A Review of The Mobile-Homemaker; Or, Someone Actually Read My Blog?

Fair warning, this is being posted purely as a proud-blog-mama moment. You can roll your eyes at any time. I won’t mind. Mostly because I can’t see you. If I could, I’d probably blush and hurry to make fun of some aspect of my life so you’d like me again.

Anyway, for those of you who didn’t know (which I don’t know how you couldn’t know because I basically pinned everyone’s arm behind their back until they ‘liked’ my blog on facebook), I used to write a second blog called The Mobile-Homemaker. Well, because I lived in a mobile home and thought it’d be fun.

And it was! When all Ruth did was nurse and sleep. When she got busier, I started slacking. And then I moved. So I stopped. Partly because of the move, partly because I pressured myself to write every Tuesday and Thursday, and partly because I was feeling a wee bit over-exposed. The facebook page had almost 700 ‘likes’, which in blog world is piddly… but I was still surprised. So after moving, I decided to take down my blog and going private on my personal blog.

Before that happened though, apparently someone wrote a ‘review’ about it. My parents recently sent this to me from an online magazine my uncle reads. It’s been fun to look back at The Shack… so, enjoy!

The Mobile Home Maker


Sometimes I feel as if we are the only family in the world trying to live debt-free in an older manufactured home. Thankfully, there are people like Carolyn to remind me that we aren’t alone. There are thousands in the country doing the same thing, we just haven’t met them all, yet.


Carolyn is the woman behind 2 wonderful blogs called The Mobile-Homemaker and Cue The Banjo. She has a great wit about her and her comedy and straight forwardness is refreshing. Within 3 posts, I ended up feeling as if I had known her my entire life.

Her story is very typical of most living in a single wide. It’s either a stop along the way to a bigger home or it’s the finish line for living simple and debt-free. In her case, it was a stop along the way. She has since moved from this single wide into a town home but we still have the photos and her witty posts to share.

Here’s her story, in her own words:

I’m a 30-something stay-at-home mom who writes Cue The Banjo and forgets people’s names as soon as I meet them. Just warnin’ ya, it’s horrible.

I live with a mustache that has a man attached to it, my husband R, and we have one child (so far), her name is Ruth.

This is our journey of living lean and becoming debt-free. It’s also my personal swan dive belly flop into homemaking – aka, the most interesting job I’ve had to date. (And that includes selling dismemberment insurance at a telemarketing company).

I feel like I’ve started over from scratch as far as my mindset goes. Re-learning what should be valuable to my family and un-learning the Keeping Up With The Joneses mentality. Who do these Joneses think they are, anyway? Someone needs to give them a good kick in the rear, because they’re wreaking havoc on people’s psyches. Not to mention I bet they’re really boring with no imagination at all. Good riddance.

That didn’t sound jealous at all.

So, let’s start with the exterior of the mobile-home, or The Shack, as I call it.

Here she be, in all her glory. Don’t be afraid, she doesn’t bite.

We moved into The Shack in the summer of 2010 and it has taken me until now to upload photos of it, let alone come to terms with living in it. Not gonna lie, it looks like druggies live there. And the scary thing is, we don’t do drugs.

Yes, my friends, we have chosen with sober minds to live here.
Why? Well, I’ll tell ya. Take a seat.

It all started when I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye… too far back? Okay. In 2007, less than a year into our marriage, R and I bought a house in the cutest little area called Prairie Village, a suburb of Kansas City, because that’s what you do, right? Get married, buy a home. The neighborhood was built in the 1940s and huge oak trees lined every street. Another young couple had just moved in next door and everything was quaint.

THEN. Then, less than two years after buying it, R got a job opportunity in Arkansas. Like, we had to move down within a month type of opportunity. And so, with the help of our realtor, we managed to get out of that mortgage within 2 months of listing it despite the already down-shifting of the housing market.

That’s when everything changed.

And when I say everything, I mean We changed.

We realized that our first apartment’s rent was 56% of our mortgage payment with just as much square footage and started paying off R’s undergrad & masters with that extra dough. I also came to appreciate obsessively salivate over passing the buck when something broke down. [In a British aristocratic voice] “Excuse me Landlady – I dropped a crumb on the carpet, please send someone up to shampoo itThanks.

Look, replacing a 60 year old sewer line that broke, while guests stayed for the weekend, will do that to a woman.

When we moved even closer to R’s job, we made the decision to rent the cheapest apartment available… putting us at 40% of our mortgage payment. We called it The Dorm Room because of the shoebox-size and, yes, slept in a loft bed slightly larger than a twin. This allowed us to pay off more of his loans, all the while going on trips, eating out, and donating to charities without feeling pinched.

That’s really the thing of it all, I don’t want to feel pinched. If that means living in a Dorm Room or The Shack, then so be it. It was cozy up in that loft anyway (read: hello Ruth!)
A year later, this beauty showed up. At a whopping 32% of our mortgage payment, we ran around like wild turkeys.

No literally, there’s a turkey farm 100 yards away.

Living off only one income now, that small rent payment is so incredibly worth the ugly exterior.

Carolyn’s single wide was a typical mid 90’s model (I think). Since they were renting, I’m sure she had to abide by certain rules. Yet, she ended up with a very nice home that was extremely affordable.

Here’s what she did:
dsc_4447 Master Bedroom

dsc_4449 Master Bedroom/Nursery

dsc_4844 Guest bedroom (love the shelving!)

dsc_4308 Kitchen Organization

dsc_4309 Kitchen Organization

dsc_4376 Very Stylish!

dsc_4380 Lovely Living Room

I’m sad to see they moved! It was nice to know that someone out there could make a house a home and laugh about it all the way.

No, the druggie reference didn’t offend me (it takes a lot more than that to get me offended). It is a typical association of manufactured homes but we do need to work on getting it gone as soon as possible. She was being funny and honest and I commend her for it.

Some manufactured homes are nicer than others, some just needs a little work and love to make them a great home. As witnessed several times on this blog, you can turn a single wide into a small mansion worthy of an HGTV feature. A home is what you make of it, whether it be a shack or a multimillion dollar estate.

You can still keep up with her through her 2 blogs The Mobile Home-Maker and Cue the Banjo.

As always, thanks for reading Mobile & Manufactured Home Living!

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