Friday, January 15, 2016

Pictures of our small house!

Hello, fellow tiny (or small, in my case) house people!

I am back! I have been busy, busy, busy with everything. I graduated in December with my Associate's degree in business, and have been trying to keep up with my now crawling 7 month old. He is getting too big!

We also got a new roof on our house! Hallelujah! Our old roof really wasn't that bad, and probably had a few years left on it. But we had a giant walnut tree in our backyard that had huge branches above the house. We were trying to get someone to come out and give us a quote to get it trimmed or cut down but no one would call us back! During a storm while we were trying to find someone to cut the tree, a giant branch fell on the roof and gouged a big hole in it. Rather than pay someone to just patch it, we decided to go ahead and get the new roof a few months early. Our house has dropped ceilings (no idea why, it looks like an office building in here now) and now the tiles are stained in one spot from the water dripping down. That's okay though because we are going to take the tiles down and just patch the holes that the screws made. I think it will definitely open the rooms up once the ceilings are restored back to their former beauty.

The living room also has this weird paneling over the walls that we are going to take down. There is drywall underneath the paneling so I'm also not sure why the former owner put the paneling up. The drywall is brand new, and hasn't even been mudded (is mudded a word?) yet. So we will be doing that and painting the living room. The kitchen also has that old 70's style paneling and it would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to take it down and replace it, so instead I watched a tutorial on using drywall mud (or something of that nature, I'd have to go back and check) to smooth over the paneling and then paint it to look like regular walls. So we will also be doing that.

We have a very long list of to-dos left (if you couldn't tell) but the things we are focusing on this year are getting the outside of the house painted (you will see why in a minute!), taking out the dropped ceilings, removing the paneling from the living room and finishing the walls, and making the paneling in the kitchen look like regular paneling. A bonus that I hope to accomplish if we have enough money is to build a new roof over the front porch. If you remember, I think I posted about it last year, the roof was tied into the house roof wrong and had gotten a giant hole in it that rotted the whole roof out. I really regret making the decision to tear the roof down instead of fix it, so now we have to put a new front porch roof up.

Okay, I've kept everyone waiting long enough. Here are the pictures of the outside of the house! Pictures of the inside will come soon, I promise.

This is our little shed. The part that sticks out to the side is actually a stairwell going down to a cellar type thing. It's really just a giant cylinder of concrete buried in the ground, but it's pretty cool.

This is our pitiful little garage. Our car doesn't even fit all the way in it, and there are no garage doors to fit this size hole. But the other part with the window is a storage area that also has a loft, so that's nice. The other small building is an outhouse. Not in use, obviously, but we could use it! 

This is the "back" of the house, but this is the door that everyone uses. It looks like the front of the house from the street. See what I meant about needing a paint job?

This is the front of the house. That platform to the side is the front porch. We don't use that door so we didn't build any steps. For some reason when we bought the house there weren't steps at either porch. You can see the brand new roof really well here! 

This is the other side of the house. That is technically the front door. It previously had a roof on that porch. It doesn't look right without the roof which is why we wanted to build a new roof. 

This is the back of the house. It is an addition, basically an added-on mudroom. The extra space is really nice. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015


I have not posted on this blog for a really long time. To be honest, I forgot about it. So I guess it is time for a huge update on our life!! A LOT has changed in the last year and a half.

In the spring of 2014, my husband and I decided that we wanted a small house to call our own. Houses now are built so big that even at a small price per square foot, they are still very expensive to buy, maintain, and heat and cool. Plus a lot of time cleaning, which we did not want to do. Originally we thought that we would build a tiny house on a trailer. We even bought an older camper and demolished it to use the trailer (it was a good trailer). Just a couple of months after that, in July 2014, we found that someone we know was selling a small house (600 s.f. plus basement and porch) on a large lot so we jumped on it. We had to do a lot of work but we signed the paperwork in August 2014 and moved in on October 1st, 2014.

When we got the house, there was no flooring in most of the rooms. We had to put in carpet and deep clean the whole house. And spray for spiders. There was also a hole in the porch roof. It was just a covered porch with a separate roof than the rest of the house and the roof was rotted so we tore it down.

A few days before we moved in, we got a major surprise. We were pregnant! I have a condition called an incompetent cervix so I had to take it easy for the entire pregnancy. We didn't get much done, except clean up the yard this year. We still have some cosmetic things to do inside the house, and outside we have to trim a tree and replace the roof. We also want to repaint the house, put up a new roof over the porch, and spray for weeds in the yard.

