Friday, July 27, 2012

Tutorial: Jamberry Nail Shields

I'm always up for trying new things...especially when I have a coupon! When I came across a coupon for Jamberry Nail Shields I was immediately intrigued! I Googled, saw good reviews and bought!

I thought I would quickly share my Jamberry Nails experience and some tips I find useful on getting a better application! Please pardon the poor photos - I took them with my iPad instead of my real camera.

Here are the instructions from the Jamberry website:
  • Step 1: Clean nails with nail polish remover or alcohol. (Clean, oil free nails are one of the most important steps of the application)
  • Step 2: Cut and file nails to desired length and shape.
  • Step 3: Buff top of the nail and push back cuticle.
  • Step 4: Match nail (finger or toe) to the nail shield that best fits.
  • Step 5: Peel off nail shield and warm with a blow-dryer 10-15 seconds or until soft and flexible.
  • Step 6: When warm, press the shield onto the nail. Apply firm pressure around edges to adhere the shield to the nail. Use rubber cuticle pusher to seal the shield around the cuticle.
  • Step 7: Trim the top with scissors and file off remaining shield using a downward motion to remove excess.
  • Step 8: Apply heat and pressure to the shield again until it is sealed to the nail. (Repeating this step several times helps create a tight seal to the nail surface and increases wear time)
  • Optional Step 9: For active users you can add a small amount of nail glue to the free edge to better seal the nail shield. 
Here are my own tips!
Supplies! I used the same as in the instructions, except for one thing...
An embossing gun! I found that this heats the shields more than a hair dryer and  is easier to use because there is a stand and a more direct airflow. It does get REALLY hot, though, so you have to be careful!
I have VERY curved nails, so I have to keep mine short to do the shields. When they get long, the shields tend to buckle and don't stay on as long. This is right before I trimmed and filed.
Overall, it took about 45 minutes for my first FULL set (I've done 1-2 nails mixed with polish just to get the technique down prior to doing a full set). The nice thing drying, no smudges, no topcoat. When you are done, you are done!

I'm excited to see how long they last since I am hard on my hands with typing, cleaning products, etc. As of now, I would give them a B+! I didn't have any nail glue on hand, but I might try that next time, too. Just in case!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Caterpillar Rescue

Jesse rescued a caterpillar the other day and I HAD to take pictures and share. It is crazy looking. Some birds in our front yard were trying to eat it and dropped it on the driveway when Jesse went outside.

It reminded me of this guy from Alice in Wonderland:

Those "eyes" on the back of his head were just markings to ward off predators, it was pretty huge and will grow up to be this (thanks to Jesse!):

Maybe we will see him flying around our yard some day!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Farmer's Market

Last night we were FINALLY able to check out the Farmington Farmer's Market! It was fantastic. For $20 we got so much great produce:
  • Eggs
  • Beats
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Green Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • and Corn
And it wasn't just a few of each item...there is enough of everything for Jesse and I to have for dinner 2-3 times! Hopefully, we can eat it all up by next week!

Farm fresh eggs! And I LOVE that one is blue. :)

Beats! Anyone else think they taste like corn?

A whole counter full of fresh produce!

 Next time I might bring a little extra cash to pick up some homemade bread from Jane Dough Bakery and some raspberry salsa, too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Family Photos in Duluth

On the last day of vacation, I was privileged to be able to really practice some portrait photography and so a family photo shoot for Jesse's sister and family. We went to Lief Erickson Park and the Rose Garden in Duluth. Although it was HOT and mid-day (not great for lighting) I think they turned out really well. Big thanks to them for letting me practice! They were fun to edit, too, as I got to try out a lot of new actions in Photoshop. Here they are:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation: Part 3 (Final)

The final part of our vacation took us up to Ely, MN for the day! It was HOT, but fun to do some shopping and eat some ice cream.

We've been to Ely many times, but this was the first time we noticed this really cool building off the main road. We stopped by to take some pictures of it and learned from the lady who lived across the street that it was the hospital. Beautiful! It was built in 1903 and is now for sale! Cool!

After we headed back up to the lake we indulged in another MN tradition...a good ol' fashioned Smelt Fry! Yes, you eat the WHOLE THING...tail and all. And yes, it tastes a fish stick!

Next up was a little fishing and more photos of the beautiful sunset. The following day it rained all day so I really just read a book and slept/relaxed. Here are some final photos to enjoy!

My dad made those canoe paddles by hand! So pretty... and they work great, too!

We can't wait to share one of our favorite places with our little girl next year! 10 weeks until we meet her!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vacation: Part 2

The next few days of our vacation were also wonderful! We stopped into Duluth to have lunch with Jesse's sister and our niece and nephew! Then it was off to Gooseberry Falls for a SHORT hike (I can't go too far, plus it wasn't exactly "cooler by the lake" that day). 

29 weeks!

Wally was VERY popular with the kids that were are the falls. Not too many people bring their dogs, even though it is a very pet-friendly State Park!
Then I decided to try my macro filter when we got back to the lake and our oldest nephew had just happened to find this beauty! We're pretty sure it will turn into an American Dagger Moth.

Got a few bonus flower photos...check out the sneaky little spider on the daisy!

This just makes me laugh, so I had to post it. I'm not 100% sure of the back story, but our oldest nephew likes to call my dad a hippie ("hey, you hippie!"), which is about the furthest thing from what my dad is...

Finally, what would a day at the lake be without witnessing one of these! I love that the lake shore faces West, so we pretty much get these beautiful sunsets every night. I try not to take it for granted.

Still...more to come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vacation: Part 1

It is SO nice to work from home. :) Because I can work from anywhere, we were able to get an early jump on our vacation and headed to Duluth two weeks ago so that Jesse could help my dad get a few more projects done at the lake before we all headed up there. I was able to work from the comfort of my parents' dining room for two days!

This also meant we got to see our nephew's baseball game and spent some extra time in a beautiful city that we love! Here are a few pictures from the first part of our wonderful vacation! Enjoy!

A rare chance to see a mid-week game! #4 did AWESOME!! Some nice hits, fast running and great fielding.

Next stop ... a walk on the boardwalk, ice cream from Portland Malt Shop (the BEST) and throwing a few rocks in the lake (I guess he didn't get enough throwing done at the baseball game)!

Finally, a few last looks at the lake. Even with the recent flooding and all of the extra debris on the beach, it was nice to see that it didn't discourage anyone from enjoying Duluth!

LOTS more vacation pictures to come...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! I hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Meal Planning Anyone?

I'm not sure if it is because my entire brain is consumed with thoughts of meeting my baby and all the things to prepare for her or if I am just starting to get a little lazy, but I seem to be in a little bit of a food rut. Plus, I have been incredible forgetful and keep having to go to the store every other day to get the things I need for whatever I do end up making.

My remedy? I created a meal planner/calendar/grocery list in one. I looked at several of them online and combine what I thought were the very best features into on nice PDF.

Download it here>>

Feel free to comment if you have questions/ideas. A much prettier version will be coming when I have a little more time, but for now I needed "function over fashion"!