• Super Bowl Landlords: From Nuns to Homeowners

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    HomeAwayThis four-bedroom home, listed for $2,500 a night, included a limo and driver and unlimited tequila from the home’s bar.

    When the Super Bowl is in town, hotel rates spike and rooms still sell out fast, giving homeowners a chance to rent out a room or a whole house to people willing to shell out some big bucks to get close to the NFL action.

    “Homeowners are under the impression that they can attract a $20,000-$30,000 Super Bowl reservation. Some homeowners even go to the extent of charging $5,000 for the usage of a single bedroom,” said Mark Macias, owner of Arizona Vacation Rentals. Those hopes are a little high. “The majority of customers are only willing to pay an average of $2,000 per night for four or five nights,” Macias said. (Some owners and agents try gimmicks, including the offer of a limo and driver with the home pictured above.)

    After learning what some Arizona homeowners were doing to make extra money that last time the Super Bowl was in town, some nuns at a Phoenix monastery decided to get in on …read more  

  • 5 Closet Upgrades That Make You Feel Like Royalty

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    LA Closet DesignA spacious and well-organized closet can make getting dressed a luxurious experience and help you look your best.

    You may not have Kate Middleton’s wardrobe, but with these five closet upgrades you can create a luxury closet fit for royalty:

    1. Cozy seating
    A fur chair offers a gentle landing spot where you can slip on your heels. Jonathan Adler’s chic Maxime Fur Chair suits a variety of décor.

    LA Closet Design

    2. Deluxe drawer inserts
    Felt-lined, specialized drawer inserts protect and display your jewelry, ties, glasses or lingerie. Rev-a-Shelf’s velvet-lined drawers put the perfect accessory for your outfit at your fingertips.

    3. A 3-Way Mirror
    Before she walked down the aisle at her sister’s wedding, Pippa Middleton probably checked in a three-way mirror to see how she looked to those sitting in the back of the church. You can check the rear-view, too, by installing a three-way mirror in your closet. If space and budget are issues, Bed Bath & Beyond sells a $129 over-the-door, three-way …read more  

  • Money-Saving Uses For Snow and Ice

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    Ice on Roof

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    I’m a margarita-glass-half-full kinda gal. So when snow and ice cover my house and yard, I don’t curse the weather gods; I use the cool stuff to save money on desserts, drinks and even electricity.

    The trick is to collect fresh snow and icicles before they’re contaminated by auto or animal pollutants. Icicles pick up any contaminants on roofs and trees. So if your roof is covered with bird poop, your trees are sprayed with chemicals, or for any reason you think the icicles and snow aren’t pure, don’t eat any.

    But if you trust the purity of your snow and ice and still have power after a storm, bag up the cold stuff and store it in a freezer until you want to use it for these purposes. (As with many things, moderation is a good idea.)

    1. Icicle Stirrers: Clean icicles make great drink mixers that cool hot chocolate or chill cocktails. The pointy part looks great leaning on the side of a martini glass.

    2. Chilling Shelves: If you’re passing a snow day watching a …read more