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.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Please don't take my house!

One of the greatest things about living in a mobile home is that it's mobile. No need to pack for a vacation. Home-cooked meals wherever you go. Right? Well in this case, that mobile part, bit us in the ass!

We had four days off for the fourth of July weekend and decided to head up to LA. Universal Studios, Hollywood, Venice/Muscle Beach, Santa Monica Pier. We had a great weekend planned, and we were so excited to take the RV out of town for a few days. I had never been to Universal Studios before and it blew me away. We ran around the park all day long taking frequent trips back to the parking lot for snacks and to cool off in the Minnie's AC. It was about 95 degrees with hundreds, probably thousands, of sweaty people rubbing elbows. We rode all the rides, participated in the special effects show, where I got my arm 'cut off' and Jonathan got to fly like an astronaut, and best of all, we met a minion. Check him out

We couldn't wait to put our feet up and go to bed after an exciting day. We drove around Venice Beach, knowing that Santa Monica doesn't allow oversized vehicle parking at night, trying to find a place to sleep for the night. The street signs were confusing, so we found a city parking official and he pointed us in the right direction to avoid getting a ticket.

We knew parking would be a hassle later in the day, being Independence Day, so we found a great spot, just a block from the beach early that next morning. After eating Jonathan's delicious home-cooked hueveos rancheros, we went for a walk down the beach stopping to watch Germany clinch a spot in the World Cup semi's. Several hours later, we decided to make lunch in the RV and...


What a nightmare! Our house and everything we own got towed! We found another city parking official standing by who gave us our $100 parking ticket and the directions to the LA Police impound. Five miles later, hot, sweaty, and tired, we made it to the impound. It was closed. Duh, it's a holiday. Why would we want to get our towed vehicle back on a holiday? After calling the number on the sign, we learned we had to go another 9 miles to the office to pay for the release of our vehicle and then come back to pick it up. No way were we ready to walk another 18 miles so we called a cab. We just wanted our home back and hoped nothing was wrecked too bad from the tow.

Almost $500 later, ($100 parking ticket, $70 cab ride, $300 tow and release fee) we despised the City of LA and just wanted to go home to our peaceful beach in Carlsbad. And so we cut our weekend trip short.

A word of advice... read every street sign ten times over and don't get your home towed. It sucks!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rig Improvements

The previous owner of the Minnie used it as a mobile office. This means he painted over the big window by to top of the bed, got rid of the couch/pull-out bed and the dining table, added a small table that he sat at with a folding metal chair, and added power strips everywhere for his computers, etc.

Since we're living instead of working in the Minnie, we obviously have to change a few things. The carpet felt dirt even after vacuuming and the wallpaper just looks too much like an old RV and not a beach home. Since the floor and the walls are foundational issues, we knew we had to start with those. The process took several weekend, but here are some pictures to show the start of the RV remodel.
The boring before

Starting to patch holes in the walls

Getting dirty scraping carpet glue away

Check out the wall color!

And the beautiful clean look of hardwood

We still have a long ways to go with new curtains, taking that ugly paint off the top front window, tiling the kitchen back splash, etc. etc. etc. It's hard work, but it feels good to do it ourselves. I've always rented and it's nice to own something and be able to customize it to our personal style.

Do you like it so far?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The first week

What an amazing, exciting week! First off, we had to return Pablo because of some behavioral issues. He's a big puppy in a small space. We took him out a lot but even still, he was chewing on everything. He also loved to run after bikes and runners which was a problem when I wasn't paying attention and holding his leash tight. He ran after a runner wanting to play and ended up biting the guy's arm. We can't be dealing with issues like that right now and, unfortunately, took Pablo back to the shelter. It's actually been much less stressful without having to take care of him.

Anyway, the first week of living in the Minnie was great. We didn't feel homeless, and it didn't effect any of our normal morning workouts, weekly soccer games, or our work schedule. We have learned a few things though...

~We HAVE to be clean and organized. No more leaving clothes or backpacks on the floor. With almost no extra space, everything has to promptly be put away in its correct spot.

~We use A LOT of water. We only have a 5 gallon fresh water tank because if how the previous owner changed it. It would surprise you how fast that 5 gallons disappears and we haven't even used the shower yet thanks to the locker rooms at my office.

~We're learning that we need to be resourceful. In such a small kitchen, for example, I don't get to have all the pots and pans and gadgets that I'm used to having for cooking meals. Instead of cooking zucchini for a soup on a frying pan, I baked it.

~We were mis-informed that the whole thing had to be level for the refrigerator to work. Because we don't have any leaving blocks or lifts, we haven't had the fridge on all week and just used the fridge and freezer at work. With a little trial and error, we learned the fridge definitely works even if you're not level. Now my man is happy with his cold beer!

~How to clean out the water tank and water lines. Our water stank like rotten eggs. With some quick research online we figured out how easy it is to clean the water lines. Basically all you have to do is just run water through all the pipes, once with fresh water, once with a little bleach in the water, an once or twice again with fresh water. Smells so fresh and so clean!

