fun at the state fair

If you’re from Texas (or are Texas Transplants like Arnavick and me), you know that the state fair is kind of a big deal. I am a huge fair and festival junkie, and the State Fair of Texas is the mother of all fairs ‘round these parts. From food that shouldn’t be fried but is, to carnival rides, to auto shows, to the Midway carnival games, to Fletcher’s corn dogs, to one very massive ferris wheel and of course, Big Tex, the State Fair of Texas has something for everyone. 

Arnavick’s sisters were in town with their daughters and a friend this weekend, and we had so much fun roaming around Fair Park with them! And we even saw three Airstreams and a Shasta trailer! #camperfriends

We tried the fried frito pie bites and the fajita fries, and both were pretty good! We of course rode the ferris wheel (the Texas Star), and Arnavick rode a few rides with his niece and sister, for which I happily held purses and spectated. I’m not a carnival ride person – I’ve ridden enough roller coasters in my life, thankyouverymuch. We also went into the green house, which was surprisingly cool temperature wise and not surprisingly cool because of all the greenery. The weather was sunny and in the high eighties, which is pretty nice this time of year for Texas. 

We also got to see the Redwood Log House, which is right up our alley, and gave our family a chance to see what size of house we’re going to be living in once Rosy the Argosy is done!

I didn’t get pics of everything, but here a a few highlights from the day:


Anyone else make it out to the fair in your state this year? What are some traditions that your state holds?

PS – if you haven’t had pineapple soft serve – stop what you’re doing and go get some! So good!

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our aesthetic is…

When people find out we’re remodeling a camper and plan to live in it, generally, we get two schools of response. Response A – people think we’re crazy hippies (they’re not totally wrong). Response 2 – they’re fascinated and ask tons of questions. 

One that’s been challenging to answer is what it will look like when we’re done. Its a little tough to just ball all of our wild ideas into a compact little package of aesthetic explanation in one conversation. But I thought it would be fun to talk about it here, while we’re still in the midst of pulling Rosy apart. After all, the designing and decorating is where the real action is at, amiright?!

So here are some high-level representations and annotations of our ideal aesthetic:

*Painted white interior skin and walls. Don’t have a solid visual representation of this, but you get it, right?

*Weathered/barnwood style flooring. The second one here is my favorite! I love the slight warm tones with the burnt grays.

*Counter and table surfaces will either be faux concrete or hardwood (undecided)!

*Pops of sage green, rose, peach and rose gold! Most of the metal in the camper is already rose gold (that was a freebie) and I’ve seen some pretty rad rose gold spray paint on the market.

*Black on white simplistic, linear graphic accents (like the cacti sheets I bought to turn into curtains).

*Plants. All the plants.

We are really going for a light and airy, minimalistic aesthetic, with well thought out storage, and multi-use zones.
We also got a lot of inspiration (and the decision to go with white walls) from following Mavis, Dunes, and Tin Can Homestead on insta. 

Hopefully that gives whomever so reads this some sort of mental picture of how we plan on outfitting Rosy. Now if we could just pick a floor plan. I made some templates for us to draw out multiple layouts, which should help us get closer to nailing that down. DIY pun intended.

Happy camping, everyone! 

a hot topic – ovens

^^^ See what I did there?! *winks and nudges Internet with elbow*

We recently pulled out the kitchen in Rosy the Argosy

…and it got me wondering, “Do we really, truly, ABSOLUTELY neeeed an oven”? The Great Debate, I call this. 

Let me back track a little bit. Once upon a time, three years ago, a girl moved into a quaint little apartment. The apartment was small and suited the girl’s few needs. Though this girl believes she has an eye for detail, she somehow completely missed the fact that this apartment did not have a MICROWAVE. 

Obviously, the girl is me, and obviously, my first instinct was to panic, because who in the heck can live a normal life without a mickey to heat up her mac n’ cheese leftovers?!

Somehow, three years later, I’m still alive and breathing, even without the modern convenience of concentrated, high powered heat waves to zap my food into a palateable temperature. ‘Vick moved in two years ago, and has also survived sans-microwave, thank goodness. We both grew up with microwaves in our homes, so neither of us had done much reheating in an oven or on the stove before. Google has been our friend in these trying times.

So, now that we’ve brought ourselves current, let’s talk about this oven thing…

Ovens take up so much space! Our range is small, and yet it still seems to take over a lot of valuable real estate in the kitchen area. When you’re planning on living in 200 sq ft, space becomes such a precious commodity!

This isn’t a great angle (or a great photo at all for that matter), but hopefully this gives you a general idea of the size of it.

When I’m not letting chain restaurants do my cooking for me, I do a lot of cooking on the stove. Really, the only time I regularly use the oven is for heating/reheating pizza (because pizza is life). And the occasional batch of cookies. And it’s great for storing a Costco rotisserie chicken for about an hour if I’m not starving, but will want to eat soon, and still want it to be hot.

But, is all of that enough for us to take up so much precious space in our little abode? Can we live without pizza? Of course not, let me try again – are there other ways to make pizza? Would we be solid with just a space saving induction cooktop? If we can live without a microwave, certainly we could live without an oven, right?

So talk to me, campers. To oven, or not to oven? That is the question. What’s your setup like? What are the pros and cons? What do we do?!

rosy progress report / september 24

‘Vick and I are experiencing very sore muscles (and each a very minor facial injury) this week.

