Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why tiny?

There are people who love tiny houses, people who actually live in tiny houses, and people who just don't get it. Why live in such a tiny space? Something only 120 square feet plus a loft is about the size of my old bedroom, but that size seems just right to me. In this post I'll give my story; why I want to live tiny.

I'm not sure what got me obsessed, but I do know that I first found out about tiny homes from my parents. My dad had found Jay Shafer's tiny house online, and we couldn't stop talking about how cute it was.

From then on, tiny houses stayed in the back of my mind. It wasn't until a few years ago that my driven interest really began. After staying in Brittany Yunker's Bayside Bungalow for the weekend with my dad, tiny living seemed like it could become a reality.

From then on, I began to look at my things in a different way. Instead of shopping I began to get rid of things and be more mindful of what I brought into our home. Away went the junky souvenirs that gathered dust, the "stylish" clothes that really weren't my style and never would be, and the shelves of books from my childhood (don't worry, I kept my most favorites). I began to realize that the less things I had, the more I appreciated and valued my possessions. My room takes much less time to tidy and I'm rarely hunting for things to wear as my wardrobe is made up of just my favorites.

But tiny living isn't just about living with less things. To me, it promises a life of more freedom. Instead of becoming tied to a mortgage and having to commit to a full time job, I'll be able to work a job that I love even if it pays less. And, without debt hanging over my head, if I hate my job I might just be able to quit. This free time and monetary flexibility will hopefully allow me to create a life where I can volunteer, spend time with others, and devote time to my hobbies instead of setting them aside for retirement as many Americans do.

I must mention sustainability because it really is a great reason to build a tiny house. It uses less materials, energy, heating, water, and natural habitat than a normal home meaning it is certainly quite green. It will be a weight lifted off of my conscience. For me this is truly just an added bonus.

Tiny living is a lifestyle that I want to have and somewhat already do. You don't have to have a tiny house to live tiny. Take a minute to think about your water usage, your stuff, and your life to see where you can pare down. How can you simplify?

Find one way to live tiny and be sure to let me know how it goes. I hope that it brings you the same joy that it brings me. (I really do want to know. Comment on this post or send me an email because tiny living is all about community!)

Enjoy today,

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tiny house workshop weekend

I just had the best weekend. My parents (they're the best) signed me up for a tiny house workshop in Portland this weekend. We drove down Friday after work and I spent the weekend learning while my parents explored Portland. I can't cover everything in one post, but for now I'll focus on how I tried to make this weekend as eco-friendly as possible!

We really wanted to take the train to Portland. It's a five hour drive from Bellingham and it gets less exciting every time. Plus, that's a lot of gas. Unfortunately, the train schedule was horrible (one train a day) and we would have had to leave Friday morning. None of us could miss school or work, so we ended up driving.

Parking the bike in the room since our car was parked outside where it wouldn't be secure
When I picked the hotel, I wanted somewhere that was close to the workshop. I used google maps to find a close hotel and used the bike directions tool to make sure I could easily get there. It ended up being perfect! The hotel was on the edge of town (not within walking distance of much) but it was a few blocks away from a MAX line (tram). My lovely parents took the challenge and learned Portland's public transport to find their way downtown! Our car parked at the hotel when we got there and stayed until we were ready to leave (with a stop for a tiny house tour on the way).

A tight squeeze in the hotel elevator (and quite a few funny looks from strangers!)

The tiny house! More details on tiny homes to come :)
I'm really happy that I decided to take my bike. It got me moving twice a day which was nice since I was sitting in the workshop the rest of the time. I also had a good adventure trying to navigate around using the GPS on my phone and saw bits of Portland that I would never have noticed otherwise. I'm glad my parents tried out public transport and we were able to offset a tiny bit of the 10 hours of driving we did to get there and back.

If you are interested in tiny houses (even just curious!), here is the link to the company that I took the workshop with: http://padtinyhouses.com/

I'm excited to tell you more about my exciting weekend and all the inspiration I received!

Enjoy today,

Monday, April 15, 2013


Every once and a while I find myself grumpy, anxious, and just not feeling good. Generally I'm able to snap myself out of a bad mood, but these times I wake up in the morning with lingering negativity.

Days like today, when I feel blah and yuck, generally lead to thought. I think, why do I feel this way?! And it's always the same answer. Have I been exercising? No. Have I been eating healthy? Not as much as I'd like. Am I keeping up with my projects? Not so much.

Just like in the Aaron Carter songs of my youth, in my mind I hear that 90's errrrruh of the DJ stopping the record. And I reset. I go back to what I know makes me feel good. I'm not perfect so I forget what I need to do, but I'm never too far gone to get back on track.

So after school today I made myself a tasty snack, indulged in some Pinterest, and then kickboxed for 30 minutes. As I write this, slightly sweaty, I think about how grateful I am for good moods and how thankful I am to be able to create them.

As of now, a rare Bellingham thunderstorm is rolling in, and I'm in the mood to enjoy it. I think I might make some tea.

Enjoy today,

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