Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY Nails

I like to have my nails done. There is something about taking 45 minutes to yourself to relax and chat with someone who speaks little english about mundane things. The whole experience is great, and pricy. I spend up to $50 every time I want to get my nails done, which is at least twice a month. Not very thrifty... So I decided to embark on the journey of doing my nails myself. A crazy notion for someone who embodies this little internet pic:


So in an effort to avoid nail polish, I opted out for these seemingly easy and convenient "Stick on" nail polish strips.

But first, I had to remove my Shelac manicure. If you don't know, Shelac, or Gel nails, are not your average manicure. They are not fake nails, but they are a super strong "gel" nail polish that is hard to remove. After googling, I discovered the trick was to soak your nails in Acetone for 10 minutes, then scrape the gel off your nail. That got most of it off, but I had to dip a cotton ball into acetone to get the rest off, then I filed down the top of my nail a little to make it smooth again. To prepare for the Stick on nail polish I washed my hands with soap and water.

I followed the directions and applied the nails, but it was way harder than I expected. It took 10 minutes to do two nails, and I was kinda over it. It was hard to line up, and didn't really give a clean line.

After the first two nails, I realized the standard strips weren't going to fit my fingernails. I didn't think I had abnormal sized nails, but apparently I do. So I gave up trying to line them up and I went funky, putting them on at an angle.

It looks pretty cute, but would be cuter if I were 13... Overall I don't love it. And my review for the "Salon Effects" is that they are not as easy as advertised and come in strange sizes making them even more of a PITA. Not worth the $8.95 price tag. I will just go back to the nail salon.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wake up Call

I think it's time for a little honesty. I haven't been trying that hard. I wish I could say I gave Jillian and her shredding the time and effort it deserved, but I didn't. I wish I could tell you that I have stepped on my treadmill once in the last month, but I can't. And for that I feel like crap. I missed my weigh in last week because I overslept and this week I gained .4. I know it isn't a lot, but it is still a gain and I hate it. I have only gained one other time  in the last 18 weeks. But enough about the past. It's a new day, a new week, and I am ready to get back on track.

In two weeks, we are weighing in for our family biggest loser. In 2 weeks, I have to lose 4 lbs to meet my goal. Is it do-able? Yes. Is it gonna be easy? No. I need to make some real changes, and stick to them. Here is the plan. Weight Watchers has a part of the plan called "Simply Filling". On Simply Filling, you only eat power foods, and you don't have to track them. That is kinda scary, so I will still track, but I will only eat power foods. Also I am working on being active and earning activity points. I have mapped out two one mile routes that I can walk once a day each. I am setting the goal to walk 10 miles a week. I am also going to start C25K again with the goal of running a 5K in May. I want to actually run the whole thing, in May. That is 4 months away, and I think I can do it.

So it is time to get my shit together. I just need to buckle down and get back on track. I am worth it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blogs I love

First I want to thank everyone who reads my little blog. I love writing it for you all and I hope I have a little more time in the near future to update more. In the mean time, I thought it would be nice to show you other blogs I read and love.

How to be a grown up- I link to her a lot, seeing as she is my sister. :) She blogs about life as a grown up!

Young House Love- I have been following YHL for over a year and I just love everything about it. They have a great writing style and give incredibly loquacious explanations and tutorials. I love it!

Good Girl Gone Wife- This is a blog quite similar to mine in content. It's about life as a wife and DIYer. She is so fun to read to! Check her out!

Uphill Quest- A blog about being a wife and losing weight. Though she recently got pregnant so it's fun to read about her journey through pregnancy

I read more, but these are the ones I read every day! Check them out, let me know what you think!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Some easy tips to save some cash

I am all about saving money! I have taken a few steps, like building my own furniture, making laundry and dishwasher soap by hand, and getting rid of cable, to lower my monthly spending. I still have a lot to learn, but there are some quick tips I can give you to help put you on the right track.

1. Cut your dish soap in half. Simple enough, this tip doubles the life of your dish soap. I am a dish soap snob. I LOVE Mrs. Meyers and I won't buy anything else. I love the way it cleans, the way it smells and the way it makes my hands feel. I don't really love that each bottle costs $4.00, which in the scheme of things isn't a ton, but it adds up. I have a really simple way to stretch that even further. When I buy a bottle, I empty half of it into the old bottle, and fill both with water. Shake it up and there ya go. Your $4 now goes twice as far :) (Told you these were easy!)

