Let’s Try This Again

Get up at 4:30 AM, go to work for over twelve hours, don’t eat, drink, or pee, come home emotionally and physically exhausted, go to bed, wake up and repeat. All that to make a decent living, and a decent living I do make, we both do, but you would never know it. Half of it is spent on housing, a house that we barely see or enjoy, because we spend half of our time at work. We are tired of throwing away money being society’s drones, and slaves to our debt.

It was nearly 9:00 PM and I had just gotten home after a thirteen hour shift, thirteen hours on my feet without eating or using the bathroom. I was exhausted. I was exhausted nearly to the point of tears. I sat down in the living room and I didn’t have to say anything, because he already knew. It didn’t take more than a minute for us to decide it was time to go back to our original plan. This cookie cutter lifestyle isn’t for us and we’re tired of working towards a life we should already be living.

Next thing you know it’s back to planning. We know dealerships are over-priced and over-rated, but we wanted to look around anyway and get some ideas about layouts. We spent the morning looking and sure enough…WAY over-priced. We have also been on Craiglist and as expected, many ads are scams. We will keep looking and hopefully in the next month find something!

Long Overdue Update

This is the post where I apologize for being absent and not posting in so long and where I update you on random useless information. A lot has happened over the past year and we have made some big decisions, but I will save all of that for a future post. This is where you get the little day to day details on how life has been and more apologies for not posting in over a year, as well as my hopes that you’re still out there.

Of course a lot has happened, it’s been an entire year, and I must say it went by pretty fast. About thirteen months ago we made our cross country drive to start a new life in a warmer climate. I had just finished school, we had just gotten engaged, and we had been planning this move for two years. Our plans changed many times over that two year period and have continued to change as time goes on.

We started out a few years ago by just simply deciding we wanted to move and after watching a silly TV show that turned into a dream of full-time RV living. After a lot of thought, consideration, and planning, we decided it was best to hold off on that dream for the moment. It wasn’t realistic at the time. Our move date was coming up quickly and finding an RV was difficult where we were. We didn’t want to spend a lot and defeat the whole purpose of the lifestyle, but we also didn’t want a water damaged piece of junk that wouldn’t make it across country. We had no time to renovate an RV and little time to learn the ropes even though we had been researching all along.  We decided establishing residency and getting settled would be a good idea. At that time the smart thing to do was wait.

We arrived to our new home a few days after leaving Wisconsin and we loved it, our home was nice and we had a beautiful fenced in backyard for the dogs. We got settled in our new home and learned our way around the area. Exactly a week after arriving we got married. We had planned to elope before we left Wisconsin. I found the place after much online searching and scheduled the date! It was short, sweet, and perfectly us. Shortly after the wedding we started our jobs and so began the usual daily grind.

We have had an eventful year of friends and family visiting, me starting back to school…again, and adventures exploring our new home state. A lot of things have changed, but some things have remained the same, we love our new home state, we love each other, and we haven’t let go of our dream to break free of the cookie cutter life.

We Moved…

It was a long awaited and hectic move, but we did it, we finally moved. We put in our notice at our apartment complex, quit our jobs, got rid of 90% of what we owned, crammed what we could in the car with us and the dogs, and moved over 1,800 miles across the country.

We couldn’t be happier. We love it. The house is amazing, the weather is beautiful, and it’s just what we wanted. Moving is hectic and we are exhausted, but we are starting to settle in little by little.

Over the past few years ours plans have changed several times, many of which you have seen on here, but some things have always remained the same, we want to do what makes us happy and we wanted to leave Wisconsin.

Our plans may have changed over and over and they will probably change again, but we will always do whatever makes us happy. For now the RV will stand for Relaxing Vacation. Sure we will both work full-time and it’s not exactly a vacation, but the fresh start we have here and the sun shining everyday sure makes it feel like one.

We Got Engaged!

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I can certainly say that May 2016 was quite eventful for me. All in less than a week I had my birthday, graduated college, and got engaged.

