I Don’t Even Know What I Effed Up, But It’s Working Now (So Let’s #backthatazzup!)

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On Fridays, this happens:

 Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants invites everyone to put a song in their Friday post and link up with her for #backthatazzup Friday. Since I think this is a fabulous idea, I wanted to join in.

Trouble was, I couldn’t get Grooveshark to embed properly in my posts, so I was stuck using YouTube videos each Friday. Not a huge deal, but I was afraid embedded videos were slowing down the load time for you fine folks. Not ideal. Luckily, Ms. Yoga Pants also created a handy Grooveshark tutorial to help out us technologically-challenged kids.

Several weeks ago, I sat down with the tutorial, created a little Grooveshark account for myself and got busy embedding. Except, it didn’t work. Instead of a song in my published post, I got this:



I wasn’t entirely sure why, but clearly something went wrong. I suspected it was because the tutorial was based on Blogger, rather than WordPress, which is the platform I use. So I blamed WordPress and took to Google where I found…nothing very helpful. There was talk of outdated plug-ins and a number of codes to try but in the end I kept getting this:



And a little bit of this:



Not cool, dude. Not cool.

I spent hours fiddling with HTML codes and even the Flashplayer program on my laptop, thinking maybe that was the problem. I eventually gave up out of frustration, and vowed to figure it out another day. I even made it a goal on my 17 in 17 list.

Over the next few weeks, I spent even more hours searching through Google and WordPress.org’s Support page, testing out every theory that I came across, and I still couldn’t make it work.

I sat down this morning to try AGAIN, but this time I went back to the tutorial first. I followed all the steps thinking that maybe I could find the solution if I could pin-point the problem. I hopped over to Whitney’s post, carefully followed each step, and…it worked. Just like that. It f*cking worked.

What. The. Hell.

I could swear I did the same exact thing several times that first day, and it never worked.

So I’m sitting in front of my computer, all “what the eff, Grooveshark?” and “what the eff, WordPress?”, but let’s be honest, it was probably my own fault. I don’t know what I did, but it’s likely my own fault that it didn’t work.

So, “what the eff, Nikki?”

Anywho, the moral of the story is this: I screwed something up at some point, made my own life harder than it needed to be and now I can #backmyazzup the right way. Oh, and Whitney’s tutorial was totally on point all along. Even for WordPress users.

This is probably my new favorite song, I’ve been singing it all week.


A Simple, Cheap Way To Clean Tarnished Copper

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When I created my 17 in 17 list, one of the things I wanted to tackle was a cute little copper tea kettle that my grandmother gave me a while back (thanks, Nan!). It sits on display on my stove, but it’s very tarnished. I’ve polished it once before, but I couldn’t remember how I did it, so I set out to learn how to clean it once and for all.



My mom suggested I try soaking it in white vinegar and salt “until it’s clean”. That seemed too easy, but it was worth a try. I already had what I needed in the pantry, it wasn’t going to take much effort, and if it didn’t work I was out a whopping $2.

I grabbed the salt and white vinegar and found a pot big enough to fit the kettle.



I dumped roughly 1/3 cup salt a little more than half of the gallon of vinegar and into the pot with the tea kettle, so that the kettle was completely submerged.



I let it soak for about 4 hours because it was so tarnished. But to see what kind of difference it made, I submerged half of the lid as a little experiment. This was what it looked like after a half hour:


After the soak I scrubbed a few details (where the handle attaches, the spout, the lip around the bottom) with a small soft brush to remove any gunk in the crevices. I rinsed it with the vinegar solution and wiped it down with a clean rag. There are still a lot of imperfections, but the tea kettle is about 40 years old, so it’s going to have lots of quirks and character that will never wipe away.


So, I crossed off an item on my 17 in 17 checklist, and the whole process was much easier (and cheaper!) than I expected! Added bonus: now that I wrote a blog post about it, I won’t have to worry about forgetting how I did it!


Spring Cleaning…In the Fall

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My house is dirty.

I mean, we aren’t living in squalor or anything like that. Most days it’s tidy enough and every now and then I do actually clean. Lately though, cleaning has been just the basics; I just haven’t given it a good deep cleaning in a while. We’ve been on the go all summer long, and now that summer is technically over, I’m starting to notice.

