by Sharla

Glow in the Dark Bubbles-Pinterest Fail

March 14, 2015 in Pinterest Critique by Sharla

 Glow in the Dark Bubbles-Pinterest Fail
Creating your own Glow in the Dark Bubbles, Pinterest Fail (sad to say).  Do not be fooled!  You can NOT create your own glow in the dark bubbles with a bottle of bubble solution and glow sticks.  This is a total Pinterest fail.  Since I have tried this, I have researched how to do it correctly and the results are all the same, IT DOESN’T WORK!  I don’t know what magical solution the original blogger used (you can see the link I found this at if you click the picture above) but in my opinion his pin is totally misleading, it gets a BIG thumbs down.  In a nut shell the link instructs you to break open some glow sticks, dump them into a bottle of bubbles and you have glow-in-the-dark bubbles.  Viola (not).  Don’t waist your time, bubbles, and glow sticks.  All that happened is that we ruined all of our night time fun supplies.  I believe the main problem is that there is a pretty specific formula for making a great bubble solution and when you add an additional ingredient it waters down the bubbles so you can’t make any.  I will say, it did create a glow in the dark solution, but all it was good for was smearing all over the kids using them.  I guess they thought that was fun, but I wasn’t so impressed.  Also, the link on this pin has a NEGATIVE critique for a glow in the dark Miracle Bubbles product.  Also, a fail.  Wish it wasn’t true, but I think the only way you will get glow in the dark bubbles is to either catch a fairy or summon the dark lord himself (seems like something Voldemort would be into).  Big thumbs down.
 
<3 Broken, Sharla
by Sharla

5 Tips to Master Pack Meeting

March 13, 2015 in Kids by Sharla

5 Tips to Master Pack Meeting

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My son was a Wolf when I began as his Cub Scout Pack Master.  I had been to pack meetings in the past for him, and I’ll be brutally honest, I wanted to slit my own wrists.  The boys were inattentive, rude, and seemed to have no interest in what was happening.  As a parent I was discouraged.  Pack meeting happens once a month and it is the one time they get the pay off for the hard work they put in.  Pins, awards, recognition and fun is what these meetings are all about but it all seemed to be lost in the fray.  It even got to the point that I would make excuses not to go because I couldn’t handle the craziness of it.  

Now, I’m bossy by nature, but I also really love kids, so why did I want to wring all of their necks (including and especially my son’s)?  I guess that’s the nature of the beast, put your money where your mouth is.  Shortly after I started giving up on the who thing I was asked to take over these three-ring-circus meetings.  Great.

I have one brother who never spent a day in scouts and a husband who doesn’t have much good to say about the program.  I had to find what would work for me with absolutely no back ground in the program.  I know there are “Round Table” meetings to give leaders ideas on how to do these meetings, but I was turned off by the idea of going because of what the meetings I had been to in the past were like.  I finally decided to be selfish.  If it worked for me, it will work for the parents and it would trickle down to the kids.  No, I did not duct tape the boys to their chairs, but I did sit down and really think about what pack meeting was really about, and what wasn’t working for me and what I would like the boys to get out of it.  Here is how I turned a “Lord of the Flies” situation into a program that every single person who attends pack meeting enjoys and is meaningful to the boys involved.

Step 1:  Get the boys under control.  

  • I started by sending an email out to the parents and den leaders before my first meeting outlining my expectations.  They included arriving on time.  Cubs were not allowed to enter the room until the meeting began, but parents and family members were to take a seat inside.  There was NO gather activity.  I know, I know,  the BSA likes gathering activities but I felt it promoted a feeling of chaos.  When the cubs arrived, their job was to sit lined up in the hall until we started.  I had a den leader stay with them to keep them under control.  
  • When it was almost time to beging I had a talk with the scouts themselves.  First off, if I wanted their attention or to get them to quiet down I would yell “Cub Scouts” and they would respond “yes, cub master”.  Then they were expected to be quiet.  We practiced this several times in the hall until they were a little used to it.  
  • Next I told them they would not be sitting in the front row as they had in the past, they would be sitting with their families.  They were to enter and find a seat with a parent.  Parents are far more likely to keep kids in line if they can whisper in their ear (which I wished I could do countless times in the past).  
  • In addition, I had three special treats set aside that would be awarded to the most respectful and quiet scouts during the meeting.  I called it the reverence award and I let them know these awards were available to the most reverent.
  • Next we discussed that they are men in training, that is why they are in scouts.  In short, this is their first exposure to preparing to be a man.  Men don’t speak out of turn in meetings.  Men don’t back talk.  Men don’t get out their seats when it’s inappropriate.  Men congratulated each other on a job well done.  The aren’t men yet, so they won’t be perfect, but this is their time to practice.    
  • Finally, after each scout received their awards the rest of the pack would stand and give him the scout salute on my cue.  No silly cheers, I went for straight ceremony.  If during the meeting they got loud I would call them back to attention with “cub scouts” and them responding “yes cub master”.  
  • PS. A microphone does wonders in keeping attention.

