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Decorating Trick: Create A Living Area With Curtains

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source: Gatsby

The owners of this home created a room within a room, using curtains. The curtains create a visual illusion that makes the little window nook into a whole new living space.

I see a couple of important things:

1 – The furniture in the new space is to scale. It’s small, to match the tiny size of the area. In fact, it’s much smaller than the other pieces in the room.

2 – Even though the curtain creates a new living space, the owners continued the color scheme from the rest of the room. It would have been jarring if they went for new colors and patterns.

Brilliant!

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How To Make Low-Fat Sour Cream Really Zing!

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source: liz west

I use a lot of sour cream. I scoop it onto baked potatoes, tacos, and burritos. I enjoy it as a garnish on soup and chili. It’s delish.

However, since I’m always on a diet, I use only low-fat sour cream.

Luckily, I’ve found a way to make low-fat sour cream really zing. It tastes so good, I barely notice it’s healthy.

To get the yummy taste, I add a lot of seasonings to the sour cream.

For instance, before I want to add sour cream to a baked potato, I first season it with salt, pepper and a ton of garlic. When I want to add sour cream to a burrito or taco, I stir in garlic and salsa. For soups, I usually stir in salt, pepper and dill, depending on the type of soup.

The taste of the sour cream becomes so sharp and vivid, I barely notice the lower fat consistency.

Read More: Amazing Food Hacks or Home

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Semi-Doodle Drawing Prompts

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What is a semi-doodle drawing prompt?

A semi-doodle is a photograph, with a missing element, that you need to fill in. It allows you to concentrate on one small element of a drawing, instead of being overwhelmed by the entire thing. You aren’t forced to think of shape, perspective, proportion or any of the other aspects of a drawing. You just concentrate on completing one specific section.

Instructions

First, print out the image above.

Next, using the top photo as a guide, use colored pencils, pastels, watercolors or  fine markers, to complete the bottom, as shown in the sample. Try to make your version as accurate as possible.

If you don’t own a color printer, or don’t want to spend the money on ink, print the image in black and white. Use the online photo as a guide and complete the drawing prompt as shown below.

I completed the prompt in colored pencil, but for the black and white version, you could also try regular pencil, a fine black marker or India ink.

Over the next months, I plan on creating many more Semi-Doodles. If you have a request, please leave a comment and let me know.

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20 Ways To Use The Library To Save Money

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source: runmonty

I adore the library. It’s a fabulous resource for saving money. It’s full of free information, entertainment, and programs that would otherwise cost big bucks if you had to pay for them yourself.

Here are 20 of my favorite ways to take advantage of the library:

Read

Borrow novels instead of buying them. Just be careful not to rack up overdue fines.

Read the library’s newspaper. Cancel your home subscription.

Skip the newsstand and instead read magazines for free. Most libraries have an enormous selection to choose from.

Check out the library’s used book section. Bring home several books for a dollar or less.

Learn

Dip into a sewing book. Begin doing your own hems, zippers and other minor repairs.

Gather information on investments. Make some changes to your portfolio.

Study a car repair manual. Try your hand at fixing your car.

Copy down some money saving recipes for pantry basics. Learn to make your own jellies, cheese, cured meats and condiments.

Flip through some frugal books and learn some new tips. My personal favorite is the Tightwad Gazette.

Borrow a home repair manual. Use it to do your own painting, plumbing and gardening.

Use a book to learn a new craft. Save big bucks during the holidays by making your own gifts.

Play

Have your kids participate in the library’s reading program. They’ll get free prizes, tickets to the zoo and other treats.

If your not a big internet junkie, use the library’s account. It’s free and accessible whenever the library is open.

Use the library to relax. Skip the coffee shop and make the library your new, favorite “de-stress spot.”

Take your kids to one of the library’s summer programs. These include story hour, puppet shows, animal programs and more.

Borrow developmental toys for your children to enjoy. Not every library has this service, but if your does, it’s a tremendous money saver.

Skip the music store and get your dvds from the library instead. Explore some new styles of music.

Watch the library’s selection of movies. It’s cheaper than cable and quality is generally very high.

Save

Peruse the library’s coupon box. Not every library has this service.

Read the library’s copy of Consumer Reports. Be sure your next big purchase is a smart one.

Please let me know if you have any ideas to add to the list. I always enjoy getting input from readers.

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Tangible Things Class: How To See The World Differently

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This Is Not A Chairsource: Maureen Didde

I am currently participating in a free, online class called Tangible Things. It is given by Harvard University and it is about truly seeing and understanding the objects around you.

We did a exercise today that I would like to share with you. The exercise consists of stretching your mind by looking at an object in your home in as many ways as possible.

For instance, a telephone is a form of communication, but it’s also an artifact of modern design, a scientific invention, a retail commodity, a method of relaxation, etc.

To do the exercise yourself, follow these instructions:

1. Watch the video called This Is Not a Chair located on Youtube.

2. Complete the template This is not a _________; it is a __________.

3. Photograph the object, if desired.

Here is my finished exercise

This in not a plate. It is a decorative object. It was purchased for the pleasure it brings to the eye.

This is not a plate. It is a method of eating. It allows the user a simple way of enjoying food away from the immediate area of the stove.

This is not a plate. It is a part of a cooking technique. Food is placed on the plate and then heated in a microwave oven.

This is not a plate. It is small bit of American culture. Corelle became popular about 35 years ago and is still sold today.

This is not a plate. It is an example of modern science. This plate is made from Vitrelle, a substance first invented in a lab.

If you decide to do the exercise, please send me your results. I would love to read them.

Read More: Creativity Exercises or Home

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