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Some of you who follow me on instagram  and facebook have been watching me post pictures of me decluttering and preparing for my move. Some of you know what we are going to do this year, but some of you don’t, so I wanted to share it with you all…

The short version:
We bought an airstream trailer and we are currently living in it full time! And it’s not because we HAVE to, it’s because we WANT to! 😄

The long version:
This year we decided to go TINY!!! If you asked me to do this a year ago, I would have told you NO WAY! You’re crazy! Haha I was at a different point in my life. But this year we decided to go for it, and try it out. What does “going tiny” mean? Why are we going “tiny” and how? I decided to share our story in hopes of helping someone else out there and also to document our little adventure to look back on years down the road when we are old.

Let me give you the background.
A little over 3 years ago my second son was born and I became a stay at home mom. It was such a big transition for me to stop working and stay home full time. I had several boxes of things from my office piled up on the window seat in my bedroom and all of the toys and things that come along with having a family of 4 began driving me nuts! I share more about that here. I share about how I ended up hiring a professional organizer to help me go through those things and give me a jump-start towards minimizing. I got rid of a lot, but with kids I feel like it is a continual process. At that time I also didn’t really want to get rid of some of the things that I thought were useful around the house, like 20 pens!! I mean, what if I may use them later!!? And I still kept more clothes then I really needed too as well (like those skinny jeans I told myself I would fit in, or my favorite shirt with the stain lol). I have always been the type to not waste anything. So I kept things, “just in case I needed it.” I hate throwing things in the trash, especially since I find everything useful. So this was a huge challenge for me. While I still don’t like throwing things away, I am now able to sift through my items and donate things much quicker to give away to someone who could use it or even sell an item. Win, Win for me!

Around the same time we took a class called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey and found the  Mr. Money Mustache Blog, which really began our ultimate goal towards financial independence. We paid off our cars and student loans and began to save even more aggressively. I battled with it though. Why do we need to save so much money? I just didn’t fully get it. My husband has always been passionate about finances and I wanted to understand why. About a year after I stayed at home, our income went up and our savings rate got higher so I felt like we were ready to start looking for our “dream home.” So over the next two years I watched the market, and searched for it. My husband on the other hand was perfectly fine staying in our current “starter home” that we bought in 2010 before we had kids. In my search, I didn’t find our dream home, but I did find a rental that I liked. I thought it was the perfect solution to “try out” a neighborhood we may potentially buy a house in and to see if we really did want to buy a bigger house. Now it was time to convince my husband this was what we should do. He surprised me and said yes, but only if I could get our place rented out. I had a week!! So I did what any woman in my position would do. Clean the house, take pictures and do all the research to become a property manager. Within a week I had it rented to a lovely couple, moved ourselves out and into the new place! It was an insane couple of weeks. We moved into the house on January 15, 2016. You can see some of that move documented on my instagram if you go back.

We loved our rental house and for the first half of the year couldn’t wait to find one of our own in the same area. Probably a lot like other young families though you look around at this moment in time and the home prices are outrageous. I looked for a while anyway, but didn’t find a house I was in love with. Around the middle of the year a more dramatic change in mindset started to take hold.  We went into this rental thinking we would want to buy a bigger house, but now we weren’t so sure. Did I really want to spend all day cleaning one? Or have my husband working long hours in his prime years taking precious time away from our family just to pay for one? What if we don’t have to do it this way?

There have been so many different influences, but one that stands out is a documentary called Minimalism film We watched it early last year when it came out in the theatres. It is an amazing film about the important things, and living life with less. After watching it I honestly wanted to get rid of everything I owned. It really changed my mindset even more about possessions, what was in my home and about what I really wanted for our future and our family. The movie is a must watch for anyone.
Here is the trailer to give you an idea of what it was about:

One of the many things I learned more about while watching the film was that maybe we didn’t have to do things the “traditional” way, maybe there was a different way. Something outside the box. That is where I learned more about tiny homes. I knew they had the Tiny House show on HGTV, but I never really watched it. I was very intrigued and began dreaming about maybe living in one. So funny because I had just moved into a beautiful house with such a spacious living room that I loved, and now here I was dreaming about living tiny! What a mind shift. Why the change of heart? We loved the thought of being able to build a tiny home of our own with ample outdoor living space, pay cash for it, live completely debt free and be able to use our resources and time for other causes that we were passionate about. So I began doing research on tiny houses only to find out the many laws and regulations making it super tough to even find a place to park one in our area. Over the course of several months we began thinking about other “tiny” solutions we could move our family into to try out and see how we really like tiny living. We looked into them all! A yurt? A teepee? I was looking into every possible option and met and got a chance to see some incredible people along the way who actually owned them and some live in them. There are some really awesome and helpful people out there and I am thankful to have met them. We also began to think about something a little more mobile that we could live in and potentially use on a property we would buy in the future. We remembered our friend owned an Airstream travel trailer, so we went to check it out at her place and I immediately knew this was IT! And we had our mind set on buying an Airstream that we could live in. This was around November.

