Friday, August 22, 2014

Flashback Friday: Redneck Waterbed

Why is today Flashback Friday? I'll tell you. It's because I have a Pinstrosity to share with you today, inspired from a pin that "fathered" two previous Pinstrosity posts. 

Behold, Pinstrosity #1:

Rachael found that if your land isn't completely flat, you run into trouble.  Rolling blog anyone?

Pinstrosity #2:

Magdelyn found out that ironing plastic isn't very fun, and that plastic is prone to holes when jumped upon by young yahoos. 

And then finally today I give you Pinstrosity #3:

Rowan followed the instructions at this site, but learned that this was a lot of work for only 10 minutes of playtime. "This photo is taken after only ten minutes of play. My nephews loved it but It quickly got bunched up and sprung leaks. Thankfully I did not add the food-colouring that the post suggests because otherwise I would have ended up with coloured children. In the end we just ended up with a wet tarp.... Really not as fun as advertised."

So, three ladies have found this isn't as easy or as satisfying as it looks at first. But for those 10 minutes it does work, is sounds like fun! Visit the previous two redneck waterbed posts (click on the names of the two previous submitters) for the various tips submitted with these Pinstrosities! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday- Back to School Supply Cake

This Throwback Thursday post is by Marquette from the end of last summer. I think it applies as school is just starting and what is more school-ish than school supplies?? Check it out! Happy Thursday!
-Em

Welp. We're nearing the end. It's been a good run, but all things must come to and end sometime unfortunately. The clouds here today reminded me of winter clouds and I had a mini panic attack. I'm just not ready for summer to be winding down, but sadly it is. School is just around the corner (a few school districts start up next week! I think that's insane!). Luckily we still have another month before school starts back up here, unless you're taking summer courses...poor unfortunate souls (please tell me at least a few of you thought of Ursula). A while back we were sent in  a great idea for a supply "cake" that you can give as a gift. Know a recent high school graduate heading off to college? A teacher you just really love? A new teacher jumping into the pool of public education? This could be a really fun idea to do for them to help them jump start their semester. Or...give this project a pin spin, as our submitter did, and adapt it to any occasion. I have a friend who will be leaving with the Peace Corps and this may be really fun to do for her!

The Original Pin:
"Pack up a shower caddy with tools and essentials for surviving freshman year in college – all the little things they might forget. A small sewing kit, shower flip flops, laundry instructions, ear plugs, and a screwdriver." http://www.studentadvisor.com/articles/12-cheap-and-diy-graduation-gifts-that-youll-actually-use

Fun stuff, no? I love it. Bri took this idea and morphed it into what worked for her and her sister. Here's her story:

