God Comes Through

I’ve heard that house buying, hunting, mortgage shopping, the whole kit-n-caboodle is really trying. Talk about testing your faith. Talk about uncertainty and learning patience and persistence.

After a rough year of moving around and job changes for me, we were living with my mother-in-law as my husband started his job after graduating. We started to house hunt and really got discouraged. Everything around us was going so fast that we couldn’t even view it, much less make an offer before it was gone. What we were able to see was either so run down or so small that it made buying it sound ridiculous. While we didn’t mind a little work, we didn’t have more money to spend on fixing a house that we just bought. We decided to wait.

After our last visit with our realtor, when we decided to put house hunting on the back burner, I went to my hair cut appointment. My normal girl was running really behind with an unexpected color, which was fine because I wasn’t in a hurry. My mind was still spinning from the poor news we had heard from the realtor. However, one of the other stylists offered to take me because she had a cancellation. Sure.

What happened next was God. After talking to this new stylist, her and her husband were about to list their house on the market, however they were hesitant because they needed a buyer who was flexible and would allow them to move out on their own time due to their new build. Their house was in a perfect location, in our price range, and the perfect ‘starter’ home for Aust and I. We made an appointment to come look at the house that Sunday. When I got home and shared what I learned with Austin, we just couldn’t help but feel God’s hand on this. I wrote the title to this blog post that night, I had faith that no matter what happened God would come through for us.

We went to see the house, and we fell in love. It was perfect for us. Now the issue became the mortgage. We saw two banks, both with long grueling processes, and neither turned out. Or they were offering not enough to purchase the house or wanted really high interest rates…. Okay God, I have faith. And I will be okay if we don’t get this house. We gave up on the mortgage, we texted the couple and let them know that we were giving it a few more days but it wasn’t looking good. After talking to my dad about our troubles with the banks, he recommended a mortgage company that we hadn’t heard of. I called over lunch that day, and gave our information. Austin and I didn’t get our hopes up. That evening, we were at the gym and my phone rang. I answered and began to cry. We were approved for more than we needed and could fill out the paperwork the next day.

Now, the down payment. Because of our struggles the year prior, we didn’t have much of a savings.. So we were racking our brains to see what we could do. We decided on a garage sale, I mean God had come through so far, right? Our family pitched in items and we raised over $5,000 at a GARAGE SALE. Ya’ll… that’s God.

We had more struggles where God came through again and again. We don’t realize it sometimes but God cares for us and he hears our hearts. He provides more than enough. I sit in my house now and I finish up this story and my heart is over-flowing. I am blessed more than I deserve and more than I could ever match. God hears our wishes and opens doors with perfect timing.

So if you have a dream, even if it seems impossible and maybe it’s been hard, give it to God and be patient. He does amazing things.

Roomba Review

This purchase took some major research and going back and forth, forth and back, and then changing our minds again. It’s hard to determine if something like this is worth the price point. I mean, you can vacuum yourself, right?

Here is the problem in our house, we have two dogs. So there is a lot of in and out, meaning dirt. We have a very sandy back yard, for whatever reason in Indiana, so a lot of that comes in with the dogs. One of our dogs also sheds. It’s a lot to keep up with, and honestly we don’t keep up. I have family members who use the Roomba with dogs and they say it’s a life saver.

So we started researching the different kinds of Roomba’s, the other brands, the pros and cons of each model…. Honestly, it was pretty confusing.

Here is the jist of what all the reviews said, they all have negatives. There is not one single machine that will do all. Not even the super pricey ones. So we decided on what was most important to us. We needed a Roomba that could handle multiple surfaces. In our new house they pieced together the flooring so we have carpet, tile, wood, and floating floors all on the same level. We also needed a Roomba that could handle dog hair and fine particles of dirt/sand. We landed on the Roomba 890 series. This was the second tier model, priced normally at $499. Cringe.

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I had to keep telling myself that if this thing works, it will be a huge time saver and sanity saver for our home.

