Sounds Suspicious vol. 1

I love Pinterest. It is one of the 4 apps I switch back and forth between pretty much all day long while my kids are napping or involved in an educational independent activity. I love getting inspired to start projects I'll never finish, finding new uses for everyday items, and discovering new ways to make all my crap fit into my tiny house.

Lately, however, I've been noticing with increasing frequency certain questionable pieces of advice, or "life hacks," that have no apparent foundation in reality. My favorite recent finding is this handy tip to straighten your hair without heat using water mixed with brown sugar.

Please just let that sink in for a second. Do you really think there's any planet on which spraying sugar water into your hair would result in anything other than a sticky, bug-attracting disaster? But judging by the number of boards this pin was saved to (over 750), people will believe anything they read on the internet, especially if there's a pretty, high-resolution (and usually highly Photoshopped) before and after pic attached. I'm not sure who's coming up with these ridiculous claims or why, but there are a LOT of people buying into them.

So I've decided to anoint myself your official questionable-life-hack-buster! That's right. When I find a bit of advice on the internet that seems shady but isn't too expensive or dangerous to try you can count on me to test it out and report my findings. I'm highly qualified for this gig for the following reasons:

1. I have a computer with a reliable internet connection.
2. I know how to type.
3. I have Photoshop experience so I can usually recognize when image editing sorcery is at play.
4. I need a hobby.

So without further ado, today I give you my first Sounds Suspicious life hack test!

CLAIM: You can remove (or minimize or possibly bleach) blackheads with a solution of baking soda and lemon juice.

Here's the pin I found making this claim:
Wow! Just look at the improvement!

I tried this hack out yesterday exactly as the pin prescribes. First I made a "creamy paste" (does that sound gross or what? I hope this post doesn't come up in an adult themed google search) with a fresh lemon and some baking soda.

My lemon and baking soda concoction. (And my bathroom sink that needs to be cleaned.) I used about 1 tbsp lemon juice and as advised poured baking soda in until it looked like a creamy paste. It was fizzy and bubbly until I mixed it up because base + acid = SCIENCE!

And here's the blackheaded nasal region in question (i.e. mine). I tried very hard to get a picture with my old iPhone that was in focus, but this was the best I could do. I think you get the idea.

I'm all squinty because I even stood outside in the sun trying to get you the best view of my clogged pores. And you can tell it's not photoshopped because I would have at least minimized those dark circles under my eyes or some of the red blemishes. See? This is how you know I'm trustworthy - I let it all hang out.

Time to slather that creamy paste on my face! I went all out and covered every blackhead-prone region cuz in case this actually worked then I wanted all those suckers gone. I used a Q-Tip to smear it on nice and thick.

I smell delicious.

And now we wait. 20 minutes. I watched the clock and took the following notes:

  • The lemon juice separates from the baking soda pretty quickly and drips down my face.
  • My nose itches. On the inside. I think some lemon juice found its way in.
  • 8 minutes in - it's tingling with a very mild burning sensation. Does this mean it's working?
  • My nose seriously itches every time I move any part of my face. I try to be completely still.
  • 14 minutes in - the paste is drying out and starting to crumble off. I now have dried out creamy lemon paste in my cleavage. DON'T MOVE.
  • Aaron is taking advantage of the fact I'm trying not to move, and reaches into my cleavage to remove some dried up paste. He really just wants to cop a feel.
  • 19 minutes in - one more minute and I can scratch my nose!

At the 20 minute mark I ran to the bathroom and rinsed very carefully and thoroughly with cold water, making sure not to open my eyes until all the paste was removed.  I couldn't wait to see the results!

(I'll put the before image here again so you can compare side-by-side.)

Would I be blackhead free as promised? Would I??


VERDICT: This life hack is a bust!

Well I'm sorry to report that the only difference I noticed was that my face was a little redder. If anything I thought my blackheads looked a bit more pronounced. Looks like my blackheads are here to stay... at least until my next experiment!

Speaking of, I have 2 more suspicious life hacks in the works. I'm testing the claim that Vaseline helps your eyelashes grow, and whether regular ol' hydrogen peroxide can whiten your teeth. So I'll be back with more unedited photographic evidence that lays these claims to rest, whether true or false! Hopefully I don't lose my eyelashes or teeth in the process.


