Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skyrocket Your Savings! by Rene Christensen

A favorite blogger of mine has recently released her new eBook titled "Skyrocket Your Savings!"  I was perusing the internet looking for great resources to support my recent views on STUFF ~ See previous post ~ when I came upon a giveaway of her new eBook offered on her blog.  Not only was I excited about the book, but I was ecstatic about my chance to possibly win a copy.  Days went by and THE email arrived....You have won a copy! 

I immediately began to read "Skyrocket Your Savings! and was pleasantly surprised that it was not just another book about the typical ways to save money.  First of all, Rene has lived the life from childhood.  She was taught at a very early age to budget her money and to make wise financial decisions.  She describes her life when there was no money - not even a $1.00 to spend on the Dollar menu items at McDonalds.  She quickly learned the difference between a NEED and a WANT, and found ways to cut expenses to provide for her family.  When she did have money, she did not squander it, but practiced the same methods of saving and restraining.  Today, she is financially savvy and saving for what's most important to her and her family. 

Rene describes in a very easy readable format effective and reasonable methods for living on a dime as well as living efficiently when the income is fluent.  She still maintains her same values and knowledge for saving money and has shared with us the readers how she lived then and how she lives now. 

Each chapter in "Skyrocket Your Savings!" contains specific ideas for saving money in every aspect of your life.  These are doable and reasonable ideas that anyone can adopt in to their everyday living.  While I have lived a reasonably frugal life, I found many NEW ideas to incorporate into my regime.  New and fresh ideas! 

If you are looking for new and fresh ideas to "Skyrocket Your Savings" or if you need a boost to begin a life of saving efficiently for your future , please visit Rene's blog at  Rene offers a FREE chapter for you to read and review before making your purchase.  I think you will find that "Skyrocket Your Savings!" will be a valued addition to your eBook library.

**I received this eBook in a random giveway drawing.  The opinions in this post are solely mine and are not in any way reciprocation for receiving this eBook for free.  I am writing this review because I truly believe in the content.  I was not asked to write a review, nor was it expected. If I had not won the eBook, I would have purchased it.**

On The Road To FREEDOM!!! Unloading the STUFF!

There's an amazing trend populating blogland lately.  Somehow, ironic, as I have been pondering the same thoughts and have been preparing to blog about it, too.  For the past two weeks, I have contemplated changing my entire thought process on thrifting....and turning my energies to purging, decluttering, minimalizing, downsizing - whatever you want to call it.  It all relates to that nasty word beginning with an "S" - STUFF!!! 

What are we to do with all this STUFF that we have accumulated over time?  This stuff that we so happily paid so little to own.  Stuff that we were so proud to proclaim as awesome buys....bragging how much we saved.  But, did we really get a bargain, and at what expense?  How much of this accumulation are actual products that we need or use on a regular basis?  I look around and can only come up with one exclamation........AAAAAAAAHHHH!!  Insanity!!!

Do I really enjoy all this stuff?  Have I found pleasure in taking care of, moving, dusting, cleaning, and moving it again and again?  Why is there a need to fill up space?   And, when is it enough?  When do we stop?  When do we realize that stuff now consumes our every breath, our every move, our every moment in time??  It completely captivates us to the point that we do not have time for that which truly brings enjoyment - family, friends, and relationships.   

I have spent a great amount of time over the past few weeks reading blog after blog, and eBook after eBook on the topic of minimalism.  And, I have come to the realization that all this STUFF has to go! It clutters my home, my space, my time, and my mind!  You will find that if your space is cluttered, your mind is cluttered.   And, when you regain your space, you regain your mind!  It's a wonderful thing!  I just needed a little bit of a push and some enthusiasm from those who started this way of life before me.  I guess I needed to read over and over again how "freeing" it is to let go.  I am now ready!!

Please join me on my new journey to freedom!  I hope to be so free of stuff that I will have time to enjoy one of my greatest passions ~ writing! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Items Added To My Etsy Shop!

These are wreaths that hubby and I have just completed.  They are now available in our Etsy shop ~ A Touch of Borelli

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gathering My Roses GIVEAWAY!!

Gathering My Roses is offering a great GIVEAWAY!  Please visit her page to enter!

"I'm going to be giving away a Mystery Basket loaded with goodies: Beauty, Food, Books, Office Supplies, Beverage... a little bit of this and that! Some samples will be full-sized, some will be small, sample sized. ALL will be unopened, and unused! "

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I have become a Pinterest addict!  Last week, I spent many hours perusing the web & other Pinterest boards looking for all the things I would like to do, see, make, dream about, or repin.  While putting together my Organization Board, I found photo after photo, blog after blog, entailing everyone's beautifully organized pantries.  I couldn't stand it any longer, so I spent my Friday night pulling everything out of our kitchen pantry and spread it out all over the counters, the dining room table, the couch, wherever there was space....and my pantry is NOT very big! Did I take photos of the before?  NOOOOoooooo!  Did I take photos of my home filled with pantry items?  NOOOOoooooo!  BUT, I have photos of the thereafter!!  It may be the cleanest and most organized pantry I have had the pleasure to enjoy.  I am so proud! :o)

Most of the containers were already in my possession (just empty and scattered about the pantry).  So, now everything has a home in it's own container and a space on the shelf.  I know exactly what we have and where it is.....such a great feeling! 

Thank you Pinterest for a fun-filled Friday night!  I am sure most of my Pinterest friends were doing the exact same thing on a weekend night, right?  Please share if you did!  I sure don't want to believe I was partying alone!

The only thing we have left to do in the pantry is to install a few racks on the inside of the pantry door to store baggies, wraps, and foil.

So, now it's on to the hall closet.  And, then maybe the nightmare of all nightmares.....our Master bedroom closet.  It is full of crafting items that need to be organized.  I cringe to even think of beginning that project!  But, I know in the end, the closet, my hubby, and I will be that much happier when we can find what we are looking for, and not have to run to the craft store or Dollar Tree to pick up items we know we already have, but no idea as to where to find them.  And, as one who never pays full price, last minute shopping is not my favorite thing to do!

Oh, and the very best part of it could I forget?  While organizing Friday night, I was thinking to myself how nice it would be to have a nice spice rack.  Not just any spice rack, but a fairly decent one.  I started thinking about the cost of one, and put it to the back of my mind thinking maybe I would run across a great sale or find one in the thrift store while out meandering one day.  It was POURING rain, which in Houston, is an absolute blessing!  Why I decided to take out the trash to the compactor is beyond any wild reasoning!  Apparently, it was meant to be.  Something out there was calling my name! Or, I am a nut!  I put our trash bags in the trunk of the car, and drove over to the trash compactor.  And, guess what??!!! There sitting next to the compactor, was my "new" spice rack!  No kidding!!  I brought it home excitedly (and soaking wet), dumped out all the spices, and began cleaning each and every jar and lid.....all 20 of them!  I am just about as happy as a pig in slop, but sometimes that's an easy thing for me!  It doesn't take much to make me happy.  

I love things clean, organized, and clutter free!  I keep opening the pantry door to assure myself I am not dreaming.  I love admiring my work.

Any other nut out there cleaning and organizing on a Friday night?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

99 Cent Store - Awesome Array of Fresh Produce

If you have one of these stores in your neighborhood, you are going to be amazed at what's behind those closed, glass doors.  They are currently located in only 4 states ~ Texas, California, Nevada and Arizona.  There are not too many locations in Texas, but I happen to be fortunate enough to live close to two of them....and we visit both!

This is where we buy most of our fresh produce.  They have a large variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from and most items are name-brand, such as Dole.  They also sell eggs, milk, whole wheat bread, yogurt, etc.  You have to see it to believe it!  Until 3 months ago, I did not realize what a fantastic food section is housed in their stores.  Since there are not too many coupons out there for fresh foods, this is the perfect place to shop for these items.  The price is ALWAYS right!

The following photos are from today's shopping trip to the 99 Cent Store.  This is just a small example of the fresh produce they carry.  But, it was all I needed for today.  

