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Pinterest: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

February 1, 2014 - Jennifer Brookens
On some rare downtime between loads of laundry on a Saturday afternoon, I found myself on Pinterest. I admit I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest, because while I've found some great things, there have also been failures. While surfing Pinterest and the "oh so easy," ideas, I forget I'm really not as talented in the craft department as I sometimes think I am.

So in fairness, I will share the successful life hacks, along with the things that sounded good in theory, but didn't pan out.

The Good: Best carpet stain removing trick ever - peroxide and dish soap! I used to use vinegar, but this gets it out quicker and doesn't leave the house smelling like pickles.

The Bad: Crafty ideas like making your own dry-erase boards out of old picture frames and windows. Given my ability to screw up things that require precise measurements and time, I have a feeling it will leave me frustrated unless I have a day to myself to concentrate on it. Not to mention these things you can make with "things around the house" still have you making trips to the dollar and crafts stores to pick up one or two missing pieces.

The Ugly: One time my daughter and I attempted to do this "marbled nail" tutorial. It involved dumping some of all our favorite nail polishes in a little bowl, coating the rest of our hands in Vasoline, and then dipping our fingernails in the nail polish. I should've known better as soon as "coating hands in Vasoline" was one of the directions. Epic mess, and epic fail (much like the posted photo).

The Good: Making our own laundry detergent. For $5-6, I can make a five-gallon pail of laundry soap that lasts 4-6 months. It doesn't even cost that much all the time since the three ingredients are washing soda, borax, and a bar of soap (there is a special laundry bar of soap, but in a pinch any other bar of soap will do). Since it calls for only a cup of washing soda and borax, the boxes of those last for several batches, and I can refresh a five-gallon bucket of landry soap for the cost of one bar of soap. Double bonus - the homemade soap is great for high-efficiency washing machines, which we ended up getting last fall.

The Bad: All those recipies posted make me think I can cook! Unless a crock pot or microwave is involved, I should know better...

The Ugly: Combining crafty and food. The screw-up possibilities are endless. (You thought my stuffed red velvet cupcake dilemma was bad... What if she wanted the frosting to look like Hello Kitty to boot?! I think the Cookie Monsters seen here pretty much sum it up what I would have seen, if I was lucky!)

The Good: Getting a sneak peek into what your friends find interesting and what they like and would like to do... Gives you an edge for birthday gifts or other occasions.

The Bad: How you get sucked in just like Facebook. I just realized my wet clothes have been sitting in the washing machine for the past half-hour.

The Ugly: A pin I saw accusing Pinterest being started by men who wanted to sneakily get women all excited about cooking, cleaning and working out! (So, are we onto something here?)

And if all that crafty goodness has you feeling down on yourself, there is an instant way to cheer up: None of mine are posted there yet, since I've always been too ashamed to take a picture. But perhaps I will submit a few of mine and help others heal.


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The expectation - and reality - of the nail polish experiment.