DIY 70s A-Frame Cabin Renovation

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Ryan and I got married in 2017 and on our honeymoon we stayed in an a-frame cabin. We both instantly fell in love. We had never been in a cozier home and we started dreaming about owning one of our own someday. After 3 years of full-time travel, we decided to look for a home base for us to stay in between traveling. We were looking for a place back in our home state of Illinois and we couldn’t stop thinking about a-frames. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of a-frame cabins where we grew up. We looked at several other homes but our hearts kept dreaming of those triangular houses.

Then after countless hours of searching, I finally stumbled across the most perfect a-frame cabin in our price range only an hour from where I grew up. This little 70s home might have needed some TLC but we were more than up for that job. It felt perfect to us and we couldn’t wait to restore it back to all it’s glory.

Laundry Room

The first project we tackled was the laundry room. We wanted to get this done first so we could use this room to store all of our stuff while we worked on the remainder of the house. This room is really big so we decided to make it have multiple purposes. Now it’s our exercise room and the pet’s room as well as our laundry room. We replaced the old wall panels with new birch paneling. I wanted to keep a lot of natural wood in this room so we finished the walls with Polyurethane and added some black trim to make it pop.


Our bathroom was one of the biggest projects in the entire house. The shower had been recently tiled but was not leveled and had some serious water leak concerns. The shower did not drain properly and unfortunately needed to be torn out to prevent further damage to the floor below. Since we knew we needed to start over entirely in this room, we decided to swap out the shower for a clawfoot tub! We also added in a picture window for some more natural light. I have been dreaming about a pink and green bathroom for awhile and decided to go for it with Behr Taffy Twist on the walls.

I decided to save the vanity because it was in really good condition. I used pole wrap, new hardware, and painted it Green Agate to upgrade the look. I love using pole wrap because it is so easy to work with and a cheap way to make a big difference! We also switched out the mirror, light fixture, and faucet.


In the kitchen, we immediately decided to take down the upper cabinets because the space felt really crowded. We replaced them with some open shelving instead. I know open shelving can be controversial but personally I think it gives the space more of a cabin-like feel. And since we previously lived in less than 200 square feet, we have pretty minimal things and didn’t need the additional storage. We decided to keep the white lower cabinets for now, but might switch these out or paint them down the road. We switched out the countertops for butcher block that we cut and finished ourselves.

One of my favorite, but most controversial projects in this house, is the pink fridge. We had a stainless steel fridge that worked well but I wasn’t happy with the overall look of it. Instead of buying a new fridge we didn’t really need, I thought I’d try using automobile vinyl wrap to change the look! I went with this gorgeous glossy pink color and switched out the handles and am so happy with how it turned out!

We used leftover butcher block from out countertops to create the shelves and switched out the sink for this beautiful farmhouse sink. I added a pop of color with this handpainted tile from Fireclay Tile and used white subway tile on either side to complete the look.

Living Room

One of the biggest transformations in the house was definitely the living room. There was a very small upper bedroom above our living room and dining room area that we weren’t really using. Part of the reason I loved a-frames so much was the dramatic ceilings so we decided to take out this upstairs bedroom to create a vaulted ceiling. Although we sacrificed a bit of square footage, it was so worth it to have this big open living space and all the natural light.

Some of the other changes we made in here include swapping out our door for something that brings in more light and replacing the grey floors. It’s all about the small details in this room, though, like this custom built bookshelf made to fit perfectly underneath our staircase.

Most of the furniture in this space is thrifted and it’s really come together to create a beautiful living space! I also added this fun 70s wallpaper to the dining room area and upgraded the light fixtures in here.


The bedroom was one of easier projects, mostly just needing new floor. But we also added a cedar accent wall to cozy up the space. I spent months looking for nightstands that I liked at a decent price but after not finding anything in my budget and style, we decided to build some ourselves.

Sticking with the triangle theme, I added this super fun wallpaper to the wall right outside our bedroom. After taking out the front upstairs bedroom, we transformed this area into a balcony space the we use as an office area.


