Saturday, February 27, 2010

Color my Garden Confused

Interior designers offer what seems to be a great piece of advice about how to decide on the color scheme for your home. Go look in your closet. Their theory is that if you like it well enough to wear it (and we do all tend to buy things in certain color groupings) then you'll like it well enough to live in it. Luckily we'd already painted all 17 rooms when I read this, and I didn't have the energy to start over, because when it came time to design my first garden the first thing I did was follow their advice and head to the closet to peek.

It was a bit like peering into a convent laundry room. My mom always told me that black was slimming. So much for the closet theory -- at least in garden design. So -- what theory does work when it comes to planning and planting that brand new garden? Read the entire article.

Gardeners: Bring Spring Home Early

The clusters of snowdrops by my doorsteps always brighten the days of January and February for me, to say nothing of reminding me that spring really isn't that far away. But if you don't have the opportunity to enjoy snowdrops firsthand, then you certainly should turn to the next best option, bulb flowers in pots, readily available now at stores.

These winter wonders are largely spring bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, that have been brought into flower early by nursery growers using an age-old process called forcing. Forced bulbs might more accurately be called fooled bulbs, as the growers use a combination of cooling and light treatments to trick the bulbs into flowering early.

The happy results of this deceptive behavior are stocks of colorful flowers ready to be scooped up and taken home to bright winter days. Read the entire article.

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Discovering Bonus Storage Space - Right In Your Own Home

All of us have probably said how we need more storage space in our homes. First of all, getting rid of all those things we really don't need will cut way down on the needed storage space. Then how about investigating every available space in your home and putting it to good use if you are still in need of more storage space? In many cases it is available and just waiting to be found! Here are some clues as to where you can discover extra bonus space right in your own home!

Hang a clear vinyl pocket organizer inside the linen closet to hold bandaids, small tubes of medications, a thermometer, ball syringes, etc. Everything will be easy to see and locate quickly when needed.

Hang another clear vinyl pocket organizer inside the coat closet for sunglasses, gloves, scarves, fold up umbrellas, etc.

Hang more clear vinyl pocket organizers inside your children's closet doors, unless the doors are louvered. I'm sure you will agree that small things stored in these pockets are so much better than scattered all around their rooms! And everything will all be visible through the clear vinyl!

If you are in the process of building or remodeling your home, you may want to consider adding one built-in locker for ... Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Messy Homes Cost More

From Frugal.Families.com

The biggest reason, I think, that you spend more in a messy house is because you can never find anything! Need a can opener but misplaced the other two you already have? off to the store to purchase another one. Hey, did we or didn't we ever buy a stapler? Who knows, but we need it for a school project, so off to the store we go. I helped one person clean up some clutter. We ended up finding six battery rechargers and those three electric can openers in addition to lots of other stuff.

Another common thread to people with messy homes is that they often have tons and tons of clothes. When laundry isn't kept up or clothes aren't put away in drawers, it is hard to find anything to wear. Hence you have to make some more trips to the store to add to your wardrobe. While I've seen exceptions to this rule (messy homes where the family wore the same clothes for days on end), most of the time people who say they have nothing to wear have enough clothing to open a consignment shop. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Ways to Use Old Shower Curtains

Shower curtains can be handy things, even the old ones. Before you throw away a shower curtain, consider repurposing it into one of the following four options.

You might have an old shower curtain that is left over from redecorating or replacing the curtain. You might also consider picking up a couple of extra shower curtains at a dollar or bargain store. Some of these uses replace other more expensive products that do the same job. Read the entire article.

This website is maintained by TheHerbsPlace.com.

Tablescaping Chic On The Cheap

Most of us who are decorating on a budget at some point decide to entertain in our homes, and would like to do so with a little pizzazz! Unfortunately, many TV shows and magazines would have you believe you must spend $100 and up (on a budget, they claim) to dress your table for an event. Nonsense! Here are some great ways to create a smashing tablescape using creativity, not cash!

Choose a theme for your table. It could be a color theme, nature, sports, holiday, tea party or a celebration. Use your imagination.

Now create a centerpiece. Remember to keep it low so that ... Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seed Swapping

The National Gardening website operates a free seed exchange. In this free forum, you can find the seeds you've been looking for, or share your excess seeds with others.

Traditional swaps are a 2-way trade. If you don't have any seeds to offer, you may still find someone willing to help you out with your request.

