Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jamberry Review

So these cute little nail wraps have been popping up everywhere - these are called Jamberry Wraps

I have wanted to try them for sometime so I received a sample in the mail. (here's a link to a consultant where you can request a sample or view the wraps:

I applied the wrap per the directions (which were easy enough but you have to pay attention and use the tips and tricks). I used my blow dryer and it worked fine (since I didn't have the heater).

That mani (and I am sorry I dont have a pic of it) lasted for almost two weeks. The gel nails started peeling first and the accent nail wrap (on my ring finger) was perfectly in tact.

This is the second mani I did. It was easy to apply. Most of the wraps fit me without much trimming. This one lasted me about 6 days but this was the first one I did that was ALL wraps. One wrap started lifting about day 6 but instead of filing it down - i picked at it. The rest of them were left fully in tact.

This is the most recent mani I did. I applied it yesterday and I am going to do a before and after picture once a week or so goes by. 

I did this pedicure almost 4 weeks ago. I only have one wrap on my large toe and the rest regular polish. It's still perfectly in tact.

All in all, I would say these are pretty good.

Here are the Pro's and Cons:

- So many styles
- Last for up to 2 weeks on hands and 6 weeks on toes
- Each sheet gives you 2 mani's and 2 pedi's
- Cost - only $15 per sheet

- Some trimming of the wrap may be needed (but still easy to trim)
- You have to get the hang of applying them but it is fairly easy you just need to follow the instructions

You can check out the wraps here:
These are what the sheets look like. I'm excited to try the chrome ones.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried them?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cute and Easy Tiger Striped Mani

I have been a little lazy lately and haven't felt like doing the gel nails. I love that they last longer but on the same aspect they take a little more work getting off. So I have been exploring with the many bottles of regular polish I have.

I wanted to do something cute but easy and came up with this.

What you will need:
- Base and top coats
- White polish
- Pink polish
- Black polish
- Small piece of foil
- Thin nail art brush

Start by prepping your nails and painting with a base coat. Then follow by painting all your nails except thing ring finger pink. Then paint your ring finger white and repeat as many coats as you desire. Let completely dry.

Then place a small amount of pink and black polish onto your foil. Starting at the edges of your nail, create a small stripe. Practice on the foil first if you need to. Ensure you don't have too much polish on your brush. Repeat with the black polish.

Let dry then finish with a top coat. Enjoy! Oh and don't forget to follow me on Instagram - @fabnfrugalnails

Pink Ombre Mani

This is a fairly easy mani to do. I did this one with regular polish - I didn't try it with the gel polish. I have seen these all over and decided to try and it. To my surprise it was very easy to do!

Oh and for those of you who don't know - I now have a nail instagram account. Follow me @fabnfrugalnails

What you will need:
- Base and top coats
- A few different colors. I used 3 pinks and a white as a base.
- A triangle make up sponge

Start by painting your nails with the base color. In my case it was white. Once completely dry, use your make up sponge to layer the different colors onto starting with the darkest and going to the lightest colors.

You will likely need to do multiple coats so repeat the step on each nail until you get the desired color effect.

Finish off with a top coat!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Window Bench Seat Tutorial

I moved into my house over 2 years ago and since the day we moved in I vowed to make some benches for our bedroom window seats. We had these cutouts in each of the 3 spare bedrooms that would make a perfect seat or reading nook but they have no other purpose except for a spot for my cats to peer out the window and cackle to birds.

While on sabbatical I finally had time to create the bench seats and lucky for you, I documented it for a tutorial.

I am extremely surprised at how easy this was. It didn't take me very long and to top it off I did not need any help from my husband! (except the initial step where he cut out the boards but I could have done that on my own! haha).

Supplies and tool that you will need:
- A board cutout the size of your window area or bench (I used a pressed wood compound that you can get at any hardware store. It doesn't need to be thick)
- Foam cut out the same size of the board (you can order on-line or you can find places that will sell these and cut them for you. Its just a seat foam, I used the cheapest grade knowing it won't be used a lot)
- Some kind of batting the size of the foam and board. I got mine at Jo-Ann and used a basic cotton batting like used in quilts.
- Fabric large enough to cover the foam and board with extra to allow for stapling. I used an upholstery fabric from Jo-Ann.
- Scissors
- Hot Glue gun
- Staple Gun

Start by placing the board on a flat surface. I used some stand my husband has.. I don't know what he uses it for but it was useful in this project. You can also use a table or other sturdy surface.

Place the foam on the board to ensure sizing is correct. Then glue the corners of the foam to the board. This is more just to keep it from shifting while you are covering the foam. It doesn't need to be really sturdy or perfect.

Next place the batting over the foam. Make sure you have enough room to fold over the corners and cover the foam.

Now, using the hot glue gun, glue the edges from the batting down onto the foam. I used quite a few glue sticks for this. Fold the corners and glue in place.

Now place your fabric over the foam and flip the board over trying not to shift the fabric too much. You want to keep the fabric nice and tight. In the next step we will be stapling down the fabric.

