The Small Life: Todd & Wyatt

Todd's airstreamHappy Monday everyone! Today I am happy to announce a new feature on the blog entitled, drum roll, please, “The Small Life.” “The Small Life” will feature people from across the globe that live a small life in an Airstream, a bus, a van, a tiny house or other unconventional spaces. The first feature is from Todd. Todd is taking an unimaginably difficult time in his life and is turning it around with small living. Take it away Todd. – Melanie

Todd and WyattNot quite a year ago, my life was turned upside down when my wife and I decided to part ways.  Homeless with only a few changes of clothes and my dog, Wyatt, we started sleeping on the floor of my friends architecture studio.  It wasn’t too bad; dry and warm.  It was a good place to sort through emotions, let the proverbial dust settle and plot my next move.

After a couple of months, with the unconditional love and support of family, I decided to set out and find an Airstream to move in.  Fortunately, one turned up in Florida and within a couple weeks I was towing it back to the mountains of Asheville.

Todd's AirstreamGetting the Airstream, I hope is only the first step of many to creating a new life for Wyatt and I.  As a result of moving into 153 sqft, most of my worldly possessions needed to go.  After much thought, I realized that it was just stuff.  Sentimental items are merely items that remind of us a specific memory.  I will always have the memory, which takes up less space than the stuff.  Clothes are still being widdled down to only the bare essentials.  If its not my most favorite thing to wear or if I haven’t worn it in the last month, it gets donated.  Even new stuff gets intense scrutiny; does buying this thing move me in the direction of getting me on the road full time, does this limit me financially from exploring, traveling and creating new adventures, is this something that I simply want?  Only items that facilitate adventure and create epic memories, makes the cut into 153 sqft.

By no means am I free of “stuff”, but I’m getting down to the essentials and a couple more rounds of purging, and I will be there.  Free of most clutter, allowing my mind to focus on just being.

Itinerant shirtsIronically, soon after I got the Airstream, the one thing I did want to buy was a t-shirt that exemplified the spirit of the Airstream.  Unfortunately, I found none.  With the help of my sister, we set out to design our own t-shirt and so “Itinerant Shirts” was born.  I don’t have any grand visions of getting rich, but rather spreading and sharing the itinerant spirit with others.  I hope to release new editions every so often show casing other’s art.  The first edition is available on Etsy under itinerant shirts.  I should mention that I’ve only had 1 sale and that was from my sister.  No worries, if they don’t sell, every single one that I made is in the exact size and color that I would want to wear.

Hope my verbal “snap shot” gives you an idea of why I’m living small….to allow focus on what really matters, just being.

-Todd and Wyatt
You can find Todd on his Instagram: @rivitedtodd and @itinerantshirts. And at his shop, Itinerant Shirts.
If you want to submit your own Small Life, email me asmalllifemelanie @ gmail dot com.

Link Love: 12

rp_Link-Love-1024x1024111111.jpgFrugal habits that aren’t actually worthwhile
A really interesting discussion.

Common money fears and how to get over them

The Pay it off app
This app looks really helpful and Anna is giving it away to 3 readers.

Win a vacation cruise with 9 friends
I’ve been a reader of this blog for years and this contest is no joke. Who doesn’t want to win a free cruise with friends?!

Bad habits die hard

This couple is living in a camper while they build a tiny house.
Great minds think alike.

This 125 square foot tiny house is a dream!

And for Halloween… Instant, easy and cheap handmade costumes 

I might be off my rocker, but I’m thinking about volunteering to make Thanksgiving dinner this year. You can follow along with my insanity on Pinterest.

And yes, I’m already planning hardcore. 101 Handmade Christmas Gifts



Do you live the small life? I want to hear from you!

door to Airstream copyDo you live in a small house, in an Airstream or in a bus? Have you recently downsized your life? Do you live “unconventionally?” Do people often question your sanity? Just kidding about that last one, but I want to hear from you!

I am currently taking submissions for a new column that will feature people from around the world who embody the meaning of “living small.”

A Small Life is read by thousands of readers each day and could be a great opportunity to get your business/house/bus/life/Instagram/etc. seen!

