School Bus Conversion | A Minimalist Family Adventure

A Family of 5 Living on a Converted School Bus. We blog about skoolies, travel, family, and minimalism

Category: School Bus Conversion

This Year’s Tiny House, Skoolie, Full Time RV’er Top 5 Must Haves This Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa and Winter Solstice Holiday

We have been living full time in our skoolie a little over 2 years now, and over that time I’ve learned a lot. Every tiny dweller is different, but a…

We have been living full time in our skoolie a little over 2 years now, and over that time I’ve learned a lot. Every tiny dweller is different, but a few things are always the same. I figured since Christmas is coming up I would share my top 5 tiny dweller must haves. If you don’t have theses things, are you really even a tiny dweller?

 

5. WATER BOTTLE

Every tiny dweller needs their reusable water bottle. Why you ask? Because, we care about the Earth, unlike all those people living in normal houses. Please note, your bottle must be covered by at least 13 1/2 stickers, and no less. I highly recommend 1-2 stickers that say something about living tiny and minimalism (our favorite is the “Home is Where You Park It“), just to make sure everyone at the local coffee shop knows you are one of the cool people.

If you don’t already have your own logo and dye cut sticker get one, and stick it on there, how else will you be prompted to tell everyone about your social media accounts? You need to include your favorite brand of outdoor clothing, and of course, a sticker from all the national parks you’ve visited.

 

4. OIL DIFFUSER

Got a cough? Student loan debt? Put some Lavender oil on it!  Soon your whole life will change! But really, when living tiny you’re going to want to cover up the swamp smell of that composting toilet with a few drops of your favorite oils (Glade, candles, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, deodorant, etc  = chemicals). Get yourself a diffuser and a friend who wants you to join their team. DoTerra, Young  Living, olive oil from Costco put that stuff on everything.

 

3. LETTERBOARD

How else will you share your witty thoughts with the internet? “AINT NO HOOD LIKE MOTHERHOOD” am I right? “FIRST I DRINK THE COFFEE, THAN I DO THE THINGS” you’re only as clever as your letter board quote.

If you’re taking more pictures of your kids than your letter board, your priorities are WRONG! Get yourself a tiny letter board to bring along for photographing those perfect adventures to the zoo “MY SPIRIT ANIMAL IS A SLOTH” You feel me?! How did we ever document our kid’s 34th month on this Earth without these things??!

 

2. PUFFY BLACK JACKET

Cold? NOPE, not with my puffy jacket on. Have I told you about its life time warrantee? I wear this thing from September-May. I wear it in the morning, and in the afternoon, I wear it in the evening underneath the moon, oh skid-a-ma-rinky dinky dink skid-a-ma-rinky dinky doo.

(pictured above is a tiny dweller pack in their natural habitat, whiskey, pipes, and fire pit used to attract the animals, no tiny dwellers were harmed during the creation of this photo)

 

1. CARHARTT BEANIE

If you don’t own one of these get one STATT! Its the number 1 most important piece in my wardrobe. Tiny dwellers don’t shower, and our priority is always water conservation. You have to have this beanie, in this color to cover up your dirty hair. Give it a quick spritz of your favorite essential oil when it stinks like dirty hair, NEVER WASH, it wastes water.

 

 

 

 

 

I know this might all sound like a joke…but I really do have each of these items, including friends who sell oils. I use all of these items daily and do recommend using products that don’t damage your body or the Earth. If you want to be a true tiny dweller be sure to put all of these items on your Christmas list along with a year long membership to Planet Fitness, not to work out, just for the free wifi and the showers (they don’t actually use real water so its safe to bathe there).

If you feel I forgot any must haves please be sure to share them in the comments below.


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Video Tour Of Our School Bus Conversion

This is our first ever video tour of our school bus conversion. We hope you like, comment, and subscribe.

After living in our converted school bus (skoolie) for over two years, we have finally completed a full video tour! Check it out below.