Once you've flipped the board over and have it on a nice flat surface, pull each side of the fabric tight and staple the fabric to the back of the board.

When you reach the corners, tuck in the fabric and fold around. Make sure you get the corners nice and smooth.

Finish all sides and staple well ensuring to pull the fabric tight and making sure there are no wrinkles.

That is it! You are done. Place the bench in the window and enjoy. I did two of the three bedrooms in about an hour and I love the way they turned out. My cats love the new perch! The other one is for the nursery for my daughter who is expected to come in about 2 months!

Cilantro Lime Salsa Recipe

My sabbatical challenge was a bit of a failure. Not because I didn't do anything on my sabbatical. I had so much fun on my sabbatical and got so many things accomplished. It was because I didn't track like I wanted to on my blog. I tried all kinds of new recipes and did all kinds of crafty things but I was too lazy to take pics and post.

I will be updating in the next few weeks the things I did capture but today is a special treat. I am going to post my famous salsa recipe. It's self proclaimed famous but I assure you it is very good. Everyone that tries it loves it. I adapted this from many trials and errors on different salsa recipes I found on-line and about 6 years ago came up with this. 

I have been debating if I wanted to post it so I decided to go ahead and do it. It really is special to me and my family loves this recipe. The recipe I have posted as below has a little kick but not too spicy. You can always make it more or less spicy by adding more peppers. I hope you enjoy!

Makes one large batch
What you will need:
- 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes w/ jalapeno peppers (if you do not want the salsa at all spicy get the cans of diced tomatoes without jalapenos)
- 1 small can of green pickled jalapeno peppers (I like the La Costena brand)
- 1/2 of a large white or yellow onion (about 3/4 c chopped)
- Large handful of fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 lime
- 1 tbs of ground cumin
- 2 tsp of salt 
- Dash of pepper

Start by cutting the onion and putting the chopped onion in the bottom of the food processor. I have a large food processor so I can do the whole recipe at once. If you have a smaller food processor you will need to half the recipe and make it in batches.

Next, take the handful of cilantro and place it over the onion in the food processor. I use mostly just the leaves of the cilantro but you can use a little of the stem like I did below (cutting the stems about 1/2 way off). The stems just take longer to chop up and can change the texture of the salsa.

Now, open the cans of tomatoes and drain the juice. Add the tomatoes to the food processor.


No cut off the stems from a few of the pickled jalapenos and add it to the food processor. Since I am using the canned tomatoes with the jalapenos already in it, I add about 4 small peppers. If you want it more spicy add more jalapenos. 

Cut the lime in half and use a citrus press to squeeze the entire lime into the food processor. If you do not have a citrus press just hand squeeze making sure to get all the juice. Add the garlic, salt, cumin and pepper to the top of the food processor.

Blend the salsa until all ingredients (especially the onion and cilantro) are blended. Should be a nice consistency but not too chunky. 

Chill for about an hour or longer before serving. The longer you let the salsa sit the more flavor will infuse. It sometimes gets a little spicier after a few days in the fridge. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sabbatical Challenge Day 2 - Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Today I tried another dinner recipe. The original pin was from 'The Comfort of Cooking Blog' but I have to admit I changed this recipe quite a bit. I didn't like all the ingredients but I adopted a version from the recipe above.

I am going to post how I did mine because this is my blog and I can do what I want to!

What you will need:
Serves 4
- 1 spaghetti squash (1 medium or large)
- 1 pound of ground beef (I used ground turkey)
- 1/2 cup of light or fat free sour cream
- 1/3 cup of salsa of choice
- 2 ounces of shredded cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top)
- Salt and pepper to taste

Start by pre-heating your oven to 375. Cut the squash in half and clean out insides of squash. Place sides meat up on a cookie sheet. If you want spritz the open sides with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 1 hour.

Once the squash is done baking take out of the oven to let cool. While the squash is cooling, brown your ground beef (or turkey). Set aside

Feel free to add some spices while you ground your meat
Once you have ground your meat, you can start peeling the squash. Make sure it's not too hot to the touch. Take a fork and pull apart the meat of the squash. It will com apart easily. Add all the meat to a large bowl.

The squash will still be a little warm so be careful

Once you have completed both sides of the squash, add your cheese, sour cream, salsa, and ground meat to the bowl and mix.

I add a little hot sauce to ours to give it a kick
Once all the ingredients have been mixed together, place servings in baking dish. I use a 9x9 glass baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top and put back in the oven to melt the topped cheese. Serve and enjoy!

If you want to make a variation of this, feel free to add diced onion, garlic, corn and black beans to your bowl. You can add anything you want to this. I like to keep my version lowcarb so I do not add corn or black beans. If I have extra veggies I will add some bell pepper or onion to the ground turkey as I cook it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sabbatical Challenge Day 1 - Eggplant Pizzas

I have vowed that during my sabbatical I will not find myself sitting in front of the television watching Netflix! Instead I am trying different pins from my over 2,000 Pinterest pins!

