Plant Nanny (app)

Do you drink enough water during the day? You probably said no. I found a list of apps that are supposed to make you more efficient. The first one I downloaded was this one: Plant Nanny (ios) (android). I’m writing a whole post about this app because I love it that much. It’s also really simple. Pick a pot. Pick a plant. Pick a background. Tap the glass when you drink a glass of water. Every time you tap the glass it waters the plant. Watch as your plant grows!

Plant Nanny

I really am hooked on this. It’s simple, easy to use, has cute graphics, AND had a health benefit to it. How many other apps can claim that? You can also set the app to remind you to drink more water. I have it set for every 4 hours. I love this feature. Sometimes I get so busy that I forget to drink. The notification is a nice reminder that I need to take care of myself too.

So far I’ve been using this for two weeks. I love seeing how much my plant has grown. Even if I’m having a rotten day, somehow opening up that app and seeing it smiling back at me just makes my day!

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

Free

A few seconds a day
Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
Nothing.
Overall Impression:
Love this! What a great little app! I look forward to watering my plant throughout the day.

 

Quick and Easy Chicken Burritos

Quick and Easy Chicken BurritosHi Pintertesters! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since our last post! I promise that’s about to change.

While I was working on a bunch of upcoming projects, I decided to take a quick break for lunch. This chicken burrito was supposed to be a really quick and easy meal. I also happened to have all the ingredients.

 

Quick and Easy Chicken Burritos

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend (or mozzarella)
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
  • 4 large tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Instructions

  1. Mix the shredded chicken, cheese, cilantro, and the diced avocados.
  2. Lay a tortilla flat on a plate and add ¼ of the mixture, form a roll. repeat the process for all four tortillas.
  3. pour 1 tablespoon oil into a heated pan or griddle. Place all four tortillas on the pan and cook for 2 minutes on medium- high heat. Flip on the other side and cook for another minutes or until the the burritos are golden in color. Serve warm.
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http://pintertesting.com/2015/07/27/quick-and-easy-chicken-burritos/

Review:

I didn’t think I’d like this. I thought it would be bland and dry. I was wrong. This was actually REALLY GOOD! The avocado becomes mushy when heated, so it blends really well with the cheese and chicken. It was also incredibly filling. If you’ve ever had a cheese rollup or quesodilla, you know how heavy the cheese makes it. I always feel “bleh” after eating them. I didn’t feel that with this. I actually felt a good full. SO full that I didn’t even want to eat dinner later.

Chicken Avocado Burrito

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

Approx $5 makes a few burritos.

10 minutes

Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
Dip in a little salsa or green sauce.
Overall Impression:
Really surprised how much I liked this. Before I made it I thought “Blah health food… but I gotta stop eating junk”. After taking a bite it was “wow, that was good! I’m gonna make that again!”

 

View of the Riverwalk in Cedarburg, Wi.

Family Vacation to Cedarburg

View of the river in Cederburg from Silver Creek Brewery.

View of the river in Cedarburg, WI.

I just finished a wonderful 5 day vacation with my family. We went to Cedarburg, Wisconsin which is a cute little town just north of Milwaukee. It is right on a river and filled with little shops and pubs. It’s a lot like Galena, IL. The first place we ate was a restaurant made from an old blacksmith building. It was called the Anvil Pub and Grille. Their food was delicious! Highly recommend it.

The riverwalk in Cedarburg, WI

Start of the riverwalk in Cedarburg, WI.

We made side trips to Summerfest in Milwaukee and another little day trip over to Port Washington and Grafton. Port Washington is a work in progress but looks like a great stop for fishing. Being right on Lake Michigan they have a popular charter business. I saw some massive salmon being hauled off the boats. The last day we finished up with Strawberry fest in Cedarburg. It’s HUGE! Everyone comes out for it. Right in their downtown, they line the streets with more venders, and pop up eateries. We went though all the shops earlier in the week, but if you’re coming up just for strawberry fest you’ll need two days to see everything. I saw some crazy foods. Strawberry dipped corn, brats with strawberries on it, and even strawberry beer!