It’s just time to do some spring cleaning. (I know it’s fall. You know what I mean.) Organize closets, wipe down cabinets, wash the windows…you know, the crap that gets avoided by saying “I’m in a rush/ it’s good enough for now/ I’ll get it later”. Except, I think it’s starting to get to me that these things haven’t been done in a while.

Case in point: it’s late afternoon and I haven’t posted yet today because I started polishing my tarnished tea kettle and ended up deep-cleaning the entire kitchen. Like, washed the garbage can, scrubbed the toaster oven and cleaned under the stove kind of deep-cleaning. So yeah, apparently it’s bothering me that I’ve let this stuff slide.


Anyway, I want to know: how often do you give your house a good, thorough cleaning? Do you do the whole “spring cleaning” thing? Or are you good at keeping it deep-cleaned all the time? Or do you just not care what is lurking under the refrigerator?

Do you have method for your scrub-down? Any tips/tricks to share? I think I’m going to keep going the way I started and tackle one room at a time. At least, that’s the plan. Wish me luck!


17 in 17

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There are 17 full weeks left in 2013, did you know that? Yep, there are. There isn’t anything overly-significant about that, except that I’m making a list of short-term goals, and the end of the year seems like a good finish line.

See, last week I stumbled across this amazing post over at Kayli Wanders. She created a list of goals for herself, but instead of things she wanted to do, her list was all about things she hopes to learn. That’s totally genius, right? So naturally, I had to borrow the idea.

My goal is to learn 17 new things over the next 17 weeks. What would I like to learn? So glad you asked!


1// How to make Hollandaise sauce. I hear it’s a little tricky, but I want to master it!

2// How to re-purpose a large piece of furniture. I have a children’s desk that I’m hoping to turn into a wet bar. It’s a lofty goal, I know. It’s been sitting in my basement for months now, it’s time I learn to do something with it!

3// How to polish a copper tea kettle. My grandmother gave me a really cool old tea kettle, but it’s very tarnished. I want to learn how to shine it up so it looks prettier in my kitchen.

4// How to take better photographs indoors. I know indoor/artificial lighting isn’t ideal, but since it’s unavoidable sometimes, I want to learn how to improve my technique.

5// How to play fantasy football. My friend talked me into signing up for my first ever fantasy football tournament, but I have no clue what I’m doing – yet!

6// The basics of dog agility. As I’ve mentioned before, I’d like to learn how to do this with Joey, so it’s on the list.

7// How to create a custom blog header with image mapping. There are a few things I’d like to spruce up around here, and my header is one of them. A few weeks ago, Sarah over at Venus Trapped in Mars posted a tutorial on how to do just that. I book marked it, but I’m making it a goal to actually sit down and learn how to do it. Since her wisdom helped me figure out how to quit being a no-reply blogger, I’m confident that her how-to will have me understanding it in no time.

8// How to install crown molding. We recently gave our spare bathroom a makeover, but it still feels like something is missing, so I’d like to learn how to install crown molding in there. Maybe once I learn how to do it, I can install it in other rooms of our house too.

9// How to make a pretty cat-eye. I can never get it right; my eyes always end up looking uneven. I’m not usually so incompetent with eyeliner, but the cat-eye baffles me. So I’m on a mission learn how to do it properly.

10// How to use manual mode on my DSLR. It intimidates me because I have no idea what I’m doing.

11// How to clean out Sally’s feet. Mr. B always has to do this for me because I’m so afraid I’m going to hurt her with the pick. (It looks sharp!) I need to learn how to do this myself, without hurting my poor horse.

12// How to make – and can – homemade salsa verde. I don’t think making the salsa verde will be hard, but I have no clue how to can anything.

13// How to make homemade laundry detergent – that smells pretty. I’ve made homemade laundry detergent before (it saves a ton of money!), but it doesn’t smell as lovely as the store bought stuff. I’d like to learn how to fix that.

14// How to make blackberry pie from scratch. It’s Mr. B’s favorite, so I’d like to learn how to make it for him.

15// How to make homemade doggie treats. If I’m spoiling Mr. B, I may as well spoil the fur babes too.

16// How to embed Grooveshark into blog posts. I spent hours trying to make this happen last week, and nothing I tried worked. I need to learn how to make it work, so that I don’t have to #backthatazzup with YouTube every week.

17// How to make GIFs. They make me smile every time you awesome ladies use them. I want to learn how to do it too!

Do you ever set short term goals for yourself? Are they ever about things to learn, or are they mostly things to do?