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Reader Mailbag: Secret Santa

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Basic credit questions 2. How to make money blogging? 3. Favorite podcasts 4. Television compromise 5. Connecting with teens cheaply 6. Overly long “to-do” list 7. Maximizing credit card promos 8.

The roots of clutter — external, behavioral, and internal

There are innumerable reasons people are plagued by clutter.

Identifying Your Unique Selling Point as a Musician

Credit: RobStone/Flickr Unless you were immediately snapped up by a manager and/or huge agency after graduating, the business of building your image as a freelance professional rests fairly and squarely on your shoulders alone. Please remember that image without talent is like a violin minus a string.

Bonde sideboard with tree legs

Materials: Bonde sideboard Description: I found a felled branch and cut six 8 inch legs. I polyurethaned them and put felt pads on the bottoms. I then removed the metal legs and screwed in the tree legs with four screws. See more of the Bonde sideboard with tree legs. ~ Akira

5 Basic Factors for Happiness, According to Carl Jung.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day -- or List Day, or Quiz Day. This Wednesday: 5 basic factors for happiness, according to Carl Jung. One of my chief intellectual interests, along with happiness, is a subject that I call "symbols beyond words." And on that subject, no one is more fascinating than Jung. I recently read the very interesting collection, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters.

Getting Started with Mint

On Tuesday, I wrote that I’ve decided to track my finances again. I’m doing fine financially, but after a few months of not watching my income and expenses closely, I feel a little lost. I miss the ability to know exactly where my money’s going. I had intended to install the new desktop version of Quicken, which is what I’ve been using for years.

Wild Thing Chair

Materials: Tullsta Chair Description: There must be a million ideas that an art teacher can gather from the book, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. This was my go to book for inspiration when I was asked to decorate an Ikea Tullsta chair with my students. The kids and I had a blast working on this chair. The hardest part was knowing when to stop!

Day 25: How To Let Others See The Real You And Have Them Love You Anyway

Are you a BIG giant phony? Are you walking around acting out a role someone else cast you in? Perhaps someone told you “respectable people don’t do that.” Maybe you ignore your calling because you’re afraid what a loved one will think of your choices. Or perhaps, you live behind a carefully-constructed veil, never letting anyone see the real you.

Man to Man Episode #4: How to Feel Like a Man When I Look Like a Boy

Welcome back to another edition of Man to Man. This week’s episode is in response to two emails I received this week from two different young men asking essentially the same question: How do I feel like a man when I look like a boy? One young man said he didn’t see himself as a man because he couldn’t grow a beard.

4-Hour Body Promo – Half-Naked Girls, Erections, and Stickers

On this blog, I try and strike a balance — well, it’s more like a ratio — of 80% useful content and 20% fun for sh#$% and giggles. If the blog isn’t fun for me to write, it will end up boring to read, so I sometimes visit Random Land. This is such a time. I think athletic girls are fantastic (don’t worry, ladies — goodies for you soon), and I like stickers.

Antenna Design: Why Two Minds Think Faster Than One

Are two minds really better than one? We sit down with the power duo behind Antenna Design to discuss the pros and cons of creative partnerships.

Advice from a Billionaire: What to do With a Windfall

A long-time GRS reader named Andy dropped me a line the other day to point out an article on the Forbes website. Forbes interviewed billionaire Mark Cuban (best known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks pro basketball team) about his secrets to building and keeping a fortune. Andy particularly liked Cuban’s answer to the penultimate question, which is about what to do with a windfall.

Can Investing in Collectibles Really Work?

Kevin writes in: I have a small collection of vintage baseball cards from the 1930s that have a list value of about $30,000. I started collecting when I was a kid and my grandpa gave me some to start with, but over the years I’ve bought many more, almost completing a Goudey Heads Up set. I have had them all graded.

Are You Taking a Much-Needed Break – Or Just Being Lazy?

It’s ten thirty in the morning. You’ve been working for an hour or two, so you decide to read your favorite blogs for a bit, and check out some web comics. But you feel a bit guilty.

Yay! The Happiness Project and I Made It Onto JEOPARDY!

I fell out of my chair in shock and delight when I heard that The Happiness Project and I were a question on Jeopardy! last night. The category was "Glee," and the clues were all synonyms for the word. As I understand it, my clue was something like, "Gretchen Rubin explored this, in her book, The [blank] Project." That certainly makes me very HAPPY. I mean -- Jeopardy! Wow.