Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nail Care: for Jams and Everyday!

Hello friends!
As I mentioned, fingernail care is SO important to me. Seems that the older I get, the more I realize that taking care of yourself really needs to be a priority. And for me, "wellness" includes a variety of factors such as proper nutrition, exercise, natural solutions to healthcare (is, essential oils!) and getting enough quality sleep. One other item for me, is nail care. Your hands make a statement...they can show you've been working in the garden or in a factory, they can show you've been under stress, and they can show that you care about yourself when you take time to care for your nails. 

Truth be told, I'm not a nail care professional. I'm not licensed as an nail tech or anything like that. I've never been to beauty school or taken any classes to that effect. I just have an new-found appreciation for nail care - so I'm sharing my research here. 

Healthy Nails:
A fingernail is produced by living skin cells in the finger. A fingernail consists of several parts including the nail plate (the visible part of the nail), the nail bed (the skin beneath the nail plate), the cuticle (the tissue that overlaps the plate and rims the base of the nail), the nail folds (the skin folds that frame and support the nail on three sides), the lunula (the whitish half-moon at the base of the nail) and the matrix (the hidden part of the nail unit under the cuticle).

Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They are uniform in color and consistency and are free of spots or discoloration. Sometimes fingernails develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical ridges tend to become more prominent with age. Fingernails can also develop white lines or spots due to injury, but these eventually grow out with the nail. Buffing regularly helps with blood circulation and often minimizes this problem.

To keep your fingernails looking their best, follow these simple guidelines.
Please, don't use your nails as tools. Seriously. 

Keep your fingernails dry and clean. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals, and avoid long soaks in the tub. (Before applying nail wraps wraps, make sure your nails are healthy and you follow the application method provided by Jamberry on the back of each package.)

Trim and file your fingernails regularly. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve. 

Moisturize your hands in the morning and before sleeping.  Keep a non-greasy hand lotion by your bed, your desk and your sink. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too. Don’t bother with petroleum-based products. Petroleum products do NOT work with human chemistry so they don't absorb into our pores. We recommend you use all the Jamberry hand care products because our products are free of petroleum. If you don't already have cuticle oil you should absolutely get some Jamberry cuticle oil or good quality cuticle oil.

Dermatologists recommend that you always take care to moisturize the nail bed and the cuticle. While there is little in the way of medical data showing that moisturizing the nail bed will help nails grow, it will make cuticles softer, look better and help protect nails from breaking due to a lack of moisture. 

Protecting your nails with Jamberry wraps:
It is important to remember that everyone is different. While the majority of customers can wear nails wraps with no issues, there will be some people that are not able to wear the wraps due to their body chemistry – just as there are some individuals who cannot wear gel nails or polish. However, most of those who experience nail damage after wearing and removing our wraps can prevent this  damage by simply following the removal method provided by Jamberry on each package of wraps and/or  by keeping hydrated (both inside and out).

Utilizing the appropriate removal processes – especially the gentle process using warm oil and NEVER simply peeling off nail wraps - is super important. The wraps have been applied using hot glue and have a very strong bond with the nail plate. If you have not used a strengthening or smoothing base coat before application, this is especially important.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jamberry anyone?

I've been wearing Jamberry nail wraps for a few months now, and I'm hooked. I'm a nail biter. And a cuticle picker. I've tried acrylic nails, press-on nails, gel nails, gel polish and regular manicures. None of these things helped break my bad habits. But Jamberry....oh've saved me from ugly, unsightly nails!

See, I think pretty nails are kinda important. It's like brushing your teeth and putting on a clean shirt. It's not always easy (I'm a mom, I know), but it's just one of those things you do if you want to make a good impression. So I've struggled with a bad habit, mixed with weak, brittle, peeling nails making it nearly impossible to have pretty nails. That is, until now.

Jamberry nail wraps are like small vinyl stickers (for lack of a better way to explain them) that you warm up, press onto your nail, trim and file, then heat again....and you're good to go. They say the wraps can last up to 2 weeks on fingers, but in my experience, I get about 7-9 days and I'm ready to take them off simply because of the growth I'm seeing near the cuticle. YES! My nails are growing and I've even had to cut my nails a couple times. First time for everything, I guess.

Each sheet of wraps is just $15 and you get 2 manicures plus most people can also get 2 pedicures from each wrap. Can't beat that! There are literally hundreds of designs to chose from which range from simple, conservative french tips to crazy holiday-inspired patterns.

If you've never tried Jamberry, please do! Find a rep in your area, or ask me for a sample. You can find me at: and see the whole catalog.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

dōTERRA’s Peppermint Challenge! (aka, how to try essential oil for free)

Peppermint essential oil. It's not just for flavoring brownies...but that sure is a good idea!

Would you like to get a FREE 15ml bottle of peppermint essential oil to try out? Well, you can!
Download this form Peppermint Challenge - fill in your information and mine as the IPC (#330405).

Simply send in a bottle (full or empty) of quality peppermint essential oil from any other company to:

Attn: Promotions
370 West Center Street
Orem, Utah 84057

dōTERRA will send you a 15ml bottle of their Peppermint essential oil AND a certificate of analysis from an independent laboratory at no charge!

dōTERRA’s CPTG CERTIFIED PURE THERAPEUTIC GRADE ESSENTIAL OILS are 100% pure, natural, aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities and are free of contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues. Essential oils are usually administered by one of three methods: diffused aromatically, applied topically to the skin, or taken internally as dietary supplements.

How we use peppermint essential oil at my house......
PEPPERMINT Mentha piperita
  Rub on stomach or feet, or take one drop internally to calm indigestion or upset stomach
•  Use with lemon in water for a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse
•  Diffuse aromatically or apply topically to open sinuses and airways
•  Apply with lavender to sore, tired muscles and joints
•  Breathe during a meal to help you feel full
•  Add to a cold water compress or foot bath to cool off when overheated
•  Inhale as a non-stimulant, invigorating pick-me-up on long drives
•  Add to shampoo and conditioner for a stimulating hair and scalp massage
•  Use with lavender and lemon during allergy season
•  Spritz on child’s shirt before study time for alertness

Peppermint is popular in countless forms—from toothpaste to chewing gum. As an essential oil, it is useful to ease breathing and as a digestive aid.* 

* Information container here is provided by the doTERRA product catalog. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A New Love - Metal Tip Roller Bottles (for Essential Oils)

Metal tips available here --->

Once again, I bring you a new discovery that has made my life just a little bit nicer. I present to you - the metal ball roller! But Claudine....why metal tips instead of the standard plastic rollers?? I'm glad you asked.

I've been using 10ml roller bottles with plastic tips for a while now, and they are fantastic for applying essential oils and blends to my family. My 9-year old loves to put on doTERRA lavender oil mixed with a carrier (almond oil) every night before she goes to sleep. It calms her mind and body. She also likes the Whisper blend as a perfume, so I've made her a little roller bottle to keep her from stealing mine!My husband frequently uses the Deep Blue and Past Tense blends  layered together for muscle pain after working out. I use the Solace blend from doTERRA every know...for cramps and general PMS type symptoms.

You can pretty much put ANY essential oil single or blend into a roller bottle to apply all over your body (in particular, the bottoms of your feet where we have the largest pores). We've always used glass roller bottles with the standard plastic tips - until now.

Since discovering the metal ball rollers, I've fallen in LOVE with them! The application of the oil is so much smoother than with a plastic tip. Additionally, I noticed on my Solace bottle (shown above with the new tip) that the roller had been pushed down inside the fitment. Oil was leaking out a little and the application wasn't very smooth - in fact, I even scratched myself trying to use it a few times. So believe me when I tell you that these little tips are absolutely worth having on hand!

You can simply replace any existing roller bottle you have with the new metal ball tip - or buy empty roller bottles and the metal tips with them.

And guess what else!! I have these in my Etsy shop. Of course I do - I wouldn't leave you high and dry without a way to get these little gems. Feel free to message me thru my Etsy shop SimplyClaudine to order in larger quantities than I have listed. You can specify if you want the tips alone or with glass bottles and lids. YAY!!

I love to share what I love.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

(REVIEW) Aroma2Go cool mist ultrasonic USB Diffuser for Essential Oils

Here I am! I keep having these long breaks between blog posts, but it's summer and things are crazy after having just sold the house and moved (finally!!). But I'm getting back to my roots and trying to blog more.

Have I mentioned that I'm IN LOVE with essential oils?? It's true. I'll save those stories for another post, and believe me, there are STORIES! In the meantime, I want to share a review of a new EO (essential oil) product that I adore. I adore it so much, I decided to stock it in my Etsy shop! But of course, I tested it out first - and here are my thoughts.....

What is it?
Aroma2Go cool mist ultrasonic USB Diffuser
I have two GreenAir Spa Vapor diffusers in my house that I use all the time. They are water based, and so you add water plus a few drops of essential oil and plug it into an outlet. It gurgles and has a light source that changes color. We love these for nightlights and in bedrooms - but I wanted something DIFFERENT. Something I can use in my office, but not be huge or expensive or loud or overpowering. Welcome to the Aroma2Go USB diffuser!

What does it do?
Well, I'm glad you asked! Like my other diffusers, this one also diffuses essential oils - but there is NO WATER involved. And, it plugs into a USB port - meaning, the thing on the side of your laptop, or in your computer hard drive tower, or the USB car charger, or one of those cool wall outlet adaptors. It's super quiet and has 3 different settings to change the frequency (and thus the intensity) of the bursts of pure essential oil that is released. LOVE!
How much is it?
These retail for $24.99 which I personally think it a pretty decent price because it's so versatile. I spent more than that on my regular water-based diffuser, but I sure can't take that into the CAR with me! Nor do I really like using it in my office because it makes me worry that I'll splash water onto something important. So it's a perfectly compact, portable and powerful diffuser for essential oils!

Like I said, after trying out this beauty I loved it so much I knew I had to add it to my Etsy shop and share the love. I'm offering my Etsy followers and friends discount coupon for anything in my shop until the end of July. Just use the code EOTEAM at checkout for 10% off!

Below you'll find the link for my Etsy shop - take a look at the Aroma2Go diffusers, and all the other fun things I've found. These diffusers come in your choice of pink, black or white.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Testing. Testing.

Knock, knock....

Is anyone there??

It's me. Claudine. Yea, I've been away for a while. But all is well and I thought I'd come back and try to start up the old blog again. 

Why now, you ask? Meh. Just a couple things going on that give me bloggy post ideas. I started the AdvoCare 10-day Cleanse. (one word, grossfiberdrink - but I'm choking it down for the greater good) I'm going to Mexico with my husband for our ten-year wedding anniversary in May and I am soooo not bikini ready. I will be though. I will be...

Also, I have recently enrolled with doTERRA so I can buy their AWESOME therapeutic grade, certified pure essential oils. Bliss! I love this shit. Been using essential oils for years, literally years. Did you know you can INGEST essential oils?!? I did not. Well, let me back it can ingest (most) of the doTERRA essential oils. DO not try this with any other brand, even from the "good" health food stores. More on this later. Believe me, you'll read plenty about my new obsession of healing my family and preventing illness with oils. Oh yea!

We have our house for sale...again. Or still. I'm not sure where we left off with this one, but sufficed to say, it hasn't sold yet. But it's newly spring and they say the market is looking up so that gives me hope. What freaks me out is that we received the enrollment forms for Fall 2013 at my daughter's school and it's first-come-first-in-line for a combined 4th/5th grade classroom....and they only will accept 16 children. GAH!! Someone get me a pen. I need to fill out a form. Or do I?!?! Moving, staying, moving, staying. Ugh. 

And my little Etsy shop is still alive and well. For the most part. I keep changing up the products I offer, but that just keeps people on their toes. Right? Check it out if you are so inclined - I've got some keee-yooot summer party stuff like those metal flower lids for mason jars and decorative paper straws. So fun.

That's all for now. (If anyone is even reading this.) Hopefully more to come. Like an update on my cleanse tomorrow. 

PS - is this font too big?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentine's Day and Red 40..oh my!

Do any of you avoid Red 40 dye with your children? 

We do. It makes my 7 year old bonkers. Literally, nuts. She can't control herself, gets out-of-control silly & loud, and then feels awful (physically and emotionally) later. While she doesn't always like having to say no to treats that contain Red 40 - she is now very aware of the fact that it's not good for her. She tries very hard to make good choices, and fortunately for the most part, it's not too hard to find a substitution (for example at gymnastics when they get a popsicle, she knows to choose a lemon or lime or orange - instead of red, blue or purple).

However, it's the time of year when Valentine's Day classroom parties are being planned. It's not even February yet, and we've already had tearful discussions about how everyone else will be able to eat red treats - and she will not. She's feeling left out of the festivities, isolated, and the holiday hasn't even happened yet! 

I've talked to her teacher about why we avoid red 40 dye. It's a stepping stone to making MANY more healthy choices - eventually leading up to ALL food dyes, but for now I'm focusing on red 40 just to make it more manageable. Her teacher seems to "get it" but that doesn't mean I can convince the entire classroom of parents to not bring in anything un-naturally red for this holiday event (let alone for the rest of the school year!).

So my daughter and I have been talking about how she will handle the classroom party. I've set a rule that allows her to choose, from all the red/pink goodies that are not naturally that color (this is important...we'll revisit this in a minute), ONE treat. She will be allowed to have one red or pink item. Meaning, one frosting topped puffy sugar cookie (you know the ones I mean, they show up everywhere) or one cupcake with swirls of red icing, or one whatever of her choosing. 

Alternatively, as long as it's not red or pink or some other color that clearly was made using red dye - she can go for it. Generally, we teach moderation when it comes to sweets and treats, but heck...I'm not a monster! She already is limited with her allergy to cow milk, so for this particular holiday I'm willing to let the moderation rule be a little flexible. And, for our contribution to the party, we've signed up for a "healthy snack" and will be bringing Target brand Market Pantry strawberry fruit pull-apart leather. No added sugar, no dyes, no HFCS - all natural, and it's RED! Perfect.

Alright, back to the part about naturally red. We had some confusion early on when we eliminated Red 40 from the line-up of acceptable things. I think it was hard for her to understand that some things are naturally red, and some are not. Shoot...strawberries are red, so in a 7-year old mind (even in a 40-year old mind) why would they add red dye to something that already has strawberries in it?!? I supposed that's a whole other blog post - perhaps written by someone who knows more - but I can see why she would be confused. We made a list on the way to school of some naturally red things to eat that would be safe. She came up with some great ones, and maybe you'll want to investigate more for your classroom party too! 

  • fresh strawberries
  • fresh cherries
  • fresh raspberries
  • red apples
  • dried versions of the above (or freeze dried) plus dried cranberries
  • no sugar/dye added fruit leathers in the above flavors - I love the Market Pantry versions, affordable and fun
  • Yummy Earth lollipops 
  • chocolate (dairy free in her case) even though it's not red...hey, it's CHOCOLATE!
  • ...and many organic brands of gummy candies also use natural colors from black carrot juice or beet juice to make things it and you'll find some options

If you've had any luck avoiding red dye at school and at home with great tasting alternative, please share! Happy Valentine's Day!