Lazy Man Kindling

I have a love/hate relationship with camping. I love the sights, the sounds, and the smells of camping. I could do without some of the smells of camping though: the spoiled milk from a not cold enough cooler, the smell of dirt on my pillow, not to mention the horrid dampness in all the bedding and clothing. I really hate sleeping at night………outside……..with wild animals. Lets just say I had a bad experience with a bear one time, nosing my stomach, trying to flip me over during one never forgotten camping trip. I think I’m actually a gosh darn good sport for even going camping nowadays at all!

Another thing I dislike about camping is that it’s a stinking lot of work! I’m really more of a hotel girl. As much as I am organized, I always forget something or remember that there are so many fantastic ideas available on the net to make your camping experience more enjoyable. I’m just not that forward thinking enough I guess. I always intend to bring my own kindling – cause when I want a fire, I want it now and I don’t want to have to go scrounging for wood pieces or watch my hubs axe off little bits of logs whole the rest of us cower in the background with our fingers on our smartphones ready to call 911 and wondering if Daddy will come home with all his fingers.

So here I sit, in May, pondering our July camp out and thinking about kindling. I’ve contemplated melting wax and pouring it over dryer lint wads loaded into paper egg cartons or scrunching up newspaper into toilet paper rolls. But my son has come up with the best idea of all. Doritos! Yes I said Doritos! Due to their wonderful, tasty, dusty, high fat content, artificial flavor coating, they make excellent kindling. They will burn long enough to get your fire stated. Who doesn’t have Doritos on hand when they go camping? It’s almost synonymous with s’mores! My son demonstrated how well they work using an old coffee can, a few Doritos, and a handy dandy BBQ lighter, and poof – cheesy goodness gusto!

Dorito Kindling

DIY Projects Need Honest Reviews

I love trying new and inspiring DYI crafts and recipes that I haven’t seen before. I’m a crafty (in a good way), culinary minded girl so I’ve seen and tried a lot of different things in my day. Now with the advent of Pinterest and other sites where you can visually categorize and share your favorite things, DIY pinboards and recipe boards are through the roof! It’s incredibly inspiring!

One of the things I appreciate about Food Network or Martha Stewart Living website or Instructables or any big commercial website, is that their recipes and DIY crafts are all reviewed and rated; sometimes rather harshly. Honestly, I want to know if a product or a recipe is going to come out as intended or not. I’ve seen some beautiful photos of DIY projects on Pinterest. A lot of times the picture is presented as a lovely diffused photo. Call me crazy, but I’m always suspicious of these. When you arrive at the comment section you get glowing reviews on how the craft or recipe looks but, suspiciously, none that have comments from people who’ve tried it and it either worked or didn’t. Honest reviews! That’s what I am looking for! Not from people who want to try it but from people who HAVE tried it.

I found a beautiful pomander (although I hesitate to call it that as it had no aroma – but for lack of a better term, it’s a “pretty hangy ball”) made with just a Styrofoam ball, waxed paper, string and some glue. The photo looked beautiful but I don’t know if I want to use my time making it until I see at least one review of “Yay, it worked.”

My daughter made some “cake pops” that she had found on Pinterest and many people had commented on how incredibly cute they were. Indeed they were very cute – however, no one told the truth in saying they taste like ABC cake (that’s Already Been Chewed for those of you who don’t know). They were horrid. In fact, we threw out the batch. Another similar fail was the “homemade detergent” made with borax and washing soda and Fels Naptha.  You were only supposed to have to use 1 tablespoon per load. It had tons of rave reviews on how cheap and clever was – but no one said, “you know, it’s ok for a laundry booster or some cheaper laundry detergents, but there is no way it could take the place of Tide”.  It’s usable, but not for long. I used it for a month and after the first few loads my poor clothes looked pretty dingy. It’s so disappointing to spend time and money doing things that are, in the end, a fail. C’est la vie! On to another project!

I have tried several recipes and projects and I’ve found that all but a few of them have been great! I love adding new crafts and recipes to my weekly arsenal! So it’s not like everything is bad – in fact, I would think that most of the stuff posted is actually useful, if only for some people. What I would love to see is that when bloggers post recipes or DIY projects, they tell their readers, “try it and when you’re done, come back and tell me your honest opinion”. That alone would lend so much credibility to the project or recipe!

I look forward to trying and reviewing as many things as I can. It makes life fun and interesting to try new things – especially when those new things actually work!