my tips for Jamberry Nails

JamberryYes, I know in the last post I said MLMs must die, and I totally meant that. However, I bought some of these Jamberry Nail stickers to support my friend who was getting started and it turned out that I actually really like them. (Though I must apologize for the crappy pictures, just because I’m a photographer doesn’t mean I’m above using my cell phone in a dark room at night and throwing everything into a quick collage.)

I always liked to paint my nails but was never any good at it. Like seriously, my right hand would look like a 2 year old painted it. And I’d always chip my polish within 12 hours. Even the one time I had a manicure done, for my wedding, it was starting to look crappy by the ceremony. So I just never did it, if my nails were ever painted, it was for something special and because someone else did it for me.

Fast forward to earlier this year when my friend joined Jamberry. I’d heard of it before but had just brushed it off but since it was my friend, I decided to give it a try. I love these things now – if you do it right, you’ll have nice pretty nails for about 2 weeks and as long as you remove them right, you won’t have torn up nails afterward (that was actually a lesson I learned the hard way). So here are my tips for getting these things on your nails…

You’ll need:

Jamberry stickers (duh)
Rubbing alcohol
Q-tip or cotton balls
Scotch tape
Pen that can write on tape
Nail scissors
Nail clippers
Cuticle pusher
Hair dryer or other quick heat source

I know, it totally sounds like a lot of stuff, and it is. I think it’s more than they tell you that you need in the directions, but I promise, the extra time is worth the results.

So first things first, clean hands, clean nails. What I do next is cut off 1/4 of my sticker sheet. This works for me perfectly, unless I mess one up and have to throw it away, because I only do 9 nails. “Whyever for,” you ask in horror. Because I’m a terror on these nails, remember? I’m right handed and my right pointer finger is always busted down as far as it can be busted. Split, uneven, whatever. I’m rough on it so it never can recover and therefore, I paint that nail to match and, of course, every few days I gotta do it again. But I’m getting somewhat good at painting that one nail, I have to tell ya. Anyway, so I will get 4 uses out of a whole sheet if I don’t make any major mistakes (because I refuse to do my toes, but that’s another story).

Now for the nitty gritty. I’m, like, totally OCD about this. When I first tried the Jamberry, they didn’t fit my nails, like, at all, (you can probably tell from the image which time was my first) and I ended up ripping them off a week later. Remember, DO NOT DO THAT. Learn from my mistake, people. But I learned something… Now if they fit your nails at the nail bed, that’s great, but mine are more square than rounded, so it results in lots of trimming. The easiest way to do this is to take a piece of the Scotch tape and put it over your nail. Trace on the inside with the pen (of course) to mark the outer edge of your nail. You don’t have to be real stringent on this but get it somewhat right, ok? Gently remove tape, especially if you have managed to find the ultra industrial never leaving your finger it’s so sticky tape. But do you see where I’m going with this? That’s right, now put the tape on the back of the Jamberry sheet with the outline of your nail inside one of the stickers, line it up the best you can. Now push back your cuticles a bit with your pusher, shape them all pretty-like.

Oh, and while we’re here, results with patterns like this are not guaranteed. I personally haven’t tried them. I prefer stripes and chevrons (omg, chevron, squee) and polka dots, etc. aka REPEATING patterns. If I tried this with a design like that or this one, I’d probably end up losing too much of the design to make it pretty. However, this one should be ok (and I’d really like to get it in the near future).

And I just totally LOL-ed now that I realized all of the pics I used have Chevron nails. I swear that’s not all I wear!! Anyway, back to the post…

Now that you’ve got your tape on your sheet, cut out the nail sticker following the inside of your lines. This is important. It will make the sticker slightly smaller than you measured your nail. You don’t want them on your skin or getting skin oils, peeling them up before you’re ready. I often use my tweezers to do the peeling apart of sticker and backing but sometimes it doesn’t work and I have to use a fingernail, but don’t be touching all over your sticker, mkay?

