I’m not usually a nervous flyer

As I woke up at 4AM for my flight to Winnipeg, I felt nervous. Except this time, it wasn’t like an excited nervousness. No, this nervousness stemmed from two things that were stressing me out to no end.

A small part of me was nervous because I felt unprepared for this trip. If you know me, even in the slightest, then you know that I am constantly planning and prepping things – way in advance. And for I don’t know what reason, I had not done any of my usual travel planning. I did not make a checklist. I did not print a packing list until the very last minute (I am stressing out just typing this). I did not pre-pack. I did not think about the size of my suitcase, or that checked luggage was not included on the flight that I booked, so then I had to downsize  and leave behind half of my liquids. I did not, I did not, I did not. But I did feel stressed as fuck.

But the worse part is that all that stress wasn’t even the main reason behind my nervousness. The real reason was all because of a guitar. Specifically, my very expensive Gibson Blues King 3/4 size guitar that I needed to bring with me.

I was absolutely THRILLED when one of my very good friends not only asked me to attend, but also to sing and play in her wedding – in Winnipeg. I obviously said yes – as you can probably tell from the fact that I’m writing about how nervous I am to be travelling there – with no hesitation. But it later dawned on me that I had never actually travelled by plane with a musical instrument.

PANIC! UTTER PANIC! What do I do?! I have no idea what I’m supposed to do! How do I protect it? How do I keep it safe? Dear God, WHAT IF THEY BREAK MY GUITAR?!

Oh, and did I mention this realization only hit me a few days before the wedding day?

Well, I supposed that the best thing to do would be to ask for help, so I did what any young adult would do – I turned to Facebook.

Judge me all you want, but I actually got feedback from a lot of travelling musicians, some of whom I had not spoken to in a very long time.

I had a lengthy conversation via the comments section about whether to have it fly as checked baggage, or as a carry on, and whether to put it in a soft case, or a hard case. Pretty much everyone was in agreement – carry on, and soft case to take up less room.

Despite everyone’s helpful tips, I still decided to try to figure out a plan B. I e-mailed a man at the Long & McQuade music store in Winnipeg to see if there was any chance I could rent the exact same guitar (yes, I’m that picky). I got a response a few hours later, and unfortunately they didn’t even have any that resembled it.

So I was back to square one. I decided to call my local Long & McQuade to see if my warranty would cover any damages that might happen during the flight. More bad news.  At this point, I figured I might as well as him what he thought would be the best way to travel with my guitar. He gave me some useful information that I hadn’t actually thought of. He said to make sure to pack the entire case so that the instrument doesn’t move around in it (sweet, less clothes to put in my suitcase). And most importantly, he told me to loosen my strings!

I got right to work and started tucking my baby in for the night.


Another kind musician left me a comment on Facebook reminding me to loosen the strings if I’m flying, so I want to take the time right now to say thank you to all those who gave me tips or advice during this stressful time. I really appreciate the help, especially those who went out of their way to leave me a comment even if we haven’t spoken or seen in each other in forever.

And you’ll all be pleased to know that that both my guitar and I made it to Winnipeg in one piece!

Flashback Friday – Udaipur, City of Lakes

Today, I really felt the need to post a Flashback Friday blog post given that I spent half my morning talking with a good friend about my trip to India 3 years ago. It was a roller-coaster ride for sure, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The memories I made during that trip were unforgettable, engraved in my mind and my heart forever.

So here is a blog post I had written in December 2014 during my stay in Udaipur, India.

Udaipur, also called “the white city,” is quite a stunning place. We were lucky to have stayed at Hotel Pichola Haveli, which is directly next to the glorious Lake Pichola. Its two greatest features, aside its lakes, are the City Palace and the Jagdish Temple. We decided to skip the temple, and it ended up leading to a wonderful set of events nevertheless.

We started off our day early and headed to Sahelion Ki Bari, a beautiful garden built by Maharana Sangam Singh. I won’t go into the history details, but I will quote a bit from our tourist guidebook, Fodor’s Choice: “The garden is painted with exotic flowers and themed fountains that have carved pavilions and monolithic marble elephants. The fountains don’t have pump: designed to take advantage of gravity, they run on water pressure from the lakes.” For the minimal cost of 50 Rs each, we took a lovely morning stroll through this glorious garden. It felt like being in some cheesy romantic film, I swear.


