Thursday, June 27, 2013

Top 10 bargain Ideas

Today my post is going to be all about bargain ideas. I pulled some of these ideas from my Pinterest boards and just had to put them all together on one blog post to share.

Here are my top 10 bargain ideas from my personal catalog and Pinterest:

Picture courtesy of holycrickey
10. DIY Air fresheners - original pin here. I spend a lot of money buying refills to my air fresheners and if you have the empty bottles to many of these oil infused ones, you can actually refill them by purchasing your own oil scents. You can get these scents at some whole food stores (like peppermint  vanilla etc.) and even some mall stores and Wal-marts will carry the oil scents.

With this thank you card, I used the
cut outs from the card I received from
the individual I sent this to. It was a nice
extra touch.
9. Make your own cards. I don't have much of a crafty gene, but I could pretend that I did when I started making my own Birthday/Thank you cards. These help save a lot of money and make the person you are giving them to feel a touch of warmth because they know it came from you. You can buy blank cards at the dollar store in packages, or at craft stores. You can usually get about 30 to a box for about $10. Pair with a coupon to save %40 like I did at Jo-Ann. Then use ribbon, scrapbook paper, or cut outs to create a unique cute handmade card. Here's another DIY card idea.

8. Wrapping made easy and cheap! I am a firm believer in not spending $500 on a roll of wrapping paper. I recently started wrapping gifts in some left over tissue paper I had from after my wedding. Then used some ribbon and viola! I had a great looking gift wrap and cost much less. You can go to the dollar store to get some tissue paper or if you are an on-line shopper like me, you can go to Papermart. This place is amazing and has great prices! Pair your tissue paper with a cute bow or wrap it in a ribbon. You can use ink stamps on tissue paper as well to add some more pizzaz. Do a Google image search for "stamp wrapping paper" and you can get a ton of ideas. You can also use magazines, check out my blog post here.

7. Save money on dinner by crock pot cooking. You can cook for many people at once, in one dish, and do it in a very inexpensive way. Slow cookers or crock pot cooking can change the way you feed your family if you just give it a try. It's very easy and you'd be surprised what you can cook in them. This blog has so many slow cooking idea's, you will never get bored. I've tried many of them and they are all really good!

Photo and blog by
'TheCountry Basket'
6. DIY Foam soap refill. Stop buying the expensive foam soap. Use your old bottles to make refills at home. This is very easy and will save you tons. This blog goes into detail about how to refill those bottles you already have at home and how to even add colors to match your rooms. This is one trick I keep up my frugal sleeve.

5. Buy in Bulk! This is not a new concept or is it a difficult concept. When you can buy in bulk. You will save so much money and spend less time at the store. My one piece of advice with this, is make sure it's a good deal. My husband likes to think that everything in Costco is a good deal because it's bulk. Sometimes it's not. For example I have found that speciality items (like chips, candies, 100 calorie snack packs) are not unless you have a coupon. Take time, plan your shopping trip and do your homework. Once you do this it becomes second nature. Also, if you are at the store, and there's a good deal stock up! This is where tip #4 comes in handy...

4. Freeze what you can when you can! There are so many things that you can freeze that most people didn't know about. Until recently I would let bread go moldy because we didn't use it before it expired. Now, when I buy bread (I try to make it when I can) I immediately put it in the freezer. I just microwave it for about 5 seconds and it's ready to use. Here is a great blog that breaks down things that you can  freeze to help save money.

3. Make what you can when you can. Things like breads, rolls, cakes, cookies, brownies, muffins and so much more can be made at home and be better for you too. Those boxed items may seem like a good idea, but there can be so many ingredients that you don't know what you're getting. If you try making stuff at home, it may take a tad longer but you will save money and help you and your family in the long run by knowing what is in your food!

2. Make your own cleaning supplies. There are so many ways that you can make great cleaning supplies at home with just a few ingredients and save a lot of money. Baking soda, Dawn dish soap, and Hydrogen Peroxide are just a few ingredients that go into many of these cleaning solutions. There are so many blogs out there that show you how to make your own laundry detergent, bathroom cleaner, shampoos, spot remover and so much more. Recently, I had an accident with my cat, and though I was going to have to throw my mattress away and get a new one. After spending $2 I was able to remove the stain and the odor. I was relieved and now making so many of my cleaning supplies. Here are few blogs to start you out.
Hydrogen Peroxide is magic!
77 Ways to use baking soda 
Make your own Laundry Detergent

1. Become your own manicurist. Do NOT Pay to get your nails done on a regular basis unless you are pampering yourself. Everyone can have the talent to paint their nails, it just takes time. I understand getting yourself pampered is one thing, but to pay $35 to have someone paint your nails is insane. Infact there are so many blogs out there (including my own) that will show you fun tutorials using regular or gel nail polish. It's very easy to learn and for most people that I have spoken to who have adopted this mindset use the time as a relaxing experience. Spending time pampering yourself always feels good, especially when you know you are saving money. Plus, there is no better feeling than having people compliment your nails and you being able to tell them you've done them yourself! Below are some of my favorite blogs for nail tutorials.

