How We Saved For Italy 🇮🇹 (And How You Can Too!)

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  Hey, guys! I have the most exciting news EVER to share with you all!

I’m. Going. To Italy!!! 🇮🇹 🎉

 Last night, I found the deal of a lifetime on airline tickets and took the plunge. I literally stopped everything I was doing, ran to my grandparents’ house and called everyone together for a conference because I hadn’t seen prices this low since February. Not only is my grandfather Poppy going to go, but my parents are too! This is amazing and something I’ve only dreamed about for so long. When I woke up this morning, I had to remind myself it was all real! I can’t wait! We’ll be going this next year! ✈️🌎

*Sidenote: If you want to find great deals on tickets, look today before they go back up. The tickets I found were under $1,000 roundtrip, which is absolutely unheard of. Use Skyscanner also, they are great and cross compare every other site so you know you’re getting the very best deal possible. ✔️*

 Now, I always strive to be upfront with my readers, so I want to share with you how we saved up for this trip. It sounds like a really hard thing to do, but really it just took some perseverance and delayed gratification. Here are my top tips for how to save up for your next trip!

1. Spend less on the things that don’t matter so you can spend more on the things that DO matter.

 This sounds like it should be common sense, but it is hard to put into practice, at first. A lot of times, I will find myself wanting to buy new clothes, go to an expensive restaurant or just buy something I really don’t need. A thing I started doing a few years ago was stopping for 5 minutes or so and just thinking about what it was I wanted, really long and hard. If it was clothes, I would carry them around as I shopped and ask myself, Is this something I can really see myself getting a lot of wear out of? What are some outfit combinations I could come up with, using this item? Is it something I can wear during different seasons? Can I wait and find this somewhere cheaper?

Usually, I found that after 5 minutes, the loud voice inside me screaming, “I WANT THIS!” would dull and I would realize that wasn’t really what I wanted most in the world. What I wanted was to travel the world.

 So, try this sometimes, when you feel like you really, really want something and you may surprise yourself. If you still want whatever it is, you should get it. 

2. Thrift, coupon, do whatever it takes.

  I have bought clothes secondhand about 90% of the time over the last few years, or gone to places like Marshall’s, Ross or places that have great deals on clothes. I use coupons when we go out to eat, but only if it’s a good deal and something we would have gotten anyway. (Hint: Those $5 off when you spend $30 coupons are not worth your time. 👋🏻🙄) Sometimes, Tim and I have split meals also to cut costs.

  I also buy hygiene and toiletry stuff only when we need it, but we never run out. I’m one of those people who has to have a back up in case we run out. 😂

3. Speaking of doing whatever it takes…

 I bought toilet paper at an estate sale once, which might sound weird, but I bought it in May and didn’t have to get anymore until this month. 😂 32 rolls for $3, ya’ll. WORTH IT.

 If you want to travel and take this huge trip you’ve got planned, sometimes you have to do things other people might look at and call crazy. I also have scaled back on the makeup I’ve worn this year. Since I petsit, I rarely see people anyway, so I started wearing less makeup, which meant buying less makeup, which also made my skin so much healthier. I saved so much money that way! 💰

 I also just recently finally caved and bought some new tennis shoes. I needed them, so I could justify the purchase, but I went for several months with a hole in the sole of them and a chunk missing from the heel. 🤷🏻‍♀️

 This is what I mean by delayed gratification. In our world now, you’re told that you have to have everything you want, right then and there, which is not true. If you use willpower, and occasionally do some things other people think are funny, you can definitely have what you want, in time!

4. Drop the car payment. 

 It seems like everyone and their mother has a car payment, but hear me out on this one. 

 Tim and I bought our cars used. I know some people can’t resist a shiny, new car, but that is usually anywhere from $100-$300 extra dollars a month that you could otherwise be saving. I bought my car 2 years ago, used. I had it paid off in exactly 1 year. So, for the last few years, we’ve just done routine maintenance on them, but have no car payment each month, which has helped TREMENDOUSLY.

But don’t just stop with the car payment! Take that cell phone bill and chop it in half. I was paying $120 at Verizon just for myself, so I switched to Sprint and now pay only $80. The more you do this and re-evaluate what you’re spending, even if it’s only by $20, the savings will add up each month! 🎉

5. Re-evaluate your job.

 This one is tricky, but something you should do. Maybe you work from home, so your costs are low, but maybe sometimes, you might have a long commute to a job you hate anyway and gas money eats into your paycheck. Sit back and be objective.

