As I've been at Michigan State University the past two semesters, I've felt an eagerness to do something more, something different. This doesn't really surprise me, since this same restlessness is what led to the tiny house journey. I began looking inward at my spirit to discover what it was that I seemed to need, and I discovered a pretty life-altering experience being presented to me.
Young With A Mission.
For those of you who have never heard of YWAM, it is a non-profit Christian missionary organization with bases all around the world. I remember learning about it way back when I was 14 years old, and feeling a tug at my heart; it was something I was going to do at some point in my journey.
Through God's very purposeful guidance the past couple of months, I've talked to many very wise and encouraging mentors, as well as members of the YWAM team, and have been accepted to attend YWAM Mazatlán beginning January 2019.
I am very excited and curious as to what God has planned for me in Mexico, and I hope to share all these amazing experiences with anyone wanting to listen. I know this has been a place for my tiny house journey, but in a way, this is a continuation of that journey - it is a continuation of how God guides his children toward the remarkable.
An Awesome Tiny House Community
A couple of months ago, Mighty Goods inquired about creating a graphic of the tiny house, and putting it on their site along with many other awesome people within the tiny house community. The graphic turned out really awesome, and I also got to see so many other unique stories! Besides just the tiny house stories, Mighty Goods has a variety of articles about nomadic living, running, and really just living life to the fullest. I must admit, I spent a fair share of time reading about some very inspirational people!
Go check it out, subscribe, be inspired, go conquer your dreams :)
Meanwhile, for the past year...
Wow! It has been almost a year on the dot since my last post, and I'm excited to say that the tiny house continues to morph into a new adventure. During the fall of 2016, I had the opportunity to share the tiny house experience with some close friends and mentors of mine for a weekend. They had a blast, and mentioned to me that if I was interested, they thought it would go over really well if I were to try and do some renting.
As I stayed in the tiny house the rest of the fall, I continued to think about this idea; what a cool experience to share with others who want to get a small taste of a super simple lifestyle, to dip their toes into tiny living, whether it be just a one-time endeavor, or a life-changing experience.
So, I went for it! Starting in April 2017, I put the tiny house on Airbnb (if you haven't used Airbnb, I highly suggest you do so!!). From there, I was able to host for over 45 couples and families just in my first season, and have had a blast doing so. I've created this web of connections with people all over America, and have been able to share this chunk of my life journey with so many unique, inspiring, enthusiastic people.
I owe a HUGE thank you to my mom, my dad, and my grandpa for busting out even more finishing touches, as well as helping me clean after guests depart. Also, a big thank you to a pretty awesome couple who were able to take some professional pictures of the tiny house during their stay, which are featured below!
If you're interested in staying in the tiny house, I'd love to host for you! Below is a link to my Airbnb listing, and if you mention you found out about the tiny house on my blog, I'll give you $20 off your stay!
Details! Now these have been fun! I have to say the more little details we add, the more homey it feels. My grandpa and I took an old lantern and created it into a cool light fixture, and my mom has been rocking it with the pillows! I also painted a chalkboard on my closet door, and I've been having fun picking which scriptures to add (:
I really am having a blast, and I'm feeling so thankful for all the helpful hands along the way!!
Wow! Where did September go? I have officially and happily moved in for the semester! These pictures are a few weeks old, mostly because I have been procrastinating to post. Some of me wants to believe it's simply because school work and normal work trumped posting, but another part of me believes it's because I don't want this journey to end. I also don't have Internet connection out at the tiny house, which is a huge part of it too. Anywho, I did get all moved in and began to work on other small projects during the quiet, peaceful evenings. I'll try and keep posting little details I've been working on (the interesting use of space/storage is probably my favorite part)!
In other exciting news, I've made the local newspaper! I've had lots of people congratulate and ask questions, which I love; perhaps the reason you're reading my blog is because you happened to see the article in the paper. How cool is that!
I hope all of you are enjoying the change in weather; I know I've loved being able to throw on a sweater and my rain boots, while drinking tea on the front porch. Eat some yummy pumpkin pie, watch the leaves change, and read an inspirational book for me (:
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Today's been a lot of fun! My dad and I finished putting this awesome stone around the entire house. It was a gift from a family friend who was getting rid of it from their yard (thanks again, Vollmer family!). It's an awesome finishing touch, and will help insulate the house as well as keep little critters from crawling underneath. When the day comes to move the tiny house off my family's property, we'll just remove the stone and place the house on a trailer. I don't know if I explained before, but we didn't want to have the expense of a trailer right off the bat, and we knew that the house would stay put for a while, so we just put in up on wooden bases for the time being.
The picture on the right is also pretty exciting! I managed to bring out some items we've been collecting from different thrift stores. I'm slowly but surely gathering pots, pans, plates, & utensils to fill space. And man, look at that stove!! (:
Tomorrow & Monday my dad and I are going to work on a few things in the bathroom, including some shelving & the shower curtain rod. We're also monkeying around with the dining room table; we're trying to come up with a way that it can flip up so I can have some extra space in the kitchen when the table isn't needed. More pictures to come of finishing touches!!
