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.

The Alabama Shoe Tree

This post is going to be a bit different, but something I saw this past weekend inspired me. It was the shoe tree on Highway 72 in Cherokee, AL. Yes, odd things inspire me.

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    When I first saw the shoe tree I wondered if perhaps there was a story behind it. Maybe a tragic accident and in remembrance loved ones and strangers hang their shoes from the tree. Perhaps this has been going on for thirty plus years.

    No. It’s just a tree that people stop and add their old shoes. Sometimes flinging them at it as they drive down the highway at seventy miles per hour. It was first spotted in 2008 so only ten years.

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    That’s what really inspired me. I feel like a legend needs to be assigned to this shoe tree. Remember, legends don’t have to be true. Otherwise it’s just a tree on the side of the highway collecting shoes for no reason.

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    I personally like my idea about it being a memorial for every person who has passed away on that highway. It would make sense, right? Maybe inspire others who see the tree to pay better attention while driving. I don’t know, but it’s a thought.

Living on a budget

I have been a stay at home mom for eleven years now and my husband has been disabled for almost two. Trust me when I tell you that we can make a dollar stretch a long, long way. Lol

The way we have done this is by listing all of our bills so that there are fewer surprises. I love Google Sheets because I can start on my tablet and edit from my phone or vice versa. An added bonus is that it’s free! This step may take a little bit to fine tune because you’ll need to average some things, like your utility bills.

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Another thing is my husband buys discounted meats at our local grocery store. They’re not out of date or anything, they’re just close. If we won’t use them that day then we toss them in the freezer. We have eaten steak for $2/lb this way.

We buy online when we can. We have Amazon Prime so we get free shipping. That means we don’t use gas and we don’t have to load and unload three kids. Win-win!

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I earn a little extra money doing surveys and reading emails from Inbox Dollars. It’s not a fortune, but $35 every couple of months adds up.

My favorite way to earn extra money is through Ebates. I don’t buy anything without searching for it through their database. I got $40 back Christmas shopping last year!


So $75 every couple of months may not pay your bills, but it will buy extras you want that you couldn’t afford otherwise.

We also save money by using Cricket Wireless for our cell phones. We have three phones with unlimited everything for $90. We have been with them for nearly three years now and have never had any problems. I highly recommend them! I’m not being paid by them to tell you how much I love them. Lol

What are some of your favorite ways to budget and save money?

Jerry Brown Arts Festival

My family and I went to the sixteenth annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival in Hamilton, Alabama last Sunday (March 4, 2018). It was amazing! Jerry Brown was a famous potter who has pottery on display at The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He was the only potter east of the Mississippi to use a mule to turn his pottery wheel!

One of my favorite vendors was George Jones, Jr. who hand makes old fashioned brooms. He grows many of the materials himself and they are gorgeous! You can find him on Google and YouTube.

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My second favorite was Rock’n Silver. The necklace above of the tree was made by Mary and/or Linda Rogers (I’m sorry I didn’t ask who made it). It is made of silver and malachite. It is gorgeous in person and makes me think of my family tree with it’s roots and many leaves. It is my favorite piece of jewelry as it goes with everything and I love that it was handcrafted here in Alabama.

My second purchase was two soaps from The Vintage Soap Wagon. I bought the Tobacco & Bay Leaf and Rose Bouquet. I assure you that the first smells like a nice cologne and not like cigarettes. I’ve been using it myself all week and I love how it lathers and the scent lingers.


There are a lot of very talented people here in Alabama and it was wonderful meeting some of them. Next year I know to bring more money because I could easily buy something from every booth knowing it is good quality and hand made locally.

New name, new logo

Edit: I created a new logo. The logo I am referring to in this post is at the top. I love this picture, but I wanted something more professional to represent this blog.

Welcome to my brand new .com! Unfortunately the one I originally chose was taken, but this one is so fitting for my lifestyle blog! I will start by saying that the awesome cabin I’m using for my logo is not mine, but it is my picture of a cabin at Burritt on the Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama. If you have never been it is a great place to visit with kids!

My husband and I moved from Northern Virginia to West Alabama in 2008. We were able to buy half an acre of land with septic and a concrete slab for $3,500 and put a used trailer here. Later we built a tiny house (144sq ft) and now we have a newer used trailer.


To learn more about us please visit Introduction under Pages. I am so glad that you have visited my virtual home and I hope that you’ll return.