We Have Mice! How To Get Rid Of Them Without An Exterminator

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I swear I don’t live in a run down housing project. My building is actually fairly nice, just really, really old. Prewar old. And we live in an area with all sorts of critters like foxes, deer, chipmunks and our dreaded field mice.

Now after our whole mold situation, I’ve been on vigilant alert for any issues. We love our apartment and it’s well below market price so we’re not willing to move unless it’s something absolutely dire or a fantastic deal.

Anyway, it was 3am and my daughter just woke up for her middle of the night feeding. She was being fussy, so I took her to the living room to calm down and get sleepy. I put her down in her baby swing and decided to start working on my blog from the couch. So I’m sitting there, hunched over my computer, and in the corner of my eye, I saw it plain as day, a big ass mouse scurrying across the room right underneath my daughter where she was swinging. It scurried out through a hole underneath our radiator in the living room.

I couldn’t help myself, I let out a bloodcurdling scream. “Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!” I repeat over and over in shock.

Of course my husband jumps out of bed, after hearing me scream like I was being murdered, and rushes to the living room, thinking that our daughter died or something.

Thankfully, just a mouse in the apartment.

I couldn’t be in the living room at night after that, at least until we resolved it and kind of figured something out.

So now it’s been two weeks since THE SIGHTING and I feel confident that what we’ve done will prevent mice from entering the apartment. Our issue wasn’t that we were leaving garbage out, although we could’ve been better about that, or that they were living in our walls, they weren’t because the walls are concrete. The issue was that they were entering from the basement. And the basement is controlled by property management.

Here’s What We Did:

1. Contacted Our Super

Our Super is pretty decent. He does tend to whatever issues come up in the apartment, although, he usually just does a quick fix. But this time I made sure to direct him and make sure he was taking care of all our requests. By contacting our super we’re also making a record of the issue so that if it continues we can take it to our property management and let them know that they were aware and they failed to correct. (You have to think like a ninja when you’re a tenant because usually ownership wants to spend as little money as possible to correct problems like this. Sometimes you have to lay down the big hammer and put some pressure on them).

2. Filled All The Holes

There was a hole in the wall right behind our oven, that was the mouse’s entry point. It crossed through the kitchen into the living room and exited from the left radiator. There was a large enough hole in the hardwood floor for the mouse to exit.

FYI-A mouse is able to enter any hole that is the size of a quarter or bigger.

It was a huge task to look through the whole house and find these holes, but we had to in order to keep the mice from coming in. So the Super came the next day, brought one of those metal Brillo pads and some spackle, then filled the hole. He used the metal Brillo to reinforce to spackle so the mice couldn’t just break through it. That took him a total of five minutes to do.

3. Set Some Traps

So this is not the first time I’ve had a mouse in my apartment, unfortunately. The first time was when I was living in Queens and we had these horrible upstairs neighbors that never took their garbage out and next door neighbors who fed birds and left bread out. So of course we had mice.

First we tried the sticky traps. They’re like these rectangular squares that you can put down and they have a really sticky film on them as well as crumbs, so that the mice will HOPEFULLY try to get the food then get stuck in the trap. Just know that sticky traps are not good if you have pets because obviously the pets could get stuck in them and they are incredibly painful to get out. Also they aren’t good if you have small children because they can accidentally touch the trap and it’s like touching sticky super glue.

We actually caught a mouse on the sticky traps in Queens and I really didn’t like it. I thought it was so inhumane, the mouse was stuck in the trap for hours squealing and trying to get out. Then we had it pick it up like that, kill it and then throw it out.

This sounds horrible, but I just don’t want to see the mouse. I want it to get caught in the trap, hidden from view, and killed right away. I’m not someone who enjoys seeing animals suffer.

This is, in my opinion, the best trap to get and it’s really efficient. You just put some cheese inside or peanut butter and leave the trap wherever you think the mice will go. When we got this we caught the other mouse right away, literally the next day, and it was easy to get rid of.

4. Mouse Repellent

This is the best repellent for mice. I was concerned about putting poison out or something like that since, you know, chemicals are bad for children and pets. This mouse repellent spray is all natural.

Apparently mice really hate the smell of peppermint or any other strong scent. The ingredients are peppermint oil, spearmint oil, cinnamon oil and vinegar so pretty much all natural. There’s also sodium lauryl sulfate (2%) which is an organic compound meant to thicken the spray.