We took it home and tried it, and it was so fun to watch. That little booger went all over, under the couch, in between the chairs in the dinning room. We then took it downstairs, where we don’t spend a lot of time but thought it was pretty clean, and it was so gross what the Roomba picked up. Don’t judge me, but here is a picture of the bin half way through the clean cycle.

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The Roomba App is so helpful too, you can schedule your Roomba cleaning as well as get notified when Roomba’s bin is full, has low battery, needs help getting unstuck (because it happens) or has completed a cleaning. We have had ours a week and have had it cleaning at night. It is so awesome! I don’t regret the purchase at all, and I’d do it again. It has become a life saver to us, and it’s so nice to have clean floors.

I do have some complaints, or rather suggestions for our model:

  • The bin is small, I mean it is a robot that is thin, but with our dog hair it can get full pretty fast. The first time we ran it (which we hadn’t swept in a while) we emptied 3 times during the cycle. Now that it’s been cleaning every night it usually makes it through the whole cycle and needs emptied after.
  • When you tell it to go home on the App (return to the docking station) it doesn’t do it right away. Mine will clean sometimes for several minutes and then go back. It sometimes goes in the opposite direction of the home base.
  • It plays chicken with the stairs. It does stop and turn but man that thing looks like it will fall every time! Just don’t watch because it makes you nervous. Last thing I want is that expensive things crashing down the stairs.

Here are things I love:

  • It’s rather quiet, it runs in our sleep and doesn’t wake us up, even as it bumps into doors to turn around and sense corners.
  • I love that I can schedule it and forget it, expect I have to pick up the dog toys before bed, but I’ll do that for clean floors!
  • It goes over the rugs I have on the floor, no problem. I did switch one of the super thin rugs in the kitchen just because it would move with the Roomba. But all the others are fine.

If you are thinking about getting the Roomba, read the reviews out there. Do your research to find the one right for you and register the warranty. They aren’t perfect machines so protect your investment.

 

Here is the Amazon link to our Roomba 890 Series! If you watch, they will go on sale, we got ours for $100 off!

What else have you done to keep your sanity at home?

Surviving Your Customer Service Job

Just about every job I’ve worked has been majorly related to customer service. Some days it simply takes thick skin and determination to make it through.

Through my experience I’ve learned a lot about having a customer service position and how to handle the highs and lows that can happen in this department.

Learn The Language:

It is important to understand the right way of wording things. How you say something can make all the difference. Here is an example.

My co-worker and I went to the local supermarket to visit the salad bar. My friend was impressed with the selection and was getting her different kinds of lettuce. She accidentally used the same pair of tongs on two kinds of lettuce. A worker, at the salad bar, snatched the tongs right out of her hand. She said “don’t cross contaminate the food” and stomped away. It really soured my friend’s experience. Not only that, but we told so many people the story. Instead of being able to talk about how much we liked the food, we were talking about the rude worker.

So what could this worker have done differently? Here is what I would recommend.

  • Start a conversation first. “How are you today” “Have you been here before?”
  • Listen to their responses and welcome them.
  • Begin to explain, “we are glad you are here, let me show you some tips.” Word your correction and the rules for their benefit, “we try to keep our tongs in their designated bin and don’t want to use them in other bins. It helps us keep it clean for our customers and prevent cross contamination.”

Doesn’t that sound better? What a difference that would of made for my friend! I always cringe at bad customer service.

Listen, Just Listen:

Most of the time, angry customers just want to find someone who will listen to them. I know when I have been angry with a service, my biggest problem is that no one will help me. When you are in customer service, this is your job. Your job is to listen to their problems and concerns and try to find a reasonable solution. You don’t have to solve world peace but just be a listening ear that your customers can count on.

Always Agree and Sympathize:

As your customer tells you the story take their side. If they say something breaks, “oh no! That’s not good, I’m sorry that happened to you. Let’s see what we can do to help you.” They automatically trust you and feel like you have their back. This is especially helpful to get all of the details, customers are more likely to tell you everything (my dog chewed the cord) when they feel like you are trustworthy. You gain their trust by agreeing and being sympathetic.