We had our baby at the beginning of June in 2015. He is now almost 4 months old! It is so crazy how time flies! I am going to film a tour of our house. It's only 5 rooms, so it won't be much, but I've been meaning to get it done, and I will! I promise!

I will be updating more as we continue the repairs around the house.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recipes for around the house!!

Hey guys,

I made a post a while back about when I was experimenting with homemade shampoo and deodorant. I also added a recipe that I had for homemade laundry soap. I still love that recipe, by the way, and will never use any other laundry soap. If you missed it you can see that here

So after using the shampoo for roughly 6 months, I really love it! I only have to wash my hair about once every 5 days, unless I am doing rough work and stuff falls in my hair. Then I have to wash it more often. It is gentle enough to use everyday, but you really don't need to. Commercial shampoos strip your hair of natural oils, making your glands work overtime. This shampoo cleans your hair, but does not strip the oils completely. This is good. This means that you wash your hair less. This also means that you have to be patient when first starting to use this shampoo. For the first two weeks with this shampoo I still had to wash every day and my hair constantly felt gross and heavy and oily. The second two weeks I graduated from washing daily to every other day, but the second day my hair felt really nasty. The second month, it gradually got better. After that, my hair started to feel normal again, and I just started washing it when it felt dirty. After about 4 months I realized just how long I could go without it feeling dirty. After I rinse the shampoo out, I put apple cider vinegar 'with the mother' mixed with water (1/4c vinegar to 2 cups water- do not use on colored hair! Just use coconut oil.) on my hair to condition it. Once a week I deep condition with unrefined coconut oil. I just put two tablespoons in my hair-starting at the ends and working up to about 3 inches below the roots of my hair- and let sit for 30 minutes before washing. 

Here is the recipe:
Note: I use an 8 oz bottle, so this recipe has the measurements for that.

  • Fill bottle 2/3 full with Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castille Soap (I use peppermint, you can use whatever scent you want. My husband uses citrus.)
  • Put in about 1 tablespoon of raw honey and 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil. 
  • Put in any additional essential oils you want- do not exceed 10 drops with scented soap, 30 with unscented. 
  • Fill the rest of the way with homemade coconut milk. 
  • Shake before use. 
Homemade coconut milk:

Put 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes and 1 cup water in blender. 
Puree for 3 minutes. 
Strain out coconut flakes with several layers of cheese cloth. 

Homemade deodorant was another story. I could not get the recipe right. If I used corn starch I broke out and if I used tapioca flour it always melted! We hated keeping our deodorant in the fridge, so we just went back to regular deodorant.

Side note- Dr Bronner's soap can be used for anything involving cleaning. I also use the peppermint for mopping (hands and knees kind) when I am deep cleaning my dads house. I am amazed at how awesome it is! I can clean the floor twice with the Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle and then when I use Dr Bronner's more dirt still comes up! 

Last thing of the day: Homemade "Swiffer" wet pads

2 rolls Bounty Basic paper towels (or any 2 ply paper towels that are NOT select a size) 
Floor cleaner (I use Mr Clean Liquid Muscle)
White vinegar
Baking soda
Warm Water 
Something to store in- old swiffer wet pad containers or Sun washing powder bucket w lid
5 gallon bucket

1. Rip off paper towels in sets of 3. So 3 paper towels are connected.
2. Fold those 3 paper towels at the seams. So you will have a pad that is the size of a paper towel, that has 3 layers. 
3. Fold each one in half and put in storage container. If using old swiffer containers, you will probably need 4-6.
4. In a 5 gallon bucket, put in 1/2 c floor cleaner, 1/2 c white vinegar, and 4 tablespoons baking soda. Add about 2 1/2 gallon of warm water. 
5. Pour this cleaning solution over paper towels.
6. After 1 day, pour out excess liquid.

That's it! You can use them right away of course, but after one day you want to pour out the excess liquid so the paper towels don't break down. I find they are best when used within 1 month, so you might want to only make 1 roll of paper towels worth if you won't use 40 in 1 month. 


First update in September!!!!!

Hey guys,

It has been way too long without an update! Time is just flying by working away on our little house. So for all of you just joining us, here is a summary of what has happened so far in the past year:

August-December 2013 Got interested in tiny houses. Decided we (husband and I) wanted to build one ourselves. We are both college students, him working full time and me part-time, so we thought this would be an awesome way to start our lives.

January-March 2014 Planned tiny house.

April 2014 Bought camper to tear down and use trailer for tiny house.

June 2014 Started tearing down camper

July 2014 Kind of got sidetracked with work and school. Worked a lot. 

August 2014 Tossed building tiny house on a trailer idea. Bought slightly bigger tiny house instead.

