Pan Substitutions

Have a recipe that calls for a pan size you don’t have? No problem. Just use these charts to find other pans that you can use instead:

Pan Substitutions - Rectangular Pans

Print Rectangular Pan Substitutions Chart

Pan Substitutions - Round

Print Round Pan Substitutions Chart

Pan Conversion - Square

Print Square Pan Substitutions Chart

Baking Times:

If the substituted pan is the same depth as the one called for in the recipe, you shouldn’t have to adjust the baking time. However, if the substituted pan depth is shallower, (a 1″ pan, instead of a 2″), you’ll need to shorten the baking time. If the substituted pan depth is deeper (a 2″ pan, instead of a 1″, you’ll need to increase the baking time.

It’s also worth noting that foods cooked in a glass pan may take 5-10 minutes longer than those cooked in a metal pan.

Keurig Curb Find

Keurig

We were taking our kids to school Friday morning when my husband spotted a Keurig sitting at the curb. He’s wanted one for a long time, so we stopped and picked it up.

When we got home, he tested it, and discovered it wasn’t making full cups. So, he jumped on the Internet, watched a few YouTube videos, and learned how to clean and descale it. The result? A fully-functional Keurig and a happy husband.

I pulled all the free K-cups that I had in my gift closet, so he could start enjoying it right away, and we’ll be ordering a reusable K-cup, so he can fill his own cups with ground coffee (much cheaper).

Get Paid to Test Websites

We need a chainsaw for our weekend homestead, and I’ve found a pretty cool way to earn the money for it: I’m testing websites, and sharing my experience with the site owners.

Here’s The Deal:

UserTesting Logo

I signed up to be a tester for UserTesting.com. I was asked to fill out a quick application and to submit a sample site test. Once my test was approved, I was ready to get to work.

UserTesting uses screen capture software to record what I’m seeing and doing when I’m testing a website, and my computer microphone captures my thoughts.

Each test has a set of tasks that I’m asked to perform, and I work through those one at a time. If it’s a store, I may be asked to test out the checkout process or to find a certain product and let them know how easy or hard it was for me to find. I’m just performing basic user tasks and sharing my thoughts about the experience. If something functions differently than I expect it to, I say so. If something impresses me, I tell them that too.

Each site test takes about 15 minutes to complete, and wraps up with four quick written questions.

Once the test video is uploaded to UserTesting’s website, my dashboard updates to show my pending payment.

Each 15-minute test pays $10, and they sometimes have 5-minute “quick look” tests that pay $3.

Payments are made a week after you complete a test, and there’s no payment threshold. That means, if I do a test on Monday, I can expect a $10 payment in my PayPal account the following Monday. Pretty cool.

I’ve been doing tests for a couple weeks now, and I love everything about UserTesting. It’s fun to check out websites and to know that my feedback will help to make them better. And this is a gig that works well with my busy schedule. If I have time to do a test, I log in and look for one. If my day is already maxed out, I just skip it for a day. There’s no time commitment involved.

But let’s get to the most important point: the money. Can you really make money doing this? And do they pay as promptly as they say they will?

The answer to both is yes.

UserTesting Payments

This is a screenshot of the PayPal payments that I’ve received so far. As you can see, I’ve received $43 in payments. I have another $33 in payments pending. An extra $76 in earnings over a 15-day period sounds pretty good to me – especially when you consider that I didn’t have to leave the house or commit to anything.

How I’m Maximizing My Earnings

Since this is a high-paying gig, it should come as no surprise that available tests get snapped up quickly. I log into my UserTesting account in the morning, and leave it open in a tab. When new tests get added, the tab updates to show how many tests are available, and a little chime goes off. This makes it easy for me to call first dibs.

I’ve found that a lot of tests get added late afternoon (starting around 2 p.m. Eastern), so I try to keep an eye on my tabs then. My personal goal is to do one user test a day (I’ll have my chainsaw in seven weeks if I do), and most days I’m able to make that happen.

UserTesting Rating

Website owners are asked to rate your reviews, and you qualify for more tests when you have a good rating. So, far I have a 4.5 out of 5, and I’m trying to keep it there.

Signing up to do mobile tests (tests on your cellphone) is another way to earn more. Those tests pay $15. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I may have to give it a go.

Have you tried UserTesting? Are you thinking about trying it now? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Go here to sign up for UserTesting.

2015 Tea Towel Calendar

2015 Tea Towel Calendar

If you geek out on linens as much as I do, I have exciting news:

My 2015 tea towel calendar is now available for pre-order. It’s over in my Etsy shop, and it would make a wonderful Christmas present. These are printed on a nice, thick cotton-linen canvas, and they just get better with use.

I’ll be sticking orders in the mail early in December, so they arrive before the holidays. Go grab one for yourself and one for a friend. And if you still have a bunch of Christmas shopping to do, you may just find some other things in my shop that catch your eye.

Like these vintage milk cap magnets

Milk Cap Magnets

These state puzzle piece magnets

State Puzzle Magnets

Or my Freezer-Find-It magnet set

Freezer Magnets Closeup

Hmmm … apparently I have a thing for linens and magnets.

Why I Hustle (And You Should Too)

Money

Let’s just put it out there that I wasn’t your typical kid. While other kids were busy playing, I was busy scheming. Coming up with business ideas, and then getting my friends to help me with them. I organized carnivals and haunted houses in my backyard. I sold handmade earrings at lunch and recess, and when I was old enough, I babysat (a lot).

All of those early work experiences taught me that there’s always a way to make money, if you’re willing to look for it (and to work for it). And that lesson has served me well. When I was a freshman in college, and I needed money for a plane ticket, I took a temp job as a greeter at CVS. When I was 20, and I wanted to buy my first sofa set, I took on a second job, working in an aluminum plant. And when my second daughter was born, I covered the hospital bills by writing a bunch of articles for eHow. Over the years, my income has gone up, but my hustling ways haven’t changed.

And that’s because hustling works.

Whenever an extra expense comes up, my husband and I start scheming ways to cover it. Because you know what? Paying for things with extra money is a lot less painful. And often times, it’s even fun.

Here are some of the things that we’ve done over the years to cover extra expenses:

Mystery shopped
Answered surveys
Participated in consumer test panels
Taken holiday jobs
Taken temp jobs
Held yard sales
Sold things on Ebay
Sold scrap metal
Sold gold
Taught classes
Babysat
Reviewed websites
Participated in consignment sales
Entered sweepstakes

Curious about any of the side hustles that I just mentioned? I’ve written about some of them already, and I’ll be writing about more of them soon.

Check out my making money section, for ideas on how you can get started hustling.

Do you have an interesting side hustle? I’d love to hear about it.