that tiny space life …

You might know this about me but you also might not:

I LOVE TINY HOUSES!

There I said it, I am obsessed with the tiny house movement. I am super interested in alternative housing which is  broad category of tiny houses, micro homes, yurts, RV’s, van life, earth ships and anything else you can really think. I love them. I love the idea of not doing what society tells you and using your creativity to build a dwelling the suits exactly what you, the owner, needs.

This obsession started way back while studying architecture technology.  Most of my submissions for things where alternative structures. I just refused to see housing the way the typical home builder in ALBERTA  did. The infill situation.

Last year around this time I headed South to North Carolina to attend the tiny house conference. I met some amazing tiny house loving people.  Sadly I won’t be attending this year even though it’s in my dream city Portland which is SO MUCH CLOSER to Edmonton AND full of vegans!  It just isn’t in the works because of my commitment to debt reduction. If you haven’t figured it out yet – every thing this year will be about debt reduction.

4 reasons I am in love with alternative housing:

  1. Minimalism; for a lot of years I let my stuff own me. It defined me. It was me. I had boxes of stuff that I carted around home to home never opening. Sometimes living (the stuff living) in other peoples basements. Then in a huge life shift while living in Montreal – I cleaned it all out. When I finally moved from Montreal I had cleaned out past life baggage. It is liberating to get rid of things you don’t need.
  2. Financial impact; I live in a studio apartment. It is a dream. Tiny living without a tiny house. For me living tiny is part of a full package of Carol intentions to achieve a goal but also the less I spend on living, the more I can spend on traveling. The more I can power through my student loans – the more likely the dream of one day no longer have student loans will become a reality. It is a long way to freedom but every bit counts and that included a cheap, small space and spending well below my 30% on housing.
  3. Living Smaller to Live Larger; I will just say it again. The less my monthly experiences are the more I can spend on trips, hair dye, tattoos and debt repayment, retirement saving, blog stuff or what ever else I want. My house doesn’t make me happy. All the other things do.
  4. Environmental Impact; We are actively and knowingly destroying the planet. I care. I want my footprint to be less.  Smaller space, smaller footprint. It is that simple.

Are you an alternative housing lover? Are you into the tiny house movement? How did you get there? What is your drive?

I have a journal from forever ago that I made a label for that says “couch tour of North America” before couchsurfing was a things, before #vanlife was cool- I have for a long time just felt like gypsy was the way to go.  I am a nomad at heart. I think I might always be.

What is your tiny house dream?

xoxo,

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What keeps you HAPPY?

I recently started reading the book Pivot by Jenny Blake. One of those interesting reads that forces you to look within to figure out to where to go next.

This last little while I have been feeling stagnant in my life:  work, sleep, eat, sleep, go on a date, have it not work, go for a coffee with friends, realize I’m on a different page, sleep, chat with my sisters, visit the shopping store, buy shit, attempt to be fulfilled … blah, blah … I like all those things but it lacks adventure.  I have been feeling stagnant at my job because there is no where for me to advance and in Edmonton as a city as a whole. I feel bored. Boredom to the extent that it is causing me headaches from not being challenged enough.

Normally my next move would be to move. Country hop. Lifestyle hop. Do something that challenges me. However, I am trying to adult. Hardcore. I am trying to get a stronghold on paying off my loans. I promised myself that I wouldn’t move abroad again until I have paid down 20K off my student loans (hint – that is at like 19k and change away OR at very least I need to have paid of my Alberta and Nova Scotia Loans)

And then this came up in my Instagram feed this AM:

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And it hit me hard with the wonderment of this existence in my life. You know, happiness. What is missing? What is lacking? Am I happy with my life here in Edmonton?

With all this information smacked together – I have come to this vortex of knowledge.  The Oprah light bulb moment or “AH-HA” rang its bell. My intentions for Edmonton was money. Pure and simple. I moved to this city out of a place of desperation. I left Montreal crumbled, beaten down and exhausted. I moved back to Alberta and specifically Edmonton because I needed a fresh start, I needed a job in my field and I needed to crush some immediate debt that I acquired living in Montreal.  I was over extended everywhere.

 

However, since I now have paid those debts. Had my debt fatigue trips. And have re-budgeted for student loan payments. I am thinking, what’s next? I am month two into this and I just feel drained. I lack a drive and desire to do things. Be social. Have fun. I feel like everything goes back to money. I don’t want to drink because I don’t have money. I don’t want to drink because  am on a diet.  I don’t have money because I am spending $1000 a month on debt repayment. I want to be skinny but can be fucked to eat right buuuut my weight is wearing on my self confidence. There is always fucking something that limits me … and you know what guys, that something is me. That something is my intentions. That something is an unwillingness to go it alone and explore Edmonton for what it really has to offer.

