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living with less

Breanna's Journal

Moving Into The Bus

josiah-driving

11 Days in a Bus

It has really been crazy living in our school bus for the last week & a half. We love it. We hate it. We never regret it. The 9th of September we set out on our voyage to Campbellsville, KY. It took us in total about 8 hours between two days to get to the place we now call home. On Friday night we slept at a truckstop in Seymour, KY. At about noon on Saturday we arrived at Green River Stables where we will be staying till the end of December.
Once we picked our spot, the fun began! I have been waiting for this moment for months. Finally, I could decorate and place all our knick knacks on display from past travels. It took about 3 hours to get everything set up in just the right place. Over the next week we would spend time reorganizing + pitching things that we just didn’t have room for. There’s several ten minute projects that we would continue throughout the week. Some of those projects were; leveling out the bus, putting more caulk on the roof (specifically on the screws), leak proofing the plumbing to the sink, mounting the tv, & hanging up the curtains.

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While here, we will be working for Amazon in one of their fulfillment centers as pickers. Hopefully we can make some decent money while here and leave with some great memories. Everyone that we have met so far has loved the bus. We expected a lot of hate from the Rvers parked around us who have spent well over 40K on their rigs. The only rude comment we received was “Do you have air conditioning in your bus?” Anyone could tell from simply passing our bus that we do, since we have a vent out the drivers windows. Apparently, the guy told Josiah he was worried about our dogs, as if we would leave them in a hot bus all day. That really upset me, because I would never do that any animal + especially not my furbabies.


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On that note, our dogs seem to really love it here. We have an end spot so there’s not too much traffic our way & they get to explore the woods and trails often since they’re only a minutes walk away. They’ve been getting along great. I do think their favorite part was the drive, because they would occasionally stick their head out the window, even on the highway.
Overall, the bus has been fun for last 11 days, we have deff thought of high tailing it home, but we won’t give up that quick. We know this is the life we want to be able to travel & not spend our life working away. I’m sure as the days go on, we will learn to love our bus more & more.

Till next time,
XOXO Breanna

Captains Log

Star Date 4-25-16

Ok well it has been some time since I last made a post. Lots has been going on with the bus and our lives in general. If you haven’t seen the latest video about the bus getting a tow to a shop to get the ignition wiring straightened out here is the link.

Now that you are caught up with the bus and our newly planned trip to Europe! Here are the other things that have been happening as I have been delayed in updating the blog. House is going up for sale in the coming weeks. We have been doing little updates to make it look nice for the new owners such as swapping out the gold hardware for silver, fixing and painting the fence, and also starting to prep for paint.

The plan is that come around June 1st we are hoping to move into the bus and live in it in my parents driveway while we continue to work at our jobs for a another month. This will allow us to have the house up for sale with it being completely empty and dog free. Hopefully we will meet our deadlines that we have set up as there is still a lot of work to do to make it all happen but it sure is coming along nicely.

Just wanted to give a bit of an over view as to what has been going on and what some of our plans are. I will be posting more information as far as Europe ‘16 trip and bus info in the coming weeks. Just need to get everything moving and it should all fall into place. Thanks for reading and following our life adventure!

School Bus Conversion Videos

Gym Floor Counter Top in a School Bus!

So we picked up a used master bath vanity that will become our new kitchen cabinets. As well as our kitchen counter top which will be a piece of gym flooring. Its cool on multiple levels but also sticks with the theme quite well. I mean recess, school bus, and now gym flooring. LOL

Veggie Life

Vegan Protein

What about protein???

So many people have asked me, “where do you get your protein?” It really surprises me that out of everything this is what people care about. They don’t ask about the animal suffering or about the disappearing rainforest, but they sure do care about protein. Don’t get me wrong, being healthy and getting the right nutrients is important to me, but living in a society that is overweight and unfit, I’m surprised and slightly annoyed to hear such questions. No one has ever cared about my protein before going vegan, so I’m not sure why this is so important now. But anyways, this is how I get it.

Breanna

I didn’t stop eating meat because I didn’t like the flavor, I quit, because the animals suffering for my food didn’t set right with me. This is why I turn to mock meats for a lot of my protein. There are several options out there such as Beyond Meat, Beast Burgers, Gardein, Field Roast, and Tofurky. These are just some of the brands that can be found at your local grocer. These are all very popular in my household and get added to our meals daily. The best part is, you don’t have to waste tons of money at whole foods on these products, I have purchased several of these from Walmart + Meijer at cheaper prices than the cost of meat.