Directly afterwards, our driver brought us back into town. He dropped us at the entry for the City Palace, where we paid for our tickets (115 Rs per person, 200 Rs camera fee) before heading inside for a nice long visit. Honestly, as magnificent as this building was, eventually, you get tired of the “forts and temples” routine. Around halfway through the tour, we decided to high tail it to the exit and managed to by-pass two large groups; we felt much less rushed afterwards. This was surprisingly one of the busiest spots we’ve visited since the beginning of our trip.


I should take the time to mention it now that one of the reasons I loved our experience in Udaipur was the size of the city. I actually felt comfortable walking around the streets, trying to make our way back to the hotel (if I haven’t already mentioned it, we’re actually horrible with directions). It was evidently a city and not just some small town, but it had a homey feel to it and it helped me get used to the hustle and bustle of India.

Walking through Udaipur’s streets is also what led us to having a great (but partially nerve-wracking) day. We began by having no fixed goal in mind, but were just checking out some shops along the way. We stopped into one music shop, which seemed pretty good, but not more so than any other shop we had seen so far. We kept going and saw a quaint little shop one street over from our hotel called Krishna Music. We figured we’d go in for a look, especially since Richard’s been looking into getting some prices on a decent-quality tabla. There, we met the shop owner named Krishna, whom we chatted with for 45 minutes about music and different cultures. He showed us his personal tabla, which he was willing to sell to Richard for 9000 Rs (about $167 CAD) with a case, covers, tuner, and all. He played for us and said he could also give Richard a lesson. He offered us some chai, which we instantly accepted, and also showed us some of the more traditional music he played in concerts on Indian drums.

After all this, Richard was convinced he had found the right tabla, so it was time to make the purchase. We didn’t have enough cash on us (duh) so we went back to the hotel, the two of them on Krishna’s motorcycle, me on foot. Here’s where things started to get scary…

When we headed back out to go and pay, Richard got on the motorcycle again and Krishna yelled out to me “You wait here,” pointing to the wharf next to our hotel. I assumed he meant to wait so that he could come back and pick me up, but the distance to the shop wasn’t even a 5 minute walk, so I shrugged it off and walked anyway. At the shop, I found the door locked and no shoes on the front step. Weird… I waited 5 minutes, saw no sign of anyone. I thought to myself maybe he had another shop where he had a payment machine and that’s where they had gone. So I walked back to the hotel and waited. I mean, if we got lost somehow, the hotel would be the best spot to reconnect, right? Unfortunately, I didn’t have the room key so I was stuck in the lobby, hoping not to be bothered by any passer-by. I waited for 40 minutes, sitting on that fancy little couch, trying not to let panic get the best of me. Richard was a grown man, he could handle himself. Not to mention, he is about twice the size of that Indian guy. I shouldn’t worry, I told myself. Get a grip, I’m sure everything is fine… So after that whole 40 minute argument with myself about what could have happened, I decided to try my luck by walking back to the shop.

Relief washed over me as soon as I saw Richard’s yellow and grey running shoes on the front step of that music shop. The door was still locked, so I knocked to ask what had happened. I know Richard must have seen the panic in my eyes, despite the fact that relief was flooding through my body from that point on. He apologized for the whole ordeal, even though it was really no one’s fault, and explained that Krishna had taken him to the ATM to get cash out to make the payment. OH. Doy. That makes so much sense. And right after, Krishna only had an hour or so of free time to offer the lesson so they had gotten right down to it, assuming I would come to the shop. Well, lesson learned: always communicate clearly with someone before splitting up!
When I think back upon that experience, I’m glad I didn’t actually let myself freak out, because I could have. But I needed to trust that he had made safe decisions that hadn’t led him into a bad situation, and that we could handle being on our own even though we didn’t have cell phones to communicate with each other every time we didn’t know where the other was. It reminds me of the good ol’ days, as they call them, where you couldn’t just text someone saying “I’m here,” when you arrived at someone’s house. You had to knock, sometimes numerous times and hoped they would hear you and answer the door. And if not, then you went back home, assuming they weren’t there. End of story.