As you can see, they carry lots of healthful food besides fresh fruits and vegetables.  I found 16 oz. bags of 16-bean assortment (expensive at the grocery store) and wild rice (also expensive at some grocery stores).  They have a large variety of teas ~ red, white, green, black, orange pekoe, and many flavors.  Everything is ALWAYS fresh and delicious, including their breads.  There's not too many places to buy WHOLE wheat bread for less than $1.00.

My trip today included a 5-lb bag of potatoes, Roma tomatoes ($0.79/lb.), a bag of red plums, a bag of bananas, 2 bags of bagged salad, broccoli slaw, chopped cabbage, 2 bags of dried beans, 2 bags of wild rice, a loaf of whole wheat bread, a box of green tea bags, 2 cans of black olives, celery, and vegetable medley (broccoli, carrots and cauliflower).  All of this was less than $18.00!!  Not bad for healthful foods with NO coupons!  

Who said it had to be expensive to eat healthy??

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thrifting for White China Dinner Plates Finally Pays Off!

I have been scouting every yard sale, garage sale, flea market, thrift store, charity shop, etc. for a nice set of white, china plates.  Of course, I was looking for a set of 6, which is almost impossible...and I was looking for a thrifty price!

This past week I hit the jackpot!  Hubby and I went to Dollar General to pick up a few items on sale with coupons.  When we pulled into the parking lot, to our surprise and excitement, we spotted a charity shop that we had never seen before.  How could that be??? It had to be new, because there's no way we could have missed it before.  (Found out at the checkout counter that they had been there for 3 years!)

We finished up our shopping at Dollar General and hurried over to check out "Dollar Wise".  Closing time was only 15 minutes away.  Quickly I scurried over to the dishes for a quick look......and to my pleasure, there sat the most beautiful set of white, china plates.  I knew they were of excellent quality and they were in pristine shape!  But, the best part, not only were there 6 plates....there were 8!!!  Awesome!  They had my name written all over them.  And, for $2.00 each, they were mine!!!

Hubby and I guessed the plates to be worth about $20 each.  We were right on the money!  After a search online, I found that this particular pattern was discontinued in 2004.  Individual dinner plates are being sold for $19.95 to $23.99 each.

Have you ever experienced the thrill of a good find after losing hope that you would ever find what you were looking for???  That was me!

Not only did I find what I was looking for, but I never imagined to find a full set of 8 that looked brand new!  And, so pretty!  I am in love with them!  I hope to find more pieces soon!

This is probably my best thrift find to date, so I had to share!  Please share what you have found recently that has been on your wishlist for some time.........

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hobby Lobby Finds

Hubby and I took a trip to Hobby Lobby this evening.  We went to use our 40 percent off coupons on fiberfill for hubby's crocheted animals (which I will share tomorrow).  I, of course, headed to the 80% off home decor section.  Here's what I found!!

These bookends were $24.99 on CLEARANCE for $5.00!  I quickly snatched them up and will be saving them for my Dad for Christmas.  He is a Fire Chief & State Fire Marshal.  He will love these!  So excited!

Love the design on this candle.  The fragrance is magnificent!  It's regular price was $11.99, but clearanced for $2.40.  

I have a great love for crosses & candles, so what could be more fitting than these two candleholders?  So beautiful!  The glass FAITH candleholder retailed for $13.99 and clearanced for $2.80.  The LOVE cross retailed for $14.99 and was clearanced for $3.00.

And lastly, I found this beautiful wall hanging with hooks.  It is engraved with one of my favorite sayings.  I love it!  It was priced regularly at $9.99 and I paid $2.00 for it!

I actually left Hobby Lobby spending less than $20.00.  That included hubby's fiberfill (which is why we went in the first place!)  I am so pleased!  

The 80% clearance sale covered a large section of one corner of Hobby Lobby - it's the largest clearance section I have ever seen there.  So, you might want to check it out for those who are fortunate to have a Hobby Lobby close by!  There were also aisles and aisles of clearance items at 66% off.  

Hubby and I had a fun night!  We always do when we find such great deals!  See, it's not hard to live better for less!  

