5 things I do in my work from home business in my tiny home

KEEP IT SMALL. I live in about 500 sq. ft of space with my husband and it’s just enough room for the two of us. I am keenly aware of our limited space and this means there isn’t a lot of room for storage. For this reason I keep my inventory to pretty small objects. My personal interest is in vintage jewelry, knitting, crochet and I dabble in jewelry/accessory making. For my etsy store RIVER HOME GOODS I focus on knitting and crochet supplies that I procure during my much loved estate sale & resale store hunts. I make time to knit or crochet items as well so this is a good way to keep up with hobbies while making some extra cash.

SIT n SELL. There are some items that I have had in my store RIVER HOME GOODS since it went live over a year ago. These are vintage clip earrings and similar sized stuff. These items are the smallest of the small so I don’t have too much of a problem investing the money to keep them listed. I’m careful about how many items I choose to do that with though. In general the smaller the item the more time I will give it to sell. Aside from knitted/crochet items, if an item is about coffee cup size I give it a super short shelf life (maybe a month) then it’s time for it to move out of our tiny house.

KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN. I’m still learning the ropes on what works for me in terms of marketing and getting the word out on my store and the treasures I procure/sell. I try not to be too spammy and I pay close attention to tweets and re-tweets as well as “likes” and “favorites” that are marked on the things I sell. Some of those vintage clip earrings I mentioned are the most liked items in my store and even though they haven’t sold I like to look at them as a sort of advertising. I will tweet the listings on occasion and I notice it always brings in new people to check out my store. If there isn’t any commentary or “likes” on something, I will go ahead and put that in my pile of “To Go” items after the listing expires. I make sure to get anything that doesn’t sell physically out of the house. It really is all about space and making sure I don’t clutter it.

UTILIZE LOCAL CONSIGNMENT/RE-SALE STORES. Once I have a gathering of items that haven’t sold I take them to a few of the local consignment/re-sale stores for cash or trade. Depending on the item I sometimes do actual consignment but in general if i can get more for in store trade I’ll go that route as well. I also know a few individuals that I like to trade with and that’s fun in itself. LASTLY DONATE. If I have anything left over that isn’t taken for cash or trade I donate these items to a local thrift store that takes donations. It’s my hope that everything that passes through my hands finds a new home at some point along it’s journey.

PACKAGING. Packaging can get really expensive. I use the free boxes from the post office as much as possible. I also re-use boxes and envelopes that are sent to us. I didn’t think that long about “professional looks” on what I mail out because ultimately it’s torn up in the opening process by the recipient. I want to save money of course and I also want to get as much use as I can out of any packaging I encounter. Aside from the occasional envelope/box that we get I have also found a great resource in a local place called SCRAP located in Portland, Oregon.  They carry all sorts of craft/DIY stuff that is donated to them. Their inventory is constantly changing and I usually can find a great selection of used large padded envelopes for my shipping needs at a great price. I can also find old stock bags, boxes and other packaging at incredible savings. The big bonus? Shopping at SCRAP for my needs means I’m part of the re-use/sustainable movement that is important to me on a personal level. Scrap has classes for creative projects and they’re non-profit organization with great community outreach. They fit well as a resource for how I like to operate my business.

I’m sure I will still be developing and growing as time goes on. These are the bare bones of what I’ve developed for myself. It’s been a lot of two steps forward one step back and it’s now starting to feel more fluid. The most challenging thing has of course been our tiny home space. I have enjoyed the challenge though – it’s fun for sure.



TINY HOUSE vs. LARGE HOUSE LIVING: What’s the difference (for us)?

It’s January and though spring is a bit of a way off yet I find that I’m wanting to (once again) clean through the house. I recently had a very AWESOME three hour talk-fest with my cousin Cori. She asked me what it was like living in a tiny house and what I found different about it vs. living in a full sized “regular” house.

That gave me pause. The biggest thing (at least for Sean and I) is the constant culling of stuff. We both like to collect things. Both of us love books and I love crafting stuff (sewing, yarn, knitting, crochet, jewelry making – you name it). In the last six months I’ve been pretty good about getting rid of stuff but in all honesty it’s just become something we have to do pretty much monthly. What I want is for our house to not be so cluttered and that’s the biggest challenge. Though to be honest we had that same issue in the larger “normal sized” house we had so that’s just something we will always have to deal with.

