Tiny House Tiny Footprint 2 Years Later

When I first started my interview series 2 years ago, my friends Kathleen and Greg were my first subjects. And I thought it was about time for an update from them.

Book3.jpg

What has changed since you first started living small? 

So much has changed in the last year for us! About a year ago we bought a house on some land so that we could move our camper to a new location. We now rent out our house on Airbnb and live in the camper in the backyard. This allows us to pay our mortgage while also living small whenever we’d like. I quit my office job a few months ago to freelance full time.

This was a difficult decision for me because I was used to a stable paycheck and a job close to our tiny home, but I wanted to spend more time telling the stories of tiny dwellers and promoting a lifestyle outdoors, closer to nature. To go along with those things, I hosted my first van gathering in late August in Colorado! More than 60 people came and brought their adventure mobiles. People shared their talents by playing music around the campfire, leading yoga sessions, preparing food and showing people their rigs. It was a wonderful weekend and I left inspired, feeling confident that this was a wonderful group of people that I wanted to spend more time with.

Book1.jpg

How has freelancing full time working out for you? 

No one can prepare you to freelance full time no matter how hard they might try. I tell people that I’m working much more now that I’m freelancing, but I’m also doing what I want to do. I have time to make breakfast (something I never did before) and sleep in a little later, but in turn, I might be working later into the night and often on weekends. When you start freelancing, you have to work harder to make connections and find clients that you want to work with. After a while (or so people say), it gets easy and you have more stable work to rely on. Fingers crossed!

book1-cover.jpg

I heard you wrote a book, tell us more about it!

It’s been a childhood dream to write a book and I finally did! I had the idea about a year ago + started brainstorming what kind of book I wanted to write and who my audience would be. I decided that I wanted to write something that could be read by adults as well as children. I wanted to inspire those who were thinking about living small to read about my experiences (not all of which were easy + wonderful as Instagram may make it seem). And I wanted a child to pick it up and learn that they don’t need to grow up and buy the big house. They can easily be happy with less + a life of freedom and adventure.

Book2.jpg

How has living tiny changed you?

I have learned (and am still learning) that life is not about following what others do or what society thinks you should do. Life is about doing things for yourself + having deep conversations with yourself about what feels right + what makes you happy. How we are brought up greatly influences who we turn out to be + our thought process. But it’s okay to live differently thank your family or your friends. It’s okay to choose your own path. People may judge you or question your motives, but staying true to yourself is all that matters.
Book4.jpg
What are the best and worst parts of living tiny?

This answer definitely changes depending on the season🙂

Living small gives you a freedom that is hard to describe. Knowing you don’t need as much allows you to focus on what’s truly important. When you don’t have as many things keeping you inside, you end up spending more time outdoors. Living small is a lot like camping. You can hear and see things much clearer because your windows are bigger and your walls are smaller.
In the winter, I miss having a hot shower whenever I need it. We don’t use our shower in the camper in the wintertime because our hose isn’t properly insulated. So instead, we shower at the gym. It’s not a huge inconvenience and you get used to it, but it’s something you can easily take for granted.
Book10.jpg


What are people’s main misconceptions about living small?

I’ve noticed there are a few misconceptions about living this way. A lot of people think it’s a dreamy experience because they see the photos of feet dangling out the back of a van or going on amazing adventures. And while a lot of that is true, living small is certainly not easy. Finding a place to park for free can be hard when you don’t know where you’re going. Doing laundry or washing dishes becomes a whole different experience. There’s also not a lot of space to spread out and do things like yoga or have people over for dinner. But the trade off is that you learn to be creative and find solutions to these challenges, which make them more fun in the end.

Book8.jpg

Have you made any updates to the camper?

We have upgraded a few of our items. We got a nicer coffee maker and a warmer blanket for our bed. But mostly, we haven’t done too much to it. We like that it’s minimalist and we don’t want to spend too much money on it because we like to spend our money on experiences.

Book9.jpg
Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d love if you went and checked out our Kickstarter! Even if you can’t help fund the project, please share it with your friends or others on your blog. I realize not all of you may live small, but his book helps spread the message about tiny living and helps support this amazing community of people. It will help walk you through my thought process from going from a big space to a tiny one as well as how my perspective shifted from spending time inside to more time outdoors.

I am so incredibly proud of my friends and all that they are doing to bring more awareness to living small. It is possible! And I love her honesty about what it is really like. Check out their blog, and Instagram to follow their inspirational journey.

Sailing on Lake Washington

On a random Wednesday our friend Hayes invited us to go sailing with him. (Umm is this real life?) Dave and I have never been sailing before. It was a perfect sunny day out in May. So after work we met Hayes and his dog Boda by the boat parking lot.

Hayes grew up on a Bald Head Island sailing so he’s a total pro. He gave us lessons while we were out there. There are a lot of terms and types of knots, but it was fun to learn. I am a huge Kennedy fan so I equate sailing with the Kennedys, and JFK always looks so sophisticated and relaxed sailing. I always thought I’d want to learn to sail someday. IMG_6359.JPG

Boda is a Vizsla and has a lot of energy. She was swimming behind the boat most of the time.

IMG_6382.JPG

This is one of my favorite pictures of Dave. And I love that Rainier is in the background. IMG_6386.JPGIMG_6365.JPG

Hayes and Dave love each other. Plain and simple. #bromance

IMG_6380.JPGIMG_6372.JPGIMG_6374.JPG

It was a great first sailing experience.

Camping in Cali

Since I’m so behind on blogging I’m just going to randomly catch up on fun adventures from the past few months.

So back in June Dave and I went to California for a weekend to have a camping weekend reunion with our old roomies, and my sister was in town from Chicago as well. We camped outside of Ojai, basically in the desert. It was so hot out. IMG_6768.JPG

My sister just turned 13 this year and she’s almost as tall as me already. The campsite allowed dogs, and here is our brother’s dog Stitch.

IMG_6758.JPG

We walked along the creek around the campground. IMG_6799.JPGIMG_6793.JPG

And caught the sunset at the top of a hill. IMG_6802.JPG

Darin (one of our old roomies) flew in from Arizona, my sister (Kelly) was in from Chicago and Dave and I flew in from Seattle all to go camping and catch up with everyone. It was so much fun to all be together in one place. There’s nothing like camping and friends who become your family. :) IMG_6809.JPG

Financial Goals For an Almost 30 Year Old

So as of November, it’ll be just another 6 months until I’ll officially be 30 years old. It’s really hard to wrap my head around that. If I’m not officially an adult now, I don’t know when I’ll feel like it.🙂 I have a lot of adult responsibilities (aka bills, a mortgage, a job, a pet, etc) and it’s about time I get my finances in order. Here are a few of financial goals:
THE NEW YOU
I need to sit down and create a real budget. I told myself I would do that this past January and well, that never happened. But hey guess what? It’s almost January again. Haha whoops. But I’ve started doing some research and looking up some different methods and I’m slowly finalizing my budget plan. It would be nice to know how much I’m spending on different categories and where I should cut back. 
shutterstock_174884150.jpg
THE NEW YOU(1)
Create an emergency fund. Life happens unexpectedly and things come up and as a adult you need to be ready for it. If I were to lose my job I’d like to know I will be ok and won’t have to be late on paying my bills and mortgage. I would also like to have a financial cushion so I won’t have to get a job the day after I lost it. 
url
three
Pay off my student loans. I have lots of student loans debt. I took out loans my entire college career. And paying $200 a month barely pays the interest I’m accumulating. I need to figure out how much I should be paying so I can make a real dent. 
wedding-card-quotes
four
Save up for my wedding. I’ve thought about my wedding for a long time now. I know I want to have a smaller wedding, but still we all know they’re not cheap. Ever since I got a big girl job I’ve been putting away 20% of my paycheck towards a wedding fund. But I still need to create a wedding budget and see realistically how long it’ll take me save up. 
e5nv2b1tmf6xxsvg4fba
five
Set up a retirement fund. I need to figure out a pre tax retirement fund. I would love to be able to retire one day and not work until I’m 75 years old. So I need to do more research and see which type of fund would be best for me. My work currently matches my 401K contributions, but I know I need to do more. 
I recently found a website called Personal Capital that has a free retirement planner. I know that retirement is super overwhelming to me, so it’s great to have a tool that lays it all out and explains it to you. And there is also a net worth calculator that keeps you aware of how much you’re worth and what you owe.
I am grateful for website like these that can help me understand finances more clearly. 
I would love to hear about your financial goals and how you got to be financially smart. Because it’s something I’m working on and could really use your tips and recommendations! 

Lake Twenty Two Hike

You guys summer in Washington is amazing. Like beyond my wildest dreams. Prettier than I could have imagined. It’s one thing to see pictures of beautiful places and a whole other thing to actually be there in person. And you know pictures can never fully do justice.

A few months ago we did this hike with our friends and we were only able to see up to the snow line because of all the fog. We had no idea we were missing SO much of the mountains. This time we went it was sunny and so clear.

One of our good friends Ryan from Chicago, came to visit us in early June (his first time in Seattle!) and we took him on this hike.

Here we are in front of the lake. And while this picture is nice, it really bothers me that people take pictures of our feet and the rock in front of us and not the majestic mountains behind us.

IMG_6692.JPG

It’s just so pretty. The greenery, the clear water, the sunshine, the snow all in June! Just everything.

IMG_6683.JPGIMG_6705.JPG

Greenland or Washington?🙂

IMG_6706.JPG

IMG_6708.JPGIMG_6711.JPG

Can you tell how happy we were? IMG_6715.JPG

IMG_6719.JPG

And this is just one of the many, many gorgeous hikes in Washington.We are fully taking advantage of living here and loving every minute.