I came away with some great finds and a VERY satisfied stomach. Cheese curds are my favorite guilty pleasure. I have to give a shoutout for the Baltica Bistro and Tea Room. I was seeing stars after eating here. The owner/cook came from Poland and makes 5 star quality meals. It IS pricey, but their caprese flatbread is one of the best flatbreads I’ve ever had. It used up our whole meal budget for the day so we had to make do with leftovers for dinner, but it was worth it.

Apple Tart from Baltica Bistro and Tea Room

Apple Tart from Baltica Bistro and Tea Room in Port Washington, WI.

Really, I’d love to give a shoutout to every place we went. We found so many great items. My favorite is this turtle necklace I picked up in Port Washington. If you’re near the area be sure to stop by the little shop across from their fire department and police station. The shop is built in the original firehouse and is run by two really nice people. They told us so much about the area and are working to restore the old firehouse. I tried to find a link to their shop, but no luck. They should be on E Pier St and N Wisconsin St. Make sure you check them out! Don’t forget to look in the back at their old fire department references.

By the time our vacation was up, we had a lot to bring back. The car was already pretty packed before we set out. Three women, a sedan and all their bags and suitcases. To save as much space as possible, I set out to find some packing tips. I found a lot of great ones.

1. Use a chip clip to elevate your toothbrush. I don’t trust putting my toothbrush directly on the sink. Call me high maintenance if you want. It just grosses me out. The chip clip was a great way to keep it off the sink. It was also a backup for the bag of popcorn we brought.

Chip clip holding toothbrush.

Use a chip clip to keep your toothbrush elevated off the sink.

2. Roll your clothes. Don’t fold. Rolling not only saves room, but also helps lessen wrinkles. I’ve been rolling the shirts in my dresser for awhile. It’s a favorite tip.

3. Use that shower cap. They’re cheap and have dual purpose. I brought a whole bag of shoes so I wasn’t worried about them. Instead I was more worried about my soaps, shampoos, etc. I wrapped all these in my shower cap and left the opening face up.The elastic keeps the opening tight. If anything were to leak it’d land in the bottom of the shower cap and is contained by the elastic in the opening.

Shower cap holding shampoo, soaps, and bath products.

Use a shower cap to keep items from ruining the clothes in your suitcase.

4. Use saran wrap to leakproof your bottles. If you’re worried about your bottles leaking, add a little extra saran wrap under the cap. It’s thin enough to twist closed, and the wrap blocks the liquids for getting out. I use this same method during moving too.

5. Makeshift speaker. Put your phone in a glass or bowl for amplified sound. I use this at home all the time. Rather than blow out my phone speaker I just put it in a glass and let that do the work.

6. Pack things inside one another. This was handy on the trip back. That negative space in an object will take up space with or without something inside of it. You might as well use that space to your advantage.

Lastly… Do you forget a lot of stuff? I always forget something when going on vacation. Usually it’s aloe for sunburns. I used this handy checklist to double check as I was packing.

Another great tip for packing less…. Try on every outfit before you pack it. You’ll save so much room! Be sure you plan your shoes with it. You’ll be surprised how much less you pack if you try the outfits out first!

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

Free

N/A

Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
I’ve seen tips that you fold the clothes, then seal them in plastic bags. This keeps them even more condensed.
Overall Impression:
Some great tips! Using the shower cap was my favorite.

 

fire isolated over black background

Firefighter’s Daughter T-Shirt

I can officially say I’ve bought something I’ve seen on Pinterest. My cousin sent this to me about a month ago. They were collecting money to print these shirts. I had 3 days to decide. Really it was a no-brainer. My dad is a firefighter, and fathers day was coming up. I bought it.

TO BUY

Firefighter's Daughter T-ShirtI love this shirt. My dad loves this shirt. My mom loves this shirt. We all do. It is a little big on me, but is 100% cotton and will shrink some. They also make shirts for firefighter’s mothers, and wives. The price was also really reasonable. For a custom shirt, I thought the price was well worth it. I can’t wait to wear it to all future firefighter events.

Want a different Firefighter shirt? Check out their full line here.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+

$28.42

N/A

Level of Difficulty:
N/A
What I Would Change:
Maybe take in the stomach area a little to better fit my figure.
Overall Impression:
Love this shirt. Price was reasonable and I know it will get a lot of wear. I feel proud to wear it because I’m proud of my dad and all that he does.

