California, Here we Come!

News Alert! News Alert! I have the information you have ALL been waiting for! Where are we headed next?

California! Martinez, California to be exact!

I am excited, and very nervous all at the same time! I have contracted with a new company (no problems with the last company they just didn’t really have anything available in my specialty and area we wanted to be. I’ll miss my really wonderful and friendly recruiter though!). So, we are headed to Martinez, which if you are unfamiliar with the area is about an hour Northeast of San Fransisco! We will be staying in a town a little north of Martinez called Vallejo since it was the closest RV park we could find, about 20 minutes from the hospital.

The position was listed online as a Mother/Baby but when I did the phone interview they were looking for level II nursery. We talked about my experience, specialty and comfort level along with the patients they normal see and decided I would still be a good fit, even though I have never officially worked in a level II nursery. (LV you prepared me well!)

I mentioned that I am excited and nervous and that’s mainly because of the hours not the starting over part (that comes with the travel nursing territory). The position was listed as 3 12 hour shifts but their need must be greater than that because in the interview the manager said she was looking for someone to work 5 8 hour shifts (This isn’t uncommon in California because of their nursing laws most full-time employee’s work 5 8’s since anything over 8 is considered overtime in a day) BUT, since I will be working nights I really didn’t want to work 5 shifts a week because I know I won’t wake up early to have time to do anything in a given day as I would if I worked days. (I think 5 8’s is a day shift’s dream, 7-3 I’d take it in a heartbeat! I think) So I told the manager I didn’t want to work that and she offered me 4 12 hour shifts, 48 hours a week. So THAT’S why I’m scared! That’s a lot of hours in a work week! I’ve done it before, without dying(ha!) once when LV was short-staffed for a couple of weeks so I know it can be done, it’s just really taxing and cuts down on your time off.

These last few weeks of trying to find an assignment have almost made me rethink this whole travel nursing gig. (I know, I hear you all saying “yay, come back home!” from my Louisiana friends!) I was truly spoiled with the ease of finding this first position in Helena. The job popped up, I applied, interview the next day, accepted the job in the interview and signed the contract the day after. Wam-bam and done! It couldn’t have been more textbook perfect. This next assignment was work though! I have spent the last few weeks researching location, pay, talking to new recruiters, filling out new applications, offering references (sorry for the million calls but thanks for the good reviews!) I was blown away by the differences in pay hospitals in the same area can have(a whole other story for another blog one day!)

That being said, I couldn’t be happier with the area we are headed to and the timing of this assignment. We are going to be an hour (give or take a few minutes depending on traffic) from San Fransisco and the Bay area. I have a cousin who lives in San Fransisco right now and I’m super happy to get to see her!

So what does this mean for the next few months?! We get to plan our trip home!!!! Yayyy!!! Like I mentioned, I have been real homesick lately (just missing friends, family and familiarity), coupled with the stress of the unknown. It’s all just made me want to go home! But alas, were back on track and have plans for our La visit in December! Unfortunately this assignment doesn’t end until December 27 (really the 28th since working night shift I wont get off until the next morning) So most likely we will book a plane to fly home that day or the day after! I think we are going to try to stay for 2 weeks at least so everyone clear your schedules so you can have quality Andrea and Jon time!! Yayy, the Nomads are headed h0me!

I think that about sums it up. I do want to say a special thank you to a few friends who helped me out when I was needing some local advice on areas to live! It’s hard to go into an area to live by just blindly picking so the advice I got was well appreciated and helpful! I still want to write more about my trouble’s getting a California license and finding a job in CA, but this is getting too long so I’ll save that for another day!

See you soon Cali!

All our love,

The Nomads

 

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The Pro’s and Con’s of RV living

We have officially been living in our RV for about three months and while that doesn’t make us experts in any form, we have learned a thing or two along the way. We knew when we bought our RV that life was going to be a little different {space issues, anyone?} than living in a regular apartment or house. Most issues we planned for, some took us by surprise! So here is my Pro/Con RV living list, 3 month edition!

