1. I can’t get enough of your Ivy and Charlie stories – they are just the cutest!!! I had a feeling she wasn’t going to leave that nice little winter vignette alone! Goofball Ivy!!

  2. Hi Brenda. Thanks for the update on Liz. It’s sadly pretty typical of a person like Liz’s husband to do something awful (like clean out their bank account and go visit his new gal in a different country!) and then jump on her for doing something that wasn’t a bit wrong to do. Telling his sister what was happening was not an illegal or immoral thing to do. You are correct that she needs to avoid communicating with him in person and it probably should all be through attorneys at this point. Glad to hear she is taking such positive steps. You’ve been a good friend for her.

    I love to look at Ivy’s spots and guess what the shapes are, just like looking at cloud shapes! She’s quite a fun girl. We enjoy our new little cat so much, and he and our older cat are such buddies, which has been a real blessing to the cats and to my husband and me.

    As for making money — I’m torn between telling you to do what you have to do about ads, and also knowing that I visit so few other blogs nowadays because of all of those pop-up ads! The thing is, you have so many talents and could make money with your photos, for instance, by selling them through some channel or other. But, I don’t know much about doing that. I personally am on my own hunt for bringing in more money, so the idea of everyone discussing money making ideas is good. Looking forward to more on this topic.

  3. I failed to say that you do whatever you need to do to your blog to provide the best earning potential for yourself. I’ll always be here! Can’t chase me away!

  4. Wonderful news about Liz – she just needs to keep him at bay! Hopefully it won’t take long for her divorce to be a thing of the past.

    Oh, that Ivy and her fab decorating skills. LOL

  5. Brenda, you did give good advice to Liz, especially regarding changing her locks. Also, the restraining order. I guess I don’t quite understand where she is living. Why would he know how to find her so easily? It’s an apartment above the garage on their property? Maybe I missed one of your posts. I cannot believe that he tho’t he had any right to be angry that she had spoken to her sister-in-law or about anything else, for that matter. He acts like he’s had brain damage! I’m so happy that Liz is now employed and moving ahead with her new life.

    Well, Miss Ivy Lou is certainly a gal of many talents! She’s giving you a run for your money for certain. I’m waiting for the day she figures out how to type. Then this will not be only your blog! I’m sure she will have a lot to say!

    I like the idea of focussing on frugality. I grew up in a frugal family and have always had to be somewhat frugal although I ‘m not opposed to a little splurge once in a while. It will be really interesting to hear what others save money on and how.

    Brenda, I’ve never seen any kind of ad for anything on your blog. I can’t stand the ones that have them popping up all the time. I wonder if there is a setting on my computer that screens them. Although there is one blog that I like that has them popping up all over. It drives me nuts. I shop on Amazon quite a bit so I will be happy to go through your blog. I, myself have tho’t of writing a blog as I do need to add to my income. But it just seems too complicated for someone who isn’t very computer literate like me.

    I have to tell you that I just got a call from my older daughter and she told me that a cousin on her dad’s side has just offered to give me a car! I have been without my own car for about three years and it has been the pits. But I just didn’t see any way I could afford to buy one–even a cheap one. I’m so excited! It is going to make my life so much better! I can’t believe it. The cousin said it has quite a few miles on it but I should be able to get at least a couple years use from it. Woo-hoo!

    Guess I better end this and send hugs to you and pats for the furry ones. Take care!

  6. I agree that Liz needs to get a restraining order…she has one greedy and mad soon to be ex-husband. I Love how Ivy is decorating and the look on Charlie’s face is too bbn precious when he is tattling.

  7. My cat, Charlie has discovered that air comes out of the heat vents so he sits and watches so he is ready to try to get the air when it comes on. He gets to catch the air. Blessings for Liz. She has begun to make a life for herself.

  8. Brenda,

    I love the idea of all of us combining our frugal and income ideas. Looking forward to that.

    Do you get money from Amazon if we use your link and click through, or do we actually have to buy something?

    1. You have to buy something. But I don’t want to encourage anyone to buy anything unless they were already planning to.

  9. I hope your friend Liz will follow your advice – the NERVE of the dude, to come back from South America after visiting another woman, for pete’s sake, being upset with Liz because she told his sister they are separated. Liz should have told the sister she’s filed for divorce! As for popup subscription things on blogs, they irritate me no end, as to endless advertisements. Links on the side margin or affiliate references contained in the context of a post are one thing, popups drive me nuts and I’ve actually stopped visiting some blogs that irritated me too much wit pesky advertisements, pop-ups and unending solicitations to become a subscriber.

  10. Great news from Liz!! Sure appreciate the update.

    Love, love, love these pix of Ivy and Charlie. They are SO funny, both individually and together. Thanks for the smiles again today.