 

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Peppers have been on sale at my grocery store. $0.99 lb. Considering they were $2-3 lb only a few months ago, I’ve been stocking up. I’ve been looking for recipes to use up these peppers and came across this recipe for a creamy cajun chicken pasta.

I like to multitask when cooking. This recipe called for a lot of steps, so I tried to do as many as I could at the same time. It looked doable but it led to some “oops” moments. I’ve rewritten the steps in case you’re like me.

Original recipe is from: Cooking Classy

Ingredients

Chicken (step 1):

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (shrimp can be substituted)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • Saucepan/Grill

Pasta (step 2):

  • Pot of boiling water
  • Linguine or Spaghetti
  • Save 1/3 of cooking water when pasta is done.

Sauce (step 3):

  • medium skillet
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1-3 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (I used grated, seemed fine)

Veggies Mixture (step 4):

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips then strips halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips then strips halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 8)
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

  • (STEP 1) Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with 2 tsp of the cajun seasoning (I used 2 chicken breasts and this is 1/2 tsp per side). Grill chicken until cooked through, about 8 – 10 minutes, rotating once halfway through grilling until chicken registers 165 degrees on in instant read thermometer in center of chicken. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes then cut into strips.
  • (STEP 2) Boil pasta in salted water according to directions listed on package. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water before draining.
  • (STEP 3) In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic and flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. While whisking slowly pour in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps. Stir in 1 – 3 tsp cajun seasoning, to taste (season with additional salt as needed). Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low, stir in parmesan and cream and cook until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • (STEP 4) Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add red and yellow peppers and red onion and saute 2 minutes. Add 1 tsp cajun seasoning and mushrooms and saute 2 minutes longer.
  • Toss drained pasta with sauce mixture, adding reserved pasta water 1 tbsp at at time to thin sauce as desired. Toss in pepper mixture and chicken. Serve warm sprinkled with parsley and additional cajun seasoning to taste.

CHANGES I MADE:

Combined steps 3 and 4. Cooked peppers and sauce together in the same mixture. (Cleaned the skillet I used to cook the chicken at this time)

Once peppers/sauce was done, I cut up the chicken into strips and added it back to the now clean large skillet. Then I poured the peppers/sauce mixture over the chicken and kept it on low to keep warm/simmer.

Once pasta was done, I poured some of the water into the mixture, then added the pasta into the large skillet (with peppers and sauce). I stirred it around (still on low) until it was completely coated.

My counter while making the cajun chicken pasta

My counter was jam packed with ingredients while making this cajun chicken pasta. I was also setting up some ribs, so not ALL ingredients are for this recipe.

Cajun Chicken Pasta - Making the sauce and the peppers

I combined the steps of cooking the peppers and sauce. It added more flavor to the sauce, and also meant one less dish I had to wash.

Stove setup during the making of cajun chicken pasta.

Stove setup during the making of cajun chicken pasta. You need so many dishes.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

This delicious recipe incorporates fresh peppers, mushrooms, onion, and chicken all in a nice homemade creamy cajun sauce.

Review:

This was me:

Nom Nom Nom

SOOOOOO GOOD!! My boyfriend and I couldn’t stop eating it. In fact we had 0 leftovers on a recipe that probably could have fed a family of 4. I still have all the ingredients to make a second batch. It’s possible I could be making this again before the week is up.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A

$5-15

30 Minutes

Level of Difficulty:
Medium
What I Would Change:
I cooked the peppers in the sauce instead of separately. When the pasta and chicken were done I also combined them all in a large skillet and let it simmer for another minute or two.
Overall Impression:
Delicious! Highly recommend. Loved the flavors. It wasn’t as heavy as traditional alfredo. It reminded me a lot of the cajun chicken pasta that they make at TGI Fridays.

 

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Casey

My dog Casey guilt tripping me.

I miss my dog. Unlike people, dogs don’t understand when their family goes away. While my dog has accepted that I no longer live at home, I think she’s still upset by  it. When I visit home, I  try to spend as much time as I can with her but it’s never the same. I almost think my visiting and leaving is more more stressful than when I stay away.

I had a couple hours open, so I decided it was the perfect time to visit my pup. She’s not as young as she used to be so her days mostly consist of sleeping and begging for food. While she was taking her early afternoon nap in the sun, I used the time to try out a new recipe: “double chocolate banana bread“.

