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Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Affordable Home Decorating Ideas

In budget, Your Guest Writers, Your Home on September 26, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Image Credit Barun Patro

 

With the economy putting a strain on our pocket books, we have all had to make changes to our 2010 budget. For many of us, decorating was the line item that got scratched off that list first. However, eliminating that expense completely may not be the best solution. After all, tighter budgets actually mean we now spend a lot more time at home than in the past. 

It’s more important than ever to have homes that provide us with a clean, safe, beautiful environment where we can relax and rejuvenate mentally, physically, and spiritually from all the additional stresses we now face. Psychologists agree that the healthier we are, the more productive we are at work and out in the world around others. Feeling at home in your home has never been more important than it is today. So instead of eliminating that much needed face lift to your home, try approaching it differently. 

Incorporate Nature

As we head into autumn, considering utilizing the fall foliage. Create wreaths with twigs and leaves, or hang bouquets of twigs on the wall. You can even use them as a centerpiece to a table, or as an accent to the foyer. 

Rearrange a Room

If you are just looking for a little change in your home, you’d be surprised what rearranging a room can do for your feng shui. If you do not want to incorporate this traditional, yet modern technique, simple move the items around. Put your bed on a different wall, at an angle, or facing a new direction. Switch the location of your couches and move your TV or bedroom furniture. Consider turning your dining room table, or moving your china cabinet. Since the weather is always nice in San Diego, a sofa bed on the patio for an afternoon snooze might be the change your home craves! 

Find Discount Furniture

For those of us in America’s Finest City, there are plenty of places to find discount furniture in San Diego. Consider replacing your old couch with a sofa bed, or add a sofa bed to the kids’ room for sleepovers. Many southern California industry professionals, such as San Diego furniture stores have responded to these budgetary needs by stocking a modern selection of furniture at highly discounted prices. 

Use Couch Covers and Pillow Shams

If you don’t have the time or money to upgrade your furniture, give it a quick facelift with a couch cover and pillow shams. It is cheap and easy to create your covers from scratch, or you can simply find a set at a local bedding or furniture store. If you want to customize the look, you can always find a great fabric and have someone make appropriate alterations to fit your items. Be sure to take appropriate measurements before ordering the cut and hem! 

Playful Placemats

You can spice up your coffee table, end tables, or dining room table with durable and unique placemats. With various types of lamination available, it is easy to make customized placemats for all areas of your home. Consider collages of your kids, family members, favorite pop culture icons, fun vacations, or educational tips. You can get plenty of ideas online for interactive crosswords that provide coffee table tips for the reader! You could even laminate a few Trivial Pursuit cards or questions together to make for great dinner conversation or distractions during the commercials. 

Author Bio: 

I am a blogger and writer living in San Diego, CA and I like to write about ways to find bargains on living room and bedroom furniture. I enjoy shopping around at my local San Diego furniture stores for great deals on furniture that not only makes my house look great, but makes my wallet happy too.

Express Your Style!

In Your Product Reviews, Your World on September 24, 2010 at 9:07 AM

I’m in love …

with personalized stationery!  Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved seeing my name in print.  I guess the writer in me was evident even then.  🙂

Enter,   Expressionery.com .     A chic personal stationery shop I recently discovered. From address labels and social calling cards to embossed napkins and seasonal stampers,  you’ll find everything you need to express your unique style.  

They’re  offering  40% off all Halloween designs.  Simply enter the code “SPOOKY” at checkout. The Halloween-themed items include a variety of personalized stationery, including party invitations, photo cards, note cards, stamps and more.  The deal is only good through Friday, October 8.

Check ’em out.  You’ll be glad you did.

Blog Award

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Alicia Hunter of Healthy Living & A Balanced You recently honored Live Well For Less with One Lovely Blog Award!  I’m proud to say this is our third blogging award.  But … the first we made public.   Thanks Alicia!

If you’re looking for a good time, check out Alicia’s blog. It’s all about inspiring and empowering women.

How Frugal Are You?

In budget, Our Guest Appearances, Your Home, Your World on September 20, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Lots of folks think they’re frugal because they clip coupons, use customer reward cards and frequently buy items on sale.  We all should be proud when we do these things. But—isn’t frugal living a lifestyle?

Take this quiz  (our latest article :)) at Inexpensively.com to see how thrifty you really are!

Learn How to Live Below Your Means

In budget, Your World on September 14, 2010 at 8:14 AM

Image Credit David Siqueira

 

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I’d easily spend $300 on a Coco Chanel wallet or Tiffany card case.  And that evening, it was nothing to drop another hundred on dinner with friends.  Sears, Kmart, Target and “the Walmart” were definitely off my shopping radar.  After all, only poor people shopped those places.      

When I look back at all the money I wasted buying status symbols that only served to make other folks rich, it makes me ill.  The genius who said, “Youth is wasted on the young,” sure got that one right!       

Thankfully, when I turned 24, I married a man who can make a $20 last six months!  He showed me how to manage our money so that it wouldn’t end up managing us.       

These days when I climb into my 11 year-old Honda (156,000 miles and counting) – I smile.  And the folks at my local Walmart, well, they know me by name. 🙂  I’m ecstatic when I find scream’n deals on toothpaste, or save cash by dining in.  And paying extra on my mortgage makes me downright giddy!      

Being frugal doesn’t mean you have to live like Ebenezer Scrooge.  It simply means living below your means – comfortably.        

Here are five tips to get you started.     

 Invest in yourself.  I believe in stimulating my economy.  And don’t count on Uncle Sam or anyone else to take care of my needs.  Dedicate a portion of every paycheck to savings. Whether you invest in the stock market, deposit money in a credit union savings account, a tin can or under your mattress – pay yourself.  Even if it’s just fifty cents a week.     

