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Ooo Lala French Gel Nails

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As of 02/2014:

Every since I had my first french manicure I’ve always loved them.  Thinking back, I’ve had manicures, acrylic nails, gel nails,  and now shellac or gel polish.  I don’t always go for french just because it costs more .  I just purchased the Sensationail french tip addition to my Sensationail at home kit.  It was on sale this past week at CVS buy 1 get one 50%.   I’m so happy I did.

Before I purchase the gel polish, I did some research and read that a lot of reviewers had problems with the  Sensationail French tip stickers they said they were hard to put on, would rip and wouldn’t stay.   It looks since then Sensationail has now added a bottle of white gel polish to the kit and suggest in the instructions to put an extra layer of top coat.

I’m so impressed with this kit.  I can understand the difficulty of adding the stickers.  I think with practice I will get them perfect.  I also learned afterwards to do my pinkie nails and work up to my thumbs rather than the other way around.   Pinterest pins and other blogs suggest on how to do the white tip polish instead of the stickers.  Looking forward to try that.  I’m happy.  What do you think?

After about 6 days I started getting some major chips so I decided to take it off.  I used the soak off with a cotton ball and foil and they came off very easily.   I plan on trying it again and see if I can getting it to last the full 2 weeks.   I’m not giving up!

What is gel polish?

Gel polish or soak-off gel polish is carefully applied in layers with a brush and then cured beneath a UV or LED light to dry and harden. It takes 30 to 60 seconds to dry in the LED light.  Gel nail polish lasts two to three weeks without chipping.   After the two or three weeks, the gel polish is soaked off the nails using acetone and gently removed from the bed of the nail.  The nails are not damaged or filed on.   The acetone can be drying and it is suggested to put petroleum jelly on the nail beds before soaking.

Here is a tutorial that I found that I’m going to try:

http://warfieldfamily.com/2013/05/diy-french-tip-gelshellac-nails/

These are my opinions and my personal review.

Update as of 12/13/14:

Since I wrote this post back in February, I was so hesitate to actually post it.    I didn’t have great success that time and I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right.  It would take me a while to do them.  Then the time to soak them off.  At one point, it took an hour or more to soak off and I was too tired to try again.    So I took a break a long break.   This Fall that I started getting interested in gel nails again, while over the summer I used regular polish.

I ordered the Gelish Foundation and Gelish Topcoat.  I also purchased the ASP version of top and foundation.   So far I have used Gelish and I’m in LOVE!  This stuff works great.   I don’t even remember trying the ASP and will at some point again but it is so hard to change something when the good is sooo good.  I can go for 3 weeks without chips!     My nails are growing out but the look so good.

I love the DIY guide above on French tips using the Gelish Foundation.  Then I started really researching Gelish and found a favorite blog.

http://www.chickettes.com/

http://www.chickettes.com/how-to-remove-gelish-polish/

I love Chickettes.  This blog is great she goes over all of the colors and how tos.    I’m so impressed!

Then the next phase!

I learned to just do clear gel polish and then use regular polish on top!  What a great idea!  Then if you want to change your color you can easily with non-acetone!   That explains why their polish looks amazing on Pinterest!

http://www.chickettes.com/gelish-french-manicure/

For my nails that break more often then others, thanks to Chickettes I’ve learned about “Acrygel”.  I did it so far on 2 of my nails to test it out and so far I’m impressed with how hard my nails are and how easy it was to apply and set.   I did a full manicure in my kitchen while taking care of my kids.    It hasn’t been a week but I’ve been doing a lot at my house since my little ones are sick this weekend.

http://www.chickettes.com/using-acrygel-for-added-strength-nail-repairs/

Have a great holiday season!

Holly 

Thank you for supporting Redberrydeals.  Some links are affiliate links.  These are all my opinions and personal products.

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Holly’s Challah Bread – Easier then you can imagine!

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I’ve been making this Bread as a tradition in our family since 2004. Yes! 10 years! I’m feeling old typing that. It was shortly after I got “my” bread machine. This recipe came from my bread machine cookbook and I have adjusted it so it works for me. I’m happy to share this with everyone! This is the best bread!

I like to make a large loaf as you can see from the picture above.