Space. We downsized to roughly 500 sq feet. We have about 240-250 sq. feet on each floor. It’s not standing height on the top floor so that limits space more than you’d think especially with only having a half-closet space. We have to get a little creative with space and still it’s a challenge at times.

Lately I’ve been thinking about how our house is set up. It’s a square space but then a third of it is blocked off due to how the kitchen sink and counter space was built and the placement of the bathroom. The windows as well as the sliding glass door also limit how we use our space. There are pro’s and cons to it and I feel like if I stare at the space enough maybe I can figure out how to make the most it. I see a lot of pictures/articles on the internet with everything set up in a smaller space than we currently have and the lay outs seem more constructive. Being that we watch TV and zoom on our laptops when we are home the way it’s set up now is alright. I think I just need to cool it. *laughs*

As far as what’s different – we don’t have central heating and cooling. We have a tiny space heater. The cold definitely affects us more so we’ve upped our blankets and we dress in layers in the winter. During this past summer we were miserable without air conditioning so we hit the coffee shops and bookstores till the sun set and kept all our windows open for cross breeze. We survived though.

Counter space. I sometimes miss my large kitchen counters. I love to spread out but that just doesn’t happen here. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t give up our tiny home for the extra space and so I make work arounds when I cook. Every recipe gets a glance over and I break it down in prep steps because I only have one tiny spot to work with. Because we have a large steel sink I’ve been contemplating getting a large cutting board to cover it to give me more counter space when I cook. As it is I make sure the sink it clean and put stuff in it while I prep.

The stove. Even thought it’s a two burner stove top I’m not able to use two pots at a time on it. The space between the burners are too small for the large pots that I have so I’m only cooking one thing at a time. So far it’s not been much of a problem but it does mean cooking is slower at times.

The bathroom. For what ever reasons the bathroom never had a light installed in it. Since we don’t have a bathroom mirror or sink in there it’s not a big deal. We actually use a camping lamp that we can recharge or set it in the sun for solar recharge. It’s enough to shower by but I sometimes miss the big mirror with the bright lights. I have a large bamboo style mirror right outside our bathroom door and I’m still thinking about how to light it up. It works for checking out our hair though.

Living in a tiny home for us means we’ve had to rethink how we move around, how we do a lot of our daily living stuff. Having a smaller space also means we have to think about what we bring into the house. Usually for every item I bring in, within the month I have a donation bag of stuff I’m giving to goodwill or consigning at one of the local stores I shop at.

I really like living small. It lets me continually grow within our space and I really enjoy thinking about ways to enhance our living space.

Yeah <3



Tiny House Repairs: Winter is Coming!

We’re coming up on our second Winter here and while we had a heater last winter we noticed a lot of flickering lights on one of the walls and the breaker kept tripping. We were pretty certain it was our small space heater causing the problems. Our temporary fix was just not running the stove or extra lights when we were using the heater and making sure our lap tops were plugged into different walls and not all running off the same breaker.

During this past Spring and Summer it didn’t really affect us. Once the Fall hit though we started reassessing how much electricity we were using and at about that same time we started hearing crackling sounds coming from the open closet that the electrical panel is in. Not good. We couldn’t tell at first exactly where the sound was coming from until one afternoon the resounding loud CRACKLE-POP was definitely coming from the electrical panel. *sigh* We unplugged everything and went looking for an electrician.

Our real estate agent who sold us the house has since retired but we went to his old office and introduced ourselves to one of the real estate agents there explaining who we were and that we were in need of a referral for an electrician. I shared with Sean that I felt this was our best bet over any yelp type referral sites as most of those sites just feel like people bitching. When I worked with real estate agents they were always big on working with solid people because solid workmanship reflects well on everyone involved. Good work = good business. I was hopeful that it would be the same here and I was correct.

