photos by Daisy Siskin
Back in 2008, when the green movement was still greening, Deanna Caswell and writing partner, Daisy Siskin, found themselves drawn to similar endeavors: making homemade bread, growing herbs, and creating lots of things from scratch. The two moms, who live in Collierville, were also busy raising kids. So they decided to write about their experiments in a blog they called Little House in the Suburbs.
As it turned out, their timing was perfect.
With the downturn of the economy, a growing number of people were looking for inexpensive solutions to life’s daily tasks and readers in the blogosphere soon discovered their candid, practical offerings. The blog, which draws more than 30,000 visitors a week, focuses on sustainable living and do-it-yourself projects.
Here you’ll learn how to build a sandbox, produce inexpensive laundry detergent and sugar scrubs from scratch, create home preserves, do crafts, and the ins-and-outs of raising goats and chickens in the suburbs. Their tutorials are clearly illustrated and easy to follow, and their cheeky writing will make you laugh out loud.
In February, the blog became a book, published by Betterway Home, and is now available at area bookstores.
While the two have logged more than 400 projects to date, not everything they’ve tried has been a success. Caswell says part of their blog’s appeal is that they often talk about their failures.
“We love showing the squash we killed and the maple syrup that was candy, we love sharing our flops,” says Caswell, who also writes a column for The Commercial Appeal. Their book includes new material and a colorful, searchable format. • $22.99 •
Read more about living sustainably in our interview with Deanna at our blog, Living in the Moment.