Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why I started selling Jamberry Nail Wraps

So, I got invited to a FB Jamberry party. Usually I roll my eyes at these things because I am just not that into those types of parties and I hardly ever actually use any of the things that people are selling. I usually participate and try to by at least something if it applies to me, but for the most part - I try to steer clear if I can.

BUT! One of my resolutions this year was to be less frumpy. So I have been painting my nails consistently since January and trying very hard to get into nail art because I find it fun. I have used the Sally Hansen Nail Strips before. (admittedly, I wait until they go on sale cause I'm cheap) I like them for their WOW factor because I could NEVER get any of the designs they make on my nails with regular polish. They can be fairly simple to apply if they are fresh, but they reek of nail polish (because they are real nail polish) and there is a lot of waste in the packaging. Also, the first package I bought was dried out before I even opened it (which I didn't realize until round 2) which made them VERY HARD to apply and which meant that they started chipping and peeling away immediately.

When they chip or peel, my nails were chipping and peeling with them. Also, once one started to peel, the preschooler in me took over and I would peel the rest off which damaged my nails tremendously.

So, I stuck to polish for the most part, and added the nail strips occasionally. One thing I hated about the nail strips is that once you open the package, you have to use them immediately or they are no good. Even if you store them in a ziplock baggie (I thought I had outsmarted them and did one accent nail out of a whole package, came back a week later to use the rest and they were un-usable just like the package said)

So, I had been staying away from them. But, then I got invited to this FB Jamberry party - and I went to browse the site and FELL IN LOVE.

Here is what got my attention! This design got me.

  • They are made of Nylon, not polish so they won't damage your nails and you can take them off using warm water and coconut oil - so no acetone or polish ever has to touch your hands 
  • Since they are not made of polish, there is no "drying out" or becoming unusable - so one sheet will last you until you choose to use them all
  • They come in AMAZING designs and colors - including specialty ones like Autism Awareness, Hobbies like Running and there are dots and chevrons galore!
  • They don't chip or peel (as long as you put them on right - which is SUPER SIMPLE) and they last up to 2 weeks on your nails and up to 6 weeks on toes
  • They make Mommy and Me versions for kids as little as 3. Mommy and me, I mean come on!
  • You can make your own designs as long as you follow the copyright laws and can use images and logos and have them printed onto your nail
  • Did I mention the designs? I started to look at them and they have a buy 3 get one free deal - so of course I was going to order 4 - but then I had a hard time narrowing it down to just 4 - cause I wanted to many of them.I will admit that some of the designs that I thought I didn't care for, I have started to LOVE when seeing them on real hands. Something about seeing it on a website - just doesn't do it justice. The one below, I didn't care for at first - but after watching lots of people order it and lots of people posting pictures online of it - it's quickly becoming one of my new favorites.
  • So, I decided to join and sell them because I think other people would love them too and it would be a fun way to be social, get my mani fixes and share them with others. because seriously, they are amazing!
So, now the waiting begins as I anxiously await the arrival of my consultant kit. I hope to plan a mommy night with my local friends where I can show them just how easy it is to put them on and to see if anyone else will share in my new obsession. We can skip the nail salon, open a bottle of wine  or grab a coffee and have a mani night instead:)

Do me a favor and check out some of the designs through my site and tell me what are the ones that catch your eye the most. I want to order some inventory to have on hand and I figure it would be helpful to see which ones others would be interested in aside from my own personal tastes.

If you have any interest at all, please contact me as I'd be happy to answer ANY questions you have.

Thanks in advance for your interest.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bucket List - Flash Mob

So, I found Flash Mob of America on and had been trolling the site for awhile waiting for a flash mob that I could actually attend to pop up. Some of the ones in NYC have a 2 day set up. You rehearse one day and then come back for the actual flash mob performance.

With the kids, I found that to be too much time on a weekend to dedicate - so hadn't had the chance to actually do one. But then one popped up in Newark which is 10 minutes for me and I thought JACKPOT!

So, I signed up.  The way it works, is you register on the website and then they send you an email when it gets closer to the date of the event that includes a link to a secret video on You Tube with the choreography in it. Usually there are 2 videos, one that shows the whole dance and one that shows it broken down for learning.

Your responsibility is to watch the video and learn the choreography. This particular one was very basic and easy so it was just as easy as going to a Zumba class. Nothing fancy to do - no dance training needed:)

Then you are given a rehearsal location to go to. Our rehearsal was for 3 hours on Sunday morning and towards the middle is when they told us where the flashmob was going to be. It was at the New Jersey Devils Fan Fest event at the Prudential Center. The couple are huge Devils fans and the guy wanted to propose there. The inside joke between them was that the song (Rock your body) and part of the choreography was something the bride to be had walked in on her boyfriend dancing to when he thought no one was watching - so she apparently makes fun of him all the time about it. So, we were under the impression that she would:
 1) recognize the song
 2) recognize the dance move
3) totally freak out and be excited and jump for joy

Here's what actually happened.
1) we started dancing
2) it became TOTALLY obvious that we were dancing FOR them as they were the only ones in front of us
3) she made NO INDICATION whatsoever that she either recognized the song, or the dance
4) She did the total opposite of freak out excitedly and jump for joy
5) I'm talking total Stone face - kind of like resting bitchy face - only angrier.

