Ride or Die Adventures

Here to have a little fun, try new things, and share the experience with you! 



How to Keep Your New Years Resolutions-A proven way to reach your goals.

New Year resolutions are all fun and games until we forget about them a month later.  Every year we resolve to change something, accomplish something, or improve our life in some way, but how many of these resolutions are kept? They become reminders of something we didn’t accomplish and sometimes even make it on next year’s list of resolutions. Am I right? By the end of my post, you will know how to turn your resolutions into goals that you actually reach this year.   What stops us from keeping our resolutions?  New Year resolutions are our way of saying we’ll do better this year, so why are many resolutions forgotten before the end of January? Why do we do this every year?  One of the main reasons people give up on their resolutions is because they don’t have a plan!  “If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail” — Benjamin Franklin. Another primary reason people give up is that they don’t see immediate results.  We get lost in the instant gratification that comes from eating sweets, sleeping in, not putting in the hard work.  It takes conscientious decisions to reach our goals.  These are just the top two reasons why we forget all about our new year resolutions. There are endless excuses for why we give up and forget our New Year resolutions.  Don’t worry; I’m here to help.  The most challenging step is always the first step, and you have already taken the first step by looking into how you can keep your New Year’s resolutions.  How to keep your New Year Resolutions Is there anything we can do to keep our New Year resolutions alive? YES! I will help you make and keep your New Year resolutions by transforming them into actionable goals.  All you have to do is follow a few easy steps… and of course, PUT IN THE WORK!  First, we must know what is driving us. Why do you want to accomplish each of your goals?  The “why” will keep you moving towards your goals. It will remind you why you started your journey.  Keep that in mind when you think of each one of your goals.  Now, let’s get started! Think of realistic New Year resolutions or goals Write down your goals Please write it down on a piece of paper where you can expand on each goal  Write it down again and place it somewhere you can see it every day Determine why you want to achieve this goal. Remember your “why” is essential! Think of small milestones for your goal Plan exactly how you will reach each milestone and how you will reward yourself for accomplishing each milestone Set reminders and motivational notes Don’t give up Think of realistic goals Creating realistic goals will be crucial to your success.  Think of something obtainable and not out of this world.  Something attainable would be to get a certification you have wanted, lose x amount of unwanted weight, change your eating habits, or learn how to drive.  Something out of this world would be becoming a billionaire or traveling to Jupiter.  Try to limit the number of goals based on the amount of time you can commit to them.  Changing habits and trying to reach a goal can take time because they require conscious decision-making, but do not be discouraged. Ideally, you want to end up with a goal that sounds like the one below.    Goal: “I would like to read 5 self-help books this year because I am important and worth it. These self-help books will help me improve and develop skills I have been wanting to focus on for some time. I will feel accomplished and motivated when finishing these books. I will create a list of books I would like to read, which can be changed, but having a list will keep me accountable. I will spend about 2 months reading each book. I will read each day for about 1 hour (or whatever time you have) from Monday-Friday. “ Write down your goals The next step is to write down your goals! Writing down your goals allows you to start the planning process.  You will need to write them down twice. Once on a piece of paper or on your computer to elaborate and plan.  The second time will be on a post-it or something that you can place in a visible area. This will serve as a daily reminder that you have a goal to accomplish. Similar to a vision board.  Determine your “Why” Think of why you want to accomplish each goal.  Remember your “Why” is what will keep you going, so make sure it is an honest and important “why.” Think of what will happen if you don’t accomplish this goal. Or what will change if you do achieve this goal.  Next to your goal, write down your honest why (no one has to see this, so be fair and be true to yourself).  Milestones  Now that you have your goals let’s create milestones.  Remember, one of the reasons people give up on their New Year resolutions is because they do not see immediate results.  Creating small milestones will allow you to see your results.  Let me give you an example!  If your goal is to lose 20lbs by May, then a milestone will be to lose 4lbs each month.  You can track your progress and have the satisfaction of seeing your results.  Make sure you reward your progress too. For example, buying yourself a new pair of workout shoes or treating yourself to a massage. Another example would be to become a vegetarian.  You can create a milestone of Meatless Mondays for one month (or however long you need) and add additional days until you no longer eat meat.  With these milestones, you track your progress and create a conscious change to your habits.   If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Okay, let’s make a plan! Goals don’t just happen on their own! A goal without a plan is just a dream. You have to think about how you will make your goal happen. Let’s work with our earlier examples.  If you want to lose 4lbs a month, what will you consciously do to make this happen?  Will you go to the gym twice a week?  Will you reduce the amount of fast food you eat? If so, by how much?  If you want to be a vegetarian and implement Meatless Mondays, where will you get vegetarian recipes?  How will you plan for your Meatless Mondays?  You have to create a plan to reach each milestone which leads to achieving your goals! You’re turning your goals into bite-size actions/changes that are more manageable.  Set Reminders and Motivational Notes You already have a post-it of some sort in a visible area to remind you of your goals. Now you can take it a step further and add reminders to your calendar or phone.  Set a reminder to go to the gym.  Set a random motivational reminder of why you want to lose those 20lbs by May; or why you want to become a vegetarian.  When you ask, why am I making these changes to my life? Your “why” will keep you focussed. It will remind you of why you are putting in the work. Keep your New Years Resolutions – Don’t give up! You have gotten this far, don’t give up. Keep pushing and then push some more.  You have all the tools you need to achieve your goals, and no one can stop you unless you let them.  I once asked a friend how she woke up every morning at 5:00 am to go for an early workout. Rain or shine, she would be up at 5:00 am. Her response was, “I just do” when you make a commitment to yourself, you just have to do it. The following day, I committed myself to wake up an hour earlier than usual. When my alarm rang, I was about to push the snooze button when I remembered I was only letting myself down. I just had to wake up. So. I did!  There is a slight moment between moving forward and standing still. In my example above, the moment the alarm rang, my automatic reaction was to turn off the alarm. Thoughts that crossed my mind were probably, “I need more sleep. I will workout tomorrow. I don’t want to.” The key point is not to allow your thoughts or automatic responses to take over. Whether I felt like waking up or not was irrelevant. I made a goal of waking up early, so I engaged in the behavior= I woke up. Do not allow your feelings to dictate your behavior. With time, the more consistent you are, you will notice your feelings toward the behavior will change and you will not mind waking up early or going to the gym. The feelings begin to match your behavior and you begin to create a positive relationship with the behavior.  So when I woke up that day, I understood what my friend meant when she said, “I just do.” Don’t let yourself down.  Don’t give up!  What are some things that help you accomplish your goals? 

