Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jammin' Out

Have you tried Jamberry nail wraps? Or even ever heard of them? Up until about a month ago, I never knew they existed! But once I saw them, I must admit I was intrigued. 

 You see, I am not one to paint my nails or get manicures all that often. At all. Like, hardly ever. I like the put-together look you can achieve when your nails coordinate with your outfit, but I just rarely take the time to do it. I mean, painting my nails and waiting for them to dry is the equivalent of waiting in line at the DMV to me.  I just don't like to do it. 

But, thanks to Pinterest, I have been drooling over all of the uber cute nails that it seems every woman in the world but me are taking the time to apply. I just don't have two hours to spend on my nails, people, to get those fancy schmancy designs.  Ain't gonna do it. 

So, then I found some nail wraps at Ulta. They were so cute! And were fairly easy to apply. But then they peeled off two days later. Then, I found some nail wraps at Rite-Aid and decided to give those a try. Seriously, they peeled the very same night I applied them! Boo!

Then enters Jamberry Nail Wraps. My old college friend, Rachel, is a Jamberry Nails consultant.  She sent me a trial sheet to try out.  I was already smitten over all the designs, so I was more than happy to give it a go, really hoping that these would stand up to the test!


What makes Jamberry different from other nail wraps is that they are a high-quality vinyl, heat and pressure sealed wrap that lasts for a couple weeks.  They sell all the tools you need through Jamberry, but since I just had a sample set, I found everything I needed to apply them at the Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart.   I used my hair dryer to heat-set the nail wraps. 


I used my two girls as guinea pigs first. Katlyn picked out the rainbow colored cheetah print and orange polish for her other nails, and Ashlyn picked out a pink/blue design and blue polish for the rest of her nails. (We just did a couple fingers since we only had a sample pack.)  They weren't difficult to put on and my girls loved them! (Jamberry sells Juniors and Mommy and Me selections.)


Then, it was my turn.  I had a few black and white options so I decided to combine them for unique black/white look (the pinkish red color is just polish). I loved how they came out. And once they were on, heat sealed and pressed on tight, they weren't budging. 


I mean, once you get these things on, you're going to want everyone to see your "jamicure"! So, I thought of  four of ways you could ever so nonchalantly show them off. Here they are. 

1. I got five problems but a bad manicure ain't one!


2.  What? The Blacklist won't be back on until the fall? Oh, my!

3. Which Jamberry wrap would I like to try next? Hmmmm?


4.  I saved so much time on my "Jamicure", I have time for a nap! *yawn*



Katlyn and Ashlyn wanted to show off their jams, too!  They loved them!


Here are a few of my favorite nail wrap selections available right now that I found while browsing the Jamberry site. (The ones that are smaller are the Mommy and Me ones.)













They have so much to choose from for you or your little ones. They have anything from solids, sparkles, and stripes to florals, geometric, and collegiate designs. I am currently hosting an online Jamberry party! To go check out all the fun designs or shop my party, click here! Take advantage of the Buy 3 Get 1 Free sale!  


I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. 


Weigh-In Wednesday

#19



Just checking in with you guys today briefly!  Since last week, I hit the gym everyday, including an awesome Boot Camp class, until this weekend.  I haven't been back in the gym yet. Between the holiday weekend, and trying to get home projects done (trying to get my foyer floors done, but it is taking longer than expected!), I haven't made it back to the gym or even walked around the neighborhood. But, I did drop a pound since last Wednesday!  Yes!  I'm going to have to get creative this week in order to get any semblance of a workout in since it is recital week for my girls.  Each afternoon and night the rest of the week is booked up so I will have to make sure I workout in the mornings or it's not happening. 

Sorry so brief today, but duty calls!  I'm keeping on keeping on!  Thirty-nine pounds lost total.  I'll take that. 




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reader Design Dilemma: Lucy's Space




I recently heard from a friend, asking for some advice for her space. She writes:

First of all, I'm loving your blog. It's become one of my favorites. Secondly, I was wondering if I could pick your designer brain about a space in my house. We've always had a big picture over the fireplace but there so much wall on either side I wonder if there shouldn't be something there too. Or maybe just something taller on the top side shelves. I've included a photo. If it's not too much trouble I would love some advice.


Thanks so much, Lucy!

Let's take a look at her design dilemma.




The dilemma:  Asymmetrical wall.  The fireplace isn't centered on the wall and the built-ins are different sizes on either side. Currently, although the picture above the fireplace is large, it isn't a large enough scale given the size of the wall as a whole. 

