Nailed It or Failed It? The Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryNailed It or Failed It

Even after I bullied them into the first Pinterest Challenge, my Twitter buddies wanted to do it again.

This made me happy because I had so much fun last time, and also because it meant they were still willing to hang out with an old bossypants such as myself.

I originally thought I’d to a project making a blanket out of old sweaters, but the original Pin didn’t go anyplace useful. Undeterred, I googled some ideas. I love the idea of making a blanket out of sweaters! What could be cozier?

After spending half an hour looking at various tutorials, I remembered that I don’t own a sewing machine.

Even after I remembered, I kept looking.

Eventually, I came to my senses and decided to keep hunting for a project worthy of the Challenge. I got off easy last time, chucking Magic Erasers in the toilet, then watching them lay there and do nothing.

This month, we traveled to St. Louis, and are staying in a house with no stove or oven. I do have a crockpot, and electric skillet, and a minuscule toaster oven.

Mostly we use the toaster oven to make break-and-bake cookies after the kids go to bed.

Don’t judge.

ANYway, this seems like the perfect opportunity to try out some Pinterest recipes.

The first one that looked good is called No Fuss Crockpot Orange Chicken. This sounds yummy. The directions begin first brown chicken in a skillet…

I did not get any further than that, because I absolutely refuse to dirty a skillet when making an Easy Crockpot Meal. Sorry.

I decided on Crockpot Chicken Tacos, mostly because I already make this anyway and knew my people would eat it and it’s easy and essentially I manipulated it into being part of the Pinterest Challenge. Not very sporting of me, was it?

Chuck into crockpot:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, a tablespoon or so of homemade taco seasoning (another Pin I tried and adopted. It’s a twofer!), half a jar of salsa, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and a couple dashes of soy sauce. Cook on low for 6 or 8 hours. Serve on fajita-sized tortillas with cheese and sour cream. Inhale.

Yes, that is a paper plate. I never claimed to be Martha Stewart, people.

Also, I put the cheese under the meat, so the heat from the meat melts the cheese. It’s very avant-garde.

* during this meal, I was heard to say, “Dude. You are not having a tantrum about cheese. Do you even hear how ridiculous that sounds?”

Verdict? Nailed it! This meal is a hit and it’s super easy. You can also make it with beef, just use any cut that does well with a long cooking time. It’s good in burritos, on baked potatoes, and probably (as the Pinner says) as a base for tortilla soup.

Another night, I tried Crockpot Grinder Sandwiches. Basically, you just take a big loaf of bread, slice it, and stick sammy ingredients in between the slices. This seemed super easy and like something everyone would enjoy.

But then. I could not find the right kind of bread. I discovered my cheese was moldy. And even though I bought the smallest loaf of bread at the grocery store, it still would not fit inside the micro-mini crock pot. And then I couldn’t find my bread knife, so I had to hack at the loaf with a chef’s knife and could not make thin enough bread slices. Jim went out on his lunch hour to buy cheese and the grocery store only offered swiss and colby-jack, when CLEARLY I asked for havarti and provolone.

Really, is there NO END to the injustices I must endure?!?

In spite of all these obstacles, which vexed me for at least 30 minutes while I assembled the sandwich, they turned out pretty good. With better equipment and planning, I can see these getting a regular spot on the menu. Especially since we ate outside picnic-style, and the kitchen remained clean(ish).

Try not to be jealous of my excellent camera skillz. Envy is not becoming.

Verdict? Worth another try.

I also made my Mexican Gumbo, served over some Bird’s Eye Microwaveable Frozen Brown Rice. I could not find my usual enchilada sauce spice mix, but I did find Frontera Enchilada Sauce in a packet and it worked great. I managed to misread my own recipe, and put 2 TABLEspoons of cumin instead of 2 TEAspoons, but it still turned out fine. I like cumin.

Overall score?

But I still wish I had an oven…

Click over and see if how my pals did. They are less lame than I, and chose some great craft projects.

The Great Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryNailed It or Failed It

A couple weeks ago, a group of us were chatting at our homeschool support group on Twitter, and an idea sprang up that we should each do a project from Pinterest and then blog about it.

And then someone, who may or may not have been myself, suggested that instead of choosing our own projects, we should assign them to each other for added hilarity.

And then someone, who may or may not have been myself, started bossing everyone via email  organizing people to within an inch of their lives  encouraging the participants to choose a project and a date when we would all blog simultaneously about our adventures.

The day has arrived.

Melanie (aka Fairly Square), decided I should do an experiment to see if floating part of a Magic Eraser in the toilet overnight would clean it because she wants to know but is too cheap to waste a perfectly good Magic Eraser.

After determining that my toilets, were in fact, really disgusting suitable for the experiment, I moved to figuring out how on earth I was going to take a picture of a gross potty without dragging down the tone of this heretofore classy blog, which I have heroically, practically, kept elevated by declining to talk about things like visits to the gynecologist.

My project hit a little snag when my husband cleaned the toilets the day before I was planning on starting the experiment.

There is no way I could have predicted this happening.

Fortunately, after expressing my disappointment regarding his inconsiderate sudden bathroom cleaning –

I’m sorry, I did what? told him to stop cleaning the bathroom? what kind of an idiot does something like that?

the last bit of my common sense whimpered, then died a quiet death I realized there was still plenty of time for the bathrooms to get back to their normal revolting state.

Before –

I cut about a quarter of a Magic Eraser off and dropped it into the toilet.

The kids and I stood around silently and watched it sink to the bottom.

Finally, Big said, “how are you going to get it out?”

The next morning, we all went into the bathroom to see what happened.

After –

I took the toilet brush and shoved the Magic Eraser around the still-dirty bowl a little and it did wipe off all the nastiness easily…but isn’t that what a toilet brush is for? I didn’t see that adding a dollar’s worth of Magic Eraser to the mix made it any easier.

We held our breath and flushed.

Happily, I did not need to employ the plunger.

I remained undaunted, and decided to try again on the second potty in this house. Lucky for me, we have two and they are both filthy.

The next night, I hacked off another quarter of the Magic Eraser and cut it into cubes. The more, the merrier, right? They sank to the bottom and laid there until the next morning when they, too, got flushed.


I didn’t really think it would work, but a tiny part of me held out hope that I had found the Secret of the Universe and that the Secret was How to Clean the Bathroom With No Effort.

Even if it had worked, though, I still would have to do something about the rest of the toilet and the surrounding area (if you know what I mean).

Resigned, I poured bleach into the bowl and made a note to clean the stupid bathroom later.




Visit my Twitter pals to see if their projects turned out better –