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2. The Under Braider

As for the level in general: I think it depends on your learning situation. You can always do the lower-level course and then move on to the higher one afterwards, with a solid foundation to build on. I have taken a number of language classes over the last few years including Arabic starting at beginner level and French starting at not-quite-beginner level. For the French I read the level descriptions and decided to go with the lower option of the two I thought I seemed to be between, as I have no deadline on my learning so I thought it better to end up reviewing things I might already know rather than be confused at a higher level.

I tend to learn faster than average in language classes, and going into a lower level would only lead to me wanting to poke my eyeballs out in frustration with the slow pace, whereas at a higher level, I can feel challenged to catch up. But I think it depends on your aptitude! If I had to take a chemistry class, I would definitely go lower since I always struggled with that.

I feel nervous and easily embarrassed when language learning, despite having learned various languages at various levels over the years. I recently did an advanced Microsoft Excel course which I knew was above my level as I figured I could take away enough to do a bit of self-study afterwards and finish with more to take away than had I done the more basic one this turned out to be true for me in this case.

I guess people feel differently about different types of subjects etc. I am with you. I will generally get to the level of people around me in a language class-so if I was going lower I would be way more likely to not rise much. Whereas higher I would learn. But everyone is different. Language learning is also an area where I have very little fear of making mistakes, which is definitely not true of all learning areas for me.

When I did Spanish immersion as an adult , I had far lower proficiency than anyone else in the immersion program, having only Duolingo lessons before I went. Filling in the gaps later can be really tough, as is getting rid of fossilized errors. In addition to talking to the teacher, ask to see what books and other materials they use.

Looking through the books can get you an idea what level is suitable. If you still find you are at the wrong level when the course starts, take to the teacher right away. Sometimes you can switch class or the teacher can give you additional material suitable for you level. I used to prefer going to a slightly higher level, since I like studying language and I had time to put in extra hours in the evenings and in the weekend. The challenge made it more fun. For me it comes down to how much time I have to devote to it. Thanks so much for this question!

Hiring managers LOVE gumption! Lab science is definitely different than many office jobs though being professional is transcends boundaries. Interesting how another post further down was removed for violating the non-weekend work and school rules but this one has been allowed to stay up. Two to three weeks. So now we have over a week of unplanned time to enjoy in beautiful, tropical paradise. Everything I research looks amazing! How do I decide?? Much vicarious excitement! If those types of rentals are out of budget, then you go to your second favourite accommodation type, but the starting point should be what you to do :.

Kona side is sunny, Hilo side is rainy. The parks on the latter side are beautiful and fascinating—bring a raincoat and sturdy shoes. Our first afternoon we drove around in the Hilo sunshine, as our preschooler had fallen asleep—then learned that Hilo sunshine is incredibly rare and we should have woken her and gotten out of the car. Also recommend the Mauna Kea visit.

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In Hilo we stayed at a lovely inn with animals, tucked into the rainforest. In Kona at the King Kamehameha, paying the small upgrade for ocean view. Both were great. The touristy areas always bounce back the fastest because the government knows they need the money coming in. I literally ate at a Foodland for several dinners — different poke bowls plus different pies chocolate cream was a favorite made a very satisfying dinner.

Native Hawaiian food is worth trying — unfortunately as a Midwesterner American, I did find poi and lau-lau difficult to enjoy… and I consider myself pretty open food wise. But seriously, get the supermarket poke. And have fried rice with eggs and sausage for breakfast. In Maui, you can probably find a condo to rent in Kihei. On the big island we did a road trip one year. I also really enjoyed the 3 National Historic sites along the west coast.

We drove to all of them on a weekday during the school year and it was pretty much just us and some sea turtles on the beaches. Good for you. You could try snorkeling with a guide. You may be able to find an experience on airbnb or through the internet. Snorkeling can be relatively simple even if its your first time. Snorkeling can be very simple. The biggest things with snorkeling are to keep your breath steady and to know how to clear your mouthpiece if it gets full of water exhale hard. Practice that a couple times and you are good to go. There is a little reef then the water deepens out to about 80 feet but it is very very calm, like swimming in a bathtub I only recommend this if you are a good swimmer.

When I was there the bay was full of spinner dolphins and you could watch them swim and spin around before breaking through the surface for those little jumps they do. You can park at the National Park and walk. It is a 4 mileish hike not hard though but gets hot that takes you over a solid lava lake from an eruption from 50 years ago and is very cool, plus goes by the lava tube, which always is nuts for parking.

