Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Taco Hash

I don't know about your family, but mine LOVES Mexican food.  Sometimes we get tired of regular tacos, and I often don't have the time after work for homemade enchiladas, etc. So, I found a new way to put together those tastes that they really love - Taco Hash!

It couldn't  be easier:

1 bag frozen hash brown "crowns"
2lbs ground beef
2 packets taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can sliced black olives (optional)
1 sm can diced green chilies (optional)
1 bag (2C) shredded Mexican cheese
Shredded Lettuce
Sour Cream
Green Onions (chopped)

Using large, rimmed baking sheet, cook crowns per package directions in a single layer.  As crowns are cooking, brown ground beef, drain and prepare per taco seasoning packet directions.  Open cans of vegetables and drain.  (For tomatoes you may want to strain/rinse them to get extra liquid out).

Remove crowns from oven but leave on baking sheet.  Take seasoned beef and distribute over the crowns.  Sprinkle entire sheet with olives, tomatoes, and chilies (or toppings you prefer).  Cover entire meal with the bag of shredded cheese.

Put back in hot oven for about 10 mins or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove, cut into sections and plate.  Cover with lettuce, and top with sour cream and onions. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let's Talk About Nails Again - Specifically JAMBERRY!

Ok - so you guys know I did the full run on Shellac vs Axxium.  And the Shellac was generally great.  The upside was shiny, strong, non chip polish for weeks.  The down side was the cost of getting all the gear to do it at home, the cost of the polish, the limited number of colors, the time it took to remove them and the limited ability to do any kind of nail art.

Well.  this past October a friend threw an online Jamberry party.  I had heard the name bandied about but hadn't really paid much attention to it.  But I "attended" just as an act of support for my friend.  During the party the rep made these outrageous claims like:  These things will last 2+ weeks on fingers and 4+ weeks on toes; these things will not chip and fade; these things are made in the USA, non toxic, vegan, gluten free and cruelty free; these things have ZERO dry time and take about 15 mins to apply.    I was all "oh surrrrreee".   But I'm a bit of a sucker, so I tried some.  And I. was. hooked.  HOOKED.  Addicted.  Head over heels.  In love.  End of story.

So I did what any reasonable lady would do - I signed up as a consultant for the discount.  But once my friends started hearing about these things and seeing me with them on for weeks at time THEY wanted to know more and THEY were hooked.  So now I have a lovely little team of 7 gals, and have advanced through the ranks to Senior Lead Consultant with another promotion in view.  Crazy huh??  But I LOVE them.  And they do what they SAY they do!!!  And the team I work (my larger team) is an amazing group of kind and caring women.  Totally WIN WIN!

If you want to try them out let me know!  Or better yet, book your own Facebook party here and never leave your couch while earning FREE Jamberry because - FREE!  http://jamonkristi.jamberrynails.net/host/Schedule.aspx

Here are a few of my recent "Jamicures" (and get ready to squeee - they make a "juniors" line for our littlest divas!!).  Find all of them here:  http://jamonkristi.jamberrynails.net/

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pinterest-worthy Double Bun

Yes, this is a selfie of my own hair - no fancy photogs here!
For weeks I've been trying out lots of Pinterest up-do's.  Some have turned out alright.  But most have apparently been of the misunderstanding that I have 4 hands, eyes in the back of my head and thick hair down to my rear (instead of the fine slick hair I have down to just past my shoulders).  So today I was playing around and inadvertently created my own updo.  I love the look of a "sock bun" but don't like having to wrap and pin all those ends.  I figured I'd share my eureka since, unlike many of the updo's found on Pinterest - it's not hard!

What you'll need:
A hair donut or sock bun form
2 hair elastics (I prefer silicone ones like these which you can find in many brands)
2 bobby pins

How to:

1) Put your hair into a pony in the high-middle of the back of your head  - secure with an elastic.

2) Create a bun using your hair donut or sock form - if you don't know how check out this good video tutorial (Hint; if you have your sock form or hair donut already, skip to 2:18 and then STOP after she uses the second elastic!):

3)  By now you have your bun with the second elastic holding it in place but with all your ends hanging out all over.   Gently gather all your ends at the top of the bun on top of your head, wrapping the ones from the bottom gently around and up so as not to disturb the bun.   Once you have them all at the top gently run a fine-toothed comb through them and gather them in one hand.  
4)  Take the ends and roll them under (toward your face) so that you now have a "tube" of hair - hold it there with the fingers from one hand.  Using the other hand insert a bobby pin into the bottom of the tube - one from each direction (left and right) securing the bobby pins to the "base" of your hair you pulled back for your pony.  Don't worry if the pins show right now.

5)  Once secured, gently take each end of the "hair tube" and slowly pull it down until the ends are flat to your head and you can't see any open space.  Smooth out the tube gently with your fingers and make sure hair is distributed evenly.  

6)  Spray away!   Voila, you're done!

