Top Tips For Facing Your Fear

What a wild time to be alive, friends! I hope you’re prioritizing your own health and well-being. There’s so much stress and vitriol in the world, and if we let it consume us, it really will.

I read this quote this week and it really resonated with me. It can be really helpful to stop and articulate, with words (out loud or in writing, or even with imagery) how we’re feeling and what we’re fearing. Putting a name to it can make it easier to face. 

Here are some of the things I’m fearing right now: 

  • I won’t build my business to the level I dream about
  • I won’t be able to visit family and friends for a long time
  • I won’t be able to attend my friend’s wedding
  • I won’t be able to safely share my views & background and be my authentic self under our next administration
  • I’m not doing enough to help the causes I care about
  • My BIPOC and LGBTQIAA+ friends and those with disabilities (basically anyone that isn’t a white male, TBH) won’t be safe in the near future

Putting it down makes it clear that that’s a lot to navigate! No wonder I feel stressed sometimes, despite my healthy habits. 

Here are some of the things I’m pursuing to clear my fears: 

  • Daily work on my business & accountability checks with my mastermind & mentors
  • Weekly calls and video calls with friends and family, plus emails and text check-ins
  • Daily and weekly work to encourage voting, educate those around me and assist anyone with questions
  • Supporting the causes I care about, financially and with my time and energy

It’s so, so important to not only articulate what’s on our minds, but, when we’re in the right headspace, make a plan with concrete steps to feel better. If we’re feeling scared of the unknown, what’s one thing that’s within our control that we can make progress on? If we’re frightened that x might happen, what’s one step we can take that will listen the blow if it comes true? 

For instance, if we’re afraid that a wildfire could burn our house down, we should pack an emergency bag & create a plan. 

If we’re afraid of the outcome of an election, we should vote and encourage our friends to do the same, and lend our support to the causes and people we care about if we’re able to do so. 

We can’t eliminate the possibility of the things we fear, in many cases, but we can eliminate the fear by tackling it head on with the pursuit of new things, as Susie Moore says. Taking concrete steps feels good, mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Can you relate to any of these? What is one thing you can do today to face your fear?

Navigating Relationships During COVID-19: A Preview!

You may recall that Ross and I created a course for a super-helpful work-from-home bundle that came out a few months back.

We’ve now got a preview from the course posted, so if you’re considering whether Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home is worth purchasing, this will give you a wonderful taste!

The full bundle of “Essential Work From Home Essentials Training Bundle” includes not only our course on “Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home”, but 25+ other courses from experts across 10+ fields, all who work at home already.

Please let us know if you have any questions! We’ve been working really hard on this to ensure the content is top tier, and I know the rest of the experts have as well.

Watch the preview here or below, and thanks for reading! As always, we really appreciate your support of our work. Let us know if this is helpful for you.

P.S. You can save on the bundle by purchasing it here!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Using Frustration as Fuel for the Future

I’ve been dealing with some challenging situations in my work lately. One of my clients has been particularly disorganized, and for the first time in a long time I’m finding it hard not to carry their own stress into my life.

It’s not the scenario I hoped for when I took on this client, but it’s a scenario that many aspiring adventurers know well.

Do you find yourself carrying the stress of your 9 to 5 into your nights and weekends?

Do you find it tough to turn off the worry when you turn off the laptop?

Is it hard for you to devote time to working on your goals and dreams because you’re too stressed about the here and now?

I can certainly relate, and my best piece of advice is this: use your frustration as fuel for the future.

When you catch yourself dwelling on anger or frustration, reframe the situation by saying (out loud, in a journal or in your head) “I’m so thankful for work that allows me to pay my bills. I’m so thankful for work that allows me to save for my future goals. This situation is helping me to build my future dream life.”

Remember that this frustration is fueling your future in multiple ways:

  • Financially – this money supports you while you dream and scheme and plan, and it may let you save enough for funding future too.
  • Emotionally – this experience is giving you visceral lessons that will stick with you moving forward. You’ll remember this feeling and when you lose momentum or focus on the work of dream life creation, remembering how much you don’t want to experience this again will get you that fire under your butt that’s needed for change.

Rewriting our stories is truly important for growth. It’s essential that I keep rewriting my frustration so that instead of a thing that’s happening to me, I put myself in a position of power.