Please send submissions to asmalllifemelanie at Submissions should include at least 4 photos (jpg or jpeg) that are at least 540 pixels wide. Also, please include why you embody living small. If chosen, I will contact you with further instructions.

I can’t wait to hear from you!


Love Weekends: a quick weekend trip


This weekend we took a little trip up to DC to visit my sister. My mom offered to drive and we could stay with my little sis, so I couldn’t say “no” to a free trip.

My mom is a mail carrier, so we decided to visit the National Postal Museum. It was surprisingly engaging. I didn’t think stamps and mail delivery could be so interesting. The exhibits were super interactive and the building was gorgeous.

IMG_3101I could live in this old mail train car.

IMG_3116 IMG_3115 IMG_3118

We also visited a Russian restaurant and had such a fun time. Our waiter had the stereotypical Russian disposition and we ordered a Russian roulette (aka 6 shots of different vodkas.) It was fun times all around. I only wish I had worn more (faux) fur.

The weekend ended much, much too early.

What did you do over the weekend? Let me know in the comments!



Link Love: 11

rp_Link-Love-1024x1024111111.jpgIs Grad School worth it? 7 steps to calculate the ROI

How to save for retirement when you’re broke!

Watch out for these overpriced items at the grocery store

Can you really get rich quickly from fix and flipping homes?

The best banks that refund ATM fees

The dangers of lifestyle inflation or the CVS effect

How to budget with variable income
Sending this one to George, ASAP!

And a really pretty graphic about freelance finances

Why to not say “I can’t afford it.”

The problem with being goal-oriented

What order to pay your bills when you can’t pay them all

My August spending diet update is up over on And Then We Saved

How to build a capsule wardrobe
I like this idea, but I think it would be even better if you simply shopped your own closet!

When blogging becomes a slog
Sometimes it really does suck.

Make do and mend: coil basket repair
Love this idea for a column.

DIY marble photo backdrop
I think my blogger/photography friends will agree, this is GENIUS!

The links were really money-heavy this week, but there was so much good stuff out there! As always, let me know what you think.



The Airstream Diaries: Interior Cleaning AKA The Struggle is Real

This was the dirt/hair in the Airstream on a good day. YIKES!

This was the dirt/hair in the Airstream on a good day. YIKES!

One of the reasons that I was pumped to move into the 188 square feet of the Airstream was less cleaning. Less room, less cleaning, right? RIGHT?!?! Well, yes and no. I don’t have to clean two bedrooms, a kitchen, an office, two bathrooms and a living room/dining room, but I still have to clean, unfortunately. It’s one of life’s inevitable chores.

And although I don’t have as much space to clean, I do feel that I have to clean more often. A small space can look instantly cluttered if there are clothes laying out or the bed is unmade. It doesn’t take me a whole Saturday to clean like it used to, but there’s still a never ending stream of dishes and laundry.

Hello, my name is Bambi and my favorite hobbies are playing with my ball, begging for food and shedding!

Hello, my name is Bambi and my favorite hobbies are playing with my ball, begging for food and shedding!

Lately the dog hair has been out of control too. Bambi has been shedding her summer coat and mama and daddy both have long hair. Our shoes and paws also track in sand from the outdoors. It’s a never ending fight against hair and sand around here. Rugs help and so does the gravel path outside, but we sweep and/or vacuum every other day.

bugsI recently went on a fall deep cleaning spree and even cleaned out the lights in the Airstream. Woof. It was like a science experiment in there.

I think if I ever was “wealthy” (whatever that means), I’d live in a small house and hire a housekeeper. I just can never seem to keep up.

What about you? Is cleaning a struggle for you? Does a dirty house stress you out? Let me know in the comments.


Love Weekends: Fall Break

Mom! Stop cleaning so you can play with me. Oiy. Such a needy one.

Mom! Stop cleaning so you can play with me. Oiy. Such a needy one.

eggsI’ve been a little light on posting lately. To be honest I needed a little brain break. George and I had planned to go to the mountains this past weekend, but it just didn’t happen. There’s always something to do around the ol’ Airstream that seems much more important than having fun. Le sigh. Most of the weekend consisted of grown up activities like grocery shopping, dishes doing, breakfast cooking and fall cleaning. Is that a thing?

potatoesOh yeah, being an adult means lots of napping too.

How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments!