Some Things I Tried Last Week


Last week I tried a few new things and am reporting that you may not want to try them OR maybe you can give me advice for enjoying these things more.

  1. Roasted Green Beans – FAIL! I’ve seen roasted green beans in a bunch of places. I love roasted vegetables. I am also cleaning out our deep freeze and had some beans blanched and frozen from the garden to use up. I wasn’t sure the frozen beans would work, but saw frozen beans were fine in a few places. I used something similar to the Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries recipe from Dashing Dish recipe.We did eat them. The kids each ate a couple, my husband and I ate some more. They didn’t taste bad initially, BUT they had an aftertaste like you get from canned green beans. That was my disappointment. They didn’t taste at all like fries, but sort of metallic. The beans did get crispy, which was promising. Maybe fresh (not blanched and frozen) beans would be better.
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  3. Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms – Love! I received two of these for Christmas from my Amazon Wish List to share with each of my daughters. I’ve tried having notebooks with each of my kids before. I write in questions and they answer, sometimes asking questions (what’s your favorite subject in school/book/song/pair of shoes sorts of questions), but we fizzle out usually. My kids all have their own secret journals, my oldest has a locked diary she writes in very regularly. These journals are nice. There are sort of open ended questions, as well as Free Space. I didn’t think I’d come up with anything interesting for the Free Space and would maybe write a memory about the daughter, but one had some friend issues when I came to that a set of Free Space pages, so it was a good space for that as well.
  4. Kombi Mittens – LOVE!  I bought these mittens at the end of the season clearance last season and re-discovered them while purging a few weeks ago. I’m pretty much always cold, and mittens work for me much better than gloves. Outdoor Research Women’s Flurry Mitts
    are and have been my go to in hand warmth for years, they even have some silicone lines to make them sticky enough for driving. They are great, and trim enough to have on and still put my hands in my pockets, but they aren’t waterproof or incredibly wind proof. The Kombi Mittens are awesome for something heartier. I just bought some bulk rice to make a new set of Pocket Warmers.
  5. Cloth/Reusable Panty Liners –  FAIL! With two tween girls in my house, I’ve been working on being open about period talk, no shaming or secrets, so I’m sharing this as more practice. Cloth pads are something I’ve seen around. I used cloth diapers for one of my daughters and it not only was easy, but once doing it, it seemed to make so much sense in so many ways. If you sew or have ever used cloth diapers, cloth pads seem to randomly pop up again and again. I’ve never been one (at all) for self exploration or experimentation, but have tiptoed around the world of alternative menstrual products. Last year my son cut his face and mouth falling in the driveway. There was tons of blood, and we used washcloths to clean him up. While we were mopping him up with our linens, I thought “oh, maybe I could do reusable pads, this isn’t so bad” and I’ve thought about it since.  I’ve tried two different cups (and when good were very good, like nothing at all was going on, but when not so good were quite bad in many ways, uncomfortable/painful/crampy, leaky, messy). So I thought I’d give these a try at the end of a cycle. It felt like having snow pants all all of the time, it was hot and felt layered and compressing. Mentally, I feel like it smelled, but I don’t think it did. I thought I’d be okay with washing, but I couldn’t get past tossing it in the hamper. I was grossed out, which is exactly the opposite feeling I’m trying to show to my daughters about periods. Maybe it was this version, which was advertised to be charcoal bamboo and microfiber, but when it arrived, I’m almost 100% positive that it was just fleece.
  6. Essential Oils On Wool Dryer Balls – FAIL! When asked, my favorite smell used to be the smell of clean laundry. However, I started using cloth diapers for my daughter because her skin was so sensitive (my son also was born with very sensitive skin), and we have now been using Charlie’s Soap and no fabric softener for all of our laundry needs for the past 9 years and now most artificial perfume smells (including fabric softener) are too much for me.At some point I tried wool dryer balls thinking I was missing out on fabric softener, but they are very annoying getting caught in sleeves, legs, pockets and even socks, flying across the room when you pull things out, and just in general a lot of work. We didn’t at all notice a difference in static, softness or drying time. They have been sitting (one missing, a crazy mystery where it could have disappeared to) for a few years next to the dryer.This fall my daughter and I experimented with essential oils. We have diffusers running by beds and on a desk, but have tapered off making rollers. We had some blankets that I thought it would be nice to freshen up. I remembered reading that you could put essential oils on wool dryer balls for a full fabric softener experience. I choose lemon essential oil, and put 8 drops on 5 wool dryer balls. It didn’t make a difference at all. I thought maybe the basement smelled a little lemon-y, but it didn’t last, the blankets weren’t even remotely lemon scented. I’m going to try again with another oil, but still, very disappointing.
  7. Stain-X Pro Grout CleanerLOVE!  Pictures speak for themselves, this stuff was magic on my kitchen floor grout. I got it from Amazon(affiliate link).
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