    And I’ll join others and saying I would look forward to frugality posts of any kind. Thank you.

  11. I’m glad to hear that Liz now has a job and is getting settled. I agree with you, she should change her locks if he has a key and instruct him to deal with her attorney. I love that Ivy is now learning to decorate! She learns from her Mama!

    I don’t know anything about affiliate ads (I don’t have a blog), but if it helps I can tell you I have made several purchases based on things you mentioned in your blog. I bought bed pillows you once mentioned and I bought a cat tree from a place I learned about from you. Also, I had never purchased anything from Wayfair.com until I read about it on your blog and now I have used them and I love their site and products! I don’t know if it helps you to know that but thought I would let you know. We are retired and living on Social Security alone so we don’t have much money and I like to have recommendations on products from people that have used them so I can shop wisely with what money I do have!

    Thanks for your blog Brenda!

    1. I’m trying to become an affiliate for Wayfair. Just because I’ve purchased so much from them and know the products.

  12. Be be cautious with your income and taxes Going over just a dollar to another tax level can cause you to pay the new higher rate on all your income. I also wonder if you can use a business deduction for some expenses.

    1. For about four years I’ve been able to deduct quite a bit, even part of my bills. But I think the tax laws may have changed this year. Guess I’ll find out when I go to my accountant to do my taxes soon.

  13. Hi Brenda,
    Belated Happy New Year!
    I, and probably a lot of your readers, make purchases from Amazon often, and would love to be able to help supplement your income by doing so thru your affiliate link. You may be able to put a permanent Amazon button/link that shows up at the bottom of each blog post or on your sidebar,or wherever you put it, so that it is permanently there. Anyone who clicks on that gets taken to Amazon and you get the credit. (I’m not a blogger so I don’t know all the correct language, sorry). And also, please remind your readers to use it. I, for one, would make all my Amazon purchases thru your link, but I need to be reminded to use it or I will forget.

  14. Charlie is so funny! I love that he call attention to Ivy misbehaving!

    As for Liz, I concur with the other comments. She needs to change the locks and stay away from her husband. Not only for her safety but for her mental well being. He wanted the divorce, he ran off with the other woman in South AMerica, and he stole her property and money. She is better off without the mental anguish and torment and moving on to something brighter and better. My prayers are with her and she begins a new life.

  15. I’m so happy Brenda, that Liz is doing well and now she has a job. Yeah! ?
    It sounds like her ex to be, wants his cake and eat it too! Def don’t talk to him, change the locks and get a restraining order fast! Call the cops if she has too!

    It’s so funny to see that Charlie is tattling on Ivy, just thru your pictures! ?

    I haven’t bought anything new in the last 3 yrs. I stay away from the stores and use my decos interchangably. As for clothes, I have so many that I really don’t need anymore and I don’t go in the stores…temptation! ?

    My Mom lost alot of weight, so I gave her some shirts and sweatshirts that I wore with my leggings…like new. My daughter begged me for my fav bodysuit and I also gave her some long sleeve shirts. Then my oldest granddaughter wanted a pr of sweatpants and shirt, so I gave her those. If she borrows something though, she does give it back, not my daughter though…excuses.

    That’s my problem, I buy things for me and my daughter always wants them…she has her own. My clothes look like new coz I wash them by hand or in mesh bags on delicate cycle. I also turn everything inside out b4 washing them. It’s a pain, but great results!

    So I’m learning how to say no coz some yrs I don’t even like what’s in fashion, so I don’t buy anything. When I find something comfy, then I’ll buy it in different colors or 3 of the same color for me…I keep saying. My daughter keeps telling my Mom, that I have alot of clothes! My response is that I do and I’m not giving anymore up.

    Her and her brother had alot of clothes, when they were growing up coz I never wanted them to get picked on in school. I’ve bought so much for my grands too. Now they get their cousins, like new fav clothes…bags full! So I feel it’s my turn now, but trying not to feel guilty about it either!

    I had a fav pr of blk pants that I loved, I let both the girls wear them alot. Then her dog jumped on me with her claws out coz she’s happy to see me and ripped the knee. Next time she ripped them right underneath the butt…couldn’t fix them. I never found another pr like them!?

    I’m starting to find it hard though coz of all the new kitchen gadgets that are coming out…that’s my weakness! I haven’t bought a new bundt pan in 3 yrs either! I want the crown bundt in gold and they just came out with a new one, magnolia…I’m doomed! ?

    I couldn’t wait for this topic for tomorrow …it was much needed to get it out today! Besides it’s a very crappy, cold and damp day today. Weird weather, we didn’t even have any snow for Christmas! I only shoveled twice this yr and not alot…not complaining though! ?

    I hope you and your fur babies are having a great weekend Brenda!

