New Travel Blog: Happy Janssens!

happy janssens banner 1000 with white tagline

We are VERY excited to announce that our new travel blog is officially LAUNCHED!! Woooo hoooo!

Come join us at Happy Janssens!

There are 23 blogs already posted for your reading pleasure and TONS of new photos (including lots of new listings at my Etsy store). I’ve been blogging all of our travels from the time we bought the RV, but the dates aren’t exactly right because I blogged them all at once :) Now that I’m caught up, the posts will be in “real time”. We love love love comments…so don’t be shy!

You will see there that we are currently taking bookings for photography sessions, veggie oil conversions, and custom RV remodels. Please contact us right away if you’re interested in hiring us for these services when we are in your area. We are basing our route on our booked jobs.

Spread the word…and put one of little blog “buttons” on your site!
Have a wonderful weekend…see you over at Happy Janssens!

FOR SALE: Original Live Lightly Tour Bus


The original Live Lightly bus is for sale! If you have aspirations of traveling around on veggie oil,

contact Kim and Jeff for more information. Their email is: dancemntn at yahoo dot com.

The Minnie Winnie!

Whew! It’s finished…our little 1983 Winnebago Diesel Minnie Winnie is officially on the road! We left Montana in late July and we are currently in northern Minnesota staying with Matt’s parents. After that, we head to Minneapolis (camping with my fam over Labor Day…woo!), then to Iowa to be with my family. Then on to Nebraska and Colorado to visit friends. We haven’t converted it to run on veggie oil quite yet…but it’s all ready to go!

* Painted cupboards
* Painted walls (with leftover paint from our house)
* Installed bamboo hardwood flooring
* Removed the stove and created shelving for more storage
* Installed new countertop
* Re-laminated dinette table
* Slipcovered couch and dinette seating
* Painted all hinges silver
* Sewed new curtains for all windows
* Installed new front seats
* Replaced carpet in cab
* Installed flat screen TV with built in DVD on a swing arm
* Engine improvements: Installed new alternator
* Upgraded entire electrical system

Click Here for Photos

The practical details:

* Matt and Bella share a closet for their clothes and Lucy and I share the other closet. The closets are the 2 cabinets on either side of the door.
* The space under the countertop (where the oven used to be) houses my Vita-Mix, juicer, food processor, and other random items.
* The only thing we didn’t update was the bathroom. The shower, sink, and toilet are all in one tiny room…you pull a shower curtain around everything to protect it from getting wet…so we didn’t want to paint those walls.
* Bella rides in the passenger seat in her booster. Lucy rides in her car seat in the dinette (there are 2 seatbelts there).
* All of my pantry foods and kitchen items fit nicely above the kitchen area. I was pleasantly surprised. The fridge is a dorm sized fridge, which is challenging at times. I’m sure it would be perfect for someone not doing raw foods, but for us it’s a little tight.
* Fun fact: Matt sewed all of the curtains. He’s amazing.

Saying Goodbye

We have “officially” closed the cross-country traveling chapter of our lives…because there is no more RV to travel around in! :) A few weeks ago, we finalized the sale of the coach to a most wonderful couple named Kevin and Annmarie Gianni. They contacted us even before we had officially put the RV on the market…looking to find a “green RV”. They flew into Bozeman on a Friday night, and all day Saturday we taught them the “ropes” of the RV, how to gather veggie oil, what this button does, what this door goes to…they were complete newbies, but we had total faith that they would do fine all the way back to Connecticut. And they did.

Beginning this spring, they are going to be heading out on a tour of their own…speaking all over the country on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts…raw food and holistic nutrition/health. Woooo! Kevin and Annmarie are a powerful voice and a wonderful example of how we can live healthy lives. They are so laid back and “real”…you can’t help but to like them. :) Check out more about them at their website, Be sure to register to receive their hilarious and informational online health show. They filmed their trip back home from Bozeman, and it’s quite amusing. Well, I’m sure that they wouldn’t categorize getting stuck in an ice storm amusing, but they’re just fun to watch. I would highly encourage you to follow them as they tour….we’re sure looking forward to seeing them again in Montana!

Saying goodbye to this RV wasn’t nearly as hard as leaving the blue beast…there were just so many more memories linked to that one. But it was an emotional transition nonetheless. Especially for our little princess. Well, at least for about 5 minutes…and then she was on to something else :) We reassured her that we would still be able to travel without an RV, but we would just do it like normal people…in a car! That was a new concept for her. You can see more photos of their visit here (including Bella’s very sad face).

