Tiny House Tales

17 10 2015

Let’s start from the beginning.

First, I spent about a year researching tiny houses on wheels (THOWs).

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It is definitely a social movement.

I had planned on moving out west, but had heard about a community in Orlando, Fl so I thought I needed to see a THOW in person to make a real decision. My now neighbor, James, happened to be in the park and was kind enough to show me his home.

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I immediately fell in love and reserved my plot that same day.

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Cornerstone Tiny Homes (www.cornerstonetinyhomes.com) at that time just happened to have a shell already built and could have it finished by the end of my apartment lease in St. Petersburg, Fl. It was meant to be!

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We designed the interior together, specifically for my own personal needs, and about two months (or less) later I was moving in.

One of the first things I worked on was landscaping my plot, to have a tiny patio to match my tiny house.

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I never dreamed that living in a THOW would be on my bucket list, but here I am. Literally living the dream! Although, to be fair, I do have A LOT of dreams… ūüėČ

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Let it go.

23 08 2015

So many meanings to that phrase.

I first learned how to let go through my studies in Yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism and Ayurveda. I learned how to let go of unwanted thoughts and outcomes. Non-attachment, as some would call it. I found that through daily practice, it became easier and easier to let go of life’s negativity.

I also had learned that very lesson from the way I have chosen to lead my life. I have moved around and traveled more than the average person on this planet. I am used to letting go of friends, relationships, family… Even though I am very close with a lot of people; I have never been physically or locally close to loved ones for more than a short few years; at most. The longest side by side, through thick or thin, has been with my dog, Nesta; for the last six years.

I love my life. I have seen things that others have only dreamt about. I have met and come to know so many amazing human beings. There have also been many tragedies along the way; but I don’t regret a second of my journey in this life, and I plan on only continuing it and expanding it.

So lets get to it and talk about going “tiny”… I mean, that’s what you want to hear about, right?

Going “tiny”, most literally means letting go of material possessions. It also could mean giving up relationships with others that do not believe in “that type” of way of life. I am lucky to have had much support in my decision to go “tiny”. Letting go is not an easy task, and even though I have practiced it for years, it will always be an endless practice for me.

It comes in waves. At first, selling/giving away most of my material possessions was like a weight being lifted off of my shoulders. It was freeing. It still is freeing. Letting go of certain human connections has been the only hard part for me. I am lucky, because I live in a loving THOW welcoming community where I have found neighbors that are like-minded and love on each other; on the daily. Yet there are days that I also feel isolated; that it is still only myself and my dog.

I am an advocate of the tiny house community movement for exactly that reason. I did not used to value family (blood related or not), and I feel so strongly for the right for everyone to feel welcome, and to fit into their communities, no matter how they choose to live. I believe in unconditional love (no matter how “outdated that may be”).

I don’t have any fancy tiny house pictures this week, just a part of my story in choosing to go tiny. I am blessed, everyday of my life. Love yourself, love others, and allow for yourself to also be blessed.

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tiny time for BIG honest

5 08 2015

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I LOVE living in a THOW community. I never have had any regrets since I took the leap of moving into my THOW. I do believe though, as a THOW owner and full time resident, that there are some things that should be considered when thinking of going “THOW” tiny. These are a few things I have experienced since living in my THOW.