The electrician had to order in a new panel for us and he confirmed that it was indeed the space heater that had started this whole thing. He talked about brands of panels and that of all the panels he’s worked with ours and another brand always had these issues of getting shorted out and burnt and fused – a basic mess potential that unsurprisingly manifests on a regular basis. I don’t know what we had before but we now have a SQUARE D electrical panel – WOO!!!

I asked if there was anything we should look out for or be aware of and I also asked if we could use the heater without causing the same issue as last year. We were good to go on all accounts and there was nothing special I needed to keep an eye out on. I mean if lights flicker again or any of the other symptoms we experienced pop up – sure check it out but the bottom line is that with the new panel there shouldn’t be any more shenanigans going on. GOOD.

Having the repairs completed is an immense relief. No more worry on the electrical home front. We had been wanting to get all that checked out and now that’s one thing off the Get It Done list.

The electrical panel issue was all wrapped up Friday. Come Saturday night early Sunday morning at around 2 a.m. the house got seriously bumped by the wind/rain storm that has been moving into the region. We were just getting ready to go up the ladder to bed when we heard a loud gushing sound from outside. Quick inspection showed that the connector between our hose and the water pipe to the docks had busted. With the wind, rain and the dark I was afraid to have Sean fuss with it so he turned off our water and we called it a night.

This morning we could see things better but neither of us are plumbers and while some things can be an easy fix we weren’t 100% on how much was needed to fix this. We called the resident handy man here and he ended up having to pull up a few boards since the pipe was mounted too far against the board underneath and he needed room to put the new elbow connector on. Looks like we needed a few brackets to add into the mix as well for securing the pipe. It would have been total hi-jinx for us fumbling through discovering we’d have to pull up boards so I’m glad our guy Mike was here to make it right. Now if this happens again we will know what to do. I’ve been pretty diligent with taking photos and asking questions about the process (but not getting in the way of course

zdeck zdeck2 zdeck3

The large planter box I have out there was sitting on top of the boards that were pulled up. I’m considering leaving the planter in the new spot it was placed in so we can get to the water pipe/hose again if need be. The smaller plants were also moved to the front of the house under our living room window. I’m thinking about leaving them there too. I may just leave everything for now and see how I feel about it in a few days.

zplants1 zplants2

The boards underneath are a bit worn (rotted, tore up from the floor up) to say the least and for now they’ll hold. Will seriously need to take a look at that come spring when the winter has blown over. One of the remaining things on our Get It Done list. A lot of what contributed to the pipe disconnecting like it did aside from the the major bump into the dock was that the pipe was not properly secured. From the little that he was able to see previously Sean had tried securing it a bit with some wire as the weight alone made it dip quite a bit. That won’t be an issue going forward as we’re having plumbing straps installed.

Slowly and surely we are discovering and working on the things that pop up giving this little house some love <3

(Ok the large planter was moved back. LOL)


Fall plants for next spring…and Tiny Home Owning is still home owning…

I recently was given some really nice succulents in enamel re-purposed planters by my husband Sean. Once winter fully hits it’s going to be a bit too cold and WAY too wet for them to survive outside. Luckily one is in an enamel teapot and the other in an enamel pot. The third one is in a steel sieve but I’m thinking I can get a dish to catch any water drainage with that one. The recent succulent acquisitions are all small enough to bring into the house for the winter. So we’re good there.

Anticipating baby succulents being produced like crazy come spring I decided to keep a serious eye out for some enamel pots for planting succulents next year.  I found a really great rectangular white enamel pan that is worn in spots and totally rustic looking for super cheap at one of the local thrift stores. I cleaned it and I’m storing it under our sink for the winter and will bust that out come spring. I’m going to have baby succulents and eventually I feel like I’m not going to be able to bring in all the plants for the winter in the years to come so I need to do some research for plants that go dormant and with-stand the Oregon winter. I’m sure it won’t be too hard to find the right plants.

My tentative plans are to get planters all along the front of our house under our window to add some warmth and color to the place. I also want to get some gardening boxes set up on our floating dock but that will have to wait till spring. Right now I’m not going to go nuts with garden stuff but when you find good enamel pots for planting and they’re well under the $8 mark – SNATCH THEM UP. I like the white enamel look with the edges worn down…even with the used wear it can get pricey so I haven’t bought anything till today.  Everything I’ve seen in “vintage” stores run $15 on the cheap side and the norm is usually around $18-$20.00 and this is for really beat up stuff. It’s barely Fall and as you can see I’m already anticipating next spring. I’ve got a good jump start on the succulent front scoring the good score so I’m satisfied with my gardening haul.