Here's a shot of the Winnie and our SUP boards living at the beach for memorial weekend.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The First Day

So the first day was quite an adventure. We woke up early to finish getting the apartment cleaned which we had been doing all week long in the evenings. The local Camping World was having a sale and free lunch starting at 11am so our goal was to turn in the apartment keys by then. 

After sweating all morning and getting a free lunch, we were on our way to the beach for the day. We decided to stop at the animal shelter like we do quite often just to look at the dogs. And, as you might guess, we came home with one. He was just so cute and sweet with those sad puppy eyes. He was practically begging us to take him with us. 

To get to know our new puppy, we walked down by the beach with Pablo, the 7 month old Pit/Lab mix. The shelter mentioned that he interacts will with other dogs and people and we didn't notice anything different while walking down the busy boardwalk. We decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the dog beach in Del Mar and Pablo did wonderfully.

It's a big adjustment, but we look forward to getting acquainted in our new home with our new puppy. Isn't he just the cutest?!

Friday, May 9, 2014

30 days notice?!

The time has come and it's going so fast. We put our 30 days notice in for our apartment two weeks ago.

If our landlord can find someone quickly, we'll actually be out a week from tomorrow. This means we have to do something with all our extra stuff, get the RV ready, super-clean the apartment, and get our mindset ready to live in the RV. We have stayed in it for a few different weekends but that was only one or two nights at a time. I'm getting a little stressed with the time crunch knowing we have to go through everything that we own to see what stays and what goes. We plan on getting a storage space to keep all the furniture for now so that  will be easy.

We also need to get the RV ready. The owner before us used it as a mobile office so he took the couch/pull-out bed out to replace it with a desk. It's totally livable right now, but we'll definitely be making some changes along the way to customize the space to our liking.

List of things to do this weekend
  • Downsize(Sell/Give Away) - clothes, kitchen accessories, extra bed
  • Start packing - furniture and things we won't need for the next week or so that can go in the storage unit
    • But first, we need to get a storage unit
  • Find and install a new couch/pull-out bed
  • Figure out where our mail will be sent
  • Start organizing budget and reading more blogs for tips

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our first adventure

There are so many different places in Southern California to go for a weekend adventure so it was hard to choose a place to go on our first RV adventure. My brother was talking about Zion and Arches National Parks just a few weeks ago. We had never been to either and Arches was a bit too far so we decided on Zion. And we did not regret it!

It was pouring rain in San Diego when we left and didn't stop until we got to Vegas. We ended up staying in Vegas at a truck stop for the night because it was getting late and we wanted to walk the strip. I'm not going to lie, it was weird sleeping in an RV and it was hard for me to get to sleep, but I figured I'd get used to it.

Finally, at 9am the next morning, we made it to Zion! Going through the small towns leading up to the park and seeing the rock get increasingly red got us both so excited. We really didn't do any research so we weren't sure what to expect. We drove all the way up trough the scenic drive stopping a few times for pictures like the one below.
We made it to the end of the road and decided to take the short hike through the canyon. The paved trail was only about a mile long but kept going through the Virgin River. We didn't have any gear which apparently you can rent right outside of the park, but we crossed the river twice anyway. It felt good to go further than most people and get to see around two more bends. After that, the river got too deep and we had to turn back. 

We eventually made it back to the campsite, figure out how to plug in and cooked a spaghetti dinner. Just as delicious as if made in a 'real kitchen.' The drive back home on Sunday was a long one but we broke it up by having a huge champagne brunch buffet in Vegas. Most if the way, my boyfriend drove and I read the manual trying to learn as much as possible. 

Beautiful and successful first adventure in the RV. Now to battle with the DMV this week for the title transfer, new registration and city parking permits.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting ready to buy an RV

Let me just start by saying I've never even been in an RV before last year. Growing up, my family did a lot of camping, but we did it the old fashioned way with a tent and a campfire. I like to think and live differently than what normal society expects of me, therefore, I got this great idea that I should live in an RV. I've been living in an apartment with my boyfriend for about 8 months now and he's totally into the idea as well. He also, has no experience with RVs but is a great mechanic and knows how to fix or build anything.

Right now I work in an office, and he has his own company fixing and detailing cars. It will be interesting to see what my co-workers think, although, I'm not planning on running through the halls telling everyone. I'm also planning on eventually quitting my office job and starting my own company in the Stand-Up Paddle world. It's getting big here in San Diego and I think I could make a decent living while having a blast.

Last weekend we decided to go to an RV shop just to look and get an idea of what we want, how much space we'd have, what to expect to pay for an RV etc. We walked into a brand new, Mercedes Benz 24' mobile home just to dream and an old man was sitting at the table waiting for the sales rep to come back. He was in the process of buying his dream RV and told us we couldn't have it. We told him he had nothing to worry about because it was WAY over our budget. He was a nice old man and after we talked to him for a bit he mentioned if he bought this Mercedes RV, he would need to sell his old 1999 24' Minnie Winnie.

Long story short, we went over to his house later that day, took it for a test drive, and although we're not quite ready to get rid of the apartment and everything in it, we decided to buy it. While I was at work, my man went and gave the old man a deposit. We'll have the rest of the cash for him tomorrow. We're both taking the day off tomorrow to go play with our new toy for a three day weekend.