Sunday, December 14, 2008

Save on Everything This Christmas

Welcome to the spending season! If it seems like your only choices are pulling out the stops and dealing with the credit card consequences later, or cutting so far back it doesn’t even feel like Christmas, then it’s time to look at your third option: creative corner cutting. We’ve got 40 clever ways to save—and no one will even notice you spent less.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

School for life

“A home is more than an economic unit to be traded. At best, it can be a school for life”

Homeowners forced to put down roots after postponing a house move indefinitely. Cash-strapped families compelled to generate their own entertainment. Even unplanned career breaks allowing a newly-redundant parent to devote themselves to full-time home-building.
There is a brighter side to the credit crunch if you believe the importance of hearth and home has been overlooked during the boom years.
The galvanizing effect of recession on family life will be one of the topics debated by delegates to an international gathering of entrepreneurs and town planners at the QEII conference centre next month.
Champions of traditional home economics like Prue Leith have helped organize the event. Its organizers, the Home Renaissance Foundation, argue that rarely has there been a better time for struggling families to learn the lessons of domestic thrift.
The HRF is chaired by Bryan Sanderson CBE, the former BUPA chairman appointed earlier this year to help save Northern Rock.
Sir Brian said: “Nobody would wish to be entering a recession. However, there may be positive unforeseen consequences. A thriving economy sometimes means that houses become little more than hotel rooms as society becomes more atomized. In reality a home is more than an economic unit to be traded. At best, it can be a school for life.”
Speakers at the conference - entitled ‘From House to Home’ - include some of Europe’s best-known architects and urban designers, including Piers Gough. He will argue that too much new-build in Britain is driven by the mathematics of property speculation, rather than the needs of residents.
The conference will hear that evidence for his argument can be seen in the current glut of unsold city centre apartments. Delegates will also ask whether thwarted sellers sometimes learn to love their unwanted houses. Those who choose to add a kitchen extension, for example, might find that their desire to move evaporates. The longer they remain in the area, even unwillingly, the stronger bonds with neighbors, school and community become.
And although recession brings grim tidings for restaurateurs, enforced eating-in might be an opportunity to learn how to cook, just as fewer visits to the cinema or theatre put an emphasis on the home as the focus of entertainment.

* From House to Home, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, November 20/21. Further details:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Recommended webpage

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Safety Check List for Time Change Sunday


An extra hour of daylight comes our way on Time Change Sunday, as Daylight Saving Time goes into effect in most of the U.S.

As you circle the house, setting clocks ahead one hour, make time for this short safety checklist. It'll see you into summer months in a safe--and organized--home:

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

The ABCs of Household Paper Management


Do you know where your tax records are? Chances are, they're swimming in a stack of paper ... somewhere.
Rafts of paper flood into the average home each day. The mailbox discharges letters and bills and bank statements. Briefcases explode with professional journals, pay stubs and calendars. School backpacks unload children's artwork, meeting notices and sports schedules.
Paper clutter costs money, time and stress. A missing permission slip derails the entire family on the way out the door. Hide-and-seek bills lead to late payment fees. Lose the roster, and it's back to the Yellow Pages each time you need to contact the soccer car pool.