Sunday, May 24, 2015

Something Pretty for the Door

Hi everyone!
Since I have been out of the groove of life lately, I just recently noticed that I did not have anything pretty on my door. This is so out of character for me. I love to make wreaths and have for about 30 years now. I always have something on my door. Whether it be seasonal or a holiday.
Isn’t it bizarre to just notice this?! I think the last thing I had on my door was a Christmas wreath! Yikes! Time to get on this immediately!
I bought this metal pocket hanger several years ago for $1.00. It is a nice size so, originally I bought it for outside. It was a bronzy color and I decided to paint it white.
metal hanger redo
Since I am picking myself up and kind of starting over, I wanted something other than a wreath on the door. So, I grabbed this metal hanger, emptied out the dirt and decided to use it. Is it odd that the worn off white paint is perfect to me? I love the look of it now!

Since I had the metal pocket wreath and I had plenty of Styrofoam, all I needed was the tulips. Off to the Dollar Tree I went.
I thought I might add a bow to it so I scrounge through all my ribbon and found a couple of different options to try. I ended up not even using any ribbon.
I added the styrofoam. I used three pieces with one on top of the other two to give different heights.
Then it was a matter of just shoving them in. I didn’t even break apart the bushes, just put them in as is and bent them around.
Okay, here is Diann’s take on faux flowers “making them look real”. You see a lot of blog posts out there talking about making faux flowers look real. If you are making a door hanging/wreath just pick out pretty flowers you want and generally those can be found at a dollar store. You don’t need expensive flowers. I can guarantee that not a single person with an IQ over 50 will ever walk up to your door and say, “Oh my! Look at the amazing fresh flower wreath! They must have just picked them and made this!” Nope! Never going to happen! Just have fun, don’t spend a fortune, make it pretty and something that will make you smile.
If you want to do faux floral arrangements in vases or pitchers and are shooting for them to look real, then that is the time to buy the more expensive flowers and work with them.
Having a dark green door, I like to use bright fresh colors. Also,I have a storm door so I can’t make wreaths with different greens or flowers that poke outward. They are just going to get smashed.
This metal  pocket is as wide as I can use for something on this door.
front door tulips
This project took all of 15 minutes to do. And now I have something that makes me smile when I walk up to my door. I love that. So simple and thrifty.
What do you have on your front door?
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Friday, May 22, 2015

It Starts with a Clean Table & Winner

Hi everyone!

As most of you know, things have been a little rough for me lately. But, after I talked about it here and got such wonderful inspiration from all of you, it has really helped! Who knew?

I decided that it was all about baby steps. Pick one small area in my home that is filled with chaos and tackle it. Just one. I decided that would be the dining room table. Since Troy is rarely home due to his job, we don’t eat at the table anymore. It’s just me. So, the table started become a dumping ground.


What a piled up mess! Am I keeping it too real showing this? LOL Probably!

So, this was my mission, clear off the table! Put, things away, deal with things that needed dealing with. Throw out stuff that was just junk. All I wanted was a cleared off table. A clean flat surface is what I was in need of.


And that was what I did! One thing…clear off the table. Looking at it emptied, I felt like I could breathe again. Now it needs a deep wood cleaning and a wax job. But, now I feel lighter.

Isn’t it amazing how accomplishing one simple thing like cleaning off your dining room table can give you such a much needed boost!? It did for me.

Now I had the cleared space to work on a project that I have wanted to do for awhile. I will share that with you this Sunday!


The winner of Tea Time Magazine is:

Apple of His EyeMay 17, 2015 at 5:52 PM

Dear Diann,
Hi! What an honor you and Troy were invited to speak at this event. I'm so proud of you guys! Love the pics you shared with us. What a great gift you want to share with one of us. My heart skipped when I saw the magazine cover. I love Country Roses China! Have a great week! ��

LaDonna, I need you to send me your mailing address (

Thank you everyone!