  1. Space Boundaries:¬†I get along with my neighbors great! The reality is though, that there are just some people out there that for whatever reason, just may not like you; no matter how kind of a person your are. Personally, as a community resident I welcome my friends to sit on my back patio (even when I am not there), allow my next door neighbor to use my hose (since he doesn’t have a dual hook-up for his own), help put together community cookouts, etc…. Buttttt… Here are some of the downfalls… since living here I have had the water to my house (the connection is outside) shut off four times. I know it’s not my neighbor, who is the only one that uses my water connection (the hose), so it is just something I have experienced and have no idea why someone would do that. I also find garbage around my house at times. I get it, it happens, it could even be the wind blowing it by my THOW and getting caught in my landscaping, but all I know is that I pick up after myself.
  2. Hot water:¬†This is a tricky one, so let me explain. I have a tankless water heater. Since the day I moved in it has been consistent; if it is between 6-7am or after 8pm I have perfectly endless hot water. So, theoretically, that shows me that my tankless water heater works. Yet during the rest of the day when I try to take a shower I am not getting hot water (and I mean unbearably cold!). I can’t seem to figure it out – am I not getting hot water during that period of day¬†because it is during the time of day that the rest of the community is using hot water as well? On the other side of it, being that I have a tankless water heater, the use of water from the rest of the park shouldn’t matter! I have not addressed the issue with the park owner, park manager or my builder and have just learned to live with it thus far. It’s one of those things that cannot be possible, but it is.
  3. Privacy:¬†As an Ayurvedic practitioner I do much of my work from home. I run my own website, do my own marketing, research/write and submit articles to publish, sell product, etc. One of the things that you give up living in a tiny home is privacy. My neighbors understand not to knock on my door (they can text me to see if I am busy) but I can’t control the people who think it is OK to knock on the door of my home (or try and peer through my windows). My largest concern with this (other than being interrupted from my work) is that I have a dog who spends a lot of time up in my loft while I am working. When someone knocks on my door she immediately bolts down the stairs (more like tumbles – only because the knocking startles her) and I am terrified because I know that at some point it is going to cause her an injury. I plan on buying a “please do not disturb” or “please check in with the front office” sign to hang by my door in the hopes that it will help. Our community open houses have helped reduce the number of random knocks, but it is definitely something I would have reconsidered had I known it would be such an issue (I suppose I thought… “I don’t just randomly go up to other peoples homes and knock on their door to ask for a tour, so why would my home be any different?”). Don’t get me wrong, I know people want tours of tiny homes (I mean I did too) – but I didn’t realize the lack of (for use of a better term) “common sense” some people would (or would not) have about it. When I originally wanted to see a tiny home for the first time, I called and scheduled it.¬†Pictures from a community open house:11745415_884729354948246_6254847524339165229_n10462698_686088708145646_331455843421484253_n
  4. Time Management:¬†When living by yourself in a THOW, it can be a lot of work. So that is definitely something all people should take into consideration when looking to go tiny. Since I don’t do much cooking at home and only have a mini-fridge, I have to consider the time it takes out my day (or every two days) to go out for food. Just a little example… I need to manage my days around taking care of my dog, work/bills, shopping/errands, cleaning/laundry, working out, being of service to others and trying to have a social life when I can lol.

Moral of the story?

No matter where, or how, you live – there will always be struggles. I don’t regret living in my THOW – not for a minute; but there definitely are things to consider when looking to live in one yourself.





What are you doing with all that space?

23 06 2015

There are so many articles in circulation addressing the lack of space in a tiny house. I’m not sure if I have ever seen an article that addresses extra amounts of space in McMansions. What are people doing with all that space?

I have a TON of space. It’s called Mother Nature. I also have a lot of extra entertaining space. I refer to it as community.¬†Even my dog has more space, and more friends.

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(One of many tiny furry friends in my THC – tiny house community!)

I find myself lonely in empty space. Additional “things” confuse me. The china flatware at my parents house¬†makes no sense to me. The ones for “special” occasions that are held in the dining room that rarely gets used. TODAY IS SPECIAL! Every day is special to me!

Ironically, my lack of space has begun to rub off on my family. My parents recently added an outdoor meditation area to their home in Michigan. I’m wicked impressed! That is not typically their dynamic.

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I have a “guest bedroom”. My bench can be used as a day bed for visitors to stay. I have a full bathroom (what I consider a full since I don’t take baths). I have a laundry room. No trips to the laundromat for me! I have an office that doubles as my media center and a patio overlooking a serene lake. I have a kitchen that suits my lifestyle (my lack of cooking lifestyle! – which was why I chose only the appliances I knew wouldn’t go to waste). I have more now than¬†I had in any apartment I have ever lived in! In 220 square feet! Seriously!

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(Basically I just want to live on smoothies…)

I hope that I never “live” inside. It just doesn’t feel natural. Life is a playground!

(My AWESOME tiny goofball of a neighbor. There is music that he is dancing to, even if you can’t hear it. I swear.)

But seriously, what are you doing with all that space? Not entertaining. Unless you just haven’t invited me over. Feel free to join me in my extra space.

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(My¬†tiny¬†neighbors blog is pretty rad too… Check him out @ http://www.thecompanystoreonwheels.com & http://www.facebook.com/thecompanystoreonwheels #DORK)

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Imagine All The People…

15 06 2015

We are growing!! Whoop whoop!

Just had a new “tiny” neighbor move her house into the park yesterday. She still needs to finish out the interior of her home, and paint the exterior, but it is looking great so far!

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I also had the chance to meet another woman at our open house on Saturday who is moving into her THOW here in July. She is so lovely! There is an additional tiny houser scheduled to move in around July as well! We are booming!

I see a lot of fire pits and Cards Against Humanity in my future. It is great to see the movement here really begin to take off. I was a little nervous that our vision was just going to stay a “vision” for a while, but it is really starting to gain momentum. The open houses that we have every month draw in SO many people! Some have already started to go tiny, some are just beginning to research and some just think it is a neat idea!