All you need to do is just spray around the house and that alone will keep mice away. So I would recommend putting it near your doorway, behind appliances and anywhere that you saw the mice before and that will repel them.

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I hate mice, there’s something about them that’s just so nasty and dirty. Having them in your house is just the worst.

Mice tend to be very sneaky and hard to get rid of on your own so be patient. Hiring an exterminator if you don’t have an infestation and only one or two mice will be super costly. You really don’t need to do that if you only have a small mouse problem. These tricks will help you keep mice out and get rid of the ones you have, fast and cheaply!

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How To Get Ahead At Work Without Brown Nosing

Brown-nosing. My personal definition is that brown-nosing is when someone sticks their nose up someone’s figurative ass. They get right up cozy into the crack and take a good big wiff of whatever’s up there just so they can get close to the decision maker in their company and benefit from it. Flattery, compliments, baby-talk, gifts and other inappropriate behavior is how the brownnoser get’s their nose as far up that crack as they can go.

I personally find brown-nosing to be the most disgusting, underhanded, and pathetic thing to do at work. And yet so many people are just so willing to throw their self respect in the garbage and brown-nose their way into a big paycheck.

Why?

Because it works. Bosses have egos and for some reason they like when people brown-nose. It makes them feel important in their position. After all, why would someone take a job with more responsibility and stress if they weren’t getting some status and money in return?

But despite how effective and despicable brown-nosing is, there are some of us that hold onto our dignity and just can’t get ourselves to stick our noses up our boss’s ass to get ahead.

Thankfully, you don’t have to sell your soul to get promoted.

Here Are My Top Ways Of Getting Noticed At Work Without Having To Kiss Up To Your Boss.

Be Reliable, Be On Time

This works wonders. Just being on time and being reliable can say a lot about your character. People who are consistently late are generally perceived as lazy, unreliable, selfish and irresponsible. Even if you’re late once, you can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth depending on how important it was that you be on time. Some people say that they can’t control traffic, their kids ability to get out of the house on time or that there was a random emergency that came up. 99% of those excuses are bullsh*t. Planning ahead can easily help you with your tardiness issue. You need to anticipate where you need to be and all the obstacles that can get in your way and aim to be early. By being timely, you’re saying to the world that I respect your time, I’m reliable and I’ll do what I say I will do.

And what kind of boss wouldn’t want an employee like that. When it comes down to it, if you’ve proven that you’re reliable, your boss will see that and give you more opportunities over the unreliable employees.

Speak Your Mind, Share Your Ideas

I used to be so afraid to share my ideas at work. Mainly because my ideas would question the status quo or a direction the company was taking. I was afraid of rocking the boat. I don’t mean “question” like in an adversarial way, but I tend to offer a different alternative. I think that speaking your mind and offering your perspective can be incredibly empowering and help you stand out.

And occasionally I’m able to offer a view that’s highly valued. There have been times when I pointed out a flaw in a program that we started using or a scheduling conflict or paperwork that needed to be completed. Catching these problems early and being able to point them out efficiently has help me seem like I know what I’m doing at my job, that I’m not sloppy, and that I care about the quality of my work.

Be A Team Player

I’ve actually been guilty of not being a team player 100% of the time but this is definitely something you want to do if you want to get noticed. Being a team player means sometimes letting the other person get work that you wanted to do, stepping outside of your role and training others and taking the advice of others around you.

Being a team player is actually really hard because, often, your company is asking you to take part in something that you don’t necessarily agree with, whether it’s the direction of the company with a new hire, or merging departments.

But being able to step up to the plate during those difficult times and have a positive attitude can absolutely make you stand out to upper management.

Ask For More Responsibility

Asking for more responsibility is not necessarily brown-nosing. It really depends on how you approach it. Are you saying that you want to do more work than other people and that you’re better at your job than other people? That would be brown-nosing. But if you really have some extra room on your plate to do some work then go ahead and ask for it. The worst thing to do is to skate by with as little work as possible while everyone else is drowning

A good boss will definitely appreciate initiative and may even take this as a sign that you’re ready for the next step, like a change in role, a promotion or a shift in responsibilities.

So asking for additional responsibility it’s definitely not brown-nosing as long as you do it in a tactful way, without throwing others under the bus and are honest about your intentions for why you want to take on the extra work.