I immediately went home and began going through my items getting rid of more things and doing some research on airstream living. In October I did the Project 333 challenge to start minimizing clothes which was very helpful. I was ready. I was ready to let go of a lot of my possessions. The things that held sentimental value or I thought were “useful” I now was ready to say goodbye to. It was pretty easy to let go of a ripped, stained shirt now, but what about the ones that I still had tags on that just sat in my closet or cost me a lot? What about my high school and college sports jerseys that have been sitting in a box collecting dust? As time went on and we began getting closer to purchasing our airstream things just got easier to let go. I watched a couple videos to pump me up and inspire me. I began following others on instagram  and reading blogs about other families who also lived in airstreams to know that this WAS possible with 2 kids. This was going to be a leap of faith, but we were ready for it. We knew this was going to be a challenge for ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and live even more simply. My husband was thrilled because he has always been the one pushing for a more minimalist lifestyle.
Check out this video that really inspired me to want to do this:

Tomorrow Somewhere New from Dark Rye on Vimeo.

We were excited and a bit nervous about this adventure because of all the unknowns. I mean we had never even slept in a trailer before! Haha But we knew this was what we wanted to do. So we searched around for Airstreams and found a 1967 Airstream Safari named “Audrey” @sbsilversafari (she had her own instagram from a previous owner who used it as a rental at weddings). We loved that it was a vintage trailer, but had a nice updated kitchen in it, updated floors in the living area, a small tub and shower that would fit both of our boys and it also had space to sleep 4-5. So we bought her!! We still have plans to do a few updates, but we were glad that it was in move in ready condition. She arrived on December 15 (our 9 year wedding anniversary!) All of a sudden it was real. We were going to really do this! We had a month to really get down and dirty decluttering and minimizing our belongings even more so we would only take what we truly loved and needed in our “Tiny Home.” We also had to figure out where in the world we were going to park her! We were blessed enough to have our friends allow us to rent space (with hook-ups!) on their beautiful property in Simi Valley, Ca. We moved out of our house on January 14 and officially moved into the Airstream on Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

It’s been a little over a week since we moved in and if any of you are in California, you know what the weather has been like! I told myself, “Well, if we can survive our first week living in an Airstream with all this rain then the rest of our time here will be a breeze! Haha I am happy to say we are doing well and adjusting nicely. I could do without the commute to my boys school, but will make the sacrifice as long as they want to go there. lol We are excited to see how this will all unfold and what it will be like living in such tight quarters with each other, especially with two kids! So far, so good. We know that there will be challenges, and it won’t always be butterflies and rainbows, but we are ready to face them, learn from them and to grow as people. It’s only been a week and a half since we moved in and have learned so much already. Like how to grocery shop and store things in a mini fridge and how to cook dinner on a tiny 3 burner stove top! We don’t need a large space to be happy. We truly believe in the importance of quality time with our family and we look forward to hitting the road over the Summer to travel around and see the country. I know these will be special memories that we will cherish for a lifetime. We will take all of this month by month and see where God leads us.

With all that being said we do have other plans up our sleeve (like selling our home and pursuing a land purchase)…but more on that in a future post. We know this is what God is calling us to do at this time in our lives and we are rolling with it! We don’t know exactly where God will take us, but we know it will be an adventure. We could use all the support, positive vibes and prayers we can get. Thank you in advance. We are very excited about this new journey that we are on and look forward to sharing it with you. If you have any questions about anything feel free to ask and I will try and answer some of them in upcoming posts. Below are some pics of our Airstream. The beginning ones are from when we first got it. Now it has all of our stuff in it so it looks a bit different now. You can also follow me over on Instagram as I will be posting more photos of what we are up to on this new adventure. Cheers!

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Our Spot:

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Oat Almond Spelt Pancakes

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Almond Flour (I used sprouted almonds that I got from the farmers market + ground them in the blender until finely ground. You can try it with regular almonds too)
  • 1 3/4 Cup Oat Flour (Take rolled oats and grind them in the blender until finely ground)
  • 1/2 Cup Sprouted Spelt Flour ( I used this brand)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt (Like this one)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 Organic Eggs
  • 1 Tbs Real Maple Syrup (Like this kind)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk ( I used Hemp Milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Heat up your griddle (I use this one). Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together with a whisk. Make a well then add the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour batter onto griddle. Wait til it bubbles before flipping! Serve warm topped with real maple syrup, honey or fresh fruit.

