Make Action: What have you done today?

So what have you done today?

I know I know.
As a Stay at Home Parent that question can be a little triggering right?

Sometimes it feels like we run around like wild things all day trying to keep things running. Only to sit down at the end of the day and go “What happened??? What did I actually accomplish today??”

I think this is more prominent for Mum’s because of this continual awareness around us of ALLL the things that need doing. So while folding up the washing you probably end up seeing the crumbs on the floor and vacuum the floor or remember the bill that needs paying and end up filing all the paperwork.

Sound familiar?

My favorite quote lately says “Do something today that your future self with thank you for”

So what about if we start putting the blinkers on to all the distractions for just 15mins a day and focused on doing 1 thing that will move us towards our goals and our values. Something that our future self will be thankful for.

Yesterday I did this in 2 ways

1- I took myself for a massage. Not the kind you wear cucumber on your eyes and walk away feeling all refreshed though.. this was the kind that HURTS as they work into all of that pain and tension. Something you might not know about me is that I was in a 4 car smash at 19 and I’ve lived with chronic pain ever since. Pregnancy was hard – and this is why hubby had to take in a lot of the DIY build while I pulled back to project management, planning, designing and prepping! Anyways – this means I carry a lot of pain and damage. So much tension, in fact, I popped a rib out a few weeks ago 🤦♀️ so a massage was in order and my future self will thank me! But this self-care kinda really hurt!

2 – it was also my first day of study! I’m excited but also quite nervous about juggling everything.
I’ve also signed up to help admin a local community group AND joined the volunteer fire service as well 🤦ahhhh!
But I know each of these activities are things that ignite my passions, teach me new things and in the case of study it’s going to equip me to run mine and my husband’s businesses better. 2019 is going to be a big year. But it’s going to be a year we look back on with gratitude knowing or hard work propels us!

Sometimes saying yes is really scary!
But if we don’t do things today to better our futures one day we will look back with regret!

All that ‘stuff’ that needs to be done will still be there for you in 15mins! Leave it alone and go do 1 thing that moves you forward!

What are you going to do today for your future self?

Stuck??? Let me help!

I know you want to do something your future self will thank you for… So go write down your goals and make a freaking plan!!
You can grab my goal setting workbook here
Or jump on the phone with me and let me help you out with this! Send a reply email to book your spot!

Have a productive Night/Day

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Claim Mondays for Minimising

I hereby claim Mondays for minimising! 
First up I want to say though that NO amount of decluttering is going to fix things if you don’t work on reducing the stuff that comes IN to start with. 

Ok so getting back to Minimising Monday! 
Today – I challenge you to go look at your wardrobe. For families just start with yours and do the kids after. 

The idea of a capsule wardrobe is that it’s a small collection of clothes that you will wear in a huge number of combinations because 1) they work well together and 2) THEY FIT so you actually reach for them instead of leaving them crying in the back of your wardrobe. 

Start by pulling out anything that doesn’t fit, that you never wear coz you actually really hate it and anything that belongs in the rag bag 😉 

Then jump over to Pinterest and have a look at the Capsule Wardrobe boards that I’ve set up for you as templates to get some ideas of what is going to fit your style. I’ve got some set up for men, women and kids!

Personally, I take one extra step and check the labels to make sure that what I am keeping is natural fibres or as close to it as I can get.

For the sake of keeping this email short, I’ll be recording a podcast on some details of reducing a wardrobe later this week – I’ll drop a message when that is uploaded.7 Day Tiny Living Workshop - Meco Blue

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What’s The New Normal For You and Your Family?

A funny thing happened recently!

I took my kids to a local market. 
You know the sort with fresh produce, stalls, entertainment and food vans? 

We got a pretty epic lunch in compostable packaging (YES!!!! Lets hope to see more of this!!!) 

And then we went for a walk around the markets. 

As we got to the back of the area and as we turned around Lydia (3) saw the back of icecream van. 

Most kids would be like “ICE-CREAM!!!!!” right? 

Not Lydia.  She saw the food truck and went “Look mum its a Tiny House JUST LIKE OURS!!!” 

Hahah!! Funny kid. 

That just goes to show though that Tiny Living has become the new normal. Its recognizable to our kids and its something they get a kick out of when telling someone about their house/bedroom. 