On Oahu I recommend Hanauma Bay state park, where you can rent snorkles and snorkel in this amazing circular bay. The Volcano National Park is great. Mauna Kea is beautiful for a sunset and then stargazing. There are some hikes you can do in the Park. The sunrise there is beautiful, but really busy. Go at night, the glowing crater is stunning in darkness. Bring warm clothing, it gets cold up the mountain. You can explore the Thurston lava tube at night, too. And enjoy all of the various fusion food!

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I grew up in Oahu and the food is one of the things I miss the most. I live on Hawaii. Oahu to be precise. The big island is a great visit, you can probably see everything you want in days. Maui is also nice. You can do the road to Hana and have some great views of the volcano and scenery. Maui will also be the most expensive place you visit. I can recommend hiking Diamond Head, which will only take you about 2 hours, Pearl Harbor, the Aloha Swap Meet, snorkeling in Haunauma Bay, a day trip to the north shore, a drive around the island hour trip , hiking makapuu point.

For food, if you like raw fish the sushi and poke is rivals Japan. There is some Hawaiin food, but really we have just about any kind of Asian cuisine you could possibly want, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai. If you like historical sites the Byodo Temple is a Japanese style buddist temple and of course Iolani Palace is a must see. The Holiday Inn Waikiki is a great inexpensive hotel on Oahu and right across from the beach. Travel company employee here. Whatever you do, make sure you get a name brand hotel like a Hyatt or a Hilton. Put me in with the Kihei folks.

Generally, what I recommend for first time visitors to the state, is to take at least 4 days per island. If you plan to stay on Lanai, rather than just day trip from Maui, that can be done in less nights. On Maui, Oahu, Kauai, or Lanai, stay in one place your whole time there, and drive around the island. If you stay somewhere sort of central, like Kihei in Maui, most things are about an hour away, two hours max. That does not work on the Big Island! The Big Island has few enough businesses that it covers most of the restaurants and hotels.

Generally, you will need to rent a car. Lots of places like that will have stuff like grills you can use and loaner boogie boards and the like. If you think you want to snorkel and plan to go to the beach on your own , just buy a cheap snorkel at Costco. Guided snorkeling trip: A short session in the hotel pool to practice with the snorkeling gear, then out on a boat for a couple of hours. They also had food and drink on the boat and we went to a couple different spots.

They drove us up the mountain in a bus and after viewing the sunrise they gave us bikes and we rode all the way down to the beach, stopping at a restaurant for breakfast. Also, just spending time at the beach with boogie boards was nice. We did Big Island four years ago and I loved it. I just spent the last half hour on the Lanai cat sanctuary website.

You think my SO will mind changing our honeymoon plans to going there and only there? Should have paid closer attention. The open thread two posts down is for all the work questions. I think I need to go cold turkey. I also like desserts and cakes but I can portion those better. Turn into a chocolate snob. Fake it till you make it. Seconding this! This approach really helped me when I was trying to cut back on partaking in the plentiful baked goods in my office. Another vote for this approach. If you have analytical tendencies this is kind of fun anyway—you start realizing the difference between stuff that really makes you happy and stuff that just fills your mouth.

This has helped me cut down on it too. Do you enjoy dried fruit? The chocolate is no longer enjoyable I just eat because I have to — so that would be the sugar…. I thought dates were tough and stringy but the fat medjool kind are like juicy candies. Mixed with nut butter, oil and salt on top of popcorn.

Is this a different kind of Eton mess than the ones I know and make? Also, maybe some coffee would so the trick. When I ate chocolate always at least 72 percent, usually higher regularly, I thought I could never give it up. While I would think of it and want it once in a while, in time that just faded. A friend once sent me a percent bar from a shop in Belgium. Night and day. Esp magnesium—do you get enough magnesium? I think chocolate can be quite addictive. And it can get to the point where a person gives up food almost entirely. I know this for a reason…. Chocolate can be a stimulate.

Make sure you are eating enough protein to get through your day. Develop a plan for one or more substitutes for chocolate. My substitute was watermelon. Other people might chose a different fruit. Load up on water. Sugar is like salt in that it pulls water away from our systems. I have seen different formulas, the formula I use it to divide my body weight by 2, and that resulting number is the number of ounces of water I should drink per day.

