Ms. Clean

Even typing that title makes me laugh because it absolutely does not describe my natural tendency.  But I have a new system that has really helped.

Some people find that cleaning helps them to de-stress.  I, however, get stressed out by cleaning.  I don’t know how to prioritize it, and I tend to have the mentality that I will only clean if I can get it all done at once (and who has time to clean their entire house/ apt in one shot? No one.  Thats who.) So I tend to just not clean and then get mad about how messy things are.  Its a really healthy process.  Or not.

I saw this video on one of the beauty channels I watch and thought it was a great way to break everything up into manageable chunks.  A few weeks later I stumbled upon this pin which also offers great tips on how to make a cleaning schedule.

This is life changing stuff here people.

I say that a lot, don’t I?  Y’all are going to stop believing me soon.  But, I promise this has made a HUGE difference.

First, I made a list of what I needed to clean and how often I needed to clean it: weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly.  Ruth’s blog (2nd link above) has a master cleaning list which I printed and adjusted to my needs.

Then, I made a chart similar to the one Blair made in her video (1st link above).

Lastly, I wrote out my schedule on a half of a piece of white paper which I then put in a frame.  I use dry erase markers to write my daily schedule and to-do lists on the glass and check off chores as I do them.  Since the cleaning list is on paper under the glass it doesn’t get wiped off and I can reuse it.

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Daily/ Weekly Schedule template

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Filled in with Monday’s schedule and lists for the week.  

My apartment is now clean and stays that way.

Happy Spring cleaning!

~D

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1-2-3 Curls

No heat curls seem to be the next big thing.  And they should be, because they are- dare I say it- life changing.

I do my best to style my hair using heat as infrequently as possible.  I have been growing my hair out since I cut 12 in off about 2 years ago.  I use my straightener about once per month, and that is the only heat I put on my hair. Going (virtually) heatless has increased my hair health and speed to which my hair grows.  However, my hair is naturally a very unflattering mix of frizzy, wavy and straight.  So, I’ve had to get creative.

I have found several different no-heat curl methods that all seem to last the 5-6 days I go between washes.  No heat curls seem to keep their curl much better than regular curls, at least this is true for my hair.

I plan on showing you a few of the methods I’ve found, but today I will stick to my current favorite.  It can be found at this pin, or from this video.

(Yes, the photos in this post are awkward selfies.  I am not a selfie taker but I just couldn’t find any other way to take these pictures.  So please accept my apologies)

Step 1: With freshly washed and wet hair, part the top of your hair where you normally part it and divide in two sections.  Twist each half away from your face.

Step 2: Secure twists with a clip on top of your head (or if your hair is longer with several clips). Let hair dry overnight or for several hours.

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Step 3: Unclip your hair, and separate twists.  I will usually put some mousse in the curls to help them hold.  And Voila!  You now have stylish, fun, no heat curls!

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The picture of these curls was actually taken at the end of day two.  That is how well they stay.

I either put my hair in a high messy bun, or a loose braid to sleep in between days when I wash (and subsequently curl) my hair.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

~D

S’mores Dip…. YUMMMM!

I have seen several different variations of this pin floating around Pinterest recently.  It looked yummy and chocolatey and easy to make into a single serving dessert.  It definitely proved to be all of those things.  Are you ready?! Because you’re going to love it!!

First, I put a layer of mini chocolate chips into an individual loaf pan.

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Then I personalized it and added a small handful of peanut butter chips.

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I ripped some large marshmallows into pieces and mixed them in too, along with a splash of milk.

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I put the dish in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval until the mixture was smooth.

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Lastly, I broke 3 marshmallows in half, placed them on top and broiled the dish for about 2 minutes, watching closely for the marshmallows to brown.

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Serve with graham crackers and enjoy!

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I’ll just be over here stuffing my face.

~D

Happy Handwriting

A few weeks ago, I was given the task of making a poster to welcome students to the MCO winter retreat.  (MCO is a campus ministry I am a part of at the medical university I attended).

I have several fonts I can write in, but wanted to do something different.  So I turned to Pinterest, and searched for handwriting fonts.  I was not disappointed.

I found this font, which worked perfectly:Image

(If someone knows where exactly this picture came from, let me know so I can link back to the actual site.  I can’t seem to locate it and want to give credit.  Thanks!)

I have since used this font for other things.  Here is a picture of the poster I made, using a block lettering for the heading, and my new font for the subtitle.

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I also used it to label the inside of my planning notebook for this blogeroo and my etsy shop:

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I love when Pinterest saves the day!

Happy pinning!

~D

Icing Trick

I may not have piped the icing on the cupcakes from my last post, but I love to pipe icing on cupcakes.  They look so much more enticing and polished.

But let me tell you, it can be a pain to wash out piping tips and couplers, especially when you don’t have a dishwasher.  I have had many fall into the garbage disposal, causing me to risk amputating a finger to fish it out.

(I do know that the garbage disposal won’t cut my finger off if it is not turned on, but there is always a fear that it will somehow be turned on while my hand is in it.)

Anywho, I found this nifty little trick and it has made a world of difference.

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First, place the icing on some saran wrap, roll it up, and twist the ends tight.

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Put the icing bundle into the icing bag, pulling the saran wrap through the coupler.  Trim the saran wrap as close to the coupler as possible and put the tip on.  Then ice your cupcakes as usual.

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When you’re done, just pull the wrap out of the bag, and remove the coupler.

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That little bit of icing was all I had to clean up.

Such a useful tip!

Frost away!

~D

Man-sserts: Beer Cupcakes

I don’t like beer, at all.  But my guy friends do, and since I was cooking them dinner in honor of them being done with their board exams, I thought these would be something they would enjoy.  And let me tell you, they were a hit.  Not just with the guys, but with me, little ol’ beer hater over here.  Image

That glass of beer above does nothing for me, but mix it with some cocoa, butter, sugar and all other things heavenly and it becomes wonderful.  
ImageYep, thats the start of something GREAT!ImageCupcakes are done, now time for the icing (which also has beer in it, and also is heavenly!)

Does describing the manly beer icing as heavenly negate the manliness? I don’t think so.  It was manly and heavenly at the same time!ImageWhen I first saw the picture from the recipe, I thought, “Those look good, but I would definitely pipe the icing on to make them look prettier.”  Well the author must have read my mind because when talking about icing the cupcakes she writes, “Remember….these are manly cupcakes….no piping. :)”  So, I obediently plopped the icing on in the most manly way possible.  ImageSo make these for your man, or your beer loving friends, or yourself.  They’re totally worth it.

Enjoy!
~D

Pampered Pups

So I have these two dogs.  They are small, and fluffy, and white.  And as is typical of small, fluffy, white dogs: they are SPOILED!

Especially by me (as they live with my mom 2 hours away).  So when I get to see them, I treat them like the King and Princess they are.

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I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t spoil them?!

Anyway, I decided to make them a(nother) dog bed after seeing this pin.

The directions are simple and easy to follow.  I’ll let you read them and just tell you what I did differently.

First I used two flannel baby blankets which were about 1 square yard each.

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Second I only cut the strips 2 in instead of 4, so there was more bed area.

Lastly, I wanted to stuff the bed with old t-shirts so make it more washable.  But, even between my mom and I, we didn’t have enough to fill it up, so I just used an old pillow instead.  It was the perfect size!

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I think the pups liked it too!

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OK so Goober looks a little more confused here than happy, but the bed grows on him.  See.

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Gracie liked it too, especially when she could bully it away from her big brother!

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Love them!

~D

Quick and Easy, Sweet and Salty

Can’t decide between sweet and salty, but want (or need) a quick snack?

I have your answer.

I discovered these little gems long before pinterest, but they pop up on my feed so frequently, that I felt the need to mention them.  Simply search pretzel kisses and you’ll see what I mean.

Open a pack of the square pretzels and line a cookies sheet with them. You can use mini pretzels as well (as pictured) but I like the pretzel to chocolate ratio best when using the square pretzels.

Unwrap Hershey kisses and place one on top of each pretzel. Or use Rolos.  This seriously is the most time consuming part of the process.

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Place in a preheated 350 degree oven until kisses are shiny (about 2-3 min).  Keep an eye on them, you don’t want the kisses to start to melt and spread out!

Take them out of the oven and quickly (and I mean quickly) push M&Ms into the kisses.  I like to uses PB M&Ms, but you can use plain ones, or peanut ones, or I’ve heard of people using pecans.  The possibilities are endless!

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Let them cool for a bit and enjoy!

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Clean and Fresh: Make-up Brushes

I don’t know how I made it so long without knowing how to clean my make-up brushes, but I did.  My poor brushes suffered a long time only being wiped off with a tissue.  I knew there was brush cleaner, but it always seemed expensive and I was never sure what to do with it.

I finally realized what I was missing when I saw this pin.  It was suddenly so easy and used items I already had so there was no expense!

I didn’t have a bottle of olive oil, but I had olive oil spray.  So I put some dish soap on a small dish, sprayed it with olive oil and mixed it together.

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Then I dipped each brush in the mixture and swirled them around in the palm of my hand before rinsing them off.

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I don’t have a picture of the swirling as I didn’t have enough hands to hold the brush in one hand, swirl it in another, and take a picture.  (Plus I was a little embarrassed at how dirty my brushes were!)  I actually washed each brush twice to make sure they were super clean.

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Finished Products!

So glad I learned a new skill today!

XO

~D