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!

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.

fiverr pro

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.

Get Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data w/ 10GB 4G LTE for only $39.99/mo

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.

eBooks.com - books at affordable prices 160x600

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.

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.

eBooks.com - books at affordable prices 160x600

    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.

    Get Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data w/ 10GB 4G LTE for only $39.99/mo

    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.
    fiverr pro

    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!

Android to iOS

On Monday I made the switch from my LG Stylo 3 to the iPhone SE. I wasn’t in love with some of my pictures, service was horrible, and I couldn’t hotspot it. Hotspotting was my biggest complaint. It actually made me mad enough that I considered switching from Cricket, but I would be going to Straight Talk who doesn’t offer hotspotting at all.


Anyway, limited internet/cellular options in the country will be it’s own post. It could almost be it’s own blog. Lol

Get Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data w/ 10GB 4G LTE for only $39.99/mo

So, why is iOS better than Android? Well, for one thing, I bought my LG Stylo 3 in December 2017 and it became obsolete on March 30, 2018 when Oreo was released. Why can’t a six month old $150 phone be upgraded? So I paid $159 for an iPhone SE that was released in 2016 and immediately upgraded it to iOS 11.3.

The next reason I like it better is the quality of the apps. I use the Ancestry app daily and I really liked it on my 5.5″ screen. I love it on my 4″ screen because it works more like the website, but it’s optimized for my phone.

eBooks.com - books at affordable prices 160x600

    My third reason is the camera. My LG had a 13MP camera and my iPhone has a 12MP camera, but the iPhone’s camera uses better quality pixels. There are articles that go in depth on why if you want to do more reading. You can see the difference in these two pictures of my youngest son. The outdoor picture is with my iPhone.

    fiverr pro

    My only complaint is the size is a little difficult to get used to, but everything else more than makes up for it. I bought a wallet case to add bulk and that’s helped some. I do love that I can put it in my bra and you can’t tell it’s there. Lol I couldn’t do that with my old phone.

     

Ways to Connect With Your Ancestors

Today I want to talk about ways you can connect with your ancestors. For me this is a fun topic because you are continuing a legacy from a long time ago. Or maybe not so long ago. It depends on how far back you were able to trace your ancestry. This also gives you something to do with all of that information.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

  1. Learn their language. Look at where your ancestors are from and learn their language, if you can.
  2. Listen to the music that was popular in their day and in the region they’re from. My grandmother from Germany loves polka. I personally don’t care for it, but my three year old loves it.
  3. Try some cultural dishes. You can use Pinterest or Google and find great recipes. I enjoy making Paprikash like my German grandmother did when I was little.
  4. Hang pictures. If you have pictures of your ancestors hang them up instead of just looking at them on a screen. My parents and inlaw’s have pictures of their grandparents hanging up and it’s great to see them and allows me to tell my kids about their great, great grandparents.
  5. Write down or print stories you find about your ancestors and put them in a book. One day someone else in your family will thank you.
  6. Tell their stories to your children and grandchildren, even if you don’t think they’re listening. You may be surprised.
  7. Learn an old fashioned craft that your ancestors may have enjoyed. A lot of them, such as knitting, are becoming popular again.


How do you keep your ancestor’s memories alive?

 

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.

eBooks.com - books at affordable prices 160x600

    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.

    Get Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data w/ 10GB 4G LTE for only $39.99/mo

    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.

    fiverr pro

    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.