Anyway, regardless of all that drama, we had a fantastic day, and it wasn’t even over yet. You couldn’t have asked for a better ending: riding off into the sunset on a boat ride with a view of Udaipur City. Just remarkable. Absolutely breathtaking.

So to finish up, here are our tips and tricks for spending some time here in Udaipur:

  • Don’t bother taking the City Palace boat rides offered at 600 Rs per person. You can take boat rides for as cheap as 250 Rs per person anywhere along the lakeside; score!
  • You can feel safe about walking the streets in this city, even as a woman on your own. Don’t get me wrong, most places are completely safe as well, but this town just has a homey feel to it and makes you comfortable about being there despite the fact that you are obviously a tourist. (Always be vigilant nevertheless.)
  • Take a break from sight-seeing if you’re tired of the fort-and-temple routine. You won’t enjoy your experience if you force yourself to do something you’re not that interest in. Make the most of your time by according time to what you prioritize.
  • Richard’s tip of the day: Say no to heroin if someone offers you some on the street.

That’s all for now. Thanks for taking the time to read about our adventures; we hope our intel has been interesting, at least, if not useful for some of you!

Namaste. xo

I applied for a new job today.

I don’t think I’ll actually get it, but I applied anyway. I applied for a number of different reasons, but the main one being that my boss told me I should.

OK, that sounds weird. Why would my current boss tell me to apply for a new job? Well, it’s pretty simple – I am a casual employee going nowhere fast and the only way I can move up in the company is by getting a job in the union. Ugh.

So now you’re probably curious as to what job I applied for. Well, I won’t ruin the surprise, but I can tell you that I’m actually somewhat qualified, and it’s an internal job posting so it’s not open to non-company employees.

I definitely thought long and hard before applying to this job, even though I am well aware that applying for a job doesn’t mean accepting a job. The first thing that came to mind was, “Why would I want to leave a job I love?” And as hard as that is to do, I know that I can’t stay here forever. I need to acquire new skills and new experience somewhere else, so that I can hopefully someday come back and get a permanent job doing something I love even more.

Who knows if that will actually end up being at the zoo, but I kind of have my fingers crossed. I love everything about where I work right now. I love where it’s located, I love the people I work with, and I love my non-human workers just as much! I love the routine, and I love the spontaneity of everyday problems. I love my office and all of tasks. And I am super fine with admitting that I love being surrounded by toys and stuffed animals every single day. Oh, and organizing. Duh.

But deep down, I know that all of that is not enough. All of that won’t bring me anywhere, because this job is at a standstill. It’s a casual position, 9.5 months of the year, 3 of which are not full time. No benefits, no sick days, no vacation. And of course, no weekends off, and no overtime pay. Basically, it whomps.

It sucks to think about leaving – which is not necessarily the case – but I know it’s the right time to be doing it.

So today, I filled out a huge form – half of which I did not even understand – and I sent off my cover letter and resume to apply for a new job. I have no idea if I’ll even get a call for an interview, but I did it anyway. I took a shot. And I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

My First Time

It happened! I actually stepped foot into a Tiny House today!!

Don’t get too excited, we haven’t even started building our Tiny House yet – but what a wonderful experience it was to actually go and visit one.

When I first stepped foot into the first Tiny House we were visiting at Kent Homes in Bouctouche, NB, I knew it was meant to be. A feeling I can’t quite describe washed over me. It was a mixture of joy and belonging, and knowing that I was right where I was meant to be in life. This is my future. I am a Tiny Houser.

I first spoke with Laura Maillet, designer and employee at Kent Homes in Bouctouche, about a week ago. It did not take long for us to set up a meeting time, as I had explained to her that I was interested in getting as much information as possible about Tiny Houses and their place here in Eastern Canada, more specifically in New Brunswick.

Laura was such a pleasure to talk with. We met up with her this morning at 10AM and we hardly stopped talking during the whole 2 hours we spent there.

As soon as we arrived, she greeted us and we went straight to visit the first of their two finished designs. The one we were about to enter was called The Haven, and it’s name was right on par – safe, comfortable, cozy, home. The inside was all wood, giving it a very traditional cottage feel, which is a big appeal for customers in Maritimes and surrounding areas.

