Welcome to the Cottage.

The Tiny Canal Cottage® is a 1920's Craftsman-style house by the Venice Beach Canals in Southern California. This <400 sqft home/office is the full-time residence of Creative Director Whitney Leigh Morris, her husband, their son, and two rescue beagles.

S’well Holidays

S’well Holidays

This blog post was sponsored by S’well. As always, the images and words are my own. Any photographs of my son and/or the pups were taken as they interacted happily in their own natural ways. 

I’m often asked how we manage various holidays in our tiny house. (“Where do you store all the stuff year-round? How do you display everything? Can you host, or do you have to go elsewhere?”) While I definitely understand the inquiries, I also find them a tad bit amusing— because, in actuality, it’s all quite simple. By reorienting our focus towards activities (rather than things) and community (rather than staying being our tiny closed doors), our family enjoys our holiday traditions immensely— they just look a bit different here.


With every passing day we’re becoming increasingly focused on reducing our household waste— especially when it comes to what we buy and the businesses we support. I’ve shared much of this journey here on the blog and via Instagram, and there’s certainly been an marked uptick in our passion on the topic since reading recent studies regarding the devastating effects we’ve had on the Earth. 


Microplastics are turning up everywhere— even in the food we eat and the beverages we drink. We can do better. We HAVE TO do better for our bodies, our planet, and future generations. This means evaluating everything we buy and use (and then consider discarding)— from our every day sustenance to our holiday decor. 


While the climate devastation is a sobering issue, shifting our habits and lifestyle can be downright delightful, as we’ve discovered here at the Cottage. One of my favorite, easy ways to reduce waste and save money is by using S’well bottles, both here at home and while on-the-go.


Anyone who tunes into my Instagram Stories or regularly reads the blog will recognize my go-to blonde wood water bottle and coffee “Traveler,” both of which are all but glued to my side. 


As such, I was thrilled when S’well invited me to be a part of their ‘It’s a S’well Life’ campaign, and to share with you how we use (and use and use and use) our S’well products as essentials— everyday and during the holidays.


Our son, West, is two years old. Over Halloween, we realized that he is now old enough to be completely fascinated by holiday decorations, even if he doesn’t yet understand why they’re up. 


But rather than covering our own home and garden with seasonal flair, we turn his love of holiday decor into a family scavenger hunt of sorts. We’ll take the dogs and either walk, cargo bike, or canoe around our neighborhood to explore the festive setups our neighbors have taken care to install in their yards. 


We also visit markets, brick-and-mortar shops, and pop-up retail / seasonal activity hubs to get an extra dose of spirit. 


Going to browse potted trees (which can be replanted after the holidays, avoiding landfills and helping manage heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere!), natural or pop-up ice skating or sledding spots, wreath-making workshops, and local light displays are all options that require little-to-no money. And then we don’t have to bring home anything new to display in our tiny home (and then ultimately throw out or store year-round).


From the library, to night markets, to neighborhood events at the playground, to the beloved annual bridge and boat decorating contest here on the canals, there’s so much to see and do here as an individual, couple, or family. 


Nearly every community has SOMETHING going on— you just have to turn off your TV, open your door and GO. 


(And don’t forget to toss your S’well bottles and reusable utensils roll into your bag as you walk out the door!)


We LOVE hosting in our tiny house.


There’s something about a small space that makes everything feel a touch more festive and special— it’s just so cozy and welcoming. 

One of the (many) things I love about S’well is that you can use the same, stylishly-designed pieces in your house and outside of it, minimizing the number of items you own while reducing your dependency on new, single-use plastics and other similar disposable drinkware. 


Let’s take active measures together to ensure that we protect our planet for future generations— there’s no greater gift we could give them this holiday season, and beyond.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

Decluttering Hurdle: Aligning with Your Significant Other

Decluttering Hurdle: Aligning with Your Significant Other