I ate a lot of whole foods, mostly raw veggies. A chocolate diet means your body is probably missing vitamins and minerals it needs. When our nutrition levels go low so does our will power. You might like a drink with electrolytes in it. You might like smoothies. The more nutrition you get into your body the easier it will be to decide NO on the chocolate.

To launch myself, I decided that I would not bring chocolate anything home with me and I would not bring it to work. This really narrowed my opportunities to have large amounts of chocolate. I no longer eat chocolate at work or at home. I will always love chocolate but I do not miss the misery of eating it when I no longer enjoyed it or wanted it. I can only describe the feeling as I felt hollowed out on the inside.

It was awful. Now that I am on the other side of it I see how the chocolate messed up my digestive track and caused mood swings etc. How are your iron levels? Particularly if you are a person who bleeds every month. I usually see the cravings ease after a few days of resuming the multivitamins or supplements. A cal-mag supplement at night can also help you sleep better.

Look at what time of day or other circumstances when you eat the most. For example, strong sugar-free peppermints or breath mints leave a minty taste in your mouth for a long time, and smelling peppermint throughout the day has been shown to reduce mindless calories by a significant amount.

Like 2, calories a week, if I remember the study right. Go to bed earlier. Like instead of keeping it your handy desk drawer, maybe keep it in the credenza on the other side of the room. Or in your locker, or in a bag in the coat closet, or something.

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Or at home, keep it in the garage. If you have to get up and walk there every time you want one piece, you will wind up eating a lot less without the mental struggle. OK, now I know why my personal sugar limit that had been working very well since the start of the year crashed and burned under major sugar cravings this past month. The time I quit chocolate and stayed off it for nearly three years!

I was helped immensely by a friend trying to tempt me to fail. I do eat chocolate again now, but much more in moderation. Good luck! Some drama though. Mrs A has a birthday coming up, so he asked if I could be his plus one, assuming it was just a formality. I am… Less mad. I suspect that Mrs A wants to control the people around her, especially those important to her, like BF.

That would fit my theory, if she wants him to date a pre-existing friend of hers rather than an unknown. Your plan sounds delightful, but depends on the third party in this setup, and how she feels about it. Up to him. Mr D is also not allowed plus ones, because he used to bring random tinder dates, though he now has a full time girlfriend who has made the cut.

A sounds delightful. Soon enough, there will be more of upu nit welcome at her table than are welcome. She probably has no idea of the context here. I think you might be picturing something other than what I meant here? Honestly, while this may not be your favorite opinion, it looks like Mrs. I think that should be her choice. Some of my friends have partners who I am not crazy about, especially if there is a possibility for drama. The mature thing to do would be to accept that, and be civil to Mrs. No one sounds particularly mature in this, but a woman is allowed to decide her own guests list and the OP is the on again off again girlfriend.

Um, I know? And why the plan IS to be civil? My Mrs. She preferred that the guys stayed clueless and bumbling and immature so they needed her input on things, and she disliked most of the women. My husband and I were a few years older than most of the rest of the friend group. Beatrice tolerated her for the sake of hanging out with his friends. I found the entire friend group annoying and mostly let Mr.

The last straw for me was a party I agreed to go to, where she got drunk and cried and begged me to explain why I hated her so much. I was civil to her, at a minimum, every single time we met, and usually was very nice; I definitely did not exude hatred. Beatrice and I host an annual cookout, and one of the highlights is a signature cocktail I make a big batch of every year.

Then she started a bunch of drama that led to a bunch of divisions within the friend group. Then she hosted her own competing cookout on the same date, where she served the same concoction and invited a bunch of the same people. We hang out with that bunch WAY less now, thankfully. I suspect Mrs A might be trying to force him to choose between us, which is unnecessary, imo.

You can let it be his circus. He is not the rejected party and he holds the cards. Even though the issue is between the two of them, you have been indirectly involved. Maybe the best thing is for you and BFF to drag this out on a conversation twixt you two to discuss how you each feel and how you both want to act on those feelings going forward. And it sounds like his angst is driving you crazy and I can absolutely understand why! You might find some scripts and inspiration on captainawkward.

Her blog has a lot of posts on handling faaaamily issues. I think you both can find the right place on this spectrum with the Captain. Good luck. I am also dealing with crazy family and I know how draining this can be on a daily basis. OK, but were you in fact rude to Mrs. You may not intend it as such, but the post as coming across kind of glossing over why Mrs.


