// Mama Needs a Manicure // Sponsor Spotlight and Jamberry Giveaway //

Last giveaway before Christmas. I hope you enter. It's a good one!


I got invited to a Jamberry Facebook party in September and had no intention of actually buying any, but after hearing all about them and seeing all the cool designs I decided to give them a shot.  I love to paint my nails but I never even attempt it anymore.  Between diaper changes, washing dishes, and playing musical instruments, any manicure would be chipped within 2 hours. And when would I actually have time to paint my nails and let them dry? That's right. Never.

Enter Jamberry Nail Wraps! Ta-da!

There are so many reasons I love Jamberries.  

1. I don't have to wait for them to dry.  It's ok if you get interrupted while putting them on. (essential for me because interuptions are bound to happen). You don't have to wait for them to dry so I could get three fingers done, go change a diaper, then come back and finish. No smearing wet nail polish.

2. They stay on really well! Unlike my nail polish which literally would chip the same day, I've had my Jams last for 2 weeks! Amazing!

My own Jamicure. I love me some florals.

3. They come in super fun designs! I personally love the florals. Just give me all the florals. But there are so many designs, there's really something for everyone. And it's fun to have fancy fingers!

Being able to do your nails is such a great way to administer a little self care. It's always been sort of relaxing and therapeutic, so finding out about Jamberry Nails was such a pleasant surprise. I really wanted to share the Jamberry love with you guys and was so excited when Jenn said she wanted to team up with me to give away a full sheet of wraps (enough for 2 manis and 2 pedis!).

Jenn's going to give you the low down on the Jams, and then the giveaway's at the end!

Describe for us what exactly Jamberries are and how they work?

Jamberries are heat-activated vinyl nail wraps.  They are made with non-toxic materials and are safe for all ages!  A full sheet of wraps includes 18 wraps and is enough to do at least two manicures and two pedicures.  They work simply by selecting the correct size wrap, applying heat to the wrap, pressing it to the nail bed, heating to seal, and filing away the excess wrap from the edge of the nail.  The heat (from a blow dryer or Jamberry mini heater) activates the adhesive and creates a seal tight enough to hold up against almost anything.  The wraps will last up to two weeks on fingers and up to six weeks on toes!

Why do you like Jamberries better than regular nail polish?

 I am a stay-at-home mom to an 18 month old and nail polish would NEVER last!  Also, it was a lot of effort to paint my nails (at least an hour in which I could do nothing else) when the results would only last a few days.  Then it seemed I never had time to take the ugly, chipped polish off and I was completely embarassed of how my nails would look, yuck!  With Jamberries, I can put in little effort to have nails that look good and last.  As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like my looks get put on the back burner quite often so even if I'm still in my sweatpants at 2 in the afternoon and my hair and make-up have not been done, at least my Jams look great!  I also do not like the smell of nail polish and/or the fact that it could chip off anywhere (like in food) and is probably not a safe thing to be ingested and with Jamberries, I don't have to worry about smell or losing any part of them in my food to be eaten!

How did you first hear about/try Jamberries?

In June of this year, a friend of mine added me to a Jamberry Facebook party that she was hosting!  The party was so much fun that I just HAD to try the product.  The consultant sent me samples and I fell in love because I put the sample on while my son was crawling all over me AND it lasted for more than two weeks!!  I hosted my own party and earned a bunch of freebies so I have been absolutely hooked ever since!

What inspired you to become a Jamberry consultant?

I LOVED the product so much and loved the flexibility to do completely online parties!  When I had my son, we took a huge loss in income since we decided for me to stay home with him.  We had been surviving every month but without much extra to save or use for fun money.  The possibility of earning a little cash while still being able to stay home with my son was incredibly appealing.  The consultant kit was reasonably priced and my husband and I decided it was worth a shot.  It has definitely proven to be worth it!

Can you tell us a little about Jamberry Nails as a company?