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Pro:

  • Your house can move!: This has been great for weekend trips and the travel lifestyle in general. Notice I said your house can move. That’s the nice thing about an RV, it is totally yours and you can decorate and customize everything to your liking {more on this concept later}. Speaking specifically to moving though, it is so nice not to have to worry about packing {forgetting things} when we are going on a short trip. We have taken the RV on two trips with us while we have been in Montana and both times we left right after I got off working a 12 hour night shift. As you can imagine, the last thing I would ever want to do is come home and pack a bag for a trip. With our RV we are able to put everything in its place, check off our mental RV closing checklist, hitch up the truck and hit the road. Now don’t get me wrong, it takes a little time to get your house road ready, but in my mind its way easier and less stressful than packing bags for a trip AND I have EVERYTHING I own with me {how convenient}! Sidenote: there is a certain guilt factor associated with eating out on a trip when you have your whole kitchen with you ūüė¶
  • Your house is yours: In the travel nursing world, your are most likely moving every 13 weeks. It is rare to find and assignment shorter than 13 weeks so packing up and moving just comes with the territory. If we didn’t live in an RV we would literally be packing our entire lives in boxes and bags and hauling our junk to our next place of residence every 13 weeks. Besides the fact that this would just suck, we would never be able to make a temporary living space “our own”. In our RV we we able to decorate {see: Our RV remodel} everything to make our home cozy and comfortable. We completely customized our RV and there is not a day that goes by that I regret all the hard work we put into making our RV into the home we wanted.
  • You don’t have room for a ton of junk!: I’ll admit, I love to shop. Before we lived in the RV I probably frequented Tjmax and Home Goods on a weekly basis and while this was great for my home decorating look, it wasn’t so great on my piggy bank! Now that we live in the RV I truly have to work to justify all my purchases {yes, I can fit that cute skirt into my already overflowing closet!}. So, I’ve taken to just staying out of my favorite shopping venues and subsequently saved my piggy bank a ton of stress!
  • You get to live REAL close to your housemate/loved ones: I know, I know, this one could have gone both ways for most couples. But Jon and I have been lucky and our close living quarters haven’t been any real source of conflict between us. Now this could also be that my job provides us with ample alone time for both of us since I spend a good 72 hours a week working/sleeping. But truly, we have enjoyed having our own tiny space of the world just for us!
  • Everything has to have a place: When we were deciding what could/should go in our RV we had to make sure we had a place for the said item. We couldn’t take it if we couldn’t ensure it had a designated travel approved spot. This makes cleaning up and putting away our junk a breeze.

Cons:

  • The black tank: Go big or go home right? So I’ll just start with the major whammy, our beloved {yeah right we hate that thing} black tank. The black tank has been a constant source of frustration in our humble abode. A fun “where’s that smell coming from” guessing game. Hint: 90% of the time the black tank wins! We also lucked out and found out that our black tank sensor does not work, so yes, we don’t ever know if “the s**t is starting to hit the fan” literally.¬† This has lead us to purchases such as the black tank cleaning wand and the see-through poop tube to ensure our tank gets nice and clean with every dump {no pun intended} day.
  • There is no dishwasher: I think if we could hire someone just to do our dishes we would {anyone in the job market for a traveling dishwasher position?} We both hate washing dishes and washing by hand really takes the cake. Not only is it no fun, but you have to work extra hard to make sure you’ve cleaned your dishes well because they aren’t going to run through the dishwasher after you’ve gotten all the food gunk off of them. And, since our hot water heater is only 6 gallons we run out of hot water REAL fast. So yes, I let Jon talk me into buying paper plates, and he could probably talk me into disposable cups and silverware if it wouldn’t break the bank!
  • The teeny-tiny refrigerator: As with every aspect of the RV, space is a major issue, and that is not spared with the fridge. From the outside it doesn’t look too bad, bigger than dorm sized, a little smaller than apartment sized, but man, try to squeeze a weeks worth of food into that thing is a loosing Tetris battle! There have been many grocery shopping occasions where we’ve looked into our basket and said “uh, I don’t think we have enough freezer space for all of this!” which only ends up leading to a frozen chicken vs. ice cream battle, and we all know who is going to win that one! So, I’ve learned am still learning to plan meals., it’s a work in progress.

