Pumpkin Decorating Party - 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

If you haven't decorated your pumpkins yet, there are still a few more days left until Halloween. And, wouldn't you know it? We were visiting our local doctor's office (again) and they were having their annual pumpkin decorating contest (again), so I just couldn't resist snapping a few photos and bringing you these last-minute, no carve pumpkin decorating ideas.

These look super easy to accomplish and let me tell you, they will certainly impress! (And if you happen to be reading this after the holiday has passed, make sure to pin these ideas for next year!)

First up are two of my favorites (and front-runners to win the competition if you ask me):

A Star Wars Tie Fighter - The pumpkin is painted silver and a black pattern is painted on the front. Two tin cans are attached to the pumpkin with duct tape. Two large octagons were cut from cardboard and painted black. The pattern was created on them with more duct tape. The octagons were attached to the tin cans with duct tape.


R2D2 - The pumpkin was painted with white, royal blue, gray, and black paint. A soda bottle top was affixed to the top for a 3-D affect. His legs were made of foam and painted.


In keeping with the space theme, there was also a UFO and aliens pumpkin set! The UFO spaceship was a large pumpkin that was painted silver. The ring around the spaceship is cardboard that has also been painted. It's a little hard to tell in the picture, but a battery-operated strand of Christmas lights was attached to the outer edge of the cardboard ring so that the spaceship lit up! The aliens were made of mini pumpkins that were painted lime green. Their eyes were chenille stems that were twisted around pencils to create curls and then glued to the pumpkins. Each chenille stem was then topped with a googly eye.


Up next (and perfect for a doctor's office) is Doc McStuffins and her lamb, Lambie. Both pumpkins were given a great paint job. Doc's body seemed to be created from pool noodles, toddler clothes, and a toy doctor set. The lamb was completed with cotton balls.


This friendly lion was created with construction paper loops for his mane. His face was painted and his whiskers are chenille stems. He would make the perfect companion to a Dorothy, Tin Man, and Scarecrow! (Hint: Use the Doc McStuffins idea above to create those.)


And finally, a sure winner with the superhero fans that come through the office, The Batman pumpkin! If you look closely, you'll see that the actual pumpkin is painted to look like Batman answering the Bat signal over Gotham. It is dressed with the Joker on top of the pumpkin and the rest of Gotham City and characters around the pumpkin.


So there you have it! And make sure to check out our no carve and low carve pumpkin decorating ideas from last year too.

Happy Halloween!

My Monday Night Ritual

Monday, October 26, 2015

We all do it.  We do it all- between kids, families, work, appointments, homework, housework, fun, obligations, and everything else in our paths- we put ourselves last and take care of everyone and everything else first.  I think it's part of being a woman.  We are born nurturers.  And there's nothing in the world wrong with that.  But we have to make time for ourselves too.  We aren't much good to the rest of the world if we have burned our candles at both ends for way too long. 

So I decided a while back to implement a new Monday night ritual.  It's a little me time that I carve out for myself each week.  It starts my week off on the right foot, calming me from my busy weekends and preparing me for a new week ahead. 


My ritual goes something like this.  Once our babe is in bed, I head directly to our bathroom and start drawing a nice hot bubble bath.  I turn the lights down low and light my favorite scented candle.  I pour myself a glass of wine (red wine this time of year- chilled white wine in the hot weather months) and soak it all in- LITERALLY-  FOR AS LONG AS I LIKE.  My husband knows my routine quite well by now, and always respects my block of carved out "me time". 

I usually follow my bath with a slather of nice scented lotion, a facial treatment, or time to work on my nails.  It's just a little time out of the week to focus on me.  And I enjoy it and look forward to it every single week.  It's a little thing, but it does wonders for me.

It may not be YOUR thing.  Maybe you prefer to read, or knit, or zone out on your favorite TV show.  Whatever IT is for you, make sure you are making time for yourself.  You will be better off for it, and so will the people who rely on you daily.  Take good care of yourself, ladies!  You deserve it!

Fall Family Photos Through the Years

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Five years ago, on a whim, John and I decided to take a photo together on the front steps of our house at Halloween time.  Since then, it has become somewhat of a tradition.  It's fun to look back on these photos and see how things have changed: our family, my hair (!), the color of our fall mums, and the volume of our fall-time decorations. 
 
Here's the run down for you....
 
2015: John and I have been married for four years now.  Babydoll is almost 18 months old, and sweet Izzie is nearly five years old.  We will always carve out time to get this photo every year from now on. 
 
 
 
2014: Married three years.  Babydoll was born in the spring of the year and joined us for this photo for the first time.  Izzie, however, is now a pro at these photos.
 

 
2013: Married for two years, and just found out we were expecting Babydoll (though we had not yet announced it to anyone)!



2012: Married for one year. But this was the third year of us doing this picture.  By this time, we knew it had already become an annual tradition.

 
2011:  Just married!  We married in September of 2011, and got Izzie the Wonder Pup that year too!  We decided to recreate this photo with the new addition to our family.


2010:  John and I met around this time of year in 2008.  Two years later, we were engaged to be married.  This is where these photos all began. 

 
I can't say enough how much I love getting these annual photos.  It is such fun to recreate them every year and look back at them all as the years pass.  Is there a certain photo that you take every year?  I would LOVE to hear all about them!  Comment below or on our Facebook page! 

Decorating for Autumn: Our Halloween Kitchen

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


How is your seasonal decorating coming along?  I do so love this time of year, and our kitchen always gets a little makeover for Halloween.  Here's a look at some of what's happening in our kitchen this year.
 
My love for owls has been cultivated over the years, as has my owl collection.  This cookie jar, sugar bowl, and creamer proudly sit on the ledge to our kitchen pass through.  You can see here I'm putting that creamer to good use to display the last of our rose garden's summer blooms. 
 

On the other side of the same ledge you will find even more owls.  The one in the middle is another cookie jar, and it's old.  The only marking is on the inside of the lid declaring that it was "Made in the U.S.A."  If I had to guess, I would say it is maybe from the 1970s.  It came to live with us a few years ago after we rescued it from a rummage sale. The other two owls shown here are candle holders. 

 
Sitting high atop my fridge is my "Kitchen Witch".  At her feet, you will see I have added a black cat and a large pumpkin. If you decorate for Halloween, a "kitchen witch" is just a MUST!

 
Nestled in with my usual cooking oils and spices, I have added a bottle of "Poison" and "Witch Hazel".  Better not grab the wrong thing by mistake!  Or better yet, best just not to cook until that sticky little situation clears itself up!
 
 
And here's the breakfast cubby. You will see my prized Shawnee Owl cookie jar displayed here, as well as a bright little fox coffee cup.  Here's the story of the Shawnee Owl cookie jar if you would like to read more about it. 
 
 
Then on the other side of the kitchen, we have the wine "nook".  If you look closely, you will see that I've been using old wine bottles to burn taper candles lately.  We noticed that being done often when we visited Ireland and the UK, and I love the way it looks when the wax drips down the side of the bottle.  I also switched out my cookie jar to my new Charlie Cookie Jar, by Pioneer Woman.  More on that later, but he's a goodie.
 

 
 
Here's a closer look.  I melt, you sweet pup, you.
 
 
And here's a closer look at my vintage Pyrex nesting bowls.  They are the wheat pattern bowls.  There are three of them, two the color you see here and the middle bowl is a little darker orange.
 
 
There they are nesting.  I LOVE old Pyrex bowls.  They remind me of home. 
 
 
And in case you haven't seen it yet, here's my Halloween kitchen table.  And here's the link to the full story on this fun little tablescape.  
 
 
So there you have it- the grand kitchen tour.  Lots of owls, lots of orange, lots of Halloween, with a little Autumn thrown in for good measure.   :)

Lexi's Latest Jam: The Monster Mash

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Just in time for Halloween, wouldn't you know that Lexi has a new jam, and of course it's a Halloween favorite.  I have been playing her this version of The Monster Mash on the iPad, set to scenes from the original Scooby Doo cartoon, and she LOVES it!
 
 
 
She bobs her little head and sways in time to the music.  This babe has rhythm!  Take a look for yourself and enjoy this old time Halloween tune.  I bet you'll be bobbing and swaying a little too!
 

 
 
As always, here are the lyrics so you can follow along...
 
I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise
 
He did the mash
He did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
He did the mash
It caught on in a flash
He did the mash
He did the monster mash
 
From my laboratory in the castle east
To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes
 
They did the mash
They did the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They did the mash
It caught on in a flash
They did the mash
They did the monster mash
 
The zombies were having fun
The party had just begun
The guests included Wolf Man
Dracula and his son
 
The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds
Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
With their vocal group, "The Crypt-Kicker Five"
 
They played the mash
They played the monster mash
The monster mash
It was a graveyard smash
They played the mash
It caught on in a flash
They played the mash
They played the monster mash
 
Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring
Seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist
And said, "Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist"
 
It's now the mash
It's now the monster mash
The monster mash
And it's a graveyard smash
It's now the mash
It's caught on in a flash
It's now the mash
It's now the monster mash
 
Now everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band
And my monster mash is the hit of the land
For you, the living, this mash was meant too
When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you
 
Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash
The monster mash
And do my graveyard smash
Then you can mash
You'll catch on in a flash
Then you can mash
Then you can monster mash
 

Glazed Apple Coffee Cake

Monday, October 12, 2015

If you've never had coffee cake before, it kind of falls into a special category of food. It's equally at home on your breakfast table as it would be for an afternoon snack or an after-dinner dessert.

Very versatile.

And this one in particular is special because it incorporates baked apples to make it perfect for Fall. I think you'll love this one.



Glazed Apple Coffee Cake


Cake
2 1/2 cups baked apples
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1  1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
3 Tbsp butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine brown sugar and nuts. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar,  baking powder, cinnamon, salt, milk, 1/2 cup butter, vanilla, and eggs. 
  4. Mix with an electric mixer on low 30 seconds and then on medium 2 minutes. 
  5. Spread half of batter into prepared pan. 
  6. Spread half of apples evenly over batter. Spread half of brown sugar mixture evenly over apples. 
  7. Spread remaining batter evenly over brown sugar mixture and spread remaining apples over top. 
  8. Mix 3 Tbsp melted butter with remaining brown sugar mixture. Spread evenly over top of cake.
  9. Bake 45-50 minutes until tester comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before covering in glaze (recipe follows).

Glaze
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4-5 tsp hot water
  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth. 
  2. Drizzle over cake after it has cooled for 20 minutes.

Notes: 

To make this recipe even easier, feel free to substitute one 20 oz. can of apple pie filling for the baked apples. 

Make sure to check out our Crockpot Baked Apples recipe. It is one of our most popular recipes and it couldn't be easier to make.

Get Ready to Celebrate Back to the Future Day!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It has been well documented that THIS Harris Sister loves Michael J. Fox, so let's discuss this upcoming historic day.

Wrap your mind around this: October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. 




Haven't I celebrated this before?

Unfortunately, maybe. For a few years now, there have been several hoaxes floating around the Internet claiming "this is the year!" "this is the day!" But true fans (and anyone willing to do research) can tell you that those were Photoshopped.

Why are we celebrating October 21, 2015? 


In Back to the Future, 17-year-old Marty McFly was accidentally sent back in time (30 years) from 1985 to 1955 in the DeLorean, which was a time machine built by scientist Doc Brown. However, at the end of the movie, Doc appears in a modified version of the DeLorean, and tells Marty that he must travel to the future to undo some situation caused by Marty's kids.

In Back to the Future II, we find out that the “future” that Doc spoke of was 2015! And October 21, 2015 was the day they traveled to - Dun, dun, dun.



If you had a hard time following that plot line, maybe it’s time for you to watch all three of these gems back to back to refresh your memory. They are kid-friendly movies, so the whole family can watch the story unfold. 


However, if you’re just getting around to watching them now, the kids might be a tad bit disappointed that 2015 isn’t depicted in the movie as we now know it. For one thing, we certainly don't dress the way the characters are portrayed in the movie.



We’re missing out on a few major things like flying cars for everyday use AND I challenge you to find any kid who can tell you the status of the last Jaws movie, let alone find Jaws 19 (it doesn’t exist). 

However, you might be surprised to know that we've achieved a few of the things shown in the movie. (I'm sure because of the popularity of the movie itself. I mean - marketing gold!) For example, Pepsi will be releasing 6,500 bottles of Pepsi Perfect online in the U.S. on October 21. Each collectible bottle will be sold for $20.15.






Both Lexus and Hendo have developed hoverboards JUST IN TIME for 2015, although neither are readily available to the public.




In 2011, Nike had a limited release of Marty McFly's 2015 shoes, called the Nike MAG. But the limited-release shoes were only similar in appearance and did not offer the awesome self-tying feature portrayed in the movie. 

Proceeds from the sales of the 2011 Nike Mag shoes went to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's disease. Nike has stated their intent to re-release the Nike Mag with self-tying laces in 2015. Not much else has been discussed about the 2015 version, but they will probably also be available in limited release.



And, finally, what some people deem to be the most improbable thing to come true from this movie. The Cubs are in the playoffs, which means they have a shot at winning the 2015 World Series as Back to the Future II predicted. Of course, this one remains to be seen, but Chicago fans are optimistic.


One Last Mind-Blowing Thought:


Right now, as you are reading this in 2015, you are as far removed from 1985 as Marty McFly was from 1955. That’s right, it has been exactly 30 years since Marty McFly traveled into the past for the first time on the DeLorean in the original Back to the Future (and his destination, 1955, was 30 years from his starting point).

To quote Marty McFly, “Whoa, this is heavy.”

So, your reason to celebrate is that your generation is lucky to have been alive for both Marty's present-day starting point (1985) and Marty's future (2015). AND some folks reading this may have also been around for Marty's first visit back to the past (1955). Definitely worth celebrating!


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Decorating for Autumn: Halloween Entryway

Friday, October 9, 2015

I had an inspired idea the other day (no doubt when I was perusing the Pinterest) to pair pumpkins with candlestick holders.  My candlestick holders, which usually occupy my bathroom, happened to be out on the table after a power outage, so I spiffed them up with some tiny pumpkins. 


As far as holiday decorating goes, this is far and away above my usual, single decoration, and I do already have a Halloween kitchen towel adorning one of my kitchen cabinets.


I thought this turned out absolutely lovely, but then I thought maybe I would do something with my entryway.  You know, just in case some kids come looking for candy at some point.



So, I rummaged around and found a few things.  I took to my local Dollar General and found this spooky gray netting and some horrific orange and black wrapped Halloween candy that I just knew would be sitting around until next Halloween:




(Little did I know that my family will sneak anything that even has the pretense of being candy!) Anyhoo, one of the coolest things I brought to my little display was the pictures.  I had an old picture of the girls from a previous Halloween.  I then framed two other Halloween-y pictures of their chosen costumage for this year: a witch for Emma and Charlotte will become Emma Swan from TV's "Once Upon a Time".


I have actually had this picture for a while, and it was headed toward Charlotte's room, but I thought what a neat way to remember what they were this year by incorporating it into the decor.


I actually stole those frames from another area in my house.  So that I wouldn't leave a big hole on one of my bookcases, I drug out Charlotte's entire reading selection for the next two years, and what do you know, Frankenstein was among them!  

win-win!


Apple Pie French Toast Casserole

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Apple season is upon us, so I wanted to share a new recipe that is not only easy but also delicious. I think you'll like it. If you're a fan of our Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping or Baked Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole, this one will be right up your alley!

Perfect with a cup of your favorite pumpkin spice coffee!


Apple Pie French Toast Casserole

Streusel Topping
1 stick butter, cubed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans

French Toast
1, 16 oz loaf French bread, sliced
4 eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups baked apples*


  1. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix together with a fork until mixture becomes crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
  4. Arrange bread slices in baking dish in two rows so that each slice overlaps the previous slice. Pour egg mixture over top of bread, making sure that each piece is generously coated.
  5. Evenly spread baked apples over top of bread.
  6. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over top of apples.
  7. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.
Notes:

To make this recipe an "overnight" recipe, assemble the casserole, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking as directed.

To make this recipe even simpler, you can substitute one 20 oz can of apple pie filling for the baked apples. However, do check out our recipe for Crockpot Baked Apples. It is about the easiest recipe you will ever come across and it makes your house smell heavenly! If you happen to score a huge haul of apples at once, you can easily double the recipe and fit it into one large crockpot.

Product Review: Jamberry Nail Wraps

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hello, friends!  It's been a little while since I've done a good product review for you, and this is one that I hope you will find helpful.  Whether you are a Jamberry beginner (like me) or a pro, I've got some insights, tips, and tricks to share with you.

 
 
I recently bought a set of Jamberry Nail Wraps for the very first time to support a friend of mine who was hosting an online Jamberry Party.  Though I had heard of the company and seen their wraps before, I had never actually tried this product until now.  And I will admit that I was a little skeptical at first.  The instructions seemed really easy (almost too easy) and people online were claiming that it took them as little as 10 minutes to apply a full manicure that would end up lasting two weeks or more.  Hmmm, I couldn't imagine. 
 
 
 
I mean, I have found a wonderful lady to do my nails in the past year or so, and she applies a perfect gel manicure in 30 minutes flat for $25.  That manicure always lasts me about 2-3 weeks.  And until now I couldn't picture anything faster or more affordable for a manicure that would last that long.  So after reading many reviews and researching the product itself, I bit the bullet and gave it a try myself.  But honestly, even the online reviews I read (and there were many) had me wondering whether they were legit or just people trying to boost their own sales.  You just never know.  So before I begin, let me first say that I am in no way being compensated for my review in dollars or in products.  The Jamberry wraps that I used were ones that I purchased myself at full retail price.  I am just a regular person who was interested in trying a new product and sharing my findings with you.  So here we go.   
 
To begin, if you read the story of how this company was launched, you will find that it was in fact started by three sisters (sound familiar, anyone?).  My curiosity was instantly piqued.  They decided that salon manicures were far too pricey, time consuming, and limiting of their color and pattern choices, so they took action and ended up developing Jamberry Nail Wraps.   Incidentally, they have been around since late 2010.
 
 
 
If you take a look at their online catalog, you will see what I mean by choices.  There are a slew of colors, patterns, designs, and everything in between to mix and match.  Whew wee, the selections almost made me dizzy so I opted for my good old standby look to start the ball rolling: a classic French manicure.  And yes, they sell that in addition to lots of other solid color looks.  Not everything is a wild pattern.  There really is something for everyone. 
 
 
 

So How Much Do They Cost and What Do You Get for Your Money?

 
The sheet of wraps that I purchased cost $15, and they were running a promotion for a fourth free sheet with the purchase of three.  So, in other words four sets would have cost $45, or $11.25 each.  I assumed that each sheet would provide one manicure.  Even so, if it held up for the two weeks that it claimed, I would still be saving $10- $15 off the cost of my normal gel manicure. 
 
But after a little research, I quickly discovered that each sheet contains 18 wraps, and each wrap is plenty big enough to be cut in half, thus providing even more manis and pedis per sheet.  The wraps come in different sizes so you can select the ones that best fit your nails.  The larger wraps are typically used for pedicures, whereas the smaller wraps are generally used for manicures.  By my estimation, I can easily get two full manicures and one full pedicure out of a single sheet of Jamberry wraps.  I'm sure if you get more creative with how you cut them and/or mix them with polished (non-wrapped nails) you can stretch a sheet even farther.  But let's just go with my conservative number for the sake of this math.  If I paid $15 for a single sheet and each sheet will get me two manicures and one pedicure, that's only $5 per application.  So far, I'm liking the numbers!
 
After drawing my own conclusions, I found this handy diagram that shows how to make your wraps go even father.  Sweet!  I will be saving this for my own future reference.
 
 
 Now that we've got that all settled, let's move on to application.
 

How Do You Apply Nail Wraps and How Long Does it Really Take? 

 
1.  To start, you need to make sure your nails are clean and either coated with a fresh coat of polish or wiped down with rubbing alcohol.  I opted to start with clean dry nails that I swiped a little alcohol swab over. 
 
2.  Next, work on those cuticles.  Push them back with a cuticle pusher.  I trimmed mine too, but it's not called for.  Just what I do.  Actually, if you are starting with polished nails, I suppose you would do this step first.
 
3.  Now your nails are ready for the wraps.  Choose the wrap that best fits your nail and remove it from the sheet.  It is better to use a wrap that is slightly smaller than your actual nail than one that is too large.  (Remember you can cut these in half to save the other half for another manicure.)  Apply heat from a hair dryer to the adhesive side for a few seconds until it is pliable.  And carefully lay the wrap down on your nail.  I started by laying the wrap down closest to my cuticle base and stretching it over my nail until it was covering my nail completely.  Apply pressure to get it to stay in place where you want it.  It will likely still extend past your actual nail at this point. 
 
4.  Trim the wrap to fit your nail.  The instructions call for you to cut the wrap with scissors, however, I found that using nail trimmers actually made for a much cleaner cut and one much closer to my actual nail.  Once you have made your cut, use an emery board to file the edges smooth to your nail, using a downward motion over the edge of your nail.
 
5.  The final step is to secure your wrap by blasting it with a final shot of heat from the blow dryer again.  A few seconds on each nail will do the trick.  That's it.  Repeat nine more times and your manicure is complete. 
 
So how long did this process take me?  The people online who said 10 minutes were giving it a minute per nail.  Mine didn't go quite that quickly because it was my first time, but it still only took me about 20 minutes for my very first application.  And the second hand went much faster than the first.  Now that I understand the process better, I know it won't take me that long next time. 
 

Other Helpful Hints and Tips

  • You cannot destroy these wraps so don't feel like you have to be super careful with them.  You cannot overheat them.  In fact, I think a little extra heat helps to make them super pliable and ready to set.  Don't forget to "stretch" them over your nail for a clean and smooth application. 
  • Trimming them with nail clippers was such a game changer for me.  In fact, if your nails are longer to start with, you can actually trim away a small bit of nail with the extra part of the wrap and you will have the cleanest cut possible.
  • In retrospect, I don't think I would have chosen a French manicure for my first application if I had considered what that actually meant.  For the French manicure to look as nice as possible, it is essential that the white part of the manicure is consistent in length on all your nails.  In trying to make that happen, it adds a little more time and care to the process.  Whereas a single color or all over pattern would not create the same issue.
  • Oh, and from everything I read (and now from my own experience too), the first 24 hours of your application will be the most critical.  People who said their wraps peeled prematurely almost always said they had one that came off within the first day or so.  Your wraps need time to "set" and adhere to your nails.  So keep that in mind when choosing when you apply your manicure.  I chose to apply mine right before bedtime so I knew I wouldn't be stressing out my newly applied manicure over the next several hours.  I also wouldn't apply a new manicure right before I washed a sinkful of dishes, or my car, or my dog.  You get the picture.  Choose wisely!
So how did my manicure turn out?  Well, the next day my husband asked me if I had gotten my nails done!  Ha!  I'd say that speaks well to the finished product.  I am very happy with how they turned out, especially since this was my first attempt at using Jamberry nail wraps. 
 
Here's the final look.  Izzie looks especially interested in all this, doesn't she?
 

 
Alright, so I'm not a hand model.  I'm ok with that!  But I will tell you that these wraps really do look like a gel manicure.  They are shiny and smooth, and they feel totally secure on my nails. I feel like I have a little too much "white" on my ring finger so I will trim it a little more.  But that's the nice part- I can do that and it won't ruin anything!

 
 
So there you have it (for now).  I will update this post when it's time to remove them for more details on that process and how long they ended up lasting. Until then...  I'm giving these wraps high marks so far, so stay tuned for more!

UPDATE:  My first set of wraps lasted for eight days, but only because I took them off at Day 8 with intentions of doing a new set for the weekend.  They held up great with no peeling at all.  I am now on my second set of wraps and they have also been on for about a week now.  I think I'm hooked!