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Another Giveaway! This one is so sweet & so pink!!

This bottle is so beautiful, so sweet, and so pink!  I love it!  The giveaways this week are many generous bloggers!  This one is being sponsored by Teacup Stitches and you are going to love it!  Along with the bottle, you will be receiving one of her original designed cards.  Again, pretty & pink!  I am a new follower to Teacup Stitches and I am in awe visiting her blog.  Everything is absolutely gorgeous and very creative.  Stop by and enter her giveaway....she has made it so simple to enter!

A Few Saturday Yard Sale & Thrift Store Finds

Saturday afternoon, hubby and I headed out on our weekly yard sale run.  We found a few beauties at the yard sales, but most of our finds were at Good Will & a charity shop about 10 miles from us (a place we only travel to on the weekends.)

Photos below are just a few of our sweet finds for just a song!

 A sweet little shelf
 Wall hanging & a couple of beautiful wood frames
A framed picture that I actually plan to keep as is!  I usually buy frames for other projects.
 So sweet!  What do you suppose they are conveying to each other?
 Love these guys!  I collect elephants.  They are made of metal.  
 Old-looking double picture frame

 How cool is this?  I don't know what I am going to do with it yet.  But, I had to have it!
 The wood duck has already made a home for himself out on the patio with the flowers we just potted.  
 The Texas A&M heart has been removed & the wreath is ready to be hung on the back of our front door.  Since it is a steel door, I will be purchasing a Command hook to hang it.
I love this wood plaque & the saying, too!

To Sew With Love Giveaway #2

To Sew With Love is having a giveaway sponsored by Old Wives' Tale Soaps.  This giveaway is really exciting because there are SO MANY ways to enter.....that means more chances to WIN!!  Old Wives' Tale Soaps is giving away a $10 gift certificate to the lucky winner. AND, shipping is free, too, when you redeem your $10!!  Wait until you see the soaps and how reasonably priced they are.....BEAUTIFUL creations.  I am entering every which way I can for this one!!

Good luck to everyone!  If I don't win, let me know if you did! :0)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another Sweet Giveaway!

It's a Frenchy giveaway sponsored by Sandi @ Wayside Treasures!  Don't miss this one!  There are actually two giveaways and it is very simple to enter.  You have a choice between (1) A French-style tote & a French-style canvas print OR (2) A canvas pink rose print apron & a pink rose tin wall hanging.  

Hurry on over & take a look! Beautiful, frenchy treasures!  You may access her blog by clicking on her button in my sidebar.....

Good luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CHALK Paint Giveaway!!

Michelle Delgado of Wonderfaux Studio is offering an awesome CHALK paint giveaway on the blog of Molly Susan Strong!  You have a chance to win THREE QUARTS BIG of Annie Sloans CHALK paint.  Colors are Aubusson Blue, Duck Egg Blue and Old White.

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to try out this incredible paint.  I have been reading so much about it and visiting bloggers who have had fantastic results using this paint.  I am excited to have the opportunity to enter this giveaway....and wanted to share the opportunity with you, too!

So, what are you waiting for?  Hop on over to Molly's blog and follow her directions to enter this awesome giveaway!  Best of luck!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Froggy & Elegant.....Do those words even go together??

I am a tea lover with a passion for teapots and frogs.  So, when I recently found this teapot at a local thrift store, I couldn't resist picking it up.  My timing was impeccable, as it had just been placed on the shelf.  I am sure it would not have lasted long.  I also have a love for all white dishes.  How could I go wrong?  I absolutely love this piece and I purchased it for $1.99.

Isn't she beautiful?  She is part of the London Pottery Collection.  The lace was also purchased at a thrift store (not the same one) for $0.25. 

I absolutely love thrifting with my hubby.  We have found some awesome deals in the last few weeks.  I have found that we find the best bargains on Wednesdays.  They seem to replenish their shelves around here in the afternoon in the middle of the week.  So, that's become my favorite time to venture out.

Tomorrow is Wednesday, so you know where I shall be!!!  Can't wait!  Happy thrifting all!