Solar Oven – take 2

Hello hello!  How’s everyone doing?  Man, I’ve been busy and really let this slide.  ooops!  I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled posts soon but for now I wanted to share that I saw a solar oven in person!!!  I also spoke to the owner.  Unfortunately, I was so excited to see the oven I forgot to snap a photo.  Blogger fail!  =(

This was not the one mentioned in the previous post but more of a homemade version.  Still the same concept with the reflective shield directing the sun into the “cooker” part.  It does cook similar to a crock pot and the owner had much success in cooking in it.  The one I saw was much bigger than the one you would purchase from that company I posted about last week.  This was built into an adobe base (probably about 36″ high) with the edges of sun shield above my head.  This was nice as the cooking part was countertop height and you didn’t have to bend down to get your food in and out of the “oven” part.

I’ll see if anyone else in the group took a picture to share on here.  Anyways, I do have some interesting posts coming up so stay tuned.  Since I’m on summer break I will most likely post about 3 times a week so that I can focus on getting more work done on the other days.

Manic Monday!

Hello all! Welcome back! Sorry I took some time off last week…it was a whirlwind of a week/weekend (the ear is better but not back to normal which they think is actually something else now..womp womp) and doesn’t look like it’s going to calm down any time soon. =)  BUT that’s a good thing because while I can’t say I’m OFFICIALLY on summer break yet (I’m teaching a 2 week summer class) it is somewhat summer break as this class is going to be FUN and I’m so so so fortunate to have this opportunity.  I’ll explain more when I get some extra time.  In the meantime, enjoy some summer photos of my house!

Summer!

Turtle!!!

Hello and happy Monday!  Did you all have a great weekend?  I had a whole list of things to do (seriously a whole 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper full of things to do!) but unfortunately my ear is still throbbing and I just laid low.  It’s so frustrating…but I’m headed back to the doc tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get some answers and get this thing cleared up.

At one point I was outside checking on some things on the house and found a new friend!  Check out this little guy.

turtle!

Continue reading Turtle!!!

New York Auto Show..tiny house addition!

TGIF!  Woohoo!  We made it to the weekend!  I don’t know about you but I’m ready for the weekend and a little down time.

I came across this interesting article about Ford, you know – the car company, in which they are towing tiny houses with two of their trucks as an advertisement to boast how their trucks can tow something like this.  These two tiny houses are named after the Henry, who founded the Ford company, and his wife Clara.  I think it’s pretty cool that Ford is jumping on the tiny living bandwagon. =)

Anyways, these two tiny houses (and the Ford trucks that are towing them) will be making a trip across America to various car shows – at least that’s how I understand it.  You can find out more about the tour here.

Maybe my next car should be an F-250? or maybe not since I’m trying my best to be eco-friendly. =)

 

 

 

 

Solar Oven

Happy Humpty Hump day!  How’s it going?  Today’s topic is about a solar oven – just like the post title. I’m so clever, huh?  Anyways, someone posted this is one of those tiny house groups I’m a member of…. while this seems like a great idea (using the sun to heat an oven) I’m not sure how good it is.  This is what is looks like….

_MG_3259 New-Reflectors-B.jpg

Continue reading Solar Oven

Electrifying news…

Hello and happy Tuesday!  Welcome back!  How’s everyone doing?  Me, I’m hanging in there.  It’s a busy time of the semester with last minute things, events, grading, projects, students freaking out, etc.  Plus I’m teaching a 2 week summer class right after the end of this term so I have to prepare for that…add on top of that, I’ve had an ear infection for the past week.  Yup, a grown adult with an ear infection.  I’ve been to see my doc and a specialist so I have some good meds.  I am on the mend but it has not been fun and quite painful. So what’s it like to be sick in a tiny house you ask….uh, just like being sick in a normal size house. ha! I spent a lot of time this weekend on the couch just relaxing,  drinking tea, watching movies, etc.  So really no different other than the fact that I also cleaned the whole house, which took all of 10 minutes so I guess that’s the added benefit to living tiny.

Another benefit…..

Continue reading Electrifying news…

Cha-ching!

Hello, hello!  Happy Thursday everyone!  How are you all doing today? Having a great week?

Again, short post today BUT I have some interesting and good news….I sold my old composting toilet on ebay!!!

old toilet

This was quite a shock to me as I wasn’t sure if it would sell let alone had 15 bids!  I haven’t seen any used ones before on ebay and thought I would start there and then if it didn’t sell I would take it to Habitat for Humanity.  I duel posted on Craigslist as well – which someone local contacted me about AFTER it sold.  wah, wah. =(

Continue reading Cha-ching!

Defending another tiny house dig…

Hello!  Welcome back!  Whew, it’s Wednesday already – can you believe it?  Sorry for the absence the past few days.  I took a trip out of town and then was playing catch up.  You know how it goes, right?

Well, this is a short post but I had to make some comments on an article that was posted in the National Review.  You can read the article here.  The author pretty much takes a stab at tiny houses… and well, I have some comments about this.

Continue reading Defending another tiny house dig…

Tiny House Tailgate is famous!

Hello, hello!  Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  did you do anything fun and exciting?  This is going to be a short post but I wanted to share this video of the Tiny House tailgate that I saw last week.  As I’ve mentioned a few times on here, I like a few tiny house groups on facebook…well, this weekend, the video below popped up!  You can buy it if you choose….there is a sleeping loft, a full bathroom, and this awesome patio area. =)

 

Tailgating Tiny

TGIF!  What a week!  Did it fly by or what?  Guess it’s that time of year where everything seems to be in overdrive. It’s ok with me, just means we’re one more week closer to summer! =)

So, there is another tiny house in the town I’m currently living in!  Well, it’s maybe not an exact tiny house for someone to live in BUT instead, it’s used as a tailgate for football games!  Let me explain.

Continue reading Tailgating Tiny

Earth Day Texas

Hello hello!  How’s your week going so far?  I saw an advertisement for Earth Day Texas, which I won’t lie, doesn’t sound tiny house related what so ever and they need to work on that name…but it appears to be a tiny house conference-esque type of event in Dallas, Texas this coming weekend.  I really enjoyed the Tiny House Jamboree I attended last summer in Colorado Springs so I am curious about this one as it seems somewhat similar. You can read about it on this link.

Continue reading Earth Day Texas

The question to live tiny..Park 3

Hello!  Today, I’m continuing the post on the 77 reasons NOT to go tiny with my 77 reasons TO go tiny.  =)  Again, my comments to each one is in blue and bold.  Enjoy!

 

Reason #54-57: More than with building an average home, you’ll need to educate yourself. Spend the money to attend a workshop on building a tiny house even if you’re not doing it yourself. But first learn about legality and parking. <- agree on this one

More concerns come from people who question how a tiny house will hold up in bad wind and cold and hot weather. <- actually, tiny houses are (or should be) built to withstand highway travel (ie, 70 mph winds) and, if bought from a tiny house builder, most have been built inside so they are not exposed to the elements.  From my experience and understanding tiny houses are actually built more stable and stronger than a traditional house. 

Reason #58: Tiny house dwellers have more to fear when a storm roars in around them. Most of the wood-framed homes erected on travel trailers are homemade projects, meaning they might not be sealed from wind and rain to the same level as a professionally built structure. <- I have no experience with a DIY project as I hired a builder for mine but I will say that if a tornado is going to hit a place it will destroy a traditional house as much as it would destroy my tiny house.  No building materials or structure will withstand a tornado and if it gets hit by one I would rather be out the 30 grand I spent on my house versus the 300 grand and the construction time to rebuild a traditional house.  That is what insurance is for though… I am very fortunate that both of my parking spots have tornado shelters as well as my place of employment.  

Reason #59: Since tiny houses on wheels are not legal to live in full time, they also don’t have to adhere to strict building codes that require windows, walls and roofs to withstand powerful weather forces. <- disagree as they do have to adhere to codes plus highway travel

Reason #60: And, they aren’t anchored to a solid foundation. <- True!  it’s called FREEDOM! =) My house is hex bolted to the trailer and it’s not going anywhere. 

Reason #61: “While I agree that tiny houses can withstand normal wind and rain, it’s important to know that there may be a time to evacuate,” says Elaine Walker, co-founder of the American Tiny House Association, who works with city officials and advocate groups to regulate movable micro dwellings, redefine zoning laws and streamline the legal issues. <- I’m not quite sure what this is complaining about…. if a tornado is coming everyone should evacuate into a tornado shelter – traditional home or tiny house! 

Reason #62: Walker lives in Florida where hurricane and tornado force winds have ripped regular houses off foundations. “Lesser winds can tear the roof off and lift RVs and tiny houses up into the storm, only to come crashing down a distance away.” <- most insurance companies won’t cover hurricane damage as they say you can move a tiny house (or RV) since you are given fair warning when a hurricane is coming.  As a tiny house is on a trailer and mobile, I would say this is an advantage in that you can get inland and avoid the winds.  

Reason #63: Hurricane ties and straps, earthquake tie-downs and other anchors can help protect a tiny house, she says, unless the wind is strong enough to make tethers insufficient. <- if winds are strong enough you should not be in the tiny house.  I’m unsure what earthquake tie-downs are but my tiny house has survived quite a few earthquakes with minimal damage (a glass broke because it was jolted off the shelf) since they are designed to withstand road travel in which they move more than during an earthquake. 

Reason #64: You still need to insure a tiny house. <- yes – you have to insure pretty much everything 

Reason #65: Answer Financial, the online cross-shopping platform for auto and home insurance, says the best way to protect a tiny home is to anchor it to foundation. That means buying or renting a plot of land or a spot in a tiny home community <- it’s not a necessity to anchor to a foundation to get insurance.  I have full coverage on mine, am a full time resident, and live in a tornado prone area of the country.  This is all covered without a foundation. 

Reason #66: Getting your home certified by the National Organization for Alternative Housing (NOAH) may make it easier to purchase coverage from some insurers, says Answer Financial. <- possibly but not a necessity – as shown in previous answer

Reason #67: The insurance site also recommends that if a tiny home is mobile, it should be certified by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. <- this actually has drawbacks because some insurance agencies won’t cover a full time RV resident.  You would probably have to shop around.  Mine is fully covered and I am not RVIA certified. 

Reason #68: Builders who are RVIA certified can provide an RV VIN (vehicle identification number), which also makes it easier to get tiny homes registered. <- my trailer has a VIN number that is registered.  The tiny house built on top of it isn’t but the trailer is and thus has a license plate and registration fees. 

Reason #69: Don’t expect your tiny home to appreciate like a traditional dwelling, says Answer Financial <- can’t say but I would imagine so.  However, I don’t think most tiny house dwellers go into it for the resale value. I think most of us go into it for the “now” value. In which money we’re saving now will add up to what would be a resale value. 

Reasons #70-77: People who have left comments on Oregon live stories have other reasons to dislike tiny houses. Here’s a small sampling:

goodbyeoregon Gives new meaning to “trailer trash.” <- actually most tiny house dwellers are middle income and prefer to live tiny for sustainability reasons, freedom to travel, and economic.  Have you seen how much some tiny houses costs??? I wouldn’t have that’s trailer trash. 

KKStJohn “The $78,000 price tag on the 280 sqft house is absurd. Maybe $8,000.” <- it all depends on what you value, right?  Plus, you can get a tiny house for less than that. =)

Tobi “Conceivably people who want to live in an RV park could buy an RV and rent space in an RV park…but these folks want to live in someone’s backyard with an extension cord heading to some main building because these are cute and RV Parks are transient and not-so-cute? Build it for free but rent a space for it at $750 a month and you might as well just move into an apartment…” <- I can see the point in this one but it also depends on the area’s cost of living.  If your renting land for $750 a month I bet rent prices are also pretty steep.  Here’s an example:  I pay $250 and utilities in my current and previous locations.  RV parks around my area go for $350-$400 and include utilities.  Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in a nice area of town (comparable to where I’m parked) go for around $750-$1,000 so I think things are all relative. 

bms1211 “Not legal. Stop posting this stuff. It has been posted, discussed and dissected. You still like defending this person? Do a little research before you try to come to the aid of criminals who admit to the crime in your ‘article’ and yet still feel they were the ones wronged.” <- not legal in city limits but not, not legal. =) 

RailwayMan “She knew it wasn’t legal when she built it, and now she wants the laws ignored for her personal gain; go fish, Ms. Dummy!” <- well, each city has different zoning laws so it could potentially be legal in some city limits.  Plus, they are mobile so you can move it wherever and they can get parked in RV parks. 

Viking2014 “They were not paying property taxes.” <- I pay registration and taxes on my trailer plus enough other taxes to live in this city. 

native57 “The money they spent on a tiny house could have gone a long way toward a down payment on a home, or rent.” <- is a tiny house not a home? I plan to pay off my tiny house and live “rent” free afterwards then it becomes my vacation house.  My goals are not to have a down payment on a traditional house.  I’ve been there and done that.  it was stressful and a lot of work. Right now my house is manageable and I can come and go as I please since I don’t have to worry about cutting the grass, removing the snow, watering the lawn, making sure the latest earthquake didn’t cause any foundation issues, etc. 

Yeah, I know tiny houses aren’t for everyone.  They have their own difficulties and set of circumstances, however, they are also pretty darn cool and I can honestly say I have a pretty good lifestyle.

What do you think?

Parking spot feature…

Hello and happy Monday!  Did you all have a great weekend? I hope so!  Mine was pretty low key.  I’m not sure what was going on but I was just extremely tired and didn’t want to do anything (at all!) other than just chill on the couch and watch TV.  I even took a nap on Saturday afternoon.  This is pretty unusual for me.  I’m feeling back to “normal” now and must have needed some down time.  Regardless, that means that I didn’t do much this weekend other than the necessities.

Continue reading Parking spot feature…

Fri-yay!

Hello and TGIF!  Fun plans this weekend?  Are you doing an Easter Egg hunt?  Me, nope.  I will most likely just be relaxing this weekend.  I feel like I’ve been on the go lately and just need some time to chill and recharge.  You know what I’m saying?  I’m taking a break from the 77 reasons to GO tiny to show you my latest purchase – which some of you will laugh at because it’s really nothing big or anything but it’s making my mornings much better.  I’ve mentioned this before on here but I like my coffee in the mornings.  I like to wake up and have a hot cup of coffee ready to go (in the winter) and because of this, I have a drip coffee maker that is suppose to brew the perfect cup of coffee – on a timer so it’s ready when I get out of bed.  This is just one of those little life pleasures that I have.  This is my coffee pot.

coffee pot with timer

Continue reading Fri-yay!

77 reasons TO live tiny…Part 1

Hello, hello!  I found this interesting article in The Oregonian that lists 77 reasons NOT to live in a tiny house.  You can read the full article here.  And while I agree that some of those 77 are an issue I will explain the tiny side of things.  My comments will be bold and in blue after the list of reason.  This might get interesting… =)

Continue reading 77 reasons TO live tiny…Part 1

Toilet Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!  Do you like the title of this post.  Doesn’t it make you laugh?!  This post is an update on the new toilet.  You can read about why I got a new toilet here  and Here’s where I got a new toilet.  And finally, check out this post about installing the new toilet.

So now that your caught up in my toilet situation – what’s it like after using it for a month – ok, not quite a month but you get the idea…

Continue reading Toilet Tuesday

Monday Fun-day!

Hey, hey!  Welcome back!  Happy Monday!  How are you all doing today?  Did you have a good weekend?  Mine was good.  After getting some work done Saturday morning, I got the insulation and the skirting installed as per my “to-do” list.  There is still a little bit that I want to try and fix as I can’t quite get the skirting to lay flat against the backside where the sewer and water line come out of the house.