Friday, May 15, 2015

A Fun Event & A Little Thank You Giveaway

Hi everyone!
This week DTL Herbs, aka Troy and I, were invited to be the guest speaker at this years Macomb Master Gardeners Associations Annual Banquet. The theme was an old fashion tea party. Troy gave a wonderful presentation on the history of tea and various interesting tea facts. I had created a special blend of herb infused tea just for this group and prepared 150 individual tea bags for all the guests.
Many of the ladies created their own special hat just for the evening. There were so many cute and pretty hats! They also had tables filled with gardening themes prizes.
peopleThe food was amazing!
foodEach table had two door prizes. One was a teapot with an herb planted inside and the other was a teacup planted with an herb as well.
table gifts
And at each persons setting they had a few little gifts. All tea related and so fun! Someone had made the cute tea pouch to hold the teabag I made, there was a package of two herb infused scones and a copy of Tea Time Magazine! What lovely gifts!
It really was a very fun  and lovely event. The banquet committee did an amazing job putting it all together! And Troy and I are so happy to have been part of it! We had a wonderful evening!
Now I want to say thank you. Last week I posted about why I haven't been blogging. I was very nervous to actually publish that post. It wasn’t a normal Thrifty Groove kind of post. But, your honest, sincere heartfelt comments actually brought tears to my eyes. I should have known that you amazing ladies are so generous, kind and strong! I may not be one of those mega bloggers with a gazillion followers but, MY followers are the most loving! You were there when I needed you. I can’t ask for anything more!
So, I just wanted to say a huge Thank You to all of you! You have no idea how much your comments mean to me!
Since Troy and I both received a copy of Tea Time Magazine, I thought I would share one of the copies with one of you. I know, It’s just a small little gift but, it really is a lovely magazine.
If you would like a chance to receive a copy of Tea Time magazine, just leave a comment on this post and make sure there is a way I can reach you. It’s that simple. I will announce the winner next Friday (May 22, 2015).
Once again Thank You! Sending you back much love!
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Why Have I Not Been Blogging?

Hi everyone!

Warning: this is a long post with no pictures! LOL

Wow, I have been so MIA here at The Thrifty Groove. I have to confess, it wasn’t intentional. And I have kinda of surprised myself. I didn’t realize I wasn’t blogging. It just happened.

As many of you long time readers of The Thrifty Groove know, these past few years have been tough for us here. We have gone through a lot of trials an tribulations. So many ups and downs. And then at the beginning of this year my husband was able to return to work full time for the first time in ten years. What a blessing! So, you would think I would just be blogging my heart out. A major stress was removed from my life. At least that is what I thought I would be doing.

My husbands job is an OTR Driver (Over the road). He is gone for at least two-three weeks at a time. So, all of a sudden I am the only one home. After being together 24/7 for ten years this is a major change. 

For the past ten years, the major traumatic situations that have happened to us were out of my control. I would do what I could but, ultimately, I had no control over what was happening. And being a control freak, this is not a good thing. I needed to have some kind of control somewhere in my life. Something I could do and succeed at.

Due to all the things that were happening, money become unbelievable tight. So, that was my “control”. I threw everything I had into being as thrifty as possible and still feeling like we had a good life. Turning a penny into a nickel is what I needed to do. Fortunately, I grew up in a thrifty but very happy home. So, I had a good solid foundation to work with.

I created saving money and penny pinching into a game to help with the mental stress of it all. I went to the library regularly and checked out books on frugality, DIY and bartering and trading. I subscribed to as many money saving online newsletters I could find. I joined message boards that were focused completely on stretching money. I found alternatives to things we needed that didn’t cost as much as retail. I was a regular shopper at thrift stores looking for items that needed to be replaced that I couldn’t afford to buy new. I searched out methods to make a few dollars here and there. I did online surveys that would pay out at a couple of dollars. I delved into the world of Mystery Shopping and other self employed small jobs. We eventually started selling our extra herbs at a local farmers market and slowly created our small herb Business DTL Herbs.

