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Pick the Brain

By John Wesley

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Used Books

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money.

Self-Knowledge: Identify Your Patron Saints.

Self-knowledge is crucial to happiness, but it's challenging to know yourself. Sometimes, I find, I can gain insight by asking myself questions that make me take stock of my interests and values. For that reason, I asked myself, "Who are my patron saints?

Ask FreelanceSwitch: Late Fees

In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at late-paying clients. Ask FreelanceSwitch is a regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing. If you have a question about freelancing that you want answered, send an email to askfreelanceswitch@gmail.com. Question on Late Fees Quick question: a VERY good client forgot to submit my invoice to accounts payable.

DIY Rast Wine Cabinet

Materials: Materials needed: 2 Ikea RAST 3-drawer chests ($34.99) Wood for shelves, wine rack, side supports, and top shelf (I used 11 & ¾" x 12" boards for the in between shelves, 12" x 12" squares for the side supports, and a 6’x1’ board for the top) Wine rack- 36"x1" dowel rods cut down to the length you need (I used 11 ¾" x 11 3/4" but measure

5 Great Places To Do Soul Searching

Sometimes it helps to put some effort into soul searching or personal planning to really flush out our life goals as well as overall purpose.

Holiday Shopping Challenge

Last week I got an email from someone at American Express asking if I’d be interested in doing some Christmas shopping (at their expense) and blogging about it. To really make it enticing, the offered to give a $250 gift certificate away to a reader of Productivity501. (See below for details.) So here is the plan.

DIY world map vs. IKEA Trones

Materials: 3 sets of ikea trones, wallpaper adhesive, sponge brush, mural printed from rasterbator.com, clear coat, electrical tape Description: I used the technique behind Mod Podging something to adhere a mural onto 9 compartments of the IKEA Trones. I used a sponge brush and wall paper adhesive to paste the images onto the fronts and then again over the top of the images.

Computer work area in small space

Materials: Besta Cabinet with Door. AVSIKT Glass door 18x39, frosted glass, aluminum. INREDA Light strip silver color, And some cable management, Wall mount for LCD. Description: I live in a large single apartment so things were getting a little tight, and wanted to make the space look better. I originally got some ideas from visiting IKEA Hackers.

Happy Thanksgiving from PickTheBrain

Dear PickTheBrain Community, Everyday I am given dozens of reasons to be thankful that you are part of this wonderful, ever expanding self improvement community – a group of people that are intent on growing yourselves as well as making the world around you a better place.

Ekby Shelves - Now in 3D!

Materials: 4 odd bits of IKEA Ekby Ståtlig shelves (pieces from 28cmx119cm), Circular saw, Biscuit jointer+8 biscuits, White glue, Clamps Description: After having put up some IKEA Ekby Ståtlig shelves in my bathroom I found myself with some shelf leftovers...I felt it would be a shame to throw the nice bits of solid birch wood...

Shut The Front Door TRAMPA!

Materials: Trampa Door Mat Description: Stenciled the uber famous SHUT THE FRONT DOOR design by WilliamDohman onto Ikea's TRAMPA. What a nice, tongue-in-cheek welcome home (and a reminder doesn't hurt). See more of the Shut the Front Door Trampa mat. ~ Judi

Giving Thanks for Small Businesses

This post is from staff writer Sarah Gilbert. I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family near the Oregon coast this past weekend, and spent nearly the whole day Saturday in blissful cooking mode. It was lovely, but it’s a remote area where the only nearby business is a gas station/convenience store on a highway between Portland and the coast.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Simple Dollar!

Today is a day set aside for reflecting on the things most important to us. Many of us (including me) are sharing today with our familes and closest friends. Here’s hoping that your Thanksgiving is a wonderful one. The Simple Dollar will return to its regularly scheduled programming tomorrow morning.

Jim Morrison table

Materials: Muddus table, Jim Morrison scarf, glue, gray paint Description: The yellow color of the table didn't suit to my living room so I decided to change it. I wanted something special and also I wanted to save the table as foldable. First I painted the table white to cover the yellow. Then I did grey paint. I used common water-soluble paint. I waited till the paint was dry.

Giving Thanks, Freelance Style

Thanksgiving is all about reflecting and recognizing all the great things you have. Before you shut your laptop and start baking pies to bring to Aunt Selma’s house, spend a few minutes giving thanks for the little things that make the freelance lifestyle great. Here are twelve to start you off: Quiet: Most days you can work unbothered by unnecessary meetings, ringing phones, or backgrou