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Dumb Little Man

By Jay White

The Shabby Chic lamp makeover

Materials: Ekås shade, Rodd table lamb base, own craft accessories Description: My dried birthday roses from July were my inspiration to make this old Ikea light totally shabby chic. Otherwise I probably would have thrown it away, but this modification made the life cycle of this poor (and btw very inexpensive) thing a little longer.

Success in the Margins Isn’t Marginal Success

A few months ago, I wrote a post called “Two Paths to Financial Success.” In it, I outlined how there are two distinct ways to succeed financially. One, which I called “success in the margins,” refers to things like frugality, cutting costs, saving diligently, and so forth.

Dealing with the Worst Response to Your Sales Email

If you’re still growing your Freelancer’s Thick Skin, this one’s for you. You’ve all read the books about starting out in freelancing – the ones that discount the time spent “preparing and perfecting” your brand, as a means to avoid shouting: “I’m in business! Come and get it!” I couldn’t wait to begin full-time freelancing, but dreaded the sales aspect.

Nordmyra map hack

Materials: Nordmyra, map, PVA glue, scissors, varnish, brush. Description: Inspired by some lovely tables and chairs I saw in Columbia Road, East London, I decided to try a quick and easy Ikea hack on a seen-better-days Nordmyra that was hanging round the flat looking a bit sorry for itself. I'm very pleased with the result. Step 1.

Ask the Readers: Staying Motivated to Save?

Sometimes you do everything right — you work hard, you cut back on spending, you invest for retirement — but all of your effort seems for nought. You get sick. You wreck your car.

3 Steps to Mastering Empathy

I love vacation don’t you? I love it so much that I have found a way to have loads of vacation time anytime I want. I’m not flying all over the place though, and I don’t need to keep a carry-on packed.

The 4-Hour Chef – Cheat Day Sample: Tequila Hot Chocolate

For those of you waiting on the iOS version of the free 4-Hour Chef teaser app, and for anyone who’d like a cheat day experiment this weekend, I offer the following: Tobacco-infused Tequila Hot Chocolate. It’s absurd, decadent, and more delicious than you can imagine.

Tony Schwartz: The Myths of the Overworked Creative

Are you over-worked and under-energized? Energy expert Tony Schwartz breaks down our productivity myths and shows us how to get back on track.

Contemporary Laptop Counter

Materials: Dave laptop workstation, Vika Kaj adjustable leg, Dioder LEDs Description: I work for a small start-up company in high-tech medical equipment. We participate regularly at exhibitions during conventions. I used to rent a counter from the congress organizers. Renting such a counter for 3 days costs between 200 and 350 €.

Stolmen bike stack

Materials: Stolmen Description: Ikea Stolmen system used as a bike rack. Not really the cheapest solution, but at least no more black stripes from the wheels on my walls. And as a spin-off, the floor is much easier to clean. Also nice as a "showroom". See more of the IKEA Stolmen bike rack. ~ Rainer, Berlin

Finding Things to Do That Don’t Involve Continually Spending Money

A reader writes in: “It seems like so many people who write in are caught up in our consumer-driven society, and I think we all struggle sometimes with having “nothing better to do” than shop. Besides contributing to rampant debt, shopping is like an addiction that satisfies boredom, and leads to fake fulfilment and non-productivity.

Raucously fun holiday No Impact fund-raiser--Please Come!!!

Hi Friend--Please consider this your invitation (on December 14, see below) to what promises to be a wicked fun time. The cost will benefit our charitable effort  the No Impact Project and help get thousands of citizens to begin taking charge of the destiny of this habitat we all share and depend on.

Skatedeck wardrobe

Materials: Stolmen Hooks Description: I simply used Stolmen Hooks linked to a skatedeck as a wardrobe. Hope you like it. See more of the skatedeck hanger. ~ Rainer, Berlin

2011 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Light and power

Warning: The suggestions in this post might be so overwhelmingly practical you can’t imagine giving them to anyone on your list. Fair enough. However, if you really want to help someone save a little money over the course of the next decade, these gifts may make it to the top of your shopping list. In July, my husband started visiting LED light bulbs at the hardware store.

The Secret Rule of Changing Anything

Post written by Leo Babauta. I’ve learned a lot about changing habits over the years, and have taught thousands of people how to do it. The hardest habits to change, by far, are the ones people can’t seem to control.