Branching Out

Well hello everyone!  Long time eh? ;-)  I took a month or so off to reevaluate my life and try to figure some stuff out  I feel like I’ve got the clarity I need to go forward (yeah!), I’ll most likely write about that soon, I like to have things written out to reference later :).

This is just going to be a quick update on what we’ve been up to, a few modifications we’ve made to the house, some maintenance stuff and then a whole lot of our favorite daughter and the life we get to lead! :)

First, I bet you noticed a little makeover on my site… I’ve been meaning to do that a while, I finally did (and hopefully worked out most of the kinks??)!

Second, I want to mention and unofficially ‘launch’/tell you about a new site I’m working on. - long story short, I enjoy informing and empowering others to do similar things (build their own tiny house, if they are interested).  MiniMotives doesn’t really do that anymore.  It will remain a place to document my house and my life but PlanningTiny will be a place for people to go to get the information they need and want for their own tiny house.  I’ve got  a few posts up there.  There will be reviews of builders, classifieds so you can find other tiny house related items (or whole houses), information on how to choose a builder, design a house, build a house, various systems you can use with pros/cons/etc.  It’s purely for information, if wanted.  It was going to be a much biggerr thing and actually be a 3D modeled configurator that could take the place of Sketchup, making thing easier for those who hate Sketchup (there are a lot of ya!),  We went through a design phase, had a developer on board, designed the entire program, and did everything except hit the ‘launch’ button on a kickstarter campaign.  In our very last double check James and I decided maybe that the timing wasn’t right, we can build this website/tool, if it’s valuable we can cross the bridge to a full on custom tiny home configurator (unless someone wants to sponsor 20k ;-), that was the quoted cost… we are/were bummed to not go forward because it would be awesome, it’s just not in the cards for now).  Even without that, James and I both will be using our background in design, construction know-how , our tiny house experiences and our interest in sharing to simplify and demystify various building methods and rational you would want to know when designing and constructing your own tiny home.  Hopefully will prove valuable over time…  This aligns better with our goals, we’re excited.  We would love to hear feedback as we get things together and moving forward (its still in beta form!).

Third, our house updates, we have updated a few things, I have a couple new heaters to try out (I’d like to give reviews based on real life experience…).  We’ve done a little baby proofing, some potty maintenance, some decorating, images all below.

Lastly, family stuff! Hazel and Denver are awesome.  We’ve been active little community members!  We got to go to an ice show, a charity walk, some trick-or-treating, lots of playing and various other outings (because this is where I keep some pictures) there are probably way too many images below of all that!  Hazel is one healthy chunk of a kid, she is right in the middle of getting 6 new teeth, bringing the total to 8 shortly!  It looks painful but she acts like it’s no big deal, what a trooper eh?  She can now blow raspberries, crawl, pull herself up on things and is a very serious but sometimes exceedingly smiley baby!  Denver still likes to play with his Dane pals and sleep, he is starting to take more interest in Hazel nut too though!

I’ll keep it short and end there for now! I hope you have all been well!

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Happy Fall All!

Just an update!

I had my first Pumpkin Latte, it’s official and I am SO excited for the changing season!  Fall is here and we had our first real night of rain, you don’t need a metal roof to have the relaxing sound of rain, TPO works too! It was awesome, now it’s all wet out and Denver refuses to go outside for fear of getting his delicate self dirty!  I have been working on little miss Hazel’s Halloween costume, she’s going to be a witch, not the cutesy baby one, a scary one, because it’s halloween, that’s what you do! :)

There is so much to look forward to this fall but my top five favorite parts are:

  • Movie nights with my family around the bonfire!
  • Getting the house all spooked out for Halloween!
  • Brisk days, red leaves and hot cider walks with Denver!
  • Welcoming Hazel into the wondrous thing that is pumpkin pie!
  • All of the unknowns!  (I’m still working all that ‘saying no’ stuff out but I’m on my way!)

Updating on all that… There are a lot of very cool opportunities in front of me right now, I can’t do them all but I get to do some!  I’ve said no to the first big one, traveling the country talking about tiny houses!  And getting paid for it!  Two years ago that would have been AWESOME.  Now, I just can’t make it make sense… it’s hard for me to leave Hazel for a couple hours, I can’t imagine a few days at a time.  I know people do it and it would all be fine but part of this tiny house deal is having the time for ME, to focus on what I want and MY priorities.  Hazel is at the top of that list and I would kick myself for missing out on her big firsts if I could avoid it.  Fact is I don’t need much to live on, it wasn’t even about the money, I am passionate about teaching and inspiring and empowering others, the pay was just the cherry on top.  BUT, as passionate as I am about those things I am more passionate about my family.  Family won this time :).  I am hoping other opportunities like that line up in the future when they make more sense but right now I feel good about my decision to not jump on that one at this point (AND the company was very kind, understanding and supportive about my decision).

I have also been chatting with three different TV stations about my house and various stories on it.  Those are great opportunities but again, they eat into my family/work times.  It is very cool to get to check things like that off an imaginary list BUT… they eat up a couple days at a time in prep and actual shooting so I am learning to be much more selective about which of those opportunities I take.  It is always a balance between my passion to empower, inspire and teach and my family.

Right now I’m working on a separate tiny house design tool as well, along with Ryan’s and my podcast a couple times a week, being a stay at home mom, maintaining Tiny House People and writing my 4 ebooks I have been keeping pretty busy!  I am so happy to see so much interest in going a bit smaller, I feel like this is WHY I got into designing.  How people think of housing has a huge impact on our environment, I like to feel like I am helping to make it easier to start decreasing footprint sizes and I think that is a very positive thing!

Little miss update… She had her 6 month appointment.  Hazel is in great health, she’s in the 97th percentile on height still and 87 on weight.  She took her shots like a trooper and was easier to distract than the last couple times.  We took it easy but she still had a fever for four days and I think she is teething again (she’s already got her two front bottom ones for a month+ now) because she’s been running warm and biting a lot again.   She is eating real food and digging it, we haven’t found anything she doesn’t like yet but she’s still primarily on the boob (which I am proud to say I met my goal of breastfeeding for 6 months!).  THAT though has taken it’s toll on me, I am now 15 pounds under my pre pregnancy weight (50 pound swing from peak pregnancy weight 6 months ago)… I have switched over to ‘eat everything in sight’ mode and a little more exercising so that I can try to get back to my healthy weight and hopefully not get sickly, I can already feel the creaking in my joints, I need to get better nutrients!   Even so, we play and we giggle, she sits up and loves to stand all the time, she doesn’t crawl or anything yet but she manages to get scoot along just fine getting across the bed etc.  We now sleep with the baby gate closed, just in case.  She knows her name now ans smiles/turns to look when its said. We won a photo shoot where she gets to dress up as one of the girls from Frozen, that should be fun[ny]. She’s getting quite the personality, we can’t wait to see how it keeps developing!  I think she’s going to be opinionated but kind and brave!

Here are some random pictures in no particular order of our grand adventures!  (There are two baby videos at the bottom if you want to see her in action!)


I hope you are all well!