Sunday, September 25, 2022

Tiny House Building: The framework Part 1

My trailer made it to Gotland on the 5th of March.

I got my first delivery of wood on the 15th and started building on the 16th.

By "started building" I mean one of the capenters I shared the space I rented with showed me how to use the miter saw I borrowed. I got emotional support from a friend on the 21st when I put the first screw in. Looking back now I smile when I think about how nervous I was, how I measured everything twice before doing anything.

Fast-forward 6 months and I'm a lot less nervous about a few millimeters here or there. One carpenter told me that "builders don't measure in millimeters".

I recommend you to remember that ;)

The result is that nothing in my Tiny House ended up being perfectly aligned. One wall is a little longer than the other, the rafters aren't perfect copies of one another either.

But the house is standing. And isn't that what counts?

The floor frame done & attached to the trailer.
 One wall ready.

Deciding on how high my little bathroom window should sit. 
Probably not the way professionals do this.

left: testing how/if the loft window fits.
right: my drawing of what I call the front of the house where you see both roofs. Will probably frame it one day. 

A lot of people tried to convince me not to try and connect two different roofs, and stick to one.
I found a gambrel roof calculator online & the right person to give me a pep-talk & eventually found the confidence to go for it.

Left: Your best friends. Buy extra pencils early on to save you a lot of time searching. Those clamps come in handy literally every step of the way. 
Right: Google everything. I had to google how to use my newly purchased circular saw because the only advice the guy at the store gave me was "watch your fingers!"

(good advice though. Do watch your fingers.)

Which brings me to: Safety first folks!
I recommend you to get a few extra safety ear muffs for friendly helpers. 

The trailer with all the walls and extra parts strapped in & all ready to be moved out of the garage & to the farm! (16th of May 2022 - 2 months into the build)

Dimensions of the wood used for the walls: 95x45.
for the rafters: 120x45
I have a 120x45 running along the entire length of the two long sides to carry the weight of the rafters & protect the windows below. 
I'll have 95mm of wood fiber insulation in the walls + an extra 25mm as part of the cladding in the form of Hunton Windproof panels - a super exciting product that I wouldn't have known existed were it not for my amazing building consultants at Österby Brädgård.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Gotland Greens

Ramslök - Bear's garlic - Wild garlic - Ramsons.

As the Swedes say. A loved child has many names. 

Meet the first harvestable greens of the season!

Perfect in soups, omelets, in stir fries, risotto, quiches, and of course, PESTO.

Here's the adjust-as-you-go recipe I used to make mine:

  • 200g wild garlic*
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 1-1,5dl olive oil (depending on the consistency you choose)
  • salt & pepper
Start by shredding the leaves in a blender/food processor and adding small amounts of sunflower seeds until you have a smooth enough mixture. Add in most of the oil and some salt and pepper and blend some more. 
Taste, add more of whatever you find is missing until your pesto hits the spot. 

Spoon everything into a clean jar, making sure you don't trap any air in while doing so. Top with a generous splash of olive oil to seal, put a lid on it, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Use it in pasta, drizzled onto salads, or as a spread on bread! 

As ramson is high in vitamin C and lots of different minerals, you've just made yourself a fragrant spring tonic to boost the immune system, in pesto form!

Pro tip: any leftover wild garlic can be turned into the most delicious herb butter. 

*can be made with basil too, just add in some garlic in that case. 

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Tiny House Planning: Trailer Considerations


The start. March 16th 2022.

A tired but proud face of a Tiny House builder.

The start of the Sub-floor frame. 

Essentials for any project.

To all Tiny House Dreamers and Planners:
This is a blogpost I wish I'd read before I ordered my trailer.
I'm happy to report I found solutions for all the problems I came across, and they came with a boost of self-esteem and trust in my problem solving abilities, but I figured that doesn't mean I shouldn't try save you some headaches. :)

A good house needs a solid foundation.
That's why I decided not to skimp on the trailer of my house. Or so I thought.

Based on the recommendations of another Tiny House builder I contacted a Swedish company called Tuna Trailer and ordered a custom made trailer: 8,4m long & 2,6m wide.

I was planning on building the frame for the floor with planks that are 120x45.

This plan had to be reviewed when the trailer arrived to the island and I discovered that there was no support for the sub-floor frame all across the length of the trailer. Both at the font and the back ot it, the frame has to span just under 2,6m.
I could have contacted a local blacksmith to weld extra support in place but I didn't want to delay my build, so instead I changed my order for 45x120s to 45x145s (class 24) - which to my sadness had to be transported here from the mainland, instead of the original plan to build with 100% gotlandic wood.
It also meant I lost 2 cm of ceiling height and that I had to make the house wider so that the transverse planks are supported by the outer frame and not just “hang by the screws”.
This of course, could have been avoided had I been a little more prepared, (maybe stumbled across a blogpost on the issue?) and had decided on how the trailer had to be for my drawing to work.