Our good friends from Tiny House Expedition came and stayed on our property and they filmed us over the course of 4 days. It was an absolute blast.

This was the first time Ashley and I were on camera in this capacity. It was definitely a little nerve-racking and we were a bit awkward, but overall we think it turned out great.

In the video, we discuss every aspect of our bus including design, plumbing, electrical, and more.

Also there is some bonus footage where we tour you around our shipping container office/homeschool room.

So, please check out the video, comment, like and tell us what you think!

Thanks for following along!


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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How We Winterize Our School Bus Conversion

If you have followed our journey for a while, you might have learned that I am not a fan of being cold. My friends and I joke that my tombstone…

If you have followed our journey for a while, you might have learned that I am not a fan of being cold. My friends and I joke that my tombstone will say something along the lines of “Now I’m Really Cold” because I consider the weather cold if the temperature is lower 75 degrees. Winter in the bus hasn’t been terrible here in NM, but I have a feeling this year will be a different story. The past two winters, we’ve had almost no snow.

This year, the temperature has already fallen into the high teens and it’s only November. I’ve had a lot of DM’s on Instagram asking me how we prep the bus for below freezing weather and this post is a response to them.  Below I will give a detailed list of ways we prep the bus for winter, along with a few products we have purchased to help aid in keeping us warm.

 

 

Tiny Wood Stove

In October, we brought our Tiny Wood Stove and our wood box back into the bus. We love love this thing and couldn’t live without it. The stove was brought to us by Nick at Tiny Wood Stove back in October of 2017 at the Tiny House Jamboree (you can read about our experience at the Jamboree HERE). It has been the single most important thing used for keeping the bus warm.

We have the the Dwarf 4kw with the 4″/RV Bus Installation Kit – Roof Exit Bundle. Tiny Wood Stove has comprehensive YouTube videos detailing every aspect of installation and will provide you with everything you need for the stove. We did have to call Nick a few times, and he was super gracious with us. He even answered our phone calls on a Sunday night while we were in the process of installation. (hence why I will back this company wholeheartedly)

PROS:

  • It takes up very little space
  • It’s beautiful and they make custom door colors to match the design of your build
  • The company is hands down one of the best companies I’ve EVER worked with
  • It was simple to install.  The hardest part was cutting the 4 inch hole into the curve of the bus.
  • It allows you to have heating off grid.
  • The glass window makes for an amazing ambiance in the evening or on foggy days.
  • The heat it puts off is much more cozy than a space heater or propane heater.
  • Its easy and quick to clean.

CONS:

  • It’s tiny so the wood has to be tiny. There’s a saying “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice”. Well, I would say chopping the wood to fit inside this stove will warm you 3-4 times. We typically cut a single log into three pieces with the chainsaw and then chop it with an axe into 3 more pieces from there.
  • The chimney pipe is 4 inches wide so we do have to clean the chimney once every month, sometimes once every 3 weeks. It take all of 5 minutes to clean out. It does have to be done more often than a typical large pipe. We bought a simple chimney brush from amazon that has been helpful and cost around $20.
  • You won’t get a ton of heat through the night unless you get up and load it. We do load it up before we go to bed with harder woods and choke it way down but even still the warmest the stove has been in the morning without reload is 150 degrees. Better than nothing but not as hot as a typical large wood stove.

Heat Tape

We installed our fresh water tanks inside the bus under our bed in the back. Our grey water tank on the other hand is outside and so are our inlets for water. When we are parked at home in Corrales, NM we have a water hook up that was brought down to the bus from our well that is located on the West side of our land (where our traditional home will be built in the next year).

We have a 6 foot hose that reaches from the faucet to the inlet of the bus that provides fresh water. That hose is typically exposed although it is an insulated drinking water hose it will freeze. We wrap heat tape around the hose and faucet and then a foam pipe insulation that looks like a pool noodle around the tape and zip tie it.

