Five Favorite Finds

Backlit pink flowers in the desert

Happy Sunday everyone! It has been a busy yet productive week around the RV this past week. First off, I’ve been in major cleaning mode and the RV is smelling fresher than ever. It started with cleaning out my closet and then diving into cabinets and drawers. It’s amazing how much stuff two people living in less than 300 square feet can accumulate.

Mid-week I ended up doing seven loads of laundry. Only two loads were filled with the everyday clothes that we wore that week, the rest of the loads were bedding, towels, blankets, and jackets. I didn’t start out the day with the intention to do all that laundry, but when I checked the laundry room here at the RV park at 7:00 in the morning and found the place empty, well let’s just say, I took over the machines.

It felt good to get caught up on that part of my to-do list, and what was even better was getting all that laundry done in two hours while chit-chatting with my good friend Faye. She and I could not have timed/planned our laundry day any better. Lucky for her, I didn’t take over all the machines and she was able to do a few loads herself. Love those serendipitous encounters!

a bird on a wire fence

Okay, with some of the chores out of the way, let’s get back to blogging. I’d like to start a new feature here on the blog, and I’d like to know what you think. Once a month, I plan on sharing some of my favorite things. Thanks to other bloggers sharing their favorites, I’ve discovered interesting products, delicious recipes, entertaining books, TV shows, and even places I’d like to visit.

Perhaps this is a topic some of you would like to join in on and share your favorites on your blog. This could be a blog subject similar to the photo challenges that allow us to engage and share. So once a month, we can all post about a favorite find, a thing, a moment, a tasty restaurant, a great book, or any other subject that you are enjoying and think others might also find interesting. What do you think? I’d really love your input.

Without further adieu, let’s jump into my five favorite finds for the month of January.

1. Hangers

I know, I know, how boring are closet hangers? Well, let me tell you, these thin hangers have been a lifesaver. Ok, well maybe not a lifesaver, but a space saver. Just making the switch from those round plastic hangers to these thin guys has eliminated my morning battle of dealing with a jam-packed closet. By simply switching the kind of hangers I was using, I gained about six to eight inches of hanging space which is huge in an RV closet.

While cleaning and reorganizing my closet, these flat plastic clothes hangers allowed me to hold onto a few more clothing items … which may or may not have been a good idea. Although I must say, I’m proud of myself and did end up parting with a pile of T-shirts. Yep, a pile! This gal has a serious T-shirt addiction that I’m working on rectifying in the new year. 2020 is my year not to succumb to purchasing any more of those location tourist T’s. It helps that we won’t be visiting too many new places this year.

I happen to purchase the hangers at Walmart and bought some with the rubber grip while others are just plain. The rubber grips are great for shirts that have a wide neck or for items that require a little more hold. I like the plain ones for my everyday T’s. You can also get the thin hangers covered in a velvet kind of finish, but I’m not a fan of those. They seem like they could be dust collectors plus I’m just not a fan of the way they feel.

(By the way, some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The price remains the same. Should you use a link, I thank you and appreciate your support. ❤)

2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I spent my weekend alone at my daughter’s apartment. No, Al and I did not have a fight … besides, he can’t get rid of me that easily. I was doggie sitting. My daughter agreed to watch her best friend’s two chihuahua’s for the holiday weekend but was later offered an excellent money-making dog/house sit gig. So she was faced with a scheduling dilemma. That’s when I stepped in and offered to watch her friend’s dogs at my daughter’s place. Trust me, there was a little bartering involved. So it wasn’t totally out of the goodness of my heart.

Along with the bartering were a few perks while residing at my daughter’s apartment. Aaahhh, a weekend to myself with a ‘normal‘ toilet, a 40-gallon water heater instead of the 6-gallon in the RV which allowed me to take long hot showers without turning off the water while sudsing up (luxuries nonRVers take for granted), and then there was every streaming service available with unlimited internet. Yeah, I was living in tall cotton!

