Mani Monday

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's just another Mani Monday....

Above are recent manicures of mine using Jamberry Nails! As you can tell, I am hooked!

Even more, I am oh so passionate about the company, the product quality, and how beautiful my nails always look.  As a super busy mom on the go, I love how I can quickly apply these gluten-free, vegan nail wraps knowing they will last up to 2 weeks!

In the few short weeks I have been a Jamberry consultant, I have promoted to Advanced Consultant & most recently to Senior Consultant. I love my team and I love helping other women find their passion!

Do you love natural beauty products?  Are you supportive of women-owned businesses? Is "Made in America" important to you?  Talk to me about how Jamberry Nails may be the right fit for you!

We Pick the Best Natural Shampoos on the Market

Monday, September 23, 2013

Do you know what is in the typical shampoo found in salons and on store shelves? Most shampoos contain harsh chemical detergents such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Both are irritating and may be linked to many skin and health concerns.

Until recently, natural shampoos earned a reputation of not working well on the hair. People often complained of these products leaving behind a film or greasy residue.

Companies have been working hard over the years to create safe and natural alternatives to harmful mainstream shampoos. I have tried dozens and dozens of natural shampoos over the years and am here to share the best.


Original Moxie Get Fresh Shampoo features Dead Sea salts and wheat protein to add volume, while lime and citrus essential oils help get rid of product buildup and residue without drying. Find it here.


Does your hair lack bounce and softness? Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Shampoo contains green tea and vitamin B5 for a double dose of healthiness. Find it here.


If you are looking for an ultra gentle shampoo to help protect your color and highlights from environmental damage and regular fading over time, you'll adore this product. Cupuaçú seed butter and buriti fruit oil pamper chemically-treated hair, too. Find it here.


No matter what type of hair and scalp you have, a clarifying shampoo is needed every now and then. This shampoo is ideal for clarifying even fragile and dry hair types. Argan oil is added to strengthen and nourish hair follicles. A bonus? Shiny strands! Find it here.

Mani Monday: Easy Jamberry Application Tips & Tricks

It is time for this week's Mani Monday and I wanted to not only show you some recent Jamicures, but also take the time to answer some of the questions I have been asked about applying Jamberry Nails. People want to know if it is hard to do by yourself. I have gotten the application process down to a science, but the first couple times were harder.

I have a video tutorial to share for those visual learners (like me) and also a written list that I made down below.

First, let's take a look at some nail pics!

And I am wearing Reminisce right now:

Here is the official Jamberry application video. This is so helpful! If you do not have the Jamberry Nails heater, you still can do this at home with your hair dryer. That is how I did it until I got my consultant starter kit several months after already being a Jamberry user.


How to get a great Jamberry application every time based on my *personal experience*

1. Remove all traces of nail polish.

2. Push back cuticles,trim &  file your nails, and buff.

3. AN IMPORTANT STEP: Often, our nail beds are oily. Plus, your fingertips will have natural oils. Wash your hands. Use a degreasing soap like Dawn. My favorite natural hand soaps are usually TOO OILY for this task. The exception?  Clean Well brand.

4. You can also wipe your fingernails with a bit of alcohol to be sure there is no oily residue left behind.

5. When you are choosing a nail wrap for your fingernail, do not choose one that is too wide. If it touches the cuticles at all, they will not adhere. It IS totally OK to have a teensy bit of nail uncovered on each side (just like when you get gels). It won't be noticeable and makes a big difference.

6. Don't heat your Jams for too long. Just a couple seconds will suffice. When you apply them, the heat will have made them pliable, so stretch to ensure there aren't bubbles/ridges.

7. PRESSURE! Pressure and heat are key. Keep pressing. Apply pressure around your nail bed and keep pressing. Also pay attention to your nail tips. This area is often overlooked, especially on those of us with short nails. Apply lots of pressure!

8. Seal again with a touch of heat. And press again for good measure :)

9. TOOLS matter. We all have a dull pair of nail scissors laying around. I am guilty, too. Without sharp scissors or a nice and "buffy" buffing block, the results won't be the same.

10.  Once you have your manicure, please keep your hands in great shape! Use  Jamberry Nails Cuticle Oil and your favorite natural hand cream daily. I have been using (seed) Healthy Hand Cream as my go-to 100% natural cream for years. I also use my favorite exfoliant, (seed) Therapeutic Hand Scrub, regularly.

