Category Archives: House Ideas

Got Goals? Put up $ or Shut Up!

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As seen on [via Web Worker Daily]

Serious enough about your New Year’s resolutions to put money on them?
To appoint a referee and cheering section to check in on your progress?
You can do just that at StickK, a goal monitoring web site where you
commit to achieving something and literally pay if you don’t make
progress. Set up a goal at StickK, like losing 20 pounds in the next
four months, and then decide to put $20 a week towards that goal. If
you don’t make it? Your total cash goes to a charity of your choice.
You can also appoint a friend or relative to be a referee, who checks
up on your progress. Looks like a neat way to turn peer and financial
pressure on yourself to achieve your goals.
[via Web Worker Daily]

stickK promotes healthier and happier living by helping people achieve
their personal goals through the signing of Commitment Contracts. Happier
people = happier world! more…

What is stickK ?

Personal goals. We all
have some, be they daunting or mundane. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Clean
the garage. Call Aunt Zelda more often.

Yet time and time again, we just can’t seem to get it together and
achieve the goals we set out for ourselves. We get discouraged. We feel
guilty about our lack of discipline. We give up.

That’s where stickK comes in.

On stickK, you draw up an official commitment contract that binds you
to achieving a personal goal, be it big or small. By agreeing to this
contract, you publicly state your goal and commit to achieving it. Or,
if grand public pronouncements aren’t your style, you can tell only
people you select. Either way, you’ve committed to a goal and people
know about it – so now it’s your reputation at stake!

To make you accountable as you work toward your goal, you file weekly
reports on your success. (And don’t even think about lying — because
you appoint someone you know as a “referee” to verify the
accuracy of your reporting!) You also enlist as many Supporters as you’d
like to encourage you, via the website, every step of the way. If being
part of a group gives you momentum, you can join a community of people
on the site who are working toward the same goal as you (this feature
will be ready in February). To keep yourself focused throughout your adventure,
you record your progress – daily — in a personal journal.

Want to up the ante? Gamble more than your reputation.
Place a financial wager on yourself. If you accomplish your goal, you
get your money back. If you don’t, your money goes to charity or
to someone you’ve designated in advance. (How about to a foe,
or to a cause you dislike,
for some added incentive?)

All these support tools make you more likely to stickK with it
— until your goal envisioned is a goal accomplished!

Why? Because when people put their goals in writing,
are accountable to someone monitoring them, have a support network around
them, and regularly record their progress, they’re more liable to
stay on trackK. Then there’s putting even your money on the line;
research has shown that people with a vested interest in accomplishing
a goal are two to three times more likely to succeed than goal-seekers
with nothing invested!

So, if you’re ready to stickK your neck out and invest in achieving
your personal goal, click here to find out how to draw up your commitment

What is stickK
How to create a commitment contract
Contract structures
Create a commitment now!


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Geeting Things Done – Nozbe


Here’s a cool easy way to track your to do’s.
Basic service is free and the whole process teaches you GTD, or Getting Things Done.

Upgrades are super cheap!


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Make a Simple Compost Bin

Composted materials are perfectly happy to be in a loose pile, but
if you want to keep them tidy, you can contain them in many ways. The
key is to make sure the container allows air to move through the
composted materials and allows water to drain.

Use kitchen scraps and yard waste to create soil-enhancing compost.

You can make a compost bin from almost any container, as long as it drains and lets air in.


Learn the basics of composting your garden including ingredients, containers, and more.

Find out how to mix your own compost for your garden at home.

How to Make Your Own Compost



Video Copyright 2007, Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved

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PSA: What to do with my leaves?

Brands, L.L.C. [originally posted here]

Six Things to Do with Your Leaves

(rather than add them to the landfill)

Every autumn, it’s the same story: Rake the leaves, put them in bags, put
them on the curb. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If you wonder if all those leaves could
be put to better use, the answer is yes.

Let Them Rot

Leaf mold is an easy-to-make soil conditioner, rich in magnesium and calcium.
And the best thing about it is that all you have to do is wait for them to rot.

Leaves decay best in a pile at least 3 feet high, wide, and long. You can build
a bin from wooden posts and chicken wire, form a circle of chicken wire with
no posts, or even use garbage bags with dime-size drainage holes poked in the
bottom and sides. Whatever method you choose, use damp leaves and pack them in
tight. Over time, the leaves break down into crumbly brown humus you can use
as a moisture-retaining mulch or a conditioner that enhances any type of soil.