So, all in all, it’s not that bad, we actually love it! There’s something to be said about having your own place, even if it is on two wheels and has an adjustable square footage!

 

Thanks for stopping by! All our love!

-The Nomads

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Banff’s beautiful Lake Louise, Lake Agnes and Lake Moraine!

Ever since I saw a picture on Pinterest I was baffled by the beauty the small area of Canada called Banff held. I knew while planning our Banff trip that we would have to take a trip to Lake Louise. Even the boarder patrol agent at the U.S./Canada border told us Lake Louise was a must see!
So on day 2 we loaded up our backpacks with snacks and water and headed to Lake Louise to see the lake and hike the Lake Agnes Teahouse Hike! It was super crowded when we got there around 12 and it took us about 15 minutes of circling the parking lot to finally score a spot (we have found this to be the case at many major national park attractions).
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The picture above is from my first sight of Lake Louise. The lake was a milky teal color that just beautifully complemented the snow capped mountains that stood behind. I snapped as many pictures as my impatient fiance’ would allow before he hurried me along to “get into nature and away from all these crowds!”, as he put it.

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The Lake Agnes Teahouse hike was pretty steep and we found ourselves huffing and puffing for the first mile or so until we adjusted to the change in elevation. For the first mile the trail followed the Lake which provided me with many more perfect photo opportunities.

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About 3/4 of the way into the hike we came to a lake called Mirror lake which was a crystal clear green colored small lake. It was absolutely gorgeous, surrounded by trees and fresh air! We could see in the very far distance a small house, which someone pointed out to us as the teahouse.

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So we ventured on to the teahouse. After what seemed like an eternity we reached the stairs to the teahouse and were greeted to the most picturesque little lake and small cottage turned into a restaurant. We grabbed a table and started to scan the menu. That was when we found out that the teahouse has NO electricity and is only accessible by foot! So what does that mean? Cash only, no ice(we kept hearing guests ask for ice water and ice in their drinks), and a very limited menu. We ordered tea, lemonade, tea biscuits with homemade jam and an apple crisp. All were absolutely delicious and even more enjoyable when we learned the workers make everything fresh every morning. The workers have summer jobs at the teahouse (since it is only open during the summer) and they live in the attic area above the teahouse for days at a time while they are working. They have no electricity so they are essentially one with nature while they spend their summer working, such a cool way to spend your summer!
A few pictures of the tea house and lake Agnes:
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After tea we headed back down the trail back to Lake Louise. The return trip is always much more enjoyable on trails where you gain a lot of elevation ūüôā
Next I wanted to make sure we visited Moraine Lake since it was so close. It was getting late but we were so close I knew we had to make the stop, and we are SO glad we did. The scenery and beauty that Lake Moraine held is indescribable. We enjoyed a zero elevation gain walk around half of the lake while taking loads of pictures!! The trail was pretty deserted so Jon let me take as many pictures as my little heart desired, while he watched out for bears of course! We thought for sure we would spot a bear seeing as we were approaching dusk and it had to be dinner time for them as well, although we didn’t want to be there dinner so we were armed with a plan and our bear spray just in case we had a chance meeting with a big grizzly!
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Alas, we made it back to the trail head bear free and headed back for dinner in town. These two hikes were perfect if you only have one day in the Lake Louise area and want to explore a bit!
Thanks for stopping by, stay tuned for the rest of our Banff trip coming soon!
All our love,
The Nomads

