Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Another Opportunity

If you've been a reader for very long, you know a little bit about our journey as LifeVantage distributors. You may remember how life changing it was for my father-in-law, how despite our general distaste for MLM's (who doesn't have a general distaste for them, unless you're IN one and see how amazing they are when done right?!) and my hesitation to become distributors, we did it because we saw what an incredible thing it did for my beloved father-in-law and knew that however much "direct sales" may make some folks cringe, this product was worth the frowns because it was giving people their lives back, and I'm not really being figurative here! There are so many amazing stories out there of people with really significant health conditions who begin taking the product and see a dramatic change in their health and lives. Of course, we are not allowed to make any claims except that it reduces oxidative stress an average of 40% in 30 days. So I'm not saying it was the Protandim that turned these folks around. I'm just saying that they started taking it and saw these dramatic improvements in their lives. You can decide what you want about that information!

LifeVantage has been a pretty amazing journey. We haven't really been working the business for the last couple years, which I think was an unfortunate mistake, but one that I hope to rectify in the near future! But I'm not actually writing today to talk about LifeVantage. I'm here to talk about Another Opportunity, one that I've decided to plunge into all by my lonesome!

I decided to do this largely because we have a big expense coming up! Baby! We absolutely have to get a new-to-us vehicle as our truck is only a two-seater. Taxes were higher this year than expected which ate into our savings a little already, and even using up all of what we've saved for a down payment on a house (boo hoo!), we'll still have to get a loan to get a vehicle, I suspect. If I can do anything to help make that easier, I want to do it! So here I am. Trying my best to help in a way that I can.

The company is called Jamberry, and they make vinyl nail wraps -- the end results in what looks like an amazing polish job, but is done quickly, easily, inexpensively, at home, and one of the best parts in my book is that it's completely non-toxic! Oh, and did I mention they last? And last? Most people find that they last around 2 weeks on their fingers and as long as 6 weeks on their toes! And for the most part, by the end of 2 or 6 weeks the only reason somebody removes them and applies new ones is because their nails grew out a bit, not because the wraps were chipping, peeling, or fading! Sound intriguing? Yeah. As someone who can't keep polished fingers looking nice longer than 24 hours, I was interested, and I have never even been very "into" having my nails done up!

Granted, Jamberry is not changing lives in the same way that LifeVantage is. Though I suppose you could argue that you are probably reducing oxidative stress on your body if you switch from regular toxic polish, to Jamberry. But no, it's nothing really significant in that way. But it is changing lives in other ways. Ways that are still really significant to those experiencing them! It's giving women (and probably some men) a way to make more money for their families, without having to take on another job they end up a slave to. Whether your desire is to simply pay for piano lessons for your child, or completely replace your current income you earn working outside the home so you can be home with your precious children, or whether you don't have kids or even a husband at all and just want to do something to support yourself without being a slave to somebody else, this could be an opportunity for YOU! Some people join Jamberry to earn money for a one-time purchase they can't afford right now. The possible reasons to join and what you do with what you earn is totally up to you! But isn't that the cool part? It's totally up to you! It's not like getting a minimum wage job where you're forced to work at a certain pay rate no matter how badly you may need more than that. If you need more, you do more work and earn more. That simple!

I won't go into any of the nitty gritty details about the compensation plan or anything else here today, but if you're even slightly interested, contact me! These wraps are great fun, so whether you're interested in simply purchasing some to try out yourself or you're wanting to learn more about working as a consultant, talk to me! I can even get you set up to host an online party, where you basically don't have to do anything beyond tell friends about it, but then get the chance to earn some cool rewards like free wraps, or discounts on becoming a consultant (which is already affordable even at full price)!

Here is a quick low-down of what makes Jamberry Nail Wraps so cool!

  • They are non-toxic (as someone who can often go on rants about all the toxins we're faced with daily, this was a huge draw for me! Especially now that I am pregnant and even more mindful of what I put in/on my body)!
  • There are over 300 designs to choose from, so no matter what your tastes, there is something for you! But even if you're really particular and can't find anything you like pre-made, you can pay a few extra dollars and have some custom made, any way you like! This is an awesome option for weddings and other special events where you may need an exact color/pattern!
  • They are inexpensive! A single mani or pedi at a salon will easily cost $30 or more. And if you take advantage of our buy 3 get 1 free deal, that's enough manis for 8-24 weeks (depending on how hard you are on your nails) and up to 60 weeks of pedis! The same amount of manis and pedis would cost an average of $450 in a salon!
  • Can be used on artificial nails
  • No dry time
  • No chipping
  • No peeling
  • No fading
  • Latex free
  • Do NOT damage your real nails

And lest you think I am telling you about these awesome, fun wraps and not leaving you with photos, don't worry. I wouldn't do that to you! The first 4 photos are of my manis/pedis, followed by some photos of some of the wraps I won hosting a party prior to becoming a consultant!

My very first Jamberry manicure, "Kiss Me Ombre"
I used leftover scrap pieces from my "Kiss Me Ombre" mani, to do a pedicure! This was 6 days in, and I did a pretty poor job applying them to begin with, due to my belly getting in the way. 

Then when I had to remove my manicure after 13 days (due only to my nails growing out!), I tried out some new wraps that came with my consultant kit, "Horseshoes". I thought I was going to hate them, but I actually find them really fun! Then a day or two later I decided to change things up again, by adding a "Kiss Me Ombre" nail to my hand, and doing a mix on my toes, too, as seen below!
Keep in mind the "Kiss Me Ombre" on my toes had been on for almost 3 weeks when this photo was taken!
Now here are some of the wraps I ordered for free and/or deeply discounted as my hostess rewards for my party I hosted recently!
Left to Right: Twitterpated, Hostess Exclusive for April, Prissy Plaid, Wild Elephant, and Stone (matte). The Stone I got to wear with my Army Camo (not pictured but also got free!). And I'll probably wear some Prissy Plaid with some Raspberry Sparkle (also not pictured).

So if you like what you see, and have even a small handful of friends who you think would also have fun with these, get in contact with me and we can set up an online party for you! It's super easy to earn free stuff, there's no pressure to order if you don't want to, and we play some fun games where people can win free samples and things! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two-Minute Molten Chocolate Mug Cake

There are some days where you just need a fix. Most of us recognize it immediately and may try to ignore it, or satiate it with something else but let's be honest. Nothing compares to real chocolate fix, especially not popping a magnesium pill, the common "if you're craving this what you really need is ______" answer to chocolate cravings*. And the warmer and gooier the chocolatey goodness is the better, am I right? I know I am. I won't wait for an answer.

This fix happens to practically be health food, if we conveniently ignore the fact that it's prepared in a microwave. O_o It's healthy enough that I have no guilt at all eating it pregnant, on a weekday**. No gluten. Barely enough sugar to mention. Good fat. But all the YUM your little heart could desire. I can only imagine what a delightful treat it would be on a splurge day with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or drizzled with a little bit of caramel! Prepared as below, there should only be around 7g of sugar in the entire cake, which I split with my dear beloved (see how much self control I have? He was on the phone with a client and I totally could have gotten away with scarfing down the entire thing before he ever knew there was any food at all to be had). You could do even better than that if you had darker chocolate chips/chunks, made your own like I've done in the past, or omitted that part entirely (but where's the fun in that?).

Sorry about the photo. It was too good, I was too hungry, and the fact that any photo at all exists of anything more than the empty cup is kind of amazing. Next time I make this I will try to take a picture of the finished cake, because it's really quite pretty for a microwave mug cake. But for now, this is what you get.

Another thing I love about this little beauty? The butter in the cake makes it so that it comes out of the mug rather easily, which made sharing a cinch, and would probably also make it a pretty one to "dress up" by inverting it onto a plate and topping it with...something incredible. Or even something moderately exciting like a few slices of strawberry. Also, if you're afraid of raw egg, cook yours a little longer than 1 minute. You'll lose the "molten" part, which was part of what made this so good, but like I said... if you worry about that sort of thing there is an easy solution. I get my eggs from my own very healthy, free-range and semi-free range chickens so I don't worry about a little underdone egg now and then. FUN FACT! Did you know that only about 1 in every 20,000 conventionally "raised" eggs are contaminated with salmonella anyway? Most hens whose ovaries become infected stop laying, so if you wash the shell prior to use, your chances should be essentially nil. You would have to eat 250 eggs a year for 80 years to consume 20,000 eggs over your lifetime anyway so you can see how low your chances of illness probably really are, even if you have to get your eggs from less healthy chickens than a well-cared for backyard flock. The only reason to be cautious about eating raw egg whites with regularity would be due to the discovery that raw egg whites (not yolks! Your daily fried eggs are safe, people! Yolks are actually much healthier raw than cooked) can increase biotin deficiency.

Two-Minute Molten Chocolate Mug Cake

1 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp milk (sorry, I wasn't measuring, but this is my best guess)
1 large egg
2-3 tbsp sweetener of choice (mine were a combination of xylitol and several types of stevia)
1/8 tsp salt (again, best guess -- or add more if you like the whole salted-everything fad)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large mug, carefully melt baker's chocolate. My microwave takes a little over a minute to melt 1 oz when I forget to chop it, and is faster than that when I remember (i.e. never). Stir chocolate until smooth. Add butter, then milk, combining each well. Add all remaining ingredients, leaving half the chocolate chips set aside. Stir until egg is fully incorporated. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and cook in the microwave for 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly, and enjoy!
This is a mug cake my dear husband made for us last night (04.30.14) -- same recipe except he added a little more sweetener and then inverted the cake onto plates for us! It was beautiful, delicious, and as you can see, very molteny! I loved it.

Here is a freshly made cake -- not as pretty as my first because I accidentally overcooked it (I know, in the microwave? How do you accidentally cook something longer than a minute in the microwave?). But it was still tasty! Just less molteny.

*and I'm telling you right now, magnesium deficiency is not the only reason for a chocolate craving; I take 3 magnesium tablets per day aside from whatever I get in a healthy diet and I still crave chocolate from time to time. So there.

**during the week, especially now that I am pregnant, I try to mostly stay very strict about not eating junk/sugar, but on Sunday do still allow myself a few little splurges like ice cream at night, bun-free fast food burgers for lunch, or some GF cereal or chocolate candy.