A few years ago, Julie and I were like most Americans: running our butts off between work, home and kids events.  We were  working our butts off, running around like chickens with our head’s cut off. 


We were trying to maintain a lifestyle we couldn’t possibly afford while projecting “happiness and prosperity.”  We really didn’t have a direction, purpose or plan.  It was an endless “do loop” of wake up, go to work, go to kids’ thing, eat dinner, go to bed….wash, rinse and repeat.

Enter a few life changing events, and we decided to jump off the hamster wheel of our “keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle.  We decided to make some big changes and chart a new path for our lives.

We are so thankful we got off the hamster wheel.  What we have discovered (through a lot of trials and even more errors) is that more is not always better and that life is so much more meaningful with less.  We have a plan and are building a life that we don’t need a vacation from.  

Julie and I are here to help you find that same joy and contentment in your life.  Let us help you find your Small Scale Life and chart a new path.  

Tom and Julie 

What can I tell you about me?  Well, I’m a born and bred Minnesota girl who loves a good hotdish and drinks pop instead of soda.  (Actually, I’m now a recovering Diet Coke addict!)  I love all things flowers but primarily leave the growing of them to my talented hubby.  I am a florist by trade and love creating beautiful things not just with flowers but with anything I can get my hands on.  Oh yeah… I’m also a reformed shop-a-holic who still loves shopping but is now passionate about thrifting and finding treasures… but not too many treasures to clutter up our minimal lifestyle! 🙂 


Hey, Lifers!  I started Small Scale Life in 2015 after blogging and podcasting on other platforms.  I wanted to talk about gardening, developing a healthy lifestyle and having some adventures traveling around Minnesota, Wisconsin and other places.
Why gardening and urban homesteading?
When I was young, I didn’t care about either.  My parents and grandparents had extensive gardening, and often I was sent out to weed the garden or be forced to go berry picking with my mom. It was punishment.  I hated every minute of it (I had better things to do with my friends), and swore I would never garden and can.
Fast forward to The Crash of 2008.  I was managing offices and leading people across the country as the economy melted down in front of us.  I was faced with the possibility of losing my job and everything we worked so hard to buy.  That was the American Scheme: “buy your way to happiness and keep up with the Joneses at all costs!”
Our neighbor stopped over and was giving away produce she had grown in a simple Square Foot Garden in her backyard.  I was shocked!  Julie and I borrowed the Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew, and we were off to the races!  I built simple 4’x4′ garden beds out of reclaimed cedar, and we started growing vegetables in our suburban backyard.
My father passed away in 1999, and my grandmother passed 2009.  I always felt that incredible knowledge and experience were lost when they passed away.  I wanted my boys and their children to have some information when they finally slowed down and wanted to try their hand at gardening.  I started writing, and then I started podcasting.  For better or worse, they will always have notes and our voices documenting the “crazy experiments” in the backyard.
I am hoping that my boys won’t have to start from scratch and can learn from our mistakes and successes.  This stuff isn’t hard to try, and nothing is new under the sun.  At the same time, I am hoping you, dear reader and listener, will be inspired to learn, do, grow and bee a little better each day!   
 Welcome to our Small Scale Life!