Product Review: Dr.Pepper 10

I had the idea for this review a couple weeks ago. I just delayed so I could take a picture of myself with a bottle of the new Dr.Pepper. I have never had one long enough to get the picture. I drink them too fast.

This drink, is like all the best aspects of soda put into one. First of all, Dr.Pepper is the best soda that has ever been invented. (If you people up north pay me a “small” fee maybe I’ll ship you some.) It is DR. PEPPER. Nothing invented tastes this good. Diet Dr. Pepper tastes like flat Dr.Pepper, and I have always hated that. Every once in a while I will open one thinking “Maybe they got it right this time”, but no. It is always a disappointment.

But Dr.Pepper 10 has apparently the perfect mix of diet and actual sugar. I can stand 10 calories and 4 grams of carbs if it means I get to have my Dr.Pepper again! You can ask my sister, I’ve been begging for this product for years. So on the Clever Chick Scale (which is still in the works) Dr.Pepper 10 has earned a “May lead to my addiction and downfall”. That’s the Clever Chick seal of approval! This means that, for example, if I were somewhere with free samples of this stuff, I would make a jackass of myself by grabbing too many, or I might even go over budget to buy some! If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

February 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Random typing. Leave a comment.

Mini Post: Work Haiku

This is what happens when I’m trapped at work, waiting on a fax machine that’s incapable of faxing more than 8 pages at a time:

Punch holes in paper
Fingers sliced by rough edges
Files are over-filled

Have a great weekend!

February 26, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Random typing. Leave a comment.

Lentil Sprouts

I found this article on Re-Nest about growing your own lentil sprouts. I have often wanted to grow my own mung bean sprouts, but everything I’ve read says you have to be super careful because they can carry Salmonella. I’m not sure if this is a really valid concern, or just hype, but I’m still hesitant to kill myself and Hubby. Who would take care of the animals, and the one cactus that has survived my attentions? You can see my quandary.

Anyway, lentil sprouts seem like something I can handle. I am constantly buying lentils, because I freaking love them, but Hubby has a very low lentil-tolerance-threshold.

Day 1: Lentils are placed in old pasta sauce jar, covered in water, and panty hose + hair band covers the top.

Day 2: Have read further about growing own sprouts, and I’m a bit paranoid about just making a horrible moldy mess instead. I pour out the water and replace it with fresh.

Day 3: Beans have split somewhat, and are all plump. I keep seeing bubbles, which make me worry I’m just making lentil beer. I pour out the water, rinse the beans twice, and refill the water.

Day 4: Ignored.

Day 5: Hmm…there are some bubbles in there, the beans are split, but nothing seems to be happening.

Day 6: What is that funky smell? Oh God, it’s the lentils. Yep, into the compost, as quickly as possible.

So I wasted a handful of lentils and a jar that stunk so bad it had to be trashed. I don’t want this site to turn into the Regretsy of Re-nest (mostly because I can’t think of a clever name for it), but damn, guys. Why do I keep reading this site? So far they have encouraged me to buy expensive crap I don’t need, ruin antiques, and waste food. Their rating in my book just went from “mostly harmless” to “mildly irritating”, and leaning toward “impending vendetta”. That’s pretty bad.

February 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Cooking, House Stuff. 9 comments.

Book Review: Extras

This is 7th book I’ve finished this year. That seems kind of low, for me. I’m reading 2 right now; maybe that’s slowing me down. Anyway, back to this book. “Extras” is the 4th in the “Uglies” series I reviewed earlier.

It’s a good book. It wasn’t quite as good as the other ones in the series, but I think there are several reasons for this. The author, Scott Westerfeld, expected the series to be a trilogy, so this one came a while after the original 3. This book also follows a different main character. Tally is still in it, but it’s not from her point of view. This book also reminded me a lot more of the world we live in now, with blogs and you tube, rather than the post-apocalyptic future of the first three.

I still enjoyed it, and I will be keeping it, and possibly rereading it. I need to make an actual scale, but for now we’re giving it a “It earned a place on my bookshelf, and will probably be shared with friends and family”.

