Anything small, brief, young, or unimportant can be described as little. If you live in a little cottage, it means your house is very small, and quite possibly adorable.
The word little describes something tiny and sweet, like a little kitten or a little doll house rocking chair. Little can also mean some, but not much, like when you only want a little soup — not a big bowl, or when you put little effort into your appearance when you are doing yard work. The expression little by little means very slowly, or by tiny increments, like learning a new language little by little.