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Michelle Conde

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About Michelle Conde

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

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  1. Michelle Conde

    January Frugalistas

    We’re doing pretty well on our grocery budget here. I’m over half my budget, but I’ve got ingredients for the next week already. One budget area we struggle with is dh buying food out while working. He’s teaching an evening class at the community college this term to bring in some extra money, but I’m concerned that his eating out on evenings he is teaching or out lesson prepping/grading will eat a significant chunk of what he earns. In the past I have tried making extra dinner to send leftovers with him, but he doesn’t like eating leftovers. At least, that was my excuse to myself for giving up on that one, but I realized that he doesn’t really mind eating leftovers when it’s something he really likes—so this week I’m finding something he’s willing to take with to eat at least twice, to start with. The three older kids started swimming lessons, which the charter school paid for. But I did pay to take my four-year-old swimming at the same time. $10.75 for the two of us. Trying to figure out how to not pay that for the next seven sessions, without leaving him feeling miserable and excluded. I might see if my nephew wants to go with us—two kids would only be $4.50, and they could play together in the kiddie pool.
  2. Michelle Conde

    January Frugalistas

    It was only worth $6, but I still thought it was pretty neat. The fine print said there was a 98% chance of the free stock being worth $2-$10, 1% of it being worth $10-$50, and 1% of it being worth $50-$200. Here’s a link to use the promotion, if anyone wants it:
  3. Michelle Conde

    January Frugalistas

    I got a free stock from a promotion for signing up with the stock investment app “Robin Hood”. Didn’t cost me anything to sign up. Are we allowed to post links to things like that on here?
  4. Michelle Conde

    S/o share your worst trip or vacation story!

    I have a friend who's first kids were twins. When the babies were under six months old, they took them to visit family in Switzerland, dosing the babies with Benadryl so they'd be sleepy and calm for the flight on their doctor's recommendation. Both babies had the opposite reaction, and spent the entire flight screaming nonstop.
  5. Michelle Conde

    January Frugalistas

    I’m testing the waters with purchasing from Goodwill and reselling on eBay. I’ve done this with fractional-size violins for my growing kids before, and generally made a small profit after selling the instruments they have grown out of, when they hadn’t received any damage while we owned them. I thought maybe I’d try doing it for the profit vs. just when my kid needs an instrument, and I was looking on the goodwill website when I noticed a wakeboard at my local goodwill, and thought I’d try that. I bought it, cleaned it up, and posted it on eBay. It cost me $31.96 including tax and the gas to drive over and pick it up. We’ll see what happens. Dh thinks I’m nuts.
  6. Michelle Conde

    S/o share your worst trip or vacation story!

    Well, there was the one where we spent the better part of the week in AZ for dh’s family reunion so sick it was a serious challenge to stand and walk at all. Relatives watched the kids while dh and I suffered, and then about the time we could reliably make it to and from the bathroom without danger of collapsing, everyone else left, and we had only one more day before the timeshare said we absolutely had to be out. Somehow the next day we got our kids and stuff packed into the car and made the drive to my family in Southern California, but I’m really not sure how we managed it.
  7. Michelle Conde

    What are you planning to do to lose weight in 2018

    I started using for motivation in early November. I lost about twelve pounds before my gallbladder attack, and earned about thirty dollars. The best part for me turned out to be the necessity to maintain the weight lost to the end of the month—no hitting my goal, then immediately bouncing back upwards. I’ve had a few weeks off now for my gallbladder, surgery, recovery and the holidays. Now that I can move to exercise again, I signed up for another round this month. In terms of actual weight loss methods, I just count calories and eat less than I burn each day.
  8. Michelle Conde

    Curious-where do you donate your stuff?

    I used to donate to a local charity, but one of the ladies there was super picky and pretty rude to me about some items I brought to donate—items I would have been happy to receive when we were unemployed and struggling a few years earlier. Now I donate to Goodwill or Deseret Industries.
  9. Michelle Conde

    Making kids practice...

    A lot of the basic music skills with rhythm, tones, and reading music will translate across instruments.
  10. Michelle Conde

    Making kids practice...

    Yes, even with two different instruments. I would probably set a minimum basic requirement for daily music practice (either a length of time or a choice of one Hoffmann lesson/practice these things on mandolin) and then let them choose each day which one they want to do.
  11. Michelle Conde

    Making kids practice...

    I would start them on Hoffman when you start up school after the holidays, but still let them do the class when it comes around again. Let Hoffman provide the consistent instruction they need to be able to progress, and let the live class provide the fun/interest/motivation of the personal contact with others over music. If you can afford that, it seems like the best of both worlds.
  12. Michelle Conde

    Making kids practice...

    Also, one thing that made a big difference was when I arranged for the instruments to be ready and out at dc’s eye level at all times. Way more likely that they will decide to practice on their own, or less likely to resist being told to, if they can just pick it up and start. That meant finding wall hangers for the violins and cello and hanging them at their owners’ eye levels. Then the shoulder rests could be left on and the end pin out at the right level, and I would go through and tune them a couple times a week so they were always ready to go. After that, the string players would pick it up and play something for fun throughout the day, as only the pianist had done before that.
  13. Michelle Conde

    Making kids practice...

    Our Suzuki teachers have used that line, “You only need to practice on the days that you eat.” But when we used to try for every single day I found that we had a much harder time being consistent over the long term. We would just get burned out. Five days a week works well for us—they make consistent progress, and with a built-in break each weekend, we’re much better at sticking with it week after week. Sometimes someone—usually cello boy—will choose to practice on a weekend, but it’s somehow a lot more fun when it’s their choice.
  14. Michelle Conde

    Making kids practice...

    My kids get gummy bears for practicing their instruments. We line up five bears to “watch” them practice, or six if they start their practice without a reminder from me, and they get them at the end. Before official school age, they are only doing lessons with Mom, and practicing is totally voluntary. When they reach school age and start paid lessons, they make an agreement to practice five days per week. If they have a bad attitude about doing it, I eat a gummy bear. Generally they shape up pretty quickly before all their bears disappear. (If they don’t, though, they are still required to finish.). Even my super-musical, largely self-motivated cello boy, who will sometimes wake us all up in the morning to the sound of him practicing independently, also sometimes needs the reminder that we made a bargain, and his side of the bargain is practice. My side is providing lessons and renting his instrument. If he gave a lot of trouble about it, I would still require music as a part of his education, but he would be doing piano or violin like his sisters (so much cheaper!)
  15. Just out of curiosity, would you have the same reaction to the idea of you living in your car temporarily to save money, vs. a kid?
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