Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Life Since Living Tiny: First Full Year

The Box Truck at Tiny House Summer Camp! 
It's been a year since my last post, and I'm sure many of you are wondering- what the heck you been up to!?

Well- living life! And, once again, quite a bit of change has happened in 365 days. The last time I posted, we were 3 months into living without the Pod. We were staying at a family member's apartment, a perfect little transition place, as they too, embrace small space and minimal possessions. We have since found ourselves an apartment, which is a bit too big for us- HA! But then again, we would say that about most any place we found. Our place is a two bedroom on the top floor with lots of natural light. Perhaps the most important detail: it's minutes away from where I did all my baking. Let me tell you, when you spend all night baking alone, and you finish cleaning up at 1 am- knowing the drive home is only 5 minutes instead of 40- that's a game changer.

The near empty room- we could fit 1.5 Pods in here!!

We told ourselves that we would NOT fall back into that strange need to fill a space with stuff. As a result, we have a whole room that is nearly empty. It's actually our "home gym" room. Just two small  shelves, a plant, a chair, and mats on the floor. And you can bet your bottom that I went second-hand, side-of-the-road, and reclaimed all the way when it came to the furnishing. It was strange to move into a place and not have a single stick of furniture! All of our seats, tables,  and shelves in the Pod were built right in! So they rolled away with the rest of the tiny house.

Our chairs may not match, there are scrawled messages in the bottoms of our dresser drawers, and our kitchen table may have a few crayon marks from a kid we will never know, but I love every bit of it. I love that we are not contributing to the demand for "fast, cheap, new, NEW, NEW!!" I can certainly appreciate a beautifully decorated room with accent pillows and sleek chairs, colors and patterns popping as you enter the space, but when I think about what I care about the most, it certainly isn't matching pillows and paints. It's so easy to get swept up these days, remember to come back around to your OWN values.

"Too many people buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't know."

Insulating a structure at THSC 5
So what's been going on in our lives? Not much related to tiny houses, hence the lack of posts- well that's half of the reason. I told myself a long time ago that I only want to contribute genuine and original content. So unless I have something new and original to share, I'll let the rest of the internet do the talking. I'm certainly happy that tiny houses have become a common place idea. It's nice to mention the words "tiny house" and hear three or four people perk up and share what they know versus the sea of blank faces that Dan and I were used to. Although, I have to say, it is a bit of a bummer to see the DIY aspect subside and give way to big companies.

What's the other half? My baked goods business took off in a big way in 2017. Too big, as it turns out. I had no time for anything or anyone else in my life, let alone keeping up with blog posts. It was a difficult realization, but I decided to close the business at the end of the year. I worked my little buns off, carrying out every single aspect of the business myself, and 90% of the time, I was completely alone. I started to burn out, and when the money started rolling in, but did nothing to lift my spirits, I knew I had my answer. The baker's life just wasn't for me. I barely saw my husband, let alone my family and friends. I missed out on so so many things, and why? So I could kill myself making muffins for strangers? In the long run, I realized that I love making food, and feeding people, but I don't want to do it for the

Time for a change!

So I'm changing directions again! And I'm learning to go easy on myself, to be okay with that. I never would have known how I felt about being a baker unless I tried! And life changes constantly, so why can't we? The tiny house adventure gave me this zeal for just going after my passions...all of them. The environment, food, and fitness seem to be my reigning interests, and now, I'm about to see what happens as I dive into the third- fitness. I am currently working towards earning my certifications as a personal trainer! I believe I will find the flexibility and balance I am looking for with this new venture. I will have more control over my schedule, I will be able to travel, and hopefully dip my toes back into tiny life, even if I'm just renting a cool little place for a weekend.

Archery at THSC 5! Awesome!
Anyways, despite the crazy schedule, Dan and I still did a few tiny house related things in 2017. We attended Tiny House Summer Camp in the sticks of VT. It was our third year in a row! And WOW! That summer camp is getting crazy! There were multiple tiny houses, so many awesome activities, 3+ builds going on, demonstrations, and a bunch of cool presenters. One in particular, Zane, is a video blogger, talented photographer, and more. Plus, he's just an all around amazing and worldly dude. He brought a bunch of tech with him and got some insane shots of the activities going on using his cameras and his little camera drone. Check out his videos of 2017 Tiny House Summer Camp and follow his other adventures. Dan and I LOVE this guy. :)  THSC Part 1 video ... THSC Part 2 video... THSC Part 3 video..

This gypsy wagon style tiny was SWEET!
Our cozy quarters - The Robot Treehouse
Many of the structures are also available for rent while attending the camp. We stayed in the Robot tree house and it was EPIC. Such cool views, and the most inviting morning sunlight I have ever witnessed.  If you haven't checked this event out yet- DO IT. Several tiny houses, vardos, wagons! Archery! Survival and foraging classes! Solar oven cooking demonstrations! Multiple builds at different stages to learn different skills! Speakers and more!
I can only imagine the sheer awesomeness of this years camp!

A couple months after that-- I also helped out our pals, Alex and Deek, with the Box Truck! They were invited to the Green Build Expo in Boston, and I helped man the booth....or the box truck I should say. Alex drove the truck right into the convention center's gigantic main floor. Not only was it a LOT of fun to see so many different green initiative builds, products, organizations, and services, it was great to see people react to the truck. As I have mentioned before, Dan and I have been a peripheral part of this project from the beginning. We donated funds, we told everyone we knew, we invited Alex and Deek to take a look at our place for reuse inspiration, and to film some clips for the documentary. So to finally see it complete and wowing one person after another was priceless. I even snagged a little nap in the very cozy bed nook.

Nap time in the box truck :)

Gigantic windmill that's also solar!
2017 was a busy first year out of the Pod for sure! But we still managed to stay involved in a couple cool tiny house events. I hope to bring more aspects of our tiny living experience back into the fold this year. I am definitely and project person, and I have a few ideas swirling around my noggin that I would love to make a reality this year. Time will tell!

But one for sure project in 2018: I will be speaking at a great fundraising event! "The Women of The Tiny House Scene" is a great event in support of the Fuller Craft Museuem. This place is very cool, with some of the most eclectic displays I have ever had the pleasure of taking in. Dan and I also helped our buddy Deek at a workshop he held in the museum last year!

A handful of badass ladies from the tiny house scene (myself included) will be presenting on a number of different topics this Friday evening at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA! Come on by and say hello to some seriously inspiring people, help raise some money, oogle some art, and then stick around and learn to build tiny structures through the weekend!

Thanks for reading!