Preparing for Travel

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Although it’s true we’ve decided it’s time to get off the road, we do have plans to travel at least one more time before settling down for good! And since we plan to travel, we need to prepare!

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will take the truck in to be serviced and check to see that everything on the RV is in working order as well!

First, we’ll pack up those things we don’t use every day, donating that which we no longer need or use anymore!

The packing part is my biggest challenge! Figuring out what to keep, and what goes is difficult – especially since I have a minimalists point of few, and I live with a mother who is a bit of a pack rat!

Todays challenge: clear out the cupboard above our sink!

I recently found a set of 4 plastic wine goblets we have yet to use in our 3 plus years on the road! Seriously?!? Out they go!

So, with that said, I’m off to clear out a cupboard!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

Experimenting with Freeze Dried Foods

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We all know when it comes to food, ‘fresh is always best!’

However, when you’re living in a 22 foot RV, with a fridge the size of a shoe box, you don’t have the freezer space to keep foods cold. So, we had to look at other options!

Canned goods seemed to be the answer until we started considering two things,

First, we found that most canned goods have additives and preservatives that our bodies were never meant to digest! And second, was the added weight of the canned goods during travel!

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Canned goods add water weight…

For example – we have a 20 gallon fresh water tank… when that tank is full, we are carrying an additional 216 pounds of added weight! That’s a lot of excess weight! So, keeping that in mind, store bought canned goods was not a good option!

We did consider dehydrating our foods, but again, we had to think about storage space! We just didn’t have the space to bring along our favorite dehydrator...

Food - Excalibur Deydrator

So, we brought along our smaller dehydrator instead.

Be that as it may, dehydrating our favorite foods can take up to 14 hours at a time, and while a good option, it just doesn’t fit our current needs!

So, we found another option – freeze-dried foods!

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Yet once again, after doing some research on freeze drying, we found that the driers were way out of our price range! Not to mention, the size and weight of said driers was daunting, considering the size of our camper and the lack of storage space!

Be that as it may, all was not lost!

We found a company that offers simple, clean, freeze dried  foods!

Our prayers were answered!

Now, we have the option to enjoy REAL food, without all the additives and preservatives, or the added weight to our travel payload!

When we got our first box of freeze dried goodness, we were amazed!

But we had to ask ourselves, would these new found treasures stand up in the kitchen?

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Thus began our experimenting!

We first began with the simplest of meals… a baked potato topped with ground beef and broccoli.

Pretty tasty, and very easy to make, for a healthy nutritional meal on the run! The ground beef was a nice change up from the usual bacon bits.

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Our next experiment was a side dish of steamed green beans, onions, and red bell peppers! Also very tasty! You can find the recipe on our post Steamed Green Beans with Red Peppers.

Thrive Life Recipe - Steamed Green Beans

Another homestead favorite, is our Shredded Beef Sandwich Recipe. Just as enjoyable and very easy to make. You simply add together shredded beef, onion slices and red bell peppers with a few other ingredients, and viola, you have another quick, delicious meal on the table!

If you want to try it, you can find the recipe here!

Thrive Life - Shreaded Beef Sandwich

For my next experiment, I’m thinking of trying a cheesy, broccoli soup! I’ll let you know how it turns out! For now, it’s time to get back into the kitchen!

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

P.S. (Thank you for using my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and really appreciate your support ❤)

How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise

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Making your own homemade mayo is easier than you think!

Having to deal with digestive issues most of my life, I learned the hard way that not all things we call food are actually good for us!

Take mayo for example...

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and really checked the labels to see what goes into some of those cans or jars we call food?

Look at the ingredients on this jar… while there are items that are actually food, additives and preservatives have been added… some which are man-made and our bodies were never meant to digest!

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In truth, real mayo only needs 3 ingredients! And if made with the right oils, it is an excellent way to add more healthy fats to your diet!

While this recipe is very easy to make, it does require patience. You want to pour the oil into the blender, very slowly...

I have used a standard mixer, but it does not seem to get up to the speed you need to create the fluffy, creamy goodness that you are used to seeing in the jarred versions at the store.

Using a blender (here’s my personal favorite) helps make lite work of this recipe, but since mine is currently out of commission, I use my ‘stick mixer.’ The recipe turns out just as great, but I do find that a third hand is helpful to hold the mason jar still while I hold the mixer and pour the oil into the jar!

