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This is Nick and Nora’s Amazing DIY Tiny House Journey. These two are just 21 and 23 years old and spent the last two years building this incredible house themselves.

Please scroll down to tour their tiny home then enjoy an exclusive interview with the couple at the bottom.

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Nick and Nora’s Amazing DIY Tiny House Journey

They're Debt-free thanks to their Tiny House

Images via Nick and Nora’s Tiny House

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In search of a more simple life and completeness, the couple, Michael and Diana lived in a 144 square foot tiny home in Northern California for seven years. They feel their house was not tiny but just right for them.

The tiny house does not feel small as you will see below. The natural sunlight and surrounding trees there are magical.

Diana says you enter a timeless time here. And it’s easy to forget about everything but the present moment.

The fireplace is a necessity in this home as it creates heat for the home and bathing water.

With no electricity which means no refrigerator, no meat, no ice cream Diana would cook beautifully colored fresh vegetables in one small cast iron pot over the open fire for their meals.

Enjoy the photos and video below of this unique simple way of living.

Couple Live for 7 years in a 144 Sq. Ft. Tiny House with No Electricity


Images © Faircompanies

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Earlier this year I had the pleasure of getting interviewed by Mohamed Tohami of Midway Simplicity on the topic of living simply and how it can create more freedom for us.

Naturally, it led to us talking about small spaces among many other interesting tips and tricks on how to simplify your life while taking back your freedom.

If this sounds interesting to you, Mohamed just published an article along with the video interview we did together right here.


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This morning I was able to get an interview with Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Houses for you guys.

I think you’ll discover a few things about him that you weren’t aware of before.

Forgive me for the low quality as it was my first time recording my own interview using Skype and Camtasia and I couldn’t figure out how to make my own face bigger (but that’s okay because you want to see/hear Jay, not me, haha).

But I know you’ll enjoy the interview regardless of quality. I had to split it into two parts because of Youtube’s 10 minute rule.

Be sure to watch part two because he’ll tell you about Tumbleweed’s latest upcoming designs which are really interesting and completely different than anything he has ever done.

When you’re done watching do me a favor and leave your thoughts in the comments. I want to hear what you think about his new tiny houses (which he’ll be revealing pictures of soon).

As always I’d appreciate you helping me spread the word by using the Facebook Like and Retweet buttons. Enjoy…

Here’s Part One:

And Part Two:

Spread the word…


The funny thing about this interview is that it started a few months ago so many of the things we’ll go over have already happened.

But I’m glad to introduce you to Rachel Meeks and her family. The important message here is that they’ve embraced simple living and it’s opened up some amazing doors for them–as you’ll learn in the interview…


Alex: Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming book and why you decided to write it?

Rachel: I had a desire to write my ebook Simple Blogging to help others manage the time they spend blogging.

I know it can be a lot of hard work, but most of us don’t have forty hours a week to spend on it. I wanted to encourage people to use their time in the most effective ways possible and help them overcome the challenges I faced when I was getting started such as how to balance blogging time with family time, while still having a great blog.

Alex: Can you tell us how simplifying (in general) changed your family’s life? What has it allowed you guys to accomplish as a family?

Rachel: We have more time to pursue our goals, and simplifying has helped us to realize that our goals don’t look like everybody else’s.  We have more time to spend together.

One way that we have simplified is we live in an apartment with our two children. At first it was just going to be for the first couple of years of our marriage, but then we realized how much we like the benefits.

We’ve saved so much money and not had to buy a house full of furnishings, so when the opportunity came up for my husband to take a year off from work, we’re able to do it.

We’re going to put the stuff we have here into a storage unit and live in an apartment in Italy for a couple of months.

Rachel's Tiny Kitchen in Italy

Rachel's Tiny Kitchen in Italy

Alex: You guys must be so excited! I think a lot of people out there underestimate the power of simplifying, but your family is a great example of what’s possible.

Your motto is “Less, but better” — can you explain what this means to you and why?

Rachel: I have a pair of shoes that I’ve worn almost every day during fall and winter for the last five years.

Initially it was hard for me to pay more for them than I would normally pay for shoes, but I can see now that the quality was worth it.

I’ve saved a lot of time and money by not having to replace them each year. I think the older I become, the less I want to put up with cheaply-made things.

I would rather have fewer things that are well-made.

I apply that philosophy to my time too. I would rather have a few meaningful conversations than a bunch of passing greetings.

I would rather watch one good movie than a dozen television shows that simply pass the time.

Does this make me sound too serious? I still take a lot of leisure time. I’m not super-productive all the time, but I do like to be focused, and that’s not always easy with little kids running around.

Alex: What would you say to other families who want to simplify their lives? And why should they do it?

Rachel: You know, I never really missed anything that I gave away (or that I didn’t buy in the first place). Once it’s gone, you don’t have to think about it. Instead of feeling a sense of loss for the physical things that are gone, I get a sense of freedom.

I am trying to take more risks and get out of my comfort zone a bit (and oh, how I love my comfort), but I could not do that if I had a lot of stuff weighing me down.

Thanks Alex!

Rachel Meeks
SmallNotebook.org— Encouragement for a simple home.
SimpleBlogging.net— Less computer time, better blogging.


Last week I got to talk with Marc Hyman who builds custom tiny houses in California. His company’s name is Custom Cabins. Enjoy the interview, ask questions in the comments, and visit his website.


Alex: Can you tell us a little history about yourself and what got you into the world of tiny houses?

Marc: I moved to Santa Barbara from New York City almost 20 years ago. I had gone to law school in New York City, passed the bar and disliked urban living.

I came to California for a friend’s wedding and I was sold on the great outdoors and sunshine. I discovered the amazing back country real estate that was priced very cheaply because there were no utilities in reach.

This was way before the off-the-grid movement but I was always looking for a way to make those remote places livable.

I’m talking 20 acres of high desert or Sierra land for $20,000. I always thought, what a bargain there has to be a way to live there cheaply.

Fast forward 10 years later, I got into real estate as a licensed agent. Prices in Santa Barbara were going through the roof and once again I got to thinking about living in a beautiful place without all of the expensive trimmings.

At the same time, one summer I needed extra space in my house in Santa Barbara where visiting teen age cousins could sleep since all of the bedrooms in the house were full.

So I decided to build my first cabin to house the summer visitors. The structure had to be spacious, affordable, and well designed.

Custom Cabins - Tiny House

Photo credits: Marc Hyman

I learned a lot that year about small house designs and that first cabin got me hooked.

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