 *Backyard, Sauna and Room for a Pony.  Your mortgage or rent shouldn’t consume more than 28% of your monthly gross income.  But remember – just because you qualify for a loan or have 28% to spend on rent, doesn’t mean you can afford to make the payments.  Owning a home involves much more than paying the banknote.  Home maintenance, property tax, and home owner’s insurance are just a few of many, expenses.     

Note:  Your total debts, (rent, car payments, student loans, credit cards, etc.) should equal 36% or less of your gross monthly income.      

 Paying Retail is for Suckers.  It’s silly to pay full price unless you have to.  Shop around on and offline before making purchases.  And be sure to clip coupons and take them with you.  Check out, My Simon, Fat Wallet, Retail Me Not, Deal Hunting, and Ebates, to find mind-blowing savings.     

 Budgets Rock.  Whether you’re making a six figure salary or living off tips, the only way to see where you spend (and hopefully save) money is with a budget.  Mint and Money Strands are two good and FREE budgeting tools.   YNAB 3 is also a great choice, but the price is $60 bucks.     

 Got a Raise? Great!  Good for you.  Save at least 50% and put the rest towards paying off debts.     

Don’t let a sense of entitlement make you poor.  Instead, practice a little self-control and spend carefully.      

*Keeping Up Appearances – British Situation Comedy.

Freebies!

In coupons, Your Freebies on September 11, 2010 at 12:16 AM

Here’s a few goodies I found on the net!

Receive a $1 off coupon and sample of Jergens® Overnight Repair Nightly Restoring Moisturizer and Jergens® Ultra Healing® Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer.

Print this PDF coupon and bring it to your local Bath and Body Works to receive a sample of Twilight Woods for Him.

A Sam’s Club membership is required  to receive this sample of Vaseline Intensive Rescue Lotion(Though I’ve heard that filling in any 9 numbers will do.)  Your sample should arrive in 4 – 6 weeks.

Register to receive a free sample of chocolate or vanilla (your choice) Naturade Total Soy.

Good Dental Care for Kids of All Ages

In Your Guest Writers, Your Health on September 5, 2010 at 7:55 PM

by Kelly Wilson

of

  Teaching Resource Center

Our healthy, bright adult smiles begin with good oral hygiene during our childhood years. Here are simple tips to make kids of any age enthusiastic about taking care of their teeth.

Build a Basic Routine

Teaching kids about their teeth can start when they’re babies, by rubbing a clean cloth over their gums after feeding. Once teeth appear, use a small toothbrush in the morning and the evening to help keep teeth clean. Toothpaste isn’t necessary at this stage, but there are special kinds for young children to help them get used to the idea of using it. Another important habit to incorporate is daily fluoride, if you live in an area that requires a supplement.

As your children become preschoolers, the habit of taking care of teeth has been firmly established. Your kids will know that in your family, teeth are brushed twice a day with soft-bristled toothbrushes that are replaced every three months. Floss can also be introduced at this stage, cleaning out plaque from in-between teeth.

Even as kids grow older and start school, they’ll need help brushing and flossing correctly in order to take proper care of their teeth.

Brushing Can Be Fun!

There’s a lot to pay attention to when it comes to taking care of their teeth, and kids aren’t necessarily known for their patience. To get teeth shiny and clean, we need to spend two to three minutes brushing all sides of them. I have found that taking turns with my children during teeth-brushing time helps keep them on-task, as well as singing verses from their favorite songs. Try using the ABC song to help kids keep brushing longer, singing it through more than once.

Modeling and discussion through play is also a great way to help children process a healthy-teeth habit. To help small children especially, find a doll and have your child “brush” the doll’s teeth. Have your child talk about what he/she is doing, and review the basics about how to brush properly. Research picture books and DVD’s at your local library which reinforce the basics of good oral hygiene.

Explain Why

Older kids will respond to reasonable explanations when it comes to taking care of their teeth. They especially need to know that there are long-term consequences if they don’t.

My boys are eight and five years old, and enjoy pretending that they’re Tooth Superheroes. They love to hear about how bacteria have parties on their teeth after they eat, building plaque that turns to acid. It’s the acid that eats away at their teeth, rotting them and making them fall out. My boys must fight this plaque using their Superhero Tools, which include (of course) toothbrushes, floss and fluoride.

This explanation might work for your kids too, but if it doesn’t, find one that helps explain why taking care of their teeth is important.

Get Help from the Dentist

Children, like adults, need to visit the dentist every six months for regular cleanings and checkups. Take children to the dentist as soon as you’d like. We started visiting the dentist when our children were three years old to get them comfortable with the idea, and official dentist visits with exams and cleaning started when they turned four years old.

During these visits, the dentist and dental hygienist review with my kids the best ways to brush and floss their teeth. Sometimes hearing information from other authoritative sources makes more of an impact on children – I know it works with mine! The repetition and practice will help my kids have healthy teeth for years to come!

Kelly Wilson is a mom and freelance writer with a bright, healthy smile thanks to a local dentist like this. Contact her at,  Kelly.wilson@trcabc.com

Find Out The Secrets To Saving $$$ On Your Prescription Drug Costs

In Our Guest Appearances, Your Health, Your World on September 1, 2010 at 11:09 PM

Are your prescription drug costs taking a huge bite out of the family budget?  Click here to find out how to save big bucks on your drug “habit”.

Tired of rejection letters? Then check out my post, “The Secrets to Making Your E-Query Standout Amid the Clutter” at Coffeehouse for Writers.