Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Printable Non-Candy Valentines For School

My son's class has a no candy policy for valentines this year.  Luckily, I found these cute little printable arrow valentines that you attach a pencil to, via Sweet Muffin Suite (also available in a primary colors version).  

Here we are putting them together.  A little last minute so luckily these were so quick and easy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jeans Frustrations

This post really has nothing to do with the normal things that I blog about and I don't know if anyone will even read it.  But I'm irritated.   I have some things to get off of my chest, and well, hey, I have access to a place where I can, I guess, write about whatever I want.  

So, here's the deal - I am SO FRUSTRATED with jean manufacturers, but namely, in this instance, The Gap.  I have several pairs of Gap jeans.  They have a few styles that seem to fit my body.  Now, here's what annoys me - I have Gap jeans in 4 entirely different sizes.  I have size 4, size 6, size 8, and size 10 currently in my closet and that currently fit.  I'm not talking about different sizes in your closet because you've gained/lost weight at some point.
(On a side note, I'm only sharing my jean sizes to illustrate a point.  Oh and I love those size 4's, the 10's not so much).

Ok, now 4 different sizes from the same manufacturer is just ridiculous!  I can understand that there may be some variance in sizing across brands (actually there's a huge variance across brands), but you would think within a brand things would be somewhat consistent.

But this isn't even the end of the craziness.  I finally thought I had figured out what sizes in what styles I wore within the Gap brand (went to the store and tried a ton on).  I was about a 4 in the Long and Lean, a 6 in the curvy, etc.  So when they had a huge online sale, thinking I knew what I was doing, I ordered 3 new pairs.  All 3 pairs were the same style and matched a style I already owned and liked, they were just different washes/colors.  Got them in the mail and only 1 pair fit!  The other 2 will be returned.

Can someone please explain this to me.  (Not that you can convince me that this is not insanity.)

Why can't jeans manufacturers just make it easy on us and at least make an effort to standardize things?   

But I guess if you're looking for a moral to this story, it really is true that the number means NOTHING!  (but I still like my size 4's better than those size 10's)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pinterest Success: Killer Cream Cheese Frosting

Warning:  There is nothing low-fat, low-calorie, or diet friendly about this recipe.
With that said, IT IS YUMMY!

I re-pinned a delicious looking cream cheese frosting recipe to my Sweets board on Pinterest a while back.  
The original recipe is from Not So Humble Pie.  She uses it on cinnamon rolls (which is delicious, I tried it) but it also makes a great cake frosting.  It is now my go-to cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Organizing With Kids - 1 Tip That Works For Me

My house is far from the most organized home ever.  In fact, it's generally a bit messy, a little unorganized.  So when I find an organizing tip, trick, or method that works, I get pretty excited.

One big issue in my house, is that the kids tend to leave stuff laying all over the place.  And I get really tired of picking it up and carting it all back to their rooms a million times a day.
So I bought 2 cute bins (from Marshalls) and placed them by the stairs leading to the kids' bedrooms.  Whenever I find stuff that needs to be returned to their bedrooms, I toss it in the bin.  At the end of the day, they're responsible for emptying their bin and putting their stuff away.  Items that are left and not put away are either tossed or donated  (sometimes they get a warning first if I'm feeling nice).

This has really helped in our house to keep the amount of random stuff laying around at a minimum.  And saves my sanity a bit.

Already found today - a hat, some paper and markers, pajamas . . . 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Just Call Me MacGyver: A DIY Macro Lens For Your Phone

This project is crazy cool, I love it, and I hope you do too.
Ever wanted to shoot those super close-up macro photos?
Well, it's so easy with your phone camera and a cheapo laser pointer (my laser pointer cost $1).  

*** Note:  This is not my original idea.  I found this tutorial on  View it here for full instructions ***

You're basically going to remove the lens from the laser pointer and place it over the lens of your camera.
It's very MacGyver-esque.  But the results are so cool!

My MacGyver-ed phone.  Yes, it's held together with a bobby pin and painter's tape.

And here are a few photos that I took with it (first photo without the macro lens and second photo with it attached)  I did absolutely zero editing on these :

And a couple of mystery photos for you:

Anyone have any guesses on what these 2 are?

A couple of notes about this project and using the lens:
1.  Taking the laser pointer apart is the hardest part of this project.  I used plyers, wire cutters, and a needle, and basically just demolished the entire thing.  I went through 2 laser pointers before I got the lens out without damaging it.  Luckily the pointers were only $1 a piece.
2.  When taking pics with the lens, good light helps
3.  You also have to hold the camera/phone pretty still to keep it from blurring.  It can be tricky, but it's not impossible.  Try to find a way to prop the camera/phone on something to reduce movement.  I used my leg for a few of these pics.
4.  Get really, and I do mean really, close to the item you're photographing.  Like, almost touching close.
5.  This lens will allow you to take really extreme close-ups but there's not a lot of control.  You can't zoom in or out like you can with a normal camera lens.  And there's no backing away to get a little less close-up - you'll lose focus.

Hope you have fun with this!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Do You Instagram?

a few of my recent Instagram pics 

I recently upgraded to a smartphone (probably one of the last people on the planet to do so).  Which gave me access now to Instagram.  Of which, I had heard and read much about, but was yet to experience for myself.  
Now I'm on a mission to figure it all out.  At first glance it seems simple enough:  take a photo with your camera, upload it, apply a few fun filters, and share with others.  Which, I'm sure, is a perfectly acceptable way to do it.  But then there are also a bazillion other apps that you can get to go along with it - apps with more filters, apps that add text, apps that size, apps that make collages, apps to help you find hash tags.  I even found an app that appears to allow you to harrass people who unfollow you on Instagram.  

In an effort to explore Instagram, and also to learn how to use the camera in my phone most effectively, I've decided to try a 1 month Instagram Photo Challenge.  I'm doing this one from Fat Mum Slim.  You're given a prompt each day of the month of something to photograph.  
Here's my Day 1 photo for February.  The prompt was Fork.
If you're on Instagram and would like to follow along, my user name is jennbrasher.  And you can see all of the Photo a Day photos at #fmsphotoaday or #fmsphotoadayfeb.