Every door needs to be open.

Via Cat versus Human

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Adventures in Pinterest: Personalized Mugs

My sister and her boyfriend come over every week. I make dinner and dessert. We play board games, watch movies and do crafts (gingerbread houses for Christmas, decorating ninja cookies, etc.). Last week we decided to try making our own personalized mugs.

Pinterest is infested with pins of white mugs covered in permanent/sharpie marker designs. If you are new to the Sharpie mug phenomenon it is simple: take Sharpies, draw on a mug, and bake them in the oven for a hand crafted permanently designed mug. It sounds so easy! But if you click through the multiple sites that have tried this project you will see each using a different method with some reporting terrible results (i.e. drawings wiping off, not dishwasher proof or fading). Part of what makes the Sharpie Mugs so popular is that it is a craft that you can do immediately because you already have the supplies at home. BUT instead of going the sharpie marker way, I decided to spend a little extra money on ceramic pens to be on the safe side.  We used Decor Art Glass Paint Markers from Micheal’s (($3.99 a pen).

With ceramic pens in hand we each decorated a mug. Hearts, dots, flowers, and other interesting drawings came about. Once we finished with decorating, I set them on a baking sheet and allow them to dry for an hour. I then placed them in a cold oven (this is important! you want them to heat up with the oven), turned the oven to 375 and set a timer for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes was up, I turned the oven off, cracked the oven open a bit and left the cups to cool with the oven. Once they’re cool they’re ready to use!

Note: I have hand washed the mugs and the designs have not wiped off. We have also put them in the dishwasher and they have come out perfectly!! Success! 

First World Problems.



First World Problems: 101 Reasons Why the Terrorists Hate Us” is a collection of short essays, rants, and personal accounts of what it’s like to live in the First World from Ben Nesvig.

I picked this up as a freebie on Amazon and finally got around to reading it while waiting at the hair salon the other day.

Several moments made me chuckle and was alarmed how true this book is to what middle class Americans see as problems. It puts certain things in perspective. Our problems are nowhere near the problems the Third World faces on a daily basis. This is what the author highlights.

This book can be read in short sittings or quickly read in a few hours. The concept was interesting and different; definitely not something to be taken too seriously.  I could have done without the “bathroom humor” part of the book, but all in all I enjoyed the concept.

Ahoy Matey! Shiver me Timbers!

My husband is a big pirate fan. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him.

So of course on our recent Baltimore trip, a friend and I decided to surprise Mr. Sweet with a “Bring Your Own Grog” cruise in Fells Point. Since 2008, Urban Pirates has been launching daytime family cruises and nighttime adult cruises on their 52-foot custom built pirate ship, “Fearless.”

We opted for the nighttime version, where you can board the ship with any alcoholic beverage of your pleasing. Once on the ship, you are fitting with a costume and serenaded with entertaining pirate soundtracks. The whole experience was a blast as we sang along with our fellow pirates, drank our grog and laughed till our stomachs hurt.

The entire cruise takes about an hour, as the ship leaves from Ann Street pier, sails along Tide Point, Locust Point, Federal Hill, and the Inner Harbor. Though, you won’t venture out onto the open seas, you can dress, talk, and play games like a pirate as you safely cruise around the harbor.

Be prepared to man the water cannons and blast away any enemy pirates!

Urban Pirates runs four nightly trips every Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $25 and many of the cruises book up early (we booked about two weeks in advance since it was their first trip of the season). The cruise is a really unique way to see Baltimore, from the waters view and I suggest it for kids and adults alike!

Urban Pirates
912 South Ann Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 327-8378

Pinterest Fail!

So I was in a rush the other day. My sister and her boyfriend were coming over for our weekly game night/movie night/drink a bottle of wine night. I made adorable mini meatloaves, mash potatoes, biscuits and veggies. I wanted to have a little dessert but didn’t have the time or the energy to make something elaborate. That is when Pinterest came into play.

I am constantly looking to Pinterest for ideas and saw a wonderful picture of brownie waffles. How cute I thought! How quick! How different!

I made the mix, sprayed the iron with PAM and popped the batter in.

Problem 1: I walked away (even thought it was only 3 minutes)
Problem 2: I placed a bit too much batter into the iron.
Problem 3: I was in a rush.
Problem 4: Please see picture.

Yikes! There was batter everywhere! Dribbling down the cabinet and on the floor!

I do take responsibility for this Pinterest fail. I am not sure if I will ever try it again, but the end result was cooked brownie pieces scraped off of the iron and a lot of mess to clean up. It was yummy, but not at all pretty.