Fun Painting, Shower, & Cushions
I feel as though all of my captions have become lists of things being checked off of the list! It's a weird feeling to think back to February when my dad and I would put how close we were to being done into percentage form. "35% done" he'd say... we joke now as we get into fractions of a percent of being finished.
This weekend was a lot of fun for me, since I got to work a lot with my grandpa, while also going out on my own and chipping away at painting (I have found that it's really a peaceful place to be). As you can see, the window seat is painted a very pale purple, which I think will look awesome with the dark blue fabric for the cushions. The door is almost a wine red; my mom isn't a fan, she says it's not earthy enough. I agree, but I also think it turned out really nice and adds a fun, edgy touch.
My mom and I are slowly but surely working on the cushions! Down below is me working on the cushion covers, which will then have the final fabric on the top.
Also exciting, is the shower is complete! We used extra metal from the roof on the sides, and on the bottom my grandpa created a beautiful teak base (I'm sorry I couldn't squeeze it into the picture!). Not only does the shower look awesome, but the plumbing is FINALLY complete, so I can turn all the water on throughout the house!!
There has been lots of other little things completed so I'll have to put more pictures up soon, but I'll throw them out there anyways: my grandpa and I have been slowly but surely putting up light fixtures, the appliances came, and a couple cool mirrors have been added!
I hope everyone is having an awesome week; I want to challenge you all to step out of your comfort zones, do something adventurous or try something new! You won't be disappointed!
Dark Grout & the Ditch Witch
One of my favorite parts about this project is that I get a little taste of a bunch of different occupations. I've been able to try electrical, building, insulation, and now masonry! I got to help my dad fill in the dark grout in the kitchen, which was a messy, but rewarding process (and it looks awesome!). We also have been trying to figure out getting water to the house; that's one thing that they often don't share on all of the television shows. They show these amazing tiny homes with really cool features, and they just drive them away. I never thought about it before until I'm right in the thick of it. How do get electricity, what do they do with their grey water, and where do they get their water supply? These are all things you have to think about when you take your Tiny House on the road! The top right photo is of me just catching the end of my dad and grandpa trenching a path for a water line from my family's main well.
First off, my sincere apologies for taking so long to blog! My last post was over 2 weeks ago, and a lot has been going on! The tile has been placed; we decided to go with mini-subway tile (it seemed suitable). It hasn't been grouted quite yet but we're thinking something dark. Shout out to a family friend and the ultimate "tile guy" Mr. Franchino for helping us out! Also, the wood counter-tops are in and looking pretty awesome.
My church was putting in new bathroom sinks, so we actually got this little guy for free! And lastly, what used to be the corner of the tiny house where we would just shove all of our tools in, is now a built-in window seat with storage underneath! My mom and I went out yesterday and measured for cushions. I can't believe we're already at this point!
Please Give Me Feedback!!
Hi everyone! It's Thursday, and I was just thinking about this blog and how cool technology can be. There are people all over the place checking out this project, but all I see is a number telling me how many visits I get per week! I just wanted you all to know that there's a place under CONTACT that allows you to send me a direct message, and you can also leave a comment below my posts. I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you guys. What you think, what you like, don't like, your dreams, your ideas. I like seeing that people are checking this out, but what I like even more than that is really hearing from you! So if you have a second, please, give me feedback!! (:
First off, the plumber finished up on Sunday morning! This is awesome because it gave my dad and I an opportunity to start the white wash inside the bathroom. We also put in this really cool sliding door. The door itself was free, and from a remodel job my dad did almost 6 years ago. He has a pretty good eye on what to keep around! The sliding material itself was left over from a recent job, and ended up being exactly what we needed. Next is a small wall-hung sink that we're still on the hunt for. The shower pan is being specially made out of the same galvalume metal as the roof, and will have a teak wood base to stand on. The bathroom was the last place that needed walls to hide the insulation, so it's starting to feel like a real house now!
Next step is the tile for the kitchen. My dad has a friend who lays tile, so we're hoping to meet with him and find some tile that he has left over to use. He's also laying it all for free (with our help of course), which I'm super grateful for! I'll make sure to post pictures of that adventure!
The Plumber Came!
Exciting news! The plumber finally made it out this past Saturday, which meant we were able to get the cabinets in place. Behind the cabinets will be tile (which is still something we're still brainstorming about). To the right of the small nine-inch cabinet will be a stove range, and then some built-in shelves, followed by the fridge. Those pieces may not be in for a little while, but it's cool to feel the spacing of the place. We also installed the real ladder and section wall, as you can see here; the steps toward to bottom make their way to the back of the wall, which will hopefully be a little extra room for the occasional cookbook (: Every inch counts!!
I have been hesitant to post pictures because my sister will be coming home soon (6 days!!). I told her I wasn't sending any pictures of progress because I wanted it to be a complete surprise when she came. She may see this, but I really want you all to see what's been happening too!
