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Productivity 501

By Mark Shead

2011 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide: High-utility gifts for stockings

Trinkets and baubles that end up cluttering up your home (and eventually your trash can) are common items placed in holiday stockings. This doesn’t have to be the case, though, as there are numerous small, high-utility items that make great presents for stockings. Consumables, especially food you know the recipient will devour in a matter of minutes, are always good ideas.

Full-Time to Freelancing is Harder Than You Think

A recent New York Times article follows a handful of people who have left their high paying jobs (either by choice or by the recession) to start small businesses focused on their dream jobs. The spoiler?

10 Reasons Your Freelance Career is Failing

If your freelance business isn’t where you want it to be, then it’s time to own up to your choices and make a change. Here are 10 reasons your freelance career is failing. If you want to turn it around, then it’s up to you. Consider this your “tough love” article of the week. 1.

Reader Mailbag: A Day with Mom

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. SmartyPig update 2. Figuring out debt repayment order 3. Buying elderly mom a home 4. NCUSIF insurance 5. Ending naptime 6. Credit card challenges 7. NACA question 8. Splitting regular and Roth 401(k) 9.

Freelance Freedom #236: Its All Relative

Once a week, we feature a fantastic freelance-themed comic from the talented N.C. Winters. Why not also take a look at our comic archive?

Getting Over the Overdraft: How I Started Saving

This post is by staff writer Tim Sullivan. A few years back, I got a paycheck in the mail and went to deposit it. I left the bank, dropped off a rent check, bought groceries, a sandwich across the street, gas on the way home, and a new album from iTunes to listen to while cooking. I forgot to endorse the check. Normally, this is no big deal for my bank. That day, they decided it was.

5 Awesome Ways Love Improves Your Life

So many people live life in a constant state of anguish in their relationship. Either they don’t like their partner or they don’t like them enough. Everyone can improve their relationship to make it more satisfying. Yet, most people don’t. It’s most likely because they don’t realize how significant love is in life.

Shopping Challenge Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Holiday Shopping Challenge. We had a lot of great Christmas shopping tips and suggestions. The winner of the $250 gift card is Jennifer Marie. She was chosen based on a random number from www.random.org. So how did my shopping, turn out?

Rip Off the Band-Aid!

When I was a kid and had a loose tooth, my intimidating grandmother would always ask me if I’d like to have it removed using her patented old school technique. This method involved tying one end of a string to the tooth, the other end to a doorknob, and then slamming the door shut, thus ripping out the tooth with one fell swoop. As an eight-year-old I found this idea pretty terrifying.

20 Gifts for the Productivity Nerd in Your Life (2011 Edition)

Shopping for the discerning creative in your life? Or maybe you just need a few things to add to your own wishlist? Look no further than our super-curated holiday gift guide.

Malm Dresser Transformation

Materials: 2 Malm Dressers Description: I bought these 2 gently used Malm dressers from a friend, but I like them next to one another like in the picture better than seperate. The brown was sort of ugly and I needed to lighten up the small room a little, but didn't want to paint the entire dressers. I decided to do just the drawers to have the contrast! Click to read more>>

"The Greatest Of All Prizes Are Those Connected With The Home."

"It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks, and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with the home." —Theodore Roosevelt, Autobiography * I've been thinking a lot about the nature of "home," because the subject of my next book is—you guessed it, home. If you'd like to be notified when Happier at Home is available, sign up here.

Damask Erslev

Materials: ERSLEV white rug, foam paint brush, Jacquard's fabric paint Description: I saw plenty of rug-painting hacks on Ikeahackers and other websites, so after having moved into my new apartment, I decided to undertake the daunting task of painting my $40 ERSLEV rug ... with a damask stencil. I did not actually know how long this would take.

Review: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. The vast majority of retirement books I’ve read focus on maximizing every dollar to actually arrive at retirement.

I Take My Coffee Table, Lack

Materials: 4 LACK Wall shelves (black-brown) - Length: 43 1/4 " ($80), LACK Side table, black-brown (4 Legs only) - $10, 4 casters (Optional) $5, 6 metal mending Plates, $9, 16 Mini L Brackets, about $24, Screws, Drill Bit set, Power Drill. Description: Inspired by the now discontinued West Elm Parsons Storage Coffee Table I attempted to duplicate the look using Ikea products.