They store information about your seed offering or request in their database, along with your email address. When someone wishes to swap seeds with you, they will submit their email address. They then send you an email with that person's address so that you may contact them and make arrangements for the seed swap. Visit now.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Oatmeal Recipes

Oatmeal is such a healthy food with many benefits for the intestinal and circulatory systems of the body, besides being just downright delicious and versatile.  FrugalLiving.About.com has some great recipes to keep you trying new ways to get oatmeal into your diet.  Healthy can taste good too!

Breakfast

Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes
Baked Oatmeal I
Baked Oatmeal II
Crockpot Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon

See More Oatmeal Recipes

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Using Essential Oils to Aromatize and Deodorize Your Home

Would you like for people to enter your home and say, "What smells so good?" People with pets would surely enjoy this!

You can have your home always smelling good with essential oils. These are natural scents from nature, not chemical fragrances that are now being reported as toxic to your home, children and pets.

You can make your own cleaning supplies with anti-bacterial properties that nature provides and lovely aromas. You might want to clean house more often with your favorite essential oils. You'll feel a whole lot brighter and energetic after a few hours with essential oils than you will after breathing the fumes of toxic chemicals. ... Get Great Essential Oil Recipes.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heirloom Seeds and Plants

Mother Earth News Contributing Editor William Woys Weaver is an expert on rare, unsual and especially tasty heirloom plants. He'll help you learn what you need to know about cooking and growing heirloom plants, where to find the best heirloom seeds and other important information about heirloom gardening. Read the article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Shrinking Cell Phone Bills

From Frugal.Familes.com

As you may know, I do not currently own a cell phone. However, I have to admit that more and more it is becoming harder not to have one. Still, if I do manage to go over that cliff and buy a phone, it would have to be one that I thought actually saved money instead of eating at my income.

I've been doing pretty well at ignoring the looks I get when I tell people that I don't have a cell phone. So many forms today ask for the number. More people have cell phones than computers. And I weathered potentially getting kicked out the school emergency phone chain because I didn't have one. In actuality, there was a shortage of volunteers, so in the end they were happy to take me.

Still, a recent situation has come up that is making it obvious that the need for a cell phone may just outweigh my reluctance to actually pay for one. Because of this, I am looking to find the absolute lowest price for good service. Get the links.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Freezer Meals

The secret to saving money on food -

Four years ago when our family took a pay cut to move closer to our extended family, we needed to trim the budget. We did not have a lot of areas to cut spending but I did notice that we spent hundreds of dollars each month on feeding our family of 4. I had I had heard about freezer cooking and did some searching for recipes online. Most of what I found, called for cooking multiple dishes simultaneously, (I was having a hard enough time cooking a side dish with a main course so I knew this wouldn't work for me). I decided to modify my recipes into meals that could be stored in the freezer, to be used by the hurried, cooking challenged woman (me). I decided that I would not cook during meal assembly. Instead, I would cook any meat needed before hand. This would speed up meal assembly and make it easier.

I called a few friends to try freezer meals with me, and I have been cooking this way for the last 4 years! It has been great! We are able to cut our spending on groceries by buying in bulk and not making multiple trips to the grocery store. We have spent less money on eating out due to having quick, delicious, easy to prepare meals at home. Not to mention the stress that freezer meals save, by staying within our food budget and not ... Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Emergency Power Options

Winter can be a dangerous time to be without power, but you can keep your home and family warm with a little planning. If it’s frigid outside and the electrical grid goes down, you need backup heating right away. Central heating systems fueled with oil or gas need electricity to function, and when they quit, houses can become unlivable in a matter of hours.

All over the country, the transmission lines, transformers and switches that make up the electrical grid are old and overloaded, according to Daniel Scotto, a Wall Street financial analyst specializing in electric utilities. Experts say we can expect more frequent power failures because the aging infrastructure isn’t being upgraded, especially now that the worldwide meltdown of the banking system is making investment financing scarce.

The best way to protect your family is to do some planning now. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Cheesemaking Is Worth Doing

From FrugalLiving.About.com

Cheesemaking is a skill that's worth mastering. When you know how to make your own cheese, you don't have to pay a premium to enjoy fresh, preservative-free cheeses.  What type of cheese would you like to learn how to make?