At the end of the day, let your work speak for itself. You don’t need to kiss up to someone, give unnecessary gifts, flatter or any of that stuff to get ahead. People who do that are just really insecure about what they have to offer and then want to play the “like me card.”

And as a caveat, if you’re not getting ahead after putting in good work, loyalty and years on the job then it’s probably a good time to consider other options and opportunities. Not all employers will see good employees and reward them but that’s on them and usually results in a higher turnover.

So just be yourself. Work hard and be friendly. Brown nosing it is never the way to go if you want to keep your dignity.

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Are Your Friends Fake?

These days I’m a bit of a loner. Not to say I have no friends anymore but I definitely have a better quality friends. It took me a while to figure out that having a lot of friends didn’t mean I had great friendships or that I was a great person to be friends with. During that time when I considered myself pretty popular, most of my friends ended up being fake.

It was a painful realization to know that a majority of my friends were just friends with me because of circumstances, not because they genuinely liked me as a person and valued me in their lives.

The first thing I needed to learn was the difference between friends of circumstance and friends of value.

Friends of circumstance gravitate to you because they enjoy your company AND because you have some shared activity together.

High school friends are a good example. These are people that you saw for maybe four years day in and day out, going to the same school, the same classes and the same activities. It’s easy to build close relationships when you see someone all the time. But they’re still friendships of circumstance. Everyone experiences this. It becomes painfully obvious after high school ends. When everyone goes to different colleges and you see the friendships begins to fade. You don’t get texts as much from them or calls. You start to notice that you’re not getting invited for birthdays or meet up’s. Maybe that friend joined a different group of people, many of which you’re not familiar with. The reality is that most high school friendships end because the circumstances that brought the friendship together is over and then maintaining those friendships start to require work.

This is the main cause for why people perceive certain friendships as fake, especially if you could’ve sworn that the person liked you for you. But they were just circumstantial.

And this is why you’ll see a lot of people stick around their hometown because they have the comfort of their circumstantial friendships. Subconsciously, they know that if they leave the circumstance that created the friendship there’s a chance the friendship will not continue. From what I’ve seen, circumstantial friendships tend to breed complacency, lack of growth and staleness.

Friendships of value are very, very rare. I would say that maybe 1-5% of everyone’s friendships are friendships of value. If you meet a friend like this, it’s good to keep nurturing that relationship because it’s a healthy, honest, no strings attached friendship.

A telltale way of knowing if you have a friendship of value is that no matter how far you go, how many years pass by or how many changes occur in your life, that person is always able to be there for you. Maybe not physically, maybe they live far away, but they make the effort to contact you and share their lives with you. Why would someone do that when they’re no longer in a situation that makes it easy for them to be friends with you? Because they value who you are as a person.

Another way to tell if someone is less than a good friend is if they treat you differently then they treat others.

Some people view their lives as a movie and see their friends as just supporting characters, supporting them. Someone to make them look good, someone to fill the silence in their lives. People who have poor character will NOT make good friends. These people are capable of being kind, friendly and fun but their lack of character will keep them from being good friends in the long term.

For example, you see your friend Emily talk down about another friend that’s going through a rough time-maybe that person is a little strange or shy. You see her talk badly about that other friend behind her back but in person she’s friendly with them. What does that tell you?

That Emily would easily just talk as badly about you as she would about that other person.

Sure, you might shrug it off as just gossip or small talk, but that kind of behavior is very toxic and is sure to rear its head as soon as Emily finds someone better so they can talk about YOU behind YOUR back.

I had a friend like this once. She was very two-faced and I kind of gave her the benefit of the doubt because she never treated me badly. But once she found a friend that she considered “better,” I was the new person gossiped about.

So it’s really important to look at a person’s character even if they don’t treat you badly, if they treat other people badly, to just avoid them and not even bother building a friendship that way. Because it’s only a matter of time before that friendship collapses and you find out that you wasted so much time with a toxic person.

I wish I had better advice to give other than avoiding someone who’s fake. I wish had advice for how to change a friend and make them better. But whether a person is a good friend or not, that’s a choice they need to make for themselves, it’s not something you can help them with.

The important thing for you is to determine if they’re fake or not. And if, after reading this, you find your friends to be circumstantial, self-centered or two-faced, it might be time to manage expectations on how loyal you expect those friends to be.