Patience:

Sometimes, this one is hard. I would say it comes in second on the hard list. It can be hard to sit and wait for someone to stop telling you all of the wrong that have been done so that you can actually help them find a solution. Find a way to not rush through anything, remember you are there to listen to them. It will ultimately go faster if you really listen to them so they feel heard and you get all the details. Be patient with them. Whatever is making them contact you obviously bothers them, don’t make it worse by rushing them to a solution or decision.

Kill everything with kindness:

For me, this one is the top of the difficulty list. It is hard to stay patient and nice when someone is yelling (sometimes cussing if they stoop really low) at you for something that is most likely not your fault. Deep breaths and retract the cat claws. I try to put myself in the customer’s shoes, maybe I would be that upset too. Also remember, you are the front lines, you get the worst of it first. It’s okay though because you can handle it. The fastest way to put out the fire is to remember what you’ve already seen, patience and listen, agree and sympathize. “I’m sorry, that’s upsetting. I can understand where you are coming from, let’s see what we can work out.” Do you hear the rushing water hose, that fire is out!

I also listened to a speaker at a conference who touched on angry customers, and he gave some great advice. Don’t put up with the screaming, if you do all you can do to calm this customer down and they continue to yell it is perfectly okay to say, “I understand you are upset, however I can’t get all of the details needed to help solve this problem right now. If you are ready to calmly explain the problem to me, I’m happy to dig further. Let me know when you are ready.” Well shoot fire.

(PS, if you work somewhere that forces you deal with people who treat you with disrespect, leave).

Do what you say:

Of all the tips, this should be the easiest. Keep your word. If you promise something, deliver in a timely manner. Another rule to follow is, under promise and over deliver. It is better to surprise a customer with a better outcome than to disappoint them because you can’t do what you said you could do.

Stay organized and in the know:

If you are disorganized, this isn’t the field for you. You have to be organized to stay on top of your work. Some days you may talk to a 100 people. Take notes and keep track of your projects. If you are waiting on an invoice to post, set a reminder, etc. Don’t let things slip or get lost. Stay organized and find ways that help you keep on top of things.

Also, set time out each day to get educated. Be in the know about your company, is there issues with a system or a product? Did your delivery truck arrive or leave late? This prepares you for customers, you aren’t surprised by any issues.

 

 

Mostly, be patient with yourself. If this is a new gig for you, it will take time and practice before you are a pro. It may not come naturally. Go slow and pay attention. Read article on tips and find the ones that work for you. You can do it!

(PS, nothing is more rewarding that getting a raving review or having a customer tell you that you rock)

Crock Pot Roast Recipe

World’s best easiest crock pot roast recipe. I mean seriously this takes me less than five minutes in the morning to put together and it goes great with everything. It’s a favorite in our house (by that I mean my husband asks for it in the heat of summer, which I think is weird).

All you need is a good piece of meat, I typically choose one that has a small amount of marbling (the white mixed in the meat). It means the meat will be tender.

Then you need the following:

  • Packet of brown gravy mix
  • Packet of ranch mix
  • Packet of Italian dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup of water

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Don’t add more water, it doesn’t work that way. Trust me I tried, and it doesn’t look like much but it’s amazing. I mix it up in a little jar and then pour it over the meat. I put the crock pot on low for 7 hours, I found if I go too much longer on low it dries out just a touch. You can put it on warm and it’s fine after the 7 hours.

I usually pair it with mashed potatoes and egg noodles. If I’m feeling lazy or really don’t have time I get the mashed potatoes from Bob Evans. The family pack is great and it’s made with real potatoes, you just pop that baby in the microwave. The egg noodles from the Essenhaus are popular, it takes around 10 minutes to make. I do stand and stir those because they always bubble over.

This recipe has been a go to for me, especially when I know I’ll have a busy day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Strawberry Icebox Cake

This is a husband favorite, he even requested that I make it to take to our small group on Sunday, and it was GONE. Not only is it a favorite, but it is so easy!