It usually takes at least a year to turn from leaf to mold, more if you’re
in a cold or dry area. You can speed things up by shredding large leaves before
you start the process, stirring the leaves occasionally, and, if you’re
in a cold area, breaking up the frozen bits.

Dump Them in the Garden

If you’re not in the mood to make mold, you can simply put the leaves on
your garden as a mulch. Mulch keeps the soil moist and discourages weeds from
taking up residence. Small leaves are less likely to form a water-shedding mat
than large ones. Waxy leaves and pine needles take a longer time to break down —
that’s not necessarily bad if you want a long-term mulch.

In spring, you can till the leaves into the soil — wait until the soil
is dry enough that a ball of it breaks when you drop it, but not so dry that
if won’t form a ball at all.Or you can leave them on the surface. In cool
regions, or if spring is rainy, rake them aside to let the soil warm up for a
few weeks and then rake them back into place.

Shred Them with a Mulching Mower

Speaking of mulches, if you’re really not in the mood to do anything with
your leaves, run over them a couple of times with a mulching mower. A thick layer
of large leaves covers your grass, denies it light and moisture and eventually
kills it, but shredded leaves slip between the blades of grass, adding organic
matter to the soil. Shredding works best if you don’t have tons of leaves.
Mow often, because it’s easier to get through a small covering of leaves
than a thick one. Shredding leaf piles creates a lot of dust, so consider protecting
your lungs with a face mask and your eyes with glasses or goggles.

Make a New Bed

Rather than spend a weekend next spring digging out lawn where you want a new
garden bed, let your leaves do the work for you this fall. Rake a 3- to 4inch
deep layer onto the area, run the mulching mower over them, add more leaves and
repeat. The shredded leaves form a dense cover that smothers the grass. In spring,
if the leaves haven’t broken down completely, either rake them aside to
let the soil warm or till them into the soil. If you don’t have a lot of
leaves, skip the shredding step and leave a layer of whole leaves 3 to 5 inches
thick to smother the grass.

Keep Them for Compost

A well-balanced compost pile combines “green” and “brown” material.
Green material is rich in nitrogen and moist, such as lawn clippings, vegetable
scraps and coffee grounds. Brown materials are drier and tend to be carbon rich,
such as leaves, straw and bark. If you keep a pile of leaves beside your compost
bin, you have a pile of brown material ready whenever you add more green. The
recommended blend is about 50-50 green and brown.. Turn it once a week and keep
it damp; in three months or so, you have compost ready for your lawn and garden.

Play with Them

Who can resist jumping into a pile of leaves or kicking them around? If you have
kids, let them go wild. Be prepared to rake up again afterwards. And if you’re
thinking of joining them, remember: the bigger you are, the larger the pile of
leaves has to be. The ground is harder than it was when you were a child.

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Project: Clever Coat Rack

To make an out-of-the-ordinary coat rack, all you need is coat hangers, a backing board, a saw, screws, and basic tools.


Watch video and see other great project ideas here.

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Golf Inside Your Home with Visual Sports

Play Golf And The Most Popular Sports At Home!

Could you imagine pitching a fastball to Barry Bonds or getting your first Hole-In-One with Tiger Woods all in the comforts of your own home??   Play Golf, Hockey, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball and Football all on one system.  Practice, Play and Interact in 6 sports and more than 20 different gameplay simulation modes with the VisualSports Simulator.

Visual Sports has partnered with leading custom design and consumer electronics dealers from around North America.  We realize that every residential environment is unique and every client has their own vision of how they will create their golf and sports room.  By providing you with only the leaders in consumer electronics and custom installation we know that your creation and experience will be beyond your wildest dreams.

Contact an authorized Visual Sports dealer today to discuss your custom installation!


RealGolf  Watch Video
Or check out these REAlife Courses

Play more than a dozen famous golf courses from around the world
including the Renditions course featuring famous golf holes from
PGA Major Championship courses including Augusta National,
Torrey Pines and the Old Course in St.Andrew’s Scotland. Compete
in long drive and closest to the pin contests or practice on the
driving range. Click here for course info

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Holiday Care Reminder

When gathering your holiday list of friends & family,
please add one or two more names to your list for
greeting cards this year:

Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

Find more great ideas [click here]

“…and remember those that serve do so for you and I,
not because of their political affiliation or theories;
but instead for the freedom we experience without
thought of it – most days.”


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