Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Scrapin' off the Burned Edges

We have a treat for you today: a co-authored post! We have a few things to announce and thought it would be best to do so together!

First off, we love this blog.
We have put many hours, thoughts, project time, meeting time, writing time, and our blood, sweat, and tears into this blog for the last 2-ish years. At times we're sure you have noticed that we aren't as "on top of it" with our posts as we would like to be. Even though we generally have a reason for those lapses, and we usually apologize, the truth of the matter is that this is life! It's messy and schedules don't always work like you hope they do. We have had illness strike, new jobs, children, schooling, loved ones pass, vacations, day-to-day stuff, and anything else come up without warning. Quite often these things are more important than anything else in our lives right then and those are our priorities. We are totally ok with that though, because this blog is our hobby. We don't have any sponsors to answer to,and we don't make money off of this. We simply run this blog because we enjoy it. But lately, we haven't been enjoying it like we used to. We feel kinda like GCT Level 3 Burned Toast.

Writing a post most days for the last two years has become too much for us as of lately. In many ways we feel burnt out and that the quality of our posts has lowered.  After stalking reading other blogs we love we've come to realize that we don't have to post every day to have a stellar blog. What we do need is to have stellar content.

So, we've come up with some ideas that will hopefully help rejuvenate the blog and help us scrape off the burned layer of toast and get down to the good again.

What are our ideas? Glad you asked, because we are excited to tell you!

1. The New Schedule.
We will no longer be posting daily. Don't panic though!! We will still be blogging and trying out projects (especially trying out the projects from the awesome submissions you all send us), and then reporting back to you. Now each week though you will get Rachel's Sunday Surprise post, a Pinstrosity Hump Day post on Wednesday, and a Show and Tell Saturday once a month (more on that in a minute). We're sure sometimes we may have a post we just can't wait to share that we might post on the odd Friday or Monday, but for now Wednesday's and Sunday's will be our main post days. We're going for quality over quantity here. You guys are great, and you deserve some awesome posts.

2. Monthly Challenges.
Don't worry, we will not be asking you to dump a bucket of ice water on you head. What will we be asking you to do? Well, we love seeing your projects, and we love to hear about the things you were inspired to do by something you saw on Pinterest. We know that sometimes all it takes is just a small nudge to get working on things you have pinned on Pinterest. So we are instituting Pinstrosity Challenges. Once a month we'll have a new theme. One time it might be a color. Another time it may be a holiday. Sometimes it might be related to a specific room in a typical house. Whatever it is though, we invite all of you to find some inspiration off of Pinterest and do a project that relates to the themes. It can be food, clothing, a DIY craft project, a party, anything. Here's how it will work. We will post up new challenges on the first day of each month at 8 AM (MST). You will have all month long to complete a project that fits the theme and email us a with the results (Pin Win or Pinstrosity). The cut off time for getting projects in is 11:59 PM (again, MST) on the last day of the month. The following Monday or Saturday (whichever is closer depending on where the last day of the month falls) we'll do a Show and Tell Saturday post with the pictures you send in of your challenge projects. Clear as congealed Mod Podge? I hope that made sense. We'll give out more details with this first challenge on October 1st.

The point of this? To get you all testing pins and letting go of your Pinterest fear, and to add some interaction with all of us! Are you with us?

Good! We're excited to have you aboard!

3. Future Posts
We have a good list going of posts, and series of posts, that we want to do. They range from tutorials, to videos of us testing out iffy pins, to holiday related shenanigans. We want this to be fun for you and for us. As said above, we've gotten a little burned out, so we figure it's time to shake things up!

We're excited about shaking things up, scraping off the burned edges, and getting fully back into this awesome community and project we truly do love. We hope you all continue to read along and submit your Pinstrosities to us and share in the fun of Pinterest.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Last Mix It Up Monday

Well, the time has come. Today is the last Mix it Up Monday post for a while. Why? Because we're changing things up. I know, don't fix something that's not broken. We're not fixing really, just revamping. We have some new ideas up our sleeves, a few challenges for you all in the future, some ways we can all interact more, and we're excited! So, enjoy today's last Mix it Up Monday post, and then tune in on Wednesday to see what we've got up our sleeve.