Also, these mock meats can be treated just like animal meat. Just last weekend, Josiah & our roommate Scott made skewers with the Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages. They were delicious with some zucchini and bell peppers. Another favorite mock meal of ours is spaghetti and meatballs. We bought veggie pasta from Walmart and used Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs. It turned out absolutely delicious. For all the burger fans out there, Beast Burgers are awesome 1/4 lb burgers that actually contain more protein than regular burgers at 23 grams per burger. They’re easy to cook in the oven, in a skillet, and of course you can toss them on the grill. One more favorite of ours would be Gardein’s Fishless Fish Fillets. Bake those in the oven and top with vegan tartar sauce, a squeeze fresh lemon, add a side of rice + veggies and there you go. So delicious.

Besides mock meats, lentils and beans also are loaded up with protein. A quick look at the package will tell you exactly how much depending on the type. I personally like black beans and great northern beans the best, which have about 15 grams of protein per cup. Check out this link healthaliciousness.com, as it lists 37 different types of legumes and their protein values.

Not only do I get my protein from mock meats, lentils, and beans, but also from protein powder. YES, they do make vegan protein powder. Who knew? Vega is one of the most popular brands out there for protein powder, I currently use Blenditup. I throw it in the blender with a bunch of fruit & almond milk.

I honestly believe that since going vegan and eating the different mock meats, we have become better cooks + we eat better tasting food. Josiah is an awesome cook to begin with, but since we have been forced to try new food, our cooking skills have drastically improved.  If you could eat amazing food, get the right nutrients, not contribute to animal suffering + environmental pollution, why wouldn’t you?

Captains Log

Minimalism & My Sweater

So I have actually decided that I am going to go deeper into minimalism than I had originally thought. I am going to go more into this in another video however because I have just found out about the capsule wardrobe. So more on that later.

Breanna's Journal Europe

Best of Europe

Everyone keeps asking me what my favorite part of Europe was and I just can’t decide on one!

SOOO. I decided to write my top favorites from each country!

Breanna-with-horse-gaurd

LONDON

  • Going to the Borough Market. There was so much delicious food everywhere. This is where I go to try the Egyptian food for the first time & have been craving it ever since. It the biggest and best farmer’s market I have ever been to.
  • I’m not sure where we were, but we were on the other side of the channel + directly across from Tower of London at a viewing of an important soccer match. There were a couple pop-up bars and furniture space out for people to mingle. This is where I had the best falafel ever. It was a beautiful night out and we felt totally in with the locals.
  • During a tour one day, we had a 45 min break to go have lunch. While everyone else was headed to Express Pizza or Prett a Manger, we wanted to go to an authentic english pub. The guide directed up towards a place we would some delicious fish + chips. Not only did we receive fish & french fries, but very bland guacamole or green mash potatoes as well. We eventually found out about the mushy peas & laughed it off.

Notice all my favorites are surrounded by food LOL

PRAGUE

  • While being in Prague we had an awesome Jewish Quarter tour. Our guide was awesome + we wish he could have been our personal guide for our whole trip. There was some powerful history with us that day & it felt like the old city felt alive. Learning about people from such a different period of time and being able to see the same exact buildings as they did, was crazy!!!!!!
  • I never thought one of my best moments about Prague would be drinking Lemonade, but the lemonade here was fantastic!!! Nowhere at home can I find Lavender or Elderflower Lemonade. Josiah + I spent our evening in Old Town staring at the Astronomical Clock drinking different lemonades.
  • Staying in the hostel was one experience I will never forget. We stayed at Ritchie’s Hostel, the best part was that we were in a great location off the main street Karlova and in 2 minute walking distance to the Charles Bridge. Not only was it super cheap, but we got to meet other travelers as well.

 

ROME

  • Going to the Colosseum was one of the most exciting things on our trip. It was crazy to think about the events that happened there. There was an aura in the air from all the past history. Pictures of the Colosseum just don’t do it justice. Not only did we take a bike tour past it, but also got to take a guided tour inside as well. We got to look down into the depth of the center & see where the cages would have been filled with medieval animals.
  • While in Rome we stayed with Christina who we found through Airbnb. Her and awesome dog welcomed us with open arms. At this time I was feeling pretty homesick and missing my own puppies, so this came at a great time. Staying with others not only let us meet new people but also let us stay in authentic neighborhoods. Most locals in Rome knew English, but not everyone in the Sant Antonio did. It was awesome. This was a non-tourist area & had the best Tiramisu I have ever had in my life. 2 blocks away from Christina’s home was Bar Pompi. This place is like heaven for any tiramisu + speciality coffee drinker like me.
  • All the food here was also very delicious. They used wonderful spices and we really felt like we were eating ethnic food. The places closer to tourist attractions and pretty steep, but if you go a little outside the center then you can find delicious cheap food.

