Friday, September 26, 2014

House Hunt Series #7: No garage, no way?

Ten out of ten Minnesotans surveyed said they would never consider a house without a garage.
What about one with a parking spot with a great location (minus the trellis)?
If you can look past the neighbors.
Just focus on the potential flower box transformation.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pull the pumpkin cord

Every Halloween season I debate about donating these foam pumpkins lights.
They take up a lot of storage, have cords everywhere and could only go near an outlet.

To add to the misery, when they are lit, the bright light bulb glares through the open holes.

Then it dawned on me as I looked at my cordless, timed, battery operated candles on the mantle.

I removed the bottom of the pumpkins.

Then I just placed the pumpkin over the battery candle and not only does it flicker and have a warm glow, it is timed and I can put them anywhere I want.

You can thank me when this is the next viral Pinterest post.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yellow cottage with character

A"Pure Honey for Sale" sign welcomes one to this charming cottage that I saw on this blog.

small yellow house with honey sign

The inside seems spacious with few walls separating rooms.

exposed brick in small house

An arched door frame contains the washer and dryer which are conveniently steps from the closet.
washer and dryer in the bedroom

The loft bed calls me to take a leaping jump.
open loft bedroom in small house

Exposed bricks and studs in the kitchen add character. 
large kitchen in small house

The backyard is without fancy landscaping... just some empty pots left by the owner who has much better ways to spend their time than yard work, 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The neighborhood is better when we are cohousing together

The idea that a group of people all share the power sprayer is very attractive to me.
How we still have four shovels and only two people to use them is a reality in our garage.
Portland proves to be forward thinking with having a small house solution called cohousing.
co-housing development in Portland

After reading the post. Cohousing: living large in small houses from Small House Bliss, it made me feel like there is room for who-ville inspired plots where common areas and space is shared.
colorful houses in co-housing in portland

Why can' everyone share a small garden and solve world problems picking weeds?
community garden in co housing development

The above photos are from a project called Ruth's gardens. This real neighborhood houses a variety of residents from singles, families and even senior citizens. They share a few meals each week and have work parties to get projects done in common areas.

I bet there would be a community dog, a Bassett Hound named Harriet who would be the security system and would gallop around from house to house basking in the sun.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Multiple Series # 54-With a cherry on top.

Some weeks the decisions are as easy as, "why do we have two bottles of maraschino cherries?"

And others could be life changing.

Let's see how today ends up.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Happiness of Pursuit

The following is a trailer for a new movie coming out called, "Hector and the Search for Happiness."

"More important than what we are searching for, is what we are avoiding."

The older I get, the more comfortable I get in my surroundings.
By not trying a new location and smaller square footage, is equivalent to me not being open to change.  

I need to get a little lost.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The temptations of a garage sale

Last week I went to the annual alley sale in Minneapolis.

I enjoyed browsing down the streets and looking at the landscaping.
Fences made of sticks:

An apple tree pruned to the side of a garage:

I even resisted the temptation of starting my fiber optic relationship up again:

After looking for two weeks for a teak table on craigslist and only finding damaged tables for $500-$2000. Here was the perfect table. The kind man was demonstrating how the leaves just slide out as I am swirling with an identity crisis. Am I buying this to sell a big house? Will I have to sell this again even if I buy it? I want to downsize, why am I looking at this? Will we have to find chairs that match this? Will they negotiate? I turned around and paused to figure out if I was a small or large house owner and then someone behind me said, "We will take this table".
What a steal.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hulburd Design

One level living, modern interior and minimal landscaping, Hulburd Design combines them all.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Start your Santa wish list

This is the, "Honey I Shrunk the Modern Kitchen Playset...

Also, if you haven't finished your holiday shopping, JoAnn Fabrics has all their Christmas decorations at 30% off right now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Minnesota millionaire lottery winner couple

This past Saturday, Joe bought a lottery ticket like he does everyday.
This time he won big....11.7 million dollars.

The Star Tribune reported that the middle aged couple were confident their life won't change much and that they felt they could carry on with the same standard of living.

When asked if they would be buying a large house, they replied that they actually were talking about downsizing.

So just for fun, lets pretend I won the lottery and could on choose from the houses I pin on my pinterest board...which one would I pick?

Built in Oregon, this 700 sq foot house is my favorite:

 I would buy two Bassett hounds to match the two dogs in the photos

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser embraces small with 580 sq foot home

This star lived in a house under 600 sq feet. See other photos on the Dwell slideshow.

Low maintenance lawn

Bed goes up when not in use.

Creative use of outdoor areas.

Love that door and planter.

Even room for a sauna with an amazing ceiling.

Comfy and simple.

Check out that sink.

Photos taken by Joe Pugliese

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wisdom from Wit & Delight

An article in the StarTribune led me to Kate Arends Peters...

which then led me to to her blog called Wit & Delight ...

which then led me to her article called "Minimalism: are we doing it wrong?"

Kate speaks to the process of reducing and how it is in that skill we learn about ourselves.
I want to remember Kate's wisdom as I teeter back and forth with my square footage future.

kate arends peters

Monday, September 1, 2014

Respected emptiness

Congrats to the four of us that went on the 20 day minimalism challenge.  It is only fitting on today, Labor Day, that we rest and summarize any observations about the journey.


The challenge confronted  me with uncompleted projects.  I haven't looked back at the rocking chair donation, other than the memory of it getting stuck inside the car at the thrift store. The Sonic lime aid coin was still valid after 10 years, the dog collars were ceremoniously placed at marker 88, and the dead spruce tree was under a one year warranty that led me to a gift certificate.  Two bathrooms are completely empty.  There are lots of empty drawers...that feels good....that makes me feel light and mobile. It was especially fun  to share this process with the following three people:

Participant two:
This is a picture of everything I have cleared out during this challenge.  I have cleared out more than was required and it feels great!  I didn't find anything that was hard to part with.  My living room looks like another person is leaving for college, but its just stuff to be donated!
Thanks for the motivation.

Participant three:
By throwing out the horse magazines I have room for new books. 
It was good I went through my stuff. 
I found things just before going to bed. 

Participant three:
It was refreshing to let go of stuff and I needed that midnight deadline to get it done. There were some definite 'sore' piles that I tried to go through, but the time wasn't ripe. Amazing how you stash stuff with honest intentions of using it but then it gathers dust.

I came across an art exhibition brochure from many years ago. It was called 'empty' and it talked about how Japanese respect space and emptiness. Objects brought into that space reduce that respected emptiness so they must be 'worth' it. Have to keep this in mind.