The Haven had one large loft for a queen or king sized bed, and a smaller loft which can either be used for storage or as a small second sleeping area. Below that small loft is a custom built couch, which could also double as a spare bed if a customer wanted. Walking a little further into the house is a seating area across from a large screen TV mounted on the wall, and then the kitchen area – personal favourite! On one side, the fridge and the (steep) steps to the main loft. On the other side, some counter space, a four burner propane stove-top/oven, a sink, and lots of storage space! Gotta love that storage space. The house is also equipped with a washer-dryer combo (apparently not very efficient, as I’ve read in many reviews – at least not in Canada) and a nice washroom with a flushable toilet (could also be a compostable toilet), a small sink, and a nice shower.

One thing that stood out to me immediately was the amount of natural light coming into this Tiny House. Laura explained that the average 2-3 bedroom house will have 7 to 9 windows, whereas this particular house has 18, including the skylights. Every space in the home feels light and open, despite the size of the entire building being under 200 square feet. I was happily surprised, I did not feel closed in at all. It was even cozier than I had imagined, if you can believe it!

The more time I spent inside the small little house, the more it became clear that I really was taking a step in the right direction, that this was exactly where I was meant to be. And thinking of that made me wonder about Laura’s journey, and what it is that brought her to thinking about Tiny Houses, let alone designing them.

Laura’s daughter was apparently an environmentalist, very conscious of her ecological footprint, and began sharing information and pictures she would find online about Tiny Houses when they first came out in the early 1990s. Laura was intrigued. She had always been interested in small space designs and fell in love with Tumbleweed’s first series, which consisted of cottages. Since that time, she had always photos or images pinned up around her desk, and one day, a new VP walked into her office and noticed them. Given their growing popularity in the past few years, he suggested, “Why don’t we build one?” And thus the project was born.

Laura and two other employees from Kent Homes actually got the chance to attend a Tumbleweed Building Seminar in Boston – something I’ve long been debating! She let us know how informative the weekend was, and that they had even approached them to partnering up to do this project, but unfortunately, they weren’t ready to commit so Kent Homes decided to do the project independently.

Given their connection with Tumbleweed, they were their first choice for purchasing a trailer to start building their first demo Tiny House – The Haven. Unfortunately, Kent Homes had the displeasure of learning that trailers certified in the Unites States do not meet the Canadian standards. Therefore, their display model will probably remain a demo and never be sold, as it is not road-worthy in Canada.

The bright side: they found a hidden gem nearby. A company named Linkletter’s Welding Ltd (LWL), located in Central Bedeque, PEI, was willing to not only build them custom-made trailers (lowered floor between the wheel-wells), but also to certify the trailer and house as a whole. You read that correctly – they will certify both the trailer, and the plans for the tiny house. Because of this, Kent Homes is limited to only selling the plans that have been approved and certified, so there is not always room for customization. But if you check out their options online, you can see they are pretty much all great choices.

Once they had trailers on hand, they were ready to get down to business – starting the actual build of their first Tiny House.

Laura informed us that approximately 425 hours of work were put into building The Haven – keeping in mind that numerous departments had to play a part in the design and construction of the building, and this was in fact a demo home. She said after ironing out all the kinks, they were able to build a second model (their first sale!) in about 4-5 weeks, working on it full time. But she emphasized about taking the time that is needed to get everything done right, to figure out the best approach for individual project – and sometimes that means standing around for hours trying to figure stuff out.

One very interesting idea that Laura mentioned they had tried out was doing a taping exercise. Basically, they taped off the realistic proportions of the house walls, appliances, furniture, etc., to see how it felt to walk around in it, to make sure it’s comfortable to walk around everywhere and not feel confined in a small space.

“A house doesn’t have to be big, it has to be functional.”

Summer Planning!

It’s that time of year again – Summer Time! (Also known as Vacation Time!)

Obviously, I have started making plans. If by any chance you’re interested in coming to visit me and/or seeing me during my travels this summer, please leave me a comment or send me a message so I can make sure to fit everyone in!

My first plans are already for next week!

Solo Road trip #1 – Cheticamp in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. 

I’ll be landing in Cheticamp Thursday, June 29th late at night – not making any plans other than crashing at my best friend’s house. I’ll be spending the entire day there on Friday June 30th, hoping to do supper with family, then heading back to Moncton on Saturday morning so I can spend Canada Day with my better half.

