25 Money-Saving Kitchen Tips.

by Chris Gardner

The Urban Vegan offers some excellent ideas to save money and prevent food waste. The tips are intended for vegans, so that means that they can apply to everyone...unless you manage to survive on nothing but meat.

1. Bake your own bread.
2. Freeze your assets.
3. Cook beans from scratch and freeze them in ziplock bags.
4. Consider the long-term financial implications of organic.
5. Make your own faux meats.
6. Pack your own lunch.
7. Don't buy...

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Tips for Incredible Twilight and Sunset Photos.

by Chris Gardner

Let's face it: the black silhouette of a palm tree against an orange sky is no longer an interesting shot. But something certainly happens during the magical hour of twilight, and some amazing photos can result. Matthew G. Monroe offers some helpful tips for taking great shots during while the day grows dark. The best part is: if you mess up, you can always try again tomorrow.




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How To Sharpen Up Your HDTV

by Chris Gardner

Forbes.com writes, "Getting a brand new high-definition TV should be an enjoyable experience, but when you open up that big box you could also be opening up a frustrating can of worms. HDTVs are complicated gadgets. It's not like the old days when you could just plug a TV into the wall and everything magically worked. HDTVs require a little nuance and a little knowledge.

Without this set-up savvy, you might be left looking at an absolutely...

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10 Alternative Uses For Alka-Seltzer.

by Chris Gardner

  1. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush, and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action will help loosen the grime.
  2. Attract Fish. Fish dig on bubbles. Fill a tube jig with a piece of Alka-Seltzer and cast off.
  3. Clean hard-to-reach areas of deep vessels, such as a flower vase. Fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
  4. Polish jewelry. Dissolve two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and...

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How To Unclog Drains Without Chemicals

by Chris Gardner

"Drains are hidden heroes in your home. If you’re lucky, you can go for years without thinking about them, but when dirty sink water suddenly won’t go away or a toilet won’t flush, they can be a major frustration. A plugged drain certainly demands attention, but fixing it is probably something you can do yourself. You’ll get faster results than calling a pro, and you’ll save money, too."

Unclog sinks, tubs, toiilets and more with these tips from...

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Ten Ways to Add Variety to Your Digital Photos

by Chris Gardner

Digital Photography School suggests taking tons of photos to increase your chances of getting that perfect shot. Try these ten tiips to add a bit of diversity as you fill up your memory card.

1. Shoot your subject at different focal lengths
2. Shoot your subject from different angles

3. Shoot using different formats

4. Avoid the Group Shot Blink
5. Use continuous exposure modes

6. Move your Subject around
7. Try Exposure Bracketing

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How To Attract Birds in the Winter.

by Chris Gardner

The always useful Organic Gardening magazine offers some tips to keep backyard birds visible and present at your home during the cold months.

  • High-calorie suet is vital to keeping birds warm in winter.
  • Keep a supply of suet in the freezer.
  • Lay in a stock of seed in case of emergency. 
  • Run an immersible heater to the birdbath.
  • Treat birds to home cooking by making muffins, bread, and nutritious snacks.
  • Expand the menu by offering chopped nuts,...
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    12 Quick Home Repairs.

    by Chris Gardner

    Here's 12 quick home repairs: "15 Minute Fixes that won't put a dent in your weekend."

    • Repair marked lineoleum floors
    • Revive parched cutting boards
    • Unjamming sliding windows
    • Plumping up deflated cushions
    • Cleaning decanters
    • Organizing and storing cords
    • Fixing unfurled wallpaper
    • Tightening caning
    • Washing chandeliers
    • Removing stubborn decals
    • Removing stuck light bulbs
    • Whitening bathtub stains.
    Read the details from Real Simple magazine.

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    Five Better Ways to Hammer A Nail.

    by Chris Gardner

    Even with a collection of power tools in the garage, it stills pays to be able to use the ultimate mechanical tool combo: the hammer and the nail. Here's five tips from Popular Mechanics for success every time: straight nails, and nice, safe thumbs.

    1. Roughen the hammer’s striking face with sandpaper.

    2.Blunt the nail's sharp tip with your hammer.  

    3. Strike the edge of the nail's head.
    4. Drive nails at different angles.

    5. Let your hammer rest on...

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    Twelve Essential Photographic Rules.

    by Chris Gardner

    Photo masters PopPhoto offers twelve essential photographic rules to keep in your head, which can "get you out of a jam and help you get good shots when nothing else will."