Seriously, all you need is graham crackers, strawberries, and whipped cream. You can customize it. You can do whatever fruit you choose and maybe flavored graham crackers. IMG_0346.jpeg

It took me about 15 minute to throw this together and then I gave it 4 hours in the fridge before I served it. (Please excuse the counter in the pictures, moving houses is hard and I didn’t think to clear the counter before rushing into this dessert making frenzy.)

In this particular instance this is what I used:

  • 9×13 pan (no need to grease)
  • 5 pounds of strawberries from Costco (I didn’t use all of them by any means)
  • 16 oz of regular whipped cream
  • 1 box of regular graham crackers
  1. Put a healthy layer of whipped cream on the bottom and bring it up the sides (this soaks into the bottom layer of graham cracker and makes it like a crumble bottom) IMG_0347.jpeg
  2. Put a layer of graham cracker down, and use the small squares to put around the corners to bring it up the sides a little bit. IMG_0348
  3. Do another layer of whipped cream. IMG_0349.jpeg
  4. First layer of strawberries. I have found slicing them as shows works best because it allows the crackers to lay flat on top.
  5. Layer of graham crackers and then you continue to whipped cream and strawberries, and on and on. I found it works better if you alternate the side that has the pieces of graham cracker instead of the whole pieces. So for example, the pieces in the picture above are on the right, the next layer they are on the left.

 

Then into the fridge it goes, like so.

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I took this baby to small group intending to take a picture of it cut, but it was gone before I could. When I make it again I will add a picture here.

Put this baby in your arsenal, it’s a perfect summer treat and it is so easy. Seriously, a huge hit.

Favorite Fourth Of July Outfits 2018

It’s coming, and I realized I have NO outfits to fit the bill. We move into our new house that week so I wanted something easy to be able to throw on and go enjoy family after I’ve been unpacking all day. I found some super cute stuff!

I wanted to share with you my finds, so you can look super cute (and comfortable).

FIRST.  My ultimate favorite boutique. Filly Flair. They have a whole list of Americana themed goodies! Go. GO NOW. I won’t even be mad that you don’t read the rest of this post because you went to this link.

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2. Check out NanaMacs Boutique. I love shopping small and they have some cute stuff. Be careful, this place is addictive. You may see me in both of these pieces!

 

3. Impressions Boutique also has some cute tops that you can pair with your favorite jeans and some fun earrings. This one came in first in my book. 1805141184000-2018052912073900-a80a7463romance-in-the-air-eyelet-top-in-red_1024x1024.jpg

 

4. You could also go the statement jewelry route. When I need reasonably priced jewelry that lasts longer, you can find me at Charming Charlies. You can almost always find coupons for this store, plus these Tassel Earrings are in right now. You can get them in Red or Blue and wear them with White. That’s as simple as it gets. You could turn an outfit you already have into a super cute American themed piece.

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5. Don’t have time to order? Run to Target. They have a TON of options. Here is the list they have for 4th of July themed shirts and dresses. This one would be cute with a red skirt or pants. Or go blue. Talk about easy!

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Tag us in your outfits! #henkehouse

We want to see your inspiring style, you are beautiful!

Wedding Gift Ideas That Couples Love

It’s wedding season y’all!

We have 4 weddings in the next two months alone, and gift decisions always seem difficult.

You can always go off the registry or be a rule follower and stick to it. Maybe you are on a budget, or maybe all the fun stuff has already been bought. I compiled a list to help spark your creativity! I tried to pick something for everyone’s budget!

Number 1: Floral Subscription

How much fun is this! It can be more on the higher end when it comes to budget, you can seriously go crazy with this option.

Some big names regarding flower subscriptions include:

  • BloomsyBox
  • Bouqs
  • ProFlowers (they do have a flower of the month box)
  • Flower Muse (really pricey)

Also check out nearby flower shops, you may find one that is super unique and cheaper. (Amelia’s Flower Truck is a great option if you’re near Nashville)

Another option is simply a gift card. We have an amazing little shop here in town called Flowers by Phoebe. It’s a dangerous little shop that could suck all of my money right out of my wallet. It is super cute and would be a perfect gift certificate idea (or house warming gift!).

