Activity from melissa
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"Hacks" filter: white-collar office work
Welcome back to work! Are you in the same company or starting somewhere new? There's advantages to both in your situation which I'm sure you're aware of and have considered deeply.
There's lots of great advice here and hopefully I'm only repeating some of it
I don't know if this is your first baby or not, but if you're responsible for childcare pickup/drop off, those times can wreak havoc on a person who was previously free to come in early/stay… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:56 AM on July 9, 2015
Is the sawdust from composite decking safe for my herb garden?
Covering the plants makes sense, and I wish I had figured out to do it before they had started! :) I'm at work now and can't go back to cover my plants until after the builders are gone for the day. I figure two days worth of sawdust isn't much worse than one day so covering the plants now might be a case of too little, too late.
I am following up via email with the company who manufactures the composite material to get more information. Let's hope they respond. I… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 8:29 AM on June 4, 2015
Follow up: I wrote the company and never heard back. We had a ton of rain so the worst of the sawdust was washed away, or deep enough in the dirt that there's no way I would have gotten it all out. I found the MSDS sheet online and it read as reasonably safe. I've been washing my herbs as I need them and no ill effects. Here's hoping any ill effects aren't slow ones. Thanks everyone for your insight.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 10:52 AM on July 7, 2015
first chapter books for 5 year old?
Over the last year or so, we've read these books to our daughter:
the Ivy and Bean series (she really liked these, and we did too)
a Roald Dahl box set (we read everything but his memoirs and most were well-received
Judy Blume's Fudge series (you may want to pre-read - one talks about how Santa isn't real and the kids talk about it - I wasn't ready to burst that bubble yet, so we skipped that part.)
the Nancy Clancy series… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 10:12 AM on June 15, 2015
If you could only read one parenting book.. (Or two or three)
I got a lot out of From the Hips. It covered pregnancy and baby's first year in a very non-judgmental way. It also addressed the "oh shit, WTF did I just do to my life?" feelings that can be very scary and isolating during pregnancy/new parenthood that other books didn't cover.
Another book I liked was the Canadian Medical Association's Complete Book Of Mother And Baby Care it was (a lot) drier but spelled things out clearly and mostly without judgement. Lots… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:03 AM on May 1, 2015
Oh hey, it's that guy!
Wally Lamb 's books take place in the same general area and characters from earlier books often show up in other books. I really enjoy how he brings them in - it doesn't feel forced.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:50 AM on March 18, 2015 marked best answer
What are the weirdest alcoholic spirits you know of?
Amarula is pretty tasty. My husband took a mixology class years ago and had to create a cocktail. He did Amarula/Goldschlager/chocolate ice cream in the blender and it was tasty (and very potent - there may have been some vodka due to the amount of alcohol required per drink). We never bought the stuff again but we're more wine/beer/scotch drinkers these days.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:46 PM on October 14, 2014
Brushing your teeth (even flossing) in a public restroom: ok?
Women brush their teeth in the shared bathroom in my office all the time. Not sure about the men's room but I heard from an officemate that he saw someone brushing his teeth while at the urinal. We all agreed that was a terrible idea. I am curious to how he actually pulled both tasks off at the same time but I don't think that's a regular occurrence.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 7:01 AM on October 1, 2014
How to not live in the suburbs.
Would it be worth it to talk to a realtor to help you guys find a neighbourhood in your desired city that would meet both sets of needs without breaking the bank? Maybe your city has some up-and-coming neighbourhoods that would work.
We lived in a small city home until our daughter was three. We then moved to the closest suburb to our city (we both still work in the city) because the house was bursting at the seams with the stuff a small child brings into your life.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:58 AM on October 25, 2013
Help me find a new perfect purse!
I post about Lug bags in every find-me-a-purse thread. Some of these are out of your price range, but they have wide bands, come in great colours and are very well made. They're worth the investment, especially if you carry a lot of stuff around.
My last three purses have been Lugs and I've switched because I wanted a new purse, not because I wrecked them. They're worth investing in.
They list their measurements so you can get a feel for the size.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 9:21 AM on October 17, 2013
"Fluffy" isn't gonna cut it
So many good names here! We just named our new kitten Rosie, and it's perfect for her. Maybe it'll work for you?
(I had a 5 year old helping with the naming process and I was really trying to avoid naming her something princess-y. No offense sugarbomb, but I didn't want to call a cat Princess Fluffybutt for the next ~15 years. :)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:09 AM on September 20, 2013
Ideas to better use my free time at work. Short attention span version.
I could have written this question nearly word for word. My summers at work are often slow and there is only so much busy work one can do that's actually useful to anyone. I'm definitely going to try out some of these suggestions.
I like Codecademy, but it's hard to jump in and out if you have a slow time for a few days, then you're busy for a few weeks. Hard to pick up where you left off.
Pinterest can be fun, especially if you are looking for… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2013
Cool ergonomic purse?
I couldn't afford the Macallan 18 for my husband's birthday last month, so I bought the Macallan 15 and it was very well received.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:23 AM on July 11, 2013
Best tablet and workflow for blogging
backwards guitar: That was an interesting read. I'm not so sure I want to get into Python stuff right now, but it's fascinating to see what's possible.
mephron: I do have and use the Wordpress app on my phone (which I meant to mention on my list). It's a lot better than it used to be (it used to crash on me a lot), but I find it frustrating to insert pictures from my Flickr account because of all the switching between apps.
I also like the idea… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:34 PM on May 13, 2013
There is embeddable code on Flickr's site, but you need to go to the standard site to get it. (After all the work they did on the iPhone version of the Flickr app, I''m not sure why they made blogging those pictures such an ornery process.)
Will look into Qute - thanks!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 3:20 PM on May 13, 2013
Quality Temporary Tattoos
This tattoo shop manufactures temporary tattoos. They're located just outside Toronto. I don't have any experience with their temporary tattoos, but I've been in the shop and they seem to be pretty legit. Their website is very customer-oriented.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 10:16 AM on February 26, 2013
Does my ideal purse exist?
Pimp my office PC, nonprofit style
Gift for a newborn baby
I got this Skip Hop Pronto changing station for my daughter when she was a newborn. I used it constantly. It was good when out and about, either as part of a larger diaper bag or when the baby got bigger as something that could be thrown in the car/stroller on its own. My husband liked it too since it wasn't a purse-like diaper bag.
Outside of that, I liked getting diapers (since we went through so many in those early days), wipes and cute clothes. I know you said… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:02 PM on January 1, 2013
How should I pack a four year olds lunch?
I bought my daughter's lunch stuff from Fenigo. They have lots of the items mentioned here in Canadian prices and they ship reasonably quickly.
We use the Dabba Walla lunch bag which holds lots, and is machine washable (I wash it once a week and rinse out when necessary.) I use these containers, which are plastic (so not quite what you want), but they are BPA-free and easy to open.
For a drink, I was using a Contigo cup, but that just broke. It… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 7:57 AM on November 22, 2012
New mom food delivery with a delay factor.
Adding to everyone else. Food given to parents anytime during the first 18 years is awesome. Offering to take care of other things while you're there is huge too.
Something to think about: if your friend/their partner is breastfeeding, consider bringing interesting non-alcoholic beverages. Nursing makes you thirsty and drinking plain water gets boring. I went through a pile of those huge cranberry juice jugs in the first few months and I always ran out when I was home… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 4:58 PM on May 5, 2012
How often do you finish a bottle of lotion?
I don't think I've ever completely finished a bottle of lotion except for my everyday face moisturizer. I either grow sick of the scent, or it goes a bit off due to hanging around so long.
I don't use as much lotion as I probably should for optimum skin hydration.
I've even experimented with making my own lotions (mostly using unscented base) and I don't even finish the stuff I've thoughtfully scented with my own fragrance oils (cosmetic grade).… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:46 PM on February 4, 2012
Fish on Monday, rice and beans on Friday?
I've been looking for something similar and I haven't found anything that does all of the things you list either. (I was actually going to post on AskMe about this myself, but I'm glad you did because your point about optimization isn't something I thought about.)
The real downfall it seems is being able to pull recipes from other sites. I have accounts on several meal sites and I'd really like to be able to pull recipes from all of them to create my weekly plan.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 1:31 PM on September 26, 2011
Why do parents refer to themselves in 3rd person when talking to their young children?
I think by the time a kid would notice it, the parent doesn't need to do it anymore so they usually don't.
I do this currently with my daughter, who is three. I go back and forth between saying "Mummy" or I/me. depending on the situation.
Before she was verbal, I figured it helped her know who we were to her. So she'd know not to call us by our first names.
Little kids are totally self-centred. They also have… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:59 PM on September 21, 2011
Help me do what I should have done as a dad
When I watched my stepdad and my daughter when she was your granddaughter's age (from a distance in a "my heart is going to burst from the cuteness" way, not as a hovering parent), what I remember him doing was just puttering around the yard (my folks have a big yard) and he'd show her things, tell her what they were and just let her check them out. Tree bark, grass, birds flying, that sort of thing. I assume when she's older, he'll take her into the garage and show her how to fix… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:38 PM on September 18, 2011
Work baby shower ideas?
We often do work baby showers over a potluck lunch or "teatime" (sweets and drinks in mid-afternoon). Gets more people to come and then we have a nice spread without a lot of cash outlay on the organizer's part. If you have a dollar store nearby you can pick up shower themed plates/cups/decorations. Buy a stash and you're ready for next time.
At my office, we usually do gift cards based on crowd contributions, but some people always buy gifts. There's usually… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:07 PM on July 24, 2011
nothing new under the sun
It's a boy!
I love my Skip Hop Pronto Diaper Changer and am still using it with my almost two-year-old. The changing pad is getting small for her, but it's great for smaller babies when you're out and about. I would throw it in a diaper bag to keep things organized and now that I'm not going through multiple outfits a day, I just strap it to the stroller (or throw it in my car) and go.
Be careful not to overstuff it - I blew one of the inside zippers months ago and discovered a… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 1:23 PM on July 27, 2010
Which baby carrier should I buy?
I used a Sleepy Wrap starting at about 1 month old and both me and my daughter liked it. I used it at home and out and about. It worked really well for when I was walking the dog. Since it was a stretchy wrap (but not too stretchy), it worked outside in winter with full soft snowsuit and in spring/early summer when we were both wearing less clothing.
One tip with the stretchy-style wraps. Tie them as tight as you can. Tie them so you think there's no way your baby is… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 10:29 AM on July 26, 2010
Help me dye my hair red.
In my experience (nearly sixteen years of colouring my hair varying shades of red, first from a box, then with a salon), the expensive salon shampoo is totally worth it. I usually go to my stylist every eight weeks (rather than every six) due to budget constraints. While I initially balked at the price of the products he recommended me, I found my hair didn't fade as quickly, and didn't go brassy at all (more of a problem with drugstore dyes, but YMMV).
The best part… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 7:15 PM on July 14, 2010
life is great, except for the having a life bit
How do I prepare myself and my child for her general anesthesia?
My daughter had general anesthesia to remove a dermoid cyst from her eyebrow when she was about 14 months old. We were lucky that we had a surgeon who was good at explaining things to us in a way that we understood but without talking to us like we were stupid. Another thing that helped was the pre-surgery appointment. We started in the pediatric waiting room and the older kids stayed with the nurses/hospital staff who explained the surgical stuff to the old er kids (our kid stayed with us since… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:44 PM on May 9, 2010
Pale, bruised, scuffed stems
I'm keeping a close eye on this thread for my pale, beat up legs. My problem is that I already have a whack of bug bite scars on my very pale legs, courtesy of a January trip down south. The scars on my arms have mostly went away thanks to some minor sun exposure, so I'm hoping the legs ones will fade once the capris/shorts start entering regular rotation in a few weeks.
People have suggested Vitamin E or Bio-Oil to me, but I haven't tried them yet. Has anyone had any success with those?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 8:19 AM on May 3, 2010
Help Get Us Out of Restaurant Rut in Boston!
What makes a good office party?
Along the lines of Secret Santa, my office used to do a gift exchange where we drew names and bought the present as if the recipient was a kid. So the executive-types would often get things like Monopoly, designer-types would get art kits/crayons, and if you knew the person beyond their job role, gifts really got creative. We would then donate the toys. It was a lot of fun and people really enjoyed it. Add some nibblies and drinks and it made for a really fun afternoon.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:39 PM on December 4, 2009
Consider the lowly potato... now make it awesome.
I've made this recipe from Chatelaine magazine a couple of times (it was in August's issue so it's new to me) and it's gone over well. I ended up using tikka paste (since that's what was in my fridge) instead of Indian curry paste, and the little bit I used that gave it a nice flavour, not overpowering at all.
Warm Curried Potato Salad.
I've eaten it warm or cold and it's good both ways.
Once I learned I didn't have to… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 4:21 PM on September 15, 2009
A few questions upon the eve of an imminent move to Toronto.
I think everyone's covered most of your questions really well, but here is my two cents.
If you plan to go to Prince Edward County a lot, either don't bank with RBC or get the money you plan to spend out beforehand. PEC does not have an RBC branch, but does have each of the other major banks (TD, CIBC, Scotia, BMO and possibly a few others I'm not thinking of). I hate paying fees to withdraw funds out of another bank's ATM, so this would be an issue if I was in your… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 10:12 AM on August 24, 2009
Keep On Truckin'
One technique I like to use to feel like I'm accomplishing something is to look at my to-do list and pick a task that I can do from start to finish *right now* with no input from anyone else. No phone calls to ask questions, no emails to beg for files, no missing information to hunt down. Once I finish at least one of these tasks, the other tasks involving follow-up, research and chasing people look a little easier.
A nice side effect to this method is that when you… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 7:27 PM on May 18, 2009
Should I get a camcorder?
My mom bought us a small camcorder this past Christmas to take video of our then 3.5 month old daughter. We had wondered about getting a camcorder but never seriously looked into it. My mom saw a good deal, and once she asked someone else if that good deal was on a good product, she picked it up. We've been pretty happy with it. We've been using it mostly to film short (45sec-2min) videos of our daughter doing new things or just being cute. Generally, we set up the moment and film, rather than… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:04 AM on April 16, 2009
Where in Toronto can you sell a used PC?
Here's a link to various computer donation places from the City of Toronto's website. Also, Little Geeks may be something that could work for you.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 4:04 PM on February 18, 2009
Keep my fondue from becoming a fondon't!
I wanted to ask this question here after my New Year's fondue.
I ended up spreading my leftover cheese fondue over French bread, slicing tomatoes over it and throwing in in the oven to melt the cheese and toast the bread. Was very tasty.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 10:40 AM on February 9, 2009
Help us manage our Christmas lists
I don't have a specific suggestion, but depending on how web/tech savvy your family is, you may want to consider something that can be viewed easily using a cell phone or other portable device. That way, when they are in the store, they can check the list then and there.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:51 PM on December 3, 2008
Experiences with pet grief and replacement
I am so sorry for your loss.
My sister and her husband lost one of their pugs this past summer. He was the dominant one of the two, and while they were grieving, their other pug was taking it even harder. The other dog would cry in his sleep and would just lie around (where before the two dogs were always chasing and playing with each other), so he gained some weight. My sister told me that she would take him out to pee, and he hardly knew what to do - she said he would… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:35 PM on November 19, 2008
How does a secretary improve your working life?
I agree with Snerd that you should ask her what kinds of tasks/responsibilities would be interesting for her to add to her role. Especially since she may not have been doing a lot of interesting work recently. (When an admin person's boss/person they support leaves, they often get saddled with other people's grunt work, even though supporting those other people isn't in their realm of responsibilities - that can make the secretary very grumpy. Especially when those people are just dumping work… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:12 PM on November 17, 2008 marked best answer
help me stuff it!
Those mustaches look pretty fun.
I knew we were considered adults in my parent's eyes when my mum put a few prepackaged shooters in our stockings. That doesn't really work for your youngest brother though, so maybe not such a good idea. We also usually do scratch tickets.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:30 AM on November 15, 2008
What do you wish you had known or learned in school?
Like emd3737 said above, I wish that there had been a mandatory money management class in my college curriculum. Even if it was just an overview of budgeting, types of investments and how to buy a house or rent an apartment. I also think this should be a mandatory course in high school. That way, more students would likely leave school with debt only from their student loans (if they have them), and not their student loans and a whack of credit cards with nothing to show for that extra debt.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 11:48 AM on October 14, 2008
Congratulations on taking this step! There are lots of good suggestions here.
No matter what type of vitamins you decide to take, you may want to consider taking them at night before bed. Once you are knocked up (and possibly before), they make make you feel sick/pukey and taking them at night helps you to sleep through that part. I've heard that a lot of women's morning sickness reduces or goes away when they stop taking their vitamins during the day. I took mine at… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 9:02 AM on July 21, 2008
Name that pug
One of my sister's pugs is Jaws, so I have a soft spot for that. When she booked his first appointment, her vet thought she was bringing in a big vicious dog, and was quite surprised when a pug puppy showed up.
I voted that she name her other dog Lumpy or Lugnut (her husband is a mechanic), but I was shot down.
I liked Mug mentioned above - what about Mugwump, which would then shorten to Mug (or Wumpy). I just checked the meaning of that word,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 1:58 PM on May 28, 2008
How can I prove I'm on time?
I would ask the supervisor what he/she wants you to do to show your start/leave times to them. He/she may not like two emails each day saying "Hi!" or "Bye!". Assuming you are not the only employee this supervisor is concerned about, that could clog up their inbox very quickly.
Another disadvantage of email is that if you can access it from outside the office, you may be questioned about if you are actually in the office when you say you are.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 11:31 AM on May 14, 2008