 I had to do this almost a year ago and haven’t looked back since! I was working part time at a bakery, maybe 6 hours a day. 🍰 I didn’t like it at all, but I noticed that my petsitting business was taking off like crazy. I did some figuring and realized, if I dropped the part time job at the bakery and went to petsitting fulltime, I could double or even triple what I was making for hardly any extra effort at all! 

  Sit back and think about these things before you jump, but sometimes, the answer that makes the most sense is right in front of you.    

6. Resell items on Etsy, EBay, Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

 This takes a little more discipline, searching and work, but we have made usually on average, an extra $100 a month doing this. You don’t even have to go out and buy things to resell, first look through what you have. What do you not use anymore? Someone out there, most likely, is willing to pay for it and may even need it!

  Old clothes, knick knacks, musical instruments, whatever it is, put it out there. We have really enjoyed the Etsy platform. I go to a lot of estate sales in my free time between petsits, so I find things I think are cool, buy them for cheap, take pictures, and then list them! It’s that easy! Etsy gets your items viewed around the world. We have sent things as far as Norway and France! 😱 I love thinking about the new homes our things go to! 

 If online posting isn’t your thing, that’s no excuse—have a yard sale! Do whatever it takes. You also get a nice, clean, more organized house out of it! 👍🏻

7. Take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace.

  This is in no way a plug and I am dead serious. It will cost you $100 up front, but taking his class helped us SO much. It helps you with budgeting, being accountable and just getting you motivated to get out of debt if you are in it, save money even if you aren’t and just handle your finances better.

 We were doing great saving before, but I have to say, after taking his class, it kicked us into high gear.

  I hope these tips have helped! 😄 I want you to know that this is possible for anyone. It has taken us years to get to this point, but you CAN do it. And I know saving and waiting can suck, but there is nothing like the feeling you have when you realize you’ve done something, with no help, by yourself and for yourself! ❤️✌🏻✈️

P.S. I might drop another post on tips for finding the best airline ticket prices, since I’ve been doing this kind of research for over a year. 😂 Who would like to see a post on that?

Love you guys! 

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\\ S a v a n n a h, G e o r g i a //

A Musing

 Savannah, Georgia. It’s a beautiful city, full of interesting architecture, hanging Spanish moss that sets a romantic & spooky mood at the same time, great seafood and hundreds of things to do!

  We covered a lot of ground this past week while we were there for the first time, so I’ve tried to highlight some of the coolest things we did! Savannah really has a little bit of something for everyone.

For The Outdoor Lover/Green Spaces Enthusiast


  I’ve heard Savannah compared to Charleston quite a bit, maybe because they both have pretty, pastel colored homes, wrought iron, nice beaches and history, but Savannah has way more parks and squares per mile than Charleston. About every couple of blocks, there is a nicely outlined square that was designed in the 1700’s and then there is Savannah’s biggest park, Forsyth Park, which you have to visit! The fountain at its center resembles the one in Central Park in New York and there are a few Civil War monuments as well.

 I would definitely recommend taking a stroll through one of the many squares or Forsyth, which is so beautiful.

For the Antique Lover/History Buff


  I love exploring antique stores in the new places I go to! A great one is Alex Roskin’s Antiques on Forsyth Park next to The Armstrong House. It’s in a 4 story mansion that definitely gives off some haunted vibes! 😱 I couldn’t afford anything there, including an awesome bust of Mark Twain’s head and several furniture pieces from the 1800’s, but it is so interesting just to go through and look at this old house. Every room is crammed full and there are even some porches you can walk out on to where you are level with the palm trees and you can gaze out at the park below. It was awesome!

  I would also suggest taking in the River Walk. There are several antique stores down there, as well as cobblestone streets, cute eateries and a view of the port, which can accommodate 98% of America’s cargo, where ships bring in and take out things going all over the world.

For The Beach Goer


   A vacation wouldn’t be a full trip without a trip to the beach! Luckily, Savannah is close to Tybee Island and Hilton Head. Hilton Head is a little fancier, but they are about the same parking expenses wise.


  My pick would be Hilton Head if you’re just going for the sun and waves, but Tybee if you would like to take in a lighthouse while you are there too. The admission to Tybee Lighthouse is only $9 and you get to see all the outbuildings, go up the 178 stairs to the lighthouse observatory and check out the museum under the battery.

For The Cemetery/Church Explorer


 Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of Bonaventure Cemetery, but it is a beautiful place full of 100+ year old tombstones and a Grave Lookup Machine, which comes in handy when you are trying to find specific markers.

