Community.

2 09 2015

Community is love. Real community is love.

Here are some of the people in my community that I love:

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First on the list (had to do it) my GH James! Check out his blog too – http://www.the companystoreonwheels.com

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The AMAZING miss Cassie. My kindred soulmate.

I found family here. I had a dinner the other night with Kai Rostcheck and Rene’ Hardee who are doing amazing things for the tiny house movement! You both are such an inspiration!

Some other people in my THOW family community:

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My neighbor Rachel.

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Our newest THOW neighbors Marissa and Wendy.

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How lucky am I!?!!!

 

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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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Lake Life

17 08 2015

Life is very exciting on a lake. Constant activity. I still pinch myself when I wake up in the morning to take my dog outside and realize all over again that I live steps from a lake. I have a million dollar view – how did I get so lucky?

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The fishing / grilling / boating / lounging dock in my community.

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Water powered jet pack on the lake!

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Kayaking!

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Neighbors out for Sunday tubing!

I love that I have a paddle board steps from my door that I can jump on anytime I want and go out onto the water. Ironically, when I was looking to go “tiny” the last place I wanted to move to was Orlando. It just didn’t make sense to me to live in Florida and not be by water. So when I came out to my community for the first time to see a tiny home (the first one I had actually seen in person and walked through) I had no intention of living here, I just thought I was coming to look at a tiny house.

The lake sold me. A tiny house and the ability to be steps from the lake? I’ll take it (and I did!).

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Tiny House Talk

13 08 2015

Recently I was featured on www.tinyhousetalk.com. A beautiful resource on the tiny house movement that is very inclusive of all types of “tiny”; including micro, tiny and small.

The site is probably best explained by the creator himself, Alex Pino. So here in his own words is why he created the site:

About Tiny House Talk:
“Hi, I’m Alex Pino. In 2007 I started to simplify because I wanted to take more control over my life, was unhappy with where I was at and wanted to do something about it.
So by 2009 I went from working as a government computer technician and living in a 1400 square foot home…
To writing about tiny houses and simple living while building my own Internet publishing business out of a 500-square-foot apartment. Since then I’ve tried living out of my backpack and explored many tiny and small homes of all kinds.
In 2009 I created Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter because I wanted to share my passion for living smaller and being more purposeful with anyone who was also interested. And that’s still what I’m doing today. So this is a place for you to explore and share inspiring simple living stories.
From people who live in 120 sq. ft. tiny houses on wheels to those who live in 825 sq. ft. solar powered homes and just about anything else in between.
The purpose of Tiny House Talk is to spread the message of freedom, peace and happiness through simple living.

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(Andrea and Me In Front of One of Dan Louche’s Tiny Houses)

In March of 2010 I got to attend Jay Shafer’s tiny house workshop in Orlando, Florida.
This helped me gain an understanding on how to build a house, when I do it myself.

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But I couldn’t stop there. And I still wasn’t ready to tackle a build by myself, so..
In July 2011 I attended Derek “Deek” Diedricksen’s Micro Building Workshop
In July of 2011 I was invited to attend Deek’s micro building workshop.
This was another opportunity for me to learn from someone who has designed and built several micro structures.

Building Your Own Tiny House:
If you need help building, designing or getting your own tiny house built start with my free eBook, Plans to Build Your Own Tiny House.

Read more at http://tinyhousetalk.com/about/#yhAcbqsxko7oRAie.99

I have come back to his website and blog many times and will keep continuing to do so… I highly suggest that you go and check it out!





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.





It’s a Buddhaful day!

27 07 2015

My tiny house sign finally came in the mail! Eeeeekk!!! I am so happy with the way it turned out. I decided to name my THOW “Buddhaful Hॐme”.

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The sign came from the lovely people at http://www.oldwestsigns.com – I explained my vision to them and they completely blew me away with their quality of work.

Video putting up my new sign.

