Short Book Review and Tiny Home Goal Update

Hi All! It’s been a while, yet again, but I found a snippet of time just now to write :-)! I finished the book, The Beginner’s Guide to Tiny Houses, over a month ago now and have been meaning to get on here to provide a review about it while it was still fresh in my mind. Overall, it was a truly informative book in which I highly recommend to anyone looking to embark on tiny home living. On a rating of 5 being the best to 1 being poorly done, I give this book a 4 1/2. The 1/2 star is because I wanted the whole thing to be strictly about tiny homes, but they added a ton of information about schoolies (converting a school bus into a home) and other tiny-homes…such as yurts. I have mentioned this before: nothing at all against schoolie or yurts, I think they are both rad, it’s just that I have no interest in living in either of those types of homes so I ended up just having to skip through those parts.

Took me a minute (if a minute equals 3 months) to finish this book, but alas, I finally finished reading it!

The book had a lot of great information about possible places to live with a tiny home and provided many outlets in which to look for land to either rent or buy for tiny home living. There were many resources listed (especially in the back of the book) of different websites or avenues to look for where it’s possible to place your tiny home. There was also great information about what to look for in companies that build tiny homes if you are having yours built for you (which I am because let’s face it folks, if I tried to build it myself it would probably take over a decade and even then, the big bad wolf would probably still be able to blow it down).

The Beginner’s Guide to Tiny Houses also provided different ideas to consider when having your tiny home built for you, including important financial decisions to consider such as what appliances the company provides in the total price of the tiny house and what extra amenities you might need to consider buying yourself. There was also a fun quiz to take in the beginning of the book to guide you in how ready you might be to live in a tiny home, my result was “Tiny All the Way!” I’d say that was a pretty accurate result 😅.

☝️Part of the quiz that is in the book The Beginner’s Guide to Tiny Houses. It was a pretty intensive quiz (11 pages long). I felt it was very accurate if you answered the questions truthfully 😁

This is a book that I am definitely keeping on hand for the rest of my tiny home journey as I feel I’ll reference it a lot for different decisions I’ll be making along the way. I am more than halfway to my savings goal of buying my tiny house🙌and I have gotten incredibly diligent in my monthly budgeting so that if I stay the course and stick with it, I can reach my goal of buying a tiny home at some point in 2023, which is literally just around the corner.

Despite having a really strict budget in order to save up to buy a tiny home, I managed to put away a savings fund for vacations and am planning to attend a friend’s wedding on the West Coast this summer. I had an amazing coincidence come up where one of the air bnb’s that I picked out to stay at in Oregon just so happens to be a tiny home constructed by the same company that I am planning to have build mine. The owner of the Airbnb has been actively communicating with me all about her experiences with them and is super open about me asking her tons of questions, she also said she’d be happy to meet up with me when I arrive to show me the four different tiny homes she has had built by them. I’ll definitely have updates for you all after that trip and thanks for following along with me on my journey so far!🙏☺️

Feeling Hopeful

Hi All! Hope everyone is having a beautiful week wherever they may be. I wanted to give a little update since I was aiming to write in here at least a couple times per month. There isn’t huge news and my dream of owning my tiny home feels so far away, but in reality it will sneak up fast. I am fortunately in a good position right now to put much of my income into savings, so it will stack up quickly!

I have been eyeing a ton of different tiny home builders, but I have only found a couple that fit my needs. I am looking for builders that have a layout that matches my vision, are flexible with personal design requests, and are affordable. It has been difficult to find builders that match those three things, but I have found two! And out of those two, only one has been actively communicating with me, but luckily it has been the one that has felt most right for me. I am trying to stay open too, as not to put all of my tiny home dreams in one basket.

Another thing that I have been working heavily on is getting my budget in order. As long as I stick to a specific savings goal each month for one year straight, I should hopefully have enough to purchase a tiny home without needing to finance one, which is ideal for me. I have been debt-free for a year (shout out to Dave Ramsey and his whole team for inspiring me with the plethora of YouTube videos that inspired me to become debt-free!) My end goal with my tiny home is to only have the monthly expense of land to place it on.

Alongside of scouring ads online of tiny home listings, I have also been scouring ads online for tiny home communities to live in. There are a surprisingly large amount of tiny home communities, but that’s counted across the whole nation. In my state there are only two tiny home communities, one of which is three hours away from family and friends. So naturally, I contacted the closest tiny home community to friends and family; I found out that there’s a pretty long waitlist to get in it, but the lady that owns it added me on and has been super kind in all of our interactions, I’m feeling good about the community there!

