Our Floorplan

Our Floorplan
900 sq ft

About Me

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Call us crazy, nuts or temporary loss of senses. That's what they said....this is about the quiet quest to simplify our life! The process of eliminating the clutter and stress and taking back our freedom. Like many small business owners….we were hit hard due to the economy. We found ourselves rethinking the direction we were heading. Should we gamble and keep the big house and "stuff" because that's what everyone does or do we reexamine what is truly important in our lives? 9 Hundred Square feet is an open-ended journey in living “Smaller, Simpler and Stress-Free” lives!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My First Urban Hobo Cookie Event!

Urban Hobo-First "Small" Event!

In my last post…I was filling you in about the Valentine’s treats we are creating for that special someone in your life! (wink wink smiley face) Well, we are doing a small venue at our office complex. We have been very pleased at the response so far as many people know how much I LOVE creating fun and “kitchy” stuff being art or artful treats!

We are creating some cute heart tags along with our “Urban Hobo” ones with a loving sentiment.
To my Realtor friends…these are great gifts for your clients. We can create another “heart shaped” tag that reads “Unpack Your Home” Or “Unpack Welcome Home”. With the great packaging and the cost of $15.00 for two dozen cookies…it’s a special way to say thank you and not break the bank in doing so.

Hopefully it will be a great success...I’ll keep you posted on the results and let you know how I did. In the meantime, I am still taking orders to be shipped across the US…just send me an email
shawn@urban-hobo.com or call 480-215-2329…I am happy to take your order and get it out to you pronto! (quickly)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Roses are Red…Violets are Blue…

Roses are red….Violets are blue…We’ve got a great Valentine’s gift (for purchase) for you!
Wow!!!! It seems like yesterday we were enjoying the Christmas Holiday Cheer. Now we are just about to hit February 14th, Valentine’s Day. The annual commemoration celebrating love and affection between two people! (Awww)

I know it can be “Very Commercialized”… Nothing says love like a diamond”…”Tell her you love her with a romantic dinner at this very expensive place”… Juan is pretty lucky in that sense. For me, being a couple and being my best friend is NOT about one day a year…it’s about the other 364 days of the year too. I much rather receive something sweet and simple as a handmade card or homemade anything. To me that comes from the heart!

In keeping with those same sentiments, Juan and I are making/baking/shaking away over the next couple of weeks for the Valentine holiday. We are creating our Urban Hobo bindle packs full of delicious cookies.
Bindle packs you ask? Bindle packs are a very big part of the Hobo life.  [A bindle pack is where hobos carried all their worldly possessions]

 Juan and I LOVE our product name “Urban Hobo”…URBAN for the love of city-close living and HOBO… for the true hobo held very high standards, values and ethics. If you saw our past post, "Urban Hobo Cookies are here”…I talked about the “Hobo Code” and how the hobo lived to a higher standard than the average traveler that lived on the streets.

We are in the process of creating our fun fabulous website filled with eclectic art and “artful” edibles. (wink wink smiley face) I’ll keep you posted and announce our launch date soon.

In the meantime…we are gearing up for the “heart filled” holiday and taking orders for our delectable cookies. You love peanut butter and white chocolate??/You’ll love these. AND they will come bundled in a bindle pack with your choice of kerchief. (Pink Paisley, light pink, white, shocking pink [not shown} and white)

Also we have created a heart tag with your choice of saying…1) I LOVE YOU… or 2) RUN AWAY WITH ME.

If you are interested in purchasing a hobo pack for your loved one, please contact me (listed below) with color choice of kerchief and tag and I can have it shipped to you quickly! The cost of a bindle pack is only $15.00 plus shipping. Your sweetheart will receive two dozen (sometimes we throw an extra cookie or two) in a bindle pack.

You can email me with some basic (kerchief color and tag preference) info and I will call you to get additional details. We do accept credit card payments (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover)!

We have other colors and black & white too
 Contact me! I would love to fill an order or two!

Shawn Smith

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trends for 2012

I have seen a lot of talk from many sources about trends in furniture and living spaces. Yes!!!! Living small is the new BIG! (wink wink smiley face)

Here are some things to think about when you are looking to “right-size your life" (looking to downsize your home etc) and how manufacturers are listening to the consumer needs.