The urine from our Natures Head Toilet is also diverted to the grey tank. We DIY’d that job and learned very quickly once winter hit last year that the pee froze and would back up if we didn’t apply heat tape to that pipe also. These details are the not so glamorous side of bus life.

Space Heater

In the middle of the night if we don’t have enough wood cut or its going to be especially cold, we will set our space heater to a temperature of 61 degrees. We don’t like to use the space heater often because its super expensive. We really like to be as off grid as possible and space heaters cannot be run off our battery bank. Convenience-wise, the space heater is the easiest form of heat. When we use it regularly it will bump our electric bill up about $150 a month.

Electric Blankets

The quickest way to my heart is to feed me and keep me warm. Brandon will go turn my heating blanket to high about 30 minutes before we go to bed and I melt right into his arms every night. We bought heat blankets for the kids beds when we were on the road full time back in 2016. The blankets were a way we could make sure they kept warm while still living completely off grid. Now the kids love them as much as I do. Ive bought three different brands and had to take them back to the store because they didn’t get hot enough, wires were too thick, or the texture was too slippery and it would slide off the bed by morning. Our favorite brand is the Biddeford Comfort Knit Sherpa electric blanket. Trust me I am an expert and this one is the best!

Reflectix

In the front of our bus we chose to keep the original bus windows in order to allow as much natural light in as possible. We also felt it paid tribute to the school bus this home used to be. What we didn’t know was the bus windows provide zero insulation and allow in a lot of cold air. So right away we realized this was going to be a problem in the winter months.

When we had our bumper pull trailer (you can see pictures and read about our trailer HERE), Brandon’s dad suggested we get this product called Reflectix and cut it to insulate the windows of the trailer. It kept light out and also helped with the draftiness of the RV windows. So obviously that advise carried over to the bus. It was quite a bit of work to cut custom window covering for each window in the front and back of the bus. It provides soooo much value though. I highly recommend this for all full timers. It’s such a great way to insulate the terrible RV’s, trailer, and 5th wheel windows.

Rugs

Keeping the floor of the bus warm is impossible. Drafts of air move back and forth under the bus 24/7 365 days a year. I wear slippers all winter from the minute I get out of bed until I climb into my perfectly heated bed (thanks B!). If you talk to any bus owners they’ll tell you the same, that rugs make the home much more comfortable.

I know there are more things we could do to winterize like install a skirt around the bottom of the bus, shrink wrap the windows, etc. For now these are the things we know work well.  If you have any further questions about what we do to winterize feel free to direct message me on Instagram and Ill be sure to respond.

Also I want to make it clear that in this blog post I did link items we use. Within those links are our unique affiliate links. If you chose to buy anything from the links on our blog it does help provide income to us. It will not be of any extra cost to you. We love sharing this info with people and only link to things we have actually used and love. So we appreciate you using our links to buy your items if you found this post to be helpful!

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Converted School Bus Bedroom Storage – A Detailed Look Inside

Many people wonder how a converted school bus could have a master bedroom with a king sized bed, ample storage, and all of the amenities of a modern bedroom. In…

Many people wonder how a converted school bus could have a master bedroom with a king sized bed, ample storage, and all of the amenities of a modern bedroom. In this post, we take you on a tour of our converted school bus bedroom and some of the various storage areas that we have created.

Most of our bus’s storage is located in the back of the bus. These two wood pieces make up the majority of essential storage in our home. This area contains some of our every day essentials.

Pink Dresser

The pink drawers are our family’s dresser. We keep ALL of our clothes in here. Brandon has the top drawer,  I have the second, the boys share the third, and Rea shares the bottom drawer with our towels, washcloths and cleaning rags. Although all of our clothes fit nicely in one dresser, I still feel that there is more room for some downsizing in our future.

