Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pinterest: succeed or fail. Nail polish flowers.

So I've been watching this pin. It looks so simple and the finished product is amazingly adorable. I wanted to try because how cute would it be as a photo-prop head piece on a baby girl!? 

The pin:

So it looks simple enough and I used some scrap wire I had left over because I didn't want to waste money if it didn't work. I had my doubts, I felt like the nail polish wouldn't cover the whole petal and I'd be left with painted wire skeletons of flowers. 
Was I ever wrong!

It's as simple as it shows, make your flower. 

My wire is a tad thicker than what I wanted to use so when I go to make the head piece I'll go with a thinner wire. 

Pick your polish and paint each petal, the first swipe didn't work on 2 petals but the second it went right on. No problem! 

Then I thought, there's no way the polish won't be extremely fragile....but guess what!? When it dried it's much tougher than I had expected! 
I will shape my flowers better for the head piece.  I thought I took a picture of the polish brand, if it matters, it's Sally Hensen. 

Here's the original link:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pinterest: succeed or fail. Bird feeders.

So I was thinking as I was pinning away on Pinterest about how many pins I have and how little I've tried. For the most part I don't try them because I'm scared they are big fat fails and I'll sulk in the corner for hours because my craft didn't look like the Pinterest pic. So now, for you, every Sunday or Monday I will post a 'Pinterest: succeed or Fail' post. 

This weekends was bird feeders. All 3 kids got involved. 

Here's the pin:

*See link at bottom of post for original pin/blog link*
So it seems simple enough, 1/4 cup water for each envelope of gelatin you want to use, 3/4 cup birdseed, wax paper and cookie cutters. What can go wrong!? 

We buy suet a lot and the birds love love peanut butter so I broke the rules before I even started. (Not that it should be a huge shock for you or anything) 

Batch one: 
I used 1/4 cup water, 1 envelope gelatin dissolved it as the blog suggested, added birdseed. The blog states that if there's still liquid in the pan to add more bird seed, I had to. In actuality I ended up using somewhere around 1 - 1 1/2 cups bird seed, but I suggest starting with the 3/4 cup and adding as you see fit. Then I added a HEAPING tablespoon (not a measuring spoon, a normal eating tablespoon) while it was still hot, mixed it up, let it cool. The two youngest did theirs first with the peanut butter mix. The oldest ended up with half peanut butter mix and half per the instructions mix. 

The second batch I did per instructions above. 
Here they are cooling in their cookie cutters: the star (white) and big red heart are first batch. 

The ones I used peanut butter in set up faster and tighter, they did exactly how I expected the original to do. 
The second batch- per the instructions, ended up taking longer to set, and were much looser, we had some rain today and it knocked a lot of the seeds off of those. 

This one is G's it is the peanut butter mix

This one below is W's, it was made with half of each, I tried to take a picture of the 'bad' side

So after all is said and done this isn't exactly a fail. The peanut butter mix was much better so I'll be re-pinning with my peanut butter suggestion. 

What you need:
1/4 cup water
3/4-1 1/2 cup birdseed
1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
Cookie cutters
Wax paper

What you do:
Mix gelatin in 1/4 water and simmer stirring constantly until gelatin is dissolved, this doesn't take long. 
Add 3/4 cup birdseed mix well, if liquid is left in pan still add 1/4 cup more at a time until there's no more liquid in pan.
While still warm add peanut butter, mix.
Let cool a minute or so
Place cookie cutters on wax paper
Cut pieces of yarn and knot
Fill cookie cutters half way, add yarn where you want to hang it. Fill the rest of the way. Pack it in firmly. 
Let cool a few hours rotating often (when you remember, walk through, whatever) hang from try and enjoy your new friends. 

Here's the link

Homemade French fries, the right way

These fries are time consuming if you are like me and don't own a deep fryer. If you have a large capacity deep fryer then you can do this much faster. 

Potatoes, I try to use big potatoes but we were at the bottom of a 10lb bag and I used what I had left which was about 7 medium. 

Get a bowl (a big bowl)  and fill half with ice, half with water. 
Slice your taters! What ever size you like, they don't have to be uniform! As you slice them place them in the ice water bowl

Let them soak for around 20-30 minutes this gets most of the starch out, you'll see it in the water and bottom of bowl. 

Rinse them off

Now lay a tea-towel, kitchen towel, something out that will absorb water and place the fries on top to dry (grease plus water = look out) (now is when you want to heat your oil, I use 3-4 on my stove, you want a lower heat) 

I put another towel on top and pat dry. 
When they are dry and your oil is hot (low heat hot, but it still needs to sizzle) drop them in a handful or two at a time, or if you're lucky enough to have a large deep fryer, all of them. 

When you buy frozen fries, that step ^^ has already been done! then they flash freeze them and package them. So you want these fries to look like the frozen ones you buy. A good way to judge is they start to float. They will be limp and appear raw. 

Now, let them drain (and cool to about room temp) 
Crank up the grease to a higher heat (I use 5-6 on my stove top, if you're using a deep fryer just use whatever temp you'd use for frozen fries) 
Fry those bad boys up until they get that golden color, put on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. 

Enjoy! I used canola oil, any frying  oil will do, if you're looking for a five guys fry, use peanut oil ;) 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

To the crabby Chesterfield County bus driver this morning:

* I wrote this letter this morning. It's personal, it's raw, it's pure guilt. I think that's good though. I think through my mistake I made this morning you can learn some valuable lessons. 
1: never ever assume your life is so much worse than that of a person giving you a hard time. Craptastic days happen to everyone, you're not alone. 
2: Christians aren't perfect, we're forgiven. We are human and we sin. 
3: Anger is a dangerous, dangerous thing, we have to learn to turn it into something positive. 

I don't know who she was, what bus number she drove but if you know a Chesterfield county bus driver, share this post, maybe she will read it and know, I'm sorry, I was wrong, it was hurtful and uncalled for. *

To the crabby Chesterfield County bus driver this morning: 

I drop my daughter off at school every morning the way the parking lot/ entry is laid out  there's a line of anxious parents to the left of the entry, ready and in a hurry to drop off their precious at school. To the right of the entry is for buses, teachers and parents to get through to the bus drop off and parking lots. If you're trying to reach the parking lots you must drive down the right side stop and look for oncoming traffic (because four lanes with a median turns into 2 lanes here) go on the wrong side of the road for about a car length and a half and dart into one of the 2 lots. 

This morning was different for me. This morning I was one of the parents going to the parking lot. Today has been hectic, this week has been hellish. 

On any normal morning I have a 2 bus rule. I will let 1-2 buses out on my way through (both ways). You have to be aggressive because if you aren't the buses will take advantage of your kindness and you'll be sitting there with a train of yellow boxes clogging both the entry and exit of the school. I try not to inconvenience anyone because I know some of the parents are headed to work or school or somewhere more important than I am, I'm just going home on most days. 

This morning as I darted around the line of cars and came to where the buses enter/exit I let 1 bus in and 1 bus out. You were next. But I went ahead (because you do have to stop there, ya know) I saw you edging out trying to take advantage of my seemingly kind gesture to the other buses. I moved up aggressively I was going around any way. When I looked for oncoming traffic there were 2 cars coming which caused my back bumper to impede your progress across the busy intersection for all of 20 seconds. I even said out loud oops, sorry lady I didn't see the cars coming, it's not like you had enough time to get out, but you're bigger and we have brakes, right? What happened next shocked laid on your horn! I mean laid on it. At first I said out loud where you could read my lips 'I'm sorry' but as I made eye contact with you you're angry look and glare upset me and I mouthed the word 'b*tch' to you (so that my children didn't hear) . For that, I'm sorry. I'm not sure why it managed to come out. 

I got to thinking how you know nothing about me, about my life, my stresses. You've got no clue that Murphy and his law has made permanent residence in my home, that I am constantly anxious dealing with certain issues in my life, you don't know that buckled in the back seat is 2 of my 3 kids, one of which is my last that I will ever have. You have no idea that when I go home he has to do physical therapy exercises, wear braces on his legs and be catheterized every 4 hours because he can't even control his own bowel and bladder. I even muttered the words 'you've dropped your kids off, what is the hurry? You gotta get home to eat Bon bons?' 

Truth is, I don't know your stresses either. I know you aren't new to the bus driving game. You appear old enough to have been doing this for a few years. Maybe it is just a job to you, or perhaps you love those kids regardless of the disrespect you likely find yourself receiving from them. The snotty noses, 'down in back', crossing RR tracks, screaming, yelling, hitting, pushing. The same thing I deal with daily times 10. 

So maybe we both needed to get a little stress out this morning and unfortunately we were both victim of the others glare/words/horn/anger. 

So, I'm sorry. I don't know if you'll even read this, I hope you do (I don't even know your bus number) I'm not a bad person, I'm usually quite personable, kind, generous, forgiving, helpful person. This morning I didn't not display that nor did I display the kind of Christian lifestyle I try to live and, for that,  I owe you a huge apology.