Today is the day I locked up the tiny house and set out on The Famous Idaho Potato Tour. I didn’t have a chance to completely finish the inside of the addition but I promised I would at least post pictures of the progress this far.
The fireplace will be stacked rock and behind there will be shelves. The picture on the left is of the kitchen. The stove will be on the left and a small refrigerator on the right. The sink will be under the round window. We put corrugated metal on the ceiling and there will be a large wood beam going down the roofline.
I made a stencil at Kinkos for the wall print. The walls are painted a flat gray and the stencil is essentially the same color but in a gloss. The effect is really quite pretty when you move through the place the light catches the pattern.
The top right picture is of the paper bag floors which I love! It cost around $30 worth of glue and polyurethane. Was
Super easy but a tedious process even in a small space.
The bottom picture is of the kitchen cabinets. The unit is made from a coffee table and 3 sets of thrift store drawers. Total $90. I think I’m going to go with a butcher block countertop.
This is not a pretty view but it shows where the addition and the original structure connect. One closet will be a pantry and the other one will house my solar power batteries. The reason there are stairs is because the original house sat higher because of it being on wheels.
You can’t tell how pretty the curtains are so you’ll have to trust me that they’re gorgeous! These thrift store doors and window were $100 and I have an amazingly peaceful view of the sunsets.
It’s official – I was hired to be part of a three man team to tour the country to show off Idaho’s 6 ton potato!!! I will be leaving April 1st and won’t be returning until mid November. This is a chance of a lifetime disguised as a job – in the first month alone we will be stopping in 7 states I have never been to!
Those of you who know me know how proud I am to be from Idaho and how much I love/consume our potatoes. So much so that when I had to close my clothing boutique, I made a list of places I would want to work and Simplot (one of Idaho’s biggest potato processors) was right at the top of my list and I practically begged to be given a shot. For almost a year I worked mostly in receiving where I got so filthy everyday unloading potatoes, I was told I couldn’t walk through the factory to the break room because they were worried about contamination. I loved my time there and the people I worked with.
You can find more details at http://www.bigidahopotato.com as well as links to our facebook and twitter pages. I have a lot to do, as well as people to see in the next week. If we stop in your town please come by or drop me a line and we’ll try to meet up :)
“The choices you make now affect the opportunities available to you in the future. -Chris Guillebeau”
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I was mentioned in an article today on tinyhousetalk.com for having a tiny home in Idaho and a second one planned for Hawaii. For research they posed the question on their fb page, What do you think about owning more than one tiny house in different locations? Most people thought it was a great idea (if you could afford it) but there were a few who thought that it kind of defeats the purpose of living tiny in the first place.
I have to admit that I too considered if it was too much. After all my website tag line is “all you need is less” which I thoroughly believe to be true. But maybe there should be an asterix next to the tagline – All you need is less *except when it comes to joy, kindness, gratitude, and love. I love the time spent with my mom building the original and can’t wait to make more memories on a second one. I’m really grateful for the all the friendships that have come from this experience. I also get giddy when I think about how my friends and family will be able to enjoy this second tiny house in paradise.
I have always dreamt about having several homes around the world that loved ones could enjoy and I could rent out when not in use. The ultimate luxury I thought. The thing is I also thought I would have to be a gazillionaire to afford it. When I built my tiny house and got the land for less than what most people spend on a car, I started to imagine the possibilities. From time to time I would browse the craigslist ‘real estate for sale by owner’ section and late January I saw an ad for a plot of land on the big island for $8,000 and the owner was willing to carry! I called the seller and we hit it off. He shared my passion of having multiple small homes (or in my case tiny ones) around the world instead of one mediocre one in the suburbs. I bought the land site unseen, settling for exploring the plot via Google earth instead.
It’s amazing to realize that this tiny adventure will allow me to own two homes with no debt, with literally zero credit on a modest income. Imagine what your life would be like if you scaled back on the things that don’t fulfill you and purely focused on the things that do…
“From small beginings come great things.” -Proverbs
I started this blog after I had already built and lived in my tiny house for a year and a half. It didn’t occur to me that people would even be interested in what I was doing so I didn’t take many pictures on the first build.
The pictures that I’m posting are from the original build, since then I have purchased land and added a tiny addition.
When I moved the tiny house on to my land I didn’t know how to go about getting an address. All I had was some parcel numbers on the deed. I called the post office they sent me to one of their locations, which sent me to another location, which told me I need to go to the county offices fill out a bunch of paperwork, which I never got around to doing.
Instead I decided that I would essentially make a semi educated guess as to what my address might be, slap it on the mailbox and see what happens. Well I did just that and a couple days later there was a typed letter from my mail lady explaining that the mailbox would not be active until I listed the names of the residents on the back of the letter. I grabbed a pen, scribbled my name and a quick note and put it back in the mail box.
