At the end of 2011 I purchased a disgusting wreck of a house by the beach, which I tore down and then rebuilt a tiny house (using as much salvage from the original as I could). This page is an organized record of the whole process, which took me about 2.5 years because I had to save up money and I'm a single mom of 3 - this was NO JOKE the hardest thing I've ever tried to do.

The Beginning: How Building a Tiny House Opened the Door to a Dream
 The Beach House Nobody Wanted
(and some more nasty pics of the original rotting structure)

beach shack (all posts)

Salvaging from the wreckage: Crap from the Shack
Using Auto Paint on an Antique Iron Bed
{Refinishing the old clawfoot tub and sinks:
The magic cleaner
How to patch porcelain and color matching}

My Brother & The Tetanus Video

Phase 1: Demolition

Phase 2: Meeting the Architect & Engineer
and: The Finished Plans!

Phase 4: Building the cottage!!! We finally started in Sept-Oct 2013, and we finished in April/May of 2014. This is an approx. 850 sq ft "tiny house" built to hurricane/FEMA code, on Tybee Island GA.

the barn-style sliding doors over the Washer/Dryer:
Powder room - all the plumbing fixtures in the house are refurbished vintage (pre-war):
kitchen sink -
main bath - top floor - (I have since switched out the door so it swings into the hallway instead)

(refurbished clawfoot tub, subway tile, schoolhouse light fixtures, and vintage reproduction fabric. I am a little obsessive but I do not regret it. The floor is plain white hex tile.)

the front balcony, where I drink wine out of my plastic cup and soak up cancer-causing UV rays - (mostly I think I am trying to recover from the stress of this build) -
I think this is my favorite picture:

kitchen! the place where all the wine and shrimp are kept:
my mom, my 3 nieces (who, along with my 3 kids, were always on my mind when I designed this house) -- and TURTLE PURSES. yes.
next... bedrooms?

and gotta get a shot of this railing, designed by my builder - George Feehley and his awesome supervisor, Missy!  (this was before the track was covered with trim):

It's been a long, hard, stressful 3 years. It didn't end well - I lost my job suddenly, right before the house was done, and this caused me to almost lose it. But in the end everything has worked out, and this place is everything I imagined it would be. All 6 kids (and the rest of my family) are totally in love with it!

I will put more links here to my other posts (with finished pics) as I think of it. I am getting ready to close this chapter and move onto my next big project. :)  I am proud that I was brave enough to take such a huge risk as a single mother of 3. There was no guarantee that this was going to turn out well, and several times it looked like I was going to lose everything. The sweet people who followed this blog through this crazy project know how many panic attacks and monsters were overcome!

But at the beginning I knew - KNEW. that I can't live my life without ever reaching for adventure. I hope any other single mama out there who is struggling to survive will read this story and have hope. With God all things are possible  - amen. :)


  1. Would love to see more pics of how the beach house is coming along!

  2. OH MY GOD what a wonderful blog and what a lovely time you all must be having in your new "shack"! Love the colors, the textures, the whole thing! Congrats!

  3. I am beyond impressed!! I stumbled upon your blog as you were just deciding to purchase the land. I remember being scared for you and praying for the best. Life took over and I stopped checking in, today something jingled a memory and I searched/found your blog again.
    A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to you on a job well done, a dream realized, and an outstanding example you are to yourself, children and countless web folks!


Welcome to my three ring circus. Cake? Tequila? Pardon me while I cut this lumber and yell at my kids for the 100th time --

About Me

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For many years I was a mechanical engineer by day, a house renovator by night, and a single mom. I previously built a tiny house on Tybee Island that I sold in 2015. Then I lost my day job, met Prince Charming, and now work full time demolishing (fixing) his lake house. ;) Stop by for the house stuff, stay for the never-ending disasters, pianos falling out of the sky, floods, threats of financial ruin, & panic attacks. It's like house flipping meets the zombie apocalypse! with lots of kids!

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