Cramped Quarters

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

I spent almost the entire afternoon trying to organize my photos from my old computer”” almost 6,000 of them! I still have a ways to go, but it was fun looking through pics and reminiscing about old times, like when Mal and I lived in our first apartment.

In 2006, Mal and I moved in together after about three years of dating (for the second time). We lived in a 505-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Brighton, just a few miles outside of Boston. It was a cute little place, but, like many city apartments, we dealt with mice, cockroaches, and noisy neighbors, so we only lived there for a year. Even still, we both have great memories from it. Life seemed so simple back then!

Anyway, here’s a quick tour of our first apartment together!


We bought our couch and love seat for just $400 off Craigslist and they were only three months old! Score!


Like the artwork? I painted those babies all by myself!


When we moved out, I sold them on Craigslist for $50!




The office was just a small desk in the corner of the living room. Look how close it was to the couch!



The kitchen was tiny, but cute. It had a stove, sink, and mini fridge. Nothing fancy about this one! But, we did have enough room for a kitchen table. We also had a small balcony off the kitchen that overlooked a concrete courtyard. It wasn’t very pretty, but it was nice to have some useable outdoor space.


Also off the kitchen was a small pantry, which was a storage lifesaver. We stored so much crap stuff in it. We even brewed beer in there once!



I wish I had taken a better photo of the bedroom. It was so small! The bed barely fit!


There was also only one small closet, which forced us to get creative with how we organized things. 


Another storage lifesaver was the sweet floor-to-ceiling shelves that Mal and his dad built. They gave us tons of storage!


What’s the smallest space you’ve ever lived in?


I enjoyed a carb-tastic dinner tonight! :mrgreen:

I started with leftover Mac & Cheese Lite. I ended up just eating it cold from the Tupperware container (because I am wicked lazy).

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Then, I had some homemade buffalo potato chips.

To make them, I thinly sliced a russet potato, coated the slices with buffalo sauce, added some sea salt, and baked them on 375*F for about 20-25 minutes until they started to brown. I added some ketchup for dipping.

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After dinner, I enjoyed a beer and some a lot of butterscotch chips. Spicy beer + butterscotch = strangely delicious!

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American Idol time! I am hooked this season!

Enjoy the evening, guys!



  1. Organizing (and backing up) photos is on my to-do list. I never seem to find the time but having our server crash last month really made me realize I need to be better about organizing and saving photos somewhere I can retrieve them!

  2. My first place with my husband was 700 sq ft. The kitchen was barely big enough for one person & no pantry either! The most memorable part was our washer and dryer was outside under a little bit of roof covering (bad when its raining or hot (and you sweat all over your clean clothes)! We had to share it with the people behind us too!

  3. Such a cute place! When my husband lived in New York, he had a 100 sq. ft. apartment. His bed was above his fridge and the ladder came down and hit the wall on the other side! And he had to share a bathroom with other tenants. EW!

  4. My boyfriend and I are living in our first apartment together — 400 square feet in Ann Arbor. No dining room table, no drawers in the kitchen, only 2 closets in the whole place. We’ve had to get creative in storing our linens (and clothes, for that matter!) Living in a close space has brought us closer because we have to work to keep it clean and everything in its place — and we’ll be that much more grateful when we upgrade!

  5. I can’t watch American Idol until auditions are over. I get too upset. Hehe. But I am crazy excited to see the new judges.

    I used to live in an efficiency apartment by myself. Meaning, it had no separate bedroom. I was so messy, the place was a pig sty. It is good that I have no photos of that!!!

  6. my dorm room?
    other than that, I lived in a 1000 sq foot one bedroom apartment that I loved. it was huge for a one bedroom. Then i moved into my first osue with my husband, 1600 ft. we are currently building a bigger house!

  7. Definitely my freshman dorm room–it was a single made into a double, so my roommate and I had to loft our beds. To add insult to injury, the girl next door was living alone in a triple!

  8. Wow 6000 is a lot of photos! I used to do a ton of scrapbooking and I have photos in albums from the 5 years I lived in the Middle East, as well as from when I was a kid. It’s so much fun to look back at them (and in some cases, wonder “what were you thinking???”) Have a great night Tina!

  9. Wait a sec… tiny apt with mini balcony overlooking concrete court yard? I think I may have lived in that apt in Brighton as well! Was it on the BC/Cleveland Circle side of Comm Ave or the farther side of Comm more towards Brighton center?? I’ve lived on both sides… but I distinctly remember living in an apt just like the one you described 🙂

  10. My husband and I have lived in 7 or 8 different places in the five years we’ve been together! Our first place was in Manhattan, and I don’t know the square footage, but our 400 sq. foot second apartment felt luxuriously spacious in comparison. In the first apt, you truly could not fit more than one person in the bathroom. There were about 8 inches of floor space with the shower on the left, sink straight ahead, and toilet on the right. It opened up straight into the “kitchen”, which was one five foot wall with a tiny sink and mini fridge. The bed was in a loft above the bathroom and kitchen. It was SO small but we were so happy there 🙂 Now we have a gorgeous 1600 sq. foot home that I will hate leaving!