It started that Wednesday with my birthday…. I had the day off, no class and no work, so I stayed home relaxing with the dogs and cleaning. The plan was my boyfriend would pick up Red Robin on his way home for dinner (free birthday burger, heck yea!). He called when he was done with work and asked me to call in our order. I was so excited for my Red Robin that I hadn’t eaten much all day and I was starving! After a while I started to wonder where the heck he was, I knew it was rush hour, but it shouldn’t take this long and dang it I’m hungry! I reached for my phone to call him and ask what was taking so long, but I decided not to be a jerk. He’s a very thoughtful guy and probably stopped to get me flowers or something, he usually does, he’s probably doing something nice. Finally, He walked through the door struggling to carry everything, and not only does he have Red Robin, but he has a vegan ice cream cake!

After about five years of knowing each other and dating four of those years I knew he loved me, but this was the day I knew he really and I mean really loved me. How? This year he came home with food instead of flowers, and not just any food, vegan food, and cake at that, ice cream cake! He knows me well!

The next day got even better with my mom and nephew arriving in town, well after I almost burnt our apartment down, but that’s a whole other story. Friday morning I was off to my last day of school. It was very surreal. This was something I didn’t think I’d be able to finish and yet there I was at the very end. It was such a different experience from when I obtained my LPN degree. This school was very different, every instructor was so kind and helpful and truly wanted everyone to succeed. I went in assuming everyone would be much younger than me and cliquey. I had the mind set that I wasn’t going to talk to anyone, I was there to get a degree and get out. Much to my surprise it was a very diverse group with quite a range of ages and some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. This past year hasn’t been easy, but these instructors, classmates, and this school made the experience so much easier than it could have been and helped me to forget the horrible experience I had the first time around.

After class I was met by my mom and nephew and it was off to lunch, it’s what we do best! We spent the day together eating and shopping and preparing for my graduation party Saturday.

Saturday rolled around and was pretty hectic. I got up early and ran to the store, then the cake arrived, and we were packing the coolers. My friend and her daughter arrived. My friend and I had appointments to get a couple piercings before the party. My boyfriend was so helpful, he could tell I was stressed out, he was cleaning the kitchen and all sorts of stuff. Then out of nowhere my brother, his wife, and two of their other kids show up (4 hours before the party). I wasn’t expecting them to come since they live so far away, so it was a very nice surprise, but a very crowded little apartment! My friend and I went to our appointments and when we got back it was time to head to the party location. We got down their and set up. We kept things simple, a couple coolers, a cake, some plates/napkins, and we ordered pizza.

Then….

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Things were going well, most of our closest friends and family were there and it was very nice. Then it was time to cut the cake, but first everyone wanted a million pictures. Then I was finally going to cut this beautiful cake when my boyfriend starts making a speech. I stopped him telling him no one was really listening, that’s when he yelled “Can I have everyone’s attention?!”. I was shocked, he never raises his voice. Then he proceeded to say how proud he was of me for finishing school and how hard I worked and how happy he has been to call me his girlfriend. At this point, I’m thinking “how sweet, he’s saying nice things about me. Now about that damn cake!”.

Then all of a sudden I hear “and I’d be even happier to call you my wife”, that’s when I about shit myself. I turned and looked at him to see him struggling to pull something from his back pocket. He finally got out this tiny white box and dropped to his knee. I was in total shock, I was 162% sure he’d never propose. I reacted like a bone head due to shock and not knowing if it was actually happening. Of course I said yes, but I was still in shock. He just looked at me, so I snatched the box from his hands, it was sparkly! Later he told me he thought I was suppose to say yes and then he was suppose to put the ring on me, but I snatched it too fast! We are both laughing in that picture, because after he proposed, as soon as he stood up, his mom yelled “Do it again, I missed it!” We thought she wanted a picture of him on this knee. He got back on his knee and we stood really still and after a minute we started laughing, because we didn’t know what was taking so long. Then she said “Well are you going to say yes?”. Here she was videoing and wanted him to do the WHOLE thing again. HAHA.

I definitely will never forget this week of events! Two things I NEVER thought would happen, I went back for my RN (and finished) and I got engaged.

It’s Graduation Day!

It seems like not that long ago we started talking about moving out of Wisconsin. In reality it was over two years ago, maybe more like three years. Then we had this crazy idea that we would live unconventionally.

As time went on these plans changed…several times, but one thing never did. We have a dream and that’s to live and not just survive, we are tired of just surviving. It doesn’t matter how many times these plans change. The whole point of this journey is that we can change our minds and that’s ok. We wanted the power to choose our destiny and to live how we want.