In the top of this piece we keep our toilet paper, scale, and a few physical books. We love to reading, and keep most of our library on our Kindle’s, however it’s fun to keep the Tim Ferris books around for some light reading from time to time :). I also keep my camera and it’s bag in there for quick access. The grey container holds my blow dryer, curling iron, and straightener.

Grey Dresser

Under this grey piece is where we keep our water pump, water heater, and our accumulator. The wooden butcher block is on a slide, and is used as a standing desk for Brandon when we are on the road. The long skinny drawer is where we keep our papers, our National Park passport book, our go pro and all other camera accessories.

The 1st top small drawer is where we keep every day toiletries, a few pieces of turquoise jewelry, hairbrushes, combs and anything I need to take out of my pockets at the end of the night. In the 2nd drawer is medicine, first aid kits, bandaids and other ‘health’ related items. The bottom drawer is all of Reagan’s hair bows, hair ties, bobby pins, floss, qtips, cotton balls, essential oils, etc.

On top we keep Brandon and I’s shoes in the wood bins (well mostly mine).  Also our vacuum lives up here as well, along with its accessories and a few clip on battery powered fans for when we boondock..

One of the major things we have learned since moving on to a converted school bus is to keep only the essentials.  This took quite a while to decide what we needed vs what we didn’t however we really tried to stick to the $20 and 20 minutes rule. (i.e. if we don’t use it often and it’s less than $20/20 minute drive, get rid of it).

Thanks for reading about our converted school bus bedroom and if you want to see the drawers in more detail, head on over to our Instagram and check out the story highlight titled “Master Bedroom”.

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Master Bed On Our Converted School Bus

  One of our highest priorities is quality sleep. Brandon and I are very strict about our children’s sleep and about our sleep. We knew that when we built our room…

 

One of our highest priorities is quality sleep. Brandon and I are very strict about our children’s sleep and about our sleep. We knew that when we built our room in the bus we weren’t going to skimp on the size of our bed. So we chose a pusher engine so that we could build our king sized bed on top.

On the sides of the bed we both have bed side shelves. Mine is always full and Brandon’s not so much. I keep magnesium supplements,  Aveda Hand Relief (it’s my fav), my journal  , my phone and the controller to our electric blanket (yes, we use an electric blanket and it feels like a warm hug) on my side. Brandon keeps his watch and phone on his and sometimes my water bottle.

We sleep with specific pillows and take our pillows with us when ever we travel (princess and the pea style). When I make the bed we have 6 pillows on top and at night we use all six to make us feel like we are laying in a show room bed on the top floor of Dillard’s. I also am super OCD about my sheets staying clean. Requiring that when I get out of bed that the bed is made in case someone accidentally gets on the bed while somewhat dirty. Our bed is the most comforting place I’ve ever been in. It’s like an adult fort! I also love that unlike in a house there’s no room for monsters to hide under it. I no longer have to run and jump into my bed.

Bedding : Bed of Roses Comforter

Sheet Set : Pirate Stripe Sheet Set 

Her side of the bedhis side of the bed

 


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Parenting In 300ish Square Feet

Parenting is a challenge! Whether on a bus or in a “normal house”! We haven’t found it to be much harder than when we were in a traditional home. What…

Parenting is a challenge! Whether on a bus or in a “normal house”! We haven’t found it to be much harder than when we were in a traditional home.

What is it like to parent 3 children in a tiny home?

🚎=🏠

PROS

  • less chores to fight over
  • fewer toys to cleanup
  • intentional living lessons
  • more outdoor time
  • cultivating a feral mindset
  • more family time
  • opportunities to teach while experiencing adventure
  • we share in the everyday chores (water fill ups, chopping wood, toilet changing, dishes etc.)
  • lots of snuggles

 

CONS

  • it’s LOUD
  • 1 bathroom (all kids need to poop at the same time)
  • winter makes us go stir crazy
  • rain does the same thing
  • less “alone” time
  • we live in an aisle so they leave their stuff in the middle of the walkway constantly

 

Things we have learned while parenting in 300 sqft are:

Kids lose their favorite toy even in a tiny house.