Still a work in process

Continue reading Monday Fun-day!

First week in my new location

Hello and TGIF!  Woohoo!  Any fun plans this weekend?  I’ve got a list of “to-do” items in store for this weekend.  The weather forecast calls for clear skies for the next few days so I’m hoping some of the mud puddles around my house will dry up.  If they do the first thing I need to do is get the insulation back up behind the skirting on my house.  I quickly threw on the skirting after the move because of the rain but now need to fix it and put down some “anchors” aka, bricks, on the backside to keep it from blowing in the wind.

Continue reading First week in my new location

location update

Hello, hello!  Happy hump day!  Hope you all doing well.  This is a short post it’s been a busy week but I wanted to update that the new location is great!  I teach a spinning class on campus at 6:00 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I would usually get up at 4:50 AM to pack breakfast & lunch and clothes (I pack the night before but some things still need to wait till the morning to pack) and leave at 5:20 AM to drive into campus to teach at 6:00.  Well, here is the best news!  Yesterday, I woke at 5:00 AM and left at 5:30.  I arrived at the gym in 7 minutes….what?  7 minute commute!  This means I had time to go home after teaching spin class to shower and get ready for the day.  If this becomes my new schedule I think I could sleep in till 5:15 since I wouldn’t need the time to get my stuff together for the day.  I also get a nice little break to watch the news and eat breakfast at home before starting my day.  Quality of life just improved.  =)

Hope you all have a great wednesday!

My first move!

Happy Monday!  How was your weekend?  I hope it was good and relaxing as mine was quite busy as you can imagine.  The move happened seamlessly and I’m settled into my new spot.  =)

It started Friday afternoon/evening.  Luckily I got out of a meeting early and got home around 3:30 to start the packing process.  I wanted to get the exterior done that night so I could then just do the small interior things Saturday morning.

de-winterized sewer and water line 

Continue reading My first move!

It’s a go!

Hello!  Exciting news over here…I’m moving on Saturday!!!  The new spot is ready, the landlords are excited I’m moving in and even hooked me up with a mover, and my old landlord understands why I’m moving and will return my deposit!  So now the packing…or moving objects has begun.  I’m not even sure what I need to do so I think moving a few miles down the road as a first trip will be a good test. =)

Continue reading It’s a go!

Mooooving!

Hello and happy Wednesday!  Oye, am I feeling behind.  I had to make an unexpected quick trip back to my dads (a plane ride away) which is why I didn’t post the past few days.  Because of this trip, I am now behind… but eventually I will get caught up.

I do have some exciting news though….wait for it…

I got the word that my new parking spot is available!!!!  I will most likely be moving this weekend!!!  I’m going over tonight to check it out and look over the lease.  My new landlords put me in contact with someone they know who can tow my house too!!!  I think this new space was meant to be. =)

I think this was just in time because when I returned home Monday night my current super close neighbors in the RV.  (if you forget the issue with this RV parked 5′ from my front door, you can read it here).  Well they have a few dogs…I THINK they have 3 total but it might be 4…anyways, 1 dog they keep outside in a makeshift “fence” behind their RV.  This dog ALWAYS barks when I go outside and well, since it’s outside all.the.time then anytime I open my door – it barks.  It’s quite annoying.  Anyways, long story short, they put up a wooden barrier between my house and the “fenced” in area.  (they probably overheard me tell this dog to shut up quite a few times) I’ll have to get a picture tonight to show you because it’s ridiculous…they pretty much found dead trees and propped them up to create this “fence” thing.  They also have a pile of wooden crates sitting right outside my door.  Yes, I need pictures because it’s seriously 5′ from my front door.

I think I found a new parking spot at just the right time!

Technology Friday!

TGIF!  Woohoo!  It’s almost the weekend!  Any fun plans?  Me, I have the last Crossfit open workout and then that is done!!!  The Crossfit open is a 5 week “competition” with a new workout every weekend.  You get judged doing the workout and then post your scores online.  This is then compared with everyone else that participates across the world.  Yup, it’s a world competition.  However, with traveling during spring break, which happened in the middle of a 5 week “competition”, I will be glad when that is over.  I was doing pretty good but then my workouts took a tumble when I traveled. ha!

Anyways, back to tiny house talk (oh, that’d be a good blog name!)…look at this new item I found online..

coffee table or fridge or both???

 

Continue reading Technology Friday!

Fruit basket!

Hey hey!  Welcome back!  Exciting stuff going on over here… I’ve been on a hunt for quite awhile to find a wall hanging “basket” that I would like to place on the wall between the stove and the window to store fruits and veggies.  Since I bought my beloved instant pot, I’ve felt like the counter was a little crowded with storing my fruit and veggies on the counter with my mixer as seen below.

wasted wall space in which fruit could be stored

Continue reading Fruit basket!

Tiny house for the homeless…

Hello and happy hump day!  How’s your week going so far?  Mine is good!  Busy getting back into the swing of things after spring break but other than that it’s going great.  As mentioned previously, I have a few articles on tiny houses that I found recently – which, of course, happen to be from Oregon. =)

The first article, which I think are the same structures that I saw when I was in Portland this winter (find the post here), discusses how tiny houses in people’s backyards can help with the homeless issue.  If you didn’t know, Portland has a big homeless population, which is sad but honestly Oregon is such a great place to live with a somewhat mild climate that I don’t blame them for choosing Oregon.

Anyways…

Continue reading Tiny house for the homeless…

A new PR?

Hello hello!  While I know this isn’t a running or fitness blog I do want to share that I set a new half marathon PR (personal record) this past weekend!!! Woohoo!

Go Girl Run Half Marathon

I am extremely surprised by this because I didn’t eat the best while on spring break.  Ok, I’ll take that back – I ate really good/delicious food on spring break but it wasn’t the most nutritious.  Plus this half marathon was really hot – it started around 65 degrees with a high that day at 95. ARG, it’s going to be a hot spring. =(  In fact, it got so hot that day (82 inside) that Blue was sighing and laying all spread out – he does this certain type of laying where all of his body parts are touching the floor when he’s hot – that I broke down and turned on the AC in my house. <- see, I just related this post back to my tiny house! Continue reading A new PR?

Spring Break!

Hi and welcome back!  Can you guess where I was last week during spring break???

the famous carpet at the Portland airport.

It was a fun time and the weather held out and I only experienced 1 day of rain the whole week.  For Oregon, that is pretty darn good! =)  However, it is now back to reality and back to work.  Only 6 more weeks of class.

Spring break

So during my time in Oregon (I also had a brief stay in Chicago for a conference) I discovered this little beauty…

Continue reading Spring Break!

Weekend update

Hello and happy Monday!  Welcome back!  Did you all have a great weekend?  Mine was a mix of both productive and relaxing.  since it’s the week before spring break things are a bit crazy around here getting in midterm grades and such but then a whole week with no classes!  Woohoo!

So, for my big weekend project.  I installed my new toilet …and it wasn’t that big of an issue!  I think the whole thing took maybe 3 hours (installed the new toilet was probably 1 hour total – cleaning took the other time)

Sunmar toilet

Continue reading Weekend update

It’s Fri-yay!!!

TGIF!  Woohoo!  The weekend is here again!  Since I was out of town last weekend I feel like I’ve been playing catch up all week. Don’t you hate that?! This is going to be a short post as I’m sad because I think I killed my lemon tree.  Oh yeah, you forgot I had a lemon tree? This might jog your memory or maybe this one?

Anyways, I brought it inside for the winter and it hasn’t produced any more lemons and in fact the leaves are falling off.  I think not watering it while I was away during Christmas break traumatized it.

sad looking lemon tree (that’s an empty wine bottle filled with water that will automatically water the plant)

It doesn’t look so hot huh?  Perhaps it didn’t get enough sun in the loft…anyways, I will be taking care of that as well as installing my new toilet this weekend!  I’m sure I’ll have tons of stories to tell with that so stop in next week. =)

Mobile update

Happy Thursday friends!  Welcome back!  As I left you on the edge of your seat yesterday waiting to hear about my internet and phone debate, I have yet to come to a conclusion or do anything other than scope out some other options. However, I plan on discussing those today.  And I know most people probably don’t think or shop around this much for these services but, well, I’m not average and really want a good deal because I stick with providers (and devices) for a long time.

I left off last week talking to T-mobile and Verizon about phone plans, data hotspots, and international data packages.  Quick review, right now I have Cricket Wireless for my phone and T-mobile hotspot  for my internet.  Both have been working great but I am needing a new phone so thought I would check what else is available because I need international data for this summer and possibly more hotspot data.  Cricket does not offer international plans and there has been some conflicting information about T-mobiles hot spot international plan but I *think* it will work overseas for ZERO upgrade charge! =)

Continue reading Mobile update

Tiny house in Denver?

Hello and happy hump day!  So as we were exploring Denver this past weekend, we walked past a tiny house!  What?  In city limits you ask???  Yes… it was a juice bar!  I think this is becoming sort of a trend.  It’s really a fancy food truck that looks like a tiny house.  Actually, there’s one downtown where I’m currently located and used as a food truck.  Anyways, I thought this is an interesting concept.

juice bar

Continue reading Tiny house in Denver?

“ET Phone Home”

TGIF!  Woohoo!  We made it to the weekend!  How is everyone?  I’m doing good.  Glad it is the weekend, that’s for sure.  Since I’m not training anymore, I don’t have to get a long run in.  AHHHH!!!  It’s a glorious feeling. =)

So today’s topic is somewhat tiny house related and somewhat not.  I have an iPhone.  I’ve had an iPhone since they first came out.  I laugh at that because I am not tech saavy or into getting the latest and greatest so the fact I had an iPhone before they were popular is kinda funny…especially given that I had that stinking 1st gen iPhone until they made me replace it because the technology changed and they didn’t support it anymore. ha!  I upgraded and had that phone until the battery died (and is not replaceable) and 4 years ago got the iPhone 5.  It could have been 3 but I think it’s been 4 years.  Since then I switched to Cricket Wireless and love that I pay $35 a month and have the exact same service I had with their competitor in which I was paying $90 a month.   I’m going to switch gears for a bit but you’ll see why so hang in there with me….

Continue reading “ET Phone Home”

Yet another post about parking…

Hi!  Happy Thursday!  How are you all doing today?  Getting ready for the weekend?  Me, I’m ready for it. =)

Today, I’m going to talk about parking spots yet again….so I’m discovering is that I talk about toilets and parking the most when living in a tiny house.  Never thought those two things would be the most discussed topics.  Hmmm….wonder what that means.  I know other tiny house dwellers struggle with the parking issue as well.  They might not bring it up as much as I do but it’s a real problem for anyone in a tiny house!  We want to live this lifestyle (each for various reasons) yet we all want to do it legally.  I haven’t seen a single post or discussion about how someone wants to “break the rules” and live illegally or fight when told to evacuate a parking spot. Most dwellers just suck it up and move after told by officials that they are illegal.  Guess that’s a plus with having a house on wheels….

I really want to avoid that yet live closer to town for various reasons as mentioned previously. And I think I found a spot!!!

Continue reading Yet another post about parking…

Another reason for a new parking spot…

Hello!  How are you all today?  Happy Hump Day!  Today’s post is short as I’m still getting caught up with everything since I was out of town last weekend but I wanted to share yet another reason (as if I needed more) in which to find a new parking spot!

I live down a dirt road.  I probably have to travel 1 mile on this road but when it rains (which isn’t often) it turns into a mud pit.  I can not avoid, no matter how slow I drive, getting mud up to the windows of my car.  That is how much mud there is!  It’s crazy ridiculous and takes a few days for it to dry so I drive my car with mud on it for a week or so before I can wash it.  If I washed it right after the rain it would get muddy again and then I just wasted water on washing.  Anyways, that was a side rant as today I was going to share what happened on my ride home from work yesterday…. Continue reading Another reason for a new parking spot…

Back into the swing of things…

Hello and welcome back!  I had a busy weekend as I went to Austin, TX to run the Austin Marathon.  I didn’t get a PR (personal record) but am pretty darn pleased with my time given the weather conditions that day.  This was my 4th marathon but the last one I ran was in 2012 and happened to also have extremely hot weather conditions.  I think that one was hotter but this one was hot and humid.  I was soaked at mile 3 = not good.  Anyways, I got another finishers medal (which just happens to be a belt buckle) and another check mark on my marathon list.

belt buckle medal

I know this is a tiny house blog and not a run blog so let me relate this story back to tiny house living. =)

Continue reading Back into the swing of things…

Toilet topic…yet again

Hello, hello!  How are you all doing today?  Great I hope!  As you can tell from the title of this post, I’m talking toilets again.  Such a great topic, huh?

toilet

Anyways, as previously mentioned here and here and a few other spots that I won’t reference, I’ve had some issues with my current composting toilet.  Mainly bugs, emptying way more than the reference manual, and a plant/dirt smell.  I’ve looked at other options such as a regular flush toilet, RV toilet, and another type of composting toilet.  (I even had a plumber give me an estimate to install a different toilet.  To install a different toilet it would be around $500 – or was it $400?  I can’t find the post – in labor then the cost of the toilet- whichever one I decided on)  While that doesn’t seem too bad if it solved the problem it does mean that I will no longer have the option of being off-grid unless I get a black water storage tank.  Which I would then have to dump…uh, I’d rather dump compost than chemical waste.  I’m kinda grossed out just typing that…

Continue reading Toilet topic…yet again

Parking yet again…

Happy hump day!  Woohoo!  Did you all have a great Valentines day?  Now, go out and buy all the discounted leftover chocolates. Actually, don’t do that as I want some left over for me! =)

So I posted in a private group of crossfit friends about wanting a new parking spot and someone had a lead!  I have a potential parking spot just outside of city limits.  This is not a done deal as this contact is verifying if they have a sewer/electric/water/etc for me but this gives me hope.  Keep your fingers cross my friends!  This is quite exciting for me!

I’m pretty busy these next few weekends – and have to find someone to haul my house – even if it’s just 5 miles down the road so I probably won’t be doing anything for a few weeks anyways.  Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all updated on the progress of “The Great Parking Debate”.  =)

 

Parking update

Happy Valentines Day!  How are you?  Do you have fun plans for tonight?  Me, uh, nope.  I most likely will go on the social run tonight and then home to dinner and cat cuddles.  I know how to get into the holiday spirit, huh?

Anyways, I’m starting to get serious about a new parking spot.  I called a small RV park that is 2 miles away from work (although I still can’t bike to campus due to the road this place is located on) it will tremendously cut down on my commute time.  I mentioned it before (you can read that post here) but never got a call back from the owner..until this weekend when I tried again.

Continue reading Parking update

Weekend project

Hello and happy Monday!!!  Did you all have a great one?  Mine was good.  It was extremely HOT here.  It’s the middle of February and it hit 80 degrees….80!  =(  And I’m running a marathon next weekend when it’s still suppose to be this hot…in February!!!  ARG!  I should be hitting the ski slopes and not wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  ok, I’ll stop being a grump about it but seriously, not cool (and literally, not cool).

So my weekend project included something very very sad….at least to me.  As I’ve mentioned previously- and actually designed my house around – I like to ride bikes.  I currently have a really nice carbon fiber road bike (love her!), a 29″ full suspension mountain bike, and a some-what nice commuter bike.

I’ve also mentioned that I’m looking for a new parking spot because I live too far away from my office to bike commute to work (or anywhere) so that I have to drive.  =(  I also have come to find out that the town I currently live in is just not bike friendly.  I will give them credit as they try, but it’s just not safe to ride a bike in the roads here.  It’s taking your life in your hands if you try.  It’s bad….. so I haven’t been road riding since I moved here.  Major bummer because I do like road riding and am actually kinda good at it. ok, anyways….

