My Story

My name is Jaclyn. I’m just a girl in the world (did you sing that in your head? You may have listened to Aqua too much …).

I’m married to a loving man (you can call him Hubby) who just so happens to be American. Oh, and I’m Canadian. We met online (that used to be sooooo taboo but it seems acceptable now-a-days) in 2006 and in 2007 I made a 28-hour drive over the border to meet him in person. So we met and 10 days (yes, days) later we got married.

Life where we were was steadily getting worse though. Hubby wasn’t earning enough money to support us and our roommate was making some decisions that Hubby felt put us at risk. So one night we packed as much of our belongings as we could and “fled to Canada.”

I was very happy to be home. I’d been gone just over one year. Of course, I’d visited twice but it’s different when you know you’re back for good.

Now our dilemma was that the last thing we wanted to do was live with my parents. So I got a job lickity-split and we go an apartment with one of my three sisters.

Unfortunately, Hubby and my sister didn’t get on that well. I mean, they didn’t fight or anything but they just constantly got on each others’ nerves. Quite a headache for me, as the in-beween.

So eventually my sister moved out and now I was paying the full rent myself. And I wasn’t doing it well.

We got ourselves into a payday loan spiral.

Originally I would just get the loan to pay rent or a bill on time. Or to buy food right after paying rent. But the interest started to tell on me.

I made the blaringly wrong decision one time to get a second loan from a different payday loan place. So now I was paying back a loan with a loan in order to get a new loan. Bad, bad, bad.

See why I call it a spiral? Because it was circular and it was dragging us down.

I had been looking for somewhere cheaper to live for some time when I found a small house offered free in the next town over. Could it be?

Hubby and I contacted the owner immediately and we were told that the house had been empty for quite a while, as the last tenant had up and disappeared. The house was becoming dilapidated and was being vandalized. The owner didn’t live in the area and desperately needed somebody to look after the house so that it didn’t degrade more. So he offered it free, just to get somebody to move in and take care of it.

Well, we jumped on it. And not a moment too soon because that very next month I would not have been able to pay the rent on our apartment, not even with getting three (you heard me, three) payday loans.

That rent-free house was a life-saver but we were definitely getting what we paid for. It was 600 square feet. If you don’t know how small that is, you don’t want to know. You are happier for not knowing.

It was heated by an ancient wood stove plus a tiny baseboard heater in each bedroom (of which there were two). That wood stove by itself was a very steep learning curve for us.

The house had multiple broken windows, the floor was rotting out from behind the shower and under the toilet, the yard and road turned into a river due to flooding every summer, the snow plow only came by twice each winter, oh, and our neighbour hated our guts.

But it got us free of our payday loan troubles.

What also helped free us was not buying many of the little extras that are just that: extras. I would make whatever I could so that we felt like we weren’t below the poverty line.

In 2014, after revealing to my family we were expecting a baby they decided for us that we needed to move closer. My sister, Hubby, and I once again rent together. We live in my oldest sister’s house, since she’s living elsewhere for now.

My daughter (you can call her Doll) was born in June 2015 and I returned part-time to work as a driver when she was only 6 month the old, as my maternity pay wasn’t enough to live off.

Almost exactly a year after her birth, I got laid off from my job (along with all the other employees) and currently I have been unable to get a replacement job.

And that’s pretty much the short version of my story, so far. And having gained a little wisdom from past mistakes and experiences, and now wanting to stay home with my daughter, I decided to offer my blog up to the world and see if there’s anyone out there who might benefit from my sharing.

I would love to hear what you think or answer any questions

Welcome to My Blog!

Thanks for stopping by! Please, have a cookie.  And don’t worry about the vase.

(Yes, that was a Matrix reference. And no, there aren’t actually any cookies for you, only for your computer if you say it can).

Well, this is my blog!  Please feel free to pull up a chair and browse for a bit.  I’d love to have you!

My logo says Living the Rocky Life because my husband, daughter, and I live in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Born, raised, and only occasionally venture out (flatlands spook me).

My blog is about trying to live the richest life possible on a single income.  We do that by not spending money on things that are merely luxuries while also doing our best to make everything we can (because it’s often better and cheaper).

You may find quite a wide range of topics, with some seemingly completely random.  Thus why I suggested a chair; you may find yourself reading about something you hadn’t previously known you were interested in.

Enjoy and let the flow take you!

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You’re still reading this?  Are you not sure where to start?

Well, if you’d like to know more about my life and how I got to be a blogger, you can read my story here.  Or if you just want an overview you can skim About Me.

If you’re not here for me personally (don’t worry, no offense taken), then maybe you’d like to read about driving?  I love to drive and writing about it was one of the first things that made me want to start a blog.

Or maybe you’re a mom, or mom-to-be.  My breastfeeding struggle is a good place to start since besides pregnancy and birth, it’s pretty much the beginning of being a mom, even if you choose not to do it (you’ve still got to deal with those full milk bags, right?).

You can check out some of the things I’ve made on my sewing machine, like crib bumper covers, a stuffed seahorse, or a rifle/shotgun carry bag (a favourite of my husband’s (or should I say favorite, since he’s American?  There I go, trying to be the stereotypically polite Canadian.  You’re welcome.  Sorry.)).

Or my kitchen is a popular place to start the ball rolling.  I just love attempting to make things that I decide I don’t want to buy in the store anymore.   Hubby loves my croutons (thank goodness too, those buggers are expensive!).  I can show you how I made onion rings without a deep fryer.  And yogurt!  Yum, my favourite homemade thing ever that I never want to spend money on again because it tastes that much better made at home!

Or maybe you just want to talk to me?  Shoot me any questions, comments, or suggestions here! I would love to hear from you! (Unless you’re mean. True to my passive- aggressive Canadian-ness I will simply delete your message with a forceful *click*).

 

About Me

 

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My name is Jaclyn and I live in southern British Columbia with my husband (Hubby), our daughter (Doll), and a lot of animals! We have a dog, a cat, a bunny, a snake, a rat, and mice.  Not to mention my sister living downstairs with her daughter has two cats, a scorpion, and two leopard geckos.  It’s a zoo.

I drive for a living and before I  started doing it professionally I did it for fun.  I have lots of nuggets of “road wisdom” that I want to tell you about so we can all have a more enjoyable and safe drive, whether you’re on the highway for fun or not.

As much as I love highway driving though,  I would prefer to stay home with my daughter.  I’m a homemaker at heart and so when I am home I try to cram in all the things I would have done if I hadn’t been at work.  And it is possible.  So if you’re looking for some homey things, I can help! And rest assured that if I manage to do it, you can too!

 

 
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Contact Me

Thanks for visiting my blog!  I hope you’re enjoying what I’ve written and I would love to hear from you!

In case you don’t actually know who you’re sending a message to here’s a quick rundown:

My name is Jaclyn Bree, I’m 28 years old and live in the Canadian Rocky Mountains (that’s in B.C. eh).  I am married to an American, Hubby, and we have a 16 month (that’s 1yr4mo) old daughter, Doll.  I am an aspiring stay-at-home-mom and my goal is to never have another 9-5 job ever again.

Hit me up!

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