College and Blogging with T-Mobile Free Data

Disclaimer: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias

Would you believe me if I told you that this is my LAST year of college?! Where in the world has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday I was living the dreaded dorm life and now I am in my final year, living it up in a spacious apartment. It is also amazing to reflect on how technology has changed in the past 4 years. When I was a freshman, I didn’t have an iPhone and now I could not live without it. Four years ago, tablets were just catching on and now you can’t walk around our campus without seeing them everywhere…and with the T-Mobile FREE data for life plan, I understand why!

T-Mobile Trio AXS Tablet with Free Data for Life

Last week, I purchased the T-Mobile Trio AXS tablet and have been using it on my college campus. Up until this point, I’ve been hauling around my very old and very heavy laptop in my backpack. Since it’s a 2008 model, the battery only lasts an hour and well, that’s just not helpful when I’m on campus for 4-5 hours at a time. I am SO pleased that my new tablet has a 7 hour battery life!!

I have been using it on campus to check my student email and take notes in class. I pull up the professor’s PowerPoint and take notes while following along. Our campus has Wi-Fi but sometimes it will disconnect for a few hours so I LOVE that this tablet has data capabilities! Up to 200MB of FREE DATA each month as long as you use it on the T-Mobile network.

The tablet was incredibly easy to set up! After charging up the battery, I followed the simple set-up menu that walks you through how to add your Google account, how to connect to Wi-Fi, etc. After that was done, I disabled Wi-Fi so I could set up the free T-Mobile data plan. Simply open a browser, create a free T-Mobile account, and you’re all set!

T-Mobile Trio AXS Tablet with Free Data for Life

Once I had the free data plan hooked up, I got back on Wi-Fi and downloaded some apps from the Google Play Store. I have email, Wall Street Journal, and Blackboard for school, as well as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For blogging, I loaded WordPress and my beloved social media apps.

T-Mobile Trio AXS Tablet with Free Data for Life

I also downloaded Dropbox, Google Drive, and Asana to help keep me organized. Oh and don’t forget some fun apps like Pandora, Amazon Kindle, and Hulu! I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it is to catch up on my TV shows while riding the bus to campus!

T-Mobile Trio AXS Tablet with Free Data for Life

This tablet has 16GB of internal storage, plus a microSD card slot for even MORE storage! Having extra storage has come in really handy for my new Jamberry Nails business. I loaded a microSD card with all of my images for party games and door prizes, as well as images from our new Fall & Winter catalog!

Basically, I don’t have one bad thing to say about this tablet! I’ve been using it for about a week now and I already can’t live without it. It has been so convenient and with a 7 hour battery life, it has replaced my laptop while I’m on campus. The T-Mobile Trio AXS Tablet can be found at Walmart.

T-Mobile Trio AXS Tablet with Free Data for Life

Do you own a tablet?
If not, do you wish you had one?

{This month’s advertisement}

Jamberry Nails Review + GIVEAWAY!

Disclaimer: I earn commission on all purchases made through my consultant link.

In the past month or so, I have been seeing Jamberry nail shields all over Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It got me thinking…what’s so special about these nail wraps? I began doing a little research and I was amazed by what I found online.

First of all, let me start by saying that I am AWFUL at painting my nails. I am a Type A person and my perfectionism gets the best of me when I’m painting my nails. If I decide to paint them, I often remove the polish shortly after it dries because it’s too messy for my standards. Last year, I started doing gel nails at the salon because they last longer and my mancurist does a nearly perfect job. However, the $30 expense of getting my nails done every month has gotten to be quite expensive.

Then, came along Jamberry nail shields. One sheet can be used for 2 manicures and 2 pedicures…and you’ll still have a few left over for accent nails! This option is MUCH MUCH cheaper than getting my nails done at the salon. Plus, you don’t have to soak for 3238624691 hours to get glitter polish off…because there is no polish! The gorgeous glitter wrap below is called Gold Sparkle, but there are a ton of other sparkle colors available!

Jamberry Nails Review + GIVEAWAY!!