"My name is Bri and I have a story for you!! I am LDS and my sister last week got called to serve an LDS trial mission. She lives in Salt Lake City and had 5 days to get ready for the first 3 months of her mission where she will stay in Salt Lake for the time being. I currently live in Oregon so I hopped on a plane the day after we found out what was happening so I could help out. So I had ZERO crafting supplies with me. My mom decided to throw a party together and I knew that she would need "supplies" Like paper and pens and notepads etc. So I headed off to Wal-Mart. My first "failure" was going while my sister was with me... I would come back to the cart with all the things and she would be like "Your doing that Pinterest thing, aren't you!?" And she would wink her eye. However there was no way to go to Wal-mart without her. So I just brushed it off and said "Heck No! I have not crafting supplies and would I really buy stuff for a Pinterest project for you while you are here, these are for the poor people mom drives by everyday." She of course knew this was the worst excuse in the world and came back with "why would homeless people need pens and paper!?" By this point I was out of comebacks so I smiled and walked away. And every time I saw her she would ask how the homeless people would use the various thing I would find. I just went with it and I sure the people around us were laughing at my crazy stories.  Her party was on Sunday and I got the stuff Friday night. But I knew looking at the picture and not being able to find any instructions I would have to have help with it. So my friend came over and brought even MORE pens and pencils. And we got to work. I had gotten 2 beach towels to use as the center. I tried stacking them on top of one another and taping the crap out of it. But it kept toppling over. So we stood the towels next to each other on the big notebook. We then took wider items and placed them around the "bottom". I was dead set on having this thing look like the picture, but newsflash 3*5 cards when stacked together do not bend. My mom even told me to unwrap each pack and "layer" the cards into a circle! I about died. Cards would have flown everywhere. This would have been ten times worse than 52 card pickup. So I finally had to give in and make it "square", If you can call it that. So we took the next items and made a second layer. Luckily we had some smaller items that could be put in the corners and it made that layer "roundish". The top layer had a pen holder and going to Wal-Mart at 11 at night made me forget that's what I needed. So the pens, pencils, and highlighters I bought we used for the cake part. And the loose pens, pencils, and highlighters my friend brought we used as fillers. My friend also made a cute jar with thoughts and quotes to help my sister out so it was decided that would be top. However when we placed it right on top of the towels it looked sooooo stupid. Luckily my friend brought my sister some snacks. So we taped the boxes together and put those boxes on the towels and then the jar on the snacks. Now if you look very carefully you can see scotch tape around each layer. We call this our insurance plan. We tried to get the ribbon to hold onto everything (which I only bought one spool. I thought it had to be enough! Wrong I was!) So we dug through my moms black hole of a craft room and found sequins and thin green ribbon. We tied the ribbon on and decided the tape had to stay or the whole thing would collapse. When it was all done we were turning it and the jar toppled over. So ribbon went up and down it as well, as the secondary insurance plan. Over all it turned out okay."

The Pin Spin: 


"Was it what was in my head? Heck no! But she liked it. There is a picture of her holding it and after she held it the whole thing fell apart. And we hadn't even got to the party yet. So we did a quick fix. A lot of people were confused and asked if it was a tower. After a while of having to explain that it was a cake I gave up and said "sure is! I was trying to make the tower of babel!" I guess only the crafty women get it! On the GTC scale I would give it a 3. I think if I had instructions maybe it would have turned out more cake-ish!" -Bri


I've never made a supply cake, only one diaper cake and one diaper tricycle (I know...some of you think those things are hideous, just bear with us). It's easier to get a round cake with diapers because you can fold and mold them. I imagine making a bunch of square items into a round cake would be hard. I love that they just went with the and made a square tiered cake (aka, tower of Babel). Sometimes you just have to do what works! Thanks for the great idea Bri!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Brownie Bowl Blunder

The only thing better than a bowl of ice cream is a bowl of ice cream in an edible bowl. How fun would these be at a party (or by yourself at home curled up on the couch)?!

The Original Pin
(source)
If I hadn't run out of sugar last night making pancake syrup to go with our pancakes (breakfast for dinner...best thing ever!) I'd be making this right now. Looks simple. Mattie learned though that if you don't have muffin tins, this isn't the dessert to try to make last minute to impress the future in-laws. Mattie related her story like this:

The recipe is called “Dreyer’s Super Sundae Brownie Bowl” and the pictures looked awesome and easy! Chocolate and ice cream = WIN. Unfortunately, when I first clicked the pin, I was told it led to a “suspicious link” by pinterest so I didn’t read the full directions beforehand. (The link seems to be working now.) Even if I had, I’m not sure it would have helped—it just says to use your favorite brownie batter.

Anyways, here is what happened: my fiancé and I decided to invite his parents over for dinner. When I asked if we should do a special dessert, he suggested the brownie-bowl recipe he had seen me pin the other day while looking over my shoulder. So, I picked up Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix from the store, mixed it up, and put it in the oven to be ready by dinner. As you can guess, a number of things went wrong.

1)      No cupcake pans! This happens when you’ve recently graduated and moved. I decided to improvise using two glass nesting bowls.
2)      High Altitude! My fiancé and I live at a really high altitude and didn’t have any flour on hand to follow the high altitude directions…so…with the dinner clock ticking, I just went with it.
3)      The brownies stuck! Despite a decent amount of oil on both the bowls, the brownies sort of stuck and then lost their shape once removed from the bowls.