What’s something you have changed in life that has become the ‘normal’ to your kids? Maybe they think ice-cream is made of frozen fruit in your blender? Or maybe they think that Friday night is home movie night? 

I’d love to hear about what’s normal for you that others might see as unusual! 
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Have you ever broken something special?

Have you ever broken something special?

Me too! That’s actually been a challenging aspect of living Tiny. Everything we have kept has been kept because it adds value. Its the favourite of each category.

This week I broke my Pyrex mixing bowl. I’ve had it for a long time and it was my favourite! I loved the way it feels. The way it looks. And how many ways I was able to use it.

It go bumped out of the cupboard and it smashed.

In that moment I was frustrated that all my favourite things break because my home is literally full of all my favourite things. Everything here has earned its place. So when something breaks it can be upsetting.

But as I get further on my journey with minimalism and I grow more personally I’m able to realise that it doesn’t matter. As I pull back from consumerism most of my stuff doesn’t have the same emotional weight. I appreciate my things – but I’m learning to place my energy elsewhere.

So there is the moment that I feel upset.
And then follows another line of thinking.

Its ok to feel upset. Its ok to have emotion and to feel frustrated.
But then it is time to let it go.

Its just STUFF!

The reality is most of our stuff can be replaced.

You know what can’t be replaced?
Your Time
Your Health
Your Family
Your Energy

These are the some of things that matter!

So next time something breaks I want you to take a deep breath. Acknowledge the feeling. Then chuckle to yourself that its one less thing to sort and find something else in life that REALLY matters to be grateful for.
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Kids’ Entertainment

Running out of ideas for your kids’ entertainment at home? Tiny living shouldn’t limit your play time ideas! There are so many creative options for you and your bub!

Here are a few ideas for you! 

– Playdough. Homemade is super easy. No cooked or cooked versions alike! 
Drawing. Pens seem to be the favourite over pencils or crayons.
Beading. This one comes out while I put but down to nap. Excellent for hand-eye co-ordination
– Building blocks. We have a small assortment of wooden cubes and a small tub of duplo. Both feature regularly outside on a picnic rug! 
Books! Regular trips to the library mean that we can keep our own library very small and still have new stories often. 
Cards. Our deck of Uno is the ‘little kid deck’ as its a bit bent now. It gets used for everything from snap to memory and counting games. 
Rocks. A handful of small, smooth beach stones are perfect for making patterns, counting, or building from memory. They are also perfect for painting if you want to try rock drops! 
– Painting. This one requires a bit more supervision with small kids! The pre-ink watercolour paint books are fabulous for low supervision activities.
Outside time! The biggest part of entertaining kids in small spaces is to TAKE THEM OUT of the small spaces and get some fresh air. Visit a park. Maybe try balancing activities or build an obstacle course. Or just give them a trowel and let them go nuts in the dirt 😉 

I hope some of these ideas inspire you to do something fun! 
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Living with Tiny Intentions

Ok so I think its time to talk about intentions.

I know – its a big word that gets pulled out when its time to talk about something seriously right?

Well, maybe so! But identifying your intentions are really important and can also be really fun.

You see, this is about setting the direction that you are going to go. Like scanning all those travel brochures and looking at the pretty pictures before you set your itinerary. See – fun right?

The number 1 thing you need to do before going Tiny is set your intention!

Tiny houses are SO diverse and there are a lot of different types.
Start by getting a really clear picture of what your intention is with Tiny Living.

-Maybe you are looking just to downsize to a smaller place than you have now
-Maybe you want to travel
-Maybe you want accommodation on that bit of land your great uncle left you 3 hrs away
-Maybe you want to put a Tiny House in the backyard as extra accommodation/income

Or Maybe you are wanting to jump into Tiny Living full time and cut back on stuff, expenses and stress? 

Once you work that out your destination is selected; so finding the right Tiny House for you just got a whole bunch easier!

Then slip that word ‘intention’ right back in there as you sort out what to keep, what and where to build things in your home, and where to prioritize your budget/resources.

This applies outside of the build process too. If your intention is to practice living in a smaller space by moving into a small unit then you are going to need to be really intentional about what you bring into that space.

