The Simple Life Blog

Update On My Off The Grid House Projects


Yep it is time to give a Gary off grid house update… so what the heck have I been up to you may ask? I’m back at my property in NE Washington enjoying the beautiful weather and quiet. There are numerous projects to get done this season, mainly rapping up the inside of the house. The good news is mainly the finish work is all I have left – trim, base boards, and just building some things to make my life easier. I needed a TV stand for the living room, but it had to be a certain height and width, and I wasn’t willing to pay $500 or more for a piece of crap made in China… off to get supplies I went. In the end it was well worth it, it only cost me a little over $100 and will match all my other trim. It was pretty simple I bought an off the shelf 30X30X12 unfinished cabinet from Home Depot, a piece of finished plywood and some trim. I think it came out pretty good see the pics below:

After getting frustrated with some outrageous bids to do my countertops and bathroom shower/tub walls I decided to get creative and do it all on my own. I didn’t want to do the usual tile to match the floor, which I have done before, so I wanted it to be a little unique. I have never been a fan of granite, even though it is way cheaper to do it with granite tiles, I just didn’t like the look. After spending an hour or so walking through the tile isle something finally caught my eye. I found some natural stone decorative tile squares that I thought just might work. They had every color in them that I was using in the house, which I thought would be interesting to use on a countertop. I already had the right color grout that is premixed and has a sealing agent in it, so less work for me. I knew I was going into uncharted waters using the decorative tile for countertops, as I had never done it before and I had never seen it done by someone else – what could go wrong right 🙂

I did the bulk of the countertops last year before I left, but left the island, which would be the hardest one, so I thought, but in the end it ended up being the easiest. I’m not sure I would recommend doing it this way for a beginner, because there is a lot of attention to detail that goes into it. I have done a decent amount of tile work in the past, and this still pushed my patience at times. When it comes to tiling showers and tub enclosures you have to really know what you are doing or it will leak, eventually ruining your walls behind the tile and tiles will start to pop off. Trust me I have seen this happen on more than one occasion when installed incorrectly. The best way is to use cement board as your shower/tub tile backer and seal it with a product called Red Gard. Also use a high quality pre-sealed grout, I use a product called QuartzLock2, it is the best colored and sealed grout I have ever used. The downside it is pretty expensive over $100 for the 9lb tub, but it is definitely worth it. Here is the link for it on Amazon In the end by doing it myself the quality will be better and cost around 20% the price of the bids I received. To do all the countertops this way in the house it was around $500 total. I used the unused crown molding for the cabinets as the trim for the countertops so it matches perfectly. Here are some pics of how the countertops and tub/shower wall turned out.


I still haven’t done the upstairs bathroom shower yet that is on the to do soon list. It will be more of a project because it will be all custom built from the same tile to include shower pan. I’m still brainstorming on exactly how I want to do it, so that is why I’m saving it for later. Be on the lookout for that project I will document it on the blog, as I think people will find it interesting.

Sure these projects are a lot of work, but in the end you did them yourself, saved a ton of money, and your imagination is the only limitation.


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How To Find The Right RV For Your Life Adventures

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Click here to purchase my best selling book The Simple Life Guide To RV Living: The Road to Freedom and the Mobile Lifestyle Revolution

When it comes to starting a life on the road in an RV, or using an RV for the occasional getaway the options today are pretty much unlimited. I would say if you dream it there is more-in-likely an RV for you in today’s market.

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The Simple Life Is Here!


The Simple Life LogoI know it has been a long time since you’ve heard from me, but I’ve been busy at work with my website and book series “The Simple Life.”

For my loyal followers of the Primal Power Method, not much has changed, things have just gotten better… much better 🙂 My very popular supplement line is still available just under “The Simple Life” name, and I have also added some great products click here to check them out. As I have progressed in my mobile living and life simplification lifestyle, I noticed that I was going in many different directions outside of the more health leaning Primal Power Method model. So I decided it was time for a change in order to make it easier for people to understand my teachings, and also allow me to share more diverse information about bettering your life in general. This is an exciting time for me, because I have a lot of future plans to help people reach their  life simplification goals, which I will be sharing in the near future.


DIY Projects: Knowing When to Call a Professional


home improvement projects 
Part of living off-the-grid is being self-reliant. Being able to address the different issues you encounter with ease helps you maintain your DIY status. Frankly, sometimes you live too far away to find anyone that will come fix your problems. If problem-solving and taking the steps necessary to fix an issue with your home isn’t working, it’s time to call a professional to take a look at the problem for you.


Boyt Harness Mud River Dog Bed – Product Review


Here is another great product review! As my followers know, I love sharing high quality products by manufacturers and companies you may not have heard of. How do I find them, well I use them myself, and in my older age I’m becoming a stickler for products meeting the demands I expect of them 🙂

I have started to do more and more product reviews so make sure to keep an eye out for them here and on YouTube.

You can purchase this bed using the link below:

Purchase Boyt Harness Mud River Dog Bed Here

When it comes to dog beds I have had a ton over the years. Some were eaten or torn apart by my over rambunctious dogs, but most just flat out didn’t hold up. I have bought cheap ones and the more expensive ones promising easing cleaning, and that they would last a long time. I think the longest I have had a dog bed last is about a year.