Saturday, September 28, 2013

Show-And-Tell Saturday: Ten Pin Plan Report

If you remember back to the 16th of this month (or look back if you have to), I came up with my 10 Pin Plan. This was a list of 10 pins I was going to test over two weeks and then I'd report to you today on the successes, failures, and in-betweens. I've been working hard to get all the pins done and I'm excited to share the results with you! 

So, in the order that these pins got done, I give you my Ten Pin Report: 

Pin Report #1:
My friend made this recipe way before I did and said that it was so salty that they had to throw it away. It sounded so good from the recipe though that I still wanted to give it a try. So I did. The recipe calls for 1-2 cans of cream of chicken soup. I figured that was where a good amount of the sodium was coming from, so I did half Cream of Chicken and half Cream of Mushroom soup (I don't find Cream of Mushroom to be as salty as Cream of Chicken). I knew that would change up the flavor some, but if it made it so we could eat it, that was fine. I do know that some brands of Cream of Chicken soup have a higher sodium content than others as well, so when you're making this, take that into consideration. Another thing we did, following a tip in the recipe, to cut back on the salt and to thin the sauce/gravy down to a more preferable consistency was to add some milk.
In the end, the flavor was good and it wasn't unedibly salty. You definitely didn't need to add salt, but it wasn't inedible. It reminded us of a mix between the gravy for Hawaiian Haystacks and cheap alfredo sauce. It really wasn't a bad meal at all, just not one of our uber favorites.
I thought about taking a picture, and I probably should have...but really it looked about like the picture (only we had ours on rice, not pasta). It's just a cream sauce with chicken. Another picture would kinda be overkill. That's how it looks. 

Pin Report #2:
Again...I didn't take a photo. Partly...I didn't think to take a before shot, so it doesn't do much good to show you the after shot as you won't know the drastic improvement. But...this works fantastically. It's not uncommon for me to forget a load in the washer and have to rewash it because it went sour. After enough times of doing this, along with the general grime build up, my washer looked and smelled less than pleasant. Not something you want to put clothes in to try and get them clean. Now, my washer smells so nice and fresh, the clothes came out smelling fresher than they have for a while, and it looks so clean and wonderful! This was really easy to do and it's made a difference in my washer and laundry. I'd recommend it!

Pin Report #3
This one I do have pictures for. I decided that I wanted to do the apple pie in the cinnamon roll crust because apples were on sale and it just sounded yummy. I had this pinned to test the crust out anyway. So I followed the directions to put the cinnamon roll style crust together. The directions said you can use pre-made crust, or make your own from scratch, so I turned to my trusty pie crust recipe (it really is simple and really yummy). I did a double batch of pie crust dough for the bottom so I would be sure to have enough and it ended up being perfect. It really was easy to put the crust together, the directions are simple. Here's what my crust looked like after getting it in the pan:

Then, this is the recipe I used for the pie. I'm not normally a huge apple pie fan, but I love this recipe and it's so easy. Cut up the apples, put the lattice top on, and then you make a caramel sauce and pour it through the lattice. SOOOOOoooo yummy and easy. For the lattice top I rolled out the plain dough, then spread some melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar on top. I then smooshed the dough back together gently (because you don't want to mix it too well), and rolled it out again to get a sort of cinnamon/sugar marbled effect going on. Then I cut my lattice strips and put the top on. Here's the pie right before going into the oven:

And here's the finished product!

So we know it looks cool, but what about the taste? Let's just say that I will forever do my apple pie crusts like this now. It's adds such a subtle but yummy yumm yummy flavor to the pie. And I apparently didn't get the bottom crust flattened as thin as I thought so I ended up with a thicker crust (which I LOVE) that is extra yummy to eat because of the cinnamon in it and the pie filling soaked in. This one is WELL worth the time it takes to make it. MMMmmmmmmm.

Pin Report #4

This one was hilarious. I drew the eyebrows on my nephew right before my baby shower started and then let him ham it up during the shower. His facial expressions were hilarious. But anytime I pulled out the camera, I got this face:

My sister and I tried and tried to get a good reaction when I had the camera out and he just wasn't going for it. But it was hilarious just watching him during the baby shower. Here are the 5 best shots I got of him during the day:
So this one is hilarious...but catching the hilarity "on film" may be another issue.

Pin Report #5
I have been waiting since last August to have my hair long enough to pin up, pull up, ponytail, leave down, etc., and finally it is reaching a doable length. But now that it's long enough to put up...I just don't know what to do with it. I've had this hairstyle pinned for a while now. Most half-up, half down do's make me look like I'm 11, but this one looked like a more grown up version of the half up/down do so I thought I'd give it a try. It looked simple enough. After getting the layering and texturizing my thick head of hair needed (thanks Em!), I knew it was time to try this out. From bed head to this do it took me about 20 minutes. That's brushing out my hair, giving it a light curling job, and then following her instructions. Here's what I ended up with this morning:

It really did go up pretty simple. I think I have thicker hair than Kate (the lady from the pin), but I was able to make it work and my layers were just long enough for this. Because I have a ton of hair, I ended up using about 8 bobby pins in the back to hold the hair in place. So the actual assembly of this do was pretty simple and doable. Then I decided I wanted to see how it held up during a day of laundry, dishes and sewing (don't you love the days where you get to play catch up because you've been gone all day every preceding day of the week?). Here's how it looked at 4 pm (6 1/2 hours later):

It's held up remarkable well. I don't know how it'd do out on a super windy or rainy day, but not many hair styles withstand that very well. But, for shopping, social events, church, etc., this would work out great! Yea for a new do!

Pin Report #6
So I've had this pinned to do for forever. I thought it looked genius. I was hoping to just use what I already had at home to keep this cheap. I didn't have placemats, but I did have non-adhesive shelf liner. But when I pulled that out this past week, I realized it wouldn't work. It wasn't smooth top liner, it has built in holes. Like this:

So I could put that down on the shelves, but any liquid or anything would just flow through the holes to the shelf and then I'd have the liner and the shelf to clean. No thanks. Luckily I thought ahead and then measured the shelves before I want to Wally World. My fridge is the normal upright kind with the freezer on top and the fridge on bottom. Which means the shelves in the fridge are wide. Wide enough that they don't make placemats that big. I thought about doing a few placemats side by side, but I imagined them shifting around, spills going in the cracks and under the mats and then stinking. It just wasn't going to cut it. So then I thought about a tablecloth, but to get one that would work well was more than I wanted to spend on fridge mats. So I scrapped this project. I did try, but it just isn't really all that feasible in my fridge. If I had a side-by-side fridge with more narrow shelves, this would work just fine I'm sure. 

Pin Report #7
It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to do this, and then I came up with an idea I loved. I have this ceramic "canister" on the kitchen window sill above the sink. We use it to hold our scrub brush. It's handy, but it's not the most beautiful thing:

So I thought I'd paint it with that ceramic paint I used on my mug garden project (update on's going great! One succulent died. That's when I realized I'd forgotten to water them for a while...oops), but the other 3, including the bamboo, are thriving. I got out my light blue and started painting away. After 2 coats of paint, and not enough paint left in the bottle for a third coat, the canister looked like this:

That wasn't going to cut it. I just couldn't get the paint smooth with any kind of brush/sponge, and there wasn't enough paint to give it a thick enough coat that the original color didn't show through. So...that idea had to be scrapped. Luckily that paint washes off super easy before you bake it so I was able to just wash off the blue paint and restore the ceramic back to the gold/brown it originally was. 

But that left me still with an unfinished project, and I was bound and determined to make this one work somehow. I rummaged through my art supplies and found a 5x7 scratchboard that I hadn't used yet and decided that was it. So I got on the computer and played with fonts until I found what I wanted. I ended up with this "picture":

I printed it, covered the back in graphite, taped it to my scratchboard, and used a pencil to trace the letters and transfer the graphite to the scratchboard. Then I scratched away and this is what I ended up with:

I figured since it looks chalkboard-ish I'd put it by the awesome chalkboard piggy Em and Camille got me for my Birthday. And, it's right at the entryway to my kitchen which is where some of my least favorite chores happen (and I carry the laundry through there to get to the utility I'll see it when I do laundry too). Plus, it helps hide our internet box, so that's happy too!

Pin Report #8
I went through my t-shirts, picked out the 5 I wanted to use, and came in eagerly to read the directions before jumping into this project. As the only garment of clothing I've ever made is a simple skirt, I wasn't sure what some of the terms meant and, I'll be honest, I was a little intimidated by the tutorial. So I looked around on Pinterest and found a similar idea that seemed much more along my confidence lines (perhaps doing one of these more simple patterns will give me the confidence to try this romper pattern). 
So, here's the pin that I switched to:
Their instructions were decently easy to follow, just pay attention to the words and the pictures. Here's what I ended up with after about 2 hours of work on it. That includes printing the pattern, cutting the fabric, sewing, a snack break, and running back and forth between the dining room table where my sewing stuff was set up and the living room where the computer is to read the directions. Now that I know how it works I'm sure these'll be super quick and easy to pump out. 

Pin Report #9
Well, I did this. My bathroom doesn't smell lemony at all. It just now smells like vinegar and pee. Maybe I'm missing somewhere else where the pee smell is coming from? I scrubbed the toilet, I got the floor all around the toilet. I got the wall/cabinet by the toilet. And I still just smell pee. Where else could little girls get pee?!

Someone commented on my Mix-It-Up Monday post when I said I was going to do this that "Lemon juice and vinegar are both acids, so soda should fizzle when you mix it with the lemon juice; when the reaction is finished, there is no way for it to re-fizzle when you add more acid." The baking soda did fizzle when I added the lemon juice, but I was able to get it into a pancake batter-esque consistency, so I figured I'd just keep going. I let it sit for the 15 minutes it required, and then sprayed vinegar on it. It did fizzle again when I sprayed the vinegar on, so there was enough soda left in the paste to still do the work with the vinegar. But my bathroom still smells like pee. Either this didn't work or I've got some other pee problem area. Blech. 

Pin Report #10
I'm sure this is the one you've been waiting for. And I saved it for last, bwahahahaha. We had some nasty-gram comments (which we didn't publish because of the profanity content, as the disclaimer in our comment box says) saying we were dumb for thinking that galaxies would show up. I know the galaxies are photoshopped into the picture. But that's part of what we're showing. The directions of the pin do say this though: "it is a drink that is pink in natural light, but glows aqua-marine in black-light." So, the idea of testing this pin was to show that, yes, the galaxies are shopped in, and to see if the color change happens with the pinned caption containing the non-alcoholic drink (someone else will have to test the alcoholic version). 

I mixed up the drink (doing 1/9th of the recipe because it's just the two of us and if it was nasty I didn't want to have gallons of this on hand). So what did we find out? 

The mixed up drink under normal light:
Pretty and delicious looking!

The mixed up drink under a black light:
No galaxies. No aqua-marine glow. 

The taste? Kinda weird. Not one we'll be remaking. 

So I don't know if we need a more powerful or high-tech black light, if it was the non-alcoholic version that just didn't work, or if this never actually works...but it definitely didn't work for us. 

So there you have it! My 10-Pin Report. I actually didn't know if I'd get through all of them, so I'm feeling rather proud of myself right now. It helped that I knew I was going to have to report to you thanks for that pressure! I hope you all have a great final September weekend! Hooray for Fall!!


  1. I had problems with the pee-smell in the bathroom, too. It's soaked into the tile/linoleum and frankly, no amount of natural cleaners is going to get rid of it. I've had to go to the enzyme remover type cleaners (i.e., pet stain cleaners/removers)...and that hasn't even worked that well. Sooo...if you find something that actually works, let me know.

  2. I was one of the ones who left a comment about the galaxy thing. I just wanted to make sure you realized I wasn't trying to make fun of you at all! I'm just mad at the people who pin it and get people's hopes up in the first place. I love your site and hope that clears that up :)

    1. No, your's was just fine, don't worry. We had some that were quite rude and even a vulgar one that we didn't publish (as our disclaimer says by the comment button...but I think some either ignore it or don't read it). You can make fun of us, we're good with that. We can laugh at ourselves. Just people swearing at us isn't as happy, lol.

  3. That was fun to read! I'm impressed you tried so many pins. I'll be cleaning my top-load washer. Thanks!

  4. Have you tried removing your toilet seat and cleaning under the hinge? That can help with that persistent smell. If that doesn't help... it may be that you need to replace the wax ring between the toilet and the out-pipe. Apparently they're supposed to be replaced every few years (I don't know anybody who does). A tiny pinhole leak could be causing your problem and cleaning doesn't help much because you're not removing the source of the smell which is under your toilet. Really.
    Also, washing soda is almost as effective as bleach and far less toxic when it comes to cleaning your washer, same procedure, replace the bleach with 2 cups washing soda and allow to soak for two hours rather than one. Really. Bleach is nasty stuff. My dad does household toxic waste mitigation for his city and they have to pay $5-$10 a gallon to properly dispose of the stuff.
    Pie looks fantastic. I mean, wow.
    Tonic water apparently does glow under black light... this might work better if you were to add something non-cloudy and pink to the tonic water (unsweetened cranberry juice maybe or Portland punch concentrate) rather than lemonade mix.

  5. AHHHHHH! All those pins that say baking soda & "insert any weak acid" make great natural cleaners drive me batty. If you mix baking soda & a weak acid you get salt & water. No antibacterial properties. No cleaning. Vinegar by itself is awesome. Baking soda too, but not together.

  6. I love those baby bag things. My babies live in them for the first month or so. They stay warm and diaper changes rant nearly as traumatic if you're not trying to wrestle a floppy baby in and out of tiny man clothes, many times per day.

    That pie looks amazing! I'll have to try your crust recipe sometime.

    I love this as a post. Just like in real life, some things turned out great, some things turned out okay, some were a bust, and some just didn't end up being feasible. We should all remember that when attempting pins!

  7. Wow, you managed so many things and most of them were successful! Sorry about your toilet though. The pie looks divine. The baby outfit turned out perfect.

  8. Thanks for posting this! Good to know that the placemat thing doesn't work for that type of fridge, which is what we have, and everything else. And I think the drink at least looks cool, if not anything like what it was supposed to. <3

  9. In regards to pin #1 I found it really salty too so I added some sweet white wine (Mascato) to offset it. Which in my opinion took it from good to super amazing!

  10. Fun post, my favourite one you've done it a while! Your apple pie looks delicious.

  11. I think the problem with the Galaxy Drink is the pink lemonade mix. They obviously made the alcoholic kind and only tested that. Tonic water DOES glow blue under a blacklight (I've done it for parties before with clear kool-aid) but it's a very weak glow. Since the pink lemonade is such a bright color, and thick, I think it hinders the tonic's glow properties :( Either way, you still won't get galaxies in your glass.

  12. Tonic water glows under black light. Maybe with your reduction of the recipe you didn't have enough tonic water in the drink? IDK.

    I have a 4 year old with aim issues so our bathroom also frequently reeks of urine. I take a (old, discarded, clearly marked as for-cleaning) tooth brush to the hinges of the toilet seat a few times a week, because urine gets up under/around there and dries/crystalizes but still stinks. That helps with the smell.

  13. In addition to what everyone else has said about the toilet, some places I have found pee hiding are between the tank and the bowl (get a good jet spray of vinegar going through there) and also, try craning your head to look under the lip of the outside of your bowl, where the seat connects. I have found "peecicles" hanging off the plastic screws that hold the seat on, and if you aren't looking for it, they get missed. I will second the baking soda + vinegar /= cleaner, though. I just use a vinegar spray, and then a bucket of warm, soapy water, using a bit of dawn dish soap. Works well enough, and I have four boys in this household (3 under the age of 6).

    Again, for the washer, vinegar works just as well as bleach, and is much better environmentally.

    And, finally, that pie looks gorgeous! Definitely a blue ribbon from me.

  14. I pinned that boy bathroom pin just last week. I needed to clean my bathroom real good, and I didn't have that stuff, so I ended up using Ajax. Even though it's chemical-filled, it got rid of the smell rather well, although there's a little blue around my toilet now. Sometimes non-natural works fine.

  15. I've just tried your apple pie out on my housemates and it was a massive hit!! Surprisingly easy (I hate mutli-step complicated recipes that create masses of washing up), even after converting to UK measurements. I did have toffee sauce boiling over, but that was my fault and luckily the grill pan we keep in the bottom of the oven saved the sauce, which thickened beautifully and I could serve over the pie. I used bramley apples as that is what we had, peeled and sliced with a little sugar, which was delicious. Boiled over as my pie dish was too small and I'd left the sliced apples in lemon juice/water while I prepped the dish, and didn't drain/dry them properly so the sauce got runny and boiled over.

    Thank you Marquette for a great recipe
    Long term reader, first time commenter :-)

    1. Yea!! I'm so glad you like the recipe. I've used all different kinds of apples for this and it's tasted great any time (but granny smith are my favorite). Glad the conversions went well too. Happy day!

  16. Don't take the "galaxies" personally... scroll down on this (excellent) Pinterest board. It's saved me from feeling stupid more than a few times...

  17. Regarding the fridge shelf liners, what about cutting up a table cloth for it? I like the idea of having something I can take out and toss in the washer instead of having to take shelves out to scrub them. They're too big and bulky for the sink and don't fit in the dishwasher. Wiping them down can be a lot of work. Washable liners could be a great solution

  18. For the shelf liners, I've seen pins where they used Glad press-and-seal. It's not as reusable but it could be made to fit the shelves (overlap to avoid seams) and would save on cleaning.

    1. I was going to comment to say that I used the Press-and-Seal! It's not the most beautiful look, but it does do the same thing, and your fridge doesn't lose light in the same way that it might with the place mats.

  19. The t-shirt gowns sre super. I give baby gowns to everyone as my gifts but they are hard to find. Thats a great tutorial. They work really well when babies still have the frog leg thing going! LOL

  20. This might be a little bit more labor-intensive, but what about using clear contact paper on the fridge shelves? I haven't tried it, so I don't know how it would do in the cold; but if it still sticks well, all you'd need to do is peel up the old stuff and put down new. :)

  21. Just so you know, the galaxies are photo shopped

  22. Hey! Fantastic blog, I'm really loving the humor and reality of pinstrosities. ;) BTW, Kate from the hair blog is a friend from my old college town! She's an amazing sweet girl. It did give me quite a shock to see her face as I was scrolling along! :)


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