Did I Mention, I Like Change?

If you’ve been following along this grand journey with me, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a fairly adaptable being. I deal with change well and often times, thrive in the midst of transitions and transformations.

With the move from Tiny to cohabitation, change is running rampant. Annie is adjusting, I’m adjusting, we’re all jumping from rolling with the punches, to talking  (or barking) about the natural adjustments of starting a life with someone new.

Abby and Annie are learning about playing together, playing on their own, snuggling together, and how much one-on-one time they each need. Kyle and I are figuring it all out too, trying to get a strong balance for our pups and for ourselves.





A and A have been displaying some behaviors suggesting they are not getting enough human interaction, leading the humans to believe they have overestimated the independence of two dogs, just because they have each other. Annie has resumed barking ferociously at Kyle (or any male that comes into the house) and then quickly running out the door, tail-tucked. And Abby has taken to barking and chewing (or should I say shredding) just about anything.

We’ve come to the conclusion that playing with each other, even when they get lots of exercise together, is not enough to keep them happy pups. They need their time with us just as much as they did before they had each other. Changes will have to be made.

Aside from more regular, and more frequent walks, does anyone have any suggestions?

xoxo

E and A๐Ÿถ

If You Build It…

You can learn a lot about a person by working together on a project.

When we returned home from our vacation, we set right to work on our very first project together! We decided to build a bar. Well, Kyle had talked about wanting to for a while and in my pure, Ericca-fashion, I jumped onto the plan as if it were my own.

The bar would be an addition to the house that would greatly improve the space for entertainment. I figured it was completely do-able to design and build it in the 2 1/2 days left before Christmas Eve, when we had a nice little group coming over to celebrate the holiday with us, so we wasted no time getting to work on the adventure.

Not only was this our first undertaking together, but it was now under a time crunch (a rather unrealistic one, as it turns out). Needless to say, we learned quite a bit about working together, and I would certainly refer to building theย bar as an adventure!

We got the wood for the top of the bar from Leon, it is the mirror image of the counters in theย Tiny, so that is pretty special. The rest of the materials came from Lowes.

Check out the pics and let us know what you think! The interior isn’t finished, but it was a huge hit at the party!

Make fun if you will, but it was freezing in the garage!

What is now the base of the bar.

Here’s a close up on the side paneling.

The finished product (so far)!

After all was said and done, we’re a pretty good team!

xoxo

E

Meet My Adventure Buddy

Having someone to share my adventures with means everything to me. Wether it be that we are out on an adventure together or that I’m arriving home and he’s excited to hear all about it, I love having Kyle as my adventure buddy.

Kyle and I on Thanksgiving


Our most recent outing was a 3-day trip to Glenwood Springs. We were super lucky because they got a bunch of snow the day before we arrived at the Sunlight Mountian Inn B&B

Our first adventure of the trip was a snowmobile tour. It was a 3 hour tour into the backcountry and it was absolutely gorgeous. The trees were covered in snow, the snow reflected the sunlight, making it that much brighter out. It was a true winter wonderland! 

I grew up snowmobiling on the east coast so it really reminded me how much I love the sport. Kyle had never been snowmobiling before, but I had a little feeling that he would quickly decide it was as awesome as I’d been building it up to be. 

I was right! Check out our pics and videos from the day. 

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The next day we went for a nice relaxing soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Thanks for checking in! 

xoxo

E (the puppies stayed with their amazing puppysitter for this trip)

P.S. Are there any Tiny topics ya’ll want to hear about before the topic trend heads in a bigger direction? 

Bigger, Better Adventures

This is a big one, brace yourselves. 

Today’s news will come as a shock to many of you. I may even lose some followers over it. But I’ve been real and honest with you this far, so here it goes. 

Annie and I have moved out of the Tiny. 

Designing, building, and learning to live in the Tiny was a great adventure for me. I’ve learned so much about myself through the process, about what makes me happy and about what I want out of my life. 

Something that became very clear while I was living in my Tiny on the Prairie is that I am happiest when sharing my adventures with someone special. 

The Tiny helped me understand my independence. It gave me a chance to see just how okay I can be on my own. What I truly appreciate about this development is that it put me in a great place for meeting new people. When I decided to start dating, I didn’t necessarily know what I was “looking for,” but it was easy to recognize what I didn’t want. That clarity was largely due to the fact that I wanted to be with someone, but felt confident that I didn’t need to be with someone. 

