Sunday, April 28, 2019
Up until recently, I have wanted to retire in a tiny home. It would free me from a mortgage thus leaving me with the funds I need to travel. I have been researching tiny homes and families for a while now and was set that would be for me. Enter the traveling RV lifestyle.
Haven't seen any of these vlogs? Check out some of my faves:
The Chick's Life - RV Travel
Eat See RV
Enjoy the Journey.Life
What are your thoughts on living full time in an RV? What would be your concerns? Do you like to travel? Leave your comments below!
Saturday, April 20, 2019
On any given night, especially weekends, I find myself watching vlogs. Now, I could be out at the movies, shopping or anything else that would cost extra money, but it doesn't cost me anything to watch vlogs. Furthermore, I have learned a variety of frugal ideas from various vlogs! The Frugal Freaks Lydia Senn (Valuable information!) Centsible Living with Money Mom
As a family, we enjoy watching other family's. What they do for fun, what they like to cook, where they like to go and so much more. YouTube is filled with lots of family vlogs to choose from that your family is sure to love! Our Tribe of Many (We don't miss an episode! Love this family!) Large Family Table (We LOVE Jamerrill!!!) Lydia Senn Raising Arrows Phillips Fam Bam (One of our families favorites!) Homestead Tessie
My son, he loves his gaming, especially Fortnite. Well, there are streaming gamers whose vlogs are not only entertaining but support the gaming industry and you can learn some valuable skills from watching them play your favorite games. Typical Gamer Preston Playz #typicalgamer #myballito
Cooking, recipes, freezer meals and more! Is this up your alley? Loads of content creators will vlog straight from their kitchen. You will feel like you are in the kitchen cooking with them. They share their recipes, their money saving tips when it comes to meal prep and sometimes you get to go along to the store and shop with them. Jamerrill Stewart Large Family Table Amy Maryon
We are not a home-school family, but if we were there are plenty of channels dedicated to home-school. Lots of creative ideas to be had. The Internet has a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips to aid in your home-school adventure. Large Family Table
The Frugal Freaks
Debt is Dum
Do you enjoy watching what other folks like to buy from the store? Would it help you with meal preps to see other folks groceries as they are unloaded? This is a very popular subject on YouTube! Anything from Dollar Tree hauls, Walmart hauls, DG hauls, Aldi hauls and more. Many of these are showing how they coupon shop or how they shop for the best deals. A frugal friend would surely learn some good tips from these channels! Thrifty Tiffany Penny Pinching Granny
So you see, if you are not familiar with vlogging, you are definitely missing out. So kick back, go to YouTube and start entering your keywords to search whatever you are interested in.
Let me know in the comments some of your favorite channels.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Once April first rolled around, I was finally able to call and see what all I would need to do to get things rolling.
The first step was that I had to enroll in a Bariatric Resource Group. This entailed me calling them and answering a few common questions, i.e. height/weight/BMI and if I had any issues related to weight. I quickly answered those questions and was told that I met the basic requirements. The customer service representative then advised me that she would need to schedule a phone appt for me to discuss things more in depth. She told me they would schedule this call as it would take about 45 minutes.
Friday, April 5th I was on the phone for more like an hour with the nurse. She asked me questions about my health history, she took down the names and doses of all medications I currently take, we talked about my reason for wanting surgery and then we talked about the surgery itself. There is a great level of commitment on my part for this surgery. I have to be willing to commit to a liquid diet before and after the surgery. There will be certain things I may not be able to eat again. Diet Coke, which has been like a long time best friend will probably be no more. The nurse told me that I would be off work anywhere from 1-2 weeks.
At this point I am super excited. Its definitely the surgery I want to have. I want to be able to move easier, I want to feel better and I want to see my kids grow old. Several friends have had this surgery at different hospitals with different doctors. I had read about a certain doctor that I wanted to use, a friend had even used him. I was set.
My insurance requires that in order for me to have the surgery, I have to choose a facility that is recognized as a "Center of Excellence". Well friends, in Oklahoma that means you have, wait for it, 2 hospitals to choose from. TWO in the ENTIRE STATE! The COE hospitals are Norman Regional and Integris Baptist. Along with using a COE hospital they have specific surgeons for you to pick from. In my state that is 3. Yep, just 3 surgeons to pick from. I was bummed. The surgeon I had my heart on was not covered and I was not familiar with any of my three choices. I think the nurse must have picked up on my sense of confusion and quickly added, these surgeons we provide coverage to have to meet some pretty high standards. My insurance will not pay for just any surgeon.
