Author Archives: melanie

About melanie

living a small and dreaming big in an airstream trailer.

Link Love: 48

Link Love Anyone else just having one of those weeks that you can’t get motivated? I feel like I’ve done nothing but watch Call the Midwife this week. I’m all about productivity, but I think I just need a break, knowwhatI’msaying? Speaking of nice little breaks, it’s time for Link Love! So, sit back, grab a cuppa and relax with the best of the Internet!

Finding bundance in downsizing. A 1600 square foot house is still huge to me, but they did reduce their living space by 70% so I gotta give it to them.

Tiny houses skirt cities’ zoning rules. This is a big problem with the tiny house movement that no one likes talking about. Most tiny house dwellings are illegal in municipalities. To have lasting impact, that needs to change.

Is income inequality actually about housing? A really interesting theory that could be solved with you guessed it, smaller houses!

Waste less food by shopping often. This is the exact opposite of the strategy that I’ve been using. I’m not convinced I’m wrong though. Thoughts?

Is it possible to raise happy kids in affluence? An interesting read.

This 30 year old travels the world on $30,000 a year. He doesn’t have an IRA or retirement plans which is too risky for me, but I admire his chutzpah.

This teen paid for college by selling on Etsy. I worked three jobs in college and still couldn’t pay for school and my rent. This girl kills it. All the clapping emoji.

Minimalism is more about living intentionally than owning few things. I couldn’t agree more.

And similarly, Do less and live more.

Email curfews? Yes, please!

How do hotels feel about guests taking their stuff? I’ve always wanted to know.

That’s it, folks!

Happy almost weekend!

A Small Life Book Club: July’s Pick


Hey ya’ll, I’m a bit behind on the Book Club this month. What else is new? #storyofmylife. Anyway, we’ll be discussing Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much* on Friday.

If you have any suggestions for August’s Book Club pick, leave ’em in the comments!

love (and Happy Monday! ugh!),

*Affiliate link.

Link Love: 47

Link Love How a couple paid off their mortgage in 7 years. Really inspiring.

Remember, money can’t change everything. And remembering that helps you cope with stress!

Taking care of your finances can change your whole life. Here’s proof.

Are tiny house villages the apartment complexes of the future? Hmm, I have mixed feelings about this. Yes, living smaller is great, but I feel like there’s such a DIY aspect to small living that is being missed. (Here’s how I define “living small.“)

Wallpaper for the outside of your house!

5 ways to lay out a studio apartment.

The “UP” house faces uncertainty. So sad!

Black stripes on an Airstream! It’s my style in a nutshell.

Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional ‘basic income.’ Insane, amazing, unbelievable? All of the above!

A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. YES, YES, YES. As someone who makes less than $50,000, but works all.the.time for my day job, I see this as a win.

Feeding America’s most vulnerable children. This was a beautiful, layered and heartbreaking story. We see a lot of SNAP or EBT fraud in the news, but realistically, most people just want to feed their kids. #truth

Give yourself permission to explore personal interests. Go ahead, you deserve it!

If you live in the U.S., happy early 4th! Are you up to anything fun? I want to hear about it in the comments!


What does “living small” mean?

What does living small mean?

I often talk about living small, but I don’t think I’ve ever defined it. I know many people talk about tiny living and the tiny house movement, but I don’t think that phrase is all-encompassing. It also seems that no one can agree on what constitutes “tiny.” I’ve seen measurements as small as 90 square feet up to 1,000 square feet. Living small, to me, is much less about the measurements and more about the lifestyle. Here’s what living small means to me:

Living below your means
Living small is first and foremost about living below your means. It’s looking at your budget and consciously renting or buying less than you can afford. It’s knowing that by sacrificing some physical room you open up other financial possibilities for yourself. It’s about more freedom.

Living with less stuff
Logistically, by living in a smaller house, you’ll have to live with less stuff. It’s physics or something! But it’s also about being aware of the things that you own. It’s knowing that things are just that… things. It’s knowing that the important things in life aren’t really things. The important things are people, experiences and happiness.

Make do and mend
Living small is also about making do with what you have. People who live small aren’t tempted by the biggest, shiniest new toy. They see potential in their old toys. They have a D.I.Y. attitude, and an entrepreneurial spirit. They know that they can put in the hard work and it will pay off.

Prioritizing your life
Living small is making intentional choices about what is important in your life. People who live small know that if they don’t prioritize their life, someone will prioritize it for them. By making a big, flashy house a priority, you intentionally or unintentionally give up some of your other priorities.

Living more life
People who live small know that by sacrificing space and things, they make more room in their life for life. With less mortgage payments, they can take that vacation they’ve always dreamed of. With less house maintenance, they can spend more time on beloved hobbies. And with more money they can work less and spend more time with family and friends.

Do you agree with my definition of “living small?” Do you live a small life? Would you like to share your house and story? Shoot me an email to be featured in a future blog post!


Tuesday Thoughts: Man’s Heart Away From Nature Becomes Hard

man's heart away from nature becomes hard

“Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.” -Standing Bear

One of the unexpected benefits of living in our Airstream has been getting closer to nature. I’m so much more aware of the seasons than I was when we lived in an apartment. I can now head into my backyard and see the beans growing or the field barren. I hear the rain on the roof and I  can feel the hot sun through our windows.

I used to think I wasn’t an outside person. There’s bugs and creatures and humidity out there! But there’s also a softness and quietness about living closer to nature. Nature is the ultimate minimalist.


Link Love: 46

Link Love A big thank you to everyone who took the survey yesterday. The answers were affirming and enlightening. It’s just what I needed to refocus!

This week’s Link Love is a little short. I naively thought summer was going to be relaxing, but alas! There’s no rest for the weary! Anyway, let’s get on to it!

The psychological impulses that make us want to spend.

Breaking the influence of consumerism.

More Americans are renting and paying more. Such a bummer, maybe if we changed some of the ways government/we as Americans begin to define “house” differently we could fix this problem.

And similarly, this infographic on “The distressing reality of minimum wage and rentals in the U.S.” is eye-opening.

Have you heard of Harvest Hosts? It’s a network of wineries, farms and agri-tourism sites that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight for a $40 per year subscription. If you’re doing long-term U.S. travel, it’s a steal!

This Ventoura Mobile home remodel is so cute!

This family remodeled a bus and traveled in it for 6 months. I love the interior! It’s so bright and clean.

How has your summer been shaping up? Talk to me!


Reader Survey

Hey ya’ll! I’ve got some exciting things planned over here, but I wanted to get your input before I proceed further. I’d really appreciate if you could fill out the following survey. It’s only 5 questions and should only take you a couple of minutes. Thanks so much!