    1. I don’t buy much. But I figure Amazon has most everything. I even buy clothes from them when I need them. Or shoes. Looking forward to reading everyone’s suggestions tomorrow. You don’t get much as an affiliate. I’ve had people buy $55 in purchases and out of that I get $2.50. But it’s a start.

  16. Oh such good news from Liz. She took a big step when she told
    his sister!!! And she got a job, yahoo for her!! You can just see how strong she’s getting. Gotta love that little Ivy. Her tummy is just so cute. Our little Norah who is Ivy’s age brings gifts to my daughter when she sleeps, napkins, bows, faux catnip mice. So cute.

    As for the Amazon that’s trrrific. I’m just not quite understanding where the link is. I will use it all the time.

    1. For instance, I had Amazon.com ads at the bottom of yesterday’s post. Won’t add it to every post. Just when it’s related. That’s so sweet about Norah!

  17. So glad to hear Liz is making progress and yes change those locks! Ivy is quite the decorator. My Annie does a tiny bit of that but she is older. Cats are curious by nature and the world is her playground. She makes me smile and I just see photos and your commentary. I hope Charlie is feeling better. I too live on a budget and with no ‘new’ income it’s hard to make it sometimes.

    1. I was doing “okay” till he died. But losing a third of your income is a tough pill to swallow. But I’ll get it all figured out.

  18. Brenda,
    I love your posts. You are an inspiration to and for women.Please continue to help and inspire.


  19. Hi Brenda,
    I love that little Miss Ivy wants to help you with your vignettes!!!! Too Cute.

    Here is my 2 cents on ads on blogs!

    I do not mind that peeps like yourself make some money off advertising. It is just how blogs are now. Blogging can be like a full time job so you might as well get paid for your time on the blog.

    With that said I have not gone to some of my fave blogs anymore because they are so junked up with pop ups and ads everywhere. My biggest problem is that a lot of bloggers that advertise need to do several blog posts a week to make the advertisers happy. That leads to a lot of nonsense on so many blogs. I think bloggers can only blog about so much without it getting boring.

    I got into blogging to share my decor “crazy” and to share some aspects of my life. That seemed to be the trend years ago when I started into blogging. It was fun and a great way to find others with like minded decor ideas and sharing. I was amazed at how many friendships I have made over the past 8 years of blogging.

    I just feel that most of the bloggers now are not about creative things and more about nonsense to make sure they get their quota of posts in to keep the advertisers happy.
    That makes me sad. I do realize that like all things in life changes are always going to happen.

    I have thought about letting my blog go with not fitting in with the advertising crowd and the new way of blogging. I do have lots of followers that seem to enjoy my posts and my decor changes etc. So I am trying to hang in there but been on the fence about letting my blog go.

    Just not sure it is where I need to be anymore. Time I guess will tell.

    Have a good weekend.

    1. But Kris, so many people enjoy your blog! That includes me. I have always posted every day. When I didn’t for some reason, I got complaints. Much of what I write is not about decor, but it seems to be what the majority of readers want. Many have gone to Instagram, but I never did use it. My blog IS a full time job. If it wasn’t my hands and neck would be in better shape.

  20. Be sure and let us know about affiliate ordering. We order on Amazon regularly, and if going through your blog will help you, we’d be glad to help. Just wish we could have done it at Christmas. Almost all our shopping was through Amazon. Anything that will give you some income.

    1. If you see Amazon.com ads at the bottom in a grid, just click on one of the ads and order whatever you want when you get to Amazon. Yeah, Christmas would have been a great time to have them. Oh well.

  21. I love and enjoy reading your blog each day. Great news about Liz, and cute and funny news about Liz and Charlie. Whatever you do on the blog to bring in more money for yourself, would never keep me from reading it. You gotta do, what you gotta do Brenda. Good Luck with that…Hugs from Wisconsin, Bonnie

    1. I agree with Bonnie’s comment. Enjoy your blog. Do what you need to do to survive. I rather you do a blog with ads then to not have enough to pay your bills.

      1. Yes, Brenda…we are all OK that you do whatever it takes to make your blog work for you. We all enjoy it so-o-o much!!! Happy new year!!!

  22. You gave excellent advice to Liz and I am so proud of her progress! The soon-to-be-ex…He’s “mad?” Well BOO HOO! Stuff it, dude!
    What a bargain you got in Ivy! Alarm clock, furniture duster, 24 hour comedy show, and now….ta da!….INTERIOR DECORATOR! If anyone should write a column on how to stretch your bucks, it’s YOU, dear, due to this “purchase” alone!
    I don’t mind your ads at all, but I HATE those (*(^^&%765 subscribing pop ups and am so glad you’ve never junked up your space with them!

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