Cottage Cheese
Fromage Blanc
Mascarpone
Mozzarella
Ricotta
Yogurt Cheese

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Department of Motor Vehicles - Information

Find information on driver's license, auto insurance and warranties, vehicle registration, traffic schools, order DMV and vehicle history reports, get DMV forms, and more.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ways To Dig Yourself Out of Debt

By Liz Pulliam Weston
MSN Money

Skip the excuses. The truth is that only you can control your financial destiny -- and you should start right now.

Many Americans are facing real financial crises: lost jobs, lost homes, lost retirement savings. Many others, though, are mired in financial messes completely of their own making. Despite relatively steady incomes, they:

Live paycheck to paycheck.
Carry credit card debt.
Neglect their credit records.
Fail to save anything for retirement.
Put off the financial fixes they need to make, even if that fix is bankruptcy.

Denial is not a financial plan. And neither is fear, confusion, a government bailout or a lottery ticket. Many people, perhaps believing themselves powerless or that the goal is too far away, simply give up. And in doing so, they give up control of their financial destinies.

If that sounds like you, now is the time to take action. It's not only possible -- it's incredibly doable. Let's make 2010 the year you dig yourself out of your money morass, the year you begin to call your own shots.

The process is simpler than you might think it is. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Scam Alert: Debit Card Skimming

It’s becoming a familiar scenario: Soon after filling up at the gas pump, a motorist learns that his bank account has been emptied.

What happened? Another case of “skimming,” in which crooks place a portable card-reading device—readily available over the Internet—inside the pump. When the customer inserts his debit card and enters the required personal identification number, the device captures both the data from the card’s magnetic stripe and the PIN.

Skimming was first reported by Scam Alert four years ago. But back then, skimmer devices were most often used at ATMs, usually in convenience stores, airports and shopping centers. In those locations, unlike a bank lobby, there were no cameras watching as crooks installed their equipment: a card reader that fits neatly atop the ATM’s card slot and a tiny camera to record the customer entering a PIN on the keypad.

Later, the devices are retrieved, and the stolen data is used to create a duplicate card to raid the victim’s bank account. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Old Van Or New Car

Q. I have an older van that really needs to have major repairs, such as brakes and possibly a new/rebuilt engine. We put a new transmission in it before Christmas while I was still working. I am at home now and use the van primarily for carting the kids to the store and to the pool, etc. My husband has the "I want a "new" car urge and keeps talking about using my van for a trade-in. We figure that we could "afford" payments of $200.00 a month but that would be all of our discretionary budget. How do we decide which is the best use of our money? Fix the old or invest in a newer vehicle? MichelleRaytown, MO

A. There are several questions to consider. I doubt that you can get a brand new car for your trade in plus $200 payments, so you will probably get another used one. Is that going to be any better than the one you have? Do you want to have NO ... Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Learn Just About Anything Online Free

Dan Colman, who directs Stanford University’s continuing studies program, sees no end to the growth of e-learning opportunities. Colman, who founded and edits Open Culture, a website that tracks free educational and cultural media on the Web, considers these materials to be an important resource for personal enrichment, not a replacement for a college education. “I think we’re entering an era where lifelong learners will have access to limitless amounts of free, noncommercial educational opportunities. Arguably, we’re already there.”

And still moving forward, if Congress passes President Obama’s $50 million proposal to develop new “open online courses” at community colleges as part of his American Graduation Initiative, announced in July.

Curtis J. Bonk, author of The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education, calls Obama’s plan “so spot-on in terms of what’s needed,” particularly because it focuses on community colleges rather than the elite universities that have led the e-learning movement. The measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives but is stalled in the Senate. Read the entire article with links to many free educational sites.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.

Make a Rag Rug

Recycle old clothes and other fabrics by making them into a cozy, colorful rag rug.

Though the popularity of making rag rugs has ebbed and flowed through the centuries, the tradition has stayed alive. Rooted deep in handcrafting for family life, rag rugs carry the essence and the history of repurposing as a necessity as well as an art. Rag rugs can be made in a number of different ways. If you’re lucky, you might have the greatest learning source of all in a living relative who can teach you the skill.

My Great Aunt Maddie was a rag rug maker, and with her passing, my family was left with a plethora of rag rugs that she made over the past century. All of them were created from clothing and other household items that she also made. Read the How-To.

Related Articles on Making a Rag Rug:
Rag Rug Instructions
How to Make an Authentic Braided Rag Rug

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices everyday.
"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28