Summer in Seattle 2016

I wasn’t sure how my blogging would change once we moved to Seattle last fall. (Can’t believe it’s almost been a year already!) But I basically went exploring and stopped blogging completely. But once you see what I’ve been up to, hopefully you’ll understand. I thought it’d be easiest if I just did a recap of my summer and go from there. This has been one of the busiest and best summers of my life. So much beautiful scenery and so many visitors.

June

On my Getting Out More Often post I mentioned that I had signed up for a yoga class at the Chihuly Glass Museum and it was so pretty. It was my first time to the museum and I can’t wait to go back.

IMG_6649.JPG

In early June one of our best friends from Chicago, Ryan came to town and we went on a gorgeous hike called Lake Twenty Two.

IMG_6705.JPG

I went to California two weekends in a row to visit my family and old roommates. IMG_6795.JPG

Gretchen, one of my good friends from home, who now lives in Seattle too, we went to my first Mariners game. And yes of course I wore my Chicago Cubs shirt!😉

IMG_6837.JPG

Vi (the other half of Say Yes to Happy) and my real life bestie and her fiancé Jacob came to Seattle for their first time and they loved it. We are trying our best to convince them to move here!🙂 Can you blame us?

IMG_6920.JPG

July

We spent July 4th on a boat in South Lake Union with some of our best friends. We are beyond lucky to have so many good friends here.

IMG_6999.JPG

Kathleen and Greg drove through Seattle on a road trip and we all went to dinner together. It’s been years since we have all been in the same city.

IMG_7065.JPG

We went camping on Second Beach on the Western coast of Washington with our friends Kate and Hayes.

IMG_7083.JPG

We went to the lavender fields in Sequim, which smelled so good.

IMG_7171.JPG

Took Gretchen and Kristina camping for their first time ever at the beautiful Diablo Lake. Yes the water really is that color!

IMG_7323.JPG

August

My mom and sister came to visit for a few days and we did some sight seeing.

IMG_7375.JPG

Dave and I flew home to Chicago to surprise one of my best friends,  Melissa for her birthday. Vi and I spent the day being tourists in our own city and it was so much fun!

IMG_7420.JPG

We hung out on the Chicago River near the Marina towers and it was a beautiful Chicago summer day. These are my people and I love them. Melissa and Vi are my 2 best friends and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that we were all together.

IMG_7565.JPG

One weekend we’re in the Chicago and the next weekend we were camping at Rainier National Park. Isn’t life grand?

IMG_7696.JPG

Another thing on my bucket list for the summer was to go to a Sounder game. It was my first professional soccer game and it was great! So much energy and so many enthusiastic fans.

IMG_7727.JPG

One of my favorite weekends of the entire summer was getting a cabin near Mount Baker. We played games, laughed so hard we cried, hiked, saw huge mountains and a beautiful lake with a side of pizza and bacon.

IMG_8001.JPG

September

This past Labor Day weekend we went to the East Coast in Maryland for our friends’ wedding. We used to live in Washington DC and Los Angeles at the same time as them.

IMG_8048.JPG

Dave and I drove down to DC for a few hours and visited our old apartment, and walked part of the National Mall. Can you tell how happy I was?🙂 DC was the first place we moved outside of Chicago and it holds a lot of wonderful memories for us.

IMG_8058.JPG

Our life is full of friends, family, adventures, and travels and we couldn’t be happier and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

I want to try and start blogging again but my track record the last few months hasn’t really been too promising, so I won’t get ahead of myself. I’ll just do what I can.

My New Glasses!

So a few weeks ago Katie told me about this awesome company called GlassesShop.com. They offer both prescription glasses and sunglasses. I checked out their website and found so many cute, affordable, cheap glasses.We all know how expensive glasses can be at the eye doctor. I recently went to the eye doctor and ended up paying $500 for a pair of glasses and prescription sunglasses with insurance! It’s frustrating that they don’t have price tags on frames. So it was really exciting to see affordable frames for glasses online.
And one of the best parts of the website, in my opinion, was you could upload a picture to virtually try on frames. It’s such a good idea and really helps to see what glasses look like on your face. Because I know I was a little worried about not being able to physically try them on.
This was my first time ordering frames without actually trying them on and I love them! They’re very lightweight, my prescription was exactly right, they fit my face, and I love that they match everything because they’re black and basic but oh-so-cute!
IMG_6767.JPG
I haven’t blogged in so long that they two times I took picture in my glasses for this post, my hair length is totally different. I donated 8 inches to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths after growing out my hair for 2 years. I’m proud to say this is my third time donating in the last 6 years.   IMG_6945.JPG
I highly recommend this website if you’re in the market for some new glasses or sunglasses! And they were kind enough to include a code for my readers! Type in GSHOT50 at checkout to get 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (excluding sale frames). Happy Shopping!