Continue reading Weekend project

Remember when…

TGIF!  Remember when I shared with you all photos of tiny houses in Portland, Oregon awhile back???  In case you forgot you can read it here  =)

Well, what do you know BUT there was an article on those houses in Portland Monthly. They are, in fact, built for the homeless!

Read the article here: Portland Monthly

(ps.  I finally figured out how to put text over the links and am all over it!)

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the article and have a fabulous weekend!!!  If your snowed in, stay warm (and know that I’m slightly jealous of you).

NPR & Tiny Homes!

Hello and happy Wednesday!  Depending on when you read this (morning or night) you could be starting the hump or almost over it. =) Either way, I’m glad your here!

Today’s post is kind of random and will be rather short BUT on my way into the gym this morning I heard a story on NPR about the Tiny Houses that were built for the West Virginia flood victims.

Continue reading NPR & Tiny Homes!

84 Lumber is on it!

Hello and welcome back!  By the way, I did not eat the failed meal from the instant pot.  I figured wasting a little bit of food over the possibility of getting sick was worth it.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m part of a Tiny House group on Facebook.  Well someone posted about an 84 Lumber tiny house commercial during the Super Bowl this past weekend…did anyone see it?  Me, I didn’t watch the super bowl but am curious about this commercial.  Anyways, this individual linked up the 84 Lumber website and it seems pretty cool!  They have 4 models to choose from and price range packages from DIY to the fully built house.

 

Continue reading 84 Lumber is on it!

Instant Pot Fail

Happy Monday!  How are you all doing?  Did you have a great weekend?  I hope you did!

Mine was good.  I got in my semi-long run (I’m tapering now so it wasn’t that bad) a little bit of work and some relaxing! But I also had a major food fail.

So I love my instant pot.  You can cook anything and everything in it by using all of the different functions such as the crock pot function.  When using this one it will count down from the time you select (anywhere from 4 – 8 hours) and then it immediately goes into “warm” mode to keep your food the appropriate temperature to keep it from getting those nasty food born bacteria on it.  This was actually the reason I first purchased this amazing device that I have grown to love as I was in the need for a crock pot that kept food warm after the appropriate cooking time.  Since my commute is rather long (in my opinion) and I’m often at work for 10+ hours a day – this includes gym time, lunch, etc. – I would often come home to mush in my crock pot because I didn’t have the warm function on my previous model. Even on the low setting it would cook the food too long and I was eating a soup instead of chicken and broccoli or whatever I might have made.  Not exactly appetizing. My beloved instant pot fixed that little problem! Or so I thought….

Continue reading Instant Pot Fail

Worms… =)

TGIF!  Woohoo!  It’s Fri-YAY! =)  Hope you have fun plans this weekend.  I’ve gotta get in a semi-long training run in and catch up on some work.  (did I mention I’m running Austin Marathon in 3 week?) Other than that I plan to relax!  I need some down time after this busy busy week.

Today’s topic is on composting! =) Are you all as excited as I am??? I’m sure you are…and if not just roll with it today. =)

Continue reading Worms… =)

New Landlord

Hello and happy Thursday!  It is just me or did this week fly by.  I mean fly.  Whew!

I guess I knew this for about a week or so now but I have a new landlord.  I think this is going to be a good thing…but only time will tell I suppose.  I’ve mentioned on here that I rent an RV parking spot (with RV hookups) on 10 acres of land outside of city limits.  So far, besides my new neighbors and a somewhat long commute – in my opinion, I haven’t had any issues.

Continue reading New Landlord

Frustration take 2!

Happy Hump Day!  Hope your all doing well and having a great week so far.  Mine’s been busy busy busy as the new semester kicks off and I’m still figuring out my schedule.  It usually take a good month to get into the swing of it. =)

The past few days have felt more like spring than winter – which, I know, some of you would like – however, there was one day when the temps got below freezing one night.  This isn’t a problem now that I have my garage set up and water lines all figured out…or so I thought.

I awoke one day earlier this week to no water.  WHAT?!?!  How can I have no water when I have a (very expensive) automatic electric heated water line to prevent this exact thing? See the plugs going from the well & hose to the electric box behind?

water connection from well

Continue reading Frustration take 2!

Frustration!

Hello and happy Tuesday! Did you have a great weekend?!  I didn’t get a chance to ask you because I was celebrating yesterday.  =) My weekend was…interesting.  Let me explain.  So it felt like winter again here (yay!) with the night time temps reaching down in the 20’s (ok, that only happened 1 night).  I thought this would be the perfect time to try out the heat lamp idea – I also had just gotten the thermostat outlet.

automatically turns on if the temp gets below 45 degrees

Continue reading Frustration!

Cooking in a tiny house

Hello!  Happy Thursday! And yes, a new topic.  =)  I mentioned awhile ago that I got an instant pot around Thanksgiving as they were having that huge sale on Amazon.

Instant Pot

This guy come in a 7 in 1 function 6 quart size or a 6 in 1 function 5 quart size.  Being that it’s just me and to save space I got the 5 quart size.  Which, to be honest is HUGE in my tiny house! I originally griped about how big it is, and while I still feel that way, I have changed my option of this cooking appliance as I use it all the time.  On what, you ask?

Continue reading Cooking in a tiny house

Experiment…

Hello!  Welcome back!

A few days ago I posted the idea about a heat lamp used for chicken coops….remember?

light shield

Well, I went to the local farm supply store (it happens to be 1 mile from my house and also where I go to fill my propane tanks) and discussed this with the folks there since someone where *hopefully* use these or at least are more familiar with them than me.

Continue reading Experiment…

Winterizing – take 2

Hello and happy Monday!!!  Welcome back!  Did you have a great weekend?  Mine was good.  The weather was warm – in the 60’s so I got to do some outdoor projects that I needed to do.  First one was winterizing my drain line.  As I only have greywater – and with going to try another composting toilet will remain that way – the drain line isn’t the biggest issue if it freezes but it is a pain in the butt!  If I’m home due to crappy icy weather then I want/need to get some things done such as laundry, washing dishes, etc.  and with a frozen (which means stopped up) sewer line, doing those things just isn’t going to happen until the afternoon when the weather warms up to thaw the frozen line. So, I decided to winterize my sewer line!  What does that mean, you ask?

Continue reading Winterizing – take 2

Toilet update

Hello, hello and happy Fri-yay!  Do you have any fun plans for this weekend???  Me, I’m just catching up and relaxing as we just finished the first week of the semester.  1 down, 14 to go! I really shouldn’t count like that…ha!

Today’s topic is a fun one…toilets! Remember (awhile back now) how I was unhappy with my composting toilet as it requires much more maintenance than the reviews/owner manual, smells (like dirt but a pretty strong odor), and attracts insects….

toilet

Well, I made a decision on what I’m going to replace it with…

Continue reading Toilet update

Ice storm…take 3

Hello, hello!  I know you all are anxiously awaiting what water heater options I have so I’ll just go right into it. =)

First option is to simply replace exactly what I have.  An Eccotemp propane tankless hot water heater.

water heater

I know it works well for my application and, while I have to keep a 1400w space heater in the bike garage during winter – it’s energy efficient and I haven’t had any issues with it working other than this whole freeze thing.  The plumbers will simply just take out the busted on and install this..boom – done.  I looked into purchasing just the parts that are broken (the heating element) and the manufacture doesn’t sell a replacement for that part so that wasn’t an option.  So this is option 1.

Continue reading Ice storm…take 3

Ice storm….take 1

Hello!  Welcome back!  I took a few days off as I went out of town again.  When I returned (luckily in the night after I had already flown in) we got an ice storm.  The meteorologist had been predicting this so it wasn’t like it took everyone by surprise and in fact it turned out to be a lot milder than originally planned.  However, I awoke Saturday to this…

Ice storm

Continue reading Ice storm….take 1

Wanted: Parking spot in town for my THOW

Hello hello!  Welcome to another week!  Did you have a fun weekend?  Well, I hope you couldn’t tell but I spent my winter break in Oregon and returned back to my tiny house this past weekend.  Everything was a-ok upon my return…other than the fact that a huge RV parked RIGHT.BESIDE.ME! Of all the places on this land that I’m renting, it parked about 15 feet from my front door.  So, whenever I look out, all I see is the backside of an RV.  Real great…

Continue reading Wanted: Parking spot in town for my THOW

Clutter-clearing

TGIF!  It’s Friday!   woohoo!  Do you have any fun weekend plans?  I hope so!

I saw an interesting article on Houzz – a home design website – that give a monthly year long “guide” to de-cluttering your home.  You can read the article here:

Again, going back to the new years resolutions from yesterday I’m not sure this is just coming up because it’s a fresh start to a new year or if minimizing and de-cluttering is a new trend?  Anyways…

Continue reading Clutter-clearing

Lifestyle

Happy Thursday all!  We’re almost to the weekend again.  =)

I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the start of a new year or if this trend is gaining more and more attention but there seems to be many articles, facebook posts, and other things geared towards minimizing and simplifying life recently.  This popped up in my facebook feed from Passionate Penny Pincher (a blog geared towards saving money – don’t follow unless you want bombarded with posts!)

Purge list

Continue reading Lifestyle

Another tiny house community!

Hello friends!  How’s this Wednesday treating you?  Are you back into your normal routine?  Some exciting news today that I want to share about the tiny house movement.  When you think of the tiny house movement you probably think people live in them in more progressive states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, etc.  However, I came across an article today about a tiny house village in OKLAHOMA!  What?  A very conservative state is building a planned tiny house community in Bartlesville, OK.  Yup, I had to look that up too. =)

Bartlesville, OK

Continue reading Another tiny house community!

Happy 2017!

Hello friends!  Welcome back!  Hope you had a great holiday and are gradually getting back into the swing of things.  My holidays were great and I still have a few weeks to get things sorted out before the start of the next semester.  =)

So, did you set a new years resolution???  If not – here’s an idea for you.  I’ve mentioned the Minimalist on here before but they have an interesting concept for the new year with everyone making resolutions and things…

Continue reading Happy 2017!

Big Hearts give Tiny Homes

Hello and welcome back!  Today’s topic is one that I would like to shine a little light on in that tiny homes can be a good thing.  This past summer, a huge flood hit parts of West Virginia and destroyed many many homes leaving families with nothing but a mess to clean up.  This is close to my heart as this occurred very close to where I called home for about 10 years.  You can find out more info about the flood here: http://wvflood.com/Pages/default.aspx

The Department of Education and West Virginia got together to create the Big Hearts Give Tiny Homes project in which the career and technical schools within the state built 15 tiny houses for the flood victims….in about 30 days!

Continue reading Big Hearts give Tiny Homes

Forever?

Hello!  Happy Hump Day!  I’ve kind of fallen off the everyday blogging thing.  Guess the holiday’s have caught up with me and it’s just slipped my mind. =)  However, I’m back at it again today and wanted to share an interesting article I found on facebook.  Ok, maybe I didn’t find it but someone in the Tiny House Community facebook page posted it.

It talked about how their tiny home wasn’t their forever home…and how that’s ok.

Continue reading Forever?

Happy Monday of Christmas week!

Hello and welcome back!  Did you have a fabulous weekend?  Mine was good.  I have some photos to share with you all from a trip to Portland, Oregon.  Portland is a great city in that not only does it have great artwork and fun crazy things going on but also good food and drinks. It’s also a fairly progressive city with it’s zoning codes.  One of the downsides of this really super cool city is that there is a large homeless population in which some initiatives are in place to help with.

My last trip to Portland included a walk around the Pearl District.  This part of town is known for it’s artsy hip vibe with great mom & pop restaurants and breweries.  This also happens to be where the Portland Art Institute is located, which might have nothing to do with this post but I should note it because I *think* the students there designed and/or built some micro housing which was on display (not sure if that was intended as we couldn’t walk inside and no one was around) in a big lot beside their school.  There were probably about 10 tiny houses located in this lot. As there was no signage, and it was 7 am on a Saturday morning, we didn’t know why or what they were for, hence they may be from the Art Institute or they may have nothing to do with it.

Portland tiny houses

Continue reading Happy Monday of Christmas week!

Monday, Monday, Monday!

Hello and happy Monday to you all!  Hope you had a great weekend!  Mine was good.  I wrapped up the last of the semester so I am officially on Christmas break now! Woohoo!  I still must do some work but won’t have a set schedule till the middle of January. Ahhh!  =)

So this weekend was a cold one for me.  As I’ve mentioned the past few posts.  I got to use the fireplace every night before bed.  It got the house to a toasty 68-70 degrees.  I then went to bed with the Envi wall heaters on and awoke to around 60-62 degrees.  (Envi heaters are set to around 1/2 way so I could keep it warmer but like to sleep in cooler temps) Not too bad when it’s 15-20 degrees outside. If I stayed home in the morning I would light the fireplace again but since I often just leave for the gym it’s perfect.  I will open the curtains and the sun heats up the interior during the day so when I return home it’s often up in the high 60’s or so.

Since this is the first time my house has experienced freezing temperatures for a sustained amount of time I was a bit concerned about freezing water & the hot water heater because it’s located in the bike garage.

propane on demand water heater in back left corner
propane hot water heater – similar to what I have

Continue reading Monday, Monday, Monday!

TGIF

Happy Friday to you all!  Hope your staying nice and warm with this cold front that’s hitting the US right now.   I’m nice and toasty with the heaters as well as the fireplace on. =)

I was reading another blog this morning that suggests using a heated blanked around your propane tank to keep it from freezing – I think.

propane blanket

Continue reading TGIF

It’s starting to feel like winter!

Hello!  Welcome back!  How’s your week going?  Mine is good.  I think winter weather is hitting most of the US right now and we finally got some colder weather here! woohoo!  I actually turned on the fireplace.  It’s so cozy and I’m so glad I got it.  It’s probably my favorite thing about the tiny house. =)

Fireplace

Imagine: it’s Friday night and you’ve had a busy work week.  You come home, light the fire, turn on a good movie or open a book, and sip a glass of red wine. Ah, perfection!  Too bad it’s Thursday morning, huh?  Anyways, back to the topic today…

Continue reading It’s starting to feel like winter!

Humpty dumpty day

Hello!  Happy Wednesday!  How are you all doing this week?  It’s finals week here and all my classes have finished so all I have left to do is a ton – and I mean ton – of grading.  I’ve gotten several e-mails from students about 1 hour AFTER their final projects were due asking if it was graded yet. ha!  It takes quite a few hours of grading dear students so no, an hour after a project is due it is not graded. =)

Today I’m going to discuss the newest development in that ICC (International Code Council) ruling of the tiny house construction appendix….

Continue reading Humpty dumpty day

Rootin’ tootin’ Tuesday!

Hello and welcome back! How are you all doing?  I’m good because I got an instant pot the other day and have made a few meals in it.  I think it’s especially exciting for me because I don’t have a microwave and this kinda-sorta replaces what you can do with a microwave.  What’s an instant pot you might ask…

Continue reading Rootin’ tootin’ Tuesday!

Happy Monday!

Hello and welcome back!  Did you have a great weekend?  I did! I ran a trail race on Saturday and caught up around the house on Sunday.  One of the things I did was pick some lemons!  My lemon tree – or shrub as it’s not that big – started to turn yellow!

Check them out!

The tree/shrub
The tree/shrub
they look more yellow in person
they look more yellow in person

This is a short post as I’m getting back into the swing of things from the weekend and it’s a busy week with finals.  Last week of the semester! Woohoo!  Stop in tomorrow and I’ll have an update on my new kitchen countertop appliance.

 

Heater update!