Make them sit to pee on the composting toilet, ALWAYS SIT on the composting toilet!

Kids don’t have to shower everyday…neither do adults!

Rushing is a waste of time and energy. Enjoy the adventure!

Don’t expect to have your own space because you’ll be sorely disappointed.

The bumper makes a great timeout spot.

Funniest part of bus living is listening to your kids explain to their friends what a composting toilet is and how to use it.


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Moving Into The Bus And Unofficial Bus Tour

I can’t believe it has been over a year since we first moved on the bus!  We first moved into our bus in October 2016.  After moving, we spent the…

I can’t believe it has been over a year since we first moved on the bus!  We first moved into our bus in October 2016.  After moving, we spent the next 4 months on the road traveling the western US states.  During this time we would spend almost 30 days in Disney land 😬, see the Redwoods, play in the pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach, head to San Diego, and much much more!

Upon returning from our trip, I (Brandon) had the opportunity to start another company in downtown Albuquerque.  Given that there are few places to park downtown and commuting would not have been in my best interest, we decided to move the family into a loft downtown while I worked on the company.  This was a very interesting experience. We live above a pizza place (which was super rad) however as we would discover, it was also a biker bar.  So, all night Friday – Sunday, we would hear motorcycles ripping down the street until 3am. Going from peaceful bus living to busy loud downtown living was quite a change of pace.

After the company got moving, we moved back out to the suburb of Corrales into another rental while we made the necessary upgrades to the bus to make it even more livable.  This included raising and tiling the shower, adding “privacy doors” to the kids bunks, and many more tweaks based on things we learned while traveling on the road.

Check out our YouTube Video where we show our first night on the bus.  Jackson (our middle son) also gives you a quick bus tour. We will be posting an official tour in the coming months.  Make sure to comment and subscribe!

Also, if you are new you may want to consider checking out our intro video and subscribing to our mailing list!

Happy Travels!

Moving In Day And Unofficial Bus Tour


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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Tiny House Festivals: Some Observations After Attending

Over the past two years that we have been on the bus, we have attended multiple Tiny House festivals and meetups.  We absolutely love showing off our bus and meeting…

Over the past two years that we have been on the bus, we have attended multiple Tiny House festivals and meetups.  We absolutely love showing off our bus and meeting the amazing people that are part of the community.  Here are a few interesting things that I have discovered over the past year or so.

Sharing Community Of Tiny Home Dwellers

This is my absolute favorite thing about the “tiny” movement.  Ashley and I have been a part of numerous subcultures over the years (school, extra curricular groups, churches, coops) and have never found a community more inviting and accepting that the tiny home community.  Especially the DIYers.  Everyone seems to share similar values of living sustainably and treating others with love and respect.  It’s absolutely incredible.

Often we are asked why we spend our time and money to attend tiny home shows/meet-ups.  Usually, they are unpaid gigs that involve quite a bit of work for all of the folks attending.  My response is always to spend time in community with other tiny home dwellers.

Almost out of no where, each night after the guests have left, a huge party materializes.  Everyone in the show brings food to share and there are often (sometimes obscure) musical instruments that get pulled out and an on-the-spot band is formed.  I feel like we are immediately among family after knowing these people for less than 12 hours.

Huge Difference Between DIY Tiny Homes And Tiny Home Builders

I’m totally not knocking on people who have their houses/busses/vans built for them or the builders who do it, but there is definitely a difference in the mindset between the two.  Most of the festivals have separate areas for DIY vs Corporate.

A few other observations about the actual structures of DIY vs Built:

  • DIY tends to have more character while manufactured feels like a “home builder”
  • DIY people tend to be more savvy as they have acquired the skills needed to build their structure
  • Cost: The cost to have a tiny home or bus built for you is almost double that of doing it yourself
  • Reasons for living tiny: I feel that DIYers are more inclined to be living tiny because of the movement instead of the trend (again there are plenty of exceptions, I’m only speaking in generalities).  Also, the DIY community seems to be more “stick it to the man” in this regard.

