too. Thanks for the ideas about prioritizing and saving.

  4. Enjoyable blog… and in the above all good words of wisdom to live by. We have a dandelion problem also, made worse that the dog loves to go crashing through them – thankfully they are typically relegated to the large field of to the side.


  5. I just found your blog through the comment you left on our blog, and I like it already just from reading your priority list…I have been yearning for exactly what you wrote down, and am hoping that blogging about it helps out. Feel free to pop over anytime 🙂

  6. I love your list Liza, we’re on the same list but there is a little bit difference, I fail sometimes in following my list because I forget to do the rest that is probably my problem on how to manage well my time through my list which I depend on. By the way it is great I love your list! Stay healthy and always keep going!

  7. What a pleasure to have found your blog, Eliza.
    A reminder of being awake for life.
    Your former, across the street, neighbor.

  8. I Love your blog. It’s a lot of what I hope to accomplish through my site. Please stop by and comment. I’m new at this and want to be able to share some wisdom on the benefits and joy of living a peaceful life.


  9. I thought I had the patent on “urban homesteader”,a completely suberbanized city-boy,with a sence of self-reliance. Now after 10 years,I find this cool site. AWESOME!

  10. Thanks for sharing this interesting post with us.I enjoy at the time of reading this post.Keep sharing with us.I am very interested by reading this.. Its very helpful yo us..keep posting such an interesting things..
    Thank you

  11. We all need moral compasses and you are indeed one of mine. Your ideals listed are a perfect mantra…thank you

  12. Greetings and glad to meet you! I believe I am here thanks to The Happy Hippy, if I remember correctly. The moment I read your goals, I thought they would be just as suitable for a large corporation. To be honest, I wish many corporations would adopt such down-to-earth goals. As I read further, I was delighted to find these words, “Successful companies often have annual retreats for long-term planning; shouldn’t we also occasionally take stock of whether our daily lives match up with our values and dreams?” My next thought was inevitable: “I must tell our readers about this young writer and her blog.” Thus, as part of an upcoming weekly review I release every Saturday, I am inviting them to add this to their reading list.

  13. If it is so simple, to live happily, then why don’t more of us simply do it? I believe most of us are victims of Madison Ave. advertising. Slaves to marketing, we believe we gotta have it. I look at nature and most animals survive with just one coat. Winter is coming, get your coat, for you and your home. Energy Conservation, makes sense, “but common sense, is not so common”. Bucky Fuller was the first to promote “Doing more with less”. He designed the Geodesic Dome, after he asked his Harvard professors “how much does a house weigh?” None of his professors knew! So he said if he were to design an efficient home, he had to forget everything he was taught in school. He motivated me in the early 1970’s, (I heard him speak at Sandia Labs, when I was a D.U. student) to also think outside the box. In 1975 I started my company, About Saving Heat, (AboutSavingHeat.com) still doing what I love. A great new book “A Fuller View” is now out, about inspirational quotes by Bucky and how they changed the authors (short stories from famous folks) lives, and right up your blog! Eliza keep up the great “Happy Simple Living” and Happy and Proud to continue to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.

  14. Simple living in this materialistic world. How ever one should try to live within your means, not to be greedy, specially for materialistic matter. One should relax, meditate, always smile. Thank you once again.

  15. Just found your site, and liking what I see, and I just wanted to let you know that those problematic dandelions are probably the most nutritious item in your yard or garden. Look up the nutritional value on them, we actually plant dandelions on purpose in our hydroponic towers to add to our fruit and vegetable juice. So as long as they don’t have lawn chemicals or animals spraying them the leaves are quite nutritious!

  16. Absolutely fantastic blog. Top class practical advice. I am sure, Liza this blog has a great future ahead.

    Keep going.


  17. Came across this site via link from Miss-Thrifty (also an excellent site). Your goals and priorities resonate with me hugely. Attempting to live these values can be like fighting gravity sometimes, the daily pressure to “conform to the norm” is so strong. It would be a lonely experience without the wisdom and inspiration of fellow frugal lifer’s.

  18. Dear Eliza: What a wonderful feature in today’s POST. Congratulations on reinventing your career. This certainly is different from the days at CO Homes and Lifestyles and Mountain Living and those shopping trips to Santa Fe! yes- simpler is great. This is a wonderful blog. When does your broadcast show start! Nan

  19. Not a comment but a question. If I make yogurt with 2% milk, drain it by hanging in a muslin bag, and now have 2/3 of the original, the rest being the drained whey, what is the fat content of the resultant yogurt?

    maybe one of your readers can help with this if you don’t have the answer.

  20. I am starting to look at living simpler and trying to be a bit more self sufficient in the city. Your blog looks like it might be what I can read to get inspired and educated. I also am very happy that you are Canadian. It’s not easy to follow advice from someone who lives in Australia. Thank you for taking the time to write your blog.

  21. Hello Eliza! I just sent a comment to your “a letter to my 17-year old self.” I hope it reaches you. I am a fan of sensible, successful yet grounded women like you. I sincerely hope I could start and focus on living simply with myself and my family.

  22. Your recipe posts are brilliant. I’m a recent quinoa obsessive and totally love your quinoa fried rice and especially the oatmeal quinoa cherry cookies recipe (https://www.happysimpleliving.com/2015/05/27/chewy-oatmeal-cookies-get-a-boost-from-a-secret-healthy-ingredient/)! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  23. Blow those dandelion seeds! What is more fun then finding a bright yellow flower in the middle of the yard?! Don’t you remember the fun you had doing that as a kid? My kids love finding dandelions throughout our yard to pick. You just need to change your perspective just as you did with material things. And since they will bloom just about any time of the year they are often the only food for pollinators when nothing else is blooming.

  24. I am 65 and have some cognitive decline, so I found your article very interesting. I am willing to try anything that might reverse or even just slow it down. My wife has little patience for my forgetfulness and I seem to be able to get myself in hot water often.


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