  11. My fiance and I are currently in an 800 sq ft 1 bedroom. Our stuff is everywhere! We had our bed on cinder blocks for awhile but got a new bed frame and had to lower it. My parents live about 30 minutes away and I use their basement as storage. I cannot wait to have just a bit more space!

  12. a lot of butterscotch chips = nice!

    the smallest space was 1100 sq foot urban townhouse for me, hubs, and baby. Now, mind you, baby stuff takes up TONS of room!!! Swings, highchair, toys, changing tables, etc. We were busting at the seams with baby stuff…everywhere!

  13. I guess I’m pretty fortunate to say the smallest space I’ve ever lived in was a 1300 square foot apt…..we did have nasty carpet, flooding, a mouse, and ants though. So it wasn’t that glamorous!!

  14. My first apartment may have been smaller but I lived alone so I won’t count that…When I got pregnant with my daughter my husband and I lived in a 500 square foot one bedroom apartment. It in a great part of town but it was and OLD, but nice, building so the floor plan did not make much sense which made it seem even smaller because there was a fair amount of wasted space. We lived in that apartment until my daughter turned one. Even then I was a stay at home mom. I thought I would go crazy cooped up in there with her all winter. I really don’t know how I did it. The place we live now is probably considered small by many (900sf) but it feels huge to me and it has a large yard which is great in the summer.

  15. I love that we watch all the same shows! I am watching AI right now. The smallest space I’ve ever lived in besides dorms is probably my condo now. I have a 500 sq. ft 1 bedroom condo in DC, but luckily its just me and my dog 🙂 its perfect for us!

  16. Do you still paint?

    I have lived in a few group houses that were not small, but felt small because I only had one room that was completely my own, and city houses have zero storage. I dont miss those days!

  17. Those paintings are beautiful! I didn’t know you were so artistic!

    And the smallest would be my dorm room when I studied abroad in Dublin. Literally a bed, a sink, and a built in closet. Nothing else. But I didn’t have much so it was fine!

  18. My freshman year of college I lived in the tiniest dorm room you could possibly imagine…seriously, people say they had small rooms and I just roll my eyes. I could touch my roommate’s bed while lying in mine, and we had to loft both our beds just to fit desks and a set of drawers underneath. It was horrible!

  19. I can totally sympathize with that living space b/c thats how I live now. I actually teared up the other day b/c I miss my old apartment so much. It was 1100 sq ft, wrap around porch, double sinks in the bathroom along with garden tub and huge for one person and an eight lb poohuahua. But it was a 45 minute drive to work each way and doing that commute for three years killed me.

    Now? I like five minutes from downtown and have a nice view of the skyline. I can walk to restaurants, bars and coffee houses but I live in a duplex which is an older house, have no bathtub (which is depressing since I love reading in a nice, hot bubble), roaches since it’s an old house, the house doesn’t warm up in the winter, no storage and my kitchen looks like yours did. I even have a mini oven and dishwasher so I can’t use some of my cookware since it doesn’t fit. I hate it but it’s super convenient and a great location. Typing this out just depresses me even more.

    Sorry, apparently I needed to vent!!

  20. I currently live in a 200 square foot studio in NYC. 2 burner stove, mini fridge and zero counter space (the sink is the entire counter haha). Also, no closet in the entire place. I had to bring in a gigantic armoire that takes up half of the apartment. It’s cute though and I love it. It’s home 🙂

  21. I love your dinner choice. I eat cold leftovers a lot because I’m too lazy to heat them up most of the time, too. Also, we don’t have a microwave! (which I don’t mind). My first apt. w/my husband was probably our smallest living space to date. It was a “family housing” apt. at my university.

  22. I’m currently living in a college dorm which is basically one bedroom that houses two people. Two beds, two “offices”, and a mini “kitchen”-a fridge and microwave, and of course a coffee maker. I have definitely gotten creative with space this year! 😉

  23. Cramped quarters has brought back so memories of small spaces that I have lived in – beginning with living on campus whilst I was studying at the University of Canberra, followed by the first apartment I lived in with my boyfriend Phillip – in Canberra, than the even smaller apartment which I lived in with my best friend Pip – in Potts Point, now back in Canberra with Phillip and his parents as we look for a house! Even though their house is quiet large, the house does feel cramped when it’s filled with such large personalities…I miss our first apartment.

    Shari from

  24. How fun! In college, my roommate and I lived in an apartment in Berkeley that was practically on campus, it was so close. AKA it was TINY and overpriced. It was a one-bedroom that had been converted to two bedrooms. Two small rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. But oh how much fun!

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