New Interview Series : Featuring Tiny House Tiny Footprint

DATE_ 01 JANUARY 3000
I am starting a new Interview Series here on the blog because I am perpetually curious and love asking questions to get to know people better. Throughout the series I will be featuring friends, fellow bloggers, and hopefully a familiar face or two. I am lucky enough to know a lot of very interesting and well traveled friends and I would love to share their stories on my blog. Some upcoming interviews will be about a friend of mine who lived in Australia for a year, another who moved to Spain and later volunteered in South America,  a friend who biked across America, and another who took off for a year mostly in South America.
For my first interview I wanted to feature one of my good friends from high school who I played on the tennis team with, Kathleen and her awesome boyfriend, Greg. After much consideration they decided that they wanted to give up their apartment to take a year and live in 140 square foot camper to reduce their footprint, while they simultaneously built their tiny house in Colorado. They were recently featured in the Huffington Post and were kind enough to grant me an interview as well!
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Where did you get the idea of living(1)
A culmination of things led to us deciding to live differently. We wanted a place with a yard, but didn’t need an entire house. Greg lived in a minivan in New Zealand with his friend, Scott, in 2007 and it was easier than either of them could imagine. As a couple, the two of us thought that living tiny could free us up to spend more time together outdoors and that it was certainly worth trying! I was a little hesitant at first, but after living in a two-bedroom apartment with Greg, our dog Blaize and my former roommate, Stacey, I thought it might be worth a shot. We also care about reducing our environmental footprint, and because we’re reducing our square footage, we would be doing that automatically. When you’re in a small space, you’re conscious of how much water and electricity you use on a daily basis.
Where did you get the idea of living
 
We took a good month to go over the pros and cons of living tiny. I was worried about showering and getting ready for work in the mornings. I also thought it might be too small. Ultimately for me, knowing that we had the backup option to rent an apartment or a house at any time made it much easier.
Where did you get the idea of livingI told all of my friends first, but was nervous to tell my family. Eventually I did tell them and they were more supportive than I anticipated. Some of the people that I didn’t think would be interested in the project, are the ones that offer to help and want to hear updates every time we see them. I’m pleasantly surprised in the positive feedback. Some people are definitely skeptical and believe that we will be too cold in the winters. Only time will tell!
Where did you get the idea of living
So far our extra money has gone toward fixing up the camper trailer. We have been improving the existing insulation and purchasing materials to make our space feel more comfortable. Going forward, we will be saving our money for a tiny house that we will try to build ourselves.
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Where did you get the idea of living
The number one thing, patience! Things might not always go as planned, but in a way, that makes life more exciting! You have to be able to think on your toes or have a backup option in mind. Downsizing my things made me appreciate the items I use on a daily basis. Most people don’t realize that when they travel, they are using less and are still just as happy, if not more. If we are able to do that for a few weeks or months, why can’t we do it for longer periods of time? It’s easier to pack for trips when everything we could possibly need on a daily basis is in our camper.
Where did you get the idea of living
We took out the existing toilet in the camper trailer and replaced it with a composting toilet. So far, it’s been great to have! It’s not a biohazard because the liquids and the solids are kept separate. It has no smell and it’s super easy to use! We do have a shower, and enough water for two showers a day. We have to refill our water cistern when we go through too much water. Since we are conscious of the water we use, we have been showering at the gym to save our water supply.
Where did you get the idea of living
We are connected to a hose and an electrical extension cord that we can plug into. Currently we haven’t used much of either. We charge our phones in coffee shops or at work. We try to use water that we carry into the camper trailer to wash our hands and the food we eat.
Where did you get the idea of living (1)
We’re doing the best we can so far! It’s only been tough when we both want to use the kitchen at the same time. We are finding that we’re spending more time outdoors. Blaize appreciates having a backyard of open space.
Where did you get the idea of living
Hardest: Showering at the gym isn’t ideal and means planning what you want to wear ahead of time. We are more selective of the food we eat because our storage space is more limited. That means we are more careful not to waste any of the food we have.
Easiest: It feels comfortable to sleep there and hang out in the space. It’s been easy finding storage space for clothes and outdoor gear. We have much more than I could have anticipated! We have had friends over for drinks and one guest has stayed the night. So far, our friends have been comfortable sharing the small space with us.
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Where did you get the idea of living
We knew from the start that we wanted to build a tiny house. That will be an adjustment from a 1,000-square-foot apartment. Knowing that we’d have to downsize to make it work, we figured we’d start in one of the more inexpensive mobile housing options. We also thought that down the road, it would be great to have a camper trailer for trips and could leave our tiny house wherever we end up parking it. 
Where did you get the idea of living
It’s going to be around 270 square feet and will include two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a sun room/living room. We will have household amenities such as a stacked washer/dryer and a dishwasher. We will try to build these items around cabinets or our kitchen so that it will be part of the existing space. We would like to have a green roof and are exploring ways that we can use recycled materials for some of our furniture.
Where did you get the idea of living
Right now it feels like camping and it’s actually kind of fun! We’re working on some interior decorating, such as adding some photographs and curtains to make the space feel more like a house.
Where did you get the idea of living
I think it’s important to remember that you can always try it out and if it’s not for you, you can go back to living how you were before. I think we’ve been trained as a society to want more space and showcase our houses for our friends and family. We feel that relationships are more important than the items you own or how much money you have. Downsizing can feel liberating.
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Where did you get the idea of living
Our website: www.tinyhousetinyfootprint.com. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
I am so inspired by their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint in such a big way. But they’re right there are so many things you can do to consume less and not accumulate so many unnecessary things. We could all learn a thing of two from them! I think it will be fun to check in with them periodically and their progress of their tiny house and their adventures. Please leave any further questions you may have.

