Inexpensive Internet Options Out in the Country

*Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you choose to get service through any company I mention. I am not guaranteeing that any of these will work where you live and options can change at any time with or without notice. You follow my suggestions at your own risk. Also, I am not being paid by any of these companies.*

If you live in the middle of nowhere you have likely run into issues with internet connectivity. For some, like my husband, this isn’t an issue. I’m not talking to you so you can go fry something on your wood stove.

If you enjoy connecting to others on Facebook or blogging then you’re going to want internet. We used to have satellite internet, but we were always going over our data allowance and they were charging us a fortune. I got fed up and got a bigger cell phone which gets decent service out here. That worked well until I wanted a tablet. So I got a hotspot from Straight Talk. It worked great, but I was paying $75 for 7GB of data! We’re on a fixed income so that had to stop.

We have cell phone service through Cricket Wireless and only had two lines out of four that we’re allowed. Two lines is only $80 on their Unlimited plan and hotspotting is $10 more for 10GB. I added a second line for $10 plus another $10 for an extra hotspot. So I pay $110 for three phones with unlimited data and 20GB I can use for my tablet and desktop computer. That’s more than enough to do what I need, but it also allows me to sync my cloud services and iTunes.

Cricket Wireless is AT&T based so make sure you have towers where you live prior to signing up. Their customer service is awesome so you can call and ask if that’s easier for you. Also, only certain phones are capable of hotspotting, so be sure to check their list first. I got an iPhone SE ($169) and a ZTE Overture 3 ($19.99), so it’s not just their expensive phones.

Check them out, they could be a viable option for you, too!

Today is a special day and I want to take the time to wish every Mom, whether she has given birth or not, a Happy Mother’s Day! If you have ever loved a child, cleaned puke at 2am, listened to the Wiggles in the car on a road trip, etc then you are a mom. It doesn’t take giving birth to become a mother, it takes love. And patience. At times it takes love to find that patience. lol


I hope that you have a wonderful day today and can do something that you enjoy. I’m working on my blog and doing some geneaology research. Then I’m going to go play with my family in our pool because today is really about them.

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope that you will visit again soon.

Why I became a Jamberry Consultant

I was introduced to Jamberry a couple of years ago by a Facebook friend. I was intimidated at first because I can’t even paint my fingernails without them looking like a hot mess. She insisted that it was easy so I gave it a chance and order the $60 starter set that came with the manicure set, heater, and four sets of nail wraps.

It takes longer to put on the nail wraps verses painting them, but they last two or three weeks. So to me they’re worth the extra time. At this time there are 481 different styles of nail wraps, including the minis for little ones.

I chose these because they remind me of Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

They are a lot prettier in person, I promise.

Jamberry also has nail lacquer, manicure/pedicure sets, lip lacquer, hair cleanser, and more! Just check out my website at sunshinejams.jamberry.com to see everything we have to offer! If you have any questions you can ask me in comments, via email, or call me.

Thank you so much for checking out my blog!

Why We Moved From Virginia to Alabama

My husband and I moved from Virginia to Mississippi in April 2007, when I was about seven months pregnant. We were close to the state line so after our son was born we began looking for a home in Alabama because taxes are lower. We were able to buy half an acre of land, an older manufactured home, move said home, and set up utilities for under $15k.


We came here because I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom. I don’t trust many people with my children so the thought of strangers watching them made me sick. My husband made decent money in Northern Virginia, but in order to survive we were having to live with family. That puts a strain on any relationship.

We have stayed down here because there is little regulation on everything. At times that has caused trouble, but most of the time its great. My husband built our 12×12 tiny house without requiring permits, we moved both of our manufactured homes here without requiring permits, and we can add on to our homes at any time without permits.

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Another great thing is our taxes. We pay $12 per year for our home and land. That’s it. Guess what, we still have schools, roads, and everything. The local government wants you to spend money in town, so they let you keep more of it. Its a great system!

We also love how everyone helps everyone else. If you need something all you have to do is ask and be prepared to return the favor some day. It’s basically like credit, because if you don’t repay the favor they’re going to be busy next time.

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Also, there are mountains and beautiful, clean ocean. My husband and I were not beach people until we visited Orange Beach. It’s amazing! It’s also affordable and unlike some places you don’t have to stay at an ocean front hotel to gain beach access. The whole beach is public property. We still love visiting Huntsville to get our mountain fix because it’s still warmer there than Virginia most of the time. The German culture (food) is worth the visit alone.

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I could keep going, but I think you see where I’m going here. Is Alabama perfect? No. I really wish there wasn’t a monopoly on health insurance, but I’m not going to move over it. This is home and I’ll be here forever, God willing.

Bringing Your Ancestors Back to Life

You’re probably wondering what I’m getting at with a title like this. Your attention. If you’re reading this then it worked. 😀

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I want to encourage you to add stories, photographs, anything you can to make your loved ones real to the next generation. Nothing is as exciting to me as a researcher as one of my ancestors with at least one good photograph. I love studying their clothes, guessing their height, and gleaning little tidbits of information about these people who I will never meet.