People Think We Are Poor

So, Ashley, together with a few super talented friends of ours created this super cool logo/sticker for Trebventure.  She had a cool idea of selling stickers at $3 a pop to go into our gas fund (we get 7 mpg so we can use all the help we can get).  Well, people purchased about $60 worth of stickers, however every now and again someone would slip me a 10 or a 20 and not want a sticker.  When I pressed them on this they would say things like “I know what it’s like to have kids”.  I humbly accepted the money (and put it into the community beer fund), however I really want to convey to people that we choose to live this way.

One other time this sort of thing happened, we were in Washington.  The Nomadic Millers and us had pulled into a parking lot at a local laundry mat to get some laundry done when a car pulled up.  The woman got out and proceeded to give us a case of water and balls for the kids.  Again, while we were super grateful for the generosity, I’m still not super sure how to react in these situations other than to say “thank you”.

We are houseless not homeless.

Everyone Has Road/Traveling Issues

“How much have you spent on bus maintenance?” – This is an extremely common question we get asked.  While we have been incredibly fortunate to have less than $1,000 in maintenance so far, many of our peers haven’t been so lucky.  We have heard stories of multiple transmission replacements, clutch jobs in parking lots, rebuilds on the side of the road and more.  Almost every time we are all ready to leave a convention, someone’s bus won’t start.

Road issues aren’t just common in the busses either.  Many of the tiny home folks dealt with flats, truck issues, near misses on bridges, etc…

Tiny Home Dwellers Love To Talk About Poop

At every convention I go to, I ultimately find myself in a conversation (not started by me I promise) about human waste / disposal.  We use a composting toilet and absolutely love it (OK maybe I start some of the conversations).  Since it’s such a unique thing and way of disposing of waste, people are always intrigued.  Not to mention, there are still a few challenges associated with it that only frequent users will understand. That post is for another day.

Some Final Thoughts

We absolutely LOVE attending tiny house jamborees/festivals/conventions/meetups.  If you know of one in your area, we absolutely encourage you to go (also let us know and we might check it out ).  Building our bus has been a labor of love and an expression of our creativity. Nothing brings us more joy than being able to show case our hard work to the world.


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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We Are Officially On YouTube – Our Very First Intro Video

We have been threatening for some time to create content for YouTube.  Well, we have finally cracked the seal and uploaded an intro video. We had an absolute blast making…

We have been threatening for some time to create content for YouTube.  Well, we have finally cracked the seal and uploaded an intro video.

We had an absolute blast making the video (I believe that is pretty obvious).

A few plans for future videos include:

  • Bus Tour
  • Move In Video
  • Q&A
  • How we school kids on the road
  • How we make money
  • Geeky electronics on our bus
  • Misc Vlogs

We hope you enjoy the video as much as we did making it. So, please check it out, like, and subscribe.  Happy travels!


Affiliate Link Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that we have experience with all of these companies/products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through them. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you in achieving your goals.
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The Essentials in Our Minimalist Kitchen

The kitchen in our bus is my (Ashley’s) sanctuary.  It’s where I spend most of my time and I think it’s beautiful! I look back at the kitchen I had…

The kitchen in our bus is my (Ashley’s) sanctuary.  It’s where I spend most of my time and I think it’s beautiful! I look back at the kitchen I had in my house.  I liked that space however it was also a place of a lot of frustration.  It was an area where there was always a mess and always some cabinet that needed to be organized.  I spent countless hours rearranging my cups, finding more space for my Starbucks coffee mug collection, and finding lids for all of my plastic containers.  I probably had 25 plates, 10-15 bowls, who knows how many mason jar cups (because I’m just that trendy), and enough mugs to be able to serve coffee to an army.