(Side note – if you want to make plans for Canada Day at night, let’s meet up for the fireworks!)

Solo Road Trip #2 – Cheticamp, again! 

I’ve marked this down as a solo trip because Max and I are both aware that he probably won’t be able to tag along. Summer is the hardest time of year for us to make plans because we just don’t have the same days off. I had requested to get Sunday-Monday off, but it wasn’t possible, so I’ve got Friday-Saturday, which are the only two days that Max works every week.

Despite being disappointed that I’m doing the trip home by myself again, this time it will be to visit the LeBlanc/Bourgeois family, all of whom will be camping out at the Beach! It’s gonna be a fun family weekend, and we’ll even be celebrating my step-mom’s birthday!

Although that was the main point of my trip, I was fortunate enough to get an extra day off work on Sunday to stop by the Inverness County Centre for The Arts where they will be hosting the grand opening of a Tiny House Exhibition! Really looking forward to attending this event and meeting some people from the area to talk about Tiny House Living! If you plan on going to this event, let me know!! And if for some odd reason you need a drive from Cheticamp on the way there, and a drive to Moncton on the way back, I have room in the car! 🙂

Garage Sale

Ok, so that’s not exactly a trip, but it is a part of our summer plans! We don’t have a date picked yet, but I’m hoping in early or mid-July! We’re going to have a ton of stuff to sell for cheap, so make sure you keep an eye out for our poster or Kijiji ad in the coming weeks so you don’t miss out!

Magic Mountain Day with the Mills Family

Nothing is set in stone, but my mom and all of my step-dad’s family usually come up to Moncton once each summer and we spend an entire day at Magic Mountain water park! My mom mentioned it might be in mid-July, so fingers crossed for good weather and that everyone can come visit at the same time!

Camping in Cap Pelé
Ok, we won’t be the ones doing the camping, but the Bernard’s will! Max’s parents have been camping in Cap Pelé every summer for quite a while now, and we are really looking forward to seeing them and spending time at the beach together! Weirdly enough, this is actually where I met the entire Bernard family for the first time ever, when Max and I had JUST started dating! Pretty special spot. 🙂

Halifax Buskers Festival

So this one isn’t even written in my scheduler, but I haven’t attended the Buskers Festival in at least 4 or 5 years now, and I really miss it. Plus, Max has actually never been, so I’m going to try to see if we can squeeze it in, if he’s not working. We could even do a day trip and just get home super super late… (fingers crossed!)


And the most exciting event of the summer… my university roommate’s wedding!!! I am so incredibly excited for this! Did I mention I’m flying over to Winnipeg for their marriage?? Yeah, it’s gonna be quite the adventure!!

During my stay, I’m hoping to visit with some of my friend in the area, and most definitely check out the Assiniboine Zoo!! Any other suggestions on what to see during my 4-day stay? Let me know in the comments below!

It’s gonna be an amazing summer, I can already feel it!

Reality Check

Let me tell you that spending an entire week by yourself is a lot harder than you might think. I legitimately could not have been more wrong with my expectations about what I do during a full week of being alone.

Usually, when I’m alone at home, I feel very motivated, I get a lot of stuff done, and I feel happy doing my me-things. Except this time, I didn’t feel any of that. I felt sad, I felt lonely, I felt drained.

I didn’t really understand everything that I was feeling at first, but it was pretty new to me. I had made all these plans, this huge To Do List that I was so pumped to get started. But then I didn’t want to. I just… didn’t want to.

Ok, it wasn’t like that every single minute of everything single day. The upside was that I currently work 40 hours a week so that kept me pretty busy during the daytime. I would get up at my usual 6:30/7AM, do some meal prep or small chores around the house, eat some cereal and then head to work for the day. We’ve been pretty busy at work too, so time goes by quickly, especially because I love what I do. But then, I get home and I’m tried and I’m hungry, and there’s no one there. I never realized how much I relied on my better half – for everything.

Some people always complain about how their partner isn’t doing this, or isn’t helping with that, and I’m guilty of that too. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I wish he would help more, or do more than one chore per day. Except I think maybe I was a little blind sighted, because now that he’s not here, I realize how many things he actually does do.