Intention is a funny thing.
Having clarity is like the magic that allows our goals come to life!
For more on simple and intentional living, you can jump over to this guest blog post I did with Roumage.com.au

So what are your Tiny Living intentions?
Are you still not sure if Tiny Houses are for you?
Or is it time to pick a destination and start planning your route?

Ps:

If you are ready to dig a little deeper you can book a time with me for a free 30min call to chat about your goals. We can outline what you are looking for and set your intention. Just hit reply and we can book a time.7 Day Tiny Living Workshop - Meco Blue

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The Stairs vs Ladder Issue

If you are in that planning stage of Tiny Living have you sat down and thought about the stairs vs ladder issue yet?

This is actually a really big part of your design process.

This one decision will impact the flow and layout of your floor plan significantly.

Personally, we picked stairs and built them AS the kitchen cabinetry because I was thinking about the kids and carrying a baby up to the loft factor.

What I didn’t think about was how the handrail would impact the feel of the room.

Handrails really do restrict the room visually. One of the key features of your Tiny House design is to use the high ceilings and openness to create the feeling of space. A handrail moves into the middle of that space.

However, stairs can also be designed as storage and a place to sit.

On the flip side with a ladder, you need to start thinking NOW if you will have a fixed ladder or a ladder that stows away as finding that sort of storage space afterwards will be a challenge! There are some amazing designs out there where the ladder has been carefully planned into the floorplan and effectively just blends in with everything else.

Both options work.
They both have different benefits and considerations.
Both have different options for safety features or storage.

Whichever you pick you want to start thinking about that early into your design phase so that you can plan your layout with this pretty key piece of information!

Is this something you have thought about yet?

Ps:

If you haven’t joined into my Facebook group yet I wanted to give you a heads up that by being on my email list you have access to join in! Click here to join Tiny Chatter @ Meco Blue

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Self-Sufficiency?

You know how I have talked about (again and again) writing down WHAT your goals are? Putting it on paper and taking your dreams from fantasies in your head into actual real goals?

All that time ago when we did this one of our big goals was to be self-sufficient.
Honestly, that was a big part of what led us to the idea of Tiny Living! We actually didn’t set out to live in a Tiny House initially. We wrote those goals out and realised that self-sufficiency was enough of a priority that we NEEDED to act on something to move us toward that goal.

We don’t define this as never having to buy anything coz seriously I don’t want to spend every second of my time trying to grow every little thing we need.
I don’t want to manage 100 acres or a fully functional farm around my business, hubbies business ventures and homeschooling.
And I’m not ever going to have the motivation to grow, pick and grind my own flour!
I define our goal of self-sufficiency as being as off-grid as possible.
I define it as growing our own vege and as much fruit as practical.
Raising whatever meat, eggs or milk we choose to eat.
Learning to forage.
Learning to make do with what we have.
And then trading/selling our surplus so we can #shoplocal for whatever is left.

Recently I stumbled across a post in a community group talking about elderberries! Yasssss!!!
Elderberries are super high in vitamin C and an elderberry syrup is amazing for colds or flues. Something I have always wanted to get my hands on!

I have never picked elderberry before so thankfully a local mum let me come pick some of theirs! They go to waste at their place as it’s not a time priority for them to do anything with the berries. So I’m welcome to keep collecting theirs! And now I also know what I’m looking for to go forage them wild!

Once I harvested the berries and then picked them off the stalks I ended up with 9 cups of berries! Gosh that was a lot of berries in my little kitchen 🙈

If you are interested in the recipe I boiled 1 part berries to 2 parts water (ie 9 cups berries with 18 cups water) until the water content had reduced to a bit under1/2 of its original content. I strained this into a bowl and when it was completely cool I stirred in local, raw honey. I used 1kg of honey for this batch which is about 1/2 of what the recipe I was using said. I think its very sweet and the sugar content is high enough that it’s still pourable in jars in my fridge and should keep for about 1year!

I’m actually really excited to keep learning!

Can’t wait to keep learning more about using what we have around us to our best advantage!
I’d love to study into permaculture beekeeping and foraging and keep adding information to the path that leads to our goals!

So question time!

Do YOU even know what you want?
Have you written your goals down yet?
If you haven’t then you are seriously missing out on some of the magic that happens when you actually put that dream on paper.