Number 2: Crock Pot 

Yes I know, this isn’t as fun. But you could stay in the lower end of your budget with this idea. You could also fill the crock pot with goodies, maybe some oven mitts or a recipe book. You can spice up the crock pot to make it whatever you want, add your own flavor! (Crock pot liners are an amazing invention! I’d recommend putting this in your gift)

Number 3: Unique Pottery

I got two hand made bowls for my wedding from a local pottery maker. I love them. I use one for a fruit bowl and one for a snack bowl in my kitchen. They are so unique and I think they are an awesome, thoughtful piece. If you don’t have a local pottery maker, try Etsy. Do this in advance though because sometimes these are made to order and then need time to ship.

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Find this handmade beauty here

Number 4: Fun Throw Blanket or Decor Pillows

These are fun if you have a bride who is into artsy stuff. You can find these kinds of things all over, you just have to look. Target even has some fun ones. Check these pillows out from Wayfair, some of them are a little cray cray. Target has good options too!

Seriously there are SO many options! And for every option you find more! Just look around, you will find something that fits your style.

 

Number 5: Mugs or Coffee Makers

This is for the coffee lovers. Maybe get a french press or some fun mugs for their new place. I love having fun mugs. If you know the couple enough, get them some good coffee or a grinder, or maybe an espresso machine. Just depends on your taste. This is something that I wish I would of put on my registry.

 

Number 6: Ninja Blender

THIS THING IS MY LIFE SAVER! I make my shakes in it every morning and it works awesome! It’s awesome for everything from cookie dough to guacamole. There are so many useful attachments. You can find these on sale online or at Bed, Bath and Beyond. All hail the Ninja!

 

Number 7: Camping Gear

My husband turned into a dedicated outdoors-man after we got married, I don’t know why. But we have used our camping gear a LOT. Camping has become one of our favorite summer weekend activities. It’s a cheap way to get away and it can be as glamorous as you make it. We use a tent, air mattress, cot for under the mattress, and a canopy tent for over the picnic table. We do have a cooler and other fun gear like a waterproof lock box and hammocks. Almost everything we have was given to us as a gift. It is something we will probably continue as a tradition as we have kids and grow as a family. I’ve found good deals on Amazon for our camping stuff, but read reviews! Not all things are made the same so read the do’s and don’ts of each product you think about buying.

 

Number 8: Drinking Gear

Whether is a mixed drink set or a wine glass holder, these are always great ideas. We have a cork holder and a wine rack from our wedding and we use them a lot. It can be put in any house and most people use them. This cute set from Crate and Barrel is super cute and they have a lot of options.

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Number 9: Board Games

I don’t know about you but my husband and I love to play games. We enjoy doing this with friends. Some board games are somewhat expensive and others are super cheap. You could easily put together a little gift basket with cards and dice inside. There are so many out there and there also little books that explain games that you use regular cards to play. Here are some of our favorite games to play:

  • Katan
  • Speed (deck of cards)
  • Kemps (deck of cards)
  • Euchure (deck of cards)
  • Golf
  • Yatzee
  • Apples to Apples

 

Number 10: Anything Personalized

There are so many options from wall decor, to pillows, to frames. Just go looking online until you find something you like. Make sure you spell names and get information right! That would be somewhat embarrassing (my cousin was gifted coasters with the letter K on them, her new last name started with a C).

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Find this here

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Find this here

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Find this here

 

 

 

Giving gifts is always fun! It’s especially fun when you are able to pick out something that the couple loves and uses for years to come! As always compare your prices and coupons, this little bit of time could save you bundles.

Fear is Not From God

This has been a challenge for me. God has really been working on me this last year to stop being afraid and to follow him recklessly.

Those of you who know me, probably have heard me ramble on about crazy ideas that I thought I would do some day or maybe I could help someone do. I’ve always been afraid to do it. Afraid of people’s judgment or rejection. Afraid of failing.

Fear has kept me doing things or not doing things I should do. For example, putting off a degree that I wanted because I thought I should be working. Staying at a job that wasn’t a good fit for me because I wanted others to be proud of me. Not starting a business because I was afraid of the risk. Not reaching out to someone because I was afraid of what would happen.

