Rock On Living

Welcome

Fall is in the Air

Hello & Happy Fall!
Pour yourself a glass of your favorite fall inspired beverage and let’s get to know one another!
Rock On Living (ROL) is a space carefully designed to curate content that nourishes, inspires and cultivates intentional living. We promote exquisite personal self-care and celebrate inspired living. Please take a moment to look around the site and what speaks to your heart! There is information on traveling with a family, secularly homeschooling children through high school and personal writings. Our family takes risks and values growth. If you are thinking about making change in your life, however big or small, our hope is to become a member of your tribe to support you and give you the confidence to go for it!
Consider signing up for notifications from the ROL blog below and hop on over and join me on my daily walks on Instagram @rockonliving where I post an image each day that makes me smile, or as many of you know, a “Morning Walk Delight!”  Our next adventure is a return to one of Mama V’s favorite places – Florence, Italy! See you there!
Vickie  xo

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Before you Go - Italy!

It has been said the anticipation of a trip sometimes brings more joy than the actual experience. While I am not sure if that is 100% true, here are some tips and things Mama V is handling before we arrive in Florence!

3-6 months ahead:

1. Find your passport and check expiration date! Many countries require you passport does not expire while you are on your adventure and some even state your passport cannot expire within 3 or 6 months of your planned time to leave their country!!

2. Book your airline.

3. Book your lodgings. Many places have pretty good cancellation policies. If you find more than one place, and are unsure, book both and then cancel others once you pick your winner! (but make sure of cancellation policy before booking!!) Many times, our family will book homes/lodging with kitchen and nice big table for family dinners. Not only does this save money but always is a special time for us to get together and just “be” and reflect on our day!

3-4 weeks ahead: 

1. On your weather app, add your destination and start following their weather trends to help plan accordingly. Florence will be in about the same season as United States due to our simliarish latitude. We should have 70’s for highs and 50s for lows. Layers!

2. Start planning on shoes early (especially if you need to acquire new shoes for the trip!) If you follow ROL you know we are the Carry-on Family (no checked bags even for big/long trips!) so I found packing shoes for this trip taking up the most room in my suitcase. I wanted a stylish, comfortable pair of boots and non-screaming-American tennis shoes. I have nasty dogs (feet.) Bunions. I must have purchased 5 different pairs of boots to try on and wear for extended period of time until I found my Florence boots! This takes time! Start early.

3. Due to compact packing size, I go with a very neutral clothing palatte (black/cream) and add a pop of color with my handbag/tote or nail polish choice.

4. Make sure any important documents are up to date. For this trip, Quinn and I had to update our will (it had been awhile) and we now have children that are over 18!

5. Depending on trip, consider starting to collect your items you wish to take with you (especially speciality items like voltage converter.)

6. If you will be gone for lengthy time, have someone check on your home, get mail. Consider haulting mail. Nothing screams noone is home than a pile of Amazon boxes for days on front step.

7. Although less of an issue now, pay attention to any Covid or travel restrictions in place. 

3-4 days:

1. Go to bank (call ahead as not all branches carry international money) and consider having a small amount of money converted to country of origin. For this trip, we were shocked to see the Euro is just about 1:1 right now!

2. If you have kiddos and others are helping care for them while gone, create and go over driving schedules, school, etc. Make sure they have all important contact information.

3. Get suitcase out and start putting items in that you use regulary but don’t want to forget (phone chargers, cables, hair items, shoes.)

4. Gather your clothes and assemble your outfits, make final selections. (if you are quinn, you will do this night before wink.)

Day of:

1. Double check flight status, use airline app for updates.

2. Triple check things you can’t easily replace on trip if forgotten (contacts, glasses.)

3. Quadruple check money, credit cards, phones, computers, ID’s, Covid Immunization card, Passport, tickets.

4. Bon Voyage!

 

 

Our Home

In 2014, Quinn and I downsized. We moved our family of five onto a property with some of our extended family to multigenerational live in Raleigh, NC. This lifestyle has allowed our daughters to have daily access to their grandparents and Aunt & Uncle. This change also simplified each family’s time, energy and money spent on maintaining individual homes. This lifestyle  decision has allowed me to retire from  my nursing career and  home educate our three girls. It has also given us the ability to take our girls on some awesome World-Schooling Adventures!