I have our TV up and running with the DVD player and I doctored the electrical by running a long line of extension cord into one of our wall outlets that we don’t really tap into. This seems to have pleased the electrical panel gods and so there has been no funky flickering of lights or other electronics being turned off with by an electricity overload. We’ve been careful with our electronics since becoming aware of the flickering issue and the bottom line is that we need to get an electrician out here so that’s at the upper portion of our to-do list, but until then it’s an extension cord band-aid. I’m OK with that.

We’ve got a small list of house stuff that we are going to attend to – the time frame is a little up in the air and for now we are just closely monitoring everything that needs watching. Small houses need just as much care/upkeep and attending to as large houses and then there’s the living on water issue up-keeps that replace the living on land ones. What I’ve come to sync with is the fact that home owner issues are home owner issues no matter where or in what you live.

Strangely with all the little things going on I’m feeling pretty good about this past year of nesting/settling in our new home. We’ve lived through one full year of weather starting with winter and now we are coming full circle. How we use our space is still something that changes as we change the things we do, but our home is small enough that things are pretty easy to switch around without it being too much of an ordeal.

If you have any thoughts or ideas about container gardening on the water I’d love to hear them – especially if you live(d) on the water. Right now I’m trying to think about ways to anchor the planters. I’m thinking L-brackets to kinda brace the four corners of square planter boxes just to keep them from jostling around when the waves hit. I’m hesitating because I’m not wanting to drill holes all over our deck but then no one is out there except for me and the husband so keeping the planters upright kinda outweighs the cosmetic concerns. We aren’t going to be hanging any plants. I’m pretty sure this is just going to be an ongoing learning curve *lols* I’m OK with that too. If you have pictures of your own floating home garden stuff that you’d like to share that is totally welcome <3 I’m on Pinterest myself under DARKKATPOUNCING and I have a board dedicated to our tiny house.

Tonight we are wrapping up a visit with Mom who came down this weekend. The chill breeze has kicked up and the house is rocking. So on that note Good night!

Cleaning in The Mist…

So when we first got the house I had given it some name – I can’t even remember what now.  I ended up changing it to MIST after a nearby town and it was something mentioned in casual conversation by Sean. I love the name. We don’t really refer to it by it’s given name but I love it all the same :)

We have two weeks in a row of visitors starting with our kids Anna and her boyfriend Andrew. I got so used to having them in and about the house but between their whole turning 18 doing their own thing and us moving there’s been no kids on the daily.I miss them and I’m excited that they’re coming to visit. The weekend after my Mom is coming up to see us.

This has my focus turning to picking up the house a bit and thinking about what is downstairs and what I am currently actively using (it changes week to week it) and what can be taken upstairs. Since previously clearing out and gifting/donating items I have  A LOT of space on my side of the room for stuff I want out of our downstairs living space. This is good. This will create nooks for visitor luggage and keep our walk ways clear.

Living in a tiny house makes walk space important. Especially since you have to factor in the kitchen counter, couch and various small furniture items subtracting from that visitor space. I’ve seen a few of the tiny home shows as well as read articles picturing how people curtain off spaces to create a “clean looking” space. I suppose I COULD do that with our tiny coat area that is under the ladder but ultimately I feel like an additional rod and material would just get in our way since Sean uses this space quite a bit for his coats and dress jackets. While I would like to develop a “clean look”, having it usable is the priority.

I have a cardboard box that is kinda large and I’ve been putting stuff in there the last few weeks that I am donating to the local thrift store. It’s actually getting full and so will be getting out of the house before the kids show up. I am going to go through the one large bin I have upstairs and see if I can’t clear it out. I don’t really know what is even in there at this point. I may see if I can’t get rid of that bin entirely – maybe just donate it as well. We’ll see.