Step 2: Respect during the meeting.  During the actual meeting there were no games or silliness.  We did the flag ceremony, prayer, core value (very short), awards for each boy, info on what to expect in the month to come, reverence awards, closing prayer and flag ceremony, and then fun!  I try to keep the actual ceremony as short as possible.  They are 8-10 year-old-boys, there is only so much patience they can handle.

Step 3: Let the fun begin!  This is a celebration for their hard work for crying out loud!  There is a time and a place for boys to be boys and after the seriousness of the ceremony it’s time to celebrate.  Selfishly, I didn’t want to force boys to do things they might not enjoy and that I had to run so I set up four stations around the room for them to do at their leisure.  As time went on I found I could create stations that actually passed off electives for them, but were fun to do.  I’ll cover those in future posts.  

Step 4:  Choose a theme and run with it!  This is what makes each meeting special.  Of course awards are cool but every meeting I choose a theme and deck out the room.  Decorations, activities focused around the theme and themes that are relevant and exciting to the boys make it a red letter evening.  Legos and Minecraft are just a couple of the themes that were huge hits.  That is part of the reason they wait in the hall, so that when they enter the room the theme is revealed to them.  They love the surprise of what I’m going to do next.  They are enthusiastic while being appropriate.

Step 5:  Make a rank award special.  In our pack we award ranks every month a scout has a birthday and moves up.  Some packs give them once a year, either way, you can make it a serious and proud event.  I bought a black stick of face paint from a craft store and when a boy moves up in rank in addition to giving him his award and his mom the pin I mark his face in a tribal-ish type way with the paint.  It’s a badge of honor and for the most part the boys love the recognition.  So much of scouts is ceremonial, and that’s cool!  It creates a feeling of honor.  Soldiers, athletes, even actors wear war paint and we as a society connect it with a feeling of importance.  This is one of the best parts of pack meeting.

Since I have adopted this format our meetings have gotten better and better until one day, without me asking them to, the cubs all sat in the front row without their parents and were the picture of respect. I was so impressed that at the next meeting I gave everyone of them a reverence award.  We have not had a problem with respect and reverence since.

<3,Sharla

by Sharla

Cinnamon Rolls Waffles:Pinterest Success

March 8, 2015 in Pinterest Critique by Sharla

 
Cinnamon Roll Waffles: Pinterest Success!
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Ok, cinnamon roll waffles in the waffle iron, this was a must try.  Actually, I categorize it as a Pinterest Success, but only halvies.  I’m a lazy cook, ok?  I wanna eat something yummy but sometimes I just don’t have it in me to to spend even 10 minutes in the kitchen to make it happen.  Why can’t I have a live-in cook, or maid for that matter?  Since I live in reality (unfortunately) I have to deal with the planning, cooking, serving, and the complaining from the kids every time dinner rolls around.  That’s why I was excited to find this pin on Pinteres on how to make cinnamon rolls waffles in your waffle iron.  Buy a pack of pre made rolls (mine are Pillsbury), slap those puppies in a greased heated waffle iron and then smother in syrup.  
I couldn’t bring myself to give this idea two thumbs up.  I mean, granted this is as easy as it looks and even fun to make.  But there seamed to be a lot of unflavored dough, despite the fountain of syrup my kids enjoy.  Not to mention the cleaning up of the waffle iron trumpeted the fast meal.  The kids enjoyed it ok, my Matt and I were left wanting.  If you’re willing to make cinnamon rolls from scratch that I think that would make a hug difference in the taste, but that kind of defeats the ease of the project.  Maybe save this one for a quick breakfast or if the hubby is out of town.  Thumbs up for kids, not so much for adults.
by Sharla

Corn Chips for Fire Starting-Pinterest Fail

December 27, 2014 in Pinterest Critique by Sharla

Corn Chips for Fire Starting-Pinterest Fail

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I’m sorry, I really wanted this to work.  I mean, starting a fire with corn chips while camping?  I wanted it to smell AMAZING!  But alas, no.  No.  And no!  The pin says that you can use any corn chip (Doritos, Cool Ranch Doritos, Fritos) and we went for Cool Ranch.  All I did was char a poor, helpless chip (that now I can’t eat) and teach my kids to burn junk.  This was a major Pinterest fail!  Just get some dead wood, wrapping paper or fuel logs (which is how I usually start fires in my fire place).  Save the chips for a greater purpose, the munchies.

