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Pick the Brain

By John Wesley

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Alternating Nights Edition

Sarah and I take turns handling the bedtime routine of our three children. One of us will make sure the kids get their teeth brushed and take their vitamins, read them their bedtime stories, sing songs for them, then hang out near their bedroom to handle the inevitable post-bedtime requests. The other parent essentially has free time. Sometimes, we just relax.

Empower Your Willpower

This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the adviser for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service.

5 Ways To Get Your First Freelance Client

Freelancing can be fun and exciting, especially when you’re first getting started. You have a new income stream, a new amount of freedom and control, and if feels like you’re taking charge of your skills and talents. Of course, those are just a pipe dreams if you can’t find a client. So how do you get started? How do you actually go about finding that first client?

Ekby Jarpen in the hallway

Materials: Ekby Jarpen shelves, Vippa hooks, Ekby Robert Brakets, Besta frame Description: Moving into a new apartment we had trouble finding some hallway furniture to fit in the designated place. As we had three extra shelves we didn't need and a Besta frame which was bought as a TV stand but was never used, my husband came up with this idea.

Hacker help: Got a swiveling desk tray?

Description: I was referred to IKEAhackers.net through the Design forum on Craigslist. I bought some swiveling desk trays from IKEA two years ago and the item has been discontinued. I'd like about six more of them.

How to Choose the Perfect Survival Knife

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Creek Stewart of Willow Haven Outdoor. I don’t remember my first kiss or even who it was with. I can barely recollect getting my license to drive. I vaguely remember my high school graduation and my entire time spent at college is a blur.

What a BONUS of a light!!

Materials: BONUS Cutlery, DOKUMENT Paperbasket, Kitchenstuff Description: This is hack number 3 with all the items left over from the first two hacks BONUS cutlery. Maybe you remember number one and number two. The residues from cutlery BONUS I've added with small cookie cutters and kitchen utensils and a lamp socket scrued in the paper basket DOKUMENT.

What's Your "Pigeon of Discontent"?

For the past few years, for the weekly video as part of the Happiness Challenge, I've proposed a resolution for your consideration—some concrete, manageable resolution to boost your happiness (at least, one that has boosted my happiness). As I mentioned several weeks ago, I've been thinking about changing the format of the videos for 2012, and now I've decided that I will.

Putting Off the Important Things

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to personal finance is that most of the personal finance tasks a person might do are not urgent. It’s that lack of urgency that often convinces people to indulge in bad personal finance behavior. Important and Urgent Tasks What do I mean by not “urgent”? Every task you have before you in your life can be judged by one of two traits.

The 4-Hour Chef – The First Kindle Fire Book Teaser (Want a Free Kindle Fire?)

A first look at the beta-cover of The 4-Hour Chef. Let me know what you think. The magic elves and I have been hard at work on an early Christmas gift for you all. In fact, there are quite a few goodies in this post, including 50 free Kindle Fire devices! Let’s start with one of the most time-sensitive… The 4-Hour Chef is Live! The 4-Hour Chef is now on sale on Amazon!

Buy Knowledge, Not Stuff

Here’s a different thought.Instead of buying “stuff” for the holidays, why not invest in the knowledge needed to make great things happen in the year to come.Yesterday and today, a few close friends released some extraordinary training experiences for entrepreneurs and aspiring authors.

Built-in Entertainment Center

Materials: Besta, Integral, Akurum Description: Here's What I Used: 2 Besta Frames 8 drawers (Inreda drawers, Besta drawer fronts) 8 drawer pulls (Strecket Handles) 4 Akurum doors 2 Integral rails wood from Home Depot** Accessories--mirrors, candles, globes, baskets(Ikea BYHOLMA) Here's What I Did: I measured all the built-in spaces first so that I knew the correct measurements and

Ritva Curtains Transformed

Materials: Ritva curtains, Lummig curtain rod, gold spray paint, 12 yards of ribbon, fabric glue Description: I saw another hack and thought I could do something similar to spruce up my apartment. I bought two sets of Ritva curtains for my living room and two Lummig curtain rods. I took off the finials and spray painted them gold.

2011 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: The kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of many homes. It’s a gathering place for meal preparation, for spirited conversations, and, if you’re like me, the best place to find a decent cup of coffee. The kitchen brings people together, and also helps us gain the energy necessary to make it through the day. The obvious high utility items in the kitchen are the oven, stove top, refrigerator, and sink.

Budget Work Station

Materials: EKBY VIKTOR, EKBY MÅNS, SPONTAN, STIG, RUSCH Description: First off, sorry for the quality of the photo! The work station isn't actually crooked in real life, but apparently my iphone camera was going for an abstract look.