Choosing our homesite was pretty easy. With the type of home we are building, the homesite was pretty much one of the most important determinations with respect to the property we purchased (Read more about the land we purchased here).
We plan on building an earth sheltered home. This means that all, yes all, of the windows will need to be south facing to make the most of solar gain in the winter (we have plans for special windows to minimize gain in the summers, more on that in a later post).
Also, even though it is an earth sheltered home we intend to have an entrance on the north side as well (most earth shelters only have an entrance on the south side).
For those two reasons we needed a bermed location with a small slope to the north, but a larger slope to the south so we could 'blast' through it and have a level north entrance, but the other side would be all windows facing south. All trees to the south would also need to be cleared to allow full access of the sun all day. If all goes well will will just need to add some dirt over the top of the home!
I know this sounds a little confusing, but you can check out these earth sheltered homes by Formworks in Colorado to see what we are sort of planning. We are in the process of working on plans with them and I will share those soon!
This is the site. This is facing due south. We would need to cut through this small berm. The other side of the berm goes downhill for several hundred feet so we will have quite a bit of forest to clear. I know it is all hard to see/visualize, but since the house is relatively small (32 x 28) it should really work just right!
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The past few months have been a little hectic for our family. My daughter, the oldest child, was married in September. She had a wonderful backyard wedding with about 250 people! Yes, 250! This was really only possible because it was in the backyard but it was well worth it. So basically over the next few months I will be posting about how we planned this tremendous party. In fact, I have already posted some information about her shower and making two different dream catchers(see them below) that were used as part of the ceremony and as decorations for the party. Today, however, is about using mugs instead of plastic cups.
I know, plastic is so much easier. You just use it and throw it away. But seriously, with 250 people, how many would we need to buy? I couldn't imaging the nightmare that this would create with garbage after the party. And after all, all the plates, silverware, etc. were going to be recyclable bamboo! So why would we ruin the environmental theme by using plastic cups? We wouldn't. And in fact, we used mugs for the bridal shower as well!
A lot of people questioned the cost. Believe it or not, in my opinion (and my daughters as well), the cost was worth it for several reasons. First, we weren't using plastic which we all know is not good for the environment because it literally never decomposes. Second, we allowed guests to bring them home as a souvenir. This was especially good for couples because they would have two to bring home and use. This was also good for use because we wouldn't be left with hundreds of left over mugs! However, any left over mugs could still be used for future parties, for gifts, or many other ways! And what made these extra cool is that regular mason jar lids screw right on to them so they could even be used for storage! Anyway, back to the cost. We did end up buying a few cases from Amazon and they were definitely more expensive.
For the bridal shower we purchased the Libby Drinking Jar With Handle (Amazon affiliate link). A case cost 28.95 so we paid approximately $2.41 per mug. We had to do this because we needed them fast. Since there would only be about 40 or so people at the shower I simply tied a paper tag around each mug and let everyone write their own names on it for the party (note the mug filled with markers). The mugs are also filled with tickets for the 'Chinese' auction game! Directions were provided on the welcome sign shown below.
Items purchased for the bridal shower mug display (affiliate links):
Video "How-to" (see pictorial below):
For the wedding we had a lot more time to wait for delivery so we actually ordered about 12 cases of mugs from Dollar Tree. At dollar tree they were $1 per mug plus tax. Much more cost effective! But again, you need to have a lot of patience and time for delivery because I think they literally came from China. You also need to be prepared to go and pick them up at your local Dollar Tree Store. The unfortunate part of this was the fact that every mug came with a sticker on the bottom that took my husband and I three nights to peel off of the mugs in all twelve cases. Oh, and guess what! They were literally identical to the mugs we got from Amazon! Just no Libby name on the box! The Libby mugs didn't even have the name brand on the mugs either so they were really, truly, the same.
Items purchased for the wedding mug display (some are affiliate links):
Heres How They Were Done:
We have no regrets about using the mason jar mugs instead of plastic! One comment we recieved from guests at the shower was that it was a little difficult for them to drink from the mug being that it had the funny edge to screw on lids.
Because of that comment we provided optional drinking straws at the wedding. Some people chose to use them, and some didn't.
I know, you think maybe it defeated the purpose because they too are plastic, however, the amount of plastic used by 100 or so straws was nothing compared to how many cups we would have gone through!
We would love to hear from you so please share your thoughts and experiences with us!
Check out our other DIY Shower and Wedding Ideas here.
This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com.
Having an RV (recreational vehicle) is awesome! It gives us the freedom to be able to travel and always have a comfortable place to sleep with no worries. It is also super convenient to just pull onto the side of the road if you have to go to the bathroom! No more painful waits for the next rest area or searching for a gas station with a working bathroom. Maybe that's just me. Either way having an RV with all the comforts of home and stocked with just about everything you need for traveling makes traveling simply delightful!
However, our RV, being inexpensive and small, did not come with most of the comforts we wanted nor did it have a lot of space for all of the above, so here is what we did to make it like home for us.
1. The Bed
We chose an RV that had a bed that never needed to be 'broken down.' In other words, in many smaller RV's the bed is also the kitchen table and benches. We made sure this was not the case for us so even though our RV is small (18') it has a permanent bed. The bed also had to be a decent size. Our RV is a queen size bed and this was very important to us.
2. The Entertainment Center
OK, I know it is not camping if you have an entertainment center, but really. It's not exactly camping to stay in a nice trailer with the comforts of home anyway! At our age, we just don't care. We want to travel all around the country and at the end of the day we like to relax and watch some TV. Even if it is just a DVD, we don't care. It is relaxing. So Since our RV didn't come with an entertainment center we had to make our own!
3. The Bathroom
I don't know about you, but this room is pretty important to me! In a small trailer you get a small bathroom. In our case it is really, really small. In fact, it only came with a tiny shower, a toilet, and a mirror on the wall! Nothing else but a door!
4. The Kitchen
Of course this is really part of the bedroom, the living room, and the dining room! Ha Ha. But who cares? It's still my kitchen and I knew I could improve upon it!
5. Key Holder
Now our trailer is always organized, ready, and feels like home no matter where we go!
Hi there! I'm Kathie, the author behind Creating A Simpler Life blog. I'm excited to share our longterm projects (and planning) toward building our future retirement homestead in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. In the meantime I will be sharing all the other little things we do that are part of creating our simpler life!