PARIS

  • Paris is by the far, the most beautiful place I have ever been to. If there was one thing I could change about our trip it would be, spending more time in Paris. Keep in mind that our flight there got delayed by 18 hours. Before visiting we had heard that Paris may not be a very friendly place, but that was just the opposite. Everyone was very friendly, and it was just one beautiful city. From our Air B&B we had a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
  • The food. OMG. The food was nothing short of outstanding. We tried snails, pastries, frogs legs, and macaroons. I also had a goat cheese salad that had roasted potatoes. While on our bike ride we stopped for ice cream. While everyone picked the usual chocolate, I had lavender. YES, LAVENDER ICE CREAM + IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HAD.
  • Josiah also planned one of the best bike rides I have ever been on. We used Big Fat Tire Bike Tours. Not only did we get to ride bikes by the Louvre, but the bike ride also included a river boat tour as well that drifted past the Eiffel Tower while we drank wine. The next time I am in Paris we will definitely book one of their bike tours again.

Dublin

Keep in mind we were only in Dublin for about 12 hours for a layover, but we also had many good times here.

Dublin

  • 1. It was kinda crazy getting a Taxi in Dublin. We had no idea that they often do not accept credit cards, unlike what we experience in the other countries. The driver gave us a ride home and we literally gave him everything we had & it still wasn’t enough cash.
  • We tried fish & chips in a bag from a local fast food joint, because by the time we were able to get on the bus it was already past nine + we couldn’t find anywhere else to serve us food. So we sat on a random stoop at ate the meal from the paper bag. As we made our way down town, we were able to get some drinks & see the crowded bars. One lesson we did learn is that soda is not included in the price of a drink. For example, I ordered a gin + tonic and received a mini Shepps bottle and a glass with a shot of gin + some ice. I ended up paying separately for the tonic, almost doubling my price of drink. Shots it is next time then.
  • Not only did we take a taxi home, but we took a bike taxi. It was so cool. We even convinced our driver to stop at McDonalds. Even though we were staying a couple miles from downtown, the biker ensured us he could make it, and he did. I still don’t believe he knew far really we were going, but the ride was awesome.
  • In the morning before we went to the airport we quickly went downtown and tried to get to Guinness brewery. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let us go to the gift shop because it was part of tours only. We just didn’t have the time to go on a tour due to our flight schedule.
Breanna's Journal

We Collect Lapel Pins

Our Minimal Souvenirs

We are just like everyone else & want to have something we can take home with us to help remember our trips. But being minimalist we really try not to buy to much of the touristy junk. Every once in awhile I will get a t-shirt or we will find something from a local craftsman. We never though buy a t-shirt just to have a t-shirt from there. Only if the item can be used on a regular basis or can be used for decorating our home, then do we buy it.

There is one thing we always try and bring home from our trips and that is a lapel pin. Whenever we go somewhere we search shops in order to find these unique pin. Every pin is different and reminds of us of where we have been. The pins work for us because they’re cheap, small, and easy to organize. We have pins from almost all our trips. The only places we don’t have them from are Myrtle beach, Lake Delevan, Lake Geneva, Cocoa Beach, and the Dells. Some tourists shops just don’t have them sadly.

On our last trip to Florida we were able to get several. We bought 1 Universal Studios, 2 Islands of Adventure, 1 from the Kennedy Space Center,and 2 from Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Pins do add up quickly. Currently we have 33 pins. As we see it, it is easier to have 33 pins than 33 coffee mugs.

To display all of our lapel pins Josiah & I picked up some canvas from a local fabric store, inserted 2 doll rods, and sewed all the sides together. It was easy, cheap, and handmade. We can roll it up when we want to store it away. We have the rope that was supposed to be used at our wedding ceremony tied around  it to keep it shut. Below is a picture of our canvas!

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We have them all in chronological order so we can easily see the timeline of all the travels we have gone on. This canvas is really special to us because it displays all the adventures we have been on together. While we are traveling on the bus we plan to pick up as many lapel pins as we can along the way.