Upon further reflection, the Pinstrosity might be due to the supplies I used, but it was such a fail that I thought others should be warned.
The Pinstrosity


Mattie continues, "On the bright side, anything looks better (aka edible) when it is topped with ice cream. If I were to try it again, I would definitely use cupcake tins and aim to make more of an “impression” than smashing them into a bowl shape. Follow the directions and bake them with another greased cupcake tin on top. I would also aim to make sure they are baked until firm, not fudgy…but again, that might have been due to altitude and/or heat. I bet they would also hold their shape better if cooled in the refrigerator or freezer. Anywho, it gave us a laugh as we tried really hard to turn those brownies into sundae bowls."

This is one of those Pinterest recipes that works better with the right pan. If you are going off the original directions, the muffin tins only get filled 2/3 of the way full of batter, and then the 2nd tin is placed over the top. This is going to give less batter to cook for each bowl, so it will be easier to get a more "crispy" bowl rather than a gooey one. 

Another help with this pin is to use a less gooey brownie. I know, it says to use your favorite, and my favorite ones are the gooey ones that only get hard when they are over cooked by a long shot, but gooey won't hold a bowl shape very well. 


If you get into a predicament like this still though, just crumble up the brownies and use them as a topping and pretend that's what you were going for in the first place. If you are confident, no one will doubt you! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Messy Mess-Free Painting for Littles

Hello all! We are back from our big trips as Marquette mentioned yesterday and we are ready to get in full swing. By ready I mean that I slept till 10:30 this morning and am only now getting to blogging. That's ready right?! I started school yesterday (my last semester of college!!!!) and so I am still trying to get a new routine down. We'll get there soon enough. For today's Pinstrosity I have a sensory play goof for you!

Laura has a 2.5 year old who loves to paint and color, and Laura found this pin of a mess free painting method and thought it would be perfect for her little! Check it out!


The Original
 
Let your little ones play with paint without making a giant mess, and you can make some fun shapes when the paint is in the taped down plastic bag! The little artists can also erase what they made, make something new without using lots of paper, and they won't paint themselves!
 
 The Pinstrosity

Here is what Laura had to say about it:
"This pin looked great! T could have some great sensory play without painting our carpet. I used a quart-sized bag and some (non toxic) acrylic paints I had lying around the house. I taped it down using duct tape, removed T's shirt (you can never be too careful), and let her play. Only, I forgot that T has another love: pulling tape off of things. Instead of playing with the paint, she immediately pulled off all the tape. Which ripped a hole in the corner of the bag, and the paint started oozing out. So much for mess free."

This Pinstrosity is more of a heads up to other moms, but I had a few thoughts about how to help a situation like this. Maybe try two times to the tape?? Perhaps pulling tape off of other tape would satisfy her, (maybe not, kids are funny). The other thought I had (which may be the better option anyways) was to double bag your paint. Put your paint in one quart sized bag, fold the ziploc edge over and put it inside another bag. This way if the little pulls the tape off she isn't ripping the paint bag. Just a thought. Seeing as I haven't seen this one in action it might not be as easy as all that, however this is a good heads up to those of you who do this on the regular!

Hope everyone is having a good week!! Have any Pinstrosities from over the summer?! Send them our way!!


Monday, August 18, 2014

We're Back!

We're Back!
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Loved that show as a kid! But anyway, we are back; we both made it home from our trips safe! The funeral was lovely. Thank you for the kind words many of you sent. I wish the trip had been for different reasons, but it was fun to go up to Idaho with my sister (and our 3 kids-a 6 month old, a 9 month old, and a 3 year old...we were insane).

Now that I'm back, I'm feeling ready to jump into life and projects! Cameron cleaned the house up while I was gone (best welcome home surprise!), so I actually have a place to do projects. Now I just have to figure out what I want to do first. That's the hardest part. So I turned to Pinterest. While I haven't found the perfect project yet, I did find some funnies I'll share with you this morning!

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