He hugs me, and kisses me, every day.

He comforts me, no matter what.

He makes me smile, and he makes me laugh.

He makes me supper, and he does the dishes.

He does the laundry – even if it’s just the washing part of it.

He loves my kitty, but he hates admitting it.

He watches TV shows I like, but that I know he hates.

He spends time with me every day, because he knows how important that is to me.

And best of all, he is ALWAYS willing to be silly with me!

I can’t believe it took me so long to realize this. But at least now I can be more mindful, and appreciative of all the things I know he does for me. I can’t wait for him to be home – just one more day to go!!

Reflections on life

The sun is going down, but I am going no where.

That is, I will be going no where if I don’t focus on what matters the most, if I don’t put effort and energy into my priorities and my life goals.

The sun is going down. Where am I going?


I’m not sure. I don’t even know where “up” is. I suppose forward is a better word.

Yes. Forward.

There is no place I would rather be. And perhaps I sometimes wish I was there faster than I should.

Rushing… always rushing. I wonder why that is.

Regardless, I have this feeling. This feeling that won’t go away. This feeling of hope, of anticipation, of elation.

I don’t know what the future holds, but what I do know is that I am on the right path in life, and it will guide me to where I am meant to be.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I think I believe in fate.

But I also believe in hard work, in patience, and in overcoming life’s obstacles.

Ups and downs. Day in, and day out. Every day of your life.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Tiny House Meet-up! 

On Friday May 26th, I was already excited. I cleaned the house and packed our bags so we would be ready to go as soon as Max was done work. I was off on Friday, but he got called in, so we would be leaving later than planned. Fortunately I was able to get Sunday off – something that almost never happens – and so off we went to Cape Breton!

Destination: Sydney, Nova Scotia

Purpose: Attend a Tiny House Meet-up for the first time ever!

(And also visit family)

So I should probably begin by explaining what all of that means.

To sum it up, a Tiny House is a very small home, often built on a flat bed trailer, that is meant to be eco-friendly and often, a means to be more financially independent. As for the Tiny House movement, it is not actually about owning Tiny Houses or building them, but rather about a minimalist lifestyle, about community, about teamwork, accountability, and financial stability. To quote Carey Rolfe, it allows us to “[enjoy] all the things that life can bring.”

When we talk about a Meet-up event, well it’s basically as the name states – an organized meeting of people who have similar interests to discuss about a specific topic. The topic in question this time: Tiny Houses.

Honestly, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I figured not many people would show up, that it might not even be a real thing. But I dragged Max over there and we were pleasantly surprised.

As we entered the room where the event was taking place, we were greeted by over a dozen people, maybe even twenty, and not everyone had arrived yet. We looked around to decide where we would like to sit, and we landed where I always prefer to be seated: right in the front.

Immediately, I looked around to see if I could find who was leading the event, because it was one of our goals to record and film during the entirety of the event, and we certainly didn’t want to do that without permission. Everyone seemed OK with the idea, and they jumped into it right away.

The first person to take the stand was a woman named Tracey. We soon learned that she had attended a Tiny House Conference in Portland, OR – side note, they cost a fortune to attend, which is why we have never been – and that she was challenged to take action to help the Tiny House Movement. Finally, she decided what she would do to help, and that was to organize a Tiny House Meet-up in Cape Breton.

She then went on to introduce our speakers: Carey Rolfe, from Underway Tiny EcoHomes, followed by July Pratt and Nicki Duenkel, whom you may have heard of in the news, who moved into their Cape Breton based Tiny House in late 2015.

Carey spoke to us a bit about the purpose of Meet Ups, because he is actually the head organizer of Tiny House meet-ups all through Nova Scotia. But mostly, his talk focused on his business and what they do. It was surprisingly impressive, especially to find this kind of work being done in Nova Scotia. Basically, his company not only works on building Tiny homes, but also acts as a supplier for materials specific to Tiny Houses, some of which are just not available at the local home renovation stores.

“Our goal was never to be the builder of choice, but rather to be the supplier of builders of sustainable homes.”

