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Happy Simple Living Celebrates 10 Years with Memories and a Giveaway

Happy Simple Living blog birthday cake 10 years


Let’s eat cake! Happy Simple Living is 10 years old today.

It’s hard to believe that a decade ago today, I wrote my first post for this blog. Here’s how it looked back then:



“Baby Steps” was a scintillating retelling of my replacing the lightbulbs in the garage door opener fixture with CFLs to save energy and money. Back then CFLs were relatively new and rather expensive, and the bulbs often gave off light that was both flickery and fluorescent (“It feels like a cheap motel,” my son famously said when I installed them in the hallway).

I first named this blog “Urban Homesteader,” with a goal of turning 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.

So I reframed the blog’s focus to better fit my heart and goals, and changed the name to Happy Simple Living.

Since then, I’ve posted about hundreds of topics ranging from Bindweed to Pine Mouth.


Pine Mouth | Happy Simple Living blog

(Note: If you get Pine Mouth from eating bad Chinese pine nuts, your face will look similar to the graphic above for 7 to 10 days.)

The most popular post, by a landslide, is a recipe I shared for homemade Greek yogurt.


Make your own Greek yogurt | Happy Simple Living blog

I never could have anticipated the hundreds of questions and comments this post would generate, and it’s still the most-visited page on the site five years later.

We’ve even had controversy here! Surprisingly, both posts had to do with my dishwasher.


Spot-free dishes at Happy Simple Living

When I wrote about substituting vinegar for rinse aid, one reader accused me of being a conspiracy theorist.

Then I wrote a bad, bad, bad post about how I arranged silverware in the dishwasher. This post generated a hateful discussion on Reddit, which still makes me feel oddly proud. I have since repented and now fling my silverware in the basket with reckless abandon.

Seven years ago, I decided to start the new year by taking a 30-day break from spending and the annual January Money Diet was born.


January Money Diet | Happy simple Living blog


Since then, thousands of people from all over the world have participated in the money diet. Our annual financial fast has even been featured on television and by publications like Forbes and U.S. News and World Report.

Through it all, the thing I love best about blogging is connecting with YOU. Your comments and ideas and thoughts make writing this blog one of the most fun, fulfilling things I do. You truly put the “happy” in Happy Simple Living.

To celebrate a decade of fun, I’m giving away a signed copy of my new, hot-off-the-press cookbook, 101 Things To Do With Beer. 


101 Things To Do With Beer cookbook


This book will help you add some “hoppiness” to every meal, with recipes for appetizers, breads, soups, main courses, sides, desserts, and sweets. Beer adds amazing depth and flavor to so many recipes, from Beer Battered Apple Fritters to Beer-Simmered Chicken Tacos, Garlic Parmesan Onion Rings and Chocolate Stout Ice Cream. Many of the recipes can also be made with nonalcoholic beer.

This spiral-bound cookbook won’t be available in stores until September 6, but one lucky reader will receive an early copy.

To enter, simply answer this question:

What does happy simple living mean to you?

Whether you share a tip, or a story, or your philosophy, or an idea, or your goals, or how much a beer cookbook will enhance your life, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Simple leave a comment at the bottom of this page and you’ll be automatically entered to win a signed copy of 101 Things To Do With Beer.

Even if you live in Antarctica, please enter because this drawing is open to every reader around the world. It will run through midnight MST on Monday, August 1, 2016, and I’ll announce the lucky winner on August 2.

Thank you for these ten years of exploring how to live simply and happily. You make the journey 101 times more fun!

With hugs and gratitude,

The signature for Eliza Cross

UPDATE: Congratulations to Julie, who won the cookbook. Keep reading for more giveaways in the future!

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

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8 thoughts on “Happy Simple Living Celebrates 10 Years with Memories and a Giveaway”

  1. Happy simple living is less worries(over stuff, money or time) And more enjoy moments in my life from whatever I do in my life. So the quotiënt (enjoy/worry time each day) gains both ways for me.

  2. I wish I had known you 10 years ago. I have been following you for about the past 3 years and have participated in your January Money Diet which I love. Your site and comments are truly wise and I always look forward to reading your words of inspiration. I also make your yogurt at least once a month! Here’s to another 10 years of Happy Simple Living!

  3. Happy Simple Living is great! Lots of fun! I wish I would have discovered it sooner. I also missed out on your bacon book. Where can I get it?


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