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Has Boyfriend actually talked to Mrs. A about what happened, rather than using Mr. A as a go-between? I have spent a lot of time questioning myself, because my mother spent 18 years telling me that no one liked me or wanted me around, and that if they said otherwise, they were lying.

Mr A loves making obnoxious remarks to get a reaction and causing conflict, and he loves BF. I mentioned making a poor impression because, while I come across as confident, I can be quite shy. It sounds like some and maybe all of this information about Mrs. A, who loves pointless conflict and frankly sounds like a complete ass.

The first bit came from Mrs A, when he asked her about the plus one. Wanted to blow off some steam at first, but now bored enough to relax about it. TLDR: Should we be concerned that one of our cats has been giving off guttural growls when playing with certain toys? So for background, we have two cats, both just over 3 years old.

One cat is generally a sweetheart, but can be a little aloof. He likes having his own space; he likes to be petted a particular way; he only likes attention when he comes for it. Our other cat is a little more rambunctious. He loves attention any time he can get it. He has to play with everything in sight. He has to be the first to eat even if the other cat made it to the bowl first. So occasionally they will tussle a little, Sweetheart will give off small growls or an occasional hiss. Nothing serious, and we always just separate them — lock Playful in the bedroom for a short time out and then they are fine again.

Most of the time both cats will be sitting on either side of the door waiting for the other to come back. And last night we woke up to him growling again. I assume it has catnip. But for some reason he was growling until I put Playful in the bedroom while Sweetheart was in the living room with his toy. Is this something we should be concerned about, or is he just trying to get a few things he can have just to himself? Is there something we should be doing differently?

Kitteh just wants to murder a bird or two. Our cat is also generally sweet and friendly. Very occasionally, when he has a mouthful of feathers, he will growl if we try to tug it away gently of course during play. I just wait until he drops it and resume play. My gentler cat does this, too, with one particular toy-on-a-stick. He loves bugs and small objects, and this toy looks like a caterpillar.

He growls and pants when he plays with it, and even carries it around as if he has captured real prey! Bit of territorial marking type behavior. This can be obvious, or very subtle. Our calico will do that whenever she finds a ball of hair we missed picking up from brushing or if she manages to steal it away before we can throw it out. How can I get restaurants to consistently cook meat well done on delivery orders? I am like you and would rather it be burnt than have any pink. Keep trying restaurants until you find one that cooks it the way you like. You could also branch out from the block of meat type order that will be more likely to be underdone by your preferences.

Stews, curries, stir fries with very small pieces of meat , soups will have well-done meat almost by default…. Restaurants will always undercook meat. Still might not work, because it may be a case that they understand what you want but refuse to do it or they may feel micromanaged by the request. Just guessing what is happening. Then if it is pink, send it back. This issue is so fraught for some reason that I think you will have to train them. This does kind of preclude overseeing from multiple places, though.

Be careful what you wish for — one time I told the waiter I wanted my steak well-done, burn it if you must. It came out a charcoal brick. I prefer medium rare in general, sometimes rare. Restaurants are not reliable though — I sometimes tell them I want it somewhere in between still alive and cremated. I use to like steak well but then I got some medium high aquality filet and it helped me transition to medium and medium well.

The steak was served medium and it was delicious. You can also chop it in half and put it in the microwave for a minute or so to get rid of the undercooked bit. I also have texture problems with undercooked steak and this really helps me. IME, you can get food delivered or you can get food reliably customized, but not both. When we ordered food like this for a relative, we specified why autoimmune disease and stressed that anything underdone would be returned for her safety.

When you finally get it the way you want it, exclaim happily about it in front of them and tip memorably.

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I need tips! Next weekend I want to take on what is for me an ambitious baking project. I want to try and make a three layer extreme chocolate salted caramel cake. I have all the recipes I want, hand picked. It includes two different salted caramel recipes one goes into the frosting the other gets drizzled over the cake like a ganache , the salted caramel butter cream frosting and the actual chocolate cake recipe.

My questions are: are any of the things safe to make the night before to keep me from getting overwhelmed? Will un frosted cake dry out? Also this will be my first attempt at smoothing out the frosting and doing some nice decorations with it around the top. Any advice on the best brand of tool I should buy for a beginner? The frosting smoother is called a bench scraper and I use one.