We got a lot done last Saturday! Funny thing is, the camper still looks pretty much the same as it did when we got there – the mess just keeps getting rearranged.

We have been sweating the kitchen removal – which is hilarious, because, in our camper, the kitchen is literally one lower cabinet and one upper cabinet, each about 5’ wide. It’s just the wires and the plumbing and the gas lines… oh my! It’s so much to deal with, and could be dangerous if done incorrectly.

We (loose “we”… Arnavick was most of the muscle here) managed to get it done with one very long break and a trip to the hardware store. Having the right size wrench makes a world of difference when disconnecting gas lines for the stove/oven.

Pretty much everything in this camper is riveted into the interior skin, so to get the cabinet out, we used a tack puller, hammer, and elbow grease to pop all the rivets out. 

Then there were the gas lines. Of the approximate 40 wrenches we have, we didn’t have a single on that fit the nut that was holding the gas line to the stove. No adjustable wrench either. That’s when we hit the wall.

Arnavick wasn’t feeling good, and we were both hungry, so we went home. After some lunch, though, we both got a second wind and decided to run by the hardware store for the right size wrench (as well as an adjustable one for good measure).

We also picked up a strap wrench, which came in handy for loosening the slip nuts connecting the sink drains to the pipes. 

A few turns of a wrench later, and the gas lines and pipes were disconnected – voila!

That made it easy peasy to pull the stove and the cabinet out! No more kitchen! It looks pretty much the same, but it was a check mark next to a to-do, and we’re satisfied by that! So here it is, an anticlimactic before and after of pre- and post-kitchen removal!

With Kitchen:

Without Kitchen:

Anyone else have reservations removing the kitchen like we did? What got you through it?

our awning works?!?!

Arnavick got really brave last weekend and decided to pull open our awning!

When we bought Rosy, her prior owner told us the canvas was trashed. We were expecting a rotted, nasty mess.

You guys, LOOK AT THIS AWNING RIGHT HERE!

It’s in pretty darn good shape compared to the image we had in mind. And the colors! The colors match our beloved exterior striping! Swoon!

So, there IS a little problem… well, two little problems. 
One, there’s some gunk at the very top of the awning. We will have to give it a good washing to see whether it’s just gunk, or if the canvas is rotting. I’ve never wished so hard for something to be gunk. 

Two, the thread came out of the seam that’s right by the door, causing a hole. I can sew really well, but I don’t know how to go about fixing this problem. I don’t want to take the awning off, and I am not confident in my sewing when I have to raise my hands over my head to do so. The great news is, the fabric there is intact.

I was thinking to possibly just gorilla glue the seam back together? Is that crazy?

cacti fabric!

I love an impromptu sister date! If ever there were a best sister award, mine would certainly receive it. We’re incredibly close, sometimes to the point of annoying our family with giggle fits and inside jokes. She’s the absolute greatest!

So when she threw out an invite to meet her at Target after work, I. WAS. THERE. I love catching up with her, and seeing my sweet nephew!

Target and I have a longstanding friendship (we see each other, like, all the time), which can get pricey if you’re not careful. I’ve even posted before about my trick for taking it easy on my wallet – my red sticker rule. If I focus my attention on clearance for non-essentials, my bank account doesn’t seem so anemic.

So when I saw that these sheets, these super cute cacti sheets, these sheets that I’ve commented on EVERY TIME I see them, were on clearance – I was all about it!

One clearance bedding cartwheel discount, one red card discount, and a $10 bill later, and I was on my way home with the cutest little cacti fabric you ever did see!

Sooo, I really want to use this for curtains in miss Rosy the Argosy! The sheets are white, so I’ll need to pair it with a thicker fabric backing for more privacy – wouldn’t a bright cactus green to match her exterior stripes be just perfect?! I’m trying to come up with a way that we can do two-layered curtains that we can use independently. As in, have the privacy curtain, but then also the option to use just the cacti curtain if we want some light to come thru in the daytime, but don’t want folks seeing in (like if I’m in my p-jams or something). More on that if/when I get it figured out.

It’ll be quite a while before I get working on curtains, we still have tons to do! But in all the hard demo work, it was nice to pick up something that’ll eventually be used for the decorating portion of the reno! I love the hard work of pulling things apart and rebuilding, but prettying her up will be so fun!

Peace, love, and camping, friends!

xo – J

the dreaded orange sticker

Our hearts sank. We were stopped in our tracks. The city gave Rosy the dreaded orange sticker, my friends.

We found out Saturday night that we had until 9/5 to move her, otherwise she’d be towed. We parked Rosy on a side street of our friend’s corner lot, and with about 100 ft of extension cords, have successfully worked on her in that spot thus far. The city had other thoughts about that.

We panicked for a little bit, but didn’t let the frenzy stop us from having our first brekkie in the camper (despite the reno mess, haha).

See, our original plan was to put her in Rob’s backyard, but it needed a little clearing first, and we just hadn’t gotten around to it. We were also unsure that she would fit through his gate.

Alas, the time had come to leave procrastination and reservation behind. Arnavick cleared the grass in the backyard, and he and Rob managed to get her back there with a few inches to spare. I’m told it took a 14-point turn! Haha!

I only wish I were there to see it, but I was at home doing homework – booooo. Hopefully Arnavick will tell the tale and post about it on here soon! Here she is in her new resting spot! We are so grateful to Rob and Nicole for opening their yard to us so we can get Rosy all fixed up!