Look at that chocolate. If you look closely you’ll even see the chocolate chips.

The original recipe is written so well, and have even better pictures. Make sure you check it out!

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten.
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • mini chocolate chips for topping – optional
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8 inch square pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the mashed bananas and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the applesauce, vanilla and egg. Stir to combine.Double Chocolate Banana Bread Mix
  4. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared baking pan.
    Chocolate Banana Bread mix right before it is put in the oven to cook.
  5. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes. Mine took 28.

RESULTS

Ooooooooooooooooh. FAVORITE THIS RECIPE! This is SO GOOD! I doubled my batch, and brought it in to work. At first people thought it was brownies (not a big seller. Brownies are known as being unhealthy and hence aren’t that popular.) Banana bread on the other hand is made with real bananas. It’s bread, not brownies…. not cake… it’s bread. “healthy”. Ha. No chance, but this is still incredible. People devoured this. Once you had one piece you couldn’t help but go back for a second or third piece. Another thing I altered was the chocolate chips. A doubled recipe would call for for 2 cups of chocolate chips. That was way too much. I only used 1 cup, and didn’t add any more on top. I’m glad I did this. It was already chocolatey enough. I wouldn’t eliminate them, because the chocolate chips break up the texture of the banana bread. Half was just right. (MAYBE 3/4 cup) Depends if you add any more on top. I didn’t.

Note: I didn’t eat this right away. I put the traveling lid on this when it was still a little warm. This sealed in some steam that might have affected the moisture of the bread. It was unbelievable moist, but perfect.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A+++++

Easily $20 if you have nothing. My mom has lots of baking supplies so I used all of hers.

40 minutes

Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
I cut the chocolate chips in half. Glad I did.
Overall Impression:
Put it in the list of top 10 desserts I’ve ever made. This is heavenly. Chocolate and banana. Mmm. You should make this. Then hop on the treadmill, because you’re going to eat the whole thing in one sitting.
Parmesan Honey Pork Roast in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Sundays: Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

I feel like all we ever eat is chicken. Frankly, I’m getting burnt out. I bought a pork roast last winter on accident. I was actually looking for a pot roast, but after an extremely long day all I saw was “roast” and I bought it. Obviously, that didn’t make the day any better.

Since it’s been in the freezer for months, it was time to cook it up. This parmesan honey pork roast recipe sounded good. I’ve tried a few recipes with honey and it’s becoming a new favorite dressing.

Ingredients:

1 (3 – 4 pound) boneless pork roast
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese (yes, the powdered kind in the shaker canister)
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

For Thickening Sauce –

2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

 

Directions:

(notes are from original post)

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt.  (I found the mixture to be a little too thick to pour over the roast [as instructed in the next step of the recipe], so I added in a tad bit of water to the mixture – maybe 1/2 – 1 cup.)
  • Pour over pork.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 – 7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
  • Remove meat to a serving platter and keep warm. (I cover mine with a little foil.)
  • Skim fat from cooking juices, if needed or desired.  Transfer to a small saucepan.  Bring liquid to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and the 1/2 cup water until smooth.  Gradually stir into pan.  (I found that I did not need all of the cornstarch slurry.)  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast and serve with gravy.  (I didn’t use all of the sauce.)

Result:

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

Disappointing. I read the comments on the original post and most people seemed to have a 50/50 success/fail rate. I was hoping to land on the good side. This wasn’t terrible. The meat was actually decent. The sauce was the problem. It had a burnt taste. I was worried that’s what would happen. Seems that a lot of people had that problem. It was definitely the parmesan cheese. It burns so easily. I think that if I were to try this again, I’d only add the parmesan at the last step when you thicken the sauce.

Grade: Cost: Time:

D-

I had everything. Est. pork roast price to be around $5-6?

6-7 hours on low.

Level of Difficulty:
Medium
What I Would Change:
Only add the parmesan at the last step when you thicken the sauce. If you cook it the full time, it burns in the slow cooker.
Overall Impression:
Could have been a good recipe but I was pretty disappointed. I made sure I watched the recipe since I read that the sauce can go from good to burnt really quick. Regardless of how often I checked it, it still ended up burning. Switching when you add the cheese could probably change this problem.