Check out my Pinterst Critique board for more info on what really happens when a capable and honest person tries junk the internet suggests.

<3, Sharla

 

by Sharla

Daily Doable 12/8/14-Find a Better Way

December 8, 2014 in Daily Doable by Sharla

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Find a Better Way!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable.

by Sharla

Hobo Dinner Recipe for Camping

August 19, 2014 in Cooking, Main Dish by Sharla

Hobo Dinner Recipe for Camping

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Ok, I admit, this Hobo dinner with cabbage burnt and wrapped around it might not look like much, but trust me, when you’ve been camping in the sun, with your kids, in the dirt, with no running water and no toilet paper, this picture is actually heaven.  Seriously, haven’t you ever noticed that everything tastes better when you’re camping?  I have been making hobo dinners for years and I think I have finally created the perfect hobo dinner.  It’s so perfect I’m surprised it hasn’t ripped a hole in the space-time continuum (a little Doctor Who reference for ya).  This recipe comes from years (literally) of trial and error.  And I must give credit to onesweetappetite.com for the finishing touch on this recipe!  Buckle your seat belts, you’re about to be blown away.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (the hight the fat content, the better)

1/2 pound bacon cut in half

1 yellow squash

4-6 potatoes, cubed

3 carrots, sliced

1/4 onion, diced

4-8 cabbage leafs

1 can cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce

salt and pepper to taste

heavy duty aluminum foil

charcoal briquettes

The Method:

First things first, you gotta have the right kind of heat to cook on a camp fire.  That does not mean big, devil-licking flames.  The best way to cook on a camp fire is when the flames go down and what you have left is burning embers at the bottom of the pit.  I cheat (don’t judge me).  The fastest and easiest way to get those perfect coals is with charcoal.  I do have wood in the fire on one side, for fun, then the charcoal on the other, for cooking.  Let those briquettes burn until the outsides are gray with ash and the insides are hot with flame (like when we all become senior citizens).

While your coals are burning, prepare the dinners.  One piece of foil per dinner (or two pieces if you’re using regular foil).  Put a large cabbage leaf in the center.  Layer 2-4 half pieces of bacon on the bottom, then 1/4 of the ground beef in a patty.  Some of you out there may not be into using a high fat ground beef (85% lean or less), but you NEED the grease and liquid this beef emits to have a good camp fire dinner!  Next, put on a little diced onion, then a healthy spoonful of cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce (depending on your taste), then 1-1 and 1/2 cubed potatoes, then a handful of sliced carrot, and last the sliced yellow squash (also known as summer squash).  Salt and pepper to taste, and last a small dollop of soup or BBQ sauce right on top.  If your cabbage leaf is too small to fold up around that beautiful mound, cover with another leaf and fold the sides of the foil up tight.  Place in the fire with the meat side down and cook….well, until it’s done.  It’s hard to say but I average between 20-45 minutes depending on the size of the dinner.  

Turn regularly from side to side to cook evenly, and check the meat after the first 20 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that.  I promise, the cabbage leaf will protect your meal from burning, even if the meat gets more done than you like.  :)  When you’re done pull those puppies out of the fire and enjoy!

The Theory:

The bacon adds flavor and grease along with the high fat beef.  I have used stew meat before, but it tends to over cook, and never has enough fat, and is hard to eat.  You can choose between the cream of mushroom soup or BBQ sauce depending on which you like better.  My kids prefer the soup, but my hubby (who likes a bolder flavor) chooses BBQ sauce.  DO NOT turn the dinners upside down in the fire, which is why I layer the hardest to cook ingredients closets to the bottom because they will receive the most heat.  You put those delicate yellow squashes at the bottom and they’ll be ruined, I promise.

Here is the Pinterest Critique I did of using cabbage in this recipe!

Here is the original link for the cabbage idea that took us over the moon!