We still have our small 30ish inch TV upstairs unplugged and unused. I’m considering bringing it downstairs with the DVD Player. The table my Mom got for my sewing machine can be used to hold the TV and DVD Player. That or move what’s on our standing desk-cabinet (the re-purposed dresser) to the sewing table and put the TV and Player up on the standing desk. Visually that may be best. I’m kinda excited and dorking out about it. When I’m finished I’ll take pictures and post them to my Pinterest Board:

I’m ready to start knitting and crocheting. There are a few types of patterns and stitches I want to look for – I want to teach myself about making afghans <3

I’ve started using the soaps my Mom in Georgia made and sent us and I love them. Right now I have a huge glittery white heart for the kitchen sink and it suds up beautifully. In the shower I have a Rainbow Bar that I procured from FROZEN WATER DESIGNS:


It has a great orange cream smell and I can’t get enough of it :)

Well the daylight is burning . I felt moved to write so I did and now it’s time to continue with the house cleaning :)


Wannabe Minimalist, Getting focused, Getting Crafty

It’s late. I always tell myself I will blog in the a.m. but it’s always at night that I do my blogging.

That being said, on the home front here on the river I’m still cycling through my personal belongings and while I’ve donated and gifted a great deal of it, it never seems like enough. A lot of what I have are items that I felt would have moved through the house by now. Meaning I should have completed projects or sold items in my store.

A point Sean made as an example was that the high sellers (eBay Etsy etc) often have TONS of stuff and with our tiny house we don’t have that type of storage space. It makes sense. Also I have no interest what so ever in over crowding our place. So I look at what I like to craft and I have to think SMALL. So I’ve been changing up/out my Etsy store over the last 8 months – not a quick shaping by any means but it’s getting there. Mostly it’s been feeling out what sells, what doesn’t and at what prices. To a certain degree I’m going to be doing it again with the items I’m actually crafting (not the vintage finds). So we’ll see how that all works out. In the mean time I’ve listed some of the vintage crochet hooks and more yarn which I procure at estate sales and such. I figure sell some knitting and crochet supplies and then make knit/crochet items for the store as well. That’s the current focus.

One good resource I have is a local store that has so far taken everything I’ve given them for resale. Usually I do store credit which works out for me because I’m still decorating the house and I’m also looking at container gardening and outside porch decorating…so for next summer the store credit will work out for getting some of those things. I’ve recently put a few big items on consignment there so we’ll see how that goes. I’m hoping that the items sell. I believe that once on consignment I don’t get those things back. They’ll mark them down then eventually donate them else where. I’m thinking of taking pics and tweeting about them if they haven’t sold the next time I check up on them. Social media shout outs wouldn’t hurt.

This is what I have on the brain. It’s bed time so I’m hitting the hay. This week is more knitting and crochet. I want to make a few more “paper towels” for our house and possibly complete a scarf for the store or a Halloween garland idea I have. Focusing my crafty ideas on the knit and crochet <3



Brain Dump. Tiny house living. Makin’ Space.

In the last few months I’ve been slowly going through my stuff and either selling or donating it in my local areas. I had initially gotten rid of 80% of my belongings when we moved from the condo into the tiny house. We’ve been living here in our tiny house for almost 11 months now & I’ve gotten a bit wild with the collecting of crafty stuff.

I keep finding or thinking up new projects and it’s spilled out of the knitting arena into all kinds of stuff. I keep finding all these really cool pieces and think “Oh I can do this or that bla bla bla.” None of it ever gets done. Our house is roughly 240 square feet on our bottom floor & another 240 square feet on the top floor (where we sleep). I *REALLY* don’t have room for all of this stuff. It pretty much defeats the purpose of getting rid of my initial belongings you know.

I figure it’s a learning process. I’ve had years of building up the accumulation habits & while I don’t see this taking me years to undo, I feel like OK – 11 months is enough of an eye opener that I can stop it now. *laughs* So I tried it and realized that all the crafts are just not going to work here. Even if I had the space there are just too many to realistically finish. So I’ve been unloading stuff. The sewing machine went because even though it was a really great gift from my husband 2 years ago, I never got around to teaching myself how to work on it. We were both amazed at the amount of space we recovered in getting it out of the house. Awesome.