Of course you can put the "tube" on the bottom, the side, wherever it suits you best!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

DIY Bollywood Bracelets

Recently I saw an ad on Facebook for "Bollywood Bracelets" selling for around $20 + a pop.  These bracelets were made of brightly colored fabric braided with a shiny notion of some sort.  I figured I could make them much more easily and cheaply.  I was right!  And I got everything I needed in one stop at my local big box craft store. Here's how:

What you need:

  • 1/4 yd fabric (you can use a cotton fat quarter like we did, or you could get some cool old shirts from your local thrift shop and cut them up!) You'll actually need way less, but fat quarters are handy.
  • 1/2 yd trim/notion string (if your wrists are small you could likely get by with 1/4 yd)
  • Ribbon crimp ends (ask for these at the store if you need help - I suggest med or large size)
  • Jump rings
  • Some sort of bracelet closure that can be attached via jump ring - we used magnetic closures
  • Hot glue gun w/glue
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Iron & ironing surface (I used a hand towel on top of my crafting table)
  • Liquid stich (optional)

Step One:
Cut your fabric into strips about an inch to an inch and a half wide depending on how wide you want your bangle when you end up - keep in mind we'll be folding these in thirds though.

Step Two:
With fabric face down on your ironing surface, fold one edge in to about the middle and iron it flat.  Fold the second edge in over that one, again ironing it flat.  Do this to both strips.  You'll thus end up with two little fabric "ribbons".  Below the one on the far left is what you'll see when you iron them.  The one in the middle is "face up".  This is where you can use your liquid stitch to seal them shut if you want to.  I don't mind mine fraying and looking a little rustic so I chose not to. (NOTE: if you're using old shirts make sure they are cotton or another ironable fabric.)

Step Three:
Safety pin your three bracelet sections together (strip of fabric, notion, strip of fabric).  Begin braiding them together keeping your tension relatively tight.

Step Four:
Once you reach your desired length (remember you'll be adding on about an inch of length with your clasp and findings) cut your remaining fabric/notion off while pinching the braid closed.  Take the ends and hot glue them together allowing the glue to cool before moving on to the next step.  Try not to hot glue your fingers.  You will - but try not to.   Remove safety pin and glue your starting end in the same manner.

Step Five:
Take one of your ribbon crimp ends and place it over one end of your bracelet using pliers to pry it open a bit if necessary.  Using pliers, crimp the end over the bracelet tightly, hopefully getting some of the cool-ish glue in there in the process.  Do this to the other end as well.

Step Six:
Using pliers, pull open two jump rings and place them through the loop on the end of the crimp end.  Before closing the jump ring, put one end of your clasp inside the jump ring, then using pliers, smoosh it closed.

All done!!  Look at you fancy pants!

Here are the ones I made with my girls today.  All of this stuff INCLUDING the glue gun and glue was under $50 (and could have been even less if we'd use cheaper notion strips)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shellac v Axxium - Follow Up

Ok, so its been about six months since I first discovered Shellac and since my friend and I put Shellac and Axxium to the test.  How have they held up?   Allow me to show you my newly Shellac'ed nails in a lovely spring coral (and yes my cuticles are horrid - we'll get to why shortly):

As you can see I'm still happily Shellacing.  My friend on the other hand quit the Axxium product not too long after my original post.  She felt the process was too time consuming and was thinning out her nails pretty badly.

My biggest hurdle to get past was price.  While my salon was very reasonable with its prices, it was still about $50 each time after tax/tip.  That means $100 a month on my nails and that wasn't feasible long term.  So, luckily I had a birthday in December and asked for the whole Shellac shebang for a gift.  Awesomely enough I got it.  And I had actually tracked down a two-handed light which saved LOADS of time for do-it-yourselfers (otherwise not only did you have to do 2 mins per coat, per hand, you had to just sit and wait while one hand was under the light  "baking").   [NOTE! The light I got is NOT CND or Shellac approved.  However it works just damn fine thankyouverymuch.]    Here is my lovliness:

I did also get the appropriate level of alcohol (99%), the Shellac remover pads, and some Solar Oil (which I clearly have not been using - hello cuticles as mentioned).   So while I don't get the salon level results (as in there is usually polish on my fingers and at least one nail is filed at a wonky angle) its worth it to be able to keep up with a product I LOVE without having a second mortgage on our home.

Up next for me?  I want to try the new Shattered Polish by OPI but integrate it with my Shellac.  What I'm planning on doing is starting a normal Shellac French mani and then putting the Shattered just on the white tips.  After that I'll use the Shellac top coat as normal.  I'm hoping it works... we shall see!  But I think the possibilities are endless here and I'm excited to have the ability to keep at it!

Look for that Shattered post soon - just waiting for that little black bottle to show up on my doorstep.  (And no, I almost NEVER shop brick and mortar anymore thanks to Amazon Prime - but that's another post for another day!)