So I have picked my choice and as it turns out, another friend had her surgery with this surgeon and she is very happy with her choice and she did great. I am relieve now and overall reminded that I am very grateful that my insurance is even covering it. Some friends have went to Mexico because their insurance doesn't cover it!
My nurse had told me there are various tests that will need to be done prior to surgery. She asked me if I had been on a 6 month weight loss program in the last 2 years. (This is a requirement for surgery) I explained to her that I had been on weight loss meds since August of 2018. She told me she would send me a form for my doctor to fill out and then I need to call the surgeon and make an appointment.
After the phone call was over, I received an email from the nurse with my provider choices and a form for my doctor. I immediately went on the website belonging to the surgeon and was able to watch an online seminar about their facility, the bariatric surgery's they offer and more. After watching the video, there is a packet that I downloaded, I think about 8 pages or so. In the process I also emailed them to let them know I was interested in their facility.
When I got home from work Monday night, I had a voicemail from their office. I quickly called them and they were letting me know about paperwork and I told them I would be filling it out and emailing it to them. So, yesterday I emailed my packet to them. They responded by letting me know that they would be entering my information, getting a hold of my insurance for proof of coverage/deductible info as well as reaching out to my doctor. After this is completed, they will call me to set up my initial visit. I feel overwhelmingly blessed.
So this is where I am at as of today, Wednesday, April 10th, 2019! Stay tuned for the next updated.
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Our first stop was to the Blue Whale in Catoosa. Before we arrived, my daughter had told me she was not going in the whales belly because she was scared it would be rickety or she would fall in the pond. But as you will see below, that changed when we got there. The Blue Whale was built in the 1970's by Hugh Davis as a surprise anniversary gift for his wife Zelta who collected whale figurines. Originally calling it Nature's Acres, Mr. Davis continued to add to the roadside attraction until it eventually included The Fun and Swim Blue Whale and the A.R.K. (Animal Reptile Kingdom). The attraction also featured Hugh's brother-in-law, Indian Chief Wolf-Robe Hunt, a full blooded Acoma Indian, who was famous in his own right for his Indian paintings and as a highly skilled silversmith. Chief Wolf-Robe Hunt once ran the Arrowood Trading post across the highway from the Blue Whale attraction. By 1988, the Davises were not able to continue managing the attraction, so they closed it to the public. Davis died in January 1990, followed by his wife Zelta in 2001. The park soon fell into disrepair, crumbling from neglect and weather. However, after a decade the people of Catoosa and employees of the Hampton Inn launched a fund-raising and volunteer effort to restore the Route 66 landmark. The Blue Whale was restored and repainted to its original brilliant blue.
That's my boy waving through the hole in pic one.. and that is my daughter peering out the slide hole in pic two. Guess she wasn't so scared after all. :)
Our next stop along the famous Route 66 highway was the Belvidere Mansion. The Belvidere is located in Claremore, Rogers County, Oklahoma. Let me preface this part of the story by reminding you that this was a very impromptu trip and we were "flying by the seat of our pants" so to speak. We had never heard of the Belvidere. When we arrived, we were in awe by how beautiful the mansion was. When we entered the mansion, we noticed it was what we thought was a restaurant, but I was quickly assured that there was also the upstairs to tour! The 3rd floor was being occupied by a family preparing for a wedding so we stuck to the 2nd floor and the gift shop. You can see the age by the dark woods, the high ceilings, the claw foot tub in the restroom and just the general appearance will remind you that you have stepped back in time. It reminds me of the home we lived in back in the little town of Sonora, CA.
My kids were busy cracking each other up and I captured this photo of them that I absolutely love. This Victorian gem was built in 1907 by the Bayless Family. This three-story 9,000 sq. ft. home includes a restaurant, intricately tiled foyer, bathroom, and kitchen. The Belvidere's 2nd floor contains two historically furnished living quarters, a bathroom, archive room, and gift shop. The 3rd floor is a spacious 3,200 sq. ft.ballroom, which makes a wonderful destination spot for weddings, or special events, providing a scenic view of the City of Claremore.
