About Me

My name is Marianne (aka marianney) and I am a web designer, fiancée, daughter, wannabe mother, reader, dreamer, cat lover, WordPress customizer, choir singer, hippie, small-business owner, traveler, occasional yogi and newbie blogger … I’ve also been known to swear like a truck driver.

I’ve Moved to a New Blog!

In case you didn’t know I am now actively blogging over at DesignYourOwnBlog.com. It’s a place where I share tons of free blog design tips and tutorials for women on a budget. Come on over and check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

Why Am I Here? (short story)

Marianne Yates of A Life Set Free

Well, all my life I felt like I was supposed to make a difference in the world. Something to help the environment, and/or something to alleviate the suffering of animals and children. In my teens, I had a mural on my bedroom wall that was sort of an eco mural: clippings of recycling logos, dolphins, whales, polar bears, trees, you know… In college, I was a hippie, living simply, no computer, no tv, few clothes, you get it.

All of a sudden, here I am at 36 with a full time computer job, tons of crap in my house, too many clothes, two cars, no time, lots of debt and tons of stress. How the hell did this happen? Everything I wanted to be and do was forgotten because I let life get in the way and I lost track of my values. Or come to think of it, I never even actually sat down to define my values…until now.

Marianne’s personal values

(not necessarily in order)

  • health
  • family and friends
  • making a difference for animals & people in the world
  • the environment
  • travel, new experiences and cultures

Ok cool. Now that that’s out of the way… my first goal is to get THIS LIFE out of the way and get back to living a life that I love and want to live, a life that leaves me feeling fulfilled. I’ve spent at least a good year contemplating what that would mean. And what it means to me (maybe not to you) is simplifying, consuming less, re-committing to the environment, being of service, and finally…. finding a means of making a living that allows me the freedom of time.

And if you STILL want to know more about me (long story)

Marianne biking in DenverMy parents emigrated to the U.S. from Sweden and Belgium on a boat (no shit!) just before I was born in fabulous New Jersey. Prior to that, my father’s sister had moved from Sweden to England in the 70’s. Then my mother’s brother moved from Belgium to Ireland where my cousin is now settled. That uncle and my mother’s mother both live in Brittany, France now. Today my parents are in Florida. I have family scattered all over Europe and U.S., so it’s no wonder that wanderlust is in my blood.

So following in my family’s footsteps, I moved to Colorado in ’96 and after living in Keystone, Breckenridge and Boulder, have now been settled in Denver since ‘03. I live with my cute fiancé Eric and my cuddly cat Buster. Eric’s fun, sweet, and super-smart 12 year old son, Austin, comes to live with us every other weekend and every Monday night.

Denver’s a great city. There is so much to do and we ride our bikes everywhere (as long as it’s warm!) But after 7 years in this city, I am getting anxious for sun and water and now we are on a mission to move to Costa Rica by 2014 and then who knows after that! We just know that the possibility of retiring here in the US above poverty line is next to nil.

My background is in web and user interface design. I love XHTML, CSS and SEO too. I also have a passion for customizing WordPress sites and I have worked for various web companies since ’01.

Eric and I have a website that is soft-launched called CityVids.tv, which is planned to be a video magazine about Denver that will soon allow locals and visitors to contribute and share their own videos, photos, and stories about Denver. We also offer video services to small businesses in and around Denver at very competitive prices. Please check it out, we could use some love!

34 Responses

  1. Financial Samurai on 13 Dec 2010

    Nice about page! And nice to meet ya!

    Beset, Sam

    • marianney on 13 Dec 2010

      Hi Sam! Thanks for coming by! You must have found me through Baker’s blog. I saw your comment there earlier. 🙂

      • Financial Samurai on 09 Jan 2011

        Yep, most likely. It’s fun getting to know folks from all over. I run Yakezie.com as well, which is personal finance and blog network. See you around! Cheers, Sam

  2. Eric on 16 Dec 2010

    Hey Marianne, thought I would drop by and say hola’ chica!