My first attempt was Eggplant Pizzas. I got this recipe from Kayln's Kitchen via a Pinterest Pin and she adopted her recipe from Julia Child's version. I modified mine a little but for the most part it was similar to what Kayln's Kitchen had posted.

What you need: 
- 1 eggplant (I used one about 10 inched long and just under a pound)
- Olive oil (about 1tbs for brushing eggplant before roasting, and about 1tbs for sauce)
- Salt
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 can of petite diced tomatoes with liquid 
- Dried Italian seasoning (1/2 tsp for sauce plus 2 tsp for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting)
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/3 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional - for sprinkling on after baking)
- About 10 fresh basil leaves (optional)

Start by slicing the eggplant into about 3/4 inch slices. Place slices onto two paper towels. On each side of the eggplant, generously cover in salt. Let eggplant sit for about 30 minutes. (This is to draw out the water of the eggplant.) Once the eggplant has sat for 30 minutes dab off the water and salt on both sides.

You can see the salt draws the water out of the eggplant

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil. I used about 1tbs for both sides. Next, sprinkle the tops of each slice with dried Italian seasoning. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes turning the eggplant pieces about halfway through.

Sprinkle dried Italian Seasoning on the top of the eggplant

While the eggplant is roasting, start your sauce by using about 1tbs of olive oil to heat the garlic (do not brown).

Do you like my wooden spoon? It doubles as a drumstick!

Once the garlic is heated, add the can of petite diced tomatoes (with the liquid). Add the dried oregano and Italian seasonings to the sauce and let simmer stirring occasionally. In a bowl measure out your cheeses and mix.

Once the eggplant has roasted for about 25 minutes (and has been turned once during roasting), turn your oven to broil. Add a generous amount of sauce to each eggplant. If you are using basil leaves add these next to each eggplant slice. Add your cheeses to each eggplant slice. Return to the oven and cook about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Add red pepper flakes before serving (optional).

Verdict is that my husband and I loved this healthy recipe. Add a chicken breast and you have a nice low carb healthy meal. It was very filling and easy to make. I will be making this again :) 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A New Challenge

Alrighty folks!!! I am about to have all kinds of time on my hands because in just 2 days and roughly 4 hours I will start my sabbatical from work. And let me tell you, I could not be more excited.

I work for an amazing company that offers it's employees one of the long lost benefits of our time; the elusive sabbatical. Every seven years we get two months (yes TWO MONTHS, sixty days!) paid off, in addition to our normal vacation time. I have deferred my sabbatical for one year already and decided to take it before the baby comes. Now, this leaves me with all kinds of time on my hands. Since my husband doesn't get the kind of time off that I do, I had to figure out something to occupy my time. I know I will be working on the nursery (I will be sure to post before and after photo's of that) but I needed something else. I promised myself I would go to the gym 5 days a week. Since I am not working, I can get my butt to the gym for one hour a day and at least walk or bike! We shall see how that goes...

In addition, I have decided I am going to do a daily Pin challenge. I have over 2,800 pins on my Pinterest account and I want to start trying out some of those recipes, craft ideas, and DIY funzies I've been pinning over the past two years. I will document my success (or fails) here for shits and giggles. I will be sure to share the original pin and let you know my opinion on how it turned out. Good thing my husband is not a picky eater. I have a feeling I will be cooking a lot of things I don't normally cook. I hope we don't go hungry...

I do have some travel planned in May where I won't be able to do it daily but I plan to do the best I can to keep up my challenge on a mostly daily ritual and post the results.

I think my first one will be Eggplant Pizzas. I love eggplant and pizza and I am trying to eat better since I am preggo. This one might be a good one to start out with.

Julia Child's Eggplant Pizzas

Wish me luck! I shall be back Tuesday when the journey begins.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Why I've Been Absent

I've been gone for awhile. Which is OK, because I have been working on another creative outlet. This post doesn't really go with the theme of my blog but that's OK! It's my blog and I can do what I want.

I am still doing nail designs and I have a few really cute designs I plan on posting soon.

I've been so busy lately because my husband and I are expecting our first child in the beginning of August this year. We've been trying to pick out names (we've narrowed it down to 4!), nursery decoration, necessities, etc all fitting these in between Dr's appointments and our social life. In addition I enrolled in a photography class. I recently bought a Cannon Rebel T3i and I didn't know how to use it. Now I am slowly learning and I am also learning how to edit the photos too.

I wanted to share some of my photos here. I am new, and inexperienced but I really like the way these turned out. Enjoy :)

Our new kitten, Axl

Scorpion Gluch at South Mountain 

South Mountain

South Mountain 

Time with my niece in Flagstaff

Messing around with my macro lens

My sister Megan at Glamis Sand dunes


My husbands bass

After a good rain

Mesa Arts Center

Mesa Arts Center

Mesa Arts Center

After our first rain in 70 days

After our first rain in 70 days

The orange tree in our backyard