And you can use it for other things, too. But first you want to spread and smooth the frosting with an offset icing spatula just Google that. So wait, frosting a cake is a two step process? Like get the frosting mostly in place and even, just not perfectly smooth, then smooth out for that final look? It depends how smooth you want the frosting. Much faster for the sides of the cake when you have a rotating cake table! Buttercream can usually be made the day before with no problem, just take it out of the fridge an hour or two before you want to use it so it can come to room temp and maybe give it another whizz with the beaters.

The cake would also be fine overnight in my experience, let it cool thoroughly and then cover it. Thanks again! This makes me feel better about spreading it out. This sounds so fun! Let us know how it goes! I think you can probably make most of it the night before if you wanted. For decorating, it depends how crazy you wanna go with the tools.

The basic would be any sized offset spatula. Last year I also got a rotating cake table and icing smoother and that made a huge difference in how easy it was. I can post a link to it shortly. I was going to run out and look but you did the work for me! One trick with making the cake ahead is to brush on a simple syrup equal parts by volume water and sugar heated just until the sugar dissolves, you can also flavor the syrup, I usually do vanilla just before frosting. If your cake includes this step it really makes a huge difference to the final texture of the cake, the better you cream the butter and sugar the finer your texture will be.

Happy Baking!!!! Your project sounds delicious! Thank you- both of these tips are wonderful!!! How much of the simple syrup to you use? Basically is it better to be a little heavy handed or err on the light side with it? I bet in this case you could brush it with some of the caramel instead of simple syrup. Do it when the caramel is still very hot and liquid gold. Hmm… that sound delicious but the consistency might make spreading the caramel difficult. There are lots of tools and spatulas out there, maybe watch a few tutorials. Wilton has some good icing combs for smoothing or textured looks.

I would be glad to answer tip questions. Thanks so much! Star tip. If you mess up piping, you can lift the bad part off with the tip of your offset spatula. The first one looks like a ruffle tip, second like a star. A 1M or 2D are both classics. Not chilled frosting but the cake itself. And look up crumb coat — always a good first step. Oh, a level your layers cut off any domes for a stable stack. Yes, you can make these things ahead of time.

Just make sure everything is wrapped really well. Does the frosting have an all-butter base, or is it a shortening-based frosting? That will help it stay moist. AS someone else said, you can brush it with a simply syrup to help it retain moisture. I mentioned the tools already, but I also second a rotating cake table. It makes life so much easier. And finally, making a cake from scratch, start to finish, is very very time-consuming depending how big it is and how much decoration it will have.

I generally do it over three days since I usually need the cake on a Saturday and I work during the week. I usually make the frosting one day, cake the next, and then decorate the final day. This is a no-pressure just-for-me project! So this is a total first attempt in that sense! The decorating will just be trying to get a very prettily, neat frosted cake with basic piping around the top and some chocolate curls. I have absolutely no answers for you except to say I am having a full body shiver thinking about your magnificent cake!!! Chocolate, salt, and caramel…if you could figure out how to work in some bacon then I am pretty sure that would be perfection!!!!

I think I am in love with your cake!!!

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I have to say I can see how a sprinkle of crumbled bacon around the top edge would work but…. Oh my….. Big wink again…. Have fun…. Sounds delicious! One tip that might be helpful is if you make your frosting ahead of time, when you store it, use plastic wrap and have it touch the frosting and then use the container lid or whatever on top of that. I also find a large and a small offset spatula handy for frosting large cakes. I think it just took me longer to accept it than it should have. Friends for a reason, a season or a life time. I have found this expression to be very helpful for getting to a peaceful place.

The life time friends are very rare. I am sorry. I am in similar place with a friend, though I know she still loves and adores me. Other people and stuff, though, have risen higher up for her. I honestly stopped enjoying her. It is hard — been on both ends of that situation. Friendships can be trickier to end than romance. She basically told me that I will not be a priority in her life. So sometimes these suspicions are true and real. I DO think you should talk to the person first. Circumstances change, and they may drift back into your life. I had a very long term friendship end, pretty mutually — I kind of think I gave up first, but she might think she did and not be wrong either.