    Thought I’d throw some spanish your way since you and Eric want to move to Costa Rica (are they spanish speaking, I have no idea, but it works!).

    We have a lot in common of how our lives progressed to the point we we’re like WTF happened!?!?

    Your site is amazing, I have such a relaxed feeling looking at the design. Keep rockin’ it here!


    • marianney on 16 Dec 2010

      Hi Eric! Thanks for coming by to say hello 🙂 And yes, they DO speak Spanish in Costa Rica!
      Thanks for the design compliments 🙂 I do like your design as well!

  3. DrJudyC on 27 Dec 2010

    WOW! so THAT”S where that wanderlust comes in!!!
    Marianne, both you and this blog-site are SO much fun!
    I’m going to cruise through the whole thing!

    • marianney on 28 Dec 2010

      aww thanks Judy! I appreciate your wanting to know more about me 🙂

  4. Justin Oberndorf on 27 Dec 2010

    Marianne, you are truly amazing. I love the site. I really do! I may use some of your entries for my students, if you wouldn’t mind. Love you!

    • marianney on 28 Dec 2010

      of course i wouldn’t mind. i am so glad you like the site. i love you friend!

  5. Katie on 30 Dec 2010

    Awesome ‘about page’, Marianney. I love your spirit and sense of adventure. Your ideas are very much in line with my own and I look forward to sharing and reading. Much success with your pursuits and dreams. xo Katie

    • marianney on 30 Dec 2010

      Thanks for visiting Katie, I feel so honored 😉 and I appreciate the kind words!

  6. Scott on 30 Dec 2010

    What a great idea. I’ve really enjoyed reading the And Then She Saved Blog. I’m looking forward to reading your content in the coming year. Good luck and best wishes!

    Scott in Denver

    • marianney on 31 Dec 2010

      thanks Scott! I appreciate the kind words! Btw, how’d you find my blog?

  7. Scott on 31 Dec 2010

    I found your site through the And Then She Saved Blog. She (Anna Newell Jones) mentions the write up you did on her. Another inspiring Denverite! I’m from Denver as well BTW. Hope to hear more from you soon and often!

    • marianney on 01 Jan 2011

      oh cool scott, i just saw her post. that was sweet of her! well thanks for coming over to check things out here. i appreciate it! 🙂 look forward to getting to know another local!

  8. Beth on 04 Jan 2011

    Way to go Marianne! I’m so impressed by what you have done here. I want to live debt free and have the freedom to work anywhere I want as well….you have read my mind girl! I’m going to start watching your blog and maybe your motivation will give me the final push I need as well. I’m so proud of you!!!! Rub off on me, rub off on me lol

    • marianney on 05 Jan 2011

      hey awesome Beth! this is exactly why i started this blog in the first place! i know it can be done and i want to inspire my friends and family to do the same and leave the rut!

  9. Rick on 09 Jan 2011

    Hiya Marianne! I absolutely love the concept of this site and share much of your personal philosophies toward living simply, minimizing attachments to material stuff, appreciating the important things in life, doing what you love, and living with no regrets! Your site is a breath of fresh air and I’m looking forward to absorbing and pondering all of your writings. Marvelous work! You go, girl! 🙂

    • marianney on 09 Jan 2011

      aww thanks Rick! I am so glad we share a lot of the same ideals. i knew you were one of the good ones too 😉

  10. Kirsten on 19 Jan 2011

    Nice site! I’m looking forward to checking it out in more depth for some inspiration.

    BTW–I was born, raised and still living in Denver. My brother’s name is Eric and my childhood cat was named Buster. Holy crap! That’s pretty weird, huh?? 😀

    • marianney on 19 Jan 2011

      Wow Kirsten, that really is weird! My brother’s name is Erik too (with a K) but still….kinda weird 😉

  11. Debbie on 01 Feb 2011

    Hi Marianney,

    My first look at blogs and I happen on yours that just spoke to me. So many parallels with my life. I will have to look at this more when I have time and follow up with you. Not sure why I haven’t gone down this avenue before but it’s a new year with new adventures.


