Bonus Post – Guest Blogger

Disclaimer: I am in no way as witty or talented as my wife.  I mean, did you read that tear jerker she wrote about her grandmother’s buttons? I wish we had a mysterious benefactor that paid all of our bills so she could take the time to seriously pursue this whole writing thing.  Ok, Ok, I know you came for Pinterest and not mush, here it is…

So my wife’s Pinterest addiction led me to check out the site.  While I would like to say it was a one time thing, I can’t.  Where else can you find patio tables made out of old wooden pallets, every e-card created, and recipes for frozen Captain Morgan popsicles? Ok, so I guess you could go to each site that they were pinned from, but I’m way too lazy for that. I need my internet sites to be one stop shops (not to be confused with “one take jakes” which we will cover later).  I seem to start an unusually high amount of sentences with “I saw this thing on Pinterest…” I’ve come to terms with this.

This past Saturday was a beautiful day for a wedding.  I’m too old to be a pimp from Oakland or a cowboy from Arizona (if you know what movie that quote is from, we can be friends).  Luckily we had friends getting married (if you still haven’t figured out where that last quote is from, we obviously have different movie tastes).  This wedding seemed different to me and it wasn’t just because I had never been to a Catholic wedding before or the fact that the groom was from a different country. Then it hit me…the pastor said the right name, they actually exchanged their vows, and his wedding ring hadn’t been crushed in a work accident.  At least we have a funny story from our wedding, right?

One of my favorite parts of going to a wedding is wearing a suit and tie.  It seems funny to say that out loud, but it’s the truth.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have to wear one everyday to work. Maybe it’s because I (not so) secretly watch Project Runway and think I have a pretty good idea of what looks fashionable and which designers failed to “make it work.”  Or maybe it’s because Justin Timberlake sings catchy songs about wearing a suit and tie and they get stuck in your head. Don’t judge, if it’s good enough for Jay Z, he’s earned my approval. 

There’s a problem though. I hate tying a tie. Hate it! My only hope is that I can get it to be straight and the right length. I knew there were different knots but I wasn’t really worried about them.  But the last time I had to wear a tie, I was really annoyed with how large the knot was and no matter what I did I couldn’t get it any skinnier. So this time I turned to Pinterest for help.  At first all I saw were skinny ties. But I’m not Joel McHale or in my 20s so I really don’t think that’s an option. Finally I saw this pin that gave a couple different options.  I tried the 4 in hand knot……Boom, first time. One-take Jake (there it is). That was enough for me.  I was sold. I think the shocked look on K’s face said it all. I had built in 20 minutes in my head when getting ready.  Including searching for a pin, my total time was 3 minutes. 

By the time the next wedding rolls around I might have to search for a different pin to help. We will see. As my friend Heidi Klum says “In fashion, one day you are in and the next day you’re out.”


Day 254 – Washcloth Elephant

I saw this oh-so-adorable washcloth elephant and I knew that I had to make it for the future babies that will be born this year. I got so excited for it that I bought a pack of washcloths and everything.

Baby washcloths are a little pricey when you are not actually intending on using them for washing a baby. I managed to find a 4 pack hanging on one of those hangers that always hold random things for people to make an impulse buy. The sign said $0.98, so I figured that was way better than $7 for 5. When I got to the counter, they rang up as $0.25! Hooray! This project is almost free!

And then I got home and looked at the pin and realized that in order to make the very cute washcloth elephant, you had to pay $3.99 to download a 13 minute video. NO THANK YOU. I will just search the internet and make my own washcloth elephant thank you very much.

And then all of the ones I could find online were not nearly as cute and they took 2 washcloths. The pack that I bought had 4 of different colors, which meant I would need to buy 1 more pack so I could have 2 of the same color. So when my husband went to the store, I sent him to get 1 more pack. He kindly bought 2 more packs since they were so cheap, just to be sure that I had 2 of the same color in case the ones he bought did not match the one I already had.

Tonight, as dinner was cooking, I thought I would quickly get started on this little thing. I mean the workers on the cruise lines make 50 of these a day, so it clearly can’t take all that long…

About 45 minutes later, I decided this project was crap. If you want the very worst tutorial, click here, because I could not make any sense out of these directions. Finally, I decided to just look at the picture and try to come up with it on my own. All of these attempts landed me at this lovely little creature:

Which was so unstable that I was able to blow him over big bad wolf style…

Sorry babies…no washcloth elephants for you.

Total cost: $0.75

Anyone need baby washcloths? I now have 12!

Day 253 – Crescent Roll S’Mores

Here is a list of some things that are good:

  • marshmallows
  • chocolate
  • graham crackers
  • crescent rolls

If you roll the first three together inside of the fourth, it is delicious.


I baked them according to the package directions (375 degrees for 10-12 minutes…I did 12) and out popped these gooey delicious treats.

Also, on a side note, I bought the small package of crescent rolls because they were on sale. They are perfect for a treat like this because you don’t have to make so many (although you might want to!).


Total cost: $1

Day 252 – Binder Cover

As the saying goes, I have been feeling the need to keep up with the Joneses.

I co-teach with two wonderful teachers every day and I like to think that we are doing an awesome job of educating our wild corral of kiddos. We have been preparing to teach a new novel unit, and it is a little daunting to say the least. To keep all of my things organized, I found this random old empty binder on my shelf. It was kind of ugly and slightly broken, but it worked.