 

Years homeschooled

years MARRIED

COUNTRIES VISITED

NUMBER OF COFFEE MUGS

About Our Logo

The Rockonliving Family has a tradition of taking a family jump picture at the end of our adventures. One of our favorite spots in our home is our travel wall! It is a collection of all our family jump pictures that greets us right outside our bedroom door every morning. We took one of our family selfies from Maine and had it digitalized for our logo! Join us in the family jump tradition and tag me on the IG @rockonliving so we can share in the joy of travel and adventure together!  

 

Our Week – October 9th –                        A Season of Reflection

Our Week – October 9th – A Season of Reflection

Lots of Time for Reflection now that all our kiddos are in high school and college. Here is sweet Miko in our early days of freedom to do what we wished with our days and time. Bravewriter Book Reveal Preparations for 2022-23 Read Aloud! I put clues on back of wrapped...

Costa Rica, Tamarindo

Costa Rica, Tamarindo

Family Jumpy Pic (minus one) As always, Miko creates the family a packing list for our adventures! She makes copies for everyone and places them on our beds to help us get our acts together! See below for her recommendations for this trip! We will unpack what we would...

Iceland – Day Four – Christmas Eve & Northern Lights

Iceland – Day Four – Christmas Eve & Northern Lights

Christmas Eve! Christmas Eve Lunch in Reykjavik - note the Christmas lights in window! We woke up to the excitement of Christmas Eve bubbling in Reykjavik. Many families and people out and about in town celebrating, shopping and preparing for Christmas morning. We...

Iceland – Day Three

Iceland – Day Three

Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland After a cozy slumber in our Iceland hotel, we woke early to get on the road to the excursions planned for the day - hiking into a glacier cave and then a winter visit of Iceland's Black Diamond Beach. We were able to keep our window...

Iceland – Day Two

Iceland – Day Two

Iceland is about 18-25 millions year old. Sounds pretty impressive, right? So you may be surprised to hear it is actually one of the youngest countries in the world! Iceland lies where the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean meet. Iceland is sparsely inhabited,...

Iceland – Day One

Iceland – Day One

hygge (n) a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture – and I would argue Icelandic.) Hygge for the Holidays - our photos from Christmas in Reykjavik,...

What We are Reading in October:

Quinn: Be Water, My Friend – The Teachings of Bruce Lee by Shannon Lee. Quinn isn’t a huge book reader but is taking his time simmering on content of this thoughtful book gifted to him by one of his generous clients. “Bruce Lee’s daughter illuminates her father’s most powerful life philosophies, demonstrating how martial arts are a perfect metaphor for personal growth and how we can practice these teachings every day.”

Vickie: The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly. Ms. Kelly, who has served the late Queen for 25 years, most recently as Personal Advisor, Curator and Senior Dresser to Her Majesty The Queen (with the blessing of the Queen herself) published this book in 2019. This is her second book. Her first, Dressing the Queen is almost impossible to get your hands on now! Trust me! I sadly lost a copy on an Ebay auction for just yesterday. For those of you interested in an more intimate/day-to-day lens into the Queen’s life it is a must read! I am really enjoying the photographs and personal mementos the author includes. Super easy read. “The title ‘Dresser’ could be a bit misleading as Her Majesty actually dresses herself.”