Most exciting is that coming up in February I am going to a Tiny Home Festival. It will be so nice to see layouts up close and personal! I hope to connect with a builder or two as well that can dream up my vision with me. That’s all for updates though at the moment, but thanks for stopping by to read and dream along with me 🙂

Tiny Home Vision

Hi All! It has been a long time since I have touched this blog as I have had some pretty major life changes in the last couple of years, but I’m going to attempt my hand at it again! I hope that all is well with you, reader, wherever you may be.

I have recently gotten really into tiny homes. I have watched almost all of the mini-documentaries on Netflix regarding tiny homes and have watched a good chunk of YouTube videos all about tiny homes: from learning about construction of tiny homes, to learning about rules on what kind of land you can stick your tiny home on, and seeing all the different styles of tiny homes. I have scoured through dozens of online used tiny home listings. All of this obsession has truly led me to one thing and that is: my tiny home vision!

I started this blog almost ten years ago to keep track of my goal to meditate daily and then it sort of twisted and turned more into random musings. Well, now I’m gonna use this blog to keep track of and focus on my newest goal and vision: buy my own tiny home within two years! That is the goal and with previous goals and plans of mine, I always found it nice to record them somewhere like a blog, where it might inspire others who are following along and it has always helped me to reflect while on the journey and after the journey.

I have always been a minimalist and not super into materialistic things. I have even lived in a couple tiny places before: a studio called “The Treehouse Studio” in Portland, Oregon because it was literally in a studio on top of a home, nestled next to the biggest tree on the block and I also lived in a couple huts near the salty air of the Pacific Ocean while working at farms on Maui. Some might have described the spaces that I lived in claustrophobic, but they were truly everything that I needed in my day-to-day life.

There are so many things about the tiny house lifestyle that are appealing to me too. I love the idea of having a place that is easy to move with me since I can’t seem to stay in one place for too long. The simplicity of a tiny home is another draw of it; to only have to spend an hour on cleaning up my whole place sounds divine. Lower costs all around, from the actual purchase of a tiny home to the monthly utilities would feel like a big weight lifted! Only bringing into my home that which I really need and use seems appealing as well, really living and embracing minimalism.

So welcome to my newest edition of this blog! I hope to inspire and ignite others’ dreams and visions, whether that goal is to also live a tiny house lifestyle or something completely different…either way, I hope this new little project of mine inspires you too in some way. I am hoping to log-in to this blog at least a couple times out of the month with updates on where I am at with my savings and budgeting towards buying a tiny home. I also want to record any insights or new things I have learned about tiny homes. I will also give updates about whether I plan to have one custom built or buy a used one. The options feel endless right now, it’s been a while since I have felt this inspired! Until next time, take care and thanks for reading!

30 Day Detox from Social Media

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Hello my fellow blog readers!  I have been meaning to get around to sharing my experience of going thirty days without my precious Facebook and Instagram, but life has gotten pretty busy.  I have written blog posts before about going without technology, such as my 10 days at my first meditation retreat and the weekend I turned my cell phone off, but this was a unique experience in and of itself.  It made me realize how much I look at my social media sites when I feel lonely and bored. It also made me feel closer to my best friends and family members because I actually spoke to them on the phone or texted with them more than just following their social media posts.  I am sharing word for word what I wrote in my journal during the 30 days sans social media and then there is a little recap at the end. I hope that this is beneficial and inspires you in some way, that is my ultimate wish in sharing my writing ☺.

Social Media Detox from March 26-April 26, 2019.

3/26/19

I noticed my first pull toward wanting to check my Instagram as I was going on a walk with my friend (I had just posted on my Instagram that morning and wanted to check on any “likes” or “comments” that I received).

3/27/19

Already feeling a profound emptiness when I look down at my phone and there is nothing-no text messages, no phone calls, emails, and definitely nothing to scroll.  Lonely is another word that comes to my mind.  Frustration, but that might have to do with PMS, haha.

3/28/19

My first full 24 hours without social media and I honestly have this feeling of freeness that I haven’t had in a long time.  This feeling of being more of who I really am and being okay with who I am. Happiest I have felt in a long while, a stronger sense of self-esteem, more confidence than I have felt in a long while.  Really doing well with self-care too! I ran today, meditated today, wrote three full pages in my journal, I spent quality time with a buddy, talked with new people in the town I just moved to, feelings of true presence.

3/29/19

There is a serious feeling of emptiness that I feel today.  The dopamine levels in my brain feel very low with no social media to excite it.  I have been reading my online horoscope and my hormone horoscope app (an app on my phone that informs ladies what they might be feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally depending on where we are at in our cycle).  Both of these apps have been on my phone for months, but I never use them because I am usually scrolling on my social media.