You also need to rub some alcohol on your nail. Do this either before or after you peel the sticker, do it only each nail at a time, do not do all of them then do all of the stickers. I learned that the hard way, too. The alcohol is basically taking all of the oils from your nail that might stop the Jam from sticking well. If you do it too early, well they just won’t stick as well. Or at least I have had the best results when doing them one at a time. This will also remove all the sticky from your fingernail left by that dollar store tape.

Now holding your Jam in your tweezers, put it in the path of the hair dryer on hot for about 5-8 seconds. Then, making sure the alcohol has dried on your nail, put the sticker on. Especially with my larger nails, I find it easiest to match the bottom center of the sticker to the bottom center of my nail and stick there, gently bringing it down towards the end of the nail. Then, after removing the tweezers, pressing at center then sliding my finger to either side to press those.

Then, assuming the sticker is in place where you want it, press as hard as your finger will let you without screams of pain. Seriously, press hard and hold. When you can’t take that any longer, apply some more hair dryer heat then press again. Sometimes I mess up a bit on my measurements. If you’re too long on the sides, just be sure to trim those with the nail scissors before applying that serious pressure and heat.

Chances are your sticker is too long for your nail. Oh, did I mention that you should not trim nails before starting? Well, I’m telling you now. Now that you’ve gotten this far, trim your nail to how you would like it. This isn’t a required step, of course, but I find that it works best for me. I will usually trim the Jam first as it sticks off my fingernail then later go back and trim all nails when I’m done. I find that they stick better this way. Then, after trimming your nail, file down. Sweep the file at an angle, moving from your hand toward the tip of your finger as you move forward. Imagine it on a microscopic level. You want that Jam to be slightly slightly shorter than your nail. If they’re absolutely even or, heaven forbid, the Jam is longer than your nail, you’re going to have a better chance of catching it on something and starting a peel off.

The ones I am wearing now, I have had on for over a week, probably 8 or even 9 days now (about the time I started this bloody post) and none of them are peeling on me at all. I do have a little bubble on the tip of my left thumb… I always have a little bubble in this same spot on my same thumb, I honestly can’t figure that one out. But it’s so small, it’s really unnoticeable and it’s not caused any problems.

SO at this point, if you want to, you could apply more heat and/or pressure, you know, if you’re not confident in your skillz.

I think that’s it. Just remember to follow directions for removal. Something I’ll do in another week or so. My last several applications have honestly been removed not because they were coming up or ripping or curling or anything, but because either 1. my nails grew out enough that it annoyed me, and 2. I just plain got sick of seeing whatever it was on my nails. I even helped my husband build a portable recycled wood wall for my photography business today, not a scratch. I might have some serious dirt under my nails but the Jams are still going strong! I also have to manually wash dishes in this house (gag). You get the drift.

Have fun, ladies!!

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this MLM stuff has GOT to stop

You know, MLM – Multi-level Marketing. Those legal pyramid schemes where you sell things to the consumer and move up in the company not only by doing this but moreso by recruiting other people to sell, so then the salesperson makes money off the consumer and those “under” them in the company. And the real ones winning are those at the very top.


Tupperware, Avon, Mary Kay, Origami Owl, Premiere Jewelry, Pampered Chef, Jewelry in Candles, Jamberry, In a Pickle, Pink Zebra, Nu Skin, ViSalus, Amway, Herbalife, Candle lite, Thirty-One Gifts, Discovery Toys, Juice Plus, DoTerra Oils, Usborn, Scentsy, Rodan Fields, Perfectly Posh, Younique…

And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head!

Yes, I admit to selling Origami Owl but I gotta tell you, I did two parties – my sister and my cousin – and then really sold nothing else. I got into it over 2 years ago to be able to buy gifts wholesale. At the end of the year they will be kicking me out for inactivity. I haven’t sold anything to anyone besides myself since last Christmas, a year or almost a year ago now. I never pushed it on my friends – in the beginning I posted a little bit but I’ve always been a horrible salesperson so my attitude was, “don’t want it, ok no problem, doesn’t bother me!”

I’ve also promoted, however slightly, a few friends in their ventures. Yes you can make money at it, if you got the go and know how. That was not me.

But I gotta tell you, these are driving me stinking insane.