It was during this dog sitting gig that I discovered the Amazon Prime series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I ended up binge-watching season 1 and 2 and now that season 3 is out, I’m trying to convince my daughter that I need to come over to her place and spend the weekend. So far, no luck! BUT I may have another option up my sleeve soon. Seriously, this show is super entertaining.

3. RV Water Filter

Safe clean drinking water is a subject that affects all RVers and some sort of water filter should always be used. With that said, the size and type of RV that you have will have a direct impact on what kind of filtration system you choose. Most RVers start off with a carbon type of filter; ease and size are usually the number one reasons. Large RVs may have a more complex filtration system installed, but most of us struggle with space making a carbon inline water filter the best option.

Drinking water

We were recently gifted a CLEAR2O® RV inline water filter and have been super happy with its performance. The tap water in Phoenix usually has visible particles floating around in it. So when I filled up a glass with tap water directly from my RV kitchen faucet and saw how clear it was, I was impressed.

I’ll admit, I was unfamiliar with the CLEAR2O® product line so I ended up doing a little research namely to see what the differences are between this filter and the blue Camco filter that so many RVers seem to use.

So what are the differences?

  1. Camco uses Granular Activated Carbon for filtration. The CLEAR2O® CRV2006 RV filter uses solid-block carbon for filtration which is said to be a much better filtration medium due to its density.
  2. The CLEAR2O® filters down to the 1-micron level. Camco has several RV filters and only one filters down to 5 microns.
  3. Because of its low-micron filtration level, CLEAR2O® CRV2006 is particularly effective against chlorine, sediment, heavy metals, lead, mercury, chemicals, and pesticides.

clear2O Dirtguard RV filterIn our personal opinion, we think this filter does a better job than the Camco carbon filter. If we change our minds in the future, I’ll be sure and let you know, but so far, so good. And since we’re still in the first month of use, I’m unable to know for sure how long it’ll last, but I’m guessing at least six months or more.

The company is also coming out with a new product called DirtGuard which will be the first RV inline prefilter that snaps on to any existing RV carbon inline filter (including Camcos), essentially turning it into a dual-stage system. This sounds promising and a product that would be beneficial to a lot of RVers especially for those of us that struggle with extra storage space.

4. Books

Ok, it’s January and a lot of people made a resolution to lose weight, me included. I first came across The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease at Costco which then lead me to discover the author’s first book; How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. With my curiosity piqued, I headed off to my local library and checked out these two books.

                     

I’m always fascinated by the science behind the power of food and truly believe, we are what we eat. Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that we consume, the better our skin will look, and the better our body will be able to ward off disease.

I’m still working my way through these books and although the focus is on a plant-based diet, I assure you I won’t be giving up my carnivore status anytime soon. I’m one of those people who believe in all things in moderation. Will I go a day or two without consuming meat? Sure, but I believe going strictly meatless can have its negative effects especially if one isn’t consuming enough proteins found from plant-based foods. That’s my two cents, anyway!

In future posts, I plan on sharing how Al and I eat these days and the diets we’ve followed in the past. The RV mobile lifestyle can be challenging when it comes to diet, exercise, and focusing on healthy habits, but we’ve found a system that works for us… well kind of, we’re still a work in progress!

a female hiking across a creek in Arizona

5. Hiking

One of the activities that fall into that healthy category is hiking. Hiking is my favorite form of exercise and I’m loving being back on the trails this winter. Before we embarked on our full-time RV adventure, I rarely hiked. Sure, I walked plenty but mostly city stuff or the occasional vacation trail exploration that I did in tennies. I didn’t own a pair of hiking shoes until seven years ago. After all, you’re talking to someone who used to live in 3-inch heels when she was younger, and the thought of wearing a pair of ugly hiking shoes would never have crossed my mind.

My how times have changed! These days, I live in my Merrells and don’t even own a pair of high heels anymore, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s nothing like strolling in natural ingesting the sights, sounds, and smells. It makes me feel alive, it’s my church, my escape, and one of my favorite things to do.

