Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another Year, Another Manicure

It definitely feels like I have been a mother for 2 years, but it is still hard to believe that my little Baby isn't a baby anymore. Of course, to the horror of all children, our babies will always be our Babies, but it seems like 2 years is the official beginning to Kidhood, independence, and paying for college tuition.

Because we wanted to thoroughly torture and exhaust him, my MIL and I brought Everett to the Davenport Hotel's Christmas Tree Elegance after his birthday party. We then took him swimming in the pool, which ended up being an hour of us trying to coax him out of the water. This kid LOVES to swim!

I did not get too many photos from Everett's 2nd birthday party. Well, I actually cannot remember taking any pictures, so all images are from my MIL. Like last year, Everett was a little overwhelmed by the whole ordeal. He mostly sat on the couch and played with some new toys. We sang to him, which he liked; he blew on his candle, which made him smile; and he did not eat a bite of his cupcakes, which confuses me.

I did not spend a whole bunch of time making decorations, as Christmas decorations tend to take over the house at this time of year. We did make cupcakes for the occasion, and the spiked eggnog was a hit! Recipe to come.

Also, I had a special request from someone to share the invites I made for the occasion. Here she is, in all her glory. (Graphics found on CreativeMarket.com)

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Everett! We are surrounded by a whole lot of love, and we are truly blessed to have such a strong community in which to raise our little guy.


As you can imagine, we have had a crazy couple weeks. The holidays are hectic to begin with, but it snowballed out of control when I lost my camera in security at the Portland airport our way home from Thanksgiving. Somewhere between Everett and I getting our hands swabbed for explosives and our stroller being taken apart, the bag with the camera disappeared. As a visitor of this online space, you can only imagine how completely devastated and stressed I was for the 48 hours it took to confirm that my bag was being housed in the PDX lost and found. The week just kept getting crazier from there...like, we got a letter saying we were being sent to collections....which is 100% CRAZY. Any sort of debt stresses us out, and we scrimp and save until everything is paid off in full, so this letter was beyond surprising and insulting. However, the camera was found, the collections BS was cleared up, and I got to drive to the country for work the other day, which was the perfect opportunity to clear my head and my heart.

And the biggest task of the holidays has been completed! With the help of a good at-home manicure, I got all our Christmas cards in the mail! I generally use the Gonzaga University print shop for all my personal printing. This time around I also had them trim our Christmas cards, which I usually do myself. My OCD got the best of me, and I simply was not satisfied with the job they did, so I cut slivers off every card before sticking them in the mail. A job well done is a job done yourself. Either that or I need to hire minions who are just as particular as I am.

Anyway, my dear friend asked me to try out Jamberry Nail Wraps, which are all the rave. I totally apologize for the lack of quality pictures, but I know you will understand since my camera was housed in Portland for a week. You do understand, right? So back to the wraps...

I got these guys in the mail and was completely overwhelmed. Then I read the instructions and felt fine...funny how that works. Seriously, all you have to know is that a good pair of scissors and a nail file will give you great results. I admit the whole 20 minutes it took me to wrap my nails I was thinking to myself, "Shouldn't I be paying someone to do this for me?" However, by the next day I was beyond impressed - impressed with myself for getting them on semi-straight, and impressed with the product. The first couple days they were on my nails I kept noticing little mistakes I made, but I took the nail file to the annoying places and it solved the issue. I also did my toes, which were a little more tedious as far as cutting out the pieces for little toes, but you could easily use the wraps for only the big toe and paint the little guys. That being said, the pedi still looks great after a week in sweaty boots and slippers. Gotta love winter!

I have had the wraps on my nails for over a week and they have stayed in place after standing in a pool for over an hour making sure my kid doesn't drown, making food for the 35 people who attended Everett's party, heavy sewing, heavy typing, heavy Christmas carding, and heavy Gilmore Girls watching. 

And here's the crazy part. When you order a sheet of wraps for $15, you are essentially getting 2 manicures and 2 pedicures, plus some extras for when if you screw up or if you want an accent nail to go with your favorite nail polish. I know I have expensive taste when it comes to getting my nails done, but the last time I got a mani/pedi I spent WELL over $100.00 plus tip. Granted, that came with a fantastic foot rub, and a nail wrap can never replace a good foot rub. However, the last time I spent less than $100 on a mani/pedi, a man with wolverine nails filed the dead skin off my hands, brushed it into a Tupperware container filled with skin flakes, then placed the container by his feet...for later use? Either way you look at it, we are talking about a savings of many dollars, as well as fewer nightmares. It puts $$$ in my pocket to buy other things. Like cat costumes and facials.

So now I'm done with my rant, but just know that I love this chemical free, affordable, quality product. I will be ordering this, this, and this - I love horses a little too much. The quilt pattern is currently on my toes and I am in <3 with it.

If you order through this link by the end of the day tomorrow (aka December 10th), you will have these bad boys in your stockings for Christmas. They are running a special for buy 3 get 1 free, which is basically a lot of mani/pedis. AND any of my readers who buy wraps using this link and select Labors of Love at checkout will be entered to win a free sheet of wraps from my friend's inventory! Yay! I hope I win.

FYI, my friend sent me a sheet of wraps because she thought I would like them. I do not receive any monetary payment for referring you to Jamberry Nails, and all opinions are my own. I simply wanted to share another of my favorite products with you. Please enjoy your wraps, get some for the kids, and support her business and excellent customer service by shopping through her link. Her name's Nicole, and she is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Seriously, she could be on Oprah. I'd post a picture of us together, but she lives in Philly now, and the only picture I can find of us together is from high school (me with braces and severe acne = not showing you that).

Check out #jamberry on Instagram for better pictures of wraps. I can post some with my big camera if you want (just send me a request), but I wanted to get this up ASAP for anyone interested in ordering before Christmas - don't forget to place your order before December 10th has past! 

Enough said. You are all amazing, and thank you Jesus for getting my camera back to me safely.

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