The Grand Teton Moose Mission

On day three of our Yellowstone vacation we decided to head down south and see Grand Teton National Park. From West Yellowstone it was about a 2 hour drive down to the entrance of the park. Because of this we decided to take Cooper along with us so he didn’t have to be cooped (pun totally intended!) in his cage. This meant we weren’t going to be able to do any hikes since dogs aren’t allowed on any of the trails.¬†The weather looked like it had the potential for¬†rain so we weren’t too bummed out about the hiking.
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The first thing we did when we arrived in the park was stop at the ranger station for a¬†map, and a little advice on wildlife sightings. Jon was lucky enough to see his animal of choice early¬†in the trip, while¬†the animal I wanted to see had still managed to elude us!¬†Jon likes to say I pick the hardest animals to find. I just wanted to see a¬†Moose! So in preparation for the day Jon had researched the best places to find moose. Low and behold, all his research pointed to a place¬†called Moose¬†Junction and more specifically, Moose road.¬†The ranger confirmed his research and told us that Moose Junction is prime¬†moose habitat. So¬†armed with a map and our moose sighting eyes we set out on our mission. A moosey mission as Jon called it, and if you recall from the buffalo sighting, there’s a song for this mission as well but I’ll spare you the boring details!¬†Moose Junction is a straight shot down the park¬†and is the last junction before the end of the park. We found Moose road and drove it back and forth with no wildlife sightings. At one point we got out of the car and picked some sage grass which was growing very plentiful in the area. It smells just like sage and reminded me of relaxing aromatherapy.
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Sage grass:
 
 
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At the end of the road Jon let me take over the driving and I let him take over the navigating. This was mistake #1! While deciding what we would do next Jon mentioned that there was a road up ahead that would lead to the Snake River. He said, “I think it’s a back road, it may be paved at first and I think we have a really good chance of seeing some moose.” So, I follow my navigators orders and turn onto a non-paved, very bumpy dirt road. It doesn’t take long for me to realize that we are headed into the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Up ahead we notice an SUV stopped and the driver appeared to be scouting out the road ahead. He told us it looked steep but leveled out up ahead and we should be fine. So, we of course let him go first. He started to drive away then literately disappeared down the hill, at this point I’m asking Jon if he still thinks this is a good idea and he of course says yes. So we follow the SUV ahead until we get to the river. The SUV stops off at the entrance to an even rockier and dustier road. I’m starting to panic because there’s no way we are going to get back up this steep hill we came down and this road ahead looks uber sketchy. Jon of course is gung-ho for this adventure and as we switched drivers (because I was not going to be responsible for any truck damage we might occur on this treacherous road) he handed me the map. That’s when I notice the road he had led us down. The road is an obvious back road that says “ATV road, 4 wheel drive required”, to which Jon argues, “it says recommended, plus we have four wheels.” 4 wheels, 4-wheel drive…can’t be that big of a difference right?! HAHA
 
So, with no choice but to drive on, we started down the LONG dirt road. We were literately driving within feet of a very steep and high cliff on the banks of the Snake River. (Don’t worry mom, were still alive!) We stopped frequently for wildlife checks, convinced that we would see something with our great view of the woods below. We literately saw NO wildlife along the banks of the river or in the surrounding forest. It was so strange especially since it was such a deserted part of the park. The 12 mile road took us about 2 hours to drive. At the VERY end, I kid you not about 1/2 mile from the main road we came upon a heard of Bull Elk grazing on the surrounding Sage grass. They were beautiful creatures and made the long, bumpy and disappointing drive totally worth our time!
 
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Next up was dinner. We went back into Moose Junction (With the hopes of seeing a moose of course) and went to an outdoor chuck-wagon cookout. The food was sub-par but the entertainment was great. They were having a live music session showcasing anyone who felt like stepping up on stage to play.
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The entertainment was awesome but we had a mission to accomplish. We decided to drive Moose road one more time in hopes that the evening would bring about more wandering wildlife. No such luck! We saw a few dear but NO moose, or any other wildlife for that matter (I would have settled for a bear sighting as well!) After finishing our drive along Moose Road we aborted our mission and headed home. Hopefully we may have better luck moose hunting on our next trip in Banff National Park.
 
So, although I didn’t get to see any Moose, we thought The Grand Tetons were beautiful and are even talking about coming back to camp and hike in this area before we leave Montana. Our trip to Yellowstone and The Grand Tetons was short but it was definitely an awesome experience!
 
