3.05.2016

living in small spaces

I've never really given much thought to the size of houses.  I always assumed that some people prefer larger abodes and others like smaller ones.  That's all there is to it.  Right?

We recently watched a documentary about tiny houses.  These structures are typically smaller than 400 square feet and quite often built on trailers so they can be towed around like a camper.  While I think I would have a difficult time living in such a small space, I can't help but admire the ingenuity and creativity that go into creating these lovely little houses.


Tiny House Giant Journey in the Petrified Forest

Tiny House Blog is a fun place to go if you want to learn more about tiny houses.  I love following their Instagram which is full of beautiful pictures.

Even though I think it would be a struggle for my husband and I to live in a tiny house (especially after we have kids), the fact that there are people who live perfectly happy lives in these tiny spaces really struck a chord with me.  Our current apartment is about 970 square feet which is plenty of space for the two of us.  We would like to buy a house in the country and have a little more of our own space after living in a 4-plex, but we aren't shopping for a mansion.

The Atlas tiny house/RV hybrid.

Numbers don't mean a whole lot to me.  If you tell me a space is such-and-such square feet I can't really comprehend the size of it unless you give me a visual example.  As I looked around the kitchen of a home I was in recently I realized it was about the same size as our apartment kitchen and living room area combined.  One room in this huge house was the same size as half of our apartment.  Yes, there was great counter space and huge beautiful windows, but it blew my mind that so much square footage was taken up by a single room with a single function.

We're not looking for a shoe box of a house, and I would love to have a kitchen with an actual pantry, but I'm a lot more conscious about the space our belongings take up and how much living space we really need.

The Kasl Family Tiny House

I really love this adorable house and I wish it was more in the area where we hope to buy a home.  Sometimes we'll go on Zillow just for fun and marvel at how massive and ridiculous some of the houses are, such as this one (over 8,000 square feet!).  What do people even do with all of that space?

It'll still be more than a year before we can buy a house, so there's not really much point in looking around right now.  But I think it is important to consider how much space we really need in our homes.

Cinder Box MicroDwelling





3.02.2016

the easiest and most delicious blueberry sauce/jelly you will ever make!

I don't know what the technical qualifications are that determine if something is a sauce or a jelly, hence the title.  But whatever this concoction is, I can't believe I've only just discovered it!

Imagine the wonderful taste of fresh blueberry cobbler.  What if you could add that mind-blowing flavor to anything you want?  Anything!  That is the sorcery this sauce possesses.  What makes it even better is that you only need two things to achieve this magically fantastic creation:  A little pot and some blueberries.

Handpicked Michigan blueberries are best for this recipe.  ;-)

Put some fresh or frozen blueberries in a little pot and set your burner to low/medium heat.  Your blueberries will get softer as they warm up and start to leak some liquid.  Once they reach this point, start smashing them with a spoon.  Make sure you squish every single little berry!  Now you will want to turn the temperature down a little and stir continuously to make sure your squished berries don't burn.  The liquid will bubble and thicken as you keep stirring and even after you take it off the stove.  If you prefer a thinner sauce/jelly you can add a little water or take it off the heat sooner.



And that's all there is to it!  Warm up the blueberries, squish them, stir them around, and you're done!  Depending on how many blueberries you're using, it can take less than five minutes!

You can strain out the blueberry skins and customize this simple recipe to your liking.  Sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, whatever tickles your fancy.  Or enjoy it just as it is.

This blueberry jelly is divine on top of french toast (along with my husband's homemade maple syrup) and scrumptious as a filling between cake layers.  Next I want to try it warm and fresh on top of vanilla ice cream.  To tide me over until then, I enjoyed it on some simple toast for breakfast.  It was lovely.  :)