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Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

My Unusual $20,000 Birthday Gift (Plus: Free Roundtrip Anywhere in the World)

(Photo: Sanctuary Photography) 34. I’m turning a glorious 34 this year, right about now. It’s going to be a great natal year–-I can already feel it.

When Remakes Attack

I was in a Chinese buffet last week, and found myself humming along with the oriental muzak. In fact, I couldn’t stop. Why was I humming along to music I’ve never heard before? A Coke poster redone It turns out I had heard these songs before, as they were Chinese takes on American melodies.

Dinner With My Family #26: Feta and Chickpea Pita Sandwiches

Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. I love pita bread. Pita bread makes it easily possible to really experiment with almost anything as a sandwich filling.

Follow a Threshold Ritual.

Gratitude is a key element for a happy life. People who cultivate gratitude get a boost in happiness and optimism, feel more connected to other people, are better-liked and have more friends, are more likely to help others—they even sleep better and have fewer headaches. Nevertheless, I find it...challenging to cultivate a grateful frame of mind.

Oleby airing your clothes

Materials: Oleby shoe rack, wood glue, saw, small clamps Description: I decided that I wanted to create a simple set of shelves to air my clothes in the boiler cupboard. Suitably polished wood of the right size size is surprisingly expensive so I decided to take the IKEA Hacker route and bash a flatpack into my designs.

Front Hallway Bench - work in progress

Materials: Benno television bench, Vippa hooks Description: My children would come home from school and dump their book bags and jackets on the floor in the entrance way. I tried setting up a wardrobe, but they simply dumped their items in front of the wardrobe. (BTW, I have good kids. They're just happy to be home from school.) Our local IKEA had Benno t.v.

When Willpower is Trumped by Bad Habits

‘Conscience whispers, but interest screams aloud.’ ~J.

Was Mom Wrong? Maybe You Should Play with your Food

If your mom was anything like mine, there were always lots of rules when it came to meal times.

Four Essential Power Tools

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Marc Lyman of HomeFixated.com. Tools. They are what separate most of us from the animal kingdom. For a species that started off chipping rocks into spearheads, we’ve come a long way. Even post-Neanderthal era, building just about anything revolved around hand (not power) tools.

Ask Unclutterer: How do you move past a fear of regret when purging clutter?

Reader Oh My (I’m thinking that’s not a real name) submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer: I believe that the biggest obstacle to decluttering my life is the fear of regret.

Coat rack

Materials: VIKA OLEBY leg Description: I needed hat rack, but wall ideally suited for hanging it was very fragile. So I have to use perpendicular wall. I bought 1 VIKA OLEBY leg, striped varnish, painted and screw few hangers. It works. ~ Maciek

Some Thoughts on Enjoying Parenting

A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. On Twitter, Pinco shared this thought: “I love your articles about parenting.

Ask FreelanceSwitch: Starting a Freelance Career Back Up and Judging Overhead

In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at getting back into working and overhead. 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 1 I’ve stayed home for the last 10 years raising my boys.

Workspace of the Week: Let the light shine in

This week’s Workspace of the Week is YinYang’s new home office: The windows in this Australian office are downright blissful. To be honest, the office could be outfitted with a card table and a broken chair and I’d have still likely featured it.

Ask the Readers: How Much Do You Spend on Food?

Five years ago, I posted the first-ever “Ask the Readers” question here at Get Rich Slowly. “How much do you spend on food?” I asked in a short post (the likes of which one never sees around here anymore).