Thanks for following along! Until next time!
 -The Nomads
 
A few extra pictures from our day:
We stopped for lunch at Leek’s Marina a long Jackson lake and took these pictures!
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DIY cabinet remodel with Nuvo Paint

The topic of today is do it yourself (DIY) projects. During the whole process of our RV renovation I used other people’s blogs and internet sources for my inspiration and project research. I research the heck out of all my projects before I start most of the time, to avoid frustrating mistakes someone else has probably already learned from! So I was super excited to write my own DIY how-to’s and product reviews (I was in no way endorsed or compensated for my time or supplies and all opinions are my own)! For my first review I want to show everyone how we accomplished our biggest RV makeover, the cabinets.
For this projects I took to the internet to research cabinet painting. I came across many blogs and DIY projects of people who had already completed this monumental task. The pictures always looked amazing, and I was super excited to transform our RV! We choose white (coconut espresso to be exact) in an effort to open up the look of our small space.
After reading everything I could find on the internet I settled on a product called “Nuvo Cabinet Paint”. It promised to be an all-in-one kit that took most people 8 hours to finish, in fact they promise you can put your kitchen back together within 4 hours of painting. Well, either we have triple the amount of cabinets or we aren’t most people. This project took us almost 3 weeks!
The first thing I had to do was sand the cabinets. The kit provides you with a small piece of foam sandpaper. I used that (and about the rest of the sandpaper inventory stock at Lowe’s and Home depot!) The directions said to lightly sand, but I just had a feeling that the paint would not stick if I didn’t do my best to remove the clear varnish that was covering the cabinets. This obviously called for much more extensive sanding than the “lightly” recommendation. I was also facing the challenge of faux wood. Everything except for the actual drawers and cabinet doors had what appeared to be a faux laminate covering that I was going to need to paint. I ended up needing to rough up every surface I planned on painting. This took me about 3 days before I was ready to paint.
I choose the Nuvo brand based on reviews that said you didn’t need a paint primer, you only needed to “lightly sand” and the promises that the paint would wear well. I have to say, while my cabinets look great, the paint fell short on all my initial hopes.
If I had to do this project again I would without a doubt use a base of primer, for a couple of reasons:
                          1. As a first coat of paint РSince I was going from light wood to white I was essentially going from a dark color to a light color.
                          This took 3 coats of paint to cover completely. A primer would have prevented unnecessary coats of my pricey liquid gold
                          cabinet paint!
                          2. To reduce the amount of sanding- As I mentioned earlier, all of my cabinets are a faux laminate or had some type of glaze over
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† them.¬† I knew if I didn’t get it all off the paint would not stick to the cabinet. After learning the value of primer I believe that the
                          primer would have stuck to the cabinets and then the NUVO paint would have just adhered to the primer. I also think this
                          would have better protected my cabinets in the long run as some of them are starting to chip already from furniture
                          rubbing against them!
Ok, off my primer soap box for now! The next step was to clean the cabinets. I had to vacuum the dust and then wipe the cabinets that were full of leftover sanding particles. Then came the fun, the paint! I laid all the cabinets out on plastic in the garage before I started. This was mistake #2! After I painted the first couple doors I realized they were going to stick to the plastic when dried. So we put up some tables in the garage and placed the cabinets on wood chips that elevated them about an inch off the table so they wouldn’t stick. The tables made the painting 100 times easier!
DSCN0950 As a side note: NUVO recommends you paint while the doors are still attached to the cabinets but I didn’t want to worry about painting around the hardware. We removed the doors so we could make sure everything was painted perfectly!
I found it easiest to paint in the raised part of the doors with the roller first. Then the groves with the paintbrush and then touch up with the brush and roller. Watch for drips because they aren’t noticeable when painting but they are SO noticeable (and not fixable) when dried! I also always went with the direction of the grain of the wood.¬† Nuvo recommends a 2 hour dry time before applying the second coat. I used my 2 hours to start painting the cabinets in the RV. After I applied the second and {what I thought} was the final coat I needed to wait for them to dry before I flipped them. Since NUVO recommends you keep the doors attached while painting you don’t need to worry about dry time, and looking back, this wouldn’t have been a terrible idea. But because I wanted to be different, I had to wait for my cabinets to dry. Now, I live in Southern Louisiana and it was HOT and muggy. So this really threw a wrench in my plans to dry my cabinets. Luckily I had to work for a few days so the cabinets had some time to dry while I was busy.
Once dry, Jon reinstalled the hardware for me while I painted the outside and inside of the cabinets. I was really concerned about this part because this was the faux wood. And just as I suspected, it wouldn’t completely stick to the surface. Basically any corners or edges that weren’t sanded completely caused the paint to bubble and spread leaving unpainted portions of cabinet. I had to let it dry (or wipe it off) then re-sand and re-paint. As frustrating as it was, the finished product looks great!
So once everything was dry we re-installed the doors. That’s when we decided the cabinets needed another coat of paint. When we compared the cabinets to the doors, the doors looked kinda streaky and you could still see wood underneath. This would have been nice if we were going for a rustic look, but the cabinets themselves were totally white and didn’t match! So the third coat went on, and then the touch-ups went on (I swear I thought I’d never finish with those stinking cabinets!).
Ok, let me also mention that the small can you see in the first picture lasted me all of one coat of my cabinet doors. Granted, I have tons of cabinets in the RV but with NUVO’s prediction I thought I could make it go a little further. So on a frustrated whim I drove to Sherwin Williams and talked to the sales associate. She showed me their brand of cabinet paint and offered to paint match the sample of NUVO I had brought. I didn’t have the patience to wait for another can of NUVO in the mail so I bought a gallon of Sherwin Williams cabinet paint. This finished up the inside and outside of the first coat of the cabinets. So yes, I ended up buying another gallon. In total I used one quart of the NUVO paint provided in the kit and 2 gallons of Sherwin Williams paint (Should this be a review of Sherwin Williams cabinet paint?! whoops!) But let me mention, I also painted the trim in the RV and a door. If you are going to paint a regular kitchen you can probably get away with less paint than I used.
Now, let’s just summarize all this information I just threw at you!
  • Nuvo paint: Good kit, good instructions, but a little pricey ($69.95 for the kit). Overall, not really necessary once I ended up buying the Sherwin Williams paint.
  • Sanding: Sand it all! or use primer!
  • Paint coats: light coats, paint to your design preference. Be prepared to coat 3 times if you want full coverage.
  • Color: I used coconut espresso, which is an off white and looks great on my cabinets! I didn’t want stark white and this really softens the look of my kitchen/living room.