In other words, it became a full time job just trying to make ends meet. And I did it. Don’t get me wrong, we had help from family and friends occasionally, but, overall I made it work. It was exhausting and scary all the time but, I was in control of something.

When I hit a wall as far as cutting back on expenses and squeezing every penny I could I knew I needed a new approach to the “Game”. I had to get past the depression of doing this everyday for years. I then found all the extreme couponing blogs. And threw myself into this arena. It worked. I was back in control. I got to the point of saving money via groceries and other household items that I was asked by a friend to start a blog and share the different coupons and ways to do extreme couponing with her and other friends. So I started The Thrifty Groove. I was in the groove daily with saving money so, that is how that name came about. The blog was just a tiny private “grab this coupon and use it with this other coupon for this item that is on sale” type of blog. I also started teaching classes on couponing. I had made up folders of all kinds of related information and shared this with friends, families and at places like church.

What I didn’t realize until just recently, was that I became like a horse with blinders on. I had ONE focus, make every penny count. All the other things that were happening that I had no control over I dealt with them by shoving it all in some deep dark area in my brain and locking the door. I couldn’t handle trying to work through those other issues. They hurt too much and I couldn’t do anything about them. And I had to continue to play the money game because  due to these others issues, we were accumulating other bigger expenses.

Now move ahead to this year. We have a decent income. I never got us into credit card debt so, catching up on bills was pretty easy once we got a regular income into our home. Getting used to knowing we have some money and about how much every week was an absolute miracle! I had forgotten how amazing it is to have a regular income.

I started finding myself not sleeping, not eating properly, no motivation, letting my home slide into chaos, not taking care of my health and ultimately my mental health started going into a dark place. All of that quickly became a very ugly vicious circle. I couldn’t stop it. Everything just became worse.

And blogging? Forget about that. I used to blog everyday and then dropped down to 5 days and eventually dropped down to 3 days a week. Then the new year came and I didn’t have any energy or desire to blog. What on earth would I blog about when I felt the way I did?

I would try a little here and there but, nothing felt fun or new to me. I just didn’t care. I didn’t seem to care about anything.

None of this made any logical sense to me. I couldn’t figure it out. One of the biggest daily stresses, money was lifted from my shoulders. If anything I should be jumping with joy not falling into some dark pit!

So, what’s the problem right? 

Demons. They started rearing their ugly heads in my mind.

All those horrible things that I couldn’t deal with and shoved into the dark recesses of my mind started to come forward. Once I was able to not have to put every bit of my energy into trying to make our money stretch the old locked door had room to open.

It has taken me weeks to finally figure out what was happening to me. My main focus in day to day life was suddenly gone. I felt freaked out. And I was alone. Troy was gone most of the time. I felt myself falling. It was so scary to feel myself lose control. I was able to publically put on an act, at least enough to not let my friends and family become worried about me.

Finally I talked to my doctor about the lack of sleep. It was/is a huge problem that effects every other aspect of my life. The quality of my life went into a deep hole and I couldn’t pull it out. Fortunately my doctor has been with us through the past ten years and knows all the things we have struggled with. So, we just talked.

She brought to light all the stuff I had pushed to the side was still there and until I can let go of it, things aren’t going to change. Well, that’s easier said than done! But, at least it did make sense. And recognizing the problem and acknowledging it is a huge first step.

Letting go of the pain, the hurt, the guilt, the anger and the feeling that I don’t deserve to be happy because of all the feelings above is not going to be easy. But, I have started to deal with them. And just knowing that is helping tremendously. And so I also decided to go ahead and deal with it here. It is kind of a therapy. LOL Plus, I know so many of you have always been there for me and deserved to know what was going on with me and this blog.

So, I am taking it one step at a time until I can get to a place where I am happy with me. A few tiny steps in the right direction have already begun to happen so, that makes me feel good!.

I want to thank all of you who have been there and are still here! You have always been a great source of motivation and inspiration.

Please forgive me if this sounds like a big rambled mess. I had no idea what I was going to write and I just went freestyle and let my fingers do the typing. If I go back and try to fix the sentences or paragraphs I will end up editing so much stuff out and I don’t want to do that. I just wanted to get it all out there.