A couple of weeks ago I did a little school fair, promoting my photography. We were in the gym, most of us and out of about 20 vendors, only 3 of us were not MLM. No joke. There were even three MLM companies represented that were new to me and I can’t remember the company names so they did not make the list above! Two were jewelry and one was home decor. The other companies in the gym with me that were not MLM were a young woman making cross bracelets (she did the most business of anyone) and an older couple selling handmade doll clothing.

And it’s not just things like that but the parties, omg the parties. They do not stop! I will be invited to a home party on a weekly basis, NO JOKE. And most invites are on Facebook only – probably 90% which means I only get a paper invite for 10% of home parties. AND then there’s the ONLINE only parties, I will be invited to at least two of those a week on Facebook, this is not an exaggeration.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not made of money. I am getting to the point where I am going to put people on the so handy Facebook list for “ignore all event invites.” Some of these people do not get it and I don’t say anything because they are my friends and acquaintances but no, I do not want to be invited to all of the online parties you do three times a week for cheap crap you sell expensively. And I feel weird declining online only parties – those usually last at least 5-7 days so it’s not like you can be like, ohhh that’s at the same time as blah blah blah, sorry I can’t make it. Declining week long events kinda makes me feel like I’m being a jerk. I rarely go to the home parties, usually only if a close friend or family member is holding them though to be honest, most of the time I’m actually truly and honestly busy. They’re never on convenient days/times for me.

It’s just really gone way beyond what is acceptable here. And most of them are not truly a unique product that you can’t get elsewhere. There are other make ups, toys, false lashes, purses, candles, essential oils, jewelry, nail wraps, plastic containers, etc., that you can get elsewhere and for a lot cheaper, so it’s really hard to justify a purchase unless I see something that I just can’t find anywhere else and that, of course, I “can’t” live without – or can give to someone else who can’t live without it.

Ahhhhhh the madness, I tell you, the madness!!

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no longer a homeschooler

In September, we made the decision to put E into a school. It was just time, he and I were butting heads too much, now someone else has to tell him what to do and I’m not the bad guy quite as much. Aside from the whole, you know, doing work thing, he seems to enjoy it. He’s gotten perfect scores in music class the whole time and even likes going to the library and has been reading enough that he’s exceeded his AR goal for the semester. Of course, he likes recess and in the beginning at least, he enjoyed having breakfast and lunch there. Not sure if he still likes that but I think it’s cheaper for him to eat at school than home, ha. K keeps asking if she can go to school today, today, today. She’s got an OT and ST schedule to finish though, so next year.

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St. Louis Post Dispatch… another difficult thing to cancel

Now here’s something that’s been going on since the end of August.

I got caught. In K-Mart. The guy saw me coming. My daughter was being an absolute handful. He enticed me and didn’t give me all the information. I thought I was subscribing to Sunday only papers for $3.99 a month but when I logged into my credit card account the next day, they had billed me $34 something. Yeah, completely unacceptable. Really, I thought the weekend coupons would be helpful and maybe my son would like the comics but $34 a month for a newspaper? Are you kidding? I can just get online and find out anything I want.

The guy had circled the number for canceling, so I did. The woman told me a refund would go through to my card and service would not start.

Boy, was she wrong. That was a Friday, come Monday and then Tuesday and then on, no refund. And service started. I called again. This person assured me of the same thing.

As more papers arrived daily (and no one was reading them, they were going straight to the start-a-fire pile), I finally did a charge back on my credit card. I told the company I’d tried to cancel twice. At some point I finally talked to someone with the PD who assured me I was canceled. Why was I still getting papers every day? I started getting calls every week or more asking me to “come back to us.”

Finally, about 2 weeks ago I said to the guy, “now tell me, why would I want to start paying you for newspapers that keep coming after I’ve canceled at least twice, why would I pay for it if I’m getting it for free?” He just went, “what?” You can bet that wasn’t in his call binder. He kind of repeated it back to me… you’ve canceled twice and are still getting papers? Yup. Er, ok. Sorry. No problem dude, not your fault. Yes, they continued to arrive for another week after that.

And now? They’ve sent me a bill saying my account is past due.


I’m so over this.