Homemade Mayonnaise

What you will need:

  • 1  whole egg
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Here’s the low down on how to make mayonnaise:

  • Put the egg and apple cider vinegar in a blender. Keep the blender on and pour the oil into the blender very slowly. The oil should thicken with the egg as you pour the oil.

Cooks Tips

  • Some find that using extra virgin olive oil is a bit too strong in its taste. However, I personally like it, plus, I find that most light tasting oils are over processed.
  • To kick things up a notch, try using avocado or macadamia oil.
  • A third hand is always necessary when using a hand or ‘stick’ blender.
  • You can store your mayo in the fridge about a week.
  • Use lemon juice instead of the apple cider vinegar to make a delicious lemon mayonnaise.
  • Change up the flavor of your mayo by adding in your favorite seasonings.
  • Use your healthy mayo to dip your veggies, make a delicious salad dressing or make deviled eggs.
  • If it didn’t thicken as you would have hoped, all is not lost! Use it as a sauce over your grilled chicken, burgers or fish!

See how easy it is to make your own mayo! You can have so much fun with this recipe AND it’s healthy!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~Sheri

Shredded Beef Sandwich Recipe

Thrive Life - Shreaded Beef Sandwich

Let’s face it! We love making sandwiches, but even more so, we enjoy eating them!

It’s nice when a recipe is tasty, and even better when it’s easy!

Once again, I am using some of my freeze dried canned goods to make this delicious and oh so easy recipe! Using our shredded beef and veggies, I can make this recipe in only 15 minutes!

Simply toss the shredded beef in a pan and get it going with the onions, red bell peppers and the ‘to die for’ sauce!

Simply stir up the soy sauce, tomato paste, garlic and beef broth.

Soak the meat and veggies in the savory sauce, toss it in a bun, and get your grub on!

It’s an excellent recipe for lunch and dinner, or even a quick throw-together meal as you’re heading out the door to work or soccer practice!

What you need:

  • 2 cups Shredded Beef
  • 1 cup Onion Slices
  • 1 cup Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • Steak or Hoagie rolls, split and warmed
  • Slices of provolone cheese (or which ever cheese your prefer)

Here’s the low-down on how to make it:

  • In a medium sauce pan, combine the shredded beef, onions, red bell peppers, beef broth, tomato paste, soy sauce, and garlic. Simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced. Spoon on rolls and top with cheese.

Tips from the kitchen:

  • You can use your fresh produce in this recipe, just adapt the amount of broth – you won’t need as much! And to save time in the kitchen use pre-cooked beef!
  • If there are any leftovers, the shredded beef mixture makes a great topper for a baked potato!
  • This recipe also works well with shredded pork, chicken or turkey too!

See, quick and oh so easy-peasy!

Enjoy!

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned on this RV Journey

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Unlike traditional camping – staying in a tent – traveling in an RV allows you to take most, if not all, the comforts of home with you!