   For a great church to see, I would visit Old St. John’s Cathedral. It is gorgeous and has free admission, but be respectful since it is still a functioning church with regular services still held.

For The Foodie


 Everyone has to eat, right? There are so many great places to eat in Savannah. I personally liked Fiddler’s Restaurant, which had delicious crab cakes and Leopold’s Ice Cream for its amazing desserts. Pictured here is the peppermint ice cream, which is to die for! 😍 Leopold’s is one of the top 5 ice cream parlors in the world!

  For The Plantion Lover


  Now sadly, we didn’t get to go in Wormsloe Plantation this time around since we had a packed schedule, but I will definitely be going back! I had to snap a picture or two of their tree lined driveway though! It is a $10 admission. Definitely someplace I want to visit when I come back to Savannah!

Have any of my readers been to Savannah? Where are some of your favorite places to go?

Also, P.S. I would highly recommend a trolley tour while you are there. Old Towne Trolley Tours offers a $29 per person deal which I found to be worth every penny! They have 15 stops and an all day on-and-off feature so you can go back to stops you missed and disembark and get on as many times as you want! 

Vacation Update ☀️

A Musing

   Hey, guys! So…I decided to get on here and do an update on our vacation, but it’s not what you think. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.

   I like to be completely transparent with my followers and…I used a sun emoji because I was just trying to look on the brighter side for a second. I know that, a lot of times, in this crazy world of bloggers, social media and Instagram, we all get caught up in trying to make everything seem “perfect”.

  Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not.

 This has been a very emotional week for me and my husband’s family. His mother has dementia and mobility issues and my husband’s father is her primary caregiver and he has mobility issues as well. I tried my best to plan this vacation to be everything we wanted: fun, easy and relaxed. Sounds simple, right?

 I started by booking us a place in Savannah through VRBO months ago. I always look there first because you have a more unique experience that way. With Savannah, this presented a challenge, since most rentals had stairs, but I found one that was one level, finally, and said it was wheelchair accessible.

 Now, when something is wheelchair accessible, that usually means that there is a ramp, a walk in shower with no raised ledge, and bars for handholds in the bathroom shower and near the toilet. From the pictures, the angles were deceiving, with the shower curtains closed and pictures taken just so, but I thought that this rental would be a big hit.

  Well, I was wrong. Now, let me be very clear. I love VRBO. A lot. But this rental was listed on VRBO by a third party called Vacasa.


Take my advice and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER rent from this super shitty company. Like, seriously, read the fine print and just DON’T. Don’t just walk away, run. Basically, they’re a third party company who tries to take allllll of the hassle out of renting vacation homes for people, mostly rich ass people who are too lazy to take the properties they own and do something with them themselves, and they rent them out for them. This also means they take care of repairs, housekeeping, etc.

  It’s a business model that is mediocre at best and set up to fail.

When we arrived at the property, it was NOTHING as advertised. No bars in the shower or near the toilet. In fact, the shower didn’t even have a ledge for shampoo at all, causing my husband’s parents to stoop for everything, which is totally comfortable when you’re in your 70’s, you should try it sometime. There was a ledge to get in the house and no ramp, so definitely not wheelchair accessible at all, which is what they claimed in the listing. 


 They also had advertised that we would have two parking spaces, one in front and one to the left of the building. When facing the building, the left side is just sidewalk. We were not driving a freaking Kia Soul up onto a sidewalk, nor were we going to do that for the rental van we were using. If you faced away from the house and checked that left side, there was a commercial dumpster, which you would be towed from if you violated and parked in front of it. Also, there was no mention whatsoever that street sweepers came through Wednesday night to Thursday morning. 

 Just, all in all, a lot of things that were not as advertised.

So, the second night we were there, also the first night my mother in law tried to use the shower, she slipped and fell and had to get stitches in her elbow.


  That is her blood on my husband’s shirt. We contacted Vacasa immediately. To their credit, we eventually demanded they put us up in a handicap accessible hotel and they did. They were not even going to do that at first, though. They were only going to refund our money, which would have left us out of a place to stay. They pulled all this crap about how we “preferred” to move and I let them HAVE it. I told them they needed to look up “preferred” in the dictionary because you prefer shade to sun or vanilla ice cream to chocolate ice cream, we needed to move because they didn’t have their shit together and falsely advertised and we didn’t want to be mopping anyone else’s blood off the floor or running to the hospital again.

  Oh, I can be nasty, and believe me. Sarcasm is my fine honed weapon that comes out when people are liars, cheats and try to take advantage of me or people I care about.

