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Tiny House: Presentation 

11 Jul

Being apart of the Tiny House community has opened me up to two really cool outreach opportunities. 

The first was taking part in a survey of questions for a dissertation someone was writing, they found me through this very blog, and the second was being asked to do a presentation for the Dover Public Librarys’ Tiny House Series. 

I was absolutely flattered when I was asked to be apart of this series. I was told about 65 people had signed up to hear my presentation and when I got there over 100 had come; we had to find more chairs!

I presented before and after photos showing every step of the renovation process and I talked about what it has been like living tiny. The audience asked a lot of questions and I had an absolute blast answering them and talking to everyone about my journey! 

My family sat in the back and live streamed the presentation to Facebook watch it here: Live Stream of Tiny House Presentation and to see the presentation click here: My Tiny House Presentation Slides

Tiny House: Paint Job

19 Nov

492d9c5e-6a6f-4944-a760-f60bbdc6653bA lot of time and energy was spent on the inside of my Scooby Shack, and it is beautiful.

However the first thing I said when I saw the camper, so many months ago now, was that the red stripes had to go. Until recently I didn’t have the time to make that happen.

A quick trip to the hardware store for paint color options started the process. Since the inside was whites, grays, and blues I wanted to go with a blue for the strip. I spent a week looking at shades of blue before I finally landed on a trio of beachy aquas.

Supplies

Supplies

I purchased a high quality quick dry oil based outdoor primer that accepted all types of paint on top of it. I purchased the highest quality outdoor water based paint for the trio of aqua blues.

I purchased rolls of painters tape that I ended up not using and returning; I was able to flow the lines and grooves of the siding. I also purchased a sponge brush that was a mistake. Fell apart. Had to go and buy a regular brush when I returned the tape.

So far the color is holding up nicely to the sun and rain. Just changing the old razed red with fresh blue made all the difference! It easily took 15/20 years off the appearance. I’m very happy with my color choice.

Overall I spent under $100 and eight hours for a major curb-appeal improvement! I also took the time to paint over the old logo stickers and added a fun decal that reads: “not all who wonder are lost -JRR Tolkien”

Before

Before

After

After

From the back

From the back

Tiny House; Tiny Bread 

27 Oct

It’s difficult to buy groceries when you live alone. You either waste a lot of food or eat a lot of food that is bad for you to avoid wasting it.

I stopped buying bread over a year ago for that very reason…but I miss bread, I love, love, love it.

My solution: I found a little Pyrex loaf pan in my moms endless cabinets of kitchen gadgets. She makes homemade bread a lot from frozen bread dough and it is delicious so I thought that this would work the same just on a smaller scale.

I bought a bag of dinner roll dough, same thing my mom uses just smaller portion. I mashed 3 of them together, let it rise, and bake! Makes about 3 or 4 sandwiches worth of bread, I’m not wasting anything, and I’m eating less bread because it makes a mini sandwich!

#2 Live Alone

23 Oct

unnamed…and relish the independence.

Honestly wasn’t sure if I would ever cross this one off of my bucket list. Between student loans and the impossibility of finding a decent paying job, living on my own felt like a pipe dream.

Lucky enough I found a job that takes care of the two biggest factors in making living on my own a reality. Granted I am still not where I want to be in my life but I know for certain that I am a lucky girl, and that the choices I have made so far have been good choices. The biggest being the choice to live in a tiny house. Thinking long term any money I can save now will be beneficial to me later; not to mention making traveling more possible, which is one of the most important things to me.

I know I’m lucky because at 28 years old, I have a good paying job, a solid course of action for my student loans, I am living not only on my own but a thousand miles from home and in a house that while unconventional I own.

My little house with all of the beautiful renovations and alterations I own outright because I paid cash for everything. How many single people can say that at 28? I’m very thankful for all of the help and support in making this little house a reality.

I adore my little house and I am particularly proud to cross #2 Live Alone off my bucket list.

