Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Keeping Jewelry in a Camper

When living in a house I had this large standup jewelry armoire that was filed with jewelry.  The first step was to decide what I really needed.  I packed the rest for storage (see how I did that here).  What I decided to take with I put in a ThirtyOne jewelry holder that I used to use for traveling.  It is small but holds each piece of jewelry in a small fabric pouch inside.

Is RV Toilet Paper Really Necessary?

I wanted to know if RV toilet paper is really necessary in a camper or if we could use the same toilet paper we used while living in a house.  The toilet paper on the right is RV toilet paper and the toilet paper on the left is Members Mark toilet paper form Sam's Club.  I took the same number of sheets and put them in water.  After about an hour I stirred both gently.  After a full day I compared the two.  I couldn't notice a difference.  I asked my significant other if he noticed any difference and he didn't either. 

We had already purchased a lot of the RV toilet paper but when that ran out we started using the Sam's Club one again and had no problems.  Now I must say that our camper is newer and has a very nice septic system so I'm not sure if everyone will have this same experience with using regular toilet paper but this has been our experience.

Camper Modifications

I wanted to write a post about the modifications I made to the camper while we still lived in our fifth wheel but honestly I was just to busy having fun.

Below are simple pictures and explanations of what we did.

I have a post about this kitchen modification here.

A post about the vent modification here.

A post about creating a place to do my makeup here.

I installed a new shower head (Oxygenics® BodySpa Handheld Shower Head).  It was about $40 and it is much better than the old one.  I also put a mount lower for my son who is 6 years old so that it is at a more convenient place for him.

Under one of the bunks that fold up there was originally a couch, however when we purchased the camper the couch had already been removed.  We put storage cubes on each side and made a desk.  Since we work from home this desk was a must for us.

This one is simple.  Add a command hook behind the toilet to hang the toilet wand.

With some unused wall space I created a command center for us as well as a storage area.  I used ThirtyOne organizing pouches on the wall that I already had before.  I added a "Menu" page and an "I Love You Because" page to the organizer because I could use an expo marker to change it whenever needed.  I also used Trone organizers from IKEA to hold shoes and other items.

More kitchen organization!  I used command hooks to hang measuring cups and pot holders,  I used a label maker to print out the size of each cup and put it next to each hook.

I used zip ties whenever we traveled to make sure the cabinets didn't open while on the road.  I learned the hard way about doing this because the first trip we took we opened up the fifth wheel after a day of driving to find all my Pyrex baking dishes had fell out of the cabinet above the refrigerator and there was glass everywhere.

I added shelves above the windows so that there is extra storage while parked.  The shelves are from IKEA.  They are actually picture ledges that I cut to size.

I hung up stuffed animal storage in each bunk.  My kids have tons of stuffed animals they like to play with but I didn't want them on the bed all the time taking up space.  I bought it from Amazon for $15 for both of them.  The pink bed organizer is from IKEA for $4.

I made curtains for the kids' bunks.  I used a shower curtain to hang them up and just bought fabric and sewed a curtain.  This way the kids have some sense of privacy.

These were just some of the camper modifications we did to make living in a camper more comfortable and convenient. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

South Haven, Michigan

This weekend there was a four day weekend for the kids due to a school in service day and Columbus Day. We decided to take a trip with our new fifth wheel. It is about 10 feet shorter than the old one we lived in and also weighs much less. We chose to go to South Haven, Michigan which is about 3 hours from home. 

We stayed at the KOA in Covert so South Haven was only a 15 minute drive. We did not bring the kids on this trip so we were able to do more adult friendly activities. We went to the Arclight Brewing Company in Watervliet, the Great Mead Brewing Company in Bangor, and the Coppercrast Distillery in Saugatuck. There were lots of wineries and vineyards in the area but we decided to still with local beer and liquor.

Besides drinking we went to downtown South Haven, which has a ton of cute stores. We went to the beach in South Haven where we saw the lighthouses. For lunch we ate at Taste, which is known for having small plates. We ordered 5 different plates and shared them. I wish we had went there for dinner because the restaurant seemed like more of a dinner place rather than a lunch place. 

We went to a Chili Cookoff in Saugatuck. For $.50 we could sample chili from each contestant. It was so delicious. We then walked to all the downtown shops in Saugatuck, which were similar to the shops in South Haven. 

