Rambling thoughts on Charleston

I’ve had a pretty heavy heart over the last week after hearing about the horrific and hate-filled shooting in Charleston.  The people of Charleston and the city itself have brought nothing but love, laughter, and joy to my family for nearly 30 years.  I’m truly heartsick for the city where I married the love of my life, bond with my family every summer, take in the southern hospitality, and visit with the amazing people that call Charleston home.

Rainbow Row in CHS

Charleston has always been an extremely happy place for me and my family.  We went to the beach just outside of the city for the first time when I was in second grade, just weeks before Hurricane Hugo absolutely wreaked havoc on the Lowcountry and the city of Charleston.  We went back for one week most summers, and I seriously considered going to the College of Charleston when I graduated high school (eons ago).  My parents kept going even when my brother and I couldn’t because of school or jobs.  But then, it just became “our thing.”  No matter what, my brother, my sis-in-law, and I would get there for a week of pure bliss: sun, surf, sand, and my doting parents.

My senior year of college, I met Jeff, who for some reason really clicked with not just me, but my entire family.  He even made it through a week in Charleston with my entire family about 6 months after we met.  (My dad made him sleep on an over-turned inflatable boat that had an air leak.  Just a little test “dad test”… I think…).  A few years later, we were married downtown right across from the old City Market.  These days, we still go, but most of my time is spent watching my own kids play in the sand with my nephews, soak up the sight of my parents indulging my babies, and just spend the week loving everything about the Charleston area.

Rainbow Row NailsSo – I’d always planned on wearing the “Rainbow Row” jams that I designed, but after the horrific attack last week, it’s less about just a fun manicure in honor of vacation and a lot more about wearing something that reminds me that the city is beautiful, its people resilient, and despite the hate-filled moments of last week, an amazing place for me to continue watching my little family make memories.  No amount of hate and violence can destroy that.

Bring on Summer with COLOR!

I am a major color-focused person.  The brighter and more saturated, the better.  I love neutrals – but mostly because a bold color shows up all the more against them!

One of my favorite color combos has had a major fashion comeback lately.  I’ve always loved the color combo of corals and blues – it just screams, “SUMMER!” Lucky for me, it seems like “trend” is here to stay in the fashion industry.

Summery and Cheerful - Feelings that Need to Be Happening in Chicagoland RIGHT NOW.
Summery and Cheerful – Feelings that Need to Be Happening in Chicagoland RIGHT NOW.

Don’t want to just take my color-crazed word for it?  From Decoist.com:

With bright oranges making a grand comeback…, coral is the ideal color for those who wish to join in on the trend…! While bubbly Tangerine has been dubbed the in color by some, coral is a refreshing alternative that is far more elegant and equally vibrant.

See that?  Elegant and vibrant.  Basically, my middle names.  (Except no.)

Bring on Summer with COLOR!

I’ve written about Jamberry’s Nail Art Studio before (and you can see my designs under “Custom Designs” at the top of the page!).  I’ve had several of the designs printed out, but when they got here, I just couldn’t cut into them.  But finally… I got this in the mail:

Coral Beach NAS - Watermarked

I know, I know.  It doesn’t look like much there.  Just some orange and blue blobs, right?  I needed to change my nails (the color polka dots were fun, but if my 5-year-old thinks they’re too young for me…).  I had these on my counter.  The day is once again gray and cold.

So I took the plunge and put these on for my next set of Jams.  Result? Instant cheer, instant summer vibe!

Suz NAS Coral Beach Suz NAS Coral Beach -2

I’m really happy with how they printed – and even happy with how the design translated to nail wraps.  That’s a sentence I never thought I’d utter!

Ready to Help Me Bring on Summer with COLOR?

Ready to help plunge us into sunny skies and warm temps?  Or at least a sunny disposition and warm tropical colors?  You can get your own set by clicking HERE! 

Psst: Love color?  Love fashion?  Here’s an article that marries the two – showing the hottest color trends for the year! Click here for Fashion Snoops’ Spring/Summer Color Forecast.  Check out all of those rich and saturated colors!

An Apple for Teacher

A few weeks ago I posted my new design for Teacher Appreciation Week and end-of-the-year teacher gifts.  I got the first order in last week and…

An Apple for Teacher – More Perfect than I Imagined!