TGIF!  Woohoo!  Happy Friday!  Hope you all had a fantastic week.  Do you have fun plans for the weekend?  I think (and honestly, I haven’t been following football much this year so this could be completely false) but this is the last week of rivalry games, right?  Both OSU’s pulled out the win last weekend….THE OSU game was quite a nail biter!  The Beavers game, not so much. =)

A few days ago I shared with you all that I purchased another Envi wall heater (pic below) because they were still on Cyber Monday/Black Friday/who really knows what to call it sale and my other ceramic wall heater wasn’t cutting it.

convection heater
convection heater

Continue reading Heater update!

Toilet topic – again

Welcome back!  Happy Thursday!  How’s your week going so far?  Mine, it’s pretty good.  We’re wrapping up the last week of the semester and gearing up for finals next week.  It’s almost Christmas break!!!

I was chatting with my dad earlier this week (Hi dad!) about the toilet situation as we had a camper growing up and I wanted some feedback as to the toilet and if there were any issues with that set up when we would go for trips in it.  I’m sure things have changed in the RV industry since the 1990’s but a gravity fed toilet is still a gravity fed toilet, right?

Continue reading Toilet topic – again

Heater

Happy Wednesday!  How are you all doing today?  We made it to the hump. =)

Today I’m going to talk about my heater.  If you recall, I purchased this

convection heater
convection wall heater

Envi heater in October (I think – it might have been September but either way it doesn’t matter because..) I didn’t have the chance to use it till a few weeks ago since it was still rather warm where I am located.  =(  It also doesn’t help my situation that my house gets direct sun – now that the leaves are off the trees –  and really warms up inside during the day.  However, now that it’s fall the nights are getting a bit chilly.  I think last night was down in the 30’s even though during the day it’ll get up to 65-70.  Ok, now that I’ve shared the weather patterns for where I’m located, let’s get back on topic…heaters!

Continue reading Heater

Tiny House community…say what?

Hello, hello!  Welcome back and happy Tuesday my friends!  I finally feel like I’m back in the groove after taking almost a week off for Thanksgiving.  It’s good to be back to normal. If you know me in person you know I like routines. =)

I’ve mentioned this before on here but in case you forgot (take notes because there may be a test on this…just kidding!) I am part of a Tiny House facebook group.  Most of the time they post things about building and materials and supplies such as: “what type of on demand propane hot water do you all have  and does it work?”   As someone who lives in one (and didn’t actually build it myself) I don’t often contribute to the conversation as it is mainly for those DIY builders, unless it’s a student doing a research project then I try to help out as I know how hard it is to get participants. =)

Continue reading Tiny House community…say what?

Happy Cyber Monday!

Hello and welcome back!  Did you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday?  Mine was good.  I was able to go back to the Pacific Northwest and enjoy some time off.  While I was gone, I left Blue – the cat – alone for 4 days.  He did great with the new litter box.  I think this is a solution for all the traveling I seem to be doing lately. =)

So it’s cyber Monday.  Did you all get some crazy good deals?  I caved the the Insta-pot deal and will have a new kitchen appliance in 2 days. ha!  I think that’s pretty good as I’ve been looking for a replacement crockpot for awhile now as I wanted one with a “warm” function since mine is cheap and just goes from hot to hotter.  This often means that I come home to mush instead of chicken soup – or whatever I was trying to make.  I’ve heard good things about the Insta-pot so I’m hoping it lives up to the expectations as it’s an extremely expensive crockpot if not!

Other than the Insta-pot, which was an item I was looking for anyways, I didn’t do any post Thanksgiving shopping.  I just don’t have space or need anything!  Last year, I bought a bunch of house supplies/building materials after Thanksgiving to cash in on those deals (I think Home Depot has 10% off purchase or something like that) but now that I’m living in the house I don’t have a need to cave to consumerism. It’s quite a relief actually.  So instead of hanging out at the malls last Friday we went for long hike in a state park and then visited a local brew pub.  So I guess we did consume but it was local and edible. =)

So what deals did you all score this Thanksgiving?!?!

all the animals…

Hello hello!  Happy hump day before turkey day! So that makes it a camel today and turkey day tomorrow.  Wonder what animal Friday will be?  Maybe it’s deer Friday as it is hunting season (at least where I’m located).

This is a short post to say Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading this blog.  I hope you have safe travels if you are going somewhere and I hope you enjoy the day!  I’ll stop back in Monday with an update. =) Take care!

Thankful Tuesday!

Hello and happy Tuesday!  Is this your last day of the work week???  I’ve got a morning class then I’m done for a bit.  Woohoo!  So excited to get some much needed rest and recovery. =)

Today’s topic is again on plumbing.  The never ending saga, huh?  Over the weekend a plumber came out to give me a quote to switch out from the composting toilet (read previous blog posts about my issues with it) to an RV toilet.

Continue reading Thankful Tuesday!

Monday Fun-day!

Happy Monday of Thanksgiving week!  Hope you all have fun plans for the holiday and get a little vacation from work.  My weekend kicked off a great week because I PR’d (personal record) in the half marathon that I ran yesterday. Woohoo!  Maybe if I actually train for the next one I can do even better. =)

Anyways, I mentioned last week that I purchased something for Blue.  I’m sure you all were on the edge of your seats waiting to see what it was….and the big reveal….

Continue reading Monday Fun-day!

Things I’m loving lately…

Hello, hello!  Happy Fri-yay!!!  Do you have fun plans for this weekend?  I’ve rescheduled the plumber to come out and give a quote for the toilet on Saturday and have other things to do around the house that day then I’m running a half marathon on Sunday.  It’ll be a fun weekend and then it’s Thanksgiving week!  Woohoo!

Today is going to start a series that I’m thinking to post every Friday.  I read/follow a bunch of blogs that have a “things I’m loving Friday” post.  They give shout outs to things – big and small that they liked that week.  I’m thinking of tweaking it a bit to be about living tiny though.  So here goes week #1 of things I’m loving lately about living tiny.

Continue reading Things I’m loving lately…

Hump Daaaay!

Hello!  Happy Hump Daaaaay!  You  have to say it like the camel in the commercial.  We’re almost a week away from Thanksgiving.  Who’s excited?!?!  I am, that’s for sure.  I’ll explain next week why. =)

So this morning was a bit different for me.  I slept in!  I usually get up at 5:00 am, pack up and head to the gym.  However, today – I just wasn’t feeling it.  I teach a night class on Tuesdays which goes till 9:30 pm.  You can do the math but getting up at 5 am means I usually try to go to bed around 9.  I don’t fall asleep but try to at least be in bed around that time.   Teaching a night class throws off my whole schedule because I’m awake from teaching and usually don’t go to bed until 10/11:00.   I’m sure you were really looking forward to reading about my sleep schedule today but it does lead to my topic of discussion! =)

Continue reading Hump Daaaay!

Composting toilet – take 2

Hello!  Welcome back!  Hope you had a great Monday!  Mine was productive, which is always a great way to start the week. =)

As promised today is the second part of the composting toilet issue.  As I mentioned yesterday the composting toilet, while a good choice for sustainability, is a bit too much maintenance for me at this point since I do have the option to connect to the septic system.  When I go off grid in the future this will be the perfect situation.

Continue reading Composting toilet – take 2

Composting Toilet

Hello and welcome back!  Happy happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was great and a good mix of fun, activity, football, and a little bit of work mixed in there. =)

As the title implies in this post, I’m going to be discussing my composting toilet.  No disgusting stuff (and don’t worry no gross pictures!) but what it’s truly like after using it for a year. If you don’t want to hear about this topic then please don’t continue reading.  That is my disclaimer. =)

Continue reading Composting Toilet

Parking…take 3!

TGIF!  How are you all?!  Got fun weekend plans?  I’m volunteering and hopefully riding in a mountain (or more like trail) bike race this weekend.  I’m hoping we get a good turn out.

So, as you all know I live in the country and it takes about 20 minutes to drive into work.  I realize that compared to some folks 20 minutes is nothing but I like living within biking distance to work so that I can reduce my carbon footprint and pedal power everywhere.  It’s such a great stress reliever and I miss biking. =(  I’ve been on the hunt for a better parking spot pretty much since I got my tiny house.

Continue reading Parking…take 3!

Roommate or kids in a tiny house?

Hello and welcome back! Happy Hump Day! How’d your week going so far? Mine is going pretty well! It’s been busy as this is just a busy time of the semester with trying to wrap things up and the holidays approaching. Anyways, I went to a tailgate this weekend and during half time we were flipping through channels and a tiny house show came on tv. The group stopped for a few and watched this episode. It was the one on the FYI channel with Zack Giffin (who I met at the Tiny House Jamboree this summer!). Anyways, on this show they highlight a late 20 – 30 year old couple with a young daughter who currently live in a 1800 sq ft townhouse and downsizing into a (I forget the size) tiny house.

Continue reading Roommate or kids in a tiny house?

VOTE!

Hello friends! So yesterday was a busy day for me and today is looking like another one but I wanted to check in and give you a gentle reminder to go and vote today! I’m not sure what the lines will look like so I’m going right after class to make sure I’m not late for anything. Get it done folks. =)

Parking….take 2

TGIF!  Woohoo! It’s the weekend again!  Do you have fun plans?  I hope so! Me, I’m running a trail race on Sunday – which I haven’t done in quite awhile.  Race a trail run that is, not the trail running part. =)  In fact, I try to run trails about once a week as I love being in nature, it’s cooler in the shade of the trees, and I feel that it’s easier on my body than running on sidewalks.   I’m part of a running club that hosts weekly trail and road runs, which I usually participate in.  So your probably wondering why I’m telling you this while the heading for this post is about parking….let me explain.

Continue reading Parking….take 2

Shaking…again!

Hello Hello!  Thanks for stopping in today!  Well, last night we had another earthquake!  I don’t think this one was as big as the one on Labor Day but I was home this time.  I woke up at 11:30 pm last night (yup, I go to bed around 9:30) to the whole house swaying back and forth.  It was dead silent so I knew it wasn’t a crazy wind storm shaking the house and my only assumption was an earthquake.  It only shook for about 1 minute total but it was enough to wake me up! It even woke up my little cat.  Of course he was scared after that (big surprise, right?) and wanted to cuddle – which I absolutely love, so the ‘quake didn’t really bother me much.  What was weird with this one, and why I wasn’t quite sure it was an earthquake, is that I didn’t feel the vertigo feeling after experiencing them in my office or other types of building.  My assumption is that the wheels on the trailer absorb some of the shock so I just felt the rocking back and forth.  This also wasn’t strong enough to knock anything off the shelves.  I probably wouldn’t have even known it happened if I didn’t wake up.  So, my experience of an earthquake in a tiny house is alright as far as experiencing earthquakes go.

Have you ever felt an earthquake?

Open house…again

Happy Hump Day!  Welcome back!

So I had another open house last night…for my students.  I teach a senior level diversity class and one of the topics we cover is “alternative housing” situations…which I am a prime example of.  (another topic included sustainability so we hit on that too!) and well, what better way to show an example of an alternative housing situation than a real life example? The students were super excited and we had a lesson around all things tiny house prior to their visit.   I presented the design process of building a tiny house at a conference last month so i also presented that to my class which opened up discussion around zoning ordinances, code compliance, and sustainability.  Which, as interior designers, regardless if we work on residential or commercial projects, are important components to any project.

***We also discussed HUD and multifamily housing and diversity within other housing situations too such as multi-generational housing situations and alternative dwelling units (ADU’s) so it wasn’t just on my tiny house!***

Continue reading Open house…again

Next project…

Hey, hey!  Happy Tuesday!  Can you believe it’s already November?!  Where did October go!  Did you all have fun on Halloween?  Are you in a sugar coma now?  Luckily, I live in the middle of no where so I didn’t get any trick or treaters.  This means that I didn’t have to buy any candy this year.  I’m really bad around sugar and if I have it in the house – I WILL eat it.  No doubt about it! It’s best for me to avoid it and not having any little kids knocking on my door helps with this. =)  This is a blog about my house and not my sugar addiction so here you go…. today I’m discussing my solar panels again. Or more along the lines of how to get to my solar panels.

Continue reading Next project…

Par-Tay!

Hello, hello!  happy Thursday friends!  Over this past weekend, I hosted a little party for some Crossfit friends.  Actually, I had a Paleo Potluck. ha!  Unfortunately, no one took any pictures (bummer!) but we had quite the spread of delicious paleo foods.  I think there were around 8-9 people there.  I asked everyone to bring a paleo dish to share and a lawn chair.  Everyone got a tour, we sat outside and ate, and it worked out really really well.  there’s a bit of pressure in hosting something like this with a house that’s a bit out of the normal.  But everyone wanted to see my house and seemed to be ok with how it all worked out. However, if the weather wasn’t cooperative, I’m not sure we all would’ve fit inside.  Someone brought a folding table and we placed all the food on the table outside and then just ate in our chairs.   If we couldn’t have done that, then the food would’ve been on the peninsula in the kitchen and we all would’ve been hoovering around holding our plates.  I just don’t think it would’ve been as nice.  I need to remember this when the weather turns crappy and not invite a big group over.  I think 3-4 people would’ve been fine but the 8-9 is pushing the limits inside.  Although someone did make the comment to “see how many crossfitters can fit into a tiny house”.  One day we’ll try!

Energy consumption

Welcome back friends!  Today’s topic is on energy. I feel like I need lightening bolts to follow that.  As you all know, I rent land from an elderly couple outside of city limits.  Included in my “rent” is water from the well and a septic system.  All other utilities I have to pay for/provide. There is a 30 amp and 50 amp hook ups available for electric but I pay those myself.  Since I live outside city limits, our power is from a co-op company and I think the rate is a bit high – but I honestly haven’t looked into it so I’m not sure.  Anyways…. Continue reading Energy consumption

Cooking in a tiny house

Hello!  Happy Monday!  Hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Today I’m going to share what it’s like to cook in a tiny house.  As I’ve mentioned, I make most of my meals at home (and I love to bake) so I designed my tiny house to have a fairly large kitchen with lots of counter space so that my lifestyle didn’t change when I went tiny.  So it’s still fairly hot here as shown by this pic….disclaimer: this photo was actually last weekend and not this past weekend.

it's hot out!
it’s hot out!

Continue reading Cooking in a tiny house

My new neighbors

TGIF!  How are you all?  Any fun plans for the weekend?  Me, I’ll be doing the usual but might hit up a tailgate for the football game.  Either way, it’ll be nice to have a few days off. =)

So last weekend when I was fixing the skirting (which so far is still attached!) I turned around because I heard this noise and guess who was standing there???

Continue reading My new neighbors

heater

Hello, hello!  How are you today?  The cold spell we had last week threw me off and I definitely jumped the gun on buying the convection wall heater.  Eventually I’ll need it – at least I hope!!! One of the projects I did this past weekend was install the darn thing..while blasting the AC.  Can you tell I’m really not digging this hot weather??? Anyways,  I’m pretty happy with how this looks.  I can’t test it out yet but at least it looks good.

convection heater
convection heater

Continue reading heater

Mums

Hello!  Happy Hump Day! How are you today?  I’m doing well.  I bought some mums the other day and they are doing really well.  They brighten my day whenever I walk outside, which is surprising because I wouldn’t necessarily call me a flower type of girl.

mums
mums

Doesn’t that photo make it look like fall? ha!  I wish! Anyways, a short post today to share my flowers with you all.

More mums
Mums the word

Enjoy and have a great Wednesday!