I choose to do this job to support my future life.

I do this work to feed my family.

I’m learning lessons that will help me in the future.

Choose a story of empowerment. Choose to use your frustration as future fuel.

Have you been in this situation?

How did you handle it?

How are you rewriting your story today?

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com

A Forced Pause – Quarantine Life

How things change for full-time RVers during COVID-19!

Before leaving Florida, we spent several weeks stocking up on supplies (all via delivery), not just for our journey across the country, but also for when we arrived in New Mexico. It was fun – we didn’t just buy supplies for meals, but we also bought car snacks and treats so that we could avoid gas station runs or Walmart stops to minimize our risk.

Our Misfits Market subscription was also an excellent source for this, from oat milk to nuts and granola. In addition, we decided to top off our produce and proteins with a delivery from Sprouts (new to us) while we were in Oklahoma City.

Our planning was extremely helpful. We could have gotten through a month in the RV if we needed to! As it stands, we’re currently more than halfway through our two week quarantine in New Mexico, and we’ve got all we need for sustenance and fun, including several bottles of wine and fancy cheese for a once a week treat. Our planning has made our adventuring fun instead of feeling like a burden.

So, what do we do for fun when we can’t leave the campground? In addition to our work (which has run the gamut from music teaching and music making to virtual assistant work and coaching), we’ve done the following:

  • Completed a mystery box from Deadbolt Mystery Society
  • Enjoyed wine and cheese after a night of (virtual) yoga and a (virtual) ukulele jam
  • Watched the entire series Space Force on Netflix (it’s so funny and sweet!)
  • Watched several Youtube videos about the history of Disney parks and properties
  • Taken daily walks around the campground (well, Jamie has anyway)
  • Enjoyed mountain views
  • Had Zoom meetups with family and friends
  • Made tacos and guacamole, caramel popcorn, fancy pasta and s’mores

I’m sure we’ve done much more too, but those are the first eight things that come to mind. And since most of those are things that I imagine most all of us can do from home, maybe it will give you some inspiration to create an adventure at home this weekend or any time.

What’s your favorite fun activity when you can’t leave home?

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

The Top 5 Things From Our Cross-Country Trek

It’s an unusual week when we drive across the U.S. in 10 days, but that’s what we just did! Okay, sure we stopped in New Mexico, not California, but that was pretty darn close to coast to coast, so we’re counting it.

It would be easy for me to lament all of the cool places we didn’t stop along the way (due to COVID-19, budget constraints or anything else), but instead, I thought it would be more fun to share the top five things that we did get to do on our trip!

We’ve created an absolutely incredibly lifestyle for ourselves, and we know we’re very privileged to get to live and travel on our own terms. And of course, we’ve made lots of decisions along the way that have allowed us to build this life, and we love helping other people to do the same. Today, I’m celebrating our hard work that led us here, as well as the hard work that got us across the country in ten days! Here are the top five parts of our latest RVing adventure.

5. Cracker Barrel 

Okay, so maybe visiting Cracker Barrel doesn’t sound like your top choice right now, but as full-time RVers we love that Cracker Barrel has RV-sized spaces and allows overnight parking. We don’t eat at a lot of chains, but we do visit a Cracker Barrel a few times a year because it’s affordable, tasty and it gives us a safe place to stay (usually with a convenient location off the highway and near or in cities with fun things to do). In the age of COVID, I really thought we’d be skipping them this time around, but as we were driving we started noticing a lot of highway signs for Cracker Barrel that said “Dine In. Curbside. Delivery.”

So when we needed a spot for a night, we didn’t hesitate to try Cracker Barrel. We used their curbside option (Ross drove the car into a curbside space) so that we didn’t need to go inside. As usual, it was reliably delicious with big portions. And curbside was so easy that when Ross needed more coffee on the way out of town, it was curbside again for the win! (Oh, and if you’re wondering, Ross doesn’t really have a regular order, but I do – I love getting tons of sides so I can get my veggie fix! And some fried apples, of course.)

4. Twin Fountains RV Resort, Oklahoma City, OK

This campground is such a cool one! In the time of COVID-19, many of the perks aren’t as appealing (limo rides to downtown, anyone?), but we enjoyed the spacious grounds (largest campsite we’ve ever stayed at!), catch and release pond and laundry facilities. They’ve also got a restaurant, salon and dog groomer on site. This was a great spot and if we ever want to spend more time in Oklahoma City, we will be happy to pay a bit of a premium to stay here!