My husband was complaining of being itchy during the night for a few days. He started noticing what looked like mosquito bites on his arms. He then had three days straight where the itching was pretty bad. This was a span of about a week, total. At first we thought maybe he developed some kind of allergy or hives or something. Last week he decided to go look for bed bugs and…he found some. There were a few telltale spots on my side of the bed, but they were definitely concentrated on his side. Needless to say, we were both in shock. We thoroughly vacuumed the room and the bed itself. We sprayed again a few times and then left the doors closed.

My question is this: is there anything else I should do? It seems as though we caught this before it because a very big infestation. I bought a mattress encasement and a new covering for the bed base. I also bought encasements for the pillows. We tossed his pillows and kept mine, as there is no evidence at all that mine were affected. We think we may know where these came from, but of course we can never be sure.

If you are in a multifamily building, you need to call the management. There are a lot of fly-by-night exterminators. Get one who specializes in bedbugs. The mattress will still be full of bedbugs and eggs, and you will be sleeping on them, but eventually they will die off. Bedbugs will harbor in baseboards, the back of dresser drawers, picture frames, outlet plates… Read up on bedbugs and make a list so you get every corner. You have to go slow and do multiple passes.

You have to move furniture. You have to leave the bugs with no way to climb up. If the bedbugs have spread to other rooms, they could be in armchairs or sofas, but if you caught it early, they may still be in just the bedroom. They live for months. If they get past the bedroom, it gets ugly. You CAN get rid of them. It will one day be a bad memory.

I sympathize; when I had bed bugs, it was the most stressful thing I had ever experienced, for various reasons. First, I had to move everything in my apartment to the middle— I lived in a studio. I had to wash and dry everything I owned, which cost me several hundred dollars and more time in the laundromat than I thought possible. Then the exterminator came three times, and after his first visit, I came home to find all of my furniture upended so he could thoroughly spray.

But all I can say is that with time, I got ok with being in my space again. In my case, I had no choice again, studio apartment. I had to let go and put my trust in the professional who helped me get rid of the little jerks, which is another reason to call in a professional. I just looked at the bookcase, and those little white dust marks are still there. We have battled bed bugs off and on for three years. It is stressful, but it is definitely not a statement about your level of cleanliness.

Get a professional bed bug exterminator, preferably one with a really long like one year guarantee. They are trained at detection and looking for signs of bed bugs. Some even have dogs that can scent bed bugs. They will search everywhere. We have tried both organic, non toxic exterminator and chemical treatments. The latter works better. Bed bugs travel where there are people. I have found bed bugs in the living room and on my jackets. They are also very hardy. When we first started finding bed bugs, I would capture them and seal them in a jar to show the exterminator.

They lasted months. No food, no air. Most exterminators advise against encasements until after treatment. Also, the only way to know if they are still there is to sleep in the bed. All exterminators that I have had say you have to go back to sleeping in the room because a sleeping in other beds increases risk of spreading, and b you need to lure them out in order for them to get to the insecticide. Anyhow, good luck. Bed bugs definitely can cause a lot of anxiety and shame. There is a lot of paranoia about it. The exterminator was the only thing that helped us feel fully confident that things were back to normal.

Also, remind yourself, that having bed bugs is not a reflection on your household skills. They are just persistent critters. When the earth ends, it will just be cockroaches and bed bugs. Along with the other advice, we have been caulking in any cracks we can find and using diatomaceous earth it dries them out and is an abrasive, but is generally not an issue for people, just try not to inhale or get it on your skin on the floor and the mattress.

Every morning we shower before going anywhere else in the house and run our bedding through the drier on the highest setting. Good luck, and I feel your pain! We did not have to get rid of the mattress or any furniture. Diatomaceous earth does. You may even find them dead on your floor from it, which is grim but very satisfying when you are going a little crazy. If you are consistent about this it is not too burdensome. I guess what we have going for us is that it seems to be a very small infestation caught early.

We checked all the house furniture and vacuumed it all—nothing found and no bites. And the good exterminators deduct that from the cost of the full service if you need it. The price of the full service depends on how many rooms need treating but it is pretty pricey.

As far as I can tell it can be very possible that there are eggs or larvae left in your house, and you will therefore need to repeat the cleaning process a couple of times so that you can get rid of the bed bugs that will hatch from eggs you may have missed. My understanding is that this complicates the extermination process, so for peace of mind and effectiveness of getting rid of them it may be better to consult a professional exterminator. Good luck, hopefully you caught it so early and managed to get rid of them all.