Tiny House Grey Water

Hello and welcome back!  Happy Tuesday Friends!  Hope your week is off to a good start!  When I had the skirting off this past weekend I saw that the grey water lines had fallen off their little tilted drainer holder system.  The metal wire thing below.

drainage holder
drainage holder
another shot of drain holder
another shot of drain holder

or if outside of an RV it looks like this:

rv sewer
Photo credit: google images

These little support holder things help keep a slope in the drain so that gravity will allow the water to go into the drain. =)

Continue reading Tiny House Grey Water

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday to you all!  Hope you had a great weekend.  Do anything fun?  Me, I had to work on the skirting of my house because I spoke pre-maturely when I said Fall had arrived last week.  I think the day after I said that it was back up in the 90’s.  Blah!  =(  Your probably thinking, what does that have to do with the skirting on your house?  Well, since it’s so hot and the skirting is Velco’d to the frame it fell off – or maybe I should say it melted off.  That would be more appropriate.  I thought something like this might happen during the summer because this side of the house (drivers side) gets the late afternoon sun. I noticed it was starting to come off and propped it up with some dial rods but apparently that wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

skirting is falling off
skirting is falling off – sorry for the early morning sunshine pic

Continue reading Happy Monday!

It’s finally Fall here!

Hello and welcome back!  So the weather is finally starting to feel like Fall (yay!)….at least for a few days before it goes back up to 90 degrees (boo!).  If you can’t tell on here, I’m a cold/cool weather person and prefer Fall and Winter over the scorching summer months.  In my mind, nothing beats cuddling up with a warm blanket, a cup of tea, a good book, and a cute little cat snoozing on my lap.  =) Ok, enough of me talking about how much I like Fall….let’s get to today’s topic, shall we?  I turned on the little convection wall heater last night and it kept us pretty toasty (the us would be Blue and myself)

Continue reading It’s finally Fall here!

Hump Day!

Hello and happy Wednesday friends!  Hope your week is going well so far. Today is going to be a short post because I just got back into town from an interior design conference, which was a whirlwind of a trip.  And yes, I presented the design process of this tiny house – my first time discussing, in a professional setting, the design process which I feel went pretty well. =)

Here are some interactive 360 degree photos I shared with everyone.  Maybe you can get a feel of the space from these more so than from a 2D photograph.

https://flic.kr/p/LUbMus – this is from the bedroom loft

https://flic.kr/p/MJk3jk – this one is standing in the kitchen

Let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

Zoning…again

Hello, hello!  Welcome back!  Hope you had a great Monday.  I was at a conference so missed posting on here but no worries, I’m back to the regular schedule now. =)  Today’s topic is another one on this zoning issue.  I know I keep harping on it but as of now this has been the biggest hurdle in living tiny.  =(

Continue reading Zoning…again

More photos

TGIF!  Woohoo!  We made it to the weekend! =)  Hope you all have fun plans and enjoy the cooler weather.  I know I will.  I’m so ready for winter weather instead of this sticky hot mess.  Blah! Ok, my rant is over. =)

For today, since it’s Friday and I don’t feel like writing much, I’m going to show off some more photos from my friend Emily Long.  Enjoy!

Continue reading More photos

Storage solution…shoes

Hello, hello!  Happy hump day!  Got any fun plans to celebrate the middle of the week?  =) Today I’m taking a break from the photo series and posting about shoe storage.  One of my students asked me where I store all my shoes.  She said she would have trouble living tiny because of her shoe collection. Perhaps I don’t have that many shoes (which I think I have more than plenty) but compared to the average American woman I may not have many or I have streamlined throughout the years, either way this isn’t really an issue for me as I found some storage solutions…

Continue reading Storage solution…shoes

Photos!

Hello and happy Tuesday!  I hope you had a great Monday and start of the week!  One of the project I worked on this past weekend was recording a video tour of my house for you all.  A few folks suggested it as a way to “feel” what it’s like to live tiny.  Well, the video tour turned into a 360 degree interactive photo – which I’ll get into later this week. However, today is all about the still photographs. I’m only showing a few at a time because I want to discuss some of the items along with them.  Enjoy!

Continue reading Photos!

Tiny House Swoon

Happy Monday friends!  Hope you had a fun weekend!  Mine was good – a mix of fun and work.  I always feel so accomplished after completing a bunch of projects/work over the weekend.  One of those projects was taking a video tour (which turned into a 360 degree photo) of my tiny house to share with you all.  I haven’t  edited it (try saying that out loud – it’s a tongue twister!) yet so you’ll have to wait to see but I’ll post it soon to give you some more ideas about what it feels like to live tiny. =)  In other exciting news today…. Continue reading Tiny House Swoon

Remember that post about the TV?

TGIF friends!  Any fun plans for this weekend?!  I hope you have a good one!  Going to any college football games?  Me, I’ve got to catch up on some work projects but will have some fun mixed in there too. =)

Today I’m going to share my TV situation with you.  I explained my tv – or how I currently own one but now I can show you the pictures…

Continue reading Remember that post about the TV?

Exciting news….maybe

Hello Hello!  I have some exciting news to share….I may have found a new parking spot! If things work out I wouldn’t be moving for a month or so but this parking spot is located right beside campus so I can walk or ride my bike to work and it’s an easy peasy bike ride downtown plus I’d be close to grocery stores and amenities.  Since I HATE my commute right now this is a win-win in my book and exactly what I want out of the tiny house movement.  However, there is a downside….

Continue reading Exciting news….maybe

Cooking in the tiny house

Hello, hello!  Welcome back!  Hope you had a great weekend!  I’m just getting back into the swing of things but wanted to share with you what it’s like to cook a full meal in a tiny house.

While on a little mountain trip a few weekends ago, a friend made this AMAZING vegan meal for us. (yes, I know vegan is not paleo but this included all whole foods so in my opinion it’s not bad).  Luckily she shared the recipe with the rest of us and I made it last night as I was craving some healthy comfort food.

Homemade meals in the tiny house
Homemade meals in the tiny house

Continue reading Cooking in the tiny house

Tiny house research

Hello and happy Friday!  Woohoo!  Today is going to be a short post because it’s Friday and quite frankly, I’ve got a lot going on and just don’t have much time to write something today.  However, I do want to share a little bit of information about the tiny house movement.  I was recently contacted, well within the past month, by 2 (!) PhD students at different universities doing their dissertations on tiny house living!  As a researcher and tiny home owner – this is quite exciting! I’m hoping their research will bring more awareness to this type of lifestyle and perceptions will change.  My fingers are crossed that more knowledge of this lifestyle will create zoning/code changes and I will be able to live legally in city limits at some point.  A girl can dream, right? =)

Continue reading Tiny house research

Countertop appliances

Hello and happy Tuesday friends!  I hope you all had a great Monday!

Today’s topic is on my kitchen countertop appliances. I currently have a Ninja blender.  If you aren’t familiar it’s like a Vitamix (a super duper powerful blender) but a fraction of the price.  This item I use every day to make a breakfast smoothie.  This is the one I have.

Blender
Blender

Continue reading Countertop appliances

The TV debate

Hello, hello!  Welcome back to another lovely Monday.  Hope you had a great weekend!  Mine was fabulous.  I got to spend some time in the mountain air and get into the forest. It was great!

Now that I’m back though, let’s talk about a TV in the tiny house.  If you know me in person, you know I’m not into movies or tv shows.  I don’t know any quotes from movies – I miss all the jokes when people quote them – sometimes it’s embarrassing.  I haven’t seen many classics or even know half of the movies and shows that are out right now.  In fact, I don’t even know the last time I was in a movie theater!  That being said, I didn’t own a TV for years, which also meant no cable.  To me, it was just another item that I had to move time and time again.  If I wanted to zone out and watch something, I would either do a Redbox movie and watch it on my laptop or just “rent” something from Amazon Prime.  That was usually just a weekend thing as I was more inclined to pick up a novel and read.  Since I have a Kindle, you can check your records to see how many books your’ve downloaded and read.  In one year,  I went through 52 books!  Yup, that’s pretty nerdy but I’m proud of that.  =)

Fast forward to a few years ago when I was back in school as a grad student – again, ha!  Well, as a grad student, my “job” was to read past research articles and I would spend my 8 hour “work day” reading articles. By the evening my eyes and mind were tired from reading so much, all I wanted to do was chill out in front of some mindless tv show…and Netflix is so cheap….well, you get the picture.  So I caved and for the past 3 years (I held out on getting Netflix for a year) I’ve been a Netflix subscriber and watch shows on my laptop.

Fast forward to my current situation.  I graduated and moved to a town where I didn’t know a single person and it wasn’t as easy (ok, I’ll admit, or as fun in 105 degree weather) to do my extra curricular activities (ie, biking/running/yoga) so I resorted to watching Netflix, however, I also have a bunch of work to do on my laptop and have gotten used to having a show on in the background.  Some of the programs I work in on my laptop use a lot of juice and if I have Netflix running in the background, it’ll crash my computer. =(   So, prior to tiny house living (and after that first paycheck!) I bought a 32″ tv which I thought would be the appropriate size for a tiny house.  Welp, after moving into said tiny house, I should have gone with a 24″ tv.  I’m making it work though and put it on this little storage unit when you first walk in.  It’s out of the way yet I’m still able to watch some Netflix and the news.  Because there is a wheel well in that area as well as the fireplace, I had to find one that was the appropriate size.  I even had to cut off one of the legs to get it to fit into that spot but I got something to work.  I even have an antenna and surprisingly get quite a few channels! 32 to be exact!

The photographer took some photos of that storage area so I’ll keep you guessing with how it looks until I get those photos back.  By the way, she sent some teaser photos and I’m quite excited to get them! =)

Have a great Monday!!

 

Update on the garage

Happy Friday friends!  What do you have planned for this weekend?  I hope it’s something fun!  Me, I’ve got fun plans that involve some mountain trail running. =)  I’ll leave you with this update of my garage.

As mentioned before, the garage is a bit (ok, a lot) bigger than I had designed/planned on.  This was one of the items my builder took the liberty of doing himself.  While I would like more interior living space instead of this storage space, it is nice to have everything out of the way and a bit of room to move in there.  This is what it looked like upon first moving in.

bike garage upon first moving in
bike garage upon first moving in

While this is pretty well organized, it wasn’t user friendly.  I installed the shelving on 3 walls to make room for the bikes below – however, upon placing the rubbermaid containers on the shelves, it didn’t leave much room to walk in between to actually get a bike out or get into one of the containers. After some work this weekend, here’s the most recent – organized garage.

Continue reading Update on the garage

And I went with….

Happy Thursday!  As mentioned yesterday – I got a lot done this past weekend.  It’s amazing how cooler temps make me want to be outside and productive! If the weather would be like this year round (ok maybe a few days with snow since it’s magical) then I’d be a happy girl. =)  Back to reality though… while at Lowe’s this weekend, my lovely red Adirondack chairs, (remember these below) were on sale – and I had a 10% off coupon!! Woohoo!

Adirondack
Adirondack

So with the sale and coupon, I went ahead and made the purchase – after testing these out.  They are surprisingly comfortable but you do get what you pay for.  Since they are plastic, they are a bit flimsy.  But they look good, see below… Continue reading And I went with….

Green Thumb

Hey, hey!  We had a beautiful weekend, weather-wise, this past weekend and I got a ton of stuff done around my house.  I mentioned previously that I was looking for ideas on what to do with the front exterior of the house, as shown here.

font of house - before
font of house – before

Well, a trip to Lowe’s later…I now have a transplanted lemon tree and herbs!

Continue reading Green Thumb

THE rug

Welcome back!  Remember a few weeks ago when I said I’d post about finding the rug, well, this is said post. =) Finishing a tiny seems like such an easy job – I mean it’s only so big so how much stuff would it require.   Well, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s taken me quite a long time to find the finishes.  Of course I tried to space them out so it didn’t eat up a whole paycheck but it also took a long time to find items that would work together and FIT in the space.  Let me explain…

Continue reading THE rug

Picture worthy

Hello and Happy Monday!  Did you have a great weekend?  Mine was good.  I did A LOT of work/cleaning/re-arranging on my house this weekend because….I’m getting professional photos taken this week!  It’s about time that I updated the iPhone photos on here, right? =)

Your probably wondering what “re-arranging” means in a tiny house – I mean there’s only 165 sq ft so what can I possibly be doing.  Well, remember how I mentioned I have a clothes dryer but prefer to save energy and hang my clothes, which is true, I also don’t use the dryer much because it’s in the storage loft above the kitchen.  And while I can access it just fine by getting on the countertop it’s quite loud when in use and heats up the whole interior.  I originally planned for it to be in the bathroom, which would eliminate the noise and heat issue by shutting the bathroom door, but hadn’t had time to move and install it in there.  Install means hanging it on the wall as I exhaust it out an opening in the window and it plugs into a regular 110V electrical outlet.   Well, not anymore….

Continue reading Picture worthy

Financing…part 2

Welcome back!  Did I keep you on the end of your seat waiting till today’s post? I hope not as that wasn’t my intention.  I just wanted to share a bit more about financing a tiny house.

Tiny houses, in general, range anywhere from $5,000 – $100,000 or more – depending upon size and amenities.  The difference in price range is because an individual can build an all salvaged or recycled tiny house for as low as $5,000 with their own labor.  This route would take quite awhile and most blogs I read on this topic, it took the individuals twice, if not more, time than they originally planned.  Some other examples are here:

budget
That reads $56,900 for a 20′-0″
budget9
What money can buy – granite countertops

Continue reading Financing…part 2

Financing the tiny house…

Happy Thursday! Woot, woot! We’re almost to the weekend again. =)

So today, I thought I’d tackle the budget question.  When I first got my tiny house (I have a picture hanging on my office door) people would often stop and ask about it – which was my plan with the photo placement – and one of the most common questions I would get asked is, “how much did it cost?”.

Well, before I spill the beans, I need to explain the whole tiny house funding scenario.

Continue reading Financing the tiny house…

Tiny House code

Hello, hello!  Hope your doing well today!  I keep harping on the topic of codes and zoning but this came to my attention and I had to pass it along.  Anything dealing with codes and zoning issues related to Tiny Houses is of concern for me not just because I live in one but this information can or maybe one day will influence the design decisions of my students so I try to keep up to date on it.  Or really, I just want to (legally) live close enough to work to bike commute again!

Back at the tiny house jamboree, I listened to Andrew give a presentation on the proposed code changes for tiny houses.  Codes are for how to build a structure where zoning is on where (or where not) to park a tiny house.  The following blog post does a really good job of describing the organizations involved so I won’t go into details on here but if this code proposal gets adopted then it would add more momentum to the tiny house movement which would maybe change some zoning issues.  My fingers are crossed!

Let me know what you think of the proposed code change in the blog post below.

Proposed Tiny House Code for the 2018 IRC

 

 

 

 

Adirondack?

Hello!  How was your weekend?  Hopefully you got to relax and enjoy a three day weekend. Mine was awesome!  I ran the Charleston Distance Run – America’s 15 Miler – and got to go see my family and friends that I haven’t seen in a year so it was good to catch up with everyone.

This is going to be a short post but I wanted to check in.  First, my house survived a 5.6 magnitude earthquake this weekend!  Woohoo! Its quite a relief to know that my house can make it through some crazy weather. =)

Next, I’d like to get some opinions.  I saw these chairs at Lowe’s the other day and really want the red one.

Red chair?
Red chair?

Continue reading Adirondack?

Laundry fail

TGIF!  woohoo!  We made it through another week. =)

Last weekend, I felt like I was rocking the whole laundry thing.  On Saturday I had to be at the gym by 8:00 AM to teach a spinning class.  No problem at all as I am a morning person and up by 5:00 AM on the weekdays and around 6:30 AM on the weekends unless I have something planned and need to be up earlier.  So I got up last Saturday at my 6:30 AM time and decided to wash my sheets so that when I returned from the gym later that afternoon they would be dry and I could go about my day.  I checked the forecast which showed only clouds and a 10% chance of rain.  I don’t have a photo of the morning forecast but this is when I returned home.

cloudy forecast
notice no rain on this yet it’s currently raining….