3. Tontitown Winery, Springdale, AR plus Fayetteville Fun

This winery was perfect for a Harvest Hosts stay, with delicious wine, a sweet spot with electricity, room to walk in nature nearby and some amazing food too! We did a meat/nut/cheese/fruit tray for 2 for dinner, and it was incredible, with pickled veggies, olives, bread and crackers as well as the aforementioned deliciousness. And thanks to corona, they had made their famous grape ice cream for a local festival and didn’t have an outlet for it (no festival this year), so we were able to grab a pint of homemade ice cream too!

We went with takeout, but outdoor seating with live music was also an option. Such a fun night, and super convenient for exploring nearby Fayetteville! Under normal circumstances, we would have done a lot more, but even so, I (Jamie) had previously tried another location of Bliss Cupcake Cafe when I was passing through, and it was amazing and had stellar gluten-free options. (I also learned that delivery is now an option – so you can get these too!)

I made a trip to Fayetteville for cupcakes and a key lime frosting shot to go, and since I was heading in anyway, I got some homemade ice cream as well (also excellent). Basically a pretty perfect evening!

2. Big Spoon Creamery, Birmingham, AL

Well, if this was just about me (and not Ross), this would be number 1! But since Jamie went solo, it gets the number 2 slot. Big Spoon Creamery’s ice cream was incredible. Life-changing. I went with three flavors, and while they were all absolutely incredible, the vanilla was literally the best I’ve ever had in my life.

No doubt. More like a custard and more like white chocolate, honestly…so outstanding! I would probably just tell everyone to get the chocolate and the vanilla. Perfect together or solo. I can’t wait to go back someday. Such a highlight!! You can look forward to a blog about it here soon.

And finally, at #1, Iron Star Urban Barbeque, Oklahoma City, OK

Curbside from Iron Star was so good that we seriously debated going back immediately for more food. Ross went with a brisket sandwich (it comes with amazing pickles!), and believe it or not, I just had a bite and ordered some outstanding deviled eggs that came with a spicy vegetable pickle appetizer! (I was saving room for ice cream, TBH.)

This place is truly special, and we can’t recommend it more highly. Honorable mention to Roxy’s Ice Cream Social for some excellent ice cream with extraordinarily friendly service.

As you can see, we had a TON of fun despite the challenges of COVID. We felt much more comfortable treating ourselves when we got out of Florida and Georgia (the COVID hot spots), and we had some really tasty indulgences as we made our way across the country, taking what felt like reasonable risks for us.

So, I want to know: How are things where you are? How are you making the most of your summer right now?

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Our First Blowout – And How We Prepared

Well, we’ve lived in our RV for four years, traveling for almost four, and it finally happened – we had a blowout!

Ross was about forty minutes away from our destination (staying at a winery, where I was already waiting for him) when he felt an immediate change while driving, realizing there was a ton of resistance. He immediately pulled over to the side of the highway. Turns out he’d blown two tires.

It was scary, of course, but thankfully it happened during daylight on a clear day, Good Sam got there before dark and while the cost wasn’t cheap, we had plenty of space on our credit card for it. Not to mention that Ross, Squeak (our cat) and our house/RV were all okay!

It’s been interesting traveling during COVID-19. Where normally we’d be getting coffee or ice cream along the way, instead there’s a much more serious cost/benefit analysis happening before we consider takeout of any kind, and we certainly aren’t dining in anywhere! Getting out of Florida means less virus exposure, but we’re also traveling through areas that don’t have mask mandates or even potentially norms around mask-wearing, so we are treading carefully. We also don’t want to potentially infect the people that we bump into!

I think the big lesson learned for us was that doing the work pays off when you hit a time of crisis. If I hadn’t been so well-read on tires, I wouldn’t have known to tell Ross to get all four of the back tires replaced when two of them went, and financially getting them all replaced turned out to be the best decision (they only added another $100 when they added 2 tires to our order!) by far.

For Ross, all of his prior work learning to drive the RV like a pro with great care meant he knew exactly what to do, and trusted his gut, when the tires blew out.