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It really is a tiny Buddhaful Hॐme‬! ❤

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Next project is to paint my front door for an added extra pop of color.

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Choosing a name for my THOW was more difficult than I had anticipated; but when I came up with the name I knew it was perfect for my home. That’s how going tiny has been happening for me from the start, just seamlessly falling into place (little bumps – lets be realistic – but overall pretty seamless), and that’s how I know I made the right decision.

Day view vs. night view.

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Simple = happiness!

And for those that noticed, the company was kind enough to redo my sign with the correct spelling.

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Tiny House shame… (lame!)

21 07 2015

As an Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga instructor, one lesson I personally have taken away from my studies is to not, to the best of my ability, judge anyone on how they choose to live. Everyone is entitled to choose their own journey. I recently chose to live in a THOW for many different reasons (including wanting to participate in sustainable living in the ways that I am able) but that does not mean that I want to judge others who choose to live in a “McMansion”. Don’t get me wrong, I do think it’s a bit ridiculous to have all that space (not trying to be judgmental – practice not perfection!), but I also believe that everyone should live a life that brings them joy. The universe wants all people to be happy equally!

I recently found out that when I first moved into my tiny house I gave one of my TH neighbors “paper towel” shame. I didn’t even know it, and of course never meant to! I don’t use paper towels in my home (I use washcloths for napkins and throw them into the laundry to recycle) so I guess my neighbor started to feel “shamed” that he was using paper towels. When he finally told me, we both started cracking up. How silly! I definitely want him to do what works for him and felt awful that he felt bad about using them just because I don’t!

#FAIL! LOL!

Every month I open my home for “tiny house tours” and I have been “shamed” as well. I have a microwave in my TH and for whatever reason, people like to call me out on it. As an Ayurvedic practitioner I am completely aware that microwaves change the molecular composition of food, and I agree that there are much better ways of cooking things, or reheating food. The ironic thing is – I barely even use my microwave. In actuality – I’m a terrible cook so I tend to eat out more often that at home, and most of the foods I do try to keep in my tiny refrigerator doesn’t need to be cooked in the first place (nuts, fruits & veggies, etc.). I’m trying to not let the microwave comments get to me, but it’s getting repetitive. I have a microwave, I get it. Could I do better? Yes. But that will be on my own time, on my own journey. I’ll get there when I am meant to get there.

I would love to be a person that grows her own food and cooks over an open flame and keeps it as close to nature as possible. The reality is, there is only so much I am capable of doing at this point in my life. Maybe I will evolve into a non-microwave user in the future. That would be nice, I like the idea of that. I am trying to be as conscious as I can. My neighbor still laughs at me for scrutinizing the labels of everything I buy at the grocery store (probably because he has to wait for like an eternity for me since I am a very slow food shopper lol).

For me, going tiny is not meant to shame other people for the way they live. It’s just a personal choice that I made. Of course I support movements towards more sustainable and eco-friendly living, but I’m not looking to force my personal beliefs onto anyone. We are all evolving, and each of us does it in our own way. I’m not apologizing for the way I live my life, and I don’t think that anyone that lives a life founded on love and kindness should either. No matter what the square footage of your house is! Even if I personally do still think large houses are ridiculous 😉 My hope is for everyone to live authentically within their own truth, whatever that may be for them. It’s lame to shame!

Now time for me to get back to my organic smoothie served in a mason jar! ❤

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A look inside…

14 07 2015

I am always discovering and playing around with decorations in my THOW. It is still a work in progress but it is definitely coming along nicely! Here are some pictures of the interior so far…

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I chose to not have an oven in my kitchen, because I knew that for me, it would be a waste of an appliance (as I’m not much of a chef!). I have my induction hot plate, my mini-fridge and a little microwave which all suits my needs just fine.

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My bathroom also has everything I need (and maybe a little extra). Many people choose not to do an additional sink in the bathroom, and only opt for one in the kitchen; but my girly side pleaded for a vanity space. 😉

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I also wanted the convenience to have a washer dryer combo in my home. Which turned out to be very helpful by adding extra kitchen counter space above.

