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About vmsurbat1

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. For further encouragement, there is a FB group: Travel Miles 101. They have a file (document) that outlines the basics of CC travel hacking and as a group, share what is working/not working for them. (For full disclosure: I'm not in a position to handle opening and juggling multiple cards so can't speak from personal experience....)
  2. Oh my! Based on the original post, I thought you were assessing teens or young adults! At the very young ages (really--with five adult children, I can appreciate how very young yours are!), the very best thing you can do is model a joyful exploration of the world--through reading (I'm a huge fan of high-quality read-alouds--they feed the imagination), do-able activities for your family, plenty of free time to play (very important to severely limit screens/tv time), and light discussions. One other thing not mentioned is to play games! All kinds of games but especially word games. Good ones for the ages of your children include the classics "I spy", "20 questions", and "On the way to Grandma's house, I packed......". These can be played sitting around on a rainy day, driving in the car, waiting at a restaurant, or even at the dinner table. Just keep it FUN. Kids love FUN. And they learn and grow and surprise you one day!
  3. We celebrate Pi Day (3/14)... with pie! If you're more ambitious than I, you can have pie as mains (quiche? pot pie?) plus pie as dessert. 🙂
  4. You've gotten many good suggestions, but here are a few more that work well for 4 people, have some interaction (but not mean-hearted), and don't take forever: BroomService (whimsical but fun) KeyFlower Blokus (spatial game--good for a bit of variety in an evening)
  5. I prefer less sweets and way less often. Example: In my younger years, I considered something like a "Death by Chocolate" dessert slathered with whipped cream to be the BEST THING ever. Now, the very thought makes me feel slightly queasy, and my idea of a great dessert is Wine-Poached Pears..... And, muffins and pancakes used to be a regular part of the breakfast rotation---now they happen just a couple of times a year. I vastly prefer a simple egg+toast+veggie combo for breakfast. While I've always liked most foods, as I've gotten older, I found I prefer my foods to be less spicy overall; so instead of ordering "hot" Asian dishes at a restaurant, I'll order medium-heat, with a mild thrown in for contrast....
  6. May I just say that all of five of my children have graduated from university and when I see a thread title like yours, with the dreaded F word, I still get a sinking pit in my stomach? You have my deepest, heartfelt sympathies..... PS. At least now, the FAFSA uses the prior year's tax info--that changed right after our youngest--so at least you don't have the dread of doing the taxes JUST so you can (O yippee!) fill out FAFSA.....
  7. We recently watched "The Hundred Foot Journey" and I've been recommending it ever since. Light drama with comedic relief. Basic Storyline: In a small French town, a first-of-its-kind Indian restaurant happens to open up right across from a Michelin-quality place--there is 100 feet between them; hence, the title. Tempers and tensions rise and fall but all works out in the end. A joy to watch.
  8. Oops. I answered too soon. No problem if the desire is to actual end up with the product. But unethical if the idea is to use it to meet a need and return when need is met.
  9. Someone mentioned the BudgetByte recipe above. Here is a direct link to a whole slew of posts & recipes on meal prep for freezing: Budget Bytes Freezer Meals
  10. Well, considering that Costco sells precooked bacon that lasts weeks (after being opened), unless it had green fuzzies and smelled bad, I'd eat it.
  11. I second this! And the idea that you only need to find/discover/adopt the fermented food you like and enjoy and eat those regularly--no need to stress about having a laboratory of a zillion different fermentations (unless that is your hobby/passion).
  12. This is my life! I finally had to spell it out very clearly: "Just because I'm willing to go along with XYZ so much of the time, doesn't mean that when I actually state my preference/need/desire, that it is now 50/50. No, WHEN I particularly make a request or preference known, it pretty much has to be 100% that way (unless I'm missing something which may be nicely pointed out to me.). Because that actually brings us (family dynamics) up to 80% their way, 20% my way (or whatever--I'm really not counting it out.) I truly am pretty easy going, but when I'm not, I'M NOT. 😉 37 years into marriage, and the family now gets it!
  13. Two options that worked for our family's young adults: 1. Many CC providers have a student-specific CC, usually with a low credit amount with the aim of getting and keeping a new customer. 2. Our CU (as do many others) offers a secured CC--this is where the new CC user first puts in, say $500, and that becomes their credit limit. After 6 months or so of responsible use, the CC limit goes up a bit and the $500 no longer needs to be held since the user has proved their credit worthiness. Really, CC companies WANT people to use their CC--we didn't find it difficult at all to get our young people established with one. (We did give them the good advice to treat the CC as a debit card --only spending what they could actually afford -- and using the CC for convenience, security, and, for some, the rewards (ie. 1.5% back....)). HTH!
  14. If you are looking for *just* an online savings account, I've been very happy with Barclay's Online. No fees, no minimum, and decent rate: 2.05% at present. A good place to park money. Like ALL savings account, there is a federally-mandated limit of 6 withdrawals per month but I've not been limited by amount (ie. can transfer 1000's if I needed to as long as I have it in the account). When I have transferred money to our CU checking account, I put in a request at Barclay's and the money is in our CU account, usually the next working day. (Tricky to calculate because we live overseas, but bank in the US). Been a good choice for our needs.
  15. @PeterPanWhat are Cornflake wreaths? They sound intriguing and possibly doable where we live (Montenegro).
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