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Cut Back On These 6 Things To Save Hours of Time

There are a bajillion posts out there on saving money. The more money you save, the more money you have for things you want, like retiring early or that extra vacation.

But if time is money, what about time? How can we optimize our lives so we can be saving time, and as a result money?
Take it from me, there never seems to be enough time in the day. I have a full-time job, a husband and 2 kids that need my full attention. I would love to have more time to either spend with my kids, invest in my blogging or visit family.

24 hours is just not enough.

And yet, I’ve been able to invest at least 5–10 hours a week towards my blog and 6 hours a week of tutoring towards my six year old daughter. How am I able to make the time?

The key is to cut out all the extras, the things that are being sold to you so you spend time on them.

Here Is How You Can Save Tons Of Hours Out Of Your Week:

Commuting

Commuting can be a huge time sucker. The average American spends over 100 hours a year just on their commute. What can you do in 100 hours?

I’ve always had a long commute. When you live in metro NYC area, all the jobs are in NYC so it’s impossible to avoid a commute. And living near work in prime NYC real estate is just outrageously expensive.
So right now I have a commute that’s about 15 hours a week. That’s right, I commute 3 hours a day and about 1.5 hours each way!

Cutting down my commute if I worked 20 minutes from home would save me 12+ hours a week.

Unfortunately I can’t just quit and find something more comparable in the suburbs so I make my commute efficient by writing posts while I’m on the bus to and from work. If you’re using public transit, it’s a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone by commuting and working or studying at the same time.

Commuting is a necessary evil, but you can optimize it by cutting the time down or multi-tasking during your trip on public transit.

Social Media

We all know what a waste social media is. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. All the big tech companies are making you spend, not your money, but your time. They want to sell you content to consume.
Most people can look at their Screentime App and see that they’re spending hours a day just checking their Facebook or Instagram. Some are spending hours arguing with strangers on Twitter. And others are spending time watching puppies and babies on YouTube.

We’re talking about people out there spending 20+ hours on social media a week. Scrolling and swiping and liking, all damned day long.

And I guess it’s not my place to tell people how to spend their time, but wouldn’t you be able to do sooo much more without all that mindless chatter on your phone?

The only people who should be committing 10+ hours a week on social media are people building a brand and/or business from it.

By cutting back on the social media access, most people can easily save 10 hours a week.

Online Games

This kind of ties into social media but online games are a huge time sucker-for no reason. Games like Fortnite, Candy Crush, The Sims, Words With Friends, etc.

My favorite is Candy Crush, I’m on level 825. As you can see, I’ve spent TOO many hours on this.

What have I gained from making sure all the jellies and candies matched? Nothing.

It’s a huge, huge, huge time sucker and, again, these gaming companies are giving you free games in exchange for adspace and $1.99 power ups.

The only games I want to move up in life are the money games and power moves. Cut the games, and you’ll get your life back.

Emails

This one is stealthy. Everyone and their mother has an email. And we spend too much time checking, giving out, organizing and even writing emails.

This is a huge issue at work. I get literally 100 emails a day from various people asking about this and that.
I was able to organize my emails tab so that all the spam went directly in the trash. I don’t have to spend any time looking at them. I’ve also set up my email so there are rules; certain emails will go into certain folders, so it’s easier to follow up.

Making a simple phone call can easily save you time spent on a bunch of back and forth emails. Calling is so much clearer for sorting out details since the back and forth of the conversation happens instantaneously. Emailing complex details can take hours as you wait for the other person to get back to you, reading their response and writing back.

Learning how to use email effectively will cut back on the work you have.

Household Tasks

If only there was more time in the day, but chores are a majority of what adulthood consists of, unfortunately. Even with the high tech Roombas, washing machines and dishwashers, chores take up a lot of time.

Thankfully, there are services you can pay for to help save some time. Things like laundering, dry cleaning, housekeeping services, and gardeners can really make your life so much easier.
I know what your thinking, I don’t have money for that!

You can just choose one thing that you hate doing for chores and outsource it! Whether it’s to clean the bathrooms in the house or to have the gardeners mow two times a month or give 10 lbs. of laundry to the cleaners, you can definitely keep your spending under $50 and save an hour a week.

TV

The OG of time wasters. As I’m writing this I’m watching “America’s Got Talent” and as great as that show is, it’s still a waste of time since I haven’t been able to post this.

According to Wikipedia, the average person spends nearly 4 hours watching TV a day!