This has REALLY been a crazy year! First tiny house, then no tiny house until 2015, then tiny house, and then buy tiny house instead! Wow! We change our minds too much! 

However, we are in it for the long haul this time. We are renting until January and then we sign the papers to buy the house contract for deed. We will have it paid off in just 6 years! Not bad for buying our first house. It is costing us just slightly more than most tiny houses on a trailer cost to build. 

Okay so for some facts about the house that we are buying:

It is NOT a tiny house on a trailer. It is a (bigger) tiny house. It is 681 square feet. It has 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, and a small enclosed porch type room. It also has a covered back porch and a front porch/deck- I say deck because it is pretty big.

This is a drawing of the layout of the house

If you look at the drawing, you can see that there is NO hallway. To get from the kitchen and bathroom to the living room you have to walk through one of the bedrooms. Not a big deal, but it is sort of unusual. However, there is no wasted space! This house actually has some pretty cool history. In the 1940s a woman named Lula lived here, and she built a small restaurant next to the house. It was called Lula's Country Kitchen. The building still stands and a loft has been added and it is now a shed. In that same building around the 1950s a fallout shelter was added. It's still there. It's pretty cool. When the door is closed it just looks like floor and you can't even tell it is there. You open it and find a set of stairs and the door at the bottom leads into the shelter. It's just a giant concrete cylinder set in the ground, but it is still cool. Funny story actually- When we agreed to rent the house we were not told about this, and I took my best friend to see the house. We didn't look in the shed when we originally looked at the house, so when she came to see it she wanted to go in. The door in the floor was not shut all the way so we saw the door and were too scared to go down there. We made D and T go down there first. It was empty! :) The house was originally a 2 room house, just the current living room and smaller bedroom behind it. It also had an outhouse, which is still there and still in working condition if we ever needed it (on a side note, it has 2 holes! High class! ;D). In the 1950's, the master bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom were added. The basement was expanded and the steps to the basement were still outside the house. In 2013, Mr. S added an enclosed porch/3 seasons room, and in doing so enclosed the basement steps inside the house, next to the enclosed porch.

One bad part of this house is that it is so old. We originally thought we had to patch a small section of roof, redo a closet, put in a window and put in carpet and that would be it. We were a little wrong. And this brings us to- what we have been doing in the past month!

So, first we decided to tackle the roof first. The previous renters had added a closet to the master bedroom by added 2 walls to part of the porch. The closet has always leaked. We thought we just had to get under an eave and put some rubber roofing on. We soon learned the entire porch roof was rotten, so we decided to get rid of the closet and entire porch roof. The door that was to the closet is now sealed up but tearing the roof down is still underway. We still have a covered back porch and enclosed porch, though. 

Onto the inside! We put in a new window to replace the broken window. Next spring, all the other windows will have to be replaced too but that is not immediate. We also deep cleaned the whole house and started painting today! We have to paint the living room and both bedrooms. The kitchen and bathroom are the wood paneling. Next week the carpet will go in and then we just have to finish tearing down the porch roof and wait for the gas to be turned on and we can move in! :) Once the paint and carpet is put down, I will make another update with a video tour so you all can see the house for yourselves!


Oh yeah, P.S., can ANYONE believe how fast this year has gone by??

Monday, August 4, 2014

Good Luck To All!!

Hello everyone,

It has been a long time since I have posted. I am very sorry about that. Several things have been happening and the plan has changed yet again (for good this time). I really agree with tiny houses, and I am still trying to live with that mentality, and will continue to do so for the remainder of my life.

Okay, so first off, we are selling the trailer that we bought to use for the tiny house. We are going to take off the rest of the aluminum (nope, we still aren't done with that, although the rest of the gutting is done), apply flashing to the entirety of the trailer and sell it as a trailer.

So here is what happened: A few weeks ago my grammaw fell in her house. She didn't get hurt, she is fine. However, now everyone is worried about her. So we put in a bid on a lot that is literally right next to her house and has a septic system, water and gas hookups, etc. We planned to put a small single-wide right there and live next to her for awhile to help her out and make sure she was okay so everyone would be quiet about putting her in a nursing home.

Well, we didn't win that bid. And as it turns out, we might not be able to use the septic system anyways so we kind of dodged a bullet (we were told septic system was a go by one person, and told by another it does have a leech field, so we have no idea what is going on there).

