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Showing posts from October, 2017

"I want a room like that."

The other day, Sunshine happened to be watching as I played a tiny house video tour on the Living Big in a Tiny House YouTube channel. Built by Ben Garratt of Healthy Homes, the "Rochette" belongs to a family of four with two young children, and when the tour got to the children's shared loft bedroom, Sunshine was enamored. She kept telling us that she wants a room like that. (See this page for photos and details of this gorgeous tiny house on wheels, and especially note the children's bedroom.)

We have toyed off and on with a number of ideas for where everyone will sleep as the years pass and our children grow. Right now they sleep in the downstairs bedroom, which simplifies our lives a lot. They have a quiet place to rest, and we have privacy on the other side of the closed door after they go to sleep.

The past few months, we have been working to fix up the loft space into something much more inviting. It's currently a game room of sorts where Chris hangs out a…

Small Home Living in a Rainy Climate

As summer wound to a close, our four-year-old was spending hours each day playing outside. When you live in a small space, sending the kids outdoors is a great way to get them to use up some energy and for everyone to have a little separation from each other. Sunshine quickly starts bouncing off of the walls in our tiny living room when we're cooped up inside all day.

We live in a corner of the country where it rains pretty much non stop from November to April (or May or June). As the fall weather has been rolling in, I've longed for those long, sunny days of summer so Sunshine can go run around and enjoy all of the wonders to behold right outside our door.

Thus began a search for suggestions about how to make outdoor play a possibility even as the rainy season begins. I was excited to discover that I was not the only parent with this dilemma (hardly!), and that there really was an easy, affordable solution.
Enter the rain suit. Imagine that a pair of coveralls and a rain coa…

How Much Did We Pay for Our House?

I talk a lot about how living in a park model on my parents' land saves us money, but I've never gone into detail about what we paid for our home and how we afforded it.

When we were in the market for a new living situation back in 2008, park models were a bit of a novelty. We actually had a few people suggest (some joking, some serious) that we should look into getting one. The problem was that the dealer closest to our home only carried luxury models, and those homes came with luxury prices. It didn't make sense to us to pay more than $60,000 for something that was less than 400 square feet. The tiny house movement has come a long way since then, and I regularly see even smaller homes for even bigger price tags today, but at the time we were straight out of college with student loans and minimal income, and we wanted something that we could more easily afford.

I spent a lot of time on Craigslist in those days looking at real estate and manufactured houses, and that is wh…

If you could go bigger, would you?

I spend a lot of time singing the praises of living small. I also have devoted a few posts to discussing the downsides of tiny and small house living. Clearly there are positives and negatives to our chosen lifestyle, but we believe that the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

And yet...

There is a lingering question in my own mind.

If we could have a bigger home without having to change up our economic situation to do so...would we?

Honestly, we might.

When I think about our reasons for living the way we do, I cannot deny that the financial benefits of not having a huge mortgage payment are high on my list. Trying to imagine being able to upsize our square footage without upsizing our debt  (or our current income) is difficult at best because the two are so intricately connected in my experience. If the opportunity to have more space without paying a dime suddenly dropped into our laps, would we go for it?

We were not one of those couples that decided to sell their 2000 square foot ho…

Why We Love Our SodaStream

I have a fondness for soft drinks. Soda, Coke, fizzy drink--around here, we simply refer to it as pop, and it's a guilty pleasure of ours despite its near complete lack of nutritional benefit.

Now don't get me wrong: we have never regularly over-indulged a soda pop habit, but we do enjoy a fizzy drink with dinner or as part of a movie night snack a few times a week. In the past, this has meant transporting and storing large plastic bottles or twelve-packs of cans just to have some pop on hand for when we want it. Then we have to deal with the increased recycling that results from drinking beverages out of cans and bottles on a regular basis. In a small home, this is a big deal.
This is why we have allotted a small section of our coveted kitchen counter top to one of these:

Note: Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. See this page for our full disclosure.
What It Is
The SodaStream is a small kitchen appliance that uses a proprietary carbon dioxide caniste…

Working on the Loft Again

Back in August, I shared that we spent the summer giving our loft a makeover. We're still finishing up the space a little bit at a time as funds and time allow. Within the last week, we moved another storage unit up into the corner to hold a bunch of Chris's smaller gaming items along with his collection of joysticks and steering wheels. Today, I was able to finish painting the corner above the living room that we hope to turn into a special space for Sunshine (age 4) in time for Christmas.
Here's what that wall looked like before I started. As you can see, we weren't able to finish the part around the railing last time we painted, so it needed some attention badly.
Please excuse the clutter and the mess in these photos. Everything is still a work in progress.

Painting in a tiny area requires a fair bit of planning to make sure you have everything you need before you box yourself in with paint supplies. If I could go back and spend the $500, I would pay the upgrade fee to…

Three Ways Living Tiny Makes Eco-Friendly Living Harder

So you've heard that living in a smaller footprint is good for the environment, right? Less to heat and cool? Less room to accumulate junk that's just going to end up in a landfill? Less materials (and material waste) used to build the home in the first place?

Not every part of living small encourages eco-friendly practices, though. Sometimes the nature of living in a tiny house actually invites us to became more wasteful.

1. Quick, hide the recyclables!
We recycle as much out of habit as out of a desire to care for our environment. When we moved into our first apartment after we got married, part of the lease agreement included recycling due to waste management policies in the city where we lived. Even after moving back home to a less recycling-progressive locale, we've kept up the habit. It feels natural, and it seems like the right thing to do. Unfortunately, our current city doesn't offer curbside pick up of recyclables, so we have to take it all to the recycling c…