Kayah: Discourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesaire. Kayah is a sophomore in college and just finished this book for one of her courses. The timing of this course/read was in the backdrop of the Queen’s death and juxtaposes with the book I am reading. She feels the book allowed for some in depth exploration of the darker side of colonialism. Here is one the quotes from the author who is a black French writer in the 1950’s – when Queen Elizabeth was just a few years shy of her ascension to the throne.  “No one colonizes innocently, that no one colonizes with impunity either; that a nation which colonizes, that a nation that justifies colonization – and therefore force – is already a sick nation, a civilization which is morally diseased.”

Kira: Self Love Poetry by Melody Godfred. This little treasure of a book was gifted to Kira by a dear family friend and contains wisdom to remember the most important relationship one will ever have, the one with themselves. “If putting everyone else’s needs first hasn’t worked, there is another option…” 

Miko: Spy X Family by Tatsuya Endo. Manga that takes the reader on the journey of the story of an assassin, spy and telepath trying to keep their true identity hidden from one another while simultaneously trying to live a normal life! Check out this opening hook “Everyone has a secret self they don’t show to other people.”

Family Read Aloud: We tried to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury but could not finish. Written in the 1950’s when the T.V. was disconnecting us and books were being burned it was a little too intense for the times we are living in now. First time we have ever stopped reading a book. (ok, that’s not entirely true, we stopped reading Homer Price in Elementary school…we just couldn’t – just not our cuppa tea!)

We are finishing Matilda by Roald Dahl and are all enjoying it very much! “Matilda celebrates Roald Dahl’s beloved tale of one downtrodden child prevailing over cruel and insensitive adults.”

 

Our Upcoming Trips

Florence, Italy!

 

Countdown to Adventure!

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Vickie & Quinn’s Top 5 Traveling Tips with Children on a Budget!

1. Sign up for a Credit Card that rewards Travel Miles! A long time ago, before we even had children or traveled, we signed up with American Airlines and over decades have accumulated so many miles we rarely ever “buy” airline tickets. Many times, your flight oversees is the most expensive part of your travels! Let your credit card work for you!

2. Cook! Other than a few places in Italy, we rarely eat out on our adventures and save that cash for excursions! We try to rent houses/apartments with full kitchens and nice big tables and use dinners as a time to unpack our day and connect. You can buy food local, take your time and save a lot of money! I always bring some nice napkins from home in my suitcase. Also, if we are celebrating a holiday or birthday while we are there I include special items to have on hand that are easy to pack and put that extra touch of home-away. Having a kitchen and cooking also saves you much to get out and enjoy your day!

3. Bring home new traditions or items to integrate into your daily living, not “souvenirs or trinkets.” For example, after traveling to Italy, we try not to buy coffee “on the go” any longer and sit down, and enjoy my coffee, in a real mug. (Ask a barista in Italy for a coffee to go and they will look at you like “why would you do such a thing?”) In France, chilled glass refillable water bottles were used on tables for water. When we returned from Paris, we bought these exact type water bottles and have used them for years on our table for dinner. They feel and remind of us of our special time in Europe. (When our kids were young, “buying cheap stuff” was ALWAYS a priority for them, but as they have grown up, they save their cash for only really special items.)

4. Sign up for a Travel Site that sends out weekly alerts/deals. We use TravelZoo. Many times Quinn will use the deal to build our own trip for less money and longer/better itinerary. Always consider traveling to your dream location during their off season, many times it is not only more enjoyable with less crowds, but usually less expensive as well!

5. Say NO to “stuff” now so you can say “YES” to experiences later. You get such a small window of time with your children, make the memories while you can! The house, the new car, you fill in the blank,can wait! As Quinn would say, “Make it Happen!” Many people have a desire to travel but they tell themselves that they can’t. If you start with the premise that you can and will…then it becomes a matter of just figuring out how versus thinking that you just can’t and that it’s beyond your ability. Go for it!

Morning Walk Delight

 My very first Morning Walk Delight post was on May 23rd, 2016. I decided on that day I would offer my social media platform to Mother Nature to showcase her awesomeness! Want to hear something astounding? Even after walking the same path, for years, I still find something to Delight and make me smile almost every single day. 

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