If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter, CVS, some bulk cooking, etc!

Hello everyone - the end of March and beginning of Spring has been a busy time here.  I'm guessing your homes have been busy with similar things.  

First,  FedEx delivered this beautiful box of organic produce from GrubMarket.Com
I won it as a giveaway on Laura Lane's blog  http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com
Thank you to Grub Market and Laura

We celebrated Easter all day on Sunday.  
First we went to church and then we came home for a big family day.  

Here are some eggs we colored.  They are not real eggs but fake eggs I got at the Walmart Clearance last year for 19 cents a dozen.  
We used markers and stickers 
And my daughter tried the rice-food coloring- shake it all up method she had seen on Facebook.  Mixed reviews from us on that one.....

Our lunch menu included "doubled eggs" as 5 year old Elizabeth calls them.  
I cooked 2 dozen eggs.  I like to use a pastry blender to mash up the filling 
And a small scoop to fill the eggs back up.  

That very large dining table I found on a Facebook swap and shop list is so nice for big meals.  

We got a heavy rain on Easter morning and it left the backyard muddy so we had the egg hunt indoors.  

Lots of fun!  

My brother brought a huge fresh fruit tray from Sprouts and this fancy dozen donuts from Hurts 

My daughter and me, after most of our Easter activities.  

Mid week, son Bobby came with daughters Andie and Charlie.  My parents came over to visit them too. 
That's 10 month old baby Jackson and 9 month old baby Charlie.  
The cousins always like to do crafts, even if it's just coloring.
They are all so happy to see each other.  It makes this grandma so happy to see them hug and spontaneously say "I love you Andie" or which ever cousin they are near.  :) 

Midweek, we made a quick trip to Tinker Air Force Base.  Plane-crazy Braeden was so happy to see airplanes up close.  We also shopped at the Exchange and stocked up on groceries at the commissary. 

I had not been in about 2 weeks and I ended up with a pretty big haul.  It did not go quite as planned.  The deals on the CVS app don't show up in the store for me so I did call customer service.  

Anyway,  after coupons and ECBs and my gift cards from Swagbucks and MyPoints.com,  I think I spent $19 actual money and got back a pile of ECBs.  Customer Service also added some ECBs to my account so I have lots to shop with the rest of April.  
Whether the CVS deals go exactly as I think they should or not, I am still very happy shopping there and will continue 

My husband and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary and he gave me 3 dozen roses.  
They smelled so good and lasted about 10 days.  

Bulk Cooking 
I cooked a big batch of homemade chili and put most of it in the freezer for quick meals on future busy days.  
I also made a big batch of refried beans for th freezer, but didn't take a photo.
Not a great photo but my son asked me to bake cookies for 50 for a reception.  
I baked my favorite chocolate chip, oatmeal coconut and snickerdoodles.  
When he came to get the cookies,  he also made himself a salad to go and he looked over the garden
In our backyard
The garden is my husband's project.  It is doing great and I'll take better photos when the sun is not making shadows like in this one. 

One plan I have for April is it will be a low-spend extra thrifty month at the If You Do Stuff home, 
Our biggest bill of the year is due in June. So we are planning to save extra the next 2 months so when that property insurance leaves our savings account, it won't be as noticeable. 
More on that later............

Have a good first week in April everyone 

Glue on Nails -Pros, Cons, and Tips for Press On Nails

I've been using different brands of artificial nails that are glued on to my fingers since September 2015.  
I'm very happy with how they look, the low cost and the speed with how long it takes me do a full manicure.  I get lots of compliments on my cheap-o nails and several readers have asked for tips so I am happy to share.  

There are several brands of glue on nails. 

Dollar Tree has sets of 12 nails for $1.  The 12 nails are in 6 sizes.  This works great for me because the smallest 5 fit my fingers perfectly.  But everyone's hands are different and they aren't going to fit everyone the same.  
Dollar Tree nails are the lowest cost of any artificial nails that I know of.  Dollar Tree nail products are called Sassy Chic brand.  
At my Dollar Tree, these nails are popular and don't stay stocked very long so I always check for them and if I see some I like, I buy them right then.  
I try to buy 2 or more sets when I like the design so I have some spares for repairs too.  
Dollar Tree nails have to be attached with glue - my thought about glue will be below 

French Style nails with Dollar Tree nails.  

Impress nails are my other favorite.  They can be bought at Walmart, CVS, Amazon - they are a national brand and sell for $5.97-$8 a set.  
Impress have 24 to 30 nails in each set so it takes a little longer to select the right sizes for each finger.
The bigger sets allow some spares for repairs too.  
Impress nails have an adhesive attached to the back.  There is a sticker back so you just pull off the backing to reveal the adhesive and attach it to your nail.  

I have also tried Kiss brand nails and I mostly like them the same as Impress. 

I tried a brand that I don't remember which brand, that had a seperate double sided adhesive pad that went on the fingernail and then the nail was attached to that.  It may of worked great but it was too many steps for me so I just attached those nails with glue.  


there are several to choose from.  

