Author Archives: melanie

About melanie

living a small and dreaming big in an airstream trailer.

A Few of My Favorite Instagram Accounts

Photo c/o DeathtoStockPhoto

Photo c/o DeathtoStockPhoto

Can we talk about the magic of Instagram for a second? I know it sounds ridiculous and a little over-exaggerated but Instagram has changed my life. It’s helped me keep in contact with friends, meet new people and it’s helped me get the word out about my lifestyle. It’s even helped George make money! And yes, Instagram does have a dark side. Sometimes I find myself getting jealous of other people’s IG lives or I’ll fall down a rabbit hole and won’t emerge for hours. But overall, it’s done more good for me than bad. Today I thought I’d share a few of my current favorite Instagram accounts, in no particular order. Continue reading

Link Love: 45

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024.jpg It’s that time of the week again! I’m giving out some love to the articles that made me think, laugh, cry and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?”

We’re on CBS News’ money blog! 7 Tiny Trailers Made Into Homes.

This 400 square foot home made from two trailers is gorgeous.

I’m over on Sarah Bagley’s blog podcasting it up about my destructive history of perfectionism and living small.

This small Tel Aviv apartment has no “real” doors.

These aren’t your mama’s prefabricated homes. 

Life after debt, experimenting with financial balance.

Breaking the influence of consumerism.

What is the best charitable cause in the world?

Leonardo DiCaprio is building an eco-resort.

Speaking of rediculous(ly expensive) vacations, I want to visit this Micronesian island! It’s home to a lake full of jellyfish with who have lost their stingers. Learning how to scuba dive is on my bucket list.

What’s on your bucket list? Talk to me in the comments!

love,
melanie

How Much Does It Cost to Live in an Airstream?

How much does it cost to live in an Airstream I get a lot of questions about the logistics of living in an Airstream. Let me be the first to say, the logistics are going to be different for everyone because everyone’s life is different. You might have two kids or five dogs. You might be retired. You might work from home. There are all kinds of logistics that will make your life different from mine. That being said, people are often interested in the true cost of living in an Airstream. Today I’m going to be answering the question: “How much does it cost to live in an Airstream?” by sharing what it costs for us to live in the Airstream.

If you aren’t familiar with our situation, let me give you a refresher. Hi! I’m Melanie. I am a librarian at a community college and I run this blog. I live with my husband, George who is an artist and our small (11 lb) dog, Bambi in our 1978 Airstream Sovereign. We currently have our Airstream parked on family land due to my traditional job situation. Here’s a breakdown of our monthly living costs and the reasoning behind the costs. Continue reading

Tuesday Thoughts: Nature Does Not Hurry

Nature does not hurry

Mother nature doesn’t hurry, but she gets shit done.

Here’s hoping your Tuesday is full of unhurried productiveness!

love,
melanie

A Small Life Book Club: Essentialism

essentialism-the-disciplined-pursuit-of-less

I’m a little late too the Book Club game this month. I apologize if you were waiting for the riveting discussion that I’m sure will ensue :) I just had a lot going on and I know not all of it was essential. Ha-ha.

Anyway, this month I listened to the audiobook version of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less*. The author, Greg McKeown, has a lovely voice and if anything, listening to the audiobook favorably influenced my opinion of the book. That hasn’t always been the case when I listened to audiobooks in the past. See: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of this book. Most people chase everything instead of chasing the right things. The right things are the things in your life and career that will make the most impact. Unfortunately most of the tasks that we do are unimportant. It’s answering email. It’s picking up the dry cleaning. It’s filling out that form for the 5th time because someone lost it again…

I know on an everyday basis that most of the work tasks and many of the life tasks that I do are nonessential. I know that checking my email 394834923293 times a day doesn’t contribute to my productivity. I know that doing the dishes isn’t going to contribute to my big life goals. I also know that if I don’t do it, no one else will. Which leads me to my biggest problem with the book. I think that the principles are very difficult to apply to government, service or “worker-bee” jobs. It would be easy to say “no” to pursuing menial tasks if I was higher up the food chain. Unfortunately, much of my job is filling out forms and filling up the printer’s paper tray. Even if I did advocate for essentialism, I don’t think I would ever see an institutional change. It’s sad, but true.

I also think that as a person with a limited income, essentialism is difficult to apply to my personal life. Yes, I want to work on writing a book, but I can’t afford to pay someone to do my laundry, clean my house and cook my meals. That has to be done on an every day basis by me.

Although some of the principles of the book are going to be extremely difficult to implement, since reading this book, I have begun to question the nonessential things I can control. Do I really need a Facebook? No. And as soon as I download all of my pictures, I plan to get rid of it. I also reinstalled Rescue Time to keep me off of distracting sites. And I’ve taken off my email’s sound alert, so I don’t run to my email each time I hear the new mail ping. These little things have been extremely helpful, but I’ve yet to free up large chunks of time for essential projects.

Have you read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less*? What did you think? How have you limited nonessential things in your life to make space for the important stuff? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

P.S. July’s pick will be Scarcity: Why having too little means so much*. Feel free to leave suggestions for future books in the comments!

*Affiliate links.

Link Love: 44

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024.jpg I meant to update when I was on vacation, but it was vacation! And my phone didn’t work in Canada. Whomp. Whomp. I did manage to to find some web goodies while on airport wi-fi. Here’s the best of the best this week.

How life in a caravan set us free.

It’s ok to have a small, happy life.

This 111 square foot home is lovely.

I can’t find the original source for this link, but how beautiful is this modern tiny floating house?!

This art piece home between skyscrapers is amazing. If only it was functional.

“A good percentage of tiny house dwellers don’t remain tiny house dwellers.” I agree. You have to learn to keep content.

And similarly, “The purging process eventually reaches a point of winding down, but the gratitude and contentment that comes from appreciating all that we have should never stop.

The life-changing magic of losing shit.

The most affordable small towns in America.

Skip the debt, reap immediate rewards: why I chose community college for my design education. Yes, yes, yes.

7 low maintenance (and low cost) haircuts.

See how much your lifestyle will cost will with this calculator. Kind of depressing, but a reality check, for sure.

9 distractions that keep us from living fully. Yes, yes, yes. Number 1 and number 2 especially.

I forgot about last month’s book club book. Whoops! I’ll be discussing Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less* on Monday.

And this video brought me to tears and then made me feel like everything is ok.

I’m struggling to get back into work mode, but it’s almost the weekend! I plan on catching up on laundry and housework and try not to fan-girl too hard; Orange Is the New Black*
is back on Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

*Affiliate links

Link Love: 43

link love 13 clever built-ins for small spaces.

I’m in Toronto this week! I’d love to see this small, loft house.

Remember how I said George and I have been talking a lot about container homes… well… when I research, I really research. Here’s some of my favorites:
This well-designed shipping container house cost 40K.
I love the black exterior on this one.
These designs are a little more rustic, but seem very do-able. They have no footprint?! And what a location!

How to help two (young) kids share a room. I shared a room with my sister until I was a teenager. We loved it and I really think it helped me learn some valuable lessons.

These woven wool swings are gorgeous and functional!

A solar panel made out of aluminum cans?!?

CleverLayover finds cheaper flights with layover cities.

How my digital hiatus increased productivity.

You’re never going to retire. And if you do what you love, you shouldn’t want to.

How to slow down your family’s schedule.

We all “deserve” better. Focus on opportunities instead.

I f’in love Chrissy Teigen. She recently stopped editing her Instagram photos, here’s why.

I also love Amy Schumer. She gets it. Case in point…

Yay for vacations!

love,
melanie