I really do have the best neighbors. There is a constant stream of invites to eat, shop, watch movies, hula hoop… and that is just within the community. Even Nesta has play friends here. She is one happy pup!

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We are all total goofballs and have the best time together! I am so happy that the universe chose to bring me on this amazing journey. I am constantly excited to see what is in store next as the journey continues…

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sometimes Glamping, sometimes Camping…

8 06 2015

THOW life… A lot of preparation goes into EVERY detail.

I WISH I had the stamina to compost, collect rainwater, grow my own food. Realistically, I don’t. I barely even cook. I own 2 cooking pans. TWO PANS. I always wonder what single person has the time for all of that? Definitely one of the reasons I wanted to move into a community and not out on my own. And thank goodness I did! Living in a tiny home means you only have one! ONE shower. So if the plumbing backs up every time you try to take a shower? Sucks to be you.

Glamping turns into camping very quickly if something¬†stops working. Even in a community (especially TH communities considering they are so new and not all of the kinks are out yet), things go wrong or break. It’s frustrating. In the past month I have had trouble setting up personal wifi as well as having plumbing issues (after many showers at my tiny neighbors house). Obviously the property management (in an established TH community) stays on top of it to work everything out; but this may all be new for them too!

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I totally¬†understand why many people choose to go completely off-grid (and I silently envy them for making it work). It would be nice to have complete control over my dwelling. But I still think the negatives outweigh the positives for me. I would still rather be a part of a community (although the best case scenario would be to live in an off-grid community… baby steps!)

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{a few of the THers in my community}

You don’t necessarily¬†prepare yourself for things to break¬†when you move into a place with modern conveniences. So when they happen… You are pretty much SOL. Unprepared for off-grid. That’s when you have to switch modes and become a “happy camper!” My work schedule may disagree, but maybe that¬†is how¬†the universe is telling me to slow down. Read a book, get off of the computer. GO OUTSIDE!

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I don’t think I could ever do enough “tiny” or “off-grid” research. I think one of the beautiful things about living tiny, is that if I ever decide to change something; I CAN. I don’t have a McMansion to renovate, I can easily make tiny changes to my tiny home that have a BIG impact. For example, I realized I wanted my own personal internet account; which means drilling a hole into my house for a box wire connection. Breaking the bank? Nope, only $100.

I can evolve with the movement and so can my tiny home. Regardless, the best things in life are free!

“I thought I was pretty cool until I realized that plants can eat the sun and poop out air.” ~ Jim Bugg

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tiny house BIG LIFE!

14 05 2015

Living in a “tiny home” allows for so much time to get out and truly LIVE!

I have officially been in my tiny home for a month now, and there is never a dull moment. Some days I stay within my community and enjoy paddle-boarding on the lake, journaling on my patio and admiring the crazy amount of animals that flock to our park (we have kittens, ducks, a goose & many different types of birds – all of which are super friendly!).

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My dog loves all the attention (especially when I am giving “tiny” tours) and I enjoy the quiet evenings outside to sit and meditate.

Outside of the community is incredible as well; Orlando has so much to offer! Whether it is exploring the adjacent areas of College Park and Winter Park, to being minutes from downtown Orlando, there is so much to do. The Lake Eola farmers market is delightful as it promotes local business and there is an area for yoga and meditation groups that practice by the lake. I have found a great local vegan market, and a studio that offers hip hop aerobic dance classes that my tiny neighbor and I are going to try out this week.

I spent this past Saturday working on a bench/daybed for my tiny living room (my builder has a really cool DIY camp in his warehouse). I am constantly rearranging things in my home to be more conscious of my habits and decorating my tiny space is a lot of fun! So much thought has to go into every inch of the home. I just ordered blinds (I have such beautiful big windows in my living space) and I also finally came up with a name for my house (which will be revealed when I get my sign made to hang by the door!).

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(The frame of my tiny bench/daybed ‚¨ÜÔłŹ)

June will be dedicated to re-establishing my Ayurvedic business in Orlando. As I was updating my information on the NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) website I was astounded to see that I am the only practitioner in Orlando! I also look forward to really becoming plugged in with the yoga community here. This first month has basically been dedicated to my home and enjoying settling into the new TH community (not to mention the constant knocks on the door from TH enthusiasts!). Thank goodness we now have scheduled open houses!

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Everyone I’ve met has been ridiculously friendly (so much so that I’m going to have to start turning down invitations to hang out – it has been pretty much like a month long vacation since I have arrived!).

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June is is going to be a great month, I can feel it! More will be revealed…

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