ENJOY!

 

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favorite lunch supplies

So my son just started elementary school last week! I can’t believe he is in TK! I don’t know if I will cry or be happy. haha He is very excited about school and I guess I can’t wait to see how he likes it and how he does. I’m going to be making lunches for him so I wanted to share with you some of my favorite finds! I have been making lunches for about a week now and it’s been much easier then I thought! I will be sharing some lunch and snack ideas over on my instagram and my private group on facebook. Head on over and check it out! Hope everyone has a great school year!!

Lunch Boxes

This is by far my favorite lunch box! It’s a bit pricey but with all that you get I think its worth the investment! It is super easy to open making it easy for my son to enjoy his lunch!

I sometimes use this lunch bag if If I am giving an odd sized or packaged item like seaweed, an apple or banana. You can still use the planetbox if you have ONE of those items by placing it in the front pocket of the bag where the water would go, but if it’s more then one of those type of  odd size item then this bag is great for that. I like that you can easily clip it on the backpack or fit it nicely inside the backpack.

I like this lunchbots lunch box  too. It has great compartments to fill with all kind  of yummy food. The only thing is its a little hard for my 5 year old to open so I use this one when I make lunches on the weekends and will save it for when he is a bit older.

This lunchbots lunch bag is a perfect companion to any of your lunchbots stainless lunchboxes (Like the one I shared above).

For Snacks

I pretty much use this Itzy Ritzy sandwich bag along with the 2 extra compartments that came with the planetbox lunch box for snacks every day. It has worked great!


This one is great for on the go snacks. I use it mostly for my toddler. Once Nico can open this one on his open will be perfect to take with him to school for his snacks.

Water Bottles

I love this straw sippy cup because it is insulated, doesn’t leak and is easy to use! It does have a few parts that go with it, but you can easily replace the straws if you need to in the future.

I just spied this water bottle and will be getting it soon to try out! Love that it is all stainless steel and insulated as well!

Extras

This thermos insulated container is perfect for warm food that you will send for your kid to school. Think soups, rice, lentils, noodles, oatmeal, or anything that you want to keep warm.

Love these utensils to send along with my son to eat his food.

Another great option for utensils are these bamboo ones!

I definitely like to send my son with a reusable napkin. These ones looks super cute and are affordable.

I’m going to be using these molds to put green smoothies in and freeze. You can also use these to put yogurt in if you like!

You will need one of these ice packs for your planet box lunch box!

These are great to have as well to help keep lunches and snacks cool.

These are cute sandwich cutters. I have the train one and my son loves it when I cut his sandwich out with it. Makes it fun for them when they are young.

These look so cute they are going on my wish list!

These are super cute and you can use them to cut out some fruits and veggies for lunches!

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I’m so thankful for my mom who instilled this message in me. She always encouraged me to follow my passions and supported whatever it was that I wanted to follow. From playing volleyball, basketball, dancing to becoming a Christian, and even to moving away for college she allowed me to experience and go through things to help me be who I am today. As we experience life from college, to career life, to becoming a wife and then a mother we will be tossed back and forth a few times as we make decisions and figure out what it is we ultimately want to do with our life. It can become confusing at times. I remember when I first became a mom and realized how many different parenting philosophies and ways of raising our children there are. It confused me and drove me nuts! I am not a fan of labels and I think its because I don’t believe there is ONE way of doing something. Ultimately, it was when I searched from within and looked to God, and remembered who I am, where I found peace in knowing that I am doing a great job regardless of what anyone else was doing. We are all different as human beings and as mothers. Embrace those differences and encourage one another to be the best version of yourself you can be!  We need to unite as mothers, because it surely does “take a village.” I never really understood that message until I became a parent. I am so thankful for all of my friends who have helped me! There are also so many that have gone before us who we can learn from. So take advantage of that!! Never hesitate to talk to other mothers who you respect and look up to so they can help you in this wild ride called motherhood. There are also lots of great blogs, websites, and books who have helped shape the way I do things. But ultimately, the #1 peice of advice I can give you is to dig deep inside of who you are and listen to that motherly instinct when making decisions for your family. Realize that you WILL make mistakes, but be gentle and patient with yourself and know that YOU are a GREAT mother! BE YOU! This goes for all aspects of life. The way you eat, the clothes you wear, the job you have, the house you live in, the traditions you create with your family and so on. When we are totally consumed by social media we can become way too influenced by others that we can forget who WE are. It can be good and bad. Good because you can see there are some ways you can improve who you are. But you will drive yourself crazy trying to be all sorts of people or change all sorts of things about yourself. Of course we can always improve and become better, but go easy on yourself. Love yourself.  Take it one step at a time and don’t forget to see the great and unique qualities that you can offer the world. Be confident in who you are. That is when you will begin to truly find your passion and what you want to put out in the world. BE YOURSELF. BE YOU! You may go through some challenges, discover new ideas, learn new things and that is great! Be humble! That is where you will grow into the person God has created you to be and you will find your ultimate purpose. I feel so fulfilled doing what I do, and that is sharing my passion of helping families live happier and healthier. I have created a private Facebook group called WHOLE FAMILIES LA for anyone who wants to join. I absolutely love connecting with people and the group is a great way to do just that. The purpose of the group is to build a POSITIVE support community for parents and caregivers to give and get advice for all areas of parenthood as well as to provide resources and tips for living a happy, healthy lifestyle. I will be sharing my blog posts there as well as other tips and resources for families and would love to learn from you as well!! Let’s continue to grow, learn and become the BEST version of ourselves that we can be! xo