From the beginning, I knew I wanted to do an all black exterior. Although we did a majority of the work ourselves, we did hire someone to do the metal roof. It was a little terrifying watching them walk up and down this steep roof! But the black metal turned out so sleek and we went with Green Black from Sherwin Williams for the exterior color. The old balcony you see in the first photo was in really bad shape. We rarely walked on it and it would have needed to be completely redone to be used. Since we took out that upstairs bedroom, we just decided to get rid of the balcony altogether.

This huge front porch is one of my favorite parts of the entire house. We used recycled lumber from the house to build some benches to sit out here! Plus the old beams from the balcony are perfect for hanging plants and a hammock.

On the back of the house, we went with the color Green Black also from Sherwin Williams. We built on a small back deck that we plan to stain and possibly build garden boxes onto this spring. There was also already a rugged firepit in the back that we cleaned up and added some rock for an outside hangout spot.


We kept this renovation right on budget at $40,000. It took us the better part of 2022 to complete and there are still a few more projects we’d like to tackle in the coming year. We did about 90% of the work ourselves, only hiring out speciality subcontractors for things like the roof and plumbing which was a huge part of why we were able to do this renovation so affordably! This year we plan to spend more time on landscaping, our huge garden, and continuing to add our own personality to this beautiful home.

DIY Ram ProMaster Van Conversion

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In May of 2022, we drove over 16 hours roundtrip to pick up a 2016 Ram ProMaster 2500 van. We have dreamed of a van conversion for years, and after selling our Class C RV, we knew it was time to take it on. With a high roof and 159″ wheelbase, this van was the exact size we were looking for our next home on wheels!

Neither one of us had much building experience prior to this. We have taken on a few renovation projects like our first travel trailer and more recently, our a-frame cabin. But we have never built anything from the ground up. We wanted to keep the build simple and affordable but livable. Although we won’t be living in this van full time, we knew we plan to be living in it up to 6 months at a time so it needed to be comfortable. Our build budget was at the lower end at $15,000 but we felt confident we could still create a beautiful but functional camper van at that cost.


One of the first big challenges we took on in this build was our electrical system. We installed solar panels to our last class C RV but never upgraded our batteries and really struggled with having enough power. We made sure to upgrade our batteries this go round and Ryan managed to figure out all of the wiring and electrical components of our van!

We have used Renogy solar panels in the past and know and trust the brand so we decided to go with them again! Our van is equipped with 4-100 Watt Solar Panels mounted to the roof that feed into our 40A MPPT Solar Charge Controller to maintain our two 12V 100Ah Smart Lithium Batteries. We also have a 2000W 12V Pure Sine Wave Inverter to convert our DC power to AC for our 120v household items.


Ryan and I went back and forth for awhile on including a shower in this van, and ultimately opted for a small 24×24″ shower/wet bath. We went with a 33 gallon fresh water tank and a 21 gallon grey water tank. For our water heater, we decided on the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank 2.5-Gallon Water Heater. Although it does draw significant power, we wanted to avoid a complicated propane system.

We wanted to go with a composting toilet but I wasn’t loving the look of any of the leading brands. That’s why I am really excited about the Cuddy Composting toilet we went with. It’s sleek design was a huge selling point for us since we knew it would be living in the shower. Speaking of…

I wanted to do something really fun with the shower tile because I knew it would be the first thing you see when you open the van door. During our a-frame cabin renovation, I fell in love with Fireclay Tile. I used their hand-painted tile in our kitchen and knew that we wanted to go with them for the van as well! The tile is made in California and their commitment to color really shows! I was inspired by Harvest Moon Bungalow‘s shower and wanted to bring that vintage sunset vibe into the van.

Colors (Top to Bottom):


I knew from the beginning I wanted live edge countertops for this van but was having trouble sourcing the right size piece. I finally came across this beautiful slab of black walnut for only $60 on Facebook Marketplace! I spent many hours removing bark and sanding it to perfection but I love how they turned out.