I decided to make up as many of the hair barrettes/hair clips as I could since I have so many brooches and clip earrings to up-cycle. I’ll put them up for sale in my etsy store and after that I might just stop it with the hair clips unless it’s one that I feel really inspired to do for a gift or for myself.

On one of our outings Sean found a small white plastic first aid box. It didn’t have any logos on it – it was just plain white. In excellent condition and only 50 cents or a dollar at SCRAP we snagged it and I used that for my sewing kit. I got rid of the huge sewing basket and all the extras that I didn’t need or use. I just kept the basics and they all fit in the first aid box. NICE.

Right now my next challenge is yarn. I have a lot of it. Again. My end goal is to have a really nice core collection of yarn and be active on knitting it up for winter gifts and for my etsy store inventory. I have through Friday to gather up another load for trade/resale. If we aren’t doing anything maybe I’ll get it cleared out this weekend.

I wanted to make up recipe cards out of old school recipe books and booklets.  I have a stack of that to work through and clip out. I have everything except the mod-podge which I will use as glue and sealant. I’m actually going to complete that project. I figure get rid of the stack and just put all the clippings in a large envelope then spend some time working them up. It’s one of the projects that I sincerely want to do. I feel like I should finish some of these ideas I started. What I’m really looking are those things that aren’t sell-able as is – I make up the project I got them for.

Now as I’m writing this I’m thinking…maybe it just all goes to donation. I’m hella cracking up about it now. It’s ok to get excited about ideas but seriously I need to just Pinterest it. Pinterest. This has actually been a good tool for me. Lately when I get in those moods I go off on a Pinterest spree and pin all the stuff I’m excited about. Anytime I want to look at it I can and GEE WHIZ! It doesn’t take up space in the house! I like that. Thank you Pinterest.

So now I’m going to get to it. Next clearing phase. Yarn. Mmmmm YARN.



Wedding Keepsakes <3

We had a very small wedding as I’ve mentioned before in other posts. I think we had a total of around 20 people. Most in couples so that left us with about 10 wedding cards. I wasn’t sure if there was any sort of tradition with saving them. I mean most people save cards from holidays or birthdays. Knowing we were moving full time into our tiny house directly after the wedding I thought I’d hang on to the cards to use as wall decor. Maybe I could think of something crafty to do with them.

I decided I wanted to put them up in our room since there’s a lot of wall space available there. The challenge is that it’s all sloped wall. Total A-frame roof in the bedroom and there isn’t much in standing room. Practically nothing really.

Laying down looking out into our room...

Laying down looking out into our room…

So the tallest point in the room is where I can stand and my head just about hit’s the peak there. Sean can’t even stand at all in the room. He has to duck down a bit if he does. Anything I put up there would have to be tacked or drilled in to hang I think.

One morning a while back as I woke up staring at our ceiling I wondered why the previous owners installed the cork board that that did. Maybe they had a small desk by the window? (we have another window on the wall by our heads). But why not put the cards there? I mean the cork board is already installed. All I’d need are some thumb tacks and I could wake up in the morning to the beautiful cards we had received <3



So the view I have now when I open my eyes in the morning (looking up). I figure I’ll incorporate more decorative stuff to fill up the board and maybe move the cards a round a bit but for now they’re up and not taking up storage real estate :)

Close up of the card….

Close up

Close up

KLOUT PERKS – Savoring the flavors

I had recently decided to rejoin Klout Perks and I’ve been enjoying their new layout which brings me into contact with new people places and products. I was alerted by Klout that I had a perk waiting for for me if I was interested so I checked it out. Perks are an interesting thing. Depending on your interests you’re offered samples of things to try usually based off of what you talk about on your social media.

In this case a variety of Fair Trade items were being offered by various companies to try for free. REALLY? OK! So I sent off for the sample pack that had a little bit of everything. This is what I was sent:

I felt like angelic music was playing when I opened the box. HA HA.

I felt like angelic music was playing when I opened the box. HA HA.

It was the mother lode of goodness and what excited me most is that I had not tried any of these brands before. NICE!

