Activity from melissa

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Big not tall
A personal shopping session at a department store may help, and are often free. Here's a link to the My Stylist @ Macy's FAQ page to get a feel for how it works. (I chose Macy's because they're not super high-end/expensive and I think they're all over the US - I'm Canadian so I'm not 100% sure of this.) You should be able to tell them about your style preferences before your appointment. They'll have you try things you never would have picked yourself and you could find styles/fabrics/colours… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 8:45 AM on March 8, 2017

Plus-size lingerie shopping, Amazon Prime edition
That Panache babydoll is gorgeous!

Is it bras/structured lingerie you're looking for, or would chemises/nightgowns/more flowing lingerie work?

As a fellow plus-sized busty woman, I agree with the Elomi recommendations. I also recommend visiting the /r/ABraThatFits subreddit. Those ladies know their stuff and will be able to help with "if this fits, what similar items should I try". Finally, I second stillmoving's suggestion of just… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 10:33 AM on January 7, 2017

Novels featuring airline life
I read and enjoyed "Love Me Anyway" by Tiffany Hawk.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 8:24 AM on December 15, 2016

I've got a bun in the oven! What to serve with that?
I don't remember much about what I ate during the newborn stage. I remember my mom making me a soup I liked and portioning it into individual bowls which I was grateful for but that's about it.) There are lots of great ideas here.

I do remember being desperately thirsty while nursing and wanting to have varied drinks on hand because I'm not a huge fan of plain water. Huge quantities of non-sweetened cranberry juice, iced tea, V-8 and caffeine free carbonated drinks were… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:29 PM on September 10, 2016

Please help me reach out to my niece and nephews
If you have a good relationship with your SIL, I would reach out to her first. That way she can give you a feel for what the kids need/would like. Even if your relationship isn't great, you can still reach out and say you and your son want to have a relationship with your niece/nephews no matter what your relationship is like with your brother. It may help your relationship with her, it may not.

Definitely keep any conversations light and fun. Video calls would likely… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:22 AM on August 23, 2016

What can I do for a family with a toddler with a chronic illness?
You'll probably get a better sense of what would be helpful/useful/possible once you go over there for your visit. Laundry service is useful, but not if they don't deliver and you have to go across town to pick it up. (I don't know how laundry services work, but this is just an example.)

I definitely agree that sending care packages and letters to both kids is important. Some special time with your older nephew, and be prepared that he might want to ask heavy questions… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:43 AM on August 12, 2016

Was my catalytic converter stolen?
It sounds like it may have been stolen (no pun intended).

I know nothing about cars but here's my experience. My catalytic converter was stolen off of my previous car back in late 2014. I started the car in the commuter parking lot and I sounded like a dinosaur or a Harley. It was loud. The guy next to me shot me a WTF look when I started it and I was wondering why he needed a souped-up car to commute to the train station. Then I realized "shit, that's me" and… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:48 PM on June 15, 2016

Leaving 1 year old for a week with grandparents, good or bad idea?
If your mom is willing, you should take advantage of the opportunity. This will get trickier to pull off as your child (and your mother, depending on her age) get older.

I left my daughter with my parents for a week when she was around 14 months. She was in home-based daycare and was used to other caregivers. She saw my parents regularly but not constantly as we live 2.5 hours apart. When we came back, we got some pictures of random shenanigans she got into with her… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 11:03 AM on April 26, 2016

Is "What's your sign?" a sign to move on?
It sounds like she knows the actual date of your birthday. If she was really into astrology, she'd know your sign without asking.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:15 AM on April 17, 2016

I'm looking for intelligent books or essays about motherhood.
I read Between Interruptions: 28 Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood not long after I returned to work after my mat leave. I was comforted that I wasn't the only one feeling a bit lost as I figured out how to be all the things my life needed me to be.

This isn't essays, but a book I really found helpful during my pregnancy was From the Hips. It really helped me with my "OMG, what did I just do to my life" freakouts I had throughout the pregnancy. The tone… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:55 AM on December 17, 2015

Iphone text and call alerts- with or without headphones? Iphone 6
I was missing phone calls with my phone (an iPhone 6) sitting on my desk next to my keyboard when it was on vibrate. Sometimes I had headphones on, sometimes I did not.

I asked around and was recommended to get a smartwatch. I ended up with the Pebble Classic (this was before the Apple Watch was released), and it's helped. There's a few different styles/kinds now, so you don't have to spend as much as you would on an Apple Watch if that's a consideration. I hadn't worn… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 7:18 AM on December 9, 2015

Looking for advice on a new Kobo
I got the H2O for my birthday last month (thanks husband!). I upgraded from a Kobo Touch, which has no light. I was debating between the Glo HD and the H2O and the woman at the store also recommended the Aura. I went with the H2O because it's waterproof (I like read in the tub and I've gotten more cautious with my devices after a couple of water-based incidents in the last year). I also figured the larger size would result in few page turns.

I'm nearly a month in with… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 11:02 AM on September 10, 2015

"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?
All the Lug bags I've carried have wide straps. I find they're comfy as long as I haven't completely overloaded them. They come in fun colours and lots of shapes too. They're well-made.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:10 PM on September 2, 2013​ scotch-pronunciation-guide-5836
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?
Have you looked at Lug bags? They come in lots of different shapes and colours and most include space for a water bottle. They have lots of pockets and take a heap of abuse.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 12:38 PM on February 11, 2013

Pimp my office PC, nonprofit style
PicMonkey (photo editing/collages web-based, free and pay versions available)

Irfanview (photo viewing, light editing - not sure if you need admin rights to install)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 11:45 AM on January 9, 2013

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
"Nothin' much. Trying to stay out of trouble."

Usually starts a conversation about our levels of troublemaker-ness which with the right person, can be fun.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 1:45 PM on March 24, 2011

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
Are you close enough to a city that commuting could work for you? Then you get the city life and great job. The commute would also likely be less busy because you're going the opposite way of almost everyone else!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 5:55 PM on June 6, 2010

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!
My husband and I went to Bertucci's on our honeymoon nearly six years ago. We still talk about it when pizza talk comes up. I think it would be kid friendly.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by melissa at 6:41 PM on April 16, 2010

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

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