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Ten Things I Wish I’d Known by Maria Shriver

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“Ten Things I Wish I’d Known – Before I Went Out into the Real World,” by Maria Shriver offers solid advice. It’s nothing revolutionary but it is real, useful, advice. She is a real supporter of women and is honest in this book about failure, marriage, starting work from the bottom and working your way up, career, and motherhood. She shares her own experiences about her life and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

One of my favorite quotes from the book, “As a wise person once told me, and it actually was the same wise person as before: “If I could spare you the pain you’re experiencing, I wouldn’t – because I wouldn’t want to deprive you of the strength and wisdom you’ll gain from having gone through it and come out the other side.”

Here are her ten lessons she covers in the book:

1. First and Foremost: Pinpoint Your Passion

2. No Job is Beneath You

3. Who You Work for and With is as Important as What You Do

4. Your Behavior Has Consequences

5. Be Willing to Fail

6. Superwoman is Dead…And Superman May Be Taking Viagra

7. Children Do Change Your Careers (Not to Mention Your Entire Life)

8. Marriage is a Hell of A Lot of Hard Work

9. Don’t Expect Anyone Else to Support You Financially

10. Laughter

I recently was at an event where Maria was talking and she is such an inspiring speaker and she is so down to earth. I am a big fan of hers and really enjoyed this book.

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Lea Michele

Lea Michele is one talented lady. I recently read her book and like her even more now than I did before. She is so stylish and really knows how to play up her figure. I love when she wears dresses with high leg slits. She rocks what she’s got and makes no apologies. She exudes confidence and it shows.

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Friday Favorites: My Fall Line Up

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It is Friday so you know what that means, Friday Favorites with some of my favorite blogger ladies from Texas! Be sure to check out and link up with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog, and Momfessionals!

With it being October it is officially Fall people! Living in Southern California, you could have fooled me that the seasons have changed, because there is only one season here and it’s sunshine. Yes it’s nice, but it also means lots of sunscreen, sunglass tans, no changing leaves, no snow days, and no rainy days for my cute Hunter rain boots. I know, I know, first world problems, and California problems.

But trust me I know all about weather. I’m originally from Chicago, where it was literally negative 40 degrees last winter with the wind chill. It was one of the coldest winters in the history of Chicago. Here is the proof! A picture I took while watching the news.

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Anyway back to the task at hand, my new favorite Fall shows.

A to Z  is a new romantic comedy show on NBC that is my absolute favorite! It is so cute and so fun. I love How I Met Your Mother, and the main character from this show is the mother from HIMYM, Cristin Milioti. She is so charming and lovable. And the guy is Ben Feldman who is most known for being on Mad Men. He is also on The Mindy Project, my other favorite show :)

Fun fact the work place from this show is filmed in Santa Monica at the Water Gardens which is about a mile from where I used to live in Santa Monica. It’s so cool to see it on tv!