We are serious coffee drinkers in this house so the first thing I did was grind up each bag for our pour over. I was basking in the rich aromas that filled our tiny house.

TONY'S and DILLANOS so different from each other and so delicious.

TONY’S and DILLANOS so different from each other and so delicious.

Dillanos LA FAMILIA GUZMAN ORGANIC blend is what I tried first. It’s a part of DILLANOS One Harvest Project and keeping it short and sweet, they work directly with the Guzman family/ADISA cooperative in Peru and this means cutting out a lot of middle men and more support going directly to the farmers that grow the coffee. It’s a definite win/win. Gotta love FAIR TRADE.

The first thing I noticed in opening the bag is the sweet and roasty scent. In our daily drinking we pick coffee up from the store and our store coffee seriously paled in comparison. Fresh roasted, it reminded me of waking up as a kid to my dad brewing his coffee in the early a.m.

I started the pour over and was delighted as the roasted coffee scent deepened.  Our house is only roughly 250 square feet (we live in a tiny home) and was now enveloped in coffee heaven. Who needs scented candles?

After pouring myself a cup I sat down and smiled at my first sip. I’m not into bitter tasting coffee. Usually I need to add in milk to tame it a bit and this was not the case with Dillanos Guzman blend. This coffee is smooth and didn’t need any sweetener (which I also usually add to my coffee).  It’s rare for me to find I coffee I would drink black without sugar. Out of curiosity I added in some coconut milk and sweetener. This turned it into a light sweet treat for me.  Delicious.

My husband has been drinking it and though this coffee is listed as a medium he felt it was more of a light coffee. It’s a mild flavored coffee and not too sharp so if you like your coffee friendly on the palate then this one is for you. I really enjoyed it.

The next coffee I tried a little later in the week is TONY’S PERU CEPICAFE. CEPICAFE is the co-op in Northern Peru that Tony’s works with. Organic and Fair Trade focused this is also a partnership that benefits the farmers and gives them more for the care and quality that they put into growing their coffee beans.

This coffee made me chuckle. Upon opening the bag I was greeted with a soft loamy coffee scent. Definite cocoa notes and a little sweet to my nose. Having just woke up, in retrospect this was the perfect coffee to try this morning.

TONY’S describes this coffee as “Cocoa, Vanilla, Malty Body” and even though that’s plain enough I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from “Malty” not with a coffee. So with eyes half mast I sat and took my first sip. My eyes popped open. Oh. MALTY. *laughs* for me (in connection with Tony’s Coffee) malty means BOUNCY. The coffee hit my tongue and proceeded to bounce all over my mouth. It was like the coffee wanted to make sure every part of me tasted it. Very bright very eye opening. It took the cocoa and smoothed out any bitterness with the vanilla notes. I normally go for mellow coffees and I’ll tell you I would SO love to have this on a camping trip. It brewed up into a very awesome cup. In after thought I added some almond milk and sweetener and that took it from a bright light to a soft glow.

The chocolate. The first chocolate I tried is the UNREAL chocolate peanut butter cups:



I shared this with my husband and immediately wanted more.  Unreal who uses non-GMO, organic ingredients has totally got me hooked. I am now seeking out their chocolatey goodness ALWAYS. The milk chocolate is lightly sweet. I love this. Some milk chocolates are so sugar filled that you lose any sense of the chocolate flavor only tasting sweet. I’d also like to high five them for the balance of chocolate and peanut butter. The peanut butter did not over power the chocolate and vice versa. Both flavors melted and blended and the one candy cup just wasn’t enough. Try them but buy two, because YUM.

The next chocolate was also from UNREAL and it was their Milk Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cup:

Single chocolate cup of yum!

Single chocolate cup of yum!

A crunchy peanut butter cup? Ok. There was only one of these, but I still shared it.  I need more *laughs*. Light sweet milk chocolate smooth and delicious. The peanut butter is super creamy and then there’s a crunch. The quinoa adds a pleasant little crunch and honestly I can’t decide which peanut butter cup I like better. Both have the same delicious flavor – but if you like a little crunch in your candy I’d choose this one.