That’s too much time. That’s literally the time when you come home from work to the time you go to bed, you’re glued to the TV. You can literally spend that time playing with your kids or starting a business.

4 hours a day is equivalent to 28 hours a week, 120 hours in a month or 1460 hours a year!

That’s just crazy!

And with unlimited shows and channels with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and regular cable, the options are endless.
But at the end of the day, we need to realize that TV doesn’t really give much back.
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Our time is so precious, so it’s insane that we would spend hours upon hours on our commutes, phones for social media and online games, emails, TV and chores.

It’s all so mindless, and yet we engage in things that really bring no value to our lives.

Imagine if you were able to cut back 20 hours a week, or 3 hours a day to devote to a 2nd business? You could literally retire early 10 years!

By cutting out a majority of these time wasters, you can get so much of your life back. And in my opinion, time is worth so much more than money.

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What It’s Like To Disassociate

There is very little known about this mental health experience and issue. Everyone is familiar with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, but disassociation is a little lesser known aspect of mental health. It kinda links up with the other three problems but is it’s own issue.

Disassociation is defined as a state in which some integrated part of a person’s life becomes separated from the rest of the personality and functions independently.

I also like Mayo Clinic’s definition:

Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity. People with dissociative disorders escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and cause problems with functioning in everyday life.

I have had some of the symptoms that Mayo Clinic describes including:

• A sense of being detached from yourself and your emotions
• A perception of the people and things around you as distorted and unreal
• Inability to cope well with emotional or professional stress
• Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

It’s known to be more of a coping mechanism that’s used when someone goes through something traumatic, but if left to linger can have lasting effects on the personality.

I first disassociated when I had achalasia, a crippling esophageal disorder that took 4 years to diagnose. It was such a hard thing to go through as a child. I remember just separating that part of my life from who I was as a person. I’d hide it from other people, lie if someone asked about it. It was literally a part of my life that I never wanted to acknowledge. Being sick wasn’t who I was as a person, it was just something I was going through. So separating that aspect of my life from who I was as a person made sense.

It was the longest charade but I refused to let my disease define me. During my worst years, I truly believed that my life wasn’t really my life.

It was an escape mechanism; the ego is a frail thing and in some ways that’s good and bad. I’ll acknowledge that it did help me mentally to disassociate. I truly believe it helped me to keep my sanity and mental health together. But I learned how to disassociate so well, it kinda never left, even after I got better from my surgery for achalasia.
I continue having issues connecting with people. In my social interactions, I can’t just flow the way other people do. I can’t be spontaneous. There’s still a part of me that disassociates and looks at the interaction from a third party experience-from the outside looking in. I’ll subconsciously try to see how the other person feels or thinks about me, in order to try to “socialize better.” It causes me to seem distant. It’s like I stepped out of the situation and am trying to look at it from a third party perspective instead of just looking at it from my own perspective and socializing that way.

I know, it sounds crazy just trying to write about it.

Anxiety also triggers my disassociative behavior, it makes it 100x worst. I’ll just shut down, and try to pretend I’m not even there. That’s my coping mechanism.

I think a lot of people struggle with dissociative behavior and don’t even know it. Like the guy that pulls away every time he gets too close in a relationship or the soldier who came back from war and doesn’t connect with his family the way he used to or even the guy who plays video games all day and starts to find his online relationships more rewarding than the ones in real life.

Overall, it doesn’t effect my behavior too badly other than make me feel a bit distant. It hasn’t gotten to a point where I feel I need professional help but I am interested to find out what causes it.

Personally, I think it’s an ego thing. Something we do to protect our sense of self when we feel threatened. When I’m in a fight or flight triggered anxiety episode, I usually choose flight. I think a lot of people struggle with this kind of mental block and they don’t even know what it’s called.

So far, I’ve found that removing myself from the situation that caused my disassociative behavior helps. As well as calming camomile or valerian root teas. After I’ve managed to clear my head, I can return to the task that triggered me.
I also don’t kick myself over being a little more reserved or distant from other people. Disassociation is just part of who I am because of the things that have happened in my past, just like my anxiety.

But there are more serious versions of disassociative disorders that can cause amnesia or even a complete shift in personality. If this is happening to you or if you have thoughts of suicide, please contact your mental health professional immediately.

Though it’s lesser known, understanding how disassociative behavior affects your mental health is important to keeping it together, at least mentally.

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