Living/Dining rooms molded into one room with the kitchen seems to be what you see (obviously) in small spaces. So having the ability to hang out comfortably…eat in style or “chillaxin” (I know it’s really not a word but my nephews and nieces use it a lot) and gather around the “entertainment box” called a TV.

We have a very sleek 40 inch screen TV in our small space. We have it on top of a metal style console that has the ability to store our other equipment (blue ray player, music DVD’s plugs etc) neatly away. Trends for 2012 say that furniture companies are creating better/sleeker consoles to accommodate any size screen TV and different ways to place or hang on the unit itself. Trends state that hanging the TV on the wall will be fading….I find that hard to believe…we will see.

Sectional sofas are always growing and changing. Nowadays, manufactures are giving the consumers multiple options for the casual urban young shopper looking for a comfortable couch. The ability to create and add how many sectionals plus options to add a chaise on either side gives consumers countless ideas to place furniture in any challenging small or large space. Juan and I currently have a cool teak sofa and chair, however having the sectionals to create two small love seats facing one another or a sofa with chair on one side etc…would give me the option to change my space when I am having a party or just have the urge to make a change.

Bringing back a larger coffee table seems to be the style for 2012. If you were a kid growing up in the 60’s or 70’s, you remember the times you were able to take your dinner plate to the big coffee table so you could watch your favorite program…what a treat. Trends for 2012 say they are bringing back the larger more functional coffee table especially since family gatherings are more casual and small space living needs to have multiple eating options. 

Small triangle tables underneath for additional space
Juan and I have a cool mid century modern coffee table (shown above) that has four small additional tables underneath that can pull out and provide additional eating spaces for our guests or for when we want to hang out on the sofa!

Starts off as a coffee table
Resource Furniture (an awesome company) has wonderful options as well. One in particular gives you the ability to eat and work at a lower seating level PLUS bring the table up to you verses you having to lean down. Be sure you check out their website Resource Furniture for additional space saving furniture needs.
Now a great work space or additional dining option @Resource Furniture
Another type of trend many are speaking of is storage in or under beds. Not just for the kid’s room…but for the adults too! Juan and I did purchase a sleek bed from IKEA and enjoy having the ability to have four large drawers we can access easily. Many designers seem to be doing away with having so many chest of drawers in a bedroom. Making your bedroom a retreat with a possible writing/office space or a comfy chaise to read a good book are more popular options than trying to add drawers etc. What’s in for 2012 is the ability to store within a platform bed or other solutions that can go into a closet and have a beautiful bedroom retreat!

Well… based on the few articles I read….Juan and I have made many of the same choices in regards to “What’s Trendy” without even knowing it. Except for the sofa…maybe I should take Juan out this weekend for a little bit of furniture shopping. He’ll groan when I tell him. (wink wink smiley face).
Speaking of office space…I wrote a recent blog “How can I have an office in such a small space”, where I blogged about cool, sleeker furniture out there that is capable of making any room an office. There are great options available… from an office that can close up and become a beautiful piece of furniture, or a sleek desk that has the ability to hide in plain sight. Multi-purpose furniture…of course the advancement of technology where you can have wireless throughout your home and a plethora of options to make any room in your house a place to “get things done”!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Upcoming Artist Equals Cool Furniture

Thinking back on the past…I LOVE the 1960’s and 1970’s style furniture. It had such style and “swankiness” about it. One piece I remember well is a “sweater chest” my father had. It had two sliding doors that opened up and had adjustable shelves for your cool sweaters. I loved when he would open up the sliding door and reveal what super cool style sweater he was pulling out for the day.

I feel at times that we have lost the art of “swankines” when it comes to furniture. Sometimes I feel we are just trying to get the basics accomplished…”Yup, this can hold a lot of stuff!” and call it good.
However, now there are wonderful new artist out that there that are trying to combine small space living, multi-purpose furniture and art all in one…and here is a great piece of furniture created by Edward Taylor that I keep seeing in FX The Business of Design, ICON, AnOffice Magazine, and most recently in Design Milk.