7 Must Read Books to Elevate your Life – Live Life Intentionally Book Challenge

Most people have experienced a rollercoaster of stress and headaches over the last couple of years.  As a result, many of us started to feel stuck and possibly helpless or unaccomplished.   At least, that’s exactly how I felt before I challenged myself to live life intentionally. I would love to help you get out of your rut by sharing exactly what I did to get out of my own rut.  Let me share the seven books that helped change my life perspective and allowed me to elevate my life.  I hope you too will live life intentionally and challenge your life’s perspective with these books.    If you have some book suggestions for me, PLEASE leave them in the comments. I would love to continue growing and challenging myself to live life intentionally.  Live Life Intentionally I felt lost and did not have a clear direction of where my life was going.  Life passed me by as I spiraled into a helpless victim mentality.  I had to snap myself out of it but didn’t know how or where to start. After reading and listening to these books I realized that life is happening for us to experience. It is not merely happening to us!  Why be victims of our circumstances when we can take control and choose the path we take.  Will it be difficult? Yes! Will there be doubt? Yes! Will it empower us? Yes! Will it change our lives for the better? Yes! Living life intentionally means that there is a reason behind everything you do.  Whatever the task may be, however small or big, you are doing it on purpose for a reason!  7 Must Read Books to Elevate your Life Here are my 7 Must Read Books to Elevate your Life. These books will help start your journey. They provide a different perspective on life. They encourage self-empowerment, personal development, and resilience.  01 The Alchemist Author: Paulo Coelho The story follows a young shepherd on his journey to find a treasure he learned about in a recurring dream. One of its messages is to follow your dreams while being conscientious of your life in the current moment.   02 Mans Search for Meaning Author: Viktor E. Frankl Psychiatrist Viktor E. Frank’s memoir describes life during his captivity in a Nazi-Germany concentration camp. He explores the idea of finding meaning in life – even under the most horrific circumstances – through work, love, or suffering. Meaningfulness can be subjective and can change throughout time. The message is that identifying what is meaningful to us in every moment will lead to a meaningful life.  03 Make Your Bed – Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World  Author: William H. McRaven William McRaven shares ten powerful life lessons he learned throughout his training and career as a Navy Seal. His experiences are unique, but the lessons he shares can be applied to any aspect of life.  04 Tuesdays with Morrie Author: Mitch Albom Mitch – the main character – finds himself unhappy and unfulfilled, but his entire life and mentality change when he discovers his old college professor is terminally ill. Mitch reconnects with his professor and begins to visit him routinely. They have long conversations about death and what it truly means to live.  05 Smarter Faster Better – The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business  Author: Charles Duhiggs The author shares the secrets of being productive through great anecdotes. Charles Duhiggs explores the concept of managing how you think to transform your life. He uses stories and studies to help create a picture of how you can apply each concept.  06 UnF*** Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into your life Author: Gary John Bishop This excellent book addresses a defeated, helpless, victim mentality. Gary John Bishop walks you through tools you can use to harness your greatness. He is straightforward and does not sugarcoat anything. You have to be willing to put in the work and accept the harsh reality!  07 Where Ever You Go There You Are – Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life  Author:Jon Kabat-Zinn With bite-sized sections, Where Ever You Go There You Are can be read and processed at any pace. Each section addresses a different topic and ends with a “Try” suggestion to implement what you have learned. Jon Kabat-Zin discusses Mindfulness and meditation as an ongoing practice.  Elevate your Mind These seven books helped me change my mentality and helped me start living life intentionally. I hope they can do the same for you.   And don’t worry, if you don’t want to read the books, you can also find them on Audible!  I love using Audible during long commutes or while doing chores around the house.  What personal development books would you recommend? 

33 Gift Ideas for full-time RVers – Gifts they will actually appreciate and use

Finding great gifts for full-time RVers can be difficult. They have limited space and typically travel often.  Not to worry, though, here is a list of 33 gift ideas that any full-time RVer would appreciate.  They may already own some of the items on this list, so put your investigator hat on to ensure you are not gifting something they already own.  The idea is to gift them something they would love to have but would not buy themselves or simply haven’t bought it.   **This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 33 Gift Ideas for Full-time RVers Since full-time RVers have to get creative with their space, most of these gift ideas are practical items they would actually use and, in a way, would potentially better their RV lifestyle.  Outdoor Gifts Hammock – A foldable hammock can go a long way. I love to lounge around, read a book, or work on a new blog post with a great view and breeze from the comfort of our hammock.  Lounge chairs – Sitting outside and enjoying the view can be relaxing and a great way to spend quality time. Jerry and I love sitting outside when and having endless conversations.  We’re hoping to upgrade our current lounge chairs to zero gravity chairs. Now those are some comfy chairs!  Picnic Backpack – We recently got our picnic backpack through Amazon and have used it a few times already. It’s great to take with you to a park, a hike, or the beach.  Folding Wagon – Constantly moving from one location to another means there is a lot of setting up and putting away. I use our folding wagon to haul stuff in and out of the RV storage compartment.  It makes setting up easy and efficient.  Portable grill – Again, if you’re RVing, you’re probably grilling something. Cooking outdoors while you’re out camping or boondocking is inevitable.  A good quality grill that doesn’t take too much space would be a great gift.  Inflatable Kayak – Any adventurer would love a kayak! Portable Projector – This is an excellent gift for indoors or outdoors, and the whole family can enjoy it!  RV Travel Mat – You can’t go wrong with a good quality, easily foldable travel mat.  We use ours all the time. We usually use it as a hangout area with lounge chairs. It also helps keep the inside of the RV clean.  Fire Pit – This is one of those things that I really want, but I haven’t bought.  There have been so many instances where I wish we had a fire pit. The weather is just right, the daylight is starting to disappear, and all I want is to make smores on the open flame.   Inside Gifts Camping Decor  Camping decor can be fun, humourous, and adds personality to the RV or camper. There are many options available on Amazon and Etsy.  Welcome Mat – A creative or even personalized welcome mat makes a beautiful gift.    Kitchen Mat – Again, a creative or personalized kitchen mat can add some personality to their RV. We own the one below, and it makes me smile every time I see it. Sometimes it is the little things that bring joy to our hearts.  Shower Curtain – There are some funny and goofy shower curtains for RVers. A camping shower curtain is sure to get some laughs.  Camping Ornaments or Lights – During the holidays, it may be fun to add some RV or Camper ornaments and lights to appreciate the full-time RVer lifestyle.  They are cute and great conversation starters.  Instant-Pot – I am obsessed with our Instant Pot! There are so many recipes, and the clean-up work is more manageable than if I had cooked with pots and pans.  The fewer dishes we have to wash, the better, especially while boondocking.  Folding step stool – This one is for my fun size people. I am 5″ and need a step stool for almost all of our upper cabinets.  Seriously, it’s a lifesaver!      Nesting bowls – Any space-saving cookware is appreciated!  I don’t think I can say this enough, full-time RV living means you give up a lot of space, so you have to get creative!  Waffle Maker or Grilled Cheese Maker – Anything to spend less time in the kitchen and more time exploring.  Bluetooth Speaker – A starry night, a fire going, and some good tunes can be so relaxing!   Solar Power Bank with Torch and Compass – They’ll never have to worry about their phone or camera dying before finishing an outdoor adventure.  Splurge-Worthy Gifts If you really love (and want to splurge) on your RV loved one, any Jackery solar panel and generator will do.  This way, they can make their waffles and more in the outdoors!  Jackery Portable Power Station Jackery solar saga 100w portable solar panel for explorer 240 For the RV Backup camera – Game changer. This would be the perfect gift for anyone that doesn’t already have a backup camera.  Trust me, a backup camera makes a world of difference.  RV Step covers – Step covers make the space feel homier, and they help keep your RV cleaner. Hose and cord caddy – A hose and cord caddy can be invaluable to simplify setup and packing for each trip.  Having an organized RV makes life easier.  Stocking Stuffers The Adventure Challenge – This is a fun gift for anyone. The Adventure Challenge has an edition for everyone (family, friends, couples, solo, and in bed – wink wink ). Their adventures are such a fun, innovative way to create great memories.   National Parks Pass – One of the best things about living in an RV is traveling to different locations and experiencing the outdoors.  The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is your annual ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country.  A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees, and day-use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). You can purchase the park pass directly through usparkpass.com, or for the same price, you can buy it through REI, and they will donate 10% of the sales to the National Park Foundation. Bedside Caddy – I’ll say it repeatedly, space is gold when you live in an RV. Anything that helps you get organized and creative with your space is vital.  Travel Map: This is a creative way to track what National Parks and states they have visited.  I always feel a sense of joy and satisfaction when scratching off a new location we have seen.  RV Travel Journal – Another creative way to track their RV adventures.  Rechargeable Flashlight – A robust and reliable flashlight will always be needed. It’s a practical gift that will definitely be used.    Poo Pourri – While this is a funny gift idea, it is also practical.  Our restroom is located next to our bedroom, and Poo Pourri helps me use the bathroom without worrying that Jerry will make a smell remark trying to make fun of me.   Their nose will thank you later! Personalized Decals – You can create customized decals and stickers through Sticker Mule. Their products are great, and their customer service is fantastic!  Cold Hard Cash – While some people think giving money is impersonal, others really appreciate the cash. They can purchase something they’ve been wanting or something they may need.  You can’t go wrong with money.  Interesting Fact The brain releases dopamine during a shopping experience. That’s why it’s called retail therapy.  So, now that I’ve given you some gift ideas for full-time RVers, go do some shopping. Get your retail therapy on!!!  If you still need a few more gift ideas for full-time RVers, check out my post on RV Accessories Every RVer Should Have.   What are some fun RV gifts that you have received or would love to receive? 