So, we kept looking for a place to live in the small town of 300 where my grandmother lives. We finally found a cute little house (500 square feet!) just a couple of blocks away from her. It needs some work- new carpet, a leaky closet fixed, and a new window put in the front room- but the guy who owns it agreed to let us rent to own it, and the work we put in is our deposit, and the money we spend on the house is taken off of our rent (so free rent for a couple of months! :)). So tiny house on a trailer is out, buying a tiny house is in! Okay, a small house. But it has just what we need (a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living room) and nothing we don't (a second bathroom, a second living room, etc). We are really excited about it!

I will post pictures of the house when we get it all done in a couple of weeks and move in!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Slowly but surely.

Hey guys! Long time no blog. :)

So first things first, we hit 100 views today! Yes! Hopefully all of you are following along. :) If not, I understand. Hope we get more people with us as we go! Second, according to the schedule, we were supposed to get the camper off of the trailer and have the trailer ready to build on, umm, three weeks ago. Unfortunately that did not happen. David and myself have been working very hard at work and putting in extra hours for the last few weeks and just have not had a whole lot of time. We did get the inside (mostly) done though.

We still have to:

  • Rip out the last cabinet
  • Rip off the walls and take out the insulation
  • Take out the remaining electrical (what was in the walls)
  • Take off the water pump
  • Take the windows out- the inside is done, we just have to unscrew them from the outside
  • Take off the seams outside (and the camper should crumple)
  • Clean up! (and go sell the aluminum) 
  • Take the remaining platform off of the trailer
  • Grind any rust off of the trailer and paint it with Rustoleum
  • Put ice/water barrier and metal flashing on trailer
Whew! So, after all of that, we will be ready to put the floor on the trailer! So exciting. We are so close, but still so far away! Tomorrow I will be working by myself and hope to get the rest of the inside destroyed and the windows out, which will leave Wednesday or Thursday to finish it up. Hopefully we don't get called into work. No video blog yet but here are some pics of the inside of the camper now.

 This is where the bathroom used to be.
 This used to be three benches around a table, the kitchen, and a wall of cabinets for storage.
 This is the loft bedroom, you can see the cabinet that still needs to be taken out.

It looks very small in the pictures but it really is pretty sizable, considering we will also have a full loft. So that is it for this update, cross your fingers I will have enough time to do considerable damage and have another update later this week. :)



Sunday, June 1, 2014


Okay, so first of all, I moved my blog to Wordpress and you can find it here. I will still be posting here for a while, but in the next couple of weeks will probably start exclusively posting there. You can also check out my youtube channel here and my actual website here. We will be doing video diaries and posting them to the youtube channel and my website, and my website also has an RSS feed back to my word press blog, along with a photo gallery and a how-to section. It's kind of a one stop shop.

Also, any of you who are following along are probably confused at this point. First I said the build would be starting this summer, then I said next summer, and now we have a trailer to start building! Okay, so let me back up a little and explain.

So, the original plan back in like February was to work on the plans and continue to save money until June, at which point we would begin the tiny house. We planned to order a custom pull behind trailer in April for the project. But then, at the end of March, my dad asked us to postpone our plans until next spring/summer, because he was going to build a garage. Well, we postponed and fast forward to middle of may, my dad finds out that it cost too much and he was already supposed to apply for the building permit (I thought he already knew the price and applied for a permit, hence why I went along with it. *face palm*). So, he decided he was just going to get a kit from like Home Depot for a giant shed that he could put up in a weekend.

So, now we are back to starting the build...soon. It was supposed to be June, but it's June right now. Technically, we already started because we started to demolish the camper that we got for our tiny house. But, there are some problems that we did not think about:

1. It is taking a lot longer to demolish than we previously thought. And the inside of that aluminum camper is like an oven, even with all of the windows open. We hope to have it demolished on Thursday. Weather permitting (I hope it rains! I would be so much more willing to work in a cool rain with the air cool and low humidity than sunny, HOT, and humid.)

2. I have to make new plans! I spent a month on the original plans, and they were awesome! But they were for a 24' flatbed pull behind trailer, not a 26' gooseneck (fifth wheel). So, back to the drawing board. We know the lay out for the floor so in the meantime we can get the camper off and do the floor and cover with a tarp, but the walls and such probably will not be started until the end of June. Hopefully I can get the plans done next week because I am off school this week and next, but I also may get called in because we are busy at work now. So we will see about that.

Okay, I think those are the only reasons. Maybe. Oh yeah, and sorry that my blogs are all choppy and weird to read, I am still new to this blogging thing and often times I don't proofread or edit, I just write it and then post.

So, that is my update. I will be doing another video diary probably tomorrow... but maybe I will wait until Thursday when we actually have something done!


Visit my website here, my YouTube channel here, and my wordpress blog here.