Family Vacations, Frugal Living/ Budgeting, General, Homesteading

Here We Go Again!

I’m back!

Well, to be truthful, I wasn’t really gone! I had taken a hiatus from blogworld, but I am back and ready for BIG things to come!

I have made big changes in my life, one being I left my job as a school nurse to become a full time business owner. I had started my kennel 8 years ago part time, but I was to a point I needed to be here full time, so I made the plunge!

It was a bit scary going from a full time, regular income to irregular pay schedules and managing it on my own. But I have been so blessed with great success, and I give all the glory to God! He provides for me so richly!

I will be updating you all with a link to my new Kennel blog site (under works as we speak!) so you can check out my sweet baby puppies and their mommas and dads.

I will also be adding some awesome projects I am working on around the homestead! (including a cute new Chicken Coup up-cycled from an old swing set!) Garden season is upon me and I am so ready to get into harvesting and preserving mode!

So I hope you’ll continue to follow me in my homesteading journey!

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This pic was taken a month or so back- I hiked up to Hawks’ Bill Crag with my son and his friend.I am very afraid of heights and had decided I wasn’t even going onto the crag. Thankfully my son convinced me to get out there,that’s me with my hands in the air, that was as far as I was going. It felt to exhilarating to conquer something that big! It was a beautiful piece of my state I really enjoyed seeing.

Here’s a link to info, if you’re ever in the area, I really suggest going. Just a few notes from one gal to all of you:

  1. There are no bathrooms at the trail head, plan accordingly. (I drank a pot of coffee and 2 bottles of water, oops! I had to squat!)
  2.  It is beautiful, but the hike for this fat girl was a bit rough. Coming back up out of the holler was a doozy! If you have any type of handicap, be careful please!
  3. I would go in spring or fall, we went in late winter and it wasn’t as pretty.
  4. The road in is rough! You’ll think you’re lost and picture a scene from a scary movie (think, Wrong Turn!) but nope- that’s the right road!
  5. Leave it the way you found it! Nature is best without your empty bottles and cig butts! I always hate to see junk messing up natures beauty!

http://www.buffaloriver.com/pages/whitaker-point-trail-hawksbill-crag/

I hope all have a wonderful week ahead! I am about to head out and get my broccoli and cabbage plants in the ground and put some lettuce seeds out. God Bless!

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Family Vacations

Silver Dollar City Fun!

So my family lives within a few hours drive of Branson Missouri, home to many fun things to see and do. One of our all time favorites throughout the years is to visit Silver Dollar City, an old time themed park. We love that is is a beautiful setting, it has lots of fun rides, and we love the shows and arts/crafts.

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Now a friend once joked about it being called “Steal you dollar City” because it can be pricey. It is expensive as far as “things to do”, but even Ms Frugal here will tell you, for the value it is worth the money to go if your family enjoys theme parks like mine does.

I am going to go through why it’s a good value for us, and also how I make it an even better value:

1. Tickets- they are right at $60 each for adults and teens- If you happen to eat at McDonalds’ they are printing SDC coupons for $5 off each ticket up to 2 tickets. We grouped up and paid separately to save $25 on our groups tickets this way.

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2. Get there when the gates open to extend your time in the park, also check for any dates with extended hours, they normally close at like 8, but we went on an open til midnight date- score! Now we took a little break- left and came back- just be sure you hold onto your tickets for re-admission.  Plus as  a bonus the rides are so much funner at dark!

3. Food- I always tote a beach bag with me- packed with frozen Gatorade and water- and snacks such as dried fruit and nuts. We snack throughout the morning, then maybe grab some food mid afternoon. The frozen bottles thaw throughout the day, staying nice and cold. We also have the hard plastic cups from Silver Dollar City from 11 years ago- we just wash and bring back in the tote bag. They cost around $12 to buy, but you can get refills of soda or the ever yummy “specialty drinks” such as frozen lemonade and slushies for just a few bucks. So keep those cups if you plan to return!

4. Shows- we always check to see what kind of great shows are being offered- and get in line early! The tickets for the park cover the shows too- so don’t miss out on those! This year was the Harlem Globetrotters. We have also seen Circus on Ice, BMX trick riding and my favorite- the Wallenda family (featuring Nick Wallenda who tightrope walked across Niagara Falls!)

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5. Last is that the ticket price lasts all day- if you break it down hourly- even for just 8 hours that’s just around 8 bucks an hour for family fun and entertainment. Not too shabby! You can also upgrade to get season passes or to make it a 2 day pass for additional fees.

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Now I did not get paid to write this article- my family has just been going here for many years and we enjoy it. I hope all have a wonderful fun filled summer!

Where are places you and your family love to go? I would love to hear from you!

Frugal Living/ Budgeting

Frugal Ways to Plan a Fun Summer

So last weekend was a beautiful weekend and we decided to take the boat out to the lake for a little summer preview! Granted it was much too cold to do any swimming, we had a great day just cruising around and soaking up the sun.

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Just pulling to the boat launch makes me happy! I love to go to the lake, just so relaxing and peaceful! It was just me and my hubby that headed up, then my daughter and her fiance met us at the dock and we all went out for a cruise.

I say it was relaxing and peaceful, but I must confess, when me and the hubs first launched the boat we had some engine trouble and thought the day was shot, but thankfully it was just a small problem and was quickly fixed and we were back on. I love the fact that my hubby is very handy and can fix just about anything!

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Now this looks so still and quiet, but just wait til summer and it’ll be teaming with activity! Tubing, jet skis, and boats galore out there! That’s when it gets fun and exciting!

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Here are one of the many camp areas on the lake. We also love to go for a camp out, camping is a great family activity that is also pretty frugal!

Make sure you check out your state for their state parks, state run camp sites and hiking trails. We live in North Arkansas and we have access to many different places and things to do that are fairly cheap (at least when comparing to other family vacation activities). Missouri isn’t too far for us either and they have some great sites as well.

Most of the camp sites we stay at have a full working bathroom with showers, a kids park, boat launch (if it’s on the lake), grills, picnic tables and electric hookup for around $20 a night. We tent camp, so we pack up our gear we’ve had for years and grab some “campfire” friendly foods (and some sandwich stuff), charcoal/lighter fluid, and some firewood.

Now I know that owning a boat isn’t cheap, but we have an older model, my hubby does most of the work on it himself (and has a friend that will help him out) and we have a great time out. It’s one of those things,some people see it as a waste of money, we do not.

Camping is still fun even without a boat, we went a lot when our kids were smaller and we didn’t have a boat. We played in the water at the designated swim area, went for hikes exploring, and just hung out with each other. So if you’re looking for a frugal fun family trip this summer, go camping! (or if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of great free/cheap things to do , depending upon where you live) You can google “free things to do in______” , wherever you live near and a list will usually pop up. Anytime I am doing any traveling, I do this. We have found lots of great places to go see using this method. We found out the St Louis zoo (which is amazing ) is free to go to, although you do pay a small parking fee. We took a picnic lunch and had a wonderful day for very little money.

So go forth and start planning a fun frugal summer!!

Hoping all are having a super week! We are on the countdown at school, 13 more days! We are all getting summer fever!! Have a Blessed rest of the week!