Sustainable Gift Ideas – Eco-friendly Gifts This Holiday Season

The holiday season has arrived and I have a love and hate relationship with it.  It’s the season to spend time with family and, of course, the time of giving and feasting. Holiday’s are also when we can’t avoid spending time with family, and the amount of trash produced in the US increases by approximately 25%. **This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I know not everyone agrees or even cares about reducing their carbon footprint, but I do, and if I can give awesome gifts that will be used and are sustainable… Well, it’s like I am giving myself a gift as well :).   My goal this holiday season is to buy sustainable gifts and reduce my waste. Want to join me? Sustainability I like to use sustainability over eco-friendly, environmentally friendly, or resource-efficient because of the word’s power. Additionally, some of the other words hold negative connotations for some individuals.   Sustainability was originally associated with forestry – the science of planting, managing, and caring for forests.   But, the basic idea of sustainability goes way back to ancient cultures. The idea that we are depleting the planet from natural resources, has in a way, always been a fear.  The more recent understanding of sustainability comprises three pillars – economy, society, and environment – the interdependence of the three pillars is what gives “sustainability” its meaningful power. The economy, society, and the environment are all tied together. You can’t have one without the other.   10 Sustainable Gift Ideas While I’m only mentioning my favorite 10 sustainable gift ideas, you can browse some of the company’s I am about to tell you about for even more ideas.   1 – House plant or Garden Kit House plants look fabulous and provide liveliness to your surroundings. They are also great stress relievers and air purifiers. People are known to thrive and live healthier lives when surrounded by greenery.  A house plant is a gift of natural beauty and health.  You can find great plants at Lively Root. They only use sustainable materials in their nursery and their packaging.  Here are some great low maintenance indoor plants:   Snake Plant Pothos Money Tree Spider Plant A garden kit can be a fun gift for both adults and kids.   You can find some great kits at Grove.co 2 – Kitchen Compost Bin Most people think compost bins are large and dirty, but many compost options satisfy aesthetics and functionality. You have to look around to find one that will match your needs and kitchen style.  Amazon has several options for both indoor and outdoor compost bins.  3 – Zero Waste Gift Set  These kits help reduce single-use plastic products like plastic utensils, straws, plastic water bottles, coffee cups, plastic toothbrushes, and plastic produce bags. You can find Zero Waste Kits and other gifts through Guud. Another great site to look for whole sets is NetZero.CO  5- Solar Power Bank Enough said, who wouldn’t want a Solar Power Bank? Have you ever been out and about when your phone or earbuds run low on battery? It happens to me all the time. I end up wasting time trying to find a power source to charge my phone.   6 – Sustainable Beauty Products Grove.Co has a clean beauty section where you can find a variety of sustainable beauty products. You can browse and create a small gift set.  Even non-beauty products! Grove.Co is currently plastic neutral, and they offer a variety of sustainable products for pretty much everything – babies, pets, hygiene, beauty, and cleaning, to mention a few.  4 – Udemy Online Course If you have never heard of Udemy before, look them up now!  They offer over 180,000 online courses for various subjects, and they always have a sale going on. I love the online classes I’ve taken through Udemy. I have personally learned how to make natural soap, expanded my Microsoft Excell skills, and am in the middle of completing a Web development course where I am learning about HTML, CSS, Javascript, and more.  I’m telling you they are amazing. You can gift a course and will probably want to choose one for yourself.  7 – America the Beautiful National Parks Pass The National Parks pass is an annual pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the US, including all national parks. I received a pass for Christmas last year and loved it. It encouraged my husband and me to get outdoors, and it saved us money on all of the entrance fees.  You can purchase the park pass directly through usparkpass.com, or for the same price, you can buy it through REI, and they will donate 10% of the sales to the National Park Foundation. 8 – Plant a Tree in Someone’s Honor Another creative and thoughtful gift would be to plant a tree in honor of a loved one. You are both thinking of your loved one and helping with reforestation.  9- Wooden Toys  Rather than purchasing cheaply made plastic toys, you can go with a more natural, toxin-free approach. Simple wooden toys are sustainable and can foster creativity beyond what a classroom can offer. They encourage healthy mental development.  10 – Cash If all else fails, cold hard cash will always be appreciated. Money is better than a gift card because you’re not producing waste, and you’re not limiting what your loved one can do with their cash gift.  Sustainable ways to wrap Gifts Earlier I mentioned that the US produces approximately 25% additional waste during the holiday season.  Well, we have the power to limit our waste. Here are four tips on how to wrap your gifts sustainably.  1 – Use Recycled Paper or Newspaper to Wrap the gift 2 – Use Fabric or Fabric Gift bags 3 – Use Decorative Boxes 4 – Avoid Plastic (Plastic Ribbon, Tape, Stickers) Amazon has a few sustainable gift wrapping options. Please just read the descriptions to ensure they’re actual sustainable options.  Get Creative Living sustainably is a lifestyle and we have to get creative on ways to maintain this lifestyle. I’ve given you some sustainable gift ideas, now you get to do the fun part – shopping! What are some sustainable gifts you have given, received, or would like to receive?   