So, here are three options I came up with for Lucy using her current gray wall color.  Three styles of design that share the same concept: embracing the asymmetrical wall with a modern gallery wall. 

One:  Cottage Chic

In order for the off-centered fireplace not to dominate your eye when you look at it, I added a sophisticated gallery wall that tricks your eye.  The soothing color palette of blues and greens are calming and chic. With the gray as the background, pops of teal and lime are all this space needs for added color.  A wood-toned light fixture, candlesticks, and natural fiber basket for holding toys or blankets grounds the space along with the boxwood topiaries and succulents. Two teal lamps flank the space for added light. (Most of the frames, the lamps, and some accessories are all from Target, making this an affordable design option.)

Two: Nautical Americana
This gallery wall, on a somewhat larger scale, also does the trick of drawing your eye up from the asymmetrical design of the built-ins.  Using nautical art found on Etsy, and anchoring the room with natural fiber baskets for storage and sea grass bin for holding toys or blankets, this space screams classic comfort.  My favorites items in this space?  The basket light fixture and the combination of red, navy, and turquoise. 

Three: Hipster Prep
This space is so fun, young, and fresh!  If you like a more contemporary, trendy look, then this one is it.  Most of the artwork is typography finds from Etsy.  And keeping the walls neutral with gray, it is easy to add punches of color with artwork, pillows, vases, and picture frames.  Also, since the walls are neutral, changing out the accessories in the room are a simple fix if you want to tone it down at any point. The sputnik light fixture and sleek chair add contemporary sophistication. 

I hope this helps Lucy envision her space and the potential it holds! To embrace the asymmetrical wall and go big with art or frames to draw the eye up. 

So which of design of Lucy's space do you like best?  Sophisticated Cottage Chic?  Classic Nautical Americana?  Fresh Hipster Prep?  Let me know! Leave a comment below. 

Do you have a design dilemma in your home?  Are you at a loss as to what to do in a particular space?  I am currently taking reader submissions to be featured on my blog just like today's post.  Email me at cultivatecreate@yahoo.com with the subject Reader Design Dilemma. Tell me about your space. What is your design dilemma? Include at least two photographs (looking straight on) of your space. I look forward to hearing from you. 





Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Struggle is Real

So, I completely missed checking in with you at the beginning of the month about the getting healthy/weight loss thing!  But, here I am, still plugging along. While I have no new weight loss to report, still holding where I was, I am hanging in there. The last month was crazy busy!  Both of my girls played ball in different age divisions, so it was a bit harder for me to make my favorite classes at the gym, and eating healthy was more difficult because of us being on the go so much. For a month and a half while ball season was in full swing, I was hit or miss for Zumba and Boot Camp because of our crazy schedule. Then, about three weeks ago at Zumba, I hurt my ankle. So, for a week all I did was squats and push-ups because my ankle hurt so bad. Then the two weeks after that, all I added was walking. My ankle is better, but it still smarts sometimes if I step on it a certain way.  I didn't sprain it, but I think it is a tendon issue. (I am so tired of hurting myself trying to get this weight off. But, I guess that comes with getting older.) 

Post Zumba! You can't really tell, but I was drenched! Such a great workout and I enjoy all the great gals who attend that class!
 I went shopping for clothes for the first time since I started losing my weight and the last time I checked in about my progress.  I was able to go down another size in pants and my shirts were a smaller size.  (When I started I was a 24, and I currently can wear a 20. And in dresses, I was able to fit in an 18.)  That encouraged me A LOT since the scale hasn't budged. But, since I am going to be losing more weight, I didn't want to invest in a lot of clothes. I bought what would hold me over for now and will buy a little more when I go down another size.  I still wear some things that are a little too big, trying to keep from spending a lot on something that I won't be able to wear long. So, if you see me around and I am wearing the same thing you saw me in last time, you know why.  



Monday, I started over on Phase 1 of the Maker's Diet. I prepped my snacks ahead of time so that it would be easier for me to make healthy choices.  Snacks are pineapple, peaches, almonds, P3 protein snack packs, and fruit salad. 


The fruit salad is so yummy! I call it my tropical fruit salad. It is fresh pineapple, mango, kiwi, and blueberries. So delicious!