My opinion: This was a must-do project for me to change the look of our new home. So, it can be done, but it’s a TON of work! It doesn’t wear as well as I hoped. Now, you have to keep in mind that when we open and close our slides the furniture is constantly rubbing against each other. That being said, I have A LOT of nicks in my paint that will have to be touched up, eventually. But really, I love how our cabinets look and I would do it again if I had to (just don’t hand me a paintbrush any time soon please!) So, I’ll leave you with some pictures from our remodel!

 

DSCN0948 DSCN0952Refrigerator door being removed for painting! DSCN0955 Don’t mind my painting outfit, it was cold that day!

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Finished Product!

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That’s a wrap! Thanks for visiting!

Until next time!

-The Nomad’s!

Our RV remodel- from old to ours!

Welcome to our home! I have been wanting to write a post to show off our RV since I started blogging! I intended to write posts about each project we undertook while renovating the RV but let’s face it, we barely had time to eat and sleep we were so busy! There are some projects (like the cabinets and the couch) that I still plan on writing about a little in depth because they were total learning experiences but for now I want to show you the transformation of our house!

We bought our fifth wheel in March and completed the renovation process in June right before we hit the road. It was truly a labor of love. We put hours of¬† our spare time and the last days in our hometown perfecting the fifth wheel. The good news is that Jon and I are both headstrong and committed to finish what we start. So all of our projects got finished. The bad news is that I am a total dreamer and added on a new project almost daily. Which thankfully, Jon took in strides, supported my dreams and pitched in when possible (I am pretty sure he’s starting to not like the phrase, “look what I found on pinterest!”)