An Apple for Teacher NASI LOVE how they turned out!! I’m so excited to wrap these up with some little extras and give them to Amelia’s teachers, who, lucky for me, are Jam-Addicts.  (And the best of us are, right??)

If you want to show your teacher some end of the year lovin’, An Apple for Teacher is the way to go!

You can order this uber-cute design HERE:

Take it From a Teacher’s Kid

Your child’s teacher the hardest-working, most emotionally-involved, and most enrichment-oriented person in your child’s life other than you.

Take it from a Teacher’s Kid

My mom was a third or fourth grade teacher until well past the time I was out of college.  Every night she put in HOURS of extra time grading papers at our kitchen table, worrying about the students in her class, trying to figure out how to approach parents about trouble at home, or just WORKING.  There were a ton of Christmases where she bought gifts that she knew couldn’t be provided for her kids – pads of paper, pencils, school supplies, even shoes.  (True story – one heartbreaking year she had a student whose mom could only afford to give her son HER hand-me-down tennis shoes.  That little boy got a brand new pair of sneakers from “Santa” that year.)

Whether or not you agree with standardized testing, the Common Core methodology, or belong to a home-schooling co-op, you can be certain of one thing: your child’s teacher wants your child to be loved, to be curious, and to be successful.  

Every year, my mom would come home at the end of the year with a few apples, some mugs, and if she was lucky, a “Thank You” note from a parent that *got it*.  No matter what you do at the end of the school year, do SOMETHING to let your teacher know that you realize how important they’ve been in your life over the last 180 days!

Ideas for Showing Your Teacher Some Lovin’

Write that person an honest-to-goodness “Thank You” note!  With the modern technological age, a handwritten note becomes all-the-more meaningful!  Even better?  Have your kiddo practice those handwriting, grammar, and sentence structure skills that she’s been working on and write a note as well! 

Gift cards, gift cards, gift cards!  BOOKSTORES, office supply stores, Amazon, teacher supply stores!  Your teacher pays out of pocket for an extraordinary amount of supplies throughout the year.  I’m sure she’d love some help in getting her room restocked for the next school year!

And, since you’re on this page, of course I’m going to suggest Jamberry.  I designed two sets of “Teacher Appreciation” nail wraps – perfect for a gift for a younger teacher that you don’t know a lot about!  You don’t need to know a size, whether or not they own their own place, or whether they drink coffee.  Add a bottle of sunscreen and a note and you have a wonderful token of appreciation for most important person (other than you!) in your kiddo’s life!

Check out how cute these are! 

An Apple for Teacher:

An Apple for Teacher - WaterMarked

Montessori Makes Me Happy”:

Montessori - NAS - Watermarked


To order either of these designs, please click here!  

Rainbow Row – At your Fingertips

My husband and I got married in Charleston, South Carolina.  Ever since I was a little girl, I *knew* that’s where I wanted to have my wedding.  It’s a special place for my family; we’ve gone to Charleston just about every summer since I was a kid.  Also – it was the first place that my hubs ever went on vacation with my family. It’s a place that only has happy memories for me – and it doesn’t hurt that the city itself is gorgeous.

If art class were a city, it would be Charleston: tons of color, style, gardens and flowers hidden around every corner.  Even the alleys look like they’ve been professionally styled for beauty.  Vibrant, happy, and energetic.

One of the most amazing spots to see is Rainbow Row, a portion of East Bay Street close to the water.  If you’re walking from the market area, you’ll pass several restaurants, tourist shops, and bars, then suddenly the street becomes more residential.  But the houses are RAINBOWS.  For real: Source: www.flickr.com,  "erikspictures"

Isn’t it beautiful?  I have ALL of my fingers crossed to win the lottery about 15 times so we could maybe rent the attic space in one of these!  (Seriously – what do these people DO that they can afford to live there?  Someone get on that and let me know!)

So given my obsession with Charleston and color, when I spotted a particular picture of Rainbow Row I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.  I uploaded it to Jamberry’s Nail Art Studio and a few minutes later, I had these gorgeous Jams designed and ready to go!

Rainbow Row NAS - Watermarked
Jamberry NAS Rainbow Row

I was really hoping they would print out as vibrantly as I imagined them in my mind.  The good news?  THEY DID!  Hooray!

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I’ll definitely be sporting these on days when I feel like I need a little Southern Charm in my day!  And I love that even if we won’t be IN Charleston on our anniversary, I can have a bit of Rainbow Row at my fingertips.  Literally.