Hobo Dinner for Camping
Serves 4
Write a review
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef (the hight the fat content, the better)
  2. 1/2 pound bacon cut in half
  3. 1 yellow squash
  4. 4-6 potatoes, cubed
  5. 3 carrots, sliced
  6. 1/4 onion, diced
  7. 4-8 cabbage leafs
  8. 1 can cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. heavy duty aluminum foil
  11. charcoal briquettes
Instructions
  1. First things first, you gotta have the right kind of heat to cook on a camp fire. That does not mean big, devil-licking flames. The best way to cook on a camp fire is when the flames go down and what you have left is burning embers at the bottom of the pit. I cheat (don't judge me). The fastest and easiest way to get those perfect coals is with charcoal. I do have wood in the fire on one side, for fun, then the charcoal on the other, for cooking. Let those briquettes burn until the outsides are gray with ash and the insides are hot with flame (like when we all become senior citizens).
  2. While your coals are burning, prepare the dinners. One piece of foil per dinner (or two pieces if you're using regular foil). Put a large cabbage leaf in the center. Layer 2-4 half pieces of bacon on the bottom, then 1/4 of the ground beef in a patty. Some of you out there may not be into using a high fat ground beef (85% lean or less), but you NEED the grease and liquid this beef emits to have a good camp fire dinner! Next, put on a little diced onion, then a healthy spoonful of cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce (depending on your taste), then 1-1 and 1/2 cubed potatoes, then a handful of sliced carrot, and last the sliced yellow squash (also known as summer squash). Salt and pepper to taste, and last a small dollop of soup or BBQ sauce right on top. If your cabbage leaf is too small to fold up around that beautiful mound, cover with another leaf and fold the sides of the foil up tight. Place in the fire with the meat side down and cook….well, until it's done. It's hard to say but I average between 20-45 minutes depending on the size of the dinner.
  3. Turn regularly from side to side to cook evenly, and check the meat after the first 20 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that. I promise, the cabbage leaf will protect your meal from burning, even if the meat gets more done than you like. :) When you're done pull those puppies out of the fire and enjoy!
Notes
  1. The bacon adds flavor and grease along with the high fat beef. I have used stew meat before, but it tends to over cook, and never has enough fat, and is hard to eat. You can choose between the cream of mushroom soup or BBQ sauce depending on which you like better. My kids prefer the soup, but my hubby (who likes a bolder flavor) chooses BBQ sauce. DO NOT turn the dinners upside down in the fire, which is why I layer the hardest to cook ingredients closets to the bottom because they will receive the most heat. You put those delicate yellow squashes at the bottom and they'll be ruined, I promise.
This Is Do-Able http://www.thisisdoable.com/

You’re welcome.  I just made camping that much more bearable (pun intended).

<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Hobo Dinners in Cabbage-Pinterest Success

August 18, 2014 in Pinterest Critique by Sharla

Wrapping Hobo Dinners in Cabbage to Keep From Burning-Pinterest Success!

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Sooooooo, I had the great fortune of taking my kids on a camping trip this summer (if you can’t sense my sarcasm, let me just spell it out for you).  I know, we are the worst parents ever for not taking them sooner, seeing as how my oldest is now, officially, 12 years old.  What can I say?  Matt and I don’t like our kids!  Just kidding, we actually love spending time with them, just not out in the wilderness with no bathroom, no beds, and no TV (as in, for us)!  However, what’s the one thing our kids wanted to do this summer?  You guessed it, camp.  So here we are…literally the week before school starts finally putting on our big-boy pants and giving the kids what they beg for, our personal hell.

Having said that, at least camping lends itself to some seriously creative fun, and what promotes more creativity than Pinterest?  Nothing.  The answer is nothing.  Thus, here is a full week of Camping Pinterest success and failures hot off my Pinterest Critique Board.  You’re welcome.

I have been making hobo dinners since I can remember.  Matt has gone on many “Mountain Man Rendezvous” which is like a scrapbooking retreat for dudes but with more, well, everything girls don’t want.  I make him hobo dinners every time, but I have never seen the advice to wrap the hobo dinner in cabbage (thank you, Pinterest).  I just had to give it a go.

The verdict, two thumbs WAY up!!!  Total Pinterest success!  Before I found this pin, every time I made these we had had to scrape away the cooked meat from the charred remains at the bottom of the tin foil, but not this time.  I don’t know who thought of this or where the magical properties of cabbage leaves come from, but all I did was lay out the tin foil, put a large cabbage leaf down, load it with the hobo dinner ingredients, cover it with another leaf of cabbage, then wrap the whole thing up tight with foil, and viola!  Non-burned, beautiful, moist hobo dinner!!!  I will never go camping with  out cabbage leafs again (quite possibly the weirdest statement ever).