We took lots of pictures along the way and can’t wait to share them! If you see any pictures and want to know more about how we did the project just ask and I’ll be sure to write about it!

I’ll take a moment to mention that you might want to grab a cup and get comfortable because this post is a little long! I can’t help it, I’m proud of our work!

These pictures were taken on our way to pick up our new home and outside of Jon’s parents home. They were gracious enough to allow us to park the fifth wheel in their driveway and allowed us to use their house and their tools as our home base for our RV remodel! I don’t know how we could have completed this project without them and we are so thankful for all their help!

 

 

DSCN0889DSCN0896DSCN0906These pictures are our before pictures! We took these pictures then almost immediately removed those hideous curtains and valances.

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These pictures were taken a few days later when we tackled our first project, painting the cabinets. We had to removed all of the cabinet doors and hardware then “lightly” sand, as the instructions explained. I challenge you to lightly sand something, it’s like a vicious cycle! Nothing ever seemed rough enough until it was too rough! It took me days to sand everything! Sanding quickly became my least favorite part of remodeling. And let’s not even talk about the fact that Jon pulled out the electric sander AFTER I finished the sanding project!

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As you can imagine this was a monster project. The instructions said it would take 48 hours and it took us almost 3 weeks and 3 times the paint recommended. It looks great and I would do the project again if necessary, with modifications of course!

These are the cabinets on their way to completion.

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If you were looking carefully above you will notice that we also ripped out the carpet flooring in order to put down faux wood flooring. Jon was so excited about this project. That is, until he stumbled upon our biggest headache of the whole remodel:

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This is essentially our fault. We bought the fifth wheel from an individual and failed to take it to an RV mechanic to get it looked at. Although it was pretty well hidden and there’s no telling whether they would have found it or not. To make a long story short, we fell in love with the RV and were so impressed with the nice old man and his wife’s upkeep of the RV that we decided we did not need to get it checked out. Big mistake, lesson learned: Do it right the first time. We ended up with a leaking slide out and a rotted floor. The circular object you see in the first picture is a saw blade that the prior owner used to prevent the couch from going through the floor. When it was all said and done this cost us almost $2000 to fix and took the repair company over a month total to fix the floor (there were many complications involved, stay tuned and i’ll write about the floor disaster!)

The picture to the left is a door we removed that separated the bedroom and the living room. It was awkward because there was about a foot gap between the bottom of the door and the stairs. I don’t think we ever took a picture of this, but I had¬† the brilliant idea to put a curtain instead of the door. It looks great and it really brought the decorating look together.

The picture on the right was the beginning of our decorating scheme. I fluctuated between what I called boho chic and shabby country chic depending on what decorations Jon vetoed in the process. (I still have a sore spot from my bedroom curtains that were non-negotiable vetoed!) You will see we used the blue and the yellow on the kitchen and bedroom walls (we ended up painting all the walls in the fifth wheel). The fabric was what we wanted to use to cover the kitchen chairs. We ended up with this pattern in a grey color since this was all that was in stock at Hobby Lobby at the time. In my opinion the grey came out better and mixes well with the rest of the decorations.

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This next project was our couch re-upholster, or really Jon’s couch re-upholster. I am incredibly proud and still in awe that he did this project almost all on his own. Total dedication! He was dead-set on having a leather couch. I could take it or leave it and after buying a leather couch proved to be financially unfeasible we looked into re-upholstering the couch we had. I will go into detail in another blog later on the specifics of this project but for now just know that it is possible!