We kept this kitchen space simple but functional. We do all our cooking on this 2 burner gas cooktop. Our sink is amazing and so spacious for a van. Having a deep sink in the van makes a huge difference when it’s time to do the dishes! For our fridge, we went with the SetPower 60Qt 12V RV Refrigerator. This is a fridge/freezer combo and has ample space for over a week’s worth of food for the two of us! It is also extremely efficient and uses minimal power.

I wanted to add some texture to the only flat wall we had in the van so I decided to do a faux lime wash! Since it was such a small space, I didn’t want to spend the money on actual lime wash paint so I tried to create the same look with regular paint and was surprised with how well it turned out! We also added in more Fireclay tile in Overcast 2×4 behind the sink to protect the walls and bring in a little more color!


We’re really happy with how the build turned out! It really feels like a dream come true to us. After a couple weeks on the road, we can happily say everything is working as it should. The layout feels really functional for us as well as beautiful. We ended up staying on budget and love our new home on wheels!

1969 Shasta Compact Remodel

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While looking at Facebook Marketplace near our last home city, St. Louis, I ran into a 1969 Shasta Compact. I immediately fell in love and woke Ryan up to tell him we had to have it! Fast forward to less than a week later and Suzy the Shasta was ours!

We were so excited to have our dream vintage trailer but quickly realized there was more work than we originally thought (that’s usually how these things go).  With no experience except for the help of my dad, a carpenter, we got to work.


Although Suzy did already have a paint job when we bought her, it was poorly done and not our style. So we decided to change it up to our dream sea-foam green!

How we painted the exterior for less than $200: Painting Our Vintage Camper




The kitchen was definitely one of our bigger projects! There was water damage on the front end as well as the back. We had to completely rebuild these sections. We also painted all the drawers and cabinets and replaced the knobs. We switched out the icebox for a mini fridge and painted the original oven! We added a backsplash and put in a new light and countertop.

Daewoo Compact Retro Refrigerator (ours is 2.8 mint) :

Spray Paint for Oven:

Kitchen Backsplash:


In the “bedroom” area, we took out the dinette table and made a custom bed instead. This bed converts to a full size bed and has storage underneath it! We also painted the walls and made new tops for the bench seats.

El Paso Designs San Miguel Blanket:

Lightweight Wall Planters:

Bins for Shelf:


The bathroom needed new plumbing and a new water tank. We put in a new floor and I made custom curtains throughout.


We took out this bulkier cabinet and opted for smaller one to give us more headspace. We fixed up the old screen door and then it was time to decorate!

You can watch our full tour here!  Vintage Camper Remodel: Shasta Compact Tour

I’m a RYT and I Use Props (And Why You Should Too)


Before I completed my Yoga Teacher Training, I practically never used any props. My teacher would offer them during classes but I would stick up my nose and refuse. My ego told me that I would look like less of a yogi if I used a block under my hand. I felt like I needed to prove that I could do it on my own. I thought that a prop meant I was not good enough and that I needed to make the pose easier.

My training taught me one very important thing, props do not mean it is easier. In fact, many of the poses felt more difficult after adding props because I was engaging the proper muscles! Props enhance our practice. It is not a cop out by any means. Props help you find proper alignment in the pose. All of our bodies are built differently and props help accommodate for that.

We can become caught up on some “full variation” of the pose. We tell ourselves we need to look like XYZ in order to really have conquered it. But your goal with each yoga posture should be an intended benefit, not a final look. So when we are forcing our hand to the mat in Triangle we are not getting any of the benefits from lengthening through the side body. With a block under the hand, we are able to really experience the pose and soak up all the benefits.

Without props, we can form dangerous habits. By forcing our bodies into positions that they are not built for or ready for we can be doing much more harm than good. Props create muscle memory that will help us when we remove them.

And my final reason for being such strong supporter of the prop world, is yoga is supposed to calm and relax the mind. So take the struggle out! Allow yourself to feel supported so the muscles can relax. Then you are able to hold the pose longer, open up, and relax. It’s really difficult to keep a steady breath when you are struggling and forcing yourself through the entire practice.

I promise no one will think less of you for grabbing those props during class. It might even make your teacher gleam with joy.✨