And I guess we will discover together what direction The Thrifty Groove goes because I haven’t a clue!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Table

Hi everyone!

Wow, I can't believe it is almost Easter! That came up quickly! 

Today is my mom's birthday. So A big Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!

Here a simple Easter tablescape.  I am using new, old, vintage, plastic, paper and regular dishes. Everything was so inexpensive.



I started with a pastel plaid tablecloth that I bought years ago at a thrift store for $1.29


I used these pretty pink and purple placemats bought at CTS  for .28 cents each. And these white ceramic bow napkin rings (set of 6 bought at a thrift store for .98 cents for the set. I had a 50 % off coupon)


Each setting is a different combination of the pastel plastic dessert plates and bowls. I bought the dessert plates and bowls in sets of 4 for $1.12 at Kroger.


Wavy charger from CTS for .97 cents each.


Okay, I did pay the full retail price of a $1.00 for the package of paper plates and paper napkins at CTS.


I used the white frosted thrift glasses bought at an Estate sale (6/$1.00) and then I used the different pastel colored vintage glasses from a thrift store for 1.75 (set of 6)

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All of the little Easter doo-dads are from CTS  (clearanced to .25 cents each). Don't you love to pick up holiday items after the holiday and then rediscover them the next year!?


The napkins were gifts.

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IMG_1498 - Copy


I hope you all have a very Happy and Blessed Easter!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

How To Make Jute Wrapped Easter Eggs

Hi everyone!
I can't believe Easter is only a week away! It sure came up fast this year! 

I made these jute wrapped Easter eggs last year and thought I would share you them with you today.

You could use colorful yarn or all pastel colors of yarn to create these. It doesn't have to be jute. 

Jute Wrapped Easter Eggs2
According to the different blogs I visited to research the “How to” instructions, it seemed pretty quick and easy. They said this is all you need”
Cheap plastic eggs
Hot Glue Gun
You can pick up but the glue gun at a dollar store.
Okay, I have all of that. So here we go!
A little tip to start that wasn't mentioned in the “How to” but, after the first egg, I did this and that was to do a quick gluing the two pieces of the plastic egg together.

Start by putting a dab of hot glue on the end on the egg and glue down the end of the jute. Then you start going in circles adding hot glue and the jute.

I did two eggs following these directions.
That was all I did! It took way too long and the hot glue dries super fast, at least faster than I could circle the jute around the egg. And it gets messy.
So that mess ends up on the finished eggs. You just can’t pull each of the gluey glops off the jute.

I discover two issues, besides having the patience of a two year old, Hot glue wasn't working for me other than the ends (it secures the jute quickly) and use a thicker jute because it holds better and it is faster.

Okay, on to Diann’s revised version of the craft!
Grab some cheap white glue and mix a little bit of water in it to thin it just a tad. Grab a brush to paint it on the egg.
First thing, besides making sure you have a decent manicure and not chipped off polish like me, is to use hot glue to secure the end of the jute and wrap a few times around it. Then paint the white glue mix on to the egg and start wrapping the jute around the egg. Make sure you turn the egg as you wrap so you can get it tight and close.

Once you wind the jute all around the egg, use another dab of hot glue to fasten the other end .
Jute Wrapped Eggs
You can see the difference between the glue in the picture above.

I think I will make more of these. I have seen them embellished with vintage lace and ribbon or even other colors of twine/jute. 
Jute Wrapped Easter Eggs 3
For right now, I am leaving them natural. I kind of like them simple.

For more Easter DIY ideas, check out my Easter Board
Follow me for more fun and thriftiness!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An Irish Tea

Hi everyone!
And Happy St. Patrick’s Day
Just a small and simple tea today to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
I found this green and gold teapot years ago and it has become one of my favorites. Along with a simple white creamer. No markings on either of them.
The little green and gold teacup is so dainty.
Are you celebrating the holiday today?
According to tradition, Patrick returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity.
St Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish
Source: Wikipedia
Enjoy your day and thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shamrock Table

Hi everyone!
I really don't have any St. Patrick's Day dishes. But, I have plenty of green dishware! And that is all you really need to create a St. Paddy's Day table. Pull out some of your green thrifty finds, mix and match and create a fun table to represent the holiday.