Continue reading Laundry fail

Dishes

Hello hello!  The weekend is so close.  Any fun plans for the last holiday weekend of summer?

Today’s topic is on cleaning (again). This time is with dirty dishes.  I try to follow a paleo diet (most of the time) which means that I cook most of my meals at home.  (Paleo is eating whole foods, no refined sugars, no high carbs, lots of fresh veggies and meats). Usually I’ll cook a big meal for dinner and then take the leftovers for lunch the next few days.  This works out really well as I’m always scampering in the morning to get to the gym and start my work day, however, this does create quite a bit of dishes.  In the planning stage of the tiny house I thought about designing space for a portable dishwasher like this.

Countertop dishwasher
Countertop dishwasher

Continue reading Dishes

Finding Furniture

Happy hump day!  Every time I say that I always think of that commercial with the camel. You know the one I’m talking about, right?  Do you think of that too every hump day? ha!

Anyways, today I wanted to discuss my furniture again.  I found my sofa on Wayfair right after I got the house as the size and style was spot on for what I wanted.

Sofa
Sofa

However, it took me awhile to find an end table and ottoman that I liked AND that went with the sofa.  In addition they also had to be the appropriate sizes to fit into the space.

Continue reading Finding Furniture

Would this work???

Hey hey!  This is a short post, as A) I’m busy busy busy and B) because I just want to feedback on this.  As mentioned previously, I’m on a public forum facebook page for tiny house enthusiast.  This page is often filled with tiny house dwellers (see what I did there?) who are building their tiny house and want some feedback or questions about some construction process/issue they may be experiencing.

One of the couples is finishing their build and having some issues finding a legal (key word) parking spot to live in their tiny house full time.  They created these flyers/infographics – which they posted in a public forum so that is why I’m sharing on here – to help them find a parking spot.  This is one of their mock ups.

infographic to find parking
infographic to find parking

They have another more traditional flyer as well but I can’t find their post or the copy I saved so you’ll have to take my word on it.  I have two questions about this from you guys.  1 – would you consider allowing a tiny house to park in your backyard if you had the space?  2 – would you worry about the legality of parking a tiny house on your property? 3 – if you saw a flyer asking to park on your property, would you consider it?

I’m asking because I may do this to find a spot closer to town and minimize my commute time.  I’m trying to think of all possible ways in which to find another (legal) parking spot.  I’m open to all suggestions and ideas.  Please…. =)

I got clothes lined (in a good way)

Hello!  How was your weekend?!  Mine was equal parts fun and productive.  One of the project I worked on was getting a clothes line set up.

clothes line installed
clothes line in back of tiny house with composters in bins

I had to put up a clothes line because I had one of these guys.

drying rack
drying rack

Actually, I still have it, but since the weather is hot and sunny I want to dry my clothes outside to help speed up the process.  When I put all my clothes on this, place it outside in the sun, then check on it in 10 minutes or so, it’s tipped over on the ground!  Note: these do not stand up to wind and your clothes will be on the ground getting dirty again. =(   Hence the need for a clothes line.  PS.  the dollar store has the line & wood clothes pins for (you guessed it) $1! Click below to see how I use the folding clothes rack inside…

Continue reading I got clothes lined (in a good way)

Cleaning the tiny house – take 2

TGIF!  Where did this week go?  It flew by!  Today is a quick update – well not really an update as I described my cleaning habit in a previous post but I wanted to share the vacuum I use.  In addition to sweeping every other day with a broom I also vacuum once a week or so. Living with a little fur ball (my cat) it’s hard to sweep up all his hair and a vacuum is a necessity.  This little guy (pictured below), and I say little because it’s probably one of the smallest vacuums you can buy, does a great job.  Not only it is light weight but has multiple different configurations to clean the cork flooring, rug, and by taking off the bottom piece vacuums the corners.  This also stores between the fridge and the wall. There is about a 4″ gap that this and my broom slide into.

my vacuum
my vacuum

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Update on zoning

Hey hey!  Welcome back!  This is an update from the zoning post last week. In between posting that topic and today, I uncovered two related resources that you  might find helpful if your having problems with parking your tiny house legally.  I’m part of a group of tiny house enthusiast on facebook and these two websites were posted recently.  This one is a list of states and communities that already legally allow tiny house living.

http://www.tinyhousecommunity.com/places.htm#tinyfriendly

Shout out as I’m also listed as a blogger under their “tiny house blog” page!!! =)

Continue reading Update on zoning

Gardening in a tiny house

Hello and welcome back!  I’ve wanted to grow herbs and other various vegetables (think tomato and cucumber) but I just never found the time to get around to it with moving/organizing the tiny house and then leaving for the summer.  However, now that I’m back I want to start brainstorming some ideas and get some plants going.  Living in a mobile situation, I don’t want to plant anything in the ground.  A) it’s a ton of work to till the ground to start a garden – did that once before and, whew, I earned those veggies and B) I’m looking to move closer to town and want to move my plants if I do find a new parking spot.  Enter the container garden idea….

Continue reading Gardening in a tiny house

Composting

Hello and happy Monday!  Hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Today we’re going to discuss composting.  Yes, I have a composting toilet but this is more about composting in general.  Why am I bringing this up you ask? Well, there is a conference (yes, I’m not joking!) in September on this very thing.  Apparently it’s quite popular. =)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oklahoma-compost-conference-tickets-25180524627?aff=efbneb

I want to go to this but have to work that morning and don’t think a half day will be worth the trip. =(  Anyways, back to what I do for my composting and my little friends, the worms.

Continue reading Composting

In the zone (city zoning)

TGIF!  Hope you have some fun plans for this weekend!  Me, I’m going to try to catch up on some things.  As mentioned yesterday – today we’re going to talk about zoning – as in where can I legally park my tiny house.  This is an issue not just for me but for anyone in a tiny house in any location (other than the few designated and designed tiny house communities popping up across the US).

Continue reading In the zone (city zoning)

Insurance Update

Welcome back friends!  Wow, what a busy week.  Hence my lack of a post yesterday.  Oh well, I’ll get caught up this weekend and it’ll be all good.  I just wanted to touch base and let you all know of my insurance update.  I decided to go ahead and switch to the full coverage with the company I discovered at the Tiny House Jamboree even though I had to pay quite a bit more for it.  If I ever move to a location in which the state is covered, I can then get a discount but for now I am able to relocate/move/park anywhere in the US (besides West Virginia) as many times as I so desire within the year and have full coverage.   It’s a relief to know that I will now be able to get a full refund if something does happen to my house and all of my belongings.  =)

In other news, I’m also looking into lots for sale in (or closer) to town to park at for an easier commute.  I found some that are reasonably prices and reasonably sized.  I don’t want to have to mow a huge yard but I still want privacy (and a short commute – by bike if possible).  So, yes, I pretty much just want it all.   I haven’t contacted the seller or anything as it’s just a look-see right now to scope out options.  I checked out the city’s zoning map and the areas I’m looking at are zoned residential, however, the zoning requires a house of at least 1200 sq ft.  wah, wah.  If I decide to pursue this route then I would have to approach the city about changing the minimum square footage requirement. I’m not sure I want to tackle that beast… or maybe just not yet. =)  Check back tomorrow and I’ll discuss some zoning ideas that I heard about from presenters at the Tiny House Jamboree.

 

Utilities Part 4 – sewer

Howdy friends!

Today we’re going to talk about the sewer connection.  I’m currently hooked up to the public sewer because it’s available, however, I do have plans for a diy grey water disposal system likes these ones.

DIY grey water filter system with plans
DIY grey water filter system with plans

or something like this maybe…

More complicated DIY grey water solution
More complicated DIY grey water solution

Continue reading Utilities Part 4 – sewer

Friendly neighbors

Hello!  Hope you had a great weekend!

I talked about my parking spot before but to review.  I found an ad on Craigslist for RV parking the month before I got my house.  It’s 6 miles south of town so I’m out of city limits and it’s about a 15 minute commute to work/grocery/gym, etc.   It’s 10 acres with 5 RV spots although only 3 (including me) are taken.  The monthly rent includes the parking spot, well water, and sewer.  I pay my own electric.  It’s a great spot because it’s out in the country as shown below and I don’t have to worry about zoning issues (I’ll write a whole post – maybe several on this topic).

Parking spot when I first moved in
Parking spot when I first moved in

I like that I don’t have to worry about people snooping about or having to be diligent about closing my window treatments each night.  The only downfall is the commute…

Continue reading Friendly neighbors

Storage solutions

TGIF!  Happy Friday!  Hope you all have fun plans for the last weekend of summer….if your starting classes again next week. =)

Today’s topic is on utilizing all space within a tiny house, even the space under the sink.  I decided to place my trash and recycling containers under the sink so that I don’t have trash cans out in the open.  In order to maximize the usage of this area I installed a sliding out to hold the trash containers.

Sink cabinet
Sink cabinet

Continue reading Storage solutions

Insurance

Hello, hello!  How’s your week going so far?  Mine’s been extremely busy with the back to school rush.  I’m looking forward to the weekend to relax a bit. =)

Today’s topic is my struggle with insurance.  Most people – and this was reaffirmed at the Tiny House Jamboree – think that finding the money for a tiny house (you can’t get a traditional load for one) or finding a parking spot is the biggest roadblock to living tiny…well, in my situation finding insurance has been my biggest issue.  Click below for more.

Continue reading Insurance

Utilities Part 3 – Solar

Howdy all!  Well, this is a busy week for me at work and the posts are a bit delayed.  I hope to get caught up tomorrow.  Anyways, let’s discuss solar today.  The solar panels (I think I have 4 – I haven’t actually been on the roof to confirm though) are permanently attached to the roof and the batteries are in the little attached storage area in the back as shown here.

 

Solar Battery storage on right
Solar battery storage
Solar batteries
Solar batteries

As mentioned time and time again, I hope to go off grid in the future.  However, I’m also on a budget and know that solar (even though your electric bill is small or zero) is quite pricey upfront.  But, when my builder approached me with a deal on solar panels, I couldn’t pass it up thinking that if he installed it during the construction process it would be better than retrofitting one later on down the road.  Well, in hindsight, I should have just waited on the solar – especially after going to the Tiny House Jamboree.  Let me explain….

Continue reading Utilities Part 3 – Solar

Back to reality

Hello and happy Monday!  Well, it’s back to reality (especially since classes start next week!!!) after a great weekend at the Tiny House Jamboree.  I’m not sure how to start any discussions on the Jamboree – maybe because I’m in information overload – but I will get to discussing topics that were covered.  In the meantime here’s some pics of the awesome weekend.  Enjoy!

One of the 50 houses on display
One of the 50 houses on display

Continue reading Back to reality

Tiny House Jamboree!

Hello, hello!  This post is brought to you from the grounds of the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs – ok actually it’s the campground near the grounds but you get the picture.  This is short since the festivities kick off tomorrow but I wanted to touch base because I’m staying at an RV campground that is quite the mix of RVs.  The camp ground has around (give or take) 100 spots from full hook ups to tent sites.  After a quick walk through this evening, it appears there are maybe 6 or so tiny houses staying here.  It didn’t look as though any of the owners were home so I didn’t get to talk to any but it’s crazy that an off grid tiny 16′ or 18′ tiny house is sitting parked besides a huge (and I’m talking HUGE) 5th wheel RV with the pop out sides.  You know the ones I’m talking about…with the sides that push in while they travel and then extend out after parked to give the resident more interior space.  There’s tons of those scattered throughout the campground mixed in between tents, pop up trailers and even a few tear drop trailers.  It’s quite the juxtaposition! I’m not sure who’s all going to attend the jamboree this weekend but I’m quite excited about it.  I’ll leave you this photo from my walk this evening.

16' tiny house in the campground
16′ tiny house in the campground

Update on internet access

Hey, hey!

This is a short post because I’m getting ready to head to Colorado Springs for the Tiny House Jamboree!!!  What?!?!  Yes, that’s right!  A whole weekend (3 days actually) of all things tiny house!!!   I already have my schedule planned out with what presentations and workshops I’m going to attend. Can you tell I’m excited???  =)  I’ll try to post throughout the Jamboree with updates but I may be missing for a few days while I absorb all the Tiny House information, which of course,will be relayed back to you all on here.  yay!

But back to today’s topic:  my internet.  As you recall from a previous post I have a wifi hotspot to connect to the internet. Remember this?

wifi connection
wifi connection

Continue reading Update on internet access

Utilities Part 2 – electric

Welcome back!  Today’s topic is “electrifying”. haha! As I mentioned previously, my parking spot has RV utility hook ups, which I currently am connected to for water (all the time) and partially for electric.  I do have solar panels and switch back and forth between the city electric and solar.   I’m parked in an area that is shaded in the morning yet gets the afternoon & evening sun.  Back to the electric….

RV utility hook ups
RV utility hook ups

Continue reading Utilities Part 2 – electric

Utilities Part 1 – water

Hey, hey!  Welcome back!

Today we’re going to talk about water in the tiny house.  I luckily found a parking spot (on Craigslist if you missed that post) that has RV utility hook ups on site.  I’m currently connected to water because  A) I live in an area where collecting rain water is difficult B) it’s water from a well and C) it’s already here so it’s easy.   This is what RV utility hook ups look like.

RV utility hook ups
Water in front/electric in back/sewer unpictured

Sidenote: When I do go off grid in the future, I will get a rain catchment system and RV water pump to supply my water needs.  But that’s quite a ways off yet.

Continue reading Utilities Part 1 – water

Mobility

TGIF!  Hope you all have fun plans for this last weekend in July!  Can you believe it’s almost August already?  Where did summer go?  I’m very fortunate that I have a job in which I can be located anywhere during the summer months to work.  It’s taken me quite awhile to get to this point and I don’t take it for granted.  Luckily, I have been enjoying summer back in the Pacific Northwest where composting is common, mountains are high, and supporting local (whether that is food OR beverage) is the normal.  It’s been a great summer and like all good things, it must come to an end.  I would say one of the most frequently asked questions is, “Did you bring your tiny house?” and the answer is, unfortunately, no.  Let me explain….

Continue reading Mobility

Grilling it.

Happy Thursday everyone!  Today’s topic is on cooking in the tiny house.  Now that I have a working stove I’m all about home cooked meals.  I belong to a CSA and receive 10 pounds of beef and pork – various cuts – once a month.  It’s a  great service because I’m not only helping out local farmers but all the meat is grass fed and organic (even though it’s not certified organic).   With all this meat, I have to cook at home as I just don’t have the freezer space to keep it.  Before I had a working stove I used a crock pot to make most of my meals.  Side note:  did you know you can bake cookies in a crock pot?!?!  Sure, it takes about 4+ hours but when you don’t have a working oven, you work with what you have.  Anyways, back to cooking in the tiny house….

Continue reading Grilling it.

A dirty topic (cleaning the tiny house)

Howdy!  Today’s topic is a dirty one….literally! ha! I’m going to talk about cleaning the tiny house. A lot of people tell me it would be nice to live in a tiny house because cleaning would be breeze, well, it is, but (there’s always a but right?) I definitely have to clean more often than when I lived in a larger place.

Small floorplan = regularly cleaning
Small floorplan = regularly cleaning

Continue reading A dirty topic (cleaning the tiny house)

Other additions

In addition to adding a front porch/deck/stair area, I’m also interested in installing an awning above the front door.  This will make going in and out in the rain easier and give a little space to keep shoes so that I am not tracking dirt into the tiny house.  I have to sweep about every day because it’s hard to keep such a small space clean.  I even try to have dedicated indoor shoes and change into other ones when I have to go outside to eliminate the need to clean.  I struggle with this though as I often forget. I really need to work on doing this! Anyways, to help with this problem I would like to install an awning above the front door.

Front door needs an awning
Front door needs an awning

Continue reading Other additions

Future additions

Welcome back!  Today I want to talk about some ideas I have for the front door of my tiny house.  I’m currently using the trailer supplied retractable RV style stairs.  While these are functional I would like a deck area immediately upon exiting the front door to utilize the exterior space better and make it more welcoming.  I would also like a covered area over and around the door to store shoes so that I don’t track dirt into the house.

The front door needs a make over to be more welcoming
The front door needs a make over to be more welcoming

Continue reading Future additions

Capsule wardrobe – say what?

Hello!

Today, let’s discuss clothes storage.  Ever heard

garment pieces in a capsule wardrobe
sample of the garment pieces in a capsule wardrobe

of the capsule wardrobe?

 

I found this concept online so I can’t take any credit for it but it’s basically owning around 21 pieces of clothing which can be mixed and matched to create a different (although similar) outfit per day for a month.  Thus, reducing the amount of storage needed for clothing, the struggle of finding outfits to wear, and reduce purchasing mass quantities of clothing.  I found the concept on fashion blogs that focus on quality of garments and not quantity which aligns with a minamalistic lifestyle.   Most capsule wardrobes focus on 1 or 2 colors for the main pieces and then have accent pieces to compliment and switch up the outfit (similar to designing a room).

 

Continue reading Capsule wardrobe – say what?

To compost or not to compost – that was the (biggest) question

Howdy,

Today we’re going to discuss sewer use in the tiny house.  Since my plan all along is to eventually be off-grid, after much debate and internet searching, I went with a composting toilet.  By using a composting toilet, I only have grey water sewage which will make it easier to go off grid in the future, specially since I already use earth friendly bio-degradable soap products. =)  Grey water is any waste water from cooking and cleaning such as laundry water, hand washing water, etc.

Continue reading To compost or not to compost – that was the (biggest) question

High speed connection

Since I’m on the subject of discussing  what I get asked the most, I would say the second most common question – well besides laundry – is do I have internet.  And the answer is….yes!  I am fully connected via a mobile wifi hotspot.  Which I don’t know why I didn’t use this service before since I moved so much.  It’s so convenient and works great – plus I can take it anywhere.  I’m currently writing this up from a coffee shop.  Sure, they have free wifi but it’s really slow and hit and miss if I get to connect so I just take my hotspot with me and never worry about internet.

Continue reading High speed connection

I have a cat walk

This post is about my little fur friend, Blue.

Blue
Blue

I knew that I wanted 2 lofts in my house.  One would be for my bed/sleeping and the other would be for storage and Blue’s litter box.  In order for Blue to get from one loft to the other – and give him more room to walk about – I designed a cat walk for him to walk from the bed loft (above the bathroom) to the storage loft above the kitchen.   I installed 12″ deep white floating shelves that hold up to 25 lbs. – he’s around 9 lbs – in a modern pattern that he can climb on to go from one side to the other. Below are the before pics.

IMG_1397

the wall opposite the front door
the wall opposite the front door

And the after – with the cat walk installed.

Cat walk!
Cat walk!

IMG_1408

The verdict – After I coerced Blue to use the cat walk, he now loves it.  He can even get into the top clerestory windows so it’s win-win in my book.  He gets a little more space to move and I get his litter box out of the way.  I can access it – and all of the storage loft above the kitchen – by standing on the peninsula countertop.

What do you think of this?  Would you have put his litter box somewhere else?

Tiny furniture for a tiny house

Welcome back!  Believe it or not, I actually had to purchase all the furniture for my house. Since moving so many times I had really downsized to not owning any furniture!  In fact, I spent the 6 months before moving into the tiny house (which I need a name for – help!) using rubbermaid crates and sitting on a folding camp chair.  Sad, I know!

Anyways, furnishing a tiny house is actually quite difficult.  I found that a lot of furniture is just too big.  For example, a regular love seat, while the length will fit the depth would block the bathroom door and make the living space feel too crowded.  It took awhile but I found a loveseat that fits not just the size but also my style and budget.

bookshelf and rubbermaid containers in the mean time.
bookshelf and rubbermaid containers in the mean time.

One piece of furniture done, now to the rest…. As you can see above, besides the rug, I used what I had until I could find the perfect items.  My next purchase was a side table and window treatments.  Again, constrained by size and budget, this time I also had to match the love seat though.  It took a bit of time but I found one!

side table with convection wall heater behind
side table with convection wall heater behind (still working on window treatments)

My next item was finding bar stools and an appropriate sized table lamp – however, the one I currently own (in the pic above) is doing the job so until I can find one I like this is going to do.

I love the metal farmhouse style barstools and, even though they aren’t folding (they do stack though) I decided to go with those.  Originally I wanted folding ones as I don’t really use the counter much but couldn’t find a style of folding ones I liked or that didn’t look cheap.  I went with the red farmhouse style countertop height bar stools to pick up the red accent from the door.

Peninsula with bar stools
Peninsula with bar stools – don’t look at the mess or the burgundy throw – already owned that.

The hunt continues for the appropriate table lamp and window treatments but for now – it’s working.  I also have an idea for a storage headboard for my bedroom loft – I’ll explain in a later post but that will most likely be a DIY custom project for this winter.  Stay tuned for more pictures as I get things squared away.

Kitchen finishes

I must be in the mood to talk about the kitchen because here’s yet another post on the topic.  The need/use/function of the kitchen is extremely important to me and I spent a lot of time thinking and designing this area of the house.  I knew going into this that I am not the type of person that wants their furniture/items to be dual purpose.  An example is that some tiny houses have their dining table turn into their bed at night – similar to an RV.  That’s just not my style and if I did design features such as that I knew I would just leave it as my bed all.the.time.  Thus it wouldn’t really be functional, right?

Knowing that I wanted lots of counter space for cooking but also wanted it to be a sit at counter for eating/working/etc. I designed a peninsula into the kitchen countertop as seen below in the floor plan below while still adhering to the builders “shell”.

Floorplan. Kitchen on the right side.
Floorplan. Kitchen on the right side.

The peninsula allows counter height bar stools to go under and have storage.  I also knew going in that I wanted open shelving in the kitchen instead of wall cabinets.  I just like that style – the picture below is an example but a mess since I’m still in the process of finishing everything.

Peninsula with bar stools
Peninsula with bar stools

I selected sustainable finishes to make the house as eco-friendly as possible.  I went with bamboo countertops since they are a renewable resource and cork flooring such as these samples.

cork flooring options
I took the cork flooring options to the base of the cabinets at Home Depot to make a decision.  It’s a great trick if your on the fence but just remember the lighting will be different in your house.

Since I’m constrained by a budget (I’ll write a few posts about budget/costs) I went with the stock cabinetry supplied by the builder.  They are the standard cabinets you get at Home Depot.  To keep the modern look, I went with the white cabinets and dark stained cork flooring.  The flooring comes in planks – similar to a laminate – and there were several different styles/colors to choose from.  I bought the flooring and countertops on my own and had them shipped to the builder to be installed. This guaranteed that I got the finishes I wanted.  Because I went with the darker flooring, I went with a light bamboo for the countertop to give contrast and give the house a more open feeling.  Here’s a good pic from the builder of just the finishes.

Dark stained cork flooring and light bamboo countertops
Dark stained cork flooring and light bamboo countertops to add contrast to the interior

I also selected a beige wall color with white trim and red & light blue as accents.  I feel that white is too sterile when used as a wall color and wanted a more modern feel that still felt homey and welcoming.  The colors are all from Behr which you can get at Home Depot.

I wanted the exterior to be modern and got inspiration from the Pacific Northwest architecture. I went with a mossy green with white accents (to match the interior) and for a pop of color and contrast a red door.  You can hardly see it, but the metal roof is a deep brown color to play off of the green and red to tie everything together.   Overall, I’m really happy with the color selections and how it turned out.

exterior colors
exterior colors

The red door has gotten quite a few comments on the builder’s website – what do you think of it???

Another kitchen appliance – the fridge

On the same topic of the last post…let’s talk more about kitchen appliances – the all important fridge.  Since I have been planning the tiny house for years (and I mean years!) I’ve had a lot of time to think about what appliances and the amount  I actually use and wanted for my kitchen.  Since I was planning to go off grid and use solar, I knew I wanted and could get away with a smaller fridge, however, this

I think this is a 1.5 CU FT fridge without a freezer
I think this is a 1.5 CU FT fridge without a freezer

size wouldn’t cut it for how I like to cook and eat. I’m part of a meat CSA (I get 10 lbs of local beef and pork each month as being a member) so a freezer was a necessity. I looked into mini fridges such as this one.

mini fridge with built in freezer
mini fridge with built in freezer

but didn’t think the freezer was big enough AND I don’t like that you have to open the fridge any time your getting something out of the freezer.  I feel that the cold air escapes every time the door is open and negating the energy efficiency.  I also don’t like the fact that you have to bend down/over to get anything in and out of these.  I want my food to be eye level and easily accessible. =)

Anyways, I also looked a larger apartment sized (7.1 CU FT) fridges such as this one apartment fridge

Which are about 6′-0″ tall, which means I wouldn’t have to bend down to get food in and out, however I don’t need THAT much space and didn’t want to waste the solar energy to cool this amount of space when it wasn’t needed.  Thus, I decided on a 4.5 CU FT fridge with a SEPARATE freezer such as this one…

separate freezer fridge
separate freezer fridge

This one is about 48″ tall so to give more storage room and bring the fridge up to “normal” height so I wouldn’t have to bend down to get food in and out, I put this up on a, wait for it, end table to get it at the appropriate height.   I looked at various furniture pieces to set this on and the 24″ square end table fit the requirements given the dimensions of the fridge plus, it fit within my budget. =)  The end product below. (disregard the mess – this is still a work in progress photo)

my fridge on the end table with space for Blue's food underneath
my fridge on the end table with space for Blue’s food underneath
fridge
fridge with space for Blue’s food below and more storage above. 

So far after using this fridge for 6 months I can say that I made the correct decision.  Yes, the bigger 7.1 CU FT fridge would be nice sometimes but most of the time this is just right.  Sure, I can’t put a pizza box in there and have to be strategic with containers and bottle placement but I make everything work.  One thing that has changed is that I used to store my apples and some other produce in the fridge and now just place on the counter.  This doesn’t seem to influence how long they last or anything but perhaps that’s because I eat them as fast as I did when I stored them in the fridge?

I’m also glad that Blue’s food and water containers are tucked up underneath the fridge. I think he appreciates being able to eat in peace without the fear of being stepped on.  I originally designed the floorplan to have this similar idea but it was built in with two shelves.  The lower shelf was about 15″ above the floor to leave room for his food bowls below, then between the shelves was wine bottle storage and then the fridge sat on this storage system.  However, since this what I got from the builder I made it work. =)

Would you be able to get by with a mini fridge?  What size would you have gone with?

Love’n to have an oven

One of the most popular questions I get asked when people find out I live in a tiny house is, “do you have a kitchen?”  or “how do you cook?” or “where do you cook?”.  My response is that I have a full kitchen just smaller than the traditional house.  It took a bit of time because my original plan to have this  range

20" RV propane 3 burner range.
20″ RV propane 3 burner range.

Installed by the builder, however, he didn’t open the delivery box until the time it was to be installed and discovered it was damaged during shipping. =(  Whomp whomp.

The builder looked around for RV dealers in the area that would have this in stock to use as a replacement but no such luck.  Plan B was to find a 20″ freestanding range at Home Depot or Lowes but this size is a special order and again, no such luck.  Given the floorplan

24' tiny house floorplan
24′ tiny house floorplan

was designed around a 20″ wide range, this wasn’t negotiable.  I wanted the builder to install the range because I am not comfortable working with propane.  During this debacle I also looked at just propane cooktops and then getting a toaster oven and placing on the countertop, which isn’t ideal as I need as much countertop space as needed.

Propane cooktop
Propane cooktop

Because I follow a Paleo/whole food diet, having an oven is a necessity to me and I decided to order a 20″ freestanding propane range and having it delivered to my parking spot and trying to install myself.  (again, how hard would it be to connect the fuel lines?).  After searching for a propane ready range (which are not very common) I decided on this one.

20" wide freestanding propane range
20″ wide freestanding propane range

I ordered this online to be delivered to my house and carried inside with the intention to install (hook up to propane) myself as the builder left the propane lines in the space where this is to go.  Fast forward 4 weeks and I finally got the range delivered.  Yes, I lived with cooking on something like this

electric single burner
electric single burner

for 4 weeks!  I have never been so excited to get a delivery in my life!  So the delivery guys arrange the time to drop off my range – which was one of those 4 hour deals – and I wait, they finally come, and don’t have on their ticket to bring the range inside, unload it, and haul away the trash which I had paid extra for!  I kindly bring this up to them and they do agree to bring it inside (there’s no way I could carry a range up 3 stairs by myself!).  Once inside, I can shuffle it into it’s spot and install it, no biggie!  I go to install the PROPANE stove that I paid extra for and find out – luckily due to the id number on the stove – that it is actually a NATURAL GAS range.  This usually wouldn’t be a problem as it’s just a few pieces to switch out to convert to propane BUT this means that I can’t use the range in the meantime and the company I ordered from doesn’t have the fastest shipping.  I think it was 2 weeks later, I received the pieces and switched the range to propane.  I try to install it using a propane install kit I picked up from the local hardware store…..and yeah, I smell propane.  Not a good thing.  Long story short, I have to call in plumbers to come and install the propane range, which again, takes a few days to schedule.

Well, after 6 or more weeks of waiting to have something to cook on, I finally have a fully functioning kitchen!  Woo hoo!

20" freestand propane range - FINALLY
Isn’t this glorious???

I’m so excited to have a working oven that I go to bake cookies – one of my favorite things to do in my free time – AND the stinking oven makes the fire alarms go off!!!  WHAT? Not quite sure why as it was just the fire alarm and not my carbon monoxide detector – it was a cold day outside as I was hoping the oven would take the chill out of the house and instead I’m on the ladder trying to get the fire alarm to silence.  ARG! So I currently have an extremely heavy and expensive storage space for my pots and pans.  =( The stove top works great but I do miss baking and having an oven.

After some debate and searching – for the time being – I am going to purchase a convection counterop toaster oven so that I can bake.  Future plans, when budget and time allow, will be to sell or donate this range, replace the countertop piece and install the 3 burner propane cook top

Future stove top
Future stove top

with shelving under that will house the convection toaster and have storage for pots and pans.  In the mean time, the toaster oven is working and currently sits on top of the mini fridge.

What would you do in my situation?  Do you need/want an oven?

It’s getting hot in here.

Let’s talk about heating the tiny house since I got my house in the winter.  (I’m writing this post in July – hence, it’s not recent and a few cold months have passed so I can give my experiences).

During my research of other tiny houses and heat sources, I fell in love with the idea of a propane fireplace to be off grid.  I looked into other forms of fireplaces such as wood, pellets, and electric but ultimately went with the Dickinson Marine Propane fireplace due to it’s reviews, clearances, and efficiency.  This little fireplace is often used to heat the small cabinets of boats and has a special draft system to the exterior for venting and fresh air.  That way there’s no chance of any toxic fumes or gases entering into the tiny interior.  This is rated to only use 1 gallon of propane in 7 hours of high usage! That’s exactly what I was looking for.

Dickinson Marine propane fireplace
Dickinson Marine propane fireplace

These guys are quite pricey but given the energy and space savings, this seemed like a good deal for long term use.  To maximize the heating this does have a small 12 volt fan which helps to circulate the hot air around the tiny house.

First time using the fireplace - Love the ambiance it gives to the small space.
First time using the fireplace – Love the ambiance it gives to the small space.

This is extremely easy to use – after a little learning curve.  You simply turn on the propane source to the fireplace then open the valve (the right knob) to the middle position and I found its easier to light if the fan (the knob on the left) is turned on to half as well, then light it with a long tipped lighter.  Due to the pressure between the interior of the house and the venting system of the fireplace, you have to very slowly – I’m talking at an extremely snails pace slow – shut the door then adjust the amount of flame and enjoy a glass of wine by the fireplace.  I love the ambiance it brings.

The fireplace position was one of those items that didn’t exactly turn out as planned.  Due to the top window placement the fireplace venting could not go out through the exterior wall as originally planned because the exhaust would go back into the house – thus the venting goes straight up through the roof.  Which given this information, I would have moved the fireplace to the bathroom wall to leave the wall with the stairs completely open.  With the fireplace on this wall – and the builder scared of the small clearances, he built the stairs smaller than planned and not quite as user friendly as hoped – this is something that can be changed in the future and work for now but something that was a bit of a shock when I did receive the house.

The fireplace is great to use when I am home but when I’m gone for work, the little house gets quite chilly.  In the hunt to find a heat source that used little wattage to run on the solar panels I had a small space heater like this.

temporary space heater
temporary space heater

Which worked great but at 1,000 watts, wasn’t to nice on my solar panel system and given it’s size, having it on the floor meant I was constantly moving it.  So I ended up getting a ceramic convection wall heater that only uses 400 watts.

Convection wall heater to run on solar
Convection wall heater to run on solar installed on living room side of bathroom wall.

This wall heater uses a convection system which naturally draws cooler air from the ground into the 2 inch space between the heater and the wall, it then heats the air which makes it rise to circulate and heat the space.  This uses around 400 watts and perfect for the solar system.  However, even though this is rated to heat a space of 160 sq feet I found that it is inadequate and even with the temperature turned to 100 degrees (as high as it will go) only keeps the interior to around 60 degrees when it’s about 50 degrees outside.  It’s a great supplement to the propane fireplace but I am thinking of upgrading to another type of convection wall heater that uses 475 watts and a different design.  After 3 months of having this heater installed, I noticed the ceramic is cracking.

Convection wall heater
Convection wall heater

This is another convection wall heater made of plastic that I am thinking of trying for this winter.  It’s around $140 as compared to the ceramic one I currently have which was $79.  This one is around the same size and has the same features but is made with a plastic exterior, which I hope will be more durable and the extra wattage will actually keep the house a reasonable temperature.

What do you think?  Would you try another heater or keep the current one?  Do you have any other ideas?  Maybe I need 2 of them – keep the one installed where it currently is and get another one to install in the kitchen by the refrigerator?

cat + patio = CATio

Hi, meet Blue.   BlueI’ve had Blue since 2005 and he’s been my little buddy since then.  He’s extremely spoiled but also extremely awesome in return. This cat has living in more apartments and houses than most as well as traveled in a car across the country several times.  He’s quite the little traveler. Blue and I

 

Anyways, going into this and downsizing into 165 sq ft, I really had to think about Blue and his needs as it’s not very fair to keep an inside cat in such a small area.  Hence the reason for stairs and not a ladder to the loft.  I saw/heard the term catio before and after a quick google search found some ideas.  A catio is a little screened in outside patio for cats. Gives them fresh air but keeps them safe. Blue’s not the brights cat out there and couldn’t defend himself if he got outside. Here are some ideas I found on google.

Ideas for the catio catio3 catio4

Using these ideas, I thought I could either hire a contractor/handyman to  build one for me, or possibly I could DIY one – I mean, how hard could it be?

However, after thinking it over and in the scope of being transportable I thought of using those metal customizable shelving units and zip tying them together.  shelving turned into catioEach metal mesh piece is about a 18″ x 18″ flat panel that can be tied together using those round plastic connector pieces so you can make any shape/size you want by how many panels you have.

I got a shelving kit on Amazon with a pack of zip ties for around $35.  It took about 1 hour to install and figure out the best configuration to use all the panels and give blue enough room.  Plus the catio had to encompass the cat door so Blue would have access.  Behold…the catio below.

The CATio
The CATio

IMG_1362catio on back side

Well, Blue, being the scardy cat that he is, was scared to use the cat door and actually go into the catio.  I had to gently nudge him out the door the first time.

Blue's unsure of the catio
Blue’s unsure of the catio

IMG_1367

Blue's first time in the catio
Blue’s first time in the catio

After the initial first time out in the catio Blue has warmed up to it and LOVES it.  I hear him go in and out all night long.  At first I closed the door at night so he wouldn’t be able to go out as I was nervous about other critters but he fussed about the closed door and kept me up so now he has freedom to do as he pleases.  He even made friends with some wild turkeys that visit us every morning and a few deer that stop in occasionally.

Do you have a catio for your cat?

My tiny house has a skirt!

Hey hey!  Today let’s discuss skirting the tiny house.

She's found a spot
She’s found a spot

No skirtingSkirting is the material around the base of the trailer to the ground.  This helps “seal” the house and keep the underside from being exposed to the weather – as well as provide additional storage.  In my case, it also helps keep the tiny house from swaying when we get strong wind and storms.  These are photos of my house without the skirting.

 

There are multiple options for skirting. Some insurance companies I contacted would only insure my house if it had a permanent skirt installed.  This is more of a mobile home type of metal skirting/faux concrete.  See pictures below.  This would be a great option – as some of the faux stone ones don’t look half bad, however, I went against this type due to A) having to get someone to install it which, after already dropping a ton of money with the build and move, just wasn’t in the cards for my budget.  and B) as this is more of a permanent item on the house it wouldn’t be easy to move and I don’t plan on being in this location for any lengthy amount of time.  Long story short, I ruled out a metal/mobile home skirting option.

 Faux concrete panelsskirt1The second option I looked at was hay bales.  I like this idea because it is environmentally friendly and does the job…but it just didn’t look good and some of the reviews I read suggested that the bales need to be wrapped in plastic so that critters don’t uh, make their home and to help with decay, thus the environmental aspect is counterproductive.  I found some hay bales for sale on craigslist and dang, those things are expensive.  Let alone, the size is odd and where my house isn’t exactly on level ground some of the bales would fit and others would need cut, etc.  So, in other words, I ruled this option out as well.

Hay Bale skirting

My third option, was more to save money, was a DIY approach and get insulation panels from Home Depot and cut and install myself. Refer to the photo below for how this would look.  I like this option because I can cut the insulation panels with an xacto knife and using tape or velcro adhere the panels to the trailer and anchor to the ground.  I ruled this one out as I didn’t think it would last with the crazy wind we get in our area as well as, quite frankly, I just didn’t like the look.  Even though this would save money it would be temporary and I would probably change it out in a year or so anyways.  That goes against my sustainable side and I ruled this out as well.

insulation panel skirting

So, what did I finally decide on?  RV skirting.  This won out due to the price point, installation (I did it myself), and it’s adjustable so no matter where I go next, this can work.   I found a company online that does custom RV skirting and ordered the lengths and heights accordingly to wrap around the whole house.  The skirting is a heavy duty canvas with industrial strength velcro on the top in and weights on the bottom.  There are options for other installations but I didn’t want to drill into the house and the velcro would adhere to the metal frame, just below the house.  The final cost including shipping was $600.  Below are installation photos.  It took about 4 hours to install all of the skirting.  Not to bad, huh?

My skirtingSkirting with utilities under

What do you think???  Which skirting option would you have gone with?

Finished skirting

Mooooving!

Hey hey!  It’s moving day, which of course, didn’t go as planned either!  I hired a laborer from a moving company for 4 hours to help with my mini fridge and (mini) washer, however, he/she was a no-show!  After numerous calls with the moving company they found another helper for me but I would have to wait roughly 2 hours to get there… Oye!  Nothing like cutting things close to the wire with moving out of my apartment before the lease expired.  After he showed, things went smoothly and he actually helped tremendously with leveling the house.  The frame of the trailer has built-in jacks but I just didn’t have the strength to turn the knob and get the house level – very frustrating moment for an independent gal – but anyways, this ex-football player got my house leveled as well as moved my things.  Life is good!

As with any move, regardless of how many possessions are being relocated, there is always a time of utter chaos.  In a tiny house, this process is so much more intense because there is just no where to put anything unless you know exactly where it is going to go.  I have yet to install kitchen shelving.  I opted for open shelving to feel more open instead of wall cabinets. However, without having those installed yet, I had no where to put any dishes, cups, or general kitchen items.  Luckily the weather was cooperative and many items stayed outside in rubbermaid bins until I could get things situated.  On a happy note, my cat already LOVES the stairs.  He thinks they are his personal cat tree and just goes up and down them, up and down, up and down….you know, being a typical cat. =)

Stairs as cat toy
Stairs as cat toy
She's found a spot
She’s found a spot

It’s here, it’s here!!!

Well, shipping took about 2 times as long as I was quoted as the truck kept breaking down.  Even though I told the shippers my house weighs in around 15,000 (!) pounds, I don’t think they really knew what to expect.  I even sent pictures of other similar tiny houses…however, they FINALLY made it and I can now move in!!!

IMG_1279
Coming down the road!
It's here!
It’s getting closer!!!

Done, Done, and Done!

My builder is done!!! It’s January 27th so I have 4 days for shipment.  The quote I got was for 2 drivers to haul my tiny house and be here in 36 hours!!!  Let’s hope for no more delays.  Below are the latest pics from the builder….he’s going to send me finalized photos once he gets time.  I really hope I get a red front door that I specified, however, that is such a minor detail and can paint it myself as long as I get my house!

SAM_1139 front exterior

Arg….delays…

I’m going to be honest, I’m super stressed right now.  My house was suppose to be done  the middle of last week (January  19/20) then after shipping, I would be moving and living in it by January 30th.  The lease is up on my apartment January 31 and I have to be out.  It is not Tuesday (Jan 26th) and the builder still needs more time! WTF?  (I’ll get into all the delays in another post) I gave him till tomorrow as the last dropdead deadline then the shipping company, who I found on Uship (dot) com, will ship the house to me.  Please keep your fingers crossed for good weather as any delay may put me over my apartment lease!

Once the house arrives, I don’t have much to move (imagine that!) ha! but I do have 2 heavy items that I have hired help to lift.  I purchased a mini fridge at Home Depot on sale – score – which, if I had it shipped to the builder to install, the shipping cost would be more than the actual fridge!  So being the frugal girl that I am, decided that I could handle installing a mini fridge on my own.  How hard can it be?

Mini fridge with a 6.0 CU FT unit beside
Mini fridge with a 6.0 CU FT unit beside
Look at the freezer.
Look at the freezer.

 

I also have a little clothes washer I’ve been using in my apartment (shhh, we weren’t suppose to have them) but I hate the laundry mat and this is one you can hook up to your kitchen or bathroom sink and doesn’t require an appliance electric outlet (220v).  I’ve been using it for the 6 months I’ve lived here and plan to take it with me into my tiny house.  Have you seen these?  This is the one I have but there are several different manufacturers and sizes.

This is my tiny washer. It's 1.5 cu ft and washes really well.
This is my tiny washer. It’s 1.5 cu ft and washes really well.
washer_dryerunit
Washer/dryer combination unit – 36″high by 24″ wide and around 30″deep

Since I already had the little washer and it was a fraction, we’re talking less than half, of the cost of a dual washer/dryer unit, and it works (sidenote: I heard the dual washer/dryer units don’t work as well as intended), I decided it would make the move.  To save on energy I like to line dry all my clothing so I don’t need a dryer, however, this does have a matching little dryer that doesn’t require appliance electric outlets AND no exhaust.  Isn’t it cute?

Mini washer and dryer. Regular size cabinets beside to give size reference.
Mini washer and dryer. Regular size cabinets beside to give size reference.

 

What do you think?  Would you use this small washer and/or dryer or go for the dual wash/dry unit?

 

Update on Parking!

Yesterday, I contacted and met with someone who posted an RV parking spot on Craigslist.  He owns 10 acres of land just outside of city limits. He has it set up for 5 RV spots in the woods along a creek.  Currently, he has no tenants so I would/could be the first but it’s wooded, private, and exactly what I was thinking of when this whole concept of tiny houses developed.  He also screens the tenants so that I don’t have to worry about crazy neighbors. =) The only downside of this property is that it is far from town and I can no longer bike (it’s on a gravel road but the main road has a 65 mph speed limit!) but it’s better than living in an RV park.  In this situation, I would pay a minimal monthly fee (rent) for parking and all utilities besides electric and wifi. Unless anything comes up in the next month, this will be the spot.

My parking spotMy parking spot

Parking the Tiny

One of the biggest questions I get asked is where are you going to park it?  Or the assumption is that I purchased land to park it…which is not even an option right now for various reasons but we’ll just say I didn’t spend much energy thinking of that option. =)  Let me explain the process with tiny parking and part of the drawl for me to go tiny. The concept behind tiny houses is that the dweller would barter to park in someones back yard and tap into their utilities.  It’s also common for tiny house dwellers to park on someone’s land and pay a small fee (we’ll call it rent) to park and use their utilities – I’m hoping to score this situation.  One of the driving factors for me to live tiny is that they are more sustainable than traditional houses and require less utilities.  This also means there’s less costs involved, which is extremely appealing to me.

I currently have a craigslist ad looking for a space on someone’s property and keep renewing it but no such luck. =( That is my ideal situation.  I also have an ad on tinyhouseparking looking for a spot but considering there are only 2 other ads in the state, I’m not very hopeful that option will pan out.

My last option, which will work but not necessarily the reason why I want to live tiny, is to park in an RV park.  I spoke with two in the area that will allow me to stay with them.  I have a meeting with one this weekend to scope out a spot since I’m not familiar with the location so I will see how this option will work.

So, keep your fingers crossed that something will pan out for me and I’ll find a great (and cheap) spot to live! =)

The Process

I’ve been thinking/wanting a tiny house for about 7 years.  In fact, I’ve been living a minimalistic lifestyle – not quite as extreme as this is going to be – for quite awhile.  The idea started with the frustrations of moving time after time again and having to move and load and schlep all my stuff…and I didn’t even have that much as I was living in a 825 square foot house.  I got/am frustrated with all my material possessions so a tiny house is the perfect solution (at least in my opinion)!

Another great advantage of living tiny is using less utilities and resources. My house is built  to use residential utility hook-ups.  My tiny house will have RV hook-ups for electric, water, and sewer.  My grand future plans involve getting the house off grid (freedom!) but I can’t afford that off the bat (hello expensive solar panels) so I’m doing a combination.  I will utilize the electric, water, and sewer for the time being but went with a composting toilet so that I only have grey water as sewage. I’ll let you know how the composting toilet goes as this is my first full time experience with one…I also decided on propane heat fireplace and appliances so as not to tax the electric supply for when I do get off grid.

Speaking of appliances, I decided to go with an RV range and a 4.3 CU microfridge because anything more than that, for me, is wasteful.  My tiny house will be lit with LEDs to conserve energy as well.  Keeping sustainability in mind, I also wanted to use natural or renewable materials& finishes.  I choose a cork composite flooring and bamboo countertops that are 1″ thick to conserve resources.   I’m extremely anxious to see everything come together.

What would you have done differently?