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Pick the Brain

By John Wesley

National average home size decreasing

USA Today reports that Americans are building smaller homes: New homes, after doubling in size since 1960, are shrinking. Last year, for the first time in at least 10 years, the average square footage of single-family homes under construction fell dramatically, from 2,629 in the second quarter to 2,343 in the fourth quarter, Census data show.

Start a SwapLuck to Share the Things You Make and Do

When I wrote about homesteading magazines in February, several people praised Countryside as the best of the bunch. Intrigued, I subscribed. I’ve received my first issue and I have to say: I’m impressed.

How to recognize and answer illegal interview questions

By Xin LuIn the United States job seekers are protected by a myriad of anti-discrimination laws.  Despite these laws many potential employers still want employees that fit a  narrow profile and they may ask probing questions to find out if you fit.  Here is how you can recognize which questions are potentially illegal for an employer to ask, and what you can do if you encounter thes

Daily Links: Working for the Weekend Edition

I’m looking forward to a fun weekend. Rumor has it the sun will make an appearance in Portland, which means Kris and I can do some more gardening. I’ll also be able to mow the lawn for the first time this year. Tomorrow morning, I’ll make my first marathon training run.

A Reasonable Marriage

This is the final entry in a five part series this week on the stages of a relationship and how you can make financially sound choices throughout. Other entries include courtships;, engagements;, weddings, and honeymoons. You’re now a married couple, settling into a long life together. Now what?

Want to Feel Happier? A Menu of Resolutions.

I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in -- no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

Ask Unclutterer: What should I do with old x-ray films?

Reader Piper submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer: I have a bunch of old X-Rays hanging around. Various broken bones, MRIs and things like that.

Theodore Roosevelt on Careers and Financial Success

For me, few things are more compelling than biographies of compelling people who led exceptional lives. In their lives and decisions, we can all find things to think about and perhaps to emulate in our own lives.

6 Things a P.O. Box Can Do For a Freelancer

When it comes to postal service, I really lucked out. The nearest post office is less than half a mile away. Every afternoon, when I reach the point in my day where staring at the computer screen any more is impossible, I walk over to the post office and collect my mail from my P.O. box.

A massive built-in project

Adele and Jeremy spent a good 4 weekends to accomplished this massive media, wardrobe and storage combo. Time well spent!"My husband worked on installing 'built-ins' for about 4 weekends in a row using the new 'black-brown' Pax wardrobes that Ikea has.

Workspace of the Week: Nelson nuance

This week’s Workspace of the Week is DublinLifer’s mid-century minimalism:

If You Won The Lottery, You Would...

By WC PorterWe've all had the dream where the bouncing white balls in the glass orb line up perfectly or the numbers we picked magically materialize in the exact order we predicted to set us up for life. Millions of dollars are coming our way, and we don't have to worry about anything anymore. We've won the lotto. Ahhh...the life that would await us...

The Fundamental Rules of Investment Success

John Templeton was born in the small town of Winchester, Tennessee in 1912. As a young man, he graduated first in his class from Yale University before earning a law degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England. Eventually he became a billionaire by popularizing globally-diversified mutual funds.

Snug desk in laundry room

Hunter mixed and matched Ikea cabinets for a sweet work station.

Are You an M.O. Snob?

I write really slowly. Always have. Which became a problem back in law school… In the first year of law school, your grade for an entire year in many classes is based on a single exam. And, most exams were essay. Old school, handwritten, blue-book style. The exam would offer a 10-page fact-pattern scenario, followed by a single question that read: