July ’19: By the Hair of our Chinny Chin, Chin.

posted in: Boise, Van Life | 4


July is over. I’m not sure how we pulled everything together by the 31st, but we did it! As the saying goes, we made our time frame “by the hair of our chinny chin, chin”. It was CLOSE. It boiled down to 3 weeks of hellish bliss as we worked 12-15 hour days in a push to get the van done. I say hellish because the days were brutally long. It was also bliss because we were really starting to see the van come to life.

Overall, Eric and I are exceptionally proud of what we’ve accomplished in 6 short months. Despite having minimal knowledge, tools, and storage space, we were armed with a big idea and loads of motivation that fueled our bodies as we concocted this imperfect masterpiece from the ground up.

Without further ado, we proudly present: VAN Morrison.

VAN comes fully furnished with a bedroom, bathroom, hallway, kitchen, garage, cockpit, and even a junk drawer. We are in love with this guy already <3 The best part? We are 100% self sufficient thanks to our amazing solar setup. We should never have to “plug in”.

Getting Organized

It seems that finishing the build would have been the end to all of the challenges, however, it seemed that we still had a long way to go in figuring out where to stuff all of our necessities. It was a true test which lead to the realization that our idea of minimalism and the reality of minimalism were two completely different beasts!

Thankfully, there are several storage and organizational accessories to choose from! I was able to maximize every single inch under the sink. We have 2 large fresh water tanks (as seen far left), a 3 tier storage shelf which holds items we use most often, 2 small totes one of which supports the instapot, and our grey water tank (as seen far right). On the wall (can’t see in photo) there is a hanging basket which holds towels/cloths (on the left wall) and a water filtration system (on the right wall). It’s a pretty sweet deal how everything JUST fit. Totally accidental!

Another decision which turned out to be a GREAT idea was using the bathroom door for additional storage. Initially, we had went with a retractable door which only served one purpose. In just a small space, you learn quickly the importance of having multi functional furniture/belongings. Otherwise, we would need an 18 wheeler to house our adventures!

We even made room for Figaro—Figaro Hubert Davis the Ferocious Citrus IPA Plant. Fig for short. Fig seems to dig van life because he’s nearly doubled in size since we left Boise.


During the last month of our van build we ran into a few hiccups the biggest being that our new foam mattress ended up being 5+ inches TOO THICK for our space. What do you do? I’ll tell you what we did….we gave it a wee little trim. A $275 hair cut as a matter of fact. Luckily, it actually turned out well and despite a few ebbs and flows, the mattress is still comfortable. *wipes sweat from brow*

The initial cut…OMG.
A full body workout!

A Special Thanks

I want to thank everyone for all the love, hangouts, and adventures we experienced before leaving Idaho (temporarily leaving that is!).

Photo by Marie S.

These wonderful ladies took time out of their busy weekday to come check out the van and have a small get together at Payette Brewery off the Greenbelt. Thank you Marie, Janet, Heather, and Kayla! It was so great to see you all one last time before our depart!

I promised Cassandra that I wouldn’t post a photo of her so you’ll have to settle for this one! One of my favorite outdoor seating areas in all of Boise! Thanks for hosting the most fun OT happy hour ever. I’m sure we could also thank the 8.5% Cider, but you are a pretty amazing hostess even without the alcohol! So, to Kim, Mallory, Danika, Cassandra, and Stacey…I miss you all already! Best OT crew ever.

Oh wait. Technology….


Take a Hike

Debbie and Jacquie sent me off in style in our epic Around the Mountain hike. I can’t wait to hike with you ladies again soon!

Here are some of my favorite photos from our hike. I’m not going to talk your ears (or your eyes) off this time!

Eric may be indifferent, but speaking for myself, Idaho filled a void in my heart like no other place. I will forever consider this my home.


The van build was everything we dreamed it would be and more! From challenging and fun to frustrating and monotonous. We laughed, I cried, and Eric bled and just like that we have created the lifestyle we wanted in pursuit of the adventures we’ve dreamed of.

I leave you with 3 quotes.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Thoreau

“As soon as you begin to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.” -Barbara Sher

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” -C.G. Jung

Until next time friends.

If you missed last month’s blog and want to catch up, click here.

Oh and on a brief note of copyright laws, please don’t steal my pictures for your own use. If you’d like to check into purchasing them, shoot me an email.

4 Responses

  1. GabyTaylor

    Love the post! Supper excited to see more. The pictures from around the mountain are divine!!! I Can see whay somebody might want them. U have an exceptional eye for photography. So happy to have cross paths with you. You made my heart smile many times.
    And last I love all 3 quotes.

    • Jenni

      Believe it or not, I caught a few people swiping my photos for their own personal use so I felt the need to put that reminder out there! Not to be a jerk, just to point out that it is technically stealing. So glad we’ve crossed paths as well and hope to stay in touch as well as see you when I’m back in Boise! Much love. Happy adventuring!!!

  2. Maries Schlake

    So happy for you and Eric to finally realize your dream of living an adventure on the road in your phenomenal van! I’m so glad I got to see you and your van one last time when I had to pick up the things I purchased from you. I love all your pictures of Around The Mountain! They’re priceless! And so are you! Be safe and I’ll see you when you’re back in town!

    • Jenni

      Thanks Marie! We’ve very excited! So happy you were able to check out the van before we left town, I only wish it was completed because we seemed to make a lot of progress those last few weeks! I better see you when we’re back in town…I’m looking forward to it already! 🙂 Happy Adventuring!! Much love from MO.

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