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This Is What Happens When I DIY

July 29, 2013 - Liz Skoczylas
This weekend, I learned blueberries don't just come in those little plastic containers from the grocery store. Someone has to actually PUT them there.

OK, I'm joking. I knew that. But, I learned just how hard it is to be the person putting the blueberries IN the little plastic container. I'll get to that in a minute.

I am a disaster DIY-er. I didn't do a whole lot of DIY for my wedding, and I don't do a ton of DIY in real life. Enter Pinterest.

Pinterest, for those of you not on this website, makes average people think they, too, can make baked goods from scratch, adorable holiday crafts and gifts, and have a dream home. I spend a lot of time on this website going, "Oh, I think I could do that!" and never actually executing things. Until.... this weekend.

Some things turned out well. Some things... didn't.

The first was an adorable Pinterest-inspired project that I dreamed up based off of a pin. My brother's fiance's bridal shower was this weekend. Since they are having one shower thrown by family and one thrown by the bridesmaids -- and I get to go to both -- I figured I would do a gift off their registry and a homemade gift. So, I bought a long, rectangular shadow box and wooden letters to spell out SKOCZYLAS -- the bride's new last name. I painted the letters purple (their wedding color) and glued them inside the shadow box. Then, on the outside glass, I got stickers to spell out "Mary and Steve, Established 10-19-13." It turned out a lot cuter than it sounds. This one got a thumbs up.

I returned home that night feeling crafty, so I figured I would try to make a few homemade cleaning products, because it's cheaper than buying them from the store and is generally better for the environment.

First up, homemade laundry detergent.

It did not end well.

I followed all of the directions off Pinterest. Things looked right. They smelled right. (One of Nick's family members had made me laundry detergent in the past, so I'm going off that.) The next morning, instead of being liquid-y soap... It was hard. It was a disaster. But, I did some quick thinking, added a bunch more water, and tah-dah, life went on!

I also made a cleaner consisting of vinegar, dish soap and laundry detergent. It's supposed to cut through anything in your kitchen while cleaning and deodorizing.

I sprayed it on my counters to test it out. And, after I wiped them down, the countertops felt... greasy. After it dried, though, there was no residue, no stickiness or greasiness. But, the counters looked clean and had a pleasant smell.

Even though I'm trying to be more environmentally-friendly, I can't give up my bleach cleaners just yet. So, I made one consisting of bleach, water and laundry detergent, which is amazing for cleaning the bathroom.

In addition to my DIY-cleaner craze this weekend, I also decided that Nick and I are going to start a paelo diet. (He's super thrilled about this!) Paleo is also known as the "caveman diet." It cuts out processed foods, and consists mostly of meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots and fungi. Which means, if you want a Wendy's Frosty, you have to get super creative. (It can be done. I have the recipe.)

Well, Sunday, Nick and my dad were going to the car show at Bergman Park. So, my mom asked if I wanted to go pick blueberries with her. Unknowing, I said yes.

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting. But, blueberry picking consists of these rows of bushes with blueberries ranging from green to red to blue. Obviously, you want to pick the blue ones.

It was miserable.

First of all, there are bugs. Like, apparently bees like blueberries. So, those kept dive-bombing me, because I guess I was invading their turf. Then, there were spiders that kept getting in my blueberry bucket. Then, THEN, there was a BEETLE that dove into my blueberry bucket and wouldn't come out and I was basically crying. I kept trying to kick bees in the face (doesn't work very well) and I kept bringing the bucket over to my mom to get the spiders out, because THAT'S-WHAT-EVERY-26-YEAR-OLD-DOES.

And you know what my mom says?

"You wanted to be a caveman. This is hunting and gathering. Consider it training."

She also let me know I get my sarcastic sense of humor from her. Love you, Matka!

After I survived (barely) blueberry picking, I took my blueberries home to make some paleo blueberry muffins. They consisted of random ingredients such as almond flour, but I had one for breakfast this morning and it was AHH-MAZING. The fresh-picked, spider-and-beetle-free blueberries really make a difference. And, I got 5 lbs for $7, so that helps them taste awesome, too.

I also attempted some paleo soup last night. It was supposed to be my lunch today. It looked amazing. It smelled amazing. It tasted not-so-amazing. I gagged down about three spoon-fulls before abandoning the soup for my small bag of almonds. Hopefully, I can doctor up the rest of the soup I have at home and not have to abandon it. But, as it is, it tastes like yuck. Pinterest fail.

If you want any of these crazy recipes, email me at I'd be happy to provide you with the details.


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The laundry soap... was SOLID. It's not supposed to do that.