So when I did meet someone special, someone I want to be around as much as possible, I knew right away it was a good thing. 

Which brings me to my bigger, better adventure. Annie and I have moved out of the Tiny and into our new home with Kyle and Abby. 

You met Abby in my last post, and you’ll meet Kyle in my next post. I hope you stick around!

xoxo

E and A๐Ÿถ

P.S. I’ll still be posting about grand adventures, DIY projects, and my Tiny. It’s for sale, so if you know anyone whose interested, please let me know! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Snow?

I’ve been crossing my fingers for a few months now that Annie would love the snow. She isn’t a huge fan of heat and gets quite lazy on hot, sunny days. Surely, that means she must really do well in the cold, right?!

This past weekend we finally got to test out that theory. The hiking trail I chose was unexpectedly covered in snow and to my happy surprise, Annie loved it! Hiking in the snow is my absolute favorite, and now that I know Annie enjoys it too, nothing beats snow covered pines and puppies galavanting through powder!

The pines were not covered in snow on this section, but that peak behind me is!


Annie and her pal, Abby, loved the snow. They both did great on a longer-than-expected hike up in the mountains. This was Annie’s longest hike to date and she was happy and energetic from start to finish. 

Although, she crashed pretty hard as soon as we got back in the car.


Our adventure really has me looking forward to winter and all the snowy explorations to come! 

Check out this adorable video of the above mentioned galavanting! 

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Happy tails and happy trails! 

xoxo

E and A๐Ÿถ

Get Involved!ย 

Do you want to help make a change? 

A struggle for tiny housers is the fact that our government doesn’t really know what to make of these humble abodes just yet. The lack of understanding and recognition makes it difficult to find a place to park and it creates challenges around insuring our homes. 

Think about that, there are plenty of tiny housers who don’t have insurance for their home. We have widled down our belongings to just the most important things, just the necessities. We put all of those things in our home, which is often on wheels, and then might not be able to insure it! I can’t speak for other tiny housers, but I’m sure many will agree with me when I say, this 8′ x 16′ box is literally ALL I have! I need to know that it’s safe, and if something out of my hands were to happen to it, I’d be able to replace it. 

What can you do about that, you ask? You can sign this petition to get Tiny Houses written into the IRC (International Residential Codes), to make Tiny Houses legal. 

Click here to sign! 

I want to thank Parker over at Tiny Cabin on the Move for posting about this petition and helping to spread the word. 

xoxo

E (A doesn’t care about this one, because she’s a ๐Ÿถ)

Tiny House, Grand Mess!

Cooking in a Tiny House is an adjustment, luckily it has become a very comfortable one. Small kitchens have always felt more welcoming to me. I’ve consistently cooked/baked more when living in a house with a small kitchen than when I had a spacious kitchen. Surprisingly, making the adjustment to the Tiny kitchen wasn’t quite as easy as I expected.

The biggest problem has been a design flaw on my part. Something I didn’t put together when designing my space is the size of my fridge and the distance from home to the market. I can’t shop for an entire week at once because my fridge doesn’t have the capacity to keep that much food fresh. Sometimes that means I stock up on Annie’s Mac ‘n Cheese, other times it means I have to shop a few times throughout the week. 

Recently though, I’ve been getting more and more adventurous. Before the climbing trip last week, I made a double batch of zucchini bread to take for breakfast snacks. It is pretty cozy cooking in here, and it’s getting more and more fun, the more I try.

It sure does get messy quickly though.

Check out these photos of my experience!

Prepping the ingredients.

Combining the ingredients, those are dark chocolate chips ๐Ÿ˜œ


The finished product! It was delicious!


You can check out the recipe I used here, on wellplated.com. The zucchini bread was healthy and quite tasty!

My next goal is pumpkin pie, check back in to see how it goes and to get a review on my tiny oven!

Mattress Matters

Rather than buying a new mattress for my Tiny, I decided to make one! My close friend made one about a year before me and I took a glorious nap on it once and was sold. It was so comfortable! Firm, but form-fitting. 

The mattress is made of buckwheat hulls and cotton tubes. It was easy to make and the best part is it fits my space perfectly. 

First, we measured out the buckwheat hulls, tied knots in one end of the cotton tubes, then filled them with the hulls. 

Next, we made the filled tubes into pods by tying the ends together.

When all the pods were made, we arranged them into the mattress shape, and tied them together. 

