So what’s this whole Jamberry thing anyway?

Adam's Favorite (tint) over Butterfly Kisses

Adam’s Favorite (tint) over Butterfly Kisses

*Psst . . . . this post is totally shameless self-promotion, but it’s also about something totally awesome, so you should still read it . . . . and definitely ask me questions and contact me if you’re interested in learning more!*

Direct sales. Ugh.

That was my thought too. I swear. I’ve attempted direct sales before for products that I absolutely loved, but my sponsor was some random I found online, and she was pushy and had one of those fake perky voices that sounded like she always had her nose up in the air. She gave me false information and then acted offended when I pointed it out. I didn’t last long, which is a shame because I really did love the products.

But I digress.

We were talking about direct sales and the “ugh” factor.

When my friend first became a consultant for Jamberry, I was vaguely curious, but I ignored all of the event invites for the first couple of months. Then the curiosity got the better of me, so I asked for a sample. Then it took me three weeks to actually try it . . . . and then direct sales or not, I was freaking hooked.

Here’s my first Jamicure (cheesy, I know, but I like cheese 😀 ) —

Love Spell (sadly, retired)

Love Spell (sadly, retired)

Within a month, I had signed up as a consultant. And I LOVE it! Am I making a gazillion dollars? No. But I’m making enough to pay for my habit with a few extra bucks on the side. And I’ve been in the process of moving and doing so many other things, so I haven’t gone full force into it yet.

So what exactly is Jamberry?

Date Night and Little Black Dress

Date Night and Little Black Dress

It’s a direct sales company that mostly offers nail wraps (they also sell nail lacquer and some hand and nail care items). The nail wraps are different from what you might find in a store because you use heat to apply them, which in turn makes them last longer. They are completely non-toxic, gluten-free, and cruelty free. And there are hundreds of designs to choose from!

Each sheet gets you 18 wraps, which is enough for 2 full manicures, 2 full pedicures, and some accent nails . . . . and most sheets cost $15 and are always Buy 3 Get 1 Free.

You can also design your own nail wraps in the Nail Art Studio (or check out my album of custom wraps). Here’s just one of my designs —-

Book Club 1

Book Club 1

I’ll be writing more about Jamberry as I continue along, though I promise it won’t be the sole focus of this blog. It’s one facet of my life . . . one of many! If you do want more information or want to try a free sample, please let me know! I need to get better about updating my FB business page, but I do offer specials and deals there as well!



A flash sparked across the sky,
people cheered under lights of blue and red and white,
but I couldn’t hear the crowd
over my own screaming.
I paid the ‘doctor’
before he ushered me out the back alley,
still bleeding.
I fell into bed that night
cold and barren,
my womb destined for emptiness.

The young woman in front of me
sheds tears and dignity
as she talks about the violation.
I hold her hand,
her feet rest in stirrups.
My tools are clean,
her choice is valid.
Freedom is more than patriotic fireworks.

This piece was originally posted on I shall be a toad for the speakeasy #100 – a piece of fiction or poetry using the first line, “A flash sparked across the sky” and referencing, in some way, the picture below. I thought today was an appropriate time to repost it.Freedom

You are not alone and you are okay

LoveI was 21 years old before someone finally told me what was “wrong” with me . . . . 17 years after my first panic attack. It was eye-opening. Finally, I had an explanation. Finally, someone could tell me that the constant worry, the constant fear, the constant desire to run away and abandon my own skin was not the way it was always going to be . . . . that help was possible.

It would be another 14 years before I’d find the right combination of medication. It happened last September (well, August is when I started taking them, but it takes a couple of weeks before you start to feel a difference). It was as if a veil had lifted. It was no longer a fight to get out of bed in the morning.

I still have my struggles . . . . and I’m still working toward “normal.”

Every few months I have to do this questionnaire thing with my therapist. It puts me on a depression and anxiety scale from not at all to severe. The last time I did it (about a month ago) was the first time I fell into “moderate anxiety” instead of “severe anxiety” . . . . I still laugh about it because if this is what “moderate anxiety” feels like, I can’t even imagine what it feels like to not have anxiety. I’m pretty comfortable at moderate . . . . though I think mild would be nice! (For those wondering, I moved from “moderate depression” to “mild depression” and am now at “borderline depression.”)

Sometimes it strikes me as incredibly bizarre how good I feel, how in my most stressful moments I feel like I used to on a daily basis.

But none of that means my fight is over. I still have difficulties around lots of people. I still avoid social situations whenever possible. I still avoid my triggers instead of working through them. I still can’t move past some early traumas and accept that they’re over. It’s hard work . . . . every day . . . . but it’s worth it. I’m worth it.

And you’re worth it too.

Earlier tonight, I stumbled onto the video below. I love Wil Wheaton for his advocacy of geekdom and his overall “don’t be a dick” mantra. I vaguely recall hearing that he deals with mental illness as well. The thoughts he expresses here hit home quite a bit. More importantly, he’s right . . . . you’re not alone.