However, it’s not quite the same as living in a ‘sticks and bricks’ homestead…

Here’s the top 10 things I’ve learned on this journey of ours…

  1. Travel lite – most RVs have weight restrictions, so taking everything you own is not an option! Travel lite by only taking those things you actually need! For example, instead of taking every pot and pan you own, only take the top 2-3 pieces you use on a daily basis! And clothes… clothes should be limited to the sevens rule… 7 shirts, 7 pants… you get the idea!
  2. Never rely solely on your GPS – Make sure you take an up-to-date map book with you. One of my favorites is the Rand McNally 2023 Road Atlas & National Park Guide. GPS is notorious for steering you down those ‘iffy’ roads that are not RV friendly! Using your map book will help keep you out of difficult places, and help you plan your route! Furthermore, while you formulate your plans, you may even find one or two places you didn’t think about exploring! However, if you don’t mind those major highways, I would still take along that up-to-date map book! I would suggest the Rand McNally 2022 Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas. If the big rigs can get through, so can your RV!
  3. Always expect the unexpected – It never fails! Sometimes things can and will go wrong! You might take a wrong turn and wind up in downtown traffic, wondering just how you’re going to get your RV through tight turns! Or, perhaps the campground where you had a reservation was suddenly flooded and they are having to turn you away! Always plan for the unexpected, but don’t let those unforeseen mishaps discourage you from your travels!
  4. Learn how to fix things yourself – Let’s face it, things break, and the more you learn how to fix it yourself, the more money you’ll save in the bank!
  5. Travel no more than 5 hours a day – if you’re driving more than 5 hours in a day, not only do you miss those interesting places you might otherwise enjoy, you’re also too tired after setting up camp to enjoy the evening once you’ve stopped for the night. I’ve even adopted the habit of driving no more than 2-3 hours a day. This gives me the chance to check out the campground, create a healthy meal, relax and enjoy a nice campfire before bed.
  6. Don’t let your fuel tank go under half full! So, you’ve got a day of driving ahead! Make sure you stop to fill up your fuel tank when it hits the half empty mark. You never know how far it well be till the next gas station!
  7. Whenever possible, stop at a Loves, Pilots or other truck stops for fuel. You’ll find these places are easier to get in and out of, especially if you have a bigger RV. And, if you’re too tired to get to your next destination, it’s a great place to stop for some rest! Just please be courteous! Although we may have all day to get somewhere, truckers are working and do have a schedule they need to keep!
  8. Try and stay at one place at least 3-6 months. You save yourself from the wear and tear of having to pack up, drive, and set up camp every few days. Plus, staying longer at a campground allows you to get a better price for your site! You’ll have more time to do some serious site-seeing and you won’t miss out on those great photo opportunities and breathtaking views!
  9. Camping does not mean you have to live on hamburgers and hot dogs! Although there is nothing better than a hot dog or burger over the open flame, you are not relegated to live solely on these foods! A campfire is a great way to grill up some chicken and roast some tasty veggies! Have you tried grilled fruit?!? Yum!
  10. Waste not, want not! – We have learned that life on the road isn’t always a bed or roses! Daily, we make the trek to the dumpster, taking out the trash we create! It’s even worse when we boondock, because we use paper and plastic due to water being a precious commodity! Mom and I are learning to maximize our efforts to minimize our waste! Whenever possible – recycle, recycle, recycle!

Hope the lessons we’ve learned help you enjoy the open road!

As always,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

Steamed Green Beans with Red Peppers

Thrive Life Recipe - Steamed Green Beans

With the growing season only just beginning to get underway, I find I am having to rely on using my supply of freeze-dried canned goods. Here’s where I get mine!

If you already have fresh produce coming in from your garden, you can certainly use it in this recipe… just cut back on the amount of broth you use!!

How to make Steamed Green Beans with Red Bell Peppers

What you need:

  • 2 cups Red Bell Peppers
  • 2 cups Green Beans
  • 1/2 cup Onion Slices
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt or favorite seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups broth (I use homemade chicken bone broth, but your favorite broth will work, or you can simply use water)

How to make:

  • In a medium sized skillet, saute the garlic with the butter until it’s lightly caramelized and has a nice golden color.
  • toss the dry ingredients in the skillet with the salt or seasoning of choice, then add the broth or water..
  • Stir together thoroughly.
  • place the lid on top and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Once the veggies are fully cooked, you’re ready to go!

Tips from the kitchen:

  • Freeze dried foods crisp up fast, so make sure you measure out all your ingredients first.
  • You can use your fresh from the garden produce, you’ll just need to cut back on the amount of broth you use.
  • Pairs nicely as a side for grilled chicken, or add cooked chicken to the recipe for a great stir-fry!

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

Waste Not, Want Not!

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Life in an RV has been very different from my life on the farm!

No more getting up at the crack of dawn to go out and feed the chickens… and no more collecting their delicious eggs with the dark yellow, almost orange yolks!

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Even after 3 years, it’s still hard adjusting to RV life…

It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed the adventure thus far… I have learned many new skills… and I have met many wonderful people who I now call family!

No, the hardest thing to adjust to is the amount of waste we create!

Daily, I make the trek to the dumpster, carrying one or two bags of trash! And that’s when we’re in a campground.

There seems to be even more when we boondock – utilizing paper plates and plasticware, since water is a precious commodity while dry docking!

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Back on the homestead, we had very little trash to put out…

Most of our food was preserved in one form or another, so there was little to no trash and hardly any recyclables!

If foods were past being edible for human consumption, we would put it out for our chickens to enjoy!

They looked forward to seeing me carry out the big white ‘muck’ bucket – knowing I was bringing ‘treats’ for them to enjoy!

Some would race me to the composting area, expectantly waiting for me to pour out the treasures that awaited them!

And there were those who would try to stop me in my tracks and try to climb into the bucket as I walked!

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So, it is with a renewed vigor, that we are honing our skills of preserving foods.

We hope that by canning, dehydrating and/or purchasing freeze-dried foods (here’s where we get ours) we will lessen the amount of waste we create.