First off, in honor of the Autumnal Equinox tomorrow (aka, the first day of Fall), an Autumn pin I relate well to:

I would scare myself every single day with this thing. I couldn't do it. Nope. No way. 

Rock pillows!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Surprise:

Hey Y'all,

I'm working on this awesome post for you, but alas, it was not destined for you this weekend. Would you like to know why? My mother-in-love is in town. And yes, I typed mother-in-love, which is a term I maybe invented? Or, rather, that I thought of and hadn't seen used anywhere else. I mean the term to be used as an alternative to mother-in-law, since Rob and I aren't married, but have been together for almost four years.

So, I thought I would do a funny mother-in-law/love post-- but do you know what? Flippin' Pinterest only provides me with two types of post when I search "mother in law". They are as follows:

  1. The posts that say "Thank you for raising the man of my dreams" on miscellaneous items (read: keychains, necklaces, frames, napkins, cards, etc...)
  2. Hilarious but rude posts that frequently include curse words, so I shan't post them here.
So, where does that leave me with the Sunday Surprise post for the day?

(goes and looks in my Pinterest likes) OH YEAH! Mosquitoes. 

Please note, this has absolutely no relation to the mother-in-law beginning of this post, I just didn't feel like re-writing my mother-in-love introduction after finding a relevant topic in real time. Whoops. #bloggerfail

Here's what's going on: Rob and I are covered in mosquito bites. And I'm ready for it to stop. There are a few in our house that we can't manage to kill (they're like ninjas, I swear to you), and then about 
twenty gazillion more outside. In preparation for the mother-in-love, Rob cleaned the patio, and it just seems like they are everywhere. Is there an epidemic that I didn't know about? Seriously, they seem worse than usual. 

I turned to Pinterest for some home remedies, and here are the pins that caught my eye (though I haven't tried them yet).

To really get the post started off right, I felt an infographic was highly appropriate:

Huffington Post tried a whole bunch of different remedies for preventing mosquitoes. The most interesting of which was dish soap. Say what?! I'll have to look into this more! THey also had luck with chives...

Speaking of plants.... this graph seems useful. About time I read up to see which of these plants can handle the Arizona weather. Do you have any idea?
For sure though, we'll have to try this mosquito trap. It's ALL OVER Pinterest, and this eHow instruction is super informative. I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe take some pictures. Hahaha.

If you have any ideas or tips on how to banish mosquitoes from the inside of your house (and discourage them from being outside), please, please, please, let me know. The eight (no exaggeration, eight!) horribly itchy bug bites that I am refusing to itch and I beg you.

Hugs to you all. If you have any funny stores about your mother-in-loves, I'd love to hear those too.
Happy Sunday you fantastic people!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Using the Right Glue

Most of us have about 2-3 forms of glue/adhesive in the house. School glue, hot glue, glue sticks, mod podge, gum on the bottom of your shoe, etc. I don't know about the rest of you, but it seems like whenever I get started on a project I learn that I don't quite have the right kind of glue. Consequently, over the last 2 years I've ended up with an adhesives drawer in my craft room. It has fabric glue, rubber cement, hot glue, school glue, glue sticks, tacky glue, spray on adhesive, mod podge (in glossy and matte), ticky-tac, double sided tape, cheap tape, duct tape, packing tape, masking tape, and washi tape. Yet with all of those, inevitably I get going with a craft project and either don't have the right kind of glue or I don't know which glue to use and end up using the wrong glue.