One of the products that they are encouraging others to buy are Structural insulated panels. In short, they consist of two sheathings – I am pretty sure this means two pieces of wood, one of the outside, one on the inside – with an insulating piece of foam core in between them. Why is this is better than regular insulation, you might ask? Well, for tiny homes, it’s definitely the space aspect of it. Using this type of insulation makes for thinner walls and allows you some extra space on the inside of your Tiny House. And of course, that’s on top of all the usual benefits of their strength, their efficiency, and how cost effective they are. According to Cary Rolfe, the R value – I was told this means the power that the insulation has to keep the heat in – is “as much as a 2X6 wall.”


Carey also touched on other subjects during his talk, and one thing that really spoke to me was when he started mentioning financials. Reality check – it’s not always possible to build a Tiny House for under $20 000 in our climate. We live in East Coast Canada, not in Portland, Oregon. We have really cold temperatures, we have strong winds. We have large amounts of snowfall, and we have large amounts of rainfall too. We live in a 4 season environment, so our Tiny Houses need to reflect that. And that being said, it is – in my opinion – better to put more money into your Tiny Home to ensure its longevity if you do plan on living in the Maritimes.

And speaking of living tiny in the Maritimes, that’s exactly what Judy and Nicki were there to share with us.

Judy and Nicki first moved into their Tiny House about 18 months ago, which is located in a small town outside of Sydney, Nova Scotia. If you haven’t heard of them, you definitely need to check out this CBC Article and watch their video.
Their Tiny Home is nothing but ordinary. It is incredibly unique, in the sense that it meets all of their wants and needs, all inside a very small space. They have all the luxuries they don’t want to live without – and that includes a tiny dog elevator!!

You read that right – a doggy elevator! Judy and Nicki have an 11 year old corgi named Shanti with a bad back who has slept in their bed since they adopted him, so they told the builder that they couldn’t move forward until they could find a way for him to get upstairs. And after much research, the builder – Matt from Howling Dog Construction – came up with the idea of a small electric winch-powered elevator that the dog would fit into!

Of course, there is much more to their Tiny House than just their doggy elevator. I was happy to see that they decided to go with steps instead of a ladder to get to the main loft – our preference as well. They also had a very cool kitchen design, which was U shaped, with one of the back corners being used as storage – from the outside of the house!

When it was finally time for them to make the move into Tiny – that’s what they named her – they found themselves asking one main question: “What am I attached to, and why?” A very important question indeed, as I think we are all aware that one of the biggest sacrifices when making the move into a Tiny House is downsizing the amount of stuff we own/keep.

As for insurance – which is one of my biggest concerns – Judy and Nicki explained that their Tiny House is insured as a Mini Home. However, they did have to get it tied down and skirted for it to be considered a Mini Home. We still aren’t too sure how that will work in New Brunswick, but I’m assuming it’s probably the same as in Nova Scotia. (More info on that in a later post…)

To finish the Meet-up, Matt from Howling Dog Constructions brought up some photos of his two Tiny House builds, the first being for Judy and Nicki, and the second being a much more luxurious Tiny House for a couple from New York who wanted a summer home in Nova Scotia. And of course the question came up: how much does a Tiny House like that cost? This New York couple paid a whopping $130 000 for their custom made Tiny House – keeping in mind that they paid a builder for his time, on top of all the materials including furniture and appliances, one of which included a special order backsplash from a showroom in New York. At this point, Judy and Nicki spoke up to let us know they most certainly did not pay that much for their Tiny House, but it just goes to show you can put whatever amount of money you want into a Tiny House and make it work for your wants and your needs.

And of course we stayed after it was all done, just to say thank you to everyone, and to ask some more questions. Max went to speak with the two builders, with one of which he had a very interesting conversation about the design he had done in regards to structural integrity. As for myself, I went to speak with the organizer of the event, Tracey, and had a great conversation about what our plans are for the future – Max and I, that is. She proceeded to tell me she was actually writing a book about the Tiny House Movement and would love to stay in touch and possibly ask us some interview questions for her book. I thought that was so cool because we are planning on documenting the entirety of our project, and not only would this be extra publicity for us, but I could also get her advice and expertise on the whole writing aspect.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say we had an amazing time attending this event and it has just instilled even more motivation for us to get started on our own project. We know we’ve still got a long way to go, but we hope you’ll all be following along with us as we go through this new journey in our life.