We went to ATVing one afternoon. It was $100 a person per hour. Unfortunately I'm inexperienced in riding and I hit the back of Cody's ATV. The damage, which we had to pay for, was $1300. Ouch!  We spent more paying for that than we did on the whole trip. I'm lucky I wasn't hurt. Cody didn't get upset about the cost and we even laughed about it afterwards. I think we were both just thankful that it wasn't worse. The owner said that the amount of damage was in the top 3 that they have ever had there. I don't think I'm going to go ATVing anymore. 

Overall the trip was fun!  It was a few days of relaxing in a very laid back part of Michigan. No stress, no busyness. We will definitely be going back. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Change in Plans

Four months ago we started this incredible adventure of living in a fifth wheel.  There were many reasons we decided to live in a fifth wheel (read about them here), however a few situations have changed and it no longer made sense to live in the fifth wheel.  We have purchased our first home together.  That does not mean our fifth wheel adventures end here though.  We already have a trip planned for next week with the fifth wheel.

Let me explain why living in our fifth wheel no longer made sense for our family.

Our main reason to live in a fifth wheel was to save money.  In the time that we lived in the fifth wheel we saved an additional $10,000 to put towards a house.  On top of that since we bought a house we traded in our 2014 Keystone Avalanche for a 2005 Forest River Flagstaff.  The price difference meant $21,000 in our pocket.  So we had an additional $31,000 saved since May.

Living closer to family was a big reason for living in the fifth wheel.  We did live on the farm with Cody's parents but my parents, two sisters, brother, niece and nephew all lived about 20 minutes away.  We ended up buying a house in the town that my family lives in.  Now our kids go to the same school that my niece and nephew go to and my son is actually in the same class as his cousin.  Family is even closer than I originally thought.

Another reason for living in a fifth wheel was to start planting roots.  We were under the impression that we would be building a house on Cody's family farm however we realized those pans would not be able to happen and rather than continue to live in the fifth wheel and have the kids start school in that town we decided it would be best to look for a permanent house so the kids wouldn't have to change schools again.

Lastly, a goal of living in a fifth wheel was to simplify our lives.  We wanted to not have our lives be consumed by things.  It was such an eye opening experience living in the fifth wheel and seeing how little we really needed to be just as happy.  We will continue to let God fill us up rather than material things.

As I already said, our journey with a fifth wheel is not over just because we don't sleep in it every night.  We still travel for work and we still work remotely so traveling is something that is very much a part of our lives.  We will continue to keep this blog alive and share our adventures.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I Will Not Let the Devil Steal My Joy

Ever since I've been young I have been embarrassed to wear a swimsuit. I don't know why or where this insecurity stems from. I remember being a teenager and loving the pool but hating having to wear a swimsuit. When I bought my first home I purchased a pool so that I didn't have to go to the public pool anymore. Being in a swimsuit in public just made me uncomfortable.

It's not that I'm insecure with how I look. My weight has fluctuated over the years but I've always been happy with my body regardless if I was a little bigger or when I was most fit training for a marathon. 

I sold my house over a year ago so anytime since then I've had to swim in public, which meant being seen by people in a swimsuit. I love my body I just hate swimsuits on my body. Always have. So swimming is always my least favorite thing to do. 

I don't want to be a downer when I'm with the kids so anytime they want to swim I suck it up and put on my dreaded swimsuit and a happy face. The whole time I'm not as happy as I could be. 

I started to ponder why I let myself feel this way. Being insecure in a swimsuit was affecting how much fun I had with my kids. That's when I decided that I WILL NOT LET THE DEVIL STEAL MY JOY.  

The insecurities I had were not coming from God, they were thoughts the devil placed in my head when I was younger and I let those thoughts manifest so much that I was unhappy wearing a swimsuit. No more. I decided I would no longer care how I looked in a swimsuit.

That was almost a year ago and although I still hear the devil try to convince me to care how my arms look a bit flabby in a particular swimsuit or another makes my thighs look big I instantly tell myself that I'm perfect how I am and I will not let thoughts from the devil make me feel any different. 


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Myrtle Beach to Charlotte, North Carolina to Homer, Illinois

Thursday was our last morning at Myrtle Beach. We left at 10am and headed for Charlotte for a work meeting.   We went to see one of our manufacturers that we represent and took a tour of the plant that is located in Charlotte. The kids went to a daycare in Charlotte during that time.

The trip from Myrtle Beach to Charlotte was only 3.5 hours but from Charlotte home it was about 11 hours.  Lots of driving but luckily the kids are so well behaved while traveling that it is just long, not stressful.

Our trip was amazing.  We had so much fun.  Thank you Lord for giving us this opportunity to travel and make memories.