eats, life

Van Life: Reaction Video

Yesterday we posted about our friends, Courtney and Bryce, who are traveling the United States in their van. They recently posted a video of the meals they eat during a typical day on the road. To celebrate (and lovingly mock) them, we thought it would be fun to replicate their meals in our full-sized kitchen and document our reactions in this 9-minute video. Enjoy! (Because you probably won’t get many more of these.)

We made oatmeal, chickpea salad sandwiches, and peanut butter stir fry! You can find more details about those recipes here, as well as see the full video from Courtney and Bryce, which gives you a better idea of how to make them.

What we learned from making their meals:

  • There are delicious plant-based recipes out there you can make and love to eat. (This may sound blasphemous, but not everything has to be made on the Big Green Egg.)
  • It’s hard to make yourself vulnerable to an audience on camera.
  • Documenting your life on camera is consuming, so it’s important to take moments to just enjoy what you’ve created.
  • We don’t live a cool, van life, so we have the time to make reaction videos to our friends’ lives, apparently.
  • Our friends are adorable and funny, and we love them for putting up with us (and this video).
  • Oatmeal doesn’t fill you up. But peaches on your oatmeal are by far the best fruit to put on your oatmeal. (Tehehehe.)
  • You can make the chickpea salad sandwich your own by swapping out ingredients, as Courtney mentions in their video. Melissa suggests swapping tomatoes for grapes!
  • Make the peanut butter stir fry with just a half bag of rice noodles for more saucy and veggie goodness! Also, dabbing Sriracha or sprinkling some cracked red pepper could add a little spicy kick.
  • Two people can eat on $22/day and have leftovers to spare.
  • We are incredibly proud of our friends, Courtney and Bryce, deeply respect what they have been able to accomplish in the last five months on the road, and look forward to seeing what else is in store for them!

$22/day for 6 meals = $3.68/meal

We went to KROGER to buy all the ingredients to make these meals, and it cost us a whopping $22, and we even had leftovers! We think that’s amazing. Courtney and Bryce get a lot of questions about how they afford to take a trip like this. It’s because they make sacrifices all the time by 1) making everything themselves even when it means the inconveniences of doing dishes at a campsite, and 2) not spending money on going out to eat along their trip. We’re not sure that’s something we could do!

The last thing we want to point out is that their meals are healthy. Yes, they have a lot more carbs than we’re used to, but because they are healthier grains, we burned through them fast – especially on a VERY hot Houston day. Typically, people make excuses for not eating healthy. “It’s too expensive or too hard to cook.” But their videos  prove healthy meals can be affordable and easy (especially if you’re not living in a van).


Dear Courtney and Bryce,

Thanks for being such an inspiration! We are literally telling everyone we know to SUBSCRIBE to your page. We love you!

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life

Girls Trip: Los Angeles, CA

Melissa here. I’m three weeks overdue with this post, but I’m excited to tell you more about my mid-July trip to Los Angeles to visit one of my best friends, Heather! Heather and I have known each other since high school. We ran cross country together, and served on student council together. Most recently, she stood by Joey and me on our wedding day. We’ve had so many sleepovers I’ve lost count, but none of them compare to our most recent sleepover in LA.


Importance of Girls Trips

Have you seen the movie “Girls Trip” yet? It’s hysterical and reminds you of the important role your friends play in your life. Sometimes, you just need to get away with your girls and talk about girly things – like what types of face wash you’re using nowadays and what happened on your latest date.

Although my girls trip to LA didn’t have drama like the movie (Thank, God.), it did allow me to reconnect with one of my best friends. Heather and I haven’t lived in the same city since graduating high school in 2009. We catch up as often as we can, but nothing beats a long weekend exploring, beaching, dining, and lounging.


