Thursday, September 19, 2013



Today, I will be reviewing the most amazing pin I've tested yet! It is a mirrored paper organizer to help keep track of those random notes, bills, etc. that you really need to keep right in front of your face. The reason why this pin is soooo amazing is because it's mine! *Big cheese* Ok, honestly, it's not the most inventive thing in the world and I didn't actually take the time to make it artsy at all. It was quick and dirty... but effective! My husband is a real estate agent who likes to print out home listings and leave the printouts all over the house. One day I'd had enough of having our daily "Babe, is this a toss or keep page?" conversation and decided I wanted a quick solution that was functional but most importantly cheap. Sooo, I came up with this little number.

Items Used:

Mirror (Big Lots)
Hemp Twine (Artco Crafts)
Mini Paperclips (Artco Crafts)
Button Magnets* (Dollar Tree)
  *There's no reason the buttons need to be magnetic. I just happened to have these from a DIY toddler activity game.





There really wasn't much to this and I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory. As I mentioned the button magnets were just something I had lying around. I super glued the twine to the buttons first with a little dot in the center on the back side. Then after that dried, I added more glue to the outer parts of the back of the magnet and stuck it to the mirror. A few key things to remember with this project is to make sure to use as little super glue as possible to make the mounting pieces- in my case, the magnetic buttons- stick as flatly to the mirror as possible. Second, the twine needs to be taut to handle the weight of whatever you hang from the paper clips.

This project took me about 15 minutes and cost me $11. Like I said... quick and dirty but so far it's working so I'm calling this one a Success!


10:24 PM Khalia Nicole
Pin It


Today, I will be reviewing the most amazing pin I've tested yet! It is a mirrored paper organizer to help keep track of those random notes, bills, etc. that you really need to keep right in front of your face. The reason why this pin is soooo amazing is because it's mine! *Big cheese* Ok, honestly, it's not the most inventive thing in the world and I didn't actually take the time to make it artsy at all. It was quick and dirty... but effective! My husband is a real estate agent who likes to print out home listings and leave the printouts all over the house. One day I'd had enough of having our daily "Babe, is this a toss or keep page?" conversation and decided I wanted a quick solution that was functional but most importantly cheap. Sooo, I came up with this little number.

Items Used:

Mirror (Big Lots)
Hemp Twine (Artco Crafts)
Mini Paperclips (Artco Crafts)
Button Magnets* (Dollar Tree)
  *There's no reason the buttons need to be magnetic. I just happened to have these from a DIY toddler activity game.





There really wasn't much to this and I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory. As I mentioned the button magnets were just something I had lying around. I super glued the twine to the buttons first with a little dot in the center on the back side. Then after that dried, I added more glue to the outer parts of the back of the magnet and stuck it to the mirror. A few key things to remember with this project is to make sure to use as little super glue as possible to make the mounting pieces- in my case, the magnetic buttons- stick as flatly to the mirror as possible. Second, the twine needs to be taut to handle the weight of whatever you hang from the paper clips.

This project took me about 15 minutes and cost me $11. Like I said... quick and dirty but so far it's working so I'm calling this one a Success!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

 



THE IDEA:
  • Lovely fresh clean pillows

THE CLAIM:
  • A couple spins through the washing machine will clean your pillows of accumulated allergens, dust, bacteria, mold, and dead skin cells

THE RESULT:
  • FAIL!
 
For anyone who was like me and really wanted this to be as simple as it sounded, I'm afraid you're going to be sorely disappointed! This pin experiment was a disaster and a half! The details given about why it's so necessary to wash our pillows gets you pumped up to do it. When you actually stop to think about all the dead skin cells and dust that accumulate in/on your pillows month after month after month, it's almost nauseating. It's like when you read those articles about how your laptop keys and cell phone screens are actually some of the nastiest, most bacteria ridden things we use on a regular basis. Gross! The beginning of the post for this pin read much the same way, leaving you ready to jump up and wash your pillows right then and there!

 
The process sounded simple enough. Basically, you're supposed to squish out as much air as possible from your pillows before sticking them in the wash, making sure to use 2 pillows for balance. Run a full cycle then run a secondary spin cycle to get rid of the excess moisture....... The excess moisture... I'll say that again... The "excess" moisture. (We'll get back to that.) After the wash, you put 2 tennis balls into 2 socks and toss the pillows into the dryer. The instructions allow for the possibility of  a "few cycles" for the pillows to be thoroughly dry. A few was the understatement of the century!

2 tennis balls to help beat out moisture. 2 white socks to prevent color transfer from the yellow tennis balls.

This is what the floor looked like after pulling out one of my pillows after the full cycle and before the follow up spin cycle.

This is what that same pillow looked like after the follow-up spin cycle. Water logged!

Now... before I go off sounding like I'm bashing the originator of this pin, I will say that the post expressly talks about what type of pillows are best for the machine washing method and which aren't. Unfortunately, however, I DO in fact have polyester pillows which was on the "OK" list to toss in the washing machine. Even more than that, you'll see in the pic below, the instructions on the manufacturer's tag are pretty much the exact instructions given in the post! SO, while the instructions were in fact correct for the pillows I used, they just flat out didn't work!



I washed 3 pillows. The 2 with the gray chevron stripes on them did dry a bit quicker at about 4 cycles in the dryer. However, those are my crap pillows. I bought them on sale at Target and they are the worst, most pointless pillows I've ever purchased. They lost their fluff within a week. So, in my opinion they should not have taken 4 cycles to dry. The other plain, water logged white one, took 5 dryer cycles and even after the 5th still felt damp so I left it to dry for 2 days! I suppose the part of the manufacturer's instructions that say "Allow pillow to dry thoroughly" doesn't say how long that should be, right? WHATEVER!

Unconvinced, that the follow-up spin cycle would remove enough moisture, I had the Hubs help me squeeze out some water before tossing the pillow into the dryer... I was right.
If you wanna get technical, the pin was in fact successful in that any visible stains (aka drool spots!) were removed and the pillows did smell fresh and clean. BUT, the process of getting these pillows completely dry in the end is not something I would feel confident wasn't going to result in mold growth days later!

IF, I was to try this again, I think for thicker pillows it would be smart to do 2 spin cycles after the full cycle, as opposed to the 1 spin cycle that was recommended. And I'd want to leave the pillows outside to air dry after 2-3 spins in the dryer. It was recommended that you wash your pillows 3 times a year. PASS! After the hassle of trying to wash them this time, I think I'll just take my butt down to Big Lots or Target and buy new ones instead! My time is worth the $9.99 each pillow costs!

10:24 PM Khalia Nicole
Pin It
 



THE IDEA:
  • Lovely fresh clean pillows

THE CLAIM:
  • A couple spins through the washing machine will clean your pillows of accumulated allergens, dust, bacteria, mold, and dead skin cells

THE RESULT:
  • FAIL!
 
For anyone who was like me and really wanted this to be as simple as it sounded, I'm afraid you're going to be sorely disappointed! This pin experiment was a disaster and a half! The details given about why it's so necessary to wash our pillows gets you pumped up to do it. When you actually stop to think about all the dead skin cells and dust that accumulate in/on your pillows month after month after month, it's almost nauseating. It's like when you read those articles about how your laptop keys and cell phone screens are actually some of the nastiest, most bacteria ridden things we use on a regular basis. Gross! The beginning of the post for this pin read much the same way, leaving you ready to jump up and wash your pillows right then and there!

 
The process sounded simple enough. Basically, you're supposed to squish out as much air as possible from your pillows before sticking them in the wash, making sure to use 2 pillows for balance. Run a full cycle then run a secondary spin cycle to get rid of the excess moisture....... The excess moisture... I'll say that again... The "excess" moisture. (We'll get back to that.) After the wash, you put 2 tennis balls into 2 socks and toss the pillows into the dryer. The instructions allow for the possibility of  a "few cycles" for the pillows to be thoroughly dry. A few was the understatement of the century!

2 tennis balls to help beat out moisture. 2 white socks to prevent color transfer from the yellow tennis balls.

This is what the floor looked like after pulling out one of my pillows after the full cycle and before the follow up spin cycle.

This is what that same pillow looked like after the follow-up spin cycle. Water logged!

Now... before I go off sounding like I'm bashing the originator of this pin, I will say that the post expressly talks about what type of pillows are best for the machine washing method and which aren't. Unfortunately, however, I DO in fact have polyester pillows which was on the "OK" list to toss in the washing machine. Even more than that, you'll see in the pic below, the instructions on the manufacturer's tag are pretty much the exact instructions given in the post! SO, while the instructions were in fact correct for the pillows I used, they just flat out didn't work!



I washed 3 pillows. The 2 with the gray chevron stripes on them did dry a bit quicker at about 4 cycles in the dryer. However, those are my crap pillows. I bought them on sale at Target and they are the worst, most pointless pillows I've ever purchased. They lost their fluff within a week. So, in my opinion they should not have taken 4 cycles to dry. The other plain, water logged white one, took 5 dryer cycles and even after the 5th still felt damp so I left it to dry for 2 days! I suppose the part of the manufacturer's instructions that say "Allow pillow to dry thoroughly" doesn't say how long that should be, right? WHATEVER!

Unconvinced, that the follow-up spin cycle would remove enough moisture, I had the Hubs help me squeeze out some water before tossing the pillow into the dryer... I was right.
If you wanna get technical, the pin was in fact successful in that any visible stains (aka drool spots!) were removed and the pillows did smell fresh and clean. BUT, the process of getting these pillows completely dry in the end is not something I would feel confident wasn't going to result in mold growth days later!

IF, I was to try this again, I think for thicker pillows it would be smart to do 2 spin cycles after the full cycle, as opposed to the 1 spin cycle that was recommended. And I'd want to leave the pillows outside to air dry after 2-3 spins in the dryer. It was recommended that you wash your pillows 3 times a year. PASS! After the hassle of trying to wash them this time, I think I'll just take my butt down to Big Lots or Target and buy new ones instead! My time is worth the $9.99 each pillow costs!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013



THE IDEA:
  • Get rid of armpit stains

THE CLAIM:
  • Using a mix of Dawn and hydrogen peroxide to get well worn whites back to their former bright white glory

THE RESULT:
  • SUCCESS!
If you've ever had to toss a favorite shirt that was in decent condition aside from a couple annoying armpit stains, you'll be pleased to know you may not have to do that with your next shirt! I had a feeling that mixing dawn and peroxide might actually do the trick on dingy armpit stains, especially when amped up by baking soda which is what the original pinner did so I did as well! What I didn't anticipate is how well it would work on old, seemingly set in stains! I tested the pin on several different articles of clothing and admittedly there were a couple shirts, my husband's Element tee below being one of them, that needed to be treated twice. However, that t-shirt is ancient so the fact that the mix worked at all is still a success in my book even if I did have to go through the process twice. Honestly, doing it twice wasn't because it didn't work at all. It was simply so I could say that I brought the tee "back to white". The stain was mostly removed after the first treatment and the very slight amount of dingy remnant was completely unnoticeable when worn.

Hubby's Element Tee: BEFORE
 
Hubby's Element Tee: AFTER
 
My Basic 3/4 Sleeve Tee: BEFORE
 
My 3/4 Sleeve Basic Tee: AFTER


I thought I'd try working out the pit stains on a colored shirt so I chose one of Hubby's old sky blue Hurley tees. Can't even tell there was ever an armpit stain at all can ya?

Another Hubby Tee in blue: AFTER

Dawn + Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda= Successful stain remover and bleach alternative!

SUCCESS!!



7:48 PM Khalia Nicole
Pin It


THE IDEA:
  • Get rid of armpit stains

THE CLAIM:
  • Using a mix of Dawn and hydrogen peroxide to get well worn whites back to their former bright white glory

THE RESULT:
  • SUCCESS!
If you've ever had to toss a favorite shirt that was in decent condition aside from a couple annoying armpit stains, you'll be pleased to know you may not have to do that with your next shirt! I had a feeling that mixing dawn and peroxide might actually do the trick on dingy armpit stains, especially when amped up by baking soda which is what the original pinner did so I did as well! What I didn't anticipate is how well it would work on old, seemingly set in stains! I tested the pin on several different articles of clothing and admittedly there were a couple shirts, my husband's Element tee below being one of them, that needed to be treated twice. However, that t-shirt is ancient so the fact that the mix worked at all is still a success in my book even if I did have to go through the process twice. Honestly, doing it twice wasn't because it didn't work at all. It was simply so I could say that I brought the tee "back to white". The stain was mostly removed after the first treatment and the very slight amount of dingy remnant was completely unnoticeable when worn.

Hubby's Element Tee: BEFORE
 
Hubby's Element Tee: AFTER
 
My Basic 3/4 Sleeve Tee: BEFORE
 
My 3/4 Sleeve Basic Tee: AFTER


I thought I'd try working out the pit stains on a colored shirt so I chose one of Hubby's old sky blue Hurley tees. Can't even tell there was ever an armpit stain at all can ya?

Another Hubby Tee in blue: AFTER

Dawn + Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda= Successful stain remover and bleach alternative!

SUCCESS!!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013


At the end of part 1 of this experiment, I was sure this was going to be another big fat FAIL. On day 7, the vinegar in the jars weren't changing color anymore than they had on day 2. Vinegar and steel wool alone was supposed to produce a reddish hue.

Ummm, yeah.. am I color blind or is this no where near any version of red at all?


















The tea stain color was just supposed to give off an obvious tea colored shade and the coffee was the same (only it was supposed to present with black not dark brown.) The pennies and vinegar mix was supposed to reveal a pale Caribbean blue stain.

Ironically, it seems like if anything the pennies are more likely to give off the reddish hue and the steel wool is looking more like it could present with a Caribbean blue kind of color!
These are the results after 24 hours:
From left to right: Steel wool, steel wool/coffee, steel wool/tea, pennies and vinegar
I waited a full week, per the pin-structions! In my mind the natural wood stain idea was a failure already but alas an interesting turn of events happened that day. I liberally applied each each stain in sections to an unfinished piece of pine wood board. I left it alone for a few minutes and came back to see if there were any noticeable pigments. In the photo below it was just one heavy coat of each stain in the process of drying.

First coat- Left to right: Steel wool, tea, pennies, coffee
At this point, there wasn't anything too impressive going on. The steel wool stain wasn't looking reddish at all, but instead more of what I'd describe as a dark green tea type of color. The tea stain (which was actually an herbal green tea blend) looked very similar to the steel wool only stain. The pennies honestly just looked like wet board. There really was no color to it and I just assumed that once it fully dried it wouldn't show much color at all. The coffee stain did in fact come out the darkest, appearing pale black as it was supposed to.

Second coat- Left to right: Steel wool, tea, pennies, coffee
I tried to get a good picture but it was overcast and I don't have the greatest camera in the world (someday!) so we'll try to work with this. The tea and coffee remained the same shade just darker. The steel wool did begin to show a bit of red when compared with the tea, but definitely not enough for me to call it a "reddish" stain color. Now the pennies surprised me a bit and this is the one where the picture just doesn't do it justice. The penny stain actually did have a slight blue tint to it. The color that's there, while it does just seem like a darkened wet spot is actually a blueish wet spot. I definitely didn't see that happening based on what was sitting in the jar!

About 20 minutes later I noticed the colors in the jar had changed. It would seem that once each stain was exposed to the air, all the ingredients started to work together to do what they were supposed to! 

Check out the progression of the steel wool only stain:

The steel wool only stain is on the left.



Below you can see what they all looked like in the end. You can see the darkened effect after the stains have fully oxidized and shaken up a bit. The steel wool only stain just looks muddy instead of reddish but it still showed reddish when applied to the wood.


The point is, though, that... It worked! See below how the colors totally changed from the initial coat?! I applied 2 coats of each stain after they had oxidized which makes 3 total coats. The skinny sections to the right are 1 heavy coat each because I was interested to see what 1 single coat would have looked like had I known how air exposure would effect the color of each stain!



A couple interesting things to note: The pennies did in fact present with a "pale Caribbean blue" type of hue, but it was so pale that you'd likely need way too many coats to make it worth your while. On the far right of the board are just the tea and coffee stains alone with no steel wool. Clearly, steel wool is the way to go if you want sufficient pigment! 