I am also asked questions about whether you can use Jamberry Nails over artificial nails. Yes, you may use Jamberry Nails nail wraps over both gel and acrylic nails.

Another tip I read online that WORKS LIKE A CHARM FOR ME: the "baggy method".  Again, this is *my personal experience* and not a Jamberry-approved method.  Apply your nail wraps and place a baggy (like a Ziploc) over the nail and apply heat. This will practically "shrink wrap" the nail wrap to your nails and--for me--it lasts longer!

I hope these tips will help you all out!

A new lipstick to love!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Can I just tell you how much I ADORE this lippie? It is called Hannah from Jane Iredale and I absolutely think this will be my go to fall lipstick.

I love Pure Moist Lipstick because it is, indeed, moist like the name implies. However, it is NOT so moist that it gets on my teeth and bleeds under my lips. The color stays put and makes my lips feel hydrated. Unlike most "moist" lippies, this one lasts and lasts.

The ingredients are also Chic & Green approved! Among the ingredients: elderflower extract, sunflower seed oil, radish root, shea butter, pomegranate and white tea.

Color-wise, Hannah is very me. I love plums and raisins and this one is right up my alley.

Speaking of Jane Iredale, in the below picture which shows off the Pure Moist Lipstick in Hannah, I am wearing the Dream Tint Tinted Moisturizer in Medium. Seriously, medium. I never wear medium in makeup--but this one is very similar to a light in other brands. This is my favorite tinted moisturizer, as it works like a CC cream on me. HIGHLY recommend!

Mani Monday!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Good afternoon, friends. It's time for Mani Monday and I am sharing some of my Jamberry Nails manicures with you, photos courtesy of my Instagram page--

The first photo features one of my favorite designs called Black Fleur de Lis Lace.

The second photo is a mix of Black & White Damask, Black & White Skinny, and Gray & White Polka.

Last picture is a mix of Cheers (disontinued) and an accent nail with Quill.

Sharing is caring.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I have some neat things friends (or friends of friends) are doing right now and would like to share them with you all today!

1.  Once upon a time, I was a senior in high school sitting in one of my French classes with a bunch of 9th graders. I had already completed 4 years of Spanish and loved foreign languages, so my senior year was spent studying other languages--I enrolled in French I, II, and III like a crazy person all in one year (and scored a 99 on the New York French Regents!), while taking my required courses and an elective called World Languages. That class included 10 weeks each of American Sign Language, Japanese, Russian, and Hebrew.

Anyway, while I was in French class, I met a short little blond boy named Ryan.  We quickly became pals that year and I truly adored this kid. I used to help him with his French and then I do not think I ever saw him again once he came to my graduation party. I went off to college while he was just entered tenth grade and we lost touch.

Ryan was always a talented musician. He went off to Ithaca College and decided to go after his dream later on of becoming a star. He is well on his way now, having performed with Brad Paisley. Ryan packed up and moved and is in the south now, pursuing his dream. Would you watch his video when you have a chance? He is a really great guy with an amazing voice!


2.  You all know if you've been here any length of time reading, that my dad died of Pancreatic Cancer when he was just 56 years old. He died 3 months after being diagnosed. I was pregnant with Ben, and I can honestly say that that period of Dad's illness and death were the darkest of my life.  I am so, so thankful that I had Tom, baby Nick, and Ben's impending arrival to keep me going. It was 8 years ago in January when we said goodbye to my dad. Raising awareness for this very deadly cancer has been important to me. That is why I have been involved with such wonderful charities such as the Lustgarten Foundation and PanCan.

My dear friend, Beth, shared a wonderful blog with me detailing her family member's mission to raise awareness (and MONEY) for pancreatic cancer research. Says Beth, "James is traveling by bike down the Pan American Highway, thru 16 countries from Minnesota to South America, raising money for pancreatic cancer research. 3 years ago he traveled from Minnesota to Alaska by bike raising over $16,000. Following his journey is impressive to me. Living his dream."