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Whole Families LA

I wanted to invite all of my wonderful readers to a new group that I created. It is a private Facebook group called WHOLE FAMILIES LA and I am very excited about it!! It will be a great community for families of all ages to give and get support. This group was created to build a POSITIVE support community for parents and caregivers to give and get advice for all areas of parenthood as well as to provide resources and tips for living a happy, healthy lifestyle. You can read the full description of the group and join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WholeFamiliesLA/

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“We are told that if we are beautiful, if we are skinny, if we are successful, famous, if we fit in, if everyone loves us then we will be happy…but that is not entirely true. The most important journey I think all of us will go through is the journey within ourselves, to find our truth, to find who we are and what makes us happy.”

This weekend I went on an amazing women’s retreat with my church. It was an inspiring time full of laughter, tears, inspiration and bonding. I always love going to these events because it helps rejuvenate me and draw me closer to God. When I saw the video above it reminded me of my time there. The theme was called “Empowered” and one of the lessons taught by our amazing elder Erlyn Sugarman talked about how we need to be empowered through surrender. She talked about how many times we can have pity parties with ourselves. Whether it be us feeling we aren’t pretty enough, tall enough, or skinny enough. Or maybe we are going through a health challenge and just feeling down. Whatever it may be we need to accept it and surrender it to God. How do we do that? By daily “pep talks” with God through our daily quiet times with him. He is the one who can give us strength to change what we need to and if it is something we cannot change (like our height! lol) the ability to accept that is how he created us. Pray for God to change your perspective!! How wondrous life can be seen though heavens eyes rather then earthly eyes. How long has it been since you picked up your bible and prayed? As busy moms we can sometimes be so rushed and busy that we forget to have our daily times with God and rely on our own strength to get through the day. It’s challenging enough being a mom. We need to call on God for our strength and encouragement to help us fight those daily battles. The scriptures teach us what God’s purpose is for our life and teaches us how to truly be happy. Fame, beauty, success, wealth… none of these things will truly fulfill the longing in your heart. But God… He can do that! Let us fix our eyes on him and be content in whatever circumstances we are in. Let us remember that God created us for a wonderful purpose. Think about what your talents and passions are and use those to glorify Him rather then our own selfish ambitions. God can use us to do incredible things and can use EVERYONE! Never be defined by your past. Be DONE with it! “What to be is up to ME!”

Other take aways from the lessons shared over the weekend:

  • Don’t let other peoples opinion of you define you.
  • Don’t sell your identity for compliments from others.
  • Look to the higher source for our definition of worth.
  • God sometimes closes doors on us, but with a plan! (Think Hannah)
  • Be willing to go the long haul in prayer.
  • Pray earnestly, fervently and transparent in prayer.
  • Prayer is essential to the survival of our marriages and relationships.
  • Change YOU first. Don’t look at others to blame.
  • Prayer teaches us to be JOYFUL always.
  • The message of the cross is love and forgiveness. It gives you the power to overcome.
  • God wants us to develop and reach or fullest potential to make a difference.
  • There are certain things only YOU can do and only certain people YOU can reach out to.
  • Let your light shine!

*Proverbs 14:30* “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

Thank you to Erlyn, Jennifer  and all of the other women who shared from their lives and have called me to be empowered through surrender, prayer, and purpose!! Be YOU and be the best version of YOU that you possibly can. Allow God to use you in powerful ways and don’t allow Satan to steal your joy and rob you of the beautiful life He wants you to live.

