Good For You

A Bathroom Transformed

Handyman: Handier And Cheaper Than A Plumber

I am the last person who will give someone grief about not being able to be handy around the house, probably because I just learned how to use a drill last year. When Sean didn’t want to attempt the bathroom sink but then kept asking me if he should, I reassured him that I would not think he was any less manly for not wanting to flood our bathroom himself. I also pointed our that someone who did this for a living may have things like tools and spare parts that we didn’t have.

The “odd jobber” came to our house and put in the sink in about two hours. He was pleasant, showed up on time, and he all the right tools (which helps when doing this sort of work). There were a few runs to the hardware store, Sean being the gofer/eager learner and me being the constant offerer of food and drink. In the end, he did a pretty good job.

+ Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Fresh Flowers That Don’t Die In Two Days

Lasting Luxury, Minimal Hassle

Crocusinsnow_2 I love the luxury of fresh flowers. In a vase on the kitchen table, they make everything seem to smell good and look just a little prettier. Problem is I don’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers. I just made the bouquet that Sean bought me last almost two weeks.

First of all, the type of flower will determine its lifespan. The Extravaganza Florist recommends the following long-lasting flowers: carnations, daisies, birds of paradise, antriums, ginger’s, protea, liatras, orchids, and most of the exotic flowers. A video about caring for flowers (Videojug has quite a collection of how-to videos) recommends rhododendron as a less exotic long laster. The arrangement of lilies Sean got me lasted almost the whole two weeks.

The other aspect of keeping cut flowers around is how they are cared for. Every web site I saw recommended 1) re-cutting the bottoms of the flowers at an angle, 2) changing the water every one or two days and 3) cutting off the leaves on the flowers where they would be submerged in the water. I actually did these things (and took flowers out of the arrangement as they died). While the arrangement was smaller at the end, what was left was pretty for two weeks. There is a debate at The Frugal Life about things you add to the water but based on my experience, giving the plants clean water is all they really need. According to Flowerbud those little packets you get with your flowers are just mild antibacterial powder that when mixed with your water ensures it is clean.

So whether you buy a bundle of flowers or force some crocuses to sprout indoors, take advantage of the fact spring is coming. It’s been a long winter; give yourself a small affordable luxury.

Photo from: http://www.naturaltapestries.com/nancyportfolio/flowers/pages/Crocus%20in%20Snow.htm

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Fresh Flowers That Don’t Die In Two Days

Lasting Luxury, Minimal Hassle

 

I love the luxury of fresh flowers. In a vase on the kitchen table, they make everything seem to smell good and look just a little prettier. Problem is I don’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers. I just made the bouquet that Sean bought me last almost two weeks. + Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Fresh Flowers That Don't Die In Two Days

Lasting Luxury, Minimal Hassle

 

I love the luxury of fresh flowers. In a vase on the kitchen table, they make everything seem to smell good and look just a little prettier. Problem is I don’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers. I just made the bouquet that Sean bought me last almost two weeks. + Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Eight Pounds Later

How Weight Loss Has Saved Me Money

I have previously asked the question “Will losing weight also save me money in addition to making me hotter and healthier?” I think my now eight pounds slimmer self has found the answer.

It seems like a coincidence that my grocery bill is lower this month than it has been in about five months (or since I moved here). What I have noticed though are fewer trips to the convenience store during work hours. My trip to my local country store in walking distance of work gave me crappy coffee and close-to-expiring snacks, though somehow it seemed like I almost needed it. To cut down on these trips, my coffee/snack budget was set at $10 a month in November but crept up to $20 in December. + Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Book Review: Helping Me Help Myself by Beth Lisick

Beth Lisick’s Self Help Analysis Helpful, Fun

I have a great friend named Sarah who works at a San Fran bookstore and just sent me a couple books. The one I was most tempted to start (and finished quickly) was “Helping Me Help Myself” by Beth Lisick. It came out in early January and but Sarah had gotten the proof copy earlier. (So that’s how those book store types have already read the book when it has just come out!)

First of all, I am one of those people people on a constant quest for self improvement. I don’t usually seek help; I often reasearch things a little on my own and mostly go it alone. Beth has summarized all those books I’ve been meaning to read including “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People“. I have actually read myself “Organizing From The Inside Out” and “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus“. In other words, I understand why Beth would undertake this. It is a similar reason to why I’ve done this blog: to learn more about money and entertain others in the process.

I skipped (of course) to the financial chapter (Chapter 8) where she consults Suze Ozman, a financial planner who has her own show, column, and is Oprah’s buddy. I’m working on a post about Suze Ozman so I’m not going to talk too much about her now.

The single most valuable thing that Beth got out of her book (and you can too) is to advocating for herself. She called her credit card company, who had put her interest rates through the roof (over 20%). She pointed out she was a loyal customer who could take her business elsewhere and they brought down her rate a bit. She insisted on zero percent and she got it. “In under five minutes’ time, I just saved myself about $80 a month.” she writes, only wishing she had made the call earlier. I think this is a great illustration about sticking up for yourself.

I think in the areas of our lives that we are least confident in, we are afraid to advocate for what we want. Or maybe we don’t know what to advocate for. Which is why we need to make it our business to know at least a little and then become the squeaky wheel with our credit card companies, banks, insurance companies, and anyone else who isn’t giving us a fair shake.

I have since read the rest of the book (the Richard Simmons part ended up being my favorite) and it’s great. If you’re looking for a good read from a funny lady, this is it. And I now understand a few little tricks gleaned from some of the most popular books of all time.

See Beth’s YouTube video…
Hear the NPR piece about the book…

+ Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26