could you live in a macrohouse? new documentary “Tiny” asks and answers


We often ponder what it would be like to live in a tiny house, dreaming about having a nice self-sustaining plot of land, a sturdy shelter and no mortgage. Call it our escape plan. Could we really do it? Christopher Smith and his girlfriend Merete ask themselves this same question and document the building of their own itsy dwelling in the new documentary, Tiny: A Story About Living Small. The website offers a bundle of advice and links to sites that sell plans and will help you build your own compact dream home. Check it ou!

TINY: A Story About Living Small (Teaser Trailer) from TINY on Vimeo.

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want it now: gizmine wooden humidifier


What are we going to do? The damn groundhog saw his shadow last weekend and it most definitely feels like winter has not yet finished. In addition to leaving our fleece-lined boots out, we’re also slathering on moisturizers and leaving our humidifiers running in an effort to combat the season’s chronic dryness. All humidifiers have their faults — we have yet to find one that doesn’t get gunky and need a vinegar bath every few weeks. This wooden one from Gizmine has most definitely peaked our curiosity. With no plugs or batteries, it simply houses water in its base. Made entirely of cypress wood, it gathers moisture in its sail-like curved top and diffuses it into the room. Supposedly, it smells nice too. For something so simple, it is pricey ($150 at gizmine.com) but since it doubles as a zen sculpture, perhaps worth it?

Looking for more ideas? Here’s another Japanese humidifier we recommend. Found a humidifier you love? Let us know about it here!

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kickstarter project we love: plant pods


Not long ago we wrote about how cacti and succulents are the perfect indoor plants, especially for an office where a little life and color is always needed. Now we have found a new way to show them off: the Plant Pod by designer Dominic Fiorello. Dominic is a Cleveland-based furniture designer who has been working on creating the ideal vessel to house a touch of nature. With a mid-Century modern sensibility and crafted of American Walnut or White Oak, Plant Pods are ready for production — but first they need some backers to fund mass production in the USA. Check out the video on Kickstarter, where you learn more about Dominic and his dream. In the meantime, we’re already envisioning the spot on our wall where one of these beauties can live.

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field trip: maui’s surfing goat dairy

When one thinks of Maui, usually visions of poetic sunsets, leaping whales and surfers with washboard abs come to mind. None of those are wrong, but what you might not realize is that there is a burgeoning farm-to-table movement happening on the paradise isle, which makes sense since getting stuff there is not exactly easy. We snuck in a pre-holiday season vacation thanks to the wonders of airmiles, and made a stop by the Surfing Goat Dairy. Found on the hills of Halekala, otherwise known as Upcountry, it’s down the road from a vodka distillery and up the road from a lavender farm. Founded about 12 years ago by two German expats, (he a software exec, she a school teacher) they decided to buy a small goat farm and turn it into an organic dairy is that is a gourmand’s dream. One hundred percent sustainable, it now raises Saanen, Alpine and La Mancha goats, and from their milk they make the most delicious cheeses. If you’ve never had the opportunity to pet a kid goat, you are missing out. They are friendly, soft and eager to have the back of their ears rubbed. They’ll also try to eat anything they can get their tongues on, so you do have to be careful. We signed up for a $15 tour and was shown around dairy and farm. Our favorite part was getting a turn to milk the goat moms for ourselves. Though they have machine pumps — which they swear are gentler and kinder than a human touch — we were each allowed to give a “squeeze” and aim for the bucket. The goats seemed grateful.

If you are in Maui, be sure to visit Surfing Goat Dairy. The best time to show up is around 2pm so you’ll be there for the afternoon milking. If you’re really interested in learning more about sustainable, organic goat farming, ask about their volunteer program. A summer in Maui getting close to some goats while perfecting your cheese making skills? Let the fantasies begin. And for those wishing to sample the goods without the jet lag, consider a gift basket for the holiday season.

For more information on the Surfing Goat Dairy, visit their site.

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could you live in a $25,000 micro home?

We often dream about packing it all in and heading to the hills or treetops to live in a small kit house. From our reseplace, we’ve found they usually require some serious dough in the end, and can end up costing as much as buying an already existing home and sprucing it up. Ian Kent hopes to change all that by introducing Nomad Micro Homes — small, DIY dwellings that only cost $25,000. While not exactly the kind place you could live in all year long (unless perhaps you were a desert dweller), the Micro homes could be great weekend getaways, guest houses or even artist or writer studios. According to the founder, if you can put together Ikea products, you can put together one of these houses in one week. (Though, if you’re like us, your Ikea skills are not so great.) With their minimalist lines and high ceilings, it’d be easy to imagine spending some quality time inside one of them. Visit Nomad Micro Homes for more information.

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