The idea of leaving a conventional cookie cutter life behind is scary. Heck, just getting rid of almost everything you own and moving out of state where you know absolutely no one and starting all over is scary. What if we hate it? That’s ok. That’s the point, that’s why we are doing this, if we don’t like it we can do something else. It’s our lives and we are going to make the rules. We are going to try new things and experiences and if we don’t like something we will do something else.

This year has gone so fast, it seems like just the other day I was freaking out about trying to get into school and affording it and what to do, now I’m done. I knew I could do it, but it was scary and if you had asked me two years ago, I would have said I didn’t know if this would ever happen. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to go back to school. Every time I looked into it or applied something didn’t work, whether it was the student loans or my transfer credits or my job. Now I’m done.

In approximately two and a half months we are out of here!

New Plan…Maybe?

After much searching we realized all the RVs around here are high mileage, over priced, and most have water damage. So we thought about just packing up and leaving and buying one once we got to our destination. They are cheaper and in better shape down there.

Well we talked and talked…what we decided is we have three months until our lease is up and about a million things to do. We also thought about residency and the importance of that. We don’t want to establish a domicile elsewhere like most RVers and Arizona doesn’t have the services some other choice states do, which may make it more difficult and require a lot more research. Residency is something that is important to us for voting (especially with November’s election), registering vehicles, mail, etc. With so much to do, so little time, and the importance of establishing residency, we have decided to rent when we initially arrive.

Renting will not only allow us to establish residency, but it will allow us to become acclimated to the new area and our new jobs. It will also allow us to take our time in choosing an RV and not make us feel rushed into one that we don’t necessarily want, because we no longer want to stay in an extended stay motel.

I feel that all of the decisions we have made along the way have been the right ones. I think this will be a nice transition to our new lifestyle. The best part about our decision to live differently was that we decided we have options. We decided the idea is that we can do whatever the f*** we want and we can change our minds if we want. The idea is to live unconventionally and to be happy that is all that matters. As I said this will make the transition easier during a time when we need to focus on cleaning out our apartment, continuing to get rid of things, applying for new jobs, saving up, planning a move, and I need to worry about graduating!

Still looking…

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Things as usual have been very busy. I am getting closer and closer to graduation and things have been pretty hectic. We have been looking everyday for an RV, but haven’t seen much of anything. We check local RV dealerships, Camping World’s website, an RV Trader. We were looking on Craigslist for local private sellers and contacted a few, but every single one was a scam or seemed sketchy so we decided to avoid Craigslist all together. Everything within 400 miles of us is either in way too pricey, has extremely high mileage, doesn’t run well, or all of the above. We are just looking for a happy medium. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we plan to remodel anyway, but it does have to run. We have decided it will probably be best to buy one after we move. This will also lessen the chances of it having water damage as most of them around here do, simply because of the weather. So the new plan: Get rid of almost everything (that’s not a new plan, that’s been the plan all along), pack a tiny Uhaul and hitch it to the back of the car, and head out. Once we arrive wherever we decide to call home we will get an extended stay hotel until we find the RV we want.

We have still been working on getting rid of all the action figures on Ebay. I hear that “cha ching” constantly and we go to the post office everyday, but we still have so much left. I swear those figures are multiplying! I’ve started applying for jobs and I’m still working on cleaning out this apartment. Doing so many things at one time, it’s a bit overwhelming, but this is how I work all the time! Can’t wait to see what the future brings and really can’t wait for school to be done!!!!

Back to the Drawing Board

So…. this past weekend we went RV shopping and truck shopping…kind of. Well, that was the plan anyway. We already knew what we wanted, it was just a matter of finding it. I should probably back up and mentioned that a few weeks ago I totaled my car. Yep, I sure did. That kind of forced us into doing things a bit sooner than planned. I will remind you, the original plan was to trade in both of our vehicles closer to summer and get a truck and a fifth wheel. Now with one vehicle we were forced to make a decision much sooner, which actually turned out to be a good thing, because there is a lot to decide.

We decided to live with one vehicle and just get our truck and fifth wheel sooner than planned. I started calling around to see what was out there and we made some plans to go see some stuff this past weekend. I had spoken with a salesman at an RV dealership over the phone and the next day received a text from him stating to let him know if we needed any assistance…”that’s nice” I thought, and I told him we would probably be in that weekend to look…then he wanted to know what time. He’s a salesman I get it, dude lives off of commission, so I let it go.