Ways to reduce the use of plastic

Most people don’t realize how much plastic and waste they produce in a day, let alone a lifetime.  There are now 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic in our ocean  46,000 pieces in every square mile of ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes. 8 million pieces of plastic find their way to the ocean every day. By 2050 there will be more plastic than there are fish in the ocean.  One out of three fish caught for human consumption contains plastic. What a scary thought, and unfortunately, it is our reality.  **This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. What can I do to reduce my plastic footprint?  I can’t say my home is a 100% zero-waste home, but I try to implement small changes that help reduce my use of plastic.  I have compiled a list of 13 realistic options to reduce the use of plastic without making drastic changes to your life.  You may even want to calculate your plastic footprint before and after making these changes. You’ll be surprised at the impact you can make.  13 Ways to reduce the use of plastic in your home Reusable grocery bags Reusable produce bags Buy from bulk bins and or local Farmers Market Reusable food storage bags Plastic-free containers for storing things  Travel cutlery (straw, fork, spoon) Natural clothing (cotton, wool, hemp, and silk) avoids the use of synthetic fibers Cut out any beverage in plastic bottles (bottled water, sodas, performance drinks) No plastic toilet paper  Use plastic-free Feminine Hygiene products Use beeswax instead of plastic film. Make homemade snacks and energy bars. Switch to a Zero Waste or Plastic Free Toothpaste Reduce, Reuse, Recycle This list of 13 small changes may help you create a significant impact on everyday plastic pollution.  Reusable grocery bags Reusable bags have become increasingly popular. However, several of them are made from synthetic fibers, which contribute to micro-plastic pollution.  If you are planning on getting a reusable bag, consider buying one that is 100% cotton. It will last longer and create a more significant impact on reducing your plastic footprint.  If you already use reusable grocery bags, take them to the next level.  Take your reusable bag everywhere you go. You may go to the liquor store or for takeout and can use your reusable bag.   Taking your bag everywhere you go will also reduce the likelihood of forgetting to take it with you to the grocery store (I’m guilty of this and end up having to carry my groceries by hand 🙁 ).  Reusable produce bags Produce bags are great for buying from bulk bins or Farmers Markets. You can purchase mesh ones for your fruit /veggies and solid ones for your grains.  Buy from bulk bins and or local Farmers Market Buying from bulk bins and local Farmers’ Market helps reduce packaging – a type of single-use plastic. This type of grocery shopping is also becoming increasingly popular and more available to everyone. If you need help finding stores that encourage eliminating food packaging, consider using the Zero Waste Home App. The app makes finding package-free locations easy. It is also a free resource for living waste-free.   Reusable food storage bags Each food storage bag is designed to replace hundreds of single-use plastic bags. Make sure to purchase food storage bags that are BPA-free, food-grade, freezer-friendly, and dishwasher safe.  You can use them to store leftovers, sandwiches, and snacks.  Of course, metal and glass containers trump reusable food storage bags, but they’re better than single-use bags.  Plastic-free containers for storing things Plastic-free containers are great for storing your leftovers, package-free food, cleaning liquids, and more.  I like to repurpose some of the mason jars from store-bought food. An example would be when you buy a pickle jar, repurpose it by deep cleaning it, removing the label, and using it to store something else.  I also use glass spray bottles, glass dish/hand soap dispensers, and glass fragrance spray bottles. All of which can be found at Grove Collaborative. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Grove Collaborative? I added a section talking about them because I think you’d love them also. Travel cutlery (straw, fork, spoon, Knive) You can buy a travel cutlery kit or make one out of your home cutlery.  I carry bamboo straws everywhere I go and take utensils from home.  When I order takeout, I ask them to exclude any plastic forks and spoons. It doesn’t make sense for people to order takeout with plastic utensils, take it home, and end up using their own.  You end up with a whole lot of unused plastic utensils going straight to the trash or taking up space in a drawer somewhere.  Natural clothing (cotton, wool, hemp, and silk) Many of our clothing is made with synthetic materials that end up polluting our oceans as microplastic.  Microplastic is found in tap water, beer, and salt – gross! Meaning we ultimately consume the plastic ourselves.  Avoid buying clothing made with plastic fabric, more commonly known as synthetic materials like polyester, acrylic, lycra, spandex, and nylon.  I know this one is hard, especially for us shopaholics. Cut out any beverage in plastic bottles (bottled water, sodas, performance drinks) Can you believe that only 9% of 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic is recycled? The rest becomes plastic waste that accumulates in landfills and the ocean.  Slowly make a few changes, like choosing either aluminum canned beverages, glass, or eliminate these beverages from your diet. The latter is difficult, so aluminum cans are a less drastic change.  No plastic toilet paper Most toilet paper bought in stores has plastic packaging. Don’t worry, though; there are other options available to us.  Grove collaborative offers Seedless brand toilet paper. It is made from bamboo, and they don’t use plastic for their packaging.  Who Gives a Crap toilet paper is another brand that offers bamboo or recycled paper toilet paper with zero plastic in its packaging.  Use plastic-free Feminine Hygiene products Women will use an average of 11,000 disposable feminine hygiene products in a lifetime.  Consider how much plastic that is. A lot of the outer packaging for pads is made of plastic. Most tampons and pads are individually packaged in plastic, and lastly, the pads and tampons contain plastic.   Luckily there are many options to help reduce plastic waste from feminine hygiene products.  Menstrual cups or Flex (tampon alternatives) Thinx or Modibodi or Knix (reusable period underwear) Dame (reusable tampon applicator) Time of The Month or Natracare (plastic-free and 100% cotton products) I personally use Thinx and prefer them over any pad or tampon.  Use Bee’s Wrap instead of plastic film Using Bee’s Wrap is a healthier option over plastic film, and it helps reduce plastic waste. You can use wraps to cover bowls, cups or to wrap fruit and veggies.  Grove Collaborative offers wraps handmade from beeswax, organic cotton, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin.  Make homemade snacks and energy bars Making homemade snacks can become a family affair. It is a great way to spend family time together while also eating better. With homemade snacks, you know what you will be eating, and you reduce any packaging waste.   You can find recipes online or be creative and create your own.  Switch to a Zero Waste or Plastic Free Toothpaste + Floss As zero waste gains popularity, more options become available to us. Switching your toothpaste to a zero-waste toothpaste will decrease your plastic footprint and you will be providing your family with a healthier option.  I am on my last tube of toothpaste, so I am placing my order now. By the time I finish my last tube, my new plastic-free toothpaste order will be here.  I placed my order with Huppy because of their mission to do good, give back, and leave the world a whole lot brighter. They offer three different flavor options and a plastic-free floss made of vegan Candelilla wax and corn starch. However, as I mentioned before, you have options! There are many zero-waste toothpaste options available. There are powder options, tablet options, and paste options, or DIY options.  Grove Collaborative Grove Collaborative offers products that are great for both the planet and its consumers. They currently provide 2000+ products and several plastic-free options.  They are currently Plastic neutral and aim to be 100% plastic-free by 2025.  “Grove Collaboratives‘ mission is to inspire every family to create and sustain a healthy, beautiful home by offering environmentally friendly household and personal care products.” I’m telling you, they’re fantastic!  Bottom Line Plastic pollution is not only a contributor to climate change and carbon dioxide emissions. It is also affecting our health and well-being.   Let’s motivate companies to follow suit in reducing their plastic footprint by reducing or eliminating our consumption of their single-use plastic products!   I’m not saying you have to throw away all of your plastic items to buy non-plastic items. That would surely only create more pollution.  I am saying that little by little, we can choose non-plastic products, and that will ultimately reduce our plastic footprint.  I know making these changes to reduce the use of plastic can be difficult and can take time, but making small changes can make a big difference.  What small changes have you made to reduce your plastic footprint?  Sources: Plastic Oceans, Plastic in the Ocean Statistics 2020-2021, Zero Waste Home, Plastic Footprint Calculator

Strawberry Laser Review – Does it Really Work?

