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Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

New year, new look!

Today, I am rather ambitious. First off on my to-do list would be to change the Ikeahackers template and also get the Hack of the Year 2010 post done. By Brett Jordan A new template has been a long time coming but I finally settled on how I want the site to look, at least for 2011. I've heard lots of comments and feedback for you and will strive to incorporate some of them.

Kids creativity corner at a carnival

Materials: RAM Frame Description: At a Kids carnival the tiny kids creativity booth had IKEA plain wooden RAM Frames with some glitter,stars, flowers and glue they customized the frames to whatever style they wanted and most of the kids remembered their moms. Ah adorable! ~ BBS Alumni Environmental Committee, Kuwait

Frameless Sunburst Mirror

Materials: Kolja Mirror from Ikea (22"), 12 rectangle mirrors (4"X5") from the Dollar Tree, and a glue gun Description: 1. Arrange rectangle mirrors around circle so they are more than half way onto the mirror. Make sure each edge of the rectangle mirror touch the edges of the surrounding rectangles mirrors. 2.

Ask For a Favor.

Here’s a proposed resolution that might strike you as counter-intuitive: Ask for a favor. A line often attributed to Benjamin Franklin -- though I can't locate the actual source, so it may be apocryphal -- is "If you want to make a friend, let someone do you a favor.” Whether or not it was Franklin who actually made this suggestion, it's sound advice. Ask for help, for advice, for suggesti

Dinner With My Family #2: Pasta with Olives and Tomatoes

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. Our family loves pasta.

"iMac"king a Vika Workstation

Materials: Vika Amon Table Top, Vika Curry Legs Description: TOOLS Jig Saw Cordless Drill w/ Drill Bits Level Measuring Tape Stud Finder Pencil DIRECTIONS 1. Measure the wall to decide on how to best configure the table tops, which are 40" by 24". 2.

Thrifting: 5 Tips for Getting Top-Quality Products at Rock-Bottom Prices

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jonathan Smoyer. “I believe thrift is essential to well-ordered living.” – John D. Rockefeller So you’ve decided to update your wardrobe and step out with a more dapper look. Then you realize there’s no way you will be able to pay $300 (maybe more) for a new suit. Not to mention the shoes, the tie, and the dress shirts.

Ask Unclutterer: Handling other people’s clutter in your space

Reader Deborah e-mailed the following to Ask Unclutterer: Deborah: My sister moved across the country eight years ago and left boxes of things at my house because she wasn’t sure if she’d stay out west. They had been stored in an extra bedroom that we weren’t using at the time. Since then, we’ve had two kids and really could use the space.

Malm Toddler Bed under Malm-inspired Bunk

Materials: Malm Bed and Dresser Description: After being inspired by so many cool projects on this website, hoping my daughter would sleep in her own room, and deciding I didn't want to pay $2500 for kids' bunk beds I came up with a design to use used Malm items to make my kids a new bedroom set. This was a combination of three easy hacks and one harder one requiring actual building.

Workspace of the Week: Out-of-sight, out-of-mind

This week’s Workspace of the Week is TinaFB’s bedroom office: For the second week in a row, I wanted to highlight how someone has solved the space constraint of needing to put a desk in their bedroom/office/living space. The reason I like this desk so much is because it closes up and goes away when TinaFB wishes to relax.

Turning Fear into Joy

Fear drives me. I fear feeling like I did in April 2006, when I realized that I wasn’t able to pay my bills any more. I fear feeling like I did in November 2005, when I felt like I had to make a choice between my child and my career, and without the career I would be unable to support my child. I fear returning to a state where I just view my own future as a complete unknown and hope that se

Ask FreelanceSwitch: Building Portfolios and Teaching Students

In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at building portfolios and teaching students. Ask FreelanceSwitch is a regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing.

Ask the Readers: Should We Buy Our Dream House?

What happens when a great opportunity comes along, but you don’t quite have the resources to take advantage of it? That’s what Greg wants to know. He and his wife have found their Dream House. They think they can buy the place — but only if they’re willing to take on some short-term debt in addition to the mortgage. Greg wants to know is this is a smart move.

7 Lies You’re Wired To Believe

Why do we believe the things we believe? From the time we’re born, our beliefs are formed with each new experience.

Spare Change: The King is Dead Edition

O, happy day! The FedEx man brought me a package this morning containing The King is Dead, the new record album from The Decemberists. The Decemberists are a Portland band, and have been my favorite group for several years. I love that they put their new music out on vinyl, so that I can listen to it on my ancient phonograph player. The King is Dead is mellower than much of their past stuff.