We went to the dealership Saturday morning. We looked around and he answered all our questions and I told him we had already spoke with our bank and all we wanted was a write up of costs to take back to the bank. Well turns out he sold the unit we went to look at (but failed to mention that the night before when we spoke), but hey no worries he can sell us this newer version for only ten grand more! We were quite hesitant and he was quite pushy. We told him we wanted to think about, after all it is a large purchase! He kept asking what the problem was and what would change between now and five hours from now when they close. My boyfriend explained he felt it was important that we look at trucks first. The sales guy started making deals and he offered a decent price so we said “ok, write up the paper for the bank”, then he wanted us to sign something and make a deposit and that’s when we said no…and that’s when he got mad. We made that no pretty firm when he couldn’t guarantee that we could get our $500 deposit back if we changed our minds. Again he began asking what the problem was and he thought we were ready to make a decision. I was honest and told him we don’t like being pressured and he was being far too pushy. He made a comment about us saying we were going to make a decision today and that now we had to…that’s when my boyfriend hopped up out of his chair and said “WE are the buyers and WE make that decision, not you”, and we left.

The salesman texted me about an hour later asking how our truck shopping was going. He called about two hours later and left a voicemail asking if we got a truck yet. He then sent another text an hour after that. I finally replied stating we hadn’t found a truck and would be going with a different RV (one he claimed he couldn’t get us), he replied “let me know when I need to do things on my end”. WTF??? On Monday I again received a text asking about how our truck shopping is going. Needless to say I am no longer replying to the sleazy salesman.

So long story short we didn’t buy anything and are now back to the drawing board and looking at all possibilities and options once again….Come July we are outta here!

Cruelty Free and Cheap-It’s Possible!

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I have always loved a good bargain, probably because I have always lived paycheck to paycheck. I also won’t give up hygiene or certain little luxuries (like shampoo, laundry soap, ect). On top of all that the items in my home need to be cruelty free (no animal testing), that is a requirement. Some things I prefer in my products would be that they are environmentally friendly and free of a lot of chemicals (not always possible). Buying cruelty free is considered difficult by most people, but it’s actually super simple. Most people assume you have to go to special stores or fancy places to buy cruelty free items…Not true, I sure don’t consider Target, Walgreens, and my local grocery store fancy by any means. The other huge myth that surrounds cruelty free shopping is it’s expensive…It most definitely can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

*Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the brands I picture or mention, I just happen to like them*

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Household Products:

I personally love Method products, they are plant derived, cruelty free, natural, and in my opinion moderately priced. They pretty much have it all, laundry products, dish soap, dishwasher tabs, bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleaners, personal products, and more. You can find Method products at most targets and on sites such as Amazon, but I prefer to buy directly from the Method website as it is much cheaper. These products are not dollar store cheap, but they are relatively affordable and especially when in comparison to major household brands.

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As I mentioned you won’t find these at the dollar store, but you can find these products at Target, some grocery stores, and online (which is usually cheaper!). The laundry soap smells incredible, I like to mix the scents, but they also have a free and clear version. I always use scented, because I have three dogs. The dishwasher tabs work great and my dishes are always clean. The hand wash refill saves quite a bit of money. The price is approximately the same as two small hand soap bottles and will fill them more than two times, so great deal.

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When it comes to dish soap I have used Method and Meyers, but the giant bottle of dish soap pictured in the picture on top was a killer deal. This was from Costco though. I don’t shop at Costco, but my boyfriend’s mom is obsessed with it. She wanted to buy us stuff for the house one day while I was at work and came back with this. She knows how picky I am about things being cruelty free. I am so particular with my brands I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but it’s great and lasts forever!

With other random household items, I buy Earth Friendly trash bags and toilet paper. The toilet paper I would compare to Angel Soft (what I used years ago) in quality and cheaper in price. I have also used my Walgreens points in the past to purchase Seventh Generation toilet paper, which is nice as well. Earth Friendly products are at my local grocery store. I love their trash bags, they come in a pack of 70 for $4.99.

When it comes to household cleaning products I have tried different brands, again I like Method products, but I have tried Green Works and Meyers. My favorite things to clean with are vinegar and baking soda. They are cheap and work well! Not only do they clean well almost any surface, but they unclog drains! Check out my sink cleaner here.

Personal Products:

 

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Now that the house is covered, what about me? Let’s start with one of the most multipurpose thing in my house….COCONUT OIL! You can wash your face with it, you can shave with it, you can put it in your hair, you can moisturize with it, you can bake with it, you can oil pull, use it as deodorant, and the possibilities are endless. I have a jar in the kitchen, a jar in the bedroom, and a jar in the bathroom. I use it as moisturizer and deodorant mainly. I have tried it as face wash and hair oil, but it was a bit too heavy for those. I love it as deodorant though and love using it after I shave. So get some coconut oil and go nuts!

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Like a lot of girls, I’m picky with my hair. It doesn’t get much cheaper than White Rain, eighty nine cents at my grocery store. It smells great, it’s not fancy, but it works just fine, and it’s super affordable. I also love Dessert Essence hair products, they aren’t as cheap as White Rain, but they certainly are cheaper than salon products, and they are vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free. They also smell incredible.

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Of course you need to wash your body too and I don’t know about others, but I need to smell good. Again when it comes to cheap, White Rain is where it’s at. The body wash smells great and doesn’t dry out my skin and again it’s at the local grocery store (I know Dollar Tree sells it too). I also like Method’s body wash, not dirt cheap, but only $2.99 for the bottle pictured above and it has lasted me quite a while.

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I have used Dessert Essence toothpaste (and like it), then I discovered the Hello brand at Target for about three dollars cheaper. I really like it, I feel fresh and clean using it.

 

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I am a lotion freak, if there’s one thing that drives me crazy, it’s dry skin! I recently discovered White Rain has lotion too! The lotion smells great, but it’s a bit perfumy for me. I mixed it with some of my unscented lotion and it works great. My favorite lotion is Kiss My Face, but at almost ten dollars a bottle I can’t always get it. I do like my most recent idea of mixing it with my cheaper lotion so it lasts longer.

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In general I am pretty cheap, but not everything I like and use is dirt cheap. I don’t buy expensive products, but I do splurge on moderately priced stuff at times. If you want to stick with pretty darn cheap, I say get some baking soda, some coconut oil, and some White Rain. Recently I was at my local grocery store and noticed lots of other cruelty free products. I have also been noticing more and more at other stores and drug stores. When you have time, take the time to really search shelves and read labels. Don’t forget to search Google too. You really will be surprised at how much you find. Like I said not everything is dirt cheap, but look how much people spend on brands like Tide, Gain, ect. I spend about that or less and get a better product without the cruelty. Again sorry for the sideways pictures. Just remember it is totally possible to be cruelty free and still have a clean home, beautifully scented clean laundry, and smell great yourself. Better for the animals, better for the environment, and better for you.

 

DYI Cruelty Free/Natural Kitchen Sink Cleaner

 

So my kitchen sink was absolutely disgusting one day (well it happens more than that) and I was out of kitchen cleaners. I was like what on earth can I find in my apartment to use. I started searching Pinterest for some DYI cleaner ideas and saw a number of different ideas, but nothing that would work for me. I scoured my kitchen and found a handful of ingredients I thought might help me, I piled them on the counter and began to experiment. After a number of tries on a few different occasions I discovered a concoction that was made from household items, nothing toxic, and it did make my sink look a whole lot better. 

Kitchen Sink Cleaner:

  • 2 Cups Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice (I prefer fresh and generally juice 1/2 to 1 lemon)
  • 1/8 Cup Salt (I use regular sea salt)

Fill your sink about 1/2 full with hot water and then add all the ingredients. Give it a good stir and then let sit for about 10 minutes. Scrub with washcloth or pad if necessary and then drain and rinse. 

It’s definitely not a hardcore abrasive cleaner, but it worked wonders in my regular (stainless steel I assume) sink. The mix tends to eat away grime. I have also used this concoction a few times on a clogged bathtub drain. In that case I used quite a bit more vinegar to really get at whatever was clogging it. I added the 2 cups first and let it sit about ten minutes and then added some more vinegar and again let it sit. After I ran really hot water for a couple minutes and voila. I have also cleaned my stove top with this.