I'm dead serious.

So, while we are dancing - all of us are kind of like.. uh oh - she doesn't realize, oh she hasn't figured it out yet, oh wait, I think she knows - uh oh she looks pissed..

SO, we finish and are just standing there waiting - the boyfriend is clapping - we're looking at him - FINALLY - after what felt like 10 minutes (ok it was probably like 10 seconds) He turns her around to face him and starts talking - gets down on one knee - she nods her head - then he shows her the ring and their family starts screaming and clapping and hugging.

It looked like she said yes. She did kiss him- but all in all, it was AWKWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall, it was fun. Not as mind blowing as I had envisioned because the crowd was kind of small and our group was around 30 people so the overall effect was not overwhelming. But, the people were AMAZING. The rehearsal was fun and I'd probably do it again if one came around that I could actually attend. 

I can't help but obsess about the girls reaction though. I mean - he took the time to put lots of effort, detail and MONEY into this. (he had to pay FMA And there was a video crew and photographers there too that he paid for) So, did he really just not know her well enough to figure out that it was the exact opposite of what she wanted? (like the guys who propose on the kiss cam at sports games and the girlfriends are totally disappointed?)

But, if you love him - wouldn't you fake it and pretend to be happy and then pout later in private? Or is that worse because then you are not being honest and genuine?   If he was totally off, and thought she would love it - how did that happen?

My lessons learned are the following:
1) it's a real rehearsal - you will get sweaty, and you should dress appropriately
2) wedge shoes are NOT acceptable (my ankles still hurt and it was 2 days ago)
2) having your family come to see you makes it that much more fun!

If you're thinking of doing one and the opportunity arises - DO IT. It's fun. The people are social and the dances are easy and it's very exciting being a part of something like that.

My favorite part is the staging - once you learn the dance - the producer assigns when you will start dancing. I was brought in very early on just because of where I had been standing during rehearsal - but I kind of wish I had lingered and started later because I love the effect of thinking you are standing next to someone who is just as surprised and confused as you are watching this group of people dancing and then they start dancing too. Most of the people in this group were eager to start early so almost everyone jumped in by the second chorus - but I think the build of people slowly joining in makes it more fun.

Bucket list item - CHECK:)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy Wife Happy Life

I can't stop thinking about a phrase I hear ALL THE TIME. Happy Wife = Happy Life - this is usually directed at a husband and it's intended message is that he should do everything he can to make his wife happy so that his life will be happy too.

I call bullshit.

Here's why. Everyone loves being taken care of once in a while. Everyone likes nice gestures and being spoiled and getting their way. (Me too, although I try to reciprocate once in awhile)

But, sometimes we are wrong and we shouldn't be given our way in an attempt to "make us happy" because it's easier or because that's just how it should be.

If I'm wrong - tell me I'm wrong and set me straight. It might not be easy - I'll probably be a bitch about it  -  but I need it so that I can grow as a human being. (And god knows, my bitchiness needs to be curbed sometimes)

Same thing for this idea that our husbands have to shower us with things all the time. If you want flowers - buy yourself some damn flowers - why is that wrong? I thought of this as I saw one of those Humans of NY pictures and a guy was holding flowers and the interviewer asked him who they were for and he said "they are for me - I like pretty things." I thought - holy crap - rock on guy - way to not have to wait for someone else to put a smile on your face.

All of these thoughts and feelings have led me to my next goal to add on to my current ones. To make myself happy. To be responsible to me.

Why do we have this idea that someone else has to make us happy? Someone else has to "do" for us?  I'm making myself happy and I want my daughter to grow up and to be able to do the same. Don't get me wrong - I hope she finds her knight in shining armor, (or in my case - my Maine resident with an ugly green hat and a bass guitar) but until she does and even once she has found him, I want her to be able to make herself happy. I want her to be interested in things. I want her to read books for pleasure. I want her to exercise because it makes her feel good - not because she thinks she has to or even worse, because she thinks she has to so that a boy will like her.  If she is able to do these things, she will be able to bring more to the table to any relationship she is in. She will be content - maybe not all the time, but most of the time, because she will accept no less for herself and she will not wait for, or expect someone else to do it for her.

What things do you do to make yourself happy?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Fog has lifted

Man, do I feel good. I mean, seriously - I'm starting to feel human again. And like a person other than "just" their mom. I am getting back into my hobbies and am the healthiest I have ever been thanks to eating better and consistently working out.

Things are just going very well. The fog of drowning under 2 little kids demands all the time has lifted and I can breathe again. Some people never experience that fog - congratulations - I, however felt like I was walking in quicksand almost all the time.

Part of it was the addition of my immune system decided to almost shut down with an undiagnosed thyroid problem which took a FULL year of meds to start to regulate. Part of it was having 2 little munchkins who interrupt every thought, conversation  and minute of your day. Part of it was making the switch from full time stay at home mom, to full time working mom.

But, I can say this - I am back and better than ever.