How are you doing the work now to set yourself up for success later?

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Four Years Of Thanks

It’s been more than four years of being full-time RVers (with vacations along the way, but always returning to our home), and with all of the uncertainty in the world, I’m feeling especially grateful that we followed our dreams and made this adventure happen.

There were so many things that we didn’t know when we started out. If I’d known then that we’d burn through our savings, that we’d have to spend so much money on repairs, that we’d clean toilets or nasty equipment or even experience a few truly horrendous things along the journey, would we have done it?

But, of course, if I knew the bad stuff that would come, then I’d likely know the good stuff, and how could I have passed that up? Getting to meet extraordinary people, visiting gardens and museums and animals and the ocean….eating extraordinary gluten-free food, amazing ice cream, the freshest Mexican and New Mexican cuisine and meeting up with family and friends (some we hadn’t seen in ages) along the way.

(Just a few photos from the past year or so below!)

We’ve worked full-time and part-time jobs, built businesses, checked off bucket list items and built new dreams. We’ve found communities that feel like home and places we look forward to returning to, and we’ve gotten clarity on what is and isn’t important in our lives.

And when I created the tagline for this website (Making The Lives We Want: A Practice In Living), I didn’t have any idea just how much we’d be leaning into it. I’m so glad we have.

I hope that whatever you’re going through, you’re okay. And if you can, take one small step today to make the life you want. Even if it’s just taking time for a cup of tea or a short walk. You deserve it.

Take care, and be well. Thanks for reading.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

 

Planning To Head West

It’s taken us long enough, but we’ve finally made up our minds (so far!) about where we are headed next.

As with much of full-time RVing, it’s subject to change and dependent on weather and our Florida neighbors and of course on our wonderful RV/home and how happy it is when it’s time to leave and travel across the U.S.

The Colorado Springs area has been one of our absolute favorites, although we spent less than a week in the area, and based on our research and what we know so far, it’s a top contender for a place to settle down, either part-time or all year. It’s also one of the more affordable parts of Colorado, a state we absolutely adore and full of TONS of favorite places worth of day and weekend trips. So we’ll be calling our favorite campground at the beginning of August to make a reservation. With limited campsites, we may or may not get an acceptable site, but we’ll give it our best shot!

In the event that our top choice campground isn’t available, we aren’t comfortable winging it for WiFi heading into the winter (see what I did there?), so we’ll instead make our winter home Las Cruces, NM, a community we love with great weather and some of our favorite places to eat and enjoy frozen custard.

Our plan will be to arrive on or around October 1 at our new destination, whichever community that may be, and we’ll be taking some time off of work to make the travel days even easier. Unlike some past travel days, we’re planning out our route very carefully, including anticipated stops for gas, to avoid extra exposure and stress due to COVID-19, and we plan to quarantine ourselves for two weeks when we reach our destination to avoid infecting anyone at our new destination.

We anticipate that we may choose a campground midway to flush our tanks and such, but otherwise we anticipate relying on Harvest Hosts as much as possible – it’s so fun to get goodies like wine and treats instead of paying for a campsite!

We’re so thankful for the flexibility that RVing allows us. Please send us all of your good thoughts and prayers and vibes for a safe and easy transition. Hoping our tires & overall RV are happy, that our car is too, and of course that we’ll all stay safe and healthy throughout our adventure.

Keep fighting for what’s right and staying safe during these challenging times, friends. Sending you hugs & thanks for reading!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

 

The Future Is Unknown – So Enjoy Today!

Hi everyone! Nothing super exciting to report this week. We’re continuing to find ways to have fun in a small space, from cooking elaborate meals and trying new fruits and vegetables to finding new things to watch on Disney+!

We’ve been talking a lot about what’s next for us, and COVID-19 has really thrown a wrench into our planning. Will we feel safe traveling? Will we feel safer elsewhere? When will we again want to go into a theme park, or feel safe going into a bar for an open mic night?

Our goal has been to try out Portland, OR for their music scene…but if the music scene isn’t open to us yet, we’ve actually got several other favorite places in Colorado and New Mexico we’d be happy to spend time in. So we keep expanding our list of options, clarifying our goals and staying as flexible as possible.

Are your plans changing because of COVID-19? What do you think things will look like next spring?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.