Happy Mother’s Day

Today being Mother’s Day, I thought it important to jot down some thoughts concerning the celebration and appreciation of mothers.

For those of you who don’t know, my parents split up when I was 10 years old. My brother and I grew up with my dad from then on, visiting my mom once a month on weekends. I don’t remember much about it, but one thing I do remember is my first thought every morning on mother’s day – dad.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate and love my mom just as much as I love my dad. I do not feel any resentment whatsoever towards my mom, but the fact remains that my dad often had to fill in for both parents.

My dad cleans the house. My dad fixes the house. My dad cooks and bakes. My dad builds us not one, but two tree houses – and a bridge to connect them! My dad tucks me in. My dad screams at me to get up. My dad plays dress up with me. My dad takes me out four wheeling and camping. My dad helps me. My dad lets me help myself. My dad listens. My dad gives advice. My dad lets me cry on his shoulder. My dad tells me that life’s not always fair. My dad sets down rules. My dad spoils me. My dad encourages me. My dad supports me.

My dad was never my mom, but I can’t help but want to wish him a Happy Mother’s Day too. He did lots of mom things that he probably didn’t want to do, or didn’t feel comfortable doing. But he did them anyway.

I’m so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by amazing parents like mine. And even better, both my parents are now happily remarried, and I have twice as many moms!

I want to take the time to thank all of the amazing women in my life for contributing to my growth and development as a woman, to help me become who I am today.

To my mom:

Thank you for never giving up. Thank you for being there even when physically, you could not be there. Thank you for making tough decisions. Thank you for always being positive. Thank you for your laughter. Thank you for all the weird-ass habits, like pulling out our eyelashes. And thank you for always encouraging me to be myself.

To my step-mom:

Thank you for understanding. Thank you for never over-stepping. Thank you for being a good role model. Thank you for your wonderful children, whom I will always consider part of my siblings. And thank you for convincing my dad to get us the best cat in the world.

To my mother-in-law:

Thank you for raising your son to be such an incredible man. Thank you for sharing stories with me. Thank you for respecting me. Thank you for making me feel like I’m a part of the family. And thank you for being the only mom I can bring to tears! 😉

To all mothers, wives, and Mr. Moms, I hope your day was filled with love and gratitude from all those who surround you. You deserve it.

Time to start filming!

I JUST GOT MY NEW MICS IN THE MAIL!! It’s officially time to start filming!!

You probably have a million questions rattling through your brain – What kind of mics? What for? How much did you pay? Where did you get them from? What’s a mic?

Well I’m here to answer all those questions and more!

Just last week I put an order on Amazon to get a Lavaliere Wireless Clip-On Microphone, as well as a Rode Shotgun Light-Weight On-Camera Microphone! It was a bit pricey (total $160 CAD) but I’m hoping it will be well worth it to get the quality we’re looking for.


I suppose I should answer the last and most important question – what for?! If you haven’t read my previous blog post about the Big Decisions, then you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised to hear that Max and I have made the decision to build a Tiny House! More than that, we’ve decided to dedicate ourselves to documenting the project to promote and advocate the Tiny House Movement, specifically in the East Coast of Canada. So the reason we purchased the above-mentioned microphones is because we want to put out quality content for our (future) viewers.

We plan on filming with my Nikon D5500 – another hefty purchase that I made earlier this year before my trip to Australia. The videos will be varied, from construction, to interviews, and everything in between. We’ll be posting weekly videos on YouTube, even more videos on Patreon, and lots of other content on our website that we hope to launch very soon!

Now I haven’t had much time to fiddle around with the microphone yet but we got the chance to record Max doing a little bit of work outside with the Node Shotgun Microphone, and we also recorded some test clips in the kitchen. We didn’t actually set up the Lavaliere clip-on mic because Max thinks the attachment for my camera will cause damage without an extension so we’ll go look at that tomorrow. On the bright side, at least we know the really expensive microphone is living up to expectations. Despite it being pretty windy outside, it was capturing every sound very clearly – even the squeak of Max’s welding mask!

Soon enough, I’ll post some clips so you can understand what I’m talking about.

Until then, do you have any tips or tricks we should keep in mind to film with these microphones? Leave us a comment below; we’d love to hear from you!