He calls it “The Show Off and it truly is a show piece. What a great way to combine some fun and organization plus “swankiness” in a beautiful piece of furniture. On his website it states…Iit's quite unlike anything you'll have ever seen before. What it represents is a new breed of furniture - one that refuses to comply with convention, or adhere to tradition - in order to give you, the user, exactly what you want.
Constructed from oak, walnut, laminate and ply, the Show-off provides the missing link between formal and informal clothing storage. Most at home in the hallway yet able to adapt to any given context, the Show-off is no ordinary cabinet. (taken from his website)

I have to admit…the main storage piece reminds me a lot of my father’s sweater chest….That right there had my attention. Yet the addition of the “tree style” stand really adds some fun and uniqueness to the piece.

I think this is a cool piece that would look great in any room! Be sure you check out his website.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A good, HOT cup of coffee can change your attitude!

Well...it's a chilly Sunday Morning bicycle ride. I know...we are a bunch of "pansies" (living in Phoenix AZ) complaining about the cold when I have family and friends freezing in the Northwest and of coarse the East Coast.

However, Juan and I are on our bicycles early this morning and needless to say my hands are frozen by the time we reached out destination "Lola's Coffee House". I wrapped my popsicle fingers around that warm cup of happiness and instantly my mood changed. (wink wink smiley face)

CHANGE is my New Year's resolution word. It can mean so much for so many and yet can accomplish all my goals with that one six-letter word.

I have read several articles regarding one word goals. So I chose "change" because this year...for me... It's about change. In the coming months, Juan and I are really going to make some BIG changes in almost every aspect of our lives. (I'll keep you posted)

For me the word change is perfect. CHANGE my eating habits to have a healthier body, CHANGE my exercise regime to make it a part of my life, CHANGE my attitude towards things in my life and how I react, CHANGE my professional direction....CHANGE!

So...Juan and I will sit here a little longer...warm up, enjoy the hip downtown sites and head back out on our bicycles.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How can I have an office in such a small space?

People often ask how I could possibly office out of my 900 sq ft home (along with Juan) without bumping into one another. Well…I know people that live in 400 square feet and work out of their home. It can be done with a little imagination and creativity.
First off, one can make an office space virtually anywhere in a home. Even if you do not have a dedicated room for an office, you can grab a tiny piece of real estate in your home and make it your company domain! (wink wink smiley face) Especially with technology….computers, tablets and TV’s can be placed anywhere in a room. No more need to get that “cable guy” out to add another line on a wall.


“Carving” out a space is easy….keeping it clean, organized and clutter free….well that can be a challenge at times especially in small spaces.
Today, we have manufactures that are dedicated to small space living and providing furniture that is multi-function and/or narrow to accommodate apartment style living. Here are some ideas that you should think about when creating your work space at home.
Dividing out your space….

Whether you have a small house, tiny cozy apartment or high rise loft, dividing a space to dedicate as an office is a great way to start. A great company called LOFTWall offers beautifully designed dividers for your home or office. Should you not have a room or four walls to surround you when working….how  about a LOFTWall divider to create your office environment and give you the feeling of a quiet space to accomplish your activities whether you are a stay-at-home OR working professional. For me…that ability to separate home life from work is helpful every time you need to “get to work” yet enjoy the comforts of home!

Murphy Desk Beds

 So you actually have an extra room OR you have some extra space…

For someone like me...I am always concerned about the ability to have overnight guests AND have space to work. However, how can I do both? The good people at Murphy Desk Beds can offer great solutions for your work/guests overnight needs!

Murphy Desk Beds

If you are searching for a twin, queen or king bed you will have numerous options plus a variety of finishes to accomplish those needs. A beautiful yet sturdy office desk by day and comfy cozy bed at night. Again for those wonderful people that have a 450 square foot home by the beach or some cool hip metro area….you can office during the day and have a place to sleep at night! A Murphy Desk Bed is a simple and cost effective solution that will have you set up in no time and ready to accomplish your 2012 goals!

Building furniture dedicated to small space living….