Exploring Los Angeles

Friday

My flight landed around 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. We headed straight to the Venice Beach area to see the sunset. As the temperatures dropped quickly to a chilly 68 degrees (don’t judge me), I forced us to retreat to Heather’s apartment in Marina del Rey. There, I was able to drop off my suitcase and put on a jacket. Then, we took a Lyft over to Abbott Kinney to eat at The Butcher’s Daughter. The wait was about 45 minutes, so we walked down to The Brig for drinks. Heather ordered a Mexican Mule, and I had my typical Gin and Tonic. When our table was ready at The Butcher’s Daughter, we settled in with a glass of their house red wine. Over great conversation, we enjoyed our vegetarian Carbonara and Risotto. Everything was delicious! After dinner, we went back to Heather’s and passed out. We wanted to conserve our energy for an unplanned busy Saturday.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we heated up microwaveable breakfast sandwiches (don’t judge us) and got iced coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts. We were in a rush to get to the Griffith Observatory, so I could see the Hollywood sign for the first time. This was my first trip to Los Angeles, and I told Heather, “I don’t care what we do as long as we get to see the Hollywood sign.” After taking a million pictures in front of the sign alongside a million other tourists, we explored the observatory some more, and Heather showed me the LA neighborhoods from a cool vantage point.

After the Hollywood sign, we ventured over to Hermosa Beach, where we met up with some of Heather’s friends. Everyone was so nice and even shared their pizza with me after Heather and I skipped lunch to rush over to the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect – high of 75 with not a cloud in the sky. Even though the water was a bit too cold for me, it was incredible to dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean. It’s not something I get to do too often! We laid out for a few hours.

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After beaching, we headed to the Hermosa pier to eat. As a group, we all checked out The Baked Bear, which puts ice cream in between two cookies. Heather and I split our ice cream sandwich, and then split off from the group to get a real meal. I ordered a chicken sandwich and Heather ordered a burger from American Junkie off Hermosa Pier. The food was your typical bar food, but you couldn’t beat sitting on the pier while the sun sets in the distant.

After exploring Hermosa Beach, we relaxed at Heather’s apartment and called it another early night. Beaching ain’t easy.

Sunday

On Sunday morning, we woke up to go to brunch at The Misfit in Santa Monica. Another one of my bridesmaids and best friends, Meredith, was also in LA to visit her sister, Angela. (I promise we didn’t plan our overlap.) It was so fun watching my two worlds collide in Santa Monica. We had such a fun time eating way too much food. I ordered a Bloody Mary, salmon toast, and Brussels sprouts. (DID YOU KNOW THAT’S HOW BRUSSELS SPROUTS ARE SPELLED?) It was all so yummy!

From there, Heather and I ventured to the Santa Monica pier where we took a lot more photos. We decided we hadn’t eaten enough (not really, but the views were unbeatable), so we stopped in at Mariasol, where I had the best Piña Colada ever. There were also chips and salsa, which you can never turn down. Our seats overlooked the end of the pier, where there was an entertaining street singer. After a lot of uncomfortable staring, Heather and I both decided he was lip syncing. Nonetheless, his 1990’s/2000’s alternative covers were fun(ny).

For some reason, Heather and I were so tired. We ended up going back to Heather’s apartment to nap. We woke up just in time to eat dinner. Sunday was definitely our foodie day. For dinner, we headed to ROC at Playa Vista, where Heather’s roommate ordered everything for us. We had scallion pancakes, crab fried rice, soup dumplings, garlic green beans, and pork wraps. I doubt those are the Taiwanese titles of the dishes, but I never saw the menu and appreciate the nicknames. I left feeling so happily stuffed.

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After dinner, we stayed up and chatted for a while about so many topics. From foster care and adoption to discrimination. Again, we went to bed early, because my flight was out of LAX at 7:00 a.m. I was so sad for this trip to come to an end.


Thanks, Heather!

Thanks for generously hosting me for a long weekend in LA, Heather! I appreciate you playing tour guide, and not over scheduling our weekend. I loved our chats and just being able to relax on the beach. I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks for an amazing Girls Trip!