I’m lucky that we spend our winters in Phoenix, Arizona. The valley has one of the best trail systems around offering everything from flat easy hikes to challenging uphill climbs and everything in-between. Phoenix has more land designated for parks and preserves than any other major city in the country. While out on these trails, it’s hard to believe you’re in a metropolitan area. The topography and views vary such that boredom is unlikely to be a factor, and of course, the winter weather in Phoenix is perfect for hiking as well as other outdoor activities.

So there you have it, my five favorite finds in January. Please share some of your favorites!

barrel cactus

 

72 thoughts on “Five Favorite Finds

  1. Can you believe I haven’t seen Mrs Maisel?? I hear her outfits are to die for.
    Thanks for meeting up with us today. I can’t wait to get together again,
    XOXO
    Jodie

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    1. Yes, the outfits are to die for! More than once I wanted to whip out my sewing machine and recreate one of her dresses. It was a delight meeting you, Charlotte, and Lesley and I look forward to meeting up with you soon. YouTube Q&A collaboration??? 😲

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  2. Hi Ingrid,
    A couple of your “favorites” struck me. First was the water filter. We need to find a new one and this seems like a candidate! Thanks for the recommendation.
    Also, glad to see that you have found Dr. Gregor’s “How Not to Die(t)” books. Have you visited his FREE website, Nutritionfacts.org? Everything he recommends is research based, and the research is quite clear about a whole food plant based diet being the optimal for health. And, no worry about protein…plants have plenty! 🙂 That’s a bit of propaganda from the meat and dairy industries… Been eating this way for almost 4 years…yes, the occasional cheese or fish sneaks in, and we ate free-range turkey on Christmas with family. But changing our way of eating has reduced weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and joint inflammation. Your results may vary, lol :). Worth your while to investigate further.
    And we LOVE Mrs. Maisel and have already finished season 3, too! 😦

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    1. I kind of assumed you knew who Dr. Gregor is considering the way you eat. The healing power of food is amazing. Al and I try to stay away from processed foods and preservatives. I have food sensitivities. So knowing something will cause me pain makes it easy to avoid those unhealthy choices.

      We’ve been so busy this winter that we haven’t had the opportunity to catch up on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Love her clothes!

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  3. I love the idea of sharing our faves, Ingrid! I have to say, I meant to have a closer look at your Merrell hikers. I liked the color and their look but I already have three pairs of hikers! I love the “huggable hangers” I bought a few years back on Home Shopping Network. Like yours, these are thin, but strong and coated with a suedelike texture that keeps even heavy coats on the hanger. I definitely used these in our trailer…if only I could Hans to hang up his coats! Gorgeous shot of the cacti!

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    1. I thought ‘sharing faves’ could be a once a month kind of blog theme. We could all discover some interesting finds that way, don’t you think? I’ll admit, Al and I are equally bad at hanging up our jackets especially when we are constantly running in and out. Just seems easier to throw it on the couch LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it does restrict water flow. We have great pressure here in this particular park so it’s not having a negative effect, but I could see it potentially being a problem in parks with low water pressure.

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        1. Nope! Took the Camco off when it ran its course, went without a filter for about a month, and then put the CLEAR2o on. Noticed an immediate difference in the quality and pressure of the water, but didn’t seem much lower than the Camco (if I remembered correctly). No official comparison.

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  4. I like these tips – it’s a great idea! I never thought about not being able to take a long hot shower in an RV. I am looking for new shoes – a challenge since I have wide feet. I’ve only lived in athletic shoes my whole life – that’s the way I like it. Have you watched “The Good Place”? It’s a fun light comedy show with heart that we enjoy, and the series is about to wrap up. Happy New Year!

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    1. I watched a few of the first episodes of “The Good Place”, but couldn’t continue due to TV reception issues. Yeah, life in an RV … no long hot showers and TV antenna reception is always an issue. We’re living the dream LOL! Can’t wait to hear what epic trip(s) you might have planned for 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Early spring my husband has a business trip to San Francisco, so we plan on extending it to see our favorite places again – should be great! Later on we might do a southwest tour again – got to return to Monument Valley! We enjoyed visiting Phoenix – I’ve always thought that it would be pretty over the holidays. Sounds like you have great plans for 2020 too!

