Nature's Decor for Fall, on a BudgetWritten by Kathleen Wilson
Fall is my favorite time of year for decorating. Well, ok, so maybe itís just behind holidays, but you know what I mean! I think itís because it represents a time of coming home and cuddling in, preparing for long cold days of winter. Cacooning in a home filled with warmth and personalityÖmmm, no better feeling, especially in times when life doesnít feel as secure as it once did for many of us. How do you decorate your home for winding down of autumn when moneyís tight? Read this article, and youíre on your way!
Fall is best time for decorating organically; that is, with natural elements. Natural ornaments for home are abundantly available this time of year, are extremely cheap or free, and give us a good feeling of grounded goodness from Mother Earth. So get kids, and go on a nature walk! Make sure to take a bag with you, and be sure only to collect fallen items that are not protected, or on private land. (Donít worry, Iím going to tell you what to do with all this in a minute!) Everything that appeals to you is fair game here, and remember to look at texture, color, or even memories an item brings back for you. Acorns, pinecones, seed pods, sticks or branches, driftwood, shells, empty wasp nests, bird nests, or cocoons, pressed and dried flowers, back chunks, even pretty rocks! And of course, cut and bring in those fall wildflowers! Sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, chrysanthemums, even roses all bloom in fall and make terrific bouquets. Even dried grasses displayed in a pretty pitcher invoke those great feelings of autumn on itís way.
Now youíre back home with all your treasures, youíve started a big pot of soup on stoveÖand you canít figure out for life of you what you are going to do with all this stuff? For starters, consider setting out simple ceramic or wooden bowls lined with a pretty cloth napkin or scrap, and fill with some of your goods. Texture abounds with natural elements, and will warm up a tablescape, a coffee table, a fireplace hearth. Try getting out hot glue gun and affixing your items to candles you packed away at first sign of summer. Small glass jars make great votive holders when dressed up with a few pressed leaves and acorns. Fill a bowl or plate with goodies around large pillar candles and use as a centerpiece. If you canít find enough natural material near your home, check out bulk grain section at your supermarket. Fall is about harvest, so any grain can be used to add that element to your home. Even cracked corn meant for bird feeder can look great in a jar as a base for a candle.
EQ & Investments: Bull, Bear Or HumanWritten by Brenda Smith
EQ & Investments: Bull, Bear Or Human
Markets are supposed to be rational, but with an economic system based on scarcity, how do investors behave with emotional intelligence? Experts in behavioral economics and emotional intelligence tell us we sell winners too soon and hold onto losers too long...
The ability to accept loss and feel regret we might have may be greatest obstacle to gaining wealth. Lacking EQ, investors are more likely to hold on to losers too long. Why? We avoid "negative" feelings, and rather than feel remorse, we want to move beyond it--into some action that will give us back what we lost. The losses that hit us hardest are first few dollars we lose, so additional losses aren't as painful. With this increased risk tolerance we tend to throw more good money after bad. We're emotionally wired to avoid pain. And, given a positive move or a negative one of same amount, there's more intensity on negative side.
We are more driven to avoid regret than to have pride. So while we hold losers, we also tend to sell winners too soon. Rather than wait for a small gain to grow, we tend to take our profits too soon. Why? Because every additional dollar of gain gives us less satisfaction.
Investors are also resist change--even beneficial change. The more choices we have, more we tend to stay in status quo. The EQ of investing would tell us --do your homework, pick carefully, determine a minimal downside loss and upside gain. The EQ challenge then, is self-managing emotions that come with taking rational action in a scarcity system.