The Strawberry Laser is an FDA-approved non-invasive weight loss treatment that offers; skin tightening, body contouring, and cellulite reduction. It can be an excellent option for individuals who do not wish to undergo surgery and have stubborn areas that do not budge.  The treatment can take as little as one hour a week for eight(8) or more weeks. The length of the treatment is dependent on each individual and their goals.  Strawberry Laser Lipo is said to lasts for as long as you maintain it. That means that you have to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.  Does it really work?  That’s a great question!  Almost everything I read online said it does work.  You can lose more than one (1) inch every treatment!  The before and after pictures all looked promising, so I had to find out for myself.  I like the majority of people gained some covid-weight. I had gained a total of 25lbs and was not carrying the weight well.  It was time to do something about it, and what better thing to do than a non-invasive procedure that promises I won’t have to change my diet or exercise routine drastically?  My First Treatment  The goal was to lose 4 inches off my waist. That would leave me with a 28-inch waist. Nothing unrealistic.  I signed up for 12 Strawberry Laser sessions on my entire abdomen, thinking that would be more than enough.  My first appointment was the day we set my goals, measured my waist, and took pictures.  When placing the lasers, they put them on my upper abdomen for 10 minutes and my lower abdomen for another 10 minutes. The Strawberry Lasers wrapped almost all around my waist.  Once the laser time ended, I spent another 10 minutes on a vibrating machine.  I was told that ten minutes on that machine would equal a 40-minute workout.  My Strawberry Laser Results My measurements were taken once more after the first treatment. They said I had lost 1.5 inches off my very first treatment.  Let me provide some clarification on how they do the measurements. My waist was measured in 4 different locations. The circumference loss amount of each measurement taken would be added, and that is how they determined how many inches you lost around your waist.  So when they say I lost 1.5 inches around my waist, it in no way meant I was closer to my goal.  After 12 weeks of going in for the treatments, my waist size was the same! Strawberry laser treatment is excellent in theory, but let’s be honest… It is not worth the money or time spent.   The Strawberry laser treatment should have worked without me needed to change my diet or exercise routine. At least, that is what I was told about this fantastic treatment.  In my opinion, you will get better results with a healthy diet and a consistent exercise routine.  When it comes to your body size and weight loss, if it sounds too good or too easy to be true, it’s probably not worth your time. 

Full-time RV Living

After moving into a townhome for a year, we knew we did not want to be renters. It was not for us. Our townhome lease was up for renewal. Rent was already expensive at $2500, and they were going to increase it by $300.  It seemed unrealistic to pay so much for renting a place rather than owning a home. It’s no wonder buying a house is so difficult – all of your money is going to rent rather than savings.  The townhome was lovely, and the amenities were great, but renting is just not sustainable. Would we have to move every year to avoid rent increases, or would we have to pay insanely high rent?  Buying our RV Jerry and I had a long conversation and came up with a plan to stay in one location, avoid expensive rent, and save for a home of our own.  In 2018, we decided to get rid of most of our belongings and move into a Grand Design Solitude fifth wheel full-time!  The goal was to do this for a few years until we paid off our “bad” debt and saved enough money for a down payment on a house.  It was not an easy decision, but to this day, we do not regret it. We made a few mistakes and have faced some obstacles along the way, but we continue to push toward our goals.  The Solitude was homie and spacious for a fifth wheel, but it was not the best purchase we could have made. The Solitude required a full-ton truck to tow it, and buying a truck like that would have been too expensive.  We found a site to rent and had the fifth wheel towed there. We did not move the fifth wheel for almost two years.  In 2020, we realized our mistake in buying a fifth wheel. It didn’t make sense to live in a home with wheels and not travel!  We decided to trade in the fifth wheel for a 2017 Coachmen Freelander RV. Now we can continue with our goals and even do some traveling. Woot! Full-time RV Living RV living is not for everyone. There are so many things we have had to learn and sacrifice.  Read our 10 things I wish I knew before living in an RV full-time.   The most significant sacrifice we have made is SPACE! We have been creative with our space and have had to put many of our belongings into storage.  Living in an RV teaches you that you can always have too many things! I considered becoming a minimalist, but I’m too much of a shopaholic. 🙁  I definitely miss my walk-in closet and the ability to walk into another room when I need alone time.  We do not plan to do this for the rest of our lives, but it has been fun. RV living helped us reach our financial goals and is giving us unforgettable memories.  What’s next? I officially quit my nine-to-five job in June 2021 and started my blog. This has been one of the best decisions we have made! I can spend more time focussing on my family’s well-being and happiness. I am less stressed and can pursue any interest I may have. Lately, my days have been filled with remodeling the RV, creating plans and budgets for our travels, learning how to do web development, and writing content for Ride Or Die Adventures – Blog.  Our “bad” debt is officially gone, and we can put all of our energy into buying a home and traveling across the country.  Appreciating what’s really important Anytime we think about living in a house, we wonder – what we will do with all that space!  We have decided to move our family to Nashville, TN. Ideally, we will find a home that is a driving distance to the downtown area but still far enough where we can find silence and greenery.  I have lived in Los Angeles, CA, for almost my entire life. Growing up in a fast-paced environment like Los Angeles can make you forget what is really important.  The most essential things in life have nothing to do with our job or materialistic items. The most critical thing in life is to truly live!  That’s why we want to slow down our way of living. We want to enjoy our adventures, friends, family, and most importantly, we simply want to enjoy life.  Living in the RV and traveling has allowed us to value each other and everything we have. Although we do not plan to live in our RV forever, we plan to continue taking extended RV trips even after moving into a house.  Have you considered living full-time in an RV? What’s holding you back? 

