the process

Boos and Yays // Plus Friday Shoutouts and Thanks

we hope you’ve all had a great week. ours started with a return from vacation in utah (if you’ve never been to moab, go. but maybe go when it’s cooler than the 100+ degree temps we had.), followed quickly by work travel, which is much less fun. we’ll be milking our utah photos for months to come here on the blog — that’s how beautiful it was. we also launched our instagram account — follow us over there for a steady stream of outdoor photos from our adventures!

in the last week, we’ve been listed by several bloggers for some awards, and want to thank them for the recognition, and share the love with some shoutouts to bloggers who inspire us. first, we were given the very inspiring blogger award by how to $tuff your pig and by the tiny trail. so nice, you guys — thanks! and then we we got the love/hate challenge from christine at the barefoot budget, which comes with some questions that we answer below in the form of boos and yays. thanks, christine!

related post: our first blog award, the liebster, given to us by fervent finance

some friday love and shoutouts:

thanks to steve at think save retire for being our most frequent commenter (thoughtful comments too!), as well as writing a blog that we love. we don’t always agree on every point, but always have a lively discussion, and often come away with a new way of looking at something. steve and courtney recently launched a photo blog, think save explore, that is, in a word, spectacular. do yourself a favor and check it out.

thanks to eat the financial elephant for partnering with us on our first guest post swap. if you missed their post wednesday, read it here. and you can read our post on their site last week by clicking here. one of our favorite things about blogging is that it lets us find other kindred spirits out there. we count many of you in that, and the elephant eaters are kindred spirits because their love of the outdoors and vision for their early retirement future so closely matches ours.

thanks to kate at goodnight debt for becoming one of our best “twitter friends,” and reaching out via actual email (we know!) a few weeks ago to offer support. we love when people online act like actual people, and treat us like actual people (we are!). reminded us that online friends can be real friends. thanks, kate!

shoutout to sam at, for writing an incredibly thoughtful, inspiring blog. we love sam’s way of looking at the world, and always come away from his posts wanting to be better people. if you’re not already a reader, go check him out.

sending some excitement to the mc and dj at freedom 35. we are talking about meeting up in a few weeks in an undisclosed location, and that would be our first real-life meeting of fellow fire bloggers. we can’t wait.

thanks to rockstar finance for the second linkup in a month, this time to elephant eater’s guest post.

and, of course, HUGE THANKS to all of you who take the time to comment. every single comment makes our day, and we love feeling like we know more and more of you. so thanks for sharing yourselves! we’ve blogged before on other topics, but have never felt the love that we feel here in the personal finance/early retirement blogosphere. you guys rock.

now, some boos and yays (instead of love/hate — such strong words). ;-)


woodpeckers! mainly because one is pecking on the house outside the office right this very second. they seem to think our house is a tree, and they love pecking it up. we throw ice cubes at them to chase them off, but it doesn’t always work. any tips??

“convenience” fees on music tickets. we go to a lot of live music, and sometimes the fees are almost as much as the ticket! didn’t the ticketmaster lawsuits back in the day do anything? oh, right, they actually just emboldened them to raise the fees higher.

retirement calculators that lie to people. see our post on the topic.

wildfires. a sad reality in the western mountains in the summer. but they remind us to be prepared and not get too attached to stuff, because it could all go up in flames any time.

**yays** (we have way more of these!)

road trips. though we fly a lot for work, there is something so much more real about taking a road trip. you actually get to touch the ground in so many more places, you see them on a human level, and you interact with people along the way. we highly recommend taking at least one road trip this summer that does not follow a major interstate. we took a much lonelier road on our last trip, and loved it. the towns are more real when they haven’t been fast-foodified, and the people are more happy to see you.

fire bloggers. we already said it, but no harm in saying it again: we love the early retirement blog space. so much support and friendship. it makes it easy to want to blog and to comment on others’ sites, which hasn’t always been true for us.

weekends. almost there…

farmers markets. one of the best parts of summer. knowing that you’re getting the best food that your region has to offer, and without a penny of your money going to big farming conglomerates. supporting real people. talking to real farmers. markets are the best.

tsa precheck. we fly for work virtually every week, and tsa precheck has vastly improved that experience. it lets you go into a shorter, faster line, and you don’t have to take your shoes off or unpack your bag, plus you only have to go through the metal detector. if you fly more than once or twice a year, we highly recommend signing up. it’s $80 for five years, or $100 for five years to do global entry, which gives you precheck but also lets you go to the kiosks at customs instead of standing in the long line to see a customs agent. we’re fans.