 They only obliged, probably, because they know they could have a lawsuit on their hands. This made me furious. Anyways, I am writing this post to warn all of my followers to NEVER book through Vacasa. Their properties are not as advertised and if you have an accident on their property, they don’t care. $200+ in hospital bills and they did not care.

  I’m sorry for the tone of this post—well, not really—but I had to do this. It’s the right thing to do by my family. I hope they never get another cent.

 I promise in the next few days, I’ll post about the fun things we’ve been doing. 😝 We’ve actually had a good time, once we got done wiping blood off the floor of a place run by scumbags.

Be looking for a happier post about Savannah soon! And remember, don’t book a vacation rental through Vacasa, because they are remorseless, horrible @$)&@$?!!! Toodles! 👋🏻

\ \ A t l a n t a, G e o r g i a / /

A Musing

 Atlanta, Georgia. The ATL. 💯 It is full of things to do.

 Atlanta is somewhere that is so close by, I forget about it sometimes. Usually, it has been a destination we cruise through(or sit at a standstill in depending on if it’s rush hour traffic or not) on our way to Florida when we go to the beach. It’s about a 3 hour drive from Knoxville, so it makes a great day trip or weekend getaway.

  My husband and I stayed in Atlanta this past week for a convention, but also got to run around. Here are some things I recommend anyone should do, followed by a list of things we like to do because we like to do more weird/obscure stuff sometimes that may not be everyone’s cup of tea:

Traditional Atlanta Itenerary:

1. World of Coca-Cola Museum


  I remember going as a kid to The Coca Cola Museum, which is worth a trip even if you’re not a huge Coke fan. We stood out in the sweltering, August heat in a mile long line to get in, and once in, we got to learn about the bottling process, the history of Coca Cola (Cocaine was an ingredient, in some form or another, in the original formula. 😱) and test sodas from around the world in a testing room with sticky, checkered floors. Coca-Cola is a part of Atlanta’s history, so you should definitely check this out!

2. The Dwarf House/Original Chicfila 


461 N Central Avenue, Hapeville, Georgia 30354

 The original Chicfila, though I’ve heard that disputed by some locals. In any case, this weird restaurant is worth a visit! Chicfila was founded in Georgia, so make the pilgrimage and do not pass go. Whatever you get, get some Chicfila sauce to go with it because that stuff is the bomb. ✌🏻

3. Piedmont Park or Olympic Centennial Park


 Get your park fix by going to one of these parks! Also, nearby to Piedmont Park is The Atlanta Botannical Gardens, which are beautiful. If you go to Olympic Centennial Park, you can catch a carriage ride through downtown or check out Skyview, a ferris wheel that gives you a beautiful view of the skyline, especially at night. (For romantic points, Groupon Skyview and get the VIP experience, which includes a private car + chocolates. ❤️) 

4. Jackson Street Bridge


  Jackson Street Bridge is one of the best places to get a view of the Atlanta skyline. It is actually where they took promotional pictures that are depicted on the first seasons of The Walking Dead. 💀 Go at sunrise or sunset for the prettiest views.

Untraditional Atlanta/Surrounding Areas Itenerary:

1. See Alexandria and Woodbury from AMC’s The Walking Dead


 Senoia, Georgia, a hidden little gem of a town, is also the set of The Walking Dead! Since we live so close, I thought, why not?! We have to go and see this! Senoia itself was used as the fictional town of Woodbury, where The Governor reigned supreme in Seasons 3-4. You can actually see Alexandria from Woodbury a/k/a Senoia. Senoia is about a 2 hour drive from most parts of Atlanta, but worth the trip if you’re a fan of the show.

  Unfortunately, you can’t get as close to the walls of Alexandria since they are still filming, but just looking at them makes the series come even more alive and you keep expecting Negan to show up and ask for a tribute from the community or see walkers roaming around! 

2. Thrifting (You knew this was coming, right?)


  My husband and I love us some Goodwill. ✌🏻 And lucky for us, Atlanta has like 30+ stores. I have found designer brand clothing and some really cool stuff, so if you like to thrift like us, here are some of my favorite locations to thrift:

1460 Northside Drive NW Atlanta, Georgia 30318

3906 Roswell Road, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30342

2585 Chantilly Drive, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30324

 The first two are Goodwills and the last one is an LGBT thrift store which has some of the coolest stuff!

3. IKEA


IKEA, because IKEA. I love looking here because we don’t have an IKEA, which is such a bummer, because their lighting department and room setups are a-m-a-z-I-n-g.

So, if you find yourself in Georgia, do some of this stuff that’s touristy or off the beaten path!