Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why didn't I think of that?

That was my first reaction when I walked into Sharon's house one day and saw this on the wall:

I immediately recognized it as a Penzey's tea towel, and asked her where she found it on a canvas. She made it! DUH.

Light bulb.

I've had this Nickel Creek t-shirt for years but never really wore it. I know it's weird, but I didn't want to ruin it. That's a terrible and illogical reason for buying a shirt at a concert with no intention of ever wearing it. I know. But isn't it cute?

I picked up an 11x14 canvas, dusted off the old staple gun, and got to work!

Now I have some beautiful artwork and can stare at this t-shirt every time I walk in the room!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oh my damn, this is my jam

I went a little overboard with the omgstrawberries at the farmers' markets, and ended up with way too many. Not wanting to waste them but not particularly interested in going shopping for pectin, I perused the internet for a pectin-free strawberry jam recipe.
Spot the leaf I missed?

I was in luck. In the age of Pinterest and fad diets that eliminate random ingredients for vague reasons, you can find substitutes for pretty much anything. All the recipes were very similar, but I went with this one because it was short and sweet.

It's as easy as this:
  • Cut up your strawberries (aim for 4 cups)
  • Blend them as much or little as you like - I like sorta chunky jam and over-blended mine
  • In a pot, combine them with 3 cups sugar (yes, I know that's a lot of sugar) and 1/2 cup of lime juice (recipe called for lemon but I didn't have any)
  • I added some chiffonaded basil for flavor and then fished them out at the end
  • Warm to a boil and boil for 10ish minutes
Yes, we still have Christmas m&m's

It will thicken as it cools - this didn't get as firm as store bought stuff but it firmed up enough to spread on bread, which is really all we need from jam, right?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Small bathroom cabinet - organized!

Messy bathroom cabinet coming at you!

This is the under sink cabinet in our guest bathroom upstairs. Nobody ever uses it unless we have a lot of people over, so why is there so much crap in there? And why is it in such disarray? I don't know.

One day I went in there to add *another* bottle of soap to my stash (we all know I'm a hoarder), and I couldn't stand it anymore. I had purchased this 2 tier sliding basket organizer with this project in mind, and had been waiting for inspiration to strike to actually get it done. That's how I operate most of the time. 

I hadn't measured the cabinet to see if the thing would even fit, so imagine my surprise when I loaded it up and put it in the cabinet to find there were mere millimeters to spare between the top of that lotion bottle and the cabinet frame! WIN.

I purged a bunch of expired stuff that was in Bonnie's basket. We used to sleep at each other's houses all the time if we had an early event the next day or something, so we each had our own dedicated basket in the other's bathroom cabinet with some basic comfort items we may forget when we are visiting. However, once we reached or 30's, we have started just getting up earlier to get where we need to go (ugh I hate it) instead of sleeping over. This meant many expired items were in her basket! 

Exhibit A: contacts that expired in 2011! 

Once all the trash was out, I organized the 2 drawers. In the top I put some of Bonnie's items that were still current, and added some lotion, a toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, and some contact solution:

I decided to use the bottom drawer for random bathroom stuff like toilet scrubbers (these Scrubbing Bubbles disposable brushes are my favorite!), shower curtain liners, and backup hand soap:

On the other side of the cabinet we just have some cleaners and paper towels. Am I the only lazy one who keeps cleaning products in each bathroom so I don't have to lug them around? I'm much more likely to clean the bathroom (still not very likely) if I have everything I need there ready to go.

Much better!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Clean your headlights with toothpaste. Maybe.

All over Pinterest there are photos of drastic before and after shots of car headlights that have been cleaned with toothpaste. I can't remember which ones I actually read because they probably all say the same thing, so if you search for toothpaste headlights on Pinterest you will find approximately 1 million results:

My headlights are very cloudy so I thought I'd give it a try. All you need is water, toothpaste (basic paste without beads or gel), and a towel:

10 points awarded to anyone who noticed that I tried to use a microfiber cloth at first because that's what I found at the dollar store. I later switched to a plain old hand towel and had better, but still unsuccessful, results.

I squirted the toothpaste onto the headlight and then spread it out with the towel to make sure the whole surface was covered:

Let it sit for a few minutes, spray water on it, and wipe it clean with a different towel.

Wipe it clean? Not so much. I can maybe sorta see a little bit of improvement here, but my headlights don't look anything like the perfectly clean shiny ones on Pinterest! #storyofmylife

Here's the before and after:

Maybe white toothpaste would work better? Maybe toothpaste with a specific ingredient like baking soda? Even though I bought the toothpaste at the dollar store, I intentionally didn't buy the knockoff brand because I assumed Crest would work better.

Good news: I'm only out $3 and my headlights are marginally cleaner. Win?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Date Night!

Deep Groove records advertised a sidewalk sale on their Facebook page a few weeks ago, so I asked Dave if he wanted to check it out. He has been collecting Beatles albums and (I think) has all that he wants, but I supposed there's always the chance there's a nicer copy out there? He's also starting to collect DMB albums, which are gradually being released on vinyl.

We have been to Deep Groove once before on a random Saturday - Dave was looking for a specific DMB new release, which he found. I love this shop! Protected under a layer of glass, the counter is covered with concert tickets through the years:

For the sidewalk sale, they had several tables full of boxes containing albums in a seemingly random order. Thrill of the hunt, I suppose? There was a pretty good crowd there and Dave perused all the boxes to find some goodies.

I bought an album! We do not own a record player, but when I saw the cover art of the new Decemberists album, I had to have it. Now we need to buy a record player and I can't wait to listen to this!

We headed across the street to Boka Tako Bar, which evolved from a food truck business, for dinner. We shared some honey truffle tator tots (YUM), shrimp and grits tacos (YUM), and 3 pig and fig empanadas (YUM). There were some college kids there having a little too much fun at the bar. Scream-talking to each other, and when the bartender turned up the music to drown them out, they just scream-talked even louder. UGH I am old.

Last stop of the night was Byrd Park. We drive by it every time we leave downtown, but I've never stopped to check it out. People talk about paddle boats and feeding ducks there, and both sound fun! We were there after hours so there were no boats, and the ducks were sorta pissed off, so we took some selfies (we both have crazy eyes in them so I'm not posting) and were on our way ;)