We are still LOVING Bozeman and being settled. Just today, we found a kitchen table and chairs on Craigslist (we’ve been without for over 6 months!) and it’s amazing how the little things in life are such luxuries right now. I am 21 weeks pregnant…and everything is progressing nicely. Measuring perfect and a strong heartbeat. Lots of kicking going on as well. Life is good.

I’ve been editing photos from the last leg of our trip and will post those blogs sometime before 2012. :)

For Everything There Is a Season…

Head on over to Walk Slowly for a detailed life update (it involves a house, selling the RV, and more fun stuff!).

P.S. Yes, I’m still working on the blogs from the remainder of our tour…we’ve had a bit of a busy life lately, and I promise they will get posted some day :)

Bella’s Discovery

And The Winners Are…

Thank you for all of the great stories about your favorite road trips! We have chosen the winners for the Essential USA book using an automated number generator…and here they are!

Comment 1: Keri
Comment 22: Deborah
Comment 25: Connie
Comment 29: Jennie
Comment 32: Jes

If you are a winner, please email me here and give me your mailing address.

Thanks so much…and congratulations!

Live Lightly Tour Featured in New York Times

We are featured today in the New York Times…check it out here! It’s a great article that covers several “green RV’s”, including Ty Adams and his bioTrekker Tour. We had the chance to spend a day with Ty when we were in Portland (watch the blog for photos and journals from our West Coast journey soon). He’s a great guy and he definitely knows his stuff.

Have a great day!

Essential USA Giveaway!


The lovely people at Random House have donated five “Fodor’s Essential USA” books for us to giveaway on our blog. I love reading, and I love travel…but so many “guidebooks” are boring and useless. However, I have enjoyed this one…it has lots of great tips, places to see, and gives a nice overview of the entire country. I reads like a real person is talking to you…not a robot :)

Wanna win a book? We’d love to hear from you! To be entered in the giveaway, just tell us your favorite U.S. travel or road trip story. It doesn’t have to be long…just tell us your favorite place, favorite trip, favorite memory, etc.

We will choose the winners on November 10, 2008.

Bozeman Bliss

Yes, you read that right on the home page…we are in Bozeman, MT right now…and not the East coast. For some time now, we’ve been trying to decide whether or not we wanted to continue traveling full-time or settle down for a bit. Settling down won. And like so many of you know, we left our hearts in Bozeman…so what better place to go back to? :) I know, I know…it’s a little cooler up here than Texas, but we like it.

We arrived on Friday afternoon and pulled into our new site, which is on private land about 7 miles from Bozeman. One of the local campgrounds that was closing for the season recommended we contact the owner, who had a few spots open for the winter. It’s the perfect set up for us…and there are mountain views on all sides. In fact, as I type this, I’m watching the sun glisten off of the Spanish Peaks. We’re on the same road that runs into Yellowstone…just 90 miles north!

But what about the TOUR!? Well, after a year and a half of full time nomadic living, we’re ready to have a mailbox again. We’re not going to say we won’t travel anymore…because that’s been deeply rooted in our hearts after this experience. We’re just taking a rest to re-connect, get involved with our church, and spend time with friends who we don’t have to drive away from every couple of days. Matt’s sister Mindy and her husband, Ryan, also live here, as you may recall…and she is due with their first baby in January. We’re excited to be here for that! Some of our best friends are here too…James, Deea, Cassia, Minda, and Tofer…yes, I’m talkin’ bout YOU! :) Check out some of Deea’s gorgeous photos of Bozeman here.

We’ve always said that even after seeing the entire country, we would still go back to Bozeman, and that’s exactly what we did. We’re headed into town today to remind ourselves why we love it so much :) We’re going:

*To the thrift stores
*To drink our favorite coffee at Rockford
*To eat our favorite soup in the whole world…at The Garage
*To shop at the best coop aroundisn’t it great?
*To enjoy the mountain views

And of course, we’re looking forward to the SNOW!! Matt is already looking for little skis and a snowboard for Bella. He’s been wanting to teach her from the moment she was born. Matt LOVES to snowboard and has really been missing it since we left, so he’ll be on the slopes whenever he has the chance.

I will be back to blogging a bit more as well…catching up with where this blog left off out in California! I have so many fun photos and stories I want to share…life has just been a whirlwind! There are a few new pics up in my Flickr sets of our time in Iowa this summer. Mostly of Bella and her best friend, Bianca. And if you haven’t seen the photographer’s pics from my sister’s wedding…check those out here! She was a beautiful bride.

That’s all for now…more to come soon!

« Previous Entries