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Cranking Widgets Blog

By Brett Kelly

Leaving the Referral Altar Behind

Have you ever met one of those people who says that they get all of their business by word-of-mouth? They have no need to advertise. No need to roust themselves out of bed for those early-morning networking meetings. No need to pick up the phone to make a cold call. None of that. They can just focus on doing their work. One of my relatives fits this description perfectly.

Does a Basement Greenhouse Really Save Money?

When I was a child, my father used to grow plants in our basement all year long. I remember going down there in the middle of the winter with several inches of snow outside, only to find tons of tomato and pepper plants thriving under an array of grow lights. I remember how the basement smelled like fresh spring while the rest of the house smelled like… well, a winter home.

Wine Online — Savings Tips for Frugal Sips

This post is from GRS staff writer Donna Freedman. Donna writes a personal finance column for MSN Money, and writes about frugality and intentional living at Surviving And Thriving. Since she just found out she is going to be a grandmother, expect to be bombarded with cute-baby anecdotes about seven months from now. More than one million wineries currently operate worldwide.

Custom RIBBA Frame

Materials: (1) 9" x 9" RIBBA frame, Glass Etching Cream, Paint Brush, X-Acto Knife, Vinyl Stencil Description: I have a few friends where a smaller gift for the holidays is more appropriate, but I still wanted to do something special for them.

Top Freelance Jobs from Job Board – Week 3, December

Looking for a new client? The FreelanceSwitch job board is a great resource of freelance gigs and opportunities. These opportunities are in various fields, from development to writing to design, and come from a wide range of potential clients.

Xbox launches the Xphone and Xtv

In a surprise move this morning the news broke that Xbox extended their product portfolio beyond the gaming console with two phones and a two television models.

How to Worry Less: Tips from the Oldest (and Wisest) Americans

Over the course of six years, I’ve conducted studies designed to tap the practical wisdom for living of the oldest Americans.

Foundation: Kevin Rose and Tim Ferriss

Kevin Rose and I go deep on a few subjects in this longer-format episode of “Foundation,” on which he’s interviewed many of my favorite entrepreneurs and investors, including Jack Dorsey (Twitter, Square) and Chris Sacca (Lowercase Capital), among others. I had a great time, as should be clear from the wine and laughter.

Practical Wisdom: The Master Virtue

In 2008, Christopher Ratte and his seven-year-old son were attending a Detroit Tigers game together.

Sniglar changing table makeover

Materials: Sniglar changing table. Komplement drawer. 2 pieces of wood 72x1.4x4cm. Paint. Velcro. Fabric Description: Needing a small (and not so expensive) changing table that had to stay in the entry hallway and therefore had to "hide" the diapers a little our search turn up none. So with a little paint and fabric we came up with this.

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Finding the Perfect Gift

If you’re like me, you’re still not finished with your Christmas shopping. It’s true that Kris and I are big believers in home-made gifts, and it’s also true that my family only exchanges inexpensive Christmas presents, but there are still a handful of gifts I like to shop for.

Effort vs. Ability

Scientists did an experiment with a bunch of children where they gave them several tests that got increasingly more difficult.  After the first two tests, they told the children that they had done very well. Group A was praised them for being smart and talented.

Our Freelancer Predictions for 2012

Carol Tice recently wrote a blog for Entrepreneur magazine on her picks for the Top 10 Small Business Predictions for 2012. The end of the year is when predictions on trends for the next year surface, from small business to the most popular wedding colors. People love predictions, and I like some of Carol’s predictions in her article.

Personal Finance and Intuition

A few weeks ago, I was exchanging emails with a reader (who asked not to be quoted, but said I could paraphrase the conversation). She told me that she makes most of her decisions entirely on instinct and intuition and feels that this is why she often gets into financial trouble. Frankly, I agree with her conclusion.