My own - Fab & Frugal Gal (I had to plug my blog in here!)
Nail Slide
Chloe's Nails
Neverland Nail Blog

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Mustache You a Question

Something silly about it being 118 degrees outside this week. Well played mother nature.

In the spirit of this joke MN is playing on us, I decided to do it silly manicure. I did this with the gel system but you could easily do this with regular polish.

What you will need:
White or light color polish
Black polish
Thin nail brush
Base and Top coat

Start by prepping your nails as normal.

Paint your base coat and let dry (or cure with UV if doing gel).

Paint white polish and let dry (or cure with UV if doing gel). 

With the black polish, paint two small dots right next to each other (you can use a dotting tool). Then paint little "swooshes" going out from the side of each dot to create the mustache effect. Let dry (or cure if gel).

Top coat and you are done!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Handy Trick - Pet Uh' Oh's

Recently I was dog sitting my brother-in-laws pups. I can't really call them pups... they are more like bears. One was a 120 pound labradoodle and the other about 80 pound golden lab. The nicest dogs, really well behaved. My cat didn't agree. She hid in our room the entire time, and even though we allowed her time alone in the house without the dogs to do her business and eat, she ended having an accident on our bed.

I couldn't be mad at her. She was out of her zone and two dogs invaded her space. So I tried to clean it up with some paper towels and some pet cleaner. Not only was the stain on the bed awful looking, the smell was incredibly pungent. We let it dry, tried 409, bleach... everything and nothing worked. Luckily we have a spare bed and we were able to sleep on that. A few days later, the smell had not subsided and we thought we might have to end up getting a new mattress. Lucky for us I found this amazing blog post that helped me.

Let me tell you that I was amazed it worked! And worked it did!

If you don't want to click on the link, I will do a quick break down here. But I am not taking credit for this as I found it on this blog and the blogger deserves the credit.

Follow these steps:
If the "accident" is new and still wet, blot with paper towels.

If the "accident" is dried skip to the next step.

Mix a 50/50 percentage of white vinegar and water. I used about 1/2 cup (1/4c of each). Pour solution over affected area. Blot dry with paper towels.

Sprinkle baking soda over the entire area. I used about 1/4c because I had a big stain.

Mix 1 tablespoon dawn dish soap and 1/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and mix together. Pour this mixture over the baking soda.

Using a thick bristle brush (or your hand but I prefer to use a brush) mix the solution deeply into the stain. Let dry for about 15 minutes (it will be thick like a paste). Then blot the area one more time. It will still be damp, so let dry completely. It took about 4 hours to completely dry for me.

Then using the brush again, loosen the baking soda "solution" and it will turn into a 'dust'. Once you loosen it up, you can simply vacuum the surface to remove the dust and the odor and stain should be gone!

That's it and I was absolutely shocked that this worked. Since it did this is the only reason why I am sharing. Please send along to others so they don't have to live with that smell or thinking they will have to replace their mattress.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vegas Bling Nails!

I am headed to Vegas tomorrow so I decided to do some fun bling nails that also looked a little summery. I am calling this the Vegas Bling Mani. Hopefully my nails bring me luck and I hit the Jackpot! If I do, nail polish for all... :)

Here is what you will need:

  • Light blue polish
  • Grey polish
  • Base and Top coats
  • Loose nail glitter (I got mine here)
  • Small Gel Rhinestones (I got mine here)
  • Orange stick or toothpick
  • Nail brush

Step 1: Prep your nails as normal (file, clip, etc). Paint your nails with a base coat (if using gel polish, cure the base coat).

Step 2: Then paint light blue on your index, middle, and pinky fingers. Paint the grey on your thumb and ring fingers. Let dry completely (if using the gel, cure in the UV light). Repeat if you feel you need a second coat.

Step 3: On your blue fingers, place 4 or 5 gems (depending on finger size) at the base of your nail bed. To do this, take your orange stick and dip it in clear polish. Then open your gem container and use the orange stick to get one gem. Place the gem onto your nail. 

If you are using the gel polish, the gems should stick because of the "tacky" layer underneath after curing the last coat. I know it sounds weird, but trust me it works.

If using regular polish you may want to make sure your nail is a bit tacky from the last coat so the gems will stick. If your nail is already dry, try adding a layer of a topcoat so you can have something to stick the gems to.

Step 4: On your grey fingers, you are going to add the glitter dust. I used a silver glitter to match my silver gemstones. Dip your nail brush into the glitter and then coat your entire nail with the glitter. The nail brush should be dry when you dip into the glitter.

Step 5: Lastly, make sure you top coat like crazy so those gems will stick. If you are using the UV system, top coat gem nails and glitter nails at least two times. Cure between each coat. 

If using regular polish, do the same, but make sure that each coat is completely dry before you add another coat. 

Wish me luck people!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Polka Dot Fun!

Dust off those dotting tools and lets have some fun with polka dots. I am not a huge fan of the dot manicures but I tried this one and liked it alot. I did this one with regular nail polish but I am sure it can easily be done with the gel polish as well.