This show is about the relationship of these two characters Andrew and Zelda (Hence the title A to Z) and it’s really fun to go along for the ride. It’s narrated by Katey Sagal (the mom on Married with Children, or more recently Sons of Anarchy). The show reminds me of 500 Days of Summer with its aura of romance and where the guy believes in love, fate, and destiny and the girl character is more cynical and realistic. I’m really excited about this show and already got two of my roommates hooked on it as well. So start watching!

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I’m a sucker for romantic comedies. This show is fun because you can hear the character’s thoughts as they are thinking them. It’s a show about being young and dating in Manhattan. It stars Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman who are fresh faces and I think it will be a light, fun show to watch each week.

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John Mulaney is a comedian who is most well known for being a writer on SNL for 5 years. He has a great stand up special that is on Netflix called New in Town which I would highly recommend. The show is very similar and reminiscent of Seinfeld. And if you are familiar with this stand up he does use a few of his jokes in the show. The show is loosely based on his life of being a stand up comedian and the people in his life. But I think he’s really talented and funny and am hoping that the show gets better. The pilot episode was kind of just mediocre for me. But I have faith in John Mulaney that the show will get better!

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mandastrong

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On Monday, one of my favorite bloggers, Shay the Mix and Match Mama, shared a story about one of her closest friends Manda Maxwell, who is bravely fighting cancer for the 3rd time.  She is a wife and mother of two young children. I got permission from Shay to share her blog post with all of my readers so we can support and help any way we can.

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A Go Fund Me donation page has been set up in Manda’s name and all the money will go directly to help her family with medical bills and other necessities. There is also a Facebook page where you can get updates and continue to pray and support Manda and her sweet family.

Manda has a great group of girlfriends supporting her and her family and I would love for my readers to support them as well.

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For the full story please head over to Shay’s blog.

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No Regrets by Sarah Ivens

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“No Regrets (101 Fabulous Things To Do Before You’re Too Old, Married, or Pregnant)” by Sarah Ivens is a fun, easy breezy, inspiring read. I am a big fan on bucket lists and making goals so it was fun to read through her long list of things she deems worthy of trying and doing. She also shares a lot of her personal stories and experiences of doing some of these items and it’s fun to go along on her journeys.

While I agree that it is a catchy title, I don’t necessary agree that you have to do all or most of these things before you are too old, married, or pregnant. I’ve crossed off so many items off of my bucket list with my boyfriend right by my side and I’m so happy he was there with me. It’s such a bonding experience to go through amazing things in life together. (If we are getting technical we are not married yet, but I feel like we are!) But for you single gals out there I do agree that you shouldn’t have to wait around for a man in order to do these awesome things. But I do agree that riding a mechanical bull (number 64 on her list) while you’re pregnant is not recommended!

Here are some of my favorites from her list of 101:

  • 36. Kayak on a Phosphorus Lake at Midnight
  • 46. Go on an African Safari
  • 52. People Watch in Paris
  • 55. Sit Still at Macu Picchu
  • 60. Eat Too Much in Italy
  • 69. Do Something That Scares You
  • 78. Find a Mentor
  • 80. Learn a Foreign Language
  • 84. Spend Time With Your Grandma
  • 89. Make a Family Tree

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Those items are all pretty self explanatory and all very important (to me at least). I’m adding these to my own personal bucket list. I have a huge passion for travel so I loved that section in particular in her book. The structure of her book made it quick and easy to read. She shares her thoughts on each item, then has other women from all over the world with different professions give their opinions, and lastly gives alternatives if you can’t do them (if they are out of your price range or geographical radius).

One of my favorite things about reading this book was that she is British, so occasionally she would throw in fun British expression like bloke, knickers, and mates. I love all things British and having to do with England so that made it a fun read for me. The biggest take away from this book for me is to make sure you seize the day, enjoy life and don’t let it pass you by! We live in a beautiful world and there is so much to see and do. It’s important not to get bogged down in the mundane things in our everyday lives.

 

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley  is a model with a gorgeous structured face, and a long lean body. I love her flowing long locks and the way she wears them in waves. She recently made the transition into movies and I think she will be around to stay.

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