Tiny House: Miracle 

16 Oct

Confirmation that The Scooby Shack was still standing the day after the hurricane left the Treasure Coast.

The eye of Hurricane Mathew stayed off the coast of southern Florida downgrading from a category 4 to about a category 2 hurricane when it hit the treasure coast.

I had so many people; friends, family, friends of family, friends of friends, students, coworkers and strangers praying and keeping positive thoughts for my Scooby Shack. 

I was fighting the paralyzing “what if’s” I didn’t know what I’d do if I lost the camper…hotel until I could find a place to rent, stay with a friend, give up and move back home…I wasn’t in a good place.

But I had two of the most important people in the world to me telling me over and over “I know it’s going to be okay, I just have a feeling, I can feel it in my bones…”

They were right and I got lucky.

I’m not a religious person; spiritual and living my life with good morals yes, but not religious. That’s a whole other conversation. So when I say it is a miracle that I still have my Scooby Shack it’s because there is no other explanation. Winds were strong enough to rip boats out of the water across the street from me but a pair of scissors I left on the bumper and cheap flip-flops I left on the stairs were still where I left them when I got back.

Luck? Answered prayers? Happenstance?

Miracle. noun. A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

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Tiny House: Hurricane Preparations 

10 Oct

hurricane-matthew-florida-fridayTimeline of events: 

Mom and dad left on Sunday.

Monday was a holiday for my school so I spent Monday really settling in to The Shack.

Tuesday we are back at school and at the end of an increasingly nervous day were notified that hurricane Mathew would in fact hit Florida.

Wednesday we would have an early release and no school on Thursday and Friday. I had a plane ticket back to Ohio on Thursday night (for a wedding Saturday) that was canceled.

My older sister found me a ticket out of Florida Wednesday morning so I went ahead and called off work for the early release Wednesday

I needed to prepare the camper as best I could for what was expected to be a  devastating level 4 hurricane. I had to make decisions fast. My family was doing everything they could to help me from Ohio but moving the camper wasn’t an option. I had to prepare it to stay right where it was; just a 5 minute walk from the Indian river an a mile at most from the ocean.

I spent Tuesday night racing around town trying to find boxes, I couldn’t. So I bought heavy duty plastic and duct tape. I taped the plastic on the inside and the outside of every window. If the glass was going to break maybe I could save it from the rain.

All the food in the fridge had to be thrown out, breakables moved off the walls, I sent all of my Lilly Pulitzer clothing and my computer off to my sorority big sisters house; it felt like I was shipping my children off to the country for the blitz. I unplugged the camper, moved my kayak inside, locked the door and left.

I spent the night in Orlando, the governor had succeeded in scaring the pants off of my family and I. I didn’t want to risk evacuation traffic and miss my flight. For $5 a day I was able to park at the hotel; cheaper then parking at the airport and a free bus to and from.

Landing in Ohio Wednesday afternoon felt surreal. I left a state that was looking and feeling increasingly apocalyptic an after a few hours I was safe and back with my family.

The next 24 hours were terrible. We stayed glued to the weather channel and social media keeping tabs on my friends and the area. The storm kept getting worse, public officials and the media started to tell people if they didn’t evacuate they would die and no one would come to save them…

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Tiny House: Moving 

7 Oct

The process of moving my tiny house, now named The Scooby Shack, was not without trials.

My mom and dad did the moving. The vehicle they rented to drive it down to Florida from Ohio was canceled by the company 4 days before it was set to leave. A new vehicle was acquired only to find out it didn’t have the required equipment to hitch up The Shack. A third vehicle was then found, brought back home, and hitched up to the camper.

Hours later, raining, and the lights that were working on the camper are not not working with the rental. After purchasing a light kit my parents are finally able to start making their way to Florida.

The drive went fine, but as they’re driving down here my dad notices that the alternator is starting to go out in the truck.