I'll make sure so get some pictures when she's here of us all working; she has some interior design goodies with her -- cushion prints, art pieces, knobs, all that good stuff!
So happy to be able to say that the large loft is almost complete! The sky lights are in, the windows trimmed, the interior walls finished... All that's left is to stain the floor and add in plugs! I had an cool time-lapse video that I wanted to post, but unfortunately, I would have to pay for it to be on here (I did trick the system slightly and added the file to the video, so if you really want to watch it, you can download it below!). Next week we plan on setting the cabinets for the kitchen, and hopefully finish the interior walls in the bathroom once the plumbing is complete!
Finished Roof & Interior Walls
I hope everyone is having an awesome weekend and enjoying this beautiful weather! After our other skylight finally arrived, Friday marked the beginnings of working on the metal roof part II. Things seemed to really fall into place, and my dad was able to almost completely finish the whole east side of the roof in one afternoon! We went out today to do some finishing touches, and I have to say I'm pretty pumped about the end result! We also are slowly but surely continuing to work on the interior walls (pictured above is the small loft). Once the plumber finishes up, hopefully in the next week, we can load up the cabinets and start fitting them in. Things are beginning to really come together, and it's pretty exciting!
Interior Walls are coming along!
Remember all of the boards I white-washed? Here they finally are! This past weekend my dad, grandpa & I began putting up all of the interior walls, and it's turning out really nice. It's quite the task to maneuver around all of the electrical boxes and rafters, so there's a little celebration if we get it on the first try! Now that it's nice out we have the saws set up outside, and away we go! I'm excited to get up in the lofts and really finish it up.
We're still waiting on our other skylight. We actually found out that the original one got lost in the mix of things, so we had to order a whole new one; hopefully it'll be here by next weekend so we can finish the other side of the roof!
A Slow 2 Weeks
This morning as I sat down after my class, I realized that I haven't updated on here in a while! It feels as though we've been pretty slow moving, and I haven't been able to get a lot of good pictures, but I thought I'd fill you all in at least a little! One of the sky lights finally came, so we were able to finish one full side of the metal roof! Hopefully the other one will come soon so we can finish it all. I also began to white wash all of the boards for the interior, which is the picture to the left. A piece of beed board that we put up in the rafters is sitting in front so you can kind of see the comparison. We have to wait for plumbing and electric to be completely finished before we can start putting that up, but just yesterday the guys were out running the power line, so hopefully we can start soon!
I've been so busy with school as the semester begins to wrap up, so it's been hard for me to get out and work, but I'm hoping my schedule clears up a little. The more I can work the more I can post!! (:
What a Trip!
For the past week, I've been off hiking the Appalachian Trail with my high school basketball coach. It was a blast, to say the least! I hiked 110 miles in 7 days (my coach hiked 120) through VA, WV, MY, & PA. The first day was super hot, and we were both dehydrated and tired from sleeping in the back of her car for the night. We finished though, and learned our lesson to drink lots of water and check the weather! The rest of the week was filled with beautiful views & lessons I will always remember. The last day started with rain all morning, but ended sunny after 20 miles of walking. We drove straight home afterwards, and got home at 6:30 in the morning (very, very long day!). It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I'm really happy I was able to go; I'm excited to get out there again.
As for the tiny house, things are moving along! It has been cold the past week so we've been avoiding working on the exterior. My biggest project right now is white-washing all of the boards for the interior, which is just a combination of polyurethane and white paint (shout out to Mr. Vollmer for the recipe, 1 qt. paint for every gallon of poly!). This weekend my dad and I plan to start with the metal roofing since it's supposed to be a little warmer. Stay tuned!!
Beadboard is almost complete!
It must be Spring!
As my dad & I made our way back inside today, I realized it had been a while since I updated the blog! It's been quite busy here, and the beautiful weather has me outside whenever there's an opportunity. Three of the four outside walls have been finished, and we even have a small little porch in the making. I now no longer have to worry about snow-pants or a hat, and standing on the east side of the house (which is shown below) has me just bathing in the sun! The lower left picture also shows me painting some beadboard, which is for up inside the rafters underneath both lofts. Hopefully that project will be done soon, and I'll make sure to get some pictures up of it.
Electric Panel Is In!
This week I learned a little more about the electrical craft! My grandpa taught me the difference between the ground, neutral, and hot wires and how to hook them up inside the electric panel in order to get electricity throughout the whole house. Because this house is so tiny, we only had to use 5 different switches, as opposed to a normal house that could possibly use the whole panel. By the end of it I was hooking the panel up all by myself, which was super exciting!
Insulation & Siding!
Friday afternoon was pushing 45F, so who wouldn't bust out the insulation and begin on the siding!? My Grandpa and I were able to insulate all but one gable wall while my dad started working on the siding. After a bit I got to help outside, & I'm super happy with how it's all coming together. Wednesday my grandpa and I are going to wrap up the insulation and maybe even continue with the outside.