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This next pictures are part of my favorite RV remodel story. One night after I got off work I came home to the whole house in remodel mode. Jon’s mom was sewing our chair cushion covers (which she happily gave up to me so she could take a break!) and Jon was out in the garage matching stain colors for the trim on the flooring. I was pleasantly sewing away when I hear footsteps running into the house. Jon opens the door and exclaims, “Andrea, come quick…and grab a paintbrush”. Jon’s mom and I shared a questionable glance before we went outside to see what was going on. We found Jon in the garage dipping his paintbrush into stain that was now ALL OVER the garage floor and using it to paint our kitchen table. He had been using the table to hold the stain he was using and accidentally spilled the container. Luckily we were planning on staining the table anyways and it was just a matter of time before we got around to that project. That was probably one of the quickest projects we ended up completing! It ended up looking great even though we were covered in stain, which if you are wondering does in fact stain skin as well! (our chair covers look great too I should add!)

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The outcome of our stained and re-upholstered chairs and table! Absolutely love them! They made a huge difference!

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These next pictures were taken during the painting process. We were nervous at first when we decided it looked very similar to a baby nursery. Once we got some furniture back in and the decorations up that thought flew out the window. (And in flew my bird curtains! My pride and Joy!)

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The curtains turned into a DIY project. They were literally made completely from scratch, pattern and all. I COULD NOT have done this without the help of Jon’s mom. She did all the tedious math and measuring for the patterns and worked for countless hours to make sure they were all finished before we left (many times alone, while I was working)! I am in love with these curtains, they are probably my favorite part of our home and they make our place very cozy!

You can also see above Jon working on the floors. We choose to use Allure Traffic Master Flooring based on many recommendations from other blogs and RV remodel websites. These floors are essentially “floating” which is important when moving slides for travel. They really look great and their only downfall is that they scratch very easily. We were expecting this thanks to the realistic scratch demo Jon’s sister gave us on a sample piece of flooring while we were chatting over breakfast one Sunday. (I think of you every time I see a scratch on Emily!)

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The day before our going away party Jon caught a really bad cold and couldn’t finish the floors, I was at work so our lifesavers came to the rescue! We really wanted to have the RV presentable for the most part before our party so we could share our new home with our family and friends before we left. By some miracle and a ton of hard work the floors came together perfectly!

 

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We get a lot of comments on the amount of space we have, this is a comparison to what it looks like while we travel when the slides are closed!

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Finally, the finished pictures of our home!

We have limited space everywhere so things like our shower caddy are lifesavers!

We had a nice quilt that matched the pillows on the bed but we decided it wasn’t comfortable and have resorted to an old comforter we brought as a last minute add on to our packing!

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I up-cycled the old lampshades with some fabric decorations I found at hobby lobby! Jon said they were too girly, but they were already glued on, oops!! ūüôā

 

 

 

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The only shelf we have in that is suitable for pictures! To the left you can see the curtain we used to replace the door I mentioned earlier. And of course, to the right, my little dog model!

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Jon’s desk and work area!

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This was another DIY on the whim project. Somehow I was sent to home depot by myself and came back with a new project of course. It was super easy to install (although we currently have a piece missing that fell during our travels). We think it looks great and really adds dimension to our home!

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If you notice we have the no slip shelf liner lining our drawers. This is so things don’t slide and break while we drive. The entire RV is decked out in this stuff, but it has served its purpose well!

You can also see our sink and make-shift dishwasher. Yes, we have to wash everything by hand (do you hear the excitement in my voice). I picked up this nifty utensil washer you see in the left hand corner. It is basically just a brush but it works really well.

 

 

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Yes, that my friends is a fireplace! Electric with real heat output! And Jon’s hand carved paddle for a rustic man’s touch to balance out my female decor!

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My bird door knob which was a gem of a find a world market! And our washer and dryer which we could not live without! We read many controversies before ensuring this was a feature we needed/wanted. We wouldn’t trade the convince of this for anything.

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And that’s it my friends! Our house and remodel process in a nutshell! This was a huge and so rewarding project! We have so many people to thank who lent us their time, hard work, ideas tools, and support during the process. We are so happy with the way it turned out. We will can’t believe it looks so wonderful!

 

Whew! That turned out to be a lot longer than I expected! Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to give you a tour!

 

Until next time!

-The Nomads