Happy Birthday, Midge!


It’s been one year since I purchased a 14’ x 8’ trailer and had it towed to my sister’s driveway. One year since emptying my bank account for the foundation-on-wheels under a new way of life.

I have so much to say about my little house, but I don’t yet have the language. Talking about my house feels like being 7 years old and needing to clean my room—Where do I start? What is most important? Should I organize as I go? If I leave it alone will it get better on its own?

So there’s that.

First thing’s first: her name is Midge.

Today is Midge’s first birthday and I find that fact overwhelming and surprising.

Two months ago I decided I could be completely finished with my house by today—including a front porch and steps. It didn’t quite go down like that, but I’m living here full-time, so I still think it’s a win.

Second: I am not spectacular, so you guys can all just stop thinking I am wonder woman. Okay?

It feels inauthentic to soak up so much praise. I am a woman who builds shit. I am not the first. I won’t be the last. I didn’t do this all on my own; I had the help of a brother, a sister and YouTube.

I am strong. I am smart. I am wildly independent. Get over it.

Okay, don’t get over it yet.

I want you to love Midge just like I love her. She’s stunning and cozy.

But for the record, I wake up groggy and hitting the snooze, just like I did before. I wash my dishes in the sink and put on mascara in the mirror. I stare at the contents of the fridge and decide if I want to make food or not. Most of my habits are the same, just in tighter quarters.

Third: I am the most proud that I built my house mostly from salvaged material—the studs, the insulation, the walls, the flooring, the windows, the skylight, the front door. More than 50 percent of my house came out of construction site dumpsters. And another 25 percent was gifted to me or purchased on Craigslist. My little eco-conscious house makes my little heart VERY happy.

I am also proud to say I am still within the crazy budget I set for myself.

When I decided to take this project on I didn’t look at material costs or diligently plan what I would spend my money on. I figured out how much I could save in two years. How much could my job as a barista buy? I decided I could probably scrounge up $7,000 in two years if I picked up extra shifts and odd jobs. So that was my budget. I had no plans for how to make it happen, I just decided to figure it out as I went.

As of right now I have spent $6,525.49.

THAT, my friends, makes me feel like wonder woman.

Happy birthday, Midge! You are one of a kind.


{ You can find more photos of Midge on Instagram: #midgethetinyhouse }



  1. Sherry Naron says

    I have wondered all along how much you’ve spent….but under 7K…geewhiz you really ARE wonder woman…get over it and own it! I’m in awe!!!!

    • Sarah Joslyn says

      Ha. Sherry, you are awesome. Thank you for being such an encourager all along this crazy endeavor.

  2. fiona lynne says

    “I am strong. I am smart. I am wildly independent. Get over it.”. Ha. This made me laugh outloud. But really. If I think you’re spectacular it’s mostly because you had this dream and you just DID IT. I have dreams and then stand around umming and aahing and second guessing myself. You just make me want to believe that I am strong and smart and wildly independent too.

    • Saskia Wishart says

      Uhm yes to what Fiona said, I keep thinking how incredible and special and amazing you are because you made it happen… Alongside so many other things you make happen. So I will keep telling you how great you AND midge are, and then I will fantasize about having a cup of tea on her front porch!

    • Sarah Joslyn says

      Oh Fiona! That makes me feel SPECTACULAR. That’s all I want in the whole world. YOU are spectacular.

  3. says

    Sorry, you’re just going to have to take the praise. It takes courage to have a vision and follow it through. It takes courage to tell the world you’re going to do something off the beaten path. It takes courage to try. Well done, Sarah. And welcome to the world, Midge!

  4. says

    Sarah, oh yes, you are strong, smart, and wildly independent. I have to add– you are incredible, amazing, fantastic, awesome and inspiring. So proud of your tenacity to bring Midge to gorgeous life. I will bring Champaign and sushi to celebrate next time I’m in your area. Maybe this summer! xox

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