The last candy I tried is ALTER ECO Dark Salted Burnt Caramel Organic Chocolate:


I love reading about the products I get and this chocolate didn’t disappoint:


I thought it was just a small blurb on info on the chocolate but it was more than that:



As I enjoyed my chocolate I also got to learn a bit about ALTER ECO what they do and why they do it. Not just consuming but learning about where the product comes from and how the Acropagro Co-Op helps restore their ecosystems with their agriculture practices. It’s an eye opener and an amazingly delicious chocolate.

This chocolate came at me in waves. At first taste it was smooth and I could taste the dark chocolate but without any of the expected bitterness. This was surprising but I happily enjoyed it. After the swell of earthy dark chocolate came a sweet caramel swirled with a sharp salty flavor. POW! A pow that left me satisfied. The sweet and salty mingles with the 70% cocoa and fades out…until I take another bite.

I would have finished the whole bar but luckily my husband helped me out with that. The smile on his face let me know we had found a dark chocolate winner.

The last two items I was gifted was the FAIR TRADE lip balm and the KLEAN KANTEEN 16 oz. tumbler.


I love this lip balm! It smells minty and has a light tingle going on. It’s not greasy and absorbs nicely into my skin. Fair Trade USA – THANK YOU. This contains Fair Trade Certified cocoa butter with organic ingredients (like beeswax, coconut oils etc). A very well made lip balm.

The Klean Kanteen tumber is AWESOME. It’s stainless steel, vacuum insulated and great for hot or cold drinks.



This is the perfect size tumbler for me and has worked great with my pour over coffee. I had been looking around for an insulated tumbler since I got rid of all my old ones in our move last year. We used to have an electric coffee pot but having downsized we opted for a pour over set up which takes less space and doesn’t require a plug in. So while I can brew fresh coffee I usually only get the first cup as a hot cup. Now? Problem solved. Kleen Kanteen: Well made and well loved!

Again I’d like to thank Klout for the opportunity to get to know such wonderfully conscious made products. I will definitely be spreading the word!

You can find these awesome companies on Twitter:



Cooking, prepping & Fat Fancy

Yesterday was grocery shopping and instead of multiple trips to the store during the week I decided to think about what I wanted to make for the week as opposed to just winging it nightly. Meal planning. Just thinking about it makes me want to fall sleep but I got it together and even did some planning so that one thing can go into making several dinners. Before going to bed I popped a whole chicken into the crock pot and it was cooked and ready to cool down by 8 a.m. NICE. I knew we’d be out most of the morning so I felt a little productive having the chicken cooling for me while I was out.

Today was a stop into Portland to run an errand and after we wrapped that up Sean suggested we walk over to http://www.fatfancyfashions.com/ and it was AWESOME! I’ve been dying to check them out for a while now. We’re in Portland all the time but finding a free parking space (we aren’t big on parking garages – THE FEES if you don’t get validated) or just an available one on the streets near Fat Fancy hadn’t happened for us yet. Today because our business trip included 3 hr validated parking we took advantage of that and strolled on over.

Lots of pop and color and great vintage wear as well as modern stuff! I loved it and I really want to take my mom there as well. Everything felt fun and even though I didn’t pick up anything today I am SO going back when my wallet refills (LOL). Affordable prices and they have a clearance section as well as $2 bin. Though some of the $2 stuff was stained I had a lot of ideas for using the material in other projects. GREAT retro fabrics in that bin <3

I think the most best part was not only is their store clean with open spaces (I hate going into places and feeling closed in) the cashier was super sweet and made sure she was available while not hovering over us. I don’t mind chatting it up if I’m in the mood but usually when I first go into a place I like to look around get a feel for the place and I get kinda focused with investigating everything. Her customer service was really well balanced and I seriously appreciate that.

Sean was with me and mentioned that he found a few french cuff shirts in his size (they carry women AND men’s clothing!) which is RARE for him to find in thrift stores. We go to one store out in Tacoma for his dress shirts and slacks (new off the rack) and the rest is online. He doesn’t need more french cuff shirts right now but when the time comes we know where to look!

It was a short and super sweet trip <3

I love you Fat Fancy and I WILL be back :)