Super Glue is the first adhesive I tried.  Super Glue does hold the nail on very securely.  To remove them was the hard part.  I had to soak my finger tips is Acetone nail polish remover until the artifical nail softened enough to scrape off. This took me at least 15 minutes of soaking.  I don't want to use so many chemicals so I don't do Super Glue and I don't recommend it (but other people do. )

Dollar Tree sells Sassy Chic nail glue, also $1.   It holds just fine but when the nail is removed, the glue turns to a thick goo on my nails that also requires Acetone soaking so I don't use it anymore either.  

Kiss, Nailene and 5 Second brands of glue are all brands I like and recommended.  They come in brush on and with a squeeze drop applicator.  Both are fine, I just prefer the brush on applicator.  
These brands are in the $5 a bottle range and can be purchased at drugstores, beauty stores, Amazon.  

Applying nails
The first few times I used glue on nails, it took at least 30 minutes because I wasn't sure how to match them, etc.  
Now, I can do a full manicure in less than 5.  In fact yesterday, I put on a new set in the car while my husband drove us to church. 

First, remove any polish on your nails and clip the nails short.  
Then file the ends.  Some nail users say to also lightly file your nail surface to rough them up a bit to give the glue something to hold on to.  My natural nails are so thin,  I don't dare file my surface.
Take care of your cuticles however you like. 
Then clean your nails with alcohol or remover or the moistened pad that comes with some nail sets.  
Natural nails need to clean and oil free for the adhesive to hold. 
Now, look at the nails you purchased and match up the artificial nail to each finger.  I lay them all out on the table top, in the order of my fingers.  
Then adhere them, either with the peel off back or with whatever glue you choose.
Once you put on a nail, hold it in place with your other hand with gentle firm pressure for at least 5 - 10 seconds.  Then move on to the next one.  I start with my pinkies and do both thumbs last.

A manicure usually lasts me 5-7 days.  Some bloggers say theirs last 2-3 weeks.
The biggest enemy of a glue on manicure are water and not letting the manicure set for at least an hour.  This is especially true for the nails like Impress with the adhesive sticker back.
When I do a manicure, I prefer to do it at the end of the day, AFTER  I'm through  cleaning and after a shower and hair washing.  Once the nails are on, I sit and do nothing to put any stress on the nails and I also give them all more squeezes and then I usually go to bed.  
I do take showers and wash my hair again but not right after putting on a fresh nail set.  
I still do a lot of housework but if I am doing something messy, I usually wear gloves.  

Sometimes a nail pops off for no reason.  I usually know when it happens and I can just brush on some glue and reattach it.  It the nail is lost or damaged,  I just glue on a spare one from the same set.  
Sometimes a nail breaks.  If possible, I go ahead and remove the broken nail.  But sometimes, I just glue an identical nail right on top of it.  I did this last week when I ended up with a notch missing from one nail.  That repair lasted until I did a new manicure.
To make repairs convenient, I keep the spare nails from my current set and a bottle of brush on glue in a sandwich bag in my purse.  I also keep a spare bottle of nail glue in the kitchen.  

Removing nails
After about 5-7 days, the nail glue starts to dry or get brittle or something, anyway it just starts to turn loose.  When I can tell the nails are getting loose, I use the end of an orange stick to GENTLY go under an edge that is loose.  The artifical nail will usually pop off easily.  Don't force a removal,  I never have but I'm sure if it was forced, you could pull off your natural nail with the artificial nail.  
If they don't come off easily,  I soak my tips in remover.  It usually just takes a minute or two for the glue to loosen enough to release the nail.  
When all the artifical nails are removed,  occasionally  I need to use some polish remover to finish removing the glue but usually I can just lightly buff with a nail buffer to finish cleaning my nail.  

I had solar artifical nails put on at a salon for over a year. They were very strong and looked pretty but they were expensive,  $40-$50 every 2-3 weeks as I live in an expensive college town.  I was also concerned about the lamp used to set the polish.  Several times I had a mild sunburn after salon manicures.  
Time wise- it took at least an hour, maybe longer. 
And the worst was all the drama at the salon -

I am very happy with glue on artifical nails.  They are cute, easily fit in our budget, don't require a big time investment and use a minimal amount of chemicals.  
Glue on nails do require more tending to than salon nails but I'm OK with that.  

What my nails look like right now - Impress nails from CVS
I really enjoy having fun nails from time to time.  

If you are interested in press on nails, I hope I answered any questions.  

These are just my opinions and thoughts- I have not been paid or sponsored by any nail company.

Monday, March 21, 2016

This week's list and traveling photos

Hello everyone
Below is our to do list for this week.
I printed off a number of recipes about a week ago and I wrote down their titles on this list, I may cook some and I may not. 
Easter lunch and egg hunting will be at our home after church on Sunday and I've got a tentative menu planned- but I've already changed my mind and think we will have tabouli instead of the pasta salad.  The ham and baked beans can cook in crockpots and the cold dishes will be ready in the fridge so I'm hoping to have an easy to serve meal with lots of time for egg hunting.  My grandchildren think plastic eggs are super fun.  