My dad helped me build the frame which keeps all the pods together. Here you can see that the frame is built into the loft.

I put a mattress pad under the pods and on top to protect them from Annie nails. (You may recall that she was still missing at this time, but I knew she would come home ๐Ÿ˜€.) 


I have to fluff the pods every other night before going to sleep, but it only takes a second and I really love sleeping on this mattress. So does Annie girl ๐Ÿถ! 

You can learn more about my mattress from the Open Your Eyes Bedding website.

Shoot me your questions in the comments section!

xoxo

E and A๐Ÿถ

Back Again

I know it’s been a while again, but we’ve just been so busy exploring! We may love living on The Prairie, but Annie and I have found a new favorite place for adventuring…The Desert. 

Our most recent adventure took us to Moab and surrounding climbing areas. I fell in love with the splitter cracks and Annie fell in love with the sand!

The pup cruised each uphill approach while we were at Indian Creek, boulder hopping, sand sliding, and all. She is still apprehensive on the downhills, though she made slight progress each day. 

Annie’s biggest weakness, and another area I’m really hoping to see progress in, is with her socialization. She has improved, but still growls or barks at strangers. I’m not quite sure how to help her get over this aside from time and exposure, but I’m totally open to ideas if anyone has any expert advice. (This would be a great use of the comments section ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.)

Annie wasn’t the only one making gains on this trip, I led two pitches on gear and climbed a bunch of crack routes. I was lucky enough to get on a beautiful route called Annunaki that got me super psyched and it really helped me push myself. A few other factors that contributed to the stoke this week are my climbing partner, who continues to push me past my comfort zone, and our discovery of a cold brew coffee that is perfect to take to the crag. This delicious treat is called Stลk and we decided it is quite properly named, as it totally raised the stoke of the day! For those of you who aren’t sure what stoke is, it’s the excitement surrounding the activity of the day. When stoke is high, good things happen!

Check out these pics from the trip then check back soon for some Tiny House breakdowns. First up, how I made my mattress! 

Annie exploring during our bouldering session at Big Bend

View of the Bridger Jacks from the tent

Me on Mudslide, Annuunaki is the sick crack to the right.

Another shot of Annunaki because it’s just so beautiful!

Here I am at the top of my first lead. This one is called Rochambeau

xoxo

E and A๐Ÿถ

Inhale. Exhale.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is too familiar with the feeling of taking a deep breath and then wondering where it all went. There’s a reason the exhale is so much more satisfying. The exhale is where we let it go. 

When we are too overwhelmed it’s hard to find the sweet goodness of a deep exhale. There’s too much running through our brains to let go of anything.  Before a thought can float away, we must be sure it’s time to let it go. But what do you do when there simply isn’t enough space to work through all your thoughts? 

I have many vices to help with this situation. Writing, running, music, and most of all, adventuring. 

Something about getting out in the mountains with only what I need, disconnecting from the rest of the world for a bit, and pushing physical (or mental) limits helps me find the space to work things out and let things go. 

Remember when I told you I wanted to live in a tiny home so I would have more space in my life for adventuring? It worked. I’ve been getting out climbing just about every weekend, even if only for a day trip. When I stop and think about the factors that play into my ability to do this, I feel incredibly reassured in my lifestyle choice.

The Tiny is set up so that my gear is super accessible. It takes me less than 30 minutes to pack up the adventuremobile for a weekend trip. That includes Annie’s things too! 

It takes the same amount of time to unpack. I like to keep my space pretty clean, especially now that every square foot counts. A deep clean of my house, which I try to do about once per week, takes less than an hour. 

I’ve also been lucky enough to cross paths with an awesome climbing partner who seriously challenges my abilities. Last weekend I lead a 5.7 on gear. I honestly never thought I would lead on gear. It’s scary!  


What happens in my head when I’m climbing is what allows me to breathe. It refocuses my attention on what’s important. Climbing outside of my comfort zone completely clears my head because I must focus all of my thoughts on the next move. It’s called flow

Before I left the ground on my lead, my climbing partner told me to just focus on the climbing. Don’t focus on the gear, don’t think about falling, just focus on the climbing. It’s the best climbing advice I’ve ever heard and potentially useful when applied to other aspects of life as well. 

Maybe, if I just focus on the next move I need to make, I’ll be able to inhale and exhale.

I’m back, and I’ll have more updates for you soon. Thanks for reading!

xoxo

E and A๐Ÿถ