I guess I just assumed a Tiny House trailer builder would build a perfect trailer, which of course was a little naive, but part of me still thinks the company in question could have asked a few more questions. After all, this wasn’t the first time they built a tiny house trailer, and they knew I was a first time builder ...

Anyhow, it did teach me a few helpful lessons:

- Do not expect others to take responsibility for your project.
- Do not expect others’ advice to take into account all the variables only you know about.
- This is your project. Don’t leave anything to chance.

So before you order your trailer (or wood, in my case):

1. Check what dimensions the planks need to be in relation to the distance they need to span without support from underneath.

2. Decide how you want to attach your house to the trailer. If you get a custom made trailer, holes can be drilled beforehand and extra mounts can be welded onto it there and then, saving you a whole lot of time (and probably money) later on. 

My trailer is built to be able to carry 7,7 ton.
It’ll be pulled by a tractor at 30km/h according to Swedish traffic regulations.

If you’re planning a tractor trailer as well, do consider that not all tractors have their towbar at the same height, so the height the trailer constructor chooses might not be the right height for you.

My trailer got 6 tires in total which means it stands level when the weight on top is evenly divided.

However, I once came across a Tiny House builder whose trailer started “drooping” at the back end because of the weight of the house. I bought jack stands to prevent this, but I wish I thought to ask for my trailer to come with foldable “legs” of some sort.


My brain is strong but it can't prevent all mistakes or take into account all necessary considerations at all times.
Luckily there are solutions to most issues. 

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have upon reading this blogpost. Just drop me a comment, or find me on Instagram (@ainadventures)



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

How to start Tiny House Planning


Detail at Överjärva Byggnadsvård ABWindows at Överjärva Byggnadsvård AB

Nacka Byggnadsvårdme in the building outfit I'll gift myself when I get started

home made cinnamon buns

Where to start when you want to build a house?

I couldn't tell you. But I swear it helps to have a steady supply of home made cinnamon buns. And to have a cute tiny house building outfit planned out.

Jokes aside, I started by dreaming about it (back in 2014), reading about it, saving money, visiting builders, visiting people who live in their own tiny house, staying the night in one, getting inspiration from houses I like, and then gradually taking steps towards more practical matters:

Drawing & collecting second hand building materials. I wish I could have started with the latter sooner but I had to move back to Sweden first before that was in any way practical.

As reinventing the wheel isn't an effective use of my energy I decided I'd copy many of the measurements of a civil engineer who also built her own tiny house and was so kind to document it all on her blog.

 What will be different in my Tiny is the roof, and the fact that I'll have a loft, so I'll have to figure those bits out on my own (quite possibly by googling more blogs). 

At present my drawings are still incomplete but now that I have found the second hand windows for the bathroom and the living room (and know the measurements of the doors) I will finalise those soon.

For someone like me, deadlines are crucial, so telling everybody that I'd start building on the 1st of March has been very helpful. So has talking about it, to be honest, because it's a great way to hold yourself accountable & stick to your dreams. 

(Here's to hoping your friends can handle all the tiny house talk! 🤞)

My favourite house in my neighbourhoodA tiny house on Gotland

My local hardware storeCat in the snow. On one of our many walks.

An other advantage of talking about your tiny house plans to anyone who will listen is that many people know people who might be able to give you some advice. I would have missed out on so many gold nuggets had I kept my plans to myself.

What is harder is to stop changing your mind on things.

At one point I'll just have to decide on a plan and stick with it.

If you're curious, you can follow my journey on Instagram and Facebook

Monday, May 24, 2021

Missing link(s)

I am a nutritionist who shortly after getting certified fell out of love with the science of nutrition.

The course I took focused on holistic wellbeing, and while it definitely took into considerations lots of different aspects of human health, something was missing, because I couldn’t translate what I studied into nutritional advice that consistently “worked”. 

In searching for that missing puzzle piece (which turned out to be many!) I deepened my knowledge and practice of yoga and meditation, I consumed hundreds of podcasts on human relationships, bought and read pretty much every single book mentioned in those, took a course in positive psychology, read numerous books on the Enneagram and explored other personality theories and gradually found my way back to nutrition through thought work, the body positivity movement and the concept of intuitive eating.

