9.30.2013

Cutting Glass Bottles with Fire and String!


Remember the teaser I left you with on Thursday?  I read about this project on Pinterest and pinned it over a year ago:  Cut Bottles With Fire and String...I have to admit that the fire was the part that really hooked me!

We were a little bit hit or miss with this one, but at one point or another each of us broke into our "ugly cry laugh" so I think it was a success!  Want to try it?  I'll give you the directions (along with some tips and lessons learned) we followed and you can report back to let me know if it worked!



How to Cut Bottles with Fire and  String:
 Supplies:

Yarn
Glass bottles
Acetone nail polish remover
Matches or lighter
Scissors
Bucket of cold water

#1   Choose some yarn or poly-cotton string.

#2   Wrap the string around the area of the bottle you want to cut.  Wind the string around at least 5 times and tie into place.



#3   Slip the looped yarn from the bottle and place into a dish of acetone based polish remover. Let soak up the flammable goodness for a few minutes:


#4   Place the looped yarn back over the neck of the bottle and push into place.  (we found it worked better if the yarn was snug on the bottle)

#5   Put on safety glasses (we skipped this step and realized it while I was sitting on the ground with a flaming bottle in my hand).

#6   Rinse the acetone from your hands (an un-named member of our group lit her hands on fire!)

#7   Light the string on fire while holding the bottle at a 90 degree angle near the bucket of water.  Now turn the bottle slowly to let it heat evenly for about 60 seconds. (Shriek and laugh...I'm not sure if it was necessary, but there was a lot of shrieking and laughing during this part and I feel like it made all the difference.)



#8  Plunge the bottle into the water just before the yarn stops burning.  (Scream and cringe)  The top of the bottle will just pop right off!


Here is the video of my first attempt:


Now, here is an out-take video where things didn't quite work out:


Things we learned:

**Fire/crafts combo is really funny.

**DON'T attempt this with the cork in the bottle!  The pressure will build up and the whole thing will explode (this will seem very funny at the time, and you will laugh until snot runs out of your nose, but you also could get hurt.  Especially, if your hand is on fire from errant acetone and you forgot your safety goggles.  Just sayin')

**I might need to refine this to really use them because the edges are quite sharp with some hairline cracks around the edge.  Sand paper?  More precise flame time? I will soldier on!

**I came out of the whole thing unscathed by fire BUT I did cut myself with the scissors...go figure! 

** A circle of sharp glass was laying at the bottom of the bucket after my first attempt and my first thought was to make it into a bracelet...sharp pointy glass + major veins and arteries = dumb idea!

**I really missed my girlfriends**

9.27.2013

Season Finale - Feedback Friday






With all the buzz of Breaking Bad this year, I wish I would have started watching it.  Who knows what I watch during that time slot, but it wasn't Breaking Bad.

A friend of mine discovered Friday Night Lights on Netflicks last year and wondered why she didn't watch it when it was on.  She then proceeded to watch the entire series in one week in a Friday Night Lights binge!

It's Feedback Friday...

What awesome TV series did you fail to watch and regretted it?


9.26.2013

Girlfriend's Lunch and a Kitchen Tour


The Soul Sisters just got together for the first time since school let out for the summer!  We gathered at Marzipan's house to tour her newly renovated kitchen, lunch, and crafty goodness.

I took lots of photos to show you the amazing kitchen in her 100+ year old home.  Let's start!


The black granite and subway tiles are amazing!   The tiles have a little bit of iridescence that didn't translate in the photos.
 

The open shelving and white dishware is amazing! So many windows!


This end of the kitchen is her baking station for her pastry business!  Stainless steel counter, lots of roomy drawers for ingredients, and a drawer-style dishwasher! More open shelves for her cake stand collection.


The island is nice and long and is filled with even more drawers for storage.


This huge stainless range/double oven is the centerpiece of the kitchen.  Set against one of the original brick walls, it's amazing!

Marzipan prepared build-your-own fajitas at the bar for lunch, which was simple and delicious!


I'll share the crafty part of our afternoon on Monday.  But in the meantime, I'll leave you with a photos to keep you guessing:


9.24.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Rustic Copper Washer and Leather Bracelet:


 Apples and Cinnamon Pop Tarts:



Mini Chicken Pot Pies:


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9.23.2013

Football Wall!



Our youngest son turned 11 and moved into his own room all within a month!  At one point in this house, all our boys wanted to sleep in the same room and one by one they have all migrated to their own spaces.

One of the fun things about having your own room is decorating it, so we've been busy creating a football field on his wall.  

We started by painting his room gray with one green wall.  Here are the colors we used:

Valspar Signature with Primer Plus in a satin finish

Gray:   5006-1B Notre Dame
Green: 6001-6C Cliveden Pasture

Then, I found an amazing Football Wall Kit online for only $35!  Sold!

We painted the wall:


Applied the decals:


And we were finished!  It took about 30 minutes to apply the decals and they are all removable, so if he changes his mind about having a football field on his wall we can just pull them off.  

We were able to personalize his decals and included his first name in the center of the football and team name in the end zone.  Pretty cool.



9.20.2013

WTF? Feedback Friday


Students at North Pointe Prep High School have a new school slogan emblazoned on t-shirts:

"WTF (we're the Falcons)"

The school maintains that just because people interpret the meaning of the shirts, that isn't what is meant. The school unveiled the new slogan t-shirts at a pep rally at the beginning of the football season to show they are united as school. (credit)

It's Feedback Friday...

What do you think of the new school slogan for North Pointe Prep?

9.19.2013

Marinated Banana Peppers


Is your garden overflowing with banana peppers this month like mine?  A friend introduced us to marinated banana peppers a few years ago - but the super secret family recipe was not passed on.

I decided to sit down and try to recreate the recipe myself and learned how to hot pack the peppers by Googling (my favorite info source!), and came up with this recipe myself.  Nah nah!  I'm making super secret peppers and I'm going to tell everyone else how to do it!  Ha!

Marinated Banana Peppers

Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds banana peppers
  • 6-12 cloves garlic
  • 6 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pickling salt (I used kosher salt)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable olive oil
  • 6 canning jars

Combine vinegar, water, salt, and oil in a pan to boil.  Meanwhile,  clean and slice your peppers.  (I leave the seeds in to provide some heat.)

Pack your  pepper slices into clean canning jars.  Add 1 tsp. of dried oregano and 1-2 cloves of minced garlic on top of peppers.


 Pour the boiling oil and vinegar mixture to the rim of the jar.


Screw on lid tightly and immediately turn upside down.


You will hear the canning lids pop as they seal.

Now, because we are not truly "canning" these peppers, but marinating them, you will need to store the jars in the fridge.  They are not shelf safe like a jar that has been canned properly. 

BUT, because they are marinated and not canned, they have an amazing crisp texture that is fantastic as a pizza topper!  Enjoy!

9.17.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Making Bread With Kids: 


Chocolate Toffee Brownies:



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9.16.2013

The Stages of Competing in a Mud Run

I've started competing in "mud runs" or obstacle course runs this summer and was immediately hooked!  I feel like there are so few opportunities to experience the thrill of competition as an adult.  You forget how competing can push your body harder and give you drive that just doesn't happen in every day life.  Dude, I'm SUCH a competitive person. I. Must. Win.  It makes me feel alive!

So far, both my runs have played out in much the same way. So, I thought I'd lay out the stages for you while sprinkling in photos of my latest race, The Gladiator Rock N' Run

We're all so clean and matchy - they have no idea I'm evil and plan to CRUSH THEM

Stage 1: Suggestion

Someone approaches you with an idea and you immediately begin laughing and saying stuff like "Ha, ha, yeah right!  Could you imagine?? Phhttt!!"  (a little niggling voice begins to pipe up deep in your head...)

I'm still part of the team, still encouraging and waiting for team members at this point

Stage 2: Consideration

Call the person back and say "Hey, um, do you remember that crazy race we were talking about the other day?  Ha, yeah right!  Right?  This is crazy but, wanna do it?"

 At this point, I'm planning my break away from the group while trying to fight the urge at the same time

Stage 3: Maniacal Laughter and Spreading the News

Right after your friend agrees, commence with maniacal laughter.  I'll wait...

Now, tell everyone you know so you can't back out! (also to kind of still talk yourself into it because you're feeling a little doubt-y)

The two guys behind me are in my group and we were of one mind - RUN!  WIN! Every man for themselves!

Stage 4: WORK OUT!

At this point I'm pretty committed to slaughter the person I've agreed to race alongside (I'm sorry, Gladiator team).  With a race looming in the future I usually work out twice a day (it gives me something to do during long 2 hour football practices)  to increase my speed, endurance, and strength.  Again...I. Must. Win.

 At this point, I have no idea where anyone from my team is.

Stage 5: Planning

This is when you begin to toss around all sorts of crazy ideas for costumes and team names.  It's rare to find someone as "into" this sort of thing as I am, so we end up buying matching Wonder Woman t-shirts.

 I'm now targeting the people in front of me who are moving way to slowly - I might have hit that shoe in front of me to urge them to MOVE!

Stage 6: Nausea and butterflies

Usually the night before a race I don't sleep a wink. I plan and scheme and worry I won't wake up in time.  As we drive to the venue I feel like I'm going to puke while simultaneously fighting an overwhelming urge to go pee (or poop).  I often pat myself on the back for skipping on caffeine on this day.

I can't hear anything at this point but The Big Guy and my kids yelling for me.  Team? What team?

Stage 7:   Blood lust

All chumminess ends once the starting horn blows and I am overcome with the urge to beat you while also trying to chat you up and pretend I'm all cool with us being a team and working together and all the other stuff I agreed to way back in stage 2.  I can usually keep this up for about half the race or less, then I disappear to beat you while pretending I got lost and just beat you by accident.

 Jump that fire and get my medal!

Stage 7: Thrill Mixed with Exhaustion and Beer (and a little bit of guilt)

Finishing the race is so amazing and really the best part of the day.  You feel strong, accomplished, and the adrenaline is still pumping.  You now feel the guilt of ditching your team and walk back to the last obstacles to scream and yell words of encouragement.  

Somehow at the end, all is forgiven while rehashing the race over a beer.


Stage 8: Turn to your teammates and...See Stage 1



**Notes about the Gladiator Rock N' Run, Pittsburgh**

The venue was perfect for this race - challenging dirt bike course with dirt road, woods, and open field running.

The obstacles were plentiful and challenging - totally doable with some hard work and persistence. Really cool that the shoe clips timed your race times!

Parking was a dream, easy in and easy out. Plenty of close by parking for everyone.

Spectators could get close to most of the obstacles to cheer and photograph.  My boys ran alongside me outside the ropes at one point.


Lots of high pressure hose heads for showering off, nice roomy tents for changing, lots of porta-potties.

Good music, good food, good beer.

Reasonable race fees and super convenient race pack pick ups prior to race.

**Thanks to The Big Guy for taking all these great pictures of me and my friends. 
 Thanks for supporting my stuff even if you don't understand it.  
Thanks for driving my tired ass home.**

9.13.2013

Have You Seen That Movie?


I follow a local blogger The 'Burgh Baby on facebook and she posed an interesting questions last week:

What movie, that everyone assumes everyone has seen, have you NOT seen?


Mine is Star Wars...I know, I know.

What is yours?

9.12.2013

Sweet And Spicy Pork Tenderloin


I found a recipe for a Sweet and Spicy Glaze for pork tenderloin the other day on Pinterest (originating at Just Another Day in Paradise blog) and decided to try it out. 

I, first, rubbed my tenderloin with the go-to spice mix that I also use on my Best BBQ Ribs

Make your rub:

4 T. paprika
2 T. chili powder
2 T. ground cumin
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. salt
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. sugar
1 T. ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper 


Rub all other tenderloin, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate  over night.

Preheat oven to 350

I used the glaze recipe from the pin

Make your glaze:

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot Sauce


Next, sear all 4 sides in a hot pan for 2 minutes per side.

Pat the glaze mixture all over pork loin and pop in oven for 25 minutes (internal temp. 140).



Let rest in pan 10 minutes, pour pan juices over loin, then slice.


9.10.2013

Tutorial Tuesday!

Sunflower TuTu:


10 Favorite Household Tips:


CLICK PICKS (last week's most clicked links):

#1  Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

#2  How To Clean Grout

#3  Crockpot Chicken Fajitas


Please... (this is the part at the end of the commercial when the announcer talks real fast)

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address) using the subject of your tutorial to generate  interest.

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Your Skin Fix, December Edition