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    Monday, October 26, 2015

    Tiny House Update - First Fall At SilverMoon House

    Welcome to Fall at SilverMoon House!

    We've been comfy cozy in our 296 square foot abode and learning with our house all it's little quirks and personality. We love the way the doors creak like the Addams family on the storage cabinet, and the way it feels light and happy even on the darkest rainy grey days.

    There have been some minor changes to the layout - moving the bed and the bookshelf around to provide more privacy and separation of the spaces and caulking the tub (who knew you had to caulk around the tub?) and sealing some gaps in the floorboards. The repairs and improvements have all been pretty minor though and easily done.

    Remember the before?

    Check out the now!

    Hanging Pots and Pans

    This is one of the little projects in the house. I wanted a place to put pots and pans but there was no available storage in the drawers and so...we looked up. There are holes in all the beams from old electrical wires and old plumbing that was removed during the construction. The majority of the new wiring is aligned in straight lines along the ceiling and bundled cables. We used the existing holes  used 3/4" PVC pipe (it's flexible!) through three of the beams. Once through the beams the PVC pipe held firm and straight even with my steel and cast iron!

    The hooks came from Ikea and we just bent them 45 degrees so that the items hung would be in profile.

    Yay storage!

    Where are your clothes?

    Part of living in a tiny house is realizing you might not have as much clothes storage as you had before. There are no closets in our space. Instead, we bought a set of cabinets from the Ikea kitchen in the shallow European depth but with the same drawer fronts and we use that as our clothes storage.

    Having the cabinet fronts the same in the kitchen as in the bedroom area keeps the flow of the space and makes the whole area seem larger.

    T gets the drawers in the middle and I get the wire baskets on both sides.

    I know it doesn't seem like much, but proper folding and capsule wardrobe theory really help. I have a drawer for each category - dresses, pants, skirts, shirts, fancy / special occasion, and gym / construction clothes. It is actually more than I need - but to conserve space I always try to think before I buy. It is important both to your budget and to your space to consider why you are buying new clothes. Is it replacing something your already have? How long do you expect it to last? How often do you plan to wear it?

    Once you have those questions answered you can really see if you need that new top or those new slacks. Also, because I take out the whole basket to fold and put away the clean clothes, I can rotate and "shop" through the clothes I already own.

    Where do you sleep?

    In a bed, silly!
    We moved things around a bit to provide more privacy and separation between the living room and the sleeping area. Now the rolling bookshelf hides the bed from plain sight during the day and at night it still opens up providing plenty of room.

    There are little cubbies and drawers for socks and sundries on the "sleeping" side and those translate to flat surfaces for hanging art on the "living" side. We even put in some wire shelves so I can pick out my outfits for the week and not have to search for things at 6am. Yay! Snooze button!

    Because the bedroom is cordoned off from the rest of the space, I use the walls there to hang a bunch of the art T and I have collected and made through the years. i love waking up in the morning to the bright and shiny image by Mikeatron of Deadpool killing rainbow-blooded unicorns with sparkle-glitter automatic weapons and a sword. Makes me laugh every day! We also have a print of Judith and Holofernes by Klimt, a Mastodon misprint, some wedding pictures, and some paintings made by yours truly. 

    Is that a new couch?

    Why yes, yes it is. Bonus, it's a HUGE sleeper-sofa, so come stay over! :-)

    It is another Ikea find...can't fight the modular, but it really works in the space and when it is all made up it makes a queen size bed and is wonderfully comfy. We've had a few guests stay with us overnight and they really enjoyed having so much room.

    The part that sticks out into the room is also a large storage drawer perfect for stashing our motorcycle jackets and guest supplies like extra blankets and pillows.

    The last item I'd like to find would be a movable ottoman with storage that also has locking wheels so I can actually rest my feet on it. The requirements are pretty exact - no higher that 18", firm yet comfy top, soft rounded rectangle, storage and locking wheels - so we may have to build it over the winter.

    I'm kind of looking forward to it though. It gives us reason to focus on the next project - the shared work space over in the garage.

    So, I hope you have enjoyed this Fall tiny-house tour! We feel pretty good about the work done so far getting it livable and welcoming. Of course there's more to do, curtains, upgrading the dog bed, utilizing every inch of space under the kitchen cabinets, but we really like hoe far we've come from bare walls and ratty (literally) wiring.

    Have a great fall everyone and 
    Happy Halloween from ghost-Fams!