As I mentioned before in past blogs, more and more people are trying to simplify their lives and downsize their space. Juan and I made a decision to “right-size” our lives and find a space that works for us where we are not a slave to our home.

With a small space like we have, it didn’t make sense to bring in the Copenhagen square table that seats 8 people or the "Monster” of an office desk that would take up a room. We found many companies out there dedicated to small space living. IKEA, Crate and Barrel and CB2 are great places to seek out furniture to utilize in your tiny abode. (wink wink smile face)

Example here is from CB2. They have great options for desks that you can create a small working space anywhere in your home. Using furniture that is narrow, simple or even acrylic can give the illusion of more space. (With the acrylic, it is like having invisible furniture lol….I know I’m sorry)

Even these cool “table options” that can store your laptop easily or set up while watching your favorite TV shows….well there is no excuse now for getting out those emails or projects.


The great thing about building an office space in your small home is that you are not limited. AND….if yu are lucky to have a gifted carpenter like my Juan….well any design he sees at stores  or online he can copy and create for a lot less $$$$!

UPDATE: Juan and I have managed to clear more “STUFF” and clutter from our second room and have found a beautiful desk at IKEA as a start for our office. I will post the update next week.

If you have created a cool office space in your small space….I would love to see and share!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Another Art Project

Just a quick note to show another art project Juan and I are playing around with.

Simple silhouettes on fun fabric. We are working on some projects with silhouettes of skills, vintage silver streams, birds AND some of my friend's furry friends.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What to do...What to do...

Won these on eBay. What are they you ask???These are vintage punched tin bulb reflectors….I know…Cool huh! (I know you might be thinking I’m crazy, right?)

Well now what I am thinking is what I am going to make out of these cool piece of history. If you’ve been reading this blog you know I love to create things. During the holidays I had a hit with tin ornaments (check out this past blog about them) and so now I am thinking some sort of Christmas ornamentation!

I love Christmas and yes…it is January and I am already thinking about Christmas. The vintage stuff from the 60’s and 70’s I really la la love. I guess because it brings back such awesome memories for me as a child. But something I am looking for and I know it is from an earlier era….an aluminum Christmas tree! (happy happy joy joy face) Of course I’ll keep you posted.

For now….I am going to think about these vintage punched tin bulb reflectors and what they are going to become! I’ll keep ya posted (wink wink smiley face)

Friday, January 13, 2012

“Don’t make somebody a priority if they only make you an option!”

Thought I'd share a picture of me!
Have you seen this saying before? “Don’t make somebody a priority if they only make you an option!”Me???First time this year….and yet…it seems I’ve seen it everywhere. It keeps popping up like it is haunting me, whispering in my ear or maybe smacking me on the backside of my head saying “Hey you… wake up!”
I’m not trying to be philosophical or get real deep here….I just thought it is something we All should think about. Not only from a personal perspective….but in business too.
My “other life” is staffing. Juan and I have been doing this a L-O-N-G time. We love working with clients who are truly interested in finding top talent AND working with people who are looking to better themselves. Often times…we work with companies that say they want help in finding someone for a role and yet we are chasing them down trying to have a business conversation with them.
It happens to me a lot lately in work and in my personal life. I continue to make others a priority, bending over backwards and do not get the same treatment in return.
Now the Catholic side of me (dear Lord…she’s now going religious on me) has always been this. I do things for others NOT to expect anything in return. I never was a believer of “I did something for you, now you owe me and vice versa.” I do thinks because I want to…I love to…I’m happy to.
However….if you feel like your beating your head against the wall, think about my statement I found running rampant on the internet. I do not know who said this first…who thought of this…however, it truly spoke to me and thought I would share.
Have a great weekend!  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Always an Urban Hobo!

Just a quick post to tell you (again and again and again) how much Juan and I LOVE bicycling.

What a great way to get around your neighborhood and patron your local businesses.

2012 is the year to give back to your community and shop local. Juan and I are doing our best to do so and we will continue to share our latest adventures and great finds.

Have a local business you'd like to share? Give me a shout...I'd be happy to share.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Urban Hobos- Cruising the neighborhood

Juan and I in simplifying or rather right-sizing our lives, have decided to ride our bikes as much as possible AND patron local small business owners.