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The same goes for stories. I had a couple in my family who left New York for Minnesota on their honeymoon and never returned. The story was attached to their profiles on Ancestry.com. They just fell in love with it and never went home. It kind of reminded me of myself and my husband. We visited Alabama and moved here three months later when I was six months pregnant. I’m planning on attaching that story on Ancestry myself one of these days. I know sooner or later someone is going to wonder why a pregnant woman and her husband left Northern Virginia for West Alabama (that’s another blog post).

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    I encourage you to also tell stories to the younger generation. Make history come alive for them! Make it relevant if you can so it’ll stick with them. For instance, my mom was born in Germany after World War Two and they were lucky that they survived. Some of my grandmother’s family perished in the concentration camps. My dad’s father fought the Germans in World War Two. I remember these things because my parents told me about them while I was learning about them in school.


    If you don’t want to post stories online then please write them down. Sooner or later someone will be curious about where they came from.

Learn Your Family History

You may be wondering what you can learn about a bunch of people who died long ago. A lot! I joined Ancestry.com because it is easier to find and verify information. I have a notebook that I’m planning to fill with what I have found so far, eventually. For now I’m enjoying putting it online.


Just from census records you can find occupations, spouse, and children. You just need to know where they lived and when. Most of my Yankee ancestors are from Jamestown, New York which makes my job easier.

Death certificates are also full of wonderful information (I know that sounds morbid, but follow me for a moment). Most of them list parents of the deceased, spouse, and possibly a child. The cause of death can also tell you a lot about their lifestyle, occupation, hobbies, etc. For instance, I learned that one of my great uncles was a farmer in North Carolina. He died when his tractor fell on him.

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Newspapers.com hasn’t really helped me a whole lot, but some people have great luck finding information in old newspapers. I did find one story where a cousin of mine was shot in the head with bird shot. She survived for many years after that.

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A marriage certificate can also tell you a lot about a person. Did they marry for love? Was the bride forced to marry by poor parents? I have found the latter up into the 1970s. For love, well, my dear great aunt must have dearly loved her husband to become Rhoda Missouri Midgett. They had ten children so she at least loved one thing about him.

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Most states have genealogy departments. Some are more helpful than others. Give them a call and ask questions, you may get more information than you ever imagined.

What information have you found about your family?

How to Lose Weight Simply and Cheaply

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and I am not offering medical advice. I am telling you about what has worked for me. It may not work for you, I am not responsible if it does not. Or if it does, really. You are following my advice, if you choose to do so, at your own personal risk. Reading past this point is agreeing to this disclaimer.

When I gave birth to my third child I weighed 266 pounds. I’m 5’6″ and I was miserable. My blood pressure and blood sugar were both high and I was worried to death that my gestational diabetes was going to become type two diabetes.


I had a c-section with my last baby so I had to allow my body to heal before I could do anything strenuous. I could walk, but not for long. I was (and still am) breastfeeding so I started losing weight because of that.

What really helped me was getting a Fitbit Flex 2. I could see how much I was doing and challenge myself to do better. I started with a 1,500 step goal and now I’m getting at least 3,000 steps a day. It’s no where near the recommended 10,000 steps, but I’m getting up and moving. So it’s a start.

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    I also cut back on how much I eat. I’m in Alabama. I have been all over this country and I swear we have the best food, but a lot of us are obese because of it. I’m not going to give it up entirely because I feel enjoying what you eat is part of enjoying life. So I do splurge from time to time and I don’t feel guilty. The scale can and does go back down.

    You will hit plateaus where it feels like you are never going to drop below x amount of weight. I hit mine in November and I dropped for a little while earlier this year, but now I’m back to x. I remind myself that it is still better than where I started and I walk more. Every plateau forces me to add 500 steps, which is not a bad thing.

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    Another thing, I use real sugar and I drink coffee and sweet tea instead of water. I just can’t do it. It tastes like sadness to me. Yes, I’m weird. Lol

    My goal is to be around 130 pounds and fit in my size 7/8 jeans again. I can get them on now at 164 pounds, but I can hear them crying. So I happily put on my 12/14 jeans and I’m happy because it’s a long way from the 4x I was wearing in January 2017. That’s what really matters, being happy in your own skin.
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    So, live your life to the fullest. Enjoy your food. Don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself trying to stick to a strict diet. You get one life, be happy! You can achieve anything if you want it, I promise. I’ve lost over 100 pounds and, I’m not going to lie, I’m lazy. I would rather sit and read a book or play on my phone, getting up to walk is a struggle for me. I do it because I don’t have type two diabetes and my blood pressure medication was cut in half at my last doctor’s appointment. Results aren’t all about weight and dress sizes, I swear.

    Feel free to share your struggles and accomplishments in the comments!