I decided to give them a try and received my first purchase about a week ago. I didn’t want to blog about them until after I had the chance to test them out and give you guys my honest opinion. And the truth is…I LOVE these nail wraps! They don’t take very long to do (about 20 minutes) and you only need a hairdryer to warm them up so that they can adhere to your nails. Super simple!

Okay so here is how I applied my Jamberry nails

1. Choose a strip that is large enough to fit the width of your big toe. For me, this happened to be the largest size, but for most people you will use the second-to-largest size. Cut the strip in half – use the other half for your other big toe.

2. Heat that wrap using a blowdryer or the Jamberry Mini Heater for 5-10 seconds until soft and flexible. Apply nail wrap to your toenail and apply pressure in the middle first. Then pull each side of the nail wrap tightly and press down onto the nail. Apply lots of pressure!

3. Use a rubber cuticle pusher to go over the nail wrap to make sure it is stuck on there good. You can even blast your wrap with some more heat! HEAT and PRESSURE are the two most important things to ensure that your wraps last up to 3 weeks!

4. Use a nail clipper to cut the access off the top of the wrap. Apply more pressure and blast some more heat to seal the edge. Use the second half of the strip (the one you cut earlier) and follow the same steps to apply it to your other big toe.

5. For your little toes, you will want to take the second-biggest strip and cut it in multiple pieces. You will use this entire strip to do the rest of your toes! I suggest cutting it down the middle vertically (to split in half) and then cut each half into four. Follow the same steps to apply these to your toes! You might have to trim the edges using scissors to get the perfect fit.

TIP: My nails are very curvy but I had no problems with the wraps wrinkling or having bubbles. However, if you come across this problem, I have learned to run a hot pair of tweezers over the nail wrap and use a cuticle pusher to smooth out the wrinkles.

Then yesterday, I followed the same steps to do a manicure using Peek-A-Boo (retiring today!) and a brand NEW design, Sunday Brunch. Isn’t it adorable? I’ll be following up with you guys in a few weeks to show you what they look like then!

Day 1 Jamberry Nails

The entire application process only took me about 20 minutes and I have enough of the gold sparkle wrap left to do another pedicure, as well as two manicures. Now that’s what I call a bang for your buck! Oh, and did I mention that Jamberry nail wraps are Buy 3, Get 1 FREE?! Yep, all of the designs (except for collegiate) are eligible for this deal ALL OF THE TIME. This is not just a special promotion for August.

Jamberry Nails Review + GIVEAWAY!! I’m normally not a fan of direct selling companies, but Jamberry is doing so many things right! The consultant I worked with was VERY helpful, gave me tips on how to apply them, and answered so many of my questions! I actually fell in love with Jamberry nails so hard that I decided to become a consultant! I have only been a consultant for about a week now but I have already booked 4 parties and sent out many many samples! I have also had 2 fabulous ladies sign on as consultants under me because they fell in love with Jamberry too! I had no idea that this would explode like it has…in just ONE WEEK! (If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Jamberry Nails independent consultant, please email me.)

My sweet sponsor, Tricia, is hosting my Launch Party this week and I would like to invite all of you to join! (Just click the link!) There will be lots of party games and you earn a certain amount of points for each game. The more points you earn, the more times you’re entered into the door prize drawing! Other ways to earn points include: liking a Facebook post, commenting on a Facebook post, and making a purchase via my party. If you want to try Jamberry without spending a penny, be sure to join the party and hopefully you’ll win something!

Okay now on to the giveaway. I am giving away a nail shield (of your choice) to one lucky winner. I am certain that once you try Jamberry for yourself, you will fall in love like I did. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you would like to host an online Facebook party and earn AMAZING hostess rewards, please email me or book a party through my link. I am currently booking parties for the weeks of September 15th and 22nd.

If you have questions about becoming a consultant, feel free to email me. I had a LOT of questions before I signed up and I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. And like I said before, I have had SO MUCH success in just a few short weeks! If you want to have pretty nails and make commission while sharing the Jamberry love, this opportunity is perfect for you.

Summer S’mores Beach Cake

Disclaimer: This recipe has been sponsored by Wilton as a member of their Sweet Treat Team. However, all opinions are my own.