The glue can make or break a project. Megan learned this with her recent DIY project. She was hoping to end up with cute button thumbtacks like these:
Gathering her supplies though, Megan found she didn't have the E6000 glue the project instructions called for. However, she did have hot glue and figured that would work. All seemed to go well until she went to pull one of the button thumbtacks off the corkboard.

I probably would have made this exact mistake. In my head hot glue works for everything when in reality, it does not. So how do you know what glue to use? I found an awesome site that will help us out with this one.
This post is seriously fantastic. She goes over 23 glues and how/when to use them. She also created this handy chart:
Need to know which glue is best? Check the chart. Still not sure, go read about a specific glue in her seriously awesome post! I know this is a post I will be referring to in my crafting adventures many times.

P.S. Em and I are working on a few new ideas and announcements! Those will be coming to you soon we hope. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mix It Up Monday: Us Outside Pinstrosity

So you all know that Emilee and I get to work together on this blog (along with Rachel of course!) but I thought I'd show you a peek at a separate part of our lives where we sometimes get to work together as well.

This past weekend Emilee and I both worked a wedding, and we had a ball. Emilee, who is a licensed cosmetologist (those of you who are long time readers will probably remember that detail), did all the hair for the entire bridal party, and she rocked it.

Each girl showed her a picture of what they wanted and Emilee whipped it up. Coincidentally each girl happened to pick a style that incorporated a braid. Even though the styles were all different, they all looked cohesive and Em made them each look elegant.

My part? I got to be the photographer and capture the day's memories (and Em's hard work)! Photography is one of my hobbies; I love the chance to get to use my hobbies to help with such special events. I truly love working weddings. It's hard for me to have a bad day when I get to be involved in a wedding.

Thankfully neither of us have any Pinstrosities to show you from the wedding. Everything worked out so well that day with the hair, the weather, the families, the lighting, the homemade boutonnieres (the mother-of-the-bride did some amazing work with antique handkerchiefs), the perfect dress, an amazing bouquet, everything. One of the few things that could have made it better is to have Rachel's wit and awesomeness there too. That would be an epic day. We'll have to arrange that sometime in the future.

So there's a small peek into one of the things we do when we're not Pinstrositizing!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Surprise: You are GORGEOUS!

Hi Pinstrosipeeps,

*waves* How are you all doing? I have been an absentee-blogger, and I am so sorry! *e-hug* Basically, here's what's a-happenin' with me recently: new job writing instructions has resulted in non-existent blogging life (since I'm on a computer for 40 hours a week). We've been doing lots of cool outdoor activities (read: hiking, birding, and some amateur wildlife photography) instead, but I wanted to stop making lame excuses get back into the Pinstrosity routine.

I think this post may come out of the blue, but you know how Sunday Surprises go: I do what I want. Ha! So, here's what I want to tell you: You are flippin' FABULOUS! I mean it, gorgeous. That hair? Fantastic. Your smile? Amazing. And dang, you look great in that outfit!

Recently, I had two people indirectly tell me that I didn't look the way that they thought I should. And honestly, it didn't feel great. Not even a smidge. One was a lady in a grocery store, and the other is a "friend" (please note the snarky quotation marks) who both tried to sell me gimmicky weight-loss products. Ouch.

But, the good news is this: me, my yummy breakfast smoothies, and the Zumba classes that kick my butt aren't gonna cry about this. Why do you ask? I am well aware that, really, these solicitations had nothing to do with me. These women are sales people, and are "just trying to make a living," which is what it is.

I sure hope that nothing like this has ever happened to any of you. And I don't mean just weight-loss, I mean the people at the kiosks at the mall who want to straighten your hair, or give you miracle lotion to make you look 10 billion years younger, or the people who want to re-do your make-up without being asked. I mentally shake my fist at those kind of sales positions.

As an alternative (or, perhaps a supplement) to the mental fist-shaking, I've decided that I'm going to turn something that made me feel negative into something that makes me feel positive (that is the long winded explanation for why I am writing this post). Noticing and appreciating how beautiful other people are is something that makes me feel good. And, being noticed and appreciated makes people feel good. So, it's this cycle of feeling good about ourselves that makes us feel good.

Thesis of this blog post: warm fuzzy feelings. I found some great body positivity posts on Pinterest to share with you.

1. Your whole being is beautiful.
2. Always wear your invisible crown.

3. We're all fruity and delicious!
4. You're Rad
5. Awesome Shaped

6. To our man-strosipeeps, this post is for you too!
7. There's no wrong way.
8. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own... (This is from a Baz Luhrmann speech, it's wonderful. Give it a listen here)

9. Perfect.

I really hope this brightened your day. Just picking this stuff out for you made me feel all ooey-gooey.
You're lovely. That is all!

PS: A lot of these great images linked back only to the file name of the image-- no artist credit. If you are the artist/know who to credit, please, please, please let me know, so that information can be included here. Muah!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday- Sensory Fail

Em here,
Fall is drawing closer and with it comes the end of summer and its fabulous weather. I am sure that more than a few of our readers have kiddos who aren't in school and are still itchin' to be out playing while the sunshine lasts. Here is a pin with some inspiration and advice for an activity to do when the weather cooperates, and when the kiddos (may or may not) cooperate.
Happy Thursday all!

Sensory FAIL
My nephew is incredibly active and curious. Toys and gadgets don't keep him entertained for long. He wants to be exploring, dismantling, jumping, and moving. The two things he'll sit still for are Elmo music videos and videos of himself. While this really is cute and funny, I know it wears my sister out. She is a trooper though and has worked hard to find activities for him to do that will help keep his attention, focus his curiosity, and let him explore things. She's found things that work well...she's found things that don't work (she's kept a log of the various toddler/baby activities, which you can find here). Anytime I see something cool on Pinterest for her to try out with her boy I tag her in it. She probably gets tired of her obnoxious childless (okay...technically I do have a child right now, but I'm not really raising him yet...just growing him) older sister sending her activities and links...but what is an older sister for but to annoy and meddle? Two traits I found I mastered in my life (I'm typing up my old journals from when I was a kid...if I weren't already pregnant that'd serve as a pretty good prevention technique). Today's post has an activity I would have definitely tagged and sent to her on Pinterest. It looks like a blast. Sarah thought it looked like a great idea as well. Bubble Wrap and shaving cream combined into a fun kid's activity? What could go wrong?! 

The Original Pin
Look how happy she is! It makes me want to play in shaving cream and bubble wrap. Ultimate slip and slide?! 

Sarah says, "I was trying to get creative with sensory activities for my boys. Enter, Pinterest's "The Bubble Wrap Sensory Slide". The picture of the adorable little girl looking thoroughly pleased and shrieking with joy as she played in the bubble wrap and shaving cream had me sold...Shame on me for thinking this seemingly effortless activity would turn out like it was supposed to AND that my kids would actually enjoy it.  I recruited my mom to bring us bubble wrap from work, went to the dollar store and stocked up on shaving cream and planned the showdown with the ever-fickle game of perfectly timing organized activities with nap time, meal time, potty time, daddy-comes-home time, bed time, etc. I put a notable amount of energy into making this deceptively uncomplicated project into a three-minute reality for my family."

"It is important to note that my children are familiar with both shaving cream and bubble wrap. This is how it played out:"

The Pinstrosity
I'll just give you Sarah's play by play in her own words:
  • Laying out the bubble wrap on the grass really just involved me chasing it around the yard as it blew in the wind."
  • It took more than five 12-oz cans of shaving cream for "desired effect".
  • The kids wanted *nothing* to do with that strange mess mommy made on the ground.
  • After I enthusiastically demonstrated what they were supposed to do by jumping up and down, popping bubble wrap with my feet and using my best supportive and overdone, over-zealous mom voice to encourage their participation (and realizing it is way harder than it looks to stand on slippery plastic covered in shaving cream), I picked up each boy and set them right on top of the bubble wrap and made them try it.
  • My 16-month-old sprung right up and off the bubble wrap like a wind-up toy the second I set him down. I'm pretty sure he levitated; irate baby #1.

  • My almost-3-year-old stood up and fell down and stood up again then tried to walk but the bubble wrap stuck to his feet as he tried to walk away and it "followed him" - you can feel the passion in his fury in these pictures. 

  • The worst part of the bubble wrap sensory slide was every time you lifted your foot to walk or take a step, the bubble wrap would stick to your feet; it stuck to everything.
  • It was over in three minutes.
  • Side note: Food coloring plus children is a stupid idea.
  • Thank you Pinterest, for underhandedly bringing me an experience of foolishness I never knew existed, in front of my children, husband and on-looking neighbors. Not cool, Pinterest...not cool.
Poor Sarah! All that hard work and excited anticipation for a let down. Magdelyn and Stephanie I'm sure could say, "I know how you feel!". Even though I don't have kids yet, I feel like I can commiserate as I do with with the teenage girls at church (I love them, but sometimes I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall). Having a highly anticipated activity flop is so disheartening. But kids' fickleness does have a a year, this activity could be the coolest thing those to boys can imagine. Or it could be a repeat trauma for all involved. I'd give out advice on how to help a kid like an activity like this or on how to try this activity again and making it a positive experience...but I'm pretty much a zero on the experience meter here. Oh I could make something up and still give out ideas and advice...but I don't imagine that'd be all that helpful, lol. Mom's out there...any suggestions?  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lipsick Lushisness ft. The Mr. Chips

Hello all! Sometimes I see a pin and I know I just can't take everyone else's word for it, I HAVE to try it out myself!! From the second I saw this pin I knew that I HAD to try it. Then I found another one (the first one...I switched up the order for the big reveal!) and thought that while I was in the neighborhood I would give it a shot. I even got Chip in on this one ;) Stay tuned for outtakes at the end :)

The Original
Just to cover my basis, I am in no way saying that this poster is a false advertisement ...I am just relaying my own personal experiences. Nuff' said.
This fun pin helps you turn all of your favorite lipstick colors into lip stains so that they stay longer and won't transfer onto clothing, or anything else during the throws of a normal day. Here is my experience with this pin!
The Pinstrosity
I followed the steps shown in the poster by 1. Applying lipstick as normal.
I used one of my favorite moody mauve's, its called Summer Sunset by Maybelline.

2. Pressing a tissue (or TP, because that is what I have) to the lips.
3. Dabbing powder (I used baby powder) to the lips over the tissue.
and voila...only no voila here.

To me it just felt more like I had blotted the lipstick with a tissue. It still had that sticky lipstick feel and it wasn't even all that matte in real life. I felt that this one was a Pinstrosity. If I was looking for a lip stain I would probably just wear a lip stain and not go through all the trouble of the powder and tissue dance.
Now for the fun one ;)
The Original
I've had my eye on this one for MONTHS!!!
P.S. This girl has Jessica Rabbit lips, bravo to you lady.
The Pinstrosi-win-ity
(See what I did there)
I put concealer on first...nude lip anyone?
 Then I lined the lip in black eyeliner (harder than it looks!!)
I used Are You Red-y also by Maybelline for this one.
 I put the lipstick on my lips like normal.

And blended...which ended up looking like this.
And so I cleaned it up...

Not too bad! It's dark, but I like it. It has a sort of 90's gothic look that I really love. Not an everyday look, but it could be fun and it really wasn't too bad to replicate.
And now what you all have been waiting for, the outtakes!!
This was the first picture I took with the black lip liner...I couldn't stop laughing!!
 Get that corn outta my face!

 How you doin'?
 Ahaha!! I love him so much.

 And then finally all this happened. He is such a good sport. Love you Chip!
Happy Tuesday all!!