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    1. You really should write a post sharing a few favorites. It’s how we all discover great products like the spice from Trader Joes that you guys shared with me. If not for you, I wouldn’t have discovered. Sometimes it’s the little things that we don’t even give a second thought about. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Our meet up at the laundry room certainly made the time fly. My new favorite is the lightning adapter to mirror my phone onto the TV, using the phone data instead of my hot spot data. Loved the Mrs. Maisel show and hope they continue it., now to find another show to binge-watch.

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    1. I know … we couldn’t have planned laundry day any better. Glad you discovered the lightning adapter and are able to binge-watch shows. Let me know if you come across any great shows.

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  6. Neat post, Ingrid! I live in my Merrell Moabs and use my Keen Targhees when I want an actual hiking boot. I also have a pair of Keen utility boots with a steel toe – never knew they made them until I went looking for work boots. They’re waterproof like the Targhees, similar in style and perfect for outdoor projects like splitting wood. By the way, it would have been interesting to meet the young Ingrid since there is no way I can picture you in 3 inch heels!

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    1. Thanks Mary. I’m with you and live in one of my pairs of Merrells at all times. I started off with Keens but think I bought them too small which is why they weren’t a fave.
      I was a Flight Attendant for 5 years (in the ’80s) during the years of heels, makeup, and regular weigh-ins. Walking in 3″ heels was normal everyday stuff for me, and although I may not wear heels anymore, I do wear makeup everyday even on those long hikes. Habit! 😎

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  7. Filtered water in a motorhome is an important issue — nothing worse than getting unpalatable water without the aid of a filter to make it less so. We always carried a couple of 20ltr bottles just in case the water wasn’t drinkable.

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  8. Ingrid, Your post is putting me in the mood to start cleaning and purging. It always feel like a daunting task. I do learn a great deal from other bloggers and favourite things. Have you heard about Tim Ferriss? A favourite podcast of mine and he has a weekly newsletter. He calls it “5-Bullet Friday” always filled with gems. I continue to hear about Mrs. Maisel. I should check this out. Re: hiking shoes: I am a big Salomon fan, especially the Gortex ones. My friend swears by Merrells. A fun and helpful post!

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    1. Winter/spring cleaning can seem overwhelming. I always break down any daunting task into baby steps. By focusing on one area at a time instead of the whole goal, it makes it easier. Otherwise, I just don’t know where to start.
      It’s been awhile since I cked out Tim Ferriss. I’m not fond of Podcasts but will ck out his site again. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Just trying to help out DH collect insurance $ … LOL. Ah, that was an easy hike. Need a gals trip? Come back to AZ and I’ll show you a ‘real’ hike 🤣 or we could just go to Sedona with the cameras!

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        1. See, I was just warming ya up and getting you ready for RMNP … you welcome! Seriously, I’m game for a photo trip. I’ve got the truck and know where I’m going (most of the time lol).

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I always feel good when I get some much needed tasks done, especially when they involve getting better organized. I would have to work very hard to keep the “likes” going for very long – not because I lack them but don’t think I come come up with them 🙂

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  10. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I love this show.
    I’m gonna take a shot
    1. Discount meat on Monday and Thursday.
    2. Me. A new me that is more complete.
    3. Cemetery angels: It’s one of my new photo projects
    4. Starbucks has toasted bagels and cream cheese.
    5. An awesome hug

    I’m gonna toss this idea in list and see if I can do better.

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    1. Great show that can be rather addictive! Another favorite of ours was Poldark on PBS. With that said, we don’t want to discover too many fun shows and end up spending too much time in front of the TV 😀

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    1. Appears I’m not alone in my love of Mrs. Maisel. We should start up a bloggers fan club 🤣. Hiking is definitely good for the soul and if it weren’t for some foot issues, I’d be out on the trails even more. Love the weather right now in Phoenix … perfect hiking weather!

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    1. I started with one package of those hangers, and like you, went back for more. Now our whole closet is outfitted with them and what a huge difference. Ah, it’s the little things in life that make me happy!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe, thank you Tim! Hope Lulu is doing well and that you’ve completed/nearly completed your build. I’m sure you can’t wait to spend next winter in warmer weather. Baja perhaps?