February 23, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Book Reviews. Leave a comment.

I’m Not Making Bottle Lights

Again, I’m flipping throught the Re-Nest website. I found these light fixtures made from bottles:

Gorgeous, right? And they seem like they’d be super simple to recreate on your own. You can get glass-frosting paint at craft stores, and the lamp parts as well. I constantly have empty wine bottles around (glug, glug, that’s me!), and my area doesn’t recycle glass! I had convinced myself to try this.

It looks like you just have to cut the bottom off the bottle, frost the glass, and sand the bottom edge thoroughly. I’ve seen many articles about how to make drinking glasses from wine bottles, like this one on Instructables. Once I started actually reading the steps, I got intimidated.

It sounds like at any second, the bottle could shatter and explode all over me, or else I have to spend the next decade sanding with a dremel tool, and trying not to breath in ground glass. Honestly, these things are pretty, but I don’t need more light fixtures in my house. I don’t need to burn more electricity, have more clutter, less time, and more dust catchers. I think I’ll stick to my box wine, which is much cheaper and more eco-friendly. If anyone actually tried this, let me know. To me, this is a little too focused on reusing something, but disregarding the amount of work you put into it, and the actual result. But, that’s just my opinion.

February 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts, Thriftiness is Cool. Leave a comment.

Reupholstery No-No

As you guys are soon going to notice, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Re-Nest.com. I have a love/hate relationship with this site. First of all, they are one of those purveyors of the buy-this-super-expensive-thing-or-you-will-kill-the-planet philosophy. On the other hand, they do have some cool articles, pretty pictures, and good DIY ideas. Then again, many of their “articles” are simply links to other websites, which makes me crazy.

They have one regular article where they show “scavenged” items from around the country. Of the few I looked at, the cost was at least $100. How is that scavenged?? Someone else scavenged it, and is charging you a ridiculous price!

I saw this article yesterday, and I was traumatized. Here’s how my thought process went – see this picture:

“Hey that’s a gorgeous antique chair! Wait a sec, “Before”? What does that mean?”

*scrolls down*

“NOOOOOO!!!!”

I’m sorry, but what the hell was this person thinking? They ruined an antique chair, AND vintage mail bags to do this. The worst part in my opinion? The faux aging, where the new white paint is slightly sanded off to show the darker, original paint. You already had an aged chair!! Why would you stoop to this cheap looking, over-used style??

I’m completely exasperated. That previous chair was damn gorgeous, and I would feel lucky to have it. AND you could have had a cool purse/gift bag/remote holder/grocery bag/crochet bag/anything holder, but you cut it up to be upholstery.

FYI: most of the comments on this article agree with me, so I’m not completely bat-poo crazy.

The line in the article I most despise is “Taking an old chair from her parent’s home that were destined for the dumpster, Marianne was able to use old mail bags to make this chair look fresh and new”. Destined for the DUMPSTER? No wonder Marianne doesn’t value antiques. Her parents were going to throw it in the garbage. She was obviously raised by idiots. Have they never heard of freecycle or craig’s list? Or even goodwill? Uck, I need chocolate and a time machine. The chocolate is to distract Marianne when I go back in time to rescue the chair from her evil intentions.

February 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. Leave a comment.

Flip Flop Revamp

For some reason, I have a weird love for those flip flops that have the cane or whatever woven for the bottoms. I usually own at least one pair, and I prefer black ones. My current pair had gotten worn down to the point where my big toes were basically on the bare ground when I wore them.

This sent my sis, Beans, into fits of laughter. She happened to have these extra flip flops laying around, and took pity on my poor feet by giving them to me:

They’re fine, and fit great, but plaid? No thanks. I think that’s why Beans never wore them. You can’t really tell from the picture, but there’s red glitter thread running through the plaid. I decided to revamp them into what I will actually wear.

You will need black shirt paint (it’s waterproof, and acrylic isn’t) a small paint brush, and the flip flops. I very carefully painted only the plaid areas. That’s a challenge when your small dog decides it’s play time in the middle of one flip flop. I painted the thong part last, and wore them while they dried to make sure they dried in the right shape for my feet.