Last week was spring break in Oklahoma for just about every school.  
We took our 2 grandchildren to Branson Missouri for a short vacation.  We stayed at a condo-type hotel and ended up eating most all our meals in our little kitchen-dining area.  
On our first day in Branson, we went to Dixie Stampede.  This is a Dolly Parton production with dinner, a pre show with an amazing juggler and the show has lots of singing, horses and beautiful costumes.  

On the 2nd and 3rd days we went to an amusement park, Silver Dollar City.  With my husbands military service, we got a very low price on our tickets.  
The first day,  it was a pleasant, just warm enough day.
My husband and Gavin like this ride.  The riders shoot water guns at targets and people watching or waiting to ride this ride can shoot back. 
Elizabeth didn't ride but she liked shooting water back at her cousin and Grandpa. 
This ride would be especially fun on a hot day.  

In our hotel, the cousins enjoyed coloring and making Perler bead crafts.

And eating! 

Our second day at Silver Dollar City was much much colder! 
Grandpa and I didn't even pack jackets so we stopped at the Branson Super Walmart on the way to the theme park.
Grandpa found a windbreaker on clearance and I ended up with a Branson hoodie sweatshirt.  It's not really my style but it was very warm and seems to be the style in Branson.  
Gavin had brought 2 warm camouflage jackets so he lent one to Elizabeth.  Both cousins got warm hats at the Walmart.  
Riding more rides

On our 4th day, we saw Moses at the huge Sight and Sound theater.  I don't have any photos but it is our favorite Branson theater.  Last year, my husband and I saw Jonah on our Branson trip.  
These Biblical plays are so good!  If you go to Branson, we suggest you put Sight and Sound on your must do list.  

Our son took a trip to Ireland during spring break.  He shared photos daily though his cell phone app and I got them on my iPad.  Technology is wonderful sometimes!
The Dublin airport decorated for St Patrick's day.
Incredible castles 

An old Methodist Church

This round structure made entirely of stone, even the roof, doesn't seem like it should be possible.  
The white dots in the background are sheep, of course. 

And if you got this far,  I am planning a post of my tips for glue on nails soon.  

Have a good week everyone! 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The last 10 days or so.......

We pick up grandson JJ one day a week at his preschool.  One of his classmates had a birthday and the classmate brought these super cute Super Hero capes for everyone.  JJ was so happy with his and he wore it continually.
The capes were made so nice and were a completely no-sew project.  They were cut out of felt for the cape and the circle and star ironed on with a fusible.
The closure was Velcro attached with fabric glue and it held just fine.

I still like doing my manicures at home with press on nails. 
I found these cute sets over the weekend at Dollar Tree.  They need a glue to hold them on but I don't like Dollar Tree glue.  
I wore the black and white polka dot set first.  

Then today, I switched to another Dollar Tree set, a French manicure look with a tiny silver stripe.  
I also like the Impress brand nails that have adhesive already on them.

We haven't done much shopping but my husband got these USMC goodies and a few other things when his favorite Marine store was having a moving sale.

He paid $6.50 for this mug and shirt.

As usual, I cooked a lot. 

Silver dollar pancakes and oven baked bacon cooked when grandsons Gavin and Braeden were here. They requested bacon AND sausage but I think one meat at a time is plenty.
I cooked extra pancakes to freeze for future breakfasts.  

Sandwich buns - I make a batch of them just about every week 

My Texas brother was visiting and we all met up at my parents retirement home.  Pizza was delivered for the main course and I took Cheese Squares and some dip and fresh vegetables cut up. Both dishes were empty when I came home.

I have mostly  loosely been following the Trim Healthy Mama plan as I try to lose some weight and not need blood pressure medicine anymore. 
These next 3 are Trim Healthy Mama approved recipes.  You can find them on my Pinterest under "eating my way" 
These are some sausage cheese balls I found on Pinterest that were delicious and a keeper.

This is a recipe called Dirt E Rice by the Coers family.  I really like this and my son in law is crazy about it.  

Below is Egg Roll in a Bowl.  

I've been making this Taco Seasoning from allrecipes.com for more than 10 years.  This a batch for my daughter.

We are having spring like weather even though it is still winter.
My husband, JJ and I enjoyed a picnic lunch in our backyard.  It's especially nice to eat outside this time of year as the pesky flying insects aren't around yet.  
Oklahoma is home to many many bugs, ick! 

Then, my husband put 2 chickens on his rotisserie.  
His grilled food is so good and his chicken is my favorite. 

I added some green beans, homemade rolls and fresh strawberries.
Then we packed it all in a big ThirtyOneGifts tote and took it to my parents for supper.

It is a simple plain menu but when I cook for a group, especially for 4 generations with different food preferences and dietary needs, basic food just suits us all best.  

Believe it or not, I haven't been to CVS since I last blogged.  

We've also been busy doing some more cleaning and organizing at home.  
I've done a little sewing but nothing I photographed.  

That's about it!  Nothing crazy exciting but I prefer it that way.