Author Archives: melanie

About melanie

living a small and dreaming big in an airstream trailer.

Link Love: 22

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x1024.jpg A fashion blogger talks about simplicity. 

Buy experiences, not things (always!).

The traits you need for financial independence (and life, really).

This insane shipping container home has so much style!

This 500 square foot (large to me) apartment on a budget is designed so well!

This van converted to a home on wheels is insanely good. (Although, to me, the cost was also insane!)

This travel trailer before and after is so impressive!

RVing with dogs. (Some practical advice that I know I will need later.)

Loved this discussion about the best budget vacation destinations.

How to get out of debt on a low income. It’s hard, ya’ll.

And since I’ve had some new people to the blog lately, did you know you can follow me on social media? Well, you can! I’m most active on Pinterest and Instagram.

Happy (almost) Friday!


New Adventures! Our Van: The Before Pictures

Van Before with Airstream I’m pretty sure my (super long) tombstone inscription will say something like this: “Melanie: seasoned traveler, never able to sit down or stay in one spot too long. In the event of zombies, beware, she will rise!” George and I have the itch again. The itch to do something new. We won’t be giving up the Airstream, we love it dearly, but we’re looking on to bigger (or smaller?!) adventures in a van!

I know what you’re saying, but the Airstream is such a nice home on wheels! Yes, it is, but it would be very cumbersome for long journeys, much more expensive and probably more problematic than a van.

George bought the van for $850. I am on a Spending Diet so I didn’t contribute to the initial price of the van, but I will be using mostly my budget to fix it up. I don’t know how long we’ll be able to travel, ideally we’d be able to travel for a year or more, but that’s still up in the air. What we do know is this time we’re giving ourselves plenty of time to fix up her up. And boy are we going to need that time!

Just like the Airstream, the van has blue carpet, rust and some body work issues. Unlike the Airstream, we also have a chipped windshield, a super weird decal and a host of other issues. Let’s take a look, shall we?!

Van dents Before Van before front view Van before side view Van Before with Airstream Van Before Van Before Interior Seat in Van - Before Van inside before with doors open Yikes, right? It’s kind of terrifying how much work needs to be done, but I’m excited to fully remodel it to a home on wheels.

So what do you think? Are you excited to take this journey with us? Let me know in the comments!



Frugal Friday: Dreamers that Do

Dreamers that do This month I finally hit a milestone financial goal. I’ve saved a huge (to me) chunk of money and I am so very proud of myself. Saving this amount of money has given me peace of mind. Don’t get me wrong, I still worry about money, but I feel much more safe now. I have a buffer, a fall-back plan, a rainy day savings fund. But more than peace of mind, having this money has given me the ability to dream.

When I was living paycheck to paycheck, I thought well, I’m going to work like this until I die. And then maybe I’ll work some more when I’m dead. There was no end in sight and no room to dream. With money in the bank, I now feel that I have room to dream and plan how I live my life. It is so liberating. I don’t know what the future holds, but I feel free to live life on my terms. It’s a beautiful thing.

Has money changed your dreams for the better? Let me know in the comments!


Link Love: 21


This was my first week back at work and it’s been insane (as always). Here’s what has managed to catch my eye this week.

In case you missed it, we’re on Tiny House Swoon! So pumped.

This “micro” home is so lovely.

16 “weird” houses. (I’m in love with #12!)

27 hacks to keep your fridge clean and organized.

A guide to which foods you can freeze.

Timeless tips from the Great Depression.

Delicious dishes for less than 4 bucks!

I love this “swimming pool of the future.”

Create a “secret number” for financial goals.

A good way to minimize your clothes: limit yourself to just 40 hangers (or less!).

29 things to remember for the New Year.

And just for fun… Dads acting like fashion bloggers. (This made my day!)


Tiny House Swoon!

Airstream and fire pit I know I should just wait until tomorrow during Link Love to mention this, but I’m too excited!!! George and I were featured on the site, Tiny House Swoon yesterday. I didn’t even realize it was published until today! Do’h! But I am super excited to be up there with a few never-before-seen photos of the ol’ Airstream. Tiny House Swoon is one of those websites that I draw infinite inspiration from and I am honored to see our home with so many other lovely dwellings.

Check out the post here:


Book Review: The Big Tiny: A Build It Myself Memoir

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset When I was in the earlier stages of this blog, I did a lot of book reviews. I tried to do one a week, but I got burnt out. I love to read, but the pressure of having to read so much in such a short period of time time really sucked the fun out of it. One of my oh so many goals this year is to read more– especially at night before bed. I usually spend much too much time scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram before I sleep. It isn’t good for me. In fact, I just read a study that it might be killing me! While I think that’s article is a touch sensationalist, I can’t deny that staring at a little blue screen right before I sleep isn’t as healthy as reading a good ol’ fashioned book.

Over the holidays I got the chance to finally finish up a book that I’d been reading for months. The book was entitled The Big Tiny: A Build It Myself Memoir by Dee Williams. Dee (I can call her right that? We’re friends now.) was one of the first (and most famous) pioneers of the tiny house movement. After she was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, Dee decided she needed a change in her life. While sitting in the doctor’s office, she read an article about a gentleman who built a tiny house and she couldn’t get it out of her head. The Big Tiny follows her story of building a tiny home, living in it and eventually teaching other people to do the same.

I think I live pretty small (188 square feet), but Dee truly lives tiny in 84 square feet. (That doesn’t count her loft, sleeping space, but still that’s super small.) Throughout this story I continually admired Dee’s courage. If I was a single lady, I don’t know if I would have ever taken the plunge into small living. I’d probably just rent an apartment and continue into the debt cycle forever. Dee figured out how to build an entire house by herself! She hammered and nailed and put up walls with a a serious heart condition. She’s one courageous lady.

I enjoyed that this book wasn’t a how-to manual, but at times I was a bit bored by the stories of Dee’s everyday life. Her life in the tiny house was interesting, but I found myself skipping through some of the stories about her life prior to the tiny house. But let’s be real, my everyday life is pretty boring too.

This book wasn’t a life changer for me, but it did inspire me to be more resourceful. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in tiny living.

What have you been reading lately? Let’s discuss!


Link Love: 20

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x1024.jpg Happy New Year! I know it is unconventional to have “Link Love” on a Monday, but I’m crazy! (And I collected a lot of good reads over the holidays.) Let’s do this! We can do this!

A garage converted into a stylish apartment! (I can’t find the original source for this, but it was too good not to share.)

Although these small San Fran apartments are huge to me, they’re still much smaller than average and much more stylish.

This RV makeover happened in just 6 days!

Apartment Therapy has been publishing a lot of round-ups. Here’s a few of my favorites:

20 tips to save you cash
A year of small space advice and strategies
10 smart money tips for travel

How to simplify holiday decorating. Good to remember for next year.

The “new rich” isn’t handbags and luxury items, it’s experiences.

One strange reason you might not be reaching your goals.

To reach goals, focus on discipline, not motivation.

The 30 day minimalism challenge.

The minimalist’s guide to goal setting and achieving.

Happy Monday!