Things to know before DIY RV Remodel 

We are currently full-timers in a 2017, 26ft – Coachman Freelander. We decided to remodel our RV for aesthetics and functionality.  The idea came after reading articles about how your home’s color, layout, and cleanliness can affect your mental well-being.  My husband (Jerry) was working from home and would spend most of his days indoors, so after reading a few articles about your home’s influence on your mood, I jumped at the opportunity to DIY remodel our RV. (It turns out Jerry is naturally grumpy, and it had nothing to do with our home!) Our RV is not very old, so all of its bones are still good, which has been helpful. However, I have said it before, RVs are not meant for full-time living. The majority of them are dark, unwelcoming, and not very functional.  First Things First – Research This may seem like a no-brainer, but DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! If you have not remodeled an RV before, I strongly recommend learning from other people’s mistakes.  RVs are made differently than homes, so it won’t be a normal remodel, and you won’t use the same materials as you would in a house.  Inspect your RV to determine the materials used, to identify any needed repairs, and any aesthetic changes you would like to make.    You can also get some of your inspiration from other RV remodels. I got my inspiration from other RV remodels, and home renovation shows.  Make a Plan Once you have done some research, you can start making a plan.  Making a plan will help you stay organized, create a budget, and determine if you need professional help during your remodel.  Our RV renovation is taking months to complete because we keep adding things to our list. So, make a plan and try to stick to it.  What to include in your plan: Budget The time you can commit to the remodel  Which project will you start first?  Tools you will need (do you have them, or will you need to purchase them) Materials required for each project Any building plans/drawings  Make your plan as detailed as you can to help reduce your trips to the hardware store. Home Depot became our second home because of the remodel.  Remember to expect the unexpected and leave some wiggle room for your budget.  Practice Patience Whether you are DIY or using a professional contractor, renovations in your home cause a lot of stress!  Doing your research and creating a plan will help alleviate some of the stress.  DIY is meant to be fun—practice patience with yourself and those around you.  Remember to take some time to walk away and do other fun activities. Do not let the remodel and the stress of getting it done consume your life.  Have fun with your DIY RV remodel! Check out our DIY RV remodel before and after pictures! Share some of your DIY RV remodel stories in the comments below. 

RV Renovation Reveal (Before & After)

I am beyond excited to share our RV renovation before and after pictures.  We have successfully remodeled our restroom, bedroom, kitchen, and added solar!  We still have our living room and top bunker to tackle, but I think we need a break. We will take some time away from the remodel to explore the outdoors.  Don’t worry, though; we will share our adventures with you!  Restroom The entire restroom renovation was approximately $250, including all decor and tools needed for the remodel.  The most expensive item was the sink. We searched and searched until we found the perfect sink. The sink is small, which allowed us to increase the space between the sink and the toilet. (Jerry is 6.3″, so he always appreciates more legroom)  We replaced the shower doors with a curtain for the same reason. Jerry is too big for the shower, and he kept bumping his elbows on the glass doors. Jerry called me tacky for adding some diamond blink in the restroom, but I really like the way it came out. I guess I’m tacky, LMAO!  Bedroom The bedroom renovations were under $200.  It’s incredible how much of a difference a little paint can make. My favorite part of the bedroom is Cat’s step/hiding place and the additional storage next to the bed. We added a cushion to it for Kiko to use as a napping area.   Kitchen The kitchen renovations cost approximately $450.   Similar to the restroom, the majority of our budget went into the new sink.  I can’t deny the sink is AMAZING. However, I wish it hadn’t been so pricey.   Solar Panels Our solar was installed entirely by Jerry.  I think installing the solar was the best part of the entire renovation because it is the one thing that will allow us to boondock and enjoy traveling to remote areas.   RV Renovation Before & After (part-2) Stay tuned for part-2 of our RV renovation before and after reveal where we will add countertop space, additional storage, and some sort of entertainment system.  Let me know if you would like me to provide links to some of our decor. We got most of everything from Home Depot and Amazon!  Comment below if you would like us to do a video walk-through.

Thinking About Running a Marathon?

26 miles… Sounds daunting, right? Well, it’s not as bad as you think.  At least, that is what I kept telling myself when I trained for the LA Marathon.   Training for the marathon does not require you to be in the best shape of your life. Training for the marathon will get you there!  Training for the marathon Successfully training for the marathon requires consistency.  Consistent training schedule.  Consistent foam roll, stretch, and new social life, or lack thereof.  Consistent training for both long and short runs.  Consistency will get you to the finish line. Surround yourself with a support system Finding friends who are training for a marathon can play a major role. They can provide you with emotional support, tips, and they can hold you accountable on those days you just don’t feel like running.  When I was training for the LA Marathon, I would schedule running dates with my friends.  Not everyone is up for running 8+ miles, so I would get a few extra miles in before meeting with them. You can try doing the same.  I did this a few times to build a support system as I slowly trained my body to run more than the previous long run.  Appreciate the solitude I am eternally grateful to my friend Randy for introducing me to the Beyonce Homecoming Album on Spotify. It was the perfect 2 hours I needed to get a long run in.  I learned to appreciate the solitude of long runs. I would dance and sing, and two hours would just fly.  Fuel your body Besides good music, you need to make sure you’re nourishing your body. I learned to eat ALL THE CARBS. Yep, that’s right. Carbs became my best friend. I would have lentil pasta for dinner and quinoa oats to fuel me.  My quinoa oats consist of a 1/2 cup of plain quinoa with 1 cup flax milk, 1 scoop of vegan protein powder, and chia seeds.  It provided me with enough carbs, protein, and energy to sustain me while I rocked out to Queen Bee.    Second-guessing running the marathon? Never in a million years did I think I would run a marathon. I always saw it as a far-fetched dream.  I HATED running. I would run 15-16 minute miles and never ran more than a mile. I got into running because my little sister convinced me to sign up for the Camp Pendleton Mud Run. It was all history from there.  Are you interested in running a marathon? Just sign up!  That’s right. It’s as simple as that.  Making the financial decision to sign up will be the accountability you need to start your training.   If you aren’t much of a runner and your goal is to one day run a marathon, sign up for a 10k. From there, sign up for a half marathon. You’ll be surprised at how attainable the goal is.  Remember to keep your eye on the prize.  You got this!   Abby Nava Guest Author Born and raised in Los Angeles, Abby Nava is the youngest of three sisters. Her parents migrated from Mexico to provide a better future for their children. She is a first-generation college graduate from Mount Saint Mary’s University. Working in the hospitality industry taught her to creatively find solutions while embracing the opportunity to meet and develop relationships. She has established her career in Real Estate as a Residential Real Estate agent at The Agency, a full-service elite Real Estate Agency that leads with integrity, innovation, and collaboration. She loves the spontaneity of the business and enjoys the never-ending learning nature of it. Abby is passionate about health and fitness and enjoys training for Spartan races and marathons.

