Monday, November 24, 2014

Jamberry giveaway and blog party

By now, you have probably heard of Jamberry nails.
It seems like they are popping up everywhere!
I finally tried my first pair at a craft fair a few weeks ago and I really liked them.
In case you hadn't heard or just passed by the booth at the local craft fair and didn't stop,
Jamberry are vinyl nail wraps available in 300 different {amazingly cute!} designs.

My tween daughter has been a fan for a few years and I have even bought her a few wraps
{they make great stocking stuffers}
but until I tried them myself, I wasn't sold.

My nails take a beating!
 Between painting projects and hot glue and washing dishes, no nail polish stands a chance!
But when I do my nails I feel super girly and I usually stare at my hands like a zillion times a day.

 If you follow me on instagram you would have seen my first {mini} Jamberry manicure.
I was prepping for a craft bazaar and had been painting and using my hot glue gun for hours each day, and I was amazed at how well the nail wraps held up.

I've used nail wraps before and love them.
Especially on my toes because they last for a month or more,
but I wasn't convinced that they would stay on my hands.

I got so many compliments on my Jamberry manicure even a week after I had put them on and believe me, they had taken a beating and were still looking pretty darn good.

I'm pretty price savvy, and the sheet of wraps can seem a bit pricey,
but believe me, one sheet isn't just one application.

I have small nails, so I can get at least two applications out of each sheet,
sometimes more if I only want to use one or two as accent nails.

Here's a helpful breakdown to how many uses you can get out of a sheet.


If I were to go to a salon to get my nails done, I would be paying far more,
and the application wouldn't last nearly as long.

I just ordered some Jamberry Juniors for my daughter.
They are the perfect fit if you have little nails or if you are buying for a little girl.
Don't forget to check out the mommy and me collection as well!

Because I share only what I love on my blog,
{it's my blog I can do what I want neener neener}
I thought I would open up a Jamberry catalog party with a giveaway for my readers.

You can plan a mother/daughter date during Christmas break,
get your nails as dolled up as the rest of you on New Year's eve, plan a girlfriends nails and wine night or stuff some stockings.
You can shop here
{don't forget those teachers and girlfriends on your list!}


Enter to win the Winters Edge nail wraps 
{as seen above}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know you will love Jamberry as much as my daughter and I do.
Happy shopping!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cleaning up those kitchen messes! Plus a $2000 giveaway!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Rock-it Oil. All opinions are 100% mine.


About seven years ago, my husband and I upgraded the old counter tops in the kitchen in our first house from large stone tiles to slab granite.
It was a change that I had been wanting to do for years and we were so happy with the result!

It's sort of funny, that the exact same granite we picked at our old house, is the same granite that the builders and previous homeowners selected for our new house.

I cook nearly every meal at home, and I love having a functional kitchen that makes it easier to prepare and cook our meals. 

In fact, the kitchen is one of the most used spaces in our home {especially with three kids in the house, one of which is a teenager!}, so it gets not only a lot of use, but it sees it's fair share of messes!

I am determined to send my kids off into the world knowing how to cook and prepare food for themselves, but that learning process, isn't for the faint of heart!

We've had our fair share of egg shells in dough and more flour on the counter top than in the bowl!  But they are learning.

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I've watched enough house hunting shows and read enough entertaining magazines to know that most parties and events usually occur {or end up} with people gathering in the kitchen.

The holidays are just around the corner and I know we will be entertaining, but I'm always looking for easy ways to go from messy to festive in a matter of minutes.

 photo cleandirty.jpg

Even though I may have been cooking all day, I don't want my kitchen to look like I don't know how to clean my house! And I don't want to sweat it when my kids are practicing their cooking skills and making messes food.

One of the things I learned when I was a newbie granite counter top owner is that not all cleaners are acceptable for stone surfaces. I don't want to be using harsh chemicals that will scratch my surfaces or remove the protective coating.

I have been using Rock-it Oil Stone from Home Depot to clean my stone surfaces. And we have a lot of them!  From travertine in the bathrooms to granite in the kitchen, I use Rock-it Oil Stone to clean all my stone surfaces.

Not only does it get impossible-to-see and hard-to-reach dirt, but it also takes care of grease and stains.  It even polishes without streaking.  It's even food prep surface safe, biodegradable and environmentally friendly.

All you need to do is spray it down

 photo spraycleaner.jpg

and wipe it off.

 photo wipe.jpg

Your stone surfaces will go from messy to gleaming! You can even see the shiny reflection and I didn't even have to scrub or polish!

 photo cleancounter.jpg

Because I know that you will love brand new granite counter tops as much as I did, Rock-it Oil Stone is having a giveaway you should enter.

Winner receives $2000 to use towards new granite counter tops!

The contest ends on December 31 and the winner will be announced on January 5th on the Rock-It Oil website.

Enter to win! 
Rock-it Oil Stone Giveaway - Upgrade your Kitchen with $2000!

Make sure you get all the latest updates and news at the Rock-it Oil Facebook Page
Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Accessorize plus a giveaway

For years when my kids were little, I wore nothing but my diamond stud earrings that my husband got me as an anniversary present.
Babies would be pulling on my earrings, and quite honestly, I didn't have enough time to hem and haw over what accessories to wear when I barely had enough time to shower!