This blog, this blog was a fear. For many months I worked on it, but didn’t share it because I was afraid of people I know seeing it. I was afraid they’d find grammar mistakes. I was afraid of what they’d think.

This blog was a huge leap of faith for me.

I shared the blog on my personal page on Facebook. Out of immediate regret I text my husband and told him how afraid I was. His response hit home, I knew it was God talking through him.

“The only opinion that matters is God’s. And he said we are already his beloved, masterpiece, and nothing we can do can ever change that. So the opinions of others are really meaningless. I believe in you.”

Alright God, I hear you.

So for those of you who are holding something back. Something you know you could be good at, something you know you could share, a talent that you could bless people with, PUT IT OUT THERE! You have that talent or idea for a reason. There is no coincidence with God. His plan is so big and so good, our brains can’t comprehend.

So step forward in faith and remember your fear is not from God. Here are some verses to help you.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

 

Razor Subscription for Women

I’m sure you’ve seen the advertisements for Dollar Shave Club. Paying less for razors that are delivered to my door? Why, sure, don’t mind if I do.

I tried Dollar Shave Club. Didn’t mind it a bit. I ordered shave butter, which was really nice, I still use it.

I have no complaint about the razor itself. It was a nice razor, and did it’s job just fine. But the design, is so boyish. I did feel like I’d borrowed my husband’s razor and used it for my legs.

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But then, a friend at work recommended Billie to me. I AM IN HEAVEN. Billie is very cheap but super high quality. It’s girly, you can choose your color. It comes with a removable shower holder, that holds your razor with a magnet. It makes it super easy to reach and keeps it up and out of sight when you aren’t using it (mommies this is great if you have little ones using the same shower). The razor has a gel-like outside that provides a smooth lotion as you shave. BONUS! Plus the holder keeps the gel from moving off the razor onto something else and makes it last longer.

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Now for the best part, I pay $9 dollars every 2 months for my razor refills (four cartridges)! I never run out and I’m very happy with their quality. I was paying $12.99 for refill razors more often than that when I was using my Venus! I don’t have to remember or worry about it.

If you are looking for a girly, great razor that comes in a subscription Billie is the way to go. They also offer shave cream, lotion, and body wash that are very reasonably priced. You have complete control of your subscription. I don’t know that I will ever switch again.

 

Billie, you have one happy customer here.

Fix Your Broken Highlighter

I have always wanted a Birthday Pallet from Kylie Cosmetics after seeing Christen Dominique’s tutorial on a back to school look. No rhyme or reason but I never bought it new. It was out of stock and wasn’t coming back.

(Here is the link to her video, please note her amazing give away is closed but her make up is still flawless: Video )

I found it on Poshmark in the box, someone hadn’t used it. I ordered it for $5 off. It finally came, after a snaffoo with the post office. I opened it…

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The whole highlighter pan was empty and the product was all over the box. I don’t know if the mail lady played the congo’s with it, but it was destroyed. I tried to convince myself, I wouldn’t use the highlighter anyways and I had gotten it on a discount. It would be okay.

But I stared at the empty pan, and I just wasn’t satisfied. I decided, I’m going to fix this highlighter.

So I first, I read other people’s success stories on Pinterest, because Pinterest knows all.

I gathered a spoon, a make up brush, and some rubbing alcohol. I laid it down on a towel and initated surgery.

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I very carefully put the pieces back in the pan and broke up the big chunks. I packed the powder down as evenly as I could with a spoon and cleaned the edges of the pan with a make-up brush.

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I slowly, and carefully poured rubbing alcohol in the corners and the edges and continued to pack it down with the spoon, trying to keep it even. It seemed as though the rubbing alcohol helped it adhere to the pan it’s self.

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In this picture, you can see the gaps in the corners, I kept add drops of the rubbing alcohol and packing it down until these went away.  I let it dry over night.

 

And Tada! Crisis avoided! It takes patience and more patience. It’s not a fast process but I’m happy to report I used it this morning and it hasn’t seemed to affect the product or application and it’s still in the pan!