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  11. Happy 2020, Ingrid and Al! Colorado got cold weather early this year and it keeps coming. Enjoy that warmth! We will be near Phoenix for a week in Feb, so I’ll text you when. Maybe it will work to get together in AZ for once!

    I like your list of favorites. My very old but very good hiking boots for carrying a pack have lingered in the closet for years because my feet changed and I haven’t carried more than a large waist pack for years. We finally bought new boots recently. Mine are Merrill Moabs. John got Keens. Nice! Let the hiking begin!

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    1. Hi Kathy … so nice to hear from you. I LOVE my Merrill Moabs and need a new pair due to wear. I recently bought the Merrill Sirens to wear around for everyday stuff since I haven’t found an athletic shoe that works. I’ve been having problems with my feet (getting old sucks 😣) that I’ve never experienced before.
      Be sure and let me know where you’ll be in AZ and we’ll try and get together. In the meantime, stay warm!

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  12. Good finds. The hangers sound like a great idea. And ya, Miss Maisel. Great show. We’ve watched quite a few good things on Amazon. We bought an Ipad a few years ago simply because they will connect to a TV through the HDMI cable. So we have Amazon, and netflix for entertainment in the evenings. Works like a charm as long as we have good internet service, and if we are in a low internet place, I can download shows when we have good service to watch.

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    1. The hangers are great and inexpensive. My closet feels more organized than ever. We’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t even thought about streaming any shows. And speaking of shows, I hope your show in Surprise went well. I had plans to head over to check it out, but plans got diverted yet again.

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  13. Ingrid,

    It would seem fitting to clean the RV in winter rather than the usual spring cleaning many people do with their homes. Being a small space, does it collect odor and dirt faster?

    I live for hiking and just moved to AZ (in Bullhead City right now). In early December I took a trip Lost Dutchman State park and it was so fun! It turned out to be a perfect day for a hike!

    Unfortunately, I haven’t hiked much in the last few months since moving here because, for some reason, I thought there were no trails nearby. I was wrong. Yesterday I hiked part of the Monolith Gardens Trail at Kingman. It was peaceful and beautiful. If you’re ever in Kingman, passing through, definitely hike there. The parking lot seems to be a popular stop over for RVers to catch some winks so your RV would fit just fine. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your favorite things!

    ~Allison

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    1. Well, you understand life in the desert and how quickly the accumulation of dust and dirt occurs. Fortunately, living in a small space doesn’t take long to houseclean. In 2018 we spent three months in Lake Havasu City and enjoyed the trails at Sara’s Park and along the canal. We also spent time in Laughlin and have camped at Davis Damn. Although we enjoyed our time along the Colorado River, we quickly tired of the winds and ruled out western AZ has a home base.

      Lost Dutchman SP is one of my favorite places in the Phoenix valley. Should you find yourself back in my neck of the woods, be sure and look me up.

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  14. What a great idea for a post! I just may steal your idea (and give you credit, of course!)

    I can relate to all five of your favorite finds, although my books would be different. We too have watched the first 2 seasons of Mrs. Maisel. Love it, especially her father played by Tony Shaloub (Monk is one of my favorite tv series ever). I do more walking these days and less hiking but I love my Merrell hiking boots! Happy winter!

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    1. As I was putting this post together, you actually came to mind and I DO hope you steal the idea (no credit necessary 😃).They did an amazing job casting Mrs. Maisel. So entertaining! I look forward to seeing your ‘Five Finds’ and you’re welcome for your next post idea 😆.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Fall, winter, and spring are all great times to hike in Phoenix … well, fall and spring I pick my timing better and avoid mid-day and of course always wear a hat … sun on the shoulders, not the face 😀 Don’t you just love those red needles on the barrel cactus? I couldn’t believe how vibrant the red was … no photo editing needed.

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    1. Thank you Betty. The thin plastic (not wire) hangers really make a tremendous difference in our small closet. That’s all we use now and the closet feels more organized than ever.

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