Human wellbeing is such a fascinating subject and one that I am now educated enough in to feel like I actually have meaningful contributions to make. Lived experience also helps, considering I was only 24 when I first got certified.

It’s been (and still is) a journey! 

Another, very practical missing link, as least for people who menstruate, is getting to know your body and learning to track the changes in emotional and physical wellbeing throughout your cycle, something that, interestingly, was very much absent from the numerous books included in my holistic nutrition course material, perhaps not mega surprisingly because most of them were written by men.

Luckily there’s SO much information out there, but you do need to know where to start looking, of course.

One very digestible way to deepen your knowledge is my friend Sarah Byrne’s new podcast Sarah Explains it all. 
(@iamsarahbyrne on Instagram)

I recommend you dive straight in with the episode "How to track your cycle".

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Memories, Depression & Anxiety

So I've started studying Positive Psychology.
I find it so fascinating that I've decided to write about it here because I've noticed writing down my own thoughts makes me think better (especially if I intend to make these thoughts public), and remember better.

Funnily enough, the first topic I chose to write about is exactly that. Memory.

Our memories are very unreliable things.
I think that's why I like taking pictures.
(These photos were taken at the botanical gardens in Berlin in September 2017)

According to Professor Martin E.P. Seligman memory is not about what happened in the past.
"It seems to be something about the last story you told about the memory, or preparing for the next story you tell."

I think we all have experiences that we've recreated in our minds so that the story we tell about them fits the image we have of ourselves or our situation better.
And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. If reframing experiences, especially the less than good ones, can make us feel better, then why not use that power?

During my yoga teacher training we were encouraged even, to rewrite our stories. And to keep rewriting them, as often as we feel like it.

It also helps to keep in mind that people do this unconsciously as well. They aren't necessarily lying - they might just have unknowingly created a different version of the same experience for the sake of their own wellbeing.

"So", Martin Seligman continues, "memory seems to be in service of the future, it's not a photographic image of the past. And perception is even worse than that. Perception seems to be a hallucination about the future."

But knowing that our memories and our perception are faulty isn't the most exciting bit I learned.
I think we all sort of know that to be true. (even though it's no fun to have to admit it)

The coolest part is the finding that we are extremely future oriented beings.

"Our default circuit that lights up in the brain when we’re not doing anything in particular is the Imagination circuit. It’s the circuit that imagines the future."

(again according to Seligman in the course you can sign up to here)

Prospection tells us that depression is a disorder of the future, and not a disorder of the past or the present or the world.
In both clinical depression and anxiety there is an overrepresentation of possible negative future events.
And since we know that current therapy for depression is not very successful at present, 
how empowering is it to know that the solution perhaps lies not in digging up the past, but in therapies that are oriented toward better planning and the generation of more (and rosier!) scenarios of possible futures?

The same goes for Anxiety.
"Anxiety is clearly about expectations that bad things are going to happen in the future, yet the entire basis for the therapy of anxiety has been about the past and the present. So, to reformulate psychology as being not about perception and memory, but the way we evaluate and create scenarios of the future, is the place to start. " - Seligman

How might your life be impacted if you were to focus more on practices that help you to plan better and to have rosier views of possible futures? 

I'm curious to find out! You?

If you don't already, follow me on instagram where I'll be sharing many more things I'm learning!

With Love,


Monday, November 9, 2020

That once-in-a-lifetime Safari

It's just over 2 years ago I had the absolute privilege to experience African Wildlife like never before.
Like stepping out of our lodge and slowly walking backwards and in again after having spotted a group of monkeys during what I can only guess was their morning meeting,

being hypnotised by the stripes on a Zebra,

witnessing lions do what they do best,

discovering a love of birds I didn't know I had,

and just contemplating the magnitude of life from a little boat on the Zambesi river with all these magnificent creatures around us. 

I found myself involuntarily singing tunes from Disney's Lion King in my head ... 

and just had to take a photo of myself, a bit like pinching my arm, to capture that it really was me having this experience.

 It's a wild ride, this thing we call life.

I can't help to think about who I was back then and how far I've come in the two years since. 
Even though of course a safari is a once in a lifetime trip and something you can't possibly be on 
without feeling an enormous sense of wonder and gratitude 
(being with these animals really teaches you how to be present), 
I wasn't in a good place then. 

I wasn't living my life's purpose, I had strayed from my path ... 
and yet I wouldn't have had this experience if I hadn't thrown my own life and dreams to the side for the sake of someone else's,
so I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

You're exactly where you need to be.

Just like I was exactly where I needed to be then and exactly where I need to be right now.