So there you have it! The natural wood stain using a steel object soaked in vinegar was a SUCCESS! Steel wool gave the best, most reliable result. Me, personally, I'd skip the pennies all together and I definitely wouldn't waste my time using only tea or only coffee. But if you'd like to play around with a fun, non toxic stain option that actually works. Give it a try. Just make sure you let that stuff breathe a little!

10:02 PM Khalia Nicole
Pin It

At the end of part 1 of this experiment, I was sure this was going to be another big fat FAIL. On day 7, the vinegar in the jars weren't changing color anymore than they had on day 2. Vinegar and steel wool alone was supposed to produce a reddish hue.

Ummm, yeah.. am I color blind or is this no where near any version of red at all?


















The tea stain color was just supposed to give off an obvious tea colored shade and the coffee was the same (only it was supposed to present with black not dark brown.) The pennies and vinegar mix was supposed to reveal a pale Caribbean blue stain.

Ironically, it seems like if anything the pennies are more likely to give off the reddish hue and the steel wool is looking more like it could present with a Caribbean blue kind of color!
These are the results after 24 hours:
From left to right: Steel wool, steel wool/coffee, steel wool/tea, pennies and vinegar
I waited a full week, per the pin-structions! In my mind the natural wood stain idea was a failure already but alas an interesting turn of events happened that day. I liberally applied each each stain in sections to an unfinished piece of pine wood board. I left it alone for a few minutes and came back to see if there were any noticeable pigments. In the photo below it was just one heavy coat of each stain in the process of drying.

First coat- Left to right: Steel wool, tea, pennies, coffee
At this point, there wasn't anything too impressive going on. The steel wool stain wasn't looking reddish at all, but instead more of what I'd describe as a dark green tea type of color. The tea stain (which was actually an herbal green tea blend) looked very similar to the steel wool only stain. The pennies honestly just looked like wet board. There really was no color to it and I just assumed that once it fully dried it wouldn't show much color at all. The coffee stain did in fact come out the darkest, appearing pale black as it was supposed to.

Second coat- Left to right: Steel wool, tea, pennies, coffee
I tried to get a good picture but it was overcast and I don't have the greatest camera in the world (someday!) so we'll try to work with this. The tea and coffee remained the same shade just darker. The steel wool did begin to show a bit of red when compared with the tea, but definitely not enough for me to call it a "reddish" stain color. Now the pennies surprised me a bit and this is the one where the picture just doesn't do it justice. The penny stain actually did have a slight blue tint to it. The color that's there, while it does just seem like a darkened wet spot is actually a blueish wet spot. I definitely didn't see that happening based on what was sitting in the jar!

About 20 minutes later I noticed the colors in the jar had changed. It would seem that once each stain was exposed to the air, all the ingredients started to work together to do what they were supposed to! 

Check out the progression of the steel wool only stain:

The steel wool only stain is on the left.



Below you can see what they all looked like in the end. You can see the darkened effect after the stains have fully oxidized and shaken up a bit. The steel wool only stain just looks muddy instead of reddish but it still showed reddish when applied to the wood.


The point is, though, that... It worked! See below how the colors totally changed from the initial coat?! I applied 2 coats of each stain after they had oxidized which makes 3 total coats. The skinny sections to the right are 1 heavy coat each because I was interested to see what 1 single coat would have looked like had I known how air exposure would effect the color of each stain!



A couple interesting things to note: The pennies did in fact present with a "pale Caribbean blue" type of hue, but it was so pale that you'd likely need way too many coats to make it worth your while. On the far right of the board are just the tea and coffee stains alone with no steel wool. Clearly, steel wool is the way to go if you want sufficient pigment! 

So there you have it! The natural wood stain using a steel object soaked in vinegar was a SUCCESS! Steel wool gave the best, most reliable result. Me, personally, I'd skip the pennies all together and I definitely wouldn't waste my time using only tea or only coffee. But if you'd like to play around with a fun, non toxic stain option that actually works. Give it a try. Just make sure you let that stuff breathe a little!