Author Archives: melanie

About melanie

living a small and dreaming big in an airstream trailer.

Airstream Livin’ Update: 2.5 years!

Airstream at Sunset We’ve been living in the Airstream for almost two and a half years. Years, people! Some days it seems like so much time has passed and other days it feels like no time has passed at all. One thing is for certain: we’ve adapted well to living in just 188 square feet. We know how to declutter. We know when problems arise, we can solve them. And I know it seems strange to outsiders, but the Airstream truly feels like home.

In terms of upkeep, the trailer has held up pretty well. We’ve had some bumps along the way. (See: our leaky hot water heater.) We need to repaint when it warms up a bit. (See how our paint has held up.) But overall, the Airstream has allowed us to save money to travel and to build up an emergency fund. We’ve been to Austin, took a roadtrip to Florida, Charleston, Memphis, Portland and most recently we went to Iceland! And most importantly, we’ve built up an emergency savings and another savings account. And I know it sounds cryptic, but we’re trying to decide what to do with our other savings account. What a wonderful problem to have!

Let me explain a bit: at this point we’re getting the itch again. The itch to do something different. The itch to be brave. And if we’re being honest, we don’t know if we want to live in the Airstream forever. It’s wonderful and our home, but is it our forever home? We don’t know. We’d love to have some land of our own one day. (I want animals! And a big place to grow our own food!) We’re also really interested in other alternative dwellings, like tiny houses, cordwood cabins and shipping container homes. And we love to travel! So much so that we bought a van to convert into a super tiny home. We aren’t moving out of the Airstream yet, but maybe. One day. Sometime.

Are we indecisive and insane? Maybe. I truly don’t know what the future will bring, but I am excited to find out.

love,
melanie

2016: One Little Word

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

It’s taken me weeks to write this post. I was hoping that by taking a break from the blog and from my “regular” job, I’d be able to answer some questions I’ve been asking myself for an entire year. 2015 was a big ol’ year of questions for me. I asked myself “why” more than I’ve ever asked myself “why” in my entire life. But even after a break, I don’t have any answers. And I suppose it was naive to think that I’d be able to answer life’s questions in a couple of weeks.

Here’s what I do know: I know that for me, 2016 needs to be the year of being brave. I’m not setting any goals or making any resolutions. What I am going to do is focus on one little word: Brave. (Idea shamelessly stolen from the inspiring Ali Edwards.)

I’m going to be 30 this year. (Dear Lord.) And I need to start doing what is right for me instead of what is expected of me. I need to live in the moment and not focus so intently on the future. I need to do the things I’ve dreamed about. I need to be brave.

Here’s hoping 2016 will be a year of answers for me.
Love always,
Melanie

Link Love: 64

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024.jpg I’ve been feeling incredibly drained lately. I’m chalking it up to simply trying to do too much. That’s why I’m so looking forward to my vacation in Iceland next week. I’m also giving myself the rest of the year off so I won’t be posting for a bit. I need time to decompress, think and just relax. I’ll probably post a bit to Instagram, but I’m hoping to get out of the habit of checking my phone aimlessly. We’ll see how it goes. Until then, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Happy! Until then, there’s one last Link Love.

Because it’s so easy to be… Addicted to distraction.

Using vertical space in a small space is essential. This homeowner turned ceiling space into an office/playroom!

This Airstream Flying Cloud reno is flawless.

I could look at ghost houses all day. These Mojave desert ghost houses are particularly interesting.

An Entire House That You Snap Together, Like A Toy. It’s incredibly stylish, but it also cost $300,000.

I’m pretty much done with my holiday shopping, but I was #overit before I even started. I’d love to just opt out of gift giving entirely. I don’t need or really even want anything. And most of my loved one’s don’t either. Yes, we are blessed. When I’m feeling discouraged, I look to charitable giving. Here’s some of my best tips for charitable giving.

I know it’s a video from IKEA which is ironic, but this “The Other Letter” video had me in tears.

And because we can never take ourselves too seriously, I will admit to you that I’m irrationally afraid of many things. Squirrel attacks are one of them.

See you in 2016!
love,
melanie

Link Love: 63

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411111111-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024-1024x10241-1024x10241-1024x1024.jpg This guy hiked the Pacific Coast Trail and took a selfie at each mile. His transformation is incredible.

Related: a quick, but useful primer on backpacking.

This Airstream trailer makeover is gorgeous!

Le shack! I know it’s only a retreat, but I could live there full-time.

6 things that helped me to stop worrying about money. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop worrying about money, but with a substantial savings account, I definitely worry about it less.

The joy of letting go of stress. “The problem is that we are holding onto what we want everyone else to be, what we want ourselves to be, what we’d like our work and families and life to be.”

Change your story to change your life.

Finances (and life) is a game of inches. Don’t get discouraged.

Perennial veggies?! I never even thought about it, but I need to add a few to my garden this year.

My friend, the Petersons, started their own tiny stove company! So proud of them. It makes me want to get one of my own!

Looking for cheap gifts? This chocolate almond ginger bark looks divine! I’ve also got some ideas on how to save on gifts and low-cost gifts to DIY.

I’m so looking forward to the holidays and a break. What about you?

love,
melanie

Holiday Decor Ideas for Small Spaces

Holiday Decor Ideas For Small Spaces

When you live in a small space, holiday decor can be a challenge. I want to be festive, but I also don’t want to have stuff to put into storage for 11 months out of the year. Over the years I’ve come up with and come across lots of easy and cheap holiday decor ideas for small spaces. Let’s get our decorating on! Continue reading

The Small Life: The “Big M Ranch” Camper Homestead

The Small Life: The "Big M Ranch" Camper |asmalllife.com
Hey ya’ll! On the blog I love to feature other people living “small.” That might mean living in an Airstream, a tiny house or just living a bit unconventionally. Today I want to introduce you to my new friends, Dana and Houston. Dana and Houston live full-time in a camper on a homestead called “Big M Ranch” in South Carolina. This is their inspiring story.
Continue reading

How To Practice Minimalism During the Holidays

how to practice minimalism during the holidays | asmalllife.com

Haul out the holly! Yup, you heard it here first, it’s the holiday season. The holiday season should be one of love, thankfulness and joy, but it can quickly turn into a season of stress, urgency and irritability. Much of my holiday stress comes from the cost of the holidays and simply trying to do too much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we have to totally dismiss all gift giving and holiday traditions, but we need to keep our expectations in check and practice minimalism during this joyous season. Here how I practice minimalism during the holidays. Continue reading