Ingredients:
2 Eggs, room temperature plus enough Water 80 degrees to equal 1 1/2 cups
Oil 1/4 cup (I’ve used all types of vegetable oil and it all works great.)
Sugar 2 TBL
Salt 2 tsp
Bread Flour or All purpose Flour 4 1/2 cups
Active Dry Yeast 2 tsp
OR
Bread Machine Yeast 1 1/4 tsp
(Note: A package of yeast is about 2 1/4 tsp. You can use all of the package too for convince.)

  • When I’m about to make this bread I will take my ingredients out about an hour or so before I start. That way everything is at room temperature. I freeze my yeast and “wake” it up by leaving it on the counter.  This works for me and my family since my little ones are always around I have to do something with them so I like to get it out and then do something else before we get started on the bread.

The best part is you can make this with all-purpose flour. Bread flour has more protein so it can create more gluten but per a lot of cooks and bakers all-purpose flour is just as good. I prefer unbleached.

  • Start with the wet ingredients. Most bread machines suggest wet and then dry. Some say the opposite. After making this with 2 different bread machines I’m convinced it is best to do wet and then dry.
  • Then add the dry ingredients just as listed above. Create a “well” for the yeast and place it in the “well”.
  • Follow your bread machine instructions for program DOUGH or White bread manual. You don’t want to bake this in the machine, because it is too large. Press START and walk away….

After it is done which can take about 2 to 3 hours depending on the machine. I’ve found it is ok if you forget about it. This happens in my household. So if it rises again in the machine that is ok! It will be better bread!

When you come back to it then do the following:

  • Place on a lightly floured surface. Divide into fourths. Use a pastry cutter with some flour dusted on it.  I prefer this style of braid but you can divide in as many braids as you want.  Then roll out the braid strands and braid it as usual then tuck the end under.
  •  Place the bread on a cookie sheet, and place a clean kitchen cloth  on top and place it in a warm location in the kitchen so it will rise a second time.  The bread should be double in size.  You can heat up your oven and then turn the oven off so that the warm oven can speed up the process.

Egg Wash
1 Egg
1 tsp water

  • After it has risen the second time, brush on the Egg Wash.
  • Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes until the crust is a light brown and glossy.

I like to let it rest after I take it out of the oven so that moisture can escape before storing it.  If you need to do that.   Or if you are making this for Thanksgiving just cut into it after a minute and you will have the best bread.  I promise it will be gone!   If not, it will make great turkey sandwiches.

This year I will take pictures of the step by step process I do.

Enjoy!  – Holly

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My ELF Order and Mystery Box Spring 2014

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On occasion ELF will have a Mystery box special.  After you put $20 worth in your cart you can qualify for a FREE Mystery box using the coupon code.   My total was $26.95.    I placed my order and the next day they shipped it out via Fedex Smartpost.  It took a couple days.   I was shock at how big the box was!

Don’t forget to use Ebates!  You do get a percentage back even from ELF.   Win win!

redberrydeals_elf_mystery2

Just the bag of what I purchased was big!

redberrydeals_elf_mystery3

 

This is what I purchased:

  • Pencil Sharpener $1
  • Crease Brush $1
  • Large Stipple Brush $3
  • Concealer Palette Light $3
  • Concealer Palette Medium $3
  • Mineral Eyeshadow Primer $3
  • Makeup Remover Cloths $3
  • Eye Brow Kit Medium $3

Total = $20 + shipping and handling:  $6.95

The Good!

I really like the crease brush since it does exactly that.  I do wish there was a brush available that was bigger like a tapered blending brush.   I plan to get some of Wayne Goss brushes next.

I was impressed with the Makeup Remover Cloths.  They really do work well.   I have been having a problem with taking off all of my mascara and eyeliner.   After washing my face with my cleanser is not enough and these cloths do a pretty good job.  I would give them 4 stars because it isn’t perfect.   I would probably buy these again.

I’m in LOVE with the Stipple brush!  This is my favorite brush.  I learned about the stipple brush from Wayne Goss and from MAC.  MAC sells one that is $50-$30!   I found this one for $3 and it is amazing.  It works great on putting primer as well as foundation and blending to a flawless finish.