    • marianney on 01 Feb 2011

      Welcome Debbie. It’s a whole new world out here. 🙂 I want this site to be a resource for newbie bloggers, so come back and visit again!

  12. Nancy Jane Smith on 07 Feb 2011

    Hi Marianney-

    I LOVE that you start your about page with your values! I am on a personal mission to have people figure out their values 1st and then figure out what they want to do with their lives–without our values we don’t have the ‘filter’ through which to run all of life’s decisions through! Thanks for sharing–I look forward to reading more!!

    • marianney on 08 Feb 2011

      Hi Nancy! I love that you are helping people to figure out their values. It is so vitally important to achieving anything in our lives! I had no direction before I sat down and really thought about them.

      Sometimes it’s hard to keep your actions and spending in line with them, but you gotta keep trying.

      My newest post (25 simple ways to save money) starts out with figuring out those values.

      I am intrigued by your mission and will check out your site!

  13. Jenny @ exconsumer on 17 Feb 2011

    Hi Marianne,

    I just got around to checking out CityVids.tv — nice work! I passed the link along to a couple of old friends that live in Colorado and are majorly into the snowboarding scene there.

    Good luck with the project. 🙂

    • marianney on 17 Feb 2011

      Thanks Jenny! We’re working on it. It’s not officially launched yet because we still have work to do, but it’s out there. I appreciate you passing it on! We’re also open to suggestions!

  14. Brian Flores on 17 Mar 2011

    dig the site, Marianne. I hope the planning/saving for Costa Rica goes immaculately well for you. =)

    • marianney on 17 Mar 2011

      Hey thanks Brian! I appreciate it 🙂
      Good to know you’re an SEO guy, I might have to hit you up sometime 😉

  15. Sophie Kinsella on 25 Jun 2011


    I was just going through your site “alifesetfree.com” and I really found it interesting and informative. I am working and associated with many finance sites as a content writer and I write articles on various topics of Finances. I really liked the way you have presented your site. I am a regular visitor of your site, I have gone through some of your site topics and I found the writings really awesome. The points you have mentioned are really worthwhile.

    I would request you to give me an opportunity to write an article on any financial topic as a “Guest Writer” for your site.Some of the companies I co-author for are Community Development Financial Institutions, Oak View Law Group, Center for Community Development Investments etc. It would be great to be a part of reputed site like yours 🙂

    The article will be 100% original and will be published only on your site which will be relevant to your readers and will enhance your website as the quality of the content will be very high. Hopefully the post will be helpful to your readers and also will help your exposure in the search engines due to having more content and I will not charge you a single penny for this.

    Please let me know if you agree on this.

    Thanks & Regards
    Sophie Kinsella

  16. Sherah on 17 Jul 2011

    I feel exactly as you do about life, and glad to have come across your blog. I get all exciting meeting kindred spirits!! Looking forward to reading more.


    • marianney on 08 Nov 2011

      Thank you Sherah! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. Hope some of my newer content is helpful 🙂

  17. Frank Qiu on 08 Nov 2011


    Welcome back, new bride!

    This is Frank and I find your blog quite fascinating!

    I am running a tech startup and would like to get 3 minutes of your time to help. I would like to know if you are interested in having an audio channel of your blog. It is easy to do and only takes five minutes. The widget is very helpful to engage the readers while attracts more users. With that, readers could listen to your blogs when commute or workout, giving them the mobility.

    If you are interested, we could help to make it happen with no extra cost to you. Vocalyze will create a real-time audio channel for your blog which makes it easier for people to follow you. To experience quality of our service, you could experience from Mass High Tech Journal: masshightech.com/radio.html.

    Seems like you are using WordPress platform, here is how to make it happen in five minutes: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/vocalyze/

    Please let me know if you have any question,


Leave your comment

Please leave these two fields as-is: