The Latest Jamberry Application Test

I feel the need to be the OFFICIAL tester of all Jamberry applications that claim to be THE BEST WAY EVER. So when I ran across this video on Pinterest, I had to give it a shot.

Here’s the breakdown if you don’t want to watch the video.

What you need:

– Jams (duh)

– Spoon scoop cuticle remover – like this one on Amazon for around $6


– Alcohol wipes or rub

– Little scissors

– Rubber cuticle pusher

– Heat source (either the Jamberry heater, your hair dryer, or I’ve heard of girls using toasters and stoves – whatever ya got)

– Optional – Cuticle dissolver

cuticle remover

I was skeptical. If you’ve read my other posts, I’ve got wonky nails and I was just sure this was great for other girls, but not me… I was totally and happily wrong.

I started with a good cleaning of my cuticles using the spoon scoop since Krysten’s video claims that most of Jamberry’s bubbles are caused by those invisible cuticles that actually surround the entire nail that most of us miss.

I used Sally Hanson’s Instant Cuticle Dissolver in this step because I thought if one thing was good, two might be better? I bought this at Ulta for about $7 and I’m not sure how much it helped since I haven’t tried the process without it, but it did remove ALL of my cuticles fully.

Next I trimmed my wraps down because as I’ve stated before and will reiterate here: SMALLER IS ALWAYS BETTER. Trust me. If a little natural nail shows on the sides, no one will ever notice it. It’s way better than peeling edges.

Then I used my alcohol wipes, my heater, and applied my Jams as usual, using the rubber pusher to apply pressure.

Next up, I tried the somewhat barbaric step of heating up metal and then holding it against my nail. You take the spoon scoop and hold it in front of your heat source and then press it down against your nail bed rubbing down as you go. It really wasn’t as bad as I initially thought and it actually did an excellent job of sealing down the edges. Just don’t heat it up too long, because seriously…it’s metal, against your skin, and it’s hot. Be smart, people.

So I used the old Gold Glitter wraps (before they were redesigned to be thinner and easier to apply). I thought I might as well run this application test through the ringer. I am absolutely happy to report that on Day Two I have ZERO bubbles or lifting anywhere. I will have to update to let everyone know how long the wraps actually last on my nails, but I’m pretty happy so far.

This method may be my new go-to over the vent method because it requires less steps and doesn’t leave me with extra edges that could get caught on clothes or hair. Please give this a shot and comment to let me know if this works for you! If you need some free samples to experiment with, go to my sample request page and I’ll get them to you right away!

UPDATE: Day 3 and my wraps are still picture perfect!


Here’s a video I made using the application used in this tutorial. Be warned: It’s 15 minutes because I explain some of the products I use, but I think there’s some useful info in there.


How To: Create Abstract Art When You’re NOT an Artist

How To- Abstract Art

This poor canvas…It’s had many lives, but I think I’ve finally got a winner.

After a watercolor disaster, it ended up like this –


Definitely a Pinterest Fail. It was supposed to be ikat, but I don’t know where I went wrong…What to do when you really want a piece of abstract art when you aren’t really an artist? Make it messy! Intentionally!

This was my inspiration piece from One Kings Lane:


I liked the randomness and also that it looked pretty easy to replicate. So my poor canvas got a fresh coat of white paint (I’m working with all acrylics for this project).



Next up, I just started pouring and spattering colors all over the canvas. This piece is going to hang in my office where the walls are in desperate need of some happy color.


Then I just took a wide-ish brush and dragged it across the canvas through the paint. I was kinda hoping this would be an instant masterpiece, but it left something to be desired.


So I let it dry overnight (easily the hardest part of the project – just being patient) and then repeated the spatter, pour, and brush process again. BUT I forgot to rinse my brush out the night before and it was hardened. I decided – whatever, maybe it will add some texture. And it totally did!


Then it was time for some accents. The inspiration piece looks like they used a paint brush, but I decided to get a little more jazzy and use cotton balls and makeup sponges.


Then I got to dabbing. Ya know how it seems like doing something random would be so easy? Why is it so not?? I had to stop myself from trying to make it symmetrical or some kind of pattern. This is why I’m no artist.

But the end result turned out pretty awesome!


It doesn’t look a thing like my inspiration, but that’s not the point. It looks so great next to the other piece I made for my office. The wall I need to fill is huge so I have more work to do, but I can tell it’s getting happier already.

Has anyone else had a difficult time being abstract, or am I just a little too type-A to really let go?


BLOAT: A Cautionary Tale

hi, i'm elsie

Meet Elsie, the Weimaraner. This is her story about surviving bloat.

: too much growth
1) a : one that is bloated
b : unwarranted or excessive growth or enlargement
2) : digestive disturbance of ruminant animals and especially cattle marked by accumulation of gas in one or more stomach compartments
3) : a condition of large dogs marked by distension and usually life-threatening rotation of the stomach

If you are a pet owner, especially of a large breed dog with a barrel chest, please take a moment to read Elsie’s story. It could save your pet’s life.

this is my barrel chest. now pet it! (please)

this is my barrel chest. now pet it! (please)

It had been a stressful day, but our air conditioning had finally been fixed and I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep for the first time in awhile. But around 1am, Elsie woke me up. This isn’t unusual really. She knows I’m the light sleeper. I pulled myself from bed to dutifully take her outside.

But once we got outside she did nothing. She just stood there. A little annoyed, I took her back inside to go back to sleep.

She woke me up again, this time with a bit more urgency. I took her back outside. Again she stood there for awhile, but I was determined we weren’t going back to bed until she used the bathroom. She began to whine a bit. Suddenly she acted like she was going to vomit and I thought, “ah! Here we go.” But nothing came out. The whining got worse and I got nervous.

I tried to take her back to bed thinking she just had a tummy ache. She’d broken into her food container earlier in the day and had her fill of food so it made sense.

She refused to lay down and continued to whine. I don’t know what made me think to Google it, but I did. I didn’t even have to click on any sites before I was terrified.

“take to vet immediately…”
“serious condition…”

I called our emergency vet and they didn’t even let me finish describing her symptoms before they told me to get her there as soon as possible.

Bloat is a very serious, and often over-looked, condition in animals. In Elsie’s case, the excess food she’d eaten formed a kind of paste in her stomach that sealed off both the entrance and exit. She was neither able to throw up or expel the food. As her body continued the digestion process, the gasses built up in her stomach, causing it to twist and crowd other organs.

We were lucky. Her life was saved by emergency surgery to remove the blockage and set the organs right again. But we were lucky. There had been so much damage to her stomach lining tissue that she only had a 50% survival chance in the first week. Her stomach easily could have ruptured, but it didn’t. We were lucky. We were very lucky.


I had no idea what bloat was before Elsie’s experience, but during our hellacious wait at the vet, another dog was brought in for the same symptoms. That dog was also lucky and got there in time.

If you own a pet, know the symptoms, because early recognition can be the difference between life and death.

– Dogs with a barrel-shaped chest (“deep chested”) have the highest risk of bloat. Breeds like Weimaraners, dobermans, boxers, or rottweilers, just to name a few.
– Bloat can be caused by drinking too much water or getting too much exercise immediately after a meal.
– The stomach may be distended, but it may not.
– The biggest warning sign is an attempt to vomit without anything coming up.

Always call your vet if you have any concerns about your pet’s health.

I hope this will help others be more aware of bloat and it’s deadly nature so that other precious lives can be saved like Elsie’s. She’s awful grateful for the quick action of our vet!

"thanks doc!"

“thanks doc!”

It’s been two+ years and Elsie is still healthy and happy, though a little frustrated that her food container is no longer accessible.


Zen Doodle Your Heart Out!

Have you guys heard of this zen doodle (sometimes called zentangle) movement? If you haven’t, it looks something like this:

2014-10-10 17.30.56

or this:

2014-10-10 17.31.38

It looks all complicated and chaotic and beautiful, but the best part is how easy and how much fun it is!

I found out about it on Pinterest (shocking, I know) and ordered the book One Zentangle A Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun. It shows you step-by-step how to create these intricate drawings and explains how it can actually be therapeutic. The repetition of shapes and lines puts your mind into a calm place that’s hard to get with other hobbies.

So basically, you start with real simple shapes and practice drawing them. You can find all sorts of quick tutorials in the book and on Pinterest (I have a board devoted to them, feel free to Pin away!).

Draw a square that’s roughly 3″x3″ – small enough to finish quickly. A simple shape practice looks something like this:

2014-10-10 17.46.39

Then once you’ve practiced a few, you draw a random shape inside a new square. Now take each of the pieces and fill in one of your shapes.

I’m not a fine artist by any means – my previous doodles were confined to hearts or stars – but this is surprisingly easy. Plus it’s just nice to zone out for awhile and think about nothing but shapes and lines and shading.

Check out some of my more ambitious zen doodles:

2014-10-05 18.59.2120140928_183440

Would you ever draw for the sake of drawing? If you give it a shot, please share below – I love to see all the doodles!

– Jen

Using Vents in Jamberry Wraps for Curved Nails


I choose to think of my nail beds as “special” because frankly, I didn’t know I had strange nail beds until I started using Jamberry.

How can you tell if you also possess “special” nail beds?
Take a look at your nails straight on. Do they curve like mine do in this picture, from side to side?

That would be one problem to deal with, but like I said, I’m special.

Now look at them from the side. Do they also curve from front to back? Yup, special.

Another way to tell is if you get bubbles or puckers around the edges of your wraps. It’s not the wrap’s fault and it’s not your fault. It’s your nails.

Not to worry! There is a solution for either or both problems and those are vents. I can’t take credit for coming up with this idea. I’ll link to the video where I learned about it, but I do mine a little differently.

This is a vent:

It’s just a tiny cut placed towards and angled to the bottom of the wrap. Put one on either side. The video suggests cutting a wedge, but I found that ends up leaving a little gap that kind of bothers me. This way may have some overlap, but it’s less bothersome. It’s totally up to you.

You’re going to place the bottom of the wrap on first and just let the top hang out for a second while you get everything placed right.

Once the bottom is pressed down, now pull the top into place around the sides.

Heat and file as usual and there you have it! I went from an average of 5-6 days with my wraps to over 2 weeks. I’d say that’s worth an extra little step!
Let me know if you have any questions!

FYI – This wrap is the Mad Hatter from the Fall/Winter 2014 catalog.

Original video:

UPDATE: If you liked this post, be sure to check out The Latest Jamberry Application Test where I try out another method that worked out well for me. For some (like me) Jamberry can take some trial and error to find the right method. Hopefully these tutorials help! Please comment if you have specific questions!

– Jen

My Jamberry Rice Bag Method

Hi All! There’s no shortage of creative methods for applying your Jamberry nail wraps, but the rice bag method is my favorite. Here’s a quick tutorial on how I do it and why I think it’s the best!

Step 1: Start with clean nails. If you want to put a base coat on, now’s the time.
Clean Hand

Step 2: Gather the tools. You’ll need your Jamberry nail wraps (obviously), a super cute rice bag, alcohol wipes, buffer, nail file, scissors, and cuticle pushers. First you want to use your alcohol wipes (or nail polish remover or wash your hands with dish soap). Then cut your wrap to the right size – don’t be afraid to trim them!! Smaller is always better since the wraps won’t stick to skin or cuticles.

Step 3: Now for the different part – place the wrap right on your nail BEFORE heating it up!
le sample
This one is “Mad Mod” from the Fall/Winter 2014 catalog and is adorable!
No Heat First
There’s a BIG advantage to this: once the wrap is heated, it will seal pretty much instantly to your nail. So any shaky hands or wiggly children will result in bad placement. Putting them on “cold” lets you re-adjust it a bit if you need to. Once the wrap is where you want it, trim down the top a bit to take off the excess.

Step 4: And now for the heat!
If I’m doing all my nails at once, I will typically go ahead and place all the wraps on cold before I heat up my rice bag. This makes the process very fast because I can heat them all at the same time. Pop the bag in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds and then gently press it on to the wrap. You can use the bag as pressure to make sure to get a good seal around all the edges.
rice bag

P.S. These rice bags are very easy to make at home, just some regular white rice in whatever scrap fabric you have around. If sewing isn’t your thing, contact me and I can sell these beauties that are hand-beaded and scented (optional) for $5 each.
P.S.S What isn’t easy is photographing yourself when you need a third hand. You get the idea. You don’t really have to hold it in the same hand…

Step 5: Give the wrap a few seconds to cool then file in a downward motion to remove the bit of excess at the tip and seal those suckers down.
And there you have it! A beautifully applied nail wrap that will last up to 2 weeks on fingers and 4 weeks on toes!

Check out the full catalog of wraps at my site:
Please contact me if you are interested in doing a party, either virtual (Facebook) or in person (I’m local to central Maryland). When you book a party you and your guests will all get a rice bag with your order for FREE!