I took my friend to the Amtrak this morning and as we were waiting for her train, I reallllly wanted to check my social media, I actually felt physical pangs of frustration in my chest when I realized I couldn’t scroll.   I ended up reading a book instead, which is great because I have been trying to finish the book for months.

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3/30/29

Most likely because I have had a friend visiting me for the last week (I relocated to a new city three weeks ago) and she left last night, I have felt a sense of loneliness today.  I awoke this morning to see nothing on my phone and sensed a feeling of dread/loneliness. My new job hasn’t started yet, so I have had much more free time than what I usually have.

3/31/19


I’m really feeling an emptiness today not being able to look at my social media.  I am really coming into the realization of how much I use social media as a bandage for my feeling of loneliness.  Also, I felt a little guilty today because I accidentally cheated last night when I met a new friend in town and he gave me his Instagram name, so I plugged it into Google and stalked his Instagram pictures for a few seconds until I realized that counts as being on social media.

4/1/19

My sister really triggered me this morning when I informed her about my social media fast (I explained to her how my friend changed the passwords on all my accounts) and she told me that I remind her of an alcoholic, that I sound like an addict and that she’s generally concerned for me.  It really hurt me and I told her that instead of labeling me, I need support and encouragement. I am going to take some space from her.

4/2/19

How interesting, the chapter that I’m reading in “Women Who Run with the Wolves” has a section in it labeled “ADDICTION” and I came across this great quote which resonates strongly with what I have been learning most about what’s needed with social media use: BALANCE. There’s nothing inherently wrong with social media, it’s when we become unbalanced with it that it becomes a problem.

“To alright all this, we resurrect the wild nature, over and over again, each time the balance tips too far in one direction or another.  We will know when there is reason for concern, for generally balance makes our lives larger, and imbalance makes our lives smaller.”

4/3/19

Having feelings of lightness and freedom.  I have been getting things done that I’d otherwise be sitting on if I had social media to distract me.  I have finished multiple books, got paperwork done for my move and for my new job. I also attempted to go to an open mic show at the chai shop down the street from me, but there was a sign on the door that it was canceled.  So I went home with no backup plans, but still wanting connection, so instead of going onto Facebook or Instagram, I ended up going onto my Couchsurfing profile and ended up surfing it for an hour…I totally used it as a replacement, haha, but still….generally felt good today.

4/6/19

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is at the strongest than it has ever been in my life.  I went solo-camping this weekend and ended up meeting these awesome folks; we shared drinks, a bonfire, stories, laughs, and s’mores all night.  At one point, one of the gals I met broke out her phone and had us put in our social media names into her profile so she could add us and we could all stay in touch.  I had to explain to her that she could send me the request, but that I won’t be able to accept it until April 26th due to my social media detox.  They were all fascinated and interested in my decision to detox from social media for a while.  Each one of them explained that they have been feeling the pull to get away from social media for a while as well.

4/7/19

I am realizing that social media is a big energy drain.  With all of the judging, comparing, and feeling the need to keep up with everyone.  Lately I have been feeling a lot lighter in the mind and have more energy for other things.  I have been super busy learning my job and hanging out with new friends, at one point this week I honestly forgot that social media was a thing….like, I forgot that it existed (no joke!!) until someone had mentioned it.  I honestly get stressed out when I think of re-entering the social media world.

4/8/19

Damn.  My feeling of guilt is STRONG!!  I went onto Google and looked up both my Instagram and Facebook to see if I got any new comments or like, as I was looking at my profiles, I thought to myself “You know damn well that you’re cheating from your 30-day detox right?” And then instead of beating myself up, I just observed my antics….observing without judgement.  Observing without judgement is such a powerful action, a practice that I’d like to try and do more often.  Also, I just moved to a new town a month ago and I only have a few friends here so far and to be honest…I was feeling pretty alone lately.  Anyhow, just wanted to come clean on that. Otherwise, things have been going pretty strong with the detox. I went camping, hiking, and worked this weekend.  I finished a book today, which I am pretty sure I’d still be reading for another couple of months if I was currently using my social media. I am still having this feeling of the whole world being at a party that I wasn’t invited to.

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4/15/19

Only 11 days left and I am feeling like I might stay off social media for good.  Things feel more simple, it feels like the 1990s again. The more I think about it, social media is really kind of freaky…..we stay in touch with dozens (actually more like hundreds and thousands) of people that we aren’t maybe necessarily meant to be in contact with anymore.  Also, all of the pictures are fabricated (filters, scanning through multiple pictures and finding the best one) and it’s always intended to get a bunch of likes so how real is it when we are really just trying to please people.  I dunno…just some thoughts.

