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About Me, Michelle Marine

marine family foto 2013

Welcome to Simplify, Live, Love – written by Michelle Marine in Eastern Iowa. SimplifyLiveLove provides down-to-earth living for adventurous families. If you like green living tips, clean eating recipes, homesteading adventures, and family travel resources, this is your place.

I’m Michelle Marine – 

In 2006, my little family of four moved from suburban Colorado Springs to rural Eastern Iowa. My husband, Dan, had been teaching at the Air Force Academy and we made the difficult decision to leave active duty military life and become self-employed. We started a home building business, Oak Tree Homes, right before the housing market evaporated and had to be very creative to keep our family and company afloat for many years.

SimplifyLiveLove was born in 2010 after baby number four was born to chronicle our personal journey during tough times. It has evolved over the years and is now a resource for busy moms who want to get back to the basics of practical living, travel, and family.

Michelle Marine SimplifyLiveLove

I have a snarky sense of humor and an MA in English Linguistics from Arizona State University, where I studied the power of sexist language and its effects on English as Second Language Learners (super interesting stuff)! I also have a BA in German Language and Literature (a highly practical and useful degree) from the University of Missouri.

third grade class photo at the Heidelberg Castle Germany

My family lived in Germany for much of my childhood. We moved to the Heidelberg area from Mississippi when I was in the middle of first grade, and returned to the States after I finished eighth grade. I learned fluent German, and still keep in touch with German friends today. My sister and I were horrified when our parents moved us to Missouri so we could graduate from high school in the United States, but I guess it worked out for the best. I doubt I would have met Dan if not for moving back to the States. And then I would also have missed on living in Japan for three years with Dan when he was active duty Air Force.

Living all over the world has given me a unique perspective on life that I will always treasure. A few years ago when I was visiting the World War II Museum in New Orleans, it really hit me how much my life was shaped by the tragedy of World War II. If not for that horrific event, I would not have had the positive life experiences in both Germany and Japan that I hold so dear.

The twelve years I lived and studied abroad in Germany and Asia also fueled my passion for greener living and international travel. Living in rural Iowa allows us to act on those green living passions by growing a large garden that supplies a lot of family’s food, living in one of the most energy efficient homes in the United States, and raising bees, dogs, and chickens in addition to the four well-traveled farm kids we have today.

passive-aggressive house

About the blog –

When I started this blog in 2010, I had no idea it what it would become. It started as a way to share money saving ideas with friends and then evolved into so much more. At SimplifyLiveLove.com, we encourage families to collect memories instead of things. Offering practical advice on green and sustainable living, farm-to-table recipes, gardening tutorials, and our family travel exploits, we hope you will cut through the BS of life and focus on what matters: your family, your sanity, and your health.

SimplifyLiveLive is also proud to help families navigate through hip dysplasia. By sharing our daughter’s struggle with developmental┬ádysplasia of the hip, we have helped numerous families survive rough times with practical advice, personal connections, and love.

In addition to publishing SimplifyLiveLove, I am also the Creative Content Director for our home-building and remodeling company, Oak Tree Homes. I also taught online community college classes for ten years, helping hone students’ grammar and writing skills.

Brand Ambassador & Influencer

SimplifyLiveLove is proud to partner with brands that align with our green and healthy lifestyle. My goal is not to simply work with brands though. I want to be a true partner in sharing information and excitement and develop real relationships. My audience enjoys my personal stories and responds to posts that help make their lives more enjoyable, healthy, or fun. Please email me at [email protected] to discuss partnership opportunities!


I’m also a published author! My first book, How to Raise Chickens for Meat is now available at Tractor Supply and Book Sellers everywhere! Part memoir, part homesteading tutorial, and part cookbook, this lovely new book will help your family take the next step toward self-sufficiency! Learn how easy it is to raise your own chickens for meat so you can put a full farm t0 table meal on your family dinner table. Or if raising chickens for meat isn’t for you, you can also learn how to utilize the entire chicken in your kitchen to save you money and help your family be a little bit greener!