Saturday, April 19, 2014

Show and Tell Saturday: Spring Cleaning

This week started my Spring Cleaning around here. I'm hitting it harder than I ever have before. It's taking me longer to clean than I thought, but I'm blaming that mostly on having a constant cleaning buddy who thinks that if I'm not looking at him that I've abandoned him. Good thing he's cute. ;) I've started Spring Cleaning before and have bummed out before I even got 1/4 of the way through. This year I am bound and determined to have a successful Spring Cleaning session. So I started looking through Pinterest and Google for tips, lists, and ideas. So far it seems to be going good. I'll share what I've found and what has worked out for me so far. 

First, I found me a list. Two lists actually. I love making lists, but I figured seeing someone else's list would help me make my list.

So here are the lists that I found:
http://www.imperfecthomemaking.com/p/thorough-spring-cleaning-checklist.html

http://www.idreamofclean.net/the-ultimate-spring-cleaning-checklist/

I copied and pasted them into Word, combining them room by room. I got the list condensed down, deleting duplicates, taking out rooms we don't have in our house, putting check boxes by each item, and putting it into columns to reduce the number of pages (I love efficiency). I had a ball making the list. I love lists. I think I've mentioned that before. Someday, I should make a list of all the reasons why I love making lists.

Anyhow....

At the top of my list I had these instructions (which I condensed from this site):
1.       Work from one end of your house to the other.
2.       Plan some easy meals for the days you will spend cleaning.  
3.       As you clean, keep a list of any jobs you notice that need to be done around the house.  Don't get distracted by these chores during your cleaning, save them for when you are done. 
4.       Keep another list of things you notice you need. 

5.       Take an empty laundry basket and pile in it anything you need your hubby to sort through.

So I had my list, thank you Pinterest. Next, I knew I wanted to declutter as I went along. We have more things stuffed in this house than two adults and a baby need. I'm tired of cleaning it all up. As I go through each room I am thinning out and decluttering. My two guides for this are two pins I found on Pinterest as well:

http://lifeyourway.net/10-questions-to-help-you-declutter/

http://ourlittlegreendot.com/if-you-want-to-be-green-you-need-to-be-organised/
I printed the list of questions out and wrote the quote from William Morris on the side and kept that paper with my cleaning checklist. I already have 3 large black trash bags of things to give away. So excited to get rid of extra stuff! It was beginning to own us, and it feels so much better to get it out. 

Now, the cleaning:

In previous years I tried to take one task and carry it out all through the house and then move on to the next task. For example, I'd clean all the windows in the house, then move on to wiping down the base boards, then cleaning the ceiling fans, then move on to finding a good book and just "finishing that chapter", then making a pot of Mac and Cheese and eating it all myself, then hopping on Facebook and my Spring Cleaning went out the window. I really liked the idea of just starting at one end of the house and going room by room. So that's what I've done this year. I'm now 1/3 of the way through my house! That doesn't sound like much of an achievement, but let me tell you what that's doing for me. I now have 3 rooms (the Master Bath, the Master Bedroom, and Darrow's Room) completely finished, and those rooms feel heavenly. I just want to sit in there and read or paint or sing or turn an old dryer into a hang glider. Those rooms just feel light and free and my creative juices get going and I feel happy. This makes me want to get the rest of my house that way. I want my whole house to be a place where ideas can flow and where it just feels good. Every room I get done makes me excited to start the next. That one tip, going room by room from one end of the house to the other, has made such a huge difference. 

The next biggest help has been the checklist. I've done deep cleaning before, but just running off a list I made in my head. Inevitably I always forget something or I just quit. For my personality, having a list in front of me is a challenge that I can't back down from. I have to check off everything on that list or I've let the list beat me. If you know what motivates you and/or keeps you working best, then use that to your advantage! The lists also helped me to not forget the little jobs. I found it easy to look around the room and think, "Oh good! I'm done!" only to find "Clean the doorknobs" or "Scrub the switchplates" still unchecked on the list. Those little details really made the room sparkle. As I move from room to room I have with me my checklist of spring cleaning chores, my list of declutter questions, as well as my lists of honey-do's for each room, items each room needs, and ideas I was getting for each room as I clean it.  
I always use a fun colored marker to check off items on a list. It makes it easier to see the progress I'm making and adds color. Color is happy!
Yea lists! Because of the lists I was able to go from this bathroom (I may or may not have tidied up slightly beforehand...you didn't need to see my complete mess, trust me):