Welcome to Zootopia

I'm having a little post-party depression, I have to admit! I think it's because I felt so productive for the week or so leading up to it, then Aaron and I celebrated our 10th anniversary last weekend, followed by Mother's Day, and now I have nothing but regular life going on. Also Max has been sick with a mild virus for the past week, and is probably teething too. He's been up all night and refusing to nap during the day and I haven't showered in two days, so I'm a little bit of a salty bitch (literally and figuratively!). I need to go for a run and start a new project but I feel so MEH...

As promised, here are pics of Cadence's Zootopia party. I gotta say, for all the time I spent on this party the pics don't really look very impressive. But Cadence loved it, and like I said, I got some satisfaction out of making all the decorations, as much of a pain in the ass as it was!

Zootopia city limits. Poster board, paper, ink jet printer, and an X-Acto knife. This was the biggest pain of all the decorations and took the longest because I had to cut out all those letters by hand. And if you can't tell, it says "Where anyone can be anything!" in the yellow strip... in cursive... and yes I cut those letters out too. Because I'm a glutton for punishment.

My character flag banners looked prettier in person. I tied strips of super glittery green tulle between each character square (purple, blue, and turquoise card stock backing) so it was nice and sparkly in the sunshine. 

A few of the borough posters I put up around the yard. Little Rodentia was meant to be a shady area  for the babies on the grass, but it was overtaken by the retirees drinking wine instead. Oh well!

Some details - The Fox Away silly string was our party favor, I made Zootopia license plates for each of our riding toys to go with the Emmitt Otterton game, and candy "night howler" lollipops I made with a flower mold and Wilton candy melts. I told all the kids if they eat them they go savage, and they very obediently went wild once they took a bite.

I made up a game where the kids had to find Emmitt Otterton by following clues and finding key witnesses around Zootopia/the backyard. There was no prize for this game, we all worked together to crack the case. And everyone got a popsicle.

Cadence was pretty stoked to find Emmitt at the asylum/bounce house.

Our other game was Parking Duty. Whoever put tickets (post-its) on the most cars during the song won a prize. I cut all the cars out of poster board and we taped them up all around the yard.

I asked Cadence what her favorite part of the party was and she said the games. This was the first year we actually played games, and since they came out of my own imagination I was pretty happy she enjoyed them. She's already decided she wants a Star Wars birthday party for next year, so I guess I have plenty of time to prepare. On the bright side I'm pretty sure I'll be able to buy decorations for that one!

Okay Max is rubbing his eyes and wailing "Maaahhhh!" so I'm desperately hoping he'll finally take a nap. I have already tried 3 times to get him down. Wish me luck!


Pinterest perfect

I've got a birthday party brewin' for this weekend! Cadence wanted a Zootopia themed party because she's all about becoming a police officer when she grows up, mostly because they wear blue and she loves all things blue. I'm so hoping she eventually changes her mind, I do not need to be fearing for her life for the rest of mine!

Anyway, I was saying... Oh yeah, so it's pretty difficult to find Zootopia party supplies. There's absolutely ZILCH at Party City, and only a small selection on Amazon - plates and cups and a couple balloons, that sort of thing. But the party will be in my pretty sizable backyard which I had the brilliant plan to turn into the city of ZOOTOPIA! At least it seemed brilliant until I realized I would be making ALL of the decorations myself.


Lucky for me I'm unemployed and have nothing better to do than design and print and cut and craft intricate details for a 4 year old's party. 😑

I actually enjoy doing that sort of thing, when I can sit down and get in the zone and bust it all out in my own sweet time. But being at home with the kids crawling all over me while I'm wielding an Exact-o knife makes it a tad trickier. I think the moms who post their perfect, handcrafted children's parties on Pinterest must have nannies or housekeepers or both, or perhaps a deal with Satan because I seriously have no idea how a normal person can accomplish it. 

So yeah I've spent all of my free time this week doing paper crafts and making up Zootopia-themed games. Oh and I made candy for the first time ever. So you better believe I'm gonna be posting pictures of it all to my blog, because let's be honest, no one but me is going to appreciate (or probably even notice) how much work I put into this party, but at least maybe someone out there in the internet will take pity on me and drop a comment about how cute my Night Howler lollipops are! (Hint!) (No, I have no shame about fishing for compliments!) 

And if anyone's interested, I'll have some high quality, perfect, handcrafted Zootopia party supplies for sale in about 3 days. Or really just take them. I'll even pay for shipping. I'm going to cry when I have to throw it all away.