I’ve been hemorrhaging money!

by Denise on March 21, 2014

Hello friends!  It’s been over a month since my last update, so I thought I had better check in.  In fact, I think I need to force myself to start blogging on a more regular basis.  It keeps me on track with my goals.  Since I have put blogging on the back-burner, I am finding myself putting my financial and organizational goals on the back burner, too.  Not good!

In the last couple months it seems I have been hemorrhaging money.  This is overwhelming to me.  While I had anticipated and prepared for many these expenses, it still is not fun to see so much money come out of your bank accounts all at once!  So now I need to refocus and work on building all these accounts back up again.

I have to admit I have gotten really lazy in my attempts to be frugal.  I am eating out more, shopping at places like Aldi less, and all in all just not planning well where food is concerned.  I am buying things on impulse – nothing big but each $20-$50 dollar purchase really starts to add up.  I’ve been less careful about watching my utility bills.  Less interested in participating in my side hustles (for instance, I love Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for a way to make some extra spending money and get free Amazon gift cards).

My organizational efforts have also suffered.  I need to get back on task of going through my junk and getting rid of what I don’t need.  I have piles of stuff that is sellable, but have been too lazy to do that.  That is cash I could be putting towards my expenses that I am just ignoring.  Not good at all.  I’ve also been lazy with my cleaning and such.  My house isn’t a disaster, but it isn’t as clean and organized as I would like.  Time to change that!

So I’m going to try to start blogging more.  Not because I think anyone has any interest in my ramblings, but because I need to stay focused on my goals and blogging about them is the only way I seem to stay motivated.

In the meantime, I am looking for little ways to save money.  I’m already quite frugal so I know most of the tips, but if you have any unique tips I would love to hear them!  


I’m adopting!

by Denise on February 3, 2014

brushstroke-heartI’ve been silent for some time on this blog while I did some intense soul searching.  And now I have an announcement.  I’ve started this post a dozen or more times.  Each time my words seemed unworthy of the announcement they were making.  And so I have decided to scrap all my drafts and make the announcement in a short and concise way.

I’m adopting!  I’ve begun the (likely lengthy) process to adopt a child!!!!

I plan to blog my way through this process and document as many of the details as I can.  So if you want to follow along in my journey, be sure to check back often… or better yet, follow me on Twitter or “like” me on Facebook!

In the near future I plan to write about why I chose to grow my family through adoption and what the home study process was like.  If you have any questions at all, please post them in the comments below and I will try to address them.

Thank you for following me along on my journey.  I am sure at times it will be an emotional roller coaster and I will appreciate having my virtual friends along for the ride.  :)


Boycott Retail Stores Open On Thanksgiving

by Denise on November 25, 2013


boycott stores opened on ThanksgivingEvery year the world of retail infringes more and more into our daily lives.  First they started opening on Sundays.  Then they started having longer hours… some even open 24 hours a day!  And if that wasn’t all enough, we are now constantly reminded about THEIR existence through constant advertisements on our televisions, smart phones, internet, and printed media.

No matter how much you try, you just can not escape the consumerism that is taking over our country.

Yes, I am part of the problem.  I can be as easily swayed by a catchy ad or a sparkly in-store display as anyone.  But g-damn-it, I refuse to put up with that take-over on Thanksgiving!!!  That is just one line that I can not support being crossed.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday and, I believe, should be spent with friends and family.  Not out shopping.  You don’t mind doing a little shopping on Thanksgiving?  Well good for you… but remember that it isn’t all about you.  Just because you don’t mind hanging out in a crowded mall on a national holiday doesn’t mean that the workers handing you your change feel the same way.  While you are out buying your discounted sequined sweater or 70 inch TV, retail workers across the country (many who can’t even afford to buy the crap they are having to sell) are forced to forego the traditional Thanksgiving meal with their family.  Is that stupid sweater really THAT important to you that you need to have it at the expense of someone else’s holiday?  Something to think about….

Obviously, I will not be shopping on Thanksgiving.  But that isn’t really enough to make a difference.  If I spend my money at Store X on Friday instead of Thursday, I am still supporting them and their bottom line really isn’t impacted.  That is why I have decided that this year I will be boycotting all retail stores that are opened on Thanksgiving Day, and my boycott will extend throughout the entire Christmas season.   NO SHOPPING AT THSE STORES FROM THANKSGIVING DAY THROUGH CHRISTMAS DAY!

That means Adios Walmart, Macy’s, Sears, Target, K-Mart, Old Navy, etc.  See you in January!  While there are times this may be an difficult (especially Walmart… one of my usual haunts), none of these stores is unique and identical or nearly identical products can be purchased at other stores (i.e., Cosco, Dillards, Home Depot, etc).

This is a great chance to support local business that often gets overlooked due to the flashiness of the big box retailers.  This is also a good opportunity to support the big box retailers who value their employees enough to not make them work on Thanksgiving.  After all, this is a slippery slope.  What is next… being open on Christmas Day?

Let the boycott begin!  Want to join me?


From the period of Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Day, do not shop at any retail store that is open for business on Thanksgiving Day.  They are robbing their employees of the opportunity to enjoy this holiday with their family and friends.

Support local businesses and big box retailers who are showing kindness to their employees and respect for the meaning behind Thanksgiving by remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day.

3.) Spread the word!  Let’s show the retail world – with our voices and with our wallets – that we are not going to tolerate a take-over of Thanksgiving!


Burlap Wreath Tutorial

by Denise on October 8, 2013

burlap wreath

I have been in love with those burlap wreaths that have been all the rage lately, but have not been interested in paying the $35-$50 price that I have seen them sold.

I figured I could make one myself.  So I hit up Swagbucks in search of online tutorials.  I used ideas from many of the other tutorials I found in order to make mine in the easiest and cheapest way I could (easy and cheap is always best, right?).  It is amazing how many different ways people can make these things!

Below is how i made my burlap wreath.  I hope you will find these directions helpful should you want to make one of your own.  I should add that this project was extremely fast and easy to do.  :)

Burlap Wreath Supplies




You will need the following:

* 16″ wire wreath frame (these frame come in a variety of sizes, but 16″ looks nice on most doors)
* Natural Burlap roll, at least 4″ wide (20-30 yards or so, depending on how full you make your wreath – the 100 yard roll I link to is the most affordable to buy)
* Crafting wire, or use free twisties from the grocery store if you want to be extra frugal!

Process to make a burlap wreath

The process for making the wreath is really easy.

1.) Use some wire (or a twisty) to attach the end of a roll of burlap to the wire frame.  I do this to anchor the burlap in place.  I also used a bit of wire at each ‘break’ in the wire frame just to keep the burlap in place over time.

2.) Push a loop of burlap up through one of the sections of the wire frame.  Here you just want a loop.  You aren’t pulling the entire piece of burlap through (the “tails” of the burlap roll are always on the bottom side of the frame).

3.) Repeat this process through the entire frame.  For the most part you can keep a simple pattern of outside gap, middle, inside gap, middle, outside gap, middle, etc.  However, you can also ‘shake it up’ for some variety or if a spot looks like it could use more bulk.  Really, you can not do this wrong!

4.) Repeat process until you have a completed wreath.  The process is really fast once you get started.

5.) When you are done, just twist and push around the loops on the outside of the wreath so you have a natural, unplanned look.  Easy-peasy!

Here are a couple more close-up pictures of the process.

Burlap Wreath Process

Here is a picture of the wreath hung up on my front door.  As you can see, I added a decorative flower.  I plan to change out the decorative element depending on the season or my mood at the time!  I am just in love with the finished product here.

Burlap Wreath Tutorial

What craft projects have you completed lately?  If you have blogged about them, please share the link in the comments, below!  And PLEASE follow me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook!  :)

Linking at some of these great sites – check them out!
SUNDAY:   Under The Table DreamingDIY Showoff,  Homemaker on a Dime
MONDAY:  Keeping It SimpleDIY Home Sweet HomeThe DIY’ers
TUESDAY:  The Thrifty Home,  Funky Polkadot Giraffe
WEDNESDAY: We are THAT FamilyFrugally SustainableThe Self Sufficient HomeAcre,
Raising Arrows
THURSDAY:  The Frugal Girls,  Joyful HomemakingThe Crafty Blog Stalker
FRIDAY: Blissful and DomesticThe Answer Is Chocolate,
SATURDAY:  Six Sisters’ Stuff,



Let’s clean, together! (Doors and Door Knobs)

October 1, 2013

I’m starting a new challenge here at My House, My Rules!  While I try to keep my house clean, there are so many little jobs that fall the cracks.  They are just things that i don’t think about until they get really bad/dirty and then they become really noticeable (or more accurately, they become really [...]

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Basement Organization: Workshop Area (Part 1)

September 30, 2013

Happy Monday morning! As many of you know, I have been working hard of cleaning up my disaster of a basement (if you haven’t been following along, click on the link to see before pictures… truly terrifying, I assure you!). I’ve been making some really good progress on this job and am pretty impressed with [...]

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Come Tour My Organized Pantry!

September 23, 2013

My kitchen pantry, although a decent size, has always bugged me.  What specifically bugged me were the shelves.  They were wire, which meant that small things used to fall through them all the time.  And they also sagged when anything heavy was placed on them, which meant it was hard to stack anything up.  The [...]

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Sunday (er, Monday) Night Chit Chat

September 23, 2013

Happy Monday morning!  Every Sunday Carla at My Half Dozen Daily hosts a Sunday Night Chit Chat.  It has been a busy weekend.  The picture you see to the left is of my newly designed and organized pantry!!!   Please follow the link the check it out – I am so excited about it!  That took [...]

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Update on My Messy Basement

September 16, 2013

Last week I talked about my disaster of a basement.  If you didn’t see the pictures, click on the link to check them out – things were bad.  Well, I have been working hard all week to get things cleaned up.  it isn’t perfect yet, but I have made some good progress. I took two [...]

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SCORE! Cheap and local apples and plums!

September 10, 2013

One of the things I like to do every year is to go to a local apple orchard and pick a bushel of apples.  I then turn those apples into apple sauce and can it so we can enjoy it all year long.   So last Saturday I headed off to the orchard.  The bad [...]

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