 

The Night Circus fan art by Vivie

The Night Circus

Header image by Viveie

No Spoilers in this review.

This book has appeared on more of my pins than I can count “best books to read” “great YA novels” “my favorite books” etc. The list goes on and on. It was time to find out what all the hype was about.

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternI borrowed this book via the Overdrive app my local library offers. Check out if your library has it. If you like ebooks, it’s a great way to get them for free. All you need is a library card (which are usually free to residents).

Here’s a summary from Amazon:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

Sounds interesting right? I thought so too. I don’t have much experience reading about magicians and circuses. I’ve seen The Prestige. Does that count?

I’m not sure how I really feel about The Night Circus. I feel that the summary doesn’t set the reader up correctly. My impression before picking this up: “Sounds interesting. We’re have a battle brewing between two rival magicians who happen to work the same circus. The circus is a mystery, but we as readers will get to see the insides. It will probably be 1 part mystery, 1 part confrontation, and 1 part scheming, all centered around the points of view of these two magicians. ”

Nope! Well, sorta yes.

prestige_watch_closely

Here’s a much better summary I found from an Amazon review. I would have felt much more prepared reading this first.

There are two illusionists, chosen at a young age to be bound to one another in a contest that will span their lives until one wins. They have been given no rules, other than that they must perform in some way. They have no idea how one wins, or what one must do to win. Their sponsors in the contest create the circus as the arena for their players. One will travel with it, the other will not. Their story is interspersed with the perspectives of several other characters within or affiliated with the circus, all of whom enrich the plot and provide a deeper look at the workings of the circus and those it touches.

The Night Circus sets up a brilliant world with unique characters. I say unique because some characters are incredibly interesting and other are not. The reader is drawn into points of view of:

Prospero the Enchanter
Mr  A.H.
Celia
Marco
Poppet/Widget
Bailey
A clock maker
An Outsider viewing a magic show/the circus.
A few others.

Frankly, there are too many characters. If you’re looking for a book to read on a long flight, or you’re stuck inside during a storm you might devour this book. It’s a great book if you’re someone who reads for hours on end and can easily keep track of multiple characters. It’s a mystery, a competition, and unique. Really, I thought the world of the circus was fascinating. The different tents made me wish they were real. I think it’d be fantastic to see in real life. When it comes to the characters, the story needs help. No matter how hard I tried, I had to keep going back to remind myself who all these characters are. I felt that it  jumped around too much. There were simply too many characters. Perhaps that’s why people loved this book so much. It’s just like a circus. You’re not entirely sure what you’re reading, where it’s going, nor all the small connections happening between each chapter.

When I could get into it I devoured the chapters, but when I put the book down I felt no motivation to pick the book back up. I didn’t care for either Celia, Marco, Mr. A.H. or Prospero. They were boring and/or extremely unlikable.

I felt like this: Harry Potter playing with toys.

Each chapter also followed a similar pattern. “Zoom into scene. Listen to characters talking. Find out something important. Camera zooms back out”. I actually started talking back to the book with ‘Wow, didn’t see that coming”. Note the sarcasm. Eventually the due date for my library book came and passed. I was only 60% of the way though the book. The book was wiped from my Kindle and that was that. A week passed… two weeks passed. I felt no motivation whatsoever to check out the book again. Instead, I went to google, searched for the ending and said “THAT was it?…. Really?…. Glad I didn’t waste any more of my time”. I really didn’t agree with the ending.

I read up somewhere that when the author writes, she binge writes. I felt like that was her problem. She was over enthusiastic about the writing that she forgot to take a step back and see what was really going on. Since it says in the summary that Celia and Marcos fall head over heels in love I also feel it’s ok to talk about the #1 thing I hated about this book. Marcos sends his girlfriend Isobel to work as a spy for him in the circus. You can tell Isobel loves Marcos. She feeds him information for YEARS. Then he meets Celia again and it’s all over. He uses Isobel. I was not ok with that. Marcos was the cheating boyfriend and Celia was “the other woman”. I felt that it sent a bad message to young readers.

In conclusion, the imagery in this book is astounding. It’s a beautiful world. Easily ranked in my list of top 5 fictional places I want to visit. The author outdid herself with the magic and the circus. The pieces that lack are the characters and the editing. The main characters were boring, and there are so many extra characters that it takes work to keep track of who is whom.

