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How to Make Custom Wall Art Out of Reclaimed Wood

By Laura Williams

add spice kitchen wood signIf the multitude of projects on Pinterest and Etsy are any indication, reclaimed wall art is definitely a growing trend. While I appreciate the rustic feel of wood pallet signs, I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the price tag. Some pieces cost more than $100 for what amounts to nothing more than some old wood and paint.

After a recent barn renovation, I was inspired to make my own wall sign out of some of the old wood left lying around. The project was very easy and took only about a day to complete. Best of all, the end result is exactly what I was hoping for – and it cost me only a fraction of the price of purchasing a similar sign.

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Join Us on Twitter for a Chat About Setting Financial Goals for 2015 on December 12th at 4PM EST

By Money Crashers

girl piggy bankThis Friday, we will be holding a TweetChat with the topic of Setting Financial Goals You Can Achieve for 2015 in mind from 4-5pm EST.

Simply follow @MoneyCrashers and participate in the chat with hashtag #MCchat on Twitter and you will be entered in the prize draw (two winners for $15 Amazon gift cards).

An easy way to follow along and participate in #MCchat is by using our Twitter Chat Room at http://www.twubs.com/MCchat. We hope to see you there!

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How to Increase Your Instagram Followers – 5 Crucial Tips

By Laura Williams

instagramIf you’re looking for the “new Facebook,” look no further than Instagram. After displaying year-over-year growth of more than 900% two years in a row – booming from a million active users to more than 100 million active users, according to a compilation of Instagram statistics by TOTEMS – Instagram was actually bought out by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion. And then it kept growing. As of December 2014, the social network has more than 200 million active users, with 20 billion photos shared – averaging roughly 60 million photos per day. That’s a lot of sharing.

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Bike Commuting: Health, Time & Safety Considerations of Biking to Work

By Brian Martucci

bike on roadAccording to the Alliance for Walking & Biking’s 2014 Benchmarking Report, 91.6% of American commuters drive to work. That compares to 5% who use public transit, 2.8% who walk, and just 0.6% who bike. In larger cities, walking and transit get a much larger share of total commutes: 17.2% and 5%, respectively. Biking is still the laggard, at just 1%. Of course car commuting remains the overwhelming favorite, making up more than three-quarters of all trips.

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7 Bad Clothes Shopping Habits to Break Now

By Jacqueline Curtis

shoppingA love-hate relationship with shopping is all too common. Spending hours at the mall or scooping up deals online can be a fun treat on occasion, but your spending habits can get completely out of control if you’re not careful. For some people, shopping has the same endorphin-inducing effect that comes from exercise or falling in love – some people just can’t say no. Shopping can also become a bit of a crutch, especially if you use those new clothing and accessories as a way to combat negative emotions.

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9 Tips to Save on Women’s Plus-Size Fashion & Clothing

By Jacqueline Curtis

plus size clothesThe plus-size fashion industry raked in more than $16.2 billion in revenue, and if you wear plus-size clothes, you know the cost of fashion all too well. Unfortunately, plus-size fashion is often priced at a premium, making it difficult to stay within your personal budget. According to the CDC, the average American woman has a waist circumference of 37.5 inches and a dress size of 14, which is typically considered plus size. It’s clear that more and more of the population is demanding that plus-size fashion be offered to the masses at a decent price.

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What Are Online Virtual Conferences – Pros & Cons, How to Benefit

By Laura Williams

online conferenceThe online world is a mecca for learning, with a seemingly unlimited number of opportunities to expand your knowledge base. One online trend that’s starting to gain some real traction is that of the web-based conference. In addition to an education component, these typically feature opportunities for networking and, in some cases, online vendor “booths” and sponsors.

Designed as an alternative to professional conferences, some online conferences are held 100% over the Internet – often termed “summits” – while others are held online in conjunction with a live, in-person component. For instance, the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference will be held live in Indianapolis, Indiana, but you can also attend online.