A few days later I received a thoughtful gift (a battery extender iPhone case) directly from ebay to my mailbox.
I love getting mail, mostly because I’ve been able to evade spammers. If your fed up with junk mail you can sign up to stop it at https://www.dmachoice.org/dma/member/home.action
Another fantastic site is https://www.yellowpagesoptout.com This site has you put in your zip code and it displays all the phone books in your area (my folks had 5) after a quick register of your address you can pick which one you would still like to receive if any.
Getting rid of the junk leaves more room for good.
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”-Oprah
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Ahh it’s the little things like running water, installing propane lines for the first time, cutting through the wall to connect the two structures, that make you want to celebrate. Looking through my phone today I noticed several little video snippets of those little accomplishments and decided to compile them.
Sidenote: I’m going to start a ‘Ask Me Anything’ segment. So if you have any burning tiny house, DIY, sewing questions, email me at here
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ABOVE: My first year of property taxes :)
Lately I’ve been fortunate to pair up with some incredible folks in the tiny house community. Frankly two years ago when I built mine I wasn’t even aware a such a community existed. It’s really exciting to connect with so many people who are trying to simplify and in turn lead a more meaningful life.
Below are some blogs I’ve been featured on lately, each one of these sites are a phenomenal resource for anyone interested in the tiny house lifestyle:
Macy Miller of Mini Motives (say that 10x fast) is also a Boise gal as well as an architect in training. She’s on the home stretch of her tiny house and has documented every step of the process, even breaking her back (ouch!).
I also did a guest blog on Tiny House Listings as well about building on a budget. They have a ton of inspiration posted almost daily on their Facebook as well so be sure to like them as well.
Most recently I had the pleasure of doing a podcast with Andrew Odom of Tiny Revolution. Andrew & his wife Crystal along with their daughter are perfect examples of not only how a family of three can not only survive in a small house but thrive in one. You can listen to our chat here:
And kind of an off topic an interview that I did with Tony Gonzales of The Tennessean this summer when I was traveling/working/couch surfing in Nashville for CMA Fest. If you haven’t heard of couch surfing its a pretty cool social network for travelers who tend to be a little on the granola side. I’ve used it several times always coming away with a new perspective. You can view the video of the interview below:
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
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When I bought some land this summer on the outskirts of town, I knew I was going to need to add a kitchen. Since moving to Boise I’ve been a huge supporter of the valleys variety of restaurants, so much so that I didn’t put a kitchen in my original tiny house plan. I also knew that because I wanted to make my tiny house permanent and off grid I would need to put in a fireplace to heat it.
On October 1st my mom and I set out to do what we had done 20 months earlier and build an addition onto my original tiny house, doubling it’s size to 220 sq. ft. This time around we faced some additional challenges, no power, no water, plus being a ways away from anything at all. It’s far from being finished, but in 30 days we were able to get the place buttoned up for the winter.
I’m a big believer in the ‘get what you give’ philosophy, however, in the course of the last month the scales have unequivocally been tipped in my favor. Nearly every day I have been astonished by the kindness and generosity of others, from building supplies to food, that near strangers have brought by.
The reason my land was so cheap is because it had no utilities to speak of. I plan to do solar so electricity was a non issue. My family has had to put in septic and leach fields before, so that was doable as well. However, getting water was a big question mark, but I went ahead with the purchase knowing that everything is figureoutable. A couple weeks ago as my mom and I were dutifully chipping away at our to do list, a truck pulled up and I was introduced to Jay (the mysterious owner of all the cheat grass covered land that surrounds my property) and Dan (a resourceful Angus cattle rancher, who needed a place to graze his cattle). They were inquiring about the water situation and I explained all the dead ends I had run into: a caved well, water being 400′-600′ deep, grandfathered in water rights etc. As it turns out that “caved well” was nothing more than a clogged pump and the next day they were putting up fence and building a well house and offering to run water to my house if I would keep an eye on the cattle. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING?? If I had one wish it would have been for water! If I had won the lottery I would have spent the money on getting water! I would have bottle fed every last one of those cows had they asked, but instead I simply needed to notify Dan if I didn’t have water because that meant the cattle didn’t have it either.
Seriously, simple as that, and on Nov. 1st my 30th birthday, I was able to turn my faucet for first time in 5 months and see water rushing out.
“Even if your on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” -Will Rodgers
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You ever have one of those days where it seems nothing can go right and you just want to call is your mom but she's in Alaska for a month without cell service?
Well I'm having one of those weeks so when a much needed trip to McCall for the fourth of July got delayed I was in serious need of an attitude adjustment. So I sulked for about 5 mins and then I did what any red blooded american gal would do, I changed into an american flag bikini climbed onto my roof and rehashed my water system; as I believe that all my frustration stems from not being able to shower!