We are able to get The Shack put in its spot an drive the truck back to the house I was  renting, where we called the rental company who in turn called a tow truck to get it. The tow truck driver was exceptionally rude. An it took over 24 hours to get another rental to move my larger items like the bed.

We made countless trips between the house I was moving out of and The Shack taking as much as we could with Kiwi my little Kia.

We also ran into an issue with the water heater; ended up being a flaw in their instructions and not the water heater. Very long story short we figured it out. But not before having to stay in a hotel for a night because we couldn’t get the water on.

It was a very stressful couple of days but we were able to get everything set up, stabilized, organized, and clean.

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Tiny House: Floor Rehab 

13 Aug
New floor going in.

New floor going in.

The floor in the camper wasn’t terrible, it was just cheap stick on squares. That’s fine for a part-time camper. Since I’ll be living in it for at least 8 months I want it to look really beautiful, and thinking down the road to resale nice floors are going to help get a higher price.

To start everything need to be off the floor. All tools, furniture, use a shop-vac to get it nice and clean because you’ll be down on your knees to get the old flooring ripped up off of it.

I used a pry-bar and a utility knife. The knife to cut along seams and edges and the pry-bar to slowly lift the floor off the wood sub-floor.

In this camper, at some point, someone put 12×12 squares over top of the original which was one big piece. Everything came up pretty easily, the only thing left was a thin layer of paper from the back of the original floor…I’ll be honest getting this off was a major pain, ultimately it will produce a better finished product.

I’m now all ready for the beautiful new floor, which is a vinyl plank wood look in a gray tone. This is adhered with special glue. Make sure and run your lines to follow the longest direction to help make the space feel larger. Work from the middle out, staggering your end lines.

The Tiny House: Wall Rehab 

1 Aug

img_2073The walls in campers are just standard gross. Gross texture, gross cheap thin paneling in a…you guessed it; gross wood tone somewhere between orange and sun-faded wood tones.

Spray paint is costly and time-consuming to paint all the walls. I’m about sick to death of painting after doing all the cabinets. So the idea of taping and painting the walls…no thanks. Plus everything would be a new color of boring flat monotone.

I want to add some interest to help break up all the white cabinets.

After doing some research I found a great way to add some color and interest to my walls: beachwood wallpaper.

In order to make the wallpaper look it’s best all the walls need to be striped of screws, nailed, brackets, and trim. Then take a wood filler and fill any and all holes left by what was removed.

Once that’s dry sand everything. Wood paneling is essentially plastic so adding a little rough texture will help the wallpaper stick.

After sanding everything wash all the walls. Nothing will stick to a layer of dust.

Follow the steps that come with the wallpaper and your result will be extra interest, color, texture, and character in a small space!

I did two walls with this paper and brush painted two others a coordinating blue color. I finished the whole look off by painting spray the window trim white.

Tiny House: The Next Great Adventure

27 Jul

img_1984Forgot to post this!

After extensive consideration and introspective contemplation I’ve decided this next year I’m going to join the small living, simple living movement; more commonly referred to as “tiny homes”.

At first I thought I’d build a tiny house from the wheels up. My family certainly has the know how to tackle such a project. But those houses have a tendency to be quite pricy as well as heavy for transporting realistic livable space.

I’m single with no indications of that situation changing, I have a good job but a limited income, I want the freedom to go wherever I want without major ties such as a lease and lots of “stuff”. With all of that I still want a place of my own…something I can make feel welcoming, where I can host movie nights or visitors. Location is important to me; I want to be near work and the beach.

That’s a tall order.

My solution? A camper. I know it’s a little strange but it answers all of my desires: no lease, my own space to make cozy, room for guests, I’ll park it at a site between the beach and my place of work so everything I do and need most will be within four or five miles, the space rent is the most affordable option  by half for the area and the purchase price and updates of the used camper is equal to first/last/deposit. This will allow me to save more money and have more freedom.

Bonus: when I am done with it I can sell it for a profit.

Unconventional…yes but I’m exceptionally excited about this next adventure.