Author Archives: melanie

About melanie

living a small and dreaming big in an airstream trailer.

Link Love: 12

rp_Link-Love-1024x1024111111.jpg Frugal 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 copy Do 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_3101 I 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.jpg Is 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.

bugs I 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.

eggs I’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?

potatoes Oh yeah, being an adult means lots of napping too.

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


Link Love: 10

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111.jpg Put a dollar value on goals to make them more actionable. In other words, make goals SMART, duh!

Fool Proof Me
“The FoolProof program is a highly interactive, self-grading group of online lessons called “modules.” The modules teach young people about money, financial responsibility and the realities of the free enterprise system.”

Questions to help you decide whether to save or pay off debt

A better way to calculate the value of your time

3 jobs, plenty of dreams and the fatal consequences of one dangerous decision
This story hit home. HARD. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve slept in my car at lunch. The system is broken. Period.

World-Catching Tiny House Movement (Infographic!)

Tiny houses for rent
Kind of defeats the purpose for me, but they’re cute.

The simple life in a dumpster

The Sealander
It’s a boat, no, it’s a camping trailer, no, it’s a Sealander!

And for fun… Yoga with Adriene.
Since I’ve cancelled my expensive gym membership, I’ve been trying to work out more at home. Yoga with Adriene is my favorite.

It’s almost the weekend, ya’ll!