Captains Log

Star Date 11-13-15

I put new rear shocks on the jeep the other day I also was going to do the front but ordered the wrong ones. I ended up going with Rancho 9000 Xl and am very happy with them so far and cannot wait to get the fronts done. Overall the process was very simple just a pain in the ass with the tires being so large but was able to work around that by propping them up on my legs lol.

Jeep tire change

Breanna said it best “Your Shit Will Set You Free” we have been doing a great job at downsizing our life. Getting rid of stuff has been a very easy process for myself. There are very few items that hold so much sentimental value that prevents me from getting rid of it. I almost feel that I have been living a minimalistic lifestyle to some degree for quite some time without even knowing it.

We also haven’t made it down to the basement where I keep items I don’t use frequently. We are planning on downsizing the basement in the spring when we move into the bus. However most items that are down there will be coming along as it is our camping gear and other outdoor items. However I am looking forward to getting rid of the items that will not be coming with us. Such as one of the dumbest items a 150 gallon fish tank that I never got set up.

I will be writing a post about my decision to move towards a meatless diet but wanted to just share a quick update about that. It’s HARD if you didn’t guess that already! However it is not impossible as there are so many options with meatless substitutes. I wish it was as simple as downsizing our possessions.

Breanna's Journal

Your Shit Will Set You Free

Throw it out. Donate it. Give it away. Whatever you do, just get rid of it.

Shit, that’s all it is. It fills up our homes, life, and time.

Last spring we decided to do some clearing out & we haven’t stopped since then. This past month alone we have made five trips to Goodwill.  Last spring when we went through we thought we had cleaned out everything we didn’t need. We had a huge carload full of clothes, kitchen utensils, books, and so much more. Everyday I find more things around my home that I don’t use enough to be worth keeping. Every time I put something to the side to get donated, I’m relieved. Having so much stuff can be stressful. I never realized that I had accumulated so many unnecessary things.

Breanna-Give-Away

(Sifting through random soap samples.)

I love shopping, just like any other girl. My mom used to take me clothes shopping all the time when I was in high school. I’ve always had nice clothes and worn brand named labels. Once I got my first job at Olive Garden (where Josiah + I met), I continued to spend money on clothes, shoes, and makeup. I never realized how much money I was pissing away on material things. I could have used that money to go on vacation, but instead I was just getting immediate gratification from having a new pair of kicks. Downsizing my closet has been the hardest thing for me when it comes to being a minimalist. I spent my hard-earned money on those clothes, how could I dare just hand them off? I had clothes in my closet with the tags still on them. I told myself I haven’t gotten enough use out of them to donate them. But I did. Because I knew if I hadn’t worn them by now, I wasn’t going to. I had to stop lying to myself. Telling myself, “I’ll wear that ‘next time’.” Because when “next time” rolled around I’d wear one of my usual favorites. I’m down to four pairs of jeans, and that’s not very many for a girl who is used to having a closet full. I know there’s more clothes in my closet I can donate, I’m just not “ready yet”, but I will be soon.

I found a lot of items in the kitchen to donate. There’s only four people living in my house & yet we have 10 plates, why? Why do we have 12 pots of different sizes? I only have two burners ever going at the same time. Just so much extra stuff. 10 bowls, 23 glasses and coffee mugs, 50 pieces of mismatching Rubbermaid containers, 3 spatulas, 3 loaf pans, 5 different cupcake pans, 3 pizza trays, random gadgets, and way to much silverware. I had to tell myself my cupcakes would taste just as good if they’re the classic round or in a butterfly shape.

Breanna Give Away

(Do I wear all of this jewelry?)

It’s not easy, but it makes life easier. Now when I go out to the bar, I don’t have to spend so long trying to figure out what I want to wear, because I love everything I have. I don’t have to decide which eyeshadow, because I only have one palette to choose from.  It makes life simpler having only what I really need and find important. Now I’m constantly slimming down whatever I can. Like today I cleaned out two file holders and twenty pens. There is no reason to have so much stuff just taking up valuable space. I now have made it a challenge for myself to see what else I can toss into the donate pile.

The one area we have not gone through yet and slimmed down is the basement. We honestly don’t have that much stuff in our basement. It’s just going to be a big pain going through packed away camping gear and filled tool boxes. We are saving it for a snowy day this winter when we are locked inside the house when we are unable to work on the bus or jeep.

So I challenge you, donate what you can this holiday season. & only buy what you truly need to on Black Friday. Just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should.

It’s not a sale, if you don’t need it.