A few days later, S showed up with the most beautifully organized binder that I have ever seen. It was pretty and new and had a lovely cover. I had immediate binder envy. I decided to take the teacher binder that I created at the beginning of the year (and hardly use) and do a little switcheroo. Now my “teacher binder” is ugly, but I will hardly be looking at it. My novel binder, which I will be using daily, is currently adorable.

I downloaded this chevron pattern and tweaked it a little in Word. Then I made a gray rectangle to mat the picture of the cover of our novel. Now if only this adorable binder will magically help our kids understand this terribly difficult (yet interesting and informative) novel…

Total cost: $0

Click here to download this fun cover…

Give Me Liberty Binder Cover

Day 251 – Easy Nail Polish Application

Coming up with a title for today’s project was a struggle. I would not really call this method “easy” as the title suggests. My actual title would be something like:

Smearing Glue Around the Edge of Each Nail to Make it Easier to Peel Off the Smudgy Mess-up Painted Spots.

But I thought that got a bit wordy.

It was messy, but pretty successful. I had one spot where I got some glue on my nail so when I went to peel the glue off, it took the paint with it.
The peeling part was kind of fun at first, but by the end I was tired of it. I was in the car, so peeling was the only option. I found that when I washed them with soap and water, the rest of the gunk came off.
It was good for a situation like today when I had to paint my nails before I went to a wedding. I can’t say that I would do this every time, but it worked well for today.


Day 250 – Caterpillar Onesie

I am loving this making baby stuff thing. There are so many adorable ideas on line and this is my latest favorite!

I sewed a few buttons in the shape of a caterpillar and added some antennae. Before I knew it, I had one cute onesie sitting beside me on the couch. It was quite a quick project except for the antennae part. I was unsure of how to execute this, but I really thought I could make it up. I couldn’t. I googled “french knot tutorial” and came up with this site that really helped me. After a few tries, I got it (mostly) right.

One lucky pregnant lady that I know will be getting this within the next few months…will it be you?


Total cost: $4.42, but half of that cost is from the small package of buttons I had to buy…can you believe my grandmother’s button box did NOT have any of these colors?!? If you count the price per button, I bet it is a whole lot cheaper.

Day 249 – Pancake Muffins

Sometimes you see things on Pinterest and they seem like great ideas. Then you execute them and you realize how not every idea is a great one.

This one happens to be a mediocre one.

I mixed up some pancake batter according to the directions. It turns out I only had 1 cup left, so that was all I could make. Then, like the picture, I sprinkled some chopped strawberries across the tops. The pin had directions written in the comment section, but it did not lead to an actual website. I figured I would give it a try. I baked a tray of mini muffins and they turned out alright. The strawberries kind of look ugly now, and they are only right on top. I think it would be better if they were all throughout the whole muffin. The overall flavor is kind of plain, as pancakes usually are. The strawberries add a nice kick, but I wish there were more.

Total cost: 40-50 cents total.


Day 248 – Biography Graphic Organizer

My last guided reading group of the day had just four students in it for the majority of the school year. Then, last week, one of those students moved, so we were down to three. Reading doesn’t come easily for these guys, so sometimes we have to do things unconventionally to get them to identify important information from the text. We have made text feature booklets and main idea and details organizers in the past, just to hope that some of the information that I teach will sink in and stick with them at a later date.

Yesterday we finished reading a biography of Marina Silva. (Never heard of her? Neither had I.) They were able to recall some facts from memory, but when I asked what a biography was, no one could really tell me. I figured they needed to help to get an understanding of how a biography is organized. This little graphic organizer that I found on Pinterest showed the basics of what is included in a biography. They were able to pull out much more information while we filled out this organizer than when we were just discussing things.

Here is what we created together:

Total cost: $0

Day 247 – Picaboo Photo Book

A couple of months ago we got this Groupon for Picaboo to make a photo book of our Florida trip…and those darn things have an expiration date. That expiration date is TOMORROW! So I have been photo-booking all the live long night! It’s gonna be great.

Gotta go…It’s already 9:22!!

Here is a preview:


Total cost: $15 for $50 worth of products (approximately 1 photo book…not the cheapest around if you don’t have a Groupon…)

Day 246 – Dollar Store Cake Stand

When I found this idea, I knew I wanted to make it because it sounded so simple and looked so pretty (and useful). I went to the dollar store and got a goblet and a glass plate that would match together to make a pretty cake stand. The Pinterest people spray painted theirs, and I fully intended on doing that until I saw how nice the plain glass looked. I liked it so much, I bought enough to make two. Then when I got home, I started to ponder how to glue glass together. After a simple search online, I realized that some glue products boast that they glue glass together. Others said “not recommended for glass.” I went to the store and found some glue that said it would bond glass, so I brought it home and gave it a try.

Currently, it is in the process of trying to work. I can’t exactly promise you that this glue is successful yet. It said to give it an hour, but I am here to say that after an hour, it is still as wet looking as it was at the beginning. Surprisingly, I even read the directions on the back of the package and followed what it said to do for fusing glass to glass. Maybe by the morning it will be nice and stuck.

Until then, here is a picture of the two that I have not yet glued…


Total cost: $2 per cake stand (I had a gift card for the glue)