Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jamberry Review

I was recently asked to do a review of Jamberry nail products & also the Jamberry Nail Art Studio. The following are my own opinions & I was not asked to say anything specific about the products or program.
I was definitely a bit of a skeptic when it first came to Jamberry nail wraps. I rarely even paint my nails, mostly because the polish just doesn't last very long, & I hate having chipped polish. I also will never fork out money on a regular basis (or ever) to have my nails professionally done. I have other things on which I'd rather spend money! So when my friend became a consultant, I ordered a sheet of wraps mostly just to support her in her new business. I can say that I was happily surprised by the results. I started out with the mint green chevron print (just wild enough for me).
Mint Green

Pros of the wraps:
  • Each sheet is only $15 & you can get multiple manicures out of each sheet.
  • They come in so many different styles that you can definitely find something that fits your personality & style.
  • They are fairly easy to apply. Just select the right size for your nail & trim them to fit your nail exactly, then heat it slightly with a blow dryer, & firmly press onto your nail. You can file the end to make a perfect fit & seal them on. (I am curious to try out the Jamberry heater, but I just haven't wanted to spend the money on it yet. The mini heater is only $19)
  • The wraps lasted at least two weeks on my finger nails & after about three weeks I removed them from my toenails because I wanted to try a different wrap & because they had grown out quite a bit. They were still firmly attached to my toenails, which was also a surprise. 
  • I do like how easy they are to remove, though. I just used a q-tip with some rubbing alcohol & gently pulled the wrap off while rubbing the nail & back of the wrap with the alcohol.
  • After applying them to all ten of my fingers & all ten of my toes, I still have enough left that I could still do another manicure, & probably have more left over to use on one or two fingers as accent nails with polish on my other nails.
  • I think I like them best on my toe nails because they last even longer & it's easier to hide crazy toenails than it is to hide crazy finger nails. =)
  • So much easier than nail polish, especially since they don't chip or need to be retouched.
  • More fun than nail polish because of all the different prints & styles.
Cons of the wraps:
  • Sometimes if you don't trim the wrap quite right, then the edge peels up a little bit, which is kind of annoying. The rest of the wrap seems to stay on just fine, you just have a little bit of a flapping edge.
  • They last so long that sometimes you want to peel them off before they come off just so you can try something new.
  • Still more expensive than just a plain old bottle of nail polish.
Pros of Nail Art Studio:
I created this minty green set of wraps in the NAS.
  • If you can't find a wrap in a style that you like, you can just create it!
  • It's easy to upload your own images to use on your custom wraps.
  • There are a good variety of print styles built into the program
  • The "Apply to Multiple" button lets you copy your design onto the other wraps in the design very simply.
  • It's free to use the software.
  • It automatically saves your designs, so you don't accidentally lose it halfway through.
  • It saves your uploads for future use & it's easy to delete any uploads that you no longer want.
Cons of Nail Art Studio:
  • The work area is kind of small, so resizing larger images takes a bit more time than I'd like.
  • There is no Undo button.
  • When uploading files you can only do one at a time, instead of being able to select multiple files & then click open. It just makes the process that much slower.
  • You have to use the program in your internet browser, rather than a downloadable program, so eventually it tends to slow things down for using so much memory.
  • You can't easily share your designs for others to purchase (though Jamberry says that this feature is coming soon. They also say a designer royalty program is coming soon which would be really awesome!).
  • An eyedropper color-matching tool would be really nice
All in all I think the Nail Art Studio is pretty good though it could use some improvement & it's fun to be able to create my own nail wrap designs. I also love the quality & durability of the Jamberry wraps & would definitely recommend them! Check it out {here}.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014

We had a fabulous Halloween this year. For dinner I made dinner in a pumpkin, sort of following this recipe. I set the table with my felt spider web table runner & long taper candles. I had to hang a sheet on the dining room window to make it a little more spooky, but my kids thought it was fabulous, probably because we never use candles. Once the girls finally finished eating, after various reminders that they wouldn't get any candy if they didn't finish their dinner & one spilled cup of milk, we were ready for trick or treating. I snapped some pictures of them out in the front yard & was blessed with perfect lighting & a beautiful yellow-leafed tree in the neighbor's yard. Then we were off to the races. They did a great job knocking on doors & ringing doorbells when they weren't distracted by crazy decorations. They also stopped to pet every cat that we saw, which turned out to be quite a few. We came home with a modest amount of candy, which has since been strewn all over my living room floor. I'm planning on vacuuming up the nerds & skittles once the dust settles. I hope you had a fabulous Halloween! Now, enjoy some cuteness overload, brought to you by Anna & Aurora.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Real-life Christmas Gift Ideas {Part 2}

Here are five more of my favorite products that would make great Christmas gifts this year! All of these are things that I've personally bought, or been given as a gift. They've all held up to months, if not years of use, & I'm impressed with each of them.

1.BANG! The Bullet - This is another one of our favorite games. It's best played with a larger group of 6-8 people. Each person is given a role of either Sheriff, Deputy, Renegade or Outlaw. Depending on your role, you are trying to kill certain other players & you use cards to shoot, dodge, punch, or evade. It does take a little bit of brain power to learn how to play, but once you get the hang of it, it's a lot of fun. You can buy the game in bits and pieces, or you can get the whole set in the bullet for a much better price.

2.Simplicity Bias Tape Machine - This little machine has changed my life! I was making bias tape & ironing it by hand when I first started my Etsy shop. I started to feel like an old lady with arthritic hands after a while, and then I discovered this bias tape machine! It's magical! If you know someone that does a lot of quilting, or uses a lot of bias tape, they will love you forever if you give this to them! You still have to cut & sew the bias tape, but then you run it through this machine & it automatically irons it for you. I've made over 2,000 yards of bias tape & it's still going strong! It's a great buy & well worth the price. You can also purchase different sizes of folders that attach to it to make various sizes of tape.

3.Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker - We really love our Zoku! It really does let you make Popsicles in just minutes. We just keep the base in the freezer all the time, and just pull it out when we want to make a batch. I like to use fruit juice or thinned down yogurt for breakfast popsicles. We've also made pudding pops & fruit juice pops with chunks of fruit stuck to the sides of the base. It's great for summer & my kids love that we don't have to wait hours for the pops to freeze. It's a much better price now than when I bought it.

4.Play Tunnel - My kids love this tunnel! It's great for using as an entrance to a blanket fort, or just for crawling through in the play room. They also like to get inside and roll back and forth. I like that it collapses flat for easy storage & it's held up really well in the 2 years that we've had it.

5.Tickle Monster - Books are always a safe gift for my kids. They love to get new stories, especially interactive ones! This Tickle Monster book is so fun! It's hard not to tickle your kiddos as you're reading the story. The illustrations are adorable, & your kids will beg you to read this over and over. The author also wrote the Boogie Monster and it's just as fun!

Find part 1 {here}.

November 2014 Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The Primary theme for November also comes from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." I have seen this principle at work in the life of my own family. When we take the time to read scriptures together, pray together, & teach and learn together, I see a real difference in the way we interact with each other. That doesn't mean our home is rainbows and bliss all the time...I mean, we're only human. But it does mean that we try a little harder to be a little kinder, and who couldn't use a little more kindness in their life? Why do we try so hard to make our families better? Because we believe that we will be together for eternity. No one wants to spend eternity with someone they don't like. I love my family, & because I want to spend eternity with them, I'm going to work as hard as I can to make our family a happy one.

Get the free printable by clicking {here}.