Never in my life did I think I would be capable of making a four-layer cake. Not to mention, a four-layer cake that looks just as good as it tastes! This summer s’mores beach cake was inspired by my love for a particular ooey-gooey campfire dessert. The chocolate cake, ganache filling, marshmallow buttercream, and graham cracker crumbs make for a heavenly combination. In fact, the only thing that would make this cake better is a layer of golden-brown marshmallows on top.

Summer S'mores Beach Cake |

A cake like this would have intimated the heck out of me last year. However, this year I’ve learned that “fake it until you make it” applies to so many aspects of life, including cake decorating. A cake doesn’t have to be iced perfectly smooth or be covered in a smooth layer of fondant to be impressive. In fact, a few colorful fondant decorations can go a long way into transforming an ordinary cake (or cupcakes) into a beautiful masterpiece! And as I learned at Sweet Up, the “messy icing” technique is very popular this year. So honestly, you have no reason to be intimated by this cake.

Summer S'mores Beach Cake Summer S'mores Beach Cake Summer S'mores Beach Cake

Fondant decorations are great because you can make them ahead of time and keep them on hand for future projects! There are also a ton of different techniques to make your fondant decorations look as simple or as sophisticated as you want. I went the simple route and chose to use pearl dust on my seashells and sand dollars to make them shine.

However, if you want your shells to look more realistic then try the marbleizing technique as seen here. Speaking of realistic…make sure to invest in a wide variety of gel colors. Personally, I think the bright pink starfish are fun and girly but if you’re going for a realistic beach look, you might want to use peach gel color instead.

Summer S'mores Beach Cake Summer S'mores Beach Cake

Summer S’mores Beach Cake

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes



    For the Fondant Decorations:
  1. To make the shells and sand dollars, tear off small pieces of white fondant and fit into the mold. Use a fondant roller to flatten and create a smooth surface, then slowly remove fondant decorations from mold. Use a brush to apply white pearl dust on shells and sand dollars.
  2. To make the starfish, tear off a piece of white fondant and color it using 2 toothpicks of pink (or creamy peach) gel color. Make sure to wear disposable gloves when coloring your fondant so that it doesn't stain your hands. Knead fondant until color is fully incorporated. If color is not as dark as you'd like, add more gel color until you reach desired color. Tear off pieces of colored fondant and fit into the mold.
  3. Let all fondant decorations dry overnight or until hardened. If you want your decorations to be slightly curved, let them dry on wave flower former sets.
  4. For the Cake:
  5. Prepare chocolate cake mix according to directions on package. Pour half of the batter into a 8 inch cake pan and pour the other half into a 9 inch cake pan. (Or pour into two pans of the same size if you prefer.) Bake according to directions on package and let cool.
  6. While cakes are cooling, make your ganache. In a microwave-safe glass bowl, stir together semisweet chocolate and heavy whipping cream. Microwave for 1 minute. Carefully remove from microwave as bowl will be hot. Whisk until smooth.
  7. Let ganache thicken while you torte the cakes. Use a cake leveler or wire cutter to level the tops of each cake. Then, torte each cake by cutting in half horizontally.
  8. Place the bottom 9 inch cake layer (cut-side up) on a cake board and spread cooled ganache on top. Continue assembling your cake using the top 9 inch cake layer, more ganache, the top 8 inch cake layer, more ganache, and finish with the bottom 8 inch cake layer (cut-side down). Freeze cake for 10-15 minutes while you make the icing.
  9. For the Icing:
  10. Cream together butter and marshmallow creme until light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
  11. Use a small portion of the icing to crumb coat your cake. Freeze for 20 minutes and use remaining icing to do the final frosting layer.
  12. Decorate Your Cake:
  13. Once the final frosting layer has been completed, generously sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in a ring on top of the cake. Sprinkle more crumbs around the sides of the cake. Finally, add fondant decorations to cake, using icing to secure them if necessary.

Have you ever had a s’mores cake?
What event would you make this beach cake for?

{This month’s advertisement}