Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Letter

So this was the first year I've written my own Christmas Letter to send out to friends and family. I don't think many people do this any more, but my parents would do this every year just to update everyone what we had been up to the past year. It's super brief, but how are you really supposed to summerize a whole year in one little letter?!  Keep in mind, a lot of my friends and family have no idea that we live in an RV. It'd be interesting to see some of their faces as they're reading this.Check it out.
Hello Family and Friends,

My parents finally kicked me off of their Christmas letter so I figured I'd write my own. I guess it's time anyway, since I'm engaged and all! It's been a pretty normal year with a few adventures thrown in.

I'm still working at SKLZ managing our website promotions. It's been a bit of a crazy holiday season so far, but we've been doing well. Lots of pressure to make revenue numbers with our new investment company.

Jonathan, my fiance, is currently working his own mobile detail and car servicing company. Since the weather is always nice here in San Diego, his business hasn't slowed at all with the seasons. He is from Puebla, Mexico, but has been here in the states for most of his life. We both love soccer, so we play several times a week.

Starting this summer, Jonathan and I decided to move out of our 2 bedroom apartment into an RV. We decided to do this for adventure, to try out minimalism, and to do something totally different and unexpected. We got rid of almost all of our STUFF and we now park by the beach every day and are enjoying life.

In August, we took a road trip up to Oregon in my new hybrid car. It was a beautiful drive past the coast of Big Sur, through the Redwood trees and into Portland to visit Ben and Mom and Dad who were also visiting from Colorado.

I hope you're enjoying you holiday season and having a wonderful year!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving in the RV

Two months ago, when we started thinking about the extra days off for Thanksgiving, I was thinking we'd go on an adventure trip for a long weekend. Why stay in town and get stuffed with food when you could discover a new cool place?

My brother decided to come to town for Thanksgiving, which is totally cool since we have a great time together. He loves Thanksgiving, so skipping the turkey dinner was not an option for him. First off, it was fun having him stay with us in the RV so he can get a real feel for how we live. He slept on the fold out IKEA couch and was comfortable and warm both nights, which were his worries.

Living the SoCal RV life!

Thanksgiving day we were still trying to decide what to cook for dinner. I had some ingredients to make a chicken/shrimp gumbo type of soup, but he wanted a turkey. The oven in the RV is obviously not big enough to fit a large turkey, and there were only going to be three of us for dinner, so we agreed on a whole chicken instead.

We ended up cooking the soup, the chicken, potatoes, asparagus, and cheesy garlic bread. The boys drank beer and I made a simple sangria type mix of red wine, brandy, and strawberry lemonade (DELICIOUS!). With a little team work and some patience, we had a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner while watching an amazing sunset over the ocean. iPhone pictures never do anything justice, but you get the idea.

Stuff the oven!

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you cook a grand dinner in your RV?

Where am I?!

You know that feeling when you're staying in a new or different bed and you wake up in the middle of the night having no idea where you are? It could happen on vacation in a hotel, staying on a friend's couch, or when you move into a new house. Well, I have that feeling every single night/morning.

This is something I didn't think about before moving into the RV. The first couple nights I definitely felt very disoriented waking up in a new bed and not knowing what street we were parked on. After 6 months, I still usually wake up not remembering where we are parked, but it doesn't bother me any more. We have a few regular sleeping spots that we park at night, usually by some quiet apartments or something, but sometimes, I will already be in bed when my man drives from our beach, day parking spot to our sleeping spot.

It's become something we laugh about. In the mornings, I'll try and take a guess at which neighborhood we're parked in before I take a peek out the window. No matter where we are, I know I'm always safe with my man, and we can always find our way back to the beach for the day.

Do you ever get that disoriented feeling when you wake up? How does it make you feel and how do you deal with it?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Trash to Cash

When we moved out of our apartment, we had to get rid of a TON of stuff. Most of it got donated to Goodwill, while we sold some of it to second hand stores like Buffalo Exchange or Play it Again Sports. The rest of our stuff went into storage. We had some nice furniture, all of my man's tools, and some other nick-nacks, that we weren't quite ready to get rid of.

This past weekend, we decided to pack most of it up since we haven't touched any of it since May and sell it at the swap meet. On Friday after work, we filled the truck up with things like sporting equipment, motorcycle accessories, household items, a TV, lots of tools, until we couldn't stuff anything else in the bed.

Saturday, at 4am, the alarm went off and we sleepily got in the truck for the hour drive down to Chula Vista (basically Mexico). When we got to the swap meet, there were already tons of cars in line waiting to get in to sell their second hand items. Most people were sleeping in their cars, or watching movies on their phones. As soon as there was a ray of sunshine, people started rustling. They were walking around to go to the bathroom, get a donut and coffee from the food truck, or eying all the stuff that everyone else was ready to sell. A guy sold a bike out of his truck bed next to us before the swap meet even opened.

The gates opened at 7am and everyone turned their trucks on to get as close to the preceding car as possible like it would get them in the gate faster. Pay $15, get an assigned spot, and good luck getting to it without running anyone over. I was so glad we have a cover over the bed of the truck because people were trying to buy things before people even got to their spots. Someone came up to my window asking what we had to sell. "Do you have any shoes or baby clothes?"