I hosted a lot, which I enjoyed. It was one of the main reasons we loved the our house.  We had people over for dinner roughly 3 times a week.  We hosted countless parties and I do miss that aspect of owning a house. Although, the cleaning up after a dinner party wasn’t my favorite.  I used paper plates (don’t hate me you “save the Earth” hippies) and plastic wear when I hosted larger engagements but still felt like I needed a lot of dishes.

What I now realize is that the reason we have so many dishes is because we left most of them in the dishwasher, getting washed, or waiting to be put away.  Now that I don’t have a dishwasher, I never run out of dishes.  I wash them immediately after we finish a meal and put them away.  There is no room for a sink full of dishes since there is no room for procrastination.  I no longer have the mental over head of having to unload the dishwasher, which is my least favorite chore of all time. Use a dish, clean it, put it away. Simple.

As I have been making observations, I have found that one of the reasons we have so much stuff in our house is because we have so many places to put said stuff. I didn’t always have 25 plates but I had room for more plates so when Target put out their newest trendy plate I bought it and put it on top of last weeks trendy plate, which was on top of the week before that’s trendy plate and so on and so on. I didn’t cycle out the old because the old wasn’t really old, it was still cute, Target just knows how to make all their stuff cuter and trendier and I was a sucker.

In the bus we have minimal cabinets so I have minimal space to store my minimal kitchen things. Below I will go over what is in my kitchen now.

I have a total of 6 drawers, 4 large and 2 small.

 

  • Top Left (small) Junk Drawer: Remotes, our favorite essential oils, duct tape, batteries and charger, random screws, tape, apple tv hook up thingy, felt stickys, hose splitter, box cutter, pencils, pens, permanent marker, tape measurer, Letterfolk felt board letters, lighters, flash light, swisher sweets, and charcoal toothpaste.

 

  • Middle Left Coffee Drawer: Coffee container filled with 2 lbs of whole bean Lavazza coffee (its the best), our Aeropress and it’s accessories, my everyday spices – salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, and honey, milk frother, a recipe box, and paper plates for when we host dinner in our bus.

 

  • Bottom Left Plastics Drawer: all of my plastic containers 8 of them all with lids, 2 ice cube trays, gallon bags, snack size bags, and foil

 

  • Top Right (small) Silverware Drawer: 7 forks, spoons, and knives, 3 ceramic cutting knives, 2 pairs of scissors, potato peeler, pizza cutter, can opener, measuring cups and spoons, wine opener, bottle opener, ice cream scoop, moon shaped cutting thing for salads, ceramic knives and a long bread knife.

 

  • Middle Right Dish Drawer: Protein Shaker, Starbucks Disneyland tumbler, 3 small cups for hot chocolate with lids, 3 Camelback water bottles for our kids, they never spill (not pictured), 2 thermal Takeya brand water bottles for Brandon and I, we take them with us everywhere we go (not pictured), 1  togo cup for coffee, 3 coffee mugs, 1 whiskey glass, 1 wine glass, 1 small cutting board, 3 small plates, 3 big plates, 3 big bowls, 3 small bowls, and 3 kids plates

 

  • Bottom Right Pan Drawer: 3 cork counter protectors, cast iron dutch oven (my favorite), 2 skillets (12 inch and 10 inch), 1 stainless pot with steamer attachment, 1 small pot, grease protector cover (not pictured).

 

On top of my counter I have a 3 burner stove, hand soap, paper towels, a plant, my cutting board (in the shape of our home state New Mexico), our coffee grinder, a tea kettle, and a utensil container (list below of utensils).

  • Utensils: 2 whisks (1 big 1 small), 2 spatulas (1 big, 1 small), spoon, rubber spatula, basting brush, and a ladle.

The purpose of our kitchen was to provide a space where I can make real food for my family, and host a dinner occationally in a tiny space.  I feel I have everything I could ever need to do these things.

That is my kitchen in a nutshell…..or a bus-shell.


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