Beth, this blogger thinks his journey is impressive, too. Kudos to James for his strength! Seriously, this man will be traveling over FIFTEEN THOUSAND MILES by bike--all as a tribute to his dad. You see, James also lost his father to this horrible disease. He is turning his grief--and his love for his dad-into something amazing.

James Rienstra has a blog called Pedaling for Pennies.  He is chronicling his experience as he pedals away on his bike to help a wonderful cause, the Randy Shaver Cancer Fund. I would love for you to check out his blog and follow along as he travels all in the name of love and raising awareness.

For more on Pedaling for Pennies via the Randy Shaver Cancer Fund, please click here.


Also found on Facebook today, my friend  City / Life / Eats a mention of a NEWLY LAUNCHED organic skin care brand.  Turns out, this DC-based blogger has a friend who just started this business and the products look absolutely WONDERFUL. Nothing harmful in them, eco-friendly, beautiful packaging--who could ask for more?

The ingredients you will not find in this line: 

Synthetic fragrance

The brand is called lilikoi living and I would love for you to browse the site!

Our Favorite Paraben Free Facial Sprays

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Facial mists are a lovely addition to your skin care regimen. When you spray on moisturizing ingredients, they help nourish skin cells and will help your facial cream work more effectively.  Use a mist prior to moisturizing and again to set makeup. You can even use them throughout the day if you are feeling dry.

Here are my 5 favorite facial mists in all price ranges.  Not wanting to shop?  At the end of this post, I have some links for my DIY facial mists, the very same ones I used to create for my skin care line (which I closed 4 years ago now) time flies!

Here is how I personally use facial mists-- 
  • As a toner post cleansing
  • As a makeup setting spray
  • Throughout the day to boost hydration if I am in a particularly dry environment
  • While flying, as the cabin air is extremely drying to the skin

Best Mist for Oily Skin:

3 Girls Holistic Purifying Toner

If you are fighting a battle against excess oil production and would like to remove the residue from cleanser as well as lingering bacteria WITHOUT stripping the skin, this is the spray for you.

$6.95 - $20

Best Mist for Sensitive Skin with Early Signs of Aging:

Cucumber juice calms hypersensitive skin, while rosewater provides anti-aging benefits. This mist from 100% Pure is gluten free and vegan and will give your skin a plumper, more youthful look.


Best Mist for Dry Climates:

I am not much of a Clinique fan, but they do have one product I recommend--their facial mist. Do you live in a dry climate or are you a frequent flyer? This face mist provides extra moisturization for those with parched skin. The best part? This one also works well on combination skin since there are no oils present.


Best Protective Spray:

Jane Iredale's Pommist spray helps fight UV damage and contains multiple antioxidantssuch as pomegranate, grapeseed, and white tea to combat the damage caused by free radicals.


Best Mist for Dull, Aging Skin:

If you're in your 40's and 50's and are experiencing a loss of firmess and brightness, Arcona's mist may breathe some life back into your skin. Copper and colloidal silver may boost cell regeneration, while Sodium PCA will give a healthy looking glow.


Make it yourself!

5 Bits of Randomness

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Aren't these such pretty baubles? I just purchased the above two bracelets over the weekend from a Saratoga Springs-based artisan.  Her shop is called Heaven for Bead and she can be found on Etsy. Check out her shop--there are lots of pretty finds.

The layers on my wrist today are from Stella & Dot and Alex and Ani. My newest Alex and Ani bangle is part of their Charity by Design collection and has a charm which reads, "Today is an Opportunity." A portion of the proceeds benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (Pan Can), a charity I have supported over the years in memory of my father.

I continue my Jamberry Nails obsession. It is SUCH a good thing I decided to sign up to sell them, because I look at my nail wrap collection as an investment in advertising. I always have my pretty nail wraps on and not a day has gone by since I signed up that I haven't been asked about them! Check out my Jamberry Nails page to browse the 300+ designs!

Did I mention that today was the first day of school?! Yep, it is. Nick started fifth grade today and Ben started third. Can you even BELIEVE how big Ben has gotten??? By the way, today is Nick's TENTH birthday! Happy Birthday to my sweet boy!

Note, when Chic & Green first started, it was right around the time when Nick was wearing his yellow preschool shirt shown above in the collage. How fast time flies!

Seventh Generation Giveaway Winner Chosen!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


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