You want to help the economy? Shop and visit your local neighborhood shops, restaurants and businesses. Small business owners are the key to boosting the economy not always BIG corporate America.

A favorite of Juan's is Churn. It is right next to a wonderful eatery and awesome hangout, Windsor (same owners) and when you walk past the threshold you are walking back in time.

Remember, Zots, Pop Rocks, Jumbo Pixie Stix, Taffy and assortment of gum balls and jawbreakers??? Well they have it all.

Besides the "old school" candy, they have some awesome artisan ice cream. All you need is one scoop and you're hooked. Do you remember the old wooden paddle style spoons you used to get as a kid for your ice cream? Well that's how you eat at Churn.

They offer a great selection of cones including my favorite... A pretzel cone.

So if you live in the Phoenix metro area or planning to visit, check out Churn (www.churnaz.com)!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Hits for December

And the winner is…….

Wow… it seems like yesterday I was getting ready to put up the tree and plan for the holidays…

Now, all that is left is some sparkle left on the floor that my vacuum refuses to pick up and all the shelves and spots in my home where Christmas lived seem blank....(sigh)

Well, I have listed the top blogs for December and in case you might’ve missed one….here they are.

Urban Hobo Cookies-A Couple of Friends Helping Me Out!

Can your table do this???

Regrets; Juan’s Perspective

Urban-Hobos-Patron Your Local Neighborhood Haunts!

Recycling Your Christmas Tree

Juan and I are always interested in anything and everything you have to say! If you have a suggestion or have a home, furniture, art, food, organizational tricks/ideas….you’d like to share, we would love to hear about and post!

Here’s to a hearty, happy, healthy and prosperous 2012!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

So…Started the New Year Off Breaking Any of Your Resolutions?

Happy New Year! Juan and I love this time of year…time to release the old and on with the new….wipe the slate clean….start fresh! Hold on…. how many of you started with the best intentions only to have “blown it” already. That’s okay each day is a new day and you can always start fresh, however maybe this time set more achievable goals.

Begin with the end in mind.-How many of you just make a list that states…”I want to be in a new small space” (sorry I am always thinking right-sizing)”I want to be skinny”, “I want to ….blah blah blah. Start with the end in mind. For example; if you want to own a house…think about the cost of a home you will afford as well as the down payment that will be needed and realistic mortgage you can afford. Once you have that amount in mind then you are able to work backwards to the present as to how much you will need to save on a monthly basis to have the down payment on a future home. If you have a wish for a larger home and the down payment is big, you might need to either A) Save more on a monthly basis or B) Make a goal for the first year to save “X” amount and the next year (or less) the rest….We could go on…but I believe you get the picture. Bottom line is that you start with the end result and work backwards. Whatever the goal is start with the end and work backwards. You might reassess and adjust your goals.

Set realistic goals.-Sometimes we get waaayyyy toooo ambitious when it comes to goals. For years that has always been my downfall. I have always battled with weight and I would make a goal to be a size 2 in six weeks. I am not a contestant on The Biggest Loser….so it makes more sense to set realistic goals that can be achieved than to get disappointed with lofty ones.

Start off small.-If you wish to add exercise into your regime, try to start off with small goals and mark dates/time lines to move to the next level. Start off with 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening…OR…taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car further and walking more. If you start small it is easier to stick with it. Many tri-athletes had a starting point when they first started training…the same should be for you.

Include time for self or just relax. - In our very busy lives, we tend to keep running until we collapse. Or burn the candle at both ends. Give time to rejuvenate…meditate…or try yoga. The say it’s a great stress release and can lower your blood pressure.

Think about giving back or volunteering as one of your resolutions.- Volunteer!!!What a great way to give back and another great way to lower your blood pressure and de-stress! Volunteering or giving of your time etc., is a great way to feel good about yourself and doing something positive for the community or for someone in need. However, do it for the right reasons

Now…start making your New Year’s resolution(s) with some of these tips in mind. I guarantee better outcome and results. Good Luck!

Cheers to an awesome 2012!