Friday, October 23, 2015

I Don't Wash My Hair - And It's Great

If you don't wash your hair, do you:
  • have gross hair?
  • get lice or bugs?
  • smell?
  • have tons of knots?
Well, it's been 3 months and I can happily say that no, none of those things are true! :-)

Forever my hair has been a bit hard to manage - it always had a strong wave to medium curl depending on the cut, weather, and products I used on it. Often I'd just get tired of it and wear it up in a bun/braid, or cut it short, or straighten it within an inch of its life. I could have fun with my hair, but it cost me in product, time, and frustration.

So, one day while Youtubing hair tutorials, I came across a video about water-only washing and, while I initially put it off as another "crunchy" scheme, it stuck in the back of my brain and I kept thinking about the idea of water-only hair. I was already cutting down on the number of times per week that I shampooed and considering doing no'poo, but, sparked by a pending bike trip, I just quit cleansing cold-turkey.

Greasy hair on a road trip with bandannas and helmets may be tolerable, but at the office...not so much. So, with my hair up in a pony tail, I went back to Youtube and the grand ol' intranet to see what I could do about it. Turns out, there's lots! :-)

Here are the key things to know:
  • Scritch, massage, rinse, repeat 
  • Preening is not just for birds
  • Boar bristle brushes and wooden combs are miracle workers
  • Essential oils are, well, essential
Scritching and Massage - Scritching and massaging are very important techniques when it comes to water-only hair. For massaging, all you need do is release your hair if it is up or tightly wound and gently rub your scalp with your fingertips. You don't need to push down - this isn't Swedish massage, just a gentle (and relaxing) way to increase circulation, improve sebum production, and it just feels really good.

Separate your hair into sections if you need to. If not, just start at one side of your scalp and move slowly to the other side rubbing gently with your fingertips. I usually spend a few minutes giving myself a head massage while waiting in the ever present Seattle traffic. Not only does it feel good, but it also helps reduce stress from all the traffic congestion!

Massage is followed up with scritching which is done by lightly and quickly running across the scalp with the fingernails. Clean fingernails please. Scritching is still gentle, don't scratch yourself and damage your scalp, and don't overdo it - listen to your head.

Preening - After separating your hair into sections, you gently pull the oil from your scalp to the ends of your hair. This physically moves your natural oil from your scalp down to the tips of your hair. This part really helps you get to total coverage (the end goal) faster.

Wooden Comb - These combs help your hair by evenly distributing oil from your scalp to along the length of your hair. Unlike plastic combs, wooden combs don't create static or have seams to snap your hair.

Keep it clean (with jojoba, coconut oil, or olive oil) and enjoy it as a thing of beauty.

Boar Bristle Brush - I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate my boar bristle brush! Like finger-preening, it moves the oils from your scalp down along the shaft of your hair to the tips. Just make sure you get a 100% boar bristle brush and not one with polyester filler fibers in it - they can cause static.

If you are vegan, or otherwise not comfortable using a boar bristle brush - just skip it. Include more time for finger preening and using a wooden comb.

Important notes:
- the boar bristle brush is NOT for detangling. Use your fingers and a comb!
- Keep your brush clean. After using it run a comb through it a few times to get out the loose hairs and then run it under the faucet in warm water and gentle soap. Allow to dry bristle-side down.

Essential Oils - Lavendar, cedarwood, grapefruit, rose - there is no reason to leave behind your favorite shampoo scents when you leave behind the sulfates, isopropyl alcohol, and parabens. After stepping out from the shower and T-shirting (not toweling) your hair, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a tiny bit of coconut oil and distribute evenly to the ends of your hair.

Some of my favorites -
  • Peppermint
  • Sandalwood
  • Grapefruit
  • Clove
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon
Important notes:
 - Get your oils from a reputable dealer and check your brands and pricing.
 - You only need a drop or two...really, just a drop at a time!

Final Thoughts
Prepare for your hair to be weird for a few weeks. That doesn't mean it has to look weird - wear it up, scritch and preen, clarify (check out the interwebs for recipes) and relax...it's just hair.

Have the right tools for the job. A wooden comb, a boar bristle brush, and essential oils take up way less space in your bathroom than shampoo and conditioner bottles, serums, and a billion styling gadgets.

Be Brave. If going head-first into water-only rinsing isn't for you, check out no-poo methods.
Go through your bathroom and pick out a few of your favorite items. Look them up on ewg.org to see how they compare with other products in terms of toxicity. Find out what all those really long words on the back of the label mean.