My favorite surprise in my selection was the Eyebrow kit in Medium.  I had thought I would get this but I wasn’t sure if this would be a great color.  The powder is too red/light brown for me but the gel is a great dark color.   I plan on using the gel more and mixing it with some of my darker shades like the Maybelline single Taupe or Paula’s Choice Matte palette dark colors.

The Bad

I wasn’t as impressed with the concealers as I hoped.  I really wanted them so badly!  I got both sets just in case and they are just so dark for me.  I’m have very fair skin.   I plan on working with them some more but I doubt I will ever by them again.   They are very creamy and tend to fall into any wrinkle that I have.   Bummer!

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This is my Mystery Bag!   Again, I was so impressed with the size of the bag.

redberrydeals_elf_mystery5

 

This is what I received:

  • Geometric Eyeshadow 36 colors Addition II $12 currently on sale $6
  • Crystal Blush brush in Pink $5
  • Crystal eyeliner brush in Pink $5
  • All Over Color Stick in Toasted $1
  • Shimmer Lipgloss $2
  • Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon $3

Total Value = $28-$22 (depending on the sale item)

The Good

I really enjoy the Geometric eyeshadow set.  I don’t like the size of the triangle shapes because it is hard to fit my brush in some of the colors.  I probably won’t buy a set like this because of this but it is a great set to try and the colors are amazing.

I’m impressed with the Shimmer Lipgloss since I’m not a big fan of lip glosses like this.

I also liked the all over color stick.  I will definately try this in other colors like the pink.

I still need to try the waterproof eyeliner crayon.

The Bad

I wasn’t impressed with the Crystal Blush or eyeliner brush so I gave those to my daughter.  She loves them to play with.

Review

I would definitely do this again!   Even if they aren’t my favorite I can give these to other people to try too.   

I hope you like this post about my deal at ELF Mystery bag Spring 2014.

I do have some referral links in this post so thank you for supporting Redberrydeals!

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My Laundry Schedule

Redberrydeals_laundryTaylor

Back in 2012, I asked about how others did their laundry and heard several different responses.  In December 2013,  I asked my friends on Facebook how they handle all of their laundry and the responses got me on a mission.   I had to figure out a new system for my family.

Step 1:    I got everyone in my family a laundry hamper that fits ONLY 1 X-large load of laundry.   This is key!  If the hamper is too big then the loads get overwhelming.  If they are too small then it just seems like a waste of water and time.   The Jall hampers from IKEA work great and the price is right currently $4.99 each.

Redberrydeals_laundrybrady

Step 2.  I also created a hamper system for towels and delicates.  Towels are the easiest items to clean in my opinion so whenever I get a load of towels I can throw them in the laundry and put them away easily.  I love this picture by the way because my 2 year old took it.

Redberrydeals_laundrytowels

Step 3.  Everyday I do at least 1 load of laundry.  I find that it isn’t as overwhelming as it may sound.   Whoever has a full hamper that is the load for the day.  I don’t sort by colors and whites.  I throw it all in.   Since the laundry is only that person’s laundry the sorting is super easy at the end.  My daughter’s laundry will be taken to her room and the boy’s laundry will be taken to their room.

Step 4.  Label each of the hampers.  I used Vinyl with my new Silhouette Cameo.

redberrydeals_laundryroom_before2

Step 5.   When I put the laundry away for items that need to be hung up I do it as I take them out of the dryer.   I have a shower curtain rod hanging in my laundry room and I put hangers on it.    Then all I need to do is put away the rest.   That is it!

How do you do your laundry?  Do you have a system?   What do you think?

 

$1.00 off Spot Shot Stain & Odor Eliminator

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Update to Redberrydeals!

Hi to all of my readers. Welcome to 2013!

I have mentioned this in previous posts this last year and I thought I would get into more detail. 2012 was a great year for us. Watching our kids grow has been so rewarding. My husband and I have decided to create a company. I’m very excited. It will include several components to it including Redberrydeals and my passion for sewing and embroidery. I’m in the process of following the proper business creation procedures. I’ve been so busy with it that I’ve neglected adding the Shoppers Matchups each week. The time that took to prepare and post is more time then I have right now.   I will no longer add those matchups.

I’ve decided to limit my posts to Redberrydeals this year. I have some exciting ideas that I will try and create this year.