I did a green and white table starring my Shamrock plant. I have had this plant for about five years. It is nestled in an old Ironstone tureen.
I picked up these pretty ironstone rooster dishes years ago at a fun little antique shop. I miss not going to this particular little store, it was close to a place that we used to camp on a regular basis.
The store was this long narrow building. In the front was all the gorgeous expensive antique dishes and accessories. Then you would walk through a door to another section and that would be where the antiques that were a step down in price. Then you would walk through another door into a specialty room. Still generally out of my price range. Finally in the very back would be the thrift store area. And off to one side there was a walk in closet room (this building at one time was a home) and in this room was stacks and stacks and boxes and crates filled with odds and ends dishes. All super cheap. A lot were just one of this design, one of that or chipped dishes. Basically no whole sets and some minor damage to the dishes. Well, that is where I found these. I just sat on the floor and started going through all the boxes. I love to unearth little treasures! I found 3 dinner plates and two salad plates. At a dime a dish, I was thrilled to take these home!
The stack starts out with a dark green plain dinner plate from the Dollar Tree. Then one of the rooster ironstone plates followed by a mossy green salad plate (bought at Kroger a few years ago for .50 cents) and then top with another of the ironstone rooster dishes. So, the 4 stack cost $1.70.
The glasses are our everyday glasses. The on the rocks glass was from a set of 4 I bought at a thrift store for $1.00. And the darker bubble glass was bought years ago at CTS at a marked down price of .50 cents each. So both of the settings dishes and glassware came out to a whopping $4.90!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a fantastic day!
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes and Results!

Hi everyone!

Well, I feel like I should say, “I took one, or in this case, 3 for the team!” LOL

Here is what I am talking about. I have been making my own cleaners for about 15 years now. I started because of one reason….money! Cleaning products can be so expensive. And I really needed to cut my budget drastically. I have a Pinterest board with different DIY cleaner recipes and I thought it was time to test them out!

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes. The Results!  @

So, here is the latest…”Saw it….Pinned it….Tried it!!”

Before I go any further, I must tell you my dishwasher is a cheapo model. Not the very cheapest but, a far cry from an expensive one. So, I know everyone's dishwasher will be slightly different. These are MY results.

First up…The most simple recipe:

1 cup of Borax & 1 cup of Washing Soda

Simply mix the 2 cups together and use a tablespoon per load of dishes.

The results:

Not good at all. Dishes were filmy and still cruddy.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Second Recipe:

Same as above except you add 2-3 tablespoons of regular white vinegar to the rinse agent dispenser.

The Results:

Not much better. A little bit less filmy but, that is about it.

Third Recipe:

1 Cup of Borax, 1 Cup of Washing Soda and 5  Lemonade unsweetened Koolaid packets (for citric acid).

The Results:

This recipe cleaned okay. I would use this (since I now have it made up) in a pinch when I am out of dishwasher detergent. However, it wasn’t the miracle cleaner that folks are saying it is. It is not what I would use as my everyday dishwashing detergent.

DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes. The Results!  @

That was the results of the three DIY dishwashing detergent recipes I found on Pinterest. I took all three of those pins down from my board. I will not recommend any of them.

For just for this post, I thought I would try a Dollar Store Brand dishwasher detergent. This one comes from The Dollar Tree.

 DIY Dishwasher Detergent Recipes. The Results!  @

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this one worked. I really hadn’t expected it to do as good of a job as it did!

Have you tried any DIY cleaning recipes you found online? If so, what were the results?

I am going to continue trying the different recipes I find and I will post them with my honest opinions.

Here is another “Saw it….Pinned it…Tried it” I posted.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!