For instructions on how to do gel nail polish see blog post here. For list of what you will need to do your own gel nails at home look at this blog posting.

What you will need:
  • Dotting tool, like this one
  • Dark all over polish. I used purple
  • Three lighter colors. I used two different shades of pink and white.
  • Base and Top coats.
  • Small piece of foil
Step 1: Prep nails like normal (clip, file, etc) then paint your base coat and let completely dry.

Step 2: Paint your all over color. Add a second coat if needed but let dry completely in-between coats. 

Step 3: Start with one color at a time, and use your dotting tool to dot a few medium sized dots in a diagonal direction across your nail. It's easiest if you place the color on a foil piece and dip the dotting tool onto the foil instead of trying to dip the dotting tool into the bottle of polish.

Try dotting a few dots onto the foil before you dot onto your nail. This will ensure you have the right size dot, and you do not have too much polish on the tool.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 for each color. Let dry completely.

Step 5: Finish with top coat and let dry. 

Try different color combinations or try using glitter or other fun accents. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pink Zebra Bling Mani

So today I have for you a fun mani. I did this with the gel nails. I am pretty sure you can get the same outcome if you use regular polish. Thanks to my little sister Megan for being my model this time!

If you are wondering how to do gel nails at home, see my post here. Also, for a list of what you need to do gel nails at home go here.

What you will need:

Step 1: Prep your nails as normal. File, clip, etc.

Step 2: Paint your nails with the base coat. If using the gel nail polish, cure your base coat. If regular polish, let completely dry.

Step 3: Paint all of your nails with the pink and let dry completely (if using gel, cure in UV light). Repeat if you feel you need two coats.

Step 4: Now on all of your nails (except your ring finger) paint thin black stripes that look like zebra stripes. Easiest way to do this, is to put your polish on some foil, dip your thin nail brush into the polish on the foil, and starting at the sides of the nail create thin long "V's" to look like stripes. And then add squiggly lines around the "V". Practice on the foil before trying it on your nail.

If using regular polish let dry completely. If using gel polish, cure in the UV light.

Step 5: On your ring finger, we are going to add the gem accents. Start at the nail bed and place gems one by one onto the nail. There is no rhyme or reason to this, just position them so they all fit. If you are using the gel polish, the gems should stick because of the "tacky" layer underneath after curing the last coat. I know it sounds weird, but trust me it works.

If using regular polish you may want to make sure your nail is a bit tacky from the last coat so the gems will stick. If your nail is already dry, try adding a layer of a topcoat so you can have something to stick the gems to.

If you are having a hard time getting the gems out of the case, dip a tooth pick, or an orange stick into a clear polish and then dip into the gems. You can get one out and place it on your nail. (I don't have a picture of this but next time I do it, I will snap a photo to show you.

No need to cure or dry yet, move on to step 6.

Step 6: Clean your nail brush to get out the black polish. Use the same nail brush to add glitter accents to the back stripes. Lightly paint over the black with the glitter. If using regular polish let dry completely. If using gel polish, cure in the UV light.

Step 7: Lastly, make sure you top coat like crazy so those gems will stick. If you are using the UV system, top coat the zebra nails once. Top coat the "bling" nail at least two times. Curing between each coat. 

If using regular polish, do the same, but make sure that each coat is completely dry before you add another coat. 

This mani seems hard, but it's actually quite easy. You just need to have patience and practice. If you are uncomfortable with your zebra stripes, try practicing on foil. 


Monday, June 3, 2013

Reverse Ombre Gel Mani

I am back! It's been too long since I've posted. I know, bad me. I do have a few mani's lined up and I think you all will like them.

This one I did on my mom, (Thanks Mom for being my model!) This is a take on the glitter ombre manicure which I have had great feedback on. So we did some darker colors and started the glitter at the nails instead of the nail beds.

Here is what you will need:

  • Dark polish (we used black)
  • A lighter polish (we used a glittery pink)
  • Base and Top coats
We did this using the gel polish,but you can do this using regular nail polish too.

Step 1: Start by prepping your nails as normal (clip, file, etc).

Step 2: Paint your base coat and let dry (or using gel polish cure)

Step 3: Paint your dark color 2/3 the way up starting at the nail bed and stopping 2/3 up. The more nail you leave exposed, the more of your lighter color will show. **if you are doing this with gel nails, do not cure. You want the color to mix, so you don't want to cure before step 4. 

With regular polish, do not let polish dry, go right to step 4.

Leave 1/3 of nail exposed
Step 4: Paint the exposed nail your lighter color. You want a little overlap of the two colors so start painting just before the black stops. If you are doing gel, cure your polish. If using regular polish let dry. 

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 to get a more predominant ombre effect. 

Step 6: Apply your top coat and cure or dry! Have fun and try some fun color combinations! 

P.S. for those of you wondering what the white tipless glove thing I am using, it's a glove to protect your hand from unnecessary UV exposure from the gel light. Since I do the gel nails a lot, I decided to invest in these. If you don't do the gel nails that often you don't need to worry about the exposure. You can buy them on amazon.