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Everything posted by Epicurean

  1. Thanks! What draws me to Osmo is the integration of an app with hands-on learning—they see the problem, then they have to sort through the physical tiles to find the correct ones to complete an addition problem or put a word together. I feel that it would reinforce what is being learned more than a screen alone. Wedo and Ozobot look neat, thanks for the recommendations. They’re both for kids ages 8+ though, so I’m looking for something aimed at a younger crowd. 🙂
  2. The Osmo Genius Kit is almost $100, and the reviews seem to be mixed. Some say it’s fantastic, while others say it’s a great idea that was poorly executed. For those of you who have Osmo, what are your thoughts? Has it been a valuable learning tool? Or is it just something fun that has not had lasting educational benefits? Or was it so glitchy that it didn’t really work at all? I’d be buying it for my five year old, if it matters. Thanks!
  3. They don’t have a ton of support, honestly—they have an insole, so it isn’t totally bare, but it isn’t going to be like the shoes you listed. With that said, after I inserted the Dr. Scholls, it was significantly better. Lots of people report walking in the shoes at Disney or Paris or what have you without their feet feeling sore, so there’s that. But the actual shoe fits more like a croc or a house slipper in that it doesn’t have a lot of structure, if that makes sense. Maybe try them around the house for a while and return them if it doesn’t work?
  4. I recently bought a pair of Rothys—it took a long while for me to pull the trigger because I usually don’t pay more than $50 on shoes—and wow, the hype is real. They are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned, and they make a regular pair of jeans and blouse look fancy. I can’t wear heels because of back problems, so it’s really nice to be able to still have that high heel look while still being comfortable. The fact that they are environmentally friendly and can be put in the washing machine is just icing on the cake. I have a discount code for $20 off, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post it or not? If you’re interested, just PM me. I’m not affiliated with the company or anything. I was fully prepared to return them (thankfully they do free returns) because I don’t usually have a lot of luck with shoes online, but these are seriously my everyday shoes now. A note on sizing with the Points version—most people have to go a half size up, and sometimes a whole size up, so there’s enough room in the toe bed. You can order a pair and if you aren’t sure if it’s the best fit (keep in mind that they do not stretch and are meant to be a little looser than other shoes), place an order for an exchange in a half size larger or smaller. But don’t box up your shoes—wait for the other ones to come in first so you can test which pair work best side by side, then return whichever ones you need to. I ordered mine a full size up because my toes are kind of long and I don’t like toe cleavage. The shoes were slightly loose (not enough to fall off, but enough to make me go hmm). I probably could have gone down a half size, but instead I layered some cheap Dr. Scholls insoles inside, and now it’s perfect. Plus this way I have extra cushion.
  5. Once a week, if they’re lucky. We keep the heat at 65 most of the time in winter, so it would be easy for them to get a chill. They get cleaner in the summer from swimming and playing outside with the hose etc, but we still don’t bathe them that often. If they don’t smell and don’t have obvious food or dirt on them, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I guess I’m European in spirit. It just seems like a huge waste of water and electricity, and my feeling is that being too clean isn’t good for your immune system.
  6. We’re trying to save money on our power bill by switching to a Time of Use program, where we pay about half the normal rate for off-peak hours and about twice the normal rate for on-peak hours. So far, it seems to be working well. However, I noticed that from April through September, the hours change so that we no longer have off-peak hours from noon until 5 PM. The off-peak hours for the summer schedule are 8 PM - 11 AM. That means that if we cook dinner at a normal time, we’ll be paying a lot more than I’d like. Charcoal is expensive here, so grilling is out. I was thinking of making meals ahead of time and then just microwaving or reheating them on the stove, as that would take a lot less energy. Do you have any ideas for foods that reheat well, besides casseroles? It seems like a lot of things get mushy or dry out! Edit: Saturday and Sunday are off peak all day, and we get takeout once a week, so I would only have to do this four days a week. I think that’s doable, if I plan ahead!
  7. If your dishwasher doesn’t get unrinsed dishes clean (and it’s not ancient), you’re using the wrong detergent, imho. I buy it in bulk on Amazon so it’s a bit cheaper.
  8. Fresh flowers! You can get pretty cheap flowers from the grocery store that still look nice for the kitchen or dining room. Tulips always look fresh and inviting. Do you have a gas fireplace? If so, I’d turn it on low when you know people are coming. A fire makes everything more cozy. The cake in a cloche is genius. I’ll have to steal that one.
  9. A month and a half ago, I slipped on some icy stairs and landed hard on my left butt cheek. It sounds minor, but I sat there sobbing for several minutes before I could get up, and I had a lot of pain from it for the next three weeks. It was the worst bruise my husband and I have ever seen in real life. Now, the bruise has healed (though it’s still tender and lumpy inside the skin when I push on it). But there is a huge dent/scar in my butt cheek, as if someone cut out four inches of tissue in just one spot. Google tells me that the fall caused the fat tissue to die...but whether it will get better is less clear. Some people say it has never healed for them, others say a few months, others a few years. A lot of sites talk about fat grafting to fix the problem, for only $4000. I know this is only anecdotal, but has anyone here had experience with this? Did it get better? I’ve been massaging it and using a heating pad. The dent is so deep that you can see it when I wear leggings! I don’t have insurance, so I’m really reluctant to see a doctor about a cosmetic problem that they probably can’t do much about. It’s definitely a blow to my self esteem, though. 🙁 I can’t bear to even look at it in the mirror.
  10. Olive Garden salad dressing! I love that they sell it at Walmart now. We usually have iceberg lettuce with cucumber, croutons, a little salt and pepper, and pamesan or feta cheese.
  11. I’m starting 30 minutes of Ballet Beautiful everyday (I bought some streaming videos). She makes it look easy, but it’s so hard!
  12. We have some smart plugs and we use the app or Dot to set a schedule to turn on and off lights upstairs and downstairs. We use it to play Spotify playlists. I play Mary Poppins Spoonful of Medicine during our cleanup time. I also play We Will Rock You right before we go out the door—they know they have until the end of the song to put their shoes and coats on (I like to believe the music acts as a Pavlovian cue). The most important feature is the Ask My Buddy skill. You set friends or family as contacts for it to call or text when someone says, “Alexa, Ask My Buddy for help!” And then the people identified as contacts are alerted, and they can start an intercom call with the Dot using the app on their phones. It’s like dialing 911, except the police won’t show up at my door if the kids abuse it, and it’s MUCH simpler to use than my iPhone (we don’t have a landline). I have my husband and a close friend listed as contacts.
  13. Epicurean