As soon as we parked, people were surrounding the bed of the truck waiting for us to open it. Once it was open, some people just looked and left, but most just started grabbing things and moving them to the side to see what else we had. I sold a few things, but my man was doing all the work.

We left around noon with about $600 in our pockets. All of this 'stuff' that we were paying to just sit in storage. We haven't used any of the things we sold in 6 months so we won't even miss them.

Think to yourself... "Do I really need all this stuff?"

Monday, September 29, 2014

Recipes on the Road - Burgers

"How do you cook? You must eat out for every meal. Doesn't that get expensive?"
~Everyone I know (all of my friends and family have asked questions like this since we moved into the RV)

I'll have a series of posts for different meals, but the straight answer is, "No, I actually cook more than I did living in an apartment." This was actually one of my worries about moving into an RV so I feel like I put more effort into making sure I prepare most meals to prove myself wrong.

I've learned to be resourceful with cooking since our oven is smaller and we don't have so many dishes to cook with. I like to eat pretty healthy and I hate spending a ton of money or time on meals. One thing that really helps me is to have a few go-to meals. I always include fresh produce of some kind. It's way easier and faster to just cut up some fruit or veggies and eat them fresh, and you get every single piece of nutrition rather than cooking it all out.

Tonight, we've got some spicy burgers with watermelon on the side. Serve with what ever bread you like or no bun at all. This will make about 4 burgers so we can have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Spicy Deluxe Turkey Burgers


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno (include seeds if you like it spicy)
  • 1/4 large onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Mix it all together and fry with a bit of coconut oil for a few minutes each side or you can grill them if you have a grill available. I like to make the patties skinnier than a usual burger. That way the meat cooks faster, but the cheese doesn't melt all over the place as much.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tiny Houses - Are They Worth It?

Tiny Houses are super cute and they're good for some uses, but terrible for others.

Wikipedia defines the small house movement (also known as the "tiny house movement") as "the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes." -
I'm totally in to the small, simple lifestyle, but I don't understand why people would want a tiny house to travel in. Think about it. What's the difference between a tiny house and an RV? They both have beds, bathrooms, kitchens, living spaces, and they're both on wheels. But I wouldn't really call a tiny house portable compared to RVs. Check these guys out.

Why not just get an RV? When you're traveling and sleeping in your vehicle on the road, you don't necessarily want to stand out in a tiny home. Too much attention can get you kicked out of places where you might not actually be allowed to be sleeping in your vehicle. You'll also save a ton of money by purchasing a used RV rather than building a tiny home and supplying a tow vehicle. Gas mileage in an aerodynamic RV will be way better than towing a heavier tiny house.

I know it sounds like I'm hating on the Tiny House idea, but I actually love it besides the mobile part. Living in a small house and having a simple life would be my goal. If you're not going to be constantly on the road, find a piece of land that you can build your tiny home on and you'll have more land for a garden or for playing and relaxing outside.

Portland has surged forward faster than most areas with the Tiny House movement. I was actually there a few weeks ago and found this...

This is Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel. I think it's a great way to capitalize off the trend, and give people the excitement and experience of staying in a real Tiny House. I drove by early in the morning so I didn't have a chance to check out any of the houses, but I love the concept.

I'm all about living a simple life and I think downsizing your square footage is a great way to do it. "Over the last 40 years, the average home has increased in size by more than 1,000 square feet, from an average size of 1,660 square feet in 1973 (earliest year available from Census) to 2,679 square feet last year."


I love the idea of the Tiny House, but for now, the RV is working perfectly for us. I think once we're ready to settle down I'd love to build my own tiny home secured to my own piece of land with plumbing and electricity like a regular house (but obviously smaller and cuter).

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dealing with heat and humidity

We've had some unusually hot and humid days in San Diego the past week or so. It doesn't cool down at night, there's no breeze, and not a cloud in the sky for a bit of shade. Dealing with this heat in the RV doesn't feel much different than dealing with the heat in our old apartment. The one big thing that makes it hard is not having quiet electricity. What I mean by this, is that we have to turn the noisy generator on to run the AC or, like we would in the apartment, turn on a fan. I wouldn't say our generator is extremely loud, but it definitely draws more attention that wanted when parking on neighborhood streets all night. To deal with the heat at night, we've been sleeping separately. One up on the loft bed, and one down on the fold out couch. It sucks, but sleeping next to each other generates way too much body heat for now.

We don't have too much trouble keeping cool during the day. Just like when we lived in the apartment, we didn't spend too much time just sitting at home. It's easy to keep cool by spending the even just a few hours of the day at the bookstore, at the bar watching football, or at the pool.

Eating habits have to change during a head wave like this too. There's no chance of turning on the oven or stove and we don't want to spend too much money on restaurants so we had to think of some delicious, no cook meals. Fresh and frozen fruit with a bit of greek yogurt make amazing meal-replacement smoothies. Or we'll cut up some cucumber and tomato, toss it with a bit of olive oil and lemon and snack on that.With heat like this, you're appetite isn't roaring anyway.

Summer is winding down, but make sure to stay cool in what we hope is the last heat wave of the summer. We're ready for some cool rain.