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5 Easy Ways to Add Green Leafy Vegetables to Your Diet

By Laura Williams

green vegetablesGiven the choice between ice cream and spinach salad, many people would reach for the sweet stuff. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no-profit health partner, Fruits & Veggies More Matters, only 6% of Americans eat the recommended number of vegetable servings each day – and of those veggies, not many of them are green.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), starchy potatoes are the most frequently consumed vegetable, at roughly 52 pounds per person, per year, with tomatoes (31 pounds) and onions (8 pounds) rounding out the top three. Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, didn’t even make the list. Considering the USDA suggests adults consume at least 1.5 to 2 cups of leafy greens per week, it’s clear most people come up short.

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What Is a Twitter Chat – 5 Reasons to Participate in a Tweetchat

By Laura Williams

twitterI remember the first time I logged onto Twitter. I was like a groundhog on Groundhog’s Day that popped up and saw its shadow – I was overwhelmed by the platform, confused by its purpose, and felt the immediate need to dive back into my Facebook hidey-hole and hibernate for another six weeks of winter.

Granted, that was a long time ago, and I have since come to understand the benefits the platform offers – namely, Twitter’s real-time ability to engage with any other user, anytime, anywhere, regardless of “friend” status.

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5 Challenges for American Businesses Today – How to Succeed in a Global Economy

By Michael Lewis

businessmanFor almost 200 years, America has enjoyed global leadership in science, commerce, and government. As a consequence, the United States has become one of history’s greatest economic powers, dominating the 19th and 20th centuries. The ability of Americans to “think outside the box,” their courage to challenge conventional thinking, and their confidence to persevere despite numerous setbacks has inspired generations and continues to change lives around the globe.

Leaders understand that greatness is more than building personal wealth or power, but creating products and services that improve the lives of individuals and the overall human condition. But as trade barriers between countries have fallen, leaders are faced with new challenges, and America’s preeminent status as the world’s dominant economy has been and will continue to be challenged as never before.

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What Is Medical Tourism – Reasons, Risks & Potential Savings

By Michael Lewis

medical tourismImagine having major surgery at an internationally accredited hospital, performed by a board-certified surgeon, and then recovering with your spouse in a four-star hotel on the beach in Costa Rica. Add daily nurse and physical therapist visits to the mix, and all for less than the cost of the surgery, hospital stay, and rehabilitation in your home city. This is medical tourism – and many Americans have recently discovered it.

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Best New Bank Account Promotions, Offers & Free Money

By Money Crashers

stack cashWith many financial institutions experiencing a decrease in profits, banks are vying for your business. This is good news for you, because instead of just offering standard perks like no fees, free checking, or a free pen when you sign up for an account, some banks are raising the stakes with cold hard cash, giveaways, and great interest-bearing products.

December is a good month for bank promotions from both big and small banks. Banks are giving away a lot of free cash to attract new customers and get them to open up accounts. The banks listed below have some pretty sweet deals that you should take advantage of if you are in the market for a new bank.

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8 Best Flash Sale Sites to Buy Gifts

By Laura Williams

online shoppingGift giving on a holiday budget is never easy, but it’s far from impossible. The advent of online shopping brought with it many new and exciting ways to save money on gifts, including daily deal websites (such as Groupon), auction sites (such as eBay), and flash sale sites (such as Gilt and The Clymb).

If you’re not familiar with flash sale sites, the concept is derived from in-person flash sales common in fashion meccas, such as New York and Los Angeles. The idea is that for a limited time – usually just a few hours or days – shoppers score deep discounts on brand-name items.

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16 Tips for Better Online Video Chatting – Improve Quality & Appearance

By Laura Williams

video chatAs a freshman in college in the year 2000, I remember struggling mightily to pay my 400-minute monthly cell phone bill. I was trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend, but our time to talk was limited due to his packed baseball schedule, my two jobs, and, most of all, the fact that we’d only dated for a month before heading to separate schools. He’s my husband now – so it all worked out – but back then we needed to be able to get to know one another in a world that seemed stacked against us.

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7 Ways to Shop for a Cause This Holiday Season

By Jacqueline Curtis

shopping for a cause‘Tis the season for cooking, baking, laughing, singing, and of course, shopping. After all, what is the holiday season for if not the joy of giving?

Whether you’re picking up a present for your mom or for your significant other, much of November and December is dedicated to finding, purchasing, and giving the perfect present. In fact, the annual Consumer Reports Holiday Poll found that the average person spends $437 over the holidays.

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