For my recipe for Hobo dinners, which is excellent and has taken me years to perfect, click here or the picture below.  And feel free to follow me on Pinterest for more camping and tons of other fun pins (seriously, I pin all the time…like twice a day)!

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<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven-Pinterest Fail

August 13, 2014 in Pinterest Critique by Sharla

 Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven-Pinterest Fail
 
 
 
Pinterest fail.  And it’s not my fault!  I followed the instructions perfectly and it so didn’t work.  I had a horrible time peeling the eggs.  It was as if the shell had fused to the egg itself creating a new and evil version of something that heretofore had been soft and tasty.  When I did finally get the shell off the egg was a tattered wretch.  Not to mention I was promised a better tasting egg, they tasted pretty much the same (and that’s saying something because I’m easy to impress when it comes to food…I really like food).  Finally, the yolk was impossible to get out (no good for deviled eggs or kids who hate “the yellow ball”).  Stick to the stovetop and water.  
 
If you’re looking for a quicker, easier way to peel eggs, I suggest using a spoon.  My husband taught me this little trick and we do it every time eggs are boiling.  Stick with the tried and true method.  Click the picture below for full instructions on how to easily and quickly peeling eggs, and follow my Pinterest Critique board for more Pinterest fail and success stories.
 
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<3, Sharla
by Sharla

Bacon in the Oven-Pinterest Success

August 8, 2014 in Pinterest Critique by Sharla

 Bacon in the Oven-Pinterest Success!
 
I love a Pinterest Success!  Two thumbs way up!  This pin has literally changed my life.  Yes, bacon changed my life,  I am not ashamed.  And not just my life, my entire family LOVES bacon in the oven.  It comes out light, ultra crispy, and doesn’t make an enormous mess on your stove top or leave that lingering bacon smell in the air, on your clothes, in your hair (I hate that).  It takes about the same time to cook if you cooked a whole package on the stove but because you just pop it in the oven it leaves you free to do other stuff (like search my Pinterest Critique board for more success and fail stories).  
 
There is some advice I would give: 1)make sure to not over lap the bacon at all.  If they overlap they stick together and also won’t cook evenly.  2) You must use parchment paper or it sticks to the pan.  I only made that mistake once, a whole package of bacon down the drain.  One of the saddest days of my life.  3) Take the bacon off of the pan as soon as it is done and drain on paper towels.  4) Check the bacon regularly as it cooks.  Sometimes the pieces on the ends are done sooner than the middle and sometimes I flip a few if they are looking done on the side touching the pan.  5) I use two pans to cook one package, dividing the bacon in half.  
 
I know that sounds like a lot of work, and I admit, it took a little practice, but it’s well worth it.  I will never cook bacon on the stove again!  Trust me, you’re about to have a Pinterest success story of your own.
by Sharla

DIY – Spooky Material

August 7, 2014 in Halloween, Halloween, Halloween Creations by Sharla

DIY Spooky Material

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Check out my spooky material.  Spooky, right?  Spooooooooky…… Well, I didn’t buy it, I made it!  Why?  Because it’s fun!  The only thing I had to buy for this project was a packet of cheese cloth from Home Depot (in the paint supplies).  It was about $4.00 for the pack but it came with a ton.  What I loved about this project was how easy, fun, cheap and quick it was.  Plus, I could customize my cloth to be any color I wanted!  Shall we begin?

What you Need:

Ink Pads (I used red, black, green, and purple)

CLICK HERE for Joann.com or Shop Scrapbooking and Papercrafting Supplies at Michaels

Cheese cloth (Home Depot is my favorite spot for this but this is my recommendation from Amazon)

 

The Method:

Ok, this is super complicated, so just bare with me.  What you need to do is open you cheese cloth, cut the desired amount (or keep it whole) unfold it, and blob it onto the ink pad.  Seriously, here’s a picture of my 3-year-old doing it.

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Man, that kids needs a hair cut.  I did one cloth that was just red, kinda gross looking but also cool if you’re into the gory Halloween look.

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Then I did one that was a mixture of purple and black and one that was black, green, and purple.  Go crazy with that ink pad.  The more ink you use the better it will look.

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And just to mix things up you can always leave the cheese cloth white and drape it like spider webs.  I have used this piece year after year.  I draped it and then just made long cuts into it to shred it a little.  I like it much better than the spider webbing you get that is just one use.  Just slap some creepy crawlys on there and you have a more than convincing spider web.

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Ok, who’s convinced?  It’s all the things I love about crafting, plus its for Halloween, sooooooo, yeah.  AWESOME!

<3, Sharla 

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