In light of signing my lease for another year. And officially staying in Edmonton for awhile – I have decided to give it my all.  Because I know that debt repayment is happening I can now set my intentions on other things like – weigh-loss, building a social community, developing my creative space online via this blog, Instagram and twitter and just being here. This is a huge shift. This means maybe reworking my schedule, maybe feeling uncomfortable, maybe learning to not let my anxiety take over my life. But there is only one person that can change things and that person is me. Sometimes you need to change up the routine, apply for new jobs, work on your passion projects and really see the fruits of your labor.

With that in mind I want to know from you:

Are you in love with your life? How did you make that happen? Could you have more? How are you challenge yourself to be happier?

LEAVE ME SOME LOVE IN THE COMMENTS &

PLEASE FOLLOW ME – HELP ME GROW MY COMMUNITY!

XOXO,

C

Writers Block. How do you move past it?

I have started and erased this post probably 10 times today because I have thought they were all shit. Today I admit my confidence is not where I want it to be. Tomorrow will be a better day. I don’t want to break a promise I made about trying to write more. Today I am drained, tried, cranky and just can’t.

How do you write through your writers block? How do you push your creative envelop when it feels dry? What do you do when you feel like you are trapped with life?

Today readers, I am asking you … I’d love to chat about creative block, life blocks and shaking things up …

Lets go …..

 

XOXO,

C

 

 

DO COOL SH*T

Yes the book. Yes Miki. Yes getting out there and creating a life. Yes creating a business. Actually today I wanted to give you a book review of this novel about getting out their as a young entrepreneur and creating a business.

But in light of almost getting canned from BOTH my jobs in one day. I thought I would not talk about entrepreneurial stuff but actually commit to doing some cool shit, right here, right now.

17 cool things I want to do in the rest of 2017:

  • Grow a salad in my apartment (kale or lettuce, green onion, herbs, tomatoes, and aloe or some other low maintenance plant)
  • Build a YouTube channel
  • Paint my wall pistachio and get my vintage inspired couch
  • Dye my hair like a Peacock
  • Join the rowing club in Edmonton
  • Fully commit to Vegan and not be 90% Vegan
  • Finish my tattoo removal and get my ankle tattoo to cover it
  • Get my arm tattoo-ed
  • Pierce my nose … for the 8th time
  • Travel in India or Indonesia – just go on a vacation
  • Hit up as many of the Provincial Parks in Alberta as I can this summer.
  • Buy a Bicycle
  • Become a Thrift Queen
  • Read all the books on my bookshelf
  • Mediate once a day
  • Learning to be happy just the way I fucking am ❤
  • Make some solid Edmonton Friends

 

In the craziness of life, paying off my debt and doing all sort of things – sometimes I forget to just be and have fun and to love myself. So I decided I needed to make a list and do just that.

What is on your 2017 list that is fun stuff, not about debt or work etc

Leave me some Love,

XOXO,

C

Tinder is the Night

Since sometime before I moved to Edmonton I had long been dreaming of writing a blog about my online dating experiences because let me tell you when you are open minded and truly want to see the best in everyone – you really meet some interesting people. The problem is – there are lots of people that I have dated that could come across said tales of hilarity, awkwardness and down right insane-ness. Granted, I am not obtuse enough to think that people care about me that much or about what I have to say, or that people that  I used to date read my little rantings, also truth be told, there are a lot of them that just don’t speak very good English. So, there is that … but my point is – I haven’t quite figured out how to be descriptive yet vague, all telling but discrete – because lets be honest, subtleness is not my forte.

love

Anyway –  I am pondering the idea of opening up the flood gates of my adventures in online dating while in your 30ies, in a city where the primary industry is something I am not quite caught up in and the race to overworking and dying young is all to apparent. But since I too am caught up in money, money, money, money and the desperate desire to dominate my debt my dating life has kind of diminished. But with spring in the air – it’s time to get back on the dating saddle – full force. (hahahaha – yeah, I said that)

My experience so far in Edmonton has been sort of  bleak. Not totally – there have been a couple of super sweet not a good match men. But over all  I am uninspired. The online dating pool in your 30ies is flooded with men who are in “open relationships”  and they promise their wives know, it’s flooded with males looking for an adventurous women for their wife, a lot of rig pigs that have pictures of their freshly hunted deer, elk or some other animal that they have just murdered and them smiling so proud and accomplished. There is a whole bunch of people that aspire to travel but what they mean is all inclusive Mexico. I have been proposed to for a visa, offered to be paid to service a brother, been accused of being a prude because I wouldn’t let a man come to my apartment after a 3 text first conversation on Tinder, I have been ghosted more times than I can count, I have been friend zoned, laughed at and still, friends, I GO BACK FOR MORE! Needless to say it has been an interesting ride (pardon the pun) of interesting people and great stories.

choices

Basically this post is a feeler for the audience of such a monthly or weekly column of sorts on this lifestyle blog. So if you are reading this and think you might want to read such a series – throw down a like or a comment so I know people are interested.