To this:

Added counter shelves to store our various shaving/hair/makeup/soap items so they don't live all over the counter. Added a hook to the cupboard door under the sink to hang up the shower caddy holding my blow dryer, curling iron, and flat iron so they are out of sight and there aren't cords hanging all over. Everything is scrubbed and laundered. It feels wonderful. More organization. More light. Less mess. More awesome. Yes! 

Cleaning isn't my favorite thing by a long shot. But I'm almost enjoying it this time around. As I'm cleaning each room I'm coming up with decorating ideas, organization ideas, and repurposing ideas I wouldn't have had otherwise. Who knew cleaning could be so inspiring. 

This has been a slow process for me this week (only 3 rooms finished since Monday), but the days I took off of cleaning were totally worth it (I got to check an item off my bucket list! I got to be the secret photographer hiding in the bushes-literally-photographing a wedding proposal!), and I'm making progress, so I am happy.

What resources do you use for your Spring Cleaning? 


Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter- Redundo Rolls Revisited

With Easter coming this weekend lots of people will be making lots of fun Easter goodies.
One goodie that always seems to make the list, and then make the hit list are these Resurrection Rolls (or Marshmallow Rolls, or Hocus Pocus Rolls etc.). They never seem to turn out like you are hoping/expecting.
Here is a compilation of these "Redundo Rolls" that we featured last year around this time, Marquette put this together and I thought it might be helpful for someone this coming weekend! Take some pointers before you start!
 
Happy Friday all!
Marshmallow Rolls
 
You've seen them on the blog as Redundo Rolls. You've seen them on Pinterest as Hocus Pocus Rolls or Resurrection Rolls. You've seen them exploding in your ovens.  Today...we give you:

The Original Pin
http://eatatallies.com/2011/04/resurrection-rolls/
The Disappearing Marshmallow Rolls! We featured this on the blog before, but we've had quite a few entries since then. I've been saving this one though. Why? Because I tried it, followed our advice, and couldn't get it to work. I ended with results just like these:

The Pinstrosities
 "Mine turned out more like marshmallow snails. In the recipe/directions, she doesn't actually give measurements for ratio of cinnamon to sugar or how much melted butter you need, so I don't think that was the issue. Others had commented that the marshmallow melts and leaks out if you don't make sure your crescent roll "seams" are sealed well, so I made sure to try to do that. Thing is, ours didn't just leak out, they sort of exploded. After they cooled, the marshmallow size went down and they were delicious anyway, but they definitely didn't look like they were supposed to." -Jacy

 
 "I was super excited to see these marshmallow-y delights on Pinterest and decided to try them out for an easy dessert.  I have a bunch of campfire marshmallows left over from a camping season riddled with fire-bans (Colorado spent almost the whole camping season on fire ban).  I figured I could use up marshmallows and free up pantry space.  I broke out my giant marshmallows, the cinnamon and sugar, my melted butter and of course the crescent rolls, perused the directions a 3rd time since that seems to be a primary fail culprit. I took a whole marshmallow dipped it in the melted butter rolled it in the cinnamon/sugar mix then attempted to wrap it in a crescent. Not such a stellar job, but it worked, I had to stretch the dough a bit to accommodate the over-large marshmallow but it worked.  I decided after that maybe a ½ campfire-mallow would work and the next 2 were done in halves, it was still a bit of a squeeze and then I ¼’d the marshmallow.  The wrapping was much easier now but I was out of crescents so it was time to get dessert baking.  I was entertaining my sister-in-law and we were chatting at the table when she looked at the oven and said “uuhhh – is it supposed to explode?” Sure enough I had the stay-puffed marshmallow monster growing steadily in my oven reigned in only by feeble crescent bonds.  The dough looked like it was just about perfect so I pulled them out and this is what I had (this picture was taken after we had eaten some of the flattened sweeties) Thank heavens I put foil on the pan and sprayed it with Pam this was such a gooey mess! They were delicious please don’t think I’m complaining but the marshmallows most definitely didn’t disappear and the crescents didn’t hold any type of shape.  Obviously the next time I do this I’ll be using regular sized marshmallows but even the quartered ones (which ought to have been just about the same size) didn’t hold up.  Please help!  I want these to be the tastey pop-able puffs of Halloween that I imagined them to be!" -Alison