Here is a beautiful video that some lovely women from our church created!

2016 EmPOWERed Retreat from OneTwenty on Vimeo.

 

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Move Why excercise is important

GET MOVING! This is #3 of my top tips for living a healthier, happier and longer life. This is probably one of the most that people struggle with, because they have NO TIME. How many of you can relate!? I can!! There are times when this gets forgotten due to appointments, getting the kids to school, volunteering and work. Maybe you are a busy stay at home mom with a toddler, or maybe you work full time. Whatever the reason you feel you don’t have time to work out is, I encourage you to think of creative ways to get at least 20-30 minutes of physical activity worked into your every day life. Get creative and multi task if needed. For stay at home moms take your baby out on a nice stroller ride to a nearby park or around the block. For full time employees if it’s possible ride your bike to work to get your exercise in, or work out during your break for 15min. If you have a desk job it’s even more important for you to get up out of your seat for at least 2 minutes every 30min to stand and move a bit. Check out this study where it shows that lowering your physical activity had a direct correlation with blood sugar levels spiking after meals. Spikes and swings in blood sugar after meals have been linked to the development of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. So think about ways you can make movement a priority in your life.

Movement facilitates the development of increased blood vessels that carry learning-essential water, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. By moving your body each day you will improve your mood, boost energy levels, fight heart disease and stroke, look and feel better, manage stress, lose weight, and have better chances of a low risk and natural pregnancy.

It’s also important for our children! Check out this article that shows how movement is essential to learning. It demonstrates that movement can be an effective cognitive strategy to (1) strengthen learning, (2) improve memory and retrieval, and (3) enhance learner motivation and morale. Currently, the MEDLINE database shows more than 33,000 scientific articles on the topic of exercise, and the vast majority of them confirm its value. One study showed that people who exercise have far more cortical mass than those who don’t (Anderson, Eckburg, & Relucio, 2002). Simple biology supports an obvious link between movement and learning. Oxygen is essential for brain function, and enhanced blood flow increases the amount of oxygen transported to the brain. Physical activity is a reliable way to increase blood flow, and hence oxygen, to the brain. These are just a few reasons play, recess, and physical education in schools are essential for all children.

 Where do I start?
Get up and Move by doing things you enjoy!! Lets face it. Many of us are busy moms. Maybe we don’t have the time or energy to get to the gym. Or maybe you aren’t a fan of the gym (like me!) Trust me, you do not have to spend countless hours at the gym running on the treadmill if you hate it. The point here is to find something that is going to get you up and moving! I always encourage others to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lifestyle. For example: Carrying or wearing your baby, stroller walking or jogging, if you enjoy being in the outdoors go on a hike! Physical activity does not have to be boring!

How often?
Experts recommend 20-30min of aerobic activity 3 or more times a week along with muscle strengthening and flexibility training at least twice a week. To make it easy do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a day.

Tips:
If you have been inactive for a while, don’t fret! You can do it!! Start at a slow pace and begin incorporating physical activity such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. As your body gets in shape and becomes stronger you can increase your level of activity and efforts.

 For Pregnant Mothers:
Maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout your pregnancy can help you stay healthy and feel your best. Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. There is evidence that physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), relieve stress, and build more stamina needed for labor and delivery.

If you were physically active before your pregnancy, you should be able to continue your activity in moderation. Don’t try to exercise at your former level; instead, do what’s most comfortable for you now. Low impact aerobics are encouraged versus high impact.

Pregnancy Tools and Tips
The pregnant competitive athlete should be closely followed by an obstetrician.

If you have never exercised regularly before, you can safely begin an exercise program during pregnancy after consulting with your health care provider, but do not try a new, strenuous activity. Walking is considered safe to initiate when pregnant.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise per day on most if not all days of the week, unless you have a medical or pregnancy complication. Source 

Postpartum

It’s important to rest and heal for at least the first 30 days postpartum. It is a huge adjustment and this is the period where you bond with your baby, get your nursing relationship established and heal from your birth. Please take it easy! It took you 9 months to have your beautiful baby and it will take some time for you to get back into your the body you desire. But don’t worry! You will get there eventually.

For Kids:
Everyone can benefit from regular exercise. Kids who are active will:

Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test. Source 

Everyone can benefit from exercise! I personally love taking my kids on scooter rides, bike rides, hiking, and walks. These are just a few fun ways to get your family involved. So what kind of ways will you be moving YOUR body this week!?

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