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Amaryllis - love them!




The gorgeous amaryllis is traditionally a holiday season floral. When you take them out of storage and give them a bit of water, they're going to sprout within six to eight weeks so now is the time to getting working on them.

Once they start sprouting, you can slow them down with cool temperatures but you pretty much have to give them full sunlight or they'll get long and ugly leaves.  You can't stop them once they decide to grow.

Though they thrive in most any type of container, Tightwad likes hers in clear glass cylindrical vases with little pebbles. Curly willow looks lovely with them. With their long slender necks and large blooms, you have to get the scale of the container right. Large baskets look nice, too. 
Here are some tips: 

- bulbs like to be crowded in their pots
- ensure there's not too much water in the bottom - just enough to provide a moist environment.
- the shoulders and neck should be visible above the soil or stone line
nlike me, you prefer to plant amaryllis bulbs where you can see them, here are few ways to care for your indoor bloomers: 
  • Amaryllis bulbs like to be crowded in their pots. Make sure there's a drainage hole for excess water.
  • Set some steel wool or a dryer sheet at the bottom of the pot to keep the potting soil in and position the bulb root-down in the pot. The "shoulders" and "neck" of the bulb should be visible above the soil line.
  • Water to moisten.
  • Blooms can take 6-8 weeks. Move to indirect light and snip off flowers as they fade.
- See more at: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/foolproof-flower-amaryllis-bulbs-bloom-in-the-most-unlikely-places#sthash.R3mTbUXO.dpuf
nlike me, you prefer to plant amaryllis bulbs where you can see them, here are few ways to care for your indoor bloomers: 
  • Amaryllis bulbs like to be crowded in their pots. Make sure there's a drainage hole for excess water.
  • Set some steel wool or a dryer sheet at the bottom of the pot to keep the potting soil in and position the bulb root-down in the pot. The "shoulders" and "neck" of the bulb should be visible above the soil line.
  • Water to moisten.
  • Blooms can take 6-8 weeks. Move to indirect light and snip off flowers as they fade.
- See more at: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/foolproof-flower-amaryllis-bulbs-bloom-in-the-most-unlikely-places#sthash.R3mTbUXO.dpuf
nlike me, you prefer to plant amaryllis bulbs where you can see them, here are few ways to care for your indoor bloomers: 
  • Amaryllis bulbs like to be crowded in their pots. Make sure there's a drainage hole for excess water.
  • Set some steel wool or a dryer sheet at the bottom of the pot to keep the potting soil in and position the bulb root-down in the pot. The "shoulders" and "neck" of the bulb should be visible above the soil line.
  • Water to moisten.
  • Blooms can take 6-8 weeks. Move to indirect light and snip off flowers as they fade.
- See more at: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/foolproof-flower-amaryllis-bulbs-bloom-in-the-most-unlikely-places#sthash.R3mTbUXO.dpuf

Stock market trading cheap n cheerful



How does a £1000 introductory offer and a £50 reward for your first five introductions sound?  
These offers are – at time of press -  made by a company called Tradefair, which provides one of the easiest and quickest ways to make a profit from stock market movements. Tradefair, one of a growing number of Financial Spread Betting (FSB) specialists, offers a recreational approach to the business of playing the markets.
Ordinarily, investing in stocks or foreign currency markets is a time-consuming and expensive business and only really means anything if you begin with a load of cash in the first place. Tradefair doesn’t work like that.
Rather than actually buying shares, stocks or currencies, Tradefair offers you the chance to bet on the stock’s market movement. If you think the stock is going to rise, back it to do so; if you think it’s going to fall, back it to slide.
For every dollar you put down, you win another for every point that the stock moves in your favour. The down side is that if the price moves the other way you will lose on the same ratio. It is a mechanism that can provide spectacular wins, but it can be expensive if you don’t cash out when things start to go wrong. That added risk makes it compellingly exciting.
Financial spread betting is being pitched somewhere between the online gambling market - casinos, sports betting sites etc. - and the trading floors of the world’s stock and foreign exchange markets.
Because bets are traded rather than actual stocks or currencies there are no dealing fees, brokers or taxes. If you are keen to cut costs, FSB is the way to take your insight to market.
With 3,200+ different market indexes available to wager on, odds on that there will be at least one potential investment area that you know something about. What FSB offers is a recreational concept, closely tied to the business of turning a profit, FSB exists as something that most people will enjoy as an alternative to actually working - some people do make a living from it, but it’s fundamentally a way to have fun.
There are resources both online and in book form to help you refine what you do and get more out of it. Firms like Tradefair and other significant industry players such as intertrader.com, cmcmarkets.co.uk and cityindex.co.uk have invested heavily in high quality software that suggests they intend to be around for a long time to come.