Jamberry was founded by three sisters who were determined, after an expensive trip to the nail salon, to find a more cost-efficient way of keeping nails looking polished!  They launched the first Jamberry nails wraps in late 2010 and the company has soared since then.  The Jamberry goal is to arm its customers with style and confidence without requiring too much of their time or money.  The company is continuing to grow and is continually looking to reach out to charities in the communities in which it sells.  One of the charities they work with is the Autism Society of America.  For every sale of the wrap "Autism Awareness," Jamberry donates $2 of the sale to this charity.  Jamberry consultants also have the opportunity to do fundraisers for different charities, instead of hostess rewards, Jamberry will donate 10% of sales to the charity.  Jamberry also be donated to the Salvation Army this holiday season with sales during the Black Friday weekend!  The company is very generous and, from my experience, is very concerned with its customers and their families/communities.

Which is your favorite Jamberry?

 I have a REALLY hard time with this question.  One of the reasons I joined Jamberry was because I could not decide which wraps were my favorites, I wanted them ALL!  If I had to choose just one, I would probably go with Star Performer because I am obsessed with stars and this wrap has so many different colors, I can mix and match it with lots of other wraps!

Jenn is giving one FULL SHEET of wraps- that's enough for 2 manis and 2 pedis. You can enter using the rafflecopter below. And if you feel like shopping (fabulous Christmas gifts for just about anybody) visit Jenn's Jamberry website, choose "Anna's Blog Giveaway Party" when you check out and you will get extra entries into the giveaway! 
Jam away my lovelies!

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//What I'm Trying To Do Differently This Christmas//sponsor spotlight and jewelry giveaway//

We've all done it. The week before Christmas, ok three days before Christmas, ok Christmas Eve, frantically running to Target to try to finish the Christmas shopping.  Piling the cart full of generic gifts with hardly any thought behind them. Then standing in a really long line with a bunch of other frantic and grumpy shoppers. I'm not knocking Target. I love Target, as is evidenced by my at least weekly visits there. But when it comes to Christmas shopping, I'd like to do a little better than a Target run at the 11th hour.

 It's been a few year now since the "shop local" and "shop small businesses" movements have taken off.  As a crafter I love the idea of supporting fellow crafters, and as a semi-crunchy person I love the idea of supporting local economies.  But I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't really actually done it! This year it's going to be different. This year it's going to be thoughtful, and when possible, hand made and locally produced gifts.

My friend Anna runs Classically Romantic, an Etsy shop of all handmade jewelry.  There are a few things that make her shop extra special.  First, her name is also Anna. Automatic win! Second, we used to play in college orchestra together! (Go Orch Dorks!) Third, she makes all her jewelry right here in the Twin Cities.  Her shop is full of beautiful, completely unique pieces of jewelry. When she said she wanted to give me Some pieces to style, and another piece to give away to you, I was totally pumped! She was also good enough to give us the inside scoop on what it's like to make crafting into a small business.  I hope you'll read and be inspired to shop locally and handmade, and that you'll enter the giveaway (at the end!) and check out her shop. (All photos link back to the product listing)

Q: When and why did you start Classically Romantic?

A: Classically Romantic officially became a functioning business a couple years ago after college, but I tinkered with a hobby version of it for about a year before that. I've always been a maker, a crafter, an entrepreneur, and a colouring book enthusiast. Before Classically Romantic became Classically Romantic it was just a little girl selling stretchy beaded bracelets at her family's garage sale, trying to copy her grandma's handmade business.

Q: Is art and creativity something that runs in your family?

A: Yes! Though I might broaden this into 'the arts'. In my family we've got myself, a jewelry maker and former figure skater, my sister a classically trained pianist, my cousin a former ballet dancer and general arts enthusiast, her sister a maker of all sorts, an aunt who quilts, my mom who sews, my grandma who crocheted and also had a handmade business, and everyone else has worked something creative into their lives. It might be a love of literature, a glue gun and craft supplies, or a supporter of music. I can't tell you how many years we've all exchanged handmade Christmas gifts or saved craft store coupons for each other!

Q: What do you do in addition to running your etsy shop?

A: That's a bit of a tricky question. The CIA likes their operatives to maintain low profiles... haha! I have a 'day job' as a receptionist, and when I'm not doing that I'm either sleeping or working on something Etsy related! In the few hours I'm doing neither, I like reading, talking with friends, and listening to edutainment styled podcasts while I clean. My favourites are Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, Freakonomics, Radiolab, and This American Life. I know, I'm a wild woman.

Q: Would you like your jewelry business to become a full time gig eventually?

A: This is my long term goal! I would love to be a self-started business and making enough financially to work from home. Right now I'm not anywhere near that goal but I'm trying to learn and improve as I go. I would love to be featured in local boutiques and have my own website someday, I think that would be really neat.

Q: Tell us about the name, Classically Romantic. What does it mean and how is it reflected in your style?

A: The name Classically Romantic didn't exist until 2010 in my head. It has become very sentimental in my life, but it started out as merely a brainstorm of adjectives describing my personal style. I wish I would have kept the sheet of paper I wrote it all out on! Classic styles, the past, and beauty in nature are all ideas I want to reflect in my jewelry. This means I have lots of vintage or replica pieces, lots of florals, and lots of pearls and lace. The style of Classically Romantic is about femininity, beauty, and memories.

Q: How do your personality and interests come through in your jewelry? (ahem, Sherlock.)

A: Most of my shop is very woodland and vintage inspired, but I do have some really geeky stuff in there too... like the Sherlock pieces! I think that, to deny my shop the geeky reflection of me would be cheating... although I don't focus on the geeky, pop culture stuff as much because the themes are so fleeting. But they're very fun in the moment and in a cult classic way. Making pieces inspired by nerdy stuff is just as natural to me as making something inspired by a garden or my grandma's old jewelry. Bring on Sherlock, Doctor Who, or Harry Potter, I've got those supplies ready!

Q: What has been your favorite part of Classically Romantic so far?

A: By FAR my favourite part has just been seeing how much I've learned and grown over the months and years. I still remember how I shipped my first order. I had the good sense to use a bubble envelope to keep the necklace safe, but nothing else. I didn't have business cards, no actual packaging to speak of, I certainly didn't think to include a thank you note.... Don't worry, things are much better now! A close second, and nearly a tie to that would be seeing how happy people are at craft shows when they walk away with the perfect gift for their mom or sister. I try to keep things affordable so that someone doesn't have to make a sacrifice to buy a gift, or end up paying for a fancy name instead of a quality product. Providing something special to people is important to me and my business. I hope to never lose that idea.

When I received my own Classically Romantic pieces this first thing I noticed was the attention to detail in the packaging. I almost didn't want to open it, it was so beautiful. You could order a gift for someone and not need to do any gift wrapping. 

The presentation of the jewelry inside the box was so intentional and really made the pieces look quite exquisite. A thank you note and business card were neatly tucked in and whole package looked and felt so professional and high quality, it's amazing to think it's all produced by one individual out of her home. 

I love locket necklaces. I love the idea of carrying around the picture of a loved one right on top of your heart. Even before I became pregnant with Johnny I knew I wanted a locket to put a picture of my baby in.  Anna has several lockets in her shop and I was thrilled when I saw one had been included on my package. This antique styled, book shaped locked is perfect. It's so nostalgic and looks like an heirloom, which I'm hoping it will become. I also love that this necklace is versatile. It could work with a casual outfit just as easily as with something dressy.

These earrings were another favorite of mine. I loved the simple yet classy look, and when I got them and tried them on I loved them even more. I put them on and instantly felt super fancy. That, my friends, is what a good pair of earring will do to you. And they are so light!  I don't know if you wear a lot of long earrings, but most of them feel like long earring. In other words, they're really heavy.  Not these pretty little things. They are so light and comfortable to wear, and they're really beautiful. These are going to be my Christmas Eve earring.  And my New Years Eve earrings.  Basically they are my any-time-I'm-dressing-up earrings.  

Well, I hope you've enjoyed my raving as well as all my selfies.  Now I hope you will enter the giveaway, then tell your friends to enter the giveaway, then go visit Classically Romantic and get a gift for your sister or mom or bff, or just for yourself! Use the coupon code COZYWINTER to receive 20% of any non-custom orders now through the end of January 2015!

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