Living the Happy, simply life…

I have finally had the opportunity to live what was once a feeling, that turned into an idea, that turned into a concept, that turned into a poster and proposed project, which lead to an ideology of what was, for me, a happy, fulfilling, meaningful, connected and globally responsible way of life.


The plan back then was Happy, simply – a sustainable lifestyle model and education project. The components of this were a self-sufficient home off all grids (solar, water capture, compost toilet), responsible transport (walking, cycling and public transport), volunteering in the community.

From the idea to the poster I then threw it out into the world to see what response or interest might find it. I was lucky to interact and follow up with a range of different people to learn and share with. The tipping point to reality came when Tim from Sustainable HAbitat Challenge (SHAC) put me in touch with a Spanish couple who are designers and builders. They loved the idea and so we set about how would be build the home component of the Happy, simply lifestyle model and education project.front page photo

Currently living the Happy, simply home that was built by Javi, Mireia, myself and a myriad of wonderful volunteers still has me both perplexed and humbled by how we made it come together and all the generosity needed and given.IMG_1202

The Happy, simply home was built by a community and supported by so many and in a rainless February last year. By March the purple 10m2 self-sufficient home was completed. house on the moveAt that time I was incredibly relieved and stressed by the whole process, it is not easy to be constantly vulnerable asking everyone for everything so I didn’t really have the opportunity to live the essence of the Happy, simply lifestyle before I took off back to Australia to see the newborn donor child I helped my friend have.

After a month in Australia in April last year I took off again for 6 months working with UNICEF in Uganda followed by some travel, volunteering and learning in southern Africa for a month and a half. I managed three days back in my hometown of Adelaide before going on a 5-week global awareness presentation tour of SE Asia. Finally at the end of this (not that I wasn’t loving every minute of it) I had a couple more weeks in Adelaide and Melbourne before I made it back to the Happy, simply home in Paekakariki, Aotearoa New Zealand on April the 1st one since I had left!

My first night in the Happy, simply home was surreal, I couldn’t believe I was staying in a place that housed so many memories, emotions, generosity and more – the smile was plastered on my face all evening and night.100_1455 (12b)

Now almost two weeks on from that arrival I have settled into the Happy, simply lifestyle. I spend a couple days a week in Wellington doing some volunteering and then come 45km back up the coast to Paekakariki to live happily and simply in just the way I like it. I walk, I ride, I meet with people, I volunteer (mainly online setting up various programs and thinking of more) but I live in the most idealistic purposeful way I can imagine.

I use less than 10l of water a day, I have enough power from my small 95w solar panel to charge my laptop daily, I compost my waste and my recreation is spending time with others, spending time with nature or writing blogs about how lucky I am I get to live life in exactly the way I have been envisioning for the past 2-3 years.

The photos will show that it looks like a cool little house but to me it means so much more it is Happy, simply – a sustainable lifestyle model and education project to me and hopefully others.

I sort of said never again after building this place here last year but I suppose like running a marathon or child birth the bad aspects fade and the good aspect rise to the top so I will be building another Happy, simply home in Aldinga, South Australia next month with a new community, band of volunteers and learning to be had!

I hope others have the chance to find their own Happy, simply as I know I certainly have.


Happy, simply home #2 – South Australia…!

HSposter_animationThe Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project looks like it might be building another Happy, simply home!
This time in Aldinga, South Australia (just near Adelaide)…
And so this is what we are proposing for a Happy, simply home in South Australia – please get in touch if you want to be a part of making this happen!
Happy, simply. – a lifestyle model and education project. 
Tiny house, community living and where just enough is plenty!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The Happy, simply home – want to participate in a community building project?
We are proposing constructing a small, mobile house of approx. 10m2 that is ‘off the grid’.
A similar project was done last year in Aotearoa New Zealand with great success and we want to see if we can do something similar (and better) this time in South Australia
  • When: Late May / early June 2014 (approx. 2 weeks total build time) Major build is 24 May – 8 June with prep and finish before and after those dates
  • Where: Aldinga Arts Eco Village map:
  • How: Using volunteer labour and recycled / donated materials
  • Why: To learn, share and participate in a community project that demonstrates how people can live a happy, simple life in a sustainable, self-sufficient home
If you can contribute any skills, time, materials, support, please contact us via email – and keep up to date on the Facebook group if that is what you like:
Ideally what we need…
  • Builders – especially students, retired or passionate sustainable builders and one major builder who can share and teach others
  • Designer / Architect
  • Skilled tradespeople
  • Volunteers keen to participate and learn new skills
  • Car trailer / boat trailer / tandem trailer or similar
  • Left over building materials – windows, doors, timber, cladding, insulation, building paper, etc…
For now we would love to see a show of interest to get off the ground and see if we can make it a reality.
To learn more about this project, please see the project in Paekakariki from Feb 2013  and be sure to see the YouTube Video of the Happy, simply build in NZ:
Be sure to pass onto others so we can get a couple of builders and make this fun, educational and inspirational home a reality!
Many Thanks
Beau and d’Arcy.
Happy, simply home

First Night

Oh what a beautiful morning waking up in your OWN NEW HOME!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally after an amazing amount of time, logistics, stress, work, love, attention and interest I managed to have things set up enough where I could spent the night in my own simplistic, sustainable and (mostly) self sufficient Happy, simply home!

The happy simple loftWhile there are still many things to do like adding an eave on one of the decks, getting the toilet system up to scratch and waiting for it to rain so I have self-sufficient water capture it is certainly the right time to move in (editor note I now have a full barrel – thanks rain!).

I am trying to start simple and stay simple – this is the great sophistication of simplicity. Yes I could do with an easier way to have my kitchen sorted and with more gadgets but starting with less is a great way to work out my needs from my wants. How long will I think I will need this item, how often will I use it, can I afford a small space for it or do I live without it, improvise or share, borrow and use with others. This is the art of living more with less.

Anyway back to last night, my first night, in the Happy, simply home – the most amazing thing while lying in bed with a smile on my face up in the cosy loft above the rest of my life below was the feeling of humility, gratitude and love.

  • Humility – so many people have given so much for me to be in this amazing space in time, hospitality, expertise, supplies, effort and more…
  • Gratitude – without all of these people, efforts and materials it wouldn’t happen
  • Love – why should I be so lucky to have all of this done for me to live here and all I can do is put all of that love back into the world, pay it forward and share it

Go team!I am currently composing the Happy, simply handbook which incorporates all the components of the model and project but will also aim to look at the building experience.

For those of you who are in Wellington next Monday you can come along to the Happy, simply workshop – thanks to Chalkle, 7.30-8.30pm, Monday 25 March, 18 Allen St, RSVP here: and if you are really keen you can also come to a bicycle touring workshop I am running the hour before that 6-7pm – cycle touring with or without a cause

Inside viewLet the inside photos speak for themselves – if that is what they are doing positively for you as excitedly as they are for me!

Happy, simply.