Curb the urge to splurge

 


Facing a possible shopping addiction? Curb your urge to spend with these handy tips:
What is the issue? Understand it If you are a shopping addict, you buy based on want not need. Most of what you buy will quickly lose appeal and not be used for months or even… ever.
Ask yourself Can you live without it? Yes!   
Price drops Yes, this “gotta have it” item will be cheaper in the future. Come back later after you’ve thought about it. You may even forget about it.
Feel your feelings You may be excited with the thrill of the hunt and bagging the latest whatever it is. But that fun factor quickly drops – mostly likely turning into anger at yourself for spending more money on some more stuff you don’t need and can’t afford. Take control and get out of those malls!
Go alternative Find another way to hit that thrill that you get when you shop. Find another way to make yourself happy.
Use coupons and shop sales If you need something, let what coupons you can use guide you through the decision process. A number of online stores offer great discounts and coupon codes such as these: sears promo codes.

Save on clothes




Finding clothing doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some tips:
Sign up for store emails Hidden coupons and early discounts, don’t miss them – especially the elusive flash sales. Consider creating an email just for store updates, or organize your inbox to file them in a separate folder so they are easy to keep track of.  
Off-season = good time to shop During off-season, stores have nice flat xx% off on their collections to keep merchandise moving out the door. A win for them, a win for you.  
Avoid the new stuff at the front of the shop It’s there, hidden at the back of the store - the sales rack is definitely worth a few minutes of rummaging through.
Who are you kidding? You already have that! Reacquaint yourself with what’s already in your closet. Chances are you have forgotten some nice pieces in there.
Coupon websites There are a number of coupons available on the Internet. Here is a handy nordstrom promo code!

Save at the farmer's market



Everyone knows that shopping at farmer’s markets is terrific for a number of reasons. Fresh, often local produce, supporting your community and it’s usually more affordable than typical retail.
Here are some tips to help you get the best bang for your veggie bucks:
Plan Be prepared and know what you want to buy. It helps to make a list of meals for the next week (menu plan Monday!!!) and figure out exactly what you need.  If you make a list of dishes, you are going to make in the week – presumably within budget.
Research See what’s available. Maybe you are lucky to have more than one farmer’s market available to you. Shortlist them based on distance, quality and price.
Stick to your budget It’s easy: decide on a budget. Spend on needs, not wants. Go home. Start cooking.
Buying extra = waste Everyone knows how this works.
Coupons There can be found in local papers, or searching online is another great resource. Chameleonjohn.com is one coupon site that offers coupons for anything and everything.

Affordable ways to redecorate



Bored with your interior decor? Strapped for cash? There's no cause for alarm. With a little creativity, you can redecorate your home without spending a fortune. Seemingly small, affordable updates can produce dramatic results. The trick, of course, is knowing which changes to make. The possibilities are virtually limitless, but we've handpicked especially worthwhile options for your convenience. 
Add architectural details without the chisel Plain, flat walls leave something to be desired, but it's not like you can carve them up to add texture. A quick, cheap alternative is to use painter's tape to add vertical and horizontal lines across blank expanses. Alternatively, use it to create frames around artwork, furniture and other elements. Molding costs a little more, but it is easy to put up and is also a terrific way to add depth, dimension and visual interest. 
Make curtains out of duvet covers Buy inexpensive duvet covers from someplace like IKEA, and cut them in half to make unique, stylish curtains. Bonus: these curtains will have built-in liners of sorts, so they'll work especially well at blocking out light and creating privacy. 
Bring wicker furniture indoors Sure, wicker furniture is typically used on decks, porches and patios. There's no law that says it can't be taken inside, though. While it's not study enough for everyday use, it's stylish enough to add a burst of flair to a bright, sunny part of the home. It's especially useful for filling in an empty room without draining your bank account. You can usually mix and match different cushions too, so finding matching pieces is a breeze. 
Paint laminate and vinyl floors Have your vinyl or laminate floors seen better days? Completely redoing the flooring is a pricey proposition, so why not paint over them instead? First, clean them thoroughly with trisodium phosphate, available at home improvement stores. Lightly sand the surface to help paint adhere better, and fill in any holes or cracks with caulk. Prime it using standard latex primer then paint it with your favorite color of floor or porch paint. 
Mix things up with area rugs Even if your floors are carpeted, a few strategically placed area rugs can quickly and affordably spruce up the style of any room. Plenty of affordable options are available through online retailers like Overstock.com, or go even cheaper by snapping them up at garage sales and thrift stores. 
Brighten things up Add luster to your home with a few creative touches. For instance, place a variety of candles in an unused fireplace, poke holes in a dark lampshade to create a starry night effect or paint the inside of a lampshade with glitter to make it sparkle and shine. 
Get crafty with remnants Visit your local fabric store from time to time to score gorgeous remnants for a fraction of their usual cost. Use them to cover over old pillows, bland drapes and to boost interior decor in countless other crafty ways.
These simple tips should be more than enough to get you started. Before you know it, your home will look fresh and new, and your bank account won't be any worse for the wear.

Jane Blanchard writes for Modernize.