As of now I’ve decided to ignore it and see what happens. I really don’t fancy talking to more people and having to repeat myself countless times and them trying to get me to “come back” for some “stellar” price.

I guess it could end up on my credit but I have excellent credit so I really kinda don’t care. Guess we’ll see if another bill arrives to inform me I’m 60 days “past due” then go from there.

Just… sheesh!

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Jewelry in Candles

I have to admit, the first time I heard of this I thought it was a stupid idea. That was another brand, who’s name I cannot recall. But a couple of months ago my friend became a Jewelry In Candles rep so I thought I would give it a try and support her.

I ordered the full size Lavender candle with earrings. As probably no one remembers around here, I used to make my own candles. Since becoming aware of what it takes to make a good candle, I’ve become increasingly hard on candle manufacturers, I am very picky. For instance, some people local to me don’t fill their jars, they don’t look very nice, and they don’t smell very strong. (Yet they sell and make money?? I digress.) So I have to say I was a bit skeptical of this brand based on the fact that it seemed more about the jewelry than the candle. However, I was not disappointed in the candle.

More back story, however, is that it took a while for me to get the order. Apparently right as I ordered, there was a huge backlog and then once they caught up, my candle arrived broken. The company shipped me out a replacement right away. I was a little annoyed that I had to hang on to the broken one and wait for a letter that instructed me to take it to a post office where they, after being thoroughly confused, finally took the package and my info. Presumably, they’re sending it back to JIC. This, I get, I’ll never know if it was one of the candles with something expensive inside. I would have preferred to be able to just mail it back with a shipping label or something, like Amazon does.

Anyway, I could smell the candle before getting the box open and lighting it was not disappointing at all. I’ve now burned it down to about 1/3 or so remaining and it still smells great. It burns evenly, the only thing left sticking to the side is the glue that held the jewelry packet in place when they poured. I also like the jar itself, very simple yet with a thick base.

Oh yes, the earrings. I ended up with a pretty cheap pair with a blue rose surrounded by three rhinestones on one side. Not my style but cute. Would be a good pair for my daughter to wear when she gets old enough to pierce her ears, a good pair for an adolescent/teen. But it was SO hard to wait for the candle to burn far enough down! I did end up pulling it a bit early but it didn’t affect my candle burning at all.

So would I get another one? Yup. :)
Maybe this Christmas I will because, surprisingly, I don’t really burn candles all that often, despite even having some of my own stock left. I’m thinking Peppermint or maybe Pecan Pie! Think I’ll try the necklace this next time.

So get you one:

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still missing

It has now been 2 weeks, 3 days, and 10 hours, and 22 minutes.

It saddens me to say that I think I am now “used” to her being gone.  I hate that.  I hate having life turned upside down for not just me but everyone who knows her, and especially for my kids.  For them and for my own health, I’m forcing myself to try to get back to “normal.”  At least I can say I am finally to the point where she does not occupy my EVERY thought.  Not say she’s not on my mind, because she is but I’ve been able to pull myself back from the despairing depression-inducing dwelling.  I’ve been able to do a photo session and have another one coming up, that gives me something to occupy myself with.  I also found diving into crochet and a good program on my laptop helps.

There was about a week of solid frustration.  EVERYONE was talking to me about it, I couldn’t get away.  And they couldn’t just have quiet thoughts coupled with “I don’t know,” which is all I could offer, but I felt like I was being constantly questioned and prodded for information.  People were stopping by house to ask, people I don’t know were calling and texting me, people would see me in a restaurant where I was trying to GET AWAY for a few hours, and stop and ask me… “So what do you think happened?  No, really, what do YOU think?”


And I am not even immediate family.  I just seem to be, for some strange reason, an outsider’s supposed link to the inside.

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Missing person

Is this what it feels like?

To have someone you love be missing?

I’m not even of immediate family but I feel numb. Tiny. So insignificant. Helpless.

I had to keep it quiet all day long. Smile and laugh at the appropriate moments while worrying inside. My inner self face down in prayer.

And now that the community has come alive I’ve broken down. My head is filled from tears and neither of us can sleep.

I can’t imagine life without her.

Come home.

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