Once again this month, I signed up for the Spartan Challenge.  This month is a group challenge and Sara and Lori are my workout buddies. While we don't get to walk together or workout together everyday, it has encouraged me knowing they are there!  I have enjoyed our walks together in our neighborhood. 

Guys, I am hanging in there. But the struggle is real! Last night a friend posted a pic on her Facebook page that was her family's snack (ice cream), and her snack (cantaloupe) side by side.  She is determined!  I felt her struggle/frustration. I cooked pizza last night for my family, one of my favorite foods, and I ate baked chicken, salad, and fruit.  Those leftover pieces of pizza that sat in my refrigerator last night mocked me!  You know you want to eat me!  Pizza is delicious!  I will taste so good! It won't hurt if you just eat one piece. Come and get me out of this fridge!  No, pizza. You lie! Not tonight. 

Starting next Wednesday, I am resuming Weigh-In Wednesdays.  It really helps me to have accountability that it gives me.  It's not glamorous, it's hard work, and a struggle, but I think checking in with you really helps motivate me!  So, until next week, keep it up!



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

An American Girl Weekend


This past weekend, one of my best friends, Jessica, and I took our girls on an American Girl adventure.  We also had the privilege of Jessica's mom, Mrs. Cindy going with us. In lieu of birthday parties this year, (Katlyn and Ashlyn's birthdays are exactly one month apart and Jessica's oldest, Hannah, has a birthday right in between theirs.) we decided to take a trip to the Atlanta store, which is the closest one to us. 


We stopped at Eastchase in Montgomery for lunch and a little shopping on our way up.  Can you tell the girls are super excited?  They were so funny! Posing beside the fountain where they made wishes before we headed toward Atlanta. 


We stayed at the Marriott in Alpharetta, which is really close to the American Girl store.  They had an American Girl package that we took advantage of and it was precious!  The girls loved staying here. (They were mesmerized by the revolving door.)


When we got there to check in, the Marriott had a "pink carpet" ready to welcome the girls and their dolls. There was a lot of attention to detail. 


Each girl had a turn to walk down the carpet when her name was called. They had to wave like they were famous. They were greeted and each doll was greeted. (They had asked Jessica to email all the of the girl's and doll's names ahead of time.)


They were each given a star wand (sucker), a card to welcome them, and a pink "credit card" which was actually a snack voucher for the snack shop.


In our room, pink bedding was awaiting us! I wish I had taken a picture of my girl's faces when they saw it.  The package included doll beds that they got to take home with them.  They also provided pink robes for the dolls and girls to use during our stay.  The bathroom had pink towels and we had a comfy pink beanbag in the room, as well. 





Katlyn is showing off her card that she got when we arrived. Can't you see the excitement in her face? I love it!


Then the girls put on their pink robes and we headed down to the pool for a swim.  According the Ashlyn, this was the highlight of the night. 





When we got back to our rooms, a special treat arrived.  It was cookies and milk for the girls and the dolls. The dolls even had their own mini cookies and milk cups. 





After finishing up our cookies and milk, we had a spa session with our girls. Jessica and I brought polish and facial masks with us so we could treat them.  Jessica painted toes while I applied masks. 





We all enjoyed a facial treatment!


Mrs. Cindy let the girls apply her mask. It was so funny. They all had to get their hands on her. 


Katlyn and Hannah hanging out and being silly as we were trying wind down. 


The next morning at breakfast, pink tablecloths and flowers awaited us at our table at the hotel.  They all liked having the glasses and I'm not sure how many times they clinked them together and said, "Cheers!"





Mrs. Cindy with her granddaughters.


After breakfast the girls got to use their "credit cards" in the snack shop. 








Then, we headed to the main attraction!  The girls were so excited and had birthday money burning holes in their pockets. 





The first thing we did was head to the doll salon to get the doll's hair done.  (It needed it! It was a bit of a mess!) There were salon chairs just like in a real salon. It was actually kind of neat to see how they did it, and now I know how to take care of their hair.


Ashlyn standing beside the doll of the year character. 


Katlyn had so much fun picking out new clothes for her doll, Sage. 








Ashlyn used her birthday money to buy her very first American doll, Caroline. 


Ashlyn and Caroline loved posing with their dolls, Caroline and Caroline. 


Before we headed out, the girls got to ride the carousel that was in the mall the store was in. They enjoyed that, too!



We had so much fun!  I enjoyed doing this instead of a birthday party. We made memories and it is something that they will always remember.  And that's what is about....making memories with our children. 


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