RV Accessories Every RVer Should Have

RV Accessories One of the things I love the most about traveling in an RV is that you have your entire house with you. I literally have everything I need with me, and I am prepared for whatever the road throws at us.  To be prepared in an RV there are a few accessories you will need to get. I compiled a list of 20 RV accessories that every RVer should have.  Some of the accessories are for everyday living, routine maintenance, or just to be prepared.  We got all of our RV accessories on Amazon and I provided an image link for each product to facilitate your search for them.  Whether you’re a full-timer or only take your RV out for weekend trips, you will need these accessories.  Everyday Use Accessories Surge Guard – This identifies faulty power and provides surge protection. Windshield Cover – A windshield cover helps control the temperature and adds privacy to your RV.  Wheel Covers – You will want to protect your tires from the sun, especially if you are stationary for an extended time.  Battery Maintainer/Trickle Charger – You want to make sure to take care of your battery. If you are stationary for a while or in case you kill your battery this trickle charger is a great RV accessory to have. I recommend this Noco 10amp charger because of the features it has. Like being able to handle different battery types.      Inline Water Filter – (You can get the kit. or buy the items individually.) You want to protect your RV plumbing when connecting to the city water. Who knows what’s in the city water nowadays and our RVs were not built to handle the city water pressure.    Freshwater hose Water Pressure Regulator  Leveling System with Wheel Chock – This leveling system has made our RV leveling super easy!  We can easily adjust the height and drive up the ramps to level the RV. The only downside is having to buy the wood separately to assemble it.  Standard Level  RV Vent Insulator – Vent insulators help control the temperature of your RV and can reduce the light coming in when you want to sleep in late. Sewer Hose – Your RV may already have one, but if it doesn’t I recommend you get the one with the clear elbow. This will help when you are cleaning your tanks!  Sewer Hose Support – Some RV sites require that you have sewer hose support. This support also helps your tanks empty smoother.  Maintenance Accessories RV Toilet Treatment TST – Believe me your black water tanks and your noses will thank me for this one.  Flexible Swivel Stik – a lot of the newer RVs come with a system like this already built into the tanks, but if your RV doesn’t have this you risk clogging your tanks or simply not cleaning them properly, which in the long run will cause problems.  Water Heater Tank Rinser – This helps remove sediments from the bottom of the water heater. Routine maintenance will help extend the life of your RV water heater.  Being Prepared Accessories Air Compressor / Tire Pump    AMP Adaptor – Some RV sites will have a 30amp plug, so if your RV is 50amps you’ll need this adaptor.  Roadside Emergency Kit    First Aid Kit – If your fur babies come along for the adventure, they should have a first aid kit as well. The last time we went to the dessert our dog snagged and ripped off his entire nail. The kit helped us be able to get the bleeding under control and clean his wound properly.  Updated (10/1/2021) Shovel – This item was added to the RV accessories list after we found ourselves in a bit of a pickle. We drove into some sand that we should not have driven on and got stuck! I am adding a shovel as a must-have item because it can come in handy for multiple reasons while you are boondocking. Jerry purchased one with multiple uses because that’s just what he does, but a simple camping shovel would also get the job done. The shovel is also most helpful when you boondock.    Updated (10/1/2021) Emergency Traction – This traction aid would have been helpful the first time we got stuck in soft dirt. The best part about it is that it works in snow, mud, or sand. It works well in all seasons.    Comment below if there are any other “must-have” accessories we should include on the list.  I know RVs have limited space, and you may think that you don’t need all of these accessories, but you do! The RV accessories on this list are a MUST unless your RV already comes equipped with it.  The links I included are for the products we bought and tried. I’m sure there are other brands, but I wanted to add only products that we have personally tried. 

Easy One-pot Chili

Chili Recipe Our neighbor brought her Chili to a fourth of July block party, and it was a total hit. We asked her to tell us how she made it, thinking it was an elaborate recipe, but to our surprise, it required minimal cooking. Since then, I’ve done some experimenting with the recipe and made it my own.   You can add or take away some of the ingredients to make it your own also, but so far the recipe I am about to share has been the best version of this chili.  This easy one-pot chili can be enjoyed by everyone in as little as 20 minutes. My favorite thing about this recipe is that the prep work and cleaning are minimal!  How to cook the Chili  Most of the ingredients are ready to go. The prep time is approximately five (5) minutes to chop your onion, jalapenos, and sausage.  You will want to saute your onion and jalapenos before adding the sausage and ground beef.  I use a pot under medium heat and add the olive oil, onion, and jalapeno. I then add the sausage and then the ground beef. You’ll want to cover the pan and stir occasionally.  Once your beef has cooked, I recommend draining the grease, especially if you are not using lean ground beef.  Now, all you need to do is add the remaining ingredients. Mix them thoroughly and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer.  Serve your dish with any toppings you like and enjoy this easy one-pot chili.  Ways to Enjoy the Chili Here are a few different ways you can enjoy this chili. Side dish for a BBQ On top of a hot dog With Hawaiian rolls In a bowl with your choice of toppings  Ingredients .5 lb of ground beef (I usually get the lean grass-fed beef) 2 Evergood Hot Link Sausages 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil 1 cup of chopped white Onion   2 chopped Jalapenos (You can add more or less or add chopped Serrano chilies depending on your tolerance to spiciness)  2 15oz cans of Chilli Pinto Beans in Mild Souce  1 15oz can of diced tomatoes 1 8oz can of tomato sauce 1 packet of McCormick Chilli Seasoning-Original  Optional Toppings Chopped Green Onions Grated Cheddar cheese A spoon full of Sour Cream   Everyone can enjoy this Chili in as little as 20 minutes, and did I mention it is easy to make? It's a one-pot dish.

Behr vs. Beyond Paint Review

Best RV Remodeling Paint We decided to remodel our RV (our home) after reading an article that suggested that a home’s appearance can affect your mood and motivation. The goal was to make the RV less dark… more welcoming… more adventure-ready.  The painting was the least expensive, and it made a significant immediate difference. Also, we were living in our RV while we were remodeling, so I needed paint that required minimal work, would be convenient, and would give me more bang for my buck. I was looking for the best RV remodeling paint.  Beyond Paint Beyond Paint was highly rated and recommended for RV painting because it is an all-in-one paint. That means very little prepping is needed. I bought a 1-gallon and a pint of Bright White Beyond Paint. Beyond Paint can only be found online, has a limited variety of colors, was out of stock for weeks, and is more expensive than other brands. Overall, it was good, not excellent. The instructions recommend you do two coats of paint, but I had to do more than two coats to cover the area entirely. I probably did up to four coats in some areas. I am not sure if it was my painting skills or the paint itself, but it did not impress me.  I painted cabinets and walls in the RV and did minimal prep work. I cleaned the surfaces, and that was all. Beyond paint did cover everything and the finished product looks pretty good, but overall I was not a happy camper. Having to wait for the paint to be back in stock, then waiting for it to be mailed was a bit frustrating. I ran out of paint and still needed to do a few touchups, which meant waiting for more paint to be mailed. I would have rather the convenience of picking it up from a store when I needed it.  BEHR Paint BEHR Paint is exclusively sold at Home Depot and online, which can be limiting. However, they have a large selection of colors and even have a few specialty options. They have the all-in-one paint (highly recommend if you want to reduce your prep work), Scuff Defense, and Marquee – one coat guaranteed.  BEHR was more affordable than other brands, and in regards to its performance, it did a great job. I used two or three coats, depending on the surface. Again, I did minimal prep work and painted cabinets as well as walls. Having to do fewer coats definitely sped up the process and allowed me to finish painting faster. Let me remind you that we were living in the RV while trying to renovate – I loved that BEHR made it an easier and faster process.  I used the Scuff Defense to help with maintenance and even managed to find a color that matched my toaster! I used a total of three different colors by BERH and they all managed to cover the unsanded cabinets and walls.  Bottom Line – Which is Better When it comes to painting the interior of your RV, you want something easy to apply and durable. Between BEHR and Beyond Paint, BEHR is the best RV remodeling paint. BEHR requires fewer coats, sets faster, has a wide variety of options, and is less expensive. It gives you a better result for the price you pay.  Full disclosure, the comparison of BEHR and Beyond paint is coming from my personal experience. I am also not a professional. It was my first time using either of the brands. I’m learning as I go and sharing my opinion.  A detailed blog post about RV painting tips and tricks is soon to come.  What brand paint have you used and would recommend? 