 

Want to make a start on your goals?
Its the perfect time to sit down with a coffee and my Why Tiny goal planner and nut out your dreams!
I know, I know – its suspiciously cheap at $1.95 right? I want you to have ZERO excuses to NOT go put your dreams down on paper!
Go get it tiger!
I do believe that your Tiny Living Dreams are there for a reason!

SARAH
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Tuesday Cleaning Tip

It’s Tuesday – are you feeling a little like the week has got a bit of a jump start on you? 😂😂 don’t worry we ALL know that feeling!!

I find a really good step is to do a really quick tidy and remove anything obviously unwanted/unloved.

It’s amazing the difference a clearer space makes to you mentally, emotionally and actually physically too.Set a timer for 15 minutes.
Yep – just 15 minutes.

Now pick up

-any rubbish into a bag

recycling into a pile/box (including any sales catalogues that have collected in dark corners 😂)

clothes into the laundry or clean clothes pile.

-stack any dirty dishes

-anything into the Op shop box that can add someone else value, now that you are done. This might be clothes that don’t fit, toys the kids have grown beyond, decor that clutters your space, duplicates of an item or things you have been given that won’t serve a purpose for you.
You will be AMAZED how 10-15 minutes can make a huge transformation! You have removed the easy clutter and done something to make yourself feel productive!

I find this is especially important in the Tiny House as small spaces can get overwhelmed quickly. Also, DESPITE being very intentional with what comes into the house it seems with a young family coming and going it’s especially important to do a speed clean of surface clutter often. Our house physically cannot get as wild as a full-size house as we have less stuff and less space – but it’s far more obvious when things are out of place.

I did this today and added to my Op shop pile a few shirts I was given that don’t work for me, some baby toys, a plastic container and a kitchen utensil I’ve not used in 6 months.

All things that don’t bring me joy and don’t fill a need for me – but could still benefit someone else. 😉

Do you make use of small bursts of productivity where you feel the motivation of beating a timer? Its a great strategy for a broad number of applications

Sarah
 

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Piles and Piles of Pine Needles

I wanted to share a story with you…

Today we went for a picnic in a forest. Just picture a bunch of kids running around making gigantic nests with piles and piles of pine needles. 

I’m not kidding at one stage there were 3 small children clad in pink coats, sitting in a giant nest. 

The kids build pathways to their nest houses an started building ‘rooms’ inside them. They sat around piles of pinecones pretending to have their own bonfire. 

And they had a ball! 

Outside time is exhilarating. 
It is learning. 
It is fun. 
It is an adventure. 

And it is space. 

People often tell me they would LOVE to live in a Tiny House but they can’t because they have kids. 

If that is you I want you to take some time to think about how you use your space and what your primary attraction to Tiny Living is.

Our kids have totally embraced Tiny Living.

We have our Tiny House with far fewer things than ever before. The things we have are special or add value. 

Our space is small inside, but we have so so much space outside. Be it our yard, goat pen, a park or somewhere new on an adventure. We have space! 

Inside we live Tiny and I am teaching them about a different way of life. I haven’t called myself a minimalist yet as I still feel overwhelmed sometimes by what we own and I’m still working on that. But I’m teaching my kids about being responsible with what we buy, giving away what we don’t need and enjoying a simpler way of life. 

Parenting is hard – but I am super proud of the values we are giving our kids to thrive with. 

If you have been questioning if you could go Tiny I’m going to come right out and say – You need my course 😉 

Talking Tiny the Course is designed to start right at the beginning of your Journey and walk you through the process. 

It will help you flesh out the WHAT and WHY of Tiny Living, work out what you need in your home and how to roll that into a floor plan. We will discuss how to pick the Tiny House option that works for you, how to find upcycled materials and how to declutter! We will talk about some of the relational and stress factors in a building process. And we will cover what to consider when bringing kids into small spaces. 

This course is EXACTLY what you need to delve into Tiny Living and work out if this is for you. This is the nuts and bolts of planning and preparing for a huge transition. 

This is like the road map – the tour guide that will help save you thousands! I’m not kidding. This information would have saved us in excess of $7,000! 

What’s holding you back? 

Get it here


Ps:

As much as I love having you on my email list I’m not here to be all spammer-y. Feel free to unsubscribe at any time. If you’d prefer to check in on social media you can find me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/meco_blue

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