    From what I have read, suicide ideation has only been scientifically linked with patients under the age of 21.
  14. Epicurean


    I should add that it hasn’t reduced my tea. It just hasn’t increased it. I’m thinking about upping the dosage because my DH is more of a tea drinker than I am, and sometimes I still have intrusive thoughts or depressive episodes. Overall, though, it’s been a good medicine for me.
  15. Epicurean


    Everyone responds to these things differently, but from what I’ve heard, you’re less likely to experience anxiety if you start out on a low dose and gradually increase it. And if you don’t have to go up to the 400mg maximum dosage, even better. I take it, and the only side effects I’ve had are reduced appetite and trouble sleeping (though I have other health issues that might be contributing to that). I’ve been hoping for warmer tea, but no luck yet. I take 300mg but I’m considering bumping it to 400mg.
  16. I’ve been desperate for some rest in the afternoon while my young toddler takes her afternoon nap, so I give my almost five year old the iPad and she happily watches Netflix in her room for 2 - 2.5 hours everyday. I really want to change this habit, in part because we are a low screen time family in general (we don’t own a tv) and in part because I can’t properly regulate what she watches while I’m asleep. I activated the parental controls, but there is so much junk on there that she gravitates toward. I want to replace the movies with audiobooks. But for those of you who do that, do you provide any other activities to do while they listen? I’m just afraid she’ll lose interest in there all by herself. I can’t give her crayons or markers to color with while she listens, because she’s too young to be trusted with them alone. Any other ideas? Or do you think having access to her toys, dolls, blocks, etc. is enough? Any advice about establishing a great Quiet Time routine is welcome!
  17. Verizon and Walmart were sold out of iPhones when I tried to get one for Black Friday. If anyone knows a Cyber Monday deal, let me know. The best I’ve seen is a $250 gift card from Target.
  18. Verizon is offering $400 off the iPhone X. I’m really tempted to get one—my 6 plus is scratched up and the camera doesn’t work because I dropped it in a creek. Should I buy last year’s model at discount now or stick to my original plan of waiting until next year to upgrade? Decisions, decisions...
  19. I'm thinking about getting a pair of Rothy's. Being able to throw them in the washer is awesome, and I can't wear heels because f back problems, so the pointed flats look like an acceptable substitute for dressy events.
  20. Because statistically, the murder of a child is much more likely when the parents are divorced (due to custody battles) or a nonbiological parental figure is involved (due to the new lover or spouse resenting the kid). This isn’t to say that her status automatically means it was murder, or that all divorced parents with a new significant other are guilty of abuse or murder. But in cases where murder is already suspected, it’s a red flag.
  21. We only do one big collective gift and then stockings, so that really cuts down on the list. I haven't bought anything yet, but my ideas are: Big gift: Step2 Extreme Roller Coaster (we'll keep it in our playroom) In the stocking for the almost 5yo DD: Spotit, Uno, Old Maid, Tannagrams, glowsticks, a light up Christmas bulb necklace Stocking for the 21 month DD: Melissa and Doug pull back cars, Melissa and Doug ice cream set, glowsticks, Christmas necklace I'm thinking lottery tickets for both of us. Maybe a new iphone for me (the XR?). Apple airpods for DH and maybe something else to compensate for my new phone. Then miscellaneous treats (cashew brittle, pecan delights, peppermint bark).
  22. I’m trying to pair down my closet to this list!
  23. But if you normally spend $150 twice a year, that would be exactly $25 per month! If you get the 12 month sub to Boxy, it's $231 ($19.21/month). ;)
  24. Oops, I meant Boxycharm! Not birchbox. Sorry about that. I don't have experience with Ipay, but I did three months with Sephora Play, which is similar. The main difference is that Ipsy and Play do sample sizes, while Boxycharm does full size products. Boxycharm also often gives out full eyeshadow palettes and high quality makeup brushes. The only advantage I think Ipsy and Play have, in theory, is that they let you customize your profile--however, Boxycharm just announced that they will be doing this too. The reasons I switched from Play despite the price increase: 1. There was way too much skincare and not enough makeup. 2. Some of the samples were laughably tiny. 3. Out of an entire box, I'd only find one item I was excited about using. Boxycharm just lifted the waitlist for the first time in a long while, so if you're interested in trying it out, now might be a good time. If you want to see what their items are like, search for "Boxycharm March 2018" and the like on YouTube for real reviews.
  25. Boxycharm beauty box subscription. Not only do I not have to think about what makeup and skincare to try next, but each $20 box is worth over $100. As a makeup novice, I really appreciate having a lot of the guesswork taken out. Lysol wipes. They cdon't ups charge twice as much and I'd still buy them. Dyson cordless vacuum (I think I have the v6). I have a degenerative joint disease, so having something so super lightweight without a cord to plug in is incredible. I got mine refurbished, but I honestly don't think I'll ever go back to the regular vacuums ever again.
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