    1. Sunny 16

    2. Moony 11, 8, and 5.6

    3. Camera Shake 

    4. Anatomical Gray

    5. Depth of Field

    6. Largest Digital Print

    7. Exposure

    8. Quick Flash-fill

    9. Flash range

    10. Megapixel Multiplier

    11. Action Stopping

    12. Sunset 

    Image Courtesy of Retrothing.typepad.com


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    22 Alternative Uses for Petroleum Jelly.

    by Chris Gardner

    According to Wikipedia:

    "The raw material for petroleum jelly was discovered in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania where it was stuck to some of the first oil rigs in the U.S. The workers disliked the paraffin like material because it caused the rigs to seize up, but they used it on cuts and burns because it hastened healing. Robert Chesebrough, a young chemist whose previous work of distilling fuel from the oil of sperm whales had been rendered...

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    21 Environmentally Friendly Home Improvement Ideas.

    by Chris Gardner

    "Your Construction Connection" tool site Toolbarn.com has assembled a list of suggestions of (moderately) simple DIY tips to make your house a little more environmentally friendly. Some of them are pretty obvious, and a couple are repeats, but there's a few gems worth pursuing.



    • Install solar panels
    • Use compact flourescent bulbs
    • Roof improvements
    • Use motion detector lighting
    • Don't waste water
    • Use a low-flow shower head
    • Compost
    • Aluminum storm door
    • ...

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    How to Organize Your Manuals, Warranties, and Instructions.

    by Chris Gardner

    Though stereotypes abound, I (a man) love to read the paperwork and manuals that come with a new purchase. I'll sit down and read the whole thing before I even mess with my new gear, somewhat for safety and know-how, but mostly to prolong the excitement.

        And I keep all the manuals. There's boxes in my basement, and it takes way too long to sort through all the nonsense just to reference a quick setting. So, though they're not rocketscience...

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    Craft Secrets Revealed!

    by Chris Gardner

    Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo has assembled some insider tips, shortcuts, and secrets for craft projects.

    • Use a crayon to pick up small items (like jewels or crystals) for gluing. (See photo)
    • Use a heat gun to give Velveteen paint a suede-like texture.
    • Use an empty squeeze bottle to blow away excess glitter.
    • Drain a glod glue gun in an old mug.
    • Cure resin pieces on wax paper.
    • Clean 'crafted' hands with baby wipes.
    Go to Crafty Chica for all the good...

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    Top 20 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

    by DIY Maven

    20. List it. Instead of listing everything you THINK you need, first plan your meals for the week and then buy the ingredients you’ll ACTUALLY need to make them. By doing so, experts say you just might save up to 41% on your grocery bill.

    19. Eat first. This tried and true hint bears repeating, as going to the grocery story hungry is the primary reason we buy on impulse.

    18. Skip the processed food. Not only are they not good for you, they cost...

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    Seven No-Cost Tips to Keep Your Home Safer.

    by Chris Gardner

    The cost of a home-security system can be intimidating, or even preventative. Even everyday folks deserve a safe home, so take a peek at this article from the Smarthomesecurity blog.

     A brief summary: 

    1. Trim your garden.

    2. Lock up your tools.

    3. Make it look like you're home often, even if you're not.

    4. Replace outdoor lights.

    5. Don't advertise big purchases.

    6. Better hide your emergency house keys.

    7. Lock your door! 

    [Image from inkart.com] 

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    Clean Your Closet and Make Space for More 'Good'.

    by Chris Gardner

    Blogger Edith Yeung offers sound advice for cleaning not only your storage closet, but your mental/emotional 'closet' as well.

    Edith suggests:

    Throw it away when: 

    1. You don’t feel good about it.

    2. You don’t like it.

    3. You don’t feel comfortable wearing it.

    4. You don’t remember you had it.

    5. You have not worn it even once in the past 12 months.

    6. It doesn’t fit you anymore. 

    7. The only reason you keep because it is expensive.

    Change the "throw it away"...

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    20 New Tips For Garage Sale Success

    by Chris Gardner

    First, read this post from my good friend, BadBadIvy.



    Then, check out A Yard Sale Checklist from finance blog GetRichSlowly.com. Last season, they suggested ten tips for yard sale prowess, such as:

        A group sale is better then selling alone. More stuff draws more traffic.

        Do not bad-mouth your items

        Be willing to bargain, but be less flexible at the start.

    This year, author J.D., fresh from a neighborhood garage sale weekend, offers 10...

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    How (and why) to Freeze Your Paint Brushes

    by DIY Maven

    Like it or not, most painting projects require more than one coat of paint. Whether it takes place over one or more days, we’re still faced with cleaning our brushes between coats. To make this task less taxing, turn to your freezer.

    As anybody who has cleaned latex paint from a paintbrush knows, the majority of the paint comes out in the first five or ten seconds. It’s the next ten to fifteen minutes that are devoted to getting the brush squeaky...

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