We may not be able to produce as little trash as we did on the homestead, but we certainly plan to maximize our efforts to minimize our waste!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

My Workamper Experience

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When I was younger, I never thought I’d grow up to be a workamper.

Instead, I always thought I’d grow up to be a veterinarian, or an interior designer… but a workamper?!?

I didn’t even know what a workamper was!

It wasn’t until we got ‘stuck’ in South Carolina, that some friends told me about the possibilities!

I quickly jumped on the idea and soon I began my new career as a workamper!

So, what exactly is a workamper?

Well, the best way to explain it is this…

If you have chosen to be adventurous and combine ANY kind of part time (or full time) work while RV camping, you, my friend, are a workamper!

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There are so many opportunities!

You can work as an employee at a campground…

You could donate your time as a volunteer…

You could even run and operate your own business from the comforts of home!

Most campground jobs usually last about 4-6 months at a time, but if you do your research, you can find jobs that last longer or shorter if you prefer. You will find that many employers are willing to work with you on the time frame!

The biggest perk is that while you’re there, you can use your free time to explore, and at the end of job, you are off to your next destination!

So, what do I do as a workamper?

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In my current position, I work in the campground store/office.

Registering guests, answering phones, stocking shelves and answering any questions about the local area are the norm for me! However, when I’m not in the office, I work my two businesses.

The first is sharing cooking tips using/selling my favorite kitchen products, and the other is my favorite freeze-dried food business – which I got into because of wanting REAL food, but needing to be cautious about the weight limits while traveling!

However, in past positions, I have also escorted guests and their RVs to campsites, cleaned out firepits, took out trash, filled propane tanks, and helped maintain the pool, among other things!

And what do I enjoy most about this lifestyle?

That’s easy! It’s the chance to meet so many interesting people who have the same desire as I do… the desire to travel!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels,

Sheri

We’re NOT Your Ordinary Homestead

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When you think of a homestead, you probably think about chickens, goats, pigs, cows, and fields filled with plenty of vegetables!

We’re not that kind of homestead!

Once upon a time, we did have a small farm with veggies in the garden, and chickens foraging in the field. However, in January of 2019, we decided to pull up roots and travel while mom still had her health!

Originally, I was to have a job as a photographer, for a travel adventure company. I was going to journal about our adventures in the RV and they would use my photos in their brochures and on their website.

Fate had other plans…

The company we bought the camper from, messed up with our permanent plates. What should have only taken a month, took over 3 months to get!

The photography job fell through, and we got ‘stuck’ in South Carolina.

A couple of our friends from church had been living in their RV full-time for more than 19 years! They shared with me about the benefits of being a workamper which would allow us to travel, and I could still earn some money!

I jumped on the idea!

I applied for a job at a campground back in our home-state, and the rest as they say is history!

I still find it hard to believe that we have been living this lifestyle for the last three years… having left our traditional homestead behind…

But leaving our farm did NOT mean we’d given up on our traditional homesteading skills!

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When campgrounds allow, we plant a small garden in containers!

And we make sure to buy fresh produce and meats from local farmers.

We also preserve our foods as space and weight limits for travel permits!

However, there is one thing I still truly miss about our traditional homestead… Spending time with my chickens!

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They used to bring me so many hours of great joy just watching them scratch and peck!

For the time being, our current ‘homestead’ has wheels! So, let’s see where the road takes us next!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

How to Make Quick and Easy Chicken Fajitas

Recipes - Quick Chicken Fajitas (2)

With a renewed vigor and purpose to eating healthier, I have sought out some of my favorite recipes that are both delicious and easy to make!

Here’s one of my favorite ‘go-to’ meals!

Quick and Easy Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium green or red bell peppers
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning or Chipotle Rub
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 flour tortilias
  • optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa and guacamole

How to make:

  • Thinly slice the chicken into thin strips, then place into a Dutch Oven. Add the seasoning and squeeze the lime over the chicken. Stir to coat.
  • Cut off the top of the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Cut each bell pepper into four segments and slice the peppers into strips, then place into the Dutch Oven.
  • Cut the onion in half and slay flat side down on the cutting board. Thinly slice the onion and place the slices in the pan. Press the garlic on top of the veggies with a garlic press.
  • Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the juice of the thickest parts of the chicken run clear.
  • Wrap the tortillas with a damp paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds or until they are warm. To serve, spoon the chicken and veggie mixture into the centers of the tortillas and top as desired.

Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do!

Till next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri