The Pintester Movement

I can’t even recall how I ended up over at Pintester but when I did I pretty much fell instantly in love.  It’s exactly the kind of blog I would have if I were to do one solely based on what happens when you make things from Pinterest.  Because we all know that rarely do they turn out as advertised – usually ending with a lot of swearing.  I love the swearing and Cocknails. This week she asked everyone to attempt ONE pin that has been on your Pinterest for a while and blog about the experience, calling it The Pintester Movement.  I decided this was the perfect time to finally give one of these pins a whirl and see what happens.  I hit up my “Tips and Tricks” board because that is usually where the epic fails beyond food reside and I wasn’t let down.  I can’t be the only one that hoped a “this will save you HOURS of time and is so easy” pins really work can I?  Since I was feeling a wee bit lazy, I decided to try this pin about a super easy way to clean your microwave.


I knew this was going to be interesting when I saw that the site had no more instructions and I had to rely on the words with the picture.  However, it didn’t seem like it would blow up and it looked easy to test.

Of course, while I thought I had a cup of vinegar I didn’t, I had a little over a half cup.  Crap.  So I did a 50/50 ratio with what I had.  Please excuse our groutless tile, someday my husband may actually get on that.

I decided to still roll with the 10 minutes from the pin.

10 minutes later…

Yeah, not a whole not of difference right?  While things were a bit steamy there really wasn’t a huge amount of steam.  I got out my paper towels and wiped down what I could but there wasn’t a huge improvement.

If nothing else I guess this pin won since it got me this far I decided to actually do it for real and finally cleaned out the icky goo.

Make sure you head on over to see what other people have done with their own Pinterest challenges on The Pintester Movement!

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The Letters

It’s amazing how much one accumulates when they not only have all of the detritus of their own lives but the artifacts from their deceased parents, grandparents (both sides) and brother.  What’s even more amazing is the vast amount that I have is just a tiny fragment of all that I once had that was lost in the many moves, due to lack of care and so forth.  It’s insane all the crap I have of everyones lives.  We’ve moved the boxes of stuff a few different times and it’s always been a sore spot between me and Chris.  He wants me to go through it, I do and throw away some and then find a shiny object and move onto another thing and never quite make it through things.  I also have never sat and sorted.  I’ve opened boxes and gone “oh it’s ____” and move it to the keep side and keep on trucking.   In April, I finally took on the task of sitting down with the things and going through it, organizing it and deciding what to do with it all.

It’s always a bit of an emotional roller coaster going through this kind of stuff.  Pictures of people that are all dead.  Memories that come flying back that are bitter and sweet.  Times you wished you remembered and times you wish you could forget.  I think that’s a lot of why I became a photographer was because all I have left of my family is pictures.  The letters are a different matter.  It’s funny to look back and see so many letters one saved.  All of my love letters from high school boyfriends (I pitched those finally).  Notes from friends secretly passed between classes.  Cards for my birthday.  Our kids won’t likely see these things from our generation forward as all of our correspondence now is digital and hidden behind passwords.  These are some of my favorite treasures to find from my family as they give a peek into what life was really like in that small snippet of time.

I found a box within one of the big boxes full of cards and letters my Mom’s parents saved.  Cards from various events from 1979 – 1985, they saved them all.  I ended up making the decision to not hold onto these any longer as I don’t know most of the people in the cards and letters and sent them on to my Aunt whom will appreciate them more than I or my kin (if I have any) ever could.  Then I came to letters from my Mom to my brother while he was in Basic Training and then on duty with the Navy.  I’ve read many of these letters before when they were sent to us along with other things from his room after his death.  I haven’t re-read them in years and just took the envelope with them and moved them to the keep pile and kept on sorting.  Then I came across three letters that were apart from the main letters that were kept.

I should have just sorted them along with the others.

I read the first of the three letters and while it’s harsh and biting towards my father and calls me lazy, it’s not so bad.  I’m not one that looks back upon someone that died with starry eyes.  I know my Mom had a lot of faults and one was that she wasn’t nice.  She was very sick with COPD and that exacerbated her grumpiness.  The letters to my brother always had a theme: I’m sick, I hate your Dad, send me money, you hurt my feelings and your sister doesn’t help enough around the house.  Keep in mind that my age through the span of these letters was around 10-13.  While I was “older” I was still a kid.  The second letter was more mean than her normal self and mentions how my Dad didn’t want to kill a bees nest because he hated to kill them.  She then tells my brother how she doesn’t get how he could be upset about killing a bees nest when he killed the dog without any qualms.  I about fell over.  KILLED MY DOG?!  See, I’d been told that Mandy went to a farm because she was too old to be inside anymore.  She was peeing everywhere and going blind.  FOR YEARS my Dad kept this ruse up and eventually a few years later he told me she died.  I get it now why he did what he did, he did it to protect me.  Mandy was old and in pain, it was time for her to go on but he knew I’d be upset so created the farm story.  I now wonder if the cats really made it to a REAL farm or if it was the same farm Mandy went to.  Poor Mandy.

The final letter.

Why didn’t I stop?

The final letter was more of the same and lots of guilt trips about my brother not sending money or spending time with her when he was home.  NOW I totally get it.  Back then though, I didn’t know about the letters and never understood why Mike didn’t stay with us or see us much when he was home on leave.  After reading these letters, I can’t blame him at all.  Anyway, she was complaining about not having time to write like she usually does because I stayed up late every night keeping her company, playing cards etc. and how finally that night I was in bed “early” at 12:30AM.  That made me laugh because I’ve always been a night owl.  Then there was more bashing of my Dad and the usual and she comes to me again.  This time I get bashed too.  She tells my brother how I’m such a strange child and how she just doesn’t know where I came from because she can’t relate to me.  She says I’m unfeeling and how she doesn’t understand why I don’t cry at movies or books.  She just doesn’t like me and probably never will.


What kind of mother says that kind of shit?  Beyond that what kind of mother says that to her SON about his SISTER?

I cried when I read it so guess what Mom?  Apparently I do have feelings.  I was freaking 10, of course I didn’t cry at movies or books.  I mean it’s not like Superfudge is all that sad?   I don’t know why it bothers me so much, I KNOW my Mom didn’t like me, hell I listened to her try to plot how to kill me, but it doesn’t mean that it hurt any less.  Just another chapter I guess in my screwed up childhood.  Mothers Day was a couple weeks after I read these letters and I have to be honest, I didn’t miss her much that day.  I feel so darn guilty about harboring some ill will towards her but that letter, in particular that line, really sliced to the core.

Maybe this is why I am not a mother.  I really worry that I won’t be any better.

Thank god for Dad.  He may have not been nice to Mom but he was amazing to me.  The letters made me miss him so much.  I think he must have kept them separate from the others so I didn’t read them.  Because that’s the kind of parent he was, he told me my dog went to a farm to protect me from the pain of seeing a beloved pet die.  He hid the letters to protect me from the pain of knowing my Mom didn’t like me.  He gives me hope that someday I will be the kind of parent that would protect their children from pain instead of cause it.

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Ipsy Glam Bag: May

By far my favorite of all the beauty boxes is the Ipsy Glam Bag, especially for the price of $10!  Each month you get 5 samples in a cute makeup bag that’s usually themed for the month.  I’m getting so many makeup bags that I’m not sure what to do with them all (anyone have any ideas?) but they are pretty darn cute.  So far the products have been really spot on as well and not nearly as many biffs and misses as Birchbox (who finally did send me the rest of my samples BTW).

May Ipsy Glam Bag Review

The Ipsy May Bag included the following products for a total value of $38.68
Juice Beauty Reflecting Lip Gloss, Fig $15.00
Zoya Nail Polish, Blu $8
Nume Finishing Serum, $4.83
Yaby Concealer Refill, Buff $4.85
Pacifica Bronzing Body Butter, $6

 I love lip gloss so the Juice gloss is a win, even though the texture is a bit strange.  I am a HUGE Zoya fan so was excited to see they were in this months bag but creme colors aren’t my thing and I’m not sure I’m loving this light blue, I may send it on to someone else who will love it more but it’s still a win in my book.  I’ve got the Nume serum before and it works so that’s a-ok.  I used the concealer the other day and was happy to find it matched my skintone perfectly and I was able to toss it in the Glam RX thing from last month’s bag so it isn’t just floating around aimlessly in my bag.  I heart Pacifica and am looking forward to trying the body butter and seeing if it works, although from what I can tell it’s just shimmer and not a lot of color.  I also REALLY liked this months bag and am hoping to find some kind of use for these suckers in the days to come (shall search Pinterest).

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The Fancy: May Box

I was kind of “meh” about The Fancy’s monthly box at the beginning but the past couple months have been really good and now I have been looking forward to it every month.  For $39/month you can get their “generic” monthly box or a slew of celebrity themed boxes (currently there is Ashton Kutcher, Pink, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Coco Rocha, Tyler Florence and more) that are more gadgety oriented than other boxes.  In the past I’ve got everything from t-shirts to nail polish to a mini dust bin.  What I like about their boxes is that they have categories you fill out and so far I haven’t got anything I hate (just again, meh like the runaway alarm clock).  Use code 20OFF16 for $20 off the first box.

the fancy may monthly box

The Fancy May Box included the following products for a grand total of $172.85

Mizu M8 Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $19.95
TKO Milano Skeleton Rubber Watch, Mint $125
Milo Micro Suction Stand, White $14.95
Menu Decanting Pourer Selection, $12.95

I was SO EXCITED about the watch!  I got another rubber watch in my Pop Sugar box a few months ago but it never quite fit right and the watch stopped working pretty quickly after getting it.  This one is funky but elegant at the same time and I wouldn’t feel odd wearing this for when I am working.  I was pretty shocked at the price tag too!  It’s really pretty and I love the color.  I’ve been digging my s’well bottle from my recent Pop Sugar box so I’m glad to have another bottle to use since hubs tends to take all of the bottles and leave them at work.  The decanter is also a win since I don’t have one.  Not sure that I’ll use the stand but I may be able to gift it to someone that will use it.  It may be handy for my desk though for a place to put  my phone.

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Pop Sugar Must Have Box: May

It’s been a while since Pop Sugar has really wowed me.  Since last fall, most boxes have been ho-hum with a couple items that I liked but the majority being items I won’t use or just are plain odd.  I’m pretty stoked that May’s box is pretty awesome and I think I will use every single item, which hasn’t happened in months!  WOO!  I’m glad I stuck with it.  I was kind of concerned since they have their 50% off promo going for the next box (use code GET50 for 50% off your next box) that the next couple would be weak boxes but I’m quite happy with this one!  WOO!

Pop Sugar Must Have Subscription Box May Contents

The Must Have May Box included the following products for a grand total of $121.87.

Charm & Chain, Gift Card $30.00
Kooringal Giselle Mid Brim Hat
, Graphite $27.99
Beautyblender Travel Kit, $23.95
Questions I Ask When I Want to Talk About Myself Deck
, $14.95
The Modern Margarita, Variety Pack $12.99
Pacifica Natural Color Quench Lip Tint, Guava Berry $7.00
Way Better Snacks, Sweet ChilI Tortilla Chips, $3.49
Pop Sugar Bag, $1.50 (?)

The gift card is maybe the only thing I won’t use in this box, thank god it’s not a subscription service like Pop Sugar’s past gift cards but their jewelry is pretty pricey so who knows if I’ll end up getting anything with it.  The good thing is that the expiration is in December so it may be a good thing to use when trying to complete an outfit.  The hat is a pretty neato idea – it folds up and unfolds and pops back into shape.  I’m not a big hat person but I do like them when I’m on the beach and being foldable makes it great for travel.  I LOVE the beautyblender I got with my Birchbox many moons ago and it’s starting to get a bit worn out so I’m thrilled to have a new one to replace it – I was just thinking about getting a new one so this was perfectly timed!!!  The card deck is kind of cool and it could be a great thing to have on hand at parties and gatherings when there’s some awkwardness to be around.  Even great for people you already know!  I love margaritas so the variety pack shall go to good use!  I am a chapstick-a-holic and adding a new one to my collection is always a win.  I also LOVE Pacifica’s line of stuff so I am happy to have another product of theirs to enjoy!!  I haven’t tried the snacks yet but they don’t look awful and the tote back can always be used.

Two thumbs up for a great bag this month Pop Sugar!  Woo!


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Pop Sugar Must Have Summer Box

After the Winter “special edition” box epic fail, I swore I’d not do another damn Pop Sugar “Special” box but I fell for it.  I figured that it couldn’t be any worse than the one for winter… and at least there I was right.  It is better, but I’m still underwhelmed.  However, I should use most of these items, unlike the Winter box which I used only two of the items.  I am also thanking the stars that none of that ___Mint shit is in this box.  SO over Style/Jewelry etc. Mint crap.  Pop Sugar’s monthly boxes have also been decidedly meh as well lately.  I’m not sure what’s going on.  It seems like there was a mass exit because they are offering a 50% off discount on the next box, use code GET50 to take advantage of that!

Pop Sugar Must Have Summer Box

House of Harlow Sunglasses

The Must Have Summer Box included the following products for a grand total of $301.95.

House of Harlow 1960 Sunglasses in Tilda, silver $125
Sachin + Babi Baroque Print Foulard Sarong $50
Truffle Classic Clarity Pouch $38
S’well stainless steel bottle in Pink $35
Henri Bendel Lilac Scented Candle $30
Vitabath Fresh Citrus Twist Exfoliating Sugar Scrub $18
Starbucks VIA Refreshers Packets in Very Berry Hibiscus $5.95

Favorite of all of the items?  The Lilac candle.  Our local Bath & Body Works used to carry Henri Bendel and I LOVED it.  I’m still kicking myself for not buying this one perfume of his that was on discount when they were getting rid of the collection that I thought was OK when I first tried it but LOVED once it mellowed on the skin.  Something like Vanilla Rum or something?  Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed his scents and I’m really excited to try the candle and I love lilac.  So this is a huge win for me, I will be lighting that sucker ASAP.

Least favorite of all of the items?  The sunglasses.  I typically use prescription sunglasses anyway (well when mine aren’t broken that is) but even when I don’t I just haven’t ever got into the aviator thing.  Beyond that, when I first tried on these sunglasses to see how they’d look, all I could focus on was the center piece, which to me looked like a penis.  I know, most aren’t going to see it but once I saw it I couldn’t UNSEE it and now I keep seeing a penis on my forehead so I doubt I’ll ever wear these.  I saw other styles that people got out there and I’m jealous.

Overall though I’m OK with this box.  I’ll use the truffle thing this summer when reading my kindle outside instead of my ghetto ziplock bag that I typically use.  I’m definitely going to use the water bottle to fill up for work this summer so I have cold water to drink after a photo session in the hot sun.  We’ll see if it really DOES keep things cold for 24 hours (although boo to the no dishwasher!).  Sugar scrubs can always be used or gifted and I’ve already got a box of the VIA’s so I’ll definitely use them – even if they give me the jitters.  The sarong may not get used but I’ll toss it in with my suits with the INTENTION to use it this summer.  Ha.  I don’t think I’d go for another box (unless it’s a pumpkin themed one, which means I may fall into an autumn themed trap!) but I don’t hate this one like I did the winter box.

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Birchbox’s May Epic Fail

Birchbox was my first subscription box and I guess that’s why I still soldier on with it.  Or it’s the fact I accidentally signed up for a yearly sub and can’t get out of it no matter how much I want to now.  I, of course, realized this mistake 2 days after my card was charged for another year of Birchbox.  Crap.  The samples have been ho-hum to WTF and I don’t think I’ve used most of it in months.  Trust me, come November I’m done with this puppy.

I can deal with the random-as-hell samples but missing not one but TWO samples?  Oh hell no.  I’m pissed.  Really stupidly pissed.  I’ve sent off an email to customer service but I’m sure there’ll be the blame game heading my way.  In the meantime I’ll vent on my blog.

card from Birchbox with everything that was supposed to be included.

This is the description card that you get with each Birchbox.  I save this until last because I want to have the fun of going through the box first.

Product samples I did receive from Birchbox

This is what I pulled out of the box when opening my box.  I thought it was a joke and thought SURELY there would be something in the yellow puff box included in the box.

empty box in birchbox

No such luck. It was a big fat empty box.  Womp-womp.

So what am I missing?  I am missing a “Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face” and a “Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner.”  Am I crying buckets?  No.  However I’m still pissed.  I’ll update when/if I get a response from Birchbox.

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