Until then Beautifuls, remember the night is only as Tinder as you make it.

Love,

C

 

 

 

debt debt debt debt debt debt debt debt

It is all consuming!

Student Loan debt.

It’s the bane of my existence.

Have you ever dumped “student loan repayment” or “student loan debt” into Google and seen all the personal bloggers talk about the enormous amounts of student loans that need a monster pay off.  It is crazy the amount of student loan debt that people carry. CRAZY! Some of those blogger around 100k … how does a school, government or country even allow this shit to happen?! It is appalling the price we pay for education which for a lot of people lands them a job teaching English in Asia trying to figure out a way to pay it all off. Or working multiple jobs trying to crush that debt so they can move on with their lives.

I am know different. I have had student loan debt since 2003 when I moved to Nova Scotia to finish my undergraduate degree. I then acquired more debt starting in 2012 when I moved to Alberta to do a diploma in hopes to find work in Canada that paid a decent salary.

Currently, 2017 …. I moved to Edmonton about 18 months ago with a seriously large amount of commercial debt (on top of student loan debt and with an addition of car loan debt). My biggest spiral that caused problems mostly came from NSF charges from my bank accounts. I wouldn’t be able to get a stop payment in or it wouldn’t be possible and then because my credit isn’t good enough for an overdraft I would spiral. Then all of the sudden I am living in a dire situation. Anyway – my point is. I moved to Edmonton, found some cheap housing and I fucking hustled. I paid down all that excess debt with the exception of my car and my student loans. I, like everyone else, experienced fatigue; working 2 jobs is soul sucking. I experienced debt fatigue; I booked some trips abroad to feed my soul. Fell back into a debt routine. But that large debt – it is still looming, 10 years after graduating with my degree and 2 years after SAIT and it is still holding me back.

So here I am on Blue Monday in January of 2017  – the most depressing day of the year – and realize I need to figure out a way to move forward with student loan repayments. So I am on the internet looking for ways I can make this the easiest, quickest, most painless way to get my debt paid down, and feel the freedom and a zero debt balance.

I think I need some accountability for debt repayment. I need a no buy. I need to put my foot down and move forward with full on annihilation of Student loans. So I am starting with asking you, the interwebs, for your best tips and tricks and how you did it? How did you power through 50K of student loan debt?

 

 

 

Laser Tattoo Removal

Here we are … I did it! Well I mean, I just began the process to get the beast off my leg. The art of tattoo-ing has come so far in the last 10 years. Gone are the days of flash. Hello are the days of LASER tattoo removal. You are probably wondering why I would even get a tattoo lasered off my leg …

It boils down to one fucking thing – I hated the disaster of a tattoo on my leg!

The more I looked at it and the more people questioned what it was, the more insecure I felt about it. I am on a journey in my life right now to find inner happiness and peace and all that zen shit and I really just want to be proud of the tattoo that takes up some serious real estate on my leg.

The tattoo was once a 3 heart-ed fairy dust ode to some friendships I made in my early twenties with some of the women I worked with. At the time I didn’t realize they were just trying to care for me and mother me and love me – at the time they were my friends. I still remember the day Nell showed up on my door in Antigonish. It was so amazing and beautiful and what friends do.  Many years later after my friendships dwindled because of distance and a heavy dose of drugs became the norm I caught feelings in what was to become a very painful relationship. I got the hearts covered with a lotus. I was determined there was beauty at the bottom of this ugly pond I was swimming in and the tattoo cover up was to be a reminder to find beauty anywhere – the thing is – the tattoo turned out to be a disaster … and for a long time I embraced it in my life. A beautiful mess of running, disappearing and evasiveness.

Fast foward through a bunch of personal blogs, and randomness and growth and running and rock bottom and here I am – in Edmonton – the last place I thought I would ever be and I am making it work. And as fucking cheezy as it sounds healing my broken wings – refusing to take shit from know one (no matter the cost) and dealing with all the shit that I didn’t have time to deal with before … like fixing the gawd awful mess on my legs.

 

That’s all folks – until next time!

xoxo,

C