Flex Your DIY Muscles


I hope you're enjoying the first few weeks of the new season. Fall is the perfect time to get stuff done around the house. It's this quiet time before the hustle of the holiday season. Whether it's simple seasonal changes, regular maintenance, or taking on a new project, take this time to check items off your list. If you plan on holiday guests this year, it's the perfect time to take on a simple project that will make a big impression. Here are five simple weekend projects that will have your family and friends praising your skills.

Give Your Kitchen an Upgrade
Where do your guests gather? The kitchen. Make smaller updates to your kitchen without doing a complete remodel, which can be costly. Try upgrading your cabinet and drawer handles, or add a backsplash. New lighting can also make a big impression.

Update Your Guest Bathrooms
Like the kitchen, guests notice bathrooms. Fall is a great time to get new lighting, sink, or upgrade bathroom fixtures. If you have tile, do a deep cleaning on your grout. If your bathroom is smaller, try painting an accent wall to add a pop that will impress.

Replace Old Light Fixtures
Light fixtures can bring a modern look to your home. Updating your lights so everything matches is an investment that can go a long way.

A Fresh Coat of Paint
One of the easiest DIY projects to impress your guests is to give your interior rooms a fresh coat of paint. Your home will have a new, clean look. If you're looking for a wow factor, paint accent walls.

Update Your Flooring
Replacing your floors can be a huge undertaking and can be costly. Give them a fresh look with a deep carpet clean. If you have hardwood scratches or damages, you don't want guests to notice. An area rug can be a great way to cover those scratches and make a nice impression.

The Benefits of Giving

Imagine a world where your small acts of kindness warm your heart, improve your health, strengthen your community bonds and even extend your lifespan.

This is not a utopian dream; it’s the reality for everyday philanthropists—individuals who discover that giving, regardless of the size of their bank accounts, creates a ripple effect of positivity in their lives and the lives of others.

Although we usually correlate philanthropy with wealthy people, anybody, regardless of their income, can enjoy the benefits of giving. Here's a case that proves anyone can be a philanthropist within their means:

While serving in the Navy during World War II, Thomas Cannon survived several accidents that killed more than 300 of his shipmates. Cannon credits his escape from these accidents as the reason for his philanthropy. "Such escapes made me believe that I was being preserved for something,” he says.

Cannon, who began donating money in 1972, frequently chose people whom he heard about in the news. Throughout 33 years, Cannon gifted more than $156,000, often by mailing $1,000 checks to the staff of the local newspaper, with instructions about who should receive the money. His charity helped support a local group that volunteered in the elementary school, a woman who started a youth center in her low-income neighborhood and an orphaned teen who was active in his community.

Cannon managed these donations on a $20,000-a-year postal worker salary. In time, he was forced to quit his job and become a full-time caretaker for his wife. That's when much of his philanthropy came back to him, as the community came together to provide him and his wife with a house and medical care.

Before he died, Cannon suggested the best way to honor his memory would be for others to just “Help somebody.”