  • Posts about creating a small business.  The dos and don’ts.
  • Family Organization for 2013.  Since are family is now 5 members we have had to adjust quite a bit to little crawlers to now runners.  It is time to re-organize!   My goal is to make the house super simple.   Declutter, declutter and declutter.
  • More recipes.  I love sharing recipes and I love trying new ones too.
  • Share my new sewing and embroidery business as it gets moving forward.  It is a part-time at home business.  I truly believe you are most happy when you do things you love.
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Meal Planning 8/13/12

This is week 5 on creating a meal plan.  I fell off the bandwagon for 4 weeks!  I think I got in a rut about creating the meal plan.  So it is technically Saturday and I’m on my computer and MAKING myself do this.

Monday: Breakfast:Cereal Lunch  Left overs of stuffed peppers Dinner  Pasta bake

Tuesday:Breakfast Cereal and Yogurt Lunch  Sandwiches, veggies  Dinner: Roast Beef Sandwiches

Wednesday: Breakfast Oatmeal Banana Cookies Yum! Lunch Pasta bake leftovers    Dinner:   Turkey Burgers and veggies

Thursday: Breakfast Oatmeal Banana Cookies Lunch Fake Crab Sandwich and veggies  Dinner: Mac N Cheese with veggies Yum! – My kids LOVE it when I take the frozen yellow carrots and orange carrots cooked really well and then pureed and added to good old Mac N Cheese.  They eat it all up.  Yum!

Friday: Breakfast Cereal Lunch Fastfood treat Dinner: Grilled veggies and Shrimp cocktail

What’s for dinner at your house tonight?

Thanks to HealthyMenuMailer.com for the awesome meal plan chart. Check it out HERE. Thanks to orgjunkie.com for the encouragement.

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Spring Into Organization 2012: Laundry Room

After reading and admiring so many awesome laundry room posts I had to jump in and organize my laundry room. Here are some before pictures. Yes, there is dirty laundry on the floor and clean laundry hanging up. We are human!

Redberrydeals_laundryroom_before

Our house was built in 1980 and surprisingly they designed the house with some features we see in houses today like the laundry room on the second floor and 5 walk-in closets. Isn’t that unheard of for that year?

Redberrydeals_laundry_before

Be jealous! This house has lots of storage which is a great! I’m so fortunate! However, it can be a bad thing. Good thing because I can get organized, but it has been a bad thing because I haven’t the rooms and closets are messy and disorganized. Now it is the time to get organized! I’m so motivated now.

There are so many options for this small laundry room.

1. I could limit my detergent and laundry supplies and then make part of this a linen closet. Since we remodeled our master bathroom we don’t have a linen closet anymore. The reason I haven’t put linens in here is the lint from the dryer is pretty significant because in the winter we use the heat from the dryer in the house (see the box just over the dryer) and even with the filter we still have lint dust in the laundry room. I just store all of our linens in each room under the bed. It works.

2. Keeping most of the detergent and cleaning products in one room and away from the children. Storing the extra stuff in the basement.

3. I could add additional shelving so it could be both a place to keep my stockpile of detergent as well as the linen closet.

I’m thinking of sticking to option 2 for now it costs a lot less!

Here are some of the After pics. (I’m still adding some creative elements as I go along.)

I’ve created separate shelves for my supplies. All of the detergent and other harsh chemicals are out of reach of the children. Look at the top right and see that my detergent is exactly above the washer. Perfect pour right into the washer! Cleaning Supplies with the keep out of reach for children items are on the next shelf.

Stain Removers and Laundry Supplies are also out of reach of children.

Last but not least are my cleaning cloths like microfiber and dust cloths. The larger box still needs a label but is additional storage of cloths and toilet soft brushes.

Since I wanted to keep all of my cleaning supplies on hand but also out of reach of the kids I wanted boxes that fit the shelving but also also were heavy enough so they were hard to move. I discovered the wooden Prant boxes at IKEA and they are great. Doodle helped me build the boxes and had a blast doing it. She got to use the huge malt to hammer in the medal sides. I purchased 4 Prant boxes $6.99 each and 1 larger Prant box $9.99 each. Total Cost: $37.95

 

Redberrydeals_laundry room labels_fake_chalkboard labels

Fake Chalk Board labels!