10 Things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time

Things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time The main reason we decided to live in an RV was to save money. Our goal was to pay off any bad debt with the cash we would have used for rent. We did some research on RV-living, but I’ll admit it was not extensive research, and not everyone will tell you about the following ten things I wish I knew before living in an RV full-time.   Cleaning I thought cleaning would be easier since the space is smaller, but boy was I wrong! Less space does not mean you clean less; it means you’re cleaning less space more often.  Everything in your RV should have a place, and it should always be kept in that location or placed back when it is not in use. If you don’t follow this rule, your RV will start to look cluttered and dirty.  Rocking Even with stabilizers, there will be some rocking. Strong winds or walking around can cause rocking. Even our dog running around can cause rocking at times. It can be frustrating if you’re trying to sleep or focus on a task while the RV is just rocking away. You get used to it for the most part, but there is always a time or two when the rocking will get on your nerves.  Maintenance There is a lot of routine maintenance to be done. You have to complete all recommended vehicle care as you would on a car. You also have to stay on top of the routine maintenance for the generator and your general living area. Since we live in the RV and are traveling, we track and complete the engine maintenance ourselves. We can’t just take it to a mechanic because that would leave us homeless.  Generator maintenance is a requirement. Making sure you stay on top of this is essential, mainly when you rely on it for your power. You’ll want to make sure your generator is running smoothly. Your RV should have a handbook with information on generator maintenance. If not, you can Google the make and model and get some information. Lastly, your general living area has to be cleaned and prepped for travel. The gray and black water tanks must be cleaned, the propane gas must be filled, the awnings and slideouts must be inspected, and the list goes on and on. There is always something that needs to be taken care of, whether it’s cleaning or some type of repair. Maintenance has become part of our routine, but it’s still one of the things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time No Privacy Our little family was always in the same room when we lived in our townhome, so we figured privacy would not be an issue. Well, it’s not an issue, but we do miss some privacy. Our RV is 26ft and has one slideout. It’s a relatively small place. This means you can’t just leave the room if you need some silence. There are no secrets in the RV. The restroom is next to the bedroom, so there is some invasion of privacy even when using the bathroom. You have to be comfortable with sharing and being open about everything because there is zero privacy. Storage Capacity RVs look like they have a lot of storage, but they are actually limited in storage capacity. This is even more true when moving into an RV from a bigger home. You will always have too many belongings. I recommend living a minimalistic lifestyle or getting used to routinely purging out any items you do not use. Like I said previously, everything in an RV should have its place, and if it doesn’t, it does not belong in the RV because it will become clutter. Inconvenient Storage Compartments Some storage compartments are in the weirdest places, like under a couch. While adding storage under the sofa makes sense to maximize storage, it can also be inconvenient to move the entire couch to get into that area. Make sure to place your items in a logical place. If you use your pots and pans every day, putting them in that hard-to-get storage place probably doesn’t make sense. Also, most of the storage compartments are placed above shoulder level. That may not matter for tall folks, but it can be annoying for shorter people like myself (I am 5ft tall). Insulation Many RVs are manufactured with minimal insulation. Minimal insulation means that the heat is extra hot, the cold is extra cold, and noises are not muffled. Prepare to have a loud air conditioner during those hot summers, and sometimes you’ll still be sitting there wishing it was cooler. Refrigerator Temperature The temperature is not always accurate. The refrigerator temperature can be affected by the temperature outside. If it’s hot out, it will have a more challenging time keeping things cold. Sometimes the freezer will seem like it should be colder, but the fridge will be freezing things. I like to keep a thermometer inside the refrigerator at all times to make sure the temperatures are within limits for the food. We’ve had other annoyances with the fridge, like periodically defrosting the refrigerator because the freezer builds up a lot of ice in the back. This comes back to maintenance as well… you want to make sure you do checks on the temperature sensor inside and make sure the back is cleaned out. Appliance Size Appliance size sounds like a weird one, but it’s something to consider. The refrigerator and the stove are much smaller in an RV. I have to think about what I will buy for groceries because not everything will fit. I also had to buy new baking sheets, because my regular ones were too big for the oven. Further, the stove temperature for baking is never correct, so we have a thermometer in there as well. Again, this is something you can get used to, but it can also be annoying.  RVs Are Not Made for Full-time Living I love living in our RV, and it has helped us lower our cost of living – which is fantastic – but RVs were not made for full-time living. RVs are manufactured fast and cheaply. They have little insulation, are not everyday living functional, will wear and tear easily, and you should be ready to do some DIY repairs and updates. It’s the little things that things I wish I knew before living in an RV Full-time. I would have been able to better prepare.  Would anything on my list be a deal-breaker for you?   

3 Ways to Help Reduce The Temperature In Your RV

Reduce the Temperature in your RV Is it just me, or does it feel like this year has been hotter than previous years? We live full-time in our RV, and like most RVs, the insulation is horrible. We found three easy and affordable ways to reduce the heat inside our RV.  Vent Covers Adding some insulation is the first thing that came to mind. I got three Camco RV Vent Insulator And Skylight Covers with Reflective Surface on Amazon, but you can also find them in Walmart, Home Depot, or any RV parts store. The only skylight we did not cover was the one in the restroom – for obvious reasons.  I love the skylight insulator covers. They do a great job at reducing the direct sun heat, and if you want some natural light, you can easily remove them. They will also work great when winter comes along.  Heat Control Window Film  I’ve seen many people use reflective foil to help reduce the heat coming in from the windows. While I’m sure that works great, I didn’t want to block off my windows completely. So, we opted for a window film. It took me about 20 minutes per window, but I’m sure it can be done even faster by someone that is handier than me.  I used the Gila Platinum Window Film. It is meant to block up to 72% of the sun’s heat, blocks 99% of UV rays, and helps retain winter heat. The best part is that I still have a full view of the outside!  Blackout Curtain Linear   I am in the middle of decorating our RV, which means I get to experiment with our decorations’ looks and functionality.  I found the cutest sheer curtains, but they don’t prevent people from looking into the RV. So, I added a blackout curtain liner that helps block out over 99% of outside light. It reduces heat and unwanted noise. The curtains look good and work great.   Dividers The heat control window film and the blackout curtains are similar, so here is another trick that helps reduce the temperature in our RV.  While we are stationary, we block off the cabin area. We use a windshield cover and a curtain to divide the cabin area from the rest of the RV. The curtain divider helps the heat from the cabin stay there, and it reduces the square footage the AC has to cover.  Do you have other tips on how to reduce the temperature in your RV?