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6 Actually Useful Things I Learned On Pinterest

standard May 9, 2013 6 responses

I’ve made friends on Twitter and deepened them on Facebook, but Pinterest is the social media network has taught me quite a few truly handy tips and tricks that have become regular parts of our daily routines.

Don’t believe that there’s actually anything of value over there? Well, here are 6 tips that I couldn’t be happier I discovered. 

1) The spoon on the pasta pot trick

My kids eat pasta… a lot… and it always drove me batty when the pot would overflow all over the stove top. Who would have thought that something as simple as just laying a wooden spoon over the top of the pot would keep the pasta water where it was supposed to be?

2) Fixing a skipping DVD with… toothpaste

Every weekend my husband gets up with the kids, eats breakfast, feeds them breakfast, pops a movie into the DVD player, and comes back to bed. We relish those lazy weekend mornings. To me they’re the consolation prize for never having had my 3rd child.

To keep the movie selection wide and the kids’ attentions captivated we supplement our own collection with movies borrowed from the library so, all too often, the kids have to come find me to tell me that the movies are freezing or skipping.

I used to shrug and say “oh well.” Now I just reach for the toothpaste.

This trick has never not worked.

3) Picking the right bell peppers

This is one of those things that I learned and would never have guessed was even possible to learn or even care about before I stumbled upon it one night.

Bell peppers have a gender. This gender affects how many seeds you’ll find inside the pepper. No. Really.

Might not be a big deal to some, but I eat a lot of bell peppers, and I’m really glad I now know how to pick the ones with fewer seeds.

4) Pretty dish soap bottle

Like everyone else, I’m constantly doing dishes. As such, I don’t particularly want to store the dish soap under the sink, because that’s a pain. But I also don’t really want to store it next to the sink, because it’s ugly.

Then I complicated things even more by starting to buy the Costco brand dish soap which comes in gallon jugs. Try fitting that on the edge of your sink.

Instead of refilling whatever last plastic bottle of dish soap I used, I inspired myself from this Pinterest find and classed up my sink. The rest of the kitchen might look like a war zone, but my sink is well accessorized.

5) Another clever use for toothpaste

Just over a year ago we moved into our new house. Some pictures went right up, others… took a while. The easy ones went up because the previous owners had kindly left from nails in the walls. The others needed a little more planning and so they languished.

Until we figured out the toothpaste trick. You and your bare walls are welcome.

6) A radically different way to organize your clothing drawers

There’s little I hate more than folding laundry, unless it’s having folded everything nicely and then messing it all up to get to that shirt on the bottom.

And then I discovered this trick and angels sang.

Okay, maybe they didn’t sing per se, but I sure whistled a happy tune as I transformed my drawers. Now I can see all of my shirts at a glance and I don’t have to go digging to see if anything good is hiding at the bottom of the pile.

Every time I try doing something in a new way my husband looks at me, raises an eye brow, and says “Pinterest?” It’s almost become a family joke. But what can I say? He’s usually right.

Coming soon? 6 recipes I found on Pinterest and actually loved.

9 Motivational Quotes that Get Me Writing

standard March 22, 2013 3 responses

Writing, much like running, is one of my greatest joys and one of the things I struggle most to do. I sit down at my computer, ideas bouncing around my head, and instead of opening Word, or even this blog post editor, I open Facebook, my email, Twitter, Pinterest, anything to put off that moment when my fingers will hammer out what’s in my head.

I’m not sure why I procrastinate the way I do; writing is the greatest high possible. And yet, here you have it, even knowing how much I’m going to love it, I always balk at the idea of getting started.

So, much like I trick myself into running, I’ve created a Pinterest board filled with awesome quotes on writing. Reading encouragements from great writers reminds me how privileged I am to be part of their crew and jump starts my desire to get going.

Here are my top 9 favorites.

1) Find a way or find an excuse. (Bonus: Works for running or writing!)

Find a way or an excuse
2) Start with one word and see where it goes.

3) Everyone finds it hard. Even greats like Hemingway.

4) We don’t write because we like to, we write because we need to.

5) It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be.

6) Writing, it’s how I think.

7) It’s as easy as it is hard.

Easy and hard
8) The elves aren’t coming any time soon.

9) Not letting the story out just isn’t an option.

What gets you to stop procrastinating and start writing?


11 Ideas for Great Halloween Cupcakes

standard October 24, 2012 3 responses

11 Ideas for Scary Cute and easy Halloween Cupcakes

So, our school is one of those schools that kindly ask that you refrain from baking class treats.

Let’s be clear, I’m not particularly a huge baker, but frankly nothing makes me want to bake cupcakes more than being asked not to.

I’m perverse like that.

So, what did I do when told I shouldn’t bake cupcakes for the class Halloween party that’s taking place just before lunch? Duh, I went to Pinterest and did a search for “Halloween cupcakes.” (What? You don’t torture yourself this way? Odd that.)

After much research I’ve found 11 awesome ideas for Halloween Cupcakes that I think I could totally be able to replicate even if I though I’m not allowed to attempt them for the class party, and one treat that I definitely could.

(Please note, I did not design any of these treats. Nor did I test them, because I’d have to eat them all… and that would be baaad. Click on through and read the comments!)

1) Monster cupcakes – Adorably scary.
Monster cupcakes

Recipe and photos by lifewiththecrustcutoff.com

2) Scary easy spider cupcakes – Eat ’em before they come get you.

Spider cupcakes

Design and photo by boxycolonial.com

3) Precious ghosts – I’ll pretend I could make these, you pretend they aren’t too pretty to eat.

Cute Ghosts

Design and photo by buttercreamblondie.com

4) Eye-ball cupcakes – Finally that extra eye you’ve always needed!

Design and photo by thedomesticrebel.com

Design and photo by thedomesticrebel.com

5) Low-fat Mummy Cupcakes – To balance out the bag of mini-Snickers I know you already ate.

Mummy cupcakes

Recipe and photo by Skinnytaste.com

6) Spiderweb cupcakes – So easy, even I could decorate these. Maybe…

Design and photos by thegraciouswife.com

Design and photos by thegraciouswife.com

7) Googly eyes cupcakes – If your kids don’t eat all your marshmallows.

Design and photos by thedecoratedcookie.com

Design and photos by thedecoratedcookie.com

8) Halloween Witch Cupcakes – For those looking to buck the traditional cupcake format

Design and photo from Parents.com

Design and photo from Parents.com

9) Owl-y Cupcakes – Hoo hoo knows how to use Oreos creatively?

10) Skeleton cupcakes – Hands down my favorites, and not just because they don’t have hands.

Design and photos by cookiesandcups.com

Design and photos by cookiesandcups.com

And last, but not least, one non-cupcake treat just because we’re cray-cray like that around here or maybe just because I really do think I could get these to look just like the picture… or close.