If there are bedbugs in your luggage, the exterminator should be able to treat it. Or if you live somewhere brutally hot, you can put the luggage outside and the heat should kill them. But yes, most exterminators will charge a minimal fee to just inspect sometimes with the dog, though once I a while dogs will give false alerts for treats. Incidentally I read somewhere that bedbugs are becoming more common because the treatments that they used to use is not considered as safe anymore, so they use weaker treatment options.

I hope you get it resolved soon! People can get really …dramatic? We got bed bugs a few years ago and after one visit from an exterminator and putting all the fabric from the bedroom through a hot dryer cycle, we never saw one again. Honestly we had a much more trying time with a flea infestation. When we got them, we were told we needed to sleep in the bed after they sprayed in order to be, basically, the cheese in the mousetrap. So you may want to move back to your room. We plan on doing so tomorrow night. We bought the ClimbUps someone mentioned, as well as the Diatomaceous earth.

I also got my new mattress encasement and base cover Sleep Number bed. Any suggestions? Back story: If I put in about hours a week, our house looks great. The trouble is two-fold: First, that length of time feels oppressive before I get started. I often end up losing at least a full day from procrastinating, etc.

On the weeknights where I have someone swinging by, I have no problem spending a small block of time cleaning things up. The problem is that as soon as I start thinking that I am going to try to do this more consistently,I feel absolutely exhausted and put upon. Logically I know this is all in my head—as soon as I get started I feel satisfied and happier. I feel you. My husband and I had a cleaning lady for several years and we got super lazy. We stopped using that service to save money and it was hard going back.

We divided up the chores and can power through on a Saturday morning in a little less than 2 hours. Our son is 4. We tried doing a little at a time but could never keep up with it. As it is, my son is usually up by 7am, so we get an early start. I had been thinking about that and realized I could do that with my own labor. This just makes so much sense to me. Why would I work my tail off for someone and then not work my tail off for me? I deserve to have my own work done.

So far so good. I this is why I make my bed every morning. I make a night of by splurging on dinner in some way and crank music or movie in background for couple hours. That seems like a lot of time to spend each week. On top of your already long days? Sometimes it motivates me to do more. Sometimes I throw in a deep cleaning project like cleaning the fridge which bumps it to 6. We moved a few years ago to a bigger house, but my chores actually take less time here than they did in the smaller place!

I like the idea of just starting. I think I might need to do something like change into my cleaning clothes before I leave work. The distance from my car to my room is the most dangerous for completely losing steam! Written down how long each job takes, and try to beat your best time. He has a Web site now that mostly sells cleaning supplies. He goes over principles of cleaning faster, letting the solution do the work, choosing appropriate products and tools probably some more up to date stuff on the Web site , and I found it sped me up back in the day.

I will freely admit that these days I clean my bathroom with my wallet, though, as I currently have more money than time. I tend to alternate light and deep clean. So one week the bathroom gets a basic clean sink, toilet, rinse the floor , the next week I also scrub down the shower and clean the floor more thoroughly and wash the mildew off of the shampoo bottles.

A deep clean takes about 20 minutes, but I can basically just spray the room down to rinse. If you staggered deep clean an quick clean for different areas of the house, or did things like the fridge on quick clean weekends, it could cut down the amount of time on one day. So a quick swing through the apartment to put away books, empty garbage bins, collect stray mugs, get the laundry basket ready to go. This should make after-work cleaning in these areas look less daunting. Have a cleaning buddy repay the favour at their place or rope in your son in one room while you do another.

Loser treats to takeout. Just two people live in the house? Both grown and well past potty training? And two bathrooms? Surely that is a once a month chore, not once a week. I have to trick myself sometimes. Once I get started I generally do them all but not always. Try music or an audio book. Podcasts are also great. If you need to move around, you can get wirless earphones with great phones.


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  5. When I find something interesting to listen too, I do a few minutes extra just because I want to know what happens next. Also, try smaller steps. I prefer the 5 minute method, but some people prefer the pomodoro method. If it feels good after five minutes, great, keep cleaning. If it feels exhausting, quit for today and make another try with 5 minutes tomorrow.

    Not reality. Every 5 minutes adds up. Can you and your family clean together? Seconding the smaller steps! It sounds like you want to do more than minutes, but I would imagine you could adjust it accordingly with a podcast or similar. Plus, using a headband to get your hair curly and fluffy is something so comfortable that you can even sleep with it and simply wake up to a super-styled version of you the next morning.

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