 
"I followed the recipe exactly so I'm not sure where I went wrong :( Regardless of if I knew or not, I will not be trying this one again because I have yet to clean out my oven and I just don't want to add to it. I give this one a 3 out of 5." -Jamie

 
http://pinthisnotthat.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/hocus-pocus-rolls/ -Kierra

 
"I tried to make these Crescent-Roll-Cinnamon-Sugar-Marshmallow things. Marshmallow everywhere. But they still tasted good!" -Sarah

 
"As soon as I pulled these out of the oven I knew I had to send it in. I don't know if I just did something wrong or if this doesn't really work. It said the marshmallows would disappear, but they just spewed out of the sides. I followed the recipe exactly and I even spent extra time on pinching the dough closed so that there were no openings. So here's my pinstrosity. " -Sariah



 

When I made mine I took extra time to make sure that I had pinched the dough closed very thoroughly...and I still ended up with flattened and spewed rolls. I didn't take a picture because they look like all the other photos above. I wasn't quite sure how to solve this. That is, until Carter emailed us. Carter tried out the recipe the first time and got this:

 

But Carter's no quitter. Here's the story:

 "I thought I would send in my lovely experience (and high quality images) to share! And my advice on how other pinners can avoid the hell I found with these heavenly rolls."

"I had just gotten home from a horrible accounting test and all I wanted to do was eat my feelings. I had pinned these bad boys about a week earlier, so they were still fresh on my sweet desiring radar. My boyfriend was also on his way to visit me (I live in Athens and he lives in Atlanta) so I thought I would have something delicious ready for his arrival. After a quick pit stop at the grocery store, I pulled up the original site and followed the recipe from start to finish.
One of the pictures I have included is how the rolls are supposed to look, all cute and fluffy and filled with deliciousness. When my oven timer finally went off after fifteen minutes, that was not at all what I found. The picture included is how mine appeared the exact moment I pulled them out of the oven. My roommates and I had a good laugh at first, then came time to scrape them off the pan.....thirty minutes later, we had a broken pile of cooked crescent dough on a plate. This was a pin fail for the books."

"About a week later, and the night before my business statistics test, I thought I would put the other tube of crescent rolls in my fridge to use and make these bad boys again. This time, instead of pinching them shut like the recipe calls for you to do, I wrapped them in such a way that the marshmallow could still breathe. Fifteen minutes later I pulled out perfectly fluffy, delicious treats (and they taste just as heavenly as the Easter story they represent). The point being DO NOT SEAL THESE SHUT! It will piss off your marshmallow and make for a horrendous clean up time!"

I want to try these again, and now I know what to do. Thanks so much for your help and sleuthfulness (I'm sure that's a word) Carter, you're the best! 
 
Alright Pinstrosipeeps! Who will be, or has already tried these this year!? Send us your results! The good, the bad and the ugly, and we will make another compilation of Redundo Rolls! Good luck everyone!
 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Mug Garden Report

For today's Throwback Thursday I'd like to report on a post I did almost a year ago (10 months): The Mug Garden. If you remember, or if you don't that's okay, that was the last post in our Mug Week. I bought mugs, wrote on them with paint, and then planted succulents and bamboo in them.


There was some concern about how these would actually work as there is no drainage for the water. I wasn't completely sure if these plants would stay alive or not. Do mugs work for succulents? I had no idea. So this has been the longest Pinstrosity experiment yet, but today I wanted to show you what these look like at this exact moment (or...about 2 minutes ago when I took the picture):



The succulent in the blue mug bit the dust (haha, that was the "hope" mug...does that mean I let my hopes die? Haha! Okay, lame jokes done), but these others are doing great! I hadn't realized just how much they had grown until just now. Cool beans! Once they get much larger I'll need to transplant them into a larger container, but these mugs have been the perfect starter pots for now!

Yea for mugs!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

H.U.M.P. Day- Baby Oil and Razors -> Dualing Pinstrositeers

So yesterday Marquette talked about her awful experience with baby oil, her razor, and her irritated shaved legs. You can read that here.
I laughed so hard reading this because I have had THE EXACT OPPOSITE EXPERIENCE!!!!
I LOVE baby oil as a shaving aide and recommend it to everyone!! I totally converted my mom who was a conditioner as a shaving cream lady (like Marquette) for a good 20 years! She loves it!
I originally saw it on this pin:

Now of course I didn't read it, I just saw the picture an tried it, and it was awesome (one of the only times this worked out that way lol). One tip she gave was to pour a little bit on the end of your razor before shaving, and the other tip was to use it as a shaving cream.
I use it as a shaving cream.
I was floored! My legs were smooth, shaving went smoother and faster than usual, I don't cut myself as much, I haven't gotten ANY ingrown hairs (a rarity before all this), and my legs were the smoothest I have ever felt them. Ever.
As for the gungky ness of the razor after shaving with baby oil, I haven't had any of that either! In fact I agree with the pin that it makes my razor last longer.
The funny thing about pins is that it might work great for someone and might not work at all for someone else!! Now I'm not sure what type of razor Marquette has, but I have a Venus Spa Breeze (I splurge for razors, it's non negotiable at my house lol). Maybe the type of razor has something to do with it???I'm not sure though...maybe we should have a Shave-Off!
So there you have it, two sides to the story...decide for yourself! Good luck!
 Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Baby Oil Shaving Experience

Anyone else hate how fast your razor gets dull? It seems like you go from it nearly slicing the skin off your legs to just snagging the hair and ripping it out in a matter of days (I've tried all different brands and types of razors and have just about decided they are all the same). So, when I saw a pin that said it would make the razor last longer, as well as make my skin look better and make shaving faster and easier, I was all aboard.

The Original Pin
http://chicnsavvyreviews.net/tip-on-keeping-your-razors-lasting-longer-and-silky-smooth-skin
This is not the only picture/pin with this information that I saw, but all the captions go something like this one: "Use Baby Oil to shave rather than shaving cream/gel: it will keep razor sharp longer, speed up shaving, and leave skin baby soft!" Some pins suggested regular baby oil, some suggested baby oil gel. 

I decided that I'd test this out over a few weeks. My normal shaving "medium" is hair conditioner (I find I get fewer cuts, fewer ingrown hairs, and it makes my legs more smooth). So I decided I'd use baby oil and a new razor on my left leg, and the regular hair conditioner and a new razor on my right leg (new and separate razors so I could monitor the differences). 

The Pinstrosity
I shaved my right leg with my conditioner first, and then went on to shave the left leg with the baby oil. The baby oil was a pain in the neck. The razor got gummed up so fast and, as it was now covered in oil, I had a hard time getting it "de-gunkified". But, I pushed on. Maybe it'd get better? Nope. It gunked up worse and worse every time. To boot, all the little cut hair pieces stuck to my leg and wouldn't wash off because the water just ran off the oil. It took forever to get the one leg shaved. And then, I had the worst razor burn ever, and after a day or so ingrown hairs (which I had to dig out with tweezers). Trial #1: Busted. 

So, then I thought maybe shaving with the gel would make all the difference. Some of the pins said not to shave with oil, but to shave with the baby oil gel. So I decided it was worth it to try. Exact same results. Trial #2: Busted. 

I thought I'd have to do this experiment over a few weeks to have any reportable results, but it only took one shave each for the regular baby oil and the baby oil gel to know that my conditioner routine was the one I'd be sticking with. 

I did find one pin this morning though where the pinner said this: "Johnson's Baby Oil Gel, Shea & Cocoa Butter - just bought a bottle of this...for under $4 this is a steal! Great moisturization, fantastic scent, gentle to sensitive skin (if not "all natural") - I used it after shaving my legs and they're gleaming and not irritated like they get with some other lotions!". So perhaps people got confused with when to use it in their shaving routine. After. Use it after. Not during. 

But, with that all said...Emilee has quite the different story to tell about shaving with baby oil. You can read about that here





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