The past year has brought a recession and with that we have all turned to cost-effective measures like clipping coupons, eating in instead of ordering out, and turning down the thermostat while layering up in sweaters. This year instead of spending money on a hefty vacation, my family decided to put our dollars into something we’d get more years of enjoyment out of – our home. We added a large deck off of our family room, which enabled us to spend many summer evenings watching the fireflies in the backyard and laughing with good friends and lots of snacks. Some deck furniture and a nice gas grill completed the effect and gave us a new sort of family room for the milder months. And that makes me think of a home improvement tips calendar. Sometimes the simplest things like a new coat of paint, an inexpensive coffee table, or some different light fixtures can really make a room feel comfortable, homey, or bring that touch that adds some balance and makes your home feel like, well, your home. What better way to invest in your life than to include some new touches so that your home is more a reflection of you.