I have found a way to balance the working mom thing. I don't think I'd be this happy if I worked in an office 5 days a week - working from home allows me the opportunity to capitalize on every single spare second I have to get stuff done around the house AND put in a full 8 hours of work. Laundry, groceries, cleaning, cooking -I have found a way to master getting it all done and not being too overwhelmed. I have learned to multi task in ways I never thought possible and have figured out ways to make meals ahead so all I'm doing is heating up, sticking it in the crock pot, or warming before everyone gets home.  There are still days the kids eat PB and J because I didn't get it all done and didn't plan better for dinner, but more often than not - they are at least given real, home cooked food and they eat SOME of it for lunch AND dinner. I have started putting portions aside and freezing immediately for lunches later in the week versus throwing out un-eaten leftovers later on in the week.  I have switched to glass containers for safer heating for the kids. I have mastered the art of re-filling our snack drawers with labeled foods for the kids for easy grabbing. I have figured out a decent schedule for popping laundry in and switching it at just the right time so it's ready for folding in the 20 minutes it takes my family to get home while I cook their dinner. I have also realized it is best to have ONE PRE-Cooked meal in the freezer at all times. (Baked Ziti, Lasagna, Pulled Pork, etc... ) to help with my super busy/no groceries left days. I am making it work and I know there are lots of ways I can make it all better still - but I have come a LONG WAY from where we started.

I love my house. I mean LOVE IT. We have amazing neighbors and the only thing that irks me about one of them is how they park on the street- and seriously, it could be so much worse - they could be angry drunks like our last neighbors - so if parking is our biggest issue - we're doing ok!

I feel whole again. I have things to talk about other than my kids. (although they are still the primary topic of my conversations cause they are so damn cute and everyone should know all about them of course) I feel challenged - I have allowed myself the time to read books - actual real long books and go to book club again. I have allowed myself the time to knit and crochet and get better at that craft. Laugh all you want - it's an amazing stress reliever and is insanely satisfying to know that my kids think they can request any sort of ridiculous custom made item and I will be able to make it for them. (I don't always come through - but part of the fun for me is the challenge of trying)

I am a runner. I always hated running. I mean - I walked the mile in high school because it was funny and also maybe a little because there was no way in hell I was ever going to make it any other way. My initial goal was to run a 5K with my husband who had started running and to be honest, I didn't give it too much hope. I won't lie - it sucked - A LOT at first. I cursed him out (cause obviously it's his fault) every time I tried to run for the first 3 or 4 weeks of the Couch to 5 K program I started - but then one day, it didn't suck. It was awesome and I liked it... (Yes, I questioned it too and thought for a second maybe I was having a stroke - but no, I LOVE IT NOW!!!) I can do a 5k run in the morning before logging on for work and although it might not always be pretty - it has been the main reason that I am suddenly 2 sizes smaller than I was before. It's the reason I can chase my kids for more than 2 minutes before suggesting we play something else. It's something my husband and I now have in common and although we don't get the opportunity to run together often, we do it when we can and it's a great little date.

I am eating better. I won't eliminate anything - because let's face it- I have the willpower of a 2 year old in a room full of marshmallows and cotton candy - but I have ADDED a bunch of healthier foods and options to my diet and I can feel a difference.  More veggies, chia seeds, quinoa and oatmeal, smoothies for snacks, more salads and sweet potatoes. Personally, I don't see a difference other than my clothes being smaller - but it is more often than not that someone who hasn't seen me for awhile sees me and says OMG what are you doing - you look GREAT! (which of course, initially makes me feel awesome, and then instantly makes me question how bad I looked to begin with:))

Now, unfortunately it's not all rainbows and sunshine. My thyroid might be mostly under control - but I have been plagued with a crappy immune system since Benny was born and feel like I am "sick" more often than not. Allergies, sinus infections and migraines have been common partners in my life over the last year - but I am experimenting with different remedies and approaches to keeping that all at bay.  Enter hippy chiropractor, vitamin D, Echinacea, Vitamin C and actually taking my allergy medicine EVERY DAY plus Garlic pills (no order garlic pills are a lie BTW - they totally leave a nasty garlic ODOR/taste in your mouth - but I suffer through)

I've noticed I've been drinking less coffee - which is an unintended positive side effect of all the things over the last year.

I also think a huge part of why I am feeling better is that I am social again. No more isolated new mom transplanted to New Jersey. Hello awesome new local friends and new/old facebook connections and library book club.

Seriously - the fog of having 2 little kids has lifted and while some people might take that moment of clarity and decide it's the perfect time to add a cute little baby to the mix - I am taking this Big, HUGE DEEP BREATH and filling my down time with stuff for me and my husband.. Remember him, the guy that made this whole family thing happen in the first place. Yeah - it's nice to see him again too:) I am using this new clarity to enjoy my 5 and 3 year old and all the bonuses that come with them growing older. Don't get me wrong - I get a bit teary when I think about kindergarten starting for Katie - but I also relish in her sleeping in until 7:30 and the awesome conversations we are having lately. I live for the grown up nature of some of the things that Benny comes up with and I know that right now - life is perfect. We are done. This family is complete. I am complete. I hope that you are all feeling complete too!