Here I created some labels for my new IKEA Prant Boxes. I created these simply with my Cricut cutting out a couple designs using yellow for the background and black for the top piece. The yellow paper is 5 1/2 inches and the black paper is 4 inches. Then I used the glue dots. The perfect “chalk” was using my daughter’s Crayola Mini Twistables Crayons. I already had the supplies! Cost: $0.00

I later decided I wanted some clothes pins so I could clip the labels on the boxes as well as use them for other craft projects. I found a package of 50 at Walmart for $.98. Cost: $.98

What do you think?

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Meal Planning 4/9/12

 

This is week 15 on creating a meal plan for the week.   Trying to get back in the swing of things since last week was Spring Break.  The boys are having some teething issues and their molers are coming in this past week.

Monday: Breakfast: Cereal and yogurt Lunch leftovers from Easter Dinner: Pizza from my husband’s work

Tuesday:Breakfast Oatmeal and yogurt Lunch PB&J and fruit   Dinner: Pizza from Aldi (might change this)

Wednesday:  Breakfast Cereal Lunch Peas and Carrots  Dinner: Tenderloin with Salad

Thursday: Breakfast Muffins Lunch Hot dogs Dinner: Chicken fingers

Friday: Breakfast  Muffins Lunch Fastfood treat  Dinner: Hot dogs

Saturday: Breakfast Eggs Lunch  leftovers Dinner: Ham and Cheese Salad

Sunday: Breakfast Eggs Lunch Simple lunch Dinner: Pizza

What’s for dinner at your house tonight? 

Thanks to HealthyMenuMailer.com for the awesome meal plan chart.  Check it out HERE.   Thanks to orgjunkie.com for the  encouragement.

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We heat our house with a Pellet Stove and we save $100s each year.

I can’t believe it is Spring 2012. This winter has been a very mild winter for the Northern Virginia area. Last year was a different story. I want to mention that we use a Pellet Stove to heat our house. Have you heard of a Pellet Stove? Not many people I talk to have heard of it especially around this area of the country. They are very popular in the Northeast or Northwest.

A pellet stove is a very efficient stove. It produces a constant dry heat. It is environmentally clean by burning small hardwood pellets completely and creating a very fine ash. The emissions are basically non existent because the smoke is very little that comes out of the chimney.  It uses hardwood saw dust which is a renewable resource. The top of the stove called the hopper holds a 40lb bag of pellets and burns it constantly during the day. This version of the Whitfield Profile Insert has a thermostat control feature so it can start and stop during the day on its own.  We try and keep the house at a comfortable 65+ degrees.

We love it! We have owned this stove since 2005 and we have another standalone in our basement when we spend time down there or if it is so cold that we need the extra heat. My husband’s family has been using pellet stoves for years. We have a house that has a heat pump which isn’t efficient when the temperatures are very cold. Our electricity bill would be very high if we didn’t have the pellet stove.  We keep our electric bill around $200 a month or less all year long.

The cost of a 40lb bag is anywhere from $4-$6 a bag.  We paid $5 a bag.   To lower the cost and make it easier on us we have them delivered to our house by the ton in the spring.  A ton is 50, 40 lb bags!  There are several companies including Ace Hardware that will do this type of service and it is worth it.  The cost per bag is lower because it is off season and the cost of delivery is cost effective since we don’t have to find the pellets and bring them home ourselves.   The cost per ton we paid last year was $253 including delivery.   We used 2 tons this year since it was the first year I stayed at home all day so we kept the house pretty warm.   We bought an extra ton last year so we still  have over a ton of fuel for next year.  We plan on ordering again in the spring at least 2 tons to have it ready for next winter.

That means this winter we used$506 worth of fuel to heat our home + the electricity costs to run the stove and heat pump.   We believe we would have spent much more in electricity costs and had a colder home if we didn’t use this stove.

If you are interested in a pellet stove I suggest looking at Craigs List and local Stove and Fireplace shops in the Spring/Summer when it is off season.   The price of the stove is cheaper as is the fuel to stockpile.

How do you heat your home?  What cost effective ways do you save on heating costs per year?