The biggest takeaway that I got from doing this experiment, if you will, is that my feeling of PRESENCE with people in real life was so strong. I noticed how I was having these really lovely in-person connections with new friends and acquaintances and also my self-esteem skyrocketed!  It was such a relief to not have millions of pictures being thrown in my face of “See! THIS is what you need to be, do, and have to be better.” Instead, I was able to meditate, connect, and go within more to figure out what I was truly needing in any moment. Life became a little more real, my head hurt less from staring at a screen so much, and I really had some profound moments. 

The Power of Setting Intentions

With the April Full Moon shining brightly on top of the Steel Bridge, an iconic landmark in Portland, Oregon, my best friend and I headed down the concrete stairs that jutted from the sidewalk in front of my apartment to the rocky alcove that faced the Willamette River. The air had a simultaneous smell of recent rain and fresh magnolia flower. Each of us held a scrap of paper in our hands which had a list of all things we intended to rid ourselves of in the coming month. I lit a candle and we burned our lists into the candle fire, watching as our lists turned into ashes and flew with the wind into the river. That marked the completion of our first homemade, totally improvised Full Moon Ceremony.

I started practicing intentional ceremonies on my own just a couple months prior to this. I first became interested in intentional setting practices after researching and learning more about it over the rainy Portland winter. Linking my intention settings with the moon cycle is something a bit more new to me, but I have found it to be a very powerful practice. After having had a few ceremonies now with my best friend, I am feeling inspired to share how this practice has helped me. I intend to incorporate more of these types of ceremonies into my life and hope to inspire others to do the same.

This prior winter, my life was a bit of a dark carousel, going round and round in a cycle that wasn’t healthy for my mind, body, or soul. I had just moved back to Portland, Oregon after having moved away for about five months and had lost connection with a lot of my old friends. Going against my own morals and being misguided while on the search for trying to feel less alone, I had a couple different relationships in my life that were unhealthy. I was also living downtown in an isolated area entrenched with lots of sadness; it was not uncommon to see people dealing or shooting up drugs at the light rail stop that I waited at for my daily commute. It made me feel sad and helpless to see all of the addiction, it reminded me of how much suffering there was in the world and in my own life. The discomfort of my outer world seemed to be reflecting my inner world.

I was watching a lot of self-help videos on YouTube during the winter and in one video someone spoke of intention setting practices and how much it helped them to shift a few things in their life to more of their liking. Every night I started writing an intentional list in my journal. The list consisted of three things I intended to do the next day (e.g. tomorrow, I intend to run 3 miles along the river without stopping, I intend to stay focused with each patient I am helping at work, and I intend to meditate for 20 minutes in the morning). My nightly lists became a fun, easy opportunity to see how I could reach small feats on a daily basis. If I didn’t end up meeting one of my intentions, I wouldn’t beat myself up too much because it would always feel good that I had met the other two intentions. The “next day” lists soon turned into me listing weekly three things that I intended for the week ahead and monthly three things I intended for the month ahead.

My intention setting lists for the day, week and month ahead soon transformed. I have always been fascinated with the cycle of the moon and started collaborating my intention setting lists with moon phases. I would do a New Moon intention setting and then a Full Moon intention setting. Coordinating intention settings with the moon phases seemed to come really naturally and conveniently given that there is always one new moon and one full moon every month. In my research on intention setting ceremonies, I discovered that the New Moon is a powerful time to write out what you would like to attract since it marks the beginning of a new cycle and the Full Moon is a time to write out what you would like to release yourself from because it marks the completion of a cycle. These practices using the moon cycle have been around for ages, taken from Pagan and indigenous cultures.

I have watched a multitude of things shift and shed in my life in the last five months since starting this practice and I know that most have resulted from the power of intention setting ceremonies. I let go of the two unhealthy relationships that were in my life and am enjoying my single life, finding beauty in self-love. I have been making very healthy decisions on a daily basis due to living more intentionally. I had wrote down an intention about how I wanted to stay in and cook more in order to save more money, I have been sticking to this pretty well. I have also been good about reaching intentions of staying vigilant in my daily meditation practice, one week I reached my intention of meditating twice a day instead of once a day for one whole week.

I would love to start a community of like-minded people that participate in intentional living practices. I would be more interested in hearing from anyone that has read this far. Do you participate in any moon calendar rituals or ceremonies? Do you practice intentional-based living in your own way? Please comment below or send me a message and let me know!