2. Make a plan. We find we spend 40% less on groceries if we have a plan. We used to go to the store, buy what sounded good and spend way more on groceries than two people really should. We started making a plan, a menu, before going shopping. And we make a shopping list. We put extra things on the list, like snacks or fruit, but we really try not to stray from the list. Making a list also keeps us from buying multiples of things we already have. It also helps us plan to use any left overs we might have. For example, we will make tacos on Wednesday with ground beef, beans and Rotel. Then Thursday, we have the base of our chili, only needing to add kidney beans and diced tomatoes (and maybe a little seasoning). Then Friday, we have Chili dogs! One meat for 3 meals. If you don't like three similar meals in a row, spread it out.  It has saved us a ton!

3. Buy whats on sale, and freeze it. I am not a couponer. It takes too much time, and I find the deals aren't that great unless you buy 50 things of toothpaste, and I refuse to buy a million of something just because it is on sale. But when I am shopping and I notice something we eat often on a really good sale, I buy it up! For example, this whole month, Jennie O Turkey Hot Dogs have been on sale for 10 for $10. I didn't buy 10, but for turkey dogs, $1 is a GREAT deal! Another example is buy one get one free ground beef. We always eat ground beef, so buy it and freeze it! We even got the super lean ground beef bogo.

4. Clean out your pantry! If you are like the old me, you hoard "non-perishable" foods. We had a whole pantry full of soups and hamburger helper we were never going to eat! We decided to go through everything and donated everything we weren't going to eat to the Food Bank. We gave them two large boxes of food! Each month since, we go through the pantry and do the same. It keeps us aware of what is in there so we remember to use it before we toss it. And if it's been in there more than two months, it goes in the box.

5. Cook for the family you have. I grew up in a family of 6 so all of my recipes feed 6 people. Andy and I would always either overeat, or save the left overs to just rediscover them in the freezer months later, not sure what it was to begin with. We have learned to cook for 2 and only save left overs if we are really going to eat it. If it's still in there when we do our menu for the next week, we either eat it, freeze it or toss it.

I hope these tips help you save some money! Please share your tips in the comments!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Please Help!

If you stopped by yesterday, you saw that I blacked out Life, happily ever after in protest of SOPA and PIPA. I hope you took the time to watch the video that was posted because I really believe these two bills are BAD! I know you don't read my blog to hear about politics, but this is an issue that affects me, and other blogs, greatly. If you are still not sure what SOPA and PIPA are, or how they will effect you, check this stuff out!


Some of your favorite sites, like wikipedia, Facebook and Pinterest will be shut down and sued for what their users post. Wordpress and other blogging platforms will be threatened, as will the people posting the blogs themselves.

Please, write a letter to your senator! Do it for Facebook, do it for Pinterest, do it for me. Please!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have a confession. I have been hoarding pants from the past. I have an entire drawer of pants that I have not worn in years. This confuses and frustrates Andy, but I had a plan for those pants. I wasn't sure when, but I knew that at some point I would wear those pants again. They are all the pants I have accumulated as my size went up, so as it goes down, I will still have pants to wear.

It feels great to be digging in that drawer. I really need to pull them all out and inventory what I have and what sizes. That way I can plan for pants as I get smaller.

Today I am wearing a pair of the drawer pants. They fit nicely, but are odd pants. In fact I can not remember purchasing them or ever wearing them in the past... They are a lot smaller in the waist than in the hips, which would make sense that I never wore them as they never quite fit right. But now I can button them comfortably, and they are actually kinda flattering.

The point is that it is fun to dig into pants I haven't seen in a very long time :)


Monday, January 16, 2012

French Dip in a Blanket

As you all know, I am cheap and I like good food. So if I find a recipe that is cheap, easy and delicious (AND ww friendly), I am more than willing to share :) I saw this recipe on pinterest, of course. I love French Dip so I thought we should try it. After making it, there were some tweeks I would make, so those will be in Red.


1/2 lb of Roast Beef (I get deli because I am picky, but Oscar Meyer would work fine)

provolone Cheese slices

Reduced Fat Crescent rolls.

Canned Beef broth or your prefered Au jou.


1. First you pop open your Crescent rolls and lay them out.


2. Place one slice of Roast Beef on the cressant. (Edit- I would have done this differently. I would have only used half a slice of Roast beef per roll. A whole slice was a lot of beef. I also would have rolled the beef and cheese together and then rolled that in the crescent roll, kinda like a pig in a blanket. The dough that was on the inside was still undercooked.)


3. Once  all the rolls are prepared (notice how one doesn't have meet? apparently half a pound is only 7 slices...), bake per the instructions on the tube of Crescents (10-12 min)


4. When you take them out, serve and dip in your Au jou (we just microwaved the broth till warm).


While there are a few tweeks I would make, over all this was an easy, fast recipe that was pretty yummy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A chalkboard Parson Desk

I have been lusting over a desk for a while now. I didn't actually have a purpose for one until I got a sewing machine for christmas. This inspired me to get cracking. That and this awesome Parson desk that YHL gave a tutorial on :) I love the look of Parson desk and I was dying for an easy way to hack it. Over at Young House Love, they used a closet door as the top, and I thought that was genius! I went over to my favorite store, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, and was on the look out for a closet door. I found one that was nearly perfect and had the new sticker still on it. Score! I asked a woman that worked there how much the door was and she said it was $1.00. Score! I scooped it up and took it to the register, gave the lady my shiny 1 dollar bill and walked out the door before they realized they just gave me a BRAND NEW DOOR for only one dollar! I took it home and measured the space I knew I wanted to put it in. I cut the door down using a circular saw. Then I was on the search for legs. I knew I wanted 3x3's, but the only ones I could find were poplar and $13 a piece. I decided to splurge because they were perfectly sanded and had beautiful square edges, AND because I got a gift card for Lowes for christmas that covered the whole cost.

Lastly I used some scrap 1x3's for the apron.

Constructing this desk was very simple. I used a kreg jig to make all the pocket holes to screw the aprons to the legs and the legs into the base. I secured the legs with wood glue and painted it all with two thin and even coats of Chalkboard paint.

Start to finish, this project only took about an hour. I am very pleased how it turned out and can't wait to set up my sewing machine and get to work!

Here's the deets!

1. Measure your space. I cut my 24 inch wide door down to 45 1/2 inches long to make a decent side desk.

2. Measure and cut all your wood. I decided how long to make the legs by sitting on my chair of choice and measuring how tall I thought the desk should be, which was 28 inches. I determined the length of the aprons by taking the width of the desk (45 1/2 inches) minus the width of the legs +1 (5 inches for 2 +1 is 6 inches) to leave a half inch on each side. So two of my apron pieces were 39 1/2 inches and the other two were 18 inches (24 - 6).

3. Drill your pocket holes. I LOVE my kreg jig so I used that to pre drill all of my pocket holes.

4. Then we assembled the leg pieces together into a frame.

5. We flipped it over and wood glued the legs down. Then we screwed the legs into the top.

6. After we let the glue dry, we flipped it over and started painting. We had chalkboard paint because of a failed project, but I seized the opportunity to use it again.

7. Let the paint dry and then shimmy it into place! Tada!

I still need to put some things on it, and make it look pretty :) I think it needs some shelves above it, but I think it looks pretty great. I am very happy with it and I can't wait to set up my sewing machine and get crafting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quick progress collage update :)

Week 17 - omg!!!

Well it's a Friday the 13th miracle!!! I hopped on the weight watchers scale and I am down 20 lbs!!! 20! That is huge! I think 20 is really the turning point. 20 lbs really makes a difference in how you look and feel. I have made it this far, no use stopping now!


20 is a milestone, but not the destination! I have two more goals in the near future I hope to reach by valentines day. 25 lbs means I get a Ww charm and 28 lbs is my 10% keychain. I am highly motivated by these two goals and I can't wait to reach them!!

So losing 20 means I should probably celebrate :) what should I do?

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I love food, as you probably knew knowing my starting weight... :) But as I go through this journey, I have had to find different things to eat, or different ways to make the things I love.  I love to cook, and I love to experiment with food so this has been fun and a challenge. With all these new recipes I am gathering, I wish I had a place to share them on here. It would be fun for you guys to get new cheap and easy recipes that are healthy, and I could catalogue them so I don't have to try and remember what I like to cook every week when we make a menu :)

What do you guys think? A portion of the site just for recipes?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I know, I know...

It's no excuse. I am always going to be busy. I am always going to not have anything to write about. I know.

The fact is that I feel terribly I havent updated in 10 days! That is probably the longest between posts EVER! I will get better about this.

So here are some things to catch you up. I am down 19.6 lbs. I am dying for a .4 on friday so I can hit 20! I have been cheating on Jillian with cupcakes and pizza. I will get better about that! We have rearanged our livingroom and will post an updated pic because I love it! (spoiler alert- the couch is a different color- again!)

I will post a few recipes I have made recently like Buckeye Cupcakes.

I will get my shit together and start posting more.


There, Kristen!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Shred Day 1!

It's January 1st! Guess what that means...... It's Shredding time!! Yep, my awesome sister Margaret over at How to be a Grown Up  has thrown down a shredding challenge where we submit our bodies to Jillian Michaels willingly. She will make us our bitch and therefore a greater, more muscular version of our former selves! Sign me up!

When I decided to embark on this mission of masochism, I knew I wouldn't be doing it alone, but just to be sure, I am making Andy do it with me! Yay for supportive husbands!

So alas, here are our before pictures!