The big reveal! I think they came out pretty good. Now I can finally retire the previous pair, or just save them for beach shoes. I am praying for winter to end. It should not be this cold here!

February 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts. 3 comments.

Mini Post, Giant Cookbook

I saw this article on yahoo about this giant cookbook a computer programmer made. Nathan Myhrvold employed 36 people over 4 years to create this 2,400-page behemoth. It is an investigation of everything we know about cooking. I’m not going to buy this thing, by any stretch of the imagination, but here is my favorite gem from the yahoo article: “Expensive pots and pans are a waste of money”. I KNEW IT! Finally, I don’t have to doubt my choice to buy cooking gear at HEB! Yahoo rarely has articles I think are worth sharing, but this one made me happy. Of course, any justification of not spending money make me happy.

February 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Cooking, House Stuff. Leave a comment.

How to go Antiqueing

Antiqueing is one of those things I think everyone should try at least once. I think some people have the mistaken idea that there are just a bunch of overprices doilies you have to fight old ladies for. That is definitely not the case. I have found some awesome treasures and deals at antique stores over the years, and I have fun hunting through all the random stuff they have. I took all of these pictures at Out of the Past, on Burnet here in Austin.

Probably not safe

I just randomly found this guy sitting there like that:

Franken-kitty!:

I totally wanted this, but it was a bit out of my price range. Gorgeous though, right?

I love Dia de los Muertos stuff!

You can see why Hubby and I like this place:

At this particular store, you are possibly taking your life in your hands. There is crap piled everywhere, and nothing has a price on it. I hate asking for prices on every little thing I’m interested in. Overall, the place is worth at least one trip. Most antique shops are WAY more organized than this, and most even have everything priced.

The advice I would give is don’t buy something just because you think it might be valuable. If you aren’t an antique dealer, the odds of you selling it for what it’s “worth” is kind of low. I only ever buy stuff I really love and can easily afford.

February 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Bucket List, My Quest to be more Interesting. 1 comment.

Around the World in 80 Days

You’ll have to excuse me if I’m not as hilarious as usual, but my back is acting up again, so my options are either be so drugged I can’t function, but it doesn’t hurt, or try to endure and be miserable. I’m currently miserable.

For some time I’ve had this notion that, for some reason, I should read the “classics”. I know the designation “classic” is really arbitrary, and I’ve been burned by it before (damn you, Madame Bovary!). I guess I just want to know what the big deal is all about. You know I peruse the clearance racks at Half Price Books religiously, so when I spotted “Around the World in 80 Days” for a dollar, it joined my stack of reading material.

I have always loved the movies made from Jules Vern books. Mysterious Island, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Journey to the Center of the Earth from the 60’s, are all awesome, and have some of the best claymation that exists, thanks to Ray Harryhausen.

Here’s where being observant would come in useful. The book I found was a kids version. Not only did it have bad illustrations every other page, and giant text, it was rewritten! Everything was completely oversimplified, and I would have found it insulting as a child. They also seemed to take out anything interesting. I’m tempted to find a normal copy to read, just to find out how terrible this version was.

Well anyway, don’t read the one I did, and I have no idea how good or bad the real book is. I’m mostly completing this book review to keep a count of how many books I’ve read this year, and because you people seem to love it when I make an idiot of myself. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go set the kitchen on fire so I get more blog hits. Happy weekend!

February 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Book Reviews. Leave a comment.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

In honor of Lincoln’s Birthday, I thought I’d write my review of a book written about him, that he would probably find appalling (for the subject matter, not the quality of the book). I received “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” for my birthday/Christmas gift this year, and I was instantly fixated by the cover art.

How freaking bad-ass is that? This book was completely awesome. The author blends lots of historical fact into the fiction to make it believeable. I can’t wait to read his other books. This is the type of novel I have always wanted to write, but never had the time or motivation to do all the research required. I hope this guy is prolific, because I always need good books to read. This book gets a “Hell Yes!” on the clever chick scale, meaning “I will not resell this one. I will probably reread it and recommend it to many friends”.

February 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Book Reviews. 1 comment.

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