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My favorite piece of art! A gift from my father (who is apparently a banker by day and artist by night – who knew?). One of my most cherished possessions.

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A view of the stairs up to my loft. The bottom two stairs are folded up in this picture, which allows for more living room space when I need it, as well as storage space underneath.

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My daybed, which sits under a true picture window looking out to the view of the lake I live on. Additionally I have a closet built into the stairs. Fits all of the clothes I need. There is also storage space under the daybed.

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Decorative (and practical) elements in the kitchen area.

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A view of the loft (aka my bedroom). I am in the process of trying to sell my mattress (it is too thick – the big purchase mistake I made when going tiny!). Thin mattresses are the way to go for tiny loft living; I guess I didn’t get the memo in time lol! It’s all part of the learning process though. So this will soon be replaced with a thinner mattress (I already have one picked out that is super comfortable) and new bedding that I recently purchased on Etsy.com (that should arrive any day now!).

I am very happy with the interior progress so far! What do you all think?





Tiny Tribe

5 07 2015

I hope everyone had an amazing 4th of July! We celebrated here in our THC (tiny house community) with our growing tiny tribe! It was also my birthday, which made the day even more special (for me at least lol).

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BIG thank you to my tiny neighbor James for helping to put the shindig together! I purchased some party flair for the cookout (including silly string to prank on someone), but as you can see it kinda backfired… (but don’t worry – we are all super conscious of our lovely park wildlife and cleaned up of course!)

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We just had some new neighbors move their THOWs in, although they are currently shells, so they are having fun finishing the interiors of their homes (which decorating of course is the most fun part!). People that choose to live “tiny” definitely need support and ideas from other TH community members, especially the ones who are diving in head first (which is what most of us have done).

The cookout was a total success. We kinda just threw it together the day before thinking that maybe only a few people would show up, but we had an amazing turnout!

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It’s so lovely to see the community pull together and make these events happen.

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We ended the night with fireworks (some set off by one of my neighbors taking his boat out onto our own lake as seen in the youtube video below); but also from where we live you could see fireworks from nearby Fairview Shores, Maitland and even downtown Orlando!

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Buggin Out!

30 06 2015

I saw a bug.

I know that’s totally normal in Florida, but the knowledge doesn’t help. It was next to my bed, in my loft.

That was last week. Since then I have sprayed down the area (well, the whole house really) with an organic essential oil bug repellant blend I made; and I haven’t seen a bug since; but that has not stopped me from sleeping downstairs on my bench/daybed. Every. Single. Night.

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(Can’t give up all my holistic secrets so just a sneak… although if you were to ask me I’m sure I would tell you the recipe!)

It’s not like I haven’t seen bugs in my homes in Florida before, but just not really in my bedroom. I guess that is what happens when you live tiny. You’re bedroom is practically in your kitchen anyway.

I’ve surrounded a portion of my house with citronella plants, aloe, and a lemon tree. I spray down my home with my own organic bug repellants, and I don’t keep any opened food out. Opened boxes of cereal or crackers go into the fridge. Leftover food trash goes into the fridge until I carry it to the dumpster. All of this is a tiny must. I have even summoned my pup Nesta to be on the lookout for me… (guard dog in full effect!)

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It is causing me a real problem. There is a quote that I can refer to that will explain. You see, “I like to party. And by party, I mean take naps.” So since the bug incident I have been VERY awake.

Le sigh. The good news is that it has made me want to reorganize/redecorate my tiny home (already… I know, I know! But I must pull everything out now and redo it ALL!). Luckily I have amazing inspiration from my tiny neighbor. I mean, seriously, his home consistently looks like it was staged for a magazine article.

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(check out his blog at http://www.thecompanystoreonwheels.com)

Stayed tuned for bohemian chic. I see lots and lots of throw pillows in my future.

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