mountains. our true outdoor love. so much to do in them. skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. backpacking, climbing, mountain biking in the summer. or just letting yourself be in the mountains. the crisp mornings, the warm days, the cool nights. the bright night sky. everything in sharp relief. what are you waiting for? get out there!

traveling light. not just while backpacking, as elephant eater put it so well. but in all travel. we can travel for weeks at a time, even in the winter, and still limit ourselves to carry-on sized backpacks. we bring multi-use clothing, only a few pairs of shoes, and a very minimal toiletry set-up. traveling light makes everything about travel better, from boarding the plane, to not having to wait for luggage at baggage claim, to getting around, to not having stuff getting in your way at your hotel.

julia child. one of our top role models. she taught the world to roast a chicken and make the perfect omelette, but she also didn’t figure out her passion until she was over 40. we’re still hoping to figure out the answer for ourselves, but love knowing that someone so inspiring and good at what she did also didn’t figure things out until later. life doesn’t end at 30, people! :-)

mornings. we aren’t actually morning people, but we love the start of a new day. all the promise and possibility. and the gift — we’re lucky for each day we get, and none are guaranteed. plus where we live, the trees smell amazing in the mornings. ahhh…

the promise of early retirement. the central focus of our lives right now. whether or not we actually reach our goals (though things are looking good!), we have absolutely benefited from the promise of early retirement. it has given our life a hopeful focus, helped us feel like we’re achieving a lot of milestones along the way, and motivated us to make good financial decisions. plus it’s connected us to so many of you. we love it.

so now to you! any standout bloggers we should all be reading? any boos or yays you want to call out? any posts you’d like us to write? we love the input! oh, and this lingering question: what should we call ourselves? we’re not inclined to use mr. onl and mrs. onl since we aren’t actually mr. and mrs. something in real life (we have different last names). any ideas???

have a great weekend!

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Categories: the process

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12 replies »

  1. I’m loving all of your photos from Utah, they’re stunning! I’ve got to get myself there, I can only say I’ve experienced the state from the airport on a layover. Definitely not the same experience. Congrats on all the traction, awards & support you’ve been receiving! It’s always wonderful to hear that. :) It’s always great to support each other in our PF goals & endeavors! Also, a huge yay to the Julia Child shout out – I always dig her quote: “People who love to eat are always the best people.”

  2. Appreciate the mention! Boos and Yays – I like that concept. I think early retirement is the biggest and most awesome “yay” there is! :)

  3. Thanks for the shout out. It was a lot of fun working with you and with the big bonus of getting picked up by RockStar Finance. Big Yay from us to J$ for all that he does to provide a platform for us all to find one another and reach a bigger audience!

    Also, agree to the big Yay to all of the FIRE community for the support of one another as we all try to find our way to a better life. We were drawn into the blogging world by bigger blogs like MMM, Mad Fientist, Go Curry Cracker and Financial Mentor. While they’re great as examples of people who have done it and show the way, it is awesome to be share our journey with others who are going through the little wins and setbacks along the way. I also hope that as we all grow together, we can inspire a next generation to see that there are many possible ways to do this, regardless of where you are starting from or where you want to go.


  4. Thanks for the shout out! Looking forward to meeting you guys too!
    As for what you both should go by? The Mr. and Mrs. didn’t quite fit us either (we also don’t share the same last name). How about starting with just your first initials? That should still maintain your anonymity and it will be a smooth transition to when you reveal your real names once you retire early (can’t wait for that day!). Have a wonderful weekend, hope you get some rain showers to cool the fires down.

  5. My parents have woodpecker problems. To solve it, they play an incredibly annoying loop of predator bird calls to keep the woodpeckers away. It seems to work to keep the woodpeckers away, but its also keeping family away lol! So. Annoying.

    I think you are overthinking what to call yourself. Even if you aren’t Mr and Mrs. Johnson in real life, together you are putting your heart and story behind Our Next Life. So you could be Mr and Mrs. ONL. The problem with that is that my brain autocorrects ONL to Only. I like DJ’s suggestion of first initial. or Middle Initial. Or Last letter of your last name. Just pick something so I can know who is talking!

    Thumbs up for online friends. :)

    • Think we’ll skip the predator bird calls. :-) Sounds intriguing, though! We definitely like the letter idea — just have to pick which one!