Author Archives: melanie

About melanie

living a small and dreaming big in an airstream trailer.

The Airstream Diaries: The Great Outdoors

eating outside

There are times when the Airstream feels a little cramped. Luckily George and I didn’t grow up in big houses, but when we visit friends or family and then come back to our 188 square feet, it can feel a bit cramped.

eating outside airstreamOne day we’ll have a bit more room (just a bit!). George will be able to stretch out his art stuff, Bambi can run around the house like the wild, little dog she is and I can spread out all the veggies I could ever want to chop, but until then when it feels a little cramped, we go outside. Going outside is a blessing when the weather is nice. I immediately feel better when I step outside and take a minute to just enjoy nature. But when that chill in the air comes back and the air smells like snow, there will be no more going outside for long periods of time. So I’m trying to soak it up while I still can.

Friday I was feeling a little cramped and it was so insanely pretty outside, so we ate dinner off paper plates and sat in little fold out chairs. Our setup wasn’t fancy or even very pretty, but it was enjoyable.

Whenever we do get new, small digs I hope we’re right smack dab in the middle of nature. I really think it’s the way humans were meant to live.

Viva la country life!


Love Weekends: A little more human


This past week was a doozy and I’ve been looking forward to the weekend since Tuesday. I’d been feeling a little bit like a work zombie. Come home, sleep, wake up, go to work. It never ends! But when I get feeling overwhelmed I like to remind myself that the weekend is near and Friday night is always pizza night.

veggies in the sink

My garden has still been producing plenty of veggies for salads, snacks and of course, pizza!

bacon and eggs Coffee

On Sundays George and I like to wake up late and make a good, hearty breakfast. I just started scrambling my eggs with butter instead of milk after reading that one of the Iron Chefs does it that way. I’m never going back to scrambling eggs with milk. Never ever. The butter makes such a difference. I’ve also started putting a little pumpkin spice in my morning coffee. It’s never to early to pumpkin all the things, right?!

And don’t judge my paper plates! Weekends are for easy livin’, ya’ll.

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


Frugal Friday: Keep Going

Just keep truckin'

Just keep truckin’

Saving money is hard, but even harder than saving money is continually saving money. I can save money for a month or so, no problem, but the hard part is keeping up that momentum. One of my students reminded me of that this week. In class we were talking about ways to get over that “fixed” mindset and I shared that it is difficult to save money because I think, well, “I’ll never have enough money to buy a house.” One of my shy (and young!) students piped up, “I can help you with that! I’ve learned that if you put away a little bit each month, eventually you’ll have a lot.” Kids these days, so wise. I needed that reminder. And some days, I’m sure you need that reminder too. Just keep swimming, keep on truckin’ and “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” -Sam Levenson

Happy weekend!


Link Love: 6

rp_Link-Love-1024x102411.jpgA rich life with less stuff
These guys just get it.

The last true hermit
I don’t know if this dude is truly the last hermit, but the story is fascinating.

Living in a car to pay off debt
I feel where the author is coming from.

Melanie and George’s Airstream makeover
I know I mentioned it before but I’m so proud of the fact that we were featured on Apartment Therapy that I wanted to mention it again. (I can do that, right?!)

Beautiful homes built with shipping containers

Even Bob Vila is talking about container houses

Stockpiling to save money
Have you heard of stockpiling food to save money? I’m not totally convinced, but they make a good argument.

Realistic stockpiling tips

How to find coupons for organic food
Couponing for organic food isn’t easy, but these tips make it more manageable.

I want to write a book
Me too. Here’s some great tips.

And I know if sounds crazy, but if you’re thinking of hand making gifts this year, it’s never too early to start. This pizza puzzle would be perfect for my niece and it brings back memories of the game, Pizza Party! (Did anyone else have that as a kid?)

Got any great links? I’d love to see them in the comments!



We’re on Apartment Therapy today!

An Airstream through the Leaves copyHey ya’ll, we’re on Apartment Therapy today showing some of the glamour shots of our little Airstream. I am super pumped! If you are a newbie and you’re interested in checking out more about our home, you can click on the “Our Home” tab above my header, or check out these posts:

Thanks for all your support and encouragement!



The Airstream Diaries: Life’s Not Perfect


I took a little break from my Love Weekends posts this week to spend a little bit of unplugged time with my family. We did watch a lot of Mountain Men together though. We were bonding over our shared dislike of Eustace who lives in the mountains of our state.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to start showing you all everyday pictures of the ‘ol Airstream. You’ve seen the glamour shots and if you’re anything like me, you’ve stumbled upon oodles of over-stylized, “glamping” shots of Airstreams and campers online. And you know what? Those pictures aren’t even close to real. I got 3 mosquito bites just sitting in the house today. That picture above, yeah, that’s the current state of my bathroom. The humidity in the Airstream is so bad that we constantly run a dehumidifier and to be quite frank, with all the rain we’ve had our septic system is backing up. It ain’t pretty.

air conditioning

Did I mention that our air conditioning broke? It’s been a mild summer, but these past couple of weeks have been in the 90s and this gigantic floor air-conditioning unit keeps our house at a cool 81 degrees. Sweaty. We’re planning on a permanent fix for the roof-top air-conditioning but we want to get a proper (inexpensive) replacement which could take time.

dirty dishes

And don’t even get me started on dishes! My sink usually looks like this. I have day dreams of dishwashing machines.

pantry airstream pantry 2 airstream

But it’s not all bad. We went to BJ’s this weekend (with my mom’s membership) and stocked up. George and I spent our entire food allowance for the month, but we also spent a good 15 minutes talking about how a fully stocked pantry and fridge made us feel rich. Our pantry is disorganized and none of our cups match, but we have food in our bellies and in our home.

It’s not a perfect life. It’s not “Pinterest-worthy.” But it’s a good one.

Do you like seeing more “real” pictures of our life? Let me know in the comments!


Frugal Friday: Diversifying Your Income

This is my life now. It's a little nuts, but that's ok.

This is my life now. It’s a little nuts, but that’s ok.

How fancy does “diversifying your income” sound? Super fancy, huh? Like I should be looking at you from over my Wall Street Journal while sipping tea on my veranda?! Yeah, super fancy.

A lot of times people talk about stocks and bonds and diversifying your portfolio, but diversifying your income doesn’t have to be fancy. (Although we all should have some investments.) This semester I took on a teaching gig where twice a week I teach students about “how to succeed in college.” It has been a lot of work, but rewarding mentally and emotionally. It also helps that I get paid extra to do it!

There’s all kinds of ways to diversify your income from taking surveys, to babysitting to cleaning. I know we all have full plates but sometimes taking on those extra streams of income will get us to our financial goals much faster.

How do you diversify your income? Let me know in the comments!

love (and happy Friday!),