Check out more videos, important resources, and other useful information at Project UROK.


To bisexuals, trisexuals . . . piesexuals?: A conversation with my daughter

Pride FlagsMy 10-year-old daughter started singing lines from Rent at dinner last night. I reminded her to not sing the parts of La Vie Boheme that she doesn’t understand in front of other people until she asks me what they mean (if you’ve heard the song, you know what I mean).

She said, “okay,” and proceeded to sing, “to bisexuals, trisexuals, homo sapiens . . .”

And then followed up with, “You know there’s also piesexual.”

Me: “Do you mean pansexual?”

Kiddo: “Oh yeah, that’s it. Do you know which one I am?”

Me: “No. Only you know that.”

Kiddo: “I’m not sure.”

Me: “And that’s totally okay. You don’t have to know.”

Kiddo: “And you know it has nothing to do with gender, right?”

This is how the 30-minute conversation about sexual orientation and gender identity started. I am consistently floored by the dually existing maturity and vulnerability in my child. We spoke about the spectrum of sexuality, about the differences between bisexuality and pansexuality, about labels by definition and preferred labels, about gender identity, about asexuality. And she participated with interest and composure. She also showed uncertainty, a bit of insecurity in not knowing how to identify herself. And she smiled when I told her that there are tons of people still figuring that out . . . even at my age.

This how the conversation ended:

Kiddo: “If I had to say one right now, I’d say I’m straight.”

Me: “That’s totally okay. And it’s okay if it stays that way forever, and it’s okay if it doesn’t. You are loved and accepted as you are. If you only ever like boys . . . . if you realize later you like girls too, to whatever degree . . . . all that matters to the people who love you and care about you is that you are happy.”

And again, she smiled.

***I understand that as my daughter gets older, she both needs and desires more privacy. Any conversations with, photos of, or stories about her are only shared with her explicit permission.***

#LoveWins the battle, but the fight is far from over

White HouseI woke up on Friday morning, pulled the covers back up, and tried to go back to sleep. My cat wasn’t having it. I reached for phone and blinkingly looked at the time. 10:36am. The 6am alarms had ended just a week ago. I was enjoying this whole sleeping in thing, but I figured it was probably a good idea to get out of bed.

But of course, I had to check Timehop and Facebook first. I popped open Timehop, skimmed down to 2 years, and saw the plethora of posts celebrating the end of DOMA and Prop 8. I smiled and hoped it was a sign of things to come.

Then I opened that lil’ blue icon to see that rainbows had thrown up all over Facebook. I clicked the first link I could find and read about the Supreme Court’s decision. I cried. I smiled. I think I let out a celebratory yelp or two. I cried some more. Then I proceeded to throw up some more rainbows all over Facebook.

Friday was a huge victory for equal rights, for love, for humanity. Huge. The right to marry is more than a piece of paper. It’s hospital visitation and joint taxes and social security and health insurance and so much more. I will share this piece of history with my future grandkids and great-grandkids and do so with pride knowing I stood on the right side.

I will also remind them that I didn’t stop fighting because it wasn’t over yet.

From adoption rights to anti-discrimination laws to trans* rights. The journey isn’t over. We made it over a huge mountain on Friday, but the path ahead is still long and still full of obstacles.

Let’s keep this momentum going. Let’s keep fighting. Let’s vow not to become complacent.

And, of course, let’s celebrate every victory along the way. The world can never have too many rainbows!

LoveWins 2

Image Credit 1

Image Credit 2

Here I go again . . . .

AppleI need to write. I need to rant and rave and bitch and moan. I need to plunge into poetry and poetic prose and bare my soul. I need to share philosophies and politics and emotions and life. I need to put pen to paper or fingers to keys and watch as letters form words and words form sentences and sentences form paragraphs and paragraphs form complex explorations of the deepest parts of my mind. I need to write.

I also need to make connections . . . . . with people who understand and with people who don’t . . . . with people I understand and with people I don’t. I had no idea when I started my first blog a little over 4 years ago what kind of impact those connections would have on me. I started a business with one of those connections. I’m sponsoring another one in her fundraising journey to pay for fertility treatments. Just two examples (both of which will be explained in more detail in future posts) out of many.

That first blog of mine, I shall be a toad, has been painfully neglected over the past couple of years. I post a bit here and there. Once every 3 months or 6 months. But there has been no consistency. No commitment. When this urge to blog again hit me, I considered going back to that blog. I mean, who wants to start over with no followers and build all of those connections from scratch?

Well, apparently, I do.

I’m entering a new chapter in my life. I just quit my job. I’m moving soon (a couple of weeks, a month . . . I’m not entirely sure). I started a new business. I’m breaking back into freelance. I’m about to hit the closer to 40 side of my 30s (holy shit!). Life is chock full of changes, so it’s a good time for a new blog.

And here I am. Going at this thing again. So, let’s eat some apples, get into a bit of trouble, and see where this all leads.

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