As I would soon find out, our next stop would be my favorite. Unfortunately for me, I took only one
picture. So, for your viewing picture I have found a few more online to share with you. I present you Shepherd's Cross & Heart of the Shepherd. I cannot even tell you in words how much I love this place. And for many reasons! Taken from their Facebook: "The mission of Heart of the Shepherd is to teach people both local to Oklahoma and throughout the world about basic agricultural principles and how agriculture relates to the Bible. Heart of the Shepherd provides Biblically based, agricultural tours as well as providing service to those living in poverty stricken communities."
When we entered the barn, we were warmly greeted by a lady that asked us what we were interested in. I explained to her that we were road tripping along Route 66 and thought we would stop and see her place. She asked how much time we had and I let her know were not on any time constraints. We were quickly whisked away and shown the baby lambs that had just been born around 6 hours ago. She told us we could not touch them
because they were bonding with the mom. Next, we were taken to where they "work the wool" as I will put in laymens terms. I never realized how much work went into those wool sweaters! Now they are all natural. No chemicals going down on that farm. They show you how wool is worked from the lamb to the sweater. WOW! So impressed! They also have a store in the barn that sells products that are grass fed, grass finished, Animal Welfare Approved and Hand Made items. Products include Amish jams, health foods, a broad range of wool products (yarn, batts, felted pelts, beautiful sheep skins, etc.), pasture raised farm fresh meat and diverse crafted items made locally and placed on consignment. The Shop also carries products made in Thailand, Malawi, and Burma; all proceeds from the sales of these items return to the women and children who made them. (LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!) If you happen to be traveling along Route 66 and you see the sign for Shepherds Cross make sure you stop and say hi!
Every now and again we hit a bump in the road. This is what happened here. In our handy dandy travel guide it said "just off Route 66" there was the Cabin Creek Civil War battle site. My son thought that would be cool, and me with my love of history, well I wanted to see it as well. So I turned off and entered the address into my GPS. Just off the road turned into twenty something miles. I figured surely this rich of history would be worth the wait right? Well friends, twenty something miles later, on a dirt road, this is what we got. A patch of land surrounded by barbed wired and a sign. Off to the next site...
Ok, so by this time its getting later in the evening and we are getting hungry. One of the restaurants I actually did read on was this place in Miami called "Waylans Kuku Burger". It sounded like maybe it was a hoppin chain of burger joints back in the 60's and this was the last one standing. I read it looks like a cuckoo clock and actually has a working cuckoo in the attic.
Here is a picture I found that actually shows the "kuku".. see it about the sunroom? Well, it wasn't out when we were there. Its a smaller restaurant with a home-style variety of food. My kids chose chicken strips and I chose a burger. They really enjoyed their chicken. I was not impressed with the burger. There were a lot of good reviews and some mixed reviews. Could have just been the day.
Here is my pic from our adventure:
So now we have finished dinner. But what I didn't tell you is that on our way to the restaurant, my daughter saw a sign that shows 17 miles to Kansas. Now I have to tell you, my kids have only been in Oklahoma and Missouri. So, she asks, can we go? Then we can say we have been to Kansas! Its little things when your a kid folks. I've traveled through many states and have even lived in Germany. But being a single mom, traveling great distance hasn't always been easy. So yes, we headed to Kansas. And then when we hit Kansas we headed for Missouri. After we arrived in Missouri we decided to go to Arkansas. So my babies can now say they were in 4 states in 1 day! And truthfully, they were. We made memories friends. I would rather travel and have fun with my kiddos than anything else in this world. Stay tuned for more.. this year is going to hold some fun road trips ahead! My kids are 11 and 13 at the moment and I am holding on to every minute I have with them.
By the time we hit Oklahoma, my son was too tired to get out of the car for a pic.
Friday, March 29, 2019
Do you ever struggle between pay periods? Maybe a last minute bill hits 3 days before payday. Sometimes the kids come home from school with last minute forms that require that extra 15-20 bucks that you had not been planning on and you find yourself scrambling for a little extra cash. Well friends, I have an answer for you. I am a tried and true customer of Earnin myself and I can tell you I am very happy.