Thursday, March 29, 2012

How To Install A New Thermostat

Electrical things attached to your wall tend to be intimidating to neophyte do-it-yourselfers, especially if the apparatus controls the temperature of your home. But before you call in a pro to install a new thermostat, it's worth taking a crack at the operation yourself.

The Penny Frugalista explains how she tackled the project. Here are some key steps:

* Do a lot of unscrewing. Every model is different, but be prepared to detach it piece by piece. Says the writer, "there were a lot of screws."

* Remember which wires go where. Your thermostat won't do you much good if it's not connected. Note which wires are attached and where, and find the corresponding parts on your new thermostat.

* Fill in the holes. A new thermostat installation kit may require new screws in different places, so use some putty to fill in the old holes before you mount the new unit.

Fix-It Friday: Installing a Digital Thermostat [The Penny Frugalista]

Use Hemorrhoid Cream To Battle Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

If you've got an interview or presentation to give, it can be daunting to stare into the mirror and notice that your eyes are puffy or accompanied by dark circles. A popular, if scientifically unproven, home remedy for the condition is to apply hemorrhoid cream to the area around your peepers.

While noting there's no evidence that the treatment works for everyone, as well as the fact that hemorrhoid cream is not meant for the face, a 2010 Livestrong post walks you through the process of using the cream to make yourself look perkier.

You start by washing your face, then blot it dry and apply the cream to the area. The idea is that the cream will shrink the swollen tissue causing the eye issues. A doctor quoted in the piece recommends trying it only once or twice a week.

How To Use Preparation H For Dark Circles [Livestrong]

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cut Down On Your Toilet's Water Usage With This Trick

There's a simple, less disgusting way to cut down on your toilet's water usage than urinating in your backyard or employing the "if it's pee, let it be; if it's brown, flush it down" maxim. If you place something heavy and non-obstructive in your tank, the object will take up volume and require your toilet to send less water to raise the level to its setting.

Water bottles filled with sand or something else that won't float will do the trick. When you're just starting out, monitor the flush from beginning to end to make sure your object isn't blocking your flushing mechanism, otherwise you may be doing more harm than good.

If you drop something into your toilet tank, be sure not to use something that will disintegrate and harm your pipes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

5 Inventive Meals To Make Out Of Beans And Rice

As far as stock foods go, it's tough to find cheaper, relatively healthier staples than beans and rice. While the thought of eating either as side dishes isn't very exciting, creative cooks can combine the two into interesting meals.

WiseBread offers these dishes you can craft from beans and rice:

* Korean pancakes. These gluten-free munchies work well as a snack or main dish.

* Soup. Pintos and brown rice meld together nicely in slurpable form.

* Burrito bowls. Cut those carb-toting tortillas out of the equation to enjoy the innards of your burrito without a wrap.

* Salad. Here's a recipe for a salsa, black beans and rice salad. Salsa can make boring things taste spectacular.

* Sticky rice balls. Beans go well with this Thai recipe for sticky rice balls, which just begs for a Saturday Night Live NPR parody featuring Alec Baldwin.

25 Tasty Ways to Enjoy Beans and Rice [WiseBread]

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So Over Debt reviews SOASS

Many thanks to Andrea of So Over Debt for this review. Here's an excerpt:

I may be giving Phil too much credit here, but I found some poignant observations and truths in Stingy Scoundrel. First, like those funny product warning labels, these tips couldn’t exist unless someone actually tried them. I want to be shocked that people would go to such ridiculous lengths to save money, but I live in a rural town – I could probably see most of these in action on a trip to Walmart, if I paid attention.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Foods That Go Well With Workouts

Working out on a full stomach usually isn't a good idea. Nausea, cramping and lethargy can drag your exercise routine down. Be selective about how you fuel up and your workouts will be more energetic and enjoyable.

Tabbing recommendations from a few different publications, Everyday Health lays out some rules of thumb for eating and drinking before, during and after exercise.

Here are a few takeaways:

* Unless you're going on a workout longer than two hours, you don't need to eat while you exercise.

* If you do exercise for such long stretches, energy gels and fuel snacks are good bets. Light, glucose-rich foods can keep your stamina high.

* Good pre-workout snacks include carbohydrates that are easy to digest. Bananas are an excellent choice.

* Water is always your friend. When in doubt, use it instead of expensive, caloric sports and energy drinks. If you're going to eat a heavy meal, save it for after your workout.

What to Eat Before, During and After Your Workout [Everyday Health]

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The 5 Worst Places To Find Hair On Your Body

1. Ears. It makes you feel like Bald Bull.

2. Toes. It makes you feel like a Hobbit.

3. Shoulders. It makes you feel like the guy in Dirty Work who steals Norm Macdonald's shirt.

4. Back. At least you don't have to look at it, but when you turn to the side in the mirror it makes you look like a razorback pig.

5. The back of your neck. It grows in too quickly after haircuts, making you look scruffy.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Top 5 Annoying Fake Voices In Which People Talk

1. Little kid voice — Parents are incapable of talking to tiny children without distorting their tone into the singsong manner they used on them when they were babies. People should start using their regular voice when communicating with kids, because it's funnier.

2. Dog voice — People address their dogs like they are not only babies but idiots. Which I guess they kind of are, so maybe I ranked this one too high.

3. Girlfriend voice — When a bro answers the phone around other bros and his lady calls, he talks unnaturally softly and timidly.

4. Wuvvy duvvy voice — People who are in high school or college who think they're in love do this. It wears off once one catches the other cheating and they become bitter like the rest of us.

5. Professional voice — It's unnaturally deep and distant. Almost butler-y and overly defensive.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Careful Cents Reviews SOASS

Big thanks to Carrie at Careful Cents who reviewed my book. Here's an excerpt:

Phil, the author, presents the book in a sarcastic tone but with real tips and money sense behind them.
He walks to fine line of moral decency and warns not to cross over into doing something illegal. But shy of that, have at it!