My kids are older now, and it's been hard to break out of the rut of not making time to accessorize.
I love earrings and bracelets and necklaces, I just don't have a lot of them.

Recently, JTV gave me the opportunity to select a piece of jewelry that I loved.
Any piece.
It was hard to pick because there were so many great pieces.

I loved this cabochon cuff bracelet.
Partly because it's sapphire blue like my birthstone.
I was also a big fan of this link bracelet.
Since I'm breaking into this accessory wearing thing, I gravitate to things that are versatile
and this looks like you could wear with with so many things.
I'm always looking for simple yet classy earrings.
That color!


Talk about making a statement with this orange jasper ring.


And while we are talking statements, 
this bib necklace could take a little black dress up a notch.


If you love vintage like me, you will love the Titanic collection.
Holy cow!  I think I want one of everything.

While there were so many things that enticed me, I finally settled on these 10k yellow gold chandelier earrings.


I love the sweet simplicity of them and in my wardrobe versatility is key, and they hit the mark!


JTV was nice enough to not only give me a pair of 10K yellow gold Filigree Chandelier earrings, but they sent me a pair that I could share as well!
I know you will love them as much as I do!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see some of my other favorite accessories, you can follow my Pinterest board.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Skip the family photos on the train tracks, the lesson that we learned.

It's nearly holiday card time, which means, it's also time for your family to be heading out and posing for family pictures.
Several years ago our family had a close call while trying to get some photos on train tracks.
I was reminded of how close we came to tragedy when I watched a 20/20 show on Sarah Jones.
Sarah Jones was a 27 year old film crew member that died earlier this year while filming a movie on train tracks in South Carolina.
I thought that it was worth sharing our story again, in the hopes that other families would heed the warning.
This is the story from my blog post on October 27, 2011.

Lesson learned: Don't play on the train tracks.


For the past few months, I have been pinning family photos for a recent family photo shoot with local photographer Kris Allan.

We've done the beach pictures before and I wanted to try something different. I fell in love with these pictures taken on train tracks. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's the vintage feel of a railroad or the cool industrial aspects or the rugged patina of the equipment, regardless, I knew I wanted to take some pictures on some train tracks.

 And why not? Train tracks are everywhere around here since our area has one of the largest container ports in North America. I thought I did my homework by checking the train schedule of the local train station we were using on a Sunday afternoon. To the best of my knowledge, the train station was closed on the weekends. However, we later found out that just because the station is closed, it does not mean that the tracks are closed to all through traffic.

 My husband, Mr. Safety, even thought that if a train was coming through town, it by law had to slow down to 30-40 mph as it passed. Slow enough that we would have enough time to react and move if a train was coming. We quickly learned that we were both wrong. We had a fun photo session on the tracks by the station, blissfully ignorant of any harm that may come our way in the form of a speeding train. The kids ran up and down the tracks, as a family we precariously balanced on the rails and we even set up vintage suitcases as props to sit on.

 We finished taking pictures at that particular area and moved on to another location. While I love all things vintage, I also love anything brick and old. We found a brick building near the train tracks that was the perfect backdrop for individual pictures of the kids.

 While Aidan was busy getting his picture taken, Owen our eternal curious daredevil found his way past the guardrail and up on the train tracks again. Owen is only 6 and he loves to look at how things work and how things are made. He was peeking around at the bolts in the rails as I tried to watch him and his older brother getting pictures taken and watch for cars on the small alley way road that ran between the tracks and the building.

 I had just told Owen that I was thinking he should be getting down from the tracks and was starting to rethink the idea of him being on the tracks even if the trains weren't working on the weekends.

Just as he was slowly starting to make his way off the tracks a man with a large dog walked over and approached us. He asked if that was my son and told me that he needed to get off of the tracks. The man told us he worked for the train and was in charge of that stretch of track and told us that as we spoke a train was heading our way.

 We looked down the track and saw a headlight about a mile down the very same track that my son had just been balancing on. The railroad crossing arms were just then starting to ding and come down to close that portion of the road off. He told us that the train was coming at around 70 mph and that just two days earlier there had been a fatality on these very tracks.

 In our ignorance, we thought that there would surely be a sign that a train was coming. The tracks would start to shake, the horn would blare, we would hear that little chug chug chugging down the way, but the reality was there was none of that.

We heard nothing until the train was blasting past us mere feet away. We thanked the man and he walked away. It didn't sink in until later that evening (1:15 am to be exact as I tossed and turned and was unable to sleep or think about anything else) how dangerous the whole situation really was.

As a parent, my job is to make good choices for my family. To protect my children and to set a good example for them. I did none of these things all in an attempt to get a good family picture. I realized later that the man who came wandering down with his dog was nothing short of an angel sent from God as a protection for my family.

That the situation on the train tracks could have ended so much differently. That our family could have been changed forever because of my selfish nature. I'm using this situation as a learning experience. I've apologized to the kids for my poor choices and lack of judgement and I am making sure that through our experience that someone else may become more aware to the dangers of the rails. A picture isn't worth it. Your family is.