Grade: Cost: Time:

Hard to rate.
3 out of 5 stars

Free

A few days

Level of Difficulty:
YA
What I Would Change:
The Characters
Overall Impression:
The world is magical. It’s worth reading just to experience the beauty of the circus, but it’s hard to like the characters. The characters provide more questions than answers and often times it felt like the chapters did nothing to contribute to the story. The author could have taken this story multiple ways. While I loved the world, i wish she took the story another route.
Cleaning your shower curtain liner

Cleaning Your Shower Curtain Liner

When is the last time you cleaned your shower curtain liner? Never? I know I haven’t. I’ve always found it to be a pain. One person holds it while the other tries to scrub it down. Lately it’s been looking really cloudy. All the hard water stains were building up on it.

Dirty Shower Curtain Liner

Do you see that? Ew. I came across this tip for cleaning a shower curtain liner in the washing machine using white vinegar. In the washing machine? Wont that melt it? That’s what I was worried about too. Turns out I worried about nothing. If it can sustain the heat of your shower, it’ll survive the heat in your dryer.

I only used about a half cup of vinegar and I washed it with my shower rug. It worked well in some spots, but others still were cloudy. I read some of the comments on the original post. They said that you should always wash it with towels. It keeps the curtain liner moving around.

My thought process was “the more you stuff in, the less room you have. Looking back on it, the towels would add weight to help move around the shower curtain more. Instead, the liner got creases in it. I wasn’t too happy about that. It makes it look older than before I washed it. I felt it also made the liner stiffer than it was before. Maybe the liner style plays a role in this? I had a heavy duty liner from Target, so it was hard to fold down when putting in the wash. A thinner liner might wash better.

Before and after pics from cleaning your curtain liner.

Before and after pics from cleaning your curtain liner.

If you’ve tried this, tell us about your experience. Any tips or tricks?

Grade: Cost: Time:

B-

< $1

1 hour

Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
Add more vinegar (I used 1/2 when they called for 1 cup) and wash it with a lot of towels.
Overall Impression:
It worked but wasn’t as great as I hoped. I think that next time I’d wash it with towels. There are creases in my liner now that weren’t there before. I think I’ll try this one more time (in a few months). If it comes out as damaged as before then I’ll just toss it and buy a new one.

 

Broken Blush Palette

Fixing a Broken Blush

My little sister Gina loves make up.  Her eyebrows are on fleek.  Her eyeliner game is strong. Basically she puts us all to shame.  So on Saturday, she shows me this broken blush palette and we both mention seeing a pin to fix make up palettes on Pinterest.  She said, “Do you want to Pintertest it?”  Of course I had to!  I found this pin to guide me.
Broken Blush Palette

I covered the blush with plastic wrap to keep my hands and tools from turning pink.

Cover with plastic wrap

I used this medicine thing for kids to break up the blush into a powder.

Break blush into a powder

Once it’s broken up, it’s easier to make into a paste.

Broken into a powder

I added a few drop of 70% alcohol.  By a few, I mean maybe 5-8.

Just a few drops of alcohol.

I replaced the plastic wrap and smoothed the paste with my fingers.  I used the medicine dispenser to press the edges down.

Smooth out the powder with plastic wrap

Here it is after I removed the plastic wrap.  It’s not perfectly flat, but I think it could have been if I had added more alcohol to make the paste a little more liquid.

Smoothed out

I cleaned up the edge with a damp paper towel to keep the loose powder from getting everywhere.

Clean up the compact.

Here is the palette set to dry on my counter.

Ready to dry.

 

It dried looking just as vibrant as it looked wet. My sister said that was getting less pigment when she used it after.  I think this is due to the firmness of the freshly reset powder.  Once she uses it a bit more and there is a layer of loose powder on it, it will be back to its original amount.

Grade: Cost: Time:

A

Free

5 minutes or less.

Level of Difficulty:
Easy
What I Would Change:
If I had more than one to do, I might try varying how much alcohol I use to see if